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How to Cook Nutritious Food for the New Year

Did the past months overwhelm you with indulgent food at parties? Or worse, did you recently discover a medical issue related to your neglected diet? Now that the holiday festivities (from Christmas to Lunar New Year!) are over, it's time to champion healthier eating habits. Start by employing better-for-you cooking methods when preparing wholesome food for the New Year and beyond. 

Exercise alone isn’t enough to achieve a healthy lifestyle. You need to couple it with proper nutrition – the right food at the right time. And the best place to kick-start your journey? At home, where you have full control of your kitchen! There, you can even ask your entire family to help and join you. So, what's stopping you? Take that first step!

Healthy Cooking Methods to Use More Often

Three women cooking together in the kitchen

Frying might be the quickest method to cook most dishes, but it isn’t the healthiest choice. Instead of cooking with oil, turn to these healthier ways of preparing nutritious dishes.


Cooking with moisture has always been a favorite food preparation method among health enthusiasts. Through steaming, you can avoid all the unwanted calories in oil, butter, and fats! This technique also helps retain the vibrant flavors and textures of your ingredients.

Are you worried that your steamed ulam will taste bland? Impart more flavor to your dish by adding spices and seasonings to the steaming liquid. Also, leave enough space between the water and the basket. You don't want to overcrowd your steamer; cook food in batches and cover it with a lid. Just be patient!

For your next lunch, try pairing your favorite dim sum with steamed fish with chilies and lime. Did you know you can also make a healthy-ish chocolate cake in your steamer?


This cooking method isn’t just for making your family’s go-to lechon manok anymore. You can roast almost any kind of meat and vegetable you can think of! The result? A dish so moist and juicy inside but with those delicious browned and caramelized bits on the outside. You also don’t need much oil or fat for this technique. And you get to preserve your ingredients’ beneficial nutrients even after a couple of hours in the oven.

Serve the best New Year’s food by cooking a tangy version of "fried" chicken, made extra special with Knorr Sinigang Mix.


Need to whip up your family dinner, stat? Stir-frying is one of the most reliable cooking techniques that maximize dry heat. It’s also a tried-and-tested way to clear out your fridge of leftover proteins and fiber-packed vegetables before they go bad. Add as many colorful vegetables as you want to your stir-fried dish to up its nutritional content. This method will keep their taste, hue, and texture intact.

The secret to a good stir-fry is a well-seasoned wok. Pair that with extra high heat, and you’ll achieve ultra-crisp, glistening veggie and meat dishes in mere seconds. Need a quick side or a healthier alternative to hearty stews? Make this 10-minute ginisang repolyo recipe. But if you need more filling food for the New Year, try a tasty chicken stir-fry or the classic chopsuey


Some people argue that grilling increases cancer risk because of the exposure to high heat and open flame. But no one can deny the health benefits of this cooking method! If you still want to take advantage of this technique, grab a grill pan (cast iron is best!) and cook on the stove. This way, you still get the same charred taste but without the hassle of preparing coals. Alternatively, the broiler option in ovens is a fantastic way to “grill” without an ihawan

Grilling removes the excess fat in meats. It also lends a nice smoky flavor to vegetables and fruits your family will love. For a light lunch, whip up chicken skewers with peanut sauce and inasal na mais. But if you’re searching for fresher ideas, try pan-grilled shrimp with watermelon or pinaputok na isda.

Healthy Kitchen Staples Every Pinoy Home Needs

A selection of pantry staples like grains, noodles, and canned goods on a counter

Keeping a well-stocked, good-for-you pantry is advantageous in countless ways. First, it helps save money because you need fewer grocery trips. Additionally, it reduces unnecessary expenses from convenience store purchases. More importantly, it helps promote healthier eating habits. Having food on hand all the time means fewer food deliveries! 

Check out this list of staples and see what your pantry is missing.

  • Sauces and condiments: low-sodium soy sauce, banana ketchup, vinegar, bagoong, Knorr Liquid Seasoning, and authentic patis
  • Canned goods: tuna, beans, corn, and tomatoes
  • Herbs and spices: salt, pepper, achuete, chili flakes, Knorr Broth Cubes, sinigang mix, and Ginataang Gulay Mix  
  • Grains and noodles: brown rice, adlai, sotanghon, misua, and whole-wheat spaghetti

Consuming nutritious food for the New Year (and beyond!) doesn’t have to be laborious. It also won’t require purchasing new kitchen tools and appliances. All it takes is consciously switching to healthier ingredients and cooking methods. Start with these techniques and pantry staples and see the difference they make. 

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