2018 – The Year of Vegetables

Cauliflower and Cheese Casserole

We all make New Year’s resolutions and lose them as early as February so I am making a New Year commitment.   For 2018, I will prepare a vegetable dish/dinner every Sunday.  I will share the process and photos here.  Recipes are available on request.

There are many reasons to cook vegetables at home.   This commitment is expected to result in financial benefits over time:    Less food cost, a more refined  palette designed for appreciation of plant based food, and improved health status leading to less medical costs.

In my country, it is literally cheaper because of the government’s new tax scheme (TRAIN) and other factors.    The tax scheme exacts an additional tax on processed foods.   In addition, most animal protein is more expensive in these islands because animal feed inputs are generally imported and therefore costly.  The goal is to replace meat based dishes with more vegetable based dishes that satisfy a palette that is fond of savory flavors.

There are challenges.    Generally, Filipino food uses meat in many dishes to create a flavor base.  It will be a challenge to extract strong flavors from vegetables that have a naturally refreshing and delicate flavor.    Additionally, a Sunday dish is expected to be more comforting and filling.

Today, I begin with the dish that has made my anti-vegetable  buddy into a semi-vegetarian.   Its western comfort food using cauliflower instead of broccoli, because fresh broccoli is more expensive here.    The florettes are half-cooked prior to  baking under a cheese sauce out of whatever cheese and cheese food one may have leftover from the previous week, and topped with breadcrumbs from leftover bread.  At the end of the evening, you should have two dishes:   A flavorful cauliflower broth and a decadent cheese and vegetable casserole.

I will need help to keep this commitment.   So if you are reading this, I hope you share with me your recipe, dish suggestions to complete 52 weeks of vegetables every Sunday.

What is your favorite vegetable dish?   (No side dishes allowed)


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