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.


Warm kale and quinoa salad

Warm kale and quinoa salad
I am always hunting for new side dish ideas that my family would enjoy. The inspiration for this recipe was a quinoa salad that I ordered at “Be Our Guest” at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. It was delicious! It was filling but not too heavy.  I tweaked it a little with some ingredients I thought would work well, and that my family would love.



Serves 6

1/2 c rainbow quinoa (raw)

1 c chicken stock or vegetable stock

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. of olive oil

2 tbsp ghee or olive oil

4 cloves of garlic

1 medium onion

1/2 c shredded carrots

1 medium red bell pepper

1 head of broccoli

1 cup of mushroom

2 c of rainbow kale/ just kale roughly chopped

4 tbsp of simple vinaigrette (recipe below)

salt and pepper to taste

In a pan, mix the quinoa, chicken stock, and bay leaf. Add 1 crushed clove of garlic, a tsp. of olive oil and a dash of
salt. Place on high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to
medium and let it cook for about 15-20 mins. Add more stock
if the quinoa absorbs it all, but still needs to be cooked
more. Set aside and allow to cool.

While that is cooling, chop the remaining garlic
and mushrooms lengthwise. Cut the onions into strips and
broccoli into bite size pieces. Heat a pan or wok on high
heat. Add ghee or olive oil. Stir fry garlic first (do not
burn, or it will give bitter taste). Then add the carrots and onions. Stir continuously on high heat for 1 minute, then add
broccoli, mushrooms and kale. This will cook very quickly. I
like my stir fry crunchy or half cooked, so I cook it for
about 4 minutes. You can cook it longer if you want the
vegetables softer. Stir continuously. Transfer it to a mixing bowl and cover with a foil.

Loosen the cooked quinoa and discard the bay leaf. Add it to
the stirfried vegetables, with 4 tbsp of simple vinaigrette.
Stir until completely incorporated. Season with salt and
pepper, and add dressing as desired. Enjoy!


Simple Vinaigrette Dressing

1/4 c good olive oil

1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 cloves of garlic, pressed or chopped finely (more if you like your dressing garlicky)

1 tsp coconut sugar

1 tsp of aioli garlic mustard sauce

Salt and pepper to taste (about 1tsps of each)

Mix all the ingredients in a small air tight container. Seal
it and shake until incorporated. Refrigerate it for about 15
minutes. *To have a thicker dressing, you can either use
chilled ingredients or refrigerate the dressing mixture before