Hundreds of foodie and kitchen savvy people learned new easy and simple pizza and pasta recipes from experts during the first leg of free cooking classes offered by Food magazine for its 20thanniversary titled, “Food Tastings: A Pizza and Pasta Class.”

“Who doesn’t love pizza and pasta, right?”  Ms. Nana Ozaeta, Food magazine’s editor-in-chief said at the event which received a loud and enthusiastic “yes” from the participants who were all ready to learn and make their own pizza and pasta recipes.

Food magazine is the largest culinary selling magazine title of ABS-CBN Publishing, Inc.

The official venue partner, Project Pie Tomas Morato, was full to the brim for “Food Tastings” that featured premiere chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin and Lifestyle Network’s Portia Baluyut, who both showcased their cooking skills to a room filled with eager participants.

Portia Baluyut, who made a mark in the industry as one of the finalists in Lifestyle Network’s “Clash of the Toque-en Ones” in 2010, passionately shared her secret in making a chicken and chorizo summer cream tomato pasta. Baluyut is also a restaurateur and host of Lifestyle Network’s “A Pinch of Portia.”

Meanwhile, chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin gamely introduced three easy-to-make scrumptious pastas: a conchiglie with sun dried tomato and goat cheese, pasta portobello, and seafood pasta with squid ink sauce. Chef Nancy also made her session engaging by inviting people to help her make the dishes on stage.

“Food Tastings” got even more interactive as Project Pie taught the participants how to make two creative pizzas from their resident chefs and gave participants a chance to build and name their very own pizza creations.

“Food Tastings: A Pizza and Pasta Class” also turned out to be exciting and fun as participants took snapshots of their social media worthy pastas and pizzas and shared their photos online.

The next series of classes of “Food Tastings” will run throughout the year, having participants explore recipes on health and wellness, hearty breakfast meals, and delectable sugar rush gift ideas.

KUYA J RESTAURANT: By Far The best Crispy Pata in Metro Manila

As a Kuya (older brother), I often accompany my younger sister to different food trips in the Metro. We love scouting for new places and restaurants. In one of our bonding time together, we stumbled upon Kuya J Restaurant just across BDO inside SM Pasig. 

It is proven time and again that eating out with your family members ensures closer ties with your family. So you better start doing it. 

One particular dish that caught our fancy is Kuya J's sizzling seafood.  We cleaned it up to the last drop of its sauce!

Kuya J's Sizzling Porkchop was cooked ala Bistek Tagalog. Hmmm...Malasa, malaman at masarsa! (tasty, meaty and saucy!)

We super love Kuya J's version of Tokwa't Baboy sa Suka (tofu and pork in vinegar)! Super yummy and super sulit (worth it)! Imagine the three of us shared this and it only costs us Php190. Imagine, a delicious meal minus the exorbitant price tag.

Kuya J's rack of ribs is sarap (delicious) to the bones! Look at its serving. It is good for up to 6 people for only Php395. No, I am not kidding. So go ahead and try it yourself.

We also love the Chili dinamita (dynamite).

Its version of Bihon Guisado (sauteed Chinese rice noodles) is so worth it because Kuya J did not scrimp on its ingredients.

For us, a meal is not complete without soup. So we ordered Sinigang na Baboy (pork stew).  Very delicious! 
It has a good presentation of its rice offerings. My favorite is its danggit (small thin salted dried fish known as rabbitfish or spinefoot) rice. It reminds me of Cebu where said fish is very popular.

Also a good catch is its unli-rice! Great value for money.

Pinoy food at Kuya J is not only good, it is also very affordable. Must try are their sisig and baked scallops. 

The tablea flan was good. My companions enjoyed it more. We will be back for their other offerings. Service was excellent!

The crispy pata was the favorite that it was instantaneously reduced to bits and pieces after it was served. 

I observed that Kuya J's staff are like a caring kuyas that takes care of you and your family when you dine in at their restaurant. They're very polite,fast and they always refill our glasses with water. Think about 5 star service. They operate methodically and you can see that they are trained very well.  

Kuya J restaurant has a wide variety of food choices. I was amazed how economical it is to dine in at Kuya J, they certainly provide great value for money. Each serving is good for 2 to 4 people.

Delicous fried Halo halo with ice cream capped our meal.

FamilyMart Fresh n' Lite Meals 

Good news to all health buffs! Starting March 25, 2015 FamilyMart will offer New Fresh n' Lite Meals for its body conscious consumers complete with calorie count and fact sheet.

Fresh n’ Lite by FamilyMart Product Line Fact Sheet

Veggie Sticks with Hummus dip

Snack smart with no other than carrots, celery, radish, and broccoli sliced in strips for convenience made healthy with three times less calories than fries. Dip our assorted veggie sticks in hummus seasoned with chickpeas, sesame oil, peanut butter, garlic, paprika, lemon juice, and olive oil for that scrumptious taste that will make you reach for more. 

