The Great Brown Rice Switch

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Kat:

A meal cannot be said to be complete in many parts of the world without a heap of piping hot, soft white rice. In fact for many people, rice cannot be any other color but white. So when the idea of eating brown rice was first mentioned at home, for the sake of health benefits, I could not help but inwardly hope that this would only be a temporary state of affairs. After all, the idea was so alien, and literally not easy to swallow.

 

As it turned out, brown rice was not entirely unfamiliar. Brown rice is actually whole grain rice, which means that it is rice that has only its outer hull removed. Its color comes from the bran layer and cereal germ, which are also removed when milling white rice. In a sense brown rice is analogous to whole wheat bread, while white rice is akin to white bread.

 

One thing that takes some getting used to when it comes to brown rice is the taste. Unlike white rice, which has a soft and mild flavor, brown rice is nutty and occasionally with some earthy overtones. Brown rice also has a less polished consistency, which sometimes makes it difficult to partner with sauces and soupy dishes. In my experience, light cream sauces or curries go well on brown rice. Thick hearty stews such as sinigang, or rich gravies are also great with brown rice. Tomato-based stews have limited success on brown rice, while au gratin is a disaster!

 

Another challenge I face with brown rice is simply with cooking it. Unlike white rice, which is relatively easy to manage whether in a traditional pot or rice cooker, brown rice requires a little more care to get to the right consistency, owing to its more complex layers. It may also need more water to cook. This is one kind of rice that cannot simply be left to boil unattended. Nowadays I am able not only to boil brown rice, but to rejuvenate cooked brown rice by lightly frying in oil with garlic. This is a great way to take brown rice from dinner to breakfast.

 

What makes these trade-offs worthwhile? Compared to white rice, brown rice has higher amounts of rice, Vitamins B1 (thiamin) and B3 (niacin), Vitamin B6, and micronutrients such as selenium, phosphorus and magnesium. Brown rice is also considered a complex carbohydrate, which means that it takes longer to digest and metabolize than simple carbohydrates found in white bread, white rice, and candies. This allows for better control of blood sugar, which is excellent for preventing unexpected spikes and crashes. Brown rice is also a great source of fiber, which helps keep things running smoothly in the digestive system.

 

It’s been around eight or so years since I’ve made the switch to brown rice, at least for meals at home. My body can definitely tell the difference on the days when I do not have brown rice; for one thing I get hungry more quickly in its absence. Of course having brown rice as a healthier substitute to white rice does not mean I can eat as much of it as I like. Even with this, moderation is necessary to stay in good health.

 

Lee:

And then in my case, it was a wake up call to be more health conscious. On a texture and taste standpoint, it isn’t as sweet as white rice and the texture is coarser in comparison. However, after plenty of times eating brown rice, it helped make my bowel movements feel regular during the times that I ate these. Admittedly, it takes a while to get used to, but once you’re used to it, it’s the type of rice you’d look for and it also helps set you up for other types such as red rice.

 

Featured image from: https://pixabay.com/en/brown-rice-risotto-mushrooms-699836/

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Cafe Adriatico

A Team Glasses Food Blog Note: Due to our hectic schedules for the next few months, we’ve decided to post every two weeks, whenever possible instead of the weekly posts. Do let us know if you have any suggestions of possible topics, trivia, recipes, or restaurants / cafes you’d like us to try soon.

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Even before the creation of the Team Glasses Food Blog, we’ve always aimed for having a date at Cafe Adriatico. From what we know and remember, Cafe Adriatico has been one of the few remaining hallmarks of the Malate food scene. And this time around, we finally got around to dining here after a long and tiring set of weeks.

Entering inside Cafe Adriatico felt like a time machine. The atmosphere inside was lively at the beginning of the dinner rush. It gave us the impression that one walked into an old Spanish-Filipino home, or even an Irish Pub because of the warmth of the wooden walls and furniture and the slightly dimmed lighting around the place. It set the tone for our meal, a casual and relaxed dinner together.

So for our meal here, we had the French Onion Soup which Kat swears by, I had the Lola Ising’s Adobo Flakes, and she had the Chicken Kiev.

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French Onion Soup

Given that I’ve never tried French Onion Soup, I didn’t know what to expect until that first bite. It was savory because of the beef broth and had a slight hint of sweetness from the onions. And the cheese on top bound these two elements together seamlessly.

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Lola Ising’s Adobo Flakes

After tasting Lola (Grandma) Ising’s Adobo Flakes, I’m tempted to actually ask how Lola Ising does it because it wasn’t as salty as the usual adobo flakes we get around here. One would still be able to taste the tender beef along with it. The fried rice and eggs were also a great complement to it because it was cooked to how I felt it ought to be in any iteration of a Filipino Millennial meal known as  Adobosilog.

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Chicken Kiev

The Chicken Kiev, while unassuming at first glance, turned out to be a buttery and rich concoction worthy of being listed as a best seller entree. It was delicate enough so as not to cloy the tastebuds, but satisfying on the stomach. Definitely worth the try!

As a pre-valentines date, our stay at Cafe Adriatico was definitely one to remember.

Food Score: 4.5/5: The food we had here was excellent. From how it was prepared to how well it was seasoned, it was a delight to the tastebuds.

Ambiance Score 4/5: The place did age well like wine because it still maintains its Spanish-Filipino home look throughout the years. Its classy yet cozy interior makes it stand out from the razzle dazzle of its neighbors in the Remedios Circle.

Service Score: 4.5/5: And our experience here was made better by the attentiveness of the servers in handling our dining needs.Warm bread and butter were served with our meal, and we were given a choice of hot or cold water as well.

GERD Score: 3.5/5. The only sticking point to be had as far as GERD or heartburn is concerned is the serving size and perhaps lesser food options. Both of these can be addressed by chewing slowly, good posture, and some company to help you out.

Neurodivergent Score: 4/5. While some of these dishes rely on classic preserved meats and fish owing to the nature of the Spanish-Filipino cuisine, there are still plenty of fresh home-cooked entrees for the picking. And though wine goes best with the meals here, feel free as well to sample the non-alcoholic selections.

Team Glasses Score: 4/5. Simply put, Cafe Adriatico is a must go whenever you’re in Malate, looking for great food, and a nice quiet niche to enjoy it.