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Buko Pandan

Written and Posted By: Margie Babon


Buko  Pandan refreshment is well-famous in Manila since Phiippines is blessed with lots of coconut trees and the fragrant pandan leaves. Buko is a Filipino word for coconut. This refreshment is perfect to add cubes of agar-agar (sea weed jelly) to add more meat aside from coconut meat.

Pandan leaves also known as fragrant screw pine is widely use in Asia for culinary uses and the natural green color is attractive to delectable rice cake desserts as well as to coconut juice refreshment.

The natural green color comes from fragrant Pandan leaves


What you need

1 liter fresh coconut juice with shredded coconut meat

¼ cup natural pandan syrup

brown sugar (or honey)

200 gms chopped agar-agar jelly

  1. In a pitcher, mix fresh coconut juice with coconut meat, natural pandan syrup and sweetener.
  2. Add chopped agar-agar jelly. Better use the transparent jelly that has no food coloring.
  3. Chill 2-3 hours before serving.


Agar-agar or seaweed jelly comes in powder pack that you can cook or you can buy it ready-to-eat straight from cans. In the Philippines, we call this “Gulaman.”


Gulaman is great with coconut juice and meat mix with Pandan syrup and sweetener.


Learn how to make natural pandan syrup:


French Beans and Pasta Salad

Written and Posted By: Margie Babon


French beans or green beans are great to eat crunchy and little raw by blanching in boiling water. It has concentrated chlorophyll like beta-carotene that can be found in tomatoes and carrots. Green beans are excellent source of Vitamin K which our body requires for complete protein synthesis in blood and to help build strong bones.

Fresh spinach is heathy source of fiber and has Vit. K, high in Vit. C, folate, calcium, magnesium, and manganese. Choose the green dark leaf which has full concentration of chlorophyll like green beans.

While mustard seeds contain protein, calcium, and excellent source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. It has also Vit. E and Vit. A that is a great nutrient for hair growth.



200gms Bucatini pasta or spaghetti pasta

handful French beans (wash and snap the ends)

handful freshly picked spinach leaves (wash properly)

1 tbsp mustard seeds

4 cloves garlic

2 lemons, slice in wedges

200 gms slices of mushroom

¼ cup olive oil for pasta

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil for dressing

2tbsp olive oil for saute

sea salt and pepper to season


  1. Cook pasta according to instructions. Drain pasta and pour 1/4 cup olive oil and properly mix in pasta then set aside.
  2. Using a small pan over medium heat, warm olive oil for 5 seconds then saute garlic until light brown then add mushroom then saute for 10 minutes. Season with salt, set aside.
  3. Blanch French beans in a large bowl by pouring boiling water just enough for the beans and cover the bowl. Leave it for 3-4minutes. Drain and set aside.
  4. Prepare the salad. In a large bowl or plate, transfer the pasta and mix the French beans, mushroom, fresh spinach leaves.
  5. Prepare the dressing by mixing lemon juice and olive oil. Then drizzle in salad.
  6. Add mustard seeds and mix it properly.
  7. Serve French beans and pasta salad with slices of lemon wedges. Season with salt.
  8. You can serve it cold or in room temperature.
  9. Makes 3-4 servings.

Note: Bucatini pasta is larger than spaghetti pasta


Enjoying last few bites of french beans and pasta salad. Perfectly serve with french toast and coffee on the side.



Written and Posted By: Margie Babon


To make vegetarian Gazpacho soup, omit the anchovy paste, instead use only natural chopped red tomatoes. By using zucchini instead of chopped cucumber makes a different version of warm Gazpacho soup which tastes better. Zucchini is high in potassium, calcium, magnesium, folate, and protein and high in omega-3 fatty acids.



For the soup

1 ½ kilo red tomatoes

1 large zucchini

2 large red bell pepper

1 large bell pepper

4 cups vegetable stock

2 cups water

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 red onion, chopped

sea salt

freshly cracked black pepper

2 tbsp. chopped basil


for Garlic Croutons

4 tbsp. olive oil

2 head garlic, minced



  1. Peel and deseed red tomatoes before chopping. Set aside
  2. Chop zucchini and bell pepper into small cubes. Set aside
  3. Chop red onion and set aside.
  4. In a deep casserole, combine vegetable stock, red wine vinegar, olive oil, red tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper and simmer for 15 minutes over high heat.
  5. Using blender, puree 3 cups of soup then return the puree to casserole to combine. Add chopped onions and freshly chopped basil and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  6. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  7. Transfer to a bowl and cover to chill for four hours.
  8. Serve with garlic croutons and chopped basil.


To make garlic croutons

  1. Using non-stick pan over medium heat warm 4 tbsp. olive oil then add minced garlic. Saute until light brown. Adjust heat if necessary not to burn the garlic.
  2. Add croutons until golden brown and mix with garlic.


Gazpacho is a Spanish-style soup made from tomatoes and other vegetables and spices, served cold. Perfectly pair with grilled ciabatta or toasted bread brushed in olive oil.


