#FoodieFriday: Easy healthy recipes for 2013

After the holiday binge, it's time to get in shape for summer! Here's how to do it the yummy way!

TIME TO EAT LIGHT FOR SUMMER. Rachel and Chef Barni to the rescue! All photos courtesy of Rachel Alejandro

MANILA, Philippines – Having spent the holiday season of 2011 in New York, I was excited to be here in Manila with my loved ones this time around.

We Pinoys take celebrating Christmas to a whole other level. All of December, there were endless family reunions, dinners with friends, and office parties where employees perform themed song and dance numbers. (It’s interesting to note that in 2012, “Gangnam Style” was more popular than the usual Christmas carols.)

In the midst of all of this fun, fun, fun, we throw all sense and reason out the window especially when it comes to eating and drinking. What salo-salo would be complete without lechon, hamon, and queso de bola in hot pandesal, ensaymada, ube, and leche flan?

When it’s the holidays, no ones thinks about their diets. If they are, even I tell them to give it a rest and just enjoy.

Every year, my health food delivery business, The Sexy Chef, closes its doors on the 3rd week of December. It is our lowest month for sales ever since we started the company in 2004. Our staff takes a well-deserved break and returns fresh and ready to deal with the deluge of orders for the New Year. With no fail, January is our biggest month.

After the excesses of the holidays, like many of you, I look forward to starting 2013 right by having lighter, more nutritious meals. Eating foods that cleanse and detoxify the body is a good way to bring our lives back to balance.

For my first blog of the year, I requested my sister, The Sexy Chef herself, Barni Alejandro-Rennebeck, to share with you some of our company’s healthy recipes. You don’t need a lot of time or fancy ingredients to make these. 

They’re so easy even I can follow them! Enjoy!

Breakfast: Tinapa and Talbos ng Kamote Rice

Tinapa and Talbos ng Kamote Rice

This dish features hormone-free protein sources, no wheat, refined sugar, and preservatives, adhering to the priniciples of our most cutting-edge diet plan, Anti-Plateau.

Ingredients:

  1. 75g tinapa flakes, cooked in 1 tsp olive oil
  2. 1/3 cup chopped tomatoes (separate container)
  3. 1/3 cup talbis ng kamote leaves
  4. 2 tsp onion, chopped
  5. 1/2 tsp garlic
  6. 1 pc organic hard-boiled egg, chopped
  7. 1/3 cup turmeric rice
  8. 1 tsp calamansi juice
  9. 1 tsp salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

  1. Prepare turmeric rice by adding 1/4 tsp turmeric powder to every cup of rice cooked in the rice cooker. Set aside.
  2. In a non-stick pan, saute the onion and until soft. Add the tinapa flakes and calamansi juice. Cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Add the talbos ng kamote leaves and cook just until it turns bright green.
  4. Add the turmeric rice and cook for another minute.  Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer tinapa rice to a bowl and top with chopped tomatoes and harboiled egg.

For a light and healthy lunch, we recommend this filling soup and refreshing salad combo.

Lunch: Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup with Cashew Cream 

Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup with Cashew Cream

Ingredients:

  1. 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  2. 2 tbsp white onion, chopped
  3. 2 tbsp celery, chopped
  4. 1 tsp ginger, minced
  5. 1 tsp garlic, minced
  6. 300g kamote, peeled and cubed
  7. 2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  8. 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  9. 1 tsp salt and pepper to taste
  10. 2 tsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Procedure:

  1. In a non-stick casserole, saute the onion, celery, ginger and garlic in extra virgin olive oil until soft.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes and broth. Simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender.
  3. Let the soup cool then transfer to a blender. Add the soaked cashews and process until smooth and creamy.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with flat-leaf parsley.

Lunch: Pomelo Salad with Oriental Dressing

Ingredients (salad):

  1. 1 cup lettuce
  2. 1/2 cup pechay baguio leaves only, shredded
  3. 1/2 cup singkamas, very thin matchsticks
  4. 1/2 cup carrots, very thin matchsticks
  5. 1 tbsp chopped roasted cashews for garnish
  6. 2 tsp cilantro chopped, sprinkled on top
  7. 2 segments pomelo

Procedure:

  1. Assemble the lettuce with singkamas and carrots.
  2. Top with chopped cilantro, cashews, and pomelo.

Ingredients (dressing):

  1. 1 1/4 cup sesame oil
  2. 1 1/4 cup vinegar
  3. 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  4. Pinch of pepper
  5. 1/2 cup coconut sugar

Procedure:

In a bowl, whisk all ingredients together until emilsified.

Dinner: Spaghetti Alfredo with Chicken

Spaghetti Alfredo with Chicken

This delightfully rich and creamy dish is surprisingly low in fat and calories, one of my favorites from our Dine Lite 350 Calorie Meals Menu.

Ingredients:

  1. 120 g cooked whole wheat pasta
  2. 2 tsp onion, chopped
  3. 1/2 tsp garlic
  4. 1 tsp canola oil
  5. 20 g reduced fat cream
  6. 1/4 cup chicken broth
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
  8. 40g skinless and boneless chicken, sliced into strips
  9. 2 tsp reduced fat butter
  10. 2 tsp parsley, chopped
  11. 2 tsp parmesan cheese

Procedure:

  1. In a non-stick pan, saute the onion and garlic in canola oil and butter until soft. Add the chicken and saute until fully cooked.
  2. Add the broth and cream. Mix well. Toss in the noodles until coated well with the sauce. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Dessert: Black Rice Pudding with Pinipig 

Black Rice Pudding with Pinipig

This vegan dessert satisfies sweet cravings and can be found in our Eat Clean Detox Plan Menu.

Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 cup black rice, soaked overnight
  2. 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, divided in half
  3. 200 g creamed corn
  4. 3/4 cup water
  5. 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  6. 6 tsp pinipig

Procedure: 

  1. Combine the rice with the water in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the rice has absorbed most of the water.
  3. Add half the coconut milk, coco sugar, and cream of corn.
  4. Let simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add remaining coconut milk and simmer for another 10 minutes or until rice is fully cooked and the mixture is thick.
  6. Take off heat and set aside to cool. Chill in the refrigerator and serve cold. Serve with pinipig on top.
– Rappler.com
 
 
(Rachel Alejandro and Barni Alejandro-Rennebeck are the sister co-owners of The Sexy Chef, a health food delivery and event catering service under OBC 5Star, Inc. This year, Rachel returns to television with a part in the telenovela “May Isang Pangarap” while Barni takes the role of mom to her newborn baby, Arya.)

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