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: Free! Words: 4,620. Language: English. Published: June 11, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Vegetarian and 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.
Traditional Mexican Food
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,910. Language: English. Published: June 8, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Mexican, Nonfiction » History » Latin America / Mexico
‘Traditional Mexican Food’ is about an important aspect of the ancient culture and traditions of Mexico, namely, their own food ways which began as early as 9,000 years ago. In spite of Spanish dominion, Mexicans until today still remain eating their own native staples such as corn, beans, squash, avocados, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and chili peppers.
French Apple Baking
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,190. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » French, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Baking
‘French Apple Baking’ is about simple French recipes (some centuries old) of baked desserts that you can make with apples. French everyday apple baking for the family means homey, delicious, comforting, quick, easy, with a little budget but always done to a fine art.
Traditional Thai Food
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,780. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Asian, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Vegetarian and Vegan
Traditional Thai Food is an interesting account of how Thailand’s culinary traditions have been influenced by many ancient kingdoms and civilizations over thousands of years. Tracing Thai food history into the far past reveals that it focuses mainly on vegetables and use of spices, aromatic plants, herbs, roots and leaves to enhance the natural flavor.
Traditional Indonesian Food
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,910. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Vegetarian and Vegan, Nonfiction » History » Asian
‘Traditional Indonesian Food’ is about the long, long history of Indonesia’s staple foods like rice, wheat and tubers making its vegetable diet truly healthy and complete since ancient times. Indonesia also has the richest varieties of sambals (hot and spicy condiments), natural spices, flavorings and seasonings.
My Filipino Kitchen 1
Price: Free! Words: 4,060. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Vegetarian and 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.
He Is Not A Mystery
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,340. Language: English. Published: September 28, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Meditations
In high school, I studied in a private girls’ school run by Catholic nuns. I wanted to become a nun too. I wanted to love and serve God but for the nuns God is a mystery. I felt these were beguiling ideas, left me with more questions than answers. This is a story of how the so-called mystery of God was finally unravelled to me.
Gurya
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,540. Language: English. Published: September 25, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
This is a story of a poor old widow named Aling Rosing living in a barrio (village). The barrio fiesta is 2 days away. Pork meat is in demand. Aling Rosing is forced to sell her pet pig Gurya to the local matadores (butchers) due to great need of money. Torn in extreme guilt, she was shocked to see Gurya beaten up and tortured. It is a story of man's heartlessness towards animals.
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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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.

Nona Lema's tag cloud

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