Taste of the Farm: A Story of Food and Friendships (with recipes!)

Posted by Good Food Community on

Name of Dish: Binalot na Kanin 
Featuring black rice and red rice from Capas, Tarlac

Prepared by Chef Rap Cristobal

The story of Good Food, like any good Pinoy meal, starts with rice. We met small rice farmers from Capas who were tired of the boom-bust cycle of conventional rice farming and wanted to branch out to organic vegetable production. To support their journey in sustainable production and provide stable income, they were connected to a community of eaters in Metro Manila who subscribed to their harvest and wanted to be assured of safe nutritious food. Thus, from this budding friendship of farmers and eaters, Good Food Community was born. Some of our partner farmers in Capas continue to grow rice, this time the organic pigmented varieties like the red and black rice in this binalot, which fetch a premium for the farmers because of their nuttier flavor, high fiber, and improved nutritional content. Cooking rice binalot-style also imparts aroma from the banana leaves.

Name of Dish: Adobo Beets 
Featuring beets from Monamon, Bauko, Mt Province
Recipe by Lea Co, prepared by Chef Rap Cristobal

Beets are among the few produce that can inspire strong emotions in subscribers. On one hand there is “lasang lupa,” and on other hand they’re “little pleasures I now refuse to live without”. This dish is made by one of our long-time supporters and super-subscriber Lea Co who belongs to the latter camp. A mother of four, Lea is what we call a “gulay whisperer,” with her ability to create healthy, delicious, and zero-waste recipes that highlight the strength of each fruit or vegetable. In a genius move, Lea introduces this largely unfamiliar root to more eaters using the beloved adobo technique. Beets pair really well with vinegar, the bright acidity a needed contrast to the earthiness, while the salty umami of the soy sauce is a great counterpoint to beets’ sweetness. Lea’s recipe is one of the many examples of how eaters here in the city are able to support the diverse production of farmers by fostering curiosity in our kitchens.

Gulay whisperer, Lea

Ingredients
4 pcs beetroot
2 tsp peppercorns
1 head native garlic, smashed peel on
1 pc bay leaf or star anise
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
2 Tbsp vinegar

Procedure

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot, ideally in a palayok or cast iron pot. Mix well.
  2. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.

Name of Dish: Spinach Potangher
Featuring spinach from Monamon, Bauko, Mt Province
Recipe by Nanay Baby, prepared by Good Food Community

It’s always exciting to learn how our farmers like to eat the food they grow, allowing us a peek into the local food culture…and sense of humor. Potangher is traditionally made by the Dumagats of Daraitan, Rizal, using the leaves of the cassava. A staple food for their katutubo community, the root crop grows well in the mountains, hence the abundance of its leaves. Nanay Baby said it is called potangher because “Mapapa-po… ka sa anghang/sarap.” True enough, potangher, while reminiscent of laing, tastes like its fiercer sister: saltier, spicier, in your face. We joked about how a teaspoon of it was enough ulam for two cups of rice. Nanay Baby taught us her recipe at a Food for Peace conversation in 2018. Because we couldn’t get enough of it, we adapted her recipe to whatever leafy we had in the farmshare. Here we try it with New Zealand spinach from Bauko. Apart from being a dish, potangher is also now a go-to technique for when we’re at a loss as to what we could make with  the greens in our farmshare. Just potangher it!

Ingredients
green leafies (kamote tops, spinach, cassava leaves, kale, etc)
sea salt
ginger
garlic
bird’s eye chili, optional
coconut milk

Procedure

  1. Clean the leaves and make sure they’re dry. Salt generously and massage until the leaves release their juices and are wilted.
  2. Make a paste with garlic, ginger, chili in the proportion you like. Add makrut leaves if you like as a variation.
  3. Squeeze out liquid from leaves. Do not rinse. Chop finely.
  4. Sauté the paste, add leafy greens. Add coconut milk, roughly 1 cup for every 2 cups of wilted chopped greens.
  5. Cook over low heat until coconut oil is released.
  6. Serve over hot rice.

Name of Dish: Cabbage Talinum Salad
Featuring cabbage and passionfruit masaflora from Monamon, Bauko, Mt Province, and talinum from Capas, Tarlac
Adapted from Asha Peri and Isis Bautista, prepared by Good Food Community

At Good Food we love hearty salads using greens beyond good old lettuce varieties and fresh fruit juice as acid. Inspired by salads made by plant-based chef and supporter Asha Peri and subscriber Isis Bautista, this salad combines hardier greens like cabbage from the uplands and talinum that’s abundant in the lowland. We massaged the cabbage to draw out the extra moisture and make sure that the salad won’t turn watery once mixed with the dressing. For a fruity, Asian-inspired dressing, we used tangier passionfruit variety masaflora, combined with peanut butter and ginger paste.

