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Posts Tagged ‘garden veggies’


What a lazy, lazy Sunday! I braved the drizzle early this morning to attend the 5am mass  at Our Lady of Light Parish in our town. Since my son works on Sundays, I usually wake up early too and we left the house together. I don’t normally go to mass this early but  mom can’t make it (she’s not feeling well yet) and opted to hear mass on TV. Despite the rain (and the cold), the church was full.  I dropped by the nearby wet market on my way home and bought Saba bananas.  Catching fresh produce early, how nice!

I am sure most of you don’t eat ampalaya or bitter melon  for the simple reason that yes, it tastes bitter. Most of us know too  that it is a healthy vegetable that has now been proven to be an effective herbal medicine for many aliments. I won’t go into details  as to its rich nutrients but I want to share with you another experiment that I did in the kitchen. A friend was supposed to come over yesterday to get some  but didn’t show up so I have to harvest more than a kilo of ampalaya this morning and cooked some for lunch. IMG_5091This is the bonito variety, a hybrid and  every three days, I make a harvest. There are so many ways to cook ampalaya, you can make ampalaya con carne, pinakbet,  mixed with eggs, fresh ampalaya salad or you can mix it with some other vegetables like monggo, the possibilities are endless. Anyway, sauteing it but presenting it differently made mom think that it is a small plate of pizza. Can you imagine? I was laughing when I put a slice on her plate and she tasted the mild flavor of bitterness there.  Mom sometimes could be funny :)

IMG_5095

That’s right, I call it ampalaya frittata. As we all know frittata is an egg-based recipe that you can cook on top of a stove or bake in an oven. It’s perfect for any vegetable or meat that you happen to have around. I put cheese in it for that extra flavor and mom likes  it.  Paired with some left-over longganisa (our local version of sausage), it’s a perfect lunch on a rainy Sunday.

It’s that kind of rain  that would make you want to go back to bed and just idle your time reading or listening to some old music that they usually play on the radio during Sundays. Life is simple. And it feels good.

Gosh, the rain hasn’t let up. It’s a downpour. I hope it won’t last long to create flash floods.

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Looking at the fruits which resemble blackberries, I was fascinated. I was looking for some subjects to practice my macro shots on early this morning when I noticed these dark purple fruits hanging in a trellis which hubby made a few months ago. I don’t eat alugbati, preferring the more popular camote tops  and the fresh young leaves of chayote.  Lots of persuasions from hubby to try it, steamed  and squeezed with kalamansi or mixed with mongo didn’t induce me  to even taste it, but he eats it like he is eating  camote tops that I like.

Known as Malabar spinach, Indian spinach or  climbing spinach, luo kui shu( in Chinese), is one of the most popular indigenous leafy vegetables in the Philippines. Originally from India, it is usually found in hedges and cultivated areas and is extensively grown in market gardens and home gardens.

Its leaves are somewhat fleshy, ovate or heart-shaped. The fruit is fleshy  and turns purple when it matures. The young stems, leaves and shoots are blanched. One of the reasons why I get turned-off is because the flavor is a little earthy and the texture when cooked is slimy. I later learned that it has lots of uses and nutritional values. The purplish dye from the ripe fruit is used as food color while the cooked roots are used for treating diarrhea. The cooked stems and leaves are good laxative and the flowers are used as antidote for poison. A paste of the leaves is applied  to treat  boils while a paste of the root is  good for swelling.

Alugbati grows well under full sunlight in hot, humid climate like ours. It may take sometime before I’ll learn to eat this nutritional vegetable but until then, I’ll just watch hubby enjoy his plate of steamed alugbati and fried fish to go with it.

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