Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Big Island + Curried Vegetable Soup

Monday morning we had an early flight to Hilo, Hawaii, the big island. I haven't quite figured out why they call all the islands Hawaii and that's also the name of one of the islands, not even the capital, which is on Oahu, another of the islands.

I had made our flight plans before figuring out where we were going to stay. It would have been closer to our place if we'd flown into Kona, on the other side of the island from Hilo. Oh well. Our drive to Hawi, where we're staying was lovely, although it took a bit over two hours to get here. I guess it easy to say that it's the journey, not necessarily the destination, that's important. I again found a studio cottage on an organic farm, called Lokahi Garden Sanctuary. The grounds are beautiful and there are grapefruit and Meyer lemon trees outside our door. Their garden is incredible. I had no idea how kale or collards grew; the plants are beautiful. They're also growing edible flowers and lots of other veggies and spices, including tumeric, basil, mint, and lemon grass. They have a whole load of chickens, free-range, so they sell eggs as well. No roosters, so no crowing in the early AM, a good thing. I didn't get to see their sheep, as they keep them well away from their garden, in a far part of their 10 acres.

While there,  I was still having ear problems. The acupuncturist I saw, suggest no raw salads and to use Indian spices, such as cumin, coriander, and tumeric, which are warming. I had those spices with me. This was the result of that suggestion.

Curried Vegetable Soup Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot or 2 smaller ones, diced
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thickly, so the pieces can be removed from pot when finished cooking
Lemon Grass, optional
1 tablespoon Cumin
1 tablespoon Coriander
1 tablespoon Tumeric
1 tablespoon Bragg’s amino acids
1 quart organic vegetable broth
1 15-ounce can organic Coconut Milk
½ bunch Dino Kale, sliced crosswise
½ bunch Collards, stems removed and sliced crosswise
1 large or 2 small Baby Bok Choy, sliced crosswise
½ bag of Kelp Noodles (or you can use rice noodles), well rinsed and cut into 3 inch lengths

  1. Have all of the vegetables cut and ready to put into the pot.
  2. Put oil into a large pot and add onions. Saute until they start to brown.
  3. Add the carrots and seasonings, including Braggs, and stir. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the vegetable broth and coconut milk and stir well.
  5. Add the greens and cook for 15 minutes
  6. Taste and adjust the seasoning
  7. Add the kelp noodles for 5 minutes more, stir well.
This can be served immediately or left to sit a while before reheating. It’s even better the second day, if any is left over.

Our first night in Hawi, we had dinner at a restaurant called Sushi Rock; I was totally off my diet and had a fabulous dinner; the owner/manager, Peter, is from New York, LA, and now Hawi for the last 20 years. My favorite was a roll called Tropical Treat - ahi, seasonal fruit (Mango), mac-nuts, & cucumber.We highly recommend this place for its ambience as well as the food, a real treat. ............................. ..........
Yesterday, we walked around Hawi, a small and charming town with some excellent restaurants, several galleries, and a bead store. I bought a small carved turtle for my April BJP goddess pin; look for the turtle slightly under her hula skirt.  Finally finished it and here it is:

The scan isn't the best, so I'll redo it when we get home. The owner of the bead store on Maui showed me how to make the hula skirt.

Hawi resonates for both of us.We liked Hana but it's too remote, however Hawi is a place we could return to and spend some time.

That evening, we drove down to listen to John Keawe, a native Hawaiian and local celebrity, who was playing from six to seven at the King Shops, close to Kona. We enjoyed his music enough to buy a couple of his albums; it's been great driving around listening to him play and sing.

We're now on the southeastern part of the big island, down in Kehae, in the Puna district. We're in a 1-bedroom cottage, and our hosts, Mark and Richard are terrific! We spent last evening at the Kilauea Iki Crater in the Hawaiian Volcano National Park. We saw the most beautiful sunset of our trip, and it was even more special as it had been totally overcast and rainy for the whole afternoon until about a half hour before sunset. Thank you Mother Nature.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Our trip to Hana + recipe

Thursday, the day before we left for Hana, after visiting the new offices of Energy Arts, Bruce's, our Chi Gung teacher's, business, we drove around the north-west part of Maui. It's a drive that takes at least two hours, as there are lots of windy roads and beautiful scenery, much of it the Pacific and bays. Bruce moved his whole operation and his home to Maui, a place he's been visiting for twenty years and obviously loves. A bit after stopping by the offices, Mountain called us and invited us to dinner. He and his wife, Jen, were having a few friends over, all involved with Energy Arts. It was a lovely evening in spite of my not really being able to hear the conversations, except for whomever was seated next to me. I'm still dealing with my ears. Today, Saturday, I had a small breakthrough, as my right ear popped a bit, so I'm hearing a little better with that one but still am completely clogged with the left; so, I'm headed in the right direction, although slowly, very slowly.

