Low Calorie Beers

Asahi’s “Off,” is another top very low-calorie beer in Japan. It pour a gold color. Nose is weak. It really doesn’t have much taste for me, but after taking one sip I was slightly disappointed. However, some of my colleagues claim that the beer is light tasting and refreshingly clean on the palate. Easy to drink and enjoy without getting too drunk, so not too bad of a choice, I think. Still quite popular with Japanese.

Third sector beers take happoshu and blend it with spirits derived from barley or wheat. Some have low-calories, others have zero glucose content, while others contain less additives and purines. Alcohol content in these drinks ranges from 4% to 8%.

Kirin Tanrei Green Label by Kirin pours a pale yellow colour, no head. Smells malty. Not a bad beer, nothing special, though. It has a great flavor depending on who’s drinking it. Typically, Westerners may not identify with the same flavor profiles as Japanese drinkers on this particular beer. This is still considered a popular low-calorie beer in Tokyo.

Aqua Blue (Asahi) pours a pale straw color. It has a decent white head and is full strength with low-calories. This beer is popular with binge drinkers who want something light for dinner while still enjoying a fairly decent alcohol percentage.

Kirin ZERO (Kirin) pours a pale yellow. The foam head dissipates rather quickly. Faint aroma of pale malt. Tastes like watered down beer, faint hints of wood. Not much going on, but not bad. Again, finding a great tasting low-calorie beer is a matter of personal tastes and preferences. When you replace malt with spirits or other additives, you get less beer characteristics.

Delectable Baja Flavors

Though eating out is fantastically diverse in Los Cabos, the abundance of fresh food in Baja California should encourage travelers to spend at least one day trying its delicacies, even if it means staying at home to cook. Most expatriates agree that one of their favorite facts about food-shopping in Mexico is this: It is easier and cheaper to eat fresh & local food than to dine on imported, canned, or processed food in Mexico. This encourages the freshness of Baja fare; Dining out is reliably fresh, and home cooking generally involves a bounty of unusual fruits and familiar vegetables that might have cost triple in the United States or Canada.

The Sea Of Cortez is one of the most ecologically diverse bodies of water in the world, and the Pacific Ocean isn’t far behind with its edible inhabitants. Suffice it to say, fish-lovers worship Baja’s amazing aquatic variety. Abalone and Anchovies are both nutritious and plentiful in Baja and several varieties of clams are found in Sea of Cortez and Pacific Coasts. Conger Eel and Squid are caught and sold fresh in Baja California Sur. Albacore, Yellowfin, Blackfin, Bigeye, Pacific and Northern Bluefin Tuna can be found off Baja coasts. Cod is available fresh and from fishmongers, but most is exported to other countries. Barrilete Negro (or Black Skipjack Tuna) and Bonito are other fish similar to tuna fresh-caught in Baja California. Scallops, Shrimp and Crab are also readily available in Baja California from Los Cabos to Tijuana. Corvina, Dorado, Red Snapper and Jack Fish are delicious additions to Baja’s fresh catches.

The pastured eggs and free-range chickens many pay dearly to procure in the United States are plentiful in Baja. It is quite easy to find a small, family chicken farm in every village in Baja California Sur, and in the larger cities, an egg-lover’s choices for procuring fresh fowl are limitless. And the small farms produce pastured eggs that are not only rich in vitamins, minerals and omega 3s, but also delicious and cheap. Fresh Bacon is available at supermarkets in Los Cabos, and small, local butchers offer excellent, fresh pork and beef as well as Birria [goat], Arrachera, which is skirt steak marinated in lime with chiles, garlic, onion, is one of the ultimate treats for any carnivorous type. The secret to Arrachera is its marinade: The citrus marinade tenderizes a once-tough skirt steak with mouthwatering voracity. Known as one of the most flavorful [and cheap] cuts of beef, the Arrachera marinade will turn this generally chewy belly-cut into the melts-like-butter goodness many find fairly addicting. This excellent dish is known nationally, and is as delicious on Baja as the mainland. Delicious rotisserie chicken is available every few blocks in most towns, and the ubiquitous fish taco stands pepper the whole of Baja California Sur.

