Food We Love, grocery edition

Work. Parenthood. Mental health issues. The pandemic. Seriously, life is hard, guys and girls. Sometimes, thinking about food, planning menus, cooking, that can be fun, but other times it’s just exhausting. You get out of a long meeting and you have to chop vegetables, boil water for pasta, etc., etc.

Photo by Dante Gagelonia

For those days, we have some regular items we include in the menu, just so that life is easier and we get to have a filling meal at the end of the day. Here are some of our staples.

Purefoods Karaage and CDO Tonkatsu

Fry and eat! These goes great with garlic mayo sauce, or sriracha and mayonnaise. My mom likes to make coleslaw to go with these. I think they’ll work with pretty much any salad or soup. Both are really tasty, so they don’t actually need much sauce or dip.

Purefoods Heat and Eat

Since the pandemic started, I’ve seen a lot of different brands release products like this: frozen food, already cooked, ready to eat after five to ten minutes of heating in a microwave or on the stove.

Photo by Oneal Rosero, Trooper Dad

Regent Belgian Waffles

My mom bought this on a whim, and Lucas just fell in love with it.

One pack has two pieces. He has it for breakfast almost every morning, usually smothered with Goya choco hazelnut spread. Sometimes he has it with cream cheese, or CheeseWhiz. Sometimes he’ll have two packs for a snack after school.

One time, Lucas had three different spreads on a single piece! (photo on the right) But he decided to stop having peanut butter on it, because his Nunu, my brother Victor, is allergic to peanuts.

Chizboy cheese

Good cheese is not cheap, which is quite sad for people who love cheese. So I’m really glad we discovered ChizBoy.

So far I’ve seen cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan. It’s really cheap: a 350 gram bag costs less than Php 200. The parmesan is really nice, and not powdery at all. The cheddar doesn’t melt as well as I would like, but it’s really tasty when you mix it with pasta.

We just bought a pack of mozzarella to use with homemade pizza and shepherd’s pie.

Prices at SM Supermarket

Goya Choco spread

I’m not very fond of chocolate, but occasionally I like chocolate spread on toasted bread. I’m not willing to pay for Nutella, so I’m really glad that Goya has more affordable alternatives.

The Goya choco spreads come in three variants: Choco Hazelnut and Milk, Double Hazelnut and Choco Hazelnut (pictured right, and my son’s favorite). I like this on toasted bread, with Lily’s peanut butter on the other side, and hot coffee.

Pretty much anything from Mama Sita

I think most of us grew up hearing or seeing the name in our kitchens. I can’t find it anymore, but I think my mom had a cookbook? (I should probably ask her.)

I just remember when I started seeing Mama Sita barbecue sauce in the grocery, and enjoying it immensely. I remember seeing all the sauce mixes, and hoarding them because the caldereta and the menudo mixes are my favorites. They’re such a lifesaver, and they save me the trouble of figuring out how to season my cooking. We have a bottle of Mama Sita oyster sauce in our kitchen, and it’s so flavorful that we only use a little bit at a time.

I just checked their website, and apparently there are so many more products that we don’t even see in the grocery!

What are your grocery staples and menu-planning lifesavers?

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