SRP: Php75.00

Each serving contains:
154 calories
6% of RENI

Nutritional Vales per Serving
Serving size                         83 g
Energy 154 kcal
Protein 5.3 g
Total Fat 8.9 g
   Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Carbohydrate 14.6 g
   Sugar 4.0 g
Dietary Fibre 14.6 g
Sodium 0.3 g

Chicken Pomodoro

Healthy eating doesn’t mean letting go of all carbs such as pasta as our recipe doesn’t readily increase blood sugar. Pasta lovers will surely enjoy FamilyMart’s Fresh n’ Lite chicken pomodoro, topped with tomato sauce rich in flavor from the combination of aromatics and seasoning. Served with chicken breast fillet marinated and cooked to perfection, nothing comes close to this best source of healthy carbs and protein in one. Not just for regular people, this can also be enjoyed by those who are conscious about their sugar intake.

SRP: Php69.00

Each serving contains:
332 calories
13% of RENI

Nutritional Vales per Serving
Serving size                         225 g
Energy 332 kcal
Protein 11.2 g
Total Fat 7.8 g
   Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Carbohydrate 40.5 g
   Sugar 2.1 g
Dietary Fibre 40.5 g
Sodium 1.7 g

Spanish Sardine Arabiatta

Lightness and savor of fish on a loaded bed of pasta makes a perfect combo in FamilyMart’s Fresh n’ Lite Spanish Sardine Arabiatta. Topped with tomato sauce rich in flavor from the combination of aromatics and seasoning, the kick from Spanish sardines perfectly compliments the blend of spicy and tangy. Also rich in calcium and protein, this meal helps enhance the cells in our muscles and bones.

SRP: Php69.00

Each serving contains:
320 calories
13% of RENI

Nutritional Vales per Serving
Serving size                         226 g
Energy 320 kcal
Protein 13.0 g
Total Fat 6.5 g
   Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Carbohydrate 38.2 g
   Sugar 2.2 g
Dietary Fibre 38.2 g
Sodium 1.5 g

Breakfast Chicken Rice Meal

Start your day right with with FamilyMart’s Fresh n’ Lite Breakfast Chicken Rice Meal, packed with a healthy serving of lean chicken meat cooked to perfection, made sweeter with a pinch of brown sugar. With a generous serving of banana ketchup and high fiber brown rice rich which is also low in glycemic index, you’ll have everything you need to take on the day. Plus, you can get your daily intake of fiber by adding kangkong.

SRP: Php150.00

Each serving contains:
520 calories
21% of RENI 

Nutritional Vales per Serving
Serving size                         220 g
Energy 520 kcal
Protein 16.6 g
Total Fat 28.4 g
   Saturated Fat 4.2 g
Carbohydrate 46.9 g
   Sugar 6.9 g
Dietary Fibre 46.9 g
Sodium 0.5 g

Breakfast Beef Rice Meal

High protein meets delicious cooking with FamilyMart’s Fresh n’ Lite breakfast beef rice meal. Packed with protein to keep you full for longer, this lean beef meat is seasoned with crushed black pepper and fresh pineapple juice for that extra kick enough to jumpstart your day and glazed with savory sesame mayo dressing. High fiber brown rice completes the meal for energy, and kangkong leaves for added fiber. 

SRP: Php150.00

Each serving contains:
472 calories
19% of RENI

Nutritional Vales per Serving
Serving size                         94 g
Energy 472 kcal
Protein 11.8 g
Total Fat 26.6 g
   Saturated Fat 5.9 g
Carbohydrate 42.2 g
   Sugar 3.9 g
Dietary Fibre 42.2 g
Sodium 1 g

Healthy Hainanese Chicken

For that fresh and light meal infused with rich Chinese flavor, FamilyMart’s Fresh n’ Lite Hainanese chicken meal is the perfect healthy alternative to ordinary fried chicken. Top it with chili sauce made from our signature mix of spices or with ginger leek sauce for that spicy boost of flavor.

SRP: Php150.00

Each serving contains:
173 calories
7% of RENI

Nutritional Vales per Serving
Serving size                         268 g
Energy 173 kcal
Protein 8.0 g
Total Fat 13.8 g
   Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Carbohydrate 8.6 g
   Sugar 8.0 g
Dietary Fibre 8.6 g
Sodium 1 g

Smoked Fish Rice Meal

FamilyMart’s Fresh n’ Lite smoked fish rice meal is the ultimate dish light enough to get you through your jampacked day. With the smoked milkfish mixed with a healthy dose of greens, this meal is heavy on vitamins B, and K. Low-calorie brown rice completes the meal for energy, and kangkong leaves for your daily need of fiber.

