My fall farm harvest inspired this recipe for healthy carrot & pumpkin breakfast bars. Shredded carrots and shredded coconut, along with homemade cassava flour, homegrown squash, and home grown raw macadamia nuts.
Because it’s October and I made these tandem with healthy winter squash cheesecake, I went for the pumpkin spice theme. And, to be honest, I started out trying to make muffins. But after I made the batter, I noticed my muffin pan was rusted. All the better because my muffins are usually more like dense hearty bars anyways.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and/or gather inspiration for your own creations. OF course, you can use fresh ingredients, or canned squash, skip the cassava flour and use another favorite flour.
Carrot and Pumpkin Breakfast Bars
This recipe is inspired by my "fall" harvest on our Big Island farm. Tropical winter squash (curcubita moshata), garden carrots, fresh shredded coconuts, and freshly harvested raw macadamia nuts. I even used our homemade cassava flour.
This is gonna be a quickie post – because the hardest part about this Sweet and Sour Red cabbage recipe is growing the cabbage. It takes MONTHS! But when they finally are ready they are a glorious dark purple. So why do they call it red cabbage??!
But seriously, I fell in love with German red cabbage side dish while in germany in my early 20s. And have never forgotten how satisfying it is. This summer we were lucky enough to successfully grow many many red cabbages. They have an excellent shelf life. I always mean to steam or cook them some other way (as my husband prefers) but really they don’t ever make it to another culinary treat because I am obsessed with this dish. I can eat an entire bowl of it.
Enjoy this simple recipe. You can tweak by adding a different kind of sweetener, or by adding more. I keep it really light to encourage my husband to eat it because he dislikes sugary things.
Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage
This recipe is similar to German Cabbage, except it is stripped down to make it a bit healthier, less sweet, and with less spices. But it is elegantly delicious!
I was recently inspired to make this corn chowder recipe because we actually had milk in the house. Both my husband and I aren’t really milk consumers. We used to buy raw milk from a farmer here but even then we had a hard time getting through it all. Partially, because I’m sort of lactose intolerant. But I recently bought some to make ice cream from scratch with my friend’s children – and now am struggling to use up the rest of this ½ gallon of organic whole milk. Yesterday, I made cornbread using my healthy cornbread recipe. Today… chowder. I wish we had fresh corn but luckily our nearby country store had organic canned corn. And luckily we could still make it our own by added fresh red pepper, garden fresh celery and our thyme.
I imagine this recipe is somewhat flexible. Do you feel like adding carrots? Go ahead! Don’t have red pepper? Use green pepper. Want to add some peas or green beans? LOL. Have fun and enjoy in good company!
Recipe for Corn Chowder with Red Pepper & Thyme
Yield: 4 servings Equipment: Blender, Immersion Blender or Food Processor
1 tablespoon butter 1 small onion chopped 2 potatoes chopped 1 stalk celery chopped 1 large red bell pepper chopped or equivalent (we use smaller ones that grow in our area about 3-4 of them) fresh stick thyme – this is a thyme substitute that also grows well in the tropics but regular thyme can be used) 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth 1 ¼ cup whole milk 2 cups fresh corn or one 15 oz can of corn (non-GMO/Organic of course!) 2-3 tablespoons flour (optional – I also like to use tapioca starch as a gluten-free option)
Heat butter in pot over medium heat
Sauté the red pepper, onion, potatoes and celery until onions are translucent
Add broth and corn and simmer vegetables until tender
Remove half of the brother and puree briefly with immersion blender, regular blender or food processor
Replace broth in pan and add milk and thyme and heat (but not boiling)
If you want a thick chowder – remove about a cup broth ones the milk has warmed up and slowly dissolve 2-3 tablespoons flour. Return this paste to the soup and stir.
Season with salt and pepper to taste
At this point if you’d like to bulk this recipe up at little feel free to add some cubed and browned sausages (we use chicken sausage) and even small noodles like elbows, orzo, etc.
If you are looking for a good blender to use I HIGHLY recommend BlendTech.
