The Philippines is abundant in nutrient dense vegetables, found in our very own local vegetable farms. “Mesa ni Misis” is all about promoting and re-introducing people to our local vegetables. At one of the few socially-distanced dinners I recently attended, someone said to me, “I love your recipes, but I can’t find the vegetables you use.” I found this to be rather sad for the state of our local vegetables. When one walks into a regular supermarket or clicks online at the average grocery delivery app, our local vegetables are nowhere to be found. Many times, in large supermarkets, the local vegetables are tucked away in a corner together.
As the end of Nutrition Month approaches, I’d like to highlight two of my favorite vegetables and legumes. The first is mustasa, or mustard leaves. Often found in sinigang dishes or in a buro (pickled) presentation, I’ve found that mustasa is undervalued and under-consumed. While we look at broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower as cruciferous vegetables that are packed with nutrients, I was happily surprised to find out that mustasa is a cruciferous vegetable. Cruciferous vegetables have a host of nutritional benefits such as folate and vitamin K. Mustasa, in particular, can lower cholesterol, provides protection for the eyes and skin and is a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C.
Kadyos is my favorite legume, having eaten it growing up with my Yaya Ellen from Bacolod, and is one of my dad’s favorite dishes because my Lola Elvira was from Bacolod as well. Famous in the Kadyos Baboy Langka (KBL) stew of Bacolod, kadyos, also known as pigeon pea, is a nutrient dense legume. Moreover, the actual kadyos crop (a perineal tree) is beneficial to the soil, as it has nitrogen fixing properties. This means that there is less of a need to add artificial nitrogen fertilizer to the soil, as the kadyos itself gets this from the soil. Its leaves also serve as “green manure” or a natural crop cover and fertilizer for the soil. Kardis is the same crop, but called by a different name in the Ilocos region. It’s a shame that Manilenyos do not eat more kadyos, as it has a delicious nutty taste and a little goes a long way in keeping you full.
I’m sharing a couple of recipes that feature mustasa and kadyos, I hope you try them out!
The best supplier for kadyos is Grace and Ariel store. Contact Graciel at (0927) 321 2260. Mustasa can be found at most supermarkets and online on Metro Mart.
Indian Style Mustasa
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
2 bunches mustasa
1 bunch alugbati, leaves only
1 thumb size piece ginger
1 tbsp coconut oil
Optional: curry leaves
- Blanche the mustasa and alugbati in hot water for one minute. Drain and rinse.
- Put the mustasa and alugbati in a blender and blend till it’s a pulp.
- In a pan, heat the coconut oil.
- Sautée the ginger and garlic for one minute.
- Add the greens mixture and sautée till the water dries out. Add salt to taste.
- Serve with naan or roti bread.
Kadyos Carribean Style
1 cup kadyos
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cloves garlic
1 onion, cubed
1 cup kalabasa
2 bell peppers, sliced lengthwise
1-2 pc. hot sili labuyo if you want it to be spicy.
1 sprig of thyme
1 cup gata
½ cup of water
Salt to taste
- Soak kadyos for at least 24 hours prior to using.
- Drain kadyos and boil for an hour until soft.
- Set drained kadyos aside.
- In a pan, heat up the coconut oil. Add the sugar and keep stirring until the sugar melts.
- Add the garlic, onions, peppers, thyme, and keep stirring.
- Add the gata and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the pre boiled kadyos
- Add the kalabasa.
- Add the gata and water. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, till the kalabasa and kadyos are soft.
- Serve with rice.
*if using fresh kadyos, you can skip the pre-boil stage and stew it with the gata right away.
You don’t have to pre-boil the kadyos if you need to save time, but kadyos is harder than regular beans so boiling it an extra hour really helps to soften it.
For more recipes check out Mesanimisis.com
This article first appeared in Manila Bulletin’s Food section.