Thursday, June 24, 2010

Let's Eat Out Tonight!

One thing that scared me about doing low carb was eating out. My hubby and I love going out for dinner (and lunch and snacks and basically anytime we don't feel like cooking)and this scenario gave me the heebie-jeebies:

Waiter: So what will it be?
Me: (Peruses the menu) Hmmm... Are the chicken wings battered before deep frying?
Waiter: (Looks bewildered) What do you mean... battered?
Me: Dipped in some flour-egg thingy before frying.
Waiter: (Scratches head) I think so...
Me: (Sighs) Alright... Does the chopsuey sauce have cornstarch in it?
Waiter: (Looks even more bewildered) Yeeesss...
Me: (Sighs again) Can I get the Texas Rib that has NOT been marinated?
Waiter: (Gets a little angry now) They're ALL marinated...
Me: (Resigns) I want something that has NO starch, NO sugar and LOW CARB!
Hubby: (Imitates the great Marjorie Dawes) How about dust? Anybody? No? Dust. Anybody? No? Dust. Anybody? No? Dust. Anybody? No? (Watch here)

But after venturing out into the world of high low carb eating a few times, I now have peace of mind. It is easy to make safe, delicious choices. I'm lucky to live in the seafood capital of the country because there IS always something that I can eat that's not dripping in sauce or drowned in gravy.

My favorite restaurant for low carb eating is Coco Veranda, a bar and grill restaurant right on the beach. The view is great and service is excellent. Here's what I ordered at a recent visit there (forgive the pics, taken with iPhone)

Steak (skip the side dishes or give it to hubby)

Lechon Kawali (Deep Fried Pork)

Shrimp Kinilaw (Ceviche)

Boneless Bangus (Milkfish) stuffed with onions and tomato, wrapped in cabbage and cooked in coconut milk

So don't be afraid to eat out. There's something quite liberating about finding a restaurant that caters to your LC WOE. Just remember to ask the right questions, don't be embarrassed or feel like you're being a pain in the you-know-what. This is your WOE. You have every right to know what's in the food you're going to put in your mouth. Most of all, you're paying, so you better get what you want.

Happy (LC) eating!

What do you think about the new layout? Is it too obvious that I love pink?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Burger Love Affair

If there's one thing I crave a lot since going low carb, it's burgers. I find myself just constantly thinking and drooling over burgers.

Luckily, my hubby makes the most awesome burgers. All he does is make patties out of pure ground beef (half a cup per patty) and then fry in a pan with no oil (the beef is pretty fatty) with a sprinkling of salt.

Trust me. This is so good and so simple. So he makes six to eight patties at a time with 1 lb of ground beef and we keep them in the fridge. Then when I want to have one I reheat it with some butter and top it with a whole lotta stuff.

Bacon Mushroom Melt
With sautéed onions and mushrooms, bacon and cheese

DOUBLE Bacon Cheeseburger
Two patties with bacon and cheese

Bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese

Pizza Burger
Tomato paste, Italian seasoning, tomato, onion, olives and cheddar cheese

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sugar Free 3-in-1 Coffee Review

There is no better way to start your day than with a nice cup of freshly brewed coffee. But if you live in the Philippines buying, nay, finding ground coffee can be quite a task, not to mention too pricey. As for me, we get ground coffee shipped from the US thanks to my sweet mother-in-law.

When I started working I tried bringing my own brewed coffee but prepping it before going to work became a little too tedious for lil ole lazy me. So when my hubby found sugar-free 3-in-1 coffee for me, I was elated. I can just take two to three packs with me to work and all I have to do is add hot water! It's not as good as brewed coffee but it's fast and convenient.That's good enough for me. The initial box of 10 ran out in three days and I went to buy some more. To my pleasant surprise, I found different brands offering sugar-free 3-in-1 coffee! When you're doing low carb here in the Philippines the one thing you rarely have is a choice. So to find four sugar-free coffee brands was exciting enough to be the highlight of my week (not a particularly exciting week, huh?). For the sake of all my readers (heehee) I made the sacrifice of trying out four different brands and here are my thoughts:

Great Taste 3-in-1 Sugar Free Coffee
Price: 39.35 per 10 packets = PhP 3.93 per sachet
Carb Count: 3g
Rating: **

Review: The aroma was really wonderful but I was disappointed when I had my first sip. It tasted like sugary water. I could not taste the coffee at all. For a 2-cup serving, I used 3 sachets and it got sweeter and sweeter but the coffee flavor did not deepen at all. I will not buy this brand again.

Maxwell House 3-in1 Sugar Free Coffee
Price: 53.75/10 = PhP 5.37 per sachet
Carb Count: 3g
Rating: ***

Review: This wasn't too sweet but the coffee flavor wasn't deep enough either. It was quite bland when I used 1 sachet for a 1-cup serving. But when I added another sachet, the flavor got better. However, I don't wanna add extra carbs just to get my coffee fix. I will probably buy this if my favorite brand runs out but otherwise, I will skip it. Out of all the brands I tried, I was most disappointed with this one just because it is an imported brand.

San Mig 3-in-1 Sugar Free Coffee (Original)
Price: 30.35/6 = Php 5 per sachet
Carb Count: 5g
Rating: **

Review: San Mig offers three different variations: Original, Mild and Strong. I only found the Original one. This was too sweet for me, although the coffee flavor was definitely there. It makes me want to try the Strong flavor, just to see if the coffee flavor will be intensified. The fact that it is too sweet (I discovered that I have recently developed low tolerance for sweeteners) will stop me from buying this particular variation. 5g of carb in one serving is too much for coffee.

Nescafe 3-in-1-Sugar Free Coffee (Original)
Price: 53.60/10 = PhP 5.36 per sachet
Carb Count: 3g
Rating: ****

Review: My tastebuds vote for this brand as the best one. It is not too sweet and the coffee flavor is definitely there. It is deep and rich and the aroma is oh-so-good. The nice balance of bitter (coffee) and sweet (sweetener) really suited my tastes. I like this better than other instant coffee mixes, sugar free or not. I will definitely buy this brand over and over as long as Gaisano Mall doesn't run out.

I hope this review helps you out when you make your choice. Happy coffee drinking!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chicken Tinola (Filipino Chicken Ginger Soup)

For days now I've been craving chicken tinola. So when we took a short trip to the grocery and I found some green papayas, I immediately grabbed them. Alas, the sales lady said that it was already too ripe to put in the tinola.

Nevertheless, I bought one whole chicken and had it chopped. When we got home, I asked our helper to go to the market and buy the rest of the ingredients for me. I haven't really cooked tinola ever before in my life so I turned to Google and found lots of recipes.

For this particular one, I chose to use a small green papaya (due to carb count) and added one small chayote. The two look almost identical when cooked and the chayote has such a mild flavor and it lends well to the dish. I remember chili leaves or sometimes malunggay leaves are added too but since I bought a couple bags of Bokchoy a few days ago, I decided to add those in.

So this really isn't the traditional chicken tinola of my childhood but it is still yummy and it gives me so much comfort and joy.