Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kalua Pork and Shrimp Truck Bento

Kalua Pork is a must in a typical Hawaiian dish. I always buy them at the store or at fundraising events but never did make them thinking it would be too consuming. But I finally got to attempt it for Easter Sunday and it turned out GREAT!

The ingredients are simple, Pork Shoulder, Hawaiian Salt, Liquid Smoke, and Ti Leaves. Pork shoulders are also called pork butt and NO, pork butt is NOT at all the meat at the butt...I got that confused a long time ago and I'm always wondering why the heck they use that term...argh.

Traditionally they would put the entire pig in an Imu (underground oven), but they still exists today! My neighbor has an Imu in his backyard and Christmas morning he brings us fresh hot lau laus!! I'm doing it crock pot style...

Here are the measurements of the ingredients and direction:
4-5 lbs of pork shoulder** (aka pork butt *sigh*)
2 tbs Hawaiian Salt
1 1/2 tbs Liquid Smoke
3-4 Ti Leaves

1) Wash the pork shoulder and pat dry.
2) Brush liquid smoke all over pork.
3) Rub Hawaiian Salt all over pork.
4) Wrap it up in ti leaves.
5) Place in crockpot on low for 12 hours, or high for 6-8 hours.
6) Remove pork from crockpot and place in a bowl, discard ti leaves but keep drippings in crockpot.
7) Use two forks and shred the pork completely (you can remove fat as desire).
8) Place shreded pork back inside the crockpot and mix with dripping.
9) Taste and add more salt if desire.
10) Serve hot!

*Note: If your pork shoulder is frozen, you will need to defrost it COMPLETELY before cooking, otherwise you won't have the fall off the bone affect and you will be very frustrated trying to pull the pork apart. I've done that with my pull pork. :(

Leftovers can be made into kalua pork sliders, kalua pork with cabbage, and kalua pork quesadillas. Or you can freeze them to save them for another day!

Another MUST when visiting Oahu is to get shrimp scampi at a shrimp truck. I LOVE Giovanni's Shrimp Truck! They're located in North Shore and Kahuku, about $12/dozen with rice topped with garlic sauce. I have attempted to make it several times but haven't mastered it yet. A friend brought it for me when he visited out there so I was able to place it in a bento and brought it to work. The garlic infused my entire cubical and boy I could hear people sniffing the aroma. It was delicious even if it wasn't fresh. Mr. P used to take me there every Mother's Day. What a sweetie because he is allergic to shrimp so he was still willing to take me there and he orders...a hot dog for himself. But we stopped doing this for the last 2 years due to Lil P's sports. Who on Earth have games on Mother's Day?! This year will be no different. Anyway here is my delicious bento below with some apples and strawberries. D-licious!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pizza)

Have you tried this before? I've tried it once at a restaurant in Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center in Wakiki. I saw the package on the shelf at Marukai Store several years ago so I thought I should try make some. But now I don't have membership there so I haven't been getting them. I recently saw them at Don Quixote so I picked up 2 packages, make one and give the other one on my giveaway!

Everything on the outside package is in Japanese, but the good news is that the inside has picture instructions in Japanese, English, and Korean!

Unfortunately it isn't colored so it took me awhile to figure out which package to use for what. This is what I have.

1) Cut up cabbage.
2) In a bowl, add 160cc of water, which is equivelent to 2/3 cups of water, add the pink packet and the clear and orange packet, mix well.
3) Add in the cut cabbage, two eggs, and the yellow packet, mix but don't over mix.4) Drop it in a greased pan like a pancake and cook for 3 minutes.
5) Place 3 pieces of bacon on top, then use a spatula or two, flip the content with the bacon now on the bottom, cook for 5 minutes.
6) Flip over once more and cook for 3 more minutes.
7) Plate with bacon on top, sprinkle the green packet on top.
8) Drizzle okonomiyaki sauce all over (not provided), and you can also sprinkle some salmon skin on top too (also not provided).

The package makes 2 pizzas. Mr. P doesn't like the fact that it tastes nothing like a real pizza, so I was able to pack the 2nd one up for lunch tomorrow! I omitted the bacon for my lunch.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Baked Lasagna Pie

I wanted to make lasagna with wheat lasagna noodles but I was unable to find them. So I used Whole Wheat Egg Noodles instead and baked it into a pie form.

1 pound of ground beef
half an onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
dash of black pepper
spaghetti sauce
1 container of cottage cheese (16oz)
1 container of ricotta cheese (16oz)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 package of mozzerella cheese
1 package of whole wheat wide egg noodles

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef with onions, garlic, and black pepper, drain the fat.
2) Pour in spaghetti sauce to your liking (if you like it dryer or saucier)
3) In a separate bowl, combine the cottage, ricotta, and parmesan cheeeses with eggs.
4) In a greased round baking dish, thinly layer the meat sauce, then a layer of dry noodles, then the cheese/egg mixture, then mozzerella cheese, then meat sauce.
5) Continue the layer ending with the meat sauce.
6) sprinkle the last of mozzerella cheese covering the meat, cover pan with foil.
7) Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, uncover and bake for another 15 minutes.
8) Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

I didn't have any mozzerella cheese, so I replaced it with mexican blend, but it still turned out delicious! You can also add carrot and/or sweet potatoe puree into the meat sauce for some extra veggies! I have also mashed up some falafel chickpea balls from Veggie Patch into the meat sauce to add more nutrients in my pie. It was still delicious!!!

