Sunday, July 29, 2012

Creamy Cucumber Gazpacho

I few weeks ago I had a delicious creamy gazpacho at Pineapple Grill in Kapalua. Ever since then I've been having intense cravings for the decadent cold and creamy dish!
I believe the restaurant used either creme fresh or sour cream to give their gazpacho it's rich feel? I however used a thick Greek yogurt to add the depth I needed without the added fat. It turned out perfectly!

Creamy Cucumber Gazpacho
-vegetarian-
serve 4
3 peeled hothouse cucumbers
1 large chopped yellow Bell pepper
1/2 cup cilantro
1 small shallot
1 garlic clove
3 Tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tsp champagne vinegar ( or any sort of white wine vinegar )
1 tsp agave syrup
1 tsp salt ( or more after blending and tasting )
3/4 cup non-fat or 2% Greek yogurt ( like Fage )
1 small serrano chili ( optional for heat! )

Place all ingredients in a highspeed blender and blend until smooth.
 (adjust saltiness if need be)
 Serve very cold.
-recipe was loosely based on Gourmet Magazine's, "Creamy Cucumber Gazpacho" Aug 2001-

Top with chopped cilantro, chives, and macadamia nut oil.
So good....

ALOHA

Friday, July 27, 2012

I Love

{ The raw vegan Tahitian Lime Pie I've been perfecting. }

{ Spontaneous shopping trips to Paia. }

{ Making potstickers with random leftover veggies. }

{ Rainer Cherries. Always such a treat! }

{ Taj soaking up the Hawaiian sun....}

Happy Aloha Friday!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Soursops

As if you couldn't tell already from my recent posts, I've been on a bit of an exotic fruit kick these days.
Why now? Well, over the hot Hawaiian summer months I've found that I naturally gravitate to all things sweet and cold. In fact, some days I eat nothing but fruit, fruit based smoothies, fruity salads, fresh pressed juice, and cold gazpachos until dinner time.
So to keep things interesting, I started to sample some of the "stranger" looking fruits at our local farmer's markets and I've found some new favorites for like the soursop pictured above.

Soursops are native to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and tropical South America. They are related to the delicious Chirimoya and are high in vitamin C. Soursops are creamy, tart and very sweet. I think they taste like a combination of bananas and pineapples.
When I purchased my soursop at Mana Foods in Paia it was still super firm. However, after a few days on my kitchen counter it softened to the touch ( like a ripe avocado ). I then sliced it in half, cut the flesh into bite size pieces, and scooped the fruit out with a spoon. It was decadent! Just be careful not to eat the large seeds!

I be back with more fruit soon!

ALOHA

Monday, July 16, 2012

le pacifique sud

Question I get asked almost weekly at my job,

"So if you live in Hawaii where do you go on vacation?"

Answer....
Tahiti!

Our 2013 vacation has been booked! Moorea here we come! Hopefully we'll have plenty of time to save up because tripping around French Polynesia is not cheap! Haha!

This is why I took highschool French. Obviously.

la Orana!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Longans

Yum! Longans are in season!!
Very similar to the lychee, longans have a firm shell that is easy to peel. Inside is a translucent fruit surrounding a large seed. Longans are milder than lychees, very sweet and very juicy. Again, like lychee, I like longans straight out of the fridge super chilled. So good!
 Apparently in Chinese herb therapy, longans are suppose to have a relaxation effect. I'm thinking I should keep some on hand at all times!
When I first discovered these at a farmers market in Hana years ago I was told they were called "Dragon's Eyes". I'm sure you can see why!

Be back soon!

ALOHA

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Habanero Salsa

This was inspired by a homemade salsa at a restaurant in downtown Lahaina that I've been frequenting for years. It's rarely brought to the table so you have to know to ask for it. It's insanely good and crazy hot. I have no idea why I haven't tried to replicate it at home until now??
I'll have to admit my version is slightly "sweeter" (the sundried tomatoes I think?) but has the right consistency and the perfect amount of heat. Change the super spicy habaneros out for a milder pepper if you must but I thinking not. I truly believe the powerful clean heat of the habanero is the best part of the salsa. However, you've been warned.

