Managing food amid crisis

The post pandemic world has shown us many things we have missed doing in the last two years — revenge travel, catch up with family and friends and for others, a slow physical return to the office. However, there have been also unexpected turn of events that rocked this new normal that is now creeping and possibly affecting our daily lives, one way or another.

The start of the Russia-Ukraine war last February triggered two major things — global logistics challenges on raw materials and oil price hikes. The former paved the way for some raw materials to be in shortage, such as flour and potatoes, which explains why some retailers are now increasing their cost of bread products and why one fast food chain is also limiting their provision of the beloved French fries. In addition, oil price hikes just make it easier to prioritize activities that are really worth going out for. As much as possible, we stay put.

Of course, this is how we play our part but consumer goods companies are now beginning to feel the pain and hence asking for regulatory approval for additional price increase on some food items which again will affect people like you and me.

Lettuce wraps are a great go-to in creating leftover meals using chicken.

Lettuce wraps are a great go-to in creating leftover meals using chicken.

It is madness. How do we manage our food if prices just keep on going up? It will be difficult to sustain in the long run and for now, we need to be creative in managing our resource1s to ensure that we can tide ourselves through until things get a little better.

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Here are some tips:

Don't waste food. Be creative in making new dishes out of leftover food. It does greatly help when we plan our meals thoroughly during the week but there are instances where it cannot be avoided that there remains to be leftover of some sort. What can we do with it?

Leftover adobo – This can be made into adobo sandwiches, adobo omelet, or even adobo pasta. Simply flake the meat and use accordingly based on the dish preferred

Leftover Kaldereta (or any braised beef or beef stew) – It can be transformed into tacos (or even to taco birrias). Shred the beef meat and saute in garlic, add some lime or lemon and garnish with onions and cilantro. Have your corn tortillas on standby, assemble the dish and garnish with cheese. It works!

Anything leftover chicken – leftover roast chicken dishes do well in making lettuce wraps. Shred the meat and place on top of your lettuce leaves. You can prepare a garlic mayo sauce that you can drizzle for the extra flavor. Leftover chicken relleno dish also works in this case

Learn how to substitute. Explore alternatives when the preferred raw material is in shortage. We have tons of alternatives available, and even those that we can make at home. Do you know that you can make your own coconut flour from sapal (the leftover pulp when you squeeze to produce coconut cream and coconut milk)? Simply air dry the sapal until it's dry enough to grind in a food processor. That's it. Use it in making cookies.

Maximize the use of local resource1s. So many of our local resource1s are not only accessible but are also cheap, practical, healthy and sustainable. Our country is rich with plant proteins such as tofu, mung beans and even broccoli from the Cordilleras.

Establish a sustainable home. It's best to plant and maintain your own garden full of natural remedies and other fruit-bearing trees, plants or herbs you can use in your daily cooking.

The author may be reached at [email protected] or follow her at Instagram @kaycalpolugtu and @aplateofbahaykubo.

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