RECIPE – CAPPELLOS Fettuccine pasta with pancetta, scallops, romanesco, and white cream sauce


RECIPE – CAPPELLOS Fettuccine Pasta with Pancetta, Scallops, Romanesco, and White Cream Sauce

I rarely make pasta (What is wrong with you, woman?!) but when I do, its gonna be loaded, special, and specifically designed to put you to sleep. This is a recipe inspired by the simple carbonara pasta and the fun and unique vegetable romanesco. Although this is a multi-step recipe, if you decide to stray from the directions, you’ll still end up with an amazing flavor explosion in your mouth.
Chef tip: Start off with boiling your pot of water for the fettuccine and have that ready while you are cooking the rest of the ingredients. You want to be able to integrate the ingredients while they are all fresh and warm.
  • One package of Cappellos gluten free, grain free, soy free fettuccine pasta
  • One pound of pork pancetta (or bacon) chopped into small bits
  • Eight to twelve pieces of fresh scallops
  • One head of beautiful green romanesco broccoli chopped into the small spirals
  • Ghee or Kerrygold butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream**
  • 1 tbsp diced garlic
  • 3 tbsp diced parsley
  • salt and white pepper
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese*
*exclude for strict paleo
** use coconut cream as substitute
With a knife, you’re going to want to chop the romanesco branches off one medium spiral at a time. Of course, this is all for presentation purposes, if you want to practice your judo chop skills through the head of a romanesco – GO FOR IT. Set aside the pretty little spirals until later. In this recipe, I kept it raw for added nutrients and for an extra crunch. You may steam them or toss them in the frying pan with the collected pancetta oils for 6 minutes (See below).
Heat a frying pan to about medium, medium high. Add the pancetta bits and stir. You want to render the fat out of the bits to crisp the bits. This usually takes 5 to 8 minutes. Save the fat on the pan, collect the crispy bits with a spoon and set aside on a plate.
Add the butter or ghee to the pan of pancetta fat and let it melt over medium heat. Once the ghee is melted, season your scallops with a light sprinkle of salt. Don’t worry about seasoning the scallops as the pancetta fat will add another level of flavor to it. Add 4 pieces of scallops to the frying pan and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes or until you start to see the pan side of the scallop start to turn white. You want to be careful not to over-cook scallops, as they turn really gummy. You want to look for that buttery texture when biting into them.
Flip the scallops to the other side. When you do so, you want to see that the first side has a dark brown edge. Continue to cook the scallops for another 2 to 3 minutes by tossing the grease and oils over it with a spoon.
Once the pancetta and scallops have been cooked, you can use this fat to make a white cream sauce. You don’t want to waste any part of the dish! Add the garlic, parsley and cook in the pan for about 2 minutes letting the aroma release into your already fragrant kitchen. Next, add the white wine and stir for another 3 minutes. After, using a whisk, add the cream and cheese and whisk over heat for about 5 minutes. You are looking for a creamy consistency. Turn the flame off when you have seen all of the ingredients incorporate. Taste and season to your liking.
You would follow the directions on the box of Cappellos pasta. Basically you want to have your water up to a boil and add the pasta in batches. Cook as directed and quickly collect the strands with a pasta ladle.
In a large bowl, add your cooked pasta. Then, while using a spoon to mix, slowly pour your white sauce over the bowl of pasta strands. Make sure you coat each an every strand. Plate into 4 separate dinner plates. Next add 2 to 3 pieces of scallops to your plate of pasta. Add romanesco and then top it with a sprinkle of pancetta bits.
Another way to serve it is to add the romanesco, pancetta, and pasta in the large bowl and pour the sauce all over all the ingredients. Add the scallops on top last. Which ever way you chose, it will all go down the same way! You’ll love the flavors of this dish and the crunch of the romanesco will please the palette as well as please the eye of the eater. After all, you eat with your eyes first! ENJOY!
All photos on this recipe was shot by Randy Tran of @rtranphotog. Please visit his instagram instagram.com/rtranphoto

