Archive for Lunch

Easy Homemade Chorizos

I made pancakes for my kids’ breakfast this morning, but the hubby and I wanted something heartier. Here’s my version of homemade chorizo. It’s delicious with eggs and rice!

Here’s how it’s done:

 

Brown the ground beef and drain off excess fat.

Add all the remaining ingredients. Stir to mix well.  Cook an additional 5 minutes.

 

Add more hot pepper to taste.

 

Stir to combine.

 

Serve and enjoy!  I especially love this with hot steamed white rice and a fried egg.

 

 

Easy Homemade Chorizos
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 packet achote powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (Apple Cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar)
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Donne dinanche (crushed pepper), more or less to taste
  • *I also added 1 teaspoon fennel seed, and 1 teaspoon ajinomoto, but this can be omitted.
Instructions
  1. Brown the ground beef and drain off excess fat.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients. Stir to mix well.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

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Baked Sushi Casserole

My family loves, LOVES, LOVES sushi.  We love both the sushi with cooked ingredients (especially those with tempura shrimp — YUM!) as well as the ones with raw fish (spicy tuna is a fave).

We especially love the sushi that is either baked or fried and is served piping hot with the saucy filling practically oozing out of the wrapper.  OMG — I’m drooling as I type this.

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Rather than make one sushi roll then bake sliced pieces, this recipe is made casserole style in a 9×13 baking dish.  Serve the baked casserole with sushi wrappers and you have a quick and easy — not to mention inexpensive (or at least not as expensive as buying sushi at a restaurant) — and delicious dish.  This is also great for potlucks too.

While you can use the large sushi wrappers with this dish, my family prefers serving it with the “snack sized” seasoned seaweed wrappers (pictured below).  You can find the smaller wrappers in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores.

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Very little preparation is needed to make this yummy casserole.  Step-by-step instructions and photos follow.  See my complete recipe at the bottom of this post.

First, chop up some imitation crab meat.

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Pre-cooked salad shrimp also cuts on the preparation time.  I prefer to chop these up as well, but you can certainly use them whole since they are rather tiny.

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Place the chopped imitation crab and shrimp into a large mixing bowl.

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Add sour cream, mayo, and furikake to the bowl.

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Furikake is a seasoning consisting of chopped seaweed, sesame seeds, sugar, and a few other spices.  It comes in different flavors; I use the “regular” furikake pictured below.  You can find this in the Asian aisle of your grocery store as well.

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Stir to combine the ingredients for the shrimp and imitation crab mixture.  This is good just as it is, but sometimes I mix in a little squeeze of Sriracha sauce, or if you have it, some Kimchee Base as well to kick it up a notch.

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I love a lot of “meat” in this dish, so into the bowl goes real lump crab meat.  Sometimes the can of crab meat has a few crab shells in it, so if you see any, be sure to pick them out and discard them.

Fold the crab meat into the shrimp and imitation crab mixture.

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As I mentioned above, I love a lot of filling in this dish.  I don’t like using too much rice as I think it detracts from the deliciousness of the filling.

I cooked just two cups of rice for this recipe then spread it in the bottom of a 9×13 pan.  The rice layer is pretty thin — just how my family likes it.  If you like having more rice, by all means, cook more, and create a thicker layer.

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The entire bowl of the shrimp and crab mixture gets spread on top of the rice.  It may seem like too much, but trust me, it’s the PERFECT amount.

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Add more real crab meat to the top of the shrimp and crab mixture.  Hey, I did say I loved a lot of “meat” in this dish. 😉

If you prefer, you can add more salad shrimp instead of crab meat, or splurge and use both! 😀

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More furikake goes on top of everything.  Because I didn’t season the rice or shrimp-crab mixture, the seasoned furikake is where most of the flavor and seasoning comes from.  Do not skimp on this or your casserole will taste quite bland.

Bake for 20 minutes in a 375-degree oven.

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After baking, add as much or as little roe as you like.  We use capelin roe, or masago.  One of my children LOVES extra roe on hers.  She loves it so much that her serving looks completely orange with all the roe she adds.

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This is the brand of Capelin roe or Masago that I buy.  It’s sold frozen in our local Asian supermarket.

Masago

Serve the piping hot casserole with seasoned seaweed and ENJOY!

