EGGPLANT SKILLET CASSEROLE: Removing traces of a shady past, the eggplant story.

savoryI only knew one kind of eggplant growing up in Manila – the eggplant that my mother used to cook or buy from the public market. Little did I know; there are so many varieties of eggplant to this day. The most popular variety available to most Americans is Italian eggplant.

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Based on Specialty Produce information page (a fresh produce wholesaler based in San Diego, CA) Italian eggplants are oblong and small to medium in size with bulb-like bottoms. The outer skin is glossy, smooth, and ranges from lavender to deep purple in color. The inner flesh is firm and ivory white with barely any visible seeds. Italian eggplants are tender and creamy with rich flavor when cooked. ”

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The Filipino eggplants that I grew up with look similar to Japanese eggplants. They are long, slender and sometimes curved with slightly visible seeds that are also edible. Compared to Italian eggplants, the Filipino eggplants have thinner skin with mild and sweet taste when cooked.

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Zucchini Parmesan Fries

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What else can you do with Zucchini besides baked-roasting or grilling? That was precisely my thought when I saw a bunch of golden zucchini in the breakroom at work.

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Zucchini is a summer squash that grows abundantly in a short period usually couple of months after planting. It should be harvested and eaten while the skin is still soft. To cook the zucchini, just wash, cut and leave the skin on. It is rich in Vitamin A and C, magnesium, fiber, folate, riboflavin, phosphorus, potassium and Vitamin B6. It is also high in manganese, a mineral which helps the body process fats, carbohydrates, and glucose.

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Bokchoy and Ham Stir-Fry

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Stir-fried vegetable is always a staple side dish in any Asian meal. I don’t know about other Filipino household back then, but I grew up with my mother cooking lunch and supper with a triad of stir-fried vegetable, steamed rice, and meat or fish for the main dish. It’s like a holy trinity of Filipino daily meal.

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Stir frying is very versatile and forgiving. You can never go wrong; there is no right or wrong combination. The more ingredients you add the better. If you have any leftover meat from previous meal, seafood or even deli meat you can add them in the stir-fry for added taste and texture.

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