Hydro Veggies

Hydroponic Produce from Philippines

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Pumpkin & Spinach Salad

pumpkin spinach

It’s a warm salad with a trending ingredient: pumpkin. It has got great flavour. You may serve it alone, or as an accompaniment to a main course. You may also keep it vegetarian or add cooked chicken to include some protein.



1kg of Pumpkin or 1 medium butternut squash

3 tbsp butter

350g crimini mushrooms

40g almonds (optional)

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

½ tbsp olive oil

juice of half a lemon

500g baby spinach

salt and pepper

Serves: 4



Remove the skin of the pumpkin and cut into 1cm chunks (or about half an inch). Melt the butter in a large skillet. Cook the pumpkin at medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper until cooked through. Transfer to a bowl. In the same pan cook the mushrooms until done. Transfer to another bowl. If using almonds, heat them in the same pan and remove.  Pour the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice and a dash of water. Mix well.

Wash the baby spinach and divide among the dishes. Place a layer of pumpkin, one of mushrooms, almonds (if using) and drizzle the dressing. Serve while it is still warm.

Source: Adapted from Cocina Vegetariana Paso a Paso, Parragon Books.

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Eggplant Rolls

eggplant involtini

This dish is light and not too filling, perfect for a starter. Last week’s recipe for Italian Tomato Sauce will come in handy for this recipe.


2 medium eggplants

olive oil

224g (8oz) part-skim ricotta cheese

115g fresh mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

2 cups tomato sauce

4 tbsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Serves: 4



Cut the eggplants lengthwise to form strips. Follow these instructions to remove their bitterness.

Preheat the oven at 150°C. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly coat the eggplant slices with olive oil on both sides. Place the strips on the baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the slices and bake on the other side.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling; in a small bowl mix the ricotta, mozzarella and basil leaves. Take the eggplant slices out of the oven and let cool before handling. Take a baking dish and spread a 1/4 cupful of tomato sauce. For making the rolls, place a spoonful or 2 tbsp of cheese filling in one of ends and carefully roll up. Place each roll on the baking dish. Pour over the remaining sauce and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese. Place the baking dish back in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until sauce is bubbling. Serve immediately and garnish with basil leaves.


Source: Adapted from Williams-Sonoma.

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Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Butternut Squash Gnocchi

If you like gnocchi, you should try these!


1kg butternut squash – (2 cups purée)

1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 egg

3/4 cup (75g) grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups (256g) flour, plus more for rolling

1/2 stick (57g) butter

6-8 basil leaves

salt and pepper to taste

Serves: 6-8


For making the gnocchi: To make the butternut squash purée, you may follow the same instructions for pumpkin found here. When you have your purée ready, place it on a lightly greased (1/2 tbsp olive oil) saucepan and cook over medium heat stirring constantly until liquid evaporates. Set aside to let cool.

Once the purée is tepid, beat the egg in a separate medium bowl; then add the squash, 1/2 cup Parmesan, nutmeg and salt, mix everything together. Gradually add the flour, one cup at a time until the dough separates from the side of the bowl. Transfer to a floured surface and knead gently. Only if it is very sticky, you may add flour; it is normal for it to be sticky; if you add too much flour they will end up tasting more like flour and less like squash and the consistency would be affected too.

Roll the dough and shape it like a rope about 1.25cm (half an inch) thick. Cut out pieces about 2cm (3/4 inch) long. Take each piece and roll through a ridged wooden board (if you have one) or use the back of your fork as shown in this tutorial. Transfer the gnocchi to floured surface.

For cooking the gnocchi: Heat water in a medium pot until it boils, add salt. Cook about 1 cup of gnocchi at a time until the gnocchi float, about 4 minutes. While the gnocchi cook, melt butter in a skillet, add salt and pepper and chopped basil leaves. Once the gnocchi are cooked, transfer to the skillet to coat them with the sauce. Serve warm, sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese.

Source: Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.

Disclaimer: we are not promoting a brand nor are affiliated with Amazon, HIC Brands That Cook, All recipes or YouTube. We have included the links only for demonstration purposes.

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Hot Pepper Poppers or Chili Cheese Bites

hot pepper poppers

Have you ever had a craving for something spicy? Well, this could be your fix! Just make sure you have something to drink at hand!

