Those modest meals for less than $2.-

With the Biden-Trump debate an hour away I thought I would try and divert attention away from the political stage and instead offer something a lot more valuable; good decent food for little money.

The first one is a combination of a piece of fish, a Basa fillet with chargrilled capsicum and a few basil leaves. It was done in ten minutes; here a photo.

IMG_1001basa fillet

Some people recoil in horror at the mention of Basa fish when it was given a wide berth as a result of bad publicity often accompanied by videos showing a dreadful polluted Mekong with the Basa feeding on everything  from soiled nappies to dead bodies and buckets. As it turned out with some sleuthing by experts including scientists the truth was that competitors being alarmed by the success of the Vietnamese export had made some rather over the top criticism and videos.   Most of it was without factual proof. Vietnam now supplies 80% of the world’s demand for this cheap and nutritious fish. At a blind tasting in the US, the Vietnamese imported Basa won over the local produced variety.  At Aldi I bought 3 fillets for $4.- and in the above meal used just one. This meal included half a yellow capsicum and the basil is home grown.

And now we arrive at the second meal. Again here is a photo;

IMG_1003 meat balls

This delicious and cheap  meal together with the Basa fish meal are ideal for those locked down in the Covid stage of  lonely self isolation. You can sit on the edge of your bed and with plate on knees and napkin over shoulder nibble away at these meals and feel safe that your body is getting the necessary nutrition. The above meal contains pork-beef meat balls, again from Aldi. In this recipe I used 5 meat balls out of the 18 in the packet for $5.99. It includes 1 small sliced potato and just 1 medium sized carrot, again with some basil, pepper and salt.

There is no excuse for going to BigMac or that overblown KFC merchant, just stick to basic ingredients and you will be healthy and ready to spend another day in self-isolation and lockdown. Some people have been fined for sneaking out to get take away meals. There is no need, just try and get the above Gerard meals to inspire you.


16 Responses to “Those modest meals for less than $2.-”

  1. bkpyett. Says:

    Gerard, I love your approach to cooking. So nutritious and I too shop at Aldi. It’s the best supermarket! Lovely to see you looking after yourself. Hope you are finding plenty to keep you occupied. Have you begun painting again? Best wishes, Barbara

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you, dear Barbara.
      Things are going good and am enjoying life again. This time last year things were coming to a head and Helvi was in the last few weeks of her life. We both never thought it would happen.
      I have now found friendship and have moved to new premises away from the horror of the previous address.
      All is good.


  2. Therese Trouserzoff Says:

    Hi Gez. Good to see you really on top of the nosh. One night his week I grilled a couple of strips of Tassie Ocean Trout and accompanied them with a light simple salad and some mini Blinis from Woolies. Yummo.

    Ocean Trout are IMHO, indistinguishable from salmon and cheaper – maybe they are not so deeply coloured. But the salmon and ocean trout colour comes from a food additive called cathaxanthine – a relative of the capsicum pigments. It is allegedly harmless, but without it the flesh of the fish can be a bit yellow. Which does nothing for sales.

    For me, cooking a decent meal is a miracle as I have been charged several times for abuse of foodstuffs but no conviction was ever recorded. I think the judge took one look at FM and he knew I was going to punished more than adequately.

    I am a bit wary of imported fresh or frozen-thawed seafood. Apart from the sustainability angle, I’m more worried about the mercury, other heavy metals and pesticide residue. So I suggest you go for fillets from smaller fish – also, they eat fewer nappies in their lifetime than their big brothers and sisters. Perish that thought !

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you, Trouserzoff, I too have a bit of a problem detecting differences between the salmon and trout. The trout is sometimes for sale whole and I had the pleasure of my good (and very female) friend buying me a whole trout from the local fish-market. (Harris Farm)
      My cooking has slipped a bit lately but…I am on the mend. A good woman has found me and is now treating me to good eating habits which includes vegetable juices and wholesome fruit cakes and a much better quality milk. None of that $2.20 for two litres of Coles milk anymore. Ripping off the farmers.

      As for the Basa. They are fresh fillets not frozen or defrosted. This is the thing with Vietnam. They are now offering the world’s poor a good quality and fresh fish for little money.

      The fish are caught, filleted and packed onto the planes sent world wide on the same day not unlike the tulips from Holland being cut in the morning and for sale in New York the same afternoon.
      Glad FM knows how to deal with obstinate partners! Just cook her a good curry, Therese.


