Kale

dark-green-kale-vegetable

She brought home this unfamiliar leafy vegetable. As I thought, she bought it because of someone convincing her it is not only good tasting but great for the health too.

The makeup is like pechay Baguio but the color is as dark as brocolli. It smells like and literally tastes like grass with bitter and spicy notes. I felt nostalgic the days we used to play cows, chewing grasses as if we were real ruminants.

dark-green-kale-vegetable

She made a smoothy but then realized she could not drink it. The taste was too strong for her taste buds. Then, diluted it with water and added a bit of sugar. It became more palatable but the strong grassy taste was still there.

kale smoothie

After a day, the smoothie taste better. I am starting to enjoy it, I think. There might be some kind of reaction that help improve flavor. Or, maybe, my taste buds is getting acquainted with it.

Web results say it is indeed nutritious. Full packed with health benefits that I will not rewrite here. However, no article said it taste delicious. This is no news. Healthy vegetables are noted  for their bland to unpleasant taste. Bitter gourd, radish, mustard, lettuce and pechay are examples.

It is called kale. It belongs to cabbage family. A popular vegetable that was recently introduced to me.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

The Veggie Meat Loaf

arrow veggie meat sliced

Wrapped neatly like a meatloaf and I thought it was one. It is a veggie meat. I planned to fry it for lunch but hesitated when I saw the veggiemeat label. It might be designed for something else other than fried viand. Well, I’ll never know unless I try.

arrow veggie meat

I took off the two layers of plastic packaging. Then, sliced off four circles. It did really look like ordinary meat loaf. I can’t tell the difference in appearance and feel.

arrow veggie meat sliced

It exhibited near burnt brown appearance after frying. Maintained its shape. Never disintegrated nor shattered. Just a changed in color and perhaps flavor. Not really sure cause I never wanted to taste it raw.

The taste. Good. I felt nostalgic way back in secondary school. The time when we was eating veggie balls for snack. I felt veggies lingering around my mouth but could not tell exactly the specifics.

I prepared a calamansi soy sauce dip. Quick dipped every slice in before giving to my kids. I was confident that it tasted good but they might reject it for none meaty flavor. The sauce did some cover-up.

They finished their meal well without complaint.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

Ampalaya Fritter Topped With Steamed Squash

Ingredients:

1/4 kilo ampalaya, cut into rings
1 cup mashed squash
1 tbsp margarine
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup corn starch
cooking oil
2 cups water

Cooking Instructions:

Wash and cut ampalaya into rings, about one inch thick each. Remove seeds. Soak in mixture of salt and water for five minutes. Blanch ampalaya , then soak in a cold water.

In a bowl, mix flour, beaten egg and margarine. Dip ampalaya rings. Fry in a hot cooking oil until golden brown. Arrange ampalaya fritter on platter. Stuff with steam squash. Serve with mixture of catsup and mayonnaise as sauce.

amplaya fritter topped with sqaush

Irmalyn is the loving wife of marvin. She is currently an office worker at the Department of Agriculture. She loves cooking and sometimes contributing some of her delicious recipes…

Gluten Steak

Ingredients

1/2 kilo gluten steak (veggie meat)
2 tbsp calamansi
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 onion, sliced
cracked pepper to taste

arrow gluten steak  vegetable meat

Cooking Instructions

Fry gluten lightly. Set aside.

Saute onion, minced garlic and  veggie meat. Add soy sauce and calamansi. Simmer for three minutes. Removed from fire. Arrange in platter nicely. Garnish with  onion rings. Ready to serve. Make five servings.

Slightly modified from the original recipe of PUC Health Foods | Adventist University of the Philippines.

gluten steak with whie onion rings

Irmalyn is the loving wife of marvin. She is currently an office worker at the Department of Agriculture. She loves cooking and sometimes contributing some of her delicious recipes…

More Info About Broussonetia luzonica (Himababao, Alukon)

The scientific name of Himbabao is Broussonetia luzonica. Thanks to FNRI Menu Guide Calendar of 2012. I learned its scientific name. It is now easier to find more information about it.

Full scientific name is Broussonetia luzonica (Blanco) Bur. Though it may still vary on different sources.

The edible part, the flower with few leaves is known as Birch Flower, an English marketing term for the catkins (a cylindrical spike-like inflorescence). Commonly used in the cuisine of northeastern Luzon. The flower is not in any way related to the birch tree.

Luzonica ? Sounds like Luzon, the largest among Philippine island groups. I couldn’t find any literature telling that its name was derived from the island’s name. My wild guess is it was derived from…

It is known as himbabao, alukon, alokon, alakon and baeg in the Philippines and bohulilambaji and ragantulu in Indonesia. Marinduque province call it Salugim

It is a member of the Moraceae family, the Mulberries. This large shrub is closely related to the Paper Mulberry, the bark fibers of which are used to make Japanese Washi paper and tissue. While it grows all over the Philippines the male inflorescences and tender young leaves are only much used in the northeast Luzon. Also a common non-native in Hawaii, but it is unknown if anyone uses it for food there. [Anyone from Hawaii? Please confirm this!]

Several pictures of the species are posted under Plants of Hawaii category in starrenvironmental.com. Suggestive that alukon plant is indeed popular in the country.

Researchers of the University of the Philippines have successfully did plant re-growing by tissue culture method. Proving that indirect method can be used for its propagation. Research abstract described himbabao as Philippine endemic forest tree whose current conservation status is that of depleted ecologically in the wild. It bears edible staminate flowers consumed as vegetable by village residents wherever it occurs.

A study by Labay, P.M. of Marinduque State University (MSC) revealed the phytochemical components of himbabao. Phytochemicals in plant extract are: Alkaloid, flavonoid, unsaturated sterol & triterpene, steroid glycoside, cyanogenic glycoside, tannin & phenol.

It is one of the featured native vegetables at nestle ph web. Mulberry / Broussonetia luzonica (alukon) is another edible flower that’s popular among Ilocanos, the alukon or himbabao is also a dinengdeng ingredient.  This snakelike blossom becomes “gooey” like okra when cooked to vegetable stews like pinakbet.

sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

Veggies Every Lunch

I requested her to prepare an all vegetable dish every meal time all the time. She looked at me with a puzzled mind. It seemed my request was a hard thing to accomplish.

After weeks to months of insisting. I realized it is indeed hard for her. She lowered the amount of meat in every menu but rarely serving a rice and vegetable only dish. The thing she is often doing is replacing it with fish (unknown species in most cases).

So to satisfy my want, I am only buying vegetable as viand every lunch, whenever I am at office work. It’s a veggie meal every lunch four times a week.

I already memorized all the vegetable dish our favorite canteen is preparing. They are as follows;  tawge, ampalaya, puso, kankong, sitaw, pakbet, lumpiang sariwa, labong, and chopsuey.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.