Chopsuey is a stir-fried of vegetables dish. The vegetables in this dish are mainly cultivated from a colder region. In the Philippines, usually in Baguio city. They sell very cheap vegetables that are in this mixture of vegetables. I am not here to show you how to cook this dish because this post is for us to know the scientific name of the vegetables in chopsuey. Based on what I searched, here are the vegetables and its corresponding scientific names:
Cabbage – you can either use Brassica oleracea var. capitata or Brassica napa subsp. pekinensis
Cauliflower – Brassica oleracea var. botrytis
Broccoli – Brassica oleracea var italica
Carrot – Daucus carota
Baguio beans or snap beans – Phaseolus vulgaris
Baby corn – Zea mays
Bell pepper (red, green or yellow) – Capsicum annuum
Onion – Allium cepa
Garlic – Allium sativum
Black pepper – Piper nigrum
Above is my version of chopsuey. Instead of snap beans I used string beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). I also added celery (Apium graveolens).
Nebraska is not the most popular place to visit when you go to the US – at least no for me. I usually see people travel to big cities like New York and Chicago or tourist place like Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. So, when I first got an opportunity to go to Nebraska I was clueless on where to go in a flat area. As time flies, I discovered some place here that is worth visiting.
1. Omaha Zoo
Needless to say, this has been named as one of the best zoos in the world for years by several award giving bodies, and this year it ranked #1 in the US by USA Today. From my personal experience, the award is well-deserved! Indeed, the zoo is a must-go place if you have an opportunity to visit Nebraska. My favorite spot there was the aquarium!
Make sure to have enough sleep the night before you go to the zoo, bring some drinking water, and be there early as the opening time of the zoo because you will spend a lot of time walking.
2. McConaughy and Ogalala Lake
I would always say no to friends when they ask me to go to lakes in Nebraska because if you live in a country with lots of bodies of water your standard of it would be high. I have seen a lot of lakes close to my place in Nebraska and they did not impress me the way Lake McConaughy and Ogalala Lake did! It has a wide sandy area you can walk around or camp overnight, and a big lake you can swim. My favorite would be the walking on the sand!
If you will camp, make sure to reserve through their website. Bring your own food, water and chair if you want to stay close by the lake for a day.
3. University of Nebraska – Lincoln
This place may not sound like a tourist spot but I will still recommend someone who will visit Nebraska to stop by the place. The architecture of the buildings in the campus feels like those in the old movies. Early in the morning or late in the afternoon you will see glass houses with different light colors inside. My favorite is the campus in spring. It is so pretty as it is colored by trees, flowers and bushes.
If you cannot be here during spring, the other seasons are still pretty specifically Fall!
Kimchi is a known fermented vegetables dish in Korean cuisine. The one that I know is made of napa cabbage. I think they also do radish and cucumber. Anyways, I’m not here to tell you the different kinds of kimchi. LOL.
I’m here to dissect the vegetable ingredients of kimchi and learn their scientific names.
Napa cabbage – Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis
Rice (flour) – Oryza sativa
Gochugaru or korean chili (flakes) – Capsicum anuum
Korean radish – Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus
Korean chives – Allium tuberosum
Carrots – Daucus carota
Garlic – Allium sativum
Ginger – Zingiber officinale
Onion – Allium cepa
Living alone now in the US where you have to buy stuff in bulk, it is not easy to finish all the vegetables I get. I want to have a healthier lifestyle but my environment gives me a lot of excuses not to. I have to find ways how to store food that are very perishable and I found fermentation as one of the many ways to preserve my veggies. Kimchi is not easy to make but it allows me store vegetables longer. Knowing that I am using the correct ingredients by knowing their scientific names is helpful for me since not all groceries sell napa cabbage. Here’s my version of home-made kimchi:
I’ve been reading this book The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman, and came across an insight about having a Cato.
But first, who is Cato?
