Ginisang Upo and Spinach is a Filipino dish of stir-fried bottle gourd, tomatoes, prawns, and spinach that is then quickly braised on chicken stock.
My grandfather loves planting vegetables, especially the ones featured on this dish. I still remember we have a lot of vegetables grown at home and most of the time my grandmother just harvests them fresh and cooked minutes before it was gathered. We have all sorts of vegetables like tomatoes, moringa leaves, taro, chillies, sweet potato, peanuts, bottle gourd, chayote and bitter gourd to name some. We also have a lots of fruit bearing trees like soursop, papaya, avocadoes, and mangoes. What’s even more surprising is that we live in a heavily urbanized area, but since we had a bit of non-concrete grounds my grandfather managed to utilize that. I certainly miss those day, the vegetables are fresh and the excitement of watching the vegetables grow, sadly I don’t have a green finger like my grandparents did, so for me, I just resort to buying them.
Our dish today is one of the usual dishes my grandmother used to cook when I was young. Most of its ingredients can be home grown, like what my grandfather did. Most Filipinos grew up with something similar, a vegetable dish that is sauteed in garlic and onions with a bit of protein, a very common dish in the Philippines and it’s called Ginisa or Guisado. Dishes like such are quite simple to make, easy to prepare but the result was a delicious, nutritious and a dish that almost costs nothing to make as long as they grow it at home.