We decided to spend the night in Hana instead of going there and back in one day. We left our condo relatively early on Friday, as Paia is about 30 minutes from where we're staying, and Hana is a two hour trip, with no stops, from Paia. We stopped at Mana Market in Paia to see if anything appealed to us. I had already cut up a salad and brought along some goat cheese and crackers for lunch. At Mana's, I found an eggless egg salad made with macadamia nuts to help fill out our lunch menu.

I looked online and found this recipe which sounds like it could be the one we had. I'll try it at some point and let you know how I liked it. If you try it, please let me know the results!

Thanks to RAWvolution cookbook
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
2 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 tsp salt or sea salt
1 1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts
2 or 3 scallions
2 or 3 stalks of celery
1/2 bell pepper (any color – I used red)
1. First, chop the scallions, celery, and bell pepper until you have at least a cup of chopped veggies.

2. Then, blend the water, lemon juice, turmeric, garlic, salt and nuts until smooth.
3. When this nut blend is done, it looks a lot like the inside of a deviled egg. Pour this mixture over the chopped vegetables.
4. Stir well. Done. The whole process takes less than half an hour, including chopping time. The final product looks very much like egg salad.
This eggless egg salad is shown here on cut pieces of Ezekiel bread with a sprinkling of paprika. It’s delicious and fun to eat like this, but it’s also good on celery or lettuce leaves. My guests last week liked it plain, and ate it with a fork from a bowl like potato salad. Anyway, no matter how you eat it, it’s quite filling, so even though macadamia nuts are currently one of the more expensive nuts, it’s worth it because this recipe will go a long way.

We started the trip to Hana, knowing that it would take us about 4 to 5 hours to get there. The road trip passes many waterfalls, State Parks, bays, and stands of one sort or another, many selling fresh vegetables and banana bread. It also is an extremely curving road with many one lane bridges. Art loves to drive curvy roads as he learned to drive while in college in KY; hairpin curves are a favorite, and we got to experience several of those, of course in each direction. The pace was slow, which was perfect, so one can stop to admire the scenery. We had purchased a tape, which included a map of the road to Hana. The tape has songs/music in between each piece of information about each suggested stop. It was very entertaining, informative, and fun to listen to. 

One of our favorite stops was half way to Hana. We drove down a narrow road to the small town, only a few buildings but included a ball field. FYI, there were great public bathrooms there. They had stands selling banana bread, a big item here, and mango bread. Art opted for the mango bread for breakfast. The scenery was spectacular, wonderful lava rocks on the waters edge with fabulous wave action, almost like blow holes, as wave after wave hit the rocks and spewed up many feet into the air. Art took lots of photos but hasn't downloaded any of them yet.

We arrived in Hana after about 4 1/2 hours of driving and stopping. Online, I had found a studio in the Hana Maui Botanical Gardens. The grounds were beautiful;  the studio was named the Marine Studio and was decorated with a marine motif. What a surprise? It was more than adequate, as it had a lovely kitchen space. However, they had a leak in the toilet, which we couldn't fix. So, every time we went to use the bathroom, we got wet feet. I get up 2 to 3 times during the night, and it was very uncomfortable having wet feet. I left a towel outside the bathroom, so I could dry them before going back to bed, but.....

After we settled in, we drove over to the Seven Sacred Pools, even though we weren't going to go to them then, just so we'd know where we were going the next morning. It was a lovely drive, with more beautiful waterfalls along the way. The next morning, after Art had his mango bread and me my green shake, we headed off again, driving around Hana, going down to the bay and some side streets, exploring; then onward. Once there, we changed into bathing suits and walked to the pools. They're on several levels, mainly surrounded by lava rocks, supplied with water from waterfalls. We climbed over the rocks, transversed one of the pools by walking through the water, to get to the one closest to the waterfalls. Art swam over to the falls, but I was still nursing my ears and didn't want to get any water in either. So, I dunked and walked in the water a bit, and sat on the lava rocks and talked to other swimmers, some tourists and some natives. It was so peaceful there. Great energy.

