Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Phenomenal Tip: DIY Poke Bowls (What Is It + How To Make It)

Poke Bowls is basically like a deconstructed sushi. 
Whatever ingredients you think will tastes great in your sushi, all thrown into a bowl.

Poke bowls have taken over my IG feed. Parang everyone is raving about it.

I didn't know what it was or even how to pronounce it until a friend explained to me that it poke bowl is to Hawaii, what donburi is to Japan. But first things first - it is pronounced poh-kay. Parang okay with a P.

Even if I didn't know what it was, I know I wanted to try it! So when I found out that there was a poke resto in Estancia, I dragged my family there.

Dragon Bowl from Poke Poke Estancia. 
Salmon, Shrimp, Unagi, Onions, Cucumber, Mangoes, Feta Cheese, Mayonnaise, Sriracha Aioli

A few days after, I was eating another poke bowl, from The Wholesome Table naman this time.
Raw Salmon, Wakame, Brown Rice, Leeks, Japanese Mayo, Romaine, Ebiko, Furikake, 
Togarashi Spice, Pickled Ginger

According to Wikipedia, poke bowls are:

Raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine, and sometimes as an entree. Poke is the Hawaiian verb for "section" or "to slice or cut". Increasingly popular ahi poke is generally made with yellowfin tuna. Adaptations may feature raw salmon or various shellfish as a main ingredient served raw with the common "poke" seasonings.

 Traditional poke seasonings have been heavily influenced by Japanese and other Asian cuisines. These include soy sauce, green onions, and sesame oil. Others include furikake (mix of dried fish, sesame seeds, and dried seaweed), chopped dried or fresh chili pepper, seaweed, sea salt, ish eggs, wasabi, and  onions. 

*     *     *     *     *

We just stayed home last Holy Week, and I bonded with the girls in the kitchen. For Good Friday, we just checked what we had in the pantry, and luckily enough we had everything on hand for a California Roll Poke Bowl.

You can easily make your own poke bowl at home. Tbh, when I saw the menu for the DIY poke bowl at Poke Poke in Estancia, I realized it was so easy to recreate it at home and I only have to pay half of what it cost to buy the ingredients myself.

Anyone can do it. First, it doesn't need any cooking skills whatsoever. You just dump everything in a bowl. That's it!

Another beauty of the poke bowls is that they can really be as simple or as adventurous as you want. Poke bowls know no bounds, depending on your taste and the ingredients you have on hand.

Because what we had on hand that day was only the usual ingredients for a California Roll Sushi, and all the groceries were closed that day, then we decided to just make this kind of poke bowl.

from left to right: (top) kani, furikake, avocado
(middle) spring onions, black sesame seeds, mangoes
(bottom) carrots, togarashi spice, cucumber

California Roll Poke Bowl How-To:

1. Base. We used a base of white sushi rice. If you prefer, you can also use brown rice or quinoa. Or for a lighter version, you could serve poke over kale, leafy greens or zucchini noodles instead of sushi rice.

I didn't have sushi vinegar on hand, so I just improvised. But sushi vinegar is widely available in the grocery. If you plan ahead, you can skip this step right here. As I was saying, I didn't have it available so I placed 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup mirin, 1/4 cup white sugar in a bowl, heated it up until the sugar melted. Mixed this liquid with 6 cups of cooked Japanese rice. Cover until ready to use.

2. Topping
The usual ingredients in a California Roll are mangoes, avocado, cucumber, carrots, nori, sesame seeds. But feel free to pile on the toppings.

Poke Bowl Topping Ideas
Masago (fish eggs)
Seaweed salad
Shredded nori seaweed
Pickled sushi ginger
shredded lettuce/cabbage/kale

3. Sauce. I just mixed some Kikkoman soy sauce with wasabi paste and mixed until well blended

Put a scoop of rice in each bowl. Top with desired toppings. Spoon soy+wasabi mixture over. Top with Jap mayo, black sesame seeds, furikake and slivered nori.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Phenomenal Tip: What To Pack In Your Family's Travel First Aid Kit

I’ve got all our summer plans booked and organized.