RECIPE – Spicy Flavorgod Kale Chips

Don’t worry if you don’t have a dehydrator – I don’t have one too but you can still make these healthy kale chips at home! This is kind of a messy dish. But this is why its perfect to make with your family. The younger members will love being hands on with their new favorite snack!
1 cup cashews
1/3 cup ground golden flaxseed
1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
2 tablespoons of softened butter or ghee or olive oil
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon italian parsley
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 tsp white pepper
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes. Its spicy, after all.
Bottle of FLAVOR GOD’s SPICY Seasoning
Preheat oven to lowest setting. My lowest is 180 F. Or if you have a handy dehydrator,
Apply parchment paper on to baking sheets.
Take your cashews and flaxseed and soak them in water overnight. If you’re in a rush, you may give them a press or two in a food processor and then soak for 4 hours. You’re waiting for a soft consistency.
The kale I used for this recipe is the regular kale. As in, NOT the Lacinato ones. However, you may use whichever kale species you favor but keep in mind, the regular kale leaves have a million nooks and crannies that zig zag through the leaf. This will help contain the yummy flavors of the coating. Just you see! You can substitute the Lacinato but I would substitute the actual Kale leaf for a different vegetable. Kale is perfect for chips because they are fibrous and thick enough to hold shape when they bake.
After you have washed and dried the kale chips completely, start tearing the kale into mouth-sized pieces. I say TEAR and I mean it. The reason behind this is because the kale will be able to be stored for a longer time. If you use a knife, the knife will cut through the plant cells. If you tear through, the cut line will be formed around the microscopic plant cells and will therefore preserve its hold for moisture and water. Theres a tidbit of science for you here – Thanks ALTON BROWN!
In a blender or food processor, you’re going to incorporate the softened cashew and flaxseed mix in with the rest of the ingredients. Process it for about 2-5 seconds as you are looking for a creamy texture mixed with a little bit of clumps from the cashews and the tomatoes. Taste as you go. If you want it more spicy, add some red pepper flakes. If you want it more textured, add more flax or bits of cashews. Once its processed to desired consistency, set aside in a mixing bowl.
Now, with your hands, take a bit of the cashew cream pizza coating mix with middle 3 fingers and then rub it into the nooks of a piece of kale. You want to be able to coat the ends of the kale with chunks of coating while making sure the entire surface of the kale piece has a bit of grease on it. This will help crisp the kale chip. This part takes the longest but its the best part when you have helping hands! It will get messy!
Season with FLAVOR GOD’s SPICY SEASONING. This is another reason why I love Flavor God. You can add heat and flavor to your chips without having to use salt. Very healthy! Very spicy!
When you’re finished coating a chip, lay on your baking sheet and make sure that the kale pieces are not overlapping each other. However, it can be side-by-side. No need to have any space in between.
Now Bake or dehydrate until the kale chips have crisped. It takes a while depending on your oven.
Enjoy and have fun with your food!
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RECIPE – Easy Autumn Beef Stew



Chop about 2.5 to 3 pounds of beef shank into large cubes. Season with your favorite seasoning like the ever so delicious @flavorgod SPICY Seasoning. Peel about 10 pieces of pearl onions and a half head of garlic and toss it into the Crock Pot. Add carrots (chopped or whole) and 1 table spoon of coriander seeds. Add leaves of rosemary. Finally, for the braising liquid, add beef broth. Simple! Leave it in the Crock Pot for 8 hours (Go to work, go on a hike, go shopping, go on Pinterest) and when those hours have past be ready to enjoy this dish with the ones you love!


