Friday, September 23, 2016

Arroz Valenciana ala Mrs. Lam Rice: A Rousing Success

The holiday season has truly began.

We can hear classic Christmas songs being played over the radio, people starting to make their wish list and families are already planning what to buy and prepare for the celebration.

With a few months to go before Noche Buena, this should be a perfect time to practice cooking some of well-loved food for the holidays. How about try your hands in making your family feel like Christmas even this early with a treat of Arroz Valenciana this weekend.

Arroz Valenciana is a dish similar to Paella, a Spanish dish with seafood, sausage, chicken and the spice called saffron.. The Filipino version of this dish makes use of coconut milk, malagkit (glutinous or sweet rice), boiled eggs, and chorizo.  

I recently discovered Mrs Lam's rice to have so many varieties; locally milled rice from the fragrant Dinorado Special, Whole Grain Sinandomeng, Long Grain, Sinandomeng Special, Sinandomeng , Laon (old crop),  Organic Red, Organic Brown rice to the imported ones like Japanese and Thai Jasmine. Even the packaging was appetizing to look at. For everyday use, Danica suggests the fragrant Dinorado Speccial or Sinandomeng Rice; for special occasions or events with visitors that you want to impress, go for the Thai Jasmine rice or the short grain Japanese variety rice.

I will use Special Sinandomeng for this recipe and let's see how delicious this dish can be.

1/4 kilo. chicken thigh or breast
1/2 cup malagkit (glutinous white rice)
1 cup rice
3 pieces chorizo
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 medium red bell pepper
½ cup raisins
½ cup frozen green peas
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup coconut milk
1 medium tomato
1 medium yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
3 boiled eggs
3 tablespoons  olive oil
a pinch of Spanish saffron
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine the malagkit and rice. Wash with water and then drain. Set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a wide pan.
3. Saute the crushed garlic, diced onion and tomato. 
4. Put-in the chopped chicken. Cook for 3 minutes.
5. Add the chorizo de bilbao slided diagonally. Cook for 2 minutes.
6. Add-in the salt, pepper, saffron, and paprika then stir.
7. Pour in the chicken broth along with coconut milk the let it boil.
8. Add-in the washed rice..
9. Add the tomato paste. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
10. Put-in the raisins, and green peas. Cover and  simmer for 8 minutes.
11. Add-in the red bell pepper. Continue to simmer until the rice is fully cooked.
12. The, garnish with sliced boiled egg to make it very inviting. 

Now, here's the finish product: Arroz Valenciana ala Mrs. Lam Rice... definitely a rousing success on our dining table! 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Midea brings cooked meals made even healthier

Dining out on breaks has been a usual thing for most people, especially to those who haven’t got enough time to prepare their food in the morning. Kids get their meals in the school canteen from their allowance money, while young adults like college students and working professionals get to choose their next meal from their favorite eatery, fast food, or a newly opened restaurant that fancies their curiosity.

Home-cooked meals though are making a comeback especially to those who would want to save more from buying their meals from the cheapest eatery to the fanciest casual dining place. It is also widely believed that bringing in home-cooked meals for lunch is healthier because every ingredient is handpicked.  It has also become popular to health buffs because they can plan out their own diet program and count the calories, while getting specific nutrients that they need.

Midea, the world’s leading consumer appliances manufacturer, offers a solution in creating home-cooked meals with their lineup of cookers that make preparing home-cooked dishes easy and turn the freshest ingredients into not just delicious meals, but healthier as well. Their home solutions have always been surprisingly friendly in more ways than one. They are known for their ease of use, finishing every chore faster than usual, which gives people more time for themselves and the whole family. Midea products are also easy on the pocket and its features make it safe around kids. One of Midea’s brand ambassadors and an avid fan of Midea’s Induction Cooker, Chef Rob Pengson shares that “Midea’s Induction Cooker is top level technology which is great for cooking and it is very efficient because it doesn’t waste energy.”

Some people might think that induction cookers would be very costly on the electric bill, but unlike the conventional electric cooker, Midea’s Induction Cookers could actually give a lot of savings even as compared to buying gas tanks regularly. And because it heats faster, it saves 37% of the electric consumption against the conventional electric stove. This quick cooking feature locks in the nutrients in the food which make every home-cooked meal healthier for everyone in the family.

It has safety features like flameless heating, auto safety shut-off function and auto cooling that are very relevant especially if there are kids in the house. Pre-programmed functions make it user friendly, even for first-time users as well.

