Food is part of travel and I always love trying out different food recipes, but then I have sensitive buds. I’ve learned that I am a supertaster, especially to black olive-like taste. So I am a ‘picky-eater’ most of the time when eating outside.
When I was 14, while attending the christening celebration of my cousin’s little child, I vomited after tasting what I thought a dessert. I had no idea it was wasabi, looking deceptively appetizing like a light green cake. It literary made me teary-eyed and had my sinuses explode with just a finger-swiped taste. Well, I tasted it the wrong way: I did not eat it with sushi. Drinking lots of water or iced tea didn’t help and I went home early with a runny and stuffy nose and a headache!
On a different note, why not spend less and eat at home. Cook for yourself because like they said, “home cooked meals are always the best”. I don’t really cook and I admit not having superb kitchen skills but I’ve been trying to learn a few dishes, especially if my mom is not around. She’s the one who prepares tasty meals and these ones never fail to satisfy my appetite.
So here goes the list of my favorite home-cooked meals:
Adobong Kangkong. This water spinach is nutrient packed plus it has low calories. I want it with oyster sauce and lots of roasted minced garlic. I also love Krispy Kangkong.
Escabeche. This all-time Filipino Spanish dish is such a savory goodness, especially when the carrots and ginger are thinly-sliced. The kind of fish matters less, but Tilapia is great.
Bangus na Inun-unan. This is milkfish cooked in a clay cone. Eating the fat belly is incredibly luscious plus it’s rich in omega-3.
Omelet. I know this is very simple to cook. All you need are chopped onion leaves, tomatoes and pepper. Even the simplest sunny-side up eggs make me all good for the morning. Definitely a lifesaver easy-to-prepare nutrient packed food when you’re hurrying to work.
Buttered Chili Garlic Shrimp. Sauteed in butter with lots of minced garlic and a dash or two of chili pepper is the best way to serve shrimps at lunch or dinner.
Grilled squid. Grilling is definitely the best way to enjoy this sustainable seafood. Gerry’s Grill prepares this perfectly.
Patatas. I love potatoes! Be it in the form of french fries, mashed potato, baked, or with soup.
Tinunu-an na nangka or kalabasa. Mom don’t really cook this at home because you have to buy and prepare the coconut milk, but if I see it on a karenderia (cafeteria) for lunch, I will definitely order it. It’s cheap and has a pleasant taste. It actually taste better if you both have unripened jackfruit (nangka) and squash (kalabasa) mixed in creamy coconut sauce.
Talong / eggplant. I don’t care if it’s sinugba (smoked), stir fried or torta (omelet), this fruit-vegetable is simply appetizing to me.
Mixed Vegetables. Kabalasa (red squash), talong (eggplant), gabi (taro), alugbati (malabar spinach), repolyo (cabbage), okra (lady’s fingers) with soup or this stir-fried one:
Adobong Alugbati. This dark green vegetable is so tasty when sauteed with garlic and flavored with oyster sauce. It’s a superfood!
Sinabwang Manok or Tinolang manok, our local chicken soup. I want it the home-cooked way by putting not much kamunggay (horse radish leaves), tanglad (lemon grass) and sayote (chayote) or preferrably green papaya if available.
Ampalaya. This one is good for my dad’s diabetes so mom likes preparing it. As its name suggest, bitter gourds are bitter. For me it is way too bitter but it’s great with suka (vinegar), kamatis (tomato), and luy-a (ginger) after being thoroughly washed with salt and water when eaten raw. When cooked, I love it mixed with egg and oyster sauce because it masks the bitterness.
Sinungbang isda. When isda-sa-bato aka mol-mol (parrot fish) or lapu-lapu (orangey grouper fish) or other good-to-grill fish is on our table, I can’t seem to hold back from eating more rice. It’s perfect when you have it stuffed with tanglad (lemon grass), tomato and onions.
Pancit bihon. This is one of mom’s favorites and she loves cooking it. I really like it mixed with vegetables like cabbage and carrots.
Stir-fried Mushroom. It tastes like meat, yet very light. I prefer the oyster mushroom–it is rich in iron. I am dreaming of getting a mushroom farm :p
Monggos or mung beans. I just had a small bowl of mung bean stew with kalamunggay (horseradish) and alugbati (malabar nightshade) with no meat.
Find out how sensitive your taste buds too! I’m a supertaster and that I experience flavors, especially umami and bitter tasting foods with greater intensity than average. Now I learned to train my mind to think of benefits (nutrients), instead of just caring about the features (taste and presentation). I only started to appreciate dark green veggies almost three years ago. Also, I now love my coffee black but I still love hazelnut macchiato served hot.
Now my friend you have an idea if you plan to treat me. You will make me one happy kid! 😀