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Friday, July 30, 2010

Chicken? Oh, No! It’s SOYa!

Yes, peeps...scientists at University of Missouri have created a soy substitute that doesn’t only look like chicken but also feel and taste like chicken.   Fu-Hung Hsieh, a University of Missouri professor of biological engineering and food science in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the College of Engineering, is the leader of the project to create a low-cost soy substitute for chicken. According to Hsieh "early tests provided some of the fibrous texture to the final product, but it tasted more like turkey.   In order to produce a more realistic product, we had to tweak the process and add extra fiber to give the soy a stringy feeling that tears into irregular, coarse fibers similar to chicken."
Other meat alternatives like soy burger became popular in USA, that it triggered an increase in sales volume of eight percent (8%) for 2007 and 2008.

Soy chicken was created by Hsieh from a soy protein extracted from soy flour.   Health wise, consumers will benefit from soy chicken as soy foods contain important nutrition components, some of which help maintain healthy bones and prevent prostate, breast and colorectal cancers. It is also a good source of essential fatty acids and contains no cholesterol.

Hsieh's research has been published in the Journal of Food and Agricultural Chemistry, Journal of Food Science, and Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society.

Source Info:

University of Missouri-Columbia (2010, February 5). It looks, feels and tastes like chicken, but it's made of soy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 8, 2010, from­ /releases/2010/02/100204144549.htm

Image Source:  

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Apple Juice May Delay Key Aspects of Alzheimer's Disease

Most recent study shows that regular consumption of apple juice can help to delay symptoms of age related cognitive decline according to report published in Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.  Dr. Shea said that " these findings provide further evidence linking nutritional and genetic risk factors for age-related neurodegeneration and suggest that regular consumption of apple juice can not only help to keep one's mind functioning at its best, but may also be able to delay key aspects of Alzheimer's disease and augment therapeutic approaches."

Thomas B Shea, PhD of the Center for Cellular Neurobiology; Neurodegeneration Research University of Masachusetts, Lowell and his research team demonstrated by giving the human equivalent of 2 glasses of apple juice to the mice for one month and found out that it produced less of a small protein fragment, called "beta-amyloid" that is responsible for forming the "senile plaques" that are commonly found in brains of individuals suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Source info:
IOS Press (2009, January 24). Apple Juice Can Delay Onset Of Alzheimer's Disease, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 16, 2010, from

Image source:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lumpiang Ubod (Fresh Spring Roll - Palm Heart)

If you love vegetables with a little meat in it, then Lumpiang Ubod (Fresh Spring Roll - Palm Heart) is for you. With all those fried meat and fatty foods that we had during the holiday season, let's have a healthy one at the table this time.   Here it is:

  1. 2 teaspoon cooking oil
  2. 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  3. 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  4. 1 cup chicken meat, shredded
  5. 1/2 cup shrimp, devained (optional)
  6. 2 cups ubod (palm heart), julienned
  7. 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  8. 2 teaspoons salt (or patis/fish seasoning) 
  9. balat ng lumpia (spring roll/egg roll wrappers)
  10. lettuce leaves
     For the sauce:
  1. 1 cup brown sugar
  2. 3 teaspoons soy sauce
  3. 2 1/2 cups water
  4. 1  teaspoon salt
  5. 3 tablespoons cornstarch (dissolved in 1/2 cup water)
  6. 3 tablespoons crushed peanuts (or crunchy peanut butter)
  7. black pepper, ground (to taste)
Cooking Procedure:
  1. Pour the cooking oil in a medium heat pan.
  2. Saute the garlic and onion.
  3. Add the shredded chicken and stir until golden brown.
  4. Season with salt (or patis/fish seasoning)
  5. Add shrimp and saute for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the ubod and stir occassionally until it is tender.
  7. Set aside to cool down before wrapping it.
     For the sauce: 
  1. In a pot, mix the sugar, soy sauce, water, salt, crushed peanut (crunchy peanut butter) and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the cornstarch mixture.
  3. Stir constantly until it thickens.
  4. Season with ground black pepper to taste.
In a tray or big plate, lay one piece of egg roll wrapper.   Place one lettuce leaf at the left of center of the wrapper.   Place 2 tablespoons of the sauted vegetable in the middle of the lettuce leaves.   Take the lower portion of the wrapper and join it at the top portion of the wrapper giving a half circle appearance.   Fold the right side towards the middle and roll it.   Serve with sauce.

I hope you love it... enjoy!

Image source:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Team Comerford and Flay: Super Chef Battle Winners!

