Tagged R ~ Raw Recipe : Lato Seaweed Salad

lato seaweed salad

I was planning on posting this next week for Frizztext’s ‘Tagged S- Simple Seaweed Salad’ but plans changed and I decided to pass it off as Tagged R- Raw Recipe. ^^ I simply couldn’t wait to share this recipe on my blog coz it’s been such a long time since I posted one. But this one’s bound to be interesting coz it’s Rare and Refreshing

Lato (Caulerpa lentillifera) is an edible seaweed farmed in the Philippines and in Japan where it is known as umi-budō (海ぶどう) or sea grapes because of its grape-like appearance. Compared to grapes though, they’re pretty tiny and has a mild, very slightly salty taste. The best thing about this seaweed also known as ‘sea caviar’ is probably the texture; it’s robust, watery, a li’l slimy and they pop in your mouth while you eat ‘em. Fun. ^^ They are known to be a rich source of essential minerals such as iron, iodine, and calcium as well as vitamins A and C.

Lato is usually sold fresh and eaten raw. Be warned that this seaweed with its delicate structure tends to wilt quickly. Hence, careful handling is required. Unlike most seaweeds, it’s impossible to dry and preserve the Lato. Also, cleaning it with bare hands requires effort and plenty of patience on the part of the market vendors. Nevertheless, they’re quite inexpensive. The great thing about preparing the salad is that it’s pretty easy and doesn’t take much of your time. ^^

First of course is that you have to wash the Lato well. Salted water may be used.

Then mix the seaweed with chopped onions or shallots, chopped tomatoes, and the vinaigrette of your choice. (vinegar with some salt and sugar usually works best). However, be sure to add the vinaigrette just before eating the salad unless of course you wanna end up with a dish of shriveled seaweed. lol ^^

I prefer my Lato salad with just some calamansi (a local citrus fruit) and plenty of sesame seeds. (shown above). Another dish to try if you ever find yourself in my part of the world 😉

xo

Drop that Turkey! It’s not Thanksgiving anymore…

Seriously. Stop eating. It’s been days. I don’t know if anyone can relate with me but the -ber months are the most dreadful —- for my diet, that is. There’s family (that’s good) but when there’s fam’ly, there’s also FOOD. And once I start, it’s sooo easy to just slip back into old habits. I still got less than a month before Noche Buena (Christmas Dinner) so I’ve decided to spend MOST of that “in-between-time” eating healthy. Won’t you join me? ^^ You wouldn’t wanna waste all the hard work and discipline you’ve practiced all year round just coz of one Thanksgiving dinner — go back to your healthy routine and I promise, you’ll have so much more to be thankful for. ^^

strawberries, mangoes and pineapples on a bed of fresh lettuce and mango vinaigrette — hold the grilled chicken, i urge you ^^

Not bad huh? ^^ So grab your salad bowls and for the love of God, leave the Thanksgiving leftovers alone! It’s been days..

Recipe for mango vinaigrette here

More healthy salads/ dressing posts:
Creamy Garlic dressing
Mango and pineapples
Camote tops salad

PS. Little hypocrite that I am, I’ll be gone for my annual food-tripping this coming weekend (that’s what the countdown’s for) That’s the time of the year when boyfie turns a blind eye as I roam the city face-deep in my other lover — cakes and sweets. ^^ What did I tell ya about -ber months? ^^

Chips Substitute: Japanese Cucumber w/ Sweet Vinegar Dip

Just wanna share with you the awesome snack that I just had; you oughta try it too! You know those times when you’re watching a little TV and just wanna munch on something crunchy but feeling really torn coz you don’t want all those calories? If you just want “something to much on” then grab a well-washed Japanese cucumber (not those other types of cucumbers that just don’t taste good; save those for your eyes ^^) , cut into really thin slices, and there you go! I love dipping it in Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar with raw wild natural honey (I use 1:2 vinegar:honey ratio). 🙂 This is hardly a recipe lol. But i just wanted to share it for those who haven’t tried it yet. ^^

Japanese cucumber with sweet vinegar dip

Stir Fried Greens Recipe

What no challenge? ^^ well, time to make a post that’s not for a challenge..but come to think of it, this is kinda perfect for this weeks photo challenge. Nope, “green” entry is here.

