Category: Vegetarian

Turon Saba (Caramelised Banana Plantain)

One of the things that I missed about the Philippines is the ritual of having snacks between meals.  Afternoon snacks called merienda usually means calling to a nearby turo-turo, which sells street-food.  You can usually find woks of boiling oil cooking banana cue (caramelised bananas in wooden skewers) camote cue (slices of caramelised sweet potatoes in skewers) and of course turon.  I love turon the best because of the crispy and sweetened spring wrappers with it.  Perfectly complement the sweetly delicious succulence of the banana within.


Below is the recipe.  Just take care in cooking with deep fat.

Caramelised turon, by Arnold Gamboa

Turon Saba (Caramelised Banana Plantain Rolls)


Ingredients :


  • 1/2 dozen ripe saba (banana plantain)
  • 1 cup chopped langka (jackfruit) (optional)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • lumpia (spring roll) wrappers
  • oil, enough for deep frying

Cooking Procedures :

  1. Peel the bananas and then cut in half lengthwise, and cut each half into 3 pieces.
  2. Sprinkle each banana piece with sugar.
  3. Place a piece  or two of banana over a lumpia wrapper, add a few sliver of chopped of langka (jackfruit) with it then carefully wrap the bananas like a spring roll. Secure and seal both  ends with a wash of water or beaten egg.
  4. Fry in plenty of oil.
  5. Sprinkle sugar over your turon as it cooks. The sugar will caramelise and stick to the turon. Flip your turon to coat evenly with caramelized sugar. Fry until golden brown and crisp all over.
  6. Remove and drain in kitchen towel and also to give it time to cool down.  Hot sugar is rather dangerous. 🙂
  7. Enjoy on its own or with a bit of ice-cream on the side.


Mushroom Stroganoff

We had a really yummy mushroom stroganoff at the Equinox Ball last night. I thought then that I would try to cook it at home as my husband and I both adore mushroom. I googled for the recipe and found this on the BBC food website. Seem the recipe is good and really straight forward. I shall try this recipe and post some of my own photos soon, meanwhile the BBC recipe is as follows:

Mushroom Stroganoff

2 tsp olive oil
1 onion , finely chopped
1 tbsp paprika
2 garlic cloves , crushed
300g mixed mushrooms , chopped
150 ml beef or vegetable stock (2 cubes of beef or vegetable bouillon cubes dissolved in 3 cups of hot water)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp half-fat soured cream
small bunch parsley , roughly chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick casserole pan and  fry the onion until soften, this may take about 5 mins under fairly low heat.
  2.  Add the garlic and paprika and cook  for a minute.
  3. Turn up the heat to medium to high and add mushrooms, stir frying for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the stock and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil.
  5. Turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce had thicken.
  6. Turn off the heat,  stir in the sour cream, ensure that the pan is not of the heat as the cream will curdle if heated.
  7. Serve with a good sprinkle of chopped parley.

Best eaten with freshly boiled rice.

Butternut squash and red pepper soup

Butternut Squash & Red Pepper Soup, photo by JMorton

This colourful soup is a one dish meal.  Easy to make, pleasing to the tastebuds and a complete winner to the family. A filling meal with just a serving of a few buttered bread.

Butternut squash and red pepper soup


500g butternut squash
300g sweet potato
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 red peppers
2 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato puree
1.2 litres vegetable stock
2 tablespoons toasted seed mix

  1. Peel the butternut squash and sweet potato and cut into chunks. Deseed the peppers and roughly chop. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic for 10 minutes until soft. Stir in the butternut squash, sweet potato, peppers and sun-dried tomato puree. Cook for 10 minutes, until the veg begins to colour.
  3. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat for 30 minutes, until the veg is soft.
  4. Pour the soup into a food processor (in batches) and blend until smooth. Divide between 4 bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of toasted seeds to serve.

Chilli Cheesy Nuggets

Chilli Cheese Nugget, photo by JMorton

Chilli Cheesy Nuggets

These are gooey with aromatic chilli taste.  Perfect for parties.  Love these little babies when Peter and I ordered them at Burger King the other night.

We had leftovers, which we kept in the fridge and reheated in the oven at 180C for 5 minutes.  They came out so lovely.

Anyway, Burger King’s ones are delicious but they can be easily done at home.  Below is the recipe.


