Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Changing to a Plant-Based Diet

One of my favorite youtube channels to watch on food prep for the new way that I'm eating is Jane Esselstyn and her mom Ann - the authors of the Reversing Heart Disease Cookbook. I don't have heart disease, but the way of eating, whole-food, plant-based, no oil, no animal products - it's stricter than I have been eating and cheating over the years.

I knew as the years went on that I would need to do something different as my labs don't lie. I would eat fish and cook with oil. Those are my two primary issues. But when the doc tells you that you either go on more medications or change your diet, more than what I've been doing, I knew I had to do this one more change - I've been able to do well - except when going out to eat - I have a hard time getting foods not made in oil.

Anyway, here's one of my favorite things to eat - potato salad and I'm surprised that it tastes really good and gives me the texture that I wanted. Try it, you won't be sorry.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Moni's favorite: All Purpose Seasoning Mix

I have a video of me making a version of my Adobo kinda Seasoning Mix - here.

Here's the history of how it evolved into what I mix now.

Originally from the: Arroz con Pollo adapted from Bobby Flay's Foodnetwork, Showdown show.


  • 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup sazon tropical - (optional, I had in my pantry)
  • 3 tablespoons and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons and 1-1/4 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons and 1-1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons and 1-1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon and 1-3/4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon and 1-3/4 teaspoons chili powder

****************This is from the Fonda Boricua's website**************

In January of 2008, renowned chef, Bobby Flay, brought his Food Network show 'Throwdown with Bobby Flay' to the Fonda Boricua, and challenged Boricua's to an 'Arroz con Pollo' battle. The Fonda Boricua's traditional, homestyle Puerto Rican arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) won the day.

Since the show's airing, many of you have asked for our recipe. We are pleased to finally make it available on our web site. Enjoy!

The Recipe

The Sofrito

A great arroz con pollo begins with the sofrito, a blend of vegetables and herbs that is the base of most Puerto Rican stews and rice dishes. Here are the ingredients to our sofrito:

One cup of white onion, chopped
One cup of green pepper, chopped
One half of a red pepper, chopped
Four garlic cloves
Quarter cup of cilantro leaves, chopped
Quarter cup recao leaves, chopped

Adobo Dry Spice Rub

A mixture of dry spices, including cumin, oregano, granulated onion, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.

Remaining Ingredients

Four chicken quarter legs and thighs
Quarter cup of olive oil infused with achiote (seeds of the annatto tree)
Quarter cup of canned tomato paste
Quarter cup of green pimiento stuffed Spanish olives
Quarter teaspoon of ground black pepper
Three bay leaves (dried)
Four cups of long grain white rice
Six cups of chicken stock
One 12oz beer (optional)

Marinate the chicken in a mixture of olive oil and two tablespoons of the adobo dry rub mixture. (For best results, let the chicken marinate for a few hours to a day before cooking.)

Chop up the ingredients for your sofrito in a small bowl.

Preheat a medium-sized casserole pot with the achiote infused olive oil. If you aren’t able to find achiote, plain olive oil will do nicely. Brown the chicken until seared and caramelized and golden brown (about five minutes over medium heat).

Next add the sofrito and sautee for another ten minutes.

Add the tomato paste, Spanish olives, black pepper and bay leaves. Stir and cook for 20 minutes (covered), until chicken is fully cooked.

Stir in rice thoroughly, then add the chicken stock and beer and bring to a boil at medium high-heat until most of the water has evaporated.

Finally stir rice and chicken and reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook for another 20 minutes (covered)or until rice is softened.

Buen provecho!

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Dr. Oz 3-Day Detox Cleanse - a personal review

Review of the: Dr. Oz 3-day Detox Cleanse

Dr. Oz 3 day detox cleanse - fruit and veggies
Photo by: Monica Lehua

Dr. Oz's detox cleanse is a great way to reboot your system. Whether you’re healthy, working on prevention of disease or challenged by health issues; we all need to look at simple, holistic methods of recharging our bodies.

When I heard about Oz’s 3-day detox cleanse drinks it sounded like a simple and relatively inexpensive way to give me a boost and reset my body, besides its only 3-days. I waited until the weekend so I would be able to spend the time shopping for the ingredients, (the shopping list and recipe for each drink is below) blending my drinks, and not have the temptations that an office environment can sometimes have with candies and snacks.

Detox breakfast drink

Breakfast was pretty good, sweet with a refreshing taste. I didn’t have flax seeds until later and found that I had to pulverize the seeds if you buy the whole flax seed and try to blend it, you’ll be picking seeds out of your teeth. Later I found it was less expensive to purchase a large bag of organic flax seed powder which made future drinks one step easier and easier to digest. You can purchase the flax seed powder I got on Amazon or a huge bag that will last forever at Costco or check your local health/grocery store.

