Nona Lema

Biography

Nona Lema was born, raised and lives in the Philippines. She attended Santa Isabel College, University of Santo Tomas and University of the Philippines. She is married with three children and four grandchildren. She has been a vegetarian for many years and her experience in vegetarian cooking has spanned more than thirty five years. During this period, she learned, revised, created and kitchen-tested countless vegetarian recipes with emphasis on regional and traditional Filipino dishes.

Over the years, Nona has written many food articles that have been published in magazines, newspapers and in her blog called Home Cooking With Nona Lema. In 2013, she started publishing her Gulay ebooks (a Filipino vegetarian recipebook series). There are now eight ebooks published in that series. The word ‘gulay’ in the Filipino language means vegetables.

Today, Nona is publishing other ebook series, featuring the traditional food of Asian countries like Thailand, China, Indonesia; Mexico and European countries like France, Italy and Spain-- different ancient cultures whose traditional food centers on vegetable food. The ebook series touches on history, culture, people and traditional recipes.

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

My Filipino Kitchen 2
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,550. Language: English. Published: June 11, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Vegetarian & Vegan, Nonfiction » History » Asian
‘My Filipino Kitchen’ is a collection of everyday Filipino dishes with a short history and its recipe. Filipino food is a mixture of Asian, Mexican and Spanish flavors brought about by the Philippines’ colonial history and ancient cultural interaction with other Asian neighbors. The dishes featured in this book reflect all these interesting culinary influences.
My Filipino Kitchen 1
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,780. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Vegetarian & Vegan, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » healthy living
‘My Filipino Kitchen’ is a collection of everyday Filipino dishes with a short history and its recipe. Filipino food is a mixture of Asian, Mexican and Spanish flavors brought about by the Philippines’ colonial history and ancient cultural interaction with other Asian neighbors. The dishes featured in this book reflect all these interesting culinary influences.
Gulay Book 8, A Filipino Vegetarian Recipebook Series
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 12,630. Language: English. Published: August 20, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Vegetarian & Vegan, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » healthy living
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 7, A Filipino Vegetarian Recipebook Series
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 13,320. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Vegetarian & Vegan
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 6, A Filipino Vegetarian Recipebook Series
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 12,970. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Vegetarian & Vegan, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » healthy living
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 5, A Filipino Vegetarian Recipebook Series
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 14,180. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Vegetarian & Vegan, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » healthy living
Gulay is aFilipino 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 4, A Filipino Vegetarian Recipebook Series
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 12,990. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Vegetarian & Vegan, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Family health
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
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 13,690. Language: English. Published: September 28, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Vegetarian & Vegan, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » healthy living
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
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 12,360. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Vegetarian & Vegan, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » healthy living
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
Price: Free! Words: 14,590. Language: English. Published: July 1, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Vegetarian & Vegan, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Asian
'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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