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kauai

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe for Thanksgiving

We love this delicious soup that is available on our special Thanksgiving Menu for November 23. This recipe blends tangy, sweet apples with mellow butternut squash; cumin, coriander, ginger, and cayenne creating vibrant flavors perfect for the holiday.

Serves 6

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 4 red or golden apples, peeled, cored, and chopped, plus 1 apple, finely diced and tossed in lemon juice, for garnish (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 1/2 cups water, plus more if needed
  • Sour cream, for garnish (optional)

 

  1.  Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Add squash, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add apples, salt, cumin, coriander, ginger, cayenne, black pepper, stock, and the water (just enough to cover). Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes.
  3. Puree in batches in a food processor or blender until smooth, and return to saucepan. Heat over low, thinning with more water if necessary. To serve, ladle into shallow bowls; garnish with diced apples, and sour cream if desired.

 

2017 Thanksgiving Menu Offerings

Living Foods Gourmet Market is excited to be preparing culinary treats for the holiday season. As Thanksgiving approaches, Chef Justin Kai and his team are busy finalizing new recipes, as well as old favorites for their Thanksgiving menu offerings.

For the third year, the market is offering free-range turkeys from the Diestel Family Ranch in Sonora, California. This particular ranch is known for their farming practices including feeding the finest one hundred percent vegetarian U.S. sourced grains, as well as never administering growth stimulants, antibiotics or artificial flavors. Pre-orders for an uncooked 10-12 lb. and 12-14 lb. turkey can be made at the market, or by calling 808-742-2323. Pick-up for turkeys begins on Saturday, November 18th through Thursday, November 23rd (Thanksgiving Day)

If you are looking to enhance your Thanksgiving menu, Living Foods is offering unique side dishes including Butternut Squash and Apple Soup, Maple Roasted Yams and Carrots, as well as Green Beans with Roasted Shallots. Classic favorites are also available like Stuffing with Dried Fruit, Celery and Sage, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy.

If sweets are on the mind, you can order a Pumpkin Pie or or Cheesecake. All orders must be pre-paid by Tuesday, November 21st, and can be picked up on Thursday, November 23th from 8am until 2pm.

 

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The Lanai restaurant and bar opens in Poipu

 

 

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The Lanai restaurant and bar opens in Poipu

The Lanai restaurant and bar is now open at The Shops at Kukui’ula. Part of and adjacent to Living Foods Gourmet Market and Cafe, The Lanai is the result of two years of concept planning, design, and construction emerging as a charming restaurant featuring sophisticated island cuisine in an open-air setting.

The classic Hawaiian design, blended with distressed Indonesian teak and mood lighting give the restaurant a contemporary yet tropical ambience. The space features a gorgeous bar, table seating and tastefully appointed rail chairs with great views of the beautifully landscaped mall of The Shops at Kukui’ula.

The surroundings set the stage for the inspired cuisine of Executive Chef JP Filion. The creative menu was crafted to reflect the commitment to sourcing the highest quality sustainably grown and locally harvested items that Kauai has to offer. The Lanai specializes in fun and innovative small dishes like stuffed acorn squash, miso baked mahi mahi, Angus burger with Brie, as well as a refined take on the island-style loco moco. Complemented by this diverse and exquisite selection of dishes, The Lanai has created an international wine list that is truly unique on the island offering an exciting array of choices. Finally, The Lanai offers a playful selection of tropical signature cocktails garnished with Kauai-grown seasonal favorites.

The Lanai ‘ohana is comprised of Owners Jeff Sacchini and Howard Warner, Executive Chef JP Filion, General Manager Apryl Whitehead along with an experienced team committed to providing the best new culinary experience in Poipu. “We are thrilled to be open and feel that we are in the perfect location to embrace visitors and residents with a new dining option in Poipu,” shares Jeff Sacchini, owner. Howard Warner is equally excited stating, “The setting, service and remarkable cuisine embody the aloha spirit.”

The Lanai restaurant and bar is open seven days a week for happy hour from 3pm to 5pm and dinner from 5pm to 10pm. Lunch service is planned for the near future. For reservations, please call 808-378-4359 or visit thelanaikauai.com.

