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April 2013

recipe box: kangkong adobo

i've recently found myself more and more curious to the paleo way of eating and for 90 days decided to make most of my meals paleo friendly.

in doing my research i found that a lot of my regular go to meals were already paleo or could be with just a few adjustments. sadly i'd have to say goodbye for now to most carbs, more specifically the gluten variety, as well as pretty much all dairy but not for forever. oh god no! and surely once and a while wouldn't hurt..

i am by no means a paleo expert and am being flexible in my approach but 19 days in and i already feel a difference. whatever works for you, right?

i like to think of the recipes that i make for this blog as rewards because let's face it, there will most definitely be cake, cookies, maybe a pie. but duh.. moderation of course.

beauty in the balance.


this recipe is a popular filipino side dish and one that my filipino mom has been making for years. this garlicky savory veggie side also happens to be perfectly paleo. i love that so much, happy accidents.

kangkong, say it out loud.

come on, i know it's a little weird and funky sounding. have no fear this pretty common asian veggie is a type of swamp spinach and can be found in most asian grocery stores. if kangkong is not something you are able to find, feel free to sub with regular spinach (i do all the time!)

if you are not familiar with filipino food adobo is probably THE most popular style of cooking uh, anything. seafood, beef, pork, chicken and vegetables, there are so many varieties depending on what part of the country you are from. more importantly your style of adobo comes from whoever is teaching you! and i thankfully have had a few special ladies that have helped contribute to my adobo skills.

adobo will always have these 3 ingredients. soy sauce, vinegar and garlic. beyond that it's all about achieving your ideal taste.

Kangkong (1 of 10)

just like regular large leaf spinach, kangkong can hold a lot of dirt and thorough washing is needed.

if you are using spinach instead of kangkong for a time saver pick up a large container of baby spinach and skip the washing all together!

Kangkong (2 of 10)

once the kangkong has been dried, separate the leaf from the stalk.

the stalks are a little tougher and need a bit longer to cook, this way we can get started on them first.


this is what you'll need.

Kangkong (4 of 10)

over medium heat, add one tablespoon of e.v.o.o. and fry the sliced garlic to golden brown perfection.

Kangkong (5 of 10)

there we go. remove garlic and add another tablespoon of e.v.o.o. to your hot pan.

Kangkong (6 of 10)

over med/high heat add the kangkong stalks first and saute for 5 mins.

Kangkong (7 of 10)

add the leaves.

Kangkong (8 of 10)

once it begins to wilt, add vinegar, soy sauce, and fish sauce. saute for another 5-7 mins and then toss in the fried sliced garlic.

Kangkong (9 of 10)

after another 3 mins, it's done.

Kangkong (10 of 10)

from my half filipino home kitchen, to yours.

happy eating.




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    • 1 lb kangkong, washed & seperated
    • 5 cloves of garlic, sliced
    • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tbsp fish sauce
    • 2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce



  • for kangkong

    1. thoroughly wash your kangkong to remove any dirt. once dry, separate the leaf from the stalk.
  • in a large saute pan

    1. over med/high heat, heat one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and fry sliced garlic until golden brown. remove from pan and set aside.
    2. add 2 more tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the pan to heat. add kangkong stalks and saute for 5 mins, next add the leaves.
    3. once the leaves begin to wilt add vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce and cook for another 5-7 mins.
    4. last, add the fried garlic from earlier back in, cook for 3 more mins.
    5. that's it, easy!

the Foodcourt: Lefty O'douls'

Lefty O'doul's (6 of 7)
"buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks.." something something "root, root, root for the home team if they don't win it's shame. cuz' it's one, two, three strikes yer out at the ol' ball game!"

Lefty O'doul's (1 of 7)

i think i might have mentioned just how little i know about sports. first football, now baseball.. really what i am doing?!

i know, i know. i am just digging a hole here.

but where there is good food, i gladly travel into the unknown!

being honest Lefty O'douls' is hardly unknown. every time my fam visited san fran this bar was a regular stop for my dad. we would pop in and pick up a few of their hot hand-carved meat sandwiches and bring them back to our hotel room. perfect for helping with jet lag!

of course they offer way more than just sandwiches. serving up hearty american comfort food with specials that change daily and of course the everyday favorites that stick around. they have a cafeteria style setup for their food, so you order on one end and slide your way on down to grab a drink and pay.

fast, efficient, and totally satisfying.

Lefty O'doul's (2 of 7)

which day are you thinking of stopping in? i vote sunday.

Lefty O'doul's (3 of 7)

when i was little i was mesmerized with their giant turkey legs. getting to pretend you were eating dinner like the flinestones is solid gold to a 10 year old. so when my 25 year old self went back to this cozy little bar i ordered to make that 10 year old happy.

Lefty O'doul's (4 of 7)

mmm corned beef and cabbage.

Lefty O'doul's (5 of 7)
Lefty O'doul's (7 of 7)

comfort in a bar.

thanks dad for being totally irresponsible by taking me to bars late at night for food, one day maybe i'll get to make the same awesome mistakes ;)



Talent Show: Sylvia Ji

people are one of my biggest inspirations. to me it's truly mind blowing to see what beautiful things we are capable of being and creating. because people are doing some AMAZING things out there.

i mean out right jealously inducing fits of talent exist everywhere because great people keep doing their thing. living life and putting themselves out and in to the world for all to see. sharing those gifts is special and for me it's important to remember these talented individuals.

with my newest feature the 'Talent Show' i plan on doing just that!

Sylvia ji (17 of 24)

Sylvia ji (1 of 24)
awhile ago, for my eldest niece's sweet sixteen, we popped in a quick trip to LA to attend a gallery exhibit for Sylvia Ji.<insert squeal of joy!!>

i was over the moon excited to go since i had been dying to see her amazing pieces! a few years back i first saw this lovely lady's art in an issue of a magazine i stumbled on in the library, hi-fructose.. heard of it? ever since i can't help myself, if i see one in a barnes & noble it's coming home with me.

i was mesmerized by the magazine being filled with so many different types of artists working in such a wide variety of mediums. slowly thumbing eagerly through each page when i arrived at Sylvia Ji's feature it was like getting a present on your birthday! these intensely dark eyed enchanting women, with piles of pink hair held into place with flowers, adorned with live spiders was just pure magic. sure a little twisty and seemingly morose magic, but so much life lives on those her wooden canvases of hers.

forever a favorite.

Sylvia ji (2 of 24)

Sylvia ji (7 of 24)

Sylvia ji (6 of 24)

Sylvia ji (5 of 24)

Sylvia ji (3 of 24)

Sylvia ji (4 of 24)

my gorgeous niece! sixteen never looked so cool.

Sylvia ji (10 of 24)

Sylvia ji (8 of 24)

Sylvia ji (9 of 24)

Sylvia ji (12 of 24)

Sylvia ji (24 of 24)

Sylvia ji (11 of 24)

Sylvia ji (16 of 24)

Sylvia ji (15 of 24)

Sylvia ji (14 of 24)

Sylvia ji (13 of 24)

Sylvia ji (19 of 24)

instagraming as par usual. photos of taking photos

Sylvia ji (1 of 1)

Sylvia ji (18 of 24)

Sylvia ji (21 of 24)

Sylvia ji (20 of 24)

crazy talented artist herself! she was sweet to sign a post card for me. it's always a neat experience to get to tell someone how much you love what they clearly love so much.

the small gallery's busyness made for a pretty intimate gathering of people, which i thought was fitting to the mood and vibe of her showcase.

instantly in love again and again.

hope you enjoy as much as i do.




Sylvia ji (23 of 24)