Tag Archives: fiilpino food

Our AstigVegan holiday potluck was much smaller than our summer picnic. Some folks weren’t able to make it because they were either out of town or they were hosting family and friends who were in town-such to be expected during the holiday season.

The turnout was perfect though because my boyfriend’s apartment wouldn’t be able to accomodate a big crowd.

Anthony, Fred, and Caitlin.

Watching a trailer of a Filipino zombie movie. Not sure how we got to the topic of zombies but everybody seemed to have something to say about them hehe

Fred brought his vegan version of "Lechon Kawali"

Fred also made a lechon sauce, his vegan version of "Mang Tomas". He calls it "Mang Fred"

Everybody, including Caitlin, got to write their food on the chalkboard/pantry door. The list got longer down to the desserts.

Cristina's VEGAN brown rice crispies! One version plain, the other topped with chocolate-both equally delightful! I told Cristina she should sell them.

TJ's mushroom bistek...she was about to make some sliders with it.

TJ and her bistek, along with the rest of the dishes (fruits, menudo, maja blanca, suman, brown rice crispies, and lechon kawali and of course rice!)

We're all waiting for Caitlin to open her white elephant gift...not that we want to steal it or anything ;)

I got Fred's gift: an apron with the "Filipino Food" label, I love it!!!

Busy cooks in the kitchen. TJ sauteeing her bistek, Cristina prepping the sushi rice.

Mushroom Bistek sliders, the perfect beer match or "pulutan".

As for my other dish, Menudo, I thought of cooking it for the potluck and making it again for New Year’s Eve.

Filipinos often serve Menudo at parties and social gatherings perhaps because it has so many ingredients we’d like to save all the labor of chopping the ingredients to special occasions. Anyway, the vegan version cuts down the cooking time which makes it not only healthier but also a more convenient alternative.

Here’s how to veganize it:

Vegan Filipino Menudo


  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans or chick peas (I like to peel the skin)
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup raisins or 3 mini boxes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 pack vegan hotdogs, diced (sold at most stores)
  • Seitan, diced (substitution for pig liver).
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking oil


  1. Fry the diced vegan hotdog on a large pan. Set aside and season with sea salt.
  2. Using the same pan, add garlic and fry until golden brown.
  3. Add the onions, tomatoes, and red bell pepper. Saute until tender.
  4. Add the tomato sauce and potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  5. Add the tomato paste and mix well to thicken the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add the carrots and garbanzo beans. Pour the soy sauce and adjust to taste.
  7. Add the Seitan, vegan hot dog, and raisins. The raisins will naturally sweeten the menudo.
  8. You’re done!

It’s really easy to make. The cooking time is approximately 30minutes yet it will result to similar taste of the traditional version.

Thanks to those who attended the Astig Vegan Holiday Party despite the chaos of the holidays. I look forward to the next get together!

Rainbow Chard Mushroom

Perusing through the colorful produce section of my local grocery store, I found some vegetables I haven’t cooked before. The Rainbow Chard looked so exotic and foreign to me. I have eaten it before, but only when dining at restaurants. To me, Swiss Chard seemed intimidating to cook. It has a hard texture and a bitter taste, much like Spinach but much much tougher.

And just like that, a challenge presented itself: How to make a Vegan Pinoy meal with Rainbow Chard.

I’m pretty sure any vegan would attest that our style of cooking doesn’t get boring because it pushes us to think outside of the box. Oh the possibilities!

Filipino Cuisine never calls for Swiss (Rainbow) Chard because it doesn’t grow in the Philippines. To adopt it to my recipe, I’m using it instead of Pechay or Chinese Cabbage for the traditional Ginisa sa Giniling at Petsay which I turned into my version, “Rainbow Chard Saute with Mushroom & Veg Ground Beef”.

