An empty refrigerator always make me smile. why? It means I have not wasted what we bought and I have actually managed to cook for three. Cooking for us three has always been a struggle, I always somehow have a whole lot of leftover which tends to be forgotten and disposed at the end of the week. Also for last week we do grocery shopping every two days cause I need the space for my cakes.
Before C left for his basketball game I told him to buy takeOut for lunch, by 11am he still no call so I decided to make use of what’s available and darn yesterday’s dough is in the freezer bread was out of the menu. The only available ingredients: Tomato, onion, garlic, ginger, ampalaya (bitter melon), talong (eggplant), kalabasa (squash), okra and crispy chicken skin (chicharon). V asks what are you cooking mama? I want soup miso weed.
As a kid I hated eating vegetables I remember being bullied by my cousins. They would put a whole chunk of veggies on my plate and tell me not to stand up till I eat up all the vegies in my plate. I would cry to our manangs’ (nanny) for help and would sometimes end up sleeping in the dining table. Thankfully our Manang would remove the plate and shoo away my cousins for bullying me. That eventually changed over the years. Spending summer with my Lola mommy taught me to love eating veggies. She would always remind me that eating veggie will make me pretty.
Little V before he turned 3 ate every veggie we give him even the bitter ampalaya! Right now he’s only veggie intake are broccoli, carrots, potato, tomato, eggplant and cucumber. While plating up I happily announced “we’re eating vegetables today so V will win and Daddy will lose.” One of our trick to make him eat his share of greens.
To cook Pinakbet: Heat olive oil in a wok or some thick bottomed pan. Saute onion, garlic, ginger and tomato till juice comes out. Add in a 1 spoonful of shrimp paste (Barrio Fiesta Shrimp paste). Mix for less then a minute then add veggies (squash, okra, and eggplant) let it simmer for one minute then add bitter melon give it a quick stir and simmer for another minute. Turn off the heat add in crushed chicharon (crispy chicken skin). Enjoy Pinakbet with steamed rice.
Now this is not the only way to prepare your pinakbet. Any meat will do or no meat at all. Back home we use pork belly and heat it in the pan till its oil comes out (you would omit the olive oil from above) and saute as is.