It’s the first long weekend after Labor Day. Have your family planned on what to do or where to go? Here’s an idea: stay right in your condo and have a gastronomic blast. Sounds good?
Condo living is very convenient for staycation weekends with friends and family. Laidback weekends like these are also the best times to bond and catch-up on what’s going on with everyone. And if you have young kids, it is also the best time to start them early in the kitchen and teach them some really useful life skills. It’s good to know that major condos in the Philippines design their spaces in such a way that families get to spend their time together in the dining area or family room. It also helps to know that one research showed that of the 42% parents who teach their kids how to cook, 93% reported that their children end up having a better appreciation of healthy eating. So cooking up meals for Independence Day weekend is a good start.
Still looking for ways to celebrate Independence Day in your condo? Put on your aprons and whip up easy, healthy meals for your friends and family.
Pulled pork adobo
There’s nothing like classic Filipino favorites to kick off your Independence Day weekend. Get some lean center loin pork and leave it whole so it makes more of Filipino pulled pork. Put some soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, lots of crushed garlic, and ground peppercorns. Of course, throw in some bay leaves in there too. Use a slow cooker for a more flavorful adobo. Using apple cider vinegar and low sodium soy sauce make this dish healthier. If you don’t want rice to go with it, you can put pulled pork in a sandwich.
Filipino chicken salad
Chicken salad is a favorite in Filipino gatherings. So, if you are having an extra special Independence Day family party in your condo, toss up this salad in just 20 minutes. The first steps are to bring chicken breast and the macaroni to a boil. When they are done, stir the pineapple, apples, celery, carrots and raisins combined with mayonnaise, sugar, and salt. Refrigerate before serving.
Vegan stir fry noodles
Make your traditional pancit healthier by using baked tofu in place of meat. After bringing noodles to a boil, drain and throw in vegetables. Prepare sauce in another pan then combine them all together. This is a tasty way to make your kids eat vegetables.
Greens with shrimp
Another way to convince kids to eat greens is to add some seafood in them. Add chayote tops with shrimp in your menu for Independence Day. Sauté onions and garlic and toss in shrimps. After the shrimps are cooked, throw in the chayote leaves, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Chicken pot pies
This is not Filipino but a classic comfort food for everyone nonetheless. This is a delicious way to use up all your chicken leftovers. Whip it up with egg whites, low-fat milk, butter, some root vegetables and wrap them in puff pastry dough. This is healthier than frozen varieties because it has half the fat and sodium than most frozen varieties. Kids are surely going to love this healthy snack and it only takes under 40 minutes to prepare.
Tasty pork chops
If you are lucky to have a balcony, use it. It is perfect for weekend barbecues with kids when the sun is about to go down and the air starts to get a bit breezy. DMCI Communities are known to have spacious balconies perfect for staring at the skyline and intimate family dinners. Among the kitchen must-haves for your condo is a griller that you can use indoors too. Marinate pork chops overnight and instead of frying them, make them healthier by grilling. You may choose to grill corn or pineapples along with it.
Here is another classic meal-in-a-pot dish. Chicken stew can never get this good. During this month, it starts to rain in the Philippines and this ginger and onion based soup is perfect for the kind of weather. It’s basically sautéing chicken meat in ginger and onions, adding water for the broth before throwing in green papaya wedges and leaves of chili pepper. Some versions have tomatoes and sotanghon to give the classic soup dish a twist.
With just five ingredients, you can make this scrumptious meal for the family. You need boneless chicken breast halves, low-fat cream cheese, picante sauce, cilantro springs and breadcrumbs. Toss up the rolls in the oven for 20 minutes. This meal is low-fat and low on calories.
If your kids are not fish fans, this dish can help change their mind. Have your fish deboned and cut into strips. Season it with salt, pepper and All purpose flour or cornstarch. Fry it until golden brown. The crispiness will make it more exciting for the kids. Best served with soy vinaigrette sauce.
Deep-fried bananas in lumpia wrapper or turon are a favorite Filipino snack. Peel and halve bananas lengthwise and wrap each in lumpia wrapper then brush the edges with egg whites to seal. Fry until golden. You can sprinkle confectioners’ sugar or drizzle with honey. You can also make a chocolate dip.
White buko pandan salad
Buko pandan is a favorite flavor for Filipino desserts. Make a creamy buko pandan salad by whipping together non-dairy pastry topping and whipping cream in a bowl. Add condensed milk, vanilla flavor, and pandan flavor. In another bowl, mix buko or coconut meat, tapioca, nata de coco, and gelatin. Mix them all together and you got more flavor in your traditional buko pandan dessert.
Double chocolate ice cream
The best way to celebrate Independence Day in your condo is to have some taste of chocolate. What do you say we double the chocolate then make it creamier? Just combine a third cup of unsweetened cocoa and a third cup of sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Add a half cup of milk and three egg yolks then stir. After this, throw in another two cups of milk and stir for 12 minutes. In a bowl, toss a third cup of whipping cream and microwave for two minutes. Add melted chocolate and the cream then let it cool completely.
Independence Day deserves a celebration. It is after all the greatest moment in a country’s history. It is best celebrated with the family and the ones you love. And just like how our heroes gave us this home and our own identity, freedom is best observed in the comforts of our home — no frills, no hassle, and just pure fun.