Cato the Younger, according to the book, is a Roman politician known to defend the Republic against Julius Caesar. He is a brave, bold, noble and disciplined person. He is the most commonly cited philosopher because of his principled life.
March 10th entry in the book suggests having a Cato or an indifferent spectator in our life. Someone who will quietly remind us when we are getting lost in life and choosing to avoid the uncomfortable situation crucial to attain our end-goal in this short lifetime.
This Cato could be your mom, dad, friend, lover or even Cato himself, basically anyone (existing or not) who can remind you that you are not doing the right thing.
Life could be very distracting most of the time and it is important that you have someone to tell you that you are doing something that will not benefit you and consequently directly or indirectly others.
And when you find your best Cato, try to be the best version of yourself worthy to become a Cato in someone else’s life.
Have you ever read tons of books and watched millions of videos telling you how they stopped procrastinating and became more productive? And you still end up putting off things a couple of hours or day before the deadline? And then eventually you realize that you could do better than that?
Well, you’re not alone! I am still trying to be those social media productivity influencers but after a year I am still procrastinating and not living the best version of myself, and I am not proud of it. It gives me a pang of guilt and anxiety everyday and I acknowledge that it is not good for my mental and physical health.
But what can I do? I have been living this kind of routine for almost 10 years and it is so freaking hard to break it. The thing is that I have this feeling in me that I am designed to do greater things and I am not giving my 100% and even less than the bare minimum at my work. However, I keep failing in dragging myself to use my time in the most efficient way possible, and unleash the potential that I have.
At this point in my life I will be completely honest to myself and whoever is reading this. I STILL PROCRATINATE SO BAD. The more that I evaluate myself, the more I learn why I keep doing procrastination. I found one clear answer to this why.
The reason why I need to do the task. While reading at my past journal entries I keep writing that I don’t know the reason why I am doing this or that and ended doing those at the last minute because regardless if I do it with low quality or high, I still couldn’t think of what will I get from it.
A lot of people are so goal oriented that they set goals and achieve it on the dot with the best way possible by using their time efficiently aka not procrastinating. And I am truly jealous how they wired their mind that way. Because those people most likely have their reasons even before creating their goals. However, not all people are like them, and as an easy example of those people, take me. Most of the time at work or school I was given tasks and I know that I have to do it for me to get my goal (my salary or degree), but the immediate reason why I have to do it is not tangible and instant to see. What’s going to be my approach to find that missing link between the goal and the task? What would be the paradigm shift towards a better version of myself?
MAKE ONE (though easier said than done) – have a reason. I am going to try this new approach and start creating reason/s of why I am doing such task regardless of how small or big it is. It doesn’t have to be so complicated. Start with the basic ones (you can also try to be extra if that will push you more) but make it as detailed as you can. If it’s a big task, try breaking the reasons into smaller pieces first and later on build the puzzle to see the bigger picture. YOU HAVE TO WRITE IT on a sticky note or wherever place that you CAN EASILY SEE IT. Whether it is a simple or complicated reason, try to make it as rewarding as possible. It will not be an overnight thing but practicing this will eventually make you better at using your time in the long run.
Time is more precious than gold or any other element in this world. It is something you cannot take back once you lost it. Time flies so fast but you do not have to fly faster, you just have to learn how to enjoy the journey. We are given this life with different and unique missions and a deadline so might as well live it at our best.
I don’t have a success story yet but I hope I can revisit this post and make myself proud of becoming a person that uses time efficiently.
Have you applied for a job or scholarship recently and you are anxious right now whether you’ll get it or not? I feel you. Especially when it’s a dream opportunity – something you think will cause you to break if you won’t get it. As I experienced them before, most of the time it is because I am scared of rejection and it’s normal. You are scared to lose the identity you’ve been wanting or you are at now.
But what are you getting from the dread of waiting for your application results? Or what did you get from the sadness or hate you gave yourself just because you didn’t get that job or scholarship? You get nothing but stress. You may also somehow lose confidence. Or even worse, get no sense of direction in life. It stops us from functioning and living to our full potential. You lost the opportunity and you lose you. But remember, in this time and age, there are unlimited opportunities and a limitless you.