If you want to try the falafel chickpea balls and other products from Veggie patch, I am giving them out on my giveaway here!

Since today is Wednesday, I will be posting my lasagna lunch on "What's for Lunch Wednesday"

I have 3 2-cup Fit N Fresh containers worth of food! Fruit container has tangerine slices with grapes and slices of an apple. Lasagna container has a broccoli, with stir fry carrots, mushrooms, and asparagus. The top container has 2 slices of garlic bread (I know, and some bacon wrapped asparagus! They're all stacked up and ready for a lunch feast!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Five-Spiced Pork Chops

Lil P loves the pork chops served at Vietnamnese restaurants. Recently I picked up some five spice powder so I made some for Lil P to test and he approved!

3 pieces of pork chops
1 tsp five spice powder
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs honey
1 tbs shoyu
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 slices of onion, diced
1/2 tsp black pepper

1) Place all ingredients in a ziplog bag along with the pork chops and let marinade for at least 30 minutes (the longer the better).
2) Drizzle oil on a large pan over medium heat and pan fry pork chops until center is no longer pink, about 3-4 minutes each side. (if your pork chops are thicker, you will need to cook it longer. But it's best to use thinner pork chops.)
3) Remove from heat and cut them up to serve.

It was juicy and delicious! I'll definitely make this again!

Here is another bento that I haven't had a chance to post.

Top tier contains soybeans, a small tangerine, and pineapples. Bottom tier contains Meatless Meatballs from Veggie Patch and spaghetti. Don't forget about the GIVEAWAY in support for the Japan Relief Efforts! It ends April 30th! You can try their Veggie Patch products yourself for FREE with the coupons! So far, I like the Meatless Meatballs and the Broccoli Bites, Lil P likes them too!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins by The Sneaky Chef

I have raved about The Sneaky Chef for quite some time now. Missy Chase Lapine (the auther) is really awesome giving ideas on how to hide veggies in everyday food. I absolutely loved her book. Yes she even hides them in desserts too!! I have recently made this Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins and I wanted to share this with you.

1 c Flour Blend(1/3 cup whole grain flour, 1/3 cup white flour, 1/3 cup wheat germ)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c canola oil
3/4 c orange puree (or use baby food! I use this sometimes: 1/2 cup carrots and 1/4 cup sweet potatoes)
3/4 c smooth peanut butter
8 heaping tsp favorite Jam (not jelly)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line muffin tin with paper liners.
2) In a mixing bowl, whisk together the Flour Blend, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.
3) In another large bowl, whish together the eggs and sugar until well combined, then whisk in oil, orange puree, and peanut butter.
4) Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until flour is just moistened (don't over mix).
5) Scoop about two tbsp of batter into the large muffin cups until half full.
6) Place a heaping tsp of jam in the center of each muffin, then cover the jame with another 2 tbsp of batter, filling the cups just over the top. (scale back if using mini-muffin cups)
7) Bake for 25-30 min until the tops are golden brown.

I had two while it was warm and it was delish! Please feel free to check out the website for more free recipes!

Don't forget that you could get your very own, brand new copy of The Sneaky Chef on my GIVEAWAY that is happening right now til the end of the month!! You are qualified if you have contributed to the Tsunami Relief Support for Japan. Go here for the Giveaway details!

I have been taking alot of bentos pictures but have yet to post. I made Chinese Chicken Salad for me and my sister and I brought it to her work (and I got to see my baby nephew)! Here is a pic of that. I used leftover Rotisserie Chicken from Costco.
I also deboned the rest of the chicken, then I threw the carcass in a pot of water and let it simmer until the meat falls off the bone, remove the bones, then added rice and dry scallops in the pot and made myself a bowl of jook too! That's 2 ways for leftover chicken! And don't forget the chicken quesadillas, that's 3 ways with one chicken from Costco!
Here is my lunch for tomorrow, since it's "What's for Lunch Wednesday"!!
This bento consist of Steak (with steak seasoning, olive oil, and mirin), Gen Ji Mai rice, sautee veggies (mushrooms, carrots, asparagus), and grapes. The yellow container is microwavable, so I'm going to microwave the medium rare steak and it would be perfectly cooked for lunch! Looking forward to my lunch!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Brown Rice & Quinoa and Aloha For Japan Bento

For dinner tonight, we had sloppy joes. I am packing some for work tomorrow, but with a twist. I eliminated the bun, added some frozen peas and carrots into the sloppy joes, and I'm eating it with my brown rice & quinoa. Typically I would place the sloppy joes on top, but because I wanted to do a special bento, I placed them on the bottom so I could put the "Aloha for Japan" logo on top. Did I mention that I am doing a giveaway? Well, go and hop over to HERE to find out more about this giveaway! The only requirement I am asking is to support the Japan Relief Efforts, ANY amount is appreciated! Giveaway ends on April 30th, 2011.

