Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Holiday open house at Whole Foods

November 16th, 2011

Nadine Kam photos

Amidst the season’s pumpkins and gourds, Natalie Aczon, center, introduces media to the joys of the Whole Foods Market holiday table.

Whole Foods Market hosted a preview of a few of its offerings for the holiday table on Nov. 9, in advance of a free public tasting taking place 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 18, for those in search of tasty new ideas, want to simplify their holiday food needs, or just want a nibble of their turkey before committing to bringing home their whole prepared bird on Thanksgiving Day.

Each department will be rolling out samples of favorite holiday edibles, including roast turkey, roast ham, cranberry chutney, and more.

Before starting the tour, Natalie Aczon, Whole Foods Market Kāhala’s marketing supervisor, shared that the company does its best to be transparent in its standards and practices so that those interested in health and sustainability issues know just what they’re getting.

They feature edibles from 250 local vendors, with more on the way, she said. The only fish they carry is farmed or live-caught within 100 miles of the islands, and meat purchased here is vegetarian fed, with no hormones or antibiotics.

Whole Foods shoppers line up for a taste of juicy, tender turkey, below, and cocktail shrimp.

If you’re considering picking up a cooked turkey, choose from free-range birds, to kosher to organic, or smoked turkeys, at about $6.99 to $9.99 per pound. The market is also one of the only stores to carry made-to-order turduckens—a partially de-boned turkey stuffed with a de-boned duck, stuffed with a small de-boned chicken. Custom orders are being taken at 738-0820. Options can also be viewed at

Easier still, pick up dinner for six, at $99.99, which includes a 10 to 12 pound turkey, 48 ounces of stuffing, 24 ounces of gravy, 60 ounces of mashed potatoes and 16 ounces of cranberry sauce.

A la carte sides are available as well, from, cornbread stuffing to an autumn puree of butternut squash, carrots and yams, to fruit-juice sweetened pies.

Of course, the holidays don’t end with Thanksgiving, and more free holiday tasting events will take place from 4 p.m. Sundays in December, on the 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd.

The store is also inviting all its 4,000-plus Twitter followers to a holiday-themed wine tasting from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 17. Those who can’t make it can eavesdrop on the event by following #wfmkahalawine at

If you need a potluck side dish, Whole Foods has plenty of options.

There’s organic eggnog.

The eggnog was conveniently placed next to Jeanne Toulon’s tasting table for Koloa Premium Hawaiian Rum. The Kaua’i Spice Rum, with its spice cake, caramel and vanilla flavor, is perfect for the holidays.

The tour started with Big Island Garnet yams.

It’s good to see kids learning to eat healthfully and  craving purple sweet potatoes.

Various flavors of Ohelo’s Mango Chutney were presented with ham, crackers and blue cheese. I loved the Hawaiian chili pepper flavor on ham.

Cranberry cheddar wasn’t part of the “official” tour, but with samples available, I got sidetracked. It’s amazing how a handful of berries flavored the whole cheese.

An edamame-feta dip was presented as a low-fat, low-cholesterol alternative to typical mayo-based dips. The recipe follows.

The day we visited was also the day Whole Foods started carrying Daniel Anthony’s hand-pounded pa’iai.

Here’s the dip recipe:

Edamame-feta dip
(From Eating Well magazine)
2 cups frozen shelled edamame
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup crumbled feta
2-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add edamame and garlic; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until edamame is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Place the edamame, garlic, 1/4 cup of cooking liquid, feta, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Puree, scraping down the sides as needed, until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl or storage container.

Place plastic wrap directly on surface of dip and let stand 30 minutes at room temperature to allow flavors to blend. Thin with additional cooking liquid to desired consistency, if necessary. The dip will keep, covered, in refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Serve at room temperature. Makes 1-1/3 cups.

Nutritional analysis per tablespoon: 31 calories, 2 grams fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 2 g carbohydrates.

Mango mania at Moana

August 9th, 2010

Nadine Kam photos

Mangoes at the Moana recipe contest emcee Wanda Adams with Breads winner Roxanne Yadao.

The second annual Mangoes at the Moana celebration of one of Hawaii’s favorite fruit took place Saturday at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, with a day of culinary demonstrations, seminars and tastings, capped by a five-course mango dinner menu.

I was there early in the morning, serving as one of 12 judges in a mango recipe contest, with about 16 entries in four categories. So, that’s a lot of mango tasting.

Contest hopefuls came with breads, cakes, pies sauces and mango butters for a shot at Moana stays, dinners and massages at the hotel’s Moana Lani Spa.

Roxanne’s entry.

In the end, the top winners were Sharon Bryant in the “Cakes” category for a fluffy mango chiffon cake with sliced mangoes arranged on top to look like the whole fruit; Tom Sheeran in the “Pies” category for a mango-lilikoi tart with macadamia nuts; Roxanne Yadao in the “Breads” category for mango bread; and Kent Thompson was named winner in the “Mixed Plate” category, and “Overall” winner for his Mango Sticky Bamboo Rice Truffles with Mango-Curry Fusion Sauce.

As happens with many contests like this, there wasn’t a lot of variation from bread to bread or sauce to sauce, so presentation points definitely mattered. All of the entries looked as good as they tasted.

Thompson’s entry stood out most because of his creativity in creating his delicious rice “truffles” bound with coconut milk and flakes, with a touch of mint, accented with a mango-curry sauce.

It turned out he’s a former cook, now a stay-at-home dad, who devotes much of his time to devising recipes and entering contests. Check out the Star-Advertiser Food section Aug. 11 for his recipe.

Meanwhile, Bryant put her artistry to work in finishing her cake, and when I asked Sheeran if he spends as much time baking as his entry made it appear, he said no, but offered that he’s spent a lot of time perfecting one recipe. His tart was perfection worthy of a food magazine cover.

Kent Thompson was named Mixed Plate winner as well as the even’t Overall winner for his Mango-Sticky Bamboo Rice Truffles with Mango Sauce and Curry Fusion Sauce, below.

Tom Sheeran, below, was winner in the pie category for his mango-liliko-macadamia nut tart.

Sharon Bryant , below, arranged mango slices to mimic the whole fruit on top of her chiffon cake, winner in the Cake category.