Beetroot Hummus

Beetroot Hummus

This beetroot hummus proves you can train for a bikini fitness competition without following the “standard” diet.

Before I committed to doing a bodybuilding competition, I really did my research.  As in, I wanted to make sure I could eat something besides oatmeal, egg whites, chicken breast, and broccoli!  Haha.  Because all over the internet I kept finding “Bikini Diets” that included only those foods, and in proportions that highly favoured the egg whites.  No thanks.

Food is very important, people!  And so is eating what you actually like.  …

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Vegan Hot Artichoke Dip

Vegan Hot Artichoke Dip

I’ve always had a thing against “appetisers”… I suppose it comes from all those years my mother refused to give me a snack in the 2-hour window before dinner, no matter how much I begged.  “No, dear” she would say… “you’ll ruin your dinner.”  Her words ring in my ear to this day.

She’s right, you know.  Appetisers actually DO ruin your appetite… funny that!  It’s just that now we’re grown up and we can choose to do it if we want.  I’m not saying this to spite my mother… turns out she was right about everything she ever said. …

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Avocado White Bean Dip

Avocado White Bean Dip

I’ve come to the conclusion that Americans must measure temperature in Fahrenheit just to be able to relate to this side of the world when we talk about the weather this time of year.  For example:

Me: It’s soooo hot here… it was 36 this afternoon and with the humidity it felt like 42!

My Pa:  I know what you mean… it was 36 here this morning too… but it’s supposed to get up to 42 later on today and melt all the snow we just got.

We both felt better somehow… I think!…

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Spicy Pumpkin Hummus

Spicy Pumpkin Hummus

Well, I wasn’t gonna do it, but here I go anyway… hauling off and giving you guys a Thanksgiving recipe.  I am American, after all.  And it is Thanksgiving week, after all.  Gotta stay true to my roots!

My philosophy on holiday eating has changed a bit over the years, I have to admit.  I used to get on board with the general theory that the “holidays” were the perfect excuse for an eating free-for-all from Thanksgiving until January 1… and deal with the consequences on January 2.  I would eat things I didn’t even like that much, in the name of “I only get to eat it once a year.”  Crazy, I know.  And even crazier is the fact that I would wonder why every year I felt so lethargic, low energy, and hating exercise by the end of December.  So my more recent approach to the holidays is…

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Quick & Easy Spiced Chickpeas

Quick & easy spiced chickpeas

I’ll be honest… I’m always a bit nervous when someone asks me to bring an appetiser to a party.  After all, I’m American, and we have a bad reputation for opening a bottle of salsa and a bag of Tostitos and calling it good.  But hey, at least we’ll be on time!  Which is maybe why we’re asked to bring the appetiser in the first place…

Why have I never gotten very creative with my apps?  It likely stems back to the fact that my mother was adamant that we not “ruin our dinner” with pre-meal snacks and therefore the word “appetiser” did not exist in my vocabulary until I went to college.  And then, chips and salsa seemed to fit right in……

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Cheesy Kale Chips

Cheesy Kale Chips

For some folks, the mere mention of the the word “kale” makes their minds go crazy thinking of massaged kale salads, kale chips, green smoothies, sautéed kale with caramelised onions… the list goes on and on.

Others get a blank look on their face and say, ‘Excuse me, did you say ‘stale’?”

“No, KALE. It’s that leafy green vegetable.”

“Oh, you mean the garnish?…”

Folks, this post is for you.

“Superfoods” come into the media limelight all the time, but if you don’t know either what it is or how to use it, it ain’t gonna do you much good.

So, why kale chips?  Really, why kale at all?  That should be the first question…

Kale has one of the densest nutrient profiles of any food on the planet. It’s high in vitamins C, A, K, and folate.  It’s also full of potassium and a decent source of calcium.  Pretty good for one little low-calorie vegetable, don’t you agree?

Cheesy Kale Chips

The downside to kale is that it tends to be bitter, and the texture is tough vs. tender.  But baking transforms it into crispy, almost tissue-like wafers of addictive deliciousness……

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Black Rice Pecan Burgers with Cilantro-Chili Cashew Cream

Black rice burgers with cilantro-chili cashew cream

Sometimes, accidents happen.

But if you get really lucky, something good will come out out of it.

And according to my Pa, I’m one of the luckiest people he knows, so there you go.

The other day, shortly after I returned from home leave, I was in the kitchen making dinner.  I had a brilliant idea that would not only be delicious, but also use up a languishing ingredient in my refrigerator.  But who knew that phyllo dough does not in fact last 6 months in your fridge???  Well folks, it doesn’t.  I’m not even sure it lasts 2, it was that far gone.

I stood there contemplating.  I wanted to put dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes, and so far all I had going was some local squash roasting in the oven.  I searched the fridge for something non-moldy.  Lo and behold, I came upon the black rice that I had cooked the night before….

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Chickpea Pancakes with Avocado and Dried Chilies

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The first thing I do when I land in the U.S. for home leave is go to the grocery store.

But it’s the last thing I do when I get back to Manila…

I hate to admit that, but it’s true.  After being spoiled all summer with my choice of 105 different organic l0w-sugar cereals, 18 brands and varieties of non-dairy plant milk, any grain or legume I’m brave enough to cook, and a virtual cornucopia of beautiful fruits and veggies, I wait as long as possible upon my return before navigating the much-narrower and lesser-stocked aisles of my local supermarkets.

I need some time and distance between me and Trader Joe’s, know what I’m sayin’?…

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