Food and Leisure

Eat to be fit: Must-try healthy quarantine recipes

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
Eat to be fit: Must-try healthy quarantine recipes
From left: Signature Senor Primo Drink, Avocado Spaghetti (top, center), Beef Mushroom Sandwich (center, bottom), Crispy Shrimp Popper with Honey Orange Glaze (top, right) and Lemon Garlic Parmesan Shrimp Pasta.
Photo release

MANILA, Philippines — Keeping the body healthy during the pandemic is important and a healthy body can be achieved with nutrient-rich food.

Here are some recipes to try and to nourish the body with:

Avocado Spaghetti

If you’re on the hunt for some fresh recipes, Pinoy pasta brand El Real launched a website with various unique and delicious pasta possibilities—or simply, “Pastabilities.”
Through the “Real Pastabilities” website or Realpastabilities.com, everyone can explore pasta possibilities and share their pasta abilities. Moms can discover several pasta recipes that they can cook for the family, including unique creations. Through the website’s user-friendly interface, searching for recipes, based on the pasta type, occasion and even ingredients, is easy. The site also features a blog space that is filled with helpful cooking-related articles, as well as information on the kinds of pasta that you can use for your different dishes. The website is not only a source of “pastabilities,” but a community for pasta-loving individuals who love to learn and share cooking hacks. 
Made with durum wheat semolina, El Real pasta can help make your pasta be more “Al Dente” and make the sauce stick better. It’s also packed with nutrients such as iron, protein and fiber. 


  • 400g El Real Healthy Spaghetti 
  • 3 avocado
  •  1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  •  1/4 cup fresh basil
  •  1/4 cup fresh mint
  •  3 tbsp olive oil
  •  3 tbsp lemon juice
  •  1 small clove garlic
  •  2 tomatoes, sliced
  •  1 can corn kernels
  •  Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook Healthy Spaghetti according to package directions. Drain the pasta and set aside to cool.
  2. In a blender, mix sliced avocado, yogurt, basil, mint, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper until smooth.
  3. In a serving plate, mix the Healthy Spaghetti and dressing. Mix well.
  4. Add corn and tomatoes.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Signature Senor Primo Drink

Now more than ever, people are seeking ways to stir up the usual virtual occasions into high-spirited celebrations. With Primo’s well-crafted taste and premium ingredients, online celebrations will now be extra festive and sparkly, as a beverage for people of all ages now graces the shelves of grocery stores nationwide. 

Primo Sparkling Juice, a premium beverage product of Mega Global, is introducing its line of flavors, perfectly fit for the upcoming holidays. Offered in sparkling white and red grape flavors, this delicious nonalcoholic carbonated beverage imported from Spain can be consumed by people of all ages and is a staple for any celebration.

Holiday get-togethers may be quieter this year, but Mega Global’s newest sparkling juice is sure to give celebrations the extra dazzle to match and boost the mood of everyone in the party. Whether you’re celebrating the upcoming Halloween, Christmas, holidays, or personal milestones, Primo will surely punctuate that celebratory mood. You can never go wrong with this new party drink, spicing up the classic party drinks with its blendability. You can play around with Primo Red and its distinct berry-like fruity flavor, carrying with it some sharpness soothed by sweetness. There’s also Primo White that packs a citrus punch with a hint of tropical taste, lending to its smooth and refreshing flavor. All flavors are available in MegaMart, Shopee, Lazada and supermarkets nationwide.

Serving: 1 glass

  • 2 tbsp pomegranate syrup
  • ¼ glass Mango juice
  • Tube ice
  • ¼ glass Primo Sparkling Red Grape Juice
  • Red grapes for garnish
  • Fresh mint for garnish


  1. In a tall glass, pour 2 tbsp pomegranate syrup
  2. Add mango juice, ¼ of the glass
  3. Add ice
  4. Pour the Sparkling Red Grape Juice
  5. Garnish with red grape and fresh mint leaves.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Hearty meals for a healthy, happy family

Trust the Filipino to put the most positive of spins on the most difficult of times. And that is exactly what many Pinoy families are doing in this pandemic, which is leaving people little choice but to hole up at home rather than risk their health outside. While this situation is less than ideal, many Filipino families are nonetheless using the extra time they are spending at home to bond with one another—usually over food, whether for a kingly breakfast, a sumptuous lunch, a mouthwatering merienda, or a delectable dinner. 

