Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Harina Artisan Bakery Cafe's Meatless Monday Menu Will Make You Love Vegetables!

Green is in! If you still haven't jumped into the healthy eating revolution, it is time to do so now! Why? Because eating vegetarian dishes doesn't mean all you can have are adobong kangkong and nilagang kamote all the time!

Harina Cafe shares space with Monsee's Bakery
I love eating vegetables and made sure to get my kids get used to eating them as well since they were small. Unfortunately, there are a lot of adults I know who literally cringe when vegetables are mentioned. That is sad because they're missing out on all these good and healthy stuff! 

If you are one of those who prefer eating meat over greens, you need to discover the following great-tasting (I am not kidding!) meatless dishes at Harina Artisan Bakery Cafe. According to Ms. Sally Yunez who developed the recipes, there is an international Meatless Monday campaign and, although they are not connected to the proponents, they also have the same goal, which is to encourage people to not eat meat at least once a week to improve their health and help the environment.

crunchy breadsticks with chocolate dip, anyone? :)
"They say that Monday is the best day for this because it is the start of the week … people are usually enthusiastic and raring to begin something new, something good," said Ms. Sally.

Atty. Marina Demeterio, who is one of the cafe's owners, affirmed that they will not be serving meat at Harina Cafe every Monday. "Health concerns pushed me to a plant diet and I am learning that it isn't all so bad. Maybe if I started this earlier, I wouldn't have health problems," she shared. "So I want people to consider getting into it, even for just one day a week, while they still have a choice."

Green and Red Electrolytes (P150 each)
And good choices they have -- lots of it! For starters, we got to try ultra-refreshing beverages that are perfect for the currently hot summer weather. I love the Green Electrolyte (made with cucumber, lemon, and lime) and the Red Electrolyte (fresh apple and watermelon juice), which both taste really good!

The highly-recommended Red Planet (P180)
But what immediately made me fall in love with the Meatless Monday menu was the first appetizer called Red Planet because it is made using all my favorite foods! The thick slice of grilled watermelon was served warm and topped with cheese, arugula, and crushed walnuts and/or peanuts then drizzled with balsamic glaze. It was love at first bite for me! The burst of flavors was phenomenal. I was really amazed how such ingredients, when combined like that, could taste really wonderful!

Melon Celery Salad (P160)
Another must-try appetizer is the Melon Celery Salad, a refreshing mix of melon cubes and crunchy celery with sour cream + yogurt dressing. This dish will likewise tickle your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

Lentil Soup (P120)
For those who want something to warm the tummy, try the Lentil Soup, which is a sumptuous broth filled with fresh vegetables and lentils.

Kimchi Fried Rice w/ BBQd Beancurd (P250)
As to something heavier on the tummy, another winner dish is the Kimchi Fried Rice with Barbecued Beancurd Skin and grilled bell peppers. You won't even notice you're not eating meat! This is my #2 favorite dish after Red Planet.

Dinuguan (P230)
My third choice? Meatless and bloodless Dinuguan! Whether you like the classic Filipino dish or abhor it for its ingredients, this is your chance to taste dinuguan and see it in a new light. The rich black stew made from seaweeds is teeming with black mushrooms, banana blossoms, and soybean curd and tastes like the real thing. You can order it with either steamed rice or puto

Arroz Cubana (P230)
Another tummy-filling dish is Arroz Cubana, a savory mix of potatoes, carrots, and soy protein served with fried egg, plantains, and steamed rice. You'll also be surprised that even without any meat, this dish tastes good!

Bruschetta Platter (P310)
If you're dropping by Harina for snacks, you may want to order the Bruschetta Platter made of toasted slices of classic baguette presented three ways: avocado, asparagus, and arugula; herbed tomatoes; and sliced mushrooms with cheese. 

Apple Crumble (P375) best paired with coffee
For dessert, order the heavenly Apple Crumble composed of tangy fuji and granny smith apples with cinnamon over sweet crust topped with streusel and chopped walnuts. It will pleasantly conclude your  meal and I bet you'll be surprised that you spent a lovely time enjoying various flavors without eating meat.

More breads, pastries, spreads, and cheeses available at Monsee's
The full Meatless Monday menu is available every Monday but select dishes like the Arroz Cubana and Kimchi Fried Rice can also be ordered everyday. We were told that Harina will be coming up with more flavorful vegetarian dishes from different cuisines in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

Visit Harina Artisan Bakery Cafe at 118 Katipunan Ave., White Plains, Quezon City. they are open Mondays to Sundays, 6AM to 9PM. For inquiries, please call (02) 352-6721.

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