Habanero Salsa
-vegan-
3 raw red bell peppers roughly chopped
1/2 medium sweet onion, peeled ( I used a Maui Onion )
4 peeled garlic cloves
juice of 1/2 of a juicy lime
1 Tb red wine vinegar
5 sundried tomatoes 
small handful of cilantro ( fresh coriander )
2 medium habaneros ( I used the whole pepper, hot seeds and all! )
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt ( start with 1/4 blend and then add more if needed )

Throw everything in a highspeed blender and blend until smooth. The consistency should be a cross between a hot sauce and a salsa. Also, be careful handling habanero peppers especially if you plan on removing the seeds (those are the hottest part!!). Consider wearing rubber gloves and never ever touch your eyes after working with hot peppers! Trust me, I learned the hard way....

This is fantastic as a dip or drizzled on top of just about anything else!

ALOHA 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Grocery Day

{ Rainbow papaya, soursop, abiu, star apples, and longans }

I got up extra early today to make sure I had time to go to my favorite farmer's market in Kahalui before work. I love the market during the summer months because the exotic fruit selection is always so fun. Check out what I picked up!

{ Thai green papaya, green bell peppers, red bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, Roma tomatoes }

{ avocado, limes, lemons, red onion, shallots, garlic and ginger }

{ kale, cilantro, mint, sage, thyme }

Even with a garden of my own it's hard not to resist huge bags of herbs for only a dollar!
Today I decided to freeze my sage and thyme for later use. For the sage I placed the whole leaves (with stems still attached) in a Ziploc bag. However for the thyme I decided to stripped the tiny leaves from the stems and place them in an ice cube tray. I then filled the tray with a small amount of water and placed it in the freezer. Once frozen, I put the "cubed" herbs in a Ziploc bag and returned it to the freezer for later use. These are perfect to throw into a soup, stir fry or to defrost and add to a marinade or dressing. Yum!


Easy!

See you soon!

ALOHA

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Flowers of Napili Bay

 I've lived in this area for almost 14 years now and I never tire of Napili Bay. The color of the water here rivals anything I've seen in the South Pacific. It's always crystal clear, tranquil and mimics the shade of gem stones.
Napili Bay is a perfect, crescent shaped white sand beach flanked by coconut palms and small resorts. It's also home to the Sea House Restaurant which currently in my humble opinion offers the best "Happy Hour" on island.
I spent about 2 hours here today catching up on some reading. On my way back home I couldn't resist snapping a few shots of the tropical blooms hugging the beach. 

{ Torch Ginger }



{ beautiful orange and pink hibiscus }



{ Heliconia }

{ Stand-Up paddleboarders cruising off the Napili Kai Resort }

And they said it was going to rain all day today.....HA!

ALOHA


Monday, July 9, 2012

Sapodilla Chico

I've been buying Sapodilla Chicos by the bucket load!
Looking a bit like a dark brown kiwi, this exotic fruit has the texture of a overripe pear and the taste of pure brown sugar. Amazing!!
 Sapodillas are quite common in Hawaii, southern Mexico, Central America, and throughout the Caribbean. They are the fruit of a very large evergreen tree that can only survive in a warm, tropical climate. Lucky for me, Maui supports the Sapodilla perfectly.


I would imagine these would be insane in a smoothie made with coconut or almond milk, vanilla, and frozen banana but I just can't stop eating them on their own.....

