Nona Lema

Biography

Hi! My name is Nona Lema. I'm a food writer and vegetarian cookbook author. For over 25 years I have created vegetarian recipes with emphasis on regional and traditional Filipino dishes, from my country, the Philippines. I hope you will like them - -they're delicious and healthy.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up and how did this influence your cooking and writing?
I grew up in the province of Batangas, in the southern Tagalog region of the Philippines. Summer vacations were spent along the shoreline of Anilao, Mabini, where my grandparents lived. I would be swimming in the ocean from sunrise to sundown with my cousins, uncles, brother and sisters, childhood friends, neighbors and other village kids. The ocean was our playground.

My father was an engineer and ship designer. He owned a fishing boat-yacht called 'basnig'. During summer, everybody in the family would be jumping on the boat and we would be cruising, island hopping, scuba diving, swimming or just basking in the sun --along Maricaban, Tingloy or Verde Island Passage, near Mindoro islands or just around Balayan Bay.

I come from a huge, happy, boisterous clan that always cooks and eats and laughs together. There’s a ‘family reunion’ practically every week-end. There are several good cooks in the family and so naturally there’s always sumptuous, good-tasting food.

All my cookbooks in the Gulay series reflect traditional Filipino recipes that have withstood time and were cooked 'lutong bahay' (home-cooked) style, just as I enjoyed them in my happy childhood. These recipes have been passed on thru generations with devotion and love to family, relatives, neighbors and friends.

Many age-old Filipino food are originally cooked with meat, fish and eggs. But because I’m now a vegetarian, my way of cooking 'lutong bahay' food still strongly adheres to family tradition but cooked the meatless and eggless way. I’m lucky to have a very happy marriage--a kind and loving husband, three children and now two lovely grandchildren. The recipes in my books are really just the meals I have cooked for my family all these years in written form.
When did you start writing?
About the same time that I started learning how to cook - -at about seven or eight years old. I started out by writing short poems. One day my 'lolo' (grandfather), David Lesandra King came to visit. He read some of the short poems I wrote. He was so happy tears welled in his eyes. At my young age, I didn’t even know that he himself was a poet and short story writer. And so was his father, my great grandfather, Ezra Wilson King, before him. I remember my 'lolo' saying that he’s glad at least one of the grandchildren ( that’s me) took after him in writing.

I was a voracious reader from an early age. I loved reading stories of people and places of long ago. In high school and college I went on writing--mostly short personal anecdotes. Meanwhile, my interest with cooking and baking continued. Later I shifted to food writing with a strong interest in food history. By then I knew someday I’d be authoring a cookbook.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Nona Lema online


Books

Gulay Book 4, A Filipino Vegetarian Recipebook Series
By Nona Lema
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 17,720. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2012. Category: Nonfiction
Gulay is a Filipino vegetarian recipebook series written by the best-selling author Nona Lema. It is so aptly named because ‘gulay’ in the Filipino language means ‘vegetable’. This recipe book series comes from the Philippines, a beautiful country in Southeast Asia with more than 7,000 scenic islands. Gulay features traditional Filipino cuisine cooked the vegetarian way.
Gulay Book 3, A Filipino Vegetarian Recipebook Series
By Nona Lema
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 18,900. Language: English. Published: September 28, 2012. Category: Nonfiction
Gulay is a Filipino vegetarian recipebook series written by the best-selling author Nona Lema. It is so aptly named because ‘gulay’ in the Filipino language means ‘vegetable’. This recipe book series comes from the Philippines, a beautiful country in Southeast Asia with more than 7,000 scenic islands. Gulay features traditional Filipino cuisine cooked the vegetarian way.
Gulay Book 2, A Filipino Vegetarian Recipebook Series
By Nona Lema
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 18,830. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2012. Category: Nonfiction
GULAY is a Filipino vegetarian recipebook series written by the best-selling author Nona Lema. It is so aptly named because ‘gulay’ in the Filipino language means ‘vegetable’. This recipe book series comes from the Philippines, a beautiful country in Southeast Asia with more than 7,000 scenic islands. GULAY features traditional Filipino cuisine cooked the vegetarian way.
Gulay Book 1, A Filipino Vegetarian Recipebook Series
By Nona Lema
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 18,390. Language: English. Published: July 1, 2012. Category: Nonfiction
'Gulay' is a Filipino vegetarian recipebook series written by the best-selling author Nona Lema. It is so aptly named because ‘gulay’ in the Filipino language means ‘vegetable’. This recipe book series comes from the Philippines, a beautiful country in Southeast Asia with more than 7,000 scenic islands.'Gulay' features traditional Filipino cuisine cooked the vegetarian way.

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