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Baked Sushi Casserole
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
Crab Mixture:
  • 12 oz imitation crab meat, finely chopped
  • 12 oz cooked salad shrimp, chopped
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup furikake
  • 1 cup real lump crab meat (I use lump claw meat)
Other Ingredients:
  • 2 cups medium grain rice, cooked
  • ½ cup real crab meat (I use lump claw meat)
  • ¼ cup furikake
  • ¼ cup seasoned capelin roe
  • Packages of seasoned seaweed wrappers, for serving with the casserole
Instructions
Make the Crab Mixture:
  1. Place the chopped imitation crab meat and chopped shrimp into a large mixing bowl. Add the mayo, sour cream, and furikake to the bowl. Stir the ingredients together.
  2. Fold the lump crab meat into the shrimp mixture. Set aside.
Layer the Sushi Casserole:
  1. Spread the cooked rice in the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
  2. Spread the crab and shrimp mixture on top of the rice.
  3. Spread the remaining lump crab meat on top of the crab-shrimp mixture.
  4. Sprinkle more furikake on top of the lump crab meat.
Finish it up:
  1. Bake the casserole for 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
  2. Top with roe.
  3. Serve with seasoned seaweed wrappers.
ENJOY!

 

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Tender and Juicy Burgers

I love grilled ribs and steaks, but occasionally I crave a really good, juicy burger.

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I’m not talking about those flat, plain, frozen patties you can buy in bulk, and taste like cardboard after cooking.  Rather, I’m talking about thick, juicy and tender burgers packed full of flavor.

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My family and I are trying to eat healthier, so I created this burger that added quality (and healthy) ingredients without sacrificing flavor.

You can find my complete recipe at the bottom of this post.  For THMs, this is an “S” recipe.

To start off, I used lean grass-fed beef.  Now, this can be a bit pricey, so if this is not an option for you (or if you can’t find grass-fed beef in your grocery store), use “regular” ground beef.  I also used 98% lean beef in this recipe.  Now, I know what you’re thinking — how can beef that lean make juicy burgers?  Well, read on and I’ll tell you.  In the meantime, place the ground beef into a large mixing bowl.

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Most people start off with beef that’s no less than 85% lean (that means that 15% of what you buy is GROUND FAT).  Additionally, something called a panade — a mixture of bread and milk used to keep the cooked meat tender — is also added to the mixture.

Not in my kitchen.  Some fat is okay, but I still stick to no less than 95% lean when I buy ground beef.  98% lean is even better.

The juiciness come from my secret ingredient (shhhh…don’t tell anyone).  I add low-fat, part skim mozzarella cheese…yes, cheese…to the mix.  Don’t worry…if you’re mentally counting the fat and carb numbers in your head right now, I’ll save you the trouble.  Adding part skim mozzarella cheese to my recipe only adds <1g of carbs and 4.5g of fat per serving (one burger). 🙂

I like adding lots of flavor in the form of herbs, spices and vegetables.  I usually use whatever is in my fridge and pantry at the time, but the staples are diced onions (I used red here, but white or yellow onions are fine), garlic, black pepper, and an egg (use one egg for two pounds of beef).  Today, I also added onion powder, Italian seasoning, and rather than salt, I used a few tablespoons of powdered beef bouillon (look for one that has <1g of carbs per serving).  I also added a finely diced yellow bell pepper.

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There’s no good way to mix this using a utensil, so wash your hands, use that elbow grease and get right in there.  Mix, mix, mix.

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Separate the mixture into eight large meatballs.

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These are ready right now, as is, to flatten and cook.  However, by my count, I’ve added just a little more than 2g of carbs per burger with the addition of part skim mozzarella and beef bouillon, so I’m thinking we can afford one more gram of carb per burger.

Can you guess what that’ll be?  Yes!!  MORE cheese!  (I love cheese, if you haven’t figured that out yet.)  Not just ANY cheese, mind you, but Creamy Light Laughing Cow brand cheese.  It adds just one more teeny, tiny gram of carbohydrates to the burger, so we’re up to 3g now…still within “safe” numbers per serving (and these make HUGE burgers).

Take one meatball and make an indentation in the middle with your thumb.

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Make the indentation large enough to fit one wedge of Light Laughing Cow cheese.  Don’t make the bottom or sides too thin or the cheese will ooze out when you cook the burger.  You can leave the wedge like this but I recommend pressing it and spreading it out within the indentation you just made.

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Cover the cheese with the mixture, smoothing all around the sides to ensure the cheese is well-sealed within.

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Because of the low fat content in the ground beef, these burgers don’t shrink much during cooking.  However, slightly flatten it before cooking.  Cook on a hot grill pan over medium-high heat, about 5-8 minutes on each side.

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The burgers are done when clear juices start oozing out.  Do NOT poke or stab the burgers to check for clear juices…that will make your burgers dry out.  Slightly press the top of the burger with your finger; it’s done if the burger feels slightly firm when you press on it.