But, a really great tool for pureeing soups, making things like my beet brownies or even hummus or guacamole is an immersion blender – called by some people stick blenders. The one we have has lasted us over 10 years. But if I had to get a new one I’d probably spring for this cool looking set:
I made this recipe for quinoa yucca veggie burgers when we had an abundance of cassava root and an abundance of quinoa from our original covid-19 stock up on protein rush. This recipe is great for making veggie burgers in bulk and then freezing a few for future snacking.
Ingredients for Quinoa Yucca Vegetable Burgers
5 cups cooked quinoa
1 can garbanzo beans
2 large handfuls of fresh herbs
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 cups cooked and roughly chopped casssava
1 ½ teaspoons salt or to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
½ cup or more gluten-free flour or not to coat
Steps for Quinoa Cassava Burgers:
1. Cook the quinoa according to instructions 2. Prepare and cook cassava 3. Meanwhile, chop onion, garlic, carrot, fresh herbs and sauté in pan until soft 4. In a food processor, blend cooked cassava, onion and herb sauté and egg and process until mostly smooth 5. Put cooked quinoa in large bowl and add cassava herb mixture from food processor mix well, season as desired 6. In a separate bowl add gluten-free flour or flour of choice. Place ⅓ cup mixture or so into bowl and form a ball, then squish into a patty 7. Then you can either pan fry, air fry, or bake your patties. 8. If your are using an air fryer I recommend 14 minutes brushed with coconut oil or sprayed with olive oil before and in the middle of cooking time before flipping 7 minutes into the cooking time 9. If you prefer to bake… bake at 425 and coat the pan in oil and brush the burgers in oil. You may then choose to flip halfway through baking at around 15 minutes. 10. If you are pan frying, they need about 3-5 minutes on each side to make sure the egg is cooked through.
It has been a while since I have made this ginger beef stew for my hunny. For some reason I was re-inspired. Maybe it was the fresh shipment of Big Island Beef stew sent to my corner grocery store here in Pāpaʻaloa. I used to make this ginger & squash version of beef stew almost weekly for my hunny. My method is pretty dialed. I hope you find this recipe easy to follow. It is pretty forgiving. The most important part is that you cook the beef long enough. If you use tamari instead of soy sauce, and a gluten-free thickener this recipe is gluten-free and dairy free.
Ingredients for Pumpkin & Ginger Beef Stew
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound grass-fed beef stew meat
3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1 large carrot, sliced in whole, thin rounds
1 medium onion roughly chopped
1-2 inches thick ginger, peeled and chopped in big slices
about ½ cup dry red wine
½ medium size tropical winter squash like Kabocha.
2 potatoes, washed, skinned, quartered and chopped
2 tablespoons organic soy sauce
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
salt and pepper
about 2 tablespoons flour or thickener of your choice (I alternate with whatever is closest to reach – tapioca starch, cassava flour, rice flour)
fresh herbs of your choice – I use whatever I have growing which right now was rosemary, oregano, stick thyme, and parsley. I skipped the basil because the others were more potent spices when cooked down.
2 Hawaiian chili peppers if desired
(optional: more veggies like red pepper, herbs, green beans, peas, etc).
Steps for Ginger Beef Stew with Pumpkin
Sauté onions, garlic, and ginger until aromatic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot
Add stew meat and stir consistently until the meat starts to brown
Once browned and sticking to bottom, deglaze pot with ¼ cup red wine and scrap brown bits until pot is clean.
add 6 cups of water bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and bring to simmer for about 2 hours, adding more water as need to keep the beef stew submerged.
add the squash in one whole piece and potatoes quartered
simmer another 30-45 minutes until beef begins to fall apart
add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 tablespoon maple syrup
add salt and pepper to taste
stir in fresh herbs and finish for another 10 minutes, making sure beef is tender and easy to cut in half with fork.
Remove some of the broth and taste it for flavor. Then, stir in 1-2 tablespoons flour with a whisk into hot broth to dissolve.
Add flour broth mixture to pot and allow to thicken for a few minutes before removing from heat.
Enjoy over a scoop of rice!
