The Mesa ni Misis cookbook is the first cookbook by founder Juana Manahan Yupangco, published under ABS CBN Books. The book features 40 plant based recipes that make use of local, native Filipino vegetables. The philosophy behind Mesa ni Misis recipes is to make Filipino vegetables the star of the show, by using them in international cuisines. Recipes include Italian, Lebanese, Indian, Spanish and Filipino dishes, that all make use of local produce. “My goal with Mesa ni Misis is to show people that our local vegetables are just as good as those not native to the Philippines. Juana encourages people to eat the vegetables in the song Bahay Kubo, “These vegetables are all locally available, are affordable and can grow anywhere and are so nourishing.”
Mesa ni Misis was founded in 2017 by Juana, and started off as a teaching advocacy. “We aim to make dishes at P250-P300” for a family of four. In her research, Juana found that it is primarily the women of the house who make the decisions regarding food, nutrition and health for the family.” She also found that Filipinos have the highest instances of non-communicable diseases, such as heart problems, high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure. All these diseases are preventable by simply by consuming less meat and less packaged food. “We love our meat in the Philippines, especially pork; you can find crispy pork bits even in our vegetable dishes. I wanted to make vegetables interesting, without sacrificing the flavors that we love”. Juana holds a certificate in plant based nutrition from the T.Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, and is completing her MSc in Global Nutrition and Food Security at the University of Edinburgh, and was an awardee of the Richard Davidson Award in her first year of the MSc.
Mesa ni Misis works with underserved communities by providing nutrition and cooking classes. Last year, in partnership with Maxicare, Mesa ni Misis provided plant based menus for three hospitals; The Medical City, Manila Medical Center and VRP Medical Center where plant based options are made available to Maxicare patients, as well as in the hospital cafeteria. Mesa ni Misis also works with public schools, providing health and nutrition seminars to parents and teachers, and now supporting their online learning through supplementary videos that cover nutrition, health, art, meditation, wellness and urban gardening.
At the onset of the pandemic, Mesa ni Misis responded with its program Kusina Connection, which provides food for frontliners, homes for the elderly , locally stranded individuals. In partnership with Megawide Foundation, Mesa ni Misis also launched Market ni Misis which is a mobile market that provided fresh produce to barangays in lockdown, with produce sourced from farmers who could not get their goods into the city. This holiday season Mesa ni Misis is launching a program to help provide food for families in need.
The Mesa ni Misis cookbook brings recipes that Juana has tried and tested in communities, with friends and family, hospitals and institutions into your kitchen. The cookbook also features three recipes by Happy Ongpauco Tiu, who created them especially for Mesa ni Misis. The recipes in the book are designed to nourish families and to have people enjoy experimenting eating local vegetables, making #plantlasangpinoy second nature to how we eat. With the cookbook, Juana hopes people will enjoy eating from their #bahaybukokitchen.
The cookbook was created in partnership with companies that are aligned with Mesa ni Misis. Maxicare was the first corporate partner to work with Mesa ni Misis, as it caught the attention of their plant based CEO Roberto Macasaet. Solane, powers Mesa ni Misis cooking classes on the road and when preparing large scale feeding programs; such as the recent feeding program for locally stranded individuals.
Nutri Asia is home to two Filipino favorites, synonymous with Filipino flavors- Silver Swan Soy Sauce and Datu Puti vinegar which were staples in the Mesa kitchen from the beginning, and is found in kitchens all over the country. Midea provides quality kitchen appliances and has been used by Mesa ni Misis in everyday cooking. Melawares provides beautiful dinnerware that highlights Mesa ni Misis recipes and have a wide collection of plates and serving ware to choose from. Above all, the partners for the cookbook have the same heart to provide the very best for the Filipino people that Mesa ni Misis aims to serve; all the partners of the book have generously partnered with the endeavors of Mesa ni Misis.
This is a press release distributed by Mesa ni Misis