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Top with your favorite burger add-ons such as sliced avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, mayo, mustard, and bacon (hey, we cut back on fat so a little bacon won’t hurt). 🙂

Dig in and ENJOY!

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In case you’re wondering what type of bun that is in the photo above, it’s my gluten free, “Bun in a Bowl”.  You can find my recipe for it here.  For THMs, it’s an “S” recipe.

 

Tender and Juicy Burgers
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds 98% lean ground beef
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • 1 bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 cup finely shredded, part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons powdered beef bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 wedges Light Swiss Laughing Cow Cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the ground beef into a large mixing bowl. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, mozzarella cheese, Italian seasoning, onion powder, beef bouillon, black pepper, and egg. Mix well. Separate into eight large meatballs.
  2. Make a small indentation in the middle of one meatball. Place one wedge of Laughing Cow cheese. Smooth the meat mixture around the cheese, sealing it in. Repeat for the remaining meatballs.
  3. Slightly flatten each ball into a burger patty. Cook in a grill pan over medium-high heat, about 5-8 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned all around.
Serve with your favorite burger add-ons and ENJOY!

 

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Thai BBQ Pork

My Thai BBQ Pork is one recipe you’ll definitely want to try.  The secret is really in the marinade and basting sauce.  Cilantro, soy sauce, lots of garlic and fish sauce form the base for this yummy marinade.  Lime juice not only adds wonderful flavor to the meat, but the acid also serves to break down the meat, allowing the marinade to work its magic.

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The basting sauce, a mixture of rich coconut milk and some of the reserved marinade mixture gives you an added layer of flavor.  The heat from the grill caramelizes the basting sauce as the meat cooks, creating beautifully browned and juicy pork with a slightly sweet and savory coating.

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Now that I’ve got you drooling, here’s how to do it.

Place the cilantro (leaves AND stems) and garlic in a food processor along with the soy sauce.  You’ll need the liquid in there to help break down the cilantro.

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Pulse or grind the mixture until your mixture looks like the photo below.  You want the cilantro chopped as finely as possible.

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Place the cilantro mixture into a large bowl or pan.  Add the rest of the marinade ingredients to the bowl, stirring to combine it all.

Remove about 1/4 cup of the marinade mixture; place it into a small bowl along with coconut milk. This will be your basting sauce.

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Place the pork into the marinade.  Use your favorite cut of pork, but make sure you use something that has some fat; lean pork will dry out too quickly for this dish.  I like using pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into strips or cubes (for shish kabobs).  Let the pork marinate for 2 or 3 hours, longer if desired.  Keep the mixture refrigerated if you don’t plan on grilling this right away.

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To make shish kabobs, place several pieces of cubed pork onto a skewer.  I have metal skewers so there’s no soaking required.  If you use bamboo or wooden skewers, be sure to soak the skewers for several hours (overnight is good too) before grilling.

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Skewer the meat AFTER it’s been marinated.

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Place on a hot grill and baste immediately.

Grill the meat over relatively high heat.  I have a Traeger grill that has a temperature gauge built into it.  I grilled this at 325 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours, basting and turning every 15 minutes.

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Turn the meat over occasionally, basting each time.

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The coconut milk mixed with the reserved marinade caramelizes into a lip-smacking coating that will have you oooh-ing and ahhh-ing (trust me, it’s that yummy). 🙂

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I know some people who absolutely won’t eat charred BBQ, but that little piece of charred goodness in the photo below was TO-DIE-FOR-delicious!!!

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Mmmmmm…soooo good served with hot steamed white rice and fina’denne’.

The next time I make this, I’m going to make just a little bit more marinade, reserving some to use as a dipping sauce when the pork is done.

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Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

 

Thai BBQ Pork
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup fish sauce (I like Three Crabs brand)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 pounds pork (preferably boneless pork shoulder), cut into strips or cubes
Instructions
Make the Marinade:
  1. Place the cilantro, soy sauce and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until well blended. Pour the mixture into a large bowl or pan.
  2. Add the brown sugar, fish sauce, and lemon juice to the cilantro mixture. Stir to mix the ingredients together.
Make the Basting Sauce:
  1. Remove ¼ cup of the marinade mixture and place into a small bowl. Add the coconut milk; mix to combine and set aside.
Grill the Meat:
  1. Place the meat in the marinade mixture. Let the meat marinate for 2 to 3 hours (longer if you like, but refrigerate the mixture).
  2. Place the meat on the grill. Immediately baste with the reserved coconut basting sauce. Turn the meat occasionally, basting each time. Stop basting when
  3. Grill until the meat is done and nicely caramelized.
Serve and ENJOY!

