Archive for July, 2009


Here are some tips from the American Dietetic Association posted today on being creative with different types of fruit!

Even though summer is a great time of year to enjoy a variety of fruits from around the world, many of us still find ourselves reaching for more familiar fruits. Take a chance this summer! Try some of these lesser-known but equally delicious fruits from around the globe:

  • Asian pears: This sweet and juicy fruit looks like a yellow apple and has a similar firm, crunchy texture. Try it whole or mix it in salads.
  • Guava: A sweet, fragrant fruit that’s about the size of a lemon, Guava’s peel varies in color from yellow to purple, and the fruit inside may be yellow, pink or red. Enjoy whole, in sauces, salads, juices, frozen desserts and jams.
  • Kumquat: A member of the citrus family, a kumquat looks like a small, olive-shaped orange. The peel is very thin and is edible, and the fruit can be enjoyed uncooked or cooked with meat, poultry or fish, and when sliced, can be a nice garnish in salads.
  • Passion fruit: This is a small, spherical fruit with a leathery peel, which may appear shriveled. Passion fruit has a perfume-like fragrance and a sweet-tart flavor. The color varies from light yellow to reddish purple, and it may be eaten as a whole fruit or added to salads, sauces, desserts or beverages.
  • Sapodilla: This is a small, egg-shaped fruit that has a rough, brown peel. Only the creamy pulp inside is edible when it’s ripe. The flavor is mild and often compared to vanilla custard.
  • Starfruit: With its unique shape, the starfruit actually forms a star shape when sliced. The flavor varies from sweet to tart, and it can be eaten on its own or as a garnish to salads.



Many of these fruits are available in your grocery’s produce section. So, next time you see something new, give it a try. You may just discover a new way to eat healthy.

Source: http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/home_22189_ENU_HTML.htm

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packagesMy mom just told me about this yummy healthy brownie mix called No Pudge! Brownies. After purchasing the mix, all you have to do is add yogurt, bake, and then eat them up with no guilt! Immediately intrigued by these fabulously easy and healthy brownies, I had to do some detective work and see what they were all about and where I could find them.

The brownie mixes come in a variety of delicious sounding flavors- cappuccino fudge, raspberry fudge, mint fudge, and original fudge. At about $3.35  a package, they are right in line price-wise with the other brownie mixes that I buy. The best part? The brownies are FAT FREE and there are only 120 calories per 2 inch brownie square!

No Pudge! Brownie mixes can be found in grocery stores throughout the United States. If you can’t find them at a store near you, you can order them online from their website. Their website also has a wide variety of brownie recipes using their mixes that I can’t wait to try!

Want more information? Check out No Pudge! Brownies’ website by clicking here


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IMGP3611This recipe for zucchini bread follows the banana/mango bread recipe from my mom that Erin posted a few days ago, with a few slight modifications. You can use the recipe to make bread or muffins. I made both! 🙂


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 large eggs, beaten (or 2 extra large)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins



























  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour two medium sized loaf pans.
  3. Mix all ingredients together by hand or with a mixer.
  4. Divide batter into the two medium loaf pans. 
  5. Bake at 350 for 40-55 minutes.  Test the middle with a knife or toothpick to make sure that it is cooked through.

Spread with butter and enjoy!











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imagesI thought I would share a paper that I wrote for my Food Selection Class on a little known and rarely eaten root vegetable called Rutabaga. Enjoy! 🙂


Rutabaga is a root vegetable believed to be a cross between a turnip and a wild cabbage. Rutabagas resemble turnips in appearance, but their flesh is yellower, their root is denser, they have smooth waxy leaves, they have more side shoots, and are slightly larger than turnips. In Europe, rutabagas are called “swedes,” since they grow so plentifully and are popular in Sweden. While there are varying opinions on the exact origin of rutabaga, it is thought to have originated in the early 17th century in Sweden, Finland, or Siberia. Rutabaga then was introduced to Scotland, Great Britain, and finally North America.

After World War I, rutabaga was looked down upon in continental Europe, especially Germany, and viewed as a “last resort” food, since many people survived off of it after the grain and potato famines. People became so tired of rutabaga and thought of it as “famine food” and still look down on it today- even going as far to rarely planting any rutabaga in Germany!