Once again, our very own Cristeta Comerford, White House Executive Chef is back in the limelight.   Together with grill master Iron Chef Bobby Flay, they teamed up for the show, Iron Chef America:  Super Chefs Battle.  The other team is composed of Super Chef Emeril Lagasse and italian dish connosieur Iron Chef Mario Batali.   This season opener showcased the vegetables at the White House garden as the source to create 5-course dishes.

Team Comerford/Flay prepared the following courses:
  1. Fennel and apple salad with oysters
  2. Fresh garden salad with fried lobster and squid in carrot juice, sweet and sour eggplant with pine nuts and currants
  3. Broccoli clam "chowder" with a hint of ginger
  4. All american BBQ pork, slaw, collard green tamale, cauliflower gratin and watermelon radish pickles
  5. Sweet potato tart with honey topped with pecan brittle and ginger ice cream
On the other side, Team Lagasse and Batali presented the following courses:
  1. Caramelized scallops with raw and cooked fennel and white icicle radishes
  2. Oyster and salad trio with three remoulades
  3. Sweet potato, ricotta and goat cheese ravioli
  4. Duet of american birds with quail and turkey.   The quail is marinated in honey and vegetables and the turkey is fried and then braised with a homemade Worcestershire sauce over heirloom beans.
  5. Sweet carrot beignets with cafe Brulot, a creole chicory coffee with Grand Marnier and brandy and spiced with cinnamon and orange peel
The winning team gets to donate US$25,000 to the charity of their choice.

Watch what Team Comerford/Flay prepared by clicking this YouTube link: .

Watch what Team Lagasse/Batali prepared by clicking this YouTube link:

And watch the verdict at this link:

Source info and image:

Friday, January 1, 2010

It's now 2010!

As expected, the typical Filipino families welcomed the new year with a big bang.   Literally and figuratively.   Minutes before midnight, the streets like ours is like a warzone.   Firecrackers and fireworks display are in full blast.   At the sky, a sight to behold but in the middle of the streets, a no man's land lest, suffer a mangled or broken body parts.

At most homes, the volume of the radio or music is at the max.  Go to the dining room or kitchen and you will see lots and lots of food.   A treat for everyone to enjoy.   From simple to sumptuous.   As always, lots of loaves of bread, cheeses, softdrinks/sodas, cakes, fruit and other salads, spaghetti, ice creams,  and wide variety of fruits.   Add to this are the local foods like kare-kare, imbotido, morcon, cripy pata, fried chicken, tinola, crabs, prawns and other seafoods, sinigang just to name a few.

Hopefully even if we are presented with so much food, we still can be health conscious especially for people who are health challenged like me...a diabetic.

Happy new year!   Enjoy!

Image source:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Malunggay: May Help Men With Low Sperm Count

One of the many vegetables that I really respect and love is Malunggay (scientific name: Moringa Oleifera). Regarded as a "miracle tree" by research scientists and nutritionists, it boasts numerous medicinal and health benefits. The tree can thrive on up to 48 degrees centigrade temperature but it is said to be best suited for 15-35 degrees environment. It's easy to grow and doesn't require too much tending and care. We have two malunggay trees now in our backyard courtesy of my mother.

Per analysis, the dark green oval-shaped leaves contain more Vitamin A than carrots, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, more Vitamin C than oranges, and more potassium than bananas and that the protein quality of Moringa leaves rivals that of milk and eggs. Most breastfeeding mothers here in the Philippines are advised to eat malunggay to produce more milk for her baby.

On the medicinal benefits, malunggay is known long before for its antibiotic and antifungal properties. However, claims on this note needs to be supported with placebo controlled, randomized clinical trials. Although scientific evidences were available for over 50 years, much of these are completely unknown to western scientists. Also, recent pronouncement from Bureau of Plants Industry says that eating malunggay helps to increase the sperm count of men. Aw, men, this must be a very welcome news for all of you out there who has problem with numbers down there.

Aside from being eyed as a solution to hunger and chronic malnutrition to impoverished areas here in the Philippines, it is also being considered as a potential source of biofuel. The seed of malunggay is said to be 36% oil. According to Engr. Manayaga, President and CEO of Secura International Corp., a local biotechnology company, they need at least 20,000 hectares to support the available market for malunggay products like food fortification, animal feeds, cosmetics, edible oil and water treatment among others. The market is there, but sad to say, there is no sustainable supply to go with it. Secura will buy the seeds of malunggay from the growers at a farmgate prize of P10 per kilo for the production of moringa oil. For this, they need around 500,000 hectares of malunggay trees.   Further, Secura earlier declared that it is keen on forging supply contracts with farmers planting malunggay.

There! A shoutout to those who have idle lands for possible earning big sum of money.

Source info:  written by Jed W. Fahey, Sc.D. written by Rizalie A. Calibo

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