Sunday, October 4, 2015

#154 Moringa Chicken Soup

I was extremely happy when I found Moringa, or commonly known as Malunggay or Kamunggay in the Philipppines,  at the produce section at Seafood City, a Filipino grocery store in Milpitas, California. It's been too long since I had it. I ate Moringa in the Philippines almost every day for the first 27 years of my life. When I moved to California, I didn't think this vegetable that grows into mini trees in warmer climates is available here in the Bay Area! 
I also didn't know how nutritious it was! We always cooked it back home, but I guess in some countries, it is consumed raw as a salad or mixed into a blender creating super healthy drink. It is rich in protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium and calcium. The leaves tastes somewhat like spinach, but with a stronger flavor. I also found out that Moringa offers healing benefits. Virtually all parts of the plant are used to treat inflammation, infectious disorders, and various problems of the cardiovascular and digestive organs, while improving liver function. I do know that it is used in enhancing milk flow in nursing mothers, so while I was nursing, I consumed a lot of Moringa. The uses of moringa are well documented in both the Ayurvedic and Unani systems of traditional medicine, among the most ancient healing systems in the world. No wonder, every time I was sick, a warm bowl full of Moringa Chicken Soup always helped! Moringa is rich in a variety of health-enhancing compounds, including moringine, moringinine, the potent antioxidants quercetin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and various polyphenols. The leaves seem to be getting the most market attention, notably for their use in reducing high blood pressure, eliminating water weight, and lowering cholesterol. There are Moringa pills available in the market, I remember seeing an ad online, but I didn't know Moringa is the Malunggay/Kamunggay that I oh so love!

You will want to remove the leaves from the stems, because it remains tough even after it's cooked. Last weekend, my daughter volunteered to do it for me. She had fun, and watching her do it gave me joy, I remember how I loved this same task when I was a child. :) 
My favorite dish to make with Moringa or Malunggay is TINOLANG MANOK or Chicken Soup. It's super easy to make since I use only 3 ingredients in addition to the water and a little bit of salt. The blend of the vegetables and broth was simply delicious. 

TINOLANG MANOK (Chicken Soup with Moringa)
  • Chicken breasts, cubed 
  • Moringa leaves 
  • Chayote, peeled and cubed
  • Water
  1. In a pot, boil water in high heat and then add the salt and the Chicken breasts. Reduce heat and let the chicken cook, about 15 minutes.    
  2. Add peeled and sliced chayote. Careful not to overcook.  
  3. Turn off heat, add Moringa and cover the pot.  
  4. Salt and pepper to taste. Add Chopped Jalapeno peppers for added heat. (optional)

Enjoy! :) 

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