4 tablespoon oil (preferably olive) 1 red onion (chopped) 4 cloves garlic (minced) ¼ kg pork lion (chopped) 1 tomato (chopped) ¼ kg Squash, seeded and cut into bite-size pieces ¼ kg okra, (ends trimmed) 15-20 pcs yard-long beans, (trimmed) ¼ pound eggplant cut into bite-size pieces 1 small bitter melon (ampalaya) cut into bit-size pieces Salt, seasoning and pepper to taste
Here’s how I cook:
- Brown pork in a pot with oil
- Sauté garlic, onions and tomatoes
- Add vegetables: Vegetable are added depending on how long they cook. Those that take longer come in first. And the vegetable should be cut in the same size as much as possible.
- Simmer until vegetables are cooked
- Add Salt, seasoning and pepper according to taste
When I was a child, my mother used to cook vegetables a lot because we lived in a farm somewhere in southern part of the Philippines. We were 13 in the family including my parents. So basically, we were very poor during that time because it’s hard for our parents to raise 11 children. We used to have a backyard where we grow our own vegetables such as eggplant, okra, string beans, bitter melon, and many more. Everyday my mother cook vegetables for our viand. That is why we find vegetables as boring food.
About the “pinakbet”, it was introduced to me by my grandmother in my father side, when I was sent to their house for a year to help her in her store. She teaches me how to cook vegetable dishes in so many ways and told me that vegetables are not boring as what I have known. And there are lots of nutrients our body can get by eating these foods. Its just that it should be cooked in a different way everyday so that it will not be boring. And of all the ways I learned, pinakbet is one of my favorites, because it is very delicious, it really captures my taste and my heart. My view for vegetables had changed. It is not boring at all. I prefer eating veggies everyday than eating all meat. My lola really helped me in changing my point of views and she also gives me more knowledge about cooking.
Pinakbet is one of the most popular Filipino vegetable dishes. It is a dish that is mix of variety of vegetables. The usual ingredients are bitter melon, squash, okra, string beans, eggplant pork and some people put bagoong but me I don’t. Many Filipinos love to create their version of cooking. Some cook it in an earthen pot because they believe it is the best way to cook it, but I do not believe it either.
I really love pinakbet because aside from it is delicious it is also nutritious and affordable especially in the Philippines. Every Filipinos can afford vegetables or even grow their own. If only all of them will eat veggies, I think there’s no malnutrition in the Philippines. But the reality is, most of the people are lack of knowledge about the good and bad of food.
What I learn about eating nutritious food especially organic vegetables is that, it could really give the nutrients our body needs. Living proof is our family. Imagine, we are a very big family and very poor, we cannot barely eat any kind of meat instead we only eat vegetables, but we grew up healthy, no illnesses in every single one of us. How did our parents do that? They don’t have the money to buy us vitamins or even give us vaccines. But we managed to be physically fit. That is why I really believe in the saying “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT” it means that your body will become depending on your food intake. Our health is decided by what we eat. So, if you want to be fit then you should eat healthy foods.