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Thanksgiving Menu Offerings

Living Foods Gourmet Market is excited to be preparing culinary treats for the holiday season. As Thanksgiving approaches, Chef Justin Kai and his team are busy finalizing new recipes, as well as old favorites for their Thanksgiving menu offerings.

For the third year, the market is offering free-range turkeys from the Diestel Family Ranch in Sonora, California. This particular ranch is known for their farming practices including feeding the finest one hundred percent vegetarian U.S. sourced grains, as well as never administering growth stimulants, antibiotics or artificial flavors. Pre-orders for an uncooked 10-12 lb. and 12-14 lb. turkey can be made at the market, or by calling 808-742-2323. Pick-up for turkeys begins on Saturday, November 19th through Thursday, November 24th (Thanksgiving Day)

If you are looking to enhance your Thanksgiving menu, Living Foods is offering unique side dishes including Butternut Squash and Apple Soup, Maple Roasted Yams and Carrots, as well as Green Beans with Roasted Shallots. Classic favorites are also available like Stuffing with Dried Fruit, Celery and Sage, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy.

If sweets are on the mind, you can order a Pumpkin Pie, Walnut Tart or “Frank’s Famous Pumpkin Crunch Cheesecake.” All orders must be pre-paid by Tuesday, November 22nd, and can be picked up on Thursday, November 24th from 8am until 2pm.

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Catering by Living Foods

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Our culinary team, lead by chefs JP Fillion and Justin Kai, is sharing the Living Foods experience outside of the market and cafe through off site catering. From the daily preparation of the National Tropical Botanical Garden Sunset Dinner menu, to beachside parties and corporate events, they are busy expanding menu offerings and enhancements like decor, flowers and music. If you are looking to compliment a dinner party or need an entire event planned from pupu to dessert, the Living Foods team can make it happen. Here is a sampling of a recent menu offering. Please email catering@shoplivingfoods.com for more information or to discuss your catering needs. 

Passed Pupu

  • Brie fritter with pickled local mango
  • Skewered Kauai raised shrimp topped with candied red onion
  • Seared Ahi on wonton crisp topped with charred pineapple relish
  • Avocado croquette with spiced Hawaiian chili aioli
  • Bbq pork with a spiced kimchi slaw
  • Ono sashimi with a jalapeño jam on crostini

Appetizer

  • Grilled king crab, tequila-lime aioli and shaved hearts of palm and carrot slaw
  • Kilauea grown kale salad with toasted macadamia nuts, candied pineapple and Parmesan crisps
  • Seared Scallops with green apple salad, braised scallions and mint vinaigrette
  • Potato and prosciutto croquettes with meyer lemon-crème fraiche

Entrée

  • Miso Baked Mahi Mai with ali’i mushrooms, baby bok-choy and a coconut-lemongrass chowder
  • Seared Yellowfin Ahi, coconut-ginger forbidden black rice, roast beet and pressed watermelon
  • Roast onaga, caramelized mango chutney, shiitake mushrooms and carrot-ginger broth

Dessert

  • Lilikoi cheesecake with shaved white chocolate
  • Kauai coffee crème brûlée
  • Tempura chocolate cake, strawberry-cracked pepper salsa and basil gelato

 

How I Got Our Kids to Eat Veggies and A FREE GIVE AWAY!!

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I have a really great way to get kids to eat almost all veggies, including Brussels sprouts! I found a product over ten years ago called Sale Alle Erbe delle Marlunghe at Dean and Deluca, a gourmet food and kitchen wares store, while on a wine tasting adventure in Napa. It’s a savory herb salt that makes EVERYTHING taste better. I only bought one jar and imagine my dismay when it was all gone. We put it on so many dishes from meat and potatoes to pasta and veggies to salads….you get it. But the best part was what happened when I put it on roasted veggies. The kids ate them like candy!! The salt is so amazing that I even mail it to our daughter in Boston when she runs out. And she runs out a lot! She could order it online from a store in Sacramento, but she would rather have me mail it to her. Imagine that!!

