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Archive for the ‘Food For Thought’ Category

In an unusual project, Peter Menzel and Faith D’Alusio, a photographer and writer, traveled the world collecting photos and stories about what people eat in a day. They documented the meager meals of a Masai goat herder, the fast-food diet of an American long-haul trucker and a veritable feast of lamb kebabs and other foods set out by an Iranian bread baker.

The photos, first compiled in the book “What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets,” have been selected for an unusual exhibit at the Museum of Science in Boston. The result is an anthropological exploration of the culture of eating that is by turns mouthwatering, repulsive and surprising.

Read full article and see multimedia slide show.

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Hello everyone! I know it has been awhile but I am back with a few new yummy recipes! This one is for super healthy and delicious flax smoothies. I am currently obssessed with flax as should everyone else be, since it is a fabulous and easy add-in to add lots of extra nutrition to your meals.

Flax has several important health benefits. #1: It is an easy way to sneak some omega-3’s into your diet, an important nutrient that many of us are deficient in. Just one serving of flax gives you 2800mg of omega-3’s, which is better than none! #2: Flax is a rich source of fiber- just 3 tbsp of it yields a huge 5g of fiber! A Lignans nd how easy is it to mix 3 tbsp of flax into a smoothie, yogurt, oatmeal, or any of your other favorite foods! #3: Flax is high in lignans, which are plant estrogens or phytoestrogens (which contain lots of powerful antioxidants that will make you healthy). are common in most plant foods, but flax has 75x more than any other plant food! With all this being said, who doesn’t want a flax smoothie? 🙂

Here is the recipe for my super yummy and nutritious flax smoothie!

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fruit of your choice (for the smoothie in this picture I used strawberries and raspberries)
  • 6 oz. yogurt of choice (1 container of your favorite- I used peach greek yogurt (for extra protein) for these smoothies)
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1/2 cup liquid (I used 1/4 orange juice and 1/4 skim milk- feel free to use 1/2 just milk or 1/2 just juice, whatever sounds good to you)
  • 3 tbsp. ground flax
  • Drizzle of agave nectar on top

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in your blender and mix until you get the consistency that you like for your smoothies. If necessary, you may want to add a little water if it is too thick or some more liquid. Enjoy!!

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Sunset reflecting off the mountains behind Ma'o Farms in Waianae ... where we were also lucky enough to share in a potluck dinner at a Hawaii Farmers Union meeting ... my goodness the food was good!

All-local cooking competition hosted by Whole Foods

Exhausted after what seems like three straight weeks of pure madness (a friends wedding on the Big Island, Eat Local Week, work, work and work), I crawled into bed last night and couldn’t help but think about what fellow Eat Local campaign committee members’ James and Alani had said at our wrap up meeting just hours earlier; so few people in this world will ever have the opportunity to follow their passions and, on a small or a large scale, to be a part of something truly meaningful in their lives.  It seems to me that giving of ones self, ones time, is often seen as simply that; giving.  Being a part of this campaign was a good reminder that it’s much bigger than that – because so much is also received in return – ultimately, the process and the experience is a tremendous gift to everyone involved.

I have been deeply blessed to have been a volunteer for Kanu Hawaii over

Superstar kid chef Duke Kenney doing an all-local food demo at Kokua Hawaii's Eat Local Kick-Off Event

the past few years, most especially during the last few months as one of the volunteer chairs for their second annual Eat Local campaign.  It’s no secret that since the close of last years Eat Local week, the crazy foodie in me has been pining for a position on the committee (and a seat at all of our restaurant partners’ tables) – which ended up bringing life to the phrase “be careful what you wish for,” in a way I never thought possible – and only in a good way I might add.  In light of this, I am embarrassed to say (but will honestly admit) that I was less than diligent about eating 100% local during the week of the challenge.  I have no mouth watering all-local recipes to share or reviews of all-local meals prepared by others; nor do I have any really good excuses for why this is the case.  What I can share is a unique perspective from the inside of this campaign looking out, which I can only hope will be somewhat interesting and valuable on some level.

We started our planning over decadent dinner parties (which quickly had to be abandoned because there was more eating and chatting than actual work happening), during which we laid down plans for what was going to be one of Kanu’s biggest campaigns to date.  Over the next few months our team of volunteers reached out to and worked closely with people, organizations and businesses within and surrounding the food industry here in Hawaii, building a web of support and a pub of information intended to create awareness of and support for food sustainability here in Hawaii.

A double rainbow over Island School on Kauai where we screened the film 'Ingredients'

Our intention was, over the course of a week, to tell the story of harvest to table – to bring light to the issues and topics that surround the concept and the vital importance of food sustainability: land, water, economics, labor, energy, agriculture, vendors, restaurants, organic vs. non organic etc. etc.  No easy task and with many moving parts, Eat Local week was jammed packed with so many wonderful events, opportunities, stimulating information and conversations, and of course, amazingly delicious food – so much so that you would have needed at least a month (and a diligent exercise plan) just to take advantage of it all.

