The Chubby Girl's Kitchen
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Cutting back on processed food: Lunchbox treats that use less or no processed food items

Personally, the thought of eating delicious food for lunch at the middle of the work day makes me look forward to lunchtime. Especially if so much care and thought was put in in preparing them.

While I do occasionally enjoy cafeteria fare, I tend to make my own lunch meals. This started when the old office cafeteria served greasy (and expensive) fare. This resulted in a massive weight gain for me and a massive hole in the pocket. Haha. So, after careful evaluation, I decided on two remedies.

  1. Lose weight
  2. Make my own lunch, as often as possible.

Hence, this blog post. I am by no means a pro in the kitchen, but I believe I have a reasonable ability to make tasty and nutritious meals. And speaking of tasty meals, I am happy to share three of them to all of you! A caveat though: for vegan readers of this blog, feel free to look scroll away! I do apologise that ALL of the meals being shared here CONTAIN MEAT, as I am a meat eater.

This post is written so I can share recipes to everyone, and to comply with a promise made to my sorority sister, haha. 🙂

  1. Breakfast steak

In the Philippines, this breakfast staple is also good as an all-around meal! If you’re buying the meat in the grocery, you can ask for a sirloin, cut thinly.

What you will need:

Beef (as mentioned earlier, I use sirloin cut, sliced thinly), around a half kilo or kilo

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup soy sauce

Juice of 2 lemons

2 tablespoons garlic powder, or eight cloves of garlic, crushed.

DIRECTIONS: In a large mixing bowl, place beef, and pour in soy sauce, oil and lemon juice, a little at a time (around three tablespoons at a time). Mix together until oil, juice and soy sauce  are well distributed. Add in garlic powder or crushed garlic, and repeat same process with oil, lemon juice and soy sauce until all flavours are well distributed. Store marinated meat overnight for better results. Fry in oil or butter and serve with rice or potatoes (or whatever you prefer! 😉 )

Number of processed food used: 0. Win!

2. Lemon Paprika drumsticks

This one’s easily my favourite lunch meal to prepare to date. I love how good it is on its own–no need to coat in breading.

What you will need:

Half kilo of chicken drumsticks (approximately six to seven pieces)

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt (NOT heaping, mind!), or add as needed

2 tablespoons paprika

DIRECTIONS: Place drumsticks in a large mixing bowl. Mix in lemon juice, oil, salt and paprika until flavours are well distributed. Store marinated chicken overnight–I promise the wait would be worth it.

A wee suggestion: Bake the chicken at 175 degrees Celsius in a well-greased pan. I use butter to grease the pan instead of just oil. Add in a sprig of basil for extra boost of flavour and fragrance. I baked the chicken with potatoes–sprinkling the potatoes with the same ingredients I’ve used in the marinade.

Number of processed food used: 0

3. Homemade burger patties

This one’s a trip down the memory lane–with a twist. As a little girl, I would help my mum prepare burger patties for breakfast the next day. They taste nowhere like the commercially prepared beef patties, but they’re every bit as flavourful. I asked my mum what did she usually put in the burger patties, she only remembers putting in the basics: salt, egg, carrots and onions. So, I decided to add in a twist to this family favourite and made these beef patties my way.

What you will need:

1 kilo ground beef

2 cups bread crumbs

1 carrot, diced

1 onion, diced

2 tablespoons salt

1 Chinese parsley (kinchay), chopped finely

2 tablespoons black pepper

2 tablespoons paprika

2 cups grated parmesan cheese (optional)

NOTE: To ensure proper distribution of ingredients and flavours, it is recommended that the ground meat be split into two batches. The same procedure, however will still be followed in the second batch. Also, it is better that you use your hands in mixing–so, wash your hands thoroughly before handling food!

DIRECTIONS: Mix the following in a large mixing bowl: ground beef, salt, chopped carrots and onions*. Once ingredients are properly distributed, add in one egg, breadcrumbs and cheese*. Again, mix until ingredients are well distributed. Form thick three inch patties* and store in a container and freeze.

*If you’re pressed for time, you can roll them into huge balls and then flatten them out when you need to fry them. The balls should look like this. If bigger patties are preferred, you can adjust the size of the ground meat balls into bigger sizes. 🙂

Number of processed food used: 1 (Yes, cheese IS processed food)

And that’s a wrap! Will be happy to share more recipes in the future, just keep tuned! 🙂


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Filipina, 40s. Public servant by day, grad student at night. Blueberry cheesecake and cat enthusiast. Loves a good caramel milk tea with egg pudding.

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