Friday, December 27, 2019

Taylor Farms Thai Coconut Skillet Kit with Chicken, Onions & Garlic

I love the Taylor Farms Kits.  I have tried some of the salad kits and those were great.  This post is about me trying the Taylor Farms Thai Coconut Skillet Kit.

It comes with a mix of vegetables that consisted of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, snap peas, yellow coconut curry sauce, and toasted crunchy coconut.  In my opinion, the toasted crunchy coconut didn't go well with it.  You can view more details about it on their website here.

You don't need to add anything else.  You can just use what's in the kit.  Or you can add whatever you'd like.  There are some suggestions in the back of the package.  I added chicken, onions, and garlic to the kit.  Here's my version with my additions.

  • Taylor Farms Thai Coconut Skillet Kit
  • 5 chicken tenderloins
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  •  1/2 onion
  • Olive oil for stir frying
  1. Defrost chicken.
  2. Slice garlic and lightly fry in olive oil.  Remove from oil and set aside.
  3. Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Stir fry chicken in garlic-infused oil until browned. Remove from oil and set aside.
  5. Add a little olive oil to pan.
  6. Chop half onion.
  7. Add vegetables from kit and onion into pan and stir fry.
  8. Add coconut sauce, chicken, and garlic and stir well.
  9. Serve.
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Taylor Farms Thai Coconut Skillet Kit with Chicken, Onions, & Garlic (sped up for IG)
YouTube post of this video: Taylor Farms Thai Coconut Skillet with Chicken, Onions & Garlic (regular speed full video) 

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Air Fried Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower

Okay, I was going to call this a fail.  But it really wasn't.  It depends on how you look at it.  It was an experiment and the flavors and textures did go well together.  I made it work.  That's what you do in life.  If something doesn't work, you pivot and change your plan.  After all, experimental is the theme of my cooking.

I had seen pictures of whole cooked cauliflower on Instagram and it looked kinda cool.  A quick internet search returned a recommendation for a cooking temperature of 350 degrees and cooking time of 15 minutes in the air fryer.  I don't have a regular oven, so I'm always looking for air fryer recipes.  I just needed to have an idea of how to cook it.

I made my own flavor combination and cooked it accordingly.  It looked appetizing, but was still hard when I tried to poke it with a fork.  So I cooked it for 10 more minutes, but when I cut it in half, the middle wasn't cooked through.  So I cut it up into florets to have it cook evenly.  My instructions below are for the way I made it.

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • olive oil for lightly cooking garlic
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 Tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2-3 Tablespoons dried parsley
  1. Lightly fry garlic cloves in olive oil.  Remove garlic and let cool.
  2. Cut off excess leaves and as much of the stem as you can from the bottom of the cauliflower.
  3. Spread mayonnaise evenly over cauliflower.
  4. Chop garlic and pat onto cauliflower.
  5. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and ground pepper, and dried parsley onto cauliflower.
  6. Air fry for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
  7. Cut into florets and air fry for 10 more minutes at 400 degrees. 
  8. Serve.
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Air Fried Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower (sped up for IG)
YouTube post of this video:Air Fried Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower (regular speed full video)

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Air Fried Bell Peppers with Oil & Vinegar

Here's a simple recipe for Air Fried Bell Peppers with Olive Oil & Vinegar.  I don't have much else to say about it.

  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 2 Tablespoons garlic infused olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  1. Prepare ingredients as described above (seed, cut, peel).
  2. Combine all ingredients and toss.
  3. Air fry at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. 
  4. Serve.
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Air Fried Bell Peppers with Oil & Vinegar (sped up for IG)
YouTube post of this video: Air Fried Bell Peppers with Oil & Vinegar (regular speed full video) 

Friday, December 20, 2019

Air Fried Spicy Pumpkin Salad

Smooth - Wrapped in foil and chopped after air frying

More Texture - Chopped prior to air frying

I have made this recipe before.  I was thinking it would be like a spicy potato salad, but with pumpkin instead of potatoes.  It turned out great and I love the bite of the raw onion and garlic.  If you love onions, garlic, and spice, you'll probably love this dish.

The last time I made this, I chopped the pumpkin prior to roasting it in the air fryer.  This gave more texture to the pumpkin pieces and more mouthfeel.

This time, I wrapped the pumpkin in foil and chopped it after air frying.  This way is smoother, more similar in texture to an actual potato salad.

Either way is delicious.  It just depends on your preference.  I like both.  Recipe and instructions below are fore the smoother version.

