Vegetarian Barbecued Pulled ‘Pork’

imageIs it pork? Is it chicken?  Is it beef?  How about none of the above?  That’s right, it’s a vegetarian dish: barbecued pulled “pork.”  I first saw this Australian recipe video  a few days ago and  was skeptical about it.  But I tried it and lo and behold, it really tastes like barbecued pulled pork, except that it’s made of a fruit, Jackfruit!

It’s a recipe that vegetarians and meat eaters should try. Here’s to your health!


One can (9.8 fl. oz, drained), green jackfruit.

1 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tbsp paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

A pinch of salt

A pinch of pepper

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/2 up barbecue sauce

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

2 tbps Olive oil



In a medium bowl, mix jackfruit, sugar, paprika, garlic power, chili powder and salt and pepper.  Heat Olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  Add the jackfruit mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add barbecue sauce and liquid smoke. Turn over the jackfruit and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and using a fork, shred the jackfruit. Remove from heat and serve with toasted or grilled Ciabatta bread slices.


Mediterranean-style Vegetarian Sandwich


Of all the diets that come and go, the Mediterranean diet is one that consistently makes it to the list of proven healthy food, thanks to its low carb elements, including fruits, vegetables and Olive oil.

This panini-style sandwich has the elements of the Mediterranean diet: low-fat lavash flatbread, fresh vegies, Olive oil and some low-fat cheese.  No frying needed, just grill away and you’ll have a healthy snack or meal in just minutes!


4 pcs. Lavash flatbread

2 Chinese eggplants, each sliced lengthwise into 4 pieces

2 medium zucchinis, each sliced lenthwide into 4 pieces

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips

1 medium tomato, thinly sliced to make 4 pieces

1 cup thinly sliced mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise

2 tbsps Olive oil

2 cups fresh arugula


Brush eggplant, zucchini and bell pepper with Olive oil on both sides. Using the oven grill or a panini maker, grill the vegetables (except the tomatoes) until grill marks appear on either side. Set aside.  Lay a Lavash flatbread on a clean surface. Brush with a think layer of mayonnaise then  top with 2 pcs each of eggplant, zucchini and bell pepper slices. Add a tomato slice. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the mozzarella slices. Fold the flatbread twice over to make a flat log.  Repeat with the rest of the bread.  Again, using the grill or panini maker, grill the stuffed flatbread until grill marks appear.  Remove from heat, slice each sanwich in half and place on a serving plate over a bed off fresh arugula.  Sprinkle some Olive oil on the arugula.

Quinoa Lentil Soup With Salted Egg

imageI first tried this soup at Panera Bread. It was one of the restaurant’s featured ‘broth bowls.’  It is best consumed with a slice of freshly-baked bread, like sourdough, but it can stand on its own, not just as a soup appetizer but a meal in itself.

I took the liberty of substituting some ingredients, like using bok choy instead of kale leaves and boiled salted duck eggs (Filipino itlog na maalat) instead of the regular eggs.

As always, you can experiment with other ingredients that you think might enhance this delectable soup.


1/2 cup red quinoa

1/2 cup greedn lentils, rinsed

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1/2 small onion, sliced

1 small roma tomato, sliced

1 small carrot, crinkle cut

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cups bok choy, cut into thin ribbons

1 tsp Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 tsp dried thynme

1/4 tsp dried parsley

1/4 tsp dried rosemary

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 can, diced fireroasted tomatoes

10 cups water

4 vegetable bouillon cubes

1 lemon, juiced

2 boiled salted duck eggs, sliced in half.


Heat Olive oil in a medium pot.  Add garlic to brown. Add onions and cook until fragrant. Add carrots, celery and roma tomatoes and cook for one minute. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the herbs. Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the soy sauce, diced tomatoes, lentils, and quinoa. Stir to combine. Add the water and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add in vegetable bouillon and cook until dissolved. Reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the lentils are done. Uncover the pot and add bok choy and lemon juice.  Stir well. Ladle soup into bowls and top with egg slices.

Refreshing Quinoa Vegetarian Salad

FullSizeRender (60)I am not a fan of using arugula for my green salads, but I made an exception for this recipe.  Combined with baby spinach, it provides just the right amount of sweetness and bitterness.  The two greens blend perfectly with the other ingredients of this recipe: sweet corn, tomatoes, onions, raisins, avocado, and of course, the quinoa. You can use your favorite salad dressing. I could have used vinaigrette or plain Olive oil for my dressing, but I chose the sweeter honey mustard. If chilled just to the right amount of time before serving, this vegetarian salad is quite refreshing and filling at the same time. With the quinoa, it could be a full meal in itself.


3 cups fresh arugula and baby spinach mix

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/2 cup cooked sweet corn

1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped white (or red) onions

1/3 cup raisins

1 fresh avocado, sliced into small cubes (wait to slice the avocado until ready to serve the salad)

1/2 cup honey mustard


In a large bowl, mix corn, tomatoes, onions and raisins and set aside in the refrigerator to chill.  When ready to serve, place desired half of the greens on an individual salad plate and top with half the quinoa, half the mixed corn, tomatoes, onions and raisins.  Add half of the avocado slices. Toss with honey mustard and serve.  Repeat with another salad plate for the remainder of the salad.

