Category Archives: Recipes

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Vegan Coconut Pie “Buko Pie”

The holidays wouldn’t be complete without pies-warm, sweet, filling pies.

To change things up a bit from apple and pumpkin pies, I’ll be making and bringing Vegan Coconut Pie to the party.

Vegan Coconut Pie or Buko Pie is a delicacy of Northern Philippines primarily in provinces like Laguna and Tagaytay. Its coconut goodness will make you feel warm and cozy inside.

In the video below, I’ll show you how to make one. You’ll be surprised by how many stores carry fresh and frozen coconuts alike so feel free to check your neighborhood stores.


My friends at Coco Jack also sent me their Coco Jack tool to show you how it works as well as to offer you a 10% discount. Just enter the coupon code: ASTIGVEGAN

I hope you enjoy the video. Kain na, let’s eat!


roasted squash on a plate

Roasted Caramelized Kabocha Squash

Recently I’ve been into oven roasting everything, roasting kale, roasting brussels sprouts, and now roasting kabocha squash.

I love that the process of roasting makes the vegetables taste sweeter and more charred, not to mention it’s also very simple to do. One of those “set it and forget it” type of cooking.

Healthwise, I think roasting is healthier than frying because it uses less oil.

Roasting kabocha squash requires minimal ingredients-only three to be exact. This dish is perfect as a Fall snack or as a side dish to your Thanksgiving meal.



roasted squash on a plate med shot



  • 1/4 of one kabocha squash, seeds removed, cut to wedges
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • drizzle of olive oil


For easier squash cutting, cut the squash using a cleaver or a chef’s knife and cut down by hacking in and moving the top and bottom part of the knife in a seesaw motion until you’ve fully cut the squash. Lay the flat side down then repeat the seesaw motion to cut the squash in to wedges. You could also microwave the squash first for 3-5 minutes to soften the skin.

You could easily remove the seeds using an ice cream scoop or spoon.


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lay a piece of foil or parchment paper on a baking pan and place the squash on top.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the brown sugar all over the squash.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes. During the 20 minute mark, flip the squash over to cook the other side.
  5. Serve as a snack, side dish or dessert.


roasted squash prep

roasted squash prep 2

roasted squash final


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roasted squash on a plate


This dish is great as is or you may add more ingredients. For example, sprinkle some cumin, salt, or paprika. You may also drizzle some cashew cream on top before serving.

Serve with your favorite hot drink like coffee or tea. Kain na, let’s eat!

I submitted this recipe to the Virtual Vegan LINKY Potluck



Beer Battered Kang Kong Recipe

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Kangkong is a semi aquatic plant that also goes by the name water spinach. The main difference from spinach is that water spinach has crunchy stems, which is great for a beer battered recipe.

For my latest video recipe, I’m featuring just that: Beer Battered Kangkong.

The recipe takes less than ten minutes to make which is ideal for those who don’t have much time in the kitchen. But if you do have time to spare, then I suggest making tons of these because leftovers stay crunchy until the next day.

beer battered kangkong
You could also serve these crunchy Kang kong at parties and get togethers.

When cooking, just make sure that the oil is very hot and that you’re using light beer, not dark. It also helps if your greens were rinsed and fully dried before frying.

To remove excess oil, you may serve the Kang kong on layers of paper towel.

I hope you enjoy this video recipe as much as I enjoyed shooting it for you. Let me know what you think!

Vegan Soups Collaboration

Aside from this blog, I also share my recipes on my YouTube channel. At first I thought, because everybody uses YouTube I would have instant slew of subscribers watching my cooking tutorials. Little did I know that it takes a lot of hard work to produce a shoot and there’s no guarantee if somebody aside from your family and friends, whom you urged to check out your page, would organically click on your video let alone recreate the dish you’re featuring in the episode.

Despite the sobering realization, I kept at it. Slowly but surely, more folks discovered my channel. After my Sisig recipe, people on Instagram started tagging me showing off the Sisig dish they made from the tutorial. Of course I had to repost! It’s so rewarding and humbling to find out that people have tried my recipes and enjoyed them.

Another great news came when my YouTuber friend, Cobi at Veggietorials, emailed me asking if I’d like to participate in a vegan collaboration on YouTube, called “Soup-er Vegan Soups Collaboration“. I had the least number of subscribers out of everyone invited so once I again I felt humbled and honored.  Of course I said yes to the collab.

vegan soups collab

I knew the collaboration was going to boost my views so I thought I better step it up and produce a great episode with a kick ass recipe.

