Budget series: Meals under 250 pesos

Ginisang Baguio Beans na may giniling

Sautéed Green beans with ground beef and potatoes

I accepted a challenge of making meals for family of four on a budget. This first dish cost about less than 250 pesos here in Manila, that is about $5, that includes the rice that I cooked and served with it. This dish is more than enough for a family of four and will have enough leftover for lunch and dinner tomorrow. Unless, of course, your family liked it finished it all in one meal. The recipe is very easy to make and the ingredients are always available in the groceries. This is something my kids love to eat. To give you a background, the list of vegetable that my kids eat is short, so I make it a habit of cooking those veggies almost all the time. Here is a recipe sautéed veggies and meat. In this recipe, the veggies are cut into small pieces to mix well together and easy for the little kids to eat. For seasoning, we use Tamari. It’s a gluten free and less sugar soy sauce. You have to be careful in buying soy sauce or any condiments. If you look at the label, most soy sauce have fructose and MSG. So watch out for that specially if you would feed it to the kids. But that all up to you 😀 I’m not an expert, just sharing my recipes and what I cook for the family. Because I enjoy cooking for them and see the smile on their faces. Hope you like this recipe! Leave a comment or suggestion.


1 tbsp oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1/4 kg ground beef

1/4 kg green beans, sliced diagonally thinly

2 medium potatoes, cubed

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tsp coconut sugar

salt and pepper to taste


Heat olive oil in a pan over medium high heat.

Saute garlic, onions, and tomatoes. cook for a few minutes.

Put in the ground meat and cook until the ground meat starting to separate and to change color.

Season with soy sauce, oyster sauce, coco sugar, salt and pepper.

Add the beans and potatoes. Mix together. Cover for about 2 minutes.

Uncover and mix. Cook until the desired tenderness of the vegetables.

Serve it with rice.


Easy One-Pan Surf and Turf – Family Size

Flank steak is my family’s favorite go-to dinner. And the easiest seafood to pair it with is shrimp. And the easiest salad dressing is just olive oil and lemon. So for busy parents, this is the perfect meal for the whole family.

In this recipe, I use flank steak, because it is lean and easy to cook, but any steak cut would work. For quick dinners, I only season the steak with garlic powder, salt and pepper and cook it in olive oil. If there’s extra time, I even finish my steak with some butter, garlic and rosemary, which is my husband’s favorite.

The marinade for the shrimp is a borrowed recipe for my shrimp fajitas, which is also really easy. Just mix all the spices together. Every time I go to S&R (the Costco equivalent, here in Manila), I always buy a frozen bag of raw shrimps, because they are great on nights when I don’t have a dinner planned. They are easy to thaw and quick to marinate. I also use DoTerra lemon essential oil for lemon flavor. They are pure essential oils and can be used in food.

The salad is drizzled with olive oil and lemon and I sometimes also use balsamic glaze (the bottled one that you buy from the grocery ready to use). You can use any cheese that is available in your fridge. Just grate them or slice them into strips. The key to a delicious salad is a very good quality extra virgin olive oil. I highly recommend investing in those to have in your pantry. They will be good for dipping bread, salads, sauces, and to drizzle on top of countless dishes. When it comes to toppings, I like to put nuts, and dried or fresh fruits. depends on what you have in your kitchen and what you are in the mood for.


For the shrimp


1/2 tsp Paprika

1/2 tsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Oregan

1/2 tsp Onion powder

1/2 tsp Garlic powder

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp Olive Oil

Juice of half lemon

Lemon Zest and Lemon Oil

For the Steak

Flank Steak, room temp

Garlic powder

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

For the Salad


Parmesan cheese

olive oil




Rinse the shrimp, and place in a bowl big enough to marinate in. Add all the spices and set aside to marinate.

Pre heat the cast iron skillet on medium high.

Pat dry the steak. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper, and slowly drop the steak on the skillet.

Put the steak seasoned side down first. Season the meat side up. Cook for about 3 minutes.

And then turn over. Cook for another 3 minutes, or more depending on the doneness you like, and thickness of the steak.

Take the steak off the heat, and set aside covered.

On the same skillet, quickly grill the shrimps. Turn them over as soon as they change color. Set aside with the steak.

Juice will render from the resting meat, just drain them.

Meanwhile, roast the nuts for the salad in a pan until the oils release from the nuts.

Wash and dry the greens. Arrange in a bowl, drizzle olive oil and lemon juice. Top with nuts and grated cheese.

Serve and enjoy!