Related Post:

How to peel and deseed tomatoes:


How to make vegetable stock:




Banana Fritters

Written and Posted By: Margie Babon


Cooking bananas originating from Philippines known as Saba bananas (or cardava bananas) are great source of energy as it balances water in the body and regulate heartbeat. Rich in antioxidants and B vitamins, saba bananas can be eaten raw or cooked and usually boiled or fried or mixed with other veggies as viand.  Mix cinnamon powder to add sweetness and aroma to banana fritters.



10 Cardava Banana (saba)

2 small yellow banana

1/2 cup Unbleached flour (gluten free)

1 cup  organic soy milk

1/3  cup Muscovado sugar

1 tbsp Muscovado sugar for batter

Cinnamon (ground)

Palm oil for frying


  1. Slice banana in thin slices lengthwise. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, sift the unbleached flour then make a well at the center.
  3. Pour organic soy milk then add 1 tbsp muscovado sugar. Mix well for a creamy batter.
  4. Bring over small pan and heat ½ inch deep palm oil
  5. Dip 4 slices of cardava banana in a batter and fry until golden brown. Do in batches.
  6. Put banana fritters on kitchen towel to drain excess oil.
  7. Surface with muscovado sugar and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
  8. For a crunchy bite, serve while hot.


Triple Mushroom Miki Guisado in Dark Thick Sauce

Written and Posted By: Margie Babon


Miki noodles is famous ingredients of Filipino cuisine noodle soup called Lomi which has egg, meat and chicken liver.  This yellow noodles have odd after-taste of bitter yet salty. In this recipe, we use dried Miki noodles that don’t have any after taste which is very delicious to try mixed with three different kinds of mushroom. Guilt-free and healthy stir-fry noodles in thick sauce completely vegan!





150 gms Oyster mushroom,

150 gms Shiitake mushroom, sliced

100 gms Black fungi, sliced

3 block of tofu, thinly sliced lengthwise

250 gms Miki noodles

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 red onion, chopped

1 tsp. chopped parsley

2-3 tbsp. Palm oil

1-2 tbsp    Bragg liquid aminos  (for veggies)

1 tbsp.   Bragg liquid aminos (for mushroom stir-fry)

2 tbsp dark soy sauce

200 gms cabbage, cut in strips

1 medium size carrots, sliced lengthwise

200 gms green beans, sliced lengthwise

3 cups water or vegetable broth

1/2 cup water from mushroom soak

¼ cup dissolved unbleached flour in water

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. chopped parsley



Preparing veggies:

  1. Using deep sauce casserole, warm 3tbsp. palm oil over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes then add chopped red onion then saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Add shiitake mushrooms, oyster and black fungi. Mix together then add 1 tbsp. Bragg amino acied and stir-fry for 8-10 minutes. Add slices of tofu then stir-fry for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the veggies and 1 tbsp . and saute for 2 minutes.
  5. Add 1 cup veggie stock or water then cover the casserole and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Transfer veggies to another casserole or pan or large ceramic bowl leaving the liquid in the casserole to use for the noodles then set aside.


Preparing Miki in thick sauce:

  1. Using the same deep casserole with the liquid from sautéed veggies, add 250 gms Miki noodles then add 3 cups of veggie stock or water. Add ¼ cup of water from mushroom soak. Do not cover the casserole and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Mix well the noodles making sure re it absorbs water.
  2. Add 2tbsp dark soy sauce and mix well.
  3. Add ¼ cup of dissolved unbleached flour in water to create thicker sauce. Mix well with noodles.
  4. Add sautéed vegetables and chopped pasrley and mix well.
  5. Add sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
  6. Serve with slices of calamansi (Philippine lemon).
  7. Makes 5-6 servings.



The technique to make the menu tastier is on how you saute’ mushroom. The longer minutes you saute’ and stir-fry it, the more aroma it will give which means tastier.




Three-Herb Creamy Pesto

Written and Posted By: Margie Babon


Add a twist in your traditional pesto of basil and olive oil by adding non-dairy milk. This three-herb combination of garlic, basil and oregano makes this dish so delicious especially when served with veggie crackers.




500gms spinach fettuccini pasta

1 head garlic, minced

handful basil

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup nutritional yeast

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

1 tsp ground oregano

¼ cup olive oil for pesto and 2 tbsp for sauté

4tbsp unbleached gluten-free flour dissolved in warm water

1 ½ cups rice milk

Sea salt



  1. Cook the spinach fettuccini for 10-12 minutes in a boiling water. Add a tablespoon of oil and salt, drain and set aside.
  2. Prepare the nutty pesto by combining basil, sunflower seeds and ½ cup olive oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more olive oil if desired. Transfer the pesto sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Over medium heat, warm olive oil on a deep sauce casserole and saute minced garlic until slightly brown. Pour pesto and saute for 3 mins. Add rice milk and simmer for 5 minutes. Add flour then simmer for another 3 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach pasta and mix well in creamy pesto sauce. Season with sea salt then set aside.
  5. Roast pumpkin seeds and whisk olive oil and a tsp. of oregano.
  6. Serve creamy pesto with roasted pumpkin seeds.
  7. Makes 4-6 servings. Best serve with crackers of toasted multi-grain bread.


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