{Whole30} Cauliflower Rice

This cauliflower rice is a great and healthier substitute for white/brown rice. It’s perfect for stews, stir fry dishes, eggs and lot more. 

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“I will start my diet tomorrow.”

That’s always the statement I’ve been telling myself for years. I didn’t even know what tomorrow means anymore. 😛 I’ve maintained my weight for years which is still overweight compared to my height. I didn’t care. Until one day, the scale just slapped me with additional 8.8 lbs. I had to buy new clothes. I blamed the inflammation I have in my body due to RA. My ex-colleague laughed at me when I told her “You know what? I think I am heavier now because of this inflammation.” I think I was waiting for her to agree with me, but she just laughed. 2017 came and no diet happened.

Just one month ago, I’ve finally decided that I should really start. On the same day of thinking about starting (and I am still not sure if that will be like final final), the Whole-30 Program just popped out from my brain.

When I checked the rules of the program, my first reaction was “Seriously? NO SUGAR, NO BREAD, NO RICE.. No ALMOST EVERYTHING I ENJOY?’ Knowing myself, I wouldn’t ever take a break from having sugar, rice and bread! No freaking way! But something just pushed me to do it. And I am very proud to say that I completed one round of the Whole-30 Program.

I will continue the story about my experiences on the next post as I don’t wanna bore you with a long post.

Now, let’s talk about this Cauliflower Rice…

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I never thought, in my entire life, that I would trouble myself with making this rice. I would always tell myself “Why do I have to try or make it when I can cook white rice? That goes way better with stews and all.” I ate my words, I know.

Cooking white rice in a rice cooker may look easier, but this cauliflower rice doesn’t take that much of energy. Plus, it’s healthier and also goes very well with stews, scrambled eggs, stir fry dishes and a lot more. This can be cooked with water or broth, but broth will make the rice tastier. I hope you’d try it, too, and let me know what you think. 😉

I am taking this healthy stuff at Fiesta Friday #161, co-hosted by Laura. Also, thanks to our amazing Angie for having this party for us every week.

Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients:cauliflower-rice-tnscc-2

  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp broth
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Spring onions, sliced (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Break cauliflower into small florets, discarding the leaves.
  2. Place them in a strainer, rinse and let them dry.
  3. When they’re dry, place them in a food processor.
  4. Pulse until the florets look like grains of rice.
  5. In a skillet over medium heat, add in coconut oil.
  6. Add cauliflower rice, stirring constantly, for about a minute or so.
  7. Add in broth and cook for about 5 minutes or until cauliflower rice is cooked/tender.
  8. Turn off the heat and add in sliced spring onions.
  9. Season with salt to taste.

Notes:

I had about 3 cups of riced cauliflower. If you’ll have more or less, you can adjust the seasoning. I used the S-blade. Cauliflower can be grated, too. 

Addition of chopped coriander will be amazing. I just didn’t have them when I made this.

Ghee can be used instead of coconut oil and any broth will do.

I wish you all a relaxing and fantastic weekend! Happy Fiesta Friday!

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Bibimbap (Korean Mixed Rice)

Spicy Korean mixed rice with seasoned veggies, meat and sunny side up eggs

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I think it is normal to talk to yourself. Am I right? I’ve read in an article that it helps you concentrate and focus on what you are doing, which in my experience, I could vouch for that. But do you think it is still normal to talk to non-living things like shoes, plates, cupboards, books, and many many others food?

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It was that time when the sun was very much angry that it caused too much light to the corner where I take my photos. I was very excited to take photos and I even tried to talk to the food, but it said, it can’t do what I asked for. So I have to switch from the actual camera to phone camera, checking which one looks better. I didn’t have a choice but to use photos from both device.

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I begged the food to look happy, but I don’t think it listened to me. I changed props multiple times, but I did not win. But my tummy did! And that is the most important thing, yes?