If you like this recipe maybe you will be interested in my Big Island Beef Shepards Pie.
This vegetarian bean load is pretty good for being so incredibly easy. And it is a great way to use all those beans you stocked up on! This recipe is adapted from the Spicy Bean and Lentil Loaf recipe from the book… “Vegetarian: The Greatest Ever Vegetarian Cookbook”. This is my quick and dirty recipe. Enjoy your own variations!
Recipe for Vegetarian Bean Loaf
Ingredients and steps:
Sauté these first:
1 clove garlic chopped
1 carrot copped
1 onion chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
large handful fresh herbs like parsley, basil, dill, rosemary, thyme etc.
Then in a food processor blend…
sautéed veggies and herbs
1 can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans drain and rinsed
After blended until smoother move to a bowl and add these remaining ingredients ½ cup breadcrumbs ( I use ½ frozen ends of loafs and ½ oatmeal)
½ cup cheese (I use shredded Parm)
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon or more to taste cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
Bake at 350 degree in an oiled loaf pan for 45-60 minutes and serve warm or cold.
Looking for a corn chowder but don’t necessarily jive with dairy or flour? This corn chowder may be perfect for you! Of course it doesn’t have that heavy creamy taste to it, but it does have the chowder mouthfeel and the crunch of the corn and other veggies. That is what we are looking for right?
Tapioca starch is one of my favorite alternatives to flour when used in breading fish, veggies and chicken as well as thickening soups, stews, and my Big Island Beef Shepards Pie and my dairy free chicken pot pie
3 tablespoons butter (or substitute olive or coconut oil)
2-3 tablespoons tapioca starch
4 medium carrots sliced and chopped fine (about 1 ½ cups)
1 medium-large onion diced
5 small-medium russet potatoes washed, peeled and chopped fine
3-4 stalks of celery washed and diced ( you want the ratio of onion to carrot to celery to be similar, 1:1:1). And the potatoes and the corn will be the star of the show and will also aim to have 1:1 ratio between them.
1 heaping spoon mined garlic
enough filtered water to cover veggies plus a little more (you are going to add in corn)
2 tablespoons concentrated chicken stock (can use vegetable stock (bouillon) or chicken or vegetable stock).
2 tablespoons or so fresh chopped thyme (I use a thyme like plant that grows in the tropics we call Stick Thyme).
4 small fresh ears of sweet corn, corn cut off gently by rotating the corn as you cut with a small serrated knife.
Melt butter and sauté onions until translucent.
Then add garlic, onion, celery, carrots and potatoes and stir frequently for 5-10 minutes.
Next, add tapioca starch and stir several times to coat the veggies in butter/oil and tapioca starch.
Then add water and bouillon and bring to a boil.
Continue to boil 10-15 minutes until all veggies are tender.
Add in thyme.
The soup should be thickening at this point as the tapioca and the potato starch form a “creamy” broth.
If it still seems to watery at this point, you can remove some of the broth and add another tablespoon of tapioca starch to it, wish and add back into soup.
Once the broth is almost at its desired consistency (it will continue to thicken as the potatoes break down), add the corn.
Let the corn cook for 5-8 minutes as you season the soup with salt and pepper and serve warm
This soup is lovely wish fresh chopped parsley added at serving time.
This holiday season, I am always reminded to be more grateful, and more industrious with the food we grow on our farm. We just harvested a large amount of taro – and of course my first thought was to make another large batch of taro burgers. This time I didn’t have the ingredients I had on hand for my last taro burger recipe, Taro Millet Burgers so I had to experiment again! The taro burger recipe below features taro, rice and fresh herbs and vegetables. You could probably make it vegan if you left out the eggs but I think the little bit of extra protein from eggs is a bonus in this recipe.
More about Taro
Taro is Native to South India and Southeast Asia and in Hawaii is considered a “canoe plant” (it was brought here by the first Polynesian settlers. Kalo (the Hawaiian word for Taro) has extreme significance in Hawaiian diet and culture. In the Native Hawaiian creation story , taro is the the older brother of mankind. Throughout Hawaii’s history, taro remained a staple crop and a significant part of the diet. Today, on the Hawaiian Islands kalo is still consumed regularly, but does not make up as large of a percentage of the diet as it had previously.