Taste and Nutritional Informationrutabaga_1

Rutabaga is not a common vegetable eaten in the United States, so many people do not know much about it and are surprised to find out that it is not only very nutritious, but it is actually a delicious and sweet tasting vegetable with touches of cabbage and turnips in its flavor. Also unknown to many- rutabaga is very simple to prepare and can be used in a variety of different ways. 

Rutabagas are a great root vegetable choice because they are extremely nutrient dense- just 3.5 oz of cooked rutabaga yields 39 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 53 mg of iron, 48 mg of calcium, 326 mg of potassium, and 19 mg of vitamin C among many other vitamins and minerals. 


Rutabaga is prepared and eaten in various ways in different countries and cultures. In Finland, rutabaga is predominantly roasted and served with meat dishes, is the main ingredient in their Christmas casserole, is added to soups to boost flavor, eaten raw in side dishes or salads, and can be baked or boiled as well. In Sweden and Norway, rutabaga is commonly mashed together with potatoes and carrots, then butter and cream or milk, to make a “rotmos,” or root mash. In Norway, rutabaga is always served during holidays in a variety of dishes. In Wales, a similar root mash is prepared, but using just potatoes and rutabaga and is called “potch.” In Scotland, rutabagas and potatoes are boiled and mashed independent from each other to create side dishes called “tatties and neeps,” tatties being the potatoes and the neeps being the rutabagas. Rutabagas are also commonly used in soups and stews in Scotland. In England, rutabagas are served mashed together with carrots as a side dish during the weekly Sunday roast. In Canada, rutabagas are used in mincemeat and Christmas cakes and as a side dish during Sunday dinner. Here in the United States, we use rutabagas in casseroles, stews, mashed with carrots, or baked into a pastry dish. 

Growing Regions and Harvestingimages

Rutabaga grows best in colder climates, like its native Scandinavia and Siberia, but is harvested throughout the world. The largest producers of rutabaga are Canada and the Northern United States, who have been growing it for just about 200 years. Rutabagas are planted during May and June and harvested at the end of summer and the beginning of the fall. The ideal soil for rutabaga to flourish in is moderately deep, fertile, and slightly acidic.

Rutabagas are available for purchase year round in the grocery stores and seasonally at farmers markets, but will have the best flavor in the late summer and early fall when they are at their peak harvesting point.  To select prime rutabaga, it is important to know that mature rutabagas should have a diameter of about four to 6 inches long and should not have any blemishes or bruises on them.

Rutabagas are easily stored and stay fresh for up to one month in the refrigerator and up to four months if stored commercially at 32 degrees.

Recipe: Rutabaga and Apple Casserole

Cook Time: 30 minutes


3 cups peeled sliced rutabaga

2 med. apples, sliced

1/2 c. brown sugar, packed

3 tbsp. butter



Cook rutabaga slices in boiling salted water until just tender; drain. Place half of slices (rutabaga) and half of apple slices in greased 1-quart casserole. Sprinkle with half of brown sugar and dot with half of butter. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat layers. Bake, covered at 350 degrees. 


Wikipedia,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutabaga

Vegetarians in Paradise, http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch4.html

Alternative Field Crops Manual, http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/AFCM/rutabaga.html

University of Illinois Extension, http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/turnip1.html

Recipe Source: http://southernfood.about.com/od/turnipandrutabagarecipes/r/blbb171.htm

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I get this wonderful online, daily newsletter called Lei Chicthat is always full of the most fantastic happenings, shopping tips, restaurants and all the rest going on here in Honolulu/Hawaii.  The one I got today was for a wonderful Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi from Roy’s Restaurant, and I thought I would share.  I might have to give this a try myself sometime soon!  Here is the recipe, but for the full article go HERE.  Enjoy!


Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi
Serves 2


Two 6-7 oz portions of mahi mahi
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup macadamia nuts, chopped then toasted until golden brown
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper


Using a wire whisk, whip butter and macadamia nuts vigorously. Add breadcrumbs and whip for one minute, without over-mixing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Season the mahi mahi with salt and pepper. Spread macadamia nut crust over one side of the fish. Sear the crusted side over medium heat until edges are golden brown. Gently flip the fish over and cook to desired doneness.  Chef recommends about 2 minutes on each side.

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Feb 09 120


I am part of an organization called Kanu Hawaii www.kanuhawaii.org, whose mission it is to increase understanding, awareness, and participation within our community and the world to do whatever we can to affect change in a positive way.  The latest project/campaign we are working on is called Eat Local.  For the week of August 8th through the 15th, our challenge to you, and ourselves, is to eat and drink only that which is locally grown in your community, or made from local products.  We have organized with restaurants, farmers, grocery stores and more to support those who are participating through special menus using only local ingredients, discounts on fresh produce, locally caught fish etc.

