The first time I had La Lot was 3 weeks ago. There is a food vendor at the Honolulu Farmer’s Market called, “The Pig and the Lady” – a Vietnamese street food pop up restaurant. I was browsing around and saw them selling these delicious looking beef & pork patties wrapped in what was described as Betel leaf. My first thought was, what is a Betel leaf? I am a real sucker when it comes to trying new foods so of course I had to buy some. It was delicious. The leaves have a nice peppery taste to them that went really well with the lemongrass in the meat. I ended up going back a total of 5 times to satisfy my fix and to share my discovery with my husband. So anyways I was super determined to learn how to make them myself….but had one issue.. where in the world do you buy betel leaves?
We hosted Thanksgiving at our place this year. Served Turkey, Ham, stuffing, and made pumpkin pie from SCRATCH (baked the pumpkin in the oven for 8 hours, toasted & grinded our own spices, made my own pie crust). It turned out great. Anyways, I had always planned to make Ham, Bean and Kale soup with the left overs and last night I finally did
I’ve been scouring the web for Middle Eastern recipes. I go through obsessive phases when it comes to cooking – just ask my husband – and the Middle East is my current thang. I even went to saffron.com and ordered me a tin of saffron and made saffron basmati rice (see pic) even though I swore off rice. Anyways, I came across this recipe on The Spice Spoon and knew I had to try it! Hello?! Cilantro? Ginger? Those are like, my favorite flavor bursters. I got a little creative the first time I made this by replacing the coriander powder with curry powder, and used tomato paste instead of fresh tomatoes. And WOW, it turned into an awesome curry. I didn’t document that recipe though, since we had just moved into our new townhome and all we had were paper plates to eat off of, and they don’t look very pretty in pictures.
Anyways, I was craving it again today. But this time I was out of curry powder so I ended up following the Spice Spoon recipe more closely. It is delicious!
I was 6 the first time I tasted Chicken Adobo. My Filipino babysitter, Felly, made it for us and I loved it. It is now one of my favorite dishes in the world! Something about the combination of salty and sour makes my mouth salivate, and I get an intense craving for it every now and then. My version is in no way traditional (it’s “hippy-fied”), but the flavor doesn’t stray too far from the original. It hits the spot. Bon Appetite!
You can not even tell that these patties are made with soy beans! TRUST. I am willing to bet that even the pickiest eaters I know (my niece & nephew) will gobble this up without contest. Tsukune is a Japanese style meatball made with chicken or pork, or a mixture of both. My version packs a lot of protein and fiber, because around half of the ingredients is soy beans! Eating 2 patties made me full (and very happy).
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This is one of my all time favorite salads. It’s crunchy and satisfying with clean, crisp flavors. My girlfriend’s aunty Annie gave me the recipe and I changed it around a little bit. It’s best to use french green lentils because they keep their shape better than the other types of lentils. You can use whatever crunchy veggies you have in your fridge for this. I’ve used raw asparagus in the past, and baby radishes or celery add a nice kick to it too. Sometimes my local farmer’s market sells fresh laurel leaves. I bought a branch and froze all the leaves. This is the first time using it and boy was I excited! Little luxuries like that make me very happy.
I’ve been meaning to make sugar-free anko and kinako, and then I came across a recipe for shiratama mochi made with tofu, so I knew just had to make this! These little balls have lots of protein & fiber and NOTHING bad!
Shiratama is a Japanese mochi dessert made of sweet rice flour & water. You typically eat it with red bean paste (anko) and kinako (soy bean flour) but it’s also common here in the islands to add it to shave ice. In this recipe, water is substituted with soft silken tofu to give it an extra nutritious boost. The anko and kinako is sweetened with date sugar and agave instead of evil processed sugar (hehe I feel like I’m cheating)
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Poke (pronounced po-ké) is a popular Hawaiian appetizer that typically consists of raw seafood, sea salt and seaweed. I know a certain someone who can eat a whole pound of fresh ahi poke by himself in one sitting. The recipe I am sharing with you is a vegan version of this delightful plate. It is tangy & spicy and I think you’ll love it. Even my poke connoisseur husband loves this!
The chia pudding parfait is a super easy, satisfying and a delicious way to eat fruit. You’re gonna thank me for posting this once you give it a try! I make a batch of chia pudding every week and combine it with whatever fruits we have in the kitchen for our daily breakfast. The nutritional benefits of chia seeds are impressive. It is considered a super food that is known to reduce food cravings, control blood sugar, and reduce blood pressure. It is also very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, protein, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin and zinc. What a long list of benefits! Yup, sounds like something you should incorporate in your daily diet, doesn’t it?
This is a bold & spicy dish inspired by a recipe for Krapow that Suwana, my Thai nanny taught me. I feel happy and nostalgic whenever I make this or any of the other dishes she introduced to me. I miss her warmth, wit, and contagious laughter.