The scientific name for taro is Colocasia esculenta. It belongs to the Araceae (aroid) family, in the large genus, Colocasia. There are many varieties within 2 main types, dryland taro and wetland taro. We grow dryland taro in our garden, in raised rows. We get plenty of rain here on the Hāmākua coast of Big Island so this method is suitable and there is no need for us to grow wetland taro in Lo’i (taro ponds).
All of the taro plant is edible. However most people who are referring to taro, are referring to the root or corm when they say taro. In addition to the root, both the leaves and the stems of taro are also edible. But, all parts of the plant need to be thoroughly cooked; otherwise they contain too much calcium oxalate, which is considered toxic and will result in a very itchy and uncomfortable throat when consumed undercooked.
You can even put all of the taro plant in the pressure cooker at once. First the steam basket, then taro root, then stems and then leaves. The stems have a delicious nutty taste when they are freshly cooked and warm. The corms are often compared to potatoes, but they are stickier, starchier, and tastier. The also have a slightly nutty taste.
Health benefits of taro
Taro has so many health benefits. Many people believe that eating taro is an essential part of a healthy diet. It is not easy to harvest and cook it, you have to dig it up, wash it, cook it, then process it. It sticks to everything and leaves quite a mess! But it is worth it. The whole process, (including digestion) slows you down and makes your truly appreciate the food. Taro root is high in fiber and potassium and also contains some folate, Vitamin E, Vitamin C and a small amount of calcium. See the nutrition facts in the chart below.
Taro nutrition Facts
(Colocasia esculenta (L.) schott), raw, Value per 100 g, (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Cook white rice (2.5 cups water, 2 cups rice, bring to boil and cover for 20 minutes)
Sautee onions and carrots in olive oil, add garlic and cook until soft, add chopped greens and cook until wilted.
While you got the veggies going, chop taro into chucks and place food processor
Pulse taro in processor until mostly uniform and not very chunky. This may take several batches.
Remove and place in large mixing bowl
Now in food processor blend ½ the amount of cooked rice, eggs, herbs, soy sauce, salt, pepper.
Mix into the large mixing bowl with taro and add the other ½ of the rice
Mix by hand until thoroughly combined.
In another bowl empty about a cup of breadcrumbs. Make balls out of the taro mixture, cover them in breadcrumbs and then press to make a patty. Add more breadcrumbs as needed to complete covering the taro burgers in breadcrumbs.
You can panfry the taro burgers or baked them. In this bulk recipe I did both. The panfried ones had a nice crispy outside. The baked ones didn’t crisp up so well but will be great frozen and then crisped up in a pan.
To fry them place 2 tablespoons oil in a heated pan, fry for about 5 minutes on each side being carfeful not to burn. Add more oil as needed to get em crispy.
To bake, oil a baking pan or sheet and place patties in preheated oven 375-400 degree F, flip burgers after about 20-25 minutes.
Enjoy! Make an exotic aioli and enjoy these on fresh buns or sourdough – snack on the them cold straight outta the fridge.
These passionfruit banana fruit roll-ups are a hit with our family this holiday season. This simple recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, can even be prepared RAW.
This Christmas 2017 we finally busted out our Teflex sheets. Last year we sent dehydrated bananas to our mainland families for Christmas. This year we needed a new trick. But since we had spent almost half of the year away from our farm, we had very little fruit and other foods to choose from…luckily the passionfruit vines Adam had planted years ago are now providing us with an abundance this winter. And, even though our banana forests were not maintained we still managed to find 3 racks of bananas. So – the lilikoi banana marriage finally happened with the help of our Teflex sheets we ordered for our mediocre dehydrater.
This super simple recipe was actually inspired by our friend in California who loves lilikoi. This kind family hosted us on and off for months. And – told us a story of how their friend tried to send them a box of fresh lilikoi, but it was opened inspected and not allowed through customs. In an effort to send our friends and family a little bit of the tropical vibe – we created these fruit leathers.