  • 75g grated mature cheddar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped `Jalapeno peppers or green peppers (remove the seeds and white membranes if not partial to too much heat)
  • vegetable oil (for deep-frying)
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten with a teaspoon of turmeric or chilli powder
  • milk



  1. Use a cheese grater to chop the chunk of cheese finely if you can’t find an already grated cheese in your local supermarket. 🙂
  2. In a mixing bowl, add together the grated cheese, Jalapeno, cornflour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and parsley. Add a bit of milk to make the ingredients adhere together.  Mix well until a dough is created.
  3. Then divide the dough into equal bite-size balls.
  4. Roll each ball first in the plain flour, then dip into the spiced beaten eggs and then roll into the bread crumbs.
  5. Deep fry until golden all over.
  6. Let them rest on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

Enjoy with fried chicken or burger.


Fried Onion Rings

Fried Onion Rings, by Mae Sanguer

Fried Onion Rings

 I do love a good crunchy, crispy onion rings.


  • 1 large onion, cut into 1cm slices, rings separated
  • groundnut oil, for deep frying
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 180ml sparkling water


  1. Use a fork to steady your onion. Slice the onion into rings about 1cm wide. Remove the skin and separate the rings.
  2. Heat the oil to 180C in a heavy-based pan – it should be no more than 1/ 3 full.
  3. Meanwhile put the flour and sparkling water in a bowl and season generously. Whisk together to form a batter.
  4. Coat a small batch of onion rings in batter. Carefully lower into the hot oil and deep-fry until crisp and golden, about 2 – 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a piece of kitchen towel to drain. Repeat with the remaining onion and batter.

Ginataang Kalabasa Soup (Squash in Coconut Cream Soup)

Ginataang kalabasa Soup by Arnold Gamboa

Ginataang Kalabasa Soup (Squash in Coconut Cream Soup)


1 tsp mushroom powder or 1 packet cup-a-soup mushroom soup powder is also a suitable. You can also use 1 cup of fresh finely sliced mushroom  if you have a food processor at hand
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp salt
1/2 squash or pumpkin
2 cups water
4 cups coconut milk

Method of Preparation

Peel and chop the squash or pumpkin.

Bring the water into a boil using a big casserole pan.

Add the squash and leave to boil for at least 20 minutes or until softened.

Take the squash out and put into a big bowl (do not discard the water, just leave it in the casserole pan). Mash the squash  by hand until smooth.  Or put the softened squash as well as the finely sliced mushroom into a food processor and blitz until they are finely smooth.

Pour the squash back into the casserole pan, mix with the water and bring back into a boil.

Stir in  the coconut milk.

Add the mushroom powder (if fresh sliced mushroom was not used)

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Cover the casserole pan and simmer for 5 minutes.

It is ready to serve.  Enjoy

Courgette, Broccoli with Cannellini Beans Casserole

Courgette, Broccoli with Cannellini Beans Casserole, photo by JMorton

Courgette, Broccoli with Cannellini Beans Casserole

This is a sumptuous medley of vegetables cooked in lots of sweet plum tomatoes.  Delicious evening meal for any day of the week.


1/2 head of broccoli, separated into individual florets
2 courgette, cut in half lengthwise and sliced diagonally
1 can Cannellini beans, washed and drained
100g green beans, trimmed and sliced
1 onion, peeled and chopped finely
a can chopped plum tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth (or 2 vegetable cubes dissolved in 3 cups of hot water)
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1½ tbsp olive oil
2 tsp mixed herbs
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method of Preparation:

Heat a large casserole pan, heat the oil.

Sauté the chopped onion and garlic until golden and fragrant.

Pour in the chopped plum tomatoes and vegetable broth.  Bring to a boil then stir in the tomato paste and sprinkle the mixed herbs (or use dried basil).  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the cannellini beans and cook for 5 minutes.  Drop in the courgettes and green beans.  Cover the casserole and leave to simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Finally add the broccoli.  Do not cover the casserole so that the appetising dark green colouring of the broccoli will not fade.  Cook until soften.

Check and adjust the seasoning.  Add more salt and pepper, if required.

Serve hot with some crusty bread or even steamed rice.

Spaghetti Lentil Bolognese

Spaghetti Lentil Bolognese

Spaghetti Lentil Bolognese

This is a vegetarian version of the customary meaty Italian recipe.  Lentil replaces the minced beef or pork.  This recipe is deliciously spicy.