Bibimbap is very popular and one of Korea’s signature dishes. Bibimbap litellary means “mixed rice”. It is served in a bowl (sometimes a hot stone bowl called “Dolsot”) with seasoned/sauteed veggies, meat, delicious Bibimbap sauce and with sunny side up egg on the top.

Gochujang, a Korean hot pepper paste is a crucial part of making the Bibimbap sauce. It can be found in a Korean grocery store or the Asian section from your local grocery.

Bibimbap is not a complicated dish to make, but it is time consuming because you have to prepare/cook your veggies one by one in order not to mix the colors. Bibimpab is all about “presentation” according to one of the cooking videos I have seen. So you have to separate the veggies having the same color to sit next to each other.

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But does it  matter? I mean you have to mix them at the end, right?

Then again, it’s all about presentation.

Oh, whatever!

Let’s just eat. Shall we?

In this recipe, I made just very little adjustments and you will notice you will be directed to the source’s seasoned spinach and bean sprouts.

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Bibimbap

For the Bibimbap sauce:

  • 2 tbsp gochujang
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic

For the meat:

  • 100g ground beef (or cut small and thin)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp garlic, minced

Others:

Instructions:

For the Bibimbap sauce:

  1. In an small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside until ready to use.

For the meat:

  1. In another bowl, mix all the ingredients for the meat. Let it marinate for at least 1 hour.
  2. In a pan, add cooking oil and cook the beef for about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not overcook.

Others:

  1. In a pan, add cooking oil. When hot, add julienned carrots and 1/4 salt. Cook for about 2 minutes and set aside.
  2. Again add cooking oil to the pan and add bell peppers and 1/4 salt. Cook until soft.
  3. Finally, fry your sunny side up eggs.
  4. In your individual bowl, add rice in the middle, the meat, sauce and veggies in the sides, and egg on top of the rice.
  5. Mix everything and dig in!

Source recipe: Bibimbap by My Korean Kitchen

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Happy Fiesta Friday, party people! 

We are all co-hosting this week’s Fiesta Friday #128. That mean’s voting time! Yay! Make sure to come back to vote.

Wishing you all a blessed week ahead and don’t forget to smile. 😀

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Pineapple Fried Rice

I don’t take breakfast lightly.

The truth is – breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. So I eat like a queen.

The truth is – I eat like a queen even for lunch and dinner.

To sum that up, I don’t take meals lightly. 😛

Breakfast means fried rice and sunny side up. But this time, no sunny side up!

You think no eggs this time? Nope! I have them in the fried rice, of course! 😀

This recipe is inspired by the pineapple fried rice I have eaten in Macau. I loved that a lot and I missed how delicious it was. It was simple, but I love how the pineapple shines. This pineapple fried rice is so tasty and flavorful from the coconut milk and pineapple. You can serve this with deep fried fish fillet with honey-mustard sauce (oh yum!) or this can be eaten alone.

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Pineapple Fried Rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 scrambled eggs
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk, preferably fresh*
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice, canned or fresh**
  • ¼ cup water
  • 5 tbsp cooking oil
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • Small onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Few shrimps, shelled and deveined, heads removed
  • 2 cups pineapples, cubed (fresh or canned)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • Spring onion, sliced
  • Optional ingredients for pineapples: butter and brown sugar

Instructions:

