Cans of sardines have always been a part of relief packs whenever calamities strike in the Philippines. That’s why I have mentioned in a previous blog post that sardines seem like the food of hope for Pinoys. But it can also get tiring to eat the same sardines with tomato sauce and rice every day. So I have come up with a series of tasty budget meals below P50 (fifty pesos) for the family. Try our Sardine and Salted Egg Salad Recipe. It’s cheap and tasty, too. With rice, it can feed up to five people in this pandemic.
Cooking with Sardines
In this blog, I came up with several recipes that involved cooking with sardines. It’s dressing up the sardines into gourmet dishes but can fit your budget. Click on the links below:
- Sardine Spaghetti Aglio Olio Recipe: 50-Peso Dish During Family Quarantine
- Spicy Sardine Frittata: 50-peso-Dish for a Family of 5 from Covid-19 Relief Packs
- Sardine Java Rice: A Budget Meal Below Fifty Pesos
Becoming Creative in the Kitchen
The Covid-19 global health crisis has really hit us all hard, especially economy-wise. At first, our work and business were just hampered because of the mandatory lockdown. But since we are not seeing the end of this pandemic anytime soon, many businesses have closed shop. Thousands of people have lost their jobs.
While many have shifted their livelihood from other streams of income, the fact remains that we are tightening our belts. The family budget has shifted to prioritize only basic necessities. Mommies, who usually handle the purse strings, need to be more creative in order to extend the value of their peso. We have never encountered a financial and health crisis as bad as this before. So we are all learning to survive one day at a time.
- Related: Teaching Kids How to Budget Money
The first stop in belt-tightening measures would be the kitchen. Homecooking gets more appreciated because we get to choose what we eat. We get to budget our meals, too.
Healthy Meals with Sardines
While trying to stretch our family budget, we also want to give something good and nutritious to our family. After all, how can we fight the dreaded Covid-19 if our immunity is down? We need to up our health in order to stay on top of this.
Yes, we still need to practice the proper wearing of face masks in public, frequent hand washing, and physical distancing. But most of all, we need to stay healthy. We need to eat nutritious food and take our supplements so that we will not easily get sick with minor ills. Remember, if you catch a common cold, it is also very easy for you to get infected with other viruses.
But most of all, if you do not need to go out, please: Stay at Home. That’s our best bet to stay safe in this pandemic.
Note: Have you lost your job or would rather work from home? Consider online jobs. Read this: Online Jobs that Work-at-Home Moms Can Do
Getting the Kids Involved
My children are cooking enthusiasts and I encourage them as much as I can. They find it gratifying to eat the food that they have prepared. Plus, they seem to have a field day in the kitchen with me.
Honestly, it can sometimes be annoying having them in the kitchen. They talk, shout, laugh, and even bicker. While it is fun doing things together, it can be grating on my nerves especially if I am doing my kitchen experiment. I can easily lose focus and forget the things I have already put in.
So I have to constantly remind myself that my role as a mother is to guide and teach them these like skills. This stage is just temporary and eventually, they will grow up. That way, we all have a good time in the kitchen.
Sardine and Salted Egg Salad Recipe
With some creativity and culinary herbs from your garden, you can already make a nice salad. Check out my Sardine and Salted Egg Salad Recipe. So easy to make and so light on the budget.
Here’s how to make salted eggs at home: Recipe here.
I would encourage you to grow some greens at home. We live in a high-rise commercial building surrounded by concrete. Sunlight is limited and the rain can be very harsh up here. But I managed to grow some greens from pots that I used in this salad.
Meanwhile, the pansit-pansitan just grows during rainy season along with my ornamental plants. I didn’t plant them—I guess the birds have brought the seeds to my garden. Eventually, I had some culinary herbs to harvest when the right season came.
- 1 can sardines in tomato sauce
- Cooking oil and 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 salted eggs
- 2-3 ripe or ripening tomatoes
- 1 white onion (optional)
- A bunch of Pansit-pansitan (Pepperomia Pellucida), if available
- Chives, sliced into short pieces
- Pinch of salt
- Spicy vinegar or Balsamic vinegar
1. Separate the sardines from the tomato sauce. Use the sauce for other purposes, like our helper who likes to have this as “ulam.” Remove the bones.
2. Saute the sardines in a little oil and garlic. Fry until you get the consistency of something like bottled gourmet “tuyo.”
3. Slice the tomatoes and onion the way you like it. Our tomatoes were cubed while the onions were slivered.
4. Cut off the roots with soil of the pansit-pansitan. You may place them back in the soil or discard them. Wash the leaves thoroughly in water to make sure that all the soil has been removed.
5. Cut off the pansit-pansitan leaves from the stems. But if it’s near the top, you can use the stems—they are tender.
6. Arrange the salad ingredients in a bowl or platter. Sprinkle the sliced chives on top.
7. You may want to add a pinch of salt and then toss the ingredients in balsamic vinegar. If you don’t have balsamic vinegar, your regular suka or sukang may sili will do.
As for the basic nutritional requirements, this Sardine and Salted Egg Salad Recipe is pretty complete. It has protein as well as fiber from fruit (tomato) and vegetables (pansit-pansitan). Plus, the pansit-pansitan and chives have therapeutic effects on the body.
What is Pansit-pansitan (Pepperomia Pellucida)?
When I was a child, I would often see pansit-pansitan in the garden. In Bacolod City, we call this heart-shaped succulent plant “sinaw-sinaw” for its shiny leaves. I really thought they were weeds so I would pluck them out and throw them away.
Fast forward to today, I have learned that pansit-pansitan (Pepperomia Pellucida) is actually food and a good medicinal herb. It can be consumed raw or cooked. Some make it into tea.
It is used for folkloric treatment for abdominal pains, boils, acne, colic, or fatigue. I am just not sure how they are administered. But when consumed as food or drink, pansit-pansitan is reportedly good for renal disorders, uric acid levels, and rheumatic joint pain.
Since it grows practically everywhere, it is free. It is nature’s gift to us.
Other Covid-19 stories
Meanwhile, check out the other stories about Covid-19 in this blog:
- Using Covilyzer UV Sterilization Lamp Against Covid-19 and Dust Mites
- Lopue’s San Sebastian Online Ordering App in Bacolod | Buy Groceries Online
- Improve the Air Quality in Your Home
- Mommy Tips for a Successful Barter Experience
- The Covilyzer UVC Sanitizer Bag for Your Home
- How to Become Responsible Digital Citizens | Parenting
- Prudent Quarantine Birthday Ideas for Pinoy Families | Covid-19 Crisis
- Getting a Dental Checkup During the New Normal
- How a Bacolod Mom Changed the Philippines with Barter
- 3-Day Rainy Family Road Trip | Ford Ranger Wildtrak