Rainbow Chard Saute with Mushroom & Vegan Ground “Beef”

rainbow chard mushroom


  • 1/2 pound Rainbow Chard, chopped or shredded, simmered or blanched in hot water
  • cooking oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mushroom, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Gimme Lean vegan ground beef (available at most stores)
  • 6 tbsp soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat pot of water and simmer the chard until it’s soft and tender
  2. Meanwhile, heat pan over medium heat
  3. Pour cooking oil and saute garlic until light brown
  4. Add the onion and tomatoes, saute until tender
  5. Add the mushroom, ground vegan beef and soy sauce, saute until tender
  6. Remove chard from pot of water and transfer to the pan
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more soy sauce to taste.
  8. You’re done! I suggest serving it with rice.

Swiss Chard is loaded with Vitamins A, K, and  C. It’s a superfood that’s rich in protein, fiber and minerals. Plus it’s anti-inflammatory! Perfect food for those suffering from gout- especially if the dish uses vegan ground beef instead of cow’s.

Veg (Pinoy) From Around the World: Jules Mezher

A guest post by Jules Mezher

She has been a vegan for 6 months now and she intends to stay that way for the rest of her life.

I was inspired by my eco-foodie fairy, Nadya Hutagalung to start on green juicing a few months back. At that time, I was a pescetarian transitioning to veganism. I have been constantly researching on meal options just to avoid monotony. I am also more of a smoothie person than a juice person so I tried to find out more about green smoothies.

Green smoothies are smoothies made of blended greens and fruits.

I was quite a bit hesitant at first because I was concerned about the nasty taste it might give but I was wrong. Green smoothies turned out tasting to be just like our regular fruit smoothies (with direct proportions, the fruits cover up any bitter taste), only they are packed with more nutrients and with so many advantages to offer.

In the past few months, I have done carrots-cucumbers-lettuce-basil smoothies, cucumbers-lettuce-apples, and spinach-basil-mangoes (I’ve tried them ripe and unripe). Having a variety of greens smoothies will keep you from getting stuck. I stick with whatever is in season to lessen my carbon footprint. Like what I always say, fruits and veggies in season are the wisest choices because you get to have them at their very best.

Just as a side note, I also happen not to like some fruits and vegetables but I am on a mission to give them all another chance to redeem themselves J.  Bitter gourd (or balsam apple) for instance, I abhor it when I was a kid but now I learned that I love it sauteed with tofu and vegetarian oyster sauce. Zucchinis and other gourds are a put-off to me once but I found that the key to liking them is actually not to overcook them. For my smoothies, banana was a big challenge because I really didn’t like them. I despised them. Now, after some experimentation with mangoes, lettuce, soy milk, and peanut butter, it has indeed achieved redemption.

Since I started on green smoothies, I’ve experienced these personally:

  • No more constipation problems and bowels are regular.
  • My skin has cleared up more than ever.
  • Everytime I have a green smoothie for breakfast, I’m more energized and active compared to the days when I have none.

I’m encouraging you to give these green and healthy smoothies a try. We owe it to ourselves.

Here’s one of my recent favorites:

Banana-Lettuce-Peanut Butter Smoothie

3 Bananas

4 leaves of Romaine lettuce

1 Tablespoon of organic Peanut butter

Cold water

What you would need: Blender

Serves 2

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Veg (Pinoy) From Around the World: Mark Bantigue — Philippines

A guest post by Mark Bantigue
founder and chief administrator of P3, a citizen journalism website based in the Philippines. He’s a former San Franciscan who now lives in Manila and is lacto-vegetarian.

Before I continue, disclosure would be proper. I am not vegan. I’m not as cool. I’m lacto-vegetarian. Yes, butter, cream, milk, honey, cheese – fats and sweets to keep it real. Some leather shoes and belts too. I’ll get there, patience. There is a pull to go more cruelty-free. Thank you yoga.

