Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March Farmer's Markets

{ Jabuticaba }

We're starting to shift into spring and I'm finding all sorts of new exotics at my favorite farmer's markets on island. Lately, besides my normal haul, I've been picking up Jabuticaba, Mamey Sapote, Chocolate Sapote, and Chico Sapodillas. 
Ever heard of Jabuticaba? They are originally from Brazil and taste a lot like a grape. If fact, they even make wine with this juicy fruit down in South America. The Jabuticaba fruit actually grows on the truck of the tree instead of the tree's branches. Check it out HERE. So cool!
Chocolate Sapote ( green fruit pictured below ) is always a rare treat and I always grab few whenever I see them. They don't have a strong chocolate flavor nor are they exceptionally sweet but I love the dark pudding like texture when they are very ripe. I also love my chicos ( looks like a kiwi, below ). They always taste like brown sugar to me. Lastly, I don't see Mamey Sapote often on Maui but apparently they grow quite well over on the Big Island. They taste a bit like pumpkin and sweet potato. They make a great raw vegan pie by the way...

{ Mamey + Chico Sapodillas + Chocolate Sapote }


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I Love Kimonos

I love Kimonos and I have a pretty serious collection of them going on at the moment. I love that I can dress them up or simply wear them as a beach wrap. Kimonos also make the perfect winter/early spring jacket in Hawaii.

Huelo Kimono by Acacia Swimwear in Pacific 
Find it HERE

Long necklace made with local shells, gold, wood, and some pearls I picked up in Tahiti. 
I've been making a lot of jewelry these days. Who knows, maybe I'll start selling some pieces?

Photo Credit// Carlos Barberis of BECfoto


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Chipotle Corn Soup

This is the best vegan soup ever. I'm not effing with you either. This is rich, creamy and spicy with a perfect balance of sweet and sour. It will cure whatever hankering you might have for something decadent. Promise.

Chipotle Corn Soup

vegan + gluten free

4 cups organic corn kernels
4 cups good quality veggie broth
1 cup lo-fat coconut milk ( I used "So Delicious" brand, boxed variety, plain and unsweetened )
1 large sweet onion chopped ( I used a Maui onion )
juice of 1 and 1/2 limes 
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce
1 TB local honey ( or agave for vegans )
1 garlic clove minced
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 handful of fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt

First, saute the chopped onion in a large soup pot until translucent. I'm trying not to use oil these days so I did it in a bit of water. Easy peasy. You could saute with a TB of mild oil if you must.
Now, add everything except coconut milk and bring to a simmer on medium heat for a few minutes. Then, take soup off heat and let cool for 15 minutes ( or more ) and then add to a blender. 
Now, start the COVERED blender on low and work up the speed until the soup blends completely. If you do not start slowly, this hot soup will literally blow up all over you and your kitchen. So, that being said, SLOWLY work up the speed okay? You've been warned...
Take this blended soup and place it back in a large soup pot. Add coconut milk and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Done. 

Add toppings if you please.

-Topping Ideas-
chopped green onions
baked corn tortilla cut into 1/4" strips



Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring Garden

Every late winter we get a herb and veggie garden going. Over the years I've experimented with all sorts of things and I'm starting to feel like I finally know what I'm doing.
 We live in a fairly dry area on Maui and the sun in the early and late afternoon can get pretty tense. We also live right across the street from the ocean so our air ( I assume ) is pretty salty. We have bugs too. That being said, some things work but a lot don't. I've had issues with all sorts of tomatoes ( except cherry for some reason ), bitter greens ( caterpillars ), cucumbers, zukes, the list goes on....
A few things grow really well though. Veggies like sweet and hot peppers, edible flowers, herbs, chard, kale, and tender lettuces seem to thrive near the beach in Hawaii. 
I cook a lot of Asian food so I make sure I have an ample supply of Kaffir leaves, lemongrass, Thai basil, hot chilies, mint, and green onions on hand at all times. Same goes with Italian food ( sweet basil, thyme, oregano, garlic chives, and kale are staples ). We are also huge salad eaters and are cold-pressed green juice obsessed. It would probably take an acre to really be able to supply the amount of greens my husband and I eat every week.  However, it's still fun to grow some tender lettuces and colorful edible flowers to add to our weekly farmer's market hauls.

Here's some shots of the edibles we have recently planted.

several lettuce varieties

kale, marigolds, chard, garlic chives

Kaffir lime for Thai food

first attempt growing celery

Serrano, Thai and Hawaiian chili

rainbow chard

Our orchids are starting to re-bloom all over the yard as well!


Monday, March 9, 2015

Orange Sesame and Ginger Dressing

Over the last few months I've been trying to cut oil from my diet. Instead, I've been trying to stick to whole fats like avocado, nuts, seeds and coconut meat. The most challenging part for me was trying to replace my favorite oil laden salad dressings. 
After many trials and errors, I was finally able to come up with some pretty awesome no-oil and low-oil staples. I eat a ton of salad, and this orange sesame and ginger dressing has been on heavy rotation these days.

Orange Sesame and Ginger Dressing
-vegan and gluten free-

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
4 tsp tamari
1 garlic cloves
1/2" fresh ginger
small handful of cilantro
small handful of Thai basil
2 green onion stalks

Blend everything in a high speed blender until smooth. Makes about 1 and 1/2 cups.

Note//  sometimes I'll add two to three tablespoons of my favorite vegan sour cream to this recipe to make a deliciously creamy slaw dressing as well. So good!