Beni’s Falafel

One night, we tried to go vegetarian, and I actually kind of liked it. If you know me real well, you would know that vegetarian doesn’t sit well with me. I have this notion that it is normally tasteless, which leaves me unfulfilled. But decided to give Beni’s Falafel a chance because 1) it looks cozy and 2) it wasn’t crowded. There were only around six tables and everyone was busy with dinner, quiet conversations or their gadgets, which suited me just fine!

Well, it turned out to be a good choice after all. We were both happy with our orders (he had the falafel balls in a pita while I had idam, or spicy tuna in a pita). Price wasn’t also that bad. The mediterranean salad was a letdown, though. It was just like an ordinary salsa.

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The Clean Plate by Twist

A random weekend brought us to UP Town Center in Diliman, Quezon City to meet up with Mico. I was surprised that what used to be a small row of restaurants along Katipunan Avenue has bloomed into a full complex of go-to places. Think medium- to high-end restos and bars, and retail stores targeting families and college kids populating UP, Miriam, Ateneo and other schools in the area. It’s awesome! Ayala Land (I think) did a wonderful job developing that parcel of land. It has grown exponentially since the first time we went there a year ago. Too bad I didn’t get a photo of the huge compound.

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We also had a late lunch at the Clean Plate by Twist. We chose this because it appealed to the husband because it offers healthy options over all the newer establishments we passed by. I was hesitant because no. 1: I wasn’t exactly into commercialized healthy living/eating, no. 2: it is probably crazy expensive, and no. 3: it’ll probably be bland, which is not exactly my cup of tea. I was all into enjoying and savoring my food. But since the husband almost always just goes wherever I want to go, I decided to give in this time.

But sadly, my fears were founded, and I was right on all counts.

I know I have mentioned it somewhere in my blog before that I frown upon commercializing organic and healthier choices. Yes I know, we could all do good by choosing healthier food and living a healthier lifestyle. But in my humblest opinion, and I may be wrong, I don’t think it shouldn’t cost an arm and leg. I may also be ignorant, but shouldn’t food grown organically does away with chemicals, such as artificial enhancers, fertilizers, etc. etc.? So doesn’t that mean that producers actually save some cost intended for that? Maybe I have yet to learn more about this. The thing is, being healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. It makes it even harder to get the message (if this is an advocacy for health buffs) across if this looks like it’s a fad not meant for those who are scrimping on their budget.

And this resto is not an exception. The portions were small for the price. I could have spent that much and been able twice the number we had. It gives a whole new meaning to the word bitin.

As for the taste, I really had better. If only they made up for the steep price, I probably wouldn’t have said all these things haha. I have dined from the streets of Paranaque (where I had my primary schooling) to the posh hotels and restaurants in London, Washington DC, Dubai, and forking out money for food has not been an issue if the quality was great.

It was bland, and the beef was completely rubbery. Good luck to those who have dentures.

But their decor is a completely different story. It was ‘clean’ by all means.

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Pork Binagoongan

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Bistek Tagalog

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Homestyle Fried Chicken

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Escabecheng Maya-maya

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House Brewed Organic Iced Tea

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Swimming class

Our little girl finished another milestone this summer: she completed the Snapper 1 course of the Bert Lozada Swimming School! Yey!

I wasn’t able to blog about her taking swimming classes until now that she has finished the very first course. Yesterday was their batch’s graduation day. While she has shown love and amazement for the water, she seemed to be very hesitant and afraid of being alone or left in the middle with nothing to hold on to. But I am glad that she seemed to progress pretty well after ten days of lessons.

Here are snapshots of when we were able to go with her.

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These were from her graduation day:

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They were all asked to cross the width of the pool, and I was proud that she made it!

Although she completed the course, we decided to enroll her in the Snapper 2 course. School opening is still a month away anyway. I am glad she’s having a productive summer!

Homemade pesto

A couple of weeks ago, I posted here how we started growing our own herbs. This is still part of our trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle due to the husband’s hypertension. And although I am still struggling to some degree, you cannot fault a girl for trying. I still cannot eat rabbit food and I can only eat so much paksiw, pangat, kinamatisan, fish sinigang, etc. And I do not think I can ever give up meat in this lifetime.

So back to the herbs. After the hubby repotted them in organic soil, they seem to have sprouted a lot. He asked me to cook something with them dahil baka daw magtampo. So I told him to grab a handful, and I made some mushroom and tuna omelette with a sprinkling of chopped basic leaves last Saturday morning. Too bad we didn’t get to take a photo of it. And because I felt that it was good (ahem, love your own. lol), I felt emboldened to cook something bigger with it.

And so, armed with Google to download and compare recipes, I decided to make a batch of my favorite pesto sauce.

Harvested a cup more and bought some to augment the recipe since I didn’t want to get all greedy and finish the plants off in one go.

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Tossed them in a blender together with nuts and olive oil. I think a food processor can do this better but I don’t have one yet so I settled for this.

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Transferred to a pot and heated.

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And tada!!

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Very good if I do say so myself 🙂

A healthier us

Okay, so part of adopting a healthier lifestyle at home right now is serving honest to goodness healthy food. I myself, am taking a little more time than the rest of my family in getting rid of meat, salt, etc. from our diet. I know that I should take this seriously since aside from the health side of it, I actually am losing weight! When I stepped on the scale over a week ago, to my delight, I am back to my pre-marriage weight. I couldn’t believe my eyes, and even asked if the scale was broken. lol. If only I could get over the taste part (I like my food very savory, which always means oil, salt and other spices) cold turkey. But I am getting there slowly so bear with me.

In the meantime, I have adopted some steps for our family. I normally give veggie sandwiches to the husband often paired with freshly squeezed lemon juice or a glass of fresh, non-fat milk I still don’t eat this myself.

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At this I love: juicing and blending! It is very refreshing and one can almost feel the detoxification of the body afterwards. It doesn’t take so much sacrificing on my part because I actually enjoy taking it. So far, I have tried on mixing and matching available fruits at home. And I have yet to graduate doing this to vegetables.

Apples, bananas and oats
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Carrot, pear, orange and apple
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Pineapple, watermelon, melon and orange
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Lemon, cucumber and pear
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Kiwi, pear, mango and apple
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Got to try more fruits! I have yet to take photos of my papaya, guyabano, strawberries and even green mango.

Growing our own herbs

When we stayed at my brother’s house last weekend, I saw the herb garden they are growing. With all the health issues in our families (hubby’s hypertension at age 30, and my own dad’s high blood sugar), we have to be extra careful in the food we take in. I wouldn’t want my own daughter catching on and developing the “bad” parts of her genes. At her age pa naman, she loves sweets and processed foods so much. So as her mother, I need to pick up and imbibe healthier habits to be a good model for her.

I guess there’s no harm in growing our own plants when we can. It is part of embracing a healthier lifestyle. We started out with these.

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We have three varieties of basil: regular, thai and choco; mint and oregano. Some of them came from Mico’s own garden, which the husband repotted in organic oil. We hope that we can add more later on. I plan on expanding our “garden” ala Martha Stewart soon enough.

Kids’ fun run

Mischa’s school held some very interesting activities in celebration of July as Nutrition Month. Thank God there was none of those vegetable artsy craftsy thingie that schools normally do for kids. Creative as they were, the school officials had a fair last week, where the Kinder 1 class had to put up a fruit booth. This week, joining the bandwagon, they held a fun run for the kids as part of the wellness aspect of nutrition. Great way to burn off all that energy! I wish she had more of these.

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And as usual, woe to me who wasn’t able to join her. She looks so cute!