  • 1/2 kabocha pumpkin, seeded
  • 1/2 c mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c green onion, chopped  
  • 1/2 c red onion, chopped 
  • 7 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 dash dried parsley
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 dash black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil 
  1. Prepare ingredients as described above (seed, chop).
  2. Rub avocado oil all over the pumpkin.
  3. Wrap oiled pumpkin in foil and air fry for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
  4. Let pumpkin cool.
  5. Combine remaining ingredients in bowl and mix well.
  6. Cut cooled pumpkin into 1-inch cubes.
  7. Add pumpkin to spicy mixture and mix well.
  8. Serve. 
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Air Fried Spicy Pumpkin Salad (sped up for IG)
YouTube post of this video: Air Fried Spicy Pumpkin Salad (regular speed) 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Air Fried Eggplant Parmesan without Parmesan

I like to buy a variety of vegetables from my favorite farmer's market.  I don't always know what I'm going to make, but I do know that I want to eat different dishes.

This time I bought a beautiful eggplant then had no idea what to make with it.  So I made this Eggplant Parmesan dish.  I only realized afterwards that I didn't add any Parmesan at all.  It still turned out delicious.

Here's the recipe for what I created.

  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup mozarella cheese
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • Avocado oil spray
  1. Rinse eggplant and slice into 1/2 inch thick pieces.
  2. Scramble eggs.  This will be used for dipping the eggplant.
  3. In a separate container, spread out breadcrumbs.
  4. Dip both sides of eggplant slices in egg, then in breadcrumbs.
  5. Arrange in a single layer of air fryer.
  6. Spray with avocado oil.
  7. Air fry for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
  8. Cook the rest of the eggplant the same way.
  9. In little air fryer pan, layer sauce, cooked eggplant, and cheese over and over until it reaches the top of the pan.
  10. Air fry for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
  11. Serve. Yum!
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Air Fried Eggplant Parmesan without Parmesan (sped up to fit IG time)
YouTube post of this video: Air Fried Eggplant Parmesan without Parmesan (Regular Speed) 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Air Fried Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pepitas

My friend recently treated me to dinner at a restaurant called Eating House 1849 in the International Marketplace in Waikiki, Hawaii.  We ordered a variety of dishes to taste and share including the Pipikaula, Brussels and Cauliflower, Spicy Ramen, Farmer's salad, Seared Fish, and their signature Chocolate lava cake.

The Brussels and Cauliflower was my favorite dish of all.  It came dressed in a balsamic vinegar sauce with pine nuts and raisins.  There's a tangyness from the vinegar, a crunch from the nuts, and a little sweetness from the raisins.  It also tasted like there was some butter in there.  I don't know if it was fried or roasted.

At home, I had dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds.  So this recipe is an experimental spin on it.  It turned out tasty, but the Brussels and Cauliflower is soooo much better.  I don't go to Waikiki often, but if I do, I'd definitely order it again.  Yum!

  • 2 cups brussels sprouts (rinsed, trimmed, and cut in half)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil infused with garlic (Don't remove garlic. You can use a lot less oil than this, but I knew that the excess would fall to the bottom of the air fryer pan.)
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ounce dried cranberries (1 small snack box)
  • 2 Tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  1. Prepare ingredients as described above (rinse, trim, infuse, etc.)
  2. Place brussels sprouts in bowl.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix.
  4. Put everything in airfryer pan.
  5. Air fry for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Air Fried Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pepitas (sped up to fit IG video time limit)
YouTube post of this video: Air Fried Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pepitas (Regular Speed)

Friday, December 13, 2019

Dinengdeng with Marungay

I always knew it as marungay and was raised calling it that.  The scientific name for this plant is moringa oleifera.  It is a tree that my parents and grandparents always had in the backyard.  The leaves and fruits are edible.  I love the idea of gathering food from your backyard. 

I saw my aunt at a family gathering for Thanksgiving and she mentioned that she recently had a conversation with her friend about marungay and bone broth being very popular for the health benefits that they deliver.

I have seen a lot of ads about bone broth and collagen, but I didn't know that marungay was also being advertised as a super food. Her friend said that it's become so popular that baby marungay plants can now be found at the local Home Depot.

You know what my aunt's response to that was?  She thought that the popularity of bone broth and marungay was absurd.  Filipinos have been cooking and eating lauya for years!  If you don't know what lauya is, it's a brothy soup made with beef bones and marungay leaves.  Anyway, I just wanted to share that story because I thought it was funny.

While I was home for Thanksgiving, my grandma did a harvest from her yard and prepared some marungay fruits for me.  What a treat!  I was afraid I didn't know the recipe and I'm also learning that some vegetable combinations work better than others and some don't even match. LOL!  So I have to say that my grandma did give me some suggestions, but I added some other extra vegetables and it didn't match! LOL!  That's what I get when I don't listen.

