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The Mesa ni Misis Advocacy and Cookbook

Learn about the revolutionary plant-based movement and take a look inside founder Juana Manahan Yupangco's first cookbook featuring 40 recipes that make use of local, native vegetables!

 Just launched this week, the Mesa ni Misis cookbook features “plantlasang pinoy” at its finest and most delicious—featuring 40 plant-based recipes that make use of native Filipino vegetables. The cookbook is the first by founder Juana Manahan Yupangco and is published by ABS-CBN Books.


The philosophy behind Mesa ni Misis is to make Filipino vegetables the star of the show. In the cookbook, this is done by using them in international cuisines such as Italian, Lebanese, Indian, Spanish, and Filipino. “My goal with Mesa ni Misis is to show people that our local vegetables are just as good as those not native to the Philippines,” shares Juana. She encourages people to eat the vegetables in the song “Bahay Kubo,” stating that these vegetables are “all locally available, are affordable, and can grow anywhere and are so nourishing.”

Founded in 2017, Mesa ni Misis started off as a teaching advocacy. “We aim to make dishes at Php 250-300 for a family of four,” Juana shares. In her  research, she found that it is primarily the women of the house who make the  decisions regarding food, nutrition and health for the family. She also found that  Filipinos have the highest instances of non communicable diseases, such as heart problems, high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure. All these diseases are preventable simply by consuming less meat and less packaged  food. "We love our meat in the Philippines, especially pork; you can find crispy pork bits even in our vegetable dishes. I wanted to make vegetables interesting,  without sacrificing the flavors that we love,” she smiles. Juana holds a certificate in plant based nutrition from the T.Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, and is  currently completing her MSc in Global Nutrition and Food Security at the University of  Edinburgh, and was an awardee of the Richard Davidson Award in her first year of the MSc. 

Mesa ni Misis works with underserved communities by providing nutrition and cooking classes. Last year, in partnership with Maxicare, Mesa ni Misis provided plant based menus for three hospitals—The Medical City, Manila Medical Center, and VRP Medical Center, where plant based options are made available to  Maxicare patients, as well as in the hospital cafeteria. Mesa ni Misis also works with public schools, providing health and nutrition seminars to parents and  teachers, and now supporting their online learning through supplementary videos that cover nutrition, health, art, meditation, wellness and urban gardening.

At the onset of the pandemic, Mesa ni Misis responded with its program Kusina Connection, which provides food for frontliners, homes for the elderly, and locally stranded individuals. In partnership with Megawide Foundation, Mesa ni Misis also launched Market ni Misis which is a mobile market that provided fresh  produce to barangays in lockdown, with produce sourced from farmers who  could not get their goods into the city. This holiday season Mesa ni Misis is launching a program to help provide food for families in need.

The Mesa ni Misis cookbook brings recipes that Juana has tried and tested in communities, with friends and family, hospitals and institutions into your kitchen. The cookbook also features three recipes by Happy Ongpauco Tiu, who created them especially for Mesa ni Misis. The recipes in the book are designed to nourish families and to have people enjoy experimenting eating local  vegetables, "making #plantlasangpinoy second nature" to how we eat. With the cookbook, Juana hopes people will "enjoy eating from their #bahaykubokitchen."

Find out more about the Mesa ni Misis book and learn how to cook a plant-based Korean dish for your K-Pop and K-Drama feels in Metro.Style's Facebook Live with Metro Society Editor-in-Chief Raul Manzano below:

Grab your copy of Mesa ni Misis through Shopee, Lazada, National Bookstore, and ABS-CBN Books. Follow Mesa ni Misis on Instagram @MesaniMisis and on Facebook at @MesaniMisisPH.