You, like many of us, are probably stuck at home right now. If you’re not busy working, you’re scrolling through the endless posts on social media, and eventually coming across a photo of a yummy dish that’ll trigger your food cravings. It’s likely that it’s not a professional photo — that slice of lasagna can be something your friend whipped up to change up their daily meals. This is unsurprising since people are being encouraged to cook their own meals due to the COVID-19 situation. People are having the same thoughts: the less human touchpoints possible, the better. Especially when it comes to the food we eat.
Because people are unleashing their inner chef personas, our social media feeds have been inundated with delicious food content whenever we open an app. If you’re looking for a little food inspiration — or just feeling curious about what others are up to right now — we reached out to three millennials to see what they’ve been eating lately. Spoiler alert: get ready for some drool-worthy photos ahead.
Cooking some vegan eats
Sabahan model Natalie Prabha has managed to maintain her diet of healthy, vegan meals. Before the lockdown, she used to depend on food deliveries or eating out to deal with her busy schedule and treating herself to some sweets every so often. Having not left her apartment since the lockdown began, she’s taken to experimenting in the kitchen. It’s all about dishes she can cook with non-perishable ingredients like beans, pasta, rice, and even frozen food.
Natalie says that getting fresh produce is hard, so she relies on online grocery shopping to get non-perishables. She receives her veggies and fruits from a local hydroponic farm called The Vegetable Co. that delivers a box to her apartment twice a month. It seems like the tables have turned for this millennial. “Fresh greens have become such an indulgent food for me instead of my usual sweet treats!” she muses. She also started practising intermittent fasting as a way of preventing overeating or boredom eating.
“Ever since the lockdown began, I've been scouring the internet for a perfect wheat-free and vegan mug cake that can be made in the microwave. I didn't manage to find one that would suit the existing ingredients I have in my pantry, so I decided to come up with my own recipe. After five attempts, I succeeded and I even made a little hand-drawn recipe card for it. The lockdowns got me doodling again.”
Going for nutrition boosters
For Filipina nutritionist Jo Sebastian, having two to three balanced meals a day is key to staying healthy right now. Luckily, most Filipino home-cooked dishes are usually well-balanced because they have a protein source, carbohydrate source (usually rice), and vegetables. Some examples are adobo (vinegar-braised stew), ginataang kalabasa (squash with coconut milk), gising gising (ground pork and green bean dish cooked in coconut milk), sinigang (tamarind stew), and tinola (meat and green papaya stew) among others.
“I still try to focus on getting at least two to three balanced meals a day, and we are lucky enough to get fresh fruit and vegetables for our meals. The thing that has changed is more how I have my meals. Now there is more time to eat with family and to practice mindful eating. This has allowed me to be more present during meals and listen to my hunger signals.” If you’re on a budget or just starting to learn how to cook your own meals because of the COVID-19 lockdowns, she recommends going with adobong kangkong (water spinach) with tofu. You can follow her recipe here.
Food delivery is still an option
However, not everyone has the time to cook their own meals. One of these individuals is Jennifer*, an office worker in Makati, who was tasked to be one of the four people in her company’s skeletal workforce. Since she’s still required to physically report to work every day, she’s currently staying in a company-provided accommodation that's within walking distance from her office instead of going home to her family. She still tries to find time to get groceries and cook when her workload isn’t as heavy. But since it’s usually a full day in the office, she’s forced to rely on food delivery services like GrabFood and Foodpanda to get pizza or burgers when she doesn’t have the time to cook. While there are some concerns about using delivery services as it places the drivers at risk, it's still within the guidelines of physical distancing so long as we're practising contactless delivery.
*Name has been changed to maintain the interviewee's privacy.
(Cover photo from: @itsjosebastian)
For more suggestions, here are some easy comfort recipes you could try.