For some people, cooking comes naturally and preparing sumptuous meals is easy even without taking culinary lessons. However, there are those who find preparing homecooked meals a real challenge. I am one of those culinary-challenged moms who got married with nary a kitchen skill then found themselves having to whip up nutritious food for the entire family. And it’s not even enough for the meals to be nutritious; they have to be delicious as well.
Fortunately, there are now a wide range of products available that help moms like me prepare meals that are tasty and packed with nutrients. One of our family’s favourite brands is Ajinomoto. From the popular AJI-NO-MOTO® Umami Seasoning, the brand now has plenty of other products to make meals more delicious.
Last night, our dinner was made UMAMI-licious with these products from Ajinomoto: Aji-Ginisa Flavor Seasoning Mix Shrimp Flavor, So Quick Marinade, Crispy Fry Original, and Fres-C Powder Drink Mix. I’m really no expert in the kitchen so I’m proud to have been able to cook dinner in less than an hour. This already includes all the washing and chopping of vegetables and meat AND washing the pots and pans used to cook the meals.
First off was the Budget Pinakbet. Budget because it didn’t include any shrimp or pork to add flavour to the vegetables. What I used instead was a pack of AJI-NO-MOTO® Aji-Ginisa Seasoning Mix Shrimp flavouring. I added just a tiny dash of AJI-NO-MOTO® Umami Seasoning for good measure. We already had tomatoes, okra and sigarilyas in our crisper so all I needed to buy from the nearby talipapa was a piece of eggplant and a slice of kalabasa. Since Aji-Ginisa is already a complete mix of panggisa spices, there was no need to use garlic and onions – saved me time chopping those two as well. The cooked dish was good for 2-3 adults and the ingredients cost no more than 60 pesos. How’s that for a budget ulam?!
Our other viand for dinner was the kids’ – and my – favorite Crispy Fried Chicken Wings. The chicken wings were marinated in AJI-NO-MOTO® So Quick Marinade for only 15 minutes. One tip I learned from watching a cooking show was to prick the meat before marinating it to ensure that the flavor seeps inside the meat. You can actually already cook the chicken after marinating it but my kids love breaded chicken so I used AJI-NO-MOTO® Crispy Fry Original breading mix to give our wings some crunch. I made sure to wipe off the marinade that sticks to the meat before coating it with the Crispy Fry so the chicken will not be too salty. The six pieces of chicken wings, Ajinomoto So Quick Marinade, and Ajinomoto Crispy Fry breading mix all cost around 100 pesos.
For dessert, we had Orange Pops and Jelly which I made while the kids were in school. It took me only about 10 minutes to turn Fres-C Orange, some sugar, and unflavored gelatine into this lip-smacking Fres-C Orange Jelly. All I did was boil a pack of unflavored gelatine in one liter of water, stir in one pack of Fres-C Orange powder and one-fourth cup of sugar, and pour the mixture into the molds. Once they were cool already, I placed them in the refrigerator. The kids couldn’t wait until dinner time to taste the Fres-C Orange Jelly and asked to have the small ones during snack time. Then they shared the big jelly with their Papa after our UMAMI-licious dinner.
Last night’s dinner of pinakbet, crispy wings, and orange jelly cost us just a little over 200 pesos. That’s just right within our budget. Plus, it put smiles on the faces of my husband and two precious little kids.
You really don’t have to be a chef to prepare meals that your family – especially the children – will enjoy eating. With the freshest ingredients and a little help from AJI-NO-MOTO® Umami Seasoning, you can have UMAMI-licious meals every day.