Cobi was so organized and detailed. She sent us deadlines for the beauty shots, recipe name, etc. Although she was very diligent and on point, she was also very flexible and pleasant, never pushy. No wonder she has tons of YouTube followers, Cobi has a great personality.

By the time we had to decide which soup to make, I chose to stick to what I know best: vegan Filipino. I chose a childhood favorite, rice porridge or Lugaw.  The traditional version is far from vegan. You would think that because it’s rice porridge, it’ll be easy to veganize. After all, similar dishes from other Southeast Asian countries have congee and juk. The Filipino version has great Spanish influence so we had only two kinds: the chicken and the beef kind. I thought it would be fun to do a vegan version.

My vegan Filipino Rice Porridge:

vegan lugaw side shot

vegan lugawAnd here’s the playlist featuring my vegan Lugaw recipe as well as recipes from Eco Vegan Gal, Veggietorials, Brown Vegan, Vegan Cooking With Love, Fellowship of the Vegetable, Simply Bakings, and Divine Hostess. I hope you enjoy!


From this collaboration, I’ve gained at least 80 new subscribers on YouTube. I’ve also seen more than five recreations of the Lugaw recipe on Instagram. The result is very encouraging and makes me very excited about making more videos.

Still, I have to remind myself that even if there’s only person who I’ve convinced to watch and recreate my dishes, then I have made significant progress.


No Bake Lentil Flatbread, Gluten Free and Vegan

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I’m a sucker for lentil chips and lentil snacks so I was looking for a way to create something similar at home.

I’ve tried two ways in making the flatbread: with cooked lentils and with uncooked lentils. Both versions resulted to great flavor and texture. The first version, the one with cooked lentils, reminded me more of a naan bread.  The second version, the uncooked lentils, gave a nice crunchy texture.

My most favorite part about these two recipes is that both are super easy to make- just process the lentils, mix the ingredients and fry. Yup, I didn’t bake the bread but rather fried it using a cast iron pan which gave a nice char.

No Bake Lentil Flatbread, Gluten Free and Vegan


  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1 cup rice flour (or few more spoonful depending on how thin or thick your vegetable broth is)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of curry powder (optional)
  • a tablespoon of cooking oil or less if you’d like a low fat dish


Using cooked lentils:

  1. Using a high speed blender or food processor, blend the lentils until they’re creamy.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the lentils, rice flour, vegetable broth, and a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and pinch of curry powder. The mixture should form a loose dough. If the mixture is too runny, add a few more spoonful rice flour and mix well. If the dough is too thick, add more vegetable broth.
  3. Knead and form the dough into disk shapes or your desired shape.
  4. Heat a cast iron pan or regular pan, pour your favorite high heat oil. Once the oil is hot enough for frying, gently add the dough and let it fry until the bottom side has hardened. If you want it to brown, cook for yet another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Using a thin metal spatula or ladle, flip the bread over to the other side and let it cook for another 5-8 minutes. You may also simply check if the bottom part is done.
  6. Repeat the process for the remaining dough.
  7. Serve with your favorite condiment or jam. I enjoyed mine with strawberry jam and spicy mango jam. Yum!

lentil flatbread medium shot

Using uncooked lentils:

You may also use uncooked lentils. Just grind the lentils using a high speed blender or food processor, then transfer to a bowl and mix with the rest of the ingredients. The mixture should be like a creamy pancake mix and not a dough. After heating your pan, gently pour the batter and cook the batter like how you would cook a pancake.

The result gave a nice crunch on the outside and chewy texture inside. I’ve enjoyed it with my breakfast dish: tofu scramble and steamed kale.

lentil flat bread with tofu scramble

I’ve submitted this recipe to the Virtual Vegan -Linky- Potluck. Feel free to check out the rest of the dishes in this party! Click the button below.


Lentil Coconut Hominy

To further learn and further appreciate vegan cooking, I’m taking an online plant-based cooking course on Rouxbe Cooking School and right now I’m on the topic of beans and legumes. One of the assignments was to create a dish based on a legume of our choice and of course I immediately thought lentils.

Lentils has got to be one of the most versatile legumes out there, it could be used for binding, for providing a nutty flavor, for giving rich texture in curries, and so much more.

Instead of choosing a familiar lentil recipe, I decided to incorporate it in one of my favorite childhood snack: Binatog.

