Times are tough. Buying power is shrinking and most people would be offended if you described the pain you are encountering sticking to your South Forbes Diet while they worry about where their next carbohydrates are coming from. Some readers over the past few months have suggested that everything featured on this site is a bit â€œhigh-browâ€ and often out of their reach. While I will not apologize for some of the delicacies and luxuries that I have featured, I do get irked when people write such things without realizing that many of the recipes that I have described are in fact quite economical on a per serving basis. The same people who are likely to write these comments are just as likely to have said this after eating a PHP49 value meal of a deep fried chicken wing served with a bit of rice and wickedly fattening gravyâ€¦ well, do they realize they could replicate that meal at home for less than PHP20 and not have to pollute the planet with one more styrofoam fastfood container? Donâ€™t get me wrong, I completely understand the concept of value and of convenience, but many are missing the point if they are not cooking more economical, tasty and nutritious meals right in their own kitchens.
Here is another example of a quick, easy, tasty and economical dish you can do at home. Take PHP40-50 pesos worth of ham scraps or bits from Majestic ham or similar prepared ham and chop it up roughly. Add one chopped white onion at PHP5. Slice up one whole cabbage (remove central stem) that costs roughly PHP25. Heat up a large pan on high heat and add about PHP5 worth of vegetable oil. When really hot, add the onions and chopped ham and stir for a minute or two. Add the cabbage still over high heat and cook until wilted, do not overcook. Add some salt and cracked black pepper. Total preparation and cooking time â€“ 10 minutes max. Total cost, including gas used and depreciation on your panâ€¦ about PHP90 and this easily makes six main course sized portions or PHP15 per serving. Add some steamed rice and you have a great meal for PHP20, about the same price as a discounted fastfood hamburger with nothing on it. And best of all, it tastes great. The closest rival in terms of cost and appeal is adobong kangkong (a favorite of mine), which sometimes retails for PHP15-20 in your neighborhood carinderia but would cost about PHP10 per serving to do at home. If readers have recipes for other easy and economical dishes, please write inâ€¦