Delectably Affordable Post-Holiday Dishes
(The Freeman) - January 4, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – Now that the holidays are over, the food craving of most people has changed to the kind that cleanses away the residues of the rich holiday fares. Some want the less oily, while others go for outright oil-less dishes. In either case, fish and vegetables are the common options.

But since fish may command an unusually high price at this time, owing to the heightened demand and the cold weather, going for vegetable dishes may be the wiser, more practical option. Here are two good suggestions from

Utan (Visayan Vegetable Soup)


2 cups squash, cut into cubes

1 cup taro root (gabi), cut into cubes

3 slices ginger, slightly pounded

2 stalks lemon grass (tanglad)

1 pc eggplant, sliced diagonally

5 pcs okra, sliced diagonally

2 cups alugbati leaves

2 cups malunggay leaves


1. Boil water in a pot, about five to six cups, depending on how much soup is desired.

2. Then add the ginger, squash, and gabi. Boil for about 5 minutes, then add the lemon grass.

3. Add the eggplant, then boil for another 5 minutes. Then add the okra and alugbati.

4. Let it boil for a while then add the malunggay leaves and let it simmer for about 1 minute.

5. Add salt to taste.

Serve hot.

Pinakbet Ilokano


½ cup squash, cubed

5 pcs string beans, cut 3 inches long

5 pcs okra, sliced lengthwise

¼ cup patani (optional)

6 pcs eggplant, halved

3 pcs tomatoes, quartered

1 tbsp. ginger strips

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 pcs onions, quartered

1 tbsp fish bagoong

1/4 kilo fried-crispy gluten (as substitute for bagnet or pork belly

1 cup water


1. In a saucepan, arrange the vegetables in this order: squash, string beans, okra, patani, eggplant, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and onions.

2. Top with bagoong and fried gluten, then add water. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer.

3. Slowly stir with a ladle to make sure that all portions are cooked.

4. Simmer until almost all the liquid boils. Serve hot.

This recipe serves four.


Leftover ham recipes

Ham and Pineapple Cups


10 pc Sliced Bread, crust and edges removed

1/2 cup Spaghetti Sauce

1 cup leftover Cooked Ham slices

1/3 canned Sliced Mushroom

1 can (227 g) Pineapple Tidbits, drained

3/4 cup coarsely grated Cooking Cheese


1. Line small cup with aluminum foil to cover, allowing ½ inch over hang.

2. Fit bread inside the cup to hold the shape. Bake in oven toaster for 3 to 5 minutes . Do the same with the remaining breads.

3. Remove foil. Spread bread with Spaghetti Sauce, top with ham, mushroom and Pineapple Tidbits . Sprinkle with cheese.

4. Bake for 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

This recipe makes 5 servings.


Ham and Cheese Bread Rolls


12 slices of Loaf Bread

12 slices of Sweet Ham

12 slices of Cheese (cheddar quickmelt or mozarella)

2 beaten Eggs

1 cup Bread Crumbs

2 cups Oil, for deep frying


1. Flatten the bread with a rolling pin or if rolling pin is not available just use anything  like cylindrical bottle but be careful.

2. When the bread has been flattened, put the ham and cheese.

3. Roll and seal by rubbing the tip of the bread with the beaten egg to seal it tightly, then dip in the beaten eggs and roll over the bread crumbs.

4. Deep fry until golden brown, and then slice and serve.


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