May 30, 2012

Eating Well With Diabetes

Diabetics can eat sweet corn but not too much 
because it can raise your blood sugar.
When my wife and I moved to Moloka'i 15 years ago, we began to realize that a huge number of our friends and neighbors had diabetes. I wanted to know why, so recently I began researching diabetes and found out that native Hawaiians have the second highest rate of type 2 diabetes in the U.S. and have an increased risk for new cases of diabetes due to high rates of obesity, impared glucose tolerance, and insulin resistance syndrome. The Hawaii State Department of Health’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, reveals that this serious disease is a major public health problem in the Aloha State – and it is hitting people of Native Hawaiian, Filipino and Japanese ancestry particularly hard. An estimated 72,000 to 100,000 people in Hawaii currently have diabetes, of which 25,000 or more remain undiagnosed. More than 900 Hawaiians die each year from diabetes-related complications, making it the seventh leading cause of death in the state.

The fact is that whether you have been diagnosed with diabetes or not, the bottom line is that EVERYONE should adopt healthy eating habits.

• Control portion sizes and the total number of calories you consume.
• Eat a wide variety of foods.
• Include fruits, vegetables and whole grains in each meal.
• Reduce the amount of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol you eat.
• Limit sweets and salt.
• Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation, if at all.
• Include physical activity in your daily routine, if approved by your doctor.

If you do have diabetes, you have to take control of your unhealthy eating habits in order to control your blood sugar. The two biggest hurdles are calories and carbohydrates. You have to control both in order to keep your blood sugar level steady. You and your doctor and nutritionist should come up with a meal plan to help you balance nutrition and taste. Your meal plan will take into account your age, size, weight goal, exercise level, medications, and other medical issues. The meal plan will also include the foods you like to eat — so let your diabetes health care team know what these are.

A good place to look for information about diabetes and diabetic recipes that have the right kind of flavor that you're looking for is on an internet search engine. To get you started, check out the Mayo Clinic website: Another great site for general information and recipes is the American Diabetes Association at:

Recently I was contacted by They have hundreds of recipes on their site that were developed by James Beard Award-winning cookbook authors Frances Towner Giedt and Bonnie Sanders, PhD. Check out this site for recipe ideas.

Eating well with diabetes is really not that difficult, so make a few simple changes to your diet and get back to enjoying life.

What can I eat with diabetes?

Rules for eating healthily don't change much whether you have diabetes or not.

You should aim to eat a diet that is low fat (particularly saturated fat), low sugar, low in salt, high in fruit and vegetables (at least five portions a day) and moderately high in starchy carbohydrate foods. 
However, different carbohydrate foods have different effects on blood glucose levels. This can make a big difference as to whether your diabetes is well controlled or not.

Research indicates that it's the sugary fast releasing and processed starchy carbohydrates (known as having a high glycaemic index) that are the worst for diabetes and the less processed whole grain carbohydrates (low glycaemic index) that are best.

Foods with a high GI are rapidly digested and absorbed, resulting in a rapid peak in blood glucose levels. 
By contrast, low GI foods produce a gradual rise in blood glucose and insulin levels, which avoids rapid peaks and lows.

Foods with a high GI are white and brown bread, rice cakes, cakes, biscuits, sugary drink (including juices), potatoes and some type of rice.

Foods with a low GI are pasta, oats, some but not all fruits, dairy products and heavy whole grain breads.

Of course you can't stick exclusively with low GI diet, but you can help improve your blood sugar control by including at least one low GI food at each meal.

These are my top tips for getting your carbohydrates right:
• Switch to breakfast cereals based on oats (such as oatmeal), or wheat and rice bran.
• Eat grainy breads made with whole seeds, barley and oats, instead of white or brown bread.

• Eat wheat-based pasta and long-grain rice in place of potatoes and short grained rice, but watch serving size.

• Use low-fat milk and low-fat yogurt.

• Eat beans, lentils and peas.

• Eat sweet corn and sweet potatoes instead of Idaho potatoes.

• Eat apples, dried apricots, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, orange, peaches, pears, plums and barely-ripe bananas instead of other fruits and raisins.

• Choose less processed foods as processing makes food easier to digest.

• Eat fibre because it helps slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates.

• Avoid drinking large amounts of fruit juice. Although fruit sugar (fructose) doesn't stimulate insulin release it can still cause problems with blood sugar control in large amounts.