MAHARLIKA: a Taste of NYC in LA

When it was first announced that the genius minds from Maharlika NYC and Jeepney Filipino Gastro Pub would be crossing the country to spread the good news on Filipino food here in Los Angeles, my initial reaction was to hop on that ticket ASAP! This magical collaboration was one of passion between Marian Bacol-Uba of Culinary Escorts, Nicole Ponseca of Maharlika NYC and, the forever champion, Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage and Escala K-Town.
News spread fast as the last pre-sale tickets of the event sold out within the first week of mention. LA foodies couldn’t resist the notion of modern Filipino food coming to visit because there is honestly a lack of a strong Filipino food presence here in LA. I’m just being real. Filipinos have an outnumbering population in Los Angeles and California, but it’s been an inconsistent fact that there is no great modern restaurant present as well. YES there is Filipino food here in California but its not exactly found as exciting as your typical five star restaurant. We need a classy, sit-down-and-order, food-pornography worthy resto amidst all the cafeteria style, lola’s B-grade eatery. (No offense, Lola.) Ask any white person or non-filipino person about Adobo or chocolate meat and they’ll tell you its great, but the time they did enjoy it was at their token-filipino friend’s little sister’s debut. Or they’re used to seeing it hidden in white styrofoam take-out boxes. When people rate Filipino food less than 5 stars on Yelp for reasons like “It didn’t look tasty” or “It was too greasy.” we Filipinos can only agree with a silent “YES. But it’s SO good though!!!”
See, we Filipinos KNOW our food is the best despite the carb, salt, and grease overload. But does the rest of the world know? We need to change this. We need a modernized and excellent presence of Adobo, Kare Kare, and Pancit and we need it NOW. Filipinos need not be feeling “hiya” and should be more showy and prideful of their food. Filipinos need to grow more balls and not just share their culture one baon at a time but internationally with five-star restaurants. *Bangs fist on table*
Luckily, we have a few game-changers in the filipino food world shifting minds one impressed taste bud at a time. And they’re not changing the art of the sisig or lechon completely, they’re just revamping and reconstructing the face of it from lola’s rice and “laman” food plops in styrofoam containers so many Filipino Americans are accustomed to. One star revolutionary is an inspiring female from New York City. Enter Nicole Ponseca – founder of Maharlika NYC and Jeepney NYC. She is passionate about contemporary presentations of the tapsilogs and transforming it hand-in-hand with American classics like benedicts and waffles. What happens when you get the sexy flavors of Filipino favorites incorporated with brunch dishes? Well a cute half-filipino food baby of course! Dishes like the Eggs Imelda, Flip’D Chicken and Ube Waffles, and the Sizzling Sisig have reintroduced themselves as a new definitive edge of Filipino thanks to Nicole, Maharlika NYC and Jeepney.
On June 7, I was able to catch the encore event of the Maharlika and Escala collaboration pop-up and I was so inspired to see this presentation solidify in the bustling heart of one of LA’s foodie cities. I arrived there 20 minutes before the 11am opening and I was able to observe how the team hustled and made sure every single detail was ready to impress the oncoming and hungry crowd. Nicole, such a spearhead and boss lady, reviewed the details of the Sunday Brunch menu with the team making sure each server knew the ingredients and dishes like it was their own lovechild. She quizzed them as a group and received correct responses in an almost military fashion. She made no room for second-guessing as she knew the attendees would be inquisitive. Marian, had asked me to deliver a group order of coffee as not just an energy booster for the day, but as liquid recovery from the successful Kamayan dinner of the night before. It was a big weekend for everyone involved.
Once the tables had been set, the menu reviewed, the bar reorganized, and the chefs prepped, the team all held hands for a prayer. It was lovely to be see and the growing crowd outside EsCala witness through the large panes a glimpse of the kind of dedication and passion that the team members share for the sake of honoring their food. When the doors opened, Nicole greeted the members of the growing line and introduced their entrance into the beautifully decorated interior of Escala.
The crowd filled the restaurant fast as the reserved guests were seated and the incoming guests were huddled around the bar. I was able to squeeze my arm in between my seated bar friends to order the brunch special calamansi mimosa and Maharlika’s funky rendition of the Bloody Mary. It tasted new but all too familiar at the same time as the components were Jufran Banana Ketchup and Maggi. I liked it and drank it down as a fast as I would typically at Sunday brunch nonetheless. And the calamansi mimosa was refreshing perfection during that warm 90 degree day in Los Angeles.
When we finally received our beautifully presented filipino dishes and our iPhones were finally back in our pockets, we dug in with no shame. Hardly no conversation ensued as out mouths were busily receiving and engulf-err- indulging the forkfuls of sisig, and ube waffes glazed with caramelized macapuno, calamansi hollandaise, and tapsilog. The crunch of the fried chicken was perfected by a modern chef but the flavors as familiar as my mom would make it. The Sisig was undoubtedly the best I have ever had because the crunch of the pork and the addition of the raw egg. Perfect. In 10 minutes, the food was gone. There was satisfied silence and a hidden smile being cleaned by napkins found on each of my tablemates. We were full. We were happy and we were proud. This was how Filipino food should be now: deliciously familiar but fearlessly modern.