So here is the recipe for what I created.  I think I wouldn't put the winged beans and eggplant next time.  My grandma also suggested ebi (dried shrimp), not raw shrimp. But the following is what I did for this dish.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup patis (fish sauce)
  • 3 cups marungay, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 4 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup raw shrimp, defrosted
  • 2 eggplants, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 5 winged beans
  • 1/4 cup onions, sliced
  1. Prepare ingredients as described above (chop, defrost, cut, etc.)
  2. Add water to pot.
  3. Add patis to pot and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add marungay. 
  5. Cover and simmer until about halfway cooked (about 20 minutes).
  6. Add tomatoes, shrimp, eggplant, winged beans, and onions. 
  7. Cover and simmer until cooked through (15 -  20 minutes), stirring halfway through. (My parents and grandparents do the pan-toss thing to mix it up. But I don't know how to do that, so I have to stir it.)
  8. Serve.  (Eat marungay fruit by splitting open and scraping the soft insides out.  You don't eat the firm, fibrous outside.
  9. Enjoy.
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Dinengdeng with Marungay (sped up) 
YouTube post of this video: Dinengdeng with Marungay (Regular Speed)

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Cheesy Broccoli Bacon Bake

I had a bit of broccoli left from the bulk bag I bought and didn't know what to make with it, but didn't want it to go to waste.  I checked my freezer and found bacon and shredded cheese in the freezer.  So this was a perfect clean-up-the-fridge recipe.

If you watch my video(s), you'll see that it's obvious I had just taken the bacon and cheese out of the freezer.  I like to get certain things in bulk and freeze the rest.  It's cheaper in the long run if you use those items frequently.  Toilet paper, dish liquid, coffee and laundry detergent are some great examples.

But I have this problem with buying so much cheese.  I always think I'm going to just find a lot of recipes with cheese or eat a little cheese everyday.  Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way for me and I end up giving away my cheese because I have too much. I've bought cheese in bulk and gave away half at least five times already.  Lmao!

*Please note that I used a small toaster oven for this and you may need to adjust your cooking times and settings accordingly.

  • 3-4 cups broccoli
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used mozarella and cheddar)
  • 1/2 package bacon
  1. Chop bacon and stir fry until crispy.
  2. Drain bacon on paper towel to absorb excess fat.
  3. Place broccoli on baking sheet and drizzle oil all over.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees (toast temp setting).
  5. Remove broccoli from oven.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees (toast temp setting).
  8. Serve.
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Cheesy Broccoli Bacon Bake (sped up to fit IG time limit)
YouTube post of this video: Cheesy Broccoli Bacon Bake (regular speed) 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Air Fried Panko Okra

I got a bunch of okra from my aunt.  I made it two different ways and this is one of them.  It's a spin off my most popular video recipe, which is the Air Fried Ranch Panko Chicken Tenders.

The okra turned out with a golden brown crispy outer layer, perfectly tender on the inside, with a hint of slime. Delicious!

I enjoyed these and like this breed of okra.  I have been growing some in my container garden and the breed I have is more fibrous.  Mine need to be picked super young and small so it doesn't get too fibrous.  Fiber sounds good for your health, but fiber isn't very palatable. πŸ˜›

Here's my recipe for Air Fried Panko Okra.  It tastes great alone, but is also neutral enough if you'd like to have it with your favorite dipping sauce.  I had it with ketchup and it was like fries. I wondered if I should call them Okra Fries instead.

  • 4-5 cups okra, rinsed, ends chopped off, sliced in halves lengthwise
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 dash pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • Avocado Oil Spray
  1. Prepare okra as indicated above (rinse, chop, slice). Set aside.
  2. Crack eggs into a bowl.
  3. Add garlic powder, salt, pepper, and parsley to eggs and scramble.
  4. Pour egg mixture over okra and toss well to coat. Set aside.
  5. Pour half bag of panko into a resealable container.
  6. Add egg-coated okra to panko.
  7. Pour remaining panko over okra.
  8. Seal container and shake vigorously.
  9. Place panko-coated okra in a single layer of air fryer pan.
  10. Spray with avocado oil.
  11. Air fry for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
  12. Serve.
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Air Fried Panko Okra (sped up to fit IG time limit)
YouTube post of this video: Air Fried Panko Okra (regular speed)

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Easy Garden Guacamole

I absolutely love the idea of gathering plants from the yard and turning it into a delicious dish.  I made this simple guacamole with an avocado from my parents' yard and tomatoes from my grandmother's yard.  The avocado and tomatoes were grown organically on the island of Kauai.

I know a lot of people don't have easy access to fresh, organic produce.  I don't regularly have that luxury where I live either.   But I love to take advantage of it when I visit home. 

  • 1 avocado
  • 4 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Sprinkle of salt
  1. Slice avocado open, remove pit, scoop out, and mash.
  2. Chop tomatoes and add to mashed avocado.
  3. Add lemon juice.
  4. Sprinkle salt and mix.
  5. Serve.
YouTube post of this video: Easy Garden Guacamole (regular speed)

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Crab and Spinach Wontons

We made this at my sister's request.  This is one of those things that if you're going to make it, you'll make a big batch.  It's tedious, but worth it.