Here are a few delicious diabetic recipes to try, however not all recipes presented here are necessarily appropriate for all people with diabetes, nor will all recipes fit into every meal plan. No two meal plans are alike. Work with your health care provider, diabetes educator or dietitian to design a meal plan that's right for you, and includes the foods you love.

White Bean and Sweet Red Pepper Salsa 
with Pita Wedges
3 6-inch pita breads, each cut in half
1/2 15-ounce can navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 medium garlic clove, minced

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Cut each pita half into 6 wedges. Place on a baking sheet and bake 5 minutes or until just beginning to brown lightly. Cool completely. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and toss gently, yet thoroughly. Serve with pita wedges. Makes 6 servings.

Roasted Red Pepper Avocado Dip
1 avocado, ripe
2 roasted red peppers
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 clove of garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves (optional)

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree. Serve with sliced cucumber.

Minestrone Soup
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
1 carrot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups fat-free, unsalted chicken broth
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1 can (16 ounces) canned chickpeas or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup uncooked small shell pasta
1 small zucchini, diced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for another minute. Stir in broth, tomatoes, spinach, beans and pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add zucchini. Cover and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in the basil. Ladle into individual bowls and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Grilled Steak and Potatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pound flank steak, trimmed of fat
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Oven-Fried Potatoes
vegetable cooking spray
4 large baking potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes, (2 lbs.), sliced - lengthwise into; 1/2-inch wedges
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon rosemary, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine vinegar, oil and garlic in shallow glass dish. Sprinkle both sides of steak with salt and pepper; place steak in dish and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

Make Oven-Fried Potatoes: Heat oven to 450˚F. Line cookie sheet with foil; lightly coat with vegetable cooking spray. Toss potatoes, oil, rosemary, salt and pepper in large bowl. Spread in single layer on prepared cookie sheet. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until golden and crisp.

Meanwhile, heat grill. Grill steak 6 to 8 minutes per side for medium rare. Serve with potatoes and chopped tomato and cucumber. Makes 4 servings.

Marinated Swordfish
1 pound swordfish steaks
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon basil, dried, or 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced, peeled
4 slices red onion

Place the swordfish in a non-metallic shallow bowl, baking dish, or a zip-lock bag. Combine next 6 ingredients. Mix the marinade well and pour it over the swordfish. Marinate, refrigerated for 1 hour, turning fish several times. Remove swordfish from marinade and place in a microwave-safe baking dish. Place a slice of red onion on each steak. Cover securely with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 5 to 6 minutes. Rotate the baking dish halfway through the cooking process. Let stand, covered, for 1 minute. Makes 4 servings.

Simply Snow Peas
1 pound prepared snow peas
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in 1 1/2 qt microwave-safe casserole. Cover tightly and microwave 1 to 2 minutes. Stir gently. Replace cover and microwave 2 to 4 minutes longer, or until snow peas are crisp-tender and bright green. Drain well before serving. Makes 3 servings.

Zucchini and Chili Tomatoes
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 cups canned tomatoes
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
4 cup sliced zucchini
2 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese

Place first 5 ingredients in large saucepan. Bring mixture to boil, then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in sliced zucchini. Continue cooking until zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes. Just before serving, place ingredients in casserole and sprinkle with grated cheese. It may be necessary to heat casserole to melt cheese. Makes 8 servings.

Sesame Kale
1 1/2 pounds kale
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup low-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon lite soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
fresh ground pepper to taste

Wash the kale, but let the water cling to it. Cut off and discard the tough stems. Slice the leaves once down the middle, then cut them crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips. In a wok, heat the oil. Add the garlic. Saute for 10 seconds. Add the kale with broth. Cover and steam for 3 minutes until the kale wilts. Add the soy sauce. Top the kale with sesame seeds and fresh ground pepper. Serve. Makes 6, 1/2 cup servings.

Brown Rice Pilaf
1 1/8 cups dark brown rice, rinsed and drained
2 cups water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup chopped pistachio nuts
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped

In a saucepan over high heat, combine the rice, water, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the saffron. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and keep warm.

In a small bowl, combine the orange zest and juice, oil, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk to blend. Pour the orange mixture over the warm rice. Add the nuts and apricots and toss gently to mix and coat. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.

