August 14, 2009

Farm Fresh Vegetables


I do love vegetables. It is wonderful to live in a place where fresh fruits and vegetables grow year round. I will admit, I'm not a gardener. I do love knowing the gardeners. This woman on the left brings her fresh herbs and vegetables from Oahu each weekend. Thanks to her I can make lots and lots of pesto!

I love the fact that Pacific'O and I'O and Feast at Lele restaurants here on Maui have their own farm and grow their vegetables. They are leaders and really dedicated to food and making a difference. I have been to the farm twice now and learned so much both time. The photo of the red branches is RED QUINOA! SEE PHOTOS LEFT AND BELOW of O'O Farm.

I really did pick those asparagus. And if you don't pick them when they mature they flower.

The watermelon radish on the right was quite fabulous and has such a vibrant color and adds quite a blast to any plate. Try adding some fresh fennel bulb to a vegetable tray for an absolutely fresh and delicious crunch.

I think that eating vegetables can be as exciting as eating anything else. It's just that you have to find a source for different produce to make it exciting for you and your family. Try adding different raw vegetables and sprouts to a plate such as fennel, sunflower sprouts and daikon radish. Experiment. You don't have to buy a lot. Just try a few things and buy small quantities to start.

Quinoa - Yes, it comes in colors.
Red quinoa has just as much wonderful healthy goodness as regular white
quinoa. It's a complete protein like its pale sister, offering you all the essential amino acids that you need to build strong bones, muscles, skin, and blood. You can substitute rice in any dish with quinoa, which is great since it has more than twice the amount of protein than rice. Compared with white quinoa, the red variety has a slightly earthier flavor.

Cooking Quinoa in a pot:

Boil 2 cups of water.
Add 1 cup of quinoa, cover, and turn down the heat to low.

After about 15 minutes, lift up the cover and stir.
You'll know it's done when the grain turns slightly transparent, and the curly string-like germ has separated from the circular part.
Quinoa is great on its own when eaten with a stir-fry, but you can also make it its own dish, similar to a rice pilaf. Simply sauté your favorite veggies and add them to the cooked quinoa. For even more flavor, cook quinoa in veggie or mushroom broth instead of water.

I cook quinoa in my rice maker. I take 1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice and 1/2 cup white or red quinoa. Add 4 cups water. Add salt to water. The consistency is PHENOMENAL.

You can create a wonderful rice/quinoa salad. Fresh julienned pea pods, shredded carrots, some garlic, fresh diced tomatoes and a little feta with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar (try white balsamic if you can get it).
Remember. Always fresh. Always Delicious. Always with Aloha!

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