Baja California boasts a varied selection of fantastically familiar and wild, wonderful fruits and vegetables. Tomatillos are a staple of Mexican cuisine, and they resemble tart, green tomatoes with an exceptionally fresh flavor and are as excellent in a fresh salsa verde as they are cooked in stews and sauces. Tomatoes are fresh, ripe and locally grown. Spinach is readily available and freshest in the cooler winter months. A Chayote Squash has a sweet and delicate meat behind its spiny exterior. Despite its formidable appearance, this squash is excellent and has a delightful, delicate flavor. Avocados, of course, are everywhere. Many varieties of Lettuces & Greens, Herbs, Cabbages and Squash Blossoms are common in findings in Mexican markets, as are the pads and fruits of the Nopal Cactus. Excellent both raw in juices and cooked, the Nopal cactus pads are exotic and healthy treats. Chiles in just about every range of picante are available everywhere. Citrus fruits, particularly limes, grapefruit and several kinds of oranges are delicious and sweet. Dates, Coconuts, Bananas, Plantains, Mangos, Papaya, and Melons are readily available at small and large vegetable markets. These are only some of the fruits and vegetables travelers may find in many of the restaurants and groceries in Baja California Sur.

Freshly-made Crema, or sour cream is just one of the delicious dairy products that has become a remarkably unctuous staple of Mexican cuisine. Creamy, delicious milk and farm-cheeses are some of Mexico’s most delectable treats and each tastes more flavorful than many can imagine. Having never enjoyed a huge amount of dairy products North of the Border, many tourists enjoy the fresh goat-and-cow creations that are readliy found in Mexico. Supermarkets and Restaurants in Baja California also have a wide variety of fresh cheeses and creams if visitors don’t care to dairy-hunt while exploring Baja.

Health Benefits of Pizza

Now, of course it’s ludicrous to think that this particular food has the same caloric value as a bowl of celery sticks, but people should realize that some of the ingredients are actually very beneficial to people’s health.

One of the beneficial ingredients it contains is cheese. Unless someone is lactose intolerant, consuming cheese can actually be a great thing. That’s because it’s a dairy product and most dairy products contain a significant amount of calcium. Calcium helps to build strong bones. This in and of itself is a great reason to see this food item as a healthy choice.

Just think about it, as people get older they begin to experience the horrible effects of diseases such as osteoporosis. This causes their bones to weaken and become fragile. Eating a food that contains a respectable amount of cheese can help to prevent or curb the harmful effects of these types of issues.

Another great thing about pizza is the fact that it contains tomato sauce. One of the reasons that this ingredient is so helpful is because it contains vitamin C. This vitamin is good because it helps to fight against bacteria that cause things like the common cold and other viruses.

Some may not see the common cold as being a big deal. However, they aren’t taking into account how agitating and problematic something like the common cold can be. It may not be life threatening or dangerous, but it can be extremely agitating and cause major inconveniences. There are times when people have to actually take financial hits, because they are forced to miss a few days of work just to get over their cold. As for viruses, these sicknesses can be a little more harmful. Some people have actually had to stay in the hospital for days at a time until they got over their virus.

Dew Drops of Sake

Sake that is naturally slow cooled and aged through a series of labor intensive techniques could only produce something like the sake mentioned above. When you hear terms like nama-zume, hiyaoroshi, and honjozo thrown around amongst sake aficionados, and you don’t know what they mean, then you know the sake is going to be well worth a sip. All the words for some reason sound like something good is about to be enjoyed. Although it helps to understand the labels on the battle, it is not essential. You do not have to be a sake guru to love and appreciate Japanese sake.