This recipe makes about 50 wontons.

  • 2 packages Okuhara imitation crab meat sticks (each package is 8 ounces)
  • 1 can water chestnuts (8 ounces)
  • 1 block chopped, frozen spinach (9-10 ounces)
  • 1 block cream cheese (8 ounces)
  • 4 packages wonton wrappers
  • Water for sealing wontons
  • Oil for cooking
  1. Shred imitation crab meat sticks.
  2. Chop water chestnuts.
  3. Defrost spinach and squeeze excess liquid out.
  4. Combine crab meat, water chestnuts, and spinach well.
  5. Put about a Tablespoon of mixture onto a wonton wrapper.
  6. Dip your finger in the water and trace two sides of the wrapper.
  7. Fold the wrapper over to create a triangle shape and press to seal.
  8. Fry in oil until golden brown.

IG: @abundanceofvegetables 

Newer IG post of this video: Crab and Spinach Wontons (Reel)
Newer YouTube post of this video: Crab and Spinach Wontons
Older IG post of this video: Crab and Spinach Wontons (sped up to fit IG time limit)
Older YouTube post of this video: Crab and Spinach Wontons (regular speed with captions)

Saturday, November 30, 2019


You can fill lumpia with anything you want. I’ve made different varieties filled with ground turkey and vegetables, ground pork and vegetables, cheese, pastele, and bananas.

This recipe below is for a ground turkey and vegetables filling.

I have been craving this savory type of filipino lumpia for a while now.  There are filipino restaurants that serve this in Honolulu, where I reside, but the places I've been to have it sitting around and are soggy.

The sauce also doesn't come with as much garlic as I'd like or any garlic at all.  I am a garlic lover, so I put a lot in my version.  Also, my doctor recommended that I eat garlic raw or lightly cooked as it helps regulate blood pressure.  That's a win-win for me. The saying goes "If you want it done right, do it yourself."  So this way I do it is right for me. Do what's right for you.

My mom used to make these in large batches as appetizers for family gatherings.  I was her prep cook.  She would prepare a sample of how she wanted the vegetables cut, while I observed.  Then I'd follow and prepare the rest the same way as she moved on to cook another dish.  The carrots were cut into julienne strips and the cabbage was sliced into strips.

My mom taught us how to wrap the lumpia and keep it tight.  If you wrap it loosely, it will likely fall apart when cooking.  I have tried several brands of lumpia wrapper in round and square shapes.  My favorite is the Menlo brand because it is the easiest to peel apart.  It comes with pictures and instructions on how to wrap on the back of the package.  You can also watch my Instagram and YouTube videos to see how I wrap it.  The links are below.

My recipe makes about 100 lumpia.  I have never made a smaller batch but you can divide it if you want to make less.

  • 1 package ground turkey (16 oz)
  • Sprinkle of salt to taste
  • Sprinkle of pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 package bean sprouts (9 oz)
  • 2 large carrots (cut into julienne strips)
  • 1 medium cabbage (sliced into strips)
  • 3 packages lumpia wrappers (peeled apart)
  • Water for sealing lumpia
  • Oil for frying
  1. Prepare ingredients as indicated above. (Rinse all, julienne carrots, slice cabbage, peel wrappers)
  2. Brown ground turkey.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Remove meat from pan.
  5. Stir fry vegetables.
  6. Add soy sauce and mix well.
  7. Add cooked ground turkey to cooked vegetables and mix well.
  8. Put entire mixture in colander and put a bowl or pot underneath to catch excess liquid.
  9. Let it cool completely.   If it's still warm, the wrapper will break.  I got impatient and made this mistake.
  10. Wrap lumpia.
  11. Fry in oil until crispy and golden brown, about 6 minutes.
  12. Serve with sauce.
Ingredients for Sauce:
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped (DO NOT use preserved garlic.  This needs to be fresh)
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • Sprinkle of ground pepper
Instructions for Sauce:
  1. Peel and chop garlic and place in serving bowl.
  2. Add vinegar. 
  3. Add ground pepper and stir.
  4. Serve.
Ground Turkey & Veggies Lumpia
IG post of this video: Lumpia (sped up to fit IG time limit)
YouTube post of this video: Lumpia (regular speed with captions)

Ground Pork & Veggie Lumpia

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Air Fried Garlic Broccoli and Okra

I have been waiting (impatiently) for my vegetables in my container garden to be ready to eat.  So far, only one okra was ready to be harvested.  I didn't want to let it keep growing until others were ready.  I would risk the chance of it getting too old, hard, and fibrous to consume.

