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!
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
We are blessed right now to have eggplants coming out of our ears!!! So…I invoked this recipe from my repertoire. This recipe is a slight twist on the many variations of Indian dish Baingan Bharta.
All Baingan Bharta recipes have many ingredients in common: eggplant, onions, tomatoes, ginger, pepper and garlic. Many add garam masala, coriander, turmeric, etc. I learned to make this during my very first vegan phase in my early early 20’s. To make it heartier (more protein) I started adding chickpeas, and to counterbalance the heat in it, I favored adding a few plump raisins at the end. So in reality it is a bit far from any Baingan Bharta you would order at an authentic Indian restaurant, but in my opinion mo betta!
Recipe for Indian spiced eggplant (Baingan Bharta) with chickpeas and raisins
Servings: 4+ (~1 cup each)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium size eggplants
1-2 medium-large tomatoes (chopped fine)
1 large onion (chopped fine)
1 Hawaiian chili pepper (chopped fine)
tablespoon chopped garlic
2 inch (½ in diameter or so) piece of ginger, grated
1 inch(¼ inch diameter or so) piece of turmeric grated
½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup raisins
1 and ½ cup (or to liking) cooked chickpeas
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lay eggplant on baking sheet, pierce eggplant to help let out steam.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes and then turn over. Bake another 15 minutes or so until a knife enters easily skin starts to separate from the flesh of the eggplant
Once cooled peel eggplant and roughly chop and mush
Heat oil in large sauté pan (med-high heat) and add onions until they start to become soft, stirring very often
Add ginger, garlic, and turmeric and stir constantly for less than 1 minute
Add tomatoes, cumin, and garam masala and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for a time until tomatoes incorporate themselves into onions mixture.
Add eggplant and mush a bit with your spatula or mixing spoon, allow to heat up and cook another 5 minutes or so on medium heat.
For the last 5 minutes add chickpeas and raisins.
Enjoy warm with rice, alone, over greens, or with naan, etc.
This fresh papaya and passionfruit recipe is the simple marriage of fresh papaya and lilikoi flesh. Papaya’s latin name is Carica papaya and it is from the family Caricaceae. It is one of the fastest growing fruit trees in Hawaii and also one of the greatest agricultural products to be exported from the island chain. In Australia it is known as Paw Paw. It is native to southern Mexico and Central America, but is now grown in subtropical and tropical locations all over the world.
If you have never had a ripe papaya it tastes a faintly like a mix of melon, bananas, pineapple. It has a flesh that is similar to a soft melon. In Hawaii, papaya is so abundant that almost everyone has a few papaya trees even on smaller plots of land. Another great thing about papayas is that they grow year round. Likewise, they are inexpensive and abundant in stores. Try to look for non-GMO varieties, some of which include: Mexican Red , Caribbean Red, Maradol, Royal Star, Singapore Pink, and Higgins.
Caution: The more unripe a papaya is, the more latex it contains, which may aggregate people with latex allergies.
Passionfruit is called Lilikoi in Hawaiian
Equally common in Hawaii is passionfruit or lilikoi vines. These vines require little maintenance after planting as long as they have something to climb. Comparable to papayas, passionfruit vines have a long fruiting season. Here on the Hamakua coast of Big Island our vines mostly fruit from late Summer to early Winter. The ripe fruits drop to the ground from the vines that can climb the tops of trees, fences, buildings etc.
In Hawaii, papaya is a common accompaniment with breakfast. It is usually garnished with a wedge of lime which is squeezed on top to liven the flavor. Even if this combination doesn’t convince you to eat papaya regularly, you should definitely give papaya with fresh lilikoi a try.
All you need to do is scoop out the the seeds from a halved a papaya. Then scoop out of the seeds from the halved lilikoi into the papaya flesh and enjoy with a spoon.
People put a lot of things on popcorn all over the world. In Hawaii, “Hurricane Popcorn” often is sprinkled with furikake, sugar, food colorings and other seasonings. In this furikake popcorn recipe, we strip out the unessential sugar and colorings and simple toss the furikake with melted coconut oil. If you are not familiar with furikake a basic definition is a traditional Japanese seasoning that includes sea salt, toasted sesame seeds, and nori (a dried seaweed).