One of the reasons why people love fast food so much is coz it’s fast –obviously. ^^ Well, here’s another one of my healthy versions of “fast food”. Another quick and easy recipe that’s perfect for days when I’m feelin’ just a little bit lazy (which is most of the time). 😉

Pak Choi is a type of cabbage and perhaps one of the most popular vegetables in the Philippines and Asia. It is quite different from other types of cabbages; the leaves are a darker green and may differ in length from 10 to 30 cm. It has a light flavor and compared to other cabbages, it is less crisp. Though it is mostly used along with other vegetables in stews and recipes with broth, many don’t seem to realize that it’s also good when eaten on its own. Pak choi contains high levels of Vitamin A and about 50 mg of Vitamin C per 4 oz. serving.

Sometimes, I eat it along with a matchbox-sized chunk of grass-fed beef and a few spoonfuls of organic brown rice. Although rice is a staple food for Filipinos, it makes you fat, you know. Gasp! That’s why I enjoy eating Stir Fried Greens on the family table while everyone else is happily munching on fried chicken and/or pork chops and heaps of fragrant white rice. >< Do I feel the temptation to reach for a chicken wing? Hell yeah, sometimes… but my cause to eat healthier often wins. Ha! Besides, it TASTES GOOD.

So I did say it’s a quick recipe and everything kinda has to happen real FAST here so make sure all the ingredients are prepared and at your side.

2 big bundles (around 350g) of washed Pak Choi
Bragg Liquid Aminos All Purpose Seasoning or soy sace
Garlic, chopped (I use 1 bulb native/organic but you may add as many/less as you want)
6 tbsp vegetable oil (I prefer extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil) – this is a lot so opt for the healthier choice
A pinch of salt ( I use sea salt)

Heat the oil in a pan/ wok. Add the garlic, stir a bit, but DON’T wait ‘til it gets brown! Immediately add the Pak Choi and stir quickly and cook up until the leaves begin to wilt. Add a pinch of salt and shake some Bragg Liquid Aminos for flavor, as desired. Remove from heat and serve while hot. Good for 1 (if it’s all you’re gonna eat) or for sharing (if eaten with rice and/or something else ^^ ) Sometimes I add less than a teaspoon of muscovado sugar while cooking when I want the “sauce” to taste sweeter. I feel silly coz everyone might already know how to cook this, it’s so simple, but whatever, just in case… ^^

*350g of pak choi – referring to estimated amount of prepared leaves w/ already trimmed stalks

PS if you’re Pinoy, you know this gulay; cousin lang sha ng pechay 😉 actually you may substitute pechay.

Ingredients for Green Juice Recipe

As promised in my previous post, I shall be providing you with pictures of the ingredients in my green juice recipe. Previous post and green juice recipe here I just don’t want anybody eating or drinking any toxic plants and dropping dead for making an effort to be healthy. My crazy, barbaric semi-herbivore of a bf eats leaves straight from a tree –gross, I know — why I ever hooked up with him is beyond me, lol. (Nice ass. Oh, ding! ding! ding!) But seriously, safety first, guys! Do a little research on your herbs before dropping them in your juicer or blender. I already told you that there are plenty of different types of horsetail and this is the one that I use for my green juice (sorry about the pics, they’re taken from boyfie’s rather unkempt but very beneficial backyard)

horsetail

the Other ingredients for the green juice:

saluyot or jute

peppermint

malunggay or moringa

sweet basil

Thai basil

unknown 1

unknown 2

I told you that we had two unknown leaves in the recipe and that I’ll get back to you on their names but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember! >< We're sure that it's edible and even confirmed it with the owner of our fave vegetarian restaurant. If any of you knows the name these leaves, be a neighbor and share the info. ^^

*guys read my recipe on my other post;remember to put in lemon/lime to remove the bitterness. or maybe add fruits. also, i use coconut water, as stated in my previous post ^^

