The New Essentials

How to Like Your Vegetables

Vegetables have a bad rep but in defense of eating healthy, Adrienne Yim of KatHa says her plant-forward diet has done her a lot of good in the kitchen.

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Let’s be real—many of us grownups still have a problem with eating our vegetables.  But apart from it being the grownup thing to do, adopting a plant-forward diet comes with a whole host of benefits.

For Adrienne Yim, having a plant-forward diet has actually expanded her palate. One of the creative minds behind local zero-waste store KatHa, Adrienne is in charge of curating the store’s snack and tea collections; she combines common pantry ingredients to come up with a dish or drink that’s simple, delicious, and easy to make even for the most amateur cooks.

Adrienne’s curiosity was what initially led her to try out plant-based cooking (“I wanted to understand why people like this!”). Six years later, she’s confident enough to say that being plant-forward doesn’t always have to be expensive, or god-forbid, boring.

“When you’re plant based, the taste doesn’t [just] rely on salt. It also relies on other things, like how playful you are with [using] herbs.”<callout-alt-author>Adrienne Yim<callout-alt-author></callout-alt-author></callout-alt-author>

“You can eat vegetables cooked or raw, and the sensations and tastes will be absolutely different,” she says. “I usually don’t like eating carrots, but when I tried to eat it raw, I realized I liked it better when it’s cooked!”

Knowing how to play with different flavors and work with the ingredients you have are invaluable skills that all aspiring plant-eaters eventually develop. As long as you keep an open mind and have the willingness to try, anyone can learn to enjoy making (and eating!) their vegetables.

Photo courtesy of Josh Tolentino.
Photo courtesy of Josh Tolentino.


How do you start building a more plant-forward diet? Here are four basic principles you need to remember:

Know your protein substitutes

Going plant-based isn’t always restrictive. Protein is found not only in meat and seafood, but also in other food groups including beans, nuts, seeds, and soy. If you’re considering to adopt a more plant-forward diet, stock up on these substitutes.

Flavor is your friend

Flavor is what makes or breaks a dish. Aside from owning the basic herbs and table condiments, explore other flavoring agents like sage, nutmeg, cardamom, cayenne, or paprika to add more personality to your dish. Natural oils are also great sources of flavor (For salads and cooking, Adrienne swears by virgin coconut oil!).

There is more to healthy eating than spinach and broccoli

Zucchinis, cauliflower, sweet potatoes—these are only some of the most versatile vegetables you can work with. As long as you know how to cure and cook them well, you can transform these babies into anything.

Tip: Make sure to store your vegetables properly to keep them longer. You can also opt to buy these from your local palengke to keep it fresh and affordable.

Stock up on dry goods

Other dry goods that are always great to have on hand: dried chick peas, kidney beans, legumes, lentils. Having these readily available in your pantry can help you easily whip out a last minute snack or meal.

Tip: It’s always better to buy in bulk to save on costs! You can easily buy these in your local grocery, or at zero-waste stores like KatHa.

YOUR NEW Pantry Staples

Jot these down for your next grocery run.


Essentially your gluten-free Japanese soy sauce, tamari supplies salty and umami flavors to your food. But if you’re not so picky with ingredients, you can always swap this out with regular soy sauce.

Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are high in fiber and omega-3 fats, which are good for digestion and the heart. It’s also packed with high-quality protein, so you can add a tablespoon of this in your meals to make it more filling.

Turmeric Powder

Earthy, bitter, with just a hint of spice, turmeric adds depth to your dish, not to mention a vivid color. Often used to make curry and tofu scramble.


Blend it into hummus or pop it in your salad—there are so many things you can do with chickpeas, making it an invaluable ingredient.

“A Filipino dish like adobo or kare-kare—instead of using chicken or pork, you can substitute these with vegan meat or white fungus. Even for snacks like lumpia; instead of meat, switch it to togue.”<callout-alt-author>Adrienne Yim<callout-alt-author></callout-alt-author></callout-alt-author>


Not sure where to start? Here’s a simple healthy snack you can easily make at home. Pair it with a glass of homemade iced tea to refresh you after a long day. Save these recipe cards for later.

RECIPE: Oven Roast Rosemary & Cilantro Chickpeas
RECIPE: Oven Roast Rosemary & Cilantro Chickpeas

RECIPE: Super Easy Veggie Wrap
RECIPE: Super Easy Veggie Wrap

RECIPE: The Rouge Spritzer
RECIPE: The Rouge Spritzer

How to Farm at Home - Downloadable GuideDownload the FRee Guide
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