So I decided to cook it with some broccoli that I already had on hand.  I kept it simple, tossed it with some some olive oil and minced garlic and cooked it up in my air fryer.  My recipe is below.

  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 okra (😜 Yes, I only had one)
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
  1. Harvest and rinse the okra.
  2. Put broccoli and okra into a container that has a lid.
  3. Add olive oil and garlic.
  4. Close container and shake well to toss ingredients together.
  5. Air fry for 10 minutes at 320 degrees.
  6. Serve.
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Air Fried Garlic Broccoli and Okra 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Pinakbet (Filipino Vegetable Medley with Pork)

When I was younger, we'd have pinakbet for dinner from time to time.  The simplest way for me to describe pinakbet is a medley of vegetables and pork, simmered in a fish broth.

It always had bittermelon in the mix.  I felt like the bitterness always seeped through to the other vegetables. I hated bitter melon, so didn't like pinakbet. 

As I grew older, I became more open to new flavors and health benefits of various foods.  I learned that both the bitter melon leaves and fruit had health benefits for a variety of ailments.  I don't exactly know what the benefits are, but a quick internet search will return a lot of results.

I actually tried bitter melon tea and will eat a piece or two if it's already in the pinakbet.  But ultimately, it will never be my favorite.

Anyway, here is the recipe for my version.  I didn't add any bitter melon and it was delicious!

  • 1 kabatiti (gourd), peeled and sliced
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 3-inch segments
  • 10 long beans, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 4 small tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup patis (fish sauce)
  • 5 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/4 large onion, sliced
  • 3 ounces chicharron, sliced
  1. Prepare ingredients as indicated above (i.e. slice, cut, etc.)
  2. Bring water and patis to a boil.
  3. Add everything else, except the chicharron.
  4. Cover and let simmer until vegetables cooked through (about 15 minutes), stirring halfway through.
  5. Add chicharron.
  6. Cover and let simmer to let the flavors mingle together (about 5 minutes), stirring halfway through.
  7. Serve.
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Pinakbet

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Parmesan Cheese

I recently saw someone post a picture on Instagram of brussels sprouts with caramelized onions and wanted to try something like that.  This experiment was quick, easy, and delicious and I had all the ingredients on hand.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 4 cups brussels sprouts, rinsed and trimmed
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  1. Prepare ingredients as described above (trim, slice, etc.)
  2. Melt butter in large saucepan.
  3. Add garlic. Stir until fragrant.
  4. Add Brussels sprouts.
  5. Add onions.  
  6. Stir.
  7. Cover and let cook for about 3 minutes.
  8. Add Parmesan cheese.  
  9. Stir, cover, and let cook for 3 more minutes or until tender.
  10. Serve.
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Parmesan Cheese 

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Dinengdeng with Shrimp Experiment

I wasn't sure what the proper spelling was.  I had spelled it "diningding" before.  But when I did an internet search,  it returned results for both "diningding" and "dinengdeng", but mostly the latter.

From my understanding, this dish is essentially a mixture of vegetables simmered in a fish broth and topped with fish.  This version that I made is just squash as the vegetable and shrimp instead of fish.

Certain vegetables match better with each other.  I had a big squash, so I definitely wanted to use that.  I bought a a kabatiti (gourd) thinking that it might go well with this, but I wasn't sure.

I am of filipino descent, so I should know this.  But I don't.  I was born and raised in America and am Americanized.  I enjoy watching food shows and documentaries and they often mention old traditions, customs, and recipes being lost with the older generation.  This makes me think of myself.  I am slowly working on learning how to create authentic filipino dishes and need to learn as much as I can from my parents and grandparents.

So, I texted my dad up a storm asking him about my veggie combo selection.  His recommendation was to save the kabatiti when I cook eggplant and to call my mom because she knows better. Haha! πŸ˜‚

My mom was busy when I called, so I just got started cooking.  I found out I put too much water because squash releases a lot of liquid when cooked.  She stayed on the phone with me for a while until I felt comfortable enough to hang up.  I sent them some pictures and they both said it looked good.  It was delicious!  I also gave some to my friend and she enjoyed it. Yay!

Here is my recipe.  You could use half the water and patis if you like it less soupy.  Take a look at my video to see how much liquid it made.

  • 1 squash, cleaned and cut up into bite-size pieces (approximately 8 cups)
  • 1 small tomato, sliced into wedges
  • 1/4 large onion, sliced (authentic filipino recommendation would be the little shallots)
  • 1 cup of shrimp, peeled and de-veined 
  • 1/3 cup patis
  • 2 cups water

  1. Bring water and patis to a boil.
  2. Add onion, tomato, and squash to broth.  Cover and let simmer until translucent (about 10 minutes), stirring halfway through.
  3. Add shrimp.  Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Serve.

IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Dinengdeng with Shrimp

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Vegan Broccoli Fritters Experiment

This cooking experiment is a vegan twist on a recipe for broccoli fritters that I found online.  I cooked the original recipe before and it turned out pretty good.  The fritters held together well and kept their shape.  I wrote the recipe down in my recipe notebook for future reference.

When I made it again this time, as I was gathering the ingredients, I realized that I was missing eggs.πŸ˜•  I googled egg substitute.  One solution was flax meal with water.  Perfect, I had flax meal.   It said to stir well until gelatinous.  It never got gelatinous, but whatever, into the batter mixture it went.

Then I thought, since I'm not using eggs, I should just make these patties vegan.  I had Parmesan cheese and was planning to use it, but I substituted it with nutritional yeast.

The batter was a bit watery and the fritters didn't hold well together when flipping.  This was probably due to the egg substitution.  The taste was just okay, kind of bland.  I thought that the absence of Parmesan made a big difference because it's basically all of the seasoning that the patty has.  I wondered if I used nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese the first time I cooked this.

I ate it with hot sauce to give it a kick since it was bland.  So I decided to look up the original recipe to see if I missed something.  Low and behold, I also missed Dijon mustard! I failed to write this ingredient down when I added it to my recipe notebook. That would've probably made the flavor a lot better.

The original recipe calls for broccoli, almond flour, eggs, nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, garlic, and olive oil.

Link to the original recipe on

In conclusion, I didn't initially intend to make it vegan.  It only turned out to be vegan because I didn't have eggs.  The original recipe was better.  I like eggs.

Broccoli fritter when I followed the recipe correctly

IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this vegan experiment video: Vegan Broccoli Fritters Experiment

Monday, November 11, 2019

One Leaf Method Laulau Wrapping Tutorial

Laulau is a hawaiian dish that is basically a package of steamed meat and vegetables.  It is traditionally filled pork and hawaiian salt wrapped in taro leaves, then with ti leaves and steamed. 

Many people have created their own variation using different ingredients.  Some examples of other fillings are chicken, cod fish and tofu.  You can use whatever you want.  Make what suits your taste. In my videos, my father and I used pork, chicken, pork fat, and salmon.

A lot of advanced preparation is required for this dish.  Taro leaves must be harvested and rinsed; ti leaves must be harvested, rinsed, and deboned; meats or other stuffing must be cut up; an assembly line should be made.  This is usually a coordinated effort with many people getting together and making it bulk for parties and family gatherings.

I was lucky because my father did all the preparation before I came to visit.  I just helped him wrap and cook them.

Taro leaves are dark, leafy, nutritious, delicious greens.  If you don't have access to taro leaves, spinach can be substituted. 

The ti leaves are not edible, but serve as a natural wrapper to hold everything together.  Foil can be substituted for ti leaves.

People wrap laulau in different ways like a square package wrapped with a string or a bundle tied on the top with string.  Both of those examples use more than one leaf and something to tie it with.

My father showed me an innovative technique to wrap laulau using just one leaf and no string.  I am calling this the "One Leaf Method".

I actually wanted to say One-Leaf (with the dash), but think people may not remember to put the dash in an internet search. So I want to keep it simple. Lol!

Here are step-by-step photos showing my dad wrapping a laulau with the One Leaf Method.  I had to watch him do it first.

(Scroll down further to see step-by-step photos with instructions, from a first-person perspective.)

Then I tried it myself.  Here are photos of me wrapping a laulau with the One Leaf Method from a first-person point-of-view.  You may need a lot of practice to get it down.  Just remember this: LEFT, UP, RIGHT, PULL

Place your laulau on the left side of the ti leaf

Wrap the laulau with the ti leaf,  folding LEFT

Grab the laulau and fold UP

Folding UP

Grab the laulau and fold RIGHT

Pick up the laulau.  Fold the end of the leaf over and insert into the opening until it pops out on the other end.

PULL the stem through until snug.


Watch my videos to see the One Leaf Method in action.  The links are below.

IGTV post of this video: Wrapping laulau with just one ti leaf (One Leaf Method)
IG post of the short video, straight to the point: One Leaf Method short version
IG post of cooking laulau in pressure cooker: Cooking One Leaf Method laulau in pressure cooker

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Asian Chopped Salad Kit

Asian Chopped Salad Kit

I am loving these chopped salad kits.  I have been trying the different kits that are stocked at my local Sam's Club.  This Asian Chopped Kit was only $2.18.

The kit comes with everything you need: chopped cabbage, lettuce,  celery, carrots, wonton strips, almonds, green onion, cilantro, and dressing.

The Nutrition Facts say that it is 3.5 servings.  But in all honesty, I eat the entire bag to myself for one meal.  I'm guessing that 3.5 servings means that it is served as a small side salad.