Daily Prompt: Embrace the Ick – Green Juice Recipe

Veggies. I used to find those green leaves absolutely, terrifyingly icky! *shudder* You’ll never believe this but I completely loathed green vegetables and never ate them up until 3 years ago. Much thanks to my amazing almost-vegetarian boyfriend who actually cared enough to force me to eat the disgusting green stuff. ^^ Yep, my mom happened to be one of those mothers who can’t cook and I pretty much grew up a carnivore – eating takeout and plenty of room service. I always felt like vegetables were there for art or “decoration”. During the time that we lived in a hotel, me and my brother could order anything we wanted without adult supervision and considering the fact that we were kids, our range of food choices wasn’t that broad — ice cream, French fries, bacon, ham, cheeseburgers, potato chips and all the sweets we can stuff our faces with. Thanks to my nanny, we also had the fucked up mentality that “vegetables are for poor people”. Why on earth did she say that to children! It’s a miracle that I didn’t grow up to be a whale and that I don’t have dental problems. However, my immune system is weak – I’m very sensitive and I have plenty of allergies. Now before you start judging my parents let me just point out that they just didn’t know any better. When I started earning my own money, all I ever did was work all day then party all night and drink – then one day I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that I’ve lost some of my “youthful glow”. I had to change my lifestyle. It all coincided with my boyfie coming into my life — oh clearly I’m so smitten. ^^ So now, I’m striving to eat healthier and I finally realized that veggies aren’t that bad; they only seemed bland because my taste buds have been so accustomed to the strong flavors of all the unhealthy food I used to eat. Eating healthier is a constant struggle for me but one that I’m definitely winning; don’t get me wrong I still eat meat and I shall forever eat sweets but the point is now I’m ingesting these evil leafy greens and actually loving them. That’s step 1 for me… Step 2 is drinking them.

I used to tell boyfie that I would NEVER drink green juice. It looks like alien vomit. We were always arguing about this… Until I saw this episode of Gossip Girl where Blair asked Dorota for a glass of leafy green juice. Then I thought, OH SO GREEN JUICES ARE HOT THIS SEASON. So I turned to boyfie and declared that I shall have a sip of the revolting drink. I just didn’t count on actually liking it. I found that it’s very energizing and filling and I vowed to have it on a weekly basis. To anyone who’s interested, here’s the recipe. Sorry I don’t have a photo since I drink it straight from my glass jar and I wouldn’t wanna risk turning you off before you even start trying this drink. One of these days, I’ll find way to make it presentable, photograph it then post it here. But for now here are the ingredients:

20 leaves Saluyot or Jute
a handful of Thai basil
a handful of Malunggay or Moringa
2 horsetail (will post a picture later so you’ll know the right kind)
1 big coconut (use the water only)
1 lemon
Mint (add as desired)
*2 local leaves that are yet to be identified
( I promise I’ll get back to you on this one) however, you may also substitute these with other edible greens that you know of, preferably those w/ subtle flavors like lettuce
*when I say HANDFUL I meant a handful of uncompressed leaves, just so we’re clear

MIX ALL INGREDIENTS IN A BLENDER. STRAIN. REFRIGERATE.BOTTOMS UP! ^^

Saluyot or Jute contains plenty of anti-aging benefits – my key to no-to-botox-in-20-years plan ^^ It has high antioxidant qualities, particularly Vitamin E. It also contains Vitamin A, which is helpful in cell repair and eyesight improvement. These greens have Vitamin C for good blood circulation and it lowers the risk of eye disorders; add to that the high amounts of calcium for stronger bones and teeth.

Malunggay or Moringa – rich in iron. got anemia? gotta try this.

Horsetail has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. It also serves as a coagulant and a diuretic.

Basil contains very high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin A and lutein which contributes to good eyesight. It is an excellent source of iron and it also has Vitamin K which is an essential for blood coagulation and plays a important role in the bone mineralization process.

Coconut Water
– apart from the fact that it replenishes and rehydrates the body, coconut water contains good amounts of electrolyte potassium which is an important component of cell and body fluids; it aids in controlling the heart rate and blood pressure. This also removes the bitterness from the leaves.

