Category Archives: vegetable

Black Radish Chips

A very slight hint of winter just appeared in the air this morning, and pretty soon you might encounter the black radish (also known as black Spanish, black Spanish round, or in French, Gros Noir d’Hiver) and like I did, wonder what it is. Is it a beet, a radish, a potato, or simply an adventure?

I found it at the Food Coop and grabbed it without any plans for its consumption. I come home with my loot often with surprises – oddly shaped crop I’d have to consult Google on how to prepare, strange grains and fruit – and enough hope to create a healthy, unique meal to share.

Black radishes are apparently an Eastern European staple, but have recently been sighted in many a CSA harvest and local farmer’s markets. They rarely make it to mainstream supermarkets because their taste is even more unpopular than the Japanese radish daikon (labanos in Tagalog), which could be bitter when prepared incorrectly. The meat of the black radish is completely white, but sharp and spicy, earning it the name “French horseradish.” I looked up ways to prepare it and the easiest one that came up was to bake slivers of them as chips! Continue reading

Ginisang Collard Greens – Sauteed Filipino Style

 #filipino #vegetarian #realfood #foodie
Collard greens are readily available in any grocery store, and may be a more accessible substitute for more familiar vegetables such as bokchoy and string beans. It’s very versatile because of its ease in preparation, neutral taste and texture, so it can easily be used for many Filipino vegetable dishes. 

“Ginisa” in Filipino means to saute, and that’s really the only thing I did to this dish, other than “make it Filipino” by adding fish sauce as a flavor base. That’s pretty much it, no frills and no fanciness. But let me share the easy prep anyway:

Remove the central vein of each collard leaf using a knife.
Cut it up into strips.
Cut further into smaller strips and squares.
Start with some onions and oil.
Add collards and mix around. Season with fish sauce. Cover and let simmer.
Collards take a while to achieve the desired consistency, about 30-45 minutes on low-medium heat.
Voila. Was that so hard? This is a great side dish for adobo, pata tim, bistek, or fish.

Brussels Sprouts and Garlic

Brussels sprouts are very versatile, tasty and easy to make as a side.
We begin with some crushed garlic in oil.

When garlic is brown, add the brussels sprouts.
Shake around to coat in oil.
Sprinkle with salt and if feeling generous, a square of butter.
That wasn’t so bad, was it?
For this meal, I served it with bistek Filipino pork chops and homemade miso soup.

Butternut Squash Soup

A simple and tasty soup to make for when you’ve kept the butternut squash from the Food Coop for a while and it’s cold outside. I’ve tasted a lot of things in restaurant winter squash soups and have been toying around with adding some herbs like nutmeg or other vegetables like celery, but squashes are so sweet and tasty that it’s hard to go wrong relying on their own flavor.

Cut and remove seeds from one butternut squash.
Coat with olive oil and bake in a glass dish for an hour at 375C.
(You can make this ahead and store it covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make soup.)

Peel the squash pieces with a knife.

Cut cooked squash into squares.

Saute some garlic in oil until brown.

Add the squash and mix it up.

Add about 2 cups of water and crush the squash with a ladle.

Add one vegetable bouillon (or replace all water with vegetable broth).

Blend using a stick blender.
If you don’t have one, cool the mixture and use a regular blender, then return to pot.

Puree as needed and add two more cups of water depending on desired consistency.
Simmer covered for about 10 minutes, mixing occassionally.

Serve hot in a bowl. Top with chives or scallions before serving.
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Fun Salads

Trying to eat fresh and healthy can become boring after many, repetitive salads. Here are some ideas to mix things up a little bit. It helps to have a fully stocked fridge to be creative.

Arugula, grape tomatoes, goat cheese.

Olives, roasted peppers, white kidney beans and lemons.

Red radish, lime vinaigrette, and garlic scapes.

Tomato slices, basil leaves and burata cheese.

Sweet peppers, avocado, red cabbage and lemon.
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