Mar 222014

Hey guys, big BIG day today!

I’ve been doing extra weekend hula practices for the past few weeks in preparation for this concert and I can’t believe it’s actually here!

We had double shows today, one at 3pm and one at 8pm, so it was a long one. Luckily, I adore my halau so it’s a pleasure to hang out with them all day.

And I had lots of help to calm my nerves and get ready to dance. Here’s Ho’okele and I right before our first performance. We had SO MUCH stage makeup on.

We performed 2 songs each concert: 1) Ka Pili Oha 2) Ka’ena Medley.

I’ve loved Hi’ikua for a while and was super jazzed to do Ka Pili Oha, which is an absolutely beautiful song.

Ka’ena Medley was a new one to me, much faster paced, an it was an instrument combination number. Half of us used ‘uli’uli and the other half pu’ili. It was rockin’!

Some of my other lovely hula sisters from Papa ‘Ilima:

The guys from Hi’ikua came to hang out with us in between shows and shared some knowledge. It was so nice to hear local people speak again. We certainly have a particular accent that is so recognizable and is one of the things I miss the most living in California.

They’re all very well spoken and well educated, and said some really touching things. I got emotional (of course) when they started talking about taking care of your family and making time for them in your life.

Sensitive subject for me!

The second show was a lot calmer after talking story with them, as we were all thinking about the personal significance of the songs we were performing.

Manunui and I are no longer big concert virgins!

No time for cooking toady, but it was awesome none the less!

You can check out Hi’ikua and their music here:

Jan 282014

At the end of every winter, my brain automatically deletes all memory of the previous 3 month’s temperatures. So when winter comes back around, I’m always taken by surprise, as if I’ve never lived through frigid temps a day in my life!

When the temp dips, I, like everyone else, turns to soup.

And while I enjoy hearty soups with grains or noodles, I am a complete sucker for a good pureed soup. It must be its silky sexiness that I love the most. The way it glides over your tongue, bursting with flavor…

*ahem* Sorry, got lost for a moment there! Focus, focus.

Green soups are my favorite way of getting nutrients, without having to slurp down a green smoothie when the weather is uninviting.

Super Green Soup

by Spending Time With Salad


Prep Time: 10

Cook Time: 20

Keywords: blender appetizer entree soup/stew gluten-free low-carb low-sodium soy-free sugar-free vegan vegetarian Vegetable winter

 Ingredients (serves 2-4)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, chopped (amount is preference based)
  • 3 medium zucchini, roughly chopped, skins on
  • 3 cups chopped greens of choice EXCEPT mustard greens
  • 3 cups broth or stock of choice
  • 2 tbsp regular or vegan sour cream OR same amount of strained plain (“greek”) yogurt
  • salt and pepper


  1. Sweat onion and garlic in oil with a small pinch of salt for a few minutes till softened.
  2. Add the garlic, and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
  3. Add in the zucchini chunks and broth. Bring to a simmer.
  4. When it starts to simmer, add in your chopped greens and continue to cook till the zucchini and greens are tender, about 5-6 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and puree in batches to desired consistency.
  6. Pour pureed soup back into the pot, stir in the sour cream or yogurt.
  7. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper to preference.
  8. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

Parsley garnish is totally optional, but I needed a focal point in all that green goodness. Two bowls of this deliciousness and I was warm inside and out. Give it a try!

Jan 222014

Our garden bed is exploding with fresh greens and I couldn’t be happier! Of course, that does mean that I have to get creative with some of our upcoming meals so we don’t get too tired of eating greens, greens, and nothing but greens! (<– Into the Woods reference, anyone?)

One of my favorite dishes to pack veggies into is fried rice, so I figured some chopped greens would go well in that also. To bad we didn’t have a single grain of rice in the house that wasn’t arborio!

So, improvisation time! I went with my next favorite thing: quinoa. This fried quinoa recipe has a lot of ingredients, but they’re simple staples that I’m sure you either have on hand already, or can find easily at any market.

I’ve tried my best to approximate seasoning amounts, but as always, the best measure is to taste and adjust to your particular palate.

Vegetable Fried Quinoa with Ginger and Swiss Chard

by Spending Time With Salad

Prep Time: 10

Cook Time: 35

Keywords: steam stir-fry entree side gluten-free nut-free vegan vegetarian

Ingredients (serves 4-6 as a side dish)

    For the Quinoa

    • 1 tsp oil of choice or butter
    • 1 cup quinoa
    • scant 2 cups broth of your choice

    For the rest of the dish

    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
    • 2 green onions, thinly sliced dark green bits only
    • 1 shallot, finely chopped
    • 3 tbsp cilantro leaves
    • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 2 carrots, diced
    • kernels of 1 fresh corn cob, about 1 cup
    • 1 ½ cups chopped swiss chard
    • 1 tbsp oil of choice
    • Worcestershire sauce
    • Soy sauce
    • Sriracha sauce
    • Black pepper


    For the Quinoa

    1. Soak quinoa for about 10 minutes, or rinse well under running water. Drain thoroughly.
    2. In a heavy pot on med-high flame, heat oil or butter till hot and add drained quinoa.
    3. Toast for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
    4. Pour in broth, clamp on the lid, and turn heat down to med-low.
    5. Simmer for 20 minutes. (Prep rest of ingredients in the meantime!)
    6. Remove from heat. Let sit another 10 minutes to finish steam cooking.

    For the rest of the dish

    1. In a large skillet over med-high flame, heat oil till it shimmers.
    2. Add garlic, shallot, and carrot. Cook, stirring well, for about 4 minutes till the shallot starts to turn translucent.
    3. Add in corn, cook for another 4-5 minutes, till corn starts to brown just a little bit.
    4. When ready, push corn mixture to edges of pan and pour the eggs in the middle, stirring to scramble thoroughly.
    5. Season with a few dashes of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. (About 1 tsp each.)
    6. Remove egg and corn mixture from the pan to a bowl or plate.
    7. Return pan to heat and toss in the chard. Stir fry the chard till just about tender, 2-4 minutes depending on the size and type.
    8. Add the cooked quinoa to the chard and season again.
    9. To the quinoa and chard, toss back in the egg and corn mixture.
    10. Season well with black pepper, adding extra soy and Worcestershire sauce as desired.
    11. Serve hot topped with spicy Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce!

    Want it vegan? Remove the eggs and swap the Worcestershire sauce for mushroom sauce. (or omit it all together)

    Want some meat? In a separate pan, brown a bit of ground meat of your choice and toss it in at the end.

    Want more veggies? Go for it! I would have added some sliced snap peas if I’d had any on hand!

    2014-01-22 20.04.09

    Not only did this make the house smell heavenly, but it was delicious too! I had to hold myself back from eating half the pan before plating.

    I paired it with a steamed garlic studded artichoke and a bit of Vegenaise for dipping. This was definitely a weird combo, but that’s how we roll in this household!