The above bento I used Fit N Fresh 2 cup containers, one container contains sloppy joes with brown rice & quinoa, one contains applies, oranges, and grapes, and the last one contains green salad. Adding this to "What's for Lunch Wednesday".

Umeke Market has excellent hot meals and they're very good for you. I've been there several times just to pick up the Turkey Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms over Brown Rice & Quinoa and a side of fresh greens. YUM!

Although I have not attempted to make the stuffed portabello mushrooms (oh I definitely will some day), I have attempted to make brown Rice and Quinoa myself. My first try was a disaster but my second try, isn't too bad. So here it is:

1 cup of brown rice

1/4 cup of Quinoa


Dash of Sea Salt

1) Soak quinoa in water for about 15-20 minutes. I have heard if you don't wash first it will cause indigestion...I didn't soak it on my first attempt but nothing happened to me.

2) While soaking quinoa, pour brown rice in rice cooker with 2 cups of water and leave it for 15-20 minutes. This will allow the brown rice to soak up some water which should speed up the cooking process.

3) Drain quinoa and pour in the rice cooker, then add 1/2 cup of water.

4) Mix brown rice and quinoa in the rice cooker so they're mixed well.

5) Sprinkle sea salt into the rice cooker, then let it cook until done.

Monday, April 4, 2011

100th Post Giveaway, Support Japan's Tsunami Relief, Spring Rolls Recipe

Thanks everyone who's been following me on my blog! This is my 100th post since Sept 2009 with over 8,000 views! Woohoo!!! And as promised, I will be doing a giveaway!!

My requirment for this giveaway is to support/donate to the Japan's Tsunami/Earthquake relief efforts. There are a number of ways to support the relief efforts. You can donate to the American Red Cross, you can purchase some bento goodies from Bento4Japan as mentioned in previous post, you can purchase the "Aloha" Shirt at various vendors (all proceeds will be donated to Aloha For Japan), or you can support at your local fundraiser for the cause (for those who live in Hawaii, please visit Aloha For Japan for other ways to help.) Once you have participated in the relief efforts, simply leave a comment here on this post and tell me that you have done so. (ex: "I donated to the Amerian Red Cross", "I purchased the "Aloha" shirt!", "I attended a benefit concert", etc.)

You can also earn extra entries if you mention this giveaway on your blog (1 entry) and if you become a follower (1 entry) then leave a comment on this post that you have done either one, or both. Maximum 3 entries per person but 1st entry MUST support the Japan Relief Efforts.

This giveaway will end on April 30, 2011. Winner will be randomly selected and will be announced on or around May 2, 2011. Winner has 48 hours to contact me thereafter and MUST provide proof of your donation (so please keep your receipt, ticket stub, etc), otherwise a new winner will be picked. Unfortunately, I am only able to open this giveaway to US Residence Only.

Here are some of the things in the prize pack:

*1 The Sneaky Chef Book by Missy Chase Lapine
*15 Veggie Patch "one free product" Coupons
*1 two-tier bento box
*1 small two-tier bento box
*1 pack of silicon cups
*1 pack of bento dividers
*1 Oil Spray Bottle

Added items!!!
*1 Bottle of Furikake (for all my Furikake recipes!)
*1 reusable insulated bag
*1 packet of Okonomiyaki Mix

I will be shopping for a few more goodies to place in the prize pack and I will add them to the list as I get them on hand. So come back and check the list!

Thanks in advance for your generous donations (of any amount) to support Japan's Tsunami/Earthquake relief efforts! Your generosity is greatly appreciated!!

My 100th post MUST come with a recipe! Today, I will be sharing one of my favorite dishes I get when I eat pho (vietnamese soup noodles)--Spring Rolls. I adapted this recipe from my friend (it's her mom's recipe) and ironically, my friend is the one who got me started this very blog. What a perfect way to celebrate my 100th post!

Spring Rolls

1.5 lb ground pork

1 lb carrots (julienne)

1 small onion (diced finely)

1/2 bunch of dry long rice, or Cellophane Noodles/bean threads/glass noodles (cut in strips, DO NOT SOAK)

1 dry shiitake mushrooms (soaked and diced)

1 tbs sugar

2 tsp salt

1 tbs cornstarch

2 tsp black pepper

Spring Roll wrappers (I used the All Purpose Menlo wrappers)

1 egg, beaten

oil for frying

1) Mix all ingredients together. (A disposable gloves is very useful)

2) Take a small teaspoon of the meat and cook it in the microwave to taste the flavors and adjust the raw mixture accordingly.

3) Cut the square wrapper in half so it's a triangle.

4) Place raw meat mixture on the base of the triangle, roll once, then fold the sides in, and continue to roll to the end.

5) Brush the top corner with beaten egg to seal.

6) Deep fry until golden brown, drain, and serve!

**If you want the spring rolls to be crunchy, don't overstuff the rolls with too much meat.