Thursday, July 4, 2013

Everyday Cooking: Arugula

I am not a vegetable eater. I just started to eat them regularly when I got pregnant. The need to provide the little one with important nutrients and vitamins prompted me to do the necessary -- loving to eat greens. Though I genuinely love broccoli.
So our grocery list would have at least 3 kinds of vegetables that I can cook in different ways/meals good for more or less a week. Always on our list is spinach. It is  packed with essential vitamins. So I don't mind if it is the only vegetable my little one eats. (I'll be over the moon if she finishes any meal with spinach) I also find it versatile and easy to prepare. I add it in soup,  saute it in garlic and butter, add it in pizza, mix it in meatballs, etc. Unfortunately, it has been almost a month that our local supermarket doesn't have spinach. I have to find an alternative for green leafy veggie. But since I'm no expert in vegetables (and unfamiliar with  language and local names of other produce), I'm just guessing what would be the best replacement to spinach from the choices of locally produced vegetables.
So I picked Gerger -- it's what the label says. (People will laugh if someone from my native land would hear that.) Without even looking it up on Google, I just add it to our usual menu like how I prepare Spinach. (I'm really clueless on these vegetable stuff. I need the internet to figure things out). If the meal turns out bad, we'll never gonna buy gerger again. Surprisingly, it is as good as spinach. Lucky me!
Gerger is actually the local name here for arugula or salad rocket. It is a nutritious green vegetable with Mediterranean origin. It is used in salads (raw), soups, pizza, pasta, frittata, etc. It is low in calorie has vitamins A, C, D and K, etc. According to Health and You,  arugula is packed with the B complex vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin) which is good for metabolic functions of the body. And it is also a good source of folate which is good for pregnant women to prevent neural tube defects in babies.It is safe and recommended to breastfeeding mothers too.

I got lucky in picking Gerger/ Arugula. I just found an alternative green leaf vegetable which has various use in cooking and also packed with vitamins my family needs.

Filipino Beef Stew in Clear Broth (my simpler version)

Filipino Beef Stew in Clear Broth (I used Arugula instead of Bokchoy  / Chinese Cabbage)
Boil beef cut into cubes in water, salt, few pieces of ginger and onion slices until tender, probably around 45mins.  You may add Knorr beef broth cubes to enhance taste. Add potatoes cut in cubes. Cook until potatoes are almost cooked. Add string beans and Arugula (or any green leafy vegetable of your choice). Simmer until all veggies are done. Add salt and pepper (preferably whole peppercorn). Done.

Everyday Cooking is my attempt on being awesome in the kitchen with my own versions of popular meals/ recipes using more or less 5 ingredients and simplifying the steps in my not so fancy kitchen. I do not count salt, pepper and water in the ingredients, which I assume, are ingredients that all kitchens have.  

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