I’ve realize that the short durations that I manage to keep vegan are associated with pleasurable experiences of stress-free harmony and good times; I guess my body craves wholesome when experiencing wholesome. And so I wanted to write a piece, no, an ode, to pleasurable memories and veganism — craving the presence of one of the easiest and tastiest additions to a vegan diet. It’s a memoir I call, “Add almost butter to that!”. And it’s in reverse chronological order. It’s about near-perfect moments.

Last weekend, I rewarded myself with a much needed break from my demanding but fulfilling work and took a day-trip with three of my buddies to the east coast of the Philippines, Real, Quezon Province. The night before, I prepared a huge container of chopped tropical fruits — watermelon, banana, papaya, lychee, and pineapple. We got there at first light; the air was fresh and electrified. Some thanksgiving and meditation to greet the morning before the 7am surf session. At 11am, we followed a river (at emptied out into the sea) inland for about 10 minutes and boom, a beautiful waterfall about 50 feet high. We jeered each other to jumping the falls. It was adrenaline-filled to say the least. We realized that it was 1pm and we hadn’t had a bite to eat. We chomped down on the fruits as if we were starved occupy wall streeters. I busted out a fresh loaf of rye bread but sadly we had nothing to spread on it. Would have been a perfect day if we…
–add almond butter to that!

I first went vegetarian in 2007 when I discovered yoga. Since then, I got my wife into it and when the baby came in November of 2008, as soon as she can firmly walk around, got into yoga as well. Due to work, we hardly have a session all together. In the beginning of this year, we woke up early and commenced our practice on an empty stomach — proper! A sense of pride came over me when I looked between my legs during a downward facing dog to see my wife and little girl doing the same. It was followed with a pranayama practice and silencing of the mind. We were starved and ready for some wholesome nourishment. My wife brought out the most perfectly ripe bananas…
–add almond butter to that!

In 2006, my brother flew into San Francisco from New York for work on a Friday and stayed the weekend to chill and catch up. I was single then and we partied hard. We wanted to hit up an event with a star DJ and MUNI the city with a backpack of vegan goodies. When it was time for an afternoon snack, we settled down in the Embarcadero with vegan herb brownies and raw cacao chocolates sweetened with raw agave nectar. The fat that milk, butter and cream provided was replaced with raw virgin coconut oil. To say the least the bonbons were rich and creamy. Suddenly, this guys who sat near us busted out a pack of Reese’s cups. I got pissed! How dare he try to one-up me on my glory moment?! He got me thinking; my raw chocolates would top his Reese’s if I…
–add almond butter to that!

Spring break of 2001, Jamaica! It was my last spring break before the “real world”. The afternoon was planned –Picnic with a hot date, calm beach, reggae in the background, a bottle of Jamaican Appleton Run. My date brought skewered tofu kebabs; she was a new age girl (does she ride a bike?) But I was craving for a thai sate sauce to go with it. That drove me nuts! Why can’t I have a perfect vegan situation? Then I thought — ever tried replacing the peanut sauce in a sate with almond + ginger + chili sauce? BOOM!
–add almond butter to that (sauce)

42 minutes earlier, on our way to the beach front, my date and I saw an empty parking lot hidden from public view. We parked the car there for, well, 42 minutes. It was sexy, it was risky, it was hot.
–add almond butter to that!

Lastly, I recall coming home from after school activities in my senior year of high school. My parents weren’t home and I was hungry. I grabbed a spoon with an single minded intention of raiding the fridge. Before I got the chance to open it, I saw an unopened letter stuck on the refrigerator door via a keepsake magnet. It was from a college. My heart jumped. I grabbed and ran outside with it for some fresh air. I forgot my hunger. The only thing that existed was the content of that letter. Happily, it was an acceptance with a good chunk of the tuition gratis. I was floating in temporary heaven with a spoon in my hand and my hunger slowly creeping back in…
–add almond butter to that!

Those are the happy and happy-vegan moments I can remember that merited some of that great alkalizing nut butter! I wish everyone good times, good vibes, and good clean eats. Remember when it doubt…

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