Binatog is Filipino snack with white hominy corn, shredded coconut, salt, and sometimes sugar. For the Rouxbe assignment, I “remixed” my Binatog dish by adding lentils and other seasonings. The result gave a rich, sweet, and nutty flavor. I was amazed by how my childhood favorite could be even better by adding a few more simple ingredients.   lentil binatog 2

Lentil Binatog / Lentil Coconut Hominy


29 oz white hominy corn (I used the ready-to-eat hominy in can)

8 oz lentils 4-5 tbsp shredded coconut (set a pinch aside for garnish)

1/2 tbsp sea salt (or more to taste)

1/2 tbsp natural sugar (aka evaporated cane sugar)

1/2 tbsp maple syrup


Even though I got the ready-to-eat hominy, I still wanted to cook and reheat them by putting them in a pot of boiling water and let them cook for about 5-8 minutes. Then I turned off the heat and drained out the water. If you’re using dried white hominy, simply soak overnight then add to a pot of simmering water. Let them cook until the hominy have softened. Turn off the heat and drain (basically just like how you would cook dried beans).

If you’re using dried lentils, put a pot of water to a simmer then add the lentils to the pot. Let the lentils simmer with lid on until the lentils have softened. Turn off the heat and drain out the water. If you’re using canned lentils, you could skip the simmering.

In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. Season to taste.

Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the rest of the shredded coconut. You may also drizzle more maple syrup. lentil binatog This dish is best served warm.

I have to say that this recipe beats my childhood favorite and I couldn’t wait to make Lentil Binatog again!

Vegan Yema Recipe

yema close up 1

Yema is a Filipino custard caramel candy.

Veganizing Yema took the most tests of all the recipes I’ve ever veganized. After all, it’s a sweet custard candy that consists of (and is popular for) two main ingredients: egg yolks and condensed milk. In fact, 95% of the traditional recipe is egg yolks and condensed milk. Heck, the word Yema itself is Spanish for egg yolks! (Philippines was once a colony of Spain and most likely Yema was a Spanish influence).

After many failed attempts in the kitchen, I remained undeterred. I grew more motivated if anything, sort of like gambling when you want to play more when you’re just on the verge of winning. I justhad to get it right.

Once I’ve finally achieved the taste, it was the texture that proved to be more challenging. The Yema wouldn’t stick up, it was too soft. I told this problem to my mom who then said, “Try constantly stirring until almost all of the liquid has evaporated”. Lo and behold, my vegan Yema has become a reality! My mom was correct (duh). I should have asked her sooner.

wrapped yema close up



  • 2 oz cashews, soaked in water for at least four hours
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp. corn starch or arrow root powder mixed in one 1/4 cup water
  • 3 pinches of black salt (and 3 more later)
  • 1 tbsp. chickpea flour
  • 5 tbsp. coco palm sugar
  • 3 tbsp. natural sugar
  • 1/4 cup lightly salted and roasted peanuts, grounded using a food processor


It’s important to get the consistency of the Yema the thickest you can by constantly stirring the mixture over low heat for at least ten minutes. You’ll know you’re done when the Yema has fully solidified and looks like a big lump of dough.

yema wide


  1. Using a high speed blender, puree the soaked cashews with 1/4 cup of water. Set aside.
  2. Heat a small sauce pan over low heat and add the cashew cream, corn starch or arrowroot mixture, chickpea flour, coco palm sugar, natural sugar, and black salt.
  3. Stir constantly using a wooden spoon or spatula until the texture has become thick like a chewy candy. It’s important to reduce as much liquid as you could so the yema will form a hard texture.
  4. Add the ground peanuts and another 3 pinches of black salt. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Turn off the heat and let it cool before forming a mold.
  6. Once it’s cooled down, using your hands, grab a chunk of yema and form it into a ball or a pyramid shape. I grew up eating yema triangles so triangle would be my choice of shape but forming a ball proved to be much easier by simply rolling the chunk with the palm of your hands.
  7. Have a small bowl of water close by so you could dab your hands and fingers when the Yema gets too sticky.
  8. To wrap the Yema triangles or balls, cut out a cellophane or saran plastic into triangle shapes and wrap the Yema. The measurement of the cutout depends on how big the Yema is -but rule of thumb is to always make the wrap a bit bigger so there’s extra wrap sticking out on top when you’re done.
  9. Put the wrapped yema in the freezer and freeze for at least four hours. Serve and enjoy!

Btw, don’t forget the HodoSoy giveaway is still going on, where you get to win 5 HodoSoy products of your choice. Details here: HODO SOY GIVEAWAY.

I hope you win the giveaway. Kain na, let’s eat!