The Taylor Farms website has nutrition facts and their own video showing the contents of this salad kit: 

I topped it with some fully-cooked Tyson brand seasoned chicken.  I don't think it was a good match.  You know why? I got it from the freezer section at the grocery store and was running around town doing errands.  I assumed it had enough time to defrost. When I started eating, I found out that it was still hard. LOL!  I'm saving it in the fridge to defrost for salad prep.

IG post of this video: Asian Chopped Salad Kit

Monday, November 4, 2019

Cauliflower Sushi Rice

Cauliflower Sushi Rice

I made a vegetable platter for Halloween.  The main feature of the platter was a skull made out of cauliflower.  Although it was cute and festive, it wasn't practical because it's not easy to eat.  Since the head of cauliflower was mostly held together and not cut into ready-to-eat pieces, nobody ate it, including myself.

The next day, my friend invited me over for a girls sushi night.  She was going to get some poke (raw, seasoned, fish cube salad is the best description I have for people who don't know. lol.), cucumber, and roasted seaweed.

This was perfect!  I told her I'd use the cauliflower skull to make cauliflower sushi rice.  I had made this "rice" for them before and they enjoyed it.

An internet search will bring up a variety of recipes for cauliflower sushi rice.  This is the version that I make. I use apple cider vinegar as a substitute for sushi vinegar just because I always have that around.

I haven't tried it without the cream cheese, but I think it's mostly to hold the pieces together to mimic the way real rice is slightly sticky.

To save time, you can substitute riced, frozen cauliflower for fresh.  It's super convenient and sold in most grocery stores.

1 head cauliflower, riced
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 oz cream cheese

1) Cut cauliflower into florets. Pulse in food processor until it is about the size of rice grains.
2) Stir fry riced cauliflower in dry, heated pan until most water is cooked out and cauliflower begins to brown.
3) Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

IG post of this video: Cauliflower Sushi Rice

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Tomato Onion Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Tomato Onion Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Mmm, this was tasty.

I bought a box of tomatoes in bulk for a stuffed tomatoes recipe.  I didn't stuff all of them and had a couple left.  I didn't want to let them go to waste so I thought of this.  It's like a bruschetta without the bread and garlic.  But of course you can have it on bread rubbed with garlic if you prefer.  I'm sure it would be absolutely delicious.

I have also tried this recipe with cherry tomatoes and it's just as good.

Do you like the shibori tea towel under my dish? You can get one too. Visit Sandy Feet Hawaii on Instagram @sandyfeethawaii for details on where you can purchase.

  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 dash of ground black pepper
  1.  Prep all ingredients as described above (chop, slice, grate).
  2.  Combine all ingredients and toss well.
  3.  Serve. πŸ˜‹

IG post of this video: Tomato Onion Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Salt & Pepper slow cooker chicken with Parmesan Brussels sprouts

Salt & Pepper slow cooker chicken with Parmesan Brussels sprouts

I was told that the chicken doesn't look appetizing because it looks like it was just boiled and is bland.  The skin and bones were removed before the picture was taken.  So it's realistic for me to present it to myself this way.

I have posted pictures of chicken with skin on before and I agree that it does look more appealing.  But in real life, I will peel it off and not eat it. Maybe next time I should leave the skin on and just "do it for the gram" so that it looks yummy.

Ingredients for Chicken:
  • 5 chicken thighs
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 3 bay leaves

  1.  Place chicken thighs in slow cooker pot.
  2.  Add remaining ingredients on top of chicken, spreading seasonings evenly.
  3.  Cook on low for 6 hours.

Ingredients for Parmesan Brussels sprouts:
  • 2 cups brussels sprouts
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • Dash of dried parsley
  • Dash of ground pepper
  • Dash of salt

  1.  Place brussels sprouts in a large bowl (to allow space for tossing)
  2.  Add remaining ingredients and toss well.
  3.  Air fry at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

IG post of this video:  Salt & Pepper slow cooker chicken with Parmesan Brussels sprouts

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Chicken and vegetables stir fry

Chicken and vegetables stir fry

I would’ve liked this dish with more broccoli, but that’s all I had left.

I love ingredients that make weeknight cooking more quick and convenient.  Pre-cut, pre-rinsed broccoli florets, pre-frozen, portions of chicken, and pre-chopped garlic are so convenient.

As far as garlic goes, I personally prefer the flavor and aroma of fresh garlic and I like a lot of it.  It's not hard to prepare it, but sometimes I would just rather take the shortcut of pre-chopped, preserved garlic to save some time.  I get it in bulk because it's just cheaper if you use a lot of garlic.  The brand of garlic I used in this recipe was Kirkland Signature, the one from Costco.
My measurements are approximate.  I usually "eyeball" it and taste if it needs more of anything.