Call it fate, serendipity, or just plain coincidence, what was most inspiring (and honestly somewhat surprising) to me was that everyone we reached out to as potential partners of the campaign was already on the same page and of the mindset that creating a healthy and sustainable food system in Hawaii is of the utmost importance, and that it is going to take our collective effort to achieve it.  A trendy movement no doubt, to have everyone from the usual suspects like farmers and Whole Foods to the not so obvious such as Zippy’s echo the same sentiments about not only their short but also their long term plans, investments and priorities in regards to Hawaii’s food industry, gave me the distinct sense that although we have a long way to go, there is most certainly a light at the end of the tunnel.

Friend and fellow Kanu member Brandon Hayashi said it very poignantly following a particularly fascinating panel

The local kim chee burger from restaurant partner 'Umeke Market - so yum!

discussion mid-way through Eat Local week; “Once you have your eyes open it’s hard to close them.”  It is my hope that if we achieved one thing during Eat Local week, that we opened people’s eyes – because without knowing what’s out there, who you’re walking alongside, and where you’re going, getting there is almost an impossible task.

I know this has been the case for me personally, because as much as I have always shopped at the farmers markets and have fun tromping around in the mud at Ma’o farms during their GIVE days, I was completely unaware of the depth to which the simple phrase ‘Eat Local’ really runs.  It is now with a new-found curiosity and profound respect for the entire spectrum that is Hawaii’s food industry that I will strive to take action and responsibility for my personal kuleana of it all.  We were at a Hawaii Farmers Union meeting at Ma’o Farms and during our tour we were shown a structure of meticulously stacked rocks from the fields of the farm.  Our guide explained that it was traditional to have such a structure (the name for it escapes me, forgive me), a place to come throughout the day and say thank you, offer a prayer, to refocus on what’s important.  For me this place is my kitchen, and so I will start there.  Because there is no greater joy or satisfaction for me than preparing a meal and sharing it with the amazing people in my life; and doing so with the added intention of an outcome beyond a satisfied belly makes it that much sweeter.

My gratitude for all of the people I worked so closely with and the experience of being a part of this campaign is bigger and extends further than words can possibly express.  Mahalo for everything – it has been a truly meaningful experience, and for that I am incredibly fortunate.

To learn more about Kanu Hawaii, to get involved and to see the entire scope of the Eat Local 2010 Challenge go to www.kanuhawaii.org

Wrapping up Eat Local Week at Kokua Hawaii's 'Aina in Schools garden party at Kainalu Elementary where we helped build three raised bed gardens

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Photo Credit: Food & Wine

My little lanai herb garden (consisting of mint, thai and sweet basil, and rosemary) is flourishing.  I love that I can go out there and pick things here and there for a bit of seasoning or a garnish, but beyond that, I find myself wondering what on earth to do with it all.  I got my answer the other day in the form of an email from Food & Wine with a whole bunch of great recipes focused around summer herbs.  Check them out here.  Personally, I can’t wait to try the Spicy Brussels Sprouts and Mint and the Apricot-and-Basil shortbread tart.  Have fun exploring the possibilities, and let us know if you find any great recipes in the process!

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Photo Credit: Keaolani Duhaylongsod

The long, warm summer days are here and I find myself eating later and later in the evening (9 p.m. last night!) and choosing much lighter food (I have to buy three bags of Ma’o greens from the farmers market just to make it through the week).  With salad combos on my mind, I was wandering around the Kanu Hawaii website this morning and came across this recipe for Spicy Ahi & Avocado Summer salad by member Keaolani Duhaylongsod (she modified a similar recipe from Sam Choy) – it looked so ono I had to share it.

Keaolani posted this as a Slow Food recipe – encouraging local food sustainability by using all local ingredients.  For those of you who can’t get locally caught, fresh tuna, either try experimenting with another type of fish that you do get locally (the firmer the better), or at least make sure that the tuna is raised and caught as sustainably as possible.  As for the veggies, what a good excuse to plant a garden!

Spicy ‘Ahi & Avocado Summer Salad

1. Cube up some LOCAL ‘ahi poke (about 1 lb.) and 2 small LOCAL avocadoes.

2. Mix 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, 2 tsp. hot chili sauce (Sriracha) to desired taste, 1 T. shoyu, and 1 tsp. garlic (pressed or minced). Toss this chili mayo sauce with the ‘ahi and avocado. Set aside.

3. Make a salad dressing out of 6 T. ponzu flavored soy sauce and 1 tsp. sesame oil. Add sugar and black pepper to taste. Sprinkle this over a bed of lettuce leaves (or chopped/torn leaves).

4. Layer a scoop of the ‘ahi/avocado mixture on top of the lettuce bed. Then top it with LOCAL garnishes of your choice: sliced LOCAL cucumbers, LOCAL tomatoes, LOCAL cabbage, LOCAL papaya, etc. I also topped it with nori (seaweed) cut into strips.  He ‘ono la!

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Not a farmers market regular? Here’s a great article from Huffington Post with some tips on how to become one. Read it HERE

Photo Credit: Huffington Post

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Nutrition Starts in the Nest

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