Sugar-Free Apple Pie
1 6-ounce can frozen apple juice, unsweetened
2 tablespoons, rounded, all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 to 7 Granny Smith apples
1 tablespoon butter
1-9 inch, double-crust pie shell unbaked

In a small saucepan, combine the frozen apple juice, flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture is thick and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes. Peel and slice the apples and stir them into the apple juice mixture. Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie shell and dot with butter. Position the top crust over the filling, cutting slits for the steam to escape. Trim and seal the edges. Brush the top very lightly with water and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake at 450˚F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350˚F and bake for 30 minutes more. Makes 6-8 servings.

Banana Bread
1 cup oat flour (rolled oats powdered in food processor or blender)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted pecans or walnuts chopped
3 very ripe bananas mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
6 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease the bottom only of loaf pan. Combine dry ingredients. In separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. Lightly fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients with spatula just until combined. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for about 55 minutes. Cool for five minutes and invert. Store in refrigerator for four days or on the counter two days. Makes one loaf.

May 19, 2012

Why Millions Of People Are Eating Beans & Rice

Stuffed Red Bell Peppers
Click on photo to view larger
Beans and rice are an inseparable pair of staple foods for millions of people all over the world. Dried beans and rice can both be stored easily for long periods of time, and they are economical because they can be bought in bulk. When combined they offer a complete source of protein and other nutrients without the addition of meat. What types of beans and rice are used varies greatly from black and red beans to brown and white rice. In the U.S., beans and rice are popular in hispanic and cajun cooking, and in most of the southern states as well. When times are hard, it's a delicious complete protein to turn to. So what is a complete protein?

A complete protein or whole protein is a protein that contains all of the essential amino acids.

When you are eating red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and dairy, you are eating complete proteins. If you are a vegetarian, you can also eat complete proteins from certain plants, such as soy, spirulina, hemp seed, amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa.

Protein is essential for many bodily processes, including building and repairing tissue. You use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Plus, your hair and nails are mostly made up of protein. It is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Protein is made of smaller components called amino acids, 12 of which are manufactured by the human body. Another 9, called essential amino acids, must be obtained from food.

Foods can be combined to make complete proteins like pairing beans with rice or corn. There are other combinations as well. Beans and seeds, beans and nuts, and beans and grains will form a complete protein. When you eat hummus and pita bread, nut butter on whole grain bread, pasta with beans, veggie burgers on bread, split pea soup with whole grain bread, and tortillas with refried beans, you are eating complete proteins.

Recent studies show that the beans and the grains don't even need to be eaten at the same meal, so if you eat beans for lunch and rice with dinner, you've got yourself a complete protein. You may spread your food combination over a 2-day period. I think everyone eats beans and rice because it tastes so good.


Stuffed Red Bell Peppers
This is an easy recipe and can be made the way you like it. I like red peppers because they are sweeter than yellow or green, but you can use whatever you like. That goes for the kind of beans, mushrooms, cheese, rice, etc.

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup onion (chopped)
4 button mushrooms, chopped, including stems
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice (cooked)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 large round red bell peppers
1 cup cheddar cheese (grated)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a skillet, sauté onions, mushrooms, and garlic in butter until tender, about 3 minutes. Add ground beef, chili powder, salt and pepper, and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes more. Add beans, tomato sauce, cooked rice, oregano, and blend together. With a sharp knife, cut the peppers in half lengthwise, through the stem. Carefully remove the seeds and membrane inside. Put a pinch of salt into each pepper half. Stuff cleaned peppers with mixture, packing it into the crevices with a teaspoon. Put any extra mixture in an oiled shallow 9” x 9” baking dish. Place filled pepper halves on top of mixture so they are facing up. Tightly cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes until peppers are tender. Remove and discard foil and top each pepper with grated cheese. Bake about 3 minutes more, until cheese melts. Serve with steamed asparagus with a butter and fresh lime juice sauce, or a nice green salad. Makes 4 servings.

Portuguese Beans and Rice
12 ounces white beans (dried)
4 ounces chorizo sausage (chopped into bite sized pieces)
8 ounces short grain rice
3 ounces bacon
1 onion
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (minced)
1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
black pepper

Soak the beans overnight for at least 6 hours. Drain them and put them into a pot, covering them with cold, lightly salted water. Add in the chorizo. Cover and bring to a boil then lower the heat and allow to simmer for about an hour until the beans are tender but not overcooked. While the beans are cooking, cook the rice. Set the rice aside. Peel the onion and garlic and chop together with the bacon. Saute them together in a pan with the olive oil. Dice the tomatoes, then add them to the saute pan. Add the bay leaf, parsley, salt and pepper, as well as the red pepper flakes if you are using. Allow to cook on medium heat until the onions are fully cooked. Add the rice to the pan, keep stirring, allowing the rice to soak up all the flavors in the pan for a minute or two. Put the rice mixture into a bowl and stir in the drained beans and chorizo. Makes 4 servings.