Furikake is a packed with nutrition. The sea salt includes magnesium. The toasted sesame seeds are high in protein, minerals, and nori contains protein fiber and many more minerals and vitamins. Seaweed also has naturally occurring iodine which is vital for developing fetuses, and in proper thyroid function. Additionally, seaweeds have more than 56 minerals and trace minerals necessary for your body in the most absorbable form.
Make sure you look for all natural varieties as often mainstream furikake contains MSG, gmo-sugars, etc. Check the ingredients and make sure you are infact making the healthy choice. Also, avoid labels with words like “stabilizers, additives etc.”
For example, this furikake pictured is made with sea salt and contains no MSG. Furikake is most often used on top of rice. Additionally it is sometimes as an additive with another Hawaiian dish called Poke, on baked or broiled fish, on top of fries etc. Try adding this savory topping to your Popcorn to up your nutrient content.
Recipe for homemade Furikake Popcorn
Use an air popper or pop your corn in a pot just like the ol’ days using coconut oil.
Toss with salt, more coconut oil if needed and then the furikake.
As an optional extra seasoning you could add a few dashes of some hot sauce
My brother Dan brought this recipe beet salad with tahini dressing into my life. Him and his girlfriend used to make this often. To get me involved they started asking for my help making the dressing. After I had made the tahini dressing just a few times in their presence, they made me do it from ever on, which was how I built my confidence in making salad dressings. It is so creamy and yummy, it perfectly balances the earthiness of the raw beets and the sweetness of the carrots.
If you need a good way to include raw beets in your diet, this is it. It is also a great way to use raw carrots and beets from your garden. Guests are amazed at how good it tastes. Most people eating this salad recipe eat way more beets in one sitting than they ever would have. Remember, tahini is from ground sesame’s so anyone with an allergy to this should be warned : )
Equipment: Food processor or other method for grating beets and carrots (e.x. mandoline slicer, spiralizer, cheese grater), and a blender for dressing.
Ingredients for the salad:
10 medium-large carrots
Lettuce or mixed baby greens
Tahini dressing ingredients:
6 tablespoons tahini
2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup (or more water)
1 teaspoon honey
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
optional: add a little goat cheese to make it creamy
First, prepare the dressing in blender by combining all ingredients until smooth.
Next, grate the carrots and then the beets (easiest in food processor), if you wish squeeze a little lemon over them so the carrots keep their color.
Place the carrots and beets in bowl and mix in the dressing, serve on top of lettuce or mixed baby greens (you will have more dressing than salad, dressing should stay good in refrigerator for about 5 days).
Resources on the Health Benefits of Beets, carrots, and tahini
There is nothing like eating your home grown winter squash. Baked winter squash is so easy to make, especially if the squash is amazing itself. This simple side dish is a wonderful accompaniment to any main meal.
My favorite kinds of squash you can’t find in the supermarket. In Hawaiʻi Kabocha squash is really common. However, people incorrectly label all small round, ribbed squashes as Kaboacha. My favorite are the local crosses of heirloom varieties passed on throughout communties. They are choose an orange-red on the outside and inside or likewise sweet. I highly recommend finding a squash you love and saving the seeds to grow your own!
If you are at the store looking for a nice semi-sweet flavorful squash, then butternut or red kuri are great examples.
This recipe for tomatoes with fresh basil and olive oil is like the Italian Caprese salad. But you don’t HAVE to add cheese to make it taste delicious. The most important thing is fresh tomatoes and high quality olive oil. Good salt is also a huge plus! This recipe is great to share with guests when there is an abundance of tomatoes. For more ideas for recipes with tomatoes and summer vegetables scroll to the bottom.
Recipe for tomatoes with fresh basil and olive oil
4-6 vine-ripened tomatoes
Olive Oil (use high quality olive oil for best results.)
Fresh basil chopped
Fresh mozzeralla (optional).
