Ilocano Dinengdeng




Nothing takes me back to child memories like this Ilocano vegetable dish does.  I grew up on this dish and my parents and grandma would use the vegetables from my dad’s garden to make it.   The vegetables that my family usually used to make this dish are eggplant, kalabasas (squash)and it’s flower, saluyut (jute leaves), marunguey, okra, ampalaya (bitter melon), long beans, lima beans…the list goes on.  The thing about this dish is that there are many variations and this is based on what vegetables you have on hand.  In my family’s case, they basically made dinengdeng based on what vegetables they had in the backyard.  The vegetables are basically boiled in bagoong, tomatoes, garlic, and sometimes ginger, which is basically the soup base.  Then shrimp and grilled fish is usually added to the dish.

For my version, I used a vegan fish sauce instead of the bagoong and did not add any seafood to mine.  This was my first time cooking the dish.  I used the vegetables I had in the fridge but I’m definitely going to remake this dish and include kalabasa, okra, saluyut, kalabasa flower, and ampalya.


Vegan Tortang Talong

Tortang Talong is a Filipino dish that is made with eggplant and egg.  It’s kind of like an eggplant omelette.  I loved this dish growing up.  I used to eat it with patis (fish sauce) and tomatoes.  I played around with soft tofu to get the scrambled “egg consistency”.  That’s all I can share : )

But boy… was this dish GOOD!  I haven’t had this since I turned vegetarian in 2008!

Tofurkey and Eggplant Hummus Sandwich

Quick meal I put together before the Babae expo meeting last night.  All I did was toast a whole wheat sesame bun with vegan butter.  Heated up the tofurkey in a pan until crisp.  Slapped on some eggplant hummus to the bun, added the tofurkey, a couple of slices of tomatoes, and arugula.  NOM. NOM. NOM.

>eggplant escalivada


my favorite food on the planet are spanish tapas.  a couple of weeks ago i had dinner with some good friends at one of my favorite tapas restaurants in sf, esperpento in the mission district.  one of my favorite dishes i order is an eggplant dish that is basically sauteed with tomatoes, onions and peppers.  here is my version of escalivada.  my twist to this dish is to serve it as a stuffed eggplant.  hope you like it.

1 large purple eggplant
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1/4 purple onion, sliced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4-1/2 cup of tempeh, crumbled
vegetable broth
olive oil
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes

1) preheat oven to 400 degrees
2)  slice eggplant in half and brush eggplant with olive oil all over.  season with salt, pepper, and red pepper.  line baking sheet with foil and place eggplant face up.  place another sheet of foil on top of eggplant and wrap eggplant with both sheets of foil.  bake for 50 minutes.
3) while eggplant is baking, prepare the stuffing by heating 3 tbs of olive oil in a pan on medium high heat.  when oil is hot, saute onions until cooked.  stir in tomato slices.  cook for about 2-3 minutes.  add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and cook for another 3 minutes until some of the broth has evaporated.  add tempeh and garlic and saute for 3 minutes.  add a cup of vegetable broth, salt, pepper, red pepper, and a couple of dashes of paprika and simmer on medium low until broth has evaporated. set aside until eggplant is cooked.
4)  when eggplant is ready, spoon out eggplant into saute mixture making sure you are careful not to pierce through the skin of the eggplant.  when all the mixture is added to the saute mixture, add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and cook on medium high heat.  using a fork, smash in the eggplant while cooking.  when the vegetable broth has slightly evaporated, it is ready.  spoon eggplant mixture back into cooked eggplant shells.  enjoy!