  3. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Wonderful and inspiring meals, Gerard! They look yummy! 🙂
    I never met a fish I don’t like. 😉
    We’ve been cooking all of our meals at home…we both like to cook…and we’ve had some really delicious and hearty and healthy meals! 🙂
    Last night we fixed tilapia and a salad. The salad had 2 kinds of cabbage, kale, carrots, onions, tomatoes, and slivered walnuts in it. YUM!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I do like fish too and especially fresh sardines but they are not often for sale, so I get the tinned variety. It often baffles me how neat those sardines are packed into those tins. The same goes for the anchovies that are tightly packed, tails down, in those little glass jars. It is mind boggling how that gets done. Do small men and women work in factories specializing in packing those little fishes?

      You are a master chef, Carolyn. What a mouth watering dish

      By the way, for the grammar/ spelling enthusiast; both fish and fishes are accepted as plural!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Robert Parker Says:

    Sounds and looks good! I’ve never tried that type of fish, haven’t seen it offered, but I’ll substitute catfish. Traditionally, during an election we eat baloney with a glass of vintage hogwash.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Therese Trouserzoff Says:

      Saw a fair amount of bile being splashed about yesterday in the guise of some kind of debate. Two guys in suits were abusing each other so the topic must have been “No, YOU are a huge pig.”

      I was hoping to hear allegations about someone’s mother wearing army boots and the other guy’s father driving a pickle truck for a living.

      Some sort of voting thing, I believe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Robert Parker Says:

        Not sure about the pickle truck, I heard it was a honey wagon. Yes, at the Medieval Times Dinner Theater, we’re going with the Bile & Phlegm theme, as part of this continuing rite of national humiliation.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Nothing proves more the saying; you give back what was given to you as a child!
        Reading about Trumps background, parents and upbringing, it shows that he came from a very spiritually dehydrated background. No art, no poetry, no beauty…just endless nothingness and money being the sole driver.
        The man is a desert.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Ye, it would take a lot of el cheapo hogwash to get over that shit-fight shown word wide on the TV. The poor moderator should just have walked out.
      I think Biden came out better. Even so, no Basa will help the US come good.


  5. shoreacres Says:

    I’ve never heard of Basa, but the meal looks delightful. I’m not much of a fish lover myself, although I’d never refuse some fried catfish or a nice salmon filet. I’m more of a seafood fan: shrimp, crab, and so on. Over the years I’ve slowly grown away from processed foods of any sort, whether the standard fast-food fare or even things from the grocery that come pre-packaged. It wasn’t any grand decision based in ideology or so forth — it’s just that what I cook at home tastes far better.

    Now, I will admit that I favor the Cobb salad provided by Chick-Fil-A. It’s large enough to make two meals with a few added veggies or an extra hard-boiled egg, and it’s delicious. One of my favorite “clerk stories” comes from my last visit to the place, too. Because I was there at an odd time, and business was slow, I chatted for a minute with the high-school age server. We were commiserating over traffic problems caused by a local road and bridge construction project, when she said, “It’s really a pain. I have to go to Seabrook for my cello lessons, and my calculus tutor is in El Lago, so I have to go the long way round.”

    I smiled for two days after hearing that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Perhaps the Basa is sold under a different name. It was given a bad name by people who did not like how it became the dominant import of fresh fish from Vietnam.
      I try and eat fish a few times a week. I sometimes fancy garlic prawns. Crab and lobster is perhaps once every twenty years. I do remember having a seafood dish of blue swimmers crab and mussels. It was at an Italian restaurant.
      Helvi and I ate almost nothing but sea food when in the south of France. The plat du jour was our favorite but that was a log time ago.

      I heard from friends who visited France it is almost now all take away with hamburgers and chips. Apparently the same was happening in Bali which in its early days was an absolute food nirvana. There is nothing as tasty as genuine Indonesian (or Malaysian) food.

      How wonderful the story of the cello and calculus student. Just around where I live is a Vietnamese pie and bread shop who also make the most wonderful salad with ham and cheese with sliced beetroot rolls. They learnt to bake bread from when the French were there.


  6. petspeopleandlife Says:

    One can never go wrong when eating fish according to those versed in what is good for the human body. Your dishes look wonderful and appetizing.


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