  • 4 chicken tenders, defrosted and sliced
  • 4 carrots, chopped into matchsticks
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons onions, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame oil
  • Dash of Sesame seeds

  1.  Prep all ingredients as described above (chop, mince, measure).
  2.  Heat large pan.
  3.  Add olive oil.
  4.  Add garlic.  Cook and stir fry until fragrant.
  5.  Add chicken. Stir fry making sure there is no pink left. Remove chicken from pan.
  6.  Add onions, carrots, broccoli, bell peppers. Cover and let cook until color brightens, about 5 minutes.
  7.  Add oyster sauce and stir well.
  8.  Add chicken back to pan and stir well.
  9.  Add sesame oil and stir well.
  10.  Garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

IG post of this video: Chicken & Vegetables Stir Fry

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Bloody Eyeball Fruit Salad

Bloody Eyeball Fruit Salad

Happy Halloween! πŸ‘ πŸ‘
These are supposed to look like pairs of bloody eyeballs.

I got this idea from Pinterest and thought it was perfect to use up the strawberries and blueberries I had in my freezer. Although I think people use berry jelly or jam for the blood and that looks more "bloody" in my opinion.

I used a can of lychee.  It comes already peeled and seeded, preserved in a light syrup of water, sugar, and citric acid. The can had 17 lychee, enough to make eight pairs of eyes.  I ate the extra one.

I stuffed each lychee with a blueberry then got started with the "blood". I initially tried mashing it with a wooden mortar and pestle.  The consistency was like a slush.  I continued with the rest of the strawberries, but found it difficult to smash in the same manner as it had defrosted further.

I put the un-smashed strawberries into my blender and made a puree.  This was sufficient and I was okay with the way it looked.  I did not add any additional sweetener to the puree since the lychee was already sweet from the syrup.

1 can Lychee
16 Blueberries (more or less depending on how many lychee are in the can)
1 cup Strawberries

1) Drain lychee
2) Stuff each lychee with a blueberry
3) Puree strawberries in blender
4) Pour strawberry puree over "eyeballs"

IG post of this video: Bloody Eyeball Fruit Salad

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Veggie Skull Platter

The inspiration for this platter came from a post I saw on Pinterest while browsing through Halloween themed food.

The original post was made on a blog by Kristi who is a vegan mom.  Her websites are and

I have to say that I am not a vegan and don’t intend to become one in the future. But I like to view vegan and vegetarian content for inspiration to keep vegetables exciting. I recently wrote a post  about why I try to eat more vegetables.  You can read it here: Inspiration

I went to the grocery store to purchase a variety of vegetables for my platter.  The most important thing was the cauliflower, which is the star of the platter. I got a head of cauliflower, baby carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, and peppers.

I rinsed all the vegetables and got them ready to assemble.  I needed to see the picture again and did an internet search for "skull vegetable platter".  I found out that Kristi actually had step-by-step instructions on how to put the cauliflower skull together. Wonderful! But she used two heads of cauliflower and I only bought one.  So I winged it!

Here is the link to Kristi's page for the Halloween Veggie Platter - Cauliflower Skull tutorial with step-by-step pictures and instructions:

Kristi's original looks amazing! My version doesn't compare.  Thank you for the great idea!

IG post of the video for my version: Veggie Skull Platter

Pictured above and below are my version.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Cucumber Avocado Tomato Salad

Cucumber Avocado Tomato Salad

I first tried this salad at a cooking class that I took in Puerto Rico.  I don't know if it's necessarily a Puerto Rican salad or if our instructor just put some things together that were in season.

I booked the cooking class through Airbnb. It was hosted by a woman named Nivea, who met us at the local market called Plaza del Mercado de Santurce.

She gave us some history of how this market became the meeting place for the people of the area, provided an extensive explanation of the different fruits and vegetables, and treated us to some frozen Puerto Rican limber treats. 

She took us back to her apartment, where she showed us how to make this fresh cucumber, avocado, tomato salad, chicken with beans and pumpkin stew, and tostones with a mayo ketchup pique sauce. Everything was delicious. 

Nivea served dessert, which was espresso and preserved sweetened papaya with a fresh local goat cheese crumble. The cheese was yummy, but the papaya was way to sweet for my taste.

Overall, I would recommend this tour. We had a great time and it was an authentic experience.

If you're interested, here's the link to the class I took: Farmer's Market & Cooking With Nivea 

2 Cups of Tomatoes
1 Cucumber
1 Avocado
Olive Oil (to taste)
Ground Pepper (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley

1) Chop tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado into bite size pieces. Toss.
2) Add olive oil, ground pepper, salt to taste. Toss.
3) Chop Parsley and toss. Toss.
4) Serve.

IG post of this video: Cucumber Avocado Tomato Salad