The wonderful Marx Foods gave me the opportunity to try some of their eco-friendly disposable Palm Leaf Plates and a box arrived with 10 plates in a variety of shapes and sizes. I was curious about the plates, which are made from fallen, discarded Adaka palm leaves that are cleaned, dried, stretched, flattened and molded on a heated press into different shapes and sizes. (Details of the process are here).
I have several groups of palm trees in my front and back yards that shed their leaves often and leave their palm leaves all over my yard. It's nice to see that a company is doing something useful with this resource.
(My neighbor's dogs love to pull the palm leaves in the backyard down as they are about to shed and use them as chew toys and doggie tug-of-war. Fun for them but not all that useful!)
While I was out front taking the picture of the fallen fronds, the neighborhood ducks came by to "chat" about what I was doing. They are quite the busybodies, are very vocal with the quacking, and were probably complaining that I had no bread with me.
But I digress with the yard reports...on to the plates...
Since the palms naturally shed their leaves and no trees are cut down to make the plates, they are a natural and renewable resource. The plates are sturdy, durable, and completely biodegradable and compostable, making them very "green" and a perfect replacement for paper plates and serving bowls.
I tried them for serving a variety of foods--snacks, veggies, salads, and even used them to hold tea bags on a display table at a wellness fair. They held up well--even with the moist ingredients. About the only thing I wouldn't do with them is use them for really wet and liquid dishes that would sit out for a long time. Although they are disposable, they can be washed, dried and used again depending of course on what you used them for. Although more expensive than paper plates, the fact that they are sturdier, eco-friendly and look nicer make them a great green choice.
I used them to serve an easy and delicious "Curried Egg" Garden Salad that I made for a light lunch. The recipe comes from the newest Delicious magazine (OK, the newest one I can get here) from Australia. One of my favorite cooks and cookbook authors, Jill Dupleix is writing a new Lighten Up column where she will be posting lighter, healthy recipes. I have already made and loved two of them so far and have another couple marked to try.
Dupleix says, "A lovely light salad for all those who love curried egg sandwiches, but are looking for something a bit lighter. The curry powder gives the whole thing a kick, and the nigella seeds look very dramatic against the pale, soft colors."
"Curried Egg" Garden Salad
Jill Dupleix, Delicious Magazine Vol. 7 / Issue 3
1 butter lettuce, leaves separated
1 telegraph cucumber, peeled, thinly sliced
1/4 cup micro cress
150g thick low-fat Greek yoghurt
1 tsp curry powder
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp nigella seeds
Fill a small pan with hot water and add eggs. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 3-4 minutes until soft-boiled. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon, cool, then peel and quarter. Season and sprinkled with cayenne.
Meanwhile, place yoghurt, curry powder and some salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir well to combine. Stir in oil and set aside.
Divide lettuce among plates. Arrange the cucumber and the eggs on top and dollop over yoghurt dressing. Scatter with cress and nigella seeds and serve.
Per serving: 569 kJ (136 cal), fat 10.5g, (sat 2g), protein 3.6g, carbs 4.7g, fiber 1.3g, chol 4mg, sodium 95mg.
Notes/Results: Excellent! Light and full of flavor from the delicious and simple curry yogurt dressing. This is a quick salad to make and it was a perfect light, healthy lunch. I used some local Manoa lettuce leaves, mixed with local baby arugula as I couldn't find any micro arugula, and I tossed in some radish sprouts too. (The edible flowers were in my CSA box salad mix this week). The dressing was wonderful with the eggs and would also be perfect with chicken, fish or lamb, or with other veggies. I will make this salad again and the dressing could become a new favorite.
A big mahalo to Marx Foods for sending me the plates to try--they are fun serving dishes that work well and are a great choice for the environment.
The Things I Am Loving This Week post will be back next Tuesday.