Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Week of Eating Local--Eat Local Challenge: Days 5 & 6--Featuring "Tropical Sunshine" a Sweetly Refreshing Juice & Simple Saturday Sipper

I seem to be perpetually behind this week and since it is not going to get any better in the next few days, I am combining my Eat Local Challenge: Days 5 & 6 recaps together, including my usual Simple Saturday Sipper made local.

I am calling my sipper a "Tropical Sunshine" because of its pretty orange hue from the combination of all local ingredients; cantaloupe, papaya, a touch of lime, a bit of honey and mint leaves from the garden. When blended with ice and a little water, it makes for a lightly sweet and refreshing drink.

Tropical Sunshine
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 2)

1/2 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cubed
1/2 papaya, peeled, seeded and cubed
juice of one lime
5-6 mint leaves
1 Tbsp honey

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish with chunks of fruit and mint leaves.

Notes/Results: Refreshing, and a great way to use up extra fruit before it gets too old. The lime added a nice tangy taste that enhanced the overall flavor. You could also add yogurt and make this a thicker, smoothie-like drink or a little vodka or rum to make it a cocktail.

And on to Day 5:
  • Breakfast: I had a big meeting and was a bit too nervous / excited to eat more than an apple banana. No picture. ;-)
  • Lunch: After the meeting, I ate the second half of yesterday's stir-fry with the last of my Maui ground beef. Part of eating local and in a sustainable way is not wasting food and using up what you have. Still good, but no picture--I was too busy shoveling food in my mouth. ;-)
  • Dinner: Ah, dinner... dinner was freakin' amazing. I had bought a small London Broil cut of Maui Beef and did a simple seasoning of mac nut oil and sea salt and then cooked in in my grill pan to about medium-rare. I served it with some local asparagus and tomatoes. But the pinnacle of dinner has to be the brightly-hued purple Gingery Mashed Okinawan Sweet Potatoes. I roasted the sweet potatoes (two) in the oven, then pressed them through my potato ricer before blending them with a little local butter and milk. They were creamy and sweet already, and since someone on the Eat Local Challenge website recommended adding ginger to them, I grated a two inch piece of the ginger and squeezed out the juice to get the flavor without the "stringy bits." Great call--the kick of ginger put them over the edge from great to fabulous. The entire dinner was filling and delicious.

  • Snacks: No time for snacks. ;-)

Day 6:

  • Breakfast: Yep, my ability to eat breakfast this week was compromised with another meeting across the island, so I drank a papaya-banana smoothie in the car on the way. Running out the door so no photo.

  • Lunch: I rocked lunch with an all-local Thai-Inspired Beef Salad, made with the leftover Maui beef from dinner; Manoa lettuce, Thai basil, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado and slices of yesterdays mystery produce item that I will reveal at the end of this post. The dressing was lime, mac nut oil, sea salt and a little dash of chili-flavored macadamia nut oil. Good texture, full of flavor and very satisfying.

  • Dinner: A computer meltdown (actually it would be more accurate to say I melted down), had me at the Apple store having the Genius Bar gods replacing the track pad. While I waited, I hung out and watched my friend's son compete in a Chopped-style Cook Local Challenge at Whole Foods where they had to use everything local, both the pantry items and in their mystery basket. Fun to watch! Tate didn't win, but they all did well and impressed the judges. Not in the mood to cook, I took advantage of another company with an Eat Local dish on their menu, The Counter--a build your own gourmet burger place, offering a local Ahi Burger--I got mine as a Burger-in-A-Bowl), without the bun and on top of local lettuce with carrot, daikon and a wasabi dressing. Not completely local, but delicious and a good effort, and nice paired with my Tropical Sunshine.

  • Dessert: A Watermelon-Hibiscus OnoPop. (local ice pop)
  • Snacks: No time or desire for snacks today.

Notes/Results: Another two great days eating local. The challenge is harder the busier I get and while eating outside the house, but I managed to do pretty well overall and got to eat lots of delicious, colorful and mostly healthy food.

Just one more day of the challenge left! Tune in tomorrow for the Day 7 recap including a little "good-bye soup" for our last week cooking with Mark Bittman at I Heart Cooking Clubs--made local of course!

*****Yesterday's Mystery Produce******

Jicama seemed to be the popular guess and it is similar to Jicama, but the mystery item was... (drumroll please...) ... Yacon! A plant from the Andes in Peru, aka Peruvian Ground Apple and sometimes confused with jicama, although it has a sweeter flavor. Yacon is a relative of the sunflower and the Jerusalem artichoke and it is grown now in tropical climates throughout the world. It is full of antioxidants and the syrup made from Yacon is becoming more popular as a healthier sugar alternative as it contains inulin which is supposed to pass through the body as it is not digestible, making it good for diabetics. It's pretty tasty--nice crunch and good combination of fresh and sweet. Fun, right?

Happy weekend!


  1. busy busy week :) but nice that you were able to still eat local. what an interesting mystery item!

  2. I have never seen a yacon! I can't wait until it comes around here, because I absolutely adore the textures of jerusalem artichoke. I'm loving this series of eating local, I like the simple preparations and seeing the ingredients unique to Oahu.

  3. wow great drink and you look great and wow what a meal love it

  4. I think your Simple Saturday Sipper is aptly named "tropical sunshine". It really does look like sunshine in a glass!

    Loved learning about the yacon...never heard of it before. I hope this weekend finds you with more time to relax. Sounds like a few busy days.

  5. Whenever I see the word sunshine in a drink, I immediately think - orange. But I love that this didn't have any oranges in it! Sounds like one great sipper.

    You're almost there Deb!

  6. Okay, I've never even heard of that, LOL!! That is a total glass of sunshine...and it makes me happy just looking at it. Everything looks fabulous...those taters are awesome! I totally would've had a meltdown under those circumstances! Ugh =)

  7. I would love to try the yacon! You did great with the eating local challenge in spite of being so busy. Your juice looks amazing - I love cantaloupe in my smoothies.


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