J.co donuts, 240baon

Even though J.Co has been open for a few months now, the lines are still crazy in their Greenbelt branch. It was only a few Saturdays ago that MB decided to brave the lines and get several boxes of donuts to be sent to the province. One of the relatives was in town so we decided to give him 2 boxes to take home as pasalubong.

When I say crazy lines, I mean a 1 1/2 hour wait. I told MB that I should have gone and watched Breaking Dawn 2 and I will just be in time to meet him at the finish line when the movie finishes. The wait was that long. I even took a nap inside the café as I was already hungry making my sugar low, making me sleepy and dizzy.

Is it worth the wait? Yes and no. First of all, this is my favorite among the 3 waves of donut brands that hit Manila, the first two being Go Nuts Donuts and Krispy Kreme. Go Nuts is a notch higher than Dunkin in my opinion. Krispy Kreme is better but it tastes too much of yeast to me. Plus the fact that it’s too sweet. J.Co donuts, however, are not too sweet and the dough does not taste like yeast. I love that donut with the cherry topping. Sorry, I lost the donut brochure where all the flavors are identified. The marbled donut has peanut butter inside. The one on the left has rice crispies. I loved all the chocolate donuts and the green tea flavored one. Surprisingly, MB loved the green tea donut too. If I remember it correctly, a dozen donuts cost Php350. One piece is Php42. If you are going there, I suggest that you buy at least a dozen. That way, you get to taste all the flavors and the waiting time will be worth it.

It’s still just a donut so no, we will not line up for at least an hour to buy a box again. We can wait until the crowds thin out to get another box. Donuts are not exactly healthy so it’s a good snack every once in a blue moon. What’s your experience with J.Co donuts?
fried pampano, 240baon

This is fried pampano. I’m sorry, I don’t know the English term for pampano but it looks like a flat fish. I sliced the fish into small pieces then I seasoned the fish with salt and pepper and dredged it in cornstarch then fried it. The result were these wonderfully crisp pieces of fish. The sauce to accompany this is a combination of soy sauce, Pinakurat vinegar (or regular vinegar) with a bit of brown sugar. I got this idea from a Japanese cooking show. We ate this for dinner one night with this:

stir fried ampalaya, 240baon

This is stir fried ampalaya (bitter gourd). It has shrimps, garlic, onions, tomatoes and red bell peppers. It has about 1/4 cup of water and is seasoned with salt, pepper and Knorr seasoning. I think it also has a bit of Maggi Magic Sarap.

I love the fried fish but I loved this dish even more. I only know 2 ways to cook bitter gourd and that is with pinakbet or cooked with eggs. This is a great addition to my ampalaya repertoire. This combination of viands is also great for lunch boxes. I packed this for MB and sure enough, his lunch box was clean when he got home.
tao kai noi, 240baon

Once in a while, I get hit by a craving for Japanese snacks. Nori or seaweed is one of those snacks that I crave for every now and then. Japanese stores usually carry big bags of nori. I don’t buy them because the problem with nori is, once you open the bag, the nori slowly loses its crunch. Plus, one big bag of nori isn’t exactly cheap.

Tao Kae Noi is a nori snack made in Thailand. The maker actually has a very interesting story behind him. Tao Kae Noi is the brainchild of a young Thai billionaire. It’s a very long story that can wait for another time. Anyway, this product is really good. If you like seaweed, you will definitely like Tao Kae Noi. It’s crunchy, seasoned just right and one bag fills you up. Actually, I couldn't finish one bag. I kept looking for rice every time I bit into a piece. I think this snack would go well as a rice topping aside from a snack. One bag is Php42 and available in most supermarkets.
smartfood popcorn white cheddar, 240baon

Popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks that you can eat, well, granted that you cooked it in olive oil and you used sea salt or Pink Himalayan Salt. Popcorn in its purest form is a very healthy snack.

I love popcorn. When I was a teenager, I used to finish one big bag from Taters all by myself. My mom went to S&R and got this bag of popcorn for pasalubong.
As you can see, the flavor is white cheddar. I like white cheddar better than cheese because it’s less salty. It also does not sting my tongue. Do you know that feeling when you first put sharp cheese into your mouth? It stings your tongue right? That’s one of the reasons why I don’t like cheese that much. It’s like sucking on a lemon.

This Smartfood Popcorn is soooo good. I didn’t finish the bag right away but I sealed the bag using just plain old scotch tape and the popcorn was still crunchy even after a few days. Love the taste, the texture and the packaging. It’s not too salty. It has just the right amount of flavor. This product is from Lay’s, by the way.

If you want a healthy snack, try a bag of popcorn.
This is what I had for breakfast today:

grilled cheese sandwich, 240bao
Grilled cheese toast and

blueberry smoothie, 240baon

a glass of blueberry smoothie.

The bread is from French Baker which MB bought yesterday. It has nuts and oats. I love brown bread. I stay away from white bread as much as I can. I just slathered some butter on the toast and set in on a warm grill. When the butter melted, I topped the toast with some grated quick melt cheese et voila!

blueberry smoothie glass, 240baon

The blueberry smoothie is something I had been planning to make for a few weeks now. I haven’t been well the past few weeks and so I didn’t have the strength to go to the kitchen and do some cooking. I was feeling better this morning so I said that I would finally fix me some breakfast.

For the smoothie, I used a tub of plain yogurt, half a cup of frozen blueberries (which mom got at S&R) and honey. At the last moment, I decided to add some ice cubes. I used our food processor to make this smoothie as I did not want to take the blender out of the box and set it up. I was feeling strong but not that strong.