ALOHA

Wonton Ravioli

{ Pumpkin Ravioli topped with good olive oil, pecorino romano cheese, pepper and Cyprus Salt }

I'm totally obsessed with these paper thin wonton wrappers I found at Times Market in Honokowai. They defrost almost instantly at room temperature and make an incredible vehicle for just about any filling you can think of.
This picture above are a simple pumpkin ravioli made of pureed pumpkin, fresh chopped sage, fresh grated nutmeg, the Grains of Paradise cracked pepper, and Maldon salt. I literally whipped this together in minutes, placed about 2 tsp of filling on top of a defrosted wonton wrapper, wet the edges with water and then pressed another wonton on top. I boiled a pot of water and cooked these for about 3 minutes. I had several leftover uncooked raviolis so I decided to freeze them on a cookie sheet. Once frozen I put them in a Ziploc bag and placed them in the freezer for later use.

I'm going to try more ingredient combos in the near future. I'm thinking these sound like they would be yummy too...

goat cheese/lemon zest/thyme
sauteed chopped mushrooms/ricotta/Italian parsley
spinach/nutmeg/goat cheese
butternut squash/ricotta

See you soon!

ALOHA

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lychee Season

Tons of lychee spotted at Mana Foods yesterday and I couldn't resist. Lychee is just another abundant fruit found on Maui in the summer time.
I like to eat my lychee chilled so I keep it in the refrigerator after purchase.

Lychee has a very sweet "grape like" flavor. It is super juicy too!

Yum!




Thursday, July 5, 2012

I Love

{ eating homemade green papaya salads almost daily }

{ the massive Jackfruits at the farmers markets }

{ The raw banana cream pie I invented. I'll post the recipe soon! }

{ the fact that Times market is finally selling brown rice veggie rolls }

{ finally discovering the MADMEN series }





Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Raw Vegan Apple Mango Crumble

Okay...last mango recipe. Promise! If you don't have mangoes on hand I think any sort of berry would make a great substitute. Maybe skip the cinnamon and nutmeg then?
Serve this with banana soft serve or vegan coconut ice cream for added drama. Yum!

Apple Mango Crumble
-raw vegan-

Apple Mango Mixture
3 cups apples cored and diced
1 cup cubed fresh mango
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 pitted soft dates
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
3 Tbs virgin coconut oil or butter

Crumble Recipe HERE  

Place all of the ingredients for the Apple Mango Mixture in a food processor. Pulse until well combined and spoon into a 9" x 9" Pyrex dish.

Follow Crumble Recipe and sprinkle over mango/apple layer. Place in fridge and let it set overnight.

 Mmmmmmm.....

ALOHA


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

June Birchbox


I guess I'm just going to have to get use to my Birchbox being about a month behind schedule. I'm concluding that this is just another thing I have to accept about living on a rock. You think after all these years I'd be use to this sort of thing by now? Ya right....this is where my Aries/Driver/Year of the Dragon/First Born Child personality comes out in full force. That being said...Ya, I'm extremely impatient with tardiness. You can only imagine how much I'm tested with this issue on a daily basis living in a place where everyone is on island time ( or on no time schedule at all ). I could write a book on this topic I tell you...Don't get me started.

Anyway, moving on!

Everytime I get super frustrated, my new Birchbox seems to magically appear. Shortly after I this, I get over it's tardiness pretty quickly. Especially when my shipment contains a full size bottle of Stila's One Step Bronze!
 
Um Hello, Wow!

 I love this product! I'm assuming that if you have a fair complexion this might be hard to pull off but for anyone with olive/tanned skin I think you need to try this!  Today I wore it like a primer under my super lightweight "Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Skin Perfecting Makeup" and it was amazing!

Besides this pretty bronzer my Birchbox contained...

Borghese | Crema Saponetta Cleansing Bar for the Face and Body ~ smells amazing!
La Fresh | Eco-Beauty Oil Free Face Cleanser ~ This removed my make-up really well without water. I'm thinking this would be awesome for my long flights to the southern hemisphere or cross country!
theBalm cosmetics | Stainiac in Beauty Queen. I wore this to work today under a glittery gloss. It lasted all day long. Awesome!

Extra

tili | Bags
Cute, perfectly sized bags for airport security. I'll be saving this for my next flight.

Looking forward to my July Birchbox in August!

ALOHA