Healthy lunch cooking demo with Nadine Tengco

Like most mommies, I try to give my kids yummy and nutritious school lunches most of the time. But my two girls are growing up, and their taste buds are becoming more discriminating – demanding could be a fitter term. They easily get bored with their school lunches so I need to vary the menu. So when I got invited to a cooking demo with Nadine Tengco, health guru and nutritionist, I couldn’t pass up.

Last week I watched Chef Bruce Lim whip up an easy but delish Asian Stir-fried pasta dish. A few weeks back, there was a Korean cooking demo at the girls’ school where I learned how to make Korean seafood rice roll and authentic Chap Chae (which I’ve yet to blog about, by the way).

So last Friday, I went to a cooking demo with Ms. Nadine Tengco on healthy lunch box recipes at SM North Edsa Active Fun.

Healthy lunch cooking demo with Nadine Tengco Soyami Chips

Nadine Tengco, a US-certified nutritionist, is the fitness nutritionist of the TV show Pinoy Biggest Loser. She advocates eating Рyes, eating Р instead of reducing food intake to lose weight. (Hmmm, I like her a lot na!)

Friday’s cooking demo with Nadine Tengco was all about healthy school lunch boxes. Nadine showed us how to prepare healthy snacks that kids can bring to school and actually eat (not give away to classmates, hehe) using Soyami Chips.

Healthy lunch cooking demo with Nadine Tengco Apples Morales Soyami Chips
Top: Ms. Apples Morales of Soyami and Active Fun assists Ms. Nadine Tengco during the cooking demo. Bottom (photo courtesy of Soyami Marketing): The mommy bloggers pose with Apple.

Adding soya is an excellent way of improving the nutritional value of a meal. It helps to decrease fat and cholesterol, while increasing fiber content. Soyami Chips are MSG-free, GMO-free, transfat-free, and made from 100% soya. So adding Soyami to our kids’ school lunches is an easy and yummy way of making their meals more nutritious.

Healthy lunch recipes cooking demo with Nadine Tengco
Sneaky Mac n’ Cheese, Sneaky Tuna Nuggets make sneaky-healthy school snacks.

Here are the recipes.

Sneaky Mac n’ Cheese (serves 4) is so sneaky indeed! Instead of using loads and loads of cheese and milk (which are heavy on fats), Nadine uses camote and carrots to turn this all-time favorite into a healthy snack/meal. The kids won’t notice, I bet.


  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup sweet potato and carrot puree
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup crushed SOYAMI PIZZA flavor

Sweet potato and carrot puree:

  • 1/4 medium camote, peeled
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into thick chunks
  • 3 tbsp water

In a medium pot, cover carrots and camote with water and boil for 20 minutes or until tender. Make sure carrots are thoroughly cooked. Drain camote and cut into thick chunks. Process carrots, kamote and water until very smooth. (Boiled camote and carrot chunks can be done ahead, stored in freezer bags and frozen for later.)


  1. Cook macaroni according to package instructions.
  2. In a bowl, whisk milk with sweet potato and carrot puree. Add salt. Divide into two portions.
  3. Toss the macaroni into half of the milk and puree mix. Set aside remaining milk-puree mix.
  4. In an oven-proof dish, layer the macaroni and cheese beginning with the macaroni, then the cheese.
  5. Finish off by pouring the remaining milk-puree cheese.
  6. Sprinkle crushed Soyami Pizza (don’t scrimp because this gives the “yum” factor, says Nadine). Top with remaining cheese.
  7. Cover with foil and bake for 13 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove foil and continue cooking for 5 more minutes.


Sneaky Tuna Nuggets (makes 11 pieces) is a better alternative to commercial chicken nuggets. Instead of deep-frying, the nuggets are pan-fried in a non-stick pan. If you don’t have cooking spray, Nadine recommends using a tablespoon or 2 of Canola Oil instead.


  • 1 can tuna chunks in water, drained
  • 1/3 cup sweet potato and carrots puree (made the same way as above)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pack SOYAMI PLAIN
  • 1 tbsp chopped green onions
  • 2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder (I’d prefer fresh chopped onions)
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder (ditto as above)
  • 1/8 tsp black or white pepper powder
  • Dipping sauce – bottled Coconut Aminos (which I liked!) or Teriyako/Barbecue Sauce


  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients together. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Divide into 11 portions and form each into nuggets or small patties.
  3. Spray non-stick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add patties and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until browned.
  4. Serve with preferred dipping sauce.

I haven’t attempted these 2 recipes yet, but the ingredients have been bought. I will cook within the next few days and will surely post the outcome here!

For more healthy snack ideas and recipes, visit

Healthy lunch cooking demo with Nadine Tengco blogger event

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