I will strive to adhere to the challenge for an entire week, but it can be difficult.  At the very least I am throwing an Eat Local dinner party for my friends on Aug 14th.  I am asking them all to bring a dish/beverage choice that is made entirely from local ingredients…should be fun to see what they come up with!  I will make sure to post photos and recipes of all the dishes.  I still haven’t picked out what I am making….more on that later as well…

Want to participate?  Go HERE to read more about Kanu Hawaii and their Eat Local campaign, as well as to pledge your participation!  Not in Hawaii?  No problem!  I still encourage you to sign up and help to encourage/support/practice sustainability, local farming, local products and your own community as a whole.

If you have any great recipes that can be made using locally produced products please share it with us!

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-Media Card-BlackBerry-pictures-IMG00010Recently parsley has overtaken my herb garden! Of all of the herbs that I’m growing, I seem to have more parsley than anything else. I was thinking about what to do with it, and thought about making a parsley walnut pesto to make as an alternative to the basil pesto that I normally only eat. So, I just mimicked my basil pesto recipe, replacing the basil with parsley and the pine nuts with walnuts. It’s a slightly different taste than the basil pesto and it is absolutely delicious! 

Here is the versatile recipe for my pesto:


  • 2 cups of fresh parsley, rinsed and dried
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


  1. Place parsley and walnuts in a food processor and pulse several times.
  2. Add in the garlic and pulse a few more times.
  3. Slowly add in the olive oil and continue to pulse.
  4. Add in the parmesan cheese if desired and pulse until everything looks like it has mixed together well. 
  5. Scrape down the sides of the food processor and pulse again if necessary to make sure everything is mixed in. If desired, add salt and pepper to taste. I actually don’t add any, but I know that most people like to add salt and pepper. 
  6. Serve with pasta! I added my pesto to cooked whole wheat pasta, toasted walnuts, peas, and parmesan cheese. Mix everything together and you have a fabulously delicious pasta dish!

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Here is another favorite recipe of Auntie Martha’s that my mom sent me.  She made me a loaf of mango bread last year…which I ate ALL by myself!  With mango season about to be here in full force (I can barely contain my excitement!), I thought I would share.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs, beaten (or 2 extra large)
  • 3/4 cup salad oil
  • 2 cups diced mango or mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Mix thoroughly with a spoon and divide into two medium loaf pans.  Bake at 350 for 40-55 minutes.  Check middle wiht a toothpick to make sure that the bread is done before removing from the oven.

Spread with cream cheese or heat up a bit and add some butter…soooooo good!

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I got this e-mail from my mom today and wanted to share.  It’s de-licious!


A summertime favorite….I made this last night and it was a big hit.


3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped*
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green onion
4 cups tomato juice
2 avocados, chopped
5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Be sure all vegetables are very finely chopped. Combine all ingredients in a large non-metallic bowl and chill overnight. Serve soup cold with a dollop of sour cream on top of each serving. Pass croutons in a bowl. Serves 8.

* To easily peel tomatoes, dip them in a pan of boiling water for a few minutes. The skin peels right off.


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Ready to go in the oven!

Ready to go in the oven!

Everyone in Hawaii has their own way of making shoyu (soy sauce) chicken…different ingredients, baked, boiled, shoyu chicken is something that is hard to do badly.  Despite this, I am a die-hard devotee of my mothers recipe.  Served with rice, canned corn and a fresh salad, this is my ideal comfort food meal when I’m missing home.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Oven Temp: 350 degrees



  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup shoyu (I use Kikoman)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup sherry
  • 1 tbsp freshly minced garlic and ginger (feel free to add as much of this as you want…I usually add extra, especially of the ginger)
  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Saute the first five ingredients until the sugar has dissolved and it comes to a slight boil.  Remove excess fat from the chicken and place in a metal or pyrex pan.  Pour the mixture over the chicken and place in the oven on the middle rack for 1 hour.

Every 15 minutes or so use a spoon or baster to moisten chicken.  After 30 minutes turn chicken over so it cooks evenly.  When done, pour the remaining sauce into a a container with a pour spout – it is delicious poured over the rice!

If you have a different shoyu chicken recipe please share!

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