Most of us live busy lives and often have no time to actually cook our food. Pre-packaged meals and fast-food takeout, staples of weeknight meals, are loaded with unhealthy fats and excess sodium. Taking the time to prepare weekday lunch or dinner does not have to be difficult. Here are some quick and easy meals that make use of ingredients you may already have like spanish sardines from the Philippines:
Bacon, Spinach, and Chicken Spaghetti
This recipe makes use of chicken breasts and spinach, making it slightly healthier, with the additional flavor of bacon. Rich, hearty, and filling, this dish will satisfy even picky eaters.
- 6 slices of bacon
- 450 grams chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 350 grams spaghetti
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups fresh or canned tomatoes
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh basil for garnish
- Boil the spaghetti in a large pot of salted water. Cook until al dente according to package instructions. Drain excess cooking water but leave ½ cup behind. Return the pasta to the pot and reserve until needed.
- Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and cook over high heat in a large skillet with olive oil until chicken is no longer pink. On a cutting board, slice chicken into strips and keep warm until needed.
- Clean your skillet and fry the bacon to a crisp. Place a paper-towel lined plate to drain excess fat and chop into small pieces.
- Remove half of the bacon grease and saute spinach, garlic, and tomatoes in the same skillet. Add heavy cream, parmesan, and the pasta water. Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer. Toss in spaghetti until fully coated, then add the chicken and bacon. Garnish with fresh basil and serve warm.
Tofu is one of the more versatile sources of protein available. Cooked this way, the tofu’s delicate, subtle taste allows the flavor of the other ingredients to shine through.
- 230 grams firm tofu, drained
- 250 grams frozen stir fry vegetables
- ½ cups sweet teriyaki sauce
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- Cut the tofu into bite sized pieces. Exact measurements don’t matter, as long as the sizes are uniform.
- In a large container, add the tofu, teriyaki sauce, and minced garlic. Marinate for 12 hours in the refrigerator.
- Heat peanut oil in a wok and cook the marinated tofu for 2-3 minutes, flipping them once and cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the vegetables to the wok and stir-fry four 3 minutes or until tender.
- Place the tofu and any excess marinade back into the wok and stir thoroughly. Make sure that all the pieces are coated. Serve warm over rice.
This dish originating in California is simple to make and even simpler to assemble. It is also easy to eat, perfect for those that are want their meals on-the-go.
- 500 grams firm white fish, cut into strips
- 12 corn tortillas, 6 inches across
- 2 finely chopped and seeded tomatoes
- 1 peeled and finely chopped small red onion
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 2 cups green cabbage, shredded
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup flour
- ¼ cup peanut oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 2 limes, 1 cut into wedges and 1 cut into half
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Combine the onion, garlic, tomatoes and cilantro in a medium bowl.
- Whisk sour cream and mayonnaise in a small bowl until well mixed. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lime.
- Mix flour, chili powder, and 1 ½ teaspoons of pepper and kosher salt each. Place the fish in another medium-sized bowl with milk.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan until shimmering. Remove the fish from the milk and dredge them lightly in the flour mixture. Shake off the excess flour and add place the fish in the oil. Fry until deep golden brown for 3-4 minutes on one side. Carefully flip the fish and cook for 1 minute. Place the fish on a paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
- Lightly grease a skillet with a small amount of oil and set on medium heat. Warm the tortillas in the skillet until they are soft. Wrap in a dish towel to keep warm.
- Assemble the taco by filling the tortilla with 3 pieces of fish, golden side up. Spoon some of the tomato salsa and sprinkle some cabbage on top. Drizzle with cream sauce and serve with lime wedges on the side.
- If you live in an area where it’s available like the Philippines, spanish sardines makes a good alternative filling for fish tacos.
Deciding what to eat on busy periods is not an easy task. People often have to make a compromise between cheap, easy, or healthy. With some of these Philippine recipes for Spanish sardines however, you no longer have to choose and can even enjoy most, if not all of these benefits.