Friday, October 15, 2010

Plant-based "Made in Hawaii" Potluck, Oct 15th

I just spent the afternoon shopping and preparing a few dishes for the "Made in Hawaii" potluck my friend Joy and I are hosting tonight. It was difficult to choose what to make because so many ideas flew into my mind while all the veggies simultaneously flew into the shopping cart. Approximately $100 later and I was on my way!!! I have a hard time with restraint when it comes to quality ingredients. :-) (But I will choose quality ingredients over other treats any time.)

I had a hard time with the flavor of the oil that I picked up (which shall remain unnamed) so my executive decision was to change to olive oil and use some balsamic vinegar too. Those were the only non-local ingredients in these dishes.

One of the items that I'd like to incorporate into a dessert is some kona coffee.... How to do this vegan style??? Hmmm...... Ok will work on that.

Here are some of the things that I was working with.....

Chinese cabbage, red radish, daikon, asparagus, basil, thyme, mint, lemon, orange, strawberry, lilikoi, tomato, Waialua chocolate, Japanese cucumbers, mac nuts, beets, beet greens, kale, and arugula.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mighty Lentils

In our previous cooking class, Grains and Beans, one of the beans we explored was lentils. I absolutely LOVE lentils, and for this class we specifically used French Lentils. I find them so beautiful with their blue, green, and brown earthy, life giving, vibrant colors.

I typically ask questions like "What's so great about lentils? Why should we eat them?"

Well..... Here's why we want to get lentils into our diet. They:
  • are high in protein & iron
  • contain dietary fiber
  • are low in calories
  • contain essential amino acids (eat with rice to have a complete protein source)
  • are inexpensive to purchase in bulk
They fill you up, but don't fill you out!

Cold French Lentil Salad

My friend Kathy turned me onto this dish that combines French lentils with fennel. I have to admit, even though I am adventurous, I was at first a little bit skeptical, until I tasted it.

The flavors exploded in my mouth, and boy, did I change my mind quickly! It was absolutely stunning!

It was so good that I immediately decided to highlight this recipe in my Grains and Beans cooking class.

When I took out the fennel, everyone got nervous and squirmed a little bit in their seats (kinda like how I had too). I could see them looking at me and thinking, "What is she about to do?!"

Here everything is ready and we are just about to eat.

(photos by Ruth)

The final recipe looks like this (below) and it comes from Vegetarian Times.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Refreshing Local Treats

I have been enjoying some local fruits from my friends' backyard gardens, specifically lilikoi and mountain apples. These are such refreshing treats.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Many Thanks

I have been really blessed lately with such a beautiful life, so I wanted to pause and acknowledge this. To my friends, customers, and teachers in life, I just wanted to express a big thank you for being a wonderful part of my life. In the past 9 months in particular, many of you have been such a beacon of love and light for me. Hope I don't leave anyone out. You are loved even if unnamed.

In gratitude to...

My family: For their unconditional love and support.
Anjali: For your friendship and skillful web design work.
Michelle D: You are always there for me. I love you!
Stephanie: For your friendship and beautiful graphic design.
Monique: For helping me shift my consciousness to a better realm.
Brenda: For your friendship.
Sandi: For teaching me about living fully. I cherish every day with you and your family.
Summer B: For your friendship.
Alice I: For always choosing love and light.
Gui: For creating an energetic space for me to reunite with myself on the yoga mat.
Paul and Amy: For both of your great sense of humor and Paul's beautiful photos.
Aprilani: For your friendship.
Joy and Shen: Blessing circles rule!
Shar and Art: For your open hearts and generosity.
Dania: For sharing important information with me with divine timing and your words of wisdom.
Kokua Market: For allowing me to develop new areas of my creativity.
MOA: For sharing space with me for cooking classes and for wonderful johrei energy work.
Baby aWEARness and Ashley Lukens: For sharing space with me for cooking classes, friendship and more cool stuff to come.
The Shintani's: For an opportunity to cook for people in life-changing ways.
Kathy: For being a colleague and friend in macrobiotics here on Oahu.
Willow: For insight into the sheer chaos!
Barbara P: For helping me manifest my heart's desire, quickly, easily, effortlessly for the highest good of all.
Nancy O: For the luscious mountain apples.
Geri: For your handcrafted dishtowels. I love them so much!
Holly & Moumen: For sharing.
Cherub & Joannie: For including me.
Divine source/mother nature: For providing everything I need.
Jeri: For helping promote me unselfishly.
Fred: Your heart is so filled with love. Thank you for touching mine. Any client who works with you is rich beyond belief.
Mavis, Ruth, Mi, Kay, Lei, Susan, Shelley, Joan, Karen, Jackie W, Arleene, Karin, and to all my incredible customers: I am honored to serve you! You make my job so wonderful! Thank you so much for your beautiful selves.

With love, Leslie

Photo by Paul Herchig of

Monday, October 04, 2010

Adventures in Gluten-Free Baking

Sooooo many people have asked me to make gluten-free goodies, and I have honestly just resisted. Wheat is just so yummy and makes such delectable desserts. Well, I'm operating outside my comfort zone now, just experimenting, and so far the results are not bad! Possibly even truly delicious. Behold the Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, and the Thumbprint Cookies. (I started baking on a whim and didn't have any apricot jam, so I improvised). I have to thank Lorraine for giving me a GREAT cookbook to get me going.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Heirloom Bean Soup

Sunday's cooking class is all about soups! This heirloom bean mix will be used in one of our soups that I'll demonstrate, seasoned simply with sea salt, veggies, diced tomatoes, and some herbs.

Cheesy Melty Vegan Lasagna

I'm recipe testing for future classes, and I put together a vegan lasagna that looks like it turned out pretty good.