Breakfast drink ingredients:

·        1 cup water
·        1 Tbsp flax seeds - powder
·        1 cup raspberries
·        1 banana
·        ¼ cup spinach
·        1 Tbsp. almond butter
·        2 tsp. lemon
Flax seed is used in the breakfast and dinner drinks. WebMD reports the benefits of flaxseed can include fighting heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer. Another difference is using almond butter which is not very common but can be found in most grocery stores. If you have a health food store nearby, those stores sometimes have machines that will grind fresh almonds to make the butter with no additives or oil. Costco scored again by having a large bottle of almond butter for a great price. I also tried grinding whole almonds into a powder form and that blended well too.

Detox lunch drink

This is known as the ‘green drink’. I must have used the super large green veggies because this was too much for me to drink at one sitting. I was also very full trying to get all of this stuff down. Besides, the one page print out wasn't very clear and I didn't see the show to see what they actually did to mix the drinks.

Since I have a Vitamix blender (you can buy refurbished models on Amazon to save some moolah) that baby can pulverize almost anything, including the skin, seeds, and stems of fruits and veggies. With that said, don’t blend the lemon or lime rinds. I thought I would see what the blender could do and it made the drink bitter. So although it says, one banana, I knew not to put the banana peel in, yet I still thought grinding the half lime and not squeezing half a lime juice in the drink was the way to go cause it was a green drink – don’t do it. I put some tips next to the ingredients below. Since the green drink is mainly veggies, if you’re not doing organic, the skin on the cucumber and other veggies can be bitter once blended.

Lunch drink recipe

·        4 celery stalks - clean
·        1 cucumber – unless organic, peel the skin and remove the seeds to reduce bitterness
·        1 cup kale leaves
·        ½ green apple
·        ½ lime – squeeze the juice only
·        1 Tbsp. coconut oil
·        ½ cup almond milk
·        1 cup pineapple
Dinner detox drink

·        ½ cup mango
·        1 cup blueberries
·        1 ½ cup coconut water
·        1 cup kale
·        1 Tbsp lemon juice
·        ¼ avocado
·        ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
·        1 Tbsp flax seed powder
After the challenges of drinking the lunch drink, of which I couldn’t finish on Day One, this was a relief to my taste buds. The sweetness of the mango and blueberries blended well with the kale and avocado. I left the cayenne pepper out as I never cared for it. I was still full from the lunch drink so I had the dinner drink later in the evening.

Side effects or benefits of detoxing

The purpose of a body cleanse is to put your body into a state of rest of digesting whole foods, proteins and other things that you usually indulge in. A suggestion when drinking these drinks is to sort of chew your drink to generate saliva in your mouth to help in the digestion. This detox will clean out your system but it wasn’t something that was uncontrollable, however everyone’s system is different. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables in the first place so I was sort of half way there. For those who aren’t accustomed to eating regular servings of fresh fruits and veggies, you may want to be sure to start and end when you’re able to be at home and not on a stressful schedule.

That said, the 3-day detox cleanse also includes taking a Detox Ultra Bath each night using Epsom salt and lavender oil. I admit I didn’t have the time, although I wanted to, it didn’t work out but it would have been nice.

One of the side effects that I noticed after three days and more of being awake while working on the computer was that I wasn’t tired and I got a lot of writing done. At first I thought it was because of a new medication I was on, however then I realized that after I stopped the detox drinks I was able to sleep at night.

Although it’s been a few weeks since I did the 3-day detox cleanse, I decided to continue to take the breakfast drinks as part of my daily routine of energizing my body with fresh ingredients. I noticed that I also don’t need to take protein powder shakes like I used to. This not only saves me money but the raspberries help curb my appetite, increase my vitamin intake and naturally wake up my cells. I may do the 3-Day Detox Cleanse a couple times a year, depending on what’s going on in my body and would highly suggest that others try it, even two days is better than none.

Share your experience with the 3-Day Detox in the comments below.

©mLehua. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior permissions from the author. Partial re-posting is permitted with a link back to the original article. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

How to make healthy homemade dog food - Makana Meatloaf

This is a canine recipe, that's also posted on Makana's Dog Blog - it helped her heal from liver failure, along with love, prayers and powdered milk thistle - a supplement which vets & research is said to aid in the regeneration of a dog's liver. - Let me know how your pet likes it, try it!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Homemade Adobo All-Purpose Seasoning Recipe - Make Your Own

I wrote a version of this recipe in my blog a while back, so this is a video of how I actually do it. I mention that each time I make it, every couple of months, I change it, depending on what I have in my cabinets - although the adobo base is always the same. Try it and let me know what you think!

How to cut (chiffonade) & use Collard Greens for Soups, Saute & Juicing

This is a short video on how I cut and prep my collards for soups and stir-fry. It's so tender I eat the stems by cutting it very thin. I also like putting it in my Saimin aka ramen noodles. Great in any dish that you want to add dark, leafy greens to your dish. - mm

Friday, February 5, 2016

Kitchen-In-A-Box: Cooking essentials - Everything You Need for college, camping, roadtrip...

This is great to take on the road when you can make meals in your hotel room, or if you bring a small stove, for camping, for setting up a small kitchen, for college dorm rooms - it has everything you need except the stove and pot!