Archive for VEGETABLES

Spinach with Coconut Milk

This is a classic Chamorro dish that is a staple on most fiesta menus.

The traditional dish is called Gollai Hågun Suni, made with taro leaves rather than spinach.  I still remember watching my mom make this dish the traditional way.  She’d use a machete to cut a huge stack of taro leaves growing in our back yard.  After rinsing each leaf, mom would stack then roll them up, cigar-like, then cut the leaves into thin ribbons.  Mom then placed the taro leaves into a large pot filled with some water,  cooking them long and over low heat so that the leaves can cook down and tenderize before adding freshly pounded orange ginger or turmeric (we used a hammer back in the day to pulverize the ginger root), freshly squeezed coconut milk, the juice of lemons picked from mom’s tree, and diced hot peppers from the plants growing by the door to the outside kitchen.

In this day and age, convenience (and making necessary substitutions due to not having traditional ingredients readily available) dictates using spinach leaves rather than traditional taro in this recipe.  I buy frozen spinach that’s cooked and chopped — it saves so much time.  Just defrost and drain the spinach leaves, add the rest of the ingredients, heat, and serve!  What normally takes several hours if prepared the old Chamorro way now takes minutes.

Give my recipe a try.  It’s a great addition to your Chamorro fiesta menu. 🙂

Spinach with Coconut Milk



  • 3 (10-oz.) packages frozen, cooked, and chopped spinach
  • 3 cans coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, more or less, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder (you can use fresh onions, just saute them until the onions are softened)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon powder (or use freshly squeezed lemon juice), more or less, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper paste or diced hot peppers, optional (add more or less, to taste)


1. Place the frozen spinach in a colander (then place the colander inside a larger bowl) to thaw the spinach and allow any water to drain. After the spinach is completely thawed, squeeze the spinach to get rid of as much water as you can. Place the fully drained/squeezed spinach into a medium-sized pot.


2.  Add the coconut milk, turmeric, salt, onion powder, lemon powder, and hot pepper to the pot. Stir to combine the ingredients.


3. Cook the spinach over low heat, just until heated through. Do NOT bring the mixture to a boil or the coconut milk will start to separate.


4. Taste and add adjust the amount of salt, lemon power or juice, and hot pepper to your liking.  Serve and ENJOY!


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Tangy Coleslaw

This is not your typical coleslaw.  I created this recipe to go with my fish tacos (find the recipe here), but I wanted a healthier version of the tradition mayo-base coleslaw.

My recipe does not use any mayo, and it also has a few HEALTHIER-FOR-YOU ingredients that kick up the flavor as well as the nutrition.  

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

Tangy Coleslaw


  • 2 bags (10-oz each) angel hair coleslaw (or 12 cups finely shredded cabbage)
  • 6 tablespoons fresh parsley

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses (you can use honey, but the molasses is healthier for you…read more about its amazing health benefits here.)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Stevia sweetener (or you can add 2 more tablespoons of honey)


Place the sliced cabbage in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Add the parsley.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.

Pour the dressing over the cabbage and parsley.

Toss the ingredients together. Refrigerate the coleslaw until you’re ready to serve your meal. This will give it time to let the flavors meld.

Serve along with your favorite meal and ENJOY!

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Cucumber Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing

This is a very quick and simple dish. I like to make this salad ahead of time to allow the cucumbers to absorb the delicious tangy dressing.

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

Cucumber Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing


  • 4 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon soy sauce (for a Chamorro Twist)


  1.  Place the cucumbers into a small bowl.
  2.  Place the remaining ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Use a whisk to mix the ingredients together.  Pour the dressing over the cucumbers.
  3.  Let the cucumbers marinate in the dressing for about 30 minutes before serving.
  4.  Serve and ENJOY!


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Sesame Garlic Green Beans

Are you looking for a quick, easy and TASTY vegetable side dish?  Try my daughter’s recipe for Sesame Garlic Soy Green Beans.

They are perfect with just about any main dish.  Give it a try with my daughter’s other delicious recipe: Hoisin Honey Glazed Salmon.

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

Sesame Garlic Green Beans


  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • A pot of water (about 5 cups)
  • A large bowl of ice
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • Sesame seeds


1.  You will need to blanch the green beans first.  Blanching means to put vegetables into a pot of boiling water, let it cook for a few minutes, then remove the vegetables and immediately place them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

Here’s how it’s done.

In a large pot, bring about 5 cups of water to a rapid boil over high heat. Add enough salt so the water tastes faintly salty. While the water heats, fill a medium sized bowl about three quarters full with ice, then add enough cold water to cover the top of the ice.


When the water is boiling and the ice bath is ready, trim the green beans to the size you need. It’s best to trim them just prior to cooking so they won’t oxidize or dehydrate. Add the beans to the boiling water in batches small enough to ensure that the water doesn’t lose its boil. Boil the beans only until they’re barely cooked through but still tender. To test, remove one piece with a slotted spoon, dip it into the ice bath to cool, and eat it.


As soon as the beans are done, remove them as fast as you can and submerge them in the ice bath. Remove them from the ice bath as soon as they are no longer warm.  Set aside.


2.  Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.

3.  Add the sesame oil and garlic to the pan.  Cook until the garlic begins to brown slightly.

4.  Add the beans and soy sauce to the pan.  Stir to coat the beans in the sauce; cook for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat.

5.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds, serve, and ENJOY!

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Cucumber Cabbage Salad

Are you tired of the same old salad and salad dressing?  Try my Cucumber Cabbage Salad with my delicious, tangy salad dressing.  It’s quick and easy to make, and since it’s homemade, you know you’ll be getting the “real” stuff, not something made with preservatives.

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

Cucumber Cabbage Salad




4 cucumbers (medium, peeled, seeded, cut into sticks)

1 teaspoon salt

1 carrot, very thinly sliced

1 small cabbage, thinly sliced

1 bunch green onions, sliced


Dressing Ingredients:

1 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons tahini (ground sesame seeds)

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

4 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon golden brown sugar

1-inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled, grated)



Wash and peel the cucumbers.


Cut the cucumbers into quarters.


Remove the seeds.


Cut into sticks.


Place the cucumber sticks into a colander.


Sprinkle the salt over the cucumbers.  Stir, ensuring the cucumbers are coated with salt.  Let the salted cucumbers sit for about 20 minutes to allow excess water to drain.


This is how much water drained out of the cucumbers after about 10 minutes.


After 30 minutes, pour out the drained water then rinse the salt off the cucumbers.  Drain well.  Place into a large mixing bowl then set aside.


Thinly slice the cabbage.  To save time, you can use packaged cole slaw mix.  Place the sliced cabbage into the mixing bowl with the cucumbers.


Peel and slice the carrot into thin matchstick pieces.  Add to the mixing bowl.


Add the sliced green onions to the bowl.


Mix all the vegetables together.  Set aside while you make the dressing.


Make the Dressing:

Place the vinegar into a small mixing bowl.  I poured the vinegar into a handy kitchen gadget that’s used to mix salad dressings (it comes with whisk built into the lid).


Add the tahini.


You can find tahini at most grocery stores.  This is what one brand looks like.  Some stores sell them in the International aisles; sometimes you’ll find it with the salad dressings.  Just ask a store clerk if you can’t find it.


Add the garlic.


Add the soy sauce.


Add the brown sugar.


Peel and grate the ginger.


Mix all the ingredients together.


Pour the dressing over the vegetables.


Serve alongside your favorite meal and ENJOY!


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