A vegan stir fry with mushroom balls and kangkong (water spinach) stalks


Sinigang, a sour soup with meat or seafood and vegetables, has always been a favorite with my daughters. When they were toddlers, they were especially fond of sinigang na bangus. By the time they were in grade school, Sam preferred chicken sinigang while Alex favored pork sinigang. But whether the sinigang was cooked with meat or seafood, they had a special way of dividing … [Read more...]

Steamed okra with garlic and pepper


One of my proudest achievements as a wife is making my husband eat okra. Just kidding. But it isn't a total lie when I say that it makes me feel good to introduce Speedy to food and dishes that he never touched while growing up. And okra is one of them although it wasn't exactly I who made him appreciate it. Up until the girls were in high school, Speedy would thumb his … [Read more...]

Boiled beef and vegetables with sweet-salty soy-flavored broth


Ah, the ubiquitous boiled meat and vegetables that is comfort food in so many cultures. Is the simplicity that makes it appealing? Is the memory of growing up with the dish? Whatever the reason, we love it. I've cooked it in so many ways -- plain, with bone marrow (yes, bulalo!), Irish style, South American style, with cream of chicken -- and they're all good.But have … [Read more...]

Creamed broccoli


Sometimes, a "same old, sale old" dish becomes something spectacular with just the right accessory. Take fried chicken, for instance... Although most people think there is nothing boring about fried chicken, it sure can get a lift. And this side dish of creamed broccoli does a stunning job. Not only is it a side dish, it also provides a rich sauce for any fried, grilled or … [Read more...]

Zucchini and tomato “spaghetti”


I saw a zucchini and tomato "spaghetti" salad recipe that looks similar to the dish in the photo. I wasn't sure though if Sam would eat raw zucchini so I decided to create a cooked version of zucchini and tomato "spaghetti". The peg? Pasta aglio e olio. But there is no pasta in this dish. Instead, the zucchini is shredded into long threads that look like noodles.This … [Read more...]

Baked potatoes with broccoli and cheese stuffing


The vegetarian dish in our simple Christmas Eve meal. The potatoes were baked, the flesh scooped out, the hollowed out centers stuffed with mashed potatoes, broccoli and shredded cheddar. Creamy and filling. And even better when paired with something that provides a contrast in texture like the simple lettuce salad that I served on the side.The cooking time for the … [Read more...]

Pan-grilled eggplants with tomato sauce and cheese


Easy, tasty, filling, vegetarian. When Speedy went to the condo to bring supplies for the girls, I sent this grilled eggplant dish for Sam. There are two older versions of this recipe in the archive but this is so much better and so much faster to prepare.Why better and faster? The first time I made this dish (with meat), I boiled the eggplants. The result was good but … [Read more...]

Chicken, mushroom and vegetable chowder


The rest of the cream of mushroom soup left over from the chicken dinner the other day went into this soup. I made the two dishes on the same day, actually, but I didn't serve them together. The chicken dinner was served with rice; a loaf of sourdough bread accompanied this chowder.A chowder? Yes, a chowder. Thick and creamy. The thickness is made possible by three … [Read more...]

30-minute chicken, mushrooms and peas dinner


When the typhoons came one after the other over the past several weeks, we stocked up on canned goods. That's really the only time of the year when that happens. Before and after the monsoon season, we rarely have more than a few pieces of canned goods in the pantry. But, as the Boy Scout motto goes, "Be prepared." Interruption of water and power service are all too common … [Read more...]

Herbed rice and buttered vegetables


The "fish fillet" behind the rice is soya-based textured vegetable protein. Sam likes to include what she calls "fake meat" and "fake fish" in her meals for texture more than anything else. I mean, they don't have any distinctive flavor so what they really do is add bulk. And because they turn crisp when fried, they lend that fried meat or fried fish feel to an otherwise … [Read more...]