But as COVID-19 showed yet again, there is no substitute to good health, and that is something you and your family can best ensure by sharing food that is both hearty and healthy. To be clear, this doesn’t mean saying good-bye entirely to all-time Pinoy favorites, like adobo or liempo or sinigang. These delicacies will forever be part of the Filipino dining table, and you can continue to feast on them from time to time. That said, do explore other food choices for the family and try out meals from the usual ones Filipinos have grown to love. 

With that in mind, Umbria has prepared some recipes that you and your family can prepare together and eat later at the dining table while you spend some much-deserved quality time. Here are two of them, and they happen to be a perfect match: a sandwich with beef and mushrooms and a leveled-up potato soup. Both are easy to prepare and are all sorts of hearty and healthy. 

Pandemic or not, two of the most valuable things in life will always be a loving family and a healthy body. And one of the best ways to enjoy both is to bond over food, but preferably with healthy food choices always on the plate. Umbria are distributed in the Philippines by Dygen Food Ventures Inc., a subsidiary of Dyna Drug Corporation and available at goodwill.market/.

Beef Mushroom Sandwich

?    30 grams of sukiyaki beef
?    50 grams of portabella mushrooms
?    1 tablespoon of soy sauce
?    Mayonnaise
?    Bread
?    Umbria Truffle Oil
?    1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce

1.    Marinate the sukiyaki beef for at least 30 minutes with soy sauce and Worcestershire Sauce.
2.    Once the beef is marinated, start cooking the mushrooms. Add some butter and sauté them in a pan. When done, set the mushrooms aside.
3.    In the same pan, heat some butter again. Then, add the beef.
4.    Season the beef with salt and black pepper.
5.    While the beef is cooking, start preparing the bread. Put some mayonnaise on the bread.
6.    Once the beef starts caramelizing, add the mushrooms.
7.    Add salt and two teaspoons of Umbria Truffle Oil.
8.    Stuff the bread with the beef and mushroom.

Serve and enjoy with a hot serving of potato leak soup with truffle oil.

Potato Leek Soup with Truffle Oil

?    3 medium potatoes (400grams)
?    35 grams of leaks
?    750 mL of stock 
?    125 mL Cream 
?    White pepper
?    Umbria truffle oil

1.    Peel the potatoes and then cut into 12 slices. 
2.    Slice the leaks
3.    Put some butter in a hot pan and sauté the leaks. 
4.    Add the potatoes when the leaks start becoming translucent. Stir until the potatoes are covered with leeks and butter.
5.    Season with salt and white pepper. 
6.    Once the potatoes are becoming glazed, you can now pour the stock.
7.    Let it boil. Wait around 30 minutes.
8.    Once cooked, blend it and then strain. 
9.    Add cream. Then, season with salt and white pepper. Stir.
10.    Add half a tablespoon of Umbria truffle oil.

Serve and enjoy, preferably with a beef mushroom sandwich.

Boost immunity with Vitamin C-packed oranges

Celebrated as a natural immunity booster, oranges are high in Vitamin C and contain natural flu-fighting properties that aid in fending off cough and colds. They are also high in antioxidants, fiber, folate and potassium.

These fruits also help maintain healthy blood pressure levels and a healthy heart to boot. They are also great alternatives to a quick fix sugary drink or a chocolate bar as they contain carbohydrates and B vitamins.

Australian Navel Oranges are good harvests, especially since they are in season until October. They are seedless, with easy-to-peel skin, very sweet juicy flesh and a small protrusion at one end that resembles a human navel — hence the name of this variety.

“It's very easy to use, in terms of cooking and in making drinks, it's seedless, pulpy, and sweet,” said Chef Luigi Muhlach at the online launch of Taste Australia hosted by Hort Innovation.
Chef Muhlach shared his recipe for Crispy Shrimp Popper with Honey Orange Glaze.

Bento Mommas also shared an easy-to-assemble bento featuring oranges.

