THE very basic thing a person could do to boost his immune system is to eat healthy. It’s very simple to say but hard to do, especially when most people turn to food for comfort.
That is why flight attendant Joie Agudo decided to launch The Black Plate PH, an online healthy food delivery business which offers low-calorie, homemade vegetarian and pescatarian dishes free from MSG, additives, flavor enhancers and preservatives. Joie hopes to motivate more people to be mindful with what’s on their plate and aims to introduce a flavorful way of eating healthy, especially during the pandemic.
The locally sourced ingredients she uses like eggs, fruits and vegetables are all organic, and the noodles are gluten-free.
According to Joie, health foods are essential not just in terms of being protected during a pandemic but also in continuing to help protect and optimize one’s overall health. Maintaining a low-fat, plant-based diet can enhance the immune system.
The brand’s Instagram account (@theblackplate.ph) started out as an avenue for Joie to share her vegetarian and pescatarian recipes. She may be a flight attendant by profession, but cooking is her way of self-expression—her “moment for meditation in motion,” as she calls it. She proudly admitted that she enjoys every bit of the process, and seeing how different ingredients combine for great flavor gives her a sense of fulfillment.
“It excites me; yet it calms me. I love that cooking always gives me a chance to be creative and yet indulge in some play time. I adore losing myself in the rituals of chopping, stirring, tasting and plating,” Joie shared.
Familiar and comforting hearty Asian dishes, minus the meat, are her specialties.
“You’ll be surprised how we cooked these comfort foods with a healthy twist!”
On the brand name, Joie explained: “Black implies power, control and discipline. It also adds curiosity and intrigue, which reflects the end product that I personally curate from the presentation, taste and most importantly, the overall experience. The word ‘plate’ simply associates the business industry and that is food. Combining the two words results in sophisticated servings that are different from the usual food-to-go concepts without forgetting that it is a healthy version of your favorite dish. Hence, ‘The Black Plate.’”
Joie personally prepares and cooks all the dishes, making sure that these are in top quality when dispatched from the kitchen. The food is presentable, colorful, Instagram-worthy “and, of course, tasty.” That is why her customers cannot help themselves but exercise “‘gram before meals” because all the food items are not only good for the health but also look great for photos.
Though one might be tempted to save his food for late consumption, Joie suggests that the dishes be consumed immediately as these are prepared with no preservatives. However, to extend the shelf life of The Black Plate PH’s products, these can be properly stored in the fridge.
“Most people think of healthy food as bland, boring, restricting and tasteless. We are breaking that assumption,” Joie said.