The weeks that were. (Part 2)

Monday, March 21, 2011 Jonette 2 Comments

as I mentioned last post, I've been doing my best to keep our meals healthy with plenty of variety and experimentation. (read the word Experimentation as "tossing random stuff together and hoping it tastes decent".) 

So far, the past three weeks' packed lunches were: 

Week 1: 
M-W-F: Kare-kare with Rice
T-Th: Beef Stew with Rice

Much as I love Kare-kare, I now realize I can have only  so much peanut sauce in a week. The vegetables, however, were always welcome. Tip: If the sauce pack is not as peanut-y as you would like (like in my case), adding some locally-made peanut butter (the oily kind) should do the trick. 

Week 2: 
M-W-F: Poor Man's Lobster, blanched Broccoli florets and rice
T-Th: Spinach burgers and rice

James had to crash at my place after his Tuesday shift. I decided to make His n' Hers lunches, and I managed to beat my own time. Ha! (I had to get up earlier than usual to prepare our lunches. It certainly sounds cute, true, but I do realize this is something I'll probably have to keep doing once kids enter the picture. Hmmm.) 

So far, I do think this was my best week for lunches.

Tip 1: Poor Man's Lobster is simply sturgeon (or a fish locally known as labahita) cut into one inch chunks, and boiled for eight minutes in water with 2 cups of sugar added previously. It's great with butter! There are also other recipes on the Internet, but I find this to be the easiest and most accessible. Ask your local wet market fishmonger for labahita today! 

Tip 2: Feel free to grate the cheese and mix it in with the burger mush instead. I used ordinary cheese, and it worked rather well. James gave this two thumbs up, and so did a number of my colleagues. I think I'm adding this to my permanent recipe arsenal. :) 

Tip 3: blanching is nothing more than quickly pouring boiling water over vegetables through a colander or strainer, and that's it. With vegetables and sea-grapes (locally known as ar-arosep or lato), it washes away certain enzymes and softens the veggies, making them more palatable. It brightens their colors, prevents wilting, and makes them last longer.   

Week 3: 
M-T-W-Th-F: OMGWTHTotallyrandomannedfriedfoods! and rice. 

Ergh. Never again, thank you very much.This is what happens when I forget to plan the week's menu and fail to go food-shopping. (Note to self: remember when you gasped in horror at the prices for vegetables in the supermarket? Yyyyeah, now you don't want that feeling anymore, do you?) 

I've also been experimenting a lot more with home-made rice krispies treats. This warrants another post, and will come very soon. 

Stay tuned for Part 3. ^_^* 


  1. Food post! I am so loving this <3 I can't help but admire your packed lunches and cooking experiments. I've mainly used canned stuff, not fresh ones. My mom always gets the fresh ingredients before I do, except for those moments I specifically had planned to cook something.

    As for blanching: I think I am a heretic. I put my veggies in a tupperware or some big container, pour hot water over them and let them be in that water for a minute then I take the water out. I dunno if that's a bit too long. What do you think?

  2. Heya! Sorry for the super-late reply.

    Thanks! I'm glad you like reading about my baon experiments. I've been lagging behind lately, but I do promise more lunch action to come, and soon.

    as for the blanching question... Well, about 30 seconds is okay, but a minute might be pushing it. It really depends, I think, on the level of "doneness" you want your veggies to be. I also used to soak my veggies in hot water for about a minute, then I'd take them out and plunge them quickly in ice-cold water. (I think this was a step I read from a Wok with Yan veggie-carving book for radish roses. Hmm...) However, for now, I go by taking my veggies out of hot water once the color reaches the right vibrance or depth I want.

    Ah! Here's a helpful guide on how to blacnh, and for how long. Well, whaddaya know, we all learn something new everyday.

    Hope it helps!


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