Real Simple Springtime Dinner Recipes



Spicy Fish Inasal with warm Quinoa and Bulgur Salad

Inasal is an Ilonggo term meaning “char grilled.”It was originated in the City of Smiles, Bacolod, Philippines. The unique flavour is the native coconut vinegar and calamansi, which gives it the distinct taste. The dish is also distinct for its yellowish colour brought about by basting the annatto oil. Chicken thighs are often used in this dish but I did tweak it a little bit and used salmon fillet instead.

Quinoa is a grain crop that is gluten-free and high in protein, high fiber, quick cooking with a nutty flavor.

Bulgur is a cracked wheat that has already been par boiled or pre-cooked. It cooks quickly and fluffed up in boiling water.  



4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 Ginger, chopped

¼ cup native coconut vinegar

1 stalk Lemongrass, chopped finely

5 pieces calamansi or 1 piece of lemon

4 T. Patis (Fish sauce)

2 T. Fresh Turmeric, chopped

1 piece siling labuyo

2T. Brown sugar

3 T. Olive oil

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For Basting:

¼ cup Butter

2 T. powdered annatto


Just combine all the ingredients for the marinade.

In a slow heat melt the butter and stir in the powdered annatto. Set aside for basting.

Pat dry the salmon and add on the marinade. Let it sit for an hour.

Season and clean the grill properly so the fish does not stick on the grill.

Baste the fish with the butter and annatto mixture.

Turn both sides until the fish is cooked.

Warm Quinoa and Bulgur Salad


½ cup quinoa

½ cup bulgur

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 piece white onion, small diced  

1 small piece carrots, small diced

1 bunch large kale, remove the tough middle stem

1 piece red bell pepper, small diced

1 piece lemon, juiced

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Boil the quinoa and bulgur together for 15 minutes. Drain water. Set aside
  2. Remove the middle stem of the kale. Blanched in salted boiling water for 1 min.
  3. Drain and let it stand in cold running water. Squeeze the excess water and set aside.
  4. Sauté the garlic, onion, carrots and pepper. Add the cooked quinoa and bulgur. Squeeze the lemon. Add the kale and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Arrange in a platter topped with the spicy fish inasal.


Char Siu Pork Tenderloin

Many cuts of pork can be used to make this dish. For the most tender and juicy version use pork belly without the skin. Use pork neck or pork butt if you prefer a good balance between meat and tenderness. For this recipe I use a piece that has zero fat or the leanest part. The pork is at its best when grilled on an outdoor grill. But I did prepare this in a conventional oven. But a little bit of a caution just be aware that the oven might set your fire alarm so proper ventilation is advised.


3 T. dark soy sauce

5T.oyster sauce

2T. hoisin sauce

2 Chinese cooking wine

1 T. brown sugar

1T. coarse salt

1T. Five Spice powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

A drop of red food color


4 T. honey


3 T. water


  1. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a small pot. Cook over low heat until the sauce is smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. Pour the marinade to the meat and let it sit the whole night. Be sure that all the sides are coated with the marinade.
  3. Roast the pork in the oven at 375F.Brush extra BBQ sauce on the pork and place the pork on a grilling rack.
  4. When the meat reaches the internal temperature of 145F apply the glaze to the meat and let it sit before carving.

Coconut and Mango Chia Pudding

Chia seeds come from the flowering plant in the mint family. It is a source of protein, healthy fats, dietary fibers, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants


½ cup chia seeds

2 cups coconut milk

6 T. Maple syrup

½ tsp. Vanilla extract

1 fresh Mango, diced

¼ cup desiccated coconut, roasted


  1. Combine the coconut milk, chia seeds, maple syrup and vanilla . Stir and let it sit in the overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Arrange the chia mixture with the fresh diced mango and topped with roasted sweetened  desiccated  coconut.