Recently, my husband and I have been trying to adapt a healthy lifestyle. See the emphasis on “trying”—because really, it’s hard to eat “healthy” when you’ve got the whole wide world of yummy food. Luckily, you can have both: yummy and healthy at the same time!
How? Well, let me share with you one of my mom’s “healthier” recipes: a great combination of Ginataang Kalabasa paired with Tilapia and brown rice.
For the Ginataang Kalabasa, here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 medium-sized tomato
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium-sized onion, minced
- about 1/2 inch size piece of ginger, sliced thinly
- 1/2 medium-sized squash
- small bundle of sitaw (string bean)
- 1 siling pangsigang (chili pepper)
- about 2 tablespoons of bagoong (shrimp paste)
- 2 cans gata or coconut milk (my mom liked her coconut milk fresh, but if you don’t have much time like I do, the one in cans will do though it won’t be as yummy as fresh gata)
- 1 cube of shrimp broth (I used this in the absence of shrimps, like the one in the picture)
- patis (fish sauce) to taste
- cooking oil
The fried Tilapia, is well… A fried tilapia! Depends on how many of you are eating, you can deep-fry two or three medium-sized ones for a family of two. I’m horrible when it comes to gutting and cleaning fish (and yes, I don’t like the awful smell that came with it), so I leave it up to the people at the fish section of the grocery to gut and clean the fish for me. After dowsing the fish thoroughly with water, I simply rub rock salt to give it taste and deep fry it in a vat of hot oil.
Cooking the ginataang kalabasa is easy. Simply saute the garlic, onion, and ginger in oil. Add the tomatoes. When the tomatoes start to curl up, add the shrimp broth, then slowly pour in the coconut milk. Put in the shrimp paste, then the cubes of squash. When the squash is nearly done, add in the string beans, then the chili pepper.
You can add patis if the saltiness brought by the bagoong isn’t enough for you. Take a piece of fish (dip it in a sauce of combined vinegar and bagoong), a bit of ginataang kalabasa, and enough brown rice that will fit in your spoon… Hmmm… Yummy!