Recipe for Passionfruit Banana Fruit Roll-ups
lots of ripe bananas
lots of ripe lilikoi (passionfruit)
coconut oil (for teflex sheets)
unbleached parchment paper
You need omething to tie your fruit leather roll (better if it is food grade – or safe to put in our near your mouth)
Steps for making your own fruit leather
Prepare your dehydrator. If it has been a while since you have used your dehyradtor – take it out and give it a good wash. Here in the tropics, everything gets moldy real quick and easy. If you didn’t wash your dehydrator pristinely before your stored it from your last experiment, now is the time. Use warm soapy water. I even use a clean tooth brush to get in all the ridges and cracks.
After cleaning it, let it dry thoroughly and consider drying it with paper towels or a really clean towel. Our dehydrator is a mid-budget model. It is good because it has temperature control. Still it is on the smaller side and in my opinion a pain to clean. But all dehydrators are probably a pain to clean. I just looked it up and you can get it for $99 on Amazon:L’EQUIP 528 6 Tray Food Dehydrator, 500-watt. For making these fruit leathers I took out the plastic “grates” that usually accompany my dehydrator and replaced them with the fitted teflex sheets. See step 2.
Prepare your teflex sheets. The Teflex sheets Adam ordered were square. Not meant for the inside of our dehydrator. So I used a clean “exacto knife” – to be more exact I used the same kind of blade Adam uses for grafting – a hobby knife with a clean sharp blade. I roughly cut a circle in the middle and cut the edges to fit. After cutting the teflex sheets to the right size – I lathered them in refined organic coconut oil.
3. Blend up your ingredients. We have a Blendtec blender. I highly recommend it, or one of a similar quality. Especially when dealing with hard small seeds, like passionfruit seeds. This blender chops rights through them effortlessly. Furthermore we use the “wild side” jar for it. It is large enough to blend more than 4 cups (more like 6) without overflowing and making a mess. Here I put about 8 or so ripe bananas. 3-4 fresh lilikoi and 1 heaping tablespoon honey. I blend on high for 50 seconds until creamy.
4. Evenly pour your mixture onto your teflex sheets. I use about 2 blenders worth of the mixture per batch in my dehydrator – which has 6 levels. When pouring the mixture or batter in the idea is to make a even coat, where you cannot see through it. Try to pour evenly so that the “batter” doesn’t rub up against the middle or the sides too much making it a pain to clean. You can try using an oiled rubber spatula.
I used an angled icing spatula and found this was much easier than a rubber spatula. Although , it is still hard to get it completely even. Try but don’t drive yourself nuts. Shoot for ⅛” thick. Do not go more than ¼”. Wilton Angled Icing Spatula is one example you can find on amazon.
5. Start the dehydrator. For raw fruit leathers the raw foodies will tell you that you should not heat items above 105 degrees F. This is fine, but it will take a long time to dehydrate your passionfruit leathers. Especially because passionfruit pulp adds a lot of water to the equation. Consider your audience for the fruit roll-ups. For me, this Christmas 2017 the audience was our family – definitely not raw foodies. So I set the dehydrator around 115 F t 125F. I did several batches. If I was starting it later in the evening, I would set the temperature a little lower overnight. Then when I woke up would check them and flip them and adjust the temp for the day.
At 115 – 125 degree F, with about ⅛” thickness, most fruit leathers should be done at around 18 hours in the TROPICS. It is important to flip them over about halfway through. You should be able to peel the leather off the Teflex without compromising or ripping it and turn it over. If it starts to rip it is not ready to be turned over yet. The fruit roll-ups are done when they are no longer soft, or tacky.
6. Roll-em up. Use a large cutting board to cut the leathers in your desired length shape. At first I made small ones, like the horrible ones we all ate as children. But I found this to be labor intensive – so I began to make them as big as possible. Use the razor/exacto knife here again to help cut the leathers and the parchment paper.