This was a wonderful breakfast and I’m sure it will keep me full until lunch time. Try the smoothie to boost your energy. If you don’t have time to prepare/eat breakfast, make this in the morning and put it in your water bottle and you can drink it while in the car or taking a commute. By the time you get to the office, you are ready for the day’s work.
julie's oat 25, 240baon

My mom went to S&R last week and bought some goodies for me. These are strawberry-oat cookies.

julie's oat 25 packet, 240baon

The cookies come in packets of 3.

julie's oat and strawberry cookie, 240baon

You can hardly see the real strawberry bits from the outside but once you bite into it, they’re there.

This is a good healthy snack that can tide you over until the next meal. Just be sure to have a glass of water or drink when you eat this. The oats tend to get stuck on my throat. The first time I ate this, I almost had a sore throat. Some oats “scraped” (that’s how it felt) my throat and it was painful to swallow. I got so paranoid and drank lots of water to wash it down. I don’t like having sore throat as it takes so long for me to recover. Good thing I felt better the next day. So now, every time I eat this, I chew slowly and thoroughly and follow up with a gulp of water. Don’t give this to small kids as they might choke on the oats and the strawberry bits.

It’s not too sweet so it’s a perfect snack for me. The cookies are crunchy and I have no problems finishing the 3 pieces in a packet. I’m not a huge fan of sweets. When I eat Chips Ahoy, I only eat 2 pieces.

I don’t know how much this costs but if you are looking for a good snack for you or your bigger kids, check this out the next time you are in S&R.
I saw this episode of Mad Hungry where these dishes were featured so I decided to recreate them for dinner.

spinach pasta with homemade sauce, 240baon

This is spinach pasta with homemade sauce. I don’t like using tomato sauce for my pasta unless it’s a Filipino-style spaghetti that MB requested. I used canned tomatoes to make my sauces.

cornmeal breaded chicken, 240baon

This is breaded chicken breast fillets. I used cornmeal for the breading. I fried this then baked it for 10 minutes to ensure that it’s cooked through.

sauteed spinach, 240baon

And finally, some sauteed spinach. This is a simple dish. I just cooked the spinach and when they were wilted, I tossed them in EVOO and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

This was a filling dinner indeed.
kiwi, hard boiled eggs, sweet potato home fries, 240baon

This is another healthy breakfast option for all you health-conscious folks out there. I don’t eat the egg whites so I stuck with the hard boiled yolks. Those white things are sweet potato home fries and of course, some kiwi slices. Finish this with a glass of orange juice and you are ready to face the day. 
squash, eggplant and malunggay gisa, 240baon

MB and I love vegetables and they are staples in our diet. I can eat vegetables that are steamed, boiled or cooked in butter. MB needs to be fed a somewhat Filipino style vegetable dish for him to consider it a viand. I was getting tired of pinakbet (MB’s favorite) so I cooked this instead. It’s a simple gisa of squash, eggplants and malunggay.

It’s very delicious. The vegetables were so fresh that the squash was so sweet. This lasted for around 2 days.

MB has just started working for another company and there are no affordable/healthy food stations/restos around so I am making him packed lunches again. The title of this blog is 240 baons because baon means packed food and I started this blog to document my packed lunches. Eventually it evolved into featuring restaurant reviews and food reviews and everything else in between. So I guess now I will be returning to my roots and will be featuring baon-friendly meals again. This dish is also great for baons. Just a quick reheat in the microwave and you have a delicious and nutritious lunch.
tuna pita and boiled eggs, 240baon

This is a breakfast plate that MB and I shared one morning during the long holiday. This is whole wheat pita. Inside is a tuna spread I made using tuna, light mayo, onions and relish. I topped it with 3 slices of cucumber. We also had some boiled eggs with this. I removed the yolk and put it inside the pita. It was wonderful!
yogurt, crab omelette, apple slices, 240baon

In the midst of all my work, my business and my house chores, it’s very easy to skip meals. I need the energy to be able to keep up so I eat several small meals throughout the day. This makes my metabolism faster so I don’t gain weight. As a matter of fact, this kind of diet made me lose 2 pounds. I wasn’t really trying to lose weight. I just wanted to eat healthier.

This is a tub of yogurt, some apple slices and some leftover crab omelet. Stay tuned for more healthy meals and snacks.
max's chicken, camote fries, steamed broccoli, 240baon

I am not a huge fan of rice especially when I dine alone. If you are on a diet, you want to eat healthy or you just want more energy, eating several small meals throughout the day will help you.

This is the leftover chicken from Max’s. We always take leftovers home whenever we eat out. It’s very convenient for me because I don’t have to cook lunch anymore plus I don’t waste food. Those are the camote fries that came with it which I burned while reheating.

Lastly, I steamed some broccoli and prepared a soy-calamansi dip. Yum!
pan de manila cheese pandesal and cheese stick, 240baon

This is cheese pandesal and my favorite cheese sticks which I both burned in the oven while reheating. =P

pan de manila pan de coco, 240baon

This is the pan de coco which I never really cared for even when I was younger.
This is another dinner dish that I made last week.

2-cheese pasta with breaded pork chops, 240baon

This pasta is a very simple pasta dish that is full of flavor. I used canned tomatoes and 2 types of cheese – quick melt and parmesan. For the pork chops, I used cornmeal for the breading. I wanted to use fine ground cornmeal but it was out of stock at Healthy Options so I settled with the medium grind. This is a quick, delicious and healthy meal that you and your family can enjoy.

breaded pork chops, 240baon
pork binagoongan

It’s only recently that I’ve slowly added pork to my diet. I’ve been missing out on a lot of iron and with my age, I need to be conscious about my iron intake. There are only a few pork dishes that I can cook and I suck at most of them but this is one dish that anyone who has tasted it really loved. I always do something new whenever I cook this dish.

Lady E's pork binagoongan

I won’t divulge my recipe for now as I am still in search for the perfect binagoongan.