  1. Using a rice cooker, cook the jasmine rice along with its required liquid. Instructions on the packaging of the rice are given, so the amount of liquid may vary. If you don’t have rice cooker, you can cook the jasmine rice in a saucepan or thick pot. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until cooked. This may take about 20-minutes. Let cool down before proceeding to the fried rice.
  2. Optional: Before cutting the pineapples into cubes, you can fry them for a super delicious taste – (a) slice pineapples and dip in brown sugar; (b) get a frying pan; (c) add butter when it slightly hot; (d) fry both sides of pineapples until edges turn brown. Let cool down a bit and cut into cubes. If you don’t want to do this step, it’s your loss! 😛 Just kidding – you can just immediately cut your pineapples into cubes and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet/wok with medium heat, add small amount of oil and make the scrambled eggs. Break the scrambled eggs apart so you will have smaller (bigger) pieces. Transfer to a plate and set aside for later.
  4. In the same skillet/wok, add about 1 tbsp of oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add in red bell peppers and shrimps. Cook until shrimps turn orange in color. Transfer to the plate of scrambled eggs.
  5. Again, on the same pan, add about 2 tbsp of oil. Add in the cooled jasmine rice, stirring them to keep them apart. Keep stirring until light golden brown. This may take about 5 minutes.
  6. Add soy sauce and the cubed pineapples. Mix.
  7. Add the plate of eggs and veggies. Add in sliced spring onions.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Notes:

* I prefer fresh coconut milk to avoid the overpowering taste of the coconut. But if you prefer the one in can which is hassle-free, choose the light one. If you cannot fine light canned coconut milk, you might want to cut down the amount and adjust the rest of the liquids.

** If using fresh, make sure you know how to choose the sweet ones. I don’t… so unlucky me! But you can use the technique in step #2 to make your pineapples sweeter.

This can be served alone, or with deep fried fish fillet. Or whatever you think pairs well with this delicious fried rice.

Source recipe: Pineapple Cashew Fried Rice by How Sweet Eats

You think the ‘pineapple boats’ are beautiful, eh? Thanks to my cousin who did the carving for me! 😀

So, what do you think of this dish? Let me know and write them on the comment box below. As always, thank you for being with me today!

Wishing you a day full of smiles! 😀 😀 😀

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I hope my friends at Fiesta Friday #98 will love this Pineapple Fried Rice. I hope Angie and the co-hosts, Sadhna and Natalie, will love this, too. 😀 Click the Fiesta Friday #98 link above to join the party. 😉
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Biko (Sweet Rice Cake)

It’s still weekend, so it still movie time for me. Sadly, I finished all the movies scheduled for weekend (that’s supposed to be until today). I’ve watched Escape PlanEnder’s Game, Captain Phillips, Hours and The Call. So what do I do now? Maybe I’ll bake to put my sweetened shredded coconut to use. Well, other than baking, I’ll try to finish the book I started reading last week. Uhm, hopefully, I could manage to finish it today.

But, for now… let’s get going… 😉

I. LOVE. RICE. And I think there’s no doubt that I love anything rice.

Biko is a type of sticky rice cake. Uhm, just imagine glutinous rice with coconut milk and brown sugar. Yummy? Well, if you are from Philippines or if you love rice and sweets, I think you will agree with me.

thenotsocreativecook-Biko

There are various ways of cooking this: (1) by baking; (2) by slowly cooking the rice together with the rest of the ingredients in a big pot (which I think the traditional way); or (3) cooking with the use of rice cooker. I prefer the traditional way. My Mom and I used to do it that way, every time. It consumes a lot of your time, though. Next time, I’ll try the baking method.

BIKO (Sweet Rice Cake)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups glutinous rice
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Butter, for greasing
  • Latik (coconut curd) topping:  3 cups freshly squeezed coconut milk (first squeeze only, so squeeze only one time) or canned coconut cream

Instructions:

  1. Make the coconut curd: In a non-stick sauce pan, boil the freshly squeezed coconut milk. Cook in a medium heat until milk solid are formed and lower the heat until browned and oil comes out. This may take a while, but always keep an eye on it. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Prepare an 8×8 baking pan and ligthly grease with butter. Set aside.
  3. Place glutinous rice in a pot, wash and drain. Add coconut milk, cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat until all coconut milk is absorbed.
  4. Add brown sugar and mix with the rice until even in color.
  5. Put back the lid of the pot and cook until rice is dry on a lowest heat.
  6. When rice is fully cooked, use a wooden spoon to transfer it to the prepared pan.
  7. Top with the Latik (coconut curd).
  8. Serve cold or warm.

