Manila Bulletin

YOU JUST ‘JUANA’ EAT HEALTHY

Juan Mana­han-Yu­pangco to launch Mesa ni Mi­sis Cook­book

- By PHILIP CU UNJIENG Food · Cookbooks · Cooking · Recipes · Facebook · Lazada Group

There’s a new cook­book in town, and it’s Juana Mana­han-Yu­pangco de­liv­er­ing on her prom­ise to go be­yond her web­site, FB, and IG plat­forms, and gift­ing us with a “hold it in your hands”Mesa ni Mi­sis Cook­book. Hon­estly, if Juana hadn’t be­gun her culi­nary ad­vo­cacy in late 2017, we’d have had to in­vent her, the cook­book and the vi­sion be­hind it, for this pan­demic (and post-pan­demic) time. It checks all the boxes nicely in terms of rel­e­vance, ur­gency, and so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity with­out even try­ing. It’s the same mes­sage Juana has been es­pous­ing for three years now, but it’s sud­denly ac­quired greater res­o­nance.

For those in the dark about Mesa ni Mi­sis, it’s all about pro­mot­ing the health ben­e­fits of lo­cal veg­eta­bles by cre­at­ing de­li­cious, af­ford­able recipes for the whole fam­ily. With­out sacri cing taste and va­ri­ety, Mesa ni Mi­sis be­lieves that the best in nu­tri­tional value, fresh­ness, and af­ford­abil­ity can be gained by uti­liz­ing lo­cal mar­ket pro­duce—and thereby, di­rectly sup­port­ing lo­cal farm­ers, our wet mar­kets, and the do­mes­tic pro­duce sections of our fa­vorite su­per­mar­kets.

Juana’s rule of thumb when cre­at­ing her recipes is that R250-R300 should eas­ily feed six per­sons.

For Juana, it’s about rein­vent­ing our life­style eat­ing habits and dis­cov­er­ing the diver­sity and ver­sa­til­ity of our lo­cal veggies. The Mesa ni Mi­sis Cook­book can be found and/or or­dered at Na­tional Book­store, Shopee, and Lazada. I know Juana would like to thank Solane and Maxi­care, along with Midea, Nutri Asia, and Melawares for help­ing mak­ing this book a re­al­ity. The cook­book con­tains 40 recipes. Be­yond the na­tive Filipino dishes, there are a num­ber of for­eign dishes. Uni­formly, the recipes have all been tweaked and rein­vented to use Filipino veg­eta­bles, with­out sacri cing taste.

What this means is that you’ll nd in­no­va­tive stuff like a Kal­abasa Paella,a Kangkong Dip (with the kangkong tak­ing the place of spinach or as­para­gus), a Ve­gan Mush­room Al­fredo Pasta, a Sitaw

Seed Shep­herd’s Pie, a plant-based Mechado, and a Kamote Ren­dang. If you’re one of the ti­tas hooked on Korean te­len­ov­e­las, and want to add to the am­biance while watch­ing, Juana has Ve­gan Japche and Korean Cauli ower Wings. That’s the kind of imag­i­na­tion that abounds within the recipes gath­ered for this rst Mesa ni Mi­sis Cook­book.

And mind you, Juana es­chews la­bels and heavy-handed pros­e­ly­tiz­ing. She’s got an easy at­ti­tude, not in­sist­ing you go ve­gan or veg­e­tar­ian. She does preach the plant-based an­gle, but her cook­book is there to help make our lives health­ier. If you want to mix her dishes with sh or meat, it’s not like she’s go­ing to rep­ri­mand you or take the cook­book away. I re­call how in the early days of Mesa ni Mi­sis, I at­tended her col­lab­o­ra­tion with Chef Luis Chiki­amco

of Flame at Dis­cov­ery Primea. One dish pre­sented that day was the very French Lentil Stew. What Juana and Luis did was use our na­tive monggo,

and sub­sti­tuted shi­itake mush­rooms for the tra­di­tional sausage balls. Know­ing I’m a car­ni­vore, Chef Luis had added ‘Lar­don’ (fatty ba­con cubes) to my soup. Juana just laughed, “com­mand­ing” me to eat quickly, so the oth­ers at­tend­ing the event wouldn’t catch on that I was “cheat­ing.” Aware of the lit­er­a­ture and trend of treat­ing such pro­duce as kale and quinoa as “pow­er­foods,” Juana cham­pi­ons our lo­cal veggies and plants as just as nu­tri­tious, plus we can source them fresh, and they’re so much eas­ier on the pocket. Her cook­book is lled with fac­toids about our lo­cal pro­duce, their health bene ts, how to store them, and ex­tend their shelf life. She’s done sem­i­nars and cook­ing demos at the barangay level, know­ing these are pre­cisely the au­di­ence that would bene t the most if they adopted a health­ier diet for their fam­i­lies, and could do so with­out stretch­ing their spend­ing powerand pos­si­bly, even sav­ing in the long run.

Dur­ing the start of the pan­demic, Juana took it upon her­self to make Mesa ni Mi­sis rel­e­vant in what­ever small way pos­si­ble. Her Mar­ket ni Mi­sis was a mo­bile palengke or­ga­nized to bring pro­duce to the barangays and com­mu­ni­ties hard hit by the lock­down and un­der very re­stricted mo­bil­ity. It was of great bene t to the farm­ing peo­ple who could rely on her to help sell their crops. Her Kusina Con­nec­tion was her ef­fort to help the var­i­ous front­lin­ers, and de­liver meals to Covid he­roes. It could have been easy for Juana to just sit back, and treat the ECQ as a pe­riod when stay­ing put at home would be the norm, but that’s not just Juana. Even while safety dic­tated that she prac­tice health pro­to­cols, she mo­bi­lized re­sources to make these Mesa ni Mi­sis ini­tia­tives hap­pen. So now we cir­cle back to the cook­book. While Juana read­ily ad­mits a num­ber of the recipes and in­for­ma­tion can be found on­line, she was sur­prised by how many Mesa ni Mi­sis fol­low­ers had men­tioned that a phys­i­cal cook­book, com­pil­ing a num­ber of recipes, and to be stored, ever-ready in their kitchen, would be just the thing. With an SRP of R250, it’s a steal. It just might be the rst step to turn­ing a health­ier, new “leaf” (pun in­tended) at your home.

 ??  ?? VEGIE TA­BLE Her
Mesa ni Mi­sis
Cook­book, that pro­motes na­tive Filipino veg­eta­bles
VEGIE TA­BLE Her Mesa ni Mi­sis Cook­book, that pro­motes na­tive Filipino veg­eta­bles
 ??  ?? K-KITCHEN STAR The Mesa ni Mi­sis japche Korean Cauli­fower Wings, all plant-based and
K-KITCHEN STAR The Mesa ni Mi­sis japche Korean Cauli­fower Wings, all plant-based and

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