A great big welcome to Lexie's Kitchen & Living. I hope you enjoy the recipes and ramblings. For the story behind this site read here

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Saturday
Jan292011

Hawaii: Olena Hummus & Healing

'Olena (turmeric) may be added to everyday foods—smoothies, salad dressings and even hummus served up with kohlrabi "crackers."On the central Hamakua Coast there are four Farmers' Markets within 30 miles. Yesterday we hit the Hawaiian Homesteads Farmers' Market in Waimea.

The exciting find of the day was Kai Kaholokai’s vendor booth. Kai is a Native Hawaiian Herbal Practitioner—a man with a gentle spirit, brilliant mind and well-versed in ayurveda. Along with his wife Linda Mae, he runs the Kai Malino Wellness Center in Kapaau and produces herbal healing products using Hawaiian medicinal plants.

Kai and his tinctures and powders.One of these sacred plants is ‘Olena. The root of ‘Olena is about the size of an adult thumb and was likely one of the two dozen or so plants brought to Hawaii by canoe by early voyaging Polynesians. It is best known throughout the world as turmeric—a member of the ginger family and when dried and ground into powder is what gives curry spice mixtures their brilliant yellow color.

Tumeric ('Olena) is a relative of ginger.For centures, turmeric has been cultivated as a dye, as a spice and for medicinal purposes. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin and is one of nature’s most powerful healers. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, research continues to reveal turmeric’s promise to cure. It is helpful in treating earaches, sinusitis, bronchitis, colds and asthma, and enhances the immune system by purifying the blood. Here are twenty reasons why you might consider adding turmeric to your diet. Please remember that I am not a doctor and that you should always consult your MD or ND before adding supplements to your diet.

The Kai Malino Wellness Center takes orders online. Kai's website is worth taking a peek at. You just might find the remedy you’ve been looking for! Not that I am looking forward to getting sick, but when I do, I will have his turmeric/awa-kava/chinese ginger/Alaea clay powder mixture on hand to blend with lemon and honey for a speedy recovery.

For everyday immune support I will continue to sneak turmeric into our diet by way of smoothies, salad dressings, dips and atop veggies. Lately I've been hiding it in a basil hummus that I smear on quesadillas to replace the cheese (for our non-dairy boy) and on sandwiches to replace the mayo. Until I get around to writing the recipe down, here is what goes in it: garbanzo beans, sesame seed, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh basil, turmeric and salt.

I'd enjoy hearing from you! Do you cook with or take tumeric regularly? What has been your experience?

Finally, I will end this post with a lovely Hawaiian mele (song) about the flower of the ‘Olena plant. Singing in her effortlessly pure voice is Diana Aki.

Pua `Olena Lyrics

Friday
Jan282011

Hawaii: Mulberry Compote & The Shack

The morning started with plates of crepes topped with Cinnamon Mulberry Compote. We picked the mulberries yesterday from the two trees down in “the alley.” Mulberry trees are productive, adaptable, fast growing and trouble free. I’d liken the fruit to blackberries—black/red, sweet, tart and great for pies and smoothies.

For the compote, I simmered about a cup of berries, a tidge of water, a bit of honey, some liquid stevia and a good shake of cinnamon then whizzed the mixture in the blender and served it atop quinoa crepes (made half a batch). Mmmm ... the perfect breakfast to fuel the kids for a day of play outside. 

A sweet and tart mulberry.My mom picking mulberries. The easy way ... lay a sheet on the ground and give the tree a good shake!This winter my parents built an 8x12 foot “cowboy shack” at the bottom of their acreage. Today we ventured down there to check it out and I immediately fell in love with this little hideout.

It’s the kind of place to be alone in. A place to read, meditate, to listen to your thoughts.

My parents built the “shack” to double as a coffee drying shed during the damp and misty spells. There is a whopping 500-foot difference in elevation from the top to the bottom of their property that makes for a significant difference in climate. The cowboy shack, below the fog line, now provides a secondary drying spot for the 1500 pounds of Hamakua (Arabica) coffee cherry my mom and dad handpick and dry each year. If you live in Denver, you can find their coffee at Kaladi Brothers Coffee.

A eucalyptus forest frames the Pacific Ocean.

Don't you love these tie-backs! Copper wire and a dry wall screw—voila!

One day we will get back to our "little cowboy shack in Paauilo, Hawaii"

 

Thursday
Jan272011

Hawaii: Kiddie Beach and Provision Up

The kiddie beach | Spencer Beach State Park on the Big Island.When I was in high school I wouldn't have been caught in my pink bikini at this beach. Mind you, it's not a nudie beach, but known as the kiddie beach—Spencer Beach State Park.

Fast forward 20 years and I am cool with it. After all, I am the mother of two kiddies—both of whom do not know how to swim. If you're planning a trip to the Big Island and want a small, tame beach where the kids can frolick in the shallow waters sans big waves, hit Spencer.

We spent the morning at Spencer enjoying the ample shade and good sand for building castles. And bonus, today there was local guy walking the beach handing out tangerines—I love the aloha spirit!

After sun and fun we headed back up the hill to Waimea (Kamuela) to provision up. There are three grocery stores in this ranching town; KTA, Foodland and Healthways Natural Foods.

Healthways Natural Foods & Deli in the ranching town of Waimea.If you're visiting the island and need food for your modified diet, you'll definitely want to check out Healthways—but expect to pay 30% or more than you do on the mainland for those natural foods! From bulk chia and Tinkyada rice pasta to Udi's and Rudi's, you'll find it all at Healthways!

Buy in bulk at Healthways.

Ezekial, Rudi's, Udi's and even Hemp Bread!

I am a fan of Bob's Red Mill flours and mixes. Here it is in Hawaii!

 

Wednesday
Jan262011

Good Morning Hawaii

Good morning! The view from my parents' home at an elevation of 2000 feet on the slopes of Mauna Kea. Woke with the sun and the crow of a rooster. The first morning in Hawaii is always an early one. My mom brewed some coffee and once fully awake we were out the door to explore the yard and play with her seven, yes you read that right, 7 dogs (three chihuahua terriers, two baussies, one Australian shepherd, and one black and tan dachsund).

Here is a sampling of the flora growing in my parents' yard—a beautiful rainbow of color. 

The rainbow of color picked from the front yard. I counted over 30 varieties of flowers in bloom.It was a relaxing day. My boys are in heaven. Dirt piles, farm chores, no down jackets. Picked mulberries and guava. Tomorrow we'll head to the beach where we'll really thaw out.

When I was a kid I always loved finding patches of sleeping grass. Touch the leaves of this "grass" and they magically close!

Tuesday
Jan252011

Grab Your Swimsuit & Sunscreen

When this post publishes, my boys and I will be high over the Pacific bound for the Big Island of Hawaii.

Hawaii is where I was born and raised and where my parents still live. I haven't been back for three years. This trip is long overdue. We lament that Dad couldn't make it, but someone's got to stay home and shovel the snow (thanks honey!).

Knowing I would miss my husband and my dear readers terribly, I have decided to you bring you along—virtually at least.

For the next three weeks I will blog from Hawaii. I plan to allow the activities of my days to inspire my posts and will guarantee you a peek at the Hawaii I love. The people, the culture, the food, the sights.

So put on that swimsuit, slather on some sunscreen, slip into your flip-flops (aka "slippas") and let's go!

The Hamakua Coast | Protea flowers mom grows | The neighbor's sheep [cute!] | Drying macadamia nuts | Waipio Valley | Hawaii Preparatory Academy horse round-up | Wild horses in Waipio | Mom and dad's front yard | Surf's up!