These make great appetizers. We have included two versions. Which do you prefer?


12 fresh hot peppers

1 cup shredded cheddar

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack

1/4 tsp ground garlic

1/4 tsp chili powder

3/4 tsp salt

Zest of 1/2 lime

3/4 cup bread crumbs

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Serving: 2 dozen


Filling: Half the hot peppers lengthwise, remove stems and seeds. In a small bowl combine the 2 cups of cheese; sprinkle the chili powder, ground garlic and salt. Squeeze the lime and toss everything together. Scoop a heaping teaspoon on each pepper half and firmly press.

Coating: In a separate bowl whisk the eggs. In a medium bowl mix the breadcrumbs and flour. Take each half pepper, dip in egg, transfer to breadcrumb mixture and coat evenly; place in a lined baking sheet. Repeat for all. Here you have two options: 1) Heat a skillet with olive oil and fry them in small batches until golden; drain on paper towels. 2) A healthier one we think would be to bake them for about 20 minutes or until golden.

Source: Adapted from The Chubby Vegetarian.

chili cheese bites

Variation: Chili Cheese Bites or Nuggets

Grate the cheese and leave it out of the fridge for a few hours until it reaches room temperature; this will make it soft enough to work with. Finely dice the hot peppers and mix with the cheese and other filling ingredients. Shape into bite size balls. Follow the instructions above for the coating and cooking.


Cucumber Avocado Tea Sandwiches

cucumber sandwiches

What is your first impression when you see tea sandwiches or finger sandwiches at a party? Perhaps that they are boring or bland, particularly if they are made of cucumber? Well, they don’t have to be! An acquaintance of ours recently had an event and was in need of a vegetarian option for finger sandwiches and wanted something different. We shared this recipe for her to try and it was a hit!


2 ripe avocados

1 cucumber

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

8 big slices of white bread

Serves: 16


Take the slices of bread and remove the crusts (you don’t have to throw them away, you could use them for bread pudding); cut into 4 pieces. Set aside. Peel off the skin of the cucumber and dice it. Place in a small bowl, pour half of the lemon juice and add about a 1/4 tsp salt and stir. Set aside. Remove the pit of the avocados, scoop into a small bowl, sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, mash with a fork. Pour the other half of the lemon juice into the mixture and stir well.

To assemble: with a butter knife, spread the avocado mixture on each piece of bread; scoop the cucumber onto half of the slices of bread and close with the remaining half. Serve. Try not to leave them sitting for more than 1.5hr.

Source: Adapted from The PPK.

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Basil Cream Soup

basil soup

After a long and cold day, one of the most comforting things you can do when you get home, besides changing into warm clothes and drinking a cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate, is having a homey meal. To us, this soup enters into this category. Today’s recipe is for our friends in the southern hemisphere who recently started winter.


1 cup fresh basil

2 cups (500ml) chicken stock

2 tbsp (1/8 stick, 28g) butter

3 tbsp cornflour

4 cups (1L) milk

ground pepper and salt to taste

Serves: 6


Heat the chicken stock in a small pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Add the basil (if you wish, you may save some of the smallest leaves for decorating). In a drinking cup mix the cornflour with 1/3 cup of milk, stir thoroughly to avoid lumps. In a saucepan melt the butter; add the cornflour-milk mixture; pour in the remaining milk and stir. Add the chicken stock with basil. Check flavor, you may add ground pepper and salt if needed. Cook until thickened, and stir constantly to prevent from sticking in the bottom of the pan. Optional: sprinkle some shredded cheese.

Source: Adapted from Taste of Home.

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Radish Tea Sandwiches

radish tea sandwiches

One of the good things about appetizers is that they are easy and quick to prepare; this one is no exception. The combination of the radishes, ginger and scallion is intriguing, in the good sense.


4 tbsp (42g) light cream cheese

10 radishes

1 small scallion

1/4 tsp olive oil

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

pinch of salt

16 slices of French baguette

Serves: 16


Chop the scallion, peel the ginger and grate it, slice the radishes, set aside. In a small bowl mix the cream cheese, about 3/4 of the scallion, olive oil, ginger and salt. Spread the mixture over the baguette slices, top with slices of radish. Garnish with the remaining scallion.

Source: Slightly adapted from Bon Appétit.