 

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Chicken Soup (Kådun Månuk)

Kådu is the Chamorro term for soup or broth.  Think of it as Chamorro Comfort Food.  It could be 90 degrees outside on Guam, but serve some kådu for lunch or dinner and chances are, you’ll forget your worries–and the hot weather–as you enjoy a steaming bowl of delicious soup.

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There isn’t a particular occasion that kådu is served.  If made at home, kådu is usually served as the main course — chicken, beef or other kådu is the starring attraction, served over steamed rice with fina’denne’ on the side.  Whereas if you see kadu at parties, it’s usually something more along the lines of a drinkable soup, like Chamorro Corn Soup or Beef Soup with Noodles and Vegetables.

Growing up, kådu was made using whatever we had on hand.  Most often my mom would make chicken kådu, using the chickens raised in our yard, of course.  She’d also add whatever vegetables my dad happened to be growing at our ranch, or vegetables growing in the back yard.  My favorite vegetables to add to kådu were squash and pumpkin tips, and if we had some potatoes and onions, into the pot they went as well.  Freshly squeezed coconut milk was a must; that was usually my job when I was younger — grating the coconut then pressing out the thick and creamy milk.

Give my recipe a try.  It’s great for those bleary days when warm chicken soup seems to be the only thing to chase the cold away.  Find my complete recipe at the bottom of this post.  My recipe makes enough to serve 6-8 people, plus enough left over to pack lunch the next day.

You can also try my recipe for Beef Shank Kådu with Vermicelli Noodles and Vegetables.  I think you’ll like that one too. 🙂

Here’s how to make my Chicken Kådu.

Prepare your vegetables.  Peel and cut your vegetables in to large chunks.  I used zucchini, potatoes and baby bok choy in this version; you can use your favorite vegetables.

Peel the zucchini and thickly slice them.  I sliced these about 3/4 to 1 inch thick.

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Separate the baby bok choy leaves.  Rinse each leaf thoroughly to remove all dirt trapped in between the leaves.

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Peel and cut the potatoes into large chunks.  I used small red potatoes and cut them half.  Place the cut potatoes in cold water to keep them from oxidizing and turning brown.

Set all the vegetables aside for now while you cook the chicken.image

Place the chicken into a large pot along with sliced onions, chopped garlic, chicken seasoning and black pepper.

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Cook the chicken over medium-high heat until done.

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Add the potatoes to the pot along with enough water to cover the potatoes.  Cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil.  Cook the potatoes for about 8-10 minutes or until they are almost done (the potatoes should still be a bit difficult to pierce easily with a fork).  The potatoes will continue cooking when you add the rest of the vegetables.

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Add the zucchini to the pot once the potatoes are just about done.  It doesn’t take long for squash to cook, so be sure to add them to the pot at the end.  Replace the lid on the pot; cook the squash for just a few minutes.

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Baby bok choy also cooks very quickly.  In fact, the steam from the pot will cook the tender leaves sufficiently.  Add the bok choy leaves to the pot once the squash is done then turn the heat to low; replace the lid on the pot.

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It takes just a couple of minutes for the bok choy to wilt.  Turn off the heat once it does.

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All that’s left to do is stir in the coconut milk.  You don’t want to boil coconut milk or it will separate after prolonged cooking.  The soup is quite hot at this point, hot enough to warm the coconut milk, which is all you need to do.  Give it a stir, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.  Add more salt (or chicken seasoning) and pepper, to taste.

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Serve with steamed white rice and fina’denne’ and ENJOY! 🙂

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Chicken Soup (Kådun Månuk)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Chamorro
Serves: Serves 6-8
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
This is not your ordinary chicken soup -- it's chicken soup with a Chamorro flare, made with potatoes, squash, baby bok choy, and thick coconut milk.
Ingredients
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • 6 drumsticks
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chicken seasoning (or powdered chicken bouillon)
  • 10 small red potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • 4 cups water
  • 8 bunches baby bok choy, leaves separated
  • 6 medium zucchini squash, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cans coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken, onions, garlic, black pepper and chicken seasoning in a large pot. Cook over medium-high heat until the chicken is done.
  2. Add the potatoes and water to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil; cook for 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are almost done.
  3. Add the squash to the pot; cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the baby bok choy leaves to the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook just until the leaves wilt.
  5. Turn the heat off then stir in the coconut milk.
Serve with steamed white rice, fina'denne' and ENJOY!

 

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