Here are the recipes:

Crispy Shrimp Popper with Honey Orange Glaze


  • Honey Orange Sauce
  • 4 Australian Navel Oranges (juiced)
  • 1 kg shrimps (remove head, skin and tail; deveined and cut into 1-inch portions)
  • 50 g white onions, minced
  • 25 g garlic, minced
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp slurry (1 tbsp cornstarch, 4 tbsp water mixed)
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • oil for frying


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 whole eggs, beaten


  • chopped spring onions
  • white or black sesame seeds

Honey Orange Sauce:

  1. In a hot pan, saute onions and garlic in butter until it softens.
  2. Add juice from Australian Navel Oranges.
  3. Add honey and soy sauce. Stir and let it simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Add slurry and stir until the sauce thickens.
  5. Add mayo and stir again. Remove from fire and set aside.


  1. Mix cornstarch, flour and all dry ingredients.
  2. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.


  1. Heat oil.
  2. Dip sliced shrimp in the eggs. Dip in flour.
  3. Fry until golden in color. Repeat until all the shrimps have been fried.
  4. Place in a rack with paper towel.
  5. Place fried shrimp popcorn in a mixing bowl and add in the honey orange sauce. Toss it until all the shrimp popcorns are coated with the honey orange sauce.
  6. Garnish with spring onions and sesame seeds. Serve.

Easy-Peasy Orange Fox Sandwich Bento


  • Bento box
  • Cupcake liner
  • Pre-cut sandwich bread
  • Pre-cut chocolate bread
  • Creamy cheese spread
  • Pretzels
  • Australian Navel Oranges

What you'll need:

  • Cutting board
  • Pairing knife or scissors
  • Spreader or table knife


  1. Slice off the edges of two pieces of the sandwich bread.
  2. Spread the creamy cheese on one slice of bread.
  3. Using a sandwich or cookie cutter, make a hole on the second slice of bread. You may also use the rim of a glass to cut your bread. Put the two slices together.
  4. Cut one Australian Navel Orange into thin round slices. Take one slice and peel then carve out the head from it using a pairinng knife or scissors. Also cut out two triangle shapes for the ears.
  5. Using the creamy cheese as a glue, stick the orange piece to the sandwich.
  6. Using cutters or straws, make face details for your fox from the flattened chocolate bread.
  7. Fill up your bento box with your fox sandwich, Australian Navel Orange slices, and pretzels. Enjoy!

The Australian Navel Oranges are available in Rustan’s Supermarket, Shopwise, Marketplace by Rustan’s, Robinsons Supermarket and S&R, and through e-Commerce partners like AlwaysFresh, Dizon Farms, Baytown’s Produce and Crate2plate. View recipes and learn helpful tips and tricks by following Taste Australia - Philippines on Facebook and @TasteAustraliaPH on Instagram. Recipes can also be found at http://www.oranges.com.au/recipes.

Recipe ideas from Instagram foodies

If there’s one thing that this pandemic has taught many home cooks, it’s that you can never have too many non-perishables in the pantry. Take, for instance, these foodies of Instagram: they prove that stocking up on high-quality ingredients like Doña Elena Olive Oil elevates and adds variety to their everyday meals.

10-minute recipes with P200 budget or less: Try preparing Grilled Cream Dory. Not only does this recipe pair seamlessly with other kinds of fish such as tilapia or bangus, it also utilizes any type of herbs that have been sitting in your pantry. With the help of a little salt, pepper, and Doña Elena Pure Olive Oil, this dish will be your next go-to when looking for a savory pair with stir-fry veggies.

Say goodbye to store-bought dips and spreads, these recipes are easy to throw together and got your cravings covered: Herb BreadSpinach Dip

20-minute fancy recipes for P300 each: If looking for something a little bit special for the weekend, try these hassle-free but fancy dishes: Olive Oil Garlic Tuna Pasta, Lemon Garlic Parmesan Shrimp PastaPasta Arrabiata.

30-minute next-level recipes for P400 each: It’s no surprise that chicken is a great ingredient to have 24/7, but it doesn’t mean it has to be boring.  All these recipes utilize olive oil for an umami-rich meal: Chicken and Mushroom SalpicaoChicken Pesto Pizza, 40 Cloves Garlic ChickenChimichurri Chicken.

Big batches of food: Travel through food with these Spain and Italy-inspired recipes. Cooking these dishes in big batches provides the convenience of a fancy meal that you can reheat anytime from the fridge: Arroz Ala CubanaFocaccia Bread.

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