Category Archives: Food

Another fine birthday celebration

We’ve celebrated Meda’s birthday through most of the week, finishing up last night with several friends over for dinner. Here Meda’s getting ready to deal with the cake & candle, while merriment goes on in the background.

Celebrate ’em while you still can!

Hopefully I’ll be back to substantive blogging on Monday.

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Going to Seed

Seed Restaurant in Kaimuki has been around for a couple of years, but we’ve just “discovered” it after moving into town from Kaaawa.

You have to work a bit to find the entrance, in a dark hallway off Kaimuki’s municipal parking lot. It faces 11th Avenue, but you enter from the parking lot side, and you pass a couple of other food spots before finding it. Watch for the Himalaya Cafe signs, and Seed is right downstairs.

Seed doesn’t fall in the “fast food” category. It’s a little pricey, with most lunch fare hovering just over the $10 mark. But the food is good, prepared well, and well presented.

And there’s more. Social justice. Seed creates employment for survivors of our urban illnesses.

Here’s their own statement:

OUR FOOD IS LOCALLY SOURCED WHENEVER POSSIBLE.
Some even comes from our urban garden on the premises. We use chemical-free produce and responsibly managed animal sources. Daily recipes might vary depending on what’s available from island farmers.

OUR MEALS ARE ALWAYS HEALTHY.
We won’t serve it if it isn’t true to the body. Our plates are proportioned and balanced for optimum health.

OUR BUSINESS IS AN EXPRESSION OF JUSTICE.
Seed is staffed by survivors of homelessness, human trafficking, domestic abuse and other unique challenges. We create flexible jobs in community with the help of volunteer employees. Justice works.

ENJOY THE FOOD. JOIN THE MISSION.

We’ve only been there for lunch, but Seed is open for dinner as well. It’s BYOB, so you’ll save a bit there.

Here’s a link to the Seed menu.

Here are a few photos: A not-very-good look at the interior, and the items we ordered for lunch today (Meda’s very healthy-looking chicken/vegetable wrap and pasta salad, and my slightly naughty burger that comes with a generous green salad).

Kaimuki

Kaimuki

Kaimuki

Chicken soup can be quite a bargain!

Chicken soupThis was the 4th or 5th meal that we got out of one of those cooked chickens you can buy at Costco for $4.99.

These are a real bargain (apologies up front to our vegan friends!).

The first night, we just had chicken, rice, and a vegetable plate, as I recall. On night #2, I made a pasta in a sherry-garlic white sauce, and mixed in pieces of chicken. Meda made a romaine salad.

Then we had at least one lunch of chicken sandwiches, maybe two?

And then I boiled down the bones into a hearty chicken soup with carrots, garlic, kale, onion, and a couple of hot chili peppers. On the side, sliced fresh tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, and a few slices of whole wheat bread.

It made for a tasty end to the day.

You can click on the photo to see a larger version.

Another quick meal (with photo)

We were coming home late a few days ago and stopped off to shop with an eye towards something quick and easy that would also use lots of what we already had on hand at home.

I ended up grabbing some ground turkey, and here’s what emerged.

We ended up with a turkey patty and brown rice. They were served with onions, mushrooms, sweet peppers, and garlic sautéed until the onions were browned, along with side of cooked spinach, onion, and garlic. Then Meda added a plate of sliced tomatoes, carrots, olives, and a small avocado.

Oh, did I mention a bottle of red wine, in this case I think it was a Rosemont Shiraz.

Easy and yummy.

Lots of veggies

Another two-pot challenge for the cook

We try to save money while traveling by frequently eating in our room.

If we don’t have a refrigerator or cooking facilities, we’ll just order take out, buy a bottle of wine, and spread out in the room.

Here in Des Moines, we reserved a room at the Residence Inn that promised a full kitchen. Well, on arrival, I would have to say…yes, but…the cooking facilities were definitely compromised.

tiny cooktopThe first problem. The room turned out to have microwave and a two burner cooktop, one covered pot, and a frying pan that fit the same cover. So one cover, two pans. And the next problem, the two pans were too large to fit on the cooktop at the same time. For example, it was impossible to heat water and cook something in the pan at the same time. So this required a plan for serial cooking if the meal took more than a single pan.

But we persevered.

We survived the first night by buying one of those whole, fully cooked chickens that supermarkets use as loss leaders. Great price, no fuss. We picked up salad fixings, and Meda prepared a great spinach salad. All I had to do was heat up a can of baked beans. It wasn’t fancy, but we were tired after the long flight from Honolulu.

Not too shabbyThe next night we tried again, this time with fresh chicken thighs cooked with garlic, onion, and a canned of diced tomatoes. Meda made another salad. And I prepared some penne pasta with a bit of garlic. Another straightforward meal.

We spent a couple of nights with takeout orders, one from the nearby Fong’s Pizza, the other from Thai Flavors, about a six minute drive away.

The next night we were back at Hy-Vee looking at our options. We needed up with salmon filets from Scotland. I first sautéed onion and garlic, and then added the rest of the bag of salad spinach we had bought previously. Cooked it down a bit, then took it off the stove in order to make room to heat water for the pasta. When the pasta was done, I set it aside, and put the onion-garlic-spinach mix back on the stove, added the salmon, then added a little lemon juice and a dash of white wine, covered and cooked for maybe six minutes or so. Meanwhile, Meda worked on a picky plate with carrots, avocado, and sliced tomatoes. When the salmon was cooked, it was served with the pasta. A bit of parmesan added at the end. It all came together pretty well, and both looked and tasted great.

Better than most restaurants (at least those in our price range!).

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