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! 😂

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.😕  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. 😋

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