The thing in common that I realized from my collection of rejection was that what hurt the most from the rejection was myself expecting acceptance from something I don’t have control over to establish the self I’ve been imagining. Do not get me wrong, as I wrote in my previous blogs, you have to have a goal as high as your future self won’t believe your present self made it. Aim the impossible, DO YOUR BEST especially on things you have power.
As you navigate in this life, do not find acceptance from others but crave badly for rejection. If you got rejected from that prestigious university or that dream job then find more opportunities. Apply again or apply to a different one. Give your best shot but do not expect that you will get it. Expect more rejections. This rejection/s will give you more lessons about life, other people and most importantly about yourself.
Next time, instead of stressing about the results of your job/scholarship/school application, sit down and write new application forms and send them out. Give your best shot but do not expect to get in because maybe the universe wants you to be in a different and better place you will enjoy more.
I saw in the news that the price of dried fish or tuyo is not as cheap as it used to be and people are opting to vegetables. Why not? It’s healthy and you’ll save money! Prepacked vegetables are also cheaper like the photo below.
You can find a lot of recipe in the internet for pinakbet. This Philippine dish is mainly composed of mixed vegetables that’s being cultivated in warmer areas. It’s very easy to cook. You just have to cut the vegetables mix everything in the boiling water add either fish, pork or shrimp paste and voila! Done!
What are the common vegetables in pinakbet? I looked up at different recipes and the common veggies are the following. And if you’re curious with their scientific names, just keep reading!
String beans or sitao – Vigna unguiculata spp. sesquipedalis
Squash or kalabasa – Cucurbita maxima
Eggplant or talong – Solanum melongena
Bittergourd or ampalaya – Momordica charantia
Tomato or kamatis – Solanum lycopersicum
Lady finger or okra – Abelmoschus esculentus
Garlic or bawang – Allium sativum
Onion or sibuyas – Allium cepa
Ginger or luya – Zingiber officinale
My lunchbox with my own pinakbet recipe. I like this dish because I feel like I’m eating healthy.
Here are some of the Filipino street foods that you can try:
1. Grilled innards
Isaw or chicken/pork intestine is one of the famous grilled street food. But you can also be adventurous by trying out other innards like pig ear, chicken head (“helmet”), chicken/pork blood (“betamax”), chicken feet (“adidas”), pork skin, pork mesentery. For me it’s best eaten with sweet or sweet and spicy sauce or vinegar.
2. More grilled food
If you’re a vegetarian or pescatarian, you can do grilled sweet corn or dried squid. This is not too common in a lot of places so if you find one go grab one! I found the grilled dried seafood in Cebu and Bacolod.
They say it’s called as egg waffle in English but I couldn’t justify. LOL. Basically, this is hard boiled egg coated in orange batter and fried. Best paired with spicy vinegar or sauce or combination of both.
4. Fish balls, kikiam, squid balls and chicken balls
So from the name itself except kikiam, these streetfood are made of fish, squid and chicken while kikiam is made of pork meat mixed with flour and seasoning and shaped into balls and fried. Don’t forget to eat it with the sweet sauce.
Don’t be scared of that tiny chick inside the egg. Balut is a fertilized developing duck egg embryo. Usually sold at night along the streets or mobile vendors. Can be eaten with vinegar and salt. Sip the savory soup of the egg first before opening the egg.
If you didn’t like the grilled innards, you may opt to try it in fried form. Of course with good sauce and vinegar!
I just saw this in a night market in Davao. There are places with their own street food so this one was new when I tried it but it’s worth a try! This is fried rice cake with variety of fillings to choose from. In this photo, they also sell fried shrimp roll, bread rolls and chicken dragon balls that I don’t know because I didn’t try.