Honjozo is a term used to denote a premium grade of sake that has very limited amounts of alcohol added and is stored without pasteurization. Nama-zume is heated once before it is stored whereas regular sake is heated twice during the whole sake production process. More emphasis is placed on the natural development of the final product than the overly pasteurized filtration of sake. It’s not like the average drinker is going to remember all of those terms, nor care. What’s important is that you have a very general idea of what it is you are drinking. For example, is it a premium grade sake, or a regular table sake? When was it made and what kind of rice was used? What percentage of the rice is milled away? This information helps the drinker get a general understanding of the sake first before drinking it.

Words like Daiginjo, Junmai Ginjo, and Junmai, all sound like they were made with labour intensive techniques. We are not required to understand the finer details of how it was made unless we are working in the industry. How these terms translates into taste is simply wonderful because we do not know what we are going to get on the nose and the palate. Think, full body, semi-dry, floral, and clean going down you, deep into your bosom. How about warmed sake, what kind of flavor profiles can we get with that? These questions and answers all depend on the drinker, and this is one of the beautiful aspects of imbibing on sake. Rice never had it so good until it married a koji spore that gave birth to moromi, a fermented mash. Taste it, it is the liquid essence of what’s to come.

Breakfasts for Healthy Dieters

Grilled tomatoes and mushrooms on whole grain bagel

Tomatoes and mushrooms are best grilled so you avoid adding calories by soaking them in oil.

Mushrooms and tomatoes are included in the 5 A day as well as whole grain bread which includes vitamins B and E, plus fiber and minerals.

Porridge with semi-skimmed milk topped with dried fruits

Insoluble fibers are considered gut healthy fibers as they do not dissolve in water and speed up the digestion process of which the passage of food passes through the gut, providing an almost laxative effect and the oats do exactly this which may help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.

Oats however are unlike other insoluble fibers like vegetables as they still take a while to break down keeping you fuller longer while they release sustained energy with additional fruit to boost vitamin count.

Low-fat spread on whole meal bread and a boiled egg

Rich in minerals, vitamins A and D, riboflavin and protein, eggs are an essential 5 A ingredient while whole meal is an insoluble fiber that contains vitamins B, E, fiber and a wide range of minerals.

Muesli, low-fat yoghurt and fresh fruit

Calcium in low fat yogurt provides a source of protein combined with a mixture of both insoluble and soluble fibers found in muesli.

Soluble fibers in this case form a gel like matter when digested causing you to stay satiated longer as it delays the emptying of the stomach which will help you control your weight.

Slower emptying of the stomach may also have a positive effect on insulin levels which in turn will help diabetics.

Soluble fibers will also interfere with the absorption of dietary cholesterol which can help lower LDL – bad cholesterol levels.

Semi-skimmed milk with whole grain cereal topped with fresh fruit

Whole grain insoluble fibers with semi-skimmed milk will be fortified with minerals and vitamins and with additional fruit, you help build up your anti-oxidant levels which are beneficial for destroying free radicals in the skin and body.

Popular Desserts

Cake Pops

Think of cake pops as the best of both worlds – the richness of cake covered with silky frosting and sweet coatings on a lollipop stick. Think of being a kid again but with adult-friendly portions. Think of enjoying a wide range of delicious flavors with every stick and you will get why cake pops are popular during special occasions and daily meals. Choose from flavors like chocolate, red velvet and vanilla with coatings of chocolate ganache, white chocolate ganache, and colored candy melts.

Macarons

Who can resist the delicious flavors, mildly moist texture, and melt-in-the-mouth quality of macarons? Certainly not you! The sweet meringue-based treat is filled with almond, cherry and chocolate while its flavors include hazelnut, pistachio and almond. If you are adventurous, you can also choose from fillings like lemon, mint and lavender. Even vegetarians will love the fillings made from coconut, vegan chocolate, and pumpkin. And you cannot resist the vibrant colors of macarons, too.