After our water play, we had a picnic lunch on the grounds. They had some picnic tables in various places, all in the shade. Really thoughtful of them. By the time we finished lunch and got changed into our clothes, it was almost three PM. Time to start back to Kihei. Again, we stopped at waterfalls we had missed on the way down, including a place called Twin Falls. Love those waterfalls! We stopped in Paia to have a bite of dinner, and then went back to our condo. It had been a great trip. A must do if you ever visit Maui.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Still Maui + Recipe

We've been in Maui for several days now. It's a lusciously green island with much tropical flora, most of which I'm familiar, but not all. Have you ever heard of an apple banana? I hadn't. I haven't tasted one, but I'm told that it's hard to go back to the typical bananas after eating one.

Both of us are still under the weather, so we've been taking it slow and easy with the sightseeing. On Friday, we were getting our sea legs, so to speak. We had lunch at a nice restaurant and then walked on the beach nearby. The beach was beautiful fine sand, with large black lava rocks dotting it. We walked above the water line in one direction and then along the water's edge/in the water on the way back. We stopped at a small health food store in Kihei, near where we're staying, to see what they had. Not a bad selection at all for so small a place.

Saturday had us up relatively early and out by 7:45am. We had contact a friend of a friend and he sold his produce, avocados, flowers, and eggs, at this Farmer's Market. I described Art, beard, moustache, pony tail, glasses, and a hat; Craig said, "That's me." So, he was easy to find and it was a small market but the produce was nice. We hope to get together with Craig again. After we left the market, we went to visit the Surfing Goat Dairy, where they make goat cheese and truffles stuffed with goat cheese. It was a fun place to be and the "kids" were adorable. They loved to be petted. The actual location was decorated with surf boards, whole ones and some in half, which were used at the end of each parking space. It was so colorful. We went to the tasting they had, and their cheeses were delicious and unusual. One was flavored with horseradish and another with sun-dried tomatoes, while another had key lime juice in it. Unfortunately, none were raw, as it's not legal in Hawaii to have unpasturized cheeses. Next we were going to go to the Lavender Farm and then their one Winery. However, we decided not to do either and we turned around and headed for Paia for lunch. Paia is on the east coast and on the road to Hana; it is an old Plantation town, very charming. After a lunch of grilled harpooned swordfish, we walked around the town. They have a great health food store, called Mana. We do spend a lot of time shopping for food, but it's not all about food; it's about enjoying life and food is an important part of that enjoyment.

On Sunday, we drove to Lahaina, as they had a craft's fair in the town square, where their famous banyon tree is located. It was nice but not great; the jewelry artists were disappointing and there weren't any potters. Lahaina was the first capital of Hawaii. The architecture is charming and it was fun to walk around and window shop. I almost bought a t-shirt colored with the red dirt they have; they were called red dirt t-shirts; however, it wasn't comfortable, very stiff, and too long, with a tight neckline. Oh well.

On Monday, Art decided that he really needed to be checked by a doctor, as he wasn't feeling better but worse. I thought my seeing another doc was a good idea too, as I was almost finished with my antibiotic and I still felt like I was under water. Luckily, Art doesn't have strep and with the prescription he got, he's feeling much better today.

On the other hand, turns out I'm not so smart. You know how when your ears are clogged it usually works to hold your nose and blow; so, that's what I've been doing daily. However, since both eardrums had been ruptured, by holding my nose and blowing I was continuing to keep the perforations open and not letting them heal. Clever, huh? Anyway, I now have three new medicines and my hearing should improve within the next few days. I have my fingers crossed.

Today, we went on a Whale Watching Tour. It was wonderful. We followed a calf, mother, and escort (a male whale, not usually the father) for about 45 minutes. The calf kept pounding his fluke (tail) on the water, and the mother and escort were following him as he moved around. Then, we went on and saw several other whales. This is the end of the whale season; most have left already for Alaska but there are still many who are gearing up and teaching their calves what to do during the migration north. Apparently, Maui is a favorite birthing place of the humpback whales. Lucky us. There are loads more around during January through March. By the middle of May, they'll all be gone for this year, only to return next.

So, we've been doing a little each day and enjoying it all.

As for a recipe, one night I made this dish:

Squash and Greens

We were in a condo in Kihei, HI, and I wanted to make an easy dinner. I had been able to go to the Whole Foods in Kahului from the airport before driving to Kihei and our condo. A few of the supplies I had picked up were a Kabosha squash, Maui onions, and a head of tatsoi, a wonderful green I had been using in salads at home. I’d also bought a few spices and coconut milk, so I was ready to go.

