It has always been my struggle to cook food for me and Darel. Not because I don’t know how but mainly because it’s really hard to cook just for two persons! And besides, almost everything you buy in the groceries usually comes in big sizes, hindi lang for two. Honestly, hindi talaga ako sanay bumili sa palengke (although I try to shop there every once in a while), so I had no choice but to buy whatever that is available in the grocery.
Before, dahil mahirap makahanap ng recipes na good for two lang, I will cook a meal and then sobrang daming matitira. Eventually we have to dispose leftovers na kasi hindi na namin kaya yung “umay” sa paulit ulit na pagkain at nasisira na lang talaga yung food.
But that was then, when I haven’t tried meal prepping yet. Soooo. Here’s why make-ahead meals work quite well for me:
1. Lessens the need to cook everyday + more time to do other things
If you know us well ni Darel, we usually just eat two heavy meals in a day. Medyo nahirapan talaga ako sa set-up namin because ako, I prefer to have brunch and dinner. Si Darel naman, kelangan breakfast and lunch dahil madalas oats lang ang gusto nya sa gabi. So paano, diba? Ang hirap nung magluluto ako ng dinner tapos ako lang din naman yung kakain.
Aside from that, nakakapagod yung kada meal magluluto ka. Iba yung pagod from cooking sa pagod ng paghugas ng mga pinaglutuan mo. Maglilinis ka pa ng bahay. Haha. So atleast with meal preps, I cook like full-on luto only once a week. Yung iba, like specifically for breakfast gaya ng eggs, omelette, hotdogs, ganyan, madali lang naman yun so I don’t consider that as full-on luto. And besides, we have an air fryer to help me with that. If you can, I encourage you to invest in an air fryer. Sobrang laking tulong, plus no oil pa. FYI: I define full-on luto with the use of a lot of ingredients. Yung may mga timpla-timpla pa.
2. We can eat healthier + saves us money
Ang problem ko talaga with the fact na oats lang ang prefer ni Darel pag gabi, I often end up eating fried food / fast food. Whether luto dito sa bahay, or delivered. (Mcdonalds, baka naman. Haha.) In short, kulang talaga yung word na “healthy” sa food ko, or namin in general. But with meal preps, nakaka-kain na kami ng gulay ngayon. Haha. Hindi ko pa pproblemahin yung mga hindi budgeted na eating out or pa-deliver kasi dahil naka-portion na ang food, wala na akong ma-rereklamo dahil kelangan ko na lang i-microwave yung kakainin ko.
Also, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the same food for the whole week. From what I’ve tried in the past weeks, dahil recently lang naman ako bumalik ulit sa pag-meal prep, I can only do 2 types of meal in one cooking (I tried doing 4 different meals, hindi ko kaya. Hahaha). So ni-rorotate ko yun for 1 week, meaning I still cook within the week pero mas less. Look at this:
3. We develop discipline in our eating habits + no more leftovers
No more skipping of meals! Twice a day na nga lang kami kumain, talagang hindi pwede mag skip ng meal. Hahaha. We usually have snacks in between, like fruits, biscuits, bread. Pero gets, hindi ka na masyado tatamarin magluto dahil once a week ka na nga lang magluluto ng full-on.
Aside from that, dahil equally distributed yung food namin within the week, wala na kami nung maraming leftovers. Ang problem ko dati kapag nagluto ako ng marami, kelangan namin siya ma-consume agad asap kasi masisira. With meal preps, wherein naka container ang isang serving ng food, computed mo na kung til when sya tatagal. Actually, if you want it nga to last longer than the usual 7 days, you can freeze it habang hindi mo pa kakainin.
Feeling ko sobrang ideal ng make-ahead meals kung you’re doing it for yourself lang or dalawa lang kayo. It really has advantages. Hindi ko lang sure how meal prepping would become feasible kapag marami na kayo in the family. Anyway, if this would apply sa current situation nyo, I encourage you to try it! Sa ngayon, it works quite well for us.
I have here 2 recipes that costs only 130pesos or less per serving. FYI: I modified some of the ingredients from the original kasi ang hirap mahanap sa Pilipinas nung iba. Or minsan, tinatanggal ko talaga kasi either hindi ko feel, or nagtitipid ako. Hahaha.
Chicken Burrito Bowl
Original recipe and ingredients: https://youtu.be/bs7ZTz0Xw0w (first meal in the video)
Modified ingredients with estimated cost:
I didn’t include the cost of the rice. If diet ka kagaya ng asawa ko, pwede mo naman i-remove yung rice. Haha. Pero kanin is life ako eh so yung akin meron. Also, I used my homemade salsa for this pero nilagay ko na rin yung price ng salsa na you can commonly find in grocery stores.
Few notes for this recipe, which I only realized habang niluluto ko na. Haha.
1. Slice the onions thicker para hindi masunog agad. Also, I will add more next time. Same goes for the bell-peppers.
2. I bought salted black beans. I don’t know if meron bang hindi. Haha. If meron, yun na bibilhin ko next time.
3. Isang serving lang talaga ang isang chicken breast fillet. Wag na umasa na dadami ‘to pag niluto. Hahaha. In case you’re wondering bakit 3 servings lang nagawa ko.
Salisbury Steak with Green Peas and Mashed Potatoes
Original recipe and ingredients: https://youtu.be/YuuYaJx733g
Modified recipe with estimated cost:
Few notes for this recipe:
1. Hindi pala kami fan ng green peas so buti na lang I made a lot of salsa so we add some of it when we eat this.
2. Ang hirap gumawa ng patties ha! Haha. Also, next time I’ll make bigger ones dahil kapag niluto eh mag-shrink pala siya. Hahaha. I tried cooking some of it sa pan, then yung iba sa oven. Mas less hassle sa oven pero mas matagal. Sa pan kasi may chance na mag break siya.
3. If I’ll do this again, I might add more potatoes.
4. The original recipe used red wine vinegar, but I used a regular cane vinegar. So ayun, medyo maasim yung sauce HAHAHA. Pero naayos ko naman siya. Ang tagal ko nga lang tinimpla. So, next time kahit siguro ½ tsp na lang.
If you have other recipes, tips and tricks about meal preps, let me know. :) Or, why not try these recipes too? Will share more soon!