Ingredients
Dressing
1kg passionfuit masaflora,
400g peanut butter
1/4 cup miso
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
To taste sea salt
as needed mint leaves, chopped

Salad Components
3pcs green cabbage, sliced and salted
1pc red cabbage, sliced and salted
1kg talinum leaves, washed
2 cups roasted cashews, chopped
as needed mint leaves, chiffonade

Procedure

  1. Cut masaflora in half and strain juice in a bowl. Reserve the seeds.
  2. Add remaining ingredients for the dressing and whisk until emulsified. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  3. Prepare the salad components. Squeeze the water from the salted cabbage and place in a bowl.
  4. Add talinum leaves and mint.
  5. Toss in the dressing and reserved seeds. You can add more passionfruit if necessary.
  6. Serve topped with roasted cashews.

Name of Dish: Turmeric-pickled Radish
Featuring radishes and turmeric from Monamon, Bauko, Mt Province
Recipe and preparation by Good Food Community

More popular with farmers than eaters, radishes become an all-around “nakakatakam” side dish when pickled and its pungency dissipates. It’s our favorite lugaw topping, cheering up savory porridges with its bright yellow color and pucker-worthy sweet-sour flavor. Known as danmuji in Korean cuisine and takuan in Japan, it works either way when paired with rich food like gata-based dishes such as potangher or fried or grilled ulam such as grilled veg from Komunal Market. It’s also best enjoyed at the end of meals as an aid to digestion. While most mass-produced takuan or danmuji use artificial color, we use turmeric and deepened by the brown color of muscovado, which also adds a hint of caramel sweetness.

Ingredients
1 ¼ cup distilled vinegar
1 ¼ cup water
4 Tbsp muscovado or coconut sugar
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp peppercorns
3 pcs bay leaves
1kg Korean radish, sliced into thin rounds

Procedure

  1. Combine all ingredients except for the radish in a pot to make the pickling liquid. Boil until sugar has dissolved. Set aside and let it cool
  2. Pack sliced radish in an airtight jar.
  3. Pour cooled liquid over the radish until covered.
  4. Let it sit in the brine for at least 1 day before consuming to get the full flavor.

Name of Dish: Biko ni Ate Celia
Featuring polished black rice from Capas, Tarlac, and sticky brown rice from Zambales
Recipe and preparation by Luis Hara

The wide variety of Philippine kakanin (rice cakes) is a window into the genetic diversity of rice in the country and the esteemed place that rice has in our culture. Biko is one of the most popular rice cakes, with its hint of ginger and sweet topping of latik or coconut curds. This biko one is made with love by Kuya Luis, the patient, indulgent wind beneath Ate Celia’s wings, and her steady companion as she mesmerizes us with her gulay-budol every Sunday here at the market. 

While we’re fans of rice cakes, we’re saddened that they are being edged out by the flashier convenience snack foods that dominate merienda time. More and more children no longer know the different kakanin, which is still the healthier alternative, being quite filling and made with natural ingredients unlike highly processed snacks. Apart from this sad amnesia, our local rice industry continues to suffer from the impacts of the rice liberalization law, which prioritize imported rice over domestic production by local farmers. The impending commercialization of genetically modified rice, Golden Rice, which Good Food Community protests against, is another threat to our local rice heritage, with potentially calamitous impacts on the livelihood of farmers and health and wellbeing of both farmers and eaters. Please support our local rice farmers by buying only local rice.

Name of Drink: Taogtog Kombucha and Beets Kombucha
Featuring taogtog berries and beets from Monamon, Bauko, Mt. Province
Recipe and fermentation by TVN Kitchen

What do you get when you take two of the least popular flavors and enlist the help of microbes to transform them? You get two best-selling kombuchas, and we’re happy to share them with you today! These fermented probiotic-rich drinks are the perfect aperitif to aid in your digestion, so take a shot before enjoying your lunch. 

These kombucha drinks are brewed by our favorite people from The Vegan Neighbors Kitchen, who also happen to be long-time regular Good Food subscribers, artists, agroecology advocates, and partners in our Food Today Food Tomorrow project in Payatas, Bagong Silangan, and Cavite. Like fermentation, our partnership with TVN Kitchen has taught us the transformative power of the collective.

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