Last week, I restocked my family's travel first-aid kit.

there's a link to a FREE PRINTABLE version of my packing list at the end of this post

My girls are on a short trip with their ah-ma (my husband's mom) for some bonding and shopping because girls really do bond as they shop, di ba? Hahaha!

While the husband and I will be accompanying our fave son as he competes in his first ever international competition later this month. As it is with boys, I'm sure our trip will be spent eating more than shopping. Which is fine with me, as I'm not much of a shopper anyway.

As with every trip, I make sure that I prepare all the essentials so I don't have to worry about the what-ifs. Any experienced traveler will tell you, things can and occasionally do go wrong on any trip, and taking a well-stocked first-aid kit is always a good idea.

My medicine kit has evolved and been refined over the years. For a long time, I carried a big box like container because most of the kids' medicine was in syrup form so ang dami kong dala na naka-bote pa. But thankfully, since I've got teenagers now, my current container is a slim flat one and we just have one kit shared by everyone.

I just used a thin plastic container I bought from SM Home in Megamall. 

I actually make one big first-aid kit that stays in the luggage and another small one that can fit our bags.

The small plastic containers I used below are actually just the plastic containers from USBs that I got from press kits. They are the perfect size for a few tablets, some betadine and alcohol swipes, and band-aids.

What I pack in my travel first aid kit

The basics

The amount to bring will depend on the size of your family and the dosage/frequency you have to take it.  For my own kit, I always bring medicines good to take for 3-4 days, or the duration of the trip whichever is shorter.

1. Fever/Pain: 
Paracetamol (Tempra or Biogesic)

2. Colds/Decongestants:
Neozep Forte

3. Pain killer:
Mefenamic acid 500mg

4. Diarhea:
Oral Rehydrations salts

5. Allergy medicine:
Cetirizine 10mg
Loratadine 10mg
Benadryl AH 25mg.

6. Betadine wipes, alcohol wipes, bandages, bandaids, gauze + tape

7. Eye drops:

8. antibiotic ointment/disinfectant:

9. eczema management:
coconut oil
Zenutrients Argan All Around

10. acid reflux management:
sodium bicarbonate tablets

Digital thermometer
Kool Fever

I have a son who I brought to the ER several times, thrice for wounds that needed to be sutured. I jsut found this one at Amazon and I bought it. It seems like a good thing to keep in handy. It cost about $8.50 for 4 sachets.

For travel, the only supplements I pack are vitamin C and Probiotics

For sports-related travel:

1. Sunblock. I make sure to use a sunscreen that is broad spectrum, meaning it offers protection against UVA and UVB. Read up on the difference here.

2.Insect Repellant
Zenutrients bug balm
Cycles stickers

3. Relief for muscle pain
Zenutrients Muscle Balm
ice gel packs

4. Ear Drops (Swimmer's Ear)
Synalar Otic

Ever since hitting the big 4-0, my body has started to ache a little bit here and there. I noticed that I needed a little more of gentle care. I have started bringing around my own care kit full of products that are tried and tested to make me feel better.
Zenutrients Muscle Oil in a roll-on dispenser goes in my everyday bag to soothe away tired muscles caused by lola-moments. Fine, rayuma and arthritis! Pangalanan na yan! hahaha! It's pain relief on-the-go. The Zenutrients Muscle Balm naman is a lifesaver whenever my swimmers complain of muscle ache after a tiring training set. It smells so good also because of the camphor that my kids naturally fall right asleep after I massage them.

Hopefully we won't need to use our first aid kit, but I’ve certainly found that the best approach to family travel is to be prepared.

Is there anything I’m missing here? What do you put in your medicine travel kit? DO SHARE!

I'm also sharing the PRINTABLE file of my Travel Packing List. All you need to do is to click on the downloadable link to my PDF file, and from there you can print it out.

Click HERE for a free downloadable version of my packing list 

And if you’re interested to know what I think are the essentials for when our teens travel without us, please check out my post on Teen Travel Essentials (For When They Travel Without Parents)

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