Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Things I Am Loving This Week (Going Loco for Local--Real Hawaiian Burger, Apple Banana Jam & Tomato Salad)

Things I Am Loving This Week, (my semi-regular Tuesday post featuring those (mostly) food-related things I am enjoying and want to share), is going loco for local today! There is a lot to love this week--and all made from a bounty of delicious Hawaii ingredients from the farmers markets.

First up, I love a good burger! Many people would define a "Hawaiian Burger" as just a burger with a piece of grilled pineapple on top, My definition of a REAL Hawaiian Burger is one that is made with all locally grown or locally produced ingredients from the state of Hawaii, like this gorgeous, delicious, giant burger. (And with no pineapple--I love it but not on my burger!) ;-)

We have:
  • grass-fed ground beef from Maui
  • grilled sweet Maui onions
  • locally grown Nalo Farms baby romaine
  • North Shore Farm's fresh sweet yellow tomato
  • guacamole made with locally grown avocado and lime
  • an olive bun baked by Ba-Le bakery (OK, the ingredients of the olive bun aren't local but it was baked here!)
  • Oils of Aloha macadamia oil for grilling, and some Hawaiian Alaea salt (red clay salt) to season.

Fresh, juicy and delicious--served with a few more North Shore Farms cherry tomatoes for a little color. The Maui beef was so perfect and moist--it just needed a touch of the red salt to season it perfectly. A taro bun would have been good here, and a bit more local but the olive buns were really fresh, soft and flavorful. A great way to indulge while supporting Hawaii farmers and producers.


I like bananas, but I love small, sweet apple bananas so I used some extra-ripe ones from the farmers market to make some Banana Jam from "Sweet and Sugarfree: An All-Natural, Fruit-Sweetened Dessert Cookbook" by Karen E. Barkie, a little book I purchased for $1 at a library sale. (Yep--love that too!) Just mashed banana and lemon juice (I added cinnamon to mine) cooked down into an thick, sweet spread. The simmering concentrates the banana flavor and the warm jam is delicious on top of toast (or in this case a bagel thin) spread with nut butter. I made one half with almond butter which was great, and the other half with peanut butter--even better. Peanut butter + mashed banana = good, peanut butter + warm banana jam = a little piece of heaven!

Barkie says, "Fruit jams are easy to make and so full of naturally concentrated fruit sweeteners that once you have tasted homemade, you will never again settle for sugar-sweetened jelly. Ripe and juicy fruits, blended to a sauce and heated over low temperature, yield rich, condensed jams and spreads. Fruits can be combined into an endless delectable jams, satiny smooth or dotted with ripe and juicy chunks of fruit."

Sweet (Apple Banana) Banana Jam
"Sweet and Sugarfree" by Karen E. Barkie
(Yields 1/3 Cup)

"A very concentrated jam"

2 cups ripe mashed banana (mash banana with a fork)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
(1 tsp ground cinnamon) optional

Blend ingredients together until smooth. Heat to a boil in a saucepan; turn to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens.

Notes: Barkie recommends this with all types of fruit--from blueberries to mangoes, plums to papayas. It's a nice, quick way to make a natural fruit jam and it makes the kitchen smell incredible when it is cooking. I plan to make more.


Finally it is Raw Foods! week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, so we are making no-cook Mark Bittman recipes. You have to love that for summer. I was feeling extremely low-effort and wanted to use some more gorgeous North Shore Farms tomatoes (I went a bit tomato crazy at the market this weekend!) so I decided to make the simple Ethiopian-Style Tomato Salad from "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian." This quick salad takes local ingredients to exotic Ethiopia, which just happens to be the destination for Regional Recipes this month, hosted by my good friend Joanne at Eats Well With Others. I love a good multi-tasking recipe that I can use in more than one event. ;-)

Bittman says, "If you have time to chop tomatoes, you have time to make this salad, which also works as a relish to eat with sandwiches and salads. The light, fresh-tasting, oil-free dressing features turmeric, which which turns the salad a lovely sunset color. You can use almost any spice mix you like here instead."

Tomato Salad, Ethiopian Style
"How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" by Mark Bittman
(Makes 4 servings)
Time: 15 minutes, plus time to chill

3 Tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 Tbsp minced jalapeno chile, or more or less to taste
1 tsp ground turmeric
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped

Put the lemon juice, onion, jalapeno, and turmeric into a medium serving bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes and toss to coat.

Chill for up to 30 minutes, then taste and adjust the seasonings and serve.

