Budget Friendly Ulam Recipes: A Week of Pinoy Style One Meal a Day Plans (OMAD)

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Aloha friends! It’s your girl April from Relax Lang Mom back with some more budget bites. As busy mamas, we’re always on the lookout for ways to nurture our ‘ohana without draining our savings. That’s where some savvy meal prep and planning comes in – and lemme tell you, it really works wonders! By cooking in bulk and freezing portions, I save heaps on takeout temptation. It also clears up more momma time so I can kick back and relax.

Speaking of relaxing routines, you’ll love this easy peasy budget-friendly Ulam Recipes OMAD menu I whipped up for the week. It’s all about hearty lunches that will leave you feeling nourished for hours – without hurting the hips of your wallet! So read on for the deets on my cozy kitchen hacks and this Pinoy-style OMAD plan guaranteed to keep hunger at bay…in the best possible way.

OMAD is a form of intermittent fasting where you only eat one meal per day during an eating window, then fast for the remaining hours. Some research suggests it may aid weight loss and other health benefits. I’ll leave you to research on that and debate on its finer points. Personally, I consider it more of a lifestyle change instead of a diet. I love the simplicity of only having to plan and cook one big, delicious meal each day. The kids have their usual cereal or deli breakfasts and anyone who’s still hungry can eat the leftovers. It scratches my foodie itch while saving time on meal prep. As working moms, every minute counts!

The meals feature a variety of proteins like chicken, bangus, pork and beef paired with all the fresh veggies we have growing locally. On the menu you’ll find classic Filipino dishes like Chicken Adobo, Pinakbet and Pork Sinigang. There’s also some favorites of mine like Tinolang Manok with chayote and Tilapia with Eggplant Salad. Breakfast and dinner are skipped to make grocery shopping and meal prep a breeze. And with these meals averaging only around P345 per serving, the whole week comes in at about P2000 for a small family of 4. For cities, you may have to up your budget a bit to around ₱400-₱500 per day since costs are a bit higher.

As someone living far from the city, I know the struggle of limited options and higher prices for ingredients I can’t get locally. But I was able to put together dishes using mainly affordable proteins and vegetables that are easy to find here on the island like chicken, pork, tilapia, okra, eggplant, greens and root crops. The meal plans also include flexibility – if fish or meat goes up one week, it’s easy to substitute something similar. And enjoy leftovers for later in the week too!

The budget and nutrition are a great balance, in my opinion. Each meal provides a hearty serving of lean protein plus a colorful mix of vitamins, minerals and fiber from various veggies. Your body and brain will feel satiated and energized all afternoon from one big, nourishing lunch. Clean eating has never been so easy! Affordability is debatable since there are also people who may not have enough budget but hopefully its a bit helpful to plan out your budget.

Tips for Creating a Budget-Friendly Weekly Ulam Menu

First things first – make a detailed grocery list before you shop and stick to it. Wandering through the store without a plan is a recipe for impulse buys and going over your food budget. When meal planning for the week, look at what’s seasonal and on sale to take advantage of cheaper ingredients. Here in Marinduque, mangoes, bananas and fish are awesome deals in their peak seasons.

Speak of ingredients – focusing your shopping on whole, minimally processed foods will save you tons versus pre-made options. Pantry staples like lentils, canned beans and pasta are affordable nutrition and energy powerhouses. Potatoes, cabbage, and leafy vegetables add bulk and nutrition to dishes for just a few pesos. Eggs are the most versatile affordable protein. And using parts like chicken thighs is a budget-friendly alternative to pricier chicken breasts.

Cooking in bulk from scratch is key for cost savings too. Make a big pot of monggo, tinola or caldereta on Sundays and portion out meals for the week ahead. When cooking grains like rice, you can freeze the extra rice to use in other dishes later on such as sinangag. And maximizing what’s in your fridge prevents food waste – for example, using last night’s rice for arroz caldo tomorrow.

Repurposing ingredients stretches your hard-earned pesoses even further. Leftover chicken becomes fried rice or chicken salad. Extra veggies get mixed into an omelette or fritter. Nothing goes to waste. Involving kids in meal prep also keeps them entertained for less than movies or toys!

Speaking of prepping, another money saver is cooking bean and lentil batches to freeze individually. Just thaw and add to soups or stews for an easy protein boost. And meals like pinakbet and laswa allow me to add veggies from the garden into soups and stir fries. Of course I realize that this might be not an option if you live in the cities and too busy with work to have a vegetable garden but vegetables are still a cheaper and healthier option to bulk up your menu.

Budget Friendly Ulam Recipes (One Meal A Day) Menu

Now let’s dive into the deets of my OMAD menu:

Day 1 features a classic Chicken Adobo served with steamed Okra. Adobo’s savory vinegar and soy sauce blend is the absolute best way to dress up chicken. The okra adds a nice crunchy texture. Total cost: only 225 pesos!

Day 2 is all about Grilled Bangus and Pinakbet – a veggie stew so tasty you’d never guess it’s good for you too! The fish and pinakbet combo is pure Filipino comfort food perfection. Total cost again only 225 pesos.