Roll up as tight as possible, secure with your preferred method. At first I used scotch tape. But Adam gave me grief because it was hard to take off and he felt like he could taste/smell the sticky stuff on the tape. For lack of better options in our rural, humble town we used clean floss, like tooth floss for the remainder of our gifts. I am sure there is a better option out there. Please comment if you have any suggestions on that or anything else.
This is the first salmon burger recipe that I have felt confident posting. Canned Wild Alaskan salmon is a staple in our house. It is relatively inexpensive, especially when bought in bulk at wholesale stores like Costco. We get 6, 6oz cans for about $13. That’s 36 ounces, 2.25 pounds, equalling less than $6 a pound for wild salmon. It is already cooked and it is easy to incorporate in quick meals like my salmon salad recipe, a quick pasta or mac and cheese, or even my fried rice dish. But we get sick of all those options so every once in a while I have to make salmon burgers, or salmon croquettes as Adam likes to call them.
Health Benefits of Wild Salmon
I like including Wild Alaskan salmon in my monthly diet. Often, the frozen fillets at the store are disappointing and the smoked salmon packages are severely overpriced here in Hawaii. Wild Salmon has so many amazing health benefits. Salmon is high in omega-3s and Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and B3, and B6. It is high in selenium, a great source of protein, and a good source of potassium. Wild Alaskan Salmon is also low in mercury and it has less exposure to bisphenals and heavy metals. Moreover, the pink rosy pigment in salmon is an phyto-chemical or carotenoid, called astaxanthin. Studies in animals show that Astaxanthin acts as a antioxidant and reduces inflammation and tissue damage.
Is the Burger a Croquette?
This recipe isn’t for a plain, gooey, salmon burger. Instead this salmon creation is breaded and shallow fried in healthy oils. My recipe also is not traditional for either the salmon burger category or the salmon croquette category. Potato is one of the main ingredients in croquette recipes across cultures. Chefs mix mashed potatoes with poultry, meat or fish, adding onions, herbs, and milk or eggs, etc. Then they bread and deep fry the croquettes or patties.
My salmon croquette recipe skips the potato (although you could try adding potato and cut out adding the breadcrumbs into the mixture). Instead of potato, this croquette recipe uses egg and just a little breadcrumbs inside the mixture. Then they are coated in breadcrumbs before giving them a solid shallow fry in olive oil or coconut oil.
Like many of my recipes this one is simple, easily made with several ingredients that you are likely to have on tap. The salmon burgers are flexible, you can leave out the carrots, add red pepper, chop fresh herbs etc. Oh, of course they are also gluten-free if you use gluten-free soy sauce and gluten-free breadcrumbs.
Recipe for Gluten-free Salmon Burger
yield: about 8 burgers about 3 inches diameter by ½ inch thick
special equipment: maybe a blender for making your breadcrumbs
olive oil or refined coconut oil for sauté and pan-fry
2 cans of salmon (Wild Alaskan, boneless and skinless is preferred), drained
2 stalks celery chopped fine
½ large carrot (or 1 small carrot) chopped fine
1 small onion chopped fine
1 heaping tablespoon chopped garlic (2-4 cloves)
¼ cup parsley chopped fine
2 eggs beaten lightly
1 large pinch of salt (½ teaspoon or so)
2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari or soy sauce
½ cup gluten-free bread crumbs for the mixture and another 1 cup or so for breading the outside of the burger. (I save the end or slices of our gluten-free bread, add a little bit of uncooked quick oats and blend on high until fine).
Pour enough olive oil to cover the pan and sauté chopped onion, celery and carrot and garlic for 5-10 minutes until carrots are soft. Add the chopped parsley for the last 2 minutes.
In the meantime add canned salmon, salt, pepper, soy sauce, and bread crumbs and mix well
When the sautéed vegetables are done, add them to the salmon mixture and check for taste (salt, pepper, soy etc).
Then add the egg and ½ cup of breadcrumbs
In a separate bowl place ½ cup or more breadcrumb mixture
Form salmon patties and fry lightly on each side until golden brown about 4-5 minutes on each side.
Serve warm or cold with whatever side dish you feel is appropriate