Wednesday, October 1, 2014

No Bake Lasagna Rolls

This is my favorite of all the things I came up with in my kitchen. I didn't have an oven then, so I thought that one way to come up with lasagna is to spread some sauce over the pasta as filling, roll it , top it with my special white sauce, cheese and pop it in the microwave. It was a success! It's delicious and easy to make. Perfect for parties and gatherings.

Servings: 4-5
  • Sauce pan for boiling pasta
  • Sauce pan for spaghetti sauce
  • baking sheet or anything with flat surface for rolling the pasta
  • microwavable containers

Ingredients: Pasta and Sauce

  • 1 454g box Lasagna
  • 1 kilo ground sirloin (boiled)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 kg spaghetti sauce 
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • a dash of salt
  • a pinch of black pepper granules
  • *(optional) Bechamel sauce (can be found anywhere online)

  • In a sauce pan boil Lasagna al dente then set aside.
  • In a separate sauce pan,  heat cooking oil.
  • Saute garlic until light brown.
  • Add onions and red bell pepper.
  • Stir for a few seconds.
  • Add boiled ground sirloin.
  • Simmer for 30 seconds.
  • Add spaghetti sauce and simmer in low fire for a few seconds. 
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

  • Using a tray, line cooked pasta.
  • Spread some spaghetti meat sauce over each.
  • Roll it up slowly so it won't break.
  • Arrange each lasagna roll in a microwavable container.
  • Pour some white sauce and quick melt cheese.
  • Pop it inside the microwave for 30 seconds.
* if you do not have white sauce, just add extra cheese.


Ampalaya Con Carne

One way to make bitter gourd more enticing and interesting to eat is by mixing it with beef or any meat that will surely balance its bitterness. We all want our little ones to eat vegetables. As a mom, I introduced eating Ampalaya or bitter gourd to my eldest son as early as 3 years old, same thing will follow with my youngest.  With my experience, to be able to get my kids eat bitter gourd, I make the dish saucy. Tomato sauce will do, oyster sauce and serve it with their favorite food (fried chicken, fish, etc). It's also best to just serve it on the table, let them eat  it (but don't force them) than say a lot of things about it.

Here we go!

Servings: 3-4
  • 2 cups beef cubes (boiled until tender)
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 medium red tomatoes (cut into quarters)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large Ampalaya (sliced into thin pieces)
 To lessen the bitterness, get rid of the seeds and the white lining beneath it then soak it in water.
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper granules
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • Boil beef cubes until tender. Drain the meat and set aside 1 1/2 cups of beef broth.
  • Mix soy sauce, water, cornstarch and black pepper granules then set aside.
  • Saute garlic in olive oil until medium brown.
  • Add onion and tomatoes, stir for a few seconds.
  • Add beef cubes and stir for a few seconds.
  • Add bitter gourd or ampalaya.
  • Add beef broth and simmer for 30 seconds or if vegetable is at least half- cooked.
  • Shift to low fire then add soy sauce mixture and stir evenly.
Ready to be served!
Of course, bitter gourd has a lot of health benefits. One is lowering/ balancing blood sugar levels. Every part of the plant is useful, that's why some prefer to juice it. But personally, would rather cook it.

For leftovers, check this out!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Easy Chili Con Carne

The key to a healthy and delicious Chili con Carne is to boil the ground meat ahead to get rid of all the fats and oil and grease. Or better,  choose the lean part of the beef and ask your local butcher to grind it for you, now that's fresh. My recipe is made up of ingredients that can be found at any grocery store or market. Instead of using fresh beans, I went for the ones that's already precooked and packed. 

Servings: 3-4
  • 1/2 kilo lean ground meat (boiled and drained)
  • 1 large or 2 medium red bell peppers chopped into small pieces
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped into small pieces (or canned tomatoes)
  • 2 medium onions (red or white) chopped into small pieces
  • 1 150g tomato paste
  • 3 100g pack of Hunt's chili Beef & Beans (or 1 can of Hormel Chili with Beans)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried cilantro (or chopped fresh cilantro/ wansoy)
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper granules
  • 1/2 tsp cooking oil
  • In a sauce pan, saute onions in oil for a few seconds.
  • Add tomatoes and red bell peppers and stir until cooked.
  • Add ground beef, mix evenly.
  • Add Hunt's Chili Beef & Beans, stir and mix until well- blended.
  • Add tomato paste and mix until even.
  • Add chili powder and cilantro stir for a few seconds.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Mix for 30 seconds or when everything is mixed well and cooked.
Aside from using this easy Chili con Carne as usual topping for nacho chips, I also like to pair it with hot rice. Use it as dip to my thin pretzel crisps, crackers and biscuits.
I also love it as breakfast filling for my hot pandesal. It's also perfect for bagels, ciabatta, baguette etc... It can also make an ordinary Bruschetta more enticing by topping it with sour cream or cheese.

SPAM Tocino

Tocino: is a famous breakfast dish here in the Philippines. It is pork belly marinated in anise wine, annato water, sugar, salitre and salt. But most tocinos found in supermarkets nowadays are free of preservatives. It is often served for breakfast with eggs, tomatoes or atchara. But because it's so delicious, it is also considered as an all-day meal.

Here's something I've been meaning to share... I found out about SPAM Tocino thru a friend via Instagram. I never really asked where to buy it until I saw it from the racks of S&R Congressional branch. I bought 1 at that time just to try it. That evening, I was having breakfast with my husband and kids. Yes, it is good, it actually taste like real tocino only in cuts of a SPAM.

The search continued as I check if other grocery stores sell it, but I was not successful I only saw it in S&R. It is a limited release maybe that's why it's not being sold in local supermarkets.
With SPAM Tocino, there's no way you'll get charred meat as to what we often get from real tocino if we overcook it. It taste like "tocino" but not as sweet.
It's now one of our favorite SPAMS. For this month's S&R Members' Treat, I was hoping to hoard on SPAM Tocino. But I was able to go to S&R on the 4th day of the sale, and as expected, they didn't have any SPAM Tocino in stock at the BGC branch. I always find it in S&R Congressional I'm gonna check next week.