A taste of healthy cooking in Mactan

By Caroline J. Howard, ANC

Posted at Mar 09 2012 01:37 PM | Updated as of Mar 10 2012 02:04 AM

CEBU, Philippines - In the fringes of Mactan island in Cebu, there is a place that offers a quick escape, where you can empty your mind and leave everything behind you.

At Plantation Bay Resort and Spa, rooms lead straight to an expansive swimming lagoon, and a world-class Japanese-inspired spa that promises calm and relaxation.

"The promise of Plantation Bay is the luxury of space and the gift of privacy," said Hannah Patalinjug, public relations associate of Plantation Bay Resort and Spa.

Themed restaurants here dish out a varied gustatory spread -- Palermo serves Italian pasta and Spanish tapas, Fiji offers seafood and island-inspired cooking, while Savannah has grilled steaks.

Kilimanjaro, meanwhile, is a 24-hour cafe that offers international cuisine.

"We have a themed breakfast menu every day... We have anything from Chinese to Filipino, French, Italian," said Vinz Karlsen, the resort's executive chef.

"The whole idea is not only to give a big variety but also to be healthy. We want to have some healthy options," he added.

Karlsen said they have a program called "Loving Life," a five-day program consisting of healthy food, exercise, and massages at the spa.

"I think we all want to be detoxified and feel lighter, and enjoy our vacation more," he said.

James Haght, one of the chefs at Kilimanjaro, shows us how to do two simple and healthy dishes: gambas al ajillo and grilled vegetables.

Watch the video to learn more about Haght's recipes.