Midea has a very versatile Digital Multi-Cooker that not only cooks the perfect rice with its Thermal Circulation Technology that ensures even heating in the cooking pot, but it could also create other dishes with its 8 pre-programmed functions that make preparing home-cooked meals fast and easy. It has the Smart Fuzzy Logic Control Technology which makes automatic adjustments to the cooking time and temperature— without having to worry about it while everyone is preparing for the day ahead. These time friendly features make every household free from all the stress in the kitchen. And it only costs Php 5 of electric consumption to cook the perfect rice, while the same quick cooking feature locks all the nutrients in the food.

To make sure that everyone gets all the nutrients needed from every home-cooked meal, Chefs Rob and Sunshine Pengson suggest that everyone should be diligent enough immediately consume most of the perishable ingredients. “We tend not to overstock and just buy what we’ll need for few days or a week. It involves more trips to the grocery but it ensures that you’re buying ingredients at the height of their freshness.”

The Chefs added that people should always go for the freshest ingredients and always check the colors and firmness of every ingredient. Smelling though is the best way to tell if an ingredient is still fit for cooking. This ensures that every meal prepared with Midea’s line-up of cookers will have better flavor and will always be rich in nutrients. This is very important for both Chefs Rob and Sunshine, especially now that they have a toddler at home, who needs all the nutrients for him to grow strong.

“My son loves spaghetti, so sometimes I try to add some vegetables, like carrots and mushrooms, in there,” Chef Rob shares. “We explain to him how fruits and vegetables will make him big and strong, so he will be more open to eating them,” Chef Sunshine adds. The whole family enjoys eating pasta like their son, because it can also produce a great dish just by using some leftover food. And having these dishes cooked with Midea’s Induction Cooker or Digital Multi-Cooker, every family can enjoy not only the most delicious and healthy home-cooked meals, but also the time they spend together at the dining table.

For more information on Midea’s products, check out their website at and Facebook page MideaPhilippines.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Gardenia brings you a Healthy Bento Recipe

Packing a well-balanced snack – whether it’s for you or for your little one – is essential for setting healthy eating habits. And while trying to come up with something different yet easy-to-create snack, Gardenia brings you its very own ‘Master Mind’ Bento recipe!

The healthy bento recipe ingredients are packed with vitamins and minerals like B vitamins and Iron which aid in memory enhancement and helps prevents age-related decline in mental health, thus labelled as ‘Master Mind Bento Recipe’.

Here are two recipes – Gardenia Oriental Tuna Salad Sandwich (main dish) and Gardenia Strawberry & Blueberry Fruity Cream Cheese Tart (dessert)—to try out that will satisfy your cravings and aid for a healthy mind.

Gardenia Oriental Tuna Salad Sandwich

Gardenia Classic White Bread
1 can tuna solid in water (drained)
¼ cup oriental dressing
2 pcs sliced tomato
8 pcs. Lettuce leaves
1.      Combine tuna and oriental dressing in a bowl. Mix well.
2.      Prepare a slice of Gardenia Classic White Bread and top it with lettuce leaves, tuna mixture, and tomato.
3.      Cover with another slice of bread.
4.      Serve 4 sandwiches and enjoy!

Did you know that tuna is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids that help keep your brain healthy? This makes your Gardenia Oriental Tuna Salad Sandwich even healthier, especially, paired with Gardenia White Bread that contains essential vitamins such as Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, C and minerals like Calcium, Iodine, Iron and Folate.

Gardenia Strawberry & Blueberry Fruity Cream Cheese Tart

Gardenia Strawberry and Blueberry Loaf
¼ cup fruit cocktail
2 tbsp sugar
25g gelatin
1 bar cream cheese
½ cup all-purpose cream

1.      Get 6 slices of Gardenia Strawberry and Blueberry loaf and trim the sides.
2.      Flatten the Gardenia Strawberry and Blueberry slices and form it into cups on a muffin tin
3.      Chill for 30 minutes.
4.      Prepare the gelatin and let it cool for two minutes.
5.      Combine cream cheese, all-purpose cream and sugar until it becomes smooth.
6.      Set aside 4 tbsp of gelatin and add the remaining into the cream cheese mixture.
7.      Mix the 4 tbsp of gelatin into the fruit cocktail. Mix well.
8.      Scoop out the cream cheese mixture and place it on the chilled breads then top it with fruit cocktail mixture.
9.      Chill for at least 30 minutes.
10.  Serve 6 tarts and share with your friends!

Did you know that fruits like berries are rich source of Anthocyanins and antioxidants that help prevent age-related concern in mental condition?

Gardenia Oriental Tuna Salad Sandwich  and Gardenia Strawberry & Blueberry Fruity Cream Cheese Tart are made nutritious not only because of the nutrients of the bread but also with the vitamins and minerals the ingredients has which aids in enhancing the memory.

 For more Gardenia Healthy Bento recipe, just visit or