Coming from a big family, I am admittedly having a hard time adjusting on proportions when cooking now. Though I use the quantities of ingredients in the recipes I read as a guide, I most often adjust using "tantiya" method (rough estimate) and hopefully soon I'll be versatile enough to know how much of each ingredient to use when cooking for 20 or just for three.

Same goes when doing grocery shopping - it now takes me awhile to list down the ingredients from the weekly menu plan I make, sum up all quantities and list them in such a way that when I order from the butcher in the supermarket, the meat are already divided into individual packs based on weight. I do that so I don't have to thaw a whole bag of a kilo of ground beef, just to get half of it for my spaghetti.

Buying and cooking vegetables for me is the hardest since I only need a few of each ingredient to make a one-pot meal but would end up buying too much because (for example) you can't cut a labanos in half when buying from the grocery. The solution I make is to make viands with the same ingredient/s in consecutive days to make sure nothing goes to waste. If I am making sinigang and got too much sitaw (because I had to buy a bundle), I make ginisang sitaw or adobong sitaw the next day to consume all of it.

Good thing nowadays, supermarkets or even my suki subdivision vegetable cart vendor now sell "packs" of cut vegetables for specific viands such as nilaga, chopsuey and pinakbet. Just today, I bought a pack of pinakbet mix from Rustan's Fresh that costed me only Php38. Inside are cut portions of squash, sitaw, ampalaya, okra and eggplants. I still have to study whether I actually saved by buying it versus getting whole portions - but just the same my intuition says I still saved some - because I didn't have to cut and peel the veggies.
I just added some of the sauteeing staples and meat and for roughly Php50, cooked a meal good for lunch and dinner (and to be served with extra protein, like Liempo).

:: :: ::

Pinakbet (Superboink's Version)
1 pack of Pinakbet Mix Vegetables
1pc onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, diced
2pcs tomatoes, diced
2T ginger, diced
1 strip of pork liempo (belly) cut into bite size pieces
3T bagoong isda
1/2pk Maggi Magic Sarap
1T soy sauce
ground black pepper to taste

How I did it:
I sauteed the onions, ginger, garlic, and tomatoes in a wok (but you may use whatever suits you).
On one side of the wok, I browned the pork belly bits, then mixed it with the rest of the ingredients in the pan.
I added the bagoong isda, sprinkled the Maggi Magic Sarap, soy sauce and ground black pepper.
I added water enough to cover just half of the vegetables. You may adjust the amount of water you'll add -- if you want your pinakbet dry or soupy.
Bring it to a simmer, being careful not to turn the veggies to a mush --- and retain its original color and just the right crisp.
Serve over steamed rice.
:: :: ::

I omitted the bagoong alamang (shrimp paste) because M is allergic to shrimps. It also makes the pinakbet too salty, although I still enjoy the REAL pinakbet taste some place else. I did not add salt as well because the soy sauce and seasoning granules are enough to enhance the taste of the vegetables.
That one pack of pinakbet mix vegetables was served for lunch and dinner, good for 3 persons per meal. Nice!



maan said…
hehe, mas masarap actually yung taga-tikim lang. feeling ko kasi 'pag ako nagluluto, amoy pa lang busog na ako. palagi tuloy kaunti lang ang nakakain ko =)
maan said…
hehe, ok lang. :) tamaders pa ko magluto. (lagi na lang tinatamad :P) though paminsan pag nasa mood, kinukulit ko nanay ko. basically, taga hiwa lang ako at tikim at basa ng recipe pero sya yung nagluluto. hehe
maan said…
Thanks Suzi! Naku, ang weird ng comment moderation settings ko. Inayos ko na at tinanggal pero wala pa rin, I must have done something wrong. Sorry sa hassle.
Luto na! :-)
maan said…
di ba talaga nalagay yung una kong comment? hmmm...

anyho, ang sabi ko ay: 'nagugutom ako sa mga posts mo. yum! yum!'
maan said…
nagugutom ako sa mga posts mo. yum yum!


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