Source recipe: Biko (Sweet Rice Cake by Latest Recipes

I’d love to serve this with hot coffee. But, the time I made this, I prefer it with green tea.

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I am using this recipe for years and never looked for another recipe. But, as I said, I will try the baking method. I wonder how it will come out. If I do, I will a post, for sure. 😉

This can be kept in fridge and re-heat using a microwave oven. I prefer a warmer Biko.

How about you? How are you spending your weekend? Any weekend baking or cooking? 😀 Anyway, whatever you’re up to, I wish you enjoy the rest of the weekend! 😉

Arroz Caldo: A Filipino Comfort Food

Two days ago, I’ve decided to take a break from the kitchen because I have something else to do. Sadly, I have not accomplished what I needed to do. My stomach is giving me a hard time since yesterday. So today is my rest day… how depressing is that?! It really makes me sick without doing anything productive. But I have to cooperate with my stomach today or else… this pain will stay with me for a few more days. 😦

Given that today is my rest day, I am posting one of my favorite comfort foods – Arroz Caldo.

Arroz Caldo is a Filipino rice and chicken porridge or congee. The chicken and rice are cooked together for about 30-45 minutes in a pot and served with hard-boiled eggs, topped with spring onions and toasted garlic. The addition of the juice of Calamansi or lemon makes it more delish!

My mom used to cook Arroz Caldo as it is our favorite at home. We usually eat this for breakfast and especially when it is raining… It’s really a Filipino comfort food.

I usually cook the chicken with the rice but sometimes I’d love to take the easy way out – to cook the rice in a separate pot while preparing the other ingredients. From the time my rice is done, the other ingredients are ready and I am ready to put the cooked rice with the sautéed veggies and chicken.

Arroz Caldo Recipe

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup rice
  • 7 cups of water (or more)
  • 2 boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1 head of garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • Spring onion, sliced, separate the white and green part
  • Chicken bouillon cube
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cooking oil
  • 4 hard boiled eggs

Instructions:

1) In a large pot or a wok with a medium heat, put little oil and when the oil is hot enough, add in chopped garlic and toast until brown. (Just be careful not to burn it; you don’t want to start all over again.)

2) Remove the toasted garlic from the pan or wok and put in a paper towel to remove excess oil.

3) In the same pot or wok, add more oil, about 2 tbsp, and add in ginger when oil is hot enough. Cook for a minute. Next, add ¼ of the garlic you toasted earlier. Add in chopped onion and the white part of the spring onion.

4) When veggies are done, add the chicken and chicken bouillon cube. Add about 1 tsb of salt, mix and cover for two minutes.

5) Add the uncooked rice and add 5 cups of water and let it simmer until rice are very soft, checking it from time to time to prevent the dish from drying. It will take about 30-45 minutes. You can add the remaining 2 cups of water or more if you prefer to.

6) You can now do a taste test and add in you pepper and more salt.

7) When ready, you can ladle them in a bowl, garnish with some toasted garlic, spring onions and squeeze in some Calamansi (or lemon). Now, you’re ready to dig in with the hard-boiled eggs.

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You can replace the water with chicken stock and omit the chicken cubes. I am sure it will be tastier. I haven’t tried but I can imagine it. 😀

As I’ve mentioned earlier, there’s another way to do it. Before #1, have your pot ready with rice and water, heat it up with a high heat and boil until rice are soft, 30-45 minutes. While your rice is cooking, you can do the slicing stuff and do the sautéing after. So, let’s do #1 to #4. By the time you’re doing the #4, your rice may be ready by now. Add in the cooked rice (of course, you don’t have to wait for another 30-45 minutes because your rice are already cooked) and proceed to #5 to #7.

So, we have the “time-consuming way” and the “easy way out”. If I am in a hurry, I always take the latter.