The reason it’s so good is the dried herbs and salt aren’t just mixed together. The herbs and garlic are put into the salt while they are fresh and then the salt dehydrates them, extracting all the aromatic oils and flavors into the salt.

I brought eight jars (I couldn’t get ten) over to Kauai last week when I snuck in a quick trip to check out the new Juice Bar @ Living Foods. It is heavenly and you should not miss it on your next adventure to Poipu! I even got Jeff out of the market for a bit to spend fun time cruising on the North Shore and camping at Polihale. All in only 5 days. I love that your camping essentials are a bathing suit, towel and sunscreen and you are set. Although 4-wheel drive, an air mattress, blanket, food, and beverages don’t hurt either! Oh, and don’t forget the camping permit.

Now for the best part of my blog post…the give away at Living Foods. Shop in the market and cafe and be one of the first eight customers to spend $50 in one visit, mention the give away and we’ll give you a jar of salt for free!

My autumn recipe suggestion to use with the salt is to cut up Kauai’s sweet and crunchy carrots, local sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, and eggplant and toss them in olive oil, sprinkle with the salt and some pepper and roast at 425 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. Turn on convection if your oven has it for even better roasting. Then, add some broccoli florets, onion, and red bell pepper that have been cut into bite size pieces and lightly coat in olive oil and continue to roast until all the veggies are cooked and slightly charred. At this point, taste and add more salt if needed. This is definitely my go to side dish for many fall and winter evenings. Put a fried egg on top after taking out of the oven and it’ a meal!

Living Foods Gourmet Market and Cafe ~ Thanksgiving Offerings

As the thriving foodie hub on the South Side of Kauai, Living Foods Gourmet Market is thrilled to be preparing for the holiday season. As Thanksgiving approaches, Chef Justin Kai and his culinary team are busy finalizing new recipes, as well as old favorites.

For the third year, the market is offering free-range turkeys from the Diestel Family Ranch in Sonora, California. This particular ranch is known for their farming practices including feeding the finest one hundred percent vegetarian U.S. sourced grains, as well as never administering growth stimulants, antibiotics or artificial flavors. Pre-orders for an uncooked 10-12 lb. and 12-14 lb. turkey can be made at the market, or by calling 808-742-2323. Pick-up for turkeys begins on Saturday, November 21st through Thursday, November 26th (Thanksgiving Day)

If you are looking to enhance your Thanksgiving menu, Living Foods is offering unique side dishes including Butternut Squash and Apple Soup, Maple Roasted Yams and Carrots, as well as Brussels Sprouts with Roasted Bacon, Garlic and Lemon. Classic favorites are also available like Stuffing with Dried Fruit, Celery and Sage, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy. If sweets are on the mind, you can order a Pumpkin Pie, Walnut Tart or “Frank’s Famous Pumpkin Crunch Cheesecake.” All orders must be pre-paid by Tuesday, November 24th, and can be picked up on Thursday, November 26th from 8am until 2pm.

 

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The Juice Bar @ Living Foods

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In case you haven’t heard, we opened a juice bar at Living Foods Gourmet Market and Cafe! Jeff and Howard asked me to write something about it so I took that to mean they wanted my opinion. Every day that I get to give my solicited opinion is like Christmas.

What do I think of juicing? Well the first thing that comes to mind is how excited I am because this means when our girls are on island, they will have easy access to all the fruit and veggie goodness they need. We have 5 girls between our 2 families, not including us moms, and it will be so awesome for them to have no excuses for getting their 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies daily.

The latest info from the National Institutes of Health is that on any given day, 45% of the US population is having no servings of fruit or fruit juice and 22% have no servings of vegetables. Really? That’s depressing to me. It’s because of these statistics that we need more access to juice bars.

There is no magic formula coming out of juice bars, but they typically feature fresh, nutritious, vitamin-and-mineral and anti-oxidant loaded beverages. These vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants are needed by our bodies and we aren’t getting enough of them.