1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped finely
1 stick celery, chopped finely
1 carrot, peeled and chopped finely
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
400g can of chopped plum tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 bay leaf (dried or fresh)
2 vegetable cubes dissolved in 200ml hot water
50g red lentils
150g spaghetti
1 tbsp chopped basil (dried or fresh)
freshly ground black pepper


Cook the spaghetti according to the packet’s instruction, then drain.

Meanwhile to make the bolognese, use a large casserole to heat the olive oil.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and golden, not burnt.

Put in the onion, cook until tender.

Stir in the celery and carrot and gently fry for 10 minutes.

Pour in the can of chopped tomatoes, with the tomato puree, and vegetable stock.

Add the red lentils and drop in the bay leaf.  Cover and leave to simmer for a quarter of an hour. Check occasionally to give it a stir.

Add the basil and some freshly ground black pepper.

Finally add the cooked pasta into the bolognese sauce and give it a good stir.

Serve with some sliced crusty bread.

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup. photo by JMorton

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup. photo by JMorton

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

Autumn or fall is just around the corner.  The air is definitely chillier, the evening shorter.

Warming soups are now much needed and appreciated more if they are really tasty.

And we have just the business here, spicy sweet potato soup is a delicious one dish meal.  It is easy to make and really filling and warming, a true taste of home.

I love sweet potato or camote as a child.  But I have come to love them all over again after watching Korean and Japanese dramas where boiled sweet potatoes were often shared and enjoyed by lovers and within families.  So sweet! 🙂

Anyway, for the recipe:


1½ tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped finely

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

2 red bell peppers, deseeded and diced

250g sweet potato, peeled and diced

350g tomatoes, chopped (2 cans plum tomatoes, drained and chopped)

¼ tsp of turmeric powder

¼ tsp chilli powder

½ tsp ground cumin

½  tsp caster sugar

salt and ground black pepper to taste

1½ pints vegetable stock or 3 bouillon cubes dissolved in 1.5 pints of hot water

Method of preparation:

Using a large saucepan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the garlic and onion then gently cook until softened and translucent. This may take about 3 – 5 minutes over moderate heat. Do not brown or burn. 🙂

Put in the the red peppers, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.  Also tip in the turmeric powder, chilli powder and cumin. Cook for 5 minutes until vegetables start to soften.

Turn up the heat and pour in the vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat,  cover the saucepan and leave to simmer for up to half an hour or until the vegetables are completely tender.

Remove from heat and allow the soup to cool down.

It can then be pureed using a blender or run into a sieve, leaving off all solids such as tomato rinds.

Return the pureed soup to the pan and heat up.

Serve by adding a tiny pinch of salt and ground black pepper as well as a squirt of olive oil.

Enjoy with some buttered bread!


Pechay (Bok Choy) in Garlic & Ginger

Pechay in ginger & garlic, Photo by PH Morton

Pechay in ginger & garlic, Photo by PH Morton

Bok choy comes in many different names such as pak choy, pak choi, bak choi, etc.  It is called pechay in the Philippines.  It is as good as any of the other names and therefore I shall call the recipe, Pechay.

In this recipe, baby pechays are used.  Being still young, everything is tender and, therefore, only minimal trim is required. Just thinly trim the tail end and then cut in half, lengthwise (see above photo).

The more mature pechay can also be used but cut the tail end off, then separate the leafy stalks and cut in half chunks.  

Something to consider:
Before discarding the base or tail end of the pechay, into the darkness of the rubbish bin, did you know that you can grow new pechay from them?

Just leave the end bits in a little dish with a little water in your kitchen window sill; in no time at all it will sprout new growth and then just transplant into a pot.

Here is the recipe:

Pechay (Bok Choy) in Garlic & Ginger


  • 5 baby pechay (bok choy)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced finely
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated finely
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1½ tbsp water
  1. Heat a large pan, but preferably a wok, over high heat.  Stir-frying is a quick way to cook but requires very high heat.
  2. Add the oil into the wok then stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute.
  3. Stir in the pechay.  Continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Carefully sprinkle the water onto the pechay; the water will steam the pechay.
  5. Season with salt and black pepper.
  6. Stir fry for another couple of minutes and then serve.
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