A tasty way to include vegetables to your meal is by adding tomato salsa which is high in vitamin C which helps boost immunity, and lycopene as an anti-oxidant.

SRP: Php150.00

Each serving rice contains:
275 calories
11% of RENI

Nutritional Vales per Serving
Serving size                         327 g
Energy 275 kcal
Protein 5.7 g
Total Fat 6.7 g
   Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Carbohydrate 48.8 g
   Sugar 2.4 g
Dietary Fibre 48.8 g
Sodium 0.13 g

Kimchi Beef Rice

Craving Korean? Get your protein fix and dose of vitamins A and C with FamilyMart’s Fresh n’ Lite kimchi beef meal. Mixed with vegetables, this protein-packed lean beef meat is seasoned in savory sesame oil for that authentic Korean taste. Paired with low-calorie brown rice stirred with mayonnaise and fiber-rich kimchi, this meal is sure to delight any time of the day.

SRP: Php175.00

Each serving contains:
401 calories
16% of RENI

Nutritional Vales per Serving
Serving size                         212 g
Energy 401 kcal
Protein 10.9 g
Total Fat 18.7 g
   Saturated Fat 3.5 g
Carbohydrate 45.4 g
   Sugar 7.0 g
Dietary Fibre 45.4 g
Sodium 1.1 g

Classic Taho

FamilyMart’s classic taho is the guilt-free dessert one can always indulge in. A sweet snack with soya protein to help boost daily vitality, this chilled silky soya pudding topped with a little syrup and sago pearls surely won’t disappoint.

SRP: Php55.00

Each serving of silky soya pudding contains:
180 calories
7% of RENI

Nutritional Vales per Serving
Serving size                         250 g
Energy 180 kcal
Protein 3.5 g
Total Fat 6.0 g
   Saturated Fat 4.5 g
Carbohydrate 28.0 g
   Sugar 21.0 g
Dietary Fibre 1.0 g
Sodium 34.00 mg

Mango Taho

Classic taho gets a tropical twist with FamilyMart’s mango taho. More than just savoring the sweetness of mango, one also gets a good amount of protein without the guilt.

SRP: Php55.00

Each serving of mango silky soya pudding contains:
180 calories
7% of RENI

Nutritional Vales per Serving
Serving size                         250 g
Energy 180 kcal
Protein 3.5 g
Total Fat 6.0 g
   Saturated Fat 4.5 g
Carbohydrate 28.2 g
   Sugar 21.1 g
Dietary Fibre 1.0 g
Sodium 34.19 mg

FAMILYMART: Launched Health and Wellness Meals

FamilyMart stirs Philippine retail store industry where convenience and healthy food meet

With the Filipino urbanites’ fast-paced lifestyle, eating healthy meals has been the easy thing to sacrifice due to its inconvenience. Time-consuming, unappealing, and bland – this is the usual connotation behind hearty and nutritious meals. But what if healthy meals can now be accessible, scrumptious, and affordable?

This year, the spotlight gets brighter on health as Philippine FamilyMart CVS, Inc. launches its Health and Wellness line. Eating healthy has never been this convenient – no need to spare hours to prepare when it’s now just a few minutes away with exceptional ready-meals available straight from any Philippine FamilyMart store nationwide.

“We, at Philippine FamilyMart, ultimately want to make healthy quality food accessible to every Filipino,” shares Ed Paredes, Jr., General Manager for FamilyMart. “We hear the cry of our busy and on-the-go consumers for a one-stop place where they could get tasty and nourishing food that’s fresh, quick, and available.”

Beginning March 2015, FamilyMart beefs up its food selections with the introduction of its health and wellness line featuring ten dishes – ranging from rice meals, to pasta, and even classic snacks Filipinos will surely love. The new line boasts of the following dishes: Breakfast Chicken Rice, Breakfast Beef Rice, Smoked Fish Rice, Healthy Hainanese Chicken, Kimchi Beef Rice, Chicken Pomodoro, Spanish Sardine Arabiatta, Veggie Sticks with Hummus dip, classic taho, and mango taho – all packed with essential vitamins such as vitamins A, C, E, and other minerals.

“With our new Fresh n’ Lite product line, we hope to make it easier for Filipinos to create promising and feasible healthy lifestyles beginning with the food they eat without having to sacrifice great flavor,” adds Paredes. As FamilyMart offers fresh food choices to Filipinos, the opportunity to nourish oneself in a positive way has become more attainable. “Now, it’s just a matter of making a decision. With the growing demand for food options supporting heathy eating habits, that choice has become very simple,” concluded Paredes.

The FamilyMart Fresh n’ Lite line will be available starting March 25, 2015 at all Family Mart branches nationwide. For more information, please visit