I can only postulate as to why I think the American public isn’t getting enough fruits and veggies and my opinion is:

  • Most produce requires preparation and when so many families have both parents working, there just isn’t enough time or energy to prepare the produce.
  • If not eaten within a certain time frame, it goes bad and gets thrown out. Fresh produce can be expensive, especially if it’s organic, and this is a risk a lot of families don’t want to take.
  • Kids don’t generally like the bitterness of many veggies so parents aren’t wasting their time serving them.
  • Fruit as a snack isn’t nearly as appealing as cookies and candy.
  • It’s just so much easier and frequently less expensive to grab fast food or prepare packaged food.

So, because of the above mentioned thoughts, my opinion is that we need more juice bars! Veggies are combined with sweet fruit juice, which cuts some of the bitterness (just a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down…) and juiced fruits and veggies deliver a lot of the nutrients that we are missing in the average American diet due to decrease consumption of fresh produce. These are nutrients that studies have shown are involved in decreasing our risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and even mental health disorders. The mental health connection is due to the prebiotic nature of many fruits and vegetables, but I’m saving that for another post!!

One last bit of info – certain important nutrients in vegetables are more available to our body if the vegetable has been cooked, other nutrients are more nutritious if eaten raw so the take home is this – don’t let juicing fully replace your consumption of fruits and vegetables but use it in addition.

See you at the Juice Bar @ Living Foods!

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How to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally

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This is a topic near and dear to my heart because my husband suffers from White Coat Hypertension. Ever heard of it? It’s the phenomenon that occurs when having your blood pressure taken during a doctor visit. Just being at the appointment can cause anxiety and thus blood pressure to rise. Anyway, Jeff is very disciplined about diet and exercise, other than the occasional Bubba Burger! In fact, most mornings he can be found running 5-7 miles in and around Poipu! As a result of his mostly-good habits, he has rarely needed to go to the doctor. But on the few occasions when a trip to the doctor or hospital is required such as a check-up or stitches from an errant elbow during a basketball game, he is a wreck. He even hates visiting friends or family at the hospital. So funny for a fearless guy!! Well, funny to me but not funny to him. So when he has his blood pressure taken, it’s higher than 120/80, he flips out because his BP is high, and then it goes higher!!  This is obviously not an uncommon problem or it wouldn’t have a name. It might also be genetic as our oldest daughter also suffers from White Coat Hypertension.

How does White Coat Hypertension differ from clinical Hypertension? Clinical Hypertension is where your blood pressure exceeds 120/80 in a non-agitated state. The upper number, which is always the larger number, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart muscle contracts as in a heartbeat, and the lower number measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rest, between beats. The upper number is called systolic pressure and the lower is the diastolic.

Which brings me to how you can lower it naturally. According to the Institute of Medicine, most American women consume less than half the recommended amount of potassium, men just a bit more than women. Potassium can lower systolic blood pressure by anywhere from 3-7 points as well as blunt the effects of salt, reduce the risks of kidney stones, and decrease bone loss.

Adults should consume at least 4.7 grams of potassium/day to achieve the above effects and some potassium rich foods include:

  • Bananas
  • Potatoes (include the skin)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Halibut
  • Tuna
  • Tomatoes
  • Oranges and grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe and honeydew

I want to focus on bananas because we carry the best bananas grown on island from Kapaa Banana Company! They are smaller, sometimes half the size, of the bananas seen on the mainland and they’re called apple bananas because they have a faint green apple flavor. They are the perfect size for a snack or a kid’s lunch with no leftover banana to turn brown and mushy. I like to take the really ripe ones, peel them, cut them up into 1 inch segments, and then put each cut up banana in it’s own ziplock bag in the freezer. All ready for smoothies and then I don’t have to add ice, which waters down the taste, to make it thick.

Fun facts about bananas:

  • Mai’a is the Hawaiian word for banana
  • Early Polynesians introduced bananas and they were taboo for women.
  • It was considered bad luck to dream of bananas, to meet a man carrying bananas, or to take them in fishing canoes.
  • Bananas don’t grow on trees, they grow on giant perennial herbs.
  • A bunch of bananas is called a “hand.”
  • They are available year round on Kauai.

Lastly, if you want to learn more about how potassium can lower your blood pressure, help prevent bone loss, and why it’s better to get potassium from foods instead of supplements, here’s a great article that’s easy to understand and is found in one of my frequently read science nerd publications.