Notes/Results: Excellent! This is a great, little salad--full of beautiful bright color and flavor. I used both red and yellow tomatoes which made it even more colorful, and made the recipe exactly as written. The sweet tomatoes, combined with the turmeric, lemon, red onion and the little kick from the jalapeno is complex for such few ingredients. It is perfect as a side salad and since Bittman said it was good as a kind of relish with sandwiches, I took some and topped a Maui beef patty and toasted olive bun with it for a knife & fork-style burger. OK--Yum! Healthy and delicious, I will definitely make this salad again.

There you have it--a bunch of wonderful local ingredients and delicious dishes to love this week.

The Ethiopian-Style Tomato Salad is being linked to IHCC Raw Foods! and also being sent to Joanne for Regional Recipes--Ethiopia. This entire post, full of good local, natural food is going to be linked to Two For Tuesdays Blog Hop Carnival at my pal girlichef's blog where real food is being celebrated each week.

So, what are you loving this week?


  1. Your recipes look delicious - great photos too!

  2. Deb, your photo's ARE always beautiful. I especially love the burger and the tomato salad. I think the two would be lovely paired together.

  3. What a delicious two for tuesdays! That burger had me drooling although my heart skipped a beat for a second when I thought you put the jam ON the burger. That MIGHT have been less than awesome. Who knows.

    Thanks so much for submitting that tomato salad to Regional Recipes! Ethiopians really have very simple but delicious food, which is definitely showcased here!

  4. That banana jam is on my list!

  5. I love Maui sweet onions, the high sulfur content of Hawaii's volcanic soil produces the sweetest onions. I also adore the small super sweet and concentrated bananas. This looks like a good and simple recipe.

  6. Your burger sounds fantastic and the salad is lovely, but your banana jam really grabbed my eye. I haven't heard of that before. It's gone on my must do list. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  7. I don't know where to start...everything looks amazing! The banana jam is so simple...but I can almost taste it- YUM! Burger, yum (just the bun makes me drool)...salad, yum. Awesome, Deb...thanks for sharing with Two for Tuesdays, too =)

  8. I've made a lot of jams in my day, but never one with bananas. Thanks for sharing your recipe at Two for Tuesday.

  9. Wow, what a fantastic post! I'm loving everything. I've been craving burgers, so I'm totally drooling over that. And, that banana jam - awesome! Love how you tied in Two for Tuesdays with RR and Raw Foods! Nice job:)

  10. That burger really is da bomb. ;)
    I've also set my sights on Bittman's tomato salad.

  11. oh my word, that burger is stunning. I love your ideas.

  12. My computer went down so, not sure if my post got posted, but your article was wonderful and thanks for posting it on the two for tuesday recipe blog hop! :) alex@amoderatelife

  13. I agree - adding pineapple does not make ANYTHING Hawaiian! I especially love the banana jam - what an interesting idea!

  14. Everything look SO delicious! I wish I had one of those burgers right now.

  15. I am loving your burger! It is a thing of beauty! And I never even heard of an apple banana?! Does it taste like an apple? I love the idea of a banana jam - so different. Your tomato salad is looking really delicious too.

  16. I am loving your photos this week :)

  17. My heart stopped when I saw your burger ALL OF MY FAVORITE THINGS> WHAT A GREAT POST

  18. Awesome burger Deb. I just found a source for local grass fed beef so it is burger time at our house again. And Mark Bittman rocks. I love all of his recipes.

  19. I'm am now loving all these things too! I do like a slice of pineapple on my burger, but I would gladly trade it in for all those amazing ingredients! I can't wait to check out that cookbook, souns interesting. All things are in place in the kitchen for that tomato salad too.

  20. Love that burger! Maui sweet onions and an olive bread bun... mmmmm! Set me up!

  21. Wow, Deb, that is a great looking salad - so colourful - who would have thought of using turmeric in a salad with tomatoes? Genius!
    By the way, your burger looks awesome too.

  22. Growing up my mom made PB and Banana sandwiches - oh, I can't wait to try this as a jam - how amazing! What a great post - thanks for linking it to Two for Tuesdays!

  23. Just ran across your blog, and stopped because I thought "food from Hawai'i?" I lived on Ford Island for 2 1/2 years and though, unfortunately, I don't miss the island life, I DO miss the food and the history. Then I read this post mentioning apple bananas. When I am lucky enough to come across these at the international food store I occasion, I snatch them up.
    You have a lot of interesting recipes that I'll read more about, but I gotta tell ya, I was always a sucker for a plate lunch. Lol


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