Slice tomatoes and place on plate so that they are not overlapping
Then, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
Lastly, spread sea salt evenly and top with fresh basil and optional mozzerella.
For a while I was convinced this soup would make people fall in love with me. In reality I just make this soup for all the people I really really love. This dairy-free recipe for winter squash bisque is warming, smooth, and even yummy cold. Additionally, it is quite filling especially when served with fresh bread and or cheese. Oh! And it is also gluten-free, vegan, and fat-free.
In Hawaiʻi it is not always possible to get good tasting affordable butternut squash, hubbards, etc. They are available in some WholeFoods and Safeway but they are seriously taxed. I’m talking like $15 squashes.
Here on the Hāmākua coast squashes grow pretty well. Especially in the fall/winter. One local variety is Kabocha squash. The skin is so tender you can eat them. But also a lot of people call any winter squash they see in Hawaii a Kabocha. In reality, there are so many local varieties that are unnamed because they are constantly crossing with each other.
I recommend going to your local farmers market or grocers and picking up a squash that looks like it has a deep colored flesh. I prefer the ones that are orange or pink on the outside. Try a few and save the seeds of the ones you like best. Either plant the seeds fresh out of the squash or dry the seeds.
The tropical winter squash is full of beneficial vitamins and nutrients. Depending on the variety, winter squash can have very high levels of Vitamin A (up to 350% RDV), Vitamin C (up to 50% RDV). Look for squashes that are deeper colors of yellow, orange and red for example Butternut, Hubbard, Kuri. These are little higher in nutritional value than spaghetti or acorn squash. There are also loaded with fiber, have some protein, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Thiamin, Potassium and Manganese.
Enough water to cover ingredients (vegetable broth and chicken broth is also good but not necessary)
Salt and pepper to taste
Blender (immersion blender is the easiest)
Large soup pot
Cut the squash open, save the seeds for planting or eating, and roast squash in oven 350-400F until soft enough to scoop away the flesh from the skin easily (I put my cut side up in a casserole dish with a little water so the steam helps it cook quicker).
While squash is cooking roughly chop the remaining ingredients
For a richer taste you can sauté these in butter or olive oil for 5 minutes before you add broth or water
Add the water or broth until about an inch above the veggies and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium
When the squash is tender let it cool for a few minutes (so you don’t burn yourself), peel it and add the flesh in chunks to the soup
Cook another 10 or so minutes to let the flavors blend
Remove from heat and let sit until it stop bubbling and soup is cool enough to blend (you don’t want a glass blender to crack under the heat, a plastic blender to melt plastic into your soup, or the immersion blender to spit up hot soup at your face and body).
At this point blend your soup until a uniform puree is achieved.
Put back on the stove to warm, season with salt and pepper.
Serve hot (with shredded hard cheese for some extra protein and yummy goodness) and bread for dipping.
I grew up on Jiffy cornbread. In fact, I learned to bake with these packaged mixes. I know they have their time and place but once you learn more and more about processed foods it is hard to buy pre-made mixes. In fact, there are many reasons to stay away from baking mixes. For one, the fewer ingredients a recipe contains, the more wholesome it is. Eating WHOLE foods is the key to a healthy existence.
This recipe for healthy cornbread is made with coconut oil and a low amount of sugar (instead I like to use honey) instead of up to ½ cup of sugar and lots of butter. For those kids who used to the super dense moist cornbreads of school lunches it may be hard to transition to but just serve it warm with a little bit of honey and the kids will enjoy as much as the husband and friends.
Healthy Cornbread Recipe
Yield: 10-12 inch pie dish or cake pan. 1 loaf pan about 1 ½” thick.
Equipment: oven, baking pans, oven mits!
1 and ⅓ cup milk (I have used whole, organic, raw milk from the mountains of Pa‘auilo), you could also do ⅔ buttermilk (2 teaspoons lemon juice and milk and let sit for 10 minutes) and then ⅔ cup regular milk.
2 eggs (organic)
1-2 tablespoons honey (Big Island honey all the way)