MANILA, Philippines – We’ve all been there – tired, hungry, and drained from a long day’s work and a hellish commute – and worse, greeted by an empty refrigerator and zero energy to cook yourself a fresh meal.
In this situation, I’d probably reach for my phone, order fast food take-out from a delivery app, and wait (although impatiently), while some might reach for a bag of chips or MSG-ridden instant noodles to tide themselves over. It’s not ideal, but when time, energy, and resources aren’t exactly on your side – what’s a girl gotta do to live?
Here’s an idea: why not stock up on Auntie Arnie’s ready-to-eat, homecooked meals?
Microwavable boxed meals may be available at the nearest convenience store, sure, but most of them are likely to be doused in salt, preservatives, and whatnot. Auntie Arnie’s, however, claims the opposite – they’re the “healthier” version of take-away meals, sans any preservatives, artifical flavorings, ingredients, and MSG.
They’re also easy to store and prepare – they’re good for up to 6 months in the freezer, and when ready to eat, can just be microwaved, steamed, or reheated on the stove. Auntie Arnie’s serving size feeds between 2-3 people, making it perfect for spontaneous potluck parties, family meals, and baon for the kids.
Auntie Arnie’s are just like the fully-cooked meals you’d enjoy at home, made with real ingredients (never processed!), and then blast-frozen to maintain its flavor and texture.
It’s comfort food you’d love to come home to after a stressful day, and we’re not lying – just like Auntie Arnie’s Meaty Laing (P195), for example, which stars 4 gabi (taro leaf) rolls stuffed with chicken breast bites, simmered in a savory, creamy gata sauce (fresh coconut milk).
Ingredients: ginger, native garlic, herbs, and spices. (Plus points for the list of ingredients on Auntie Arnie’s website!)
How does saucy adobo and a steaming cup of rice sound? The Pork and Chicken Adobo (P375)’s choice cuts of pork and chicken, braised in traditional soy-vinegar-garlic sauce, also sound delish paired with kamatis, red egg, and onions.
Ingredients: pork belly, boneless chicken thigh fillet, vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, black peppercorns.
Auntie Arnie’s love letter to the Panda Express classic is the Orange Peel Chicken (P195), crispy chicken cubes coated in a sweet-sour, soy-orange glaze. These can be re-cooked in a deep fryer, air fryer, or oven toaster for maximum crunch.
Ingredients: boneless chicken thigh fillet, flour, egg, salt, pepper, fresh orange juice, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, chili, sesame seeds.
Our favorite filling Spanish stew, Callos (P420), also makes an appearance on the Auntie Arnie’s line-up, featuring ox feet, tripe, two kinds of imported chorizo, stewed in a freshly-made tomato sauce. Fancy dish idea: place callos in a ceramic dish, top with puff pastry, bake in oven, and voilà – a callos surprise.
Ingredients: ox feet, tripe, Spanish chorizo, fresh garbanzos, bell peppers, olive oil.
If it’s picky kids you’re feeding, the Chicken Barbecue (P350) might be the next best thing to serve – boneless chicken thigh fillets, marinated and cooked in a sweet-savory bbq sauce, are family faves, and are great with java rice, too.
Ingredients: boneless chicken leg quarter, garlic, sugar, soy sauce.
For another all-time Pinoy fave, the yellow-green Chicken Curry (P395) dish mixes the creamy coconut milk with Asian curry spices and chicken breast. Serve with rice or chapati bread!
Ingredients: chicken breast, fresh gata, ginger, garlic, herbs, spices, baby potatoes, carrots.
And hey, Auntie Arnie has rice, too – Yang Chow (P195) to be exact. The wok-fried rice with pork asado, eggs, and veggies is best enjoyed with the orange chicken, curry, or even on its own (which is good for up to two weeks in the freezer).
Ingredients: jasmine rice, onions, eggs, pork, green onions, salt.
If you’re still in the mood for Spanish fare, try out the Paella Negra (P395) – squid ink paella made with Spanish rice, squid, and bell peppers. AA tip: have your paella with a lemon-garlic aioli dip!
It isn’t just ulam that Auntie Arnie specializes in – she’s got a line of ready-to-serve, bottled pasta sauces (P245) up her apron. Check out the Cacio e Pepe, Pomodoro, and Pesto: each one best mixed with noodles, on pizza, or as a dip for toast or chips.
Now you’ll never go hungry anymore! Auntie Arnie’s products can be purchased on their website, on Hi Fred, at La Contessa Deli stores in Greenhills, San Juan, at Brunch in BF Homes, and at The Larder in Alabang. For more information, you can visit Auntie Arnie’s Facebook page. – Rappler.com