Serves 4

1 onion
½ of a kabocha squash, cut into chunks
1 head tatsoi, cleaned and cut into pieces (or other greens such as collards, mustard greens, or kale)
2 tablespoons olive oilsquash
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 can organic coconut milk

1.  Peel the onion, cut it in half, and then slice each half
2.  Put the olive oil in a medium to large sauce pan and add the onions. Saute for about 10 minutes until they start to brown.
3.  Add the squash and all the seasonings. Mix well.
4. Add the coconut milk, stir, and cover the pan.
5.  Cook on a medium heat for about 15 minutes.
6.  Stir and then add the tatsoi or other greens and stir again.
7.  Cook for 10 minutes. Stir and taste. Adjust seasonings as needed.
8.  Can be served over quinoa or brown rice.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Finally MAUI + recipe

Tomorrow morning early, we're finally leaving LA for Maui. We were suppose to leave on Monday morning, but last week I developed laryngitis and had no voice for three days - no pain at that time but it all developed over the next few days, sore throat, pain in both ears, drippy nose, and cough. On Sunday, we were having a few friends of Brian's over for brunch. We've been staying with our kids, Brian and Grace, who have been wonderfully supportive. I'was concerned that we had overstayed our welcome, but we were assured we hadn't. Unfortunately, Grace has developed some of the same symptoms.

It's now Friday. Brian also started to develop some symptoms before we had left. Grace had the great intelligence to go see her doctor immediately for an antibiotic, so by yesterday she was feeling a bit better if not 100%. Hopefully Brian will too. It was so wonderful staying with them. Art is feeling under the weather too. I haven't been good to those I love.

MAUI, we're here. We had to get up around 5am yesterday to get the car back and be two hours early for our flight. We had a quick bite at the airport. I had called American a couple of days before to see if they were serving any food. l was told they were and I ordered a Vegan meal, closest to what I usually do. However, once on board, we were told that they would have snacks for sale. I hadn't brought any food as I had ordered some, so it was a bit difficult. The airlines are really something these days - what a a difference from when we traveled in the 70s: free baggage, pillows and blankets in coach, meals served and could be ordered, to name just a few changes. I love to travel, so I need to just accept the changes, which I do. I usually bring my own meals with me, but due to the misinformation, I hadn't this time. It was very disappointing.

We arrived safely with only a somewhat bumpy ride to remember. Any safe arrival is a good trip! My ears were fine but are still clogggd. Hopefully, they'll both clear by the next flight on the 18th. Our first stop after picking up our car was a Whole Foods, directly across the street from the car rental. We were both tired, so it was a short shopping, just stuff for breakfast and lunch for the next day/days.

Our rental condo is cute, a one bedroom with full kitchen. However, I went to make my morning green shake, had all the ingredients in the blender, and the blender didn't work!!! Luckily, there was a couple across the way who were sitting on their balcony. I walked over with my unblended shake and was able to use theirs. I called my contact for the condo, and we should have a new blender by this afternoon.  Since I use it almost every day, this is a very good thing.

We have a few people to contact, friends of friends and also our Chi Gung Teacher, Bruce K. Frantzis has recently moved here. I hope we get to see them all. We're also looking forward to seeing some of the people who work with Bruce who also moved.

There is so much to see and do on Maui. Since we want to relax a bit and recuperate, we'll need to pace ourselves.

I'm reading a really good book, the third in a trilogy, Sunrunner's Fire, by Melanie Rawn. I really like her fantasy novels, which include dragons and a type of magic. I brought beading with me. When I complete my April BJP (Bead Journal Project) I will post it here for you to see. The shape has to be the same for for each month. I chose a goddess doll pin, and she's small. I've really been enjoying creating them. Here's January's doll, just to give you an idea of what I'm doing:

A fast recipe:

We had roasted veggies at Brian's one night, served over quinoa.
The Quinoa -
Brian added grated lemon and orange rind, some mint and cilantro, and a touch of olive oil, sea salt and fresh pepper, all after the quinoa was cooked. (A 1-2 combination of quinoa to water). It was delicious.

The veggies -
whatever amounts you choose
brussel sprouts
sun chokes (I'd never used them before and can't imagine why not)
fresh garlic cloves
touch of olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and basil
Roasted at 425 for 1/2 hour.

So, that's it for now. Hope you are all enjoying your day whatever you are doing.