Culver City Farmers Market

“Look! A G.L.P.!”
“Good looking potato?” I joked.
Although the farmers market was filled with lovely displays of harvest, I knew this starchy root wasn’t exactly what he was verbally pointing to. Mario and I started an inside joke when he moved to Beverlywood. It’s the in-between nook of Beverly Hills and Westwood; and the people reflect the two-city hybrid well. Energetic like Westwood. Bougie like Beverly hills. Actors. Celebrities. Industry peeps. You know, L.A. people. We say “GLP” whenever we are out in Beverly Hills eating Go Greek yogurt and see a tall, clear skinned, Dior shade hidden character. So gorgeous that we can only guess – celebrity? Of course we can’t say celebrity out loud and neither will Good Looking Person be appropriate. So, GLP fits best. The scene can get really histerical between us like when we’re eating at a Chipotle and I slip out “GLP!” with a smile, followed by a point to the left with my eyes. Or when we’re shopping for Cookie Butter at Trader Joes down La Cienega and I brush shoulders with a tanned and tall character, wearing shades indoors. “GLP!” I think and note the appearance for later report. We’re just excited that we’re surrounded by such beautiful people. Thats all.
If good looking people live in West Los Angeles then Farmers Markets are their watering holes. Whether you’re buying rabbit and sunflowers from Santa Monica Farmers Market on a _____ or Culver City Farmers Market on a ______, you’re bound to see a GLP. And if you’re lucky, that GLP might even be a celebrity… and you’ll drop your cool and faint!
But if you can see past the people and focus on the produce, you may be more surprised. There are hidden gems to be found at the Farmers Market and I’m glad I was able to take my camera with me (Like a typical L.A. food blogger) to capture some of Culver City’s finest!
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RECIPE: Adulterated Banana Bread



Adulterated Banana Bread

with cinnamon bacon bits and maple syrup
When you’re cleaning out your fridge because its the end of the week and you know your budget consciousness simply won’t allow you to do groceries on a Thursday night, you get a little creative in the kitchen. Heck, for my side, you get a little desperate. This is an example of how clearing out your kitchen can evoke an inner baking wizard.
My roomies and I go through the community bananas like a family of monkeys. However, some weeks we end up leaving ugly bananas hanging there to brown. At the apartment we toss them in the freezer because, well, what else do you do to bananas when they’re borderline baby food?
This recipe calls for ugly bananas. All uglies are welcome! And when I say ugly, I mean fugly. The bananas I used were so ugly they were defrosted and lumpy. DON’T toss them! They’re the sweetest gems waiting to be used. Ugly black bananas are packed with so much flavor, you won’t want to waste the wealth of natural sweetness these have to offer. Ugly is goooood!
3 ugly black bananas
3 eggs
1 cup tapioca flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp nutmeg
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
5 slices of bacon
2 tbsp date sugar
3x9x3 loaf pan or a rectangular loaf kind.
Mixing bowl
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease loaf pan with a dab of coconut oil.
In a mixing bowl, mash together 3 ugly black bananas, eggs, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Do not over-mash, leaving chunks of bananas would be best. In a separate bowl mix together the tapioca flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, walnuts and salt. Incorporate into the bowl of your wet ingredients for about 1 minute of stirring. Do not over mix. Pour mixture into the loaf pan. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until the center of the loaf yields a clean toothpick test.
As for the cinnamon bacon bits, take the slices of bacon and chop them into bits. Cook them over medium high heat on a nonstick frying pan until most of the fat has been rendered and the bits have slightly crisped and turned their auburn color. Add the date sugar and the cinnamon powder. Stir until incorporated which takes about another 2 minutes.
To serve, take the bacon bits and pour and spread throughout the surface of the loaf (bacon grease and all!). Drizzle maple syrup to your desire. The texture of this recipe is similar to french toast. The loaf has a bounce to it because of the tapioca flour which is different from your typical banana loaf. A texture much appreciated with the crunch of the bacon bits! This banana loaf is adulterated as paleo can get. With the addition to maple syrup and bacon, its a quintessential paleo breakfast! Give this recipe a try when you have a collection of black bananas stacking up. Enjoy!

RECIPE: Eggs in Clouds


Eggs in clouds may seem as etherial to make as they appear but they are easy to produce if you have a mixer and an oven. If you have special guests over for brunch, these are sure to charm and are as inexpensive to make as scrambled eggs. Believe me when I say that these are SO easy to make! Let me know how you enjoy them!

+ Stand mixer or handheld mixer
+ Baking sheet
+ Parchment paper
+ Four eggs
+ 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
+ coarse sea salt
+ pepper
Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks making sure not to add any egg yolks to the whites. Whisk the whites until stiff peaks form. Fold in 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Dollop the mixture into four nests on your parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle cracked pepper and coarse sea salt. Take a spoon and make a dent in the center of the nest. Bake at 450 degrees F for 3 minutes. Add the yolk to the center and bake until desired yolk consistency or until the nests turn a golden brown. Deceivingly simple and elegant! Enjoy!