a simple vegetable soup or bulanglang

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Always wanna have some vegetables for a balanced diet. Bulanglang is a very simple vegetable soup (just plain boiled vegetables) I learned from mom – some kind of a native dish from her hometown. When you wanna have a fast side dish, this is it. You can do the same recipe & use different vegetables. I always like string beans & mushrooms (those that u can just pluck from anywhere) but too bad no mushrooms today. Ginger is also an important ingredient but i purposely omit it because some guys can’t help to be anti-ginger.

3 cups of water (for soup dish, I normally make use of rice broth, good for your body)
about 7 pcs. of string beans), cut into 2in lengths (may be more depends on how many servings)
2 tbsps. of garlic, finely minced
1 onion, halved and sliced thinly
1 small tomato, chopped coarsely

In a small casserole, add the onion to the boiling water. Season with salt. Bring to a boil, skimming off scum as it rises. Add the string beans & tomatoes & boil for few minutes & serve hot. Make sure not to overcook the vegetable.

Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie. – Jim Davis, Garfield

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

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