Shiitake Mushrooms: Vegetarian Adobo

IMG_6870I’d like to think that Adobo is national ‘way of cooking’ rather than the national dish of the Philippines.  You may be familiar with chicken or pork adobo — meat that is boiled then simmered in a mixture of vinegar and soy sauce, and then some, like garlic, bay leaves and black peppercorn.  I’ve said before that there are as many versions of Adobo as the number of islands in the archipelago — all 7,100 of them.

Vegetarian? No problem.  You can prepare Adobo  without the meat, using meatless ingredients. Like Shiitake mushrooms.  I believe that Shiitake mushrooms are the best meatless ingredient to use only because of their texture which has the consistency of pork or chicken.  And with proper attention to your cooking, the mushrooms can be tender and juicy, just liked how most people like their Adobo.


3 cups of sliced fresh Shiitake mushrooms (If using dried mushrooms, soak them in lukewarm water until they soften before slicing)

1/2 cup vinegar

1/2 cup soy sauce

2/3 cup water

1 tbsp black, whole peppercorn

3 dried bay leaves

1 tbsp brown sugar


In a large pot, bring 2/3 cup water to a boil over high heat. Add the mushrooms and reduce to low heat. Cook for 2 minutes before adding soy sauce, vinegar, peppercorn, bay leaves and brown sugar.  Continue to simmer, stirring constantly, until the mushrooms become tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, discard bay leaves and serve warm, with steamed rice or bread rolls.

Naked Mee Krob (Deep-fried Dry Noodles)

IMG_6814My first encounter with Thai food was in the late 70’s when I was treated to dinner at a Thai restaurant in Los Angeles. I clearly remember the first dish that was brought to our table: Mee Krob. Having been used to eating noodles in various forms, i.e., the Filipino pancit and noodle soups, eating deep-fried noodles in all its crispiness and drizzled with spicy sweet sauce was quite a delight to my palate.  Since then, the Thai crispy noodle has become a favorite.

In my kitchen, I probably have enough packages of various noodles enough to last for several months, so I needed to constantly resort to different ways of cooking them.  Finally, a flashback of that Thai dinner in Los Angeles presented itself while I was scouring my cupboards for something quick and easy to prepare. I wasn’t craving for a heavy meal, just something to fill my stomach.

And so, here it is: deep-fried dry noodles, without all the trimmings of the Thai Mee Krob, just clusters of dried noodle submerged in hot Olive oil and sprinkled with brown palm sugar.  It’s quick and easy, sweet and crispy — just the way I like my noodles.


3 to 4 clusters of dried wheat noodles

2 cups of Olive oil

2 tbsps of brown palm sugar per cluster of noodle

Chopped green onions for garnish


Heat Olive oil in a  medium deep pan over medium-high heat.  Once hot, submerge 2 noodle clusters at a time. Sprinkle 2 tbsps of palm sugar on top of each cluster and cook for 30 seconds.  Turn the clusters over and sprinkle 2 tbsps of palm sugar on top of each cluster and cook for another 30 seconds.  Avoid overcooking and burning the noodles.  You will want them just slightly browned and crispy.  Repeat the process for the remaining noodles.  Remove from heat and place on serving plates, garnishing each crispy noodle with green onions.


Hawaiian-style Vegetarian Delight

FullSizeRender (20)Each time I cook a vegetarian dish consisting of a mixture of vegetables, I usually like to call it vegetarian delight. And every time I use pineapple in my preparation, I’d call it Hawaiian-style.  And this is exactly what this dish is — a Hawaiian-style vegetarian delight. I’ve included tofu in this one to take care of the protein.  Everything else outside of the pineapple are favorite vegetables like snow peas, celery, button mushrooms, black fungus, red bell pepper, green peas, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and onions. It doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare this recipe.  Just a few minutes of sautéing the vegetables enough to make them tender but still crisp.


1 cup fried tofu, sliced into 1-inch cubes

1 cup snow peas 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced

1 cup dried black fungus (softened by soaking them in water for 30 minutes)

1/2 cup red bell pepper, sliced into 1-inch cubes

1/2 cup sliced celery

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 small white or yellow onion, chopped

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 finger fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin strips

2 tbsps Olive oil

2 tbsps soy sauce

Salt and pepper to taste


Heat Olive oil in a large wok over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and saute until browned.  Add onions and cook till translucent. Add ginger. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and black fungus and cook for 2 minutes.  Add tofu, celery and bell pepper. Cook for 2 minutes before adding snow peas and tomatoes.  Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add pineapple (and if desired, a little pineapple juice).  Add soy sauce. Mix well, reduce heat and let simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve warm with or without steamed rice.