Chef Donita Brings Heart-Healthy Flavors at Dinagyang Festival w/ Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil

February 26, 2018

Ilonggo cuisine is perhaps one of the biggest draws of this southern part of the Panay Island. Whether you’re thinking of a comfort food fix, downing yourself with some freshest seafood catch, or satisfying your big sweet tooth, Iloilo City’s endless list of amazing flavors surely won’t disappoint.

Last January, the City of Iloilo celebrated its 50th Dinagyang Festival which is a commemoration of the Ilonggos’ long history of devotion for the Sto. Niño.  It is also a time for showcasing their devotion to classic and comforting Ilonggo dishes: La Paz Batchoy, the famous Ilonggo noodle soup; Laswa, the fiber-rich vegetable stew; the authentic KBL or Kadyos, Baboy at Langka; and the Chinese-inspired Pancit Molo.  When in Iloilo during the Dinagyang Festival, one usually forgets about diet as everything is perfect “namit gid” or really delicious!

Jolly HeartMate Canola Oil brought its Celebrity chef Ambassador Donita Rose to showcase heart-healthy dishes that are worth seeking out, one Ilonggo food at a time!

Chef Donita Rose imparted her tasty rendition of Ilonggo delicacies at Robinson’s Place Iloilo during the festival. “Ilonggos are known to be serious about their food, understand their ingredients, and are fussy with preparation. With Jolly HeartMate Canola Oil, they can enjoy delicious food while keeping it healthy because of its low bad fat content,” shared by Chef Donita.  
“Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil has the lowest bad fat content among all types of cooking Oil.  It is also rich in essential fatty acids such as omega 3 & 6 which are important for brain development, immune system function and blood pressure regulation. It also has a neutral taste that makes it perfect for Ilonggo cooking,” shared Fly Ace Corporation’s Group Product Manager Zen Prudentino.
 Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil also treated its consumers during the Dinagyang Festival to free Body Mass Index (BMI) and heart health monitoring administered by registered dietitian-nutritionists. The consultation also includes proper meal planning so moms and home cooks will surely gain knowledge about the importance of smart food choices without sacrificing taste and health. Additionally, shoppers also got a chance to play a roulette spin for a chance to take home special prizes or VIP backstage pass to meet Chef-Ambassador Donita Rose herself!

And here's the recipe for the delicious Chicken Binakol:

Very similar toTinola, the difference with this dish is the addition of young coconut water and its meat making the broth a little sweeter than you might be accustomed to. The key is to get a good balance of flavours by adding some saltiness (fish sauce/patis), bitterness (chili leaves/dahon ng silk), heat from some red chilis and ginger. The result is an aromatic symphony of ingredients that will have you drumming to the beat of a satisfied belly. Best served with steaming hot rice!

For the Paste:
4 Lemongrass stalks (use only white lower portion)
1 Red or White Onion (small)
1 thumb Ginger (skin removed)
4 cloves Garlic (skin removed)
8 Black Peppercorns
1 tsp Salt

1 kg Chicken (thigh or breast, boneless, butterflied to same thickness & seasoned with salt and pepper)
2 Coconuts (water set aside and meat scooped out, cut thinly into strips and separated)
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 Dahon ng Sili/Red Chilis leaves (removed from stems and washed)
1 Green Papaya small (seeds removed, small bite sized pieces or spaghetti-style cut)
3-4 tbsp Fish Sauce (to taste)
1-2 Red Chilis/SilingLabuyo (seeds removed to reduce spiciness and minced)
Green Onion (minced for serving)
2 tbsp Jolly Heartmate Canola Oil


Add 1/2 of the oil to a heated stock pot, then sear the chicken briefly on both sides to give it color and flavor. Set chicken aside then add the other half of the oil again to the pot and sauté the paste until aromatic. Add the papaya and sauté for 2 min. Add the coconut meat, chili, stock, coconut water and fish sauce then add the chicken last. Let simmer until chicken is soft, at least 15 min. Add the dahon ng sili/chili leaves then serve in bowls or in its coconut shell and enjoy!

With Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil, one can surely start strong and never have to abandon their New Year’s resolutions. From menu ideas to life-changing nutrition tips, Chef Donita Rose’s heart-healthy recipes will surely excite everyone’s taste buds with a diet that won’t leave anyone feeling deprived.  For more information on Chef Donita’s Festival Tour with Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil, visit their Facebook page on

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1 Sweet Thoughts

  1. Sounds like a great event.