March 20, 2011

I ♥ Vegetables Lunch Menu

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Crispy Sweet Potato Greens with Sisig Yogurt Dip
crispy fried sweet potato tops and sisig yogurt dip

I got so excited when I found out that Mimi and Erika had chosen vegetables for this month's Kulinarya Cooking Club challenge. Thank you ladies for the opportunity to show that vegetable dishes are a big part of Filipino cuisine. Growing up in the Philippines, my mom always served a vegetable side dish for dinner and we had tofu at least once a week. We were not health freaks, we just loved tofu and plenty of vegeatbles.

When I created this blog I promised to cook vegetarian dishes at least 3 times a week and keep a record of what I cook by writing about it. But along the way I got seduced by the abundance of mouth watering meat recipes from cookbooks and food sites, I rarely blog about the vegetable dishes I cook. For this challenge I didn't want to write about Filipino vegetable dishes that are already on my recipe page such as pinakbet, rellenong talong, ampalaya, and laing. I went to the Asian grocery store and got lots of vegetables and came up with several dishes but couldn't decide which one to feature because I liked all of them. Some of the dishes are simple and uncomplicated to prepare yet so satisfying, I thought why not put the ones I really love on one post as a lunch menu.

Welcome to Oggi's Housetaurant

Today's Lunch Special: Vegetables

Crispy Sweet Potato Greens and Fries with Sisig Yogurt Dip
Sweet Potato Crisps with Sisig Yogurt Dip
crispy sweet potato tops and fries served with yogurt and sisig seasoning dip

Tomato and Kesong Puti Salad
Tomatoes and Kesong Puti
tomatoes (cherry, Roma, Kumato) and farmer's white cheese
with pinakurat vinaigrette dressing

Baked Stuffed Upo
Stuffed Upo
bottle gourd halves stuffed with sauteed garlic, onions,
tomatoes, and seitan chorizos

Candied Kundol (Winter Melon)
candied winter gourd

The Recipes

Sweet Potato Tops Appetizer
1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
4 tablespoons sisig (or adobo) seasoning powder
2 tablespoons whole milk
sweet potato greens
2 cups light olive oil
  • Mix yogurt, sisig powder, and milk until smooth. Refrigerate while frying potato tops. Cut off potato tops with scissors. Wash, spin dry, and pat dry visible moisture with paper towel. Heat oil and fry tops in batches. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with yogurt dip.
Other vegetable suggestions to deep-fry: fresh pepper leaves [taste nutty], baby spinach, kale, baby artichokes; raw vegetables for dipping: baby zucchini, carrots, and cherry tomatoes.

Tomatoes and Kesong Puti Salad
ripe firm tomatoes, well chilled
crumbled farmer's white cheese or drained cottage cheese
pinakurat, balsamic, or sherry vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
flaked sea salt
  • Dice large tomatoes and halve cherry tomatoes or leave whole. Arrange on a salad plate. Scatter crumbled cheese on top of tomatoes. Mix 4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and enough salt to taste. Drizzle all over the tomatoes.
I had this salad 3 nights in a row. The sweetened pinakurat (Waykurat) vinegar mixed with the tomato juices is so delicious and quite addicting, I ended up slurping the sauce left on the plate. Yeah, it's that good. BTW, I bought the vinegar from here.

Baked Upo
1 small bottle gourd
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 ounce ground pork, longaniza, or Spanish chorizo
2 tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon fish extract
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Wash and scrub the gourd. Cut off both ends and slice horizontally in half. Scoop out and dice the soft pulp and seeds; reserve. Steam the gourd halves with a quarter cup of water for 10 minutes. In a medium pan, heat the olive oil and stir-fry onion and garlic for 2 minutes then add the ground pork. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, reserved gourd pulp, fish extract, and salt. Stir-fry for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Fill gourd halves with mixture. Place gourd in a baking dish together with the liquid in the steaming pan, cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 400°F for 15 minutes or until gourd is fork tender.
Upo has been considered an insipid vegetable devoid of any nutritional value but according to this website it is rich in carotenoids, vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium and fiber. I find it not bland at all and I like its slightly sweet taste and ability to absorb flavorings.



Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney (Kath, Trisha, and Trissa), who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colorful cuisine.

Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino Food as we do.


Enjoy other vegetable posts from KCC members.


Ninette said...

Wow, you go girl! Amazing...

Rowena @ Saraplicious! Kitchen said...

Wow! The pictures are amazing and the food, very unique. Thanks for sharing.

TaGa_Luto said...

Enjoyed your blog, Oggi. Your shots are beautiful. I learned something new and i'll for sure look for sisig powder on my next visit to our Asian store;)That candied gourd looks delicious! Oh, pinakurat is my new fave vinegar, Chef D (Dahlia) introduced me to this vinegar but it took almost a year before our store carried this item. Great job on this challenge!

Annie said...

What a great veggie lunch!

Wok with Ray said...

Those are good looking veggies there. I love the "Oggi's Housetaurant" it's cute! Did you change your site? I like it.

Lardon My French said...

Ooooh you went all out!! Great post! I love your "Housetaurant"!! Everything looks amazing!

Midge said...

Healthy, pretty, and tasty all in a single meal! Great job there!

Caroline said...

WOW a complete menu, all looks great and just screams healthy. btw, haven't had kundol in years, where do you buy them?

Unknown said...

Oh my! Everything looks so good.

Oggi said...

Thank you girls and boy.:)

Pia, the flavor of pinakurat vinegar is so unique. I really love it.:)

Ray, yeah, I changed my template and got rid of unnecessary clutter too.:)

Caroline, I bought once from a Vietnamese store during the Chinese New Year season. The one pictured here is from scratch which I made about a month ago.

cusinera said...

Oggi, such wonderful spread...all of them delicious. That first pic took my breath away, I keep on staring at it, parang work of art=)

Oggi said...

Althea, thanks.:)

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