The main objective of Luntiang Lunes is to adopt healthy dietary habits, which includes eating more vegetables. This shouldn’t be much of a problem in agricultural Philippines but the reality is, our contemporary eating habits have become so skewed towards high meat consumption that we are now considered the country in Asia that has the lowest consumption of vegetables.
What a difference this is from two generations ago when we ate more fish and vegetables! It would be interesting to trace what factors affected this radical shift in consumption patterns. Off the top of my head, I suspect that one reason was how advances in agricultural technology led to meat becoming more affordable and easier to cook (younger pigs & chickens slaughtered = less tough).
One of the ill-effects of this change is the neglect of our local vegetables. We have a lot of indigenous vegetables that have somehow become neglected. Some of these are paco (fiddlehead ferns), talinum and labong.
For today’s Luntiang Lunes recipe, there was no cooking done. I came up with a pako salad which is not the one typically served in restaurants. This one just made use of what I found in the refrigerator but taste-wise, it can be served to guests.
It is a mix of manibalang (semi-ripe) mango, tomatoes and pako. The dressing is very, very simple – a pinch of salt sprinkled over the salad and a drizzle of champagne vinegar. That was it!
It had the perfect combination of sweet, sour and salty.