8. Fried peanuts
This is a common street food. No need to explain but what’s different from the packed peanuts I think is that this is freshly cooked. Usually, they also sell fried anchovies, caramel-coated peanut, kidney beans, cornick, and sweet beans alongside that you should try as well.
9. Fried dumplings and chili egg roll (dynamite)
Fried dumplings is usually made of ground pork with seasoning stuffed in eggroll wrapper and then fried. While the chili egg roll aka “dynamite”, is made of long green chili stuffed with ground pork mix then wrapped and fried. Best dipped with sauce and/or vinegar.
10. Pansit (stir fried noodle)
Pansit habhab or lomi are sometimes sold in the streets in some places. Pansit habhab is more common in Quezon province and instead of calamansi, you can put vinegar. Lomi on the other hand is being sold usually in Batangas province or nearby places.
11. Egg cake
This street food has a distinct smell because it is made of old egg or eggs with broken yolk. They put seasoning and tomatoes and baked or fried. Best with spicy vinegar.
12. Ilocos empanada
If you’re in Ilocos region, this is a must try. Although there are places that serve this as street food but not as common as in Ilocos. I love the Vigan sausage, egg and veggies mixture inside this orange wrap.
13. Veggie balls + lato(seaweed)
Made of ground veggies, flour, egg and seasoning. Deep fried. Try it out with seaweed if you see one.
14. Grilled bananas
Saba banana in a perfect unripe-ripe stage grilled coated with margarine and sugar. You can also try banana cue – this is the same banana but coated with sugar.
Soybean milk curd with sweet caramel syrup and tapioca. In some places, like in Baguio City, they have strawberry and ube taho.
Steam grated corn. It’s a bit sweet and the cool part is that it is steamed using the husk. Usually sold in Cagayan de Oro-Bukidnon area.
17. Dirty ice cream
And we are down to the last one that I purposefully put here as your choice of dessert. Aside from the usual chocolate and cookies and cream flavor, they sometimes have cheddar cheese and purple yam(ube) combo flavor. In some places like Bicol province, they have chili ice cream and other interesting flavor. In Davao City, I had a charcoal ice cream variant they also have Durian ice cream. In Baguio City, they have ube and strawberry ice cream.
And if you get thirsty, we gotchu! Get some buko (young coconut) juice.
Take advantage of the health benefits of young coconut in a place where young coconut is considered as street food. Pair it with any of your selected street food!
It’s amazing how Filipinos are very creative in terms of street food. There are a lot more but I hope this list helps you decide the first ones to try.
Love is in the air.
If you are close to giving up on love, this is the sign to keep holding on.
I know it hurts a lot. An unbearable and excruciating pain. Every day is a struggle to get out of bed because you just want to cry all day.
It’s exhausting mentally, emotionally, and physically. You just want the memories to get washed off by the tears, but it seems that each morning is just the same amount of pain as yesterday.
Tomorrow won’t be ok.
Or not even next week.
Then maybe today was better. You guessed that you are starting to feel the slow healing and smiled a bit.
And then you saw the cause of your pain and you go back to day 1.
You may cry each night for a month everything may seem like a never-ending cycle.
But it’s not.
In time, you’ll heal.
Be patient with yourself.
Acknowledge the pain.
You are enough. There is nothing wrong with you. It’s just not yet your time.
But I hope you get well soon.
While you’re in pain several thoughts will come into your mind like maybe love is not for you and then you’ll start building thick walls around your heart to not let anyone enter ever again. Depending on how things ended, sometimes after the healing process is done, you’ll have the tendency push away the love that you most certainly deserve.
And it’s normal. It’s part of our life that makes living exciting.
Yes. It is easier said than done but trust me, you lost that love to give way for another one. The one that you’ll be thankful everyday why things didn’t work out. It will look magical how everything seems so easy and almost perfect.
You’ll be scared because the flow is very smooth. You know why? Because the universe prepared you this present. Only for you.
So, don’t give up on love. Ok?