Just Got Green

Today I met my friend at the orchid show at Quezon Memorial Circle. I got there minutes before 11AM and in sharp contrast to last week, today was sweltering hot!. We made a quick walk at the exhibit center because it was too hot. I shopped for a few things for my own garden and two hours of walking around later, we were very ready to go to lunch.

My friend is vegetarian so I look forward to our every meetings because he takes me to vegetarian places. Today we decided to have lunch at Greens over at Scout Castor Street. We were very thirsty and very hungry. My throat was dry from the heat and I was sweating profusely even if there was air-con inside the restaurant.

They were offering a lunch combo meal that consisted of brown rice plus two dishes. The choices today were veggie beefsteak, stuffed eggplant, and curried tofu. I chose the beefsteak and omelette. I also ordered an extra skewer of tofu kebabs. I was so hungry I forgot to take its photo when it was served. I quickly started eating. Big blooper for the food blogger! Sorry about that.

The veggie beefsteak was great; it had enough of that soy sauce and calamansi flavor. The ‘meat’ was chewy and tender enough. The serving of the eggplant was enormous and filled with other delights that fortunately didn’t take over the taste of the eggplant. The brown rice was cooked perfectly. And the tofu kebabs was as good as I remember it from my first lunch at Greens.

After eating we decided to have coffee at Greens because it was still too hot outside to walk to other coffee places. We saw that the carrot cake was available to we ordered it with brewed coffee. I like the generous serving of coffee at Greens. The coffee’s great too, by the way. But the piece de resistance was the carrot cake.

this awesome carrot cake is vegan!

this awesome carrot cake is vegan!

It had the right amount of sweetness, moistness, and chewiness. Everything was on point and perfect! I’m not overly fond of icing or frosting but the frosting here was great as well. I ate all of it and forgot to share it with my friend! He didn’t mind because he also ordered one for himself, to go.

Our long lunch at Greens was the perfect cap to my meet-up with my friend. Never mind the heat and the traffic on my way home. As I am writing this, I’m still thinking of this carrot cake. Yum!

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Saucy Me

My household loves eating fish or squid balls. A vendor passes by our neighborhood almost everyday and we buy from him about 2-3 times a week. When I was studying At UP Manila, my classmates and I would usually get our fill of fried fish or squid balls, kwek-kwek (fried battered chicken or quail eggs), or boiled corn before heading home. I enjoyed the sweet-spicy or sour sauce and the cucumber relish that cut the greasiness of the fried stuff.

However, in spite of our great effort, we have never been able to duplicate that sauce at home. I think our fundamental error  is in trying to make a sweet-spicy-sour sauce because they’re actually two separate sauces that we combine to suit our personal preference. While the sour sauce was relatively easy to prepare, making that sweet-sauce was difficult.

That is, until a fellow food blogger posted her recipe HERE. After reading her post, I included a pack each of squid and chicken balls in our grocery list because I was eager to try her recipe.

Yesterday, I had the chance to do it.

making the sauce

making the sauce

The process was simple enough–dissolving 2 tablespoons each of flour and cornstarch, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 4 tablespoons of soy sauce in 4 cups of water before putting it over a medium fire then adding minced red onion, some garlic and red chili when the mixture has thickened a bit. I actually reduced the amount of sugar and added a dash of white pepper but these are just my tweaks to the simple recipe.

happy sauce

happy sauce! 🙂

It turned out great, the sauce was indeed sweet and spicy. My mother said it could be sweeter so I admitted that I adjusted the sugar–for our health benefit. But it went very well with the squid and chicken balls that I fried. Mama can’t wait to try it on kwek-kwek!