Clean eating is still something I haven't totally embraced, honestly. I love eating fast food and junk food... and I am still having problems jumping on the Organic way of cooking and eating because we all know that organic ingredients are very expensive and our location is way too far from the few stores that sell organic products.
Organic eating and cooking is now slowly gaining spotlight, maybe because of the many illnesses people are suffering now. As they say, prevention is always better than cure.
Last Saturday, The Maya Kitchen featured Chef Robby Goco of Green Pastures Original Local Organic restaurant. Opening the restaurant took him many years because he wanted everything on the restaurant to be organic and locally sourced as much as possible. He is very firm about the ingredients used in the dishes served in the restaurant, that they make their own ketchup, mustard... and that Chef Robby personally know the farmers and where he sourced his ingredients. He even knows the person who planted the Olive trees where the olive oil used in the restaurant came from as well as the person who makes the salt for the restaurant. Same goes for the meat.
The event was the longest one I attended at The Maya Kitchen because everything was made from scratch. We were taught how to make our own tomato sauce without the aid of food processor and blender as well as making homemade ricotta cheese. Aside from these, we were also taught some tips about transitioning to organic eating and where to buy organic produce.
For this class, we were taught seven dishes:
A very simple salad that used Kale, Pecorino Romano cheese, Olive Oil, and Sherry Vinegar. I love salads, but I am not big on cheese because I feel it's the cheese and the dressing that makes the salad packed with calories somewhat "unhealthy," but this one was good. I loved the contrast between the tangy vinegar and the salty cheese. By the way, if you want to know where to buy Organic Kale, you may purchase it at any Sugarleaf branches.
Arugula and Apples Salad
This salad was something Chef Robby came up with when he ran out of this certain vinegar for the salad. Using Granny Smith Apples, which we all know is known of its sour flavor, it provided a fruity twist to cut the bitterness of the arugula. I love, love, love Arugula leaves, and I just loved the flavors of this salad!
Ricotta on Toast, Onion Jam, and Roasted Garlic
Thankful for this event, I now know how to make our own Ricotta Cheese. We were also taught how to make the Onion Jam, which was very easy to do despite its long cooking time.
This had the same concept as the other appetizer, only that this used mashed baked pumpkins and maple onions together with the homemade ricotta cheese. Between the two appetizers, I preferred this one because I loved the natural sweetness of the pumpkins. This might be an appetizer, but it can also be a meal on its own.
Young Goat Bolognese Pasta
Chef Robby told us that one of the best meat we could feed ourselves and our family is goat meat because not only is it leaner, goats also eat grass mainly. The only problem with using goat meat is the "anggo" factor, but for this dish, certain ingredients were used to counter that negative flavor to the goat meat. This one was a very unique pasta for me as this was the first time I got to taste goat meat with spaghetti.
One of the best soups I have tasted because it was packed with a lot (and I mean a lot) of seafood - crab, prawn, squid, fish, clams, and mussels. A lot of seafood had the tendency to fight each other flavor-wise, but because not all of the seafood were cooked in the same pot, it allowed each ingredient to have its own shine. I also loved the smooth yet chunky homemade tomato sauce.
Honey Comb Dessert with Greek Yogurt and Lemon Curd
You read it right... this dessert had real honey comb. This white honey comb was sourced in Batangas, where the bees feasting on nectar from rambutan flowers produced white honey comb. The lemon curd was the actual star of this dessert as it provided the most flavor in the dish, and it was really good!
Organic eating and cooking is still a working progress for me. It will be very difficult for me to go with it because most of the meat at the market were from animals that were fed with factory produced feeds, but I guess vegetable would be easier to source because we can always plant our own and it would be cheaper than buying organic vegetables.
If you're looking for a restaurant that serve Organic dishes, you can visit Green Pastures at the Shangri-La Mall.