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Foodie Antics: Tips for Preparing Quick, Easy Meals

By 9:06 AM , , ,

This is my first Foodie Antics post, so I want it to be special...

With all the work I'm doing at home: taking care of the baby, managing my online shop, working as a VA, blogging etc. it makes people wonder how I get to manage a household without any help. Well, let me just say that I had to learn the ropes around the housewife and mommy job, and I've had my share of ups and downs. Honestly, I'm still learning along the way. Cleaning a 36sqm unit isn't all that bad, I try to keep an organized home as much as possible, like what I've shared in my previous post. But as for cooking and preparing meals, well, it's a whole different story, and it goes way, way back to my younger years (I can't believe I'm saying that, I'm just 24 anyway!)...

I actually can't remember the first time I learned to cook. I think it was preparing instant noodles, pancit canton to be exact, if you would even consider that cooking! But the real cooking I learned from my mother.
Being the eldest, and being a girl, my mom would ask for my assistance around the kitchen. I would usually chop vegetables for her, reach for whatever spices or ingredients she needs, stir the soup or flip the fried meat. At first, I didn't like helping around the kitchen at all, being a teenager, I would rather watch TV or use the computer! But I guess I just learned to show some passion for cooking as I grew older. Especially when you get to watch cooking shows, oh it makes you want to try things out for yourself and sometimes try doing your own version of it!

What I'm about to share are simple, practical tips on cooking and preparing meals the easy way or the quicker way, from one home cook to another. These are based from my experience, some tips I got from my mom, others from watching cooking shows.

TIP #1: Cook MORE 
Whenever I cook, I make it a point to prepare more than what's required. It's always better to have more rather than coming up short of food come meal time. For example, instead of cooking rice just right for me and my husband, I add 2-3 more cups of rice to cook. When I prepare viands or side dishes, I do a lot already, so that I only do it once and have some extra stored in the refrigerator. I usually do my "bulk" cooking every other dinner time or during the weekends, so that when I'm alone at home with the baby the next day, I just reheat the left over food in the microwave. The extra food also serves as my husband's baon the next day. It saves me time and energy, plus electricity too (since we use an induction cooker).

TIP #2: Plan meals ahead

Meat/seafood in separate containers
This doesn't mean that you need to list down or think of a bunch of meals and recipes each day. In my case, what I do is I divide the meat/seafood in different containers already right after we've done our grocery shopping. For example, 1 kilo of pork cubes I would separate so that one half would be for adobo and the other half probably for sinigang, or even menudo. Whatever dish you have in mind by cooking time, it would be easy to thaw them already. Another easy meal planning tip is to check your pantry or fridge for items that may expire soon or fresh produce nearing their time, and cook them first before they go bad. Also, when grocery shopping, have some pantry/meal staples handy like bread, eggs, cheese, pasta or whatever it is you use regularly for easy to fix meals like sandwiches or a bowl of cereal.

TIP #3: Multi-cooking with the Rice Cooker!
It might sound ridiculous, but I do a lot of cooking with our rice cooker! Luckily, ours has a steamer system with the rice cooker, and I steam fish, ham, eggplants with it. It's very helpful especially when I'm tired and I just want an easy meal prepared. Sometimes I even include eggs together with the rice to boil, and place hotdogs on the steamer system, and tada! Breakfast is ready in 10-15 minutes. Another helpful thing with using the rice cooker, is when I steam vegetables like carrots and potatoes in it, and it already becomes the stock for my baby's food. All I need is to mash 'em!

TIP #4: Reuse Leftovers
This is a follow up to TIP #1. When you've had more than enough of the dishes you cooked in bulk or even when there's a few leftovers in the fridge, it's helpful to make a new dish out of them! Think of it as a deconstructed meal and sometimes a little creativity makes a new, good eat! For example, you have soup left over from your nilaga, you can reuse it as a stock for another soup or some other viand. Another example is when you have some meat left over, say some ground beef, you can add it maybe to your chopsuey or mix it up with stir fried rice. Yum!

Hope you found these tips helpful somehow!

What about you? Care to share some cooking tips that may come in handy for home cooks out there? Feel free to leave some feedback.



Sincerely,




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3 comments

  1. Ang galing! Your tip on cooking in bulk comes handy. Oo nga no! Tipid sa kuryente. Microwave-microwave na lang.

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    Replies
    1. That's what I learned from watching Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller at Food Network, haha..

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  2. Makabili na nga ng rice cooker na may steamer hahaha!! Meron kami super cute, parang pang isang tao lang haha -april

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