Paleo Filipino “Arroz Caldo”

Paleo Filipino arroz caldo made with cauliflower rice

Everyone at my office is sick, recovering from being sick, or like me, fighting like hell not to get sick. That’s why I made Filipino arroz caldo for dinner. It’s traditionally a savory rice porridge with chicken, garlic, and ginger. I cooked a Paleo version using cauliflower rice, which is made by putting cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulsing until the cauliflower is the size of rice grains. My arroz caldo is inspired by Joshua Bozel’s recipe for Serious Eats and Mary J. Gines’s recipe for Fit Living Foodies.

Paleo Filipino “Arroz Caldo”


  • 2/3 cup canola oil (or coconut oil), divided
  • 12 cloves of garlic, minced (yes, 12!)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger 
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces 
  • 2 cups cauliflower rice 
  • 2 cups chicken stock 
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced

Heat 1/3 cup oil in small pan over medium heat. Add half of the minced garlic and cook until garlic turns light brown, about 5 minutes. Place garlic in fine-mesh strainer and drain. Then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the remaining 1/3 cup oil over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the sliced onion and cook for 5 minutes until soft but not brown. Next add the rest of your garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute more.

Place chicken in pot and cook until no longer pink. Then add cauliflower rice, chicken stock, fish sauce, and lime juice. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until it has reached your desired consistency. Add more fish sauce and lime juice to taste.

Ladle arroz caldo into bowls and top with green onions and fried garlic.

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Filed under Filipino food, Recipes, Savory

Recipe – Kabocha Squash and Kale in Coconut Milk

Kabocha squash and kale in coconut milk

I don’t really write recipes–I’d rather spend my time cooking. But my friends Dawn and Helen asked me to put this one together. It’s inspired by RG Enriquez of Astig Vegan, a blogger you should definitely check out if you want to explore vegan and/or Filipino food.

This recipe is vegan, but you could modify it to meet your dietary needs or taste preferences. It can stand alone as a main dish or as a hearty side. Eat it with rice and bagoong if you’re feeling Filipino.

Kabocha Squash and Kale in Coconut Milk 


  • 1 tablespoon vegan margarine (or your fat of choice)
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale, middle stems removed and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 4-6 cups kabocha squash, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (half of a small-to-medium squash)
  • 2 14 oz. cans unsweetened coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Melt vegan margarine over medium-high heat in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add chopped onion and cook 3-5 minutes until soft and translucent. Put in minced garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in kale and cook for 5 minutes until kale is wilted. Place chopped squash in pan, pour in coconut milk, and add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and then turn heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You’ll know it’s done when you can easily pierce the squash with a fork. Taste and add more salt and pepper to your liking.

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Filed under Filipino food, Recipes, Savory

Kickstart Kalasada Coffee

Kalsada Coffee Kickstarter

I’ve decided to join Kalsada Coffee’s mission to support Filipino coffee farmers and bring the Philippine coffee industry back to its former glory, one farm at a time. Kalsada Coffee is currently in Kickstarter mode and is 80% funded with less than 2 days to go. I invite you to consider backing this Kickstarter. You can find more info at Salamat!

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Filed under Filipino food, Good causes

Creamy Coconut Garlic Mushrooms Healthy Way to Satisfy Comfort Food Craving

While many in the United States have spent much of this winter enduring one snowstorm after another, here in Seattle we’ve been enjoying balmy, spring-like days featuring bright blue skies, blossoming trees, and glorious sunsets.

Then Mother Nature reminded Seattleites that we live in Seattle.

And that it’s March.

Rainy day in Seattle

On this wet, gray day, I craved a warm and comforting dish. I also needed something that was healthy and in line with the grain-free, dairy-free diet that I’ve been following for the last 8 months. I opened my fridge, spied a box of mushrooms, and knew exactly what I should make.

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Filed under For the Glow, Savory

Forgiveness and Father’s Day

My dad drives me crazy. Not in an endearing, “Oh, Daaaad” TV-sitcom kind of way. More like a he-makes-me-want-to-punch-a-hole-in-a-wall feeling.

Every year, I dread Father’s Day. Friends post sweet photos and memories on Facebook of their fathers. They talk about the lessons their dads have taught them, how their dads inspire them, and how their dads are their best friends.

I have nothing like that to share. And it hurts.

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Filed under Essays

My For the Glow Journey with Jenn Jordan

It’s 5:30 in the morning. I’m in my basement staring bleary-eyed at my laptop, and I’m sweating—a lot—as I do my best to follow an online workout video.

After completing a particularly grueling set of exercises, the instructor takes a quick break on her mat. She catches her breath and says, “I don’t enjoy that. Not at all.”

The moment makes me laugh because it is exactly what I was thinking. It also inspires me because right after the instructor says this, she launches into another set of challenging moves.

This is Jenn Jordan and For the Glow.

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Filed under For the Glow, So right

Cooking with Michael

A few weeks ago, an acquaintance of mine named Michael sent me a message asking if we could get together and cook.

He wrote, “One of my favorite ways to get to know someone is to learn how to cook something.”

It was an unexpected and lovely invitation to connect.

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Filed under Filipino food