Edamame Fried Rice
Edamame is more commonly known as soybean, and is parboiled and quick-frozen, then sold in most grocery stores. It is a major source of protein and has been eaten in East Asia for over two thousand years. Adding edamame to fried rice makes a delicious, healthy meal.

2 cups shelled frozen edamame (or 4 cups frozen edamame in pods)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs, whisked
3 scallions, white and green parts finely chopped
3 cups leftover white rice
Salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons furikake

Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Cook the edamame according to package instructions. Drain, rinse under cool water, and drain again. If you’re not using already-shelled edamame, remove the edamame from their pods. Set aside. Break up the cold cooked rice into smaller clumps as much as possible.

Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat the base and sides. Add the egg, spread it as thinly as possible, and cook undisturbed for 2 minutes, until cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into bite-sized pieces. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat the base and sides. Add the scallions and stir-fry briefly until aromatic, about 20 seconds. Stir in the rice, breaking apart any remaining clumps with a spatula. Add the edamame and chopped egg. Stir-fry for another 1 to 2 minutes, until the rice starts to turn golden and the edamame and eggs have heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Quinoa Hawaiian
If you have never tried Quinoa, pronounced (Keen-wa), it’s a wonderful whole grain that has a delicate nutty flavor and is easy to prepare. Quinoa is widely versatile and goes well with chicken, pork and fish, and is a complete protein all by itself.

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped dried pineapple
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped and roasted
2 green onions, chopped

In a small skillet, toast chopped macadamia nuts on low heat for about 5 minutes, being careful not to burn them, then set them aside. Next, heat olive oil and sesame oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in quinoa and allow to toast for 2 to 3 minutes, then add vegetable broth, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until all liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes. Add dried pineapple and fluff quinoa with fork, cover and let sit 5 minutes. Serve hot, topped with green onions and toasted macadamia nuts. Makes 6 servings.

Black Bean, Heart of Palm, and Corn Salad
This is a wonderful salad, full of color and good for you. Serve with steamed corn tortillas, or corn chips to make this salad a complete protein.

1 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
1 10-ounce package frozen corn, thawed, drained
1 7 1/2-ounce can hearts of palm, drained, cut into
1/4-inch-thick rounds
2 large tomatoes, seeded, diced
1/2 red onion, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground coriander

Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. (Salad can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Makes 4 servings.

Brown Rice Pilaf with Gingered Corn
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1/2 tsp.)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 cups long-grain brown rice
1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

Heat sesame oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, and saute 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add ginger, and sauté 1 minute more. Stir in rice, and saute 2 minutes, or until coated with oil, and beginning to turn opaque. Stir in orange juice, 1 1/4 cups water and salt. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and cover. Simmer 30 minutes. Sprinkle corn over rice. Cover, and simmer 15 minutes more, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro, and serve. Makes 8 servings.

Black Beans with Garlic Rice
3 15-ounce cans black beans, undrained
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons extra vigin olive oil, divided
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large or 2 small bay leaves
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Garlic Rice:
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
3 cups long-grain rice
3 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
Garnish: chopped onions, avocado slices, sour cream

Place beans in Dutch oven (do not cook). Saute onion and green bell pepper in 2 tablespoons hot oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet 7 to 10 minutes or until onions are tender. Stir in garlic, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and ground black pepper; saute 1 minute. Add onion mixture, wine, and next 4 ingredients to bean mixture in Dutch oven. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Remove from heat; remove and discard bay leaf. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Drizzle beans with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Serve over Garlic Rice, and garnish, if desired.

Garlic Rice:
Press garlic cloves gently with side of a knife until lightly crushed but still whole. Saute garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons hot oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat 3 to 5 minutes or until garlic is golden brown; remove and discard garlic. Add rice, and saute 1 minute. Stir in 3 1/2 cups water and salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 25 minutes or until rice is tender. Do not uncover rice. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Drizzle rice with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and fluff with a fork. Makes 8 servings.