On Day 3, we slow things down with a comforting Pork Sinigang packed with proteins and vitamins from the tamarind broth. Paired with kangkong, this tangy stew will have you feeling nourished inside and out for only 265 pesos.

Chicken Tinola with Chayote and Malunggay is the flavor-packed lunch planned for Day 4. The light ginger-garlic profile complemented by vitamins from the greens make this a healing meal for just 215 pesos.

For Day 5, I’m serving up crispy Fried Tilapia with a zesty Eggplant Salad sure to perk up your palate. At only 165 pesos total, this meal is as budget-friendly as it is delicious!

Beef Mechado with string beans is the soul-warming lunch on Day 6. The tomatoey beef stew is comfort defined for 345 pesos.

We end the week on Day 7 indulging in succulent Grilled Pork Belly paired with nutritious Sauteed Ampalaya for just 317 pesos total. The perfect fusion of indulgence and nutrition!

As you can see, each meal balances proteins, complex carbs and lots of micronutrient-packed veggies – ensuring you feel full and fueled all afternoon for less than 350 pesos total per day. And the weekly grocery budget comes out to a very reasonable 1757 pesos, which breaks down to around 250 pesos per day. Achieving healthy eating on a budget was never so achievable or tasty!

A few key tips for making OMAD work for busy moms:

  • Meal prep on Sundays to make weekday cooking a breeze.
  • Involve kids in meal planning for buy-in and extra nutrition education.
  • Stock up on easy proteins like eggs, canned fish and beans for meal flexibility.
  • Satisfy sweet tooths with fresh fruit instead of processed sweets.

Day 1: Chicken Adobo with Steamed Okra
Ingredients: Chicken, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, pepper, water, okra.
Computation: Chicken (₱180/kg) = ₱180, Garlic/Bay leaves (₱15), Vinegar/Soy sauce (₱30), Okra (₱20/bunch) = ₱20. Total: ₱245

Day 2: Grilled Bangus with Pinakbet
Ingredients: Bangus (milkfish), salt, garlic, squash, eggplant, okra, string beans, ampalaya, shrimp paste.
Computation: Bangus (₱120/pc) = ₱120, Vegetables (₱80), Shrimp paste (₱20), Garlic (₱5). Total: ₱225

Day 3: Pork Sinigang with Water Spinach (Kangkong)
Ingredients: Pork, tamarind soup base, tomatoes, onion, water spinach, radish, green chili.
Computation: Pork (₱300/kg) = ₱300, Tamarind soup base (₱20), Vegetables (₱30), Kangkong (₱15). Total: ₱365

Day 4: Tinolang Manok with Chayote and Malunggay
Ingredients: Chicken, ginger, garlic, onion, chayote, malunggay leaves, fish sauce, water.
Computation: Chicken (₱180/kg) = ₱180, Ginger/Garlic/Onion (₱25), Chayote (₱20), Malunggay (₱10). Total: ₱235

Day 5: Fried Tilapia with Eggplant Salad
Ingredients: Tilapia, cooking oil, eggplants, vinegar, garlic, onion, tomatoes, salt, pepper.
Computation: Tilapia (₱100/pc) = ₱100, Eggplants (₱30), Vinegar/Garlic/Onion/Tomatoes (₱25), Oil (₱10). Total: ₱165

Day 6: Beef Mechado with Steamed String Beans
Ingredients: Beef, tomato sauce, potatoes, carrots, lemon or calamansi, soy sauce, garlic, onion, bay leaves, pepper, string beans.
Computation: Beef (₱350/kg) = ₱250, Tomato sauce/Potatoes/Carrots (₱50), Soy sauce/Garlic/Onion (₱25), String beans (₱20). Total: ₱445

Day 7: Grilled Pork Belly with Sauteed Ampalaya
Ingredients: Pork belly, salt, pepper, ampalaya, eggs, garlic, onion, tomatoes.
Computation: Pork belly (₱320/kg) = ₱220, Ampalaya (₱30), Eggs (₱42 for 7), Garlic/Onion/Tomatoes (₱25). Total: ₱417

Weekly Grocery List
Chicken, pork, beef, bangus, tilapia, pork belly, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, okra, squash, eggplant, string beans, ampalaya, shrimp paste, tamarind soup base, water spinach, chayote, malunggay leaves, tomatoes, onion, ginger, fish sauce, potatoes, carrots, lemon or calamansi, eggs.

Weekly Total Computation
Total Expense: ₱245 + ₱225 + ₱365 + ₱235 + ₱165 + ₱445 + ₱417 = ₱2100

This OMAD plan is crafted to blend the best of both worlds: hearty meats or seafood with the fresh crisp of vegetables, ensuring a balanced and satisfying meal each day. Off course, prices are rough estimates, subject to market fluctuations. Rice are also not included in the budget as OMAD is also usually Low Carb but add them as you like! There’s really no hard and fast rules here.

Hope these budget-friendly meal planning strategies and ingredient ideas provide some inspiration for saving pesos in your own kitchen. Let me know if you need any affordable, nutritional recipes. Just drop me a line or subscribe to my newsletter for new ideas delivered to your inbox each month. Stay healthy and happy cooking!

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