Mint
has been known to stimulate digestion and relieves gas and menstrual spasms. However, it is not advisable for nursing mothers as it can decrease milk output. Personally, I add mint to the green juice coz it makes it more tolerable, leaving a refreshing sensation in your mouth.

Lemon
serves as a blood purifier and also a good cleansing agent for the stomach; it also boosts immunity. However, the main reason I add lemon is for the taste; it simply makes the green juice more drinkable for me; it removes much of the “unpleasant” smell too. It also lengthens the shelf life.

** make sure you do some research first before ingesting raw leaves. ^^

see more entries at the Daily Post

Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing Recipe – All Organic

This cool blog posted a challenge for recipes using garlic and I got totally excited coz I love garlic. Garlic has plenty of amazing health benefits; it’s an anti-oxidant, a powerful anti-coagulant and it contains anti-cancer properties. It also lowers blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels; garlic also boosts the immune system. I read somewhere that it can also kill herpes on contact but whatever, I’m not up for the experiment. Volunteers? Anyone? Kidding. But seriously, you know that creamy garlic salad dressing that I mentioned in my first ever word press post? Well, I figured now is the perfect time to share it. I know, I know, it’s pretty simple and way too easy but whatever, it tastes great and I love it. Even people who can’t really cook (like me) can do it. But that just makes it even more fun! A lot of creamy garlic salad dressing recipes will tell you to use mayonnaise but since I learned to make my own mayo, I never went back to the commercial kind. In this recipe, we’ll actually be skipping the mayo –so it’s kinda like you made your own mayo from scratch as well.

creamy garlic dressing on a bed of fresh lettuce, topped with diced mangoes, grapes and cashew nuts

Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing Recipe made as Meticulously Healthy as Possible

You’ll be needing:

– 4 eggs ( I prefer organic) – use all four egg yolks and only one of the egg whites
-olive oil ( I also use grapeseed oil)
– apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg)
– about 3 tablespoons chopped onion (you may add gradually so you can choose to put more/less depending on your preference)
– raw wild natural honey
– 3/4 teaspoon salt ( I use sea rock salt)
– less than a teaspoon of Dijon mustard (absolutely optional)
– 2 garlic cloves (you can choose to put more/less depending on how strong you want the garlicky kick to be)
*i use the organic type/native type of garlic—you know, the really small ones.. it has a stronger taste that’s why I’m ok with such a small amount

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth. Seriously. That easy.

Measurements Schmeasurements. It’s your salad. Your dressing. You decide how thick or runny or garlicky or onion-y or sweet it should be.

Here’s the trick though:

1) More egg whites mean a thinner dressing. I like mine super thick so I only use one of the egg whites but if you want something a little more runny, you may use two of the egg whites.
2) Grapeseed oil has a more subtle taste than olive oil. That’s why I prefer combining them instead of using pure olive oil. In fact, you may just use grapeseed oil if you like.
3) You do not put the oil all at once in the blender. You pour the oil gradually, while the eggs and other ingredients are being processed and stop when you think that your dressing has reached the desired consistency. So you see, I can’t possibly dictate which measurements you should follow. In fact, follow your heart taste buds.
4) Be sure to taste your work, don’t settle until you’re satisfied with the amount of garlic or the sweetness. Add as much or as little honey as desired; so you can add it last.
5) Finally, put it on your tossed salad. I like it on a bed of fresh organic lettuce topped with diced mangoes, grapes, and sprinkled with cashew nuts.
4 eggs make 250 ml of really thick dressing and 2 tbsp of thick dressing is more than enough for a lunch bowl of salad good for one. A little goes a long way. 🙂 Keep refrigerated.

