Sugarleaf events are always great opportunities for people looking to having a healthier lifestyle despite the stress of urban living. It’s been about 2 years now that I’ve been attending events at Sugarleaf whenever I can and there is always something new to learn and apply. I’m giving you a heads-up because here is another one you’d want to calendar.
I recently met sisters Jertie and Jaclyn Abergas, who happen to be vegan and gluten-sensitive resource speakers. I was attending a media preview at Sugarleaf to gain a sneak peek into their upcoming series of workshops over the next several months dubbed The Green Guide to Eating Right.
Both Jertie and Jaq (as Jertie refers to Jaclyn) believe that great-tasting, nutritious and healthy food need not be expensive. Really, I subscribe to their mindset. I’ve been reading up on books about making food our medicine and as Victor, my yoga teacher says, the best food is the one that has no labels. Unfortunately, we have been brainwashed into thinking that to be healthy, one must be able to afford it. And advertising doesn’t help either. Just look at the overuse, sometimes, of the terms “natural” and “organic” and see how using them in product labels ups the price of a product to almost double.
Jertie’s Kitchen aims to debunk that misconception. Their plant-based dishes are not only delicious but they are so easy to whip up and require simple kitchen equipment only — a toaster, a rice cooker or a pan with a stove. For those of us who are looking for healthier choices, it’s good to know that it just takes a bit of creativity and imagination (and some tips from the cooking experts) and we can serve up quick and easy but healthy dishes at home.
To give us a flavor of what the workshops would involve, we were actually treated to a sampling of dishes which they prepared right in front of us using just a Breville blender and two rice cookers!
I always thought rice cookers were just for, well, rice! Jertie and Jaq showed me how they could cook soup and paella in it.
They also used a high-speed Breville blender to mix in all the ingredients that made up a Banana Pineapple Green Smoothie.
And for dessert, they just chopped up the ingredients by hand (you can also use a food processor), placed them on a tart pan, poured the chocolate sauce in and voila, we had Chocolate Nut Tarts!
If you find these yummy dishes appetizing enough, you will learn even more from the workshops they will be holding (2 for this year, 2 for early 2015)
Jertie’s Kitchen will be conducting a series of 4 workshops with the theme The Green Guide to Eating Right over the coming months (October 2014 to February 2015). Each workshop stands on its own but also builds up your stock knowledge of vegan food preparation. Here are the four (4) workshop dates and brief descriptions of each. The first 2 workshops have a list of demo dishes. I will update this post once I get the demo menus for the 2015 workshops.
18 October – Eating A Plant‐Based Diet On A Budget
We all know that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables, that’s a fact. In this workshop, we’ll teach you five easy-to-prepare plant-based dishes that’ll incorporate more of these nutrient dense food into your existing diet. Demo menu includes coconut fried rice, corn and tomato stew, basil pesto, minestrone, chow mein, lettuce wraps, Thai vegetable stew plus bonus recipes!
22 November – Noche Buena Vegan Feast
Eat heartily this Yuletide season without the guilt with these plant‐based versions of your favorite festive dishes! Demo menu inludes ginataang halo-halo, paella, “chick”pea sopas, arroz Valenciana, macaroni/fruit salad, casserole and Christmas dessert!
10 January 2015 – Lose Holiday Weight with Green Smoothie
Had a little or way too much fun during the holidays? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you get back to your old self–or maybe even better! Green smoothies will help you slip back into those skinny jeans without having to jump and down.
7 February 2015 – Love, Chocolate
Love is in the air! And chocolate definitely rules this month. Let us teach you new plant-based chocolate dishes to romance your lover (or would-be lover) – mostly sweet with a savoury dish as well.
Each workshop costs PhP 1,500 per person. Early bird rate is PhP 1,300 if you pay ONE WEEK BEFORE EACH WORKSHOP at Sugarleaf Makati or deposit to Healthy Eats Inc. checking account # 0012 4002 7660 (Union Bank World Center branch). The early bird rate of PhP 1,300 also applies to senior citizens, students, pairs and groups. Please bring your deposit slip, which will be collected upon registration. There is a further discount for those who attend all the workshops. Attend the first 3 workshops and get the 4th one at 50% discount. For details and other questions, contact Angelo Songco at 0917 8039055.
Sugarleaf Organic Market and Cafe (Makati) can be found at G-2F MEDICard Lifestyle Center, 51 Paseo de Roxas corner Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City.