Giniling (Filipino-style Picadillo) Kasha Bowl

Giniling2Giniling! Kind of fun to say out loud! It’s a family favorite that I grew up with and it’s become one of my go-to weeknight recipes as it is so easy and pretty quick to make. Maybe takes 30 minutes, tops.  It’s the Filipino version of picadillo, a  ground beef dish with veggies, though other types of chopped up meat is also popular. Usually it is served with rice or as a filling of some sort, commonly in empanadas or other fill-able fare. As usual, I like to veer a bit from the traditional recipe that I grew up with and use a different mix of veggies and serve it with something other than white rice. Kasha?  It’s a grain, more specifically lightly toasted buckwheat groats that can be fluffy like rice, has a nice slightly nutty flavor, some good nutrients, but less intense in taste than the uber-popular quinoa. I was craving for something like a rice bowl, but we are not eating much white rice nowadays so I got the idea for this Giniling Kasha Bowl, a delectable and easy 30-minute meal. Continue reading

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Carrot and Hazelnut Muffins…with a hidden ingredient

HazelnutCarrotMuffins1

“The rule is flavor, and flavor rules.”

-Master Breadmaker Peter Reinhart

Okay, I won’t keep you in suspense, the hidden ingredient to these carrot and hazelnut muffins is…butternut squash! These muffins have another secret too…they are gluten-free! But they taste really good! That’s no secret 🙂 A year ago I never thought that I would cook gluten-free foods. I’m not on a gluten-free diet, but I love the challenge of cooking gluten-free, especially in baking, where baked goods usually depend on the chemistry of gluten. I enjoy science, and gluten-free baking is like a science experiment for me, in addition to cooking in general. I realized that even if dishes are gluten-free–if it tastes good and makes you feel good, what’s the harm in that? Thus, I wholeheartedly subscribe to Peter Reinhart’s “Flavor Rule” where flavor determines what I enjoy in a dish, not labels–whether gluten-free or otherwise.

Now, back to the muffins. These butternut squash, carrot and hazelnut muffins were inspired by a recipe I found in Whole Living magazine. It is a great all-around muffin recipe with a nice soft and moist texture. They taste even better the next day, or days later. Makes for a great post-workout snack, after-work/school snack, or even as part of a quick breakfast (though I prefer more savory foods in the morning). I decided to use carrot instead of apple in the original recipe and it was definitely yummy. I think you can pretty much sub or add in ingredients like you would in a normal muffin or quick-bread recipe. Zucchini, banana, and chocolate, you’re next!

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