Monday, July 8, 2013

Cheese Stuffed Turkey Guacamole Meatballs on Toasted Pandesal


This was a fun & easy lunch to make with the whole fam making use of what's left in our fridge. We even threw in guacamole to help bind it instead of eggs.  My mom and I did quick work of all the prep. While I minced & crushed, mom sautéed the onions/garlic & cooked the sauce.  My 3 1/2 year old even helped me cut up the cheese & learned about "halves". She really loves any chance she gets to use her big girl knife from Ikea.  


• 1 lb. ground turkey
• 1/2 large onion, minced 
• 1 heaping tablespoon of garlic, minced
• 2 celery stalks, minced
• 10-12 crackers, crushed 
• pinch of dried herbs: thyme, sage, rosemary whatever you like
• 4 Mini Baby Bell cheese, cut into 8 wedges
• 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
• 1/4 cup guacamole (used mainly to help bind the meatballs in place of egg vs for flavor. we used the remainder of a store bought batch)
• salt & pepper to taste
• coconut oil (to coat hands while you roll meatballs)


1. Carmelize onions & garlic in a pan, let cool. 
2. Hand Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl. Then mix in the wet ingredients.
3. Using a spoon to help portion out each ball, roll in oiled hands.
4. Push a mini wedge of cheese into the center of the meat ball and pinch closed. Roll around to smoothen ball.
5.  Brown the meatballs in pan of coconut oil (enough to coat pan).
6.  Finish off cooking in the sauce.  

• 1 small can of tomato paste
• 3 medium sized roma tomatoes, chopped
• 1/2 Tablespoon garlic, minced
• pinch of dried herbs: thyme, sage, rosmary
• 2 bay leaves
• salt & pepper to taste (we've been trying to cut out salt from our diet. but we caved & put a couple pinches in. I was surprised that the sauce tasted too salty fir me! I think I'm now more of a no salt girl.) 
• coconut oil to coat bottom of pot


1. Sauté garlic in pan on medium high heat.  
2.  Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low simmer.
3. Add browned meatballs & simmer until meatballs  are cooked through.  About 5 minutes. 

Serve with Parmesan cheese on bread or pasta of your choice. We received two large bags of Pandesal from my in laws on their San Diego Fourth of July weekend.  

The subtle sweetness of the bread complimented the savory sauce & it's warm toasted-ness was a perfect vessel to carry the deliciously moist turkey meatballs and sop up the sauce left on the plate. 

On a side note:  While toasting this pandesal helped, it still makes me want for the warm fresh pandesal from the neighborhood bakery in my hometown Mendez, Cavite.  It comes in a brown paper bag.  The outer part of the bread is browned & a bit crusty.  The inside is light & airy not dense like these ones from a San Diego Filipino bakery.  I have yet to taste a pandesal made in the U.S. like the kind they have in Mendez.  Makes me want to try making some from scratch someday. 

Well, our family will definitely keep this meatball dish as a go to recipe. It's one that can easily be had for dinner and tweaked with different flavors...teriyaki or curry flavors come to mind.

Hope you enjoy this recipe & Have a great week!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Blue Agave + Chipotle "Losilog" with Garlic Cauliflower "Rice"

Here's a semi-homemade pseudo healthy twist on the Filipino favorite sweet breakfast sausage Longanisa with fried garlic rice & a sunny side up egg, better known for it's acronym Losilog = Longanisa + Sinangang + Itlog!


fair warning - I was cooking by sight & taste this morning, so I didn't measure the ingredients!

Tip - If you're cooking with fry pan like me, cook the cauliflower first before the Longanisa. The Longanisa will make the pan super messy & sticky, but if you use a non stick & rinse of the pan while it's still hot - right away, it will be a quick clean up! 

by CACTUSmango


• 1/4 head of Cauliflower (finely chopped)
• 1-2 Tablespoons of minced garlic (also from Costco)
• about 2 Tablespoons Virgin Cold pressed Coconut Oil (from Costco. & that's a guesstimate again, I just squirted directly into pan without measuring!)


1.  Heat coconut oil in medium high heat pan & saute the garlic.  You can cook your garlic lightly or til it's crispy, both ways I like.
2.  Pulse cauliflower in food processor or simply chop it up into rice sized bits. 
3.  Add to pan & toss with garlic oil until al dente. 

by CACTUSmango 


• 4 Johnsonville Maple Sausage (frozen from Costco) 
• 4 tablespoons of Organic Blue Agave Syrup (also from Costco. Qauntity is a guesstimate because I just drizzled a bunch over the sausage in the pan)
• Organic Ground Chipotle powder (add as much as you like)
• Water (just enough to, about half way up the sausage.  Maybe i used 1/2 cup)


1.  Place all ingredients in non-stick pan over medium heat, boil then reduce heat to medium low. Cover & simmer until sausage is almost cooked through.
2.  Uncover & increase to medium heat.   Turn occasionally. Let liquids reduce. Ready to eat when caramelized! 

I'm pleasantly surprised that the Cauliflower "Rice" went well with this.  You can serve this atop rice of your choice with sunny side up or over medium for pregos like me.

After trying this, I could use a lot more heat!  It is 4th of July after all! Add more spice to your liking & Have a great weekend!