Cheesecakes

The creamy deliciousness of cheesecakes continues to reel in lovers of the sweet treat. Basically, this is made from a mix of cream cheese, eggs and sugar on a crust made from crushed graham crackers, cookies or sponge cake. It can either be baked or chilled depending on personal preference. Your choices in flavors and crusts are aplenty Flavors include chocolate, espresso, and lemon as well as the iconic New York cheesecake. Crusts can come in gingersnap cookies, graham crackers and Oreo cookies as well as vanilla wafers and cookies.

Pie Tarts

Think of pie tarts as combining the best of pies and tarts in bite-sized oh-so-yummy treats. Your choices in flavors include apple, banana, berries, chocolate, lemon, peaches, pecans and pumpkin while the crusts come in butter, vegan and graham crackers, among others.

Halal Restaurant

Based on the holly Quran, there are a few restrictions on what Muslim can not eat: pork, blood, any animal that is not slaughtered in the name of Allah and alcohol

So halal food is food that doesn’t violate the restrictions above.

Most non-Muslims know that Muslims can’t eat pork but very few people understand that halal is more than pork-free and alcohol-free. With the exception of seafood, any animal that is not slaughtered in the name of Allah is not halal. Chickens, cows, lambs, or turkeys can be non-halal when they are not slaughtered according to the Islamic guidelines. The Islamic guidelines require animals to be slaughtered by making incisions at the front of their throats using very sharp knives. The incisions should be deep and cut into the carotid artery, wind pipe and jugular veins to release all the blood from the body. The meat can only be consumed/processed after all the blood is drained from the body. When slaughtering an animal, the head of the animal has to be aligned to face the Qiblah and the butcher should utter a prayer “in the name of Allah”

With the growing demand of halal meat worldwide, more butchers are training to obtain halal certificates. Halal restaurants should obtain their meat supplies only from certified Halal butcheries.

Apart from getting the meat from Halal suppliers, food preparation is also important in determining whether or not a dish can be classified as halal. Any kitchen utensils like knives, spoons, baking tray or plates that have been previously used to prepare non-halal food should not be used unless they have been cleaned properly according to the Islamic guidelines.

Chefs should also refrain from using alcohol (wine, sherry, lager, etc) in their sauces. While people may argue that most of the alcohol will evaporate once the sauces are flambéed or simmered down, a lot of Muslims will not eat anything that has been “touched” by alcohol.

While it takes a great effort for restaurants to serve halal food, the demand is growing so rapidly that a lot of restaurants and food manufacturers do not mind doing the tedious process.

Le Bouchon

The place was totally charming; quaint, serene (on a Saturday afternoon), and clean. The dining area was not large, there were only seven tables, but neither did it feel cramped. The owner sat contentedly at the bar while some lovely Thai women, some of them wait staff, and one with a child, lingered toward the front in quiet conversation. The menu, scribbled on a blackboard was not entirely convenient but charming nonetheless. We studied it for about ten minutes before ordering.

Subsequently, I did a bit of ‘after-the-fact’ research and found that critics refer to Le Bouchon as ‘Bangkok’s most authentic French bistro,’ and the top regular dining spot for most local Gauls’.

The blackboard menu, I’m told, never changes; it displays a number of classic French dishes. Begin with warm a goat cheese salad comprising three aromatic chunks melted on grilled French bread set atop plentiful lettuce doused in vinegar and oil. Foie gras ravioli with port wine is a tender and melt-in-the-mouth sensation, and the perfect appetizer to stimulate the palate. Main courses at le Bouchon are surprisingly generous. A real treat, frog legs is fried in garlic and served with potatoes and sauteed vegetables, while lamb shank is a large cut of flavorful meat cooked to juicy perfection, topped with white bean sauce and surrounded by roasted potatoes and vegetables. There is a tempting range of traditional desserts that includes creme brulee covered with a very crispy layer of caramel over a rather fluffy vanilla-flavored custard. Mousse au chocolate is sinfully rich and served in a bowl made of edible waffle.

