Cooking for oneself is the greatest act of self-love. When you take the time to prepare nourishing meals for yourself, you will start shying away from self-sabotaging habits and relationships. How we relate to ourselves and how we eat is intimately interconnected.

  1. Ditch the recipes
    This may sound counter-intuitive but sticking to recipes, especially if they’re written by foreign chefs, always turns into a “treasure-hunt,” as they always demand for hard-to-find imported ingredients. 
  1. Cook intuitively
    Play with local, in-season produce in the Farmer’s Market (Palengke) instead. Seasonal harvests are more affordable and are at the peak of their flavor which means you need not add a lot of ingredients or do too much when you cook with them. Unleash your inner chef and get inspiration from Instagram, Google search, Pinterest and You Tube on how to make the most of the season’s bounty to make fuss-free delicious recipes.
  1. Stock-up on these pantry essentials:
    Beans: Monggo, Lima, Kidney
    Grains: Brown rice, Adlai, Quinoa, Millet
    Pasta and Noodles: Penne, Spaghetti, Shiratake noodles
    Oils and Fats: Extra-virgin olive oil, Culinary Coconut Oil, Sesame oil, Butter
    Soy sauce: Tamari, Coconut Aminos
    Vinegar: Coconut, Cane, White wine, Rice wine
    Nuts: Cashew, Pili, Peanuts
    Others: Nori, Torilla wraps, Honey, Pickled vegetables

Spices and Aromatics
Sea Salt
Whole Pepper
Coconut or Muscovado Sugar
Dried Chilli / Chilli flakes
Curry Powder
Cumin

Get these fresh always:
Garlic
Onions
Tomatoes
Ginger
Turmeric

Herbs: (Buy sparingly, use immediately. Choose only 1-3 kinds a week)
Must have: Cilantro, Bay Leaf, Leeks
Optional: Rosemary, Thyme, Basil, Kaffir Lime

Tip: You can easily whip-up a flavorful wholesome meal with your Farmer’s market finds and just five added ingredients or less of your pantry essentials.

  1. Invest on Kitchen tools:
    You don’t need a lot, just key good ones. Some essentials you can start are:
  • Cast Iron Pan: For sauteing, roasting and even baking
  • Steel Pot: For broths, soups, beans and grains
  • Chefs Knife: For chopping and cutting
  • Paring knife: For peeling
  • Wooden chopping board
  • Mortar and Pestle
  • Strainer: For rinsing noodles, Pasta and Salad greens. Can double as a steamer.
  • Small whisk: For dressings and sauces
  1. Portion guideline
    Fist-sized choice of protein, a cup of whole grains and a generous serving of vegetables on your plate every meal. Flavor with a handful of healthy fats.
  1. Pre-prep Hacks:
    Pre-cook a week’s worth grains and beans.
  • Sautee greens in garlic for easy topping on fried rice, omelets, pastas or wrap in tortilla.
  • A big batch of pasta sauce is also great on toast, as a dip and even as the base of a stew.
  • Freeze over-ripe fruits to turn into smoothies.
  • Make use of leftover vegetables by boiling yourself a stock.