In the non-veg section of Hypercity, I was about to buy my usual handful of prawns when I saw fresh sardines. As far as I can remember, it was my first time to see fresh sardines. I’m used to eating the 555 ones in a can, drenched in tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Cans dug out of the cupboards on a rainy Manila day, poured on top of fried eggs and fried garlic rice.

But that’s not what this post is about :). Here’s a recipe for one that takes around 30 minutes to prepare.

2 medium sized sardines
olive oil
salt and pepper
6 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1/2 cup of lettuce (chopped)
1 medium sized tomato (chopped)
1 teaspoon of anchovy
1 teaspoon of crumbled feta cheese
balsamic vinegar

Rub salt and pepper onto the sardines. Pan fry the garlic and sardines for ten to fifteen minutes.

On a salad bowl, lay a bed of lettuce. Place bits of the sardines on top of the lettuce. Add the garlic, tomatoes, capers, anchovy and feta cheese. Sprinkle balsamic to taste.

Bon appetit!

I stumbled upon The World’s Healthiest Foods (TWHF) website, while doing research for my entries. It became a useful resource for me because the author, George Mateljan, and his team have done extensive scientific research on different types of food and are able to articulate why these are good for our health.

The website has a list of 130 foods and some recipes that go with these. Here is a summary of their criteria for choosing the 130:

1. Their nutrient dense, which means that the level of nutrients is high in relationship to the number of calories the food contains.

2. Their whole foods. They are not over-processed and they don’t contain synthetic and artificial ingredients.

3. You’ll be able to find these foods in most grocery stores in the US. I’ll need to modify my list of the world’s healthiest foods for my local setting, which is India. I prefer local ingredients that don’t go through long journeys to get to my grocery shelf.

4. These foods are affordable.

5. They taste good, otherwise it would be challenging to eat them!

I adopted the following recipe from their website and it was deee-li-cious! This recipe serves two!


1 cup chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1 cup shredded lettuce
2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
2 TBS parsley, chopped
4-5 squeezes of fresh lemon juice
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup feta cheese
6 sliced olives
1 tsp rosemary

To cook the chickpeas:

Soak them overnight and boil for 30 minutes until soft.

For the salad:
Plate the lettuce. Put the chickpeas, garlic, tomato and onions on top. Sprinkle the olive oil and drizzle with fresh lemon. Add salt and pepper as you wish. Sprinkle the feta cheese, olives and rosemary on top. Bon appetit!

I know that I got carried away with my story in my last entry. My purpose in doing this blog is to eat healthy, and practice photography and writing. Sometimes I find myself stumbling upon personal stories about traveling, people, art and life. I don’t want to restrain this organic progression, thus the off-the-beaten-track posts. Bear with me! 😀

During the fourth of July weekend, Linda whipped up a taco salad for me and B, which coincidentally, is also a popular salad in Manila. Here’s a healthy recipe that serves two!


For cooking the beef:
1 cup lean ground beef
1 cup bottled salsa (Linda’s personal touch)
1/2 medium sized red onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste

For making the salad:
1 cup shredded lettuce
2 tomatoes, diced
1 white onion, diced
1/4 cup black olives
1/2 cup low fat cheese, shredded
1 cup corn chips (optional)

Heat a pan and pour the olive oil. Add the garlic and onions. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and salsa and cook for around 30 minutes. Add the paprika, salt and pepper.

Place the ingredients for making a salad on separate bowls or a platter with dividers. Assemble your own taco salad by filling your plate with lettuce, beef, tomatoes, olives and onions. Add the corn chips if you like. Sprinkle the low fat cheese on top. Bon appetit!

Healthy Eats Facts:
Lean ground beef — good source of protein
Lettuce – besides having vitamins A, C and K, lettuce has manganese and chromium. It also has a lot of fiber.
Tomatoes – has lycopene which contains anti-oxidants and cancer preventing properties
Olives – have monounsaturated fats and vitamin E
Garlic and onions – has anti-bacterial and anti-viral benefits
Low fat cheese – has calcium which can contribute to preventing colon cancer, osteoporosis, migraines and PMS

The World’s Healthiest Foods

Yesterday was grocery day. B peeked into the fridge and said that we needed to finish what was in there. We bought cherry tomatoes from Wegman’s three weeks ago and they weren’t overripe, but the slight mushiness in the texture told me that they sure were getting there. Slightly overripe tomatoes are perfect for this classic soup that brings out the taste of pasta and/or whole wheat bread which you can dip into an olive oil and balsamic vinegar mix.

Again I wasn’t planning to post this recipe today, but a friend wanted to try it out. So Gracie A., this one is for you!

This recipe serves 2-3.


2 cups of cherry tomatoes (or any tomatoes that you have)
1/2 red onion chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
2 cups of tomato sauce
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of grated cheese
salt and pepper
Italian seasoning
basil leaves to garnish

Pour the olive oil into a medium sized pot and heat for a minute or two. Add the garlic and onions and saute until they are brown.

Pour the water, tomato sauce and tomatoes into the pot. Sprinkle salt and pepper according to taste.

Bring the soup to a boil, then let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Cool the soup for around two minutes and transfer to a blender. Liquefy the soup.

Grate the cheese and sprinkle on top of the soup. Add Italian seasoning according to taste and garnish with basil leaves.

Bon appetit!

Healthy Eats Facts:

Tomatoes – has lycopene which contains anti-oxidants and cancer preventing properties
Garlic and onions – has anti-bacterial and anti-virus benefits
Olive oil – I’ve been using extra virgin olive oil for the past few years in almost all my recipes because it’s good for the heart and bones. Research has also shown that it can improve one’s cognitive functions.
Cheese – rich in calcium
Basil leaves – rich in vitamin K and has anti-bacterial properties

The World’s Healthiest Foods

Everyone needs to meet Louie.  He has an organic garden (or two) in his backyard, he’s extremely competitive in Scrabble and he’s always excited to embark on his next food adventure!  His last adventure consisted of roasting a 300 pound pig in a large wooden box and the pig’s skin caught fire!  Did I mention that he brews his own limoncello too?

Today he sent me a post of his healthy eat, which consists of pan fried shirataki noodles, roasted eggplant, beet greens, cucumber and tomato salad drizzled with blackberry-ginger balsamic, and fresh blueberries on top of cottage cheese.  The eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers and beet greens come straight from his garden.

I don’t know about you, but I’m inspired! I’m especially curious about those green beets.

If you have a healthy eat that you would like to share with others, email me at

Healthy Eat facts:

Eggplants – it’s rich in fiber and considered brain food
Beet greens – low calorie, rich in fiber, contains a significant amount of vitamin C
Cucumbers – contributes to giving a radiant complexion
Tomatoes – rich in vitamin A, C and K
Blueberries – excellent source of anti-oxidants; considered to have reached “superstar” status in terms of health benefits


The World’s Healthiest Foods