P.S. I tried to make the ingredients as healthy as possible but you don’t have to follow it to the letter. You may make use of available ingredients; for example, non-organic eggs or ordinary honey should do just as fine. But I definitely advocate organic. 🙂

if you got any questions, i’ll be more than willing to answer if i can. i understand the recipe isn’t as clean-cut. but i appreciate the beauty of cooking “freestyle” :p

I promise to post a separate recipe for my home-made mayonnaise (and how to lacto ferment it)one of these days

more healthy salad dressing recipes here

Recipes for Hotness: Camote Tops Salad

Warning: Recipe is pretty short and so damn easy. It’s my story that’s pretty long ^^

Camote Tops = Wild Sweet Potato Leaves
The Sweet Potato is like some distant cousin of the potato as we know it. ^^ Sweet Potatoes, not to be confused with yams, are starchy and sweet and are few of the crops of its kind that are actually edible.. yep, most of ‘em are poisonous. One time, boyfie planned on purchasing this wild yam locally known as “nami “/”namo”. It’s a vine with a light-brown, knotty, alkaloid-containing rootstock and is toxic to the body; still, it is used as an ingredient in some native dishes. Boyfie said the Bikol Agtas (a term that refers to Bikol’s tens of thousands of natives with dark-colored skin, kinky hair and short built who reside mostly in the mountains and have been able to successfully preserve their indigenous culture) have a way of removing the poison from the root crop, mainly by soaking it in running water for days. I remembered my experience of trading goods with some of the natives when I was a kid; they went down from the mountains to the city and my mom let me bring out some clothes which the women exchanged with bananas and root crops, mostly Camote. I remembered there was a little girl too, like me; I bet my clothes fitted her perfectly. I just hope she didn’t get teased for rockin’ too much sequins; I’m cray cray over sequins even when I was a little gir.l  Anyway, boyfie’s family’s housekeeper, Del, relayed a story in which she sampled some Namo and almost died from it. According to her she was throwing up while crawling for her life on the floor; ok so I kinda burst out laughing coz seriously!! WHAT WAS SHE THINKING??! And what in tha hell was boyfie thinking, going up the mountains, looking for this root crop?! I had to throw a fit just so he would swear he won’t eat one. Gotta tell ya that man has balls but for the meantime, they’re mine for safekeeping… ^^ Ok back to the Camote Tops! In the Philippines, Camote Tops practically springs up just about everywhere that they’re so cheap, like P6.00 for a nice little bundle. When boiled, the Camote makes a pretty yummy and filling snack especially when you roll it on some Muscovado Sugar; both the root as well as the leaves are used in many popular Filipino dishes but let’s just focus on the leaves. Behold, the delicious, nutritious Camote Tops Salad:

camote tops salad

Camote Tops Salad Recipe
You’ll need:

Well-washed Camote tops

Well-washed Tomatoes

Sliced Onions

Calamansi/ Lemon

A pinch of salt

*as for the amount of ingredients, simply adjust according to preference

Now, blanch the Camote Tops. Just pour hot water over the leaves quicky; don’t overcook them. Drain. Put on a plate. Add a pinch of salt, top with sliced tomatoes and onions, squeeze some calamansi on it, mix, and Bon Appetit! Seriously. It’s that easy ^^

xO- kz

Recipes for Hotness: Fern Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

Pako = a type of edible wild fern that thrives on the sides of rivers and streams. This baby has edible ferns, turnips, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and tofu. The best part is this awesome mango vinaigrette dressing! This pic was taken @ our fave vegetarian restaurant in Naga City. I loved the dressing so much that we learned how to make our own. It’s easy, cost-effective and addictive –in a good way. ^^ At home, I like mixing and matching this mango vinaigrette with different types of fruits. I personally prefer using it on a bed of fresh organic lettuce with slices of apples, mangoes and pineapples. Mangoes are like my favorite fruit ever!

fern salad

mango vinaigrette recipe:
1 part apple cider vinegar—I use Bragg’s

3 parts olive oil

a pinch of salt

less than a pinch of fine black pepper

2 ripe mangoes

raw wild natural honey to sweeten — just adjust the sweetness according to your preference

mix all of this stuff in a blender. that’s it. seriously. 🙂

p.s. keep the dressing refrigerated. ^^ idk about the shelf life cos i consume jars and jars of this thing but it’ll be fine for an entire week.when it separates, i just mix it again w/ the blender. also, you may use grapeseed oil as a substitute if you don’t like the taste of olive oil. i prefer grapeseed oil coz it has a more subtle taste hence, it doesn’t tend to overpower my precious mangoes ^^

xO- kz