It has become conventional wisdom to love Le Bouchon, which according to another respected critic, is now a Bangkok institution. The restaurant has served mainly Lyonnnaise food to discriminating patrons for over ten years. And it’s unlikely success is due, in part to its questionable location in the heart of Patpong, one of Bangkok’s most well-known red-light districts. The combination of well prepared, down-to-earth French fare combined with the quintessential, sensual Bangkok vibe evokes a charm that few other restaurants can really manage to equal. The narrow, dimly lit dining room typically populated by French-speaking customers and conjures an oasis amid a bit of chaos; the hand-written blackboard menu featuring “specials” that never change signals some sort of old-world attitude. And the charming and attractive all-female wait staff reminds diners that they are really still in Bangkok.

My experience at Le Bouchon was decidedly pleasant; made even more-so by my friend’s inclination to pay for my enjoyable meal. If Le Bouchon is to be the venue, I’m looking forward to returning the favor!

37/17 Patpong Soi 2, Surawongse Rd, Bangkok 10500

Choosing Dining Ambience

Few things are as desirable as sharing a romantic evening with the person you love, with the ocean in the background while the setting sun flickers around your dining table. Selecting the right restaurant for that romantic rendezvous is an exciting and joyful venture – the feeling of being in the company of a special person, the happiness of picking the perfect venue and sharing good food with your life partner. For those who lack experience and confidence, selecting the right restaurant is a daunting task. With so many eateries around, you’re often spoilt for choice. If you’re planning to take your partner for a romantic dinner but not sure about the venue, consider these following things.

Well, it’s not just about the posh interior decorations; check whether you’re comfortable with the backdrop of the restaurant. While there are some eateries that seem royal and stiff, there are others where people know you by your nick name. Choose none of them. Since you want your partner to feel easy and comfortable, never opt for the royal or strict one.

On the contrary, if you’re visiting a restaurant where people know you personally, you’ll break your communication with your partner every time somebody comes to greet you. If you think that it’s pretty cool to bring your date to a place where you’re popular, then you’re certainly wrong. When you’re on a dinner with your loved one, you want to spend some special moments with her. Of course, you wouldn’t want to take your date to a pub where you hang out often.

Everybody loves to eat in a good restaurant. Remember, folk tales aren’t folk tales without all the props, glitter, waterfalls and the romantic backdrop. So, take your partner to a special restaurant that boasts a unique theme. For example, beach theme eateries are very popular among women.

Visiting a restaurant, with a romantic setting has an impressive effect on your partner. After all, it’s a memorable experience for you as well as your partner. So, spare no efforts to make sure that it’s a memorable event – one that you would cherish or treasure for a long time.

Taking Small Children to a Restaurant

Remember to bring some toys whenever you go out. You’ll probably have to wait a little while, and that could mean you’ll have some bored toddlers on your hand. If you bring some toys, coloring books and crayons, some reading books, or something similar, you’ll have a much better chance of keeping them occupied before the food arrives. Make sure the toys are small and that you don’t bring felt-tip pens.

Give your children a snack before you bring them to the restaurant. That way, if there is a longer wait than normal they won’t throw a fit because they’re starving. Give them a small box of dried fruit on the way just in case. Also, if you take children, you simply must bring another adult if possible. You won’t be able to leave them unattended when you go to the restroom.

You don’t need to try and impress small children with a pricey menu, because they won’t know the difference anyway. Keep it basic and simple. A buffet can work, as can a more reasonably priced restaurant. If you can, try to take them to lunch rather than dinner, where there may be more couples trying to have some peaceful time together. Just about any restaurant you go to will have a kid’s menu, but if you don’t like the selection you can always order a half-portion from the regular menu. It might also be a good idea to bring your own cutlery if the establishment doesn’t have knives, spoons, and forks that fit little hands.

It’s also important that you keep your expectations realistic. While everyone would love it if their children were perfectly quiet at all times, you know that’s not going to happen. If yours start talking too loudly or screaming, quietly remind them that they are in a public place and their behavior is unacceptable. Be prepared to have to do this quite a few times. If your children act up to the point where it is disturbing other people seated in your area, take them outside until they finally calm down.