Sandari Batulao

Filipino Dishes With A Vegetarian Twist

Fruits and vegetables, as part of the daily diet, could help prevent major non-communicable diseases. Moreover, eating a variety of vegetables and fruits clearly ensures an adequate intake of most micronutrients, dietary fibers and a host of essential non-nutrient substances. A minimum daily intake of 400g of fruits and vegetables per day is recommended for the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart diseases, cancer, diabetes and obesity. (WHO, 2018). With over 30 percent of the population either overweight or malnourished, Filipinos are encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables.

A minimum daily intake of 400g of fruits and vegetables per day is recommended for the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart diseases, cancer, diabetes and obesity.”

In celebration of Vegetarian month, here are some suggestions on how to turn some traditional Filipino dishes into vegetarian meals:

The first technique is to replace meat with plant-based substitutions. Adobo is a meat dish cooked with vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, black pepper, and bay leaf. In lieu of pork and chicken, there’s eggplant in Veggie Adobo. Sinigang is a meat and vegetable stew with broth usually made sour by the tamarind fruit. The vegetarian version of Sinigang is served with vegetable dumplings with other ingredients.  Porridges such as Lugaw and Champorado can also be healthier. Lugaw (Rice porridge) can be eaten with shiitake mushrooms while Champorado (Chocolate Ride Porridge) can be paired with salted tofu chips.

Second, omit the meat and cook the dish entirely with vegetables without scrimping on the flavors. Jackfruit has a pork-like consistency so it’s the main ingredient in a vegetarian Lechon Paksiw. For Tofu Mushroom Sisig, sweetened calamansi or lemon juice is added to the crispy tofu and stir fried mushrooms. A Vegetable Afritada is made up of potatoes, bell peppers, and carrots in a tomato-based sauce. Lumpia or spring rolls can be easily prepared and cooked using only vegetables as its ingredients. Likewise, the noodle dish Pancit Canton can be prepared with a serving of fresh vegetable such as broccoli, snap peas, carrots and cabbage.

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