May 4, 2012

Portuguese Cooking In Hawaii

Portuguese Bean Soup
Click on photo to see larger image
The Portuguese were the preeminent fishermen and explorers of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Those adventurers brought back spice and foods that were unheard of in Europe. In 1876, Jason Perry, Consular Agent for Portugal, recommended that laborers be shipped to Hawaii from the Portuguese island of Madeira to work on sugarcane plantations. Madeira had grown sugarcane for many years and is known today for its Madeira wine. Madeira is part of two Portuguese archipelago located in the north Atlantic Ocean, 400 miles off the coast of North Africa. In 1878, immigration began. 

These European immigrants differed from their Asian counterparts as they intended to stay in Hawaii permanently. Their families brought everything with them, along with their distinctive cuisine. Their food was more authentic Portuguese because it had fewer Spanish influences, using less cilantro, curry or cinnamon, and more hot spices. They expressed love, faith and friendship through their cooking. Portions were large and hearty, and guests were always welcome at the table. They built forno, their traditional beehive oven, to make Pão Doce, the Portuguese sweet bread and malasadas, a sweet doughnut without a hole in it. Other foods they brought were Linguica: spicy sausage, Acorda: bread soup, Arroz Doce: sweet rice, Caldirada: seafood stew, Caldo Verde: kale and potato soup, Feijao: beans, Pao Doce: sweet bread made with egg and butter, Peri Peri: a hot and sour sauce made of hot chili peppers, garlic, onions, tomatoes, horseradish, and lemon juice, Pudim Flan: custard, Sabula de Vinha: pickled onions, Soupa de Feijao: bean soup, and Vinha D' Alhos: fish or pork in vinegar and garlic. These wonderful foods have become a valued part of the Hawaiian melting pot. 
"Strokes of Time"
My fathers Kamaka Ukulele

One last tidbit: The iconic Hawaiian ukuleles were made in Hawaii, but they were originally made by Portugese immigrants as early as 1879, not by the Hawaiians. They were based on a similar instrument found in Portugal called a cavaquinho. 

Well, as the Portuguese say…“belas palavers, ñao preencher a barriga” (fine words don’t fill the belly.) So, let’s eat!

Roasted Tomatoes with Eggs and Sausage
This Portuguese brunch recipe is a nice change from the usual eggs and bacon. You will need 2 large ripe tomatoes, preferably from your garden.

2 large ripe tomatoes, cut in half
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
chopped parsley
10 pitted black olives chopped
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
black pepper, freshly grated
dried oregano
4 fried eggs
1 Portuguese sausage (linguica, blood sausage, or chorizo) thinly sliced and fried
2 limes

Cut the tomatoes in halves. Place them with cut side up in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with salt and a little olive oil. Then put it in a 375˚F preheated oven for 40 minutes. Mix the garlic, parsley, olives and bread crumbs. Season with pepper. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the mixture. Then sprinkle again with two tablespoons of olive oil. Put it all in the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes. Fry the eggs and sausage slices in a little olive oil. Place a fried egg on top of each roasted tomato and put thin slices of sausage next to it. Surround the tomato and sausage slices with a few watercress leaves sprinkled with lime juice, olive oil and a little salt. Don't forget to grind black pepper and/or dried oregano on top of the eggs immediately before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Portuguese Fish Stew
This is a delicious hearty rustic fish stew (Caldeirada de Peixe), the way the Portuguese would have made it.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 leeks, washed to removed interior soil and coarsely chopped
1 bulb fennel, white parts only, coarsely chopped
5 finely chopped garlic cloves
1 cup diced tomatoes, canned or fresh
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 bay leaf
Zest of 1 orange
1 quart fish stock or water, or an 8-ounce bottle of clam juice plus 3 cups water
2 cups dry white wine
Scant 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3 pounds mixed white, non-oily boneless fish and shellfish, or just fish

Heat the oil in a large stockpot, add the onions and leeks, and sauté in olive oil until fostered. Add the fennel and garlic and sauté until aromatic. Add all the remaining ingredients except the fish and shellfish and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

While the stock is simmering, cut the fish into bite-size portions. Bring the stock back to a rapid boil, add the fish, and cook for 1 minute. Add the shellfish (if using) and continue to boil until shells open, approximately 1 minute. Shake the pan occasionally to encourage clam and mussel shells to open. If using shrimp, turn off the heat as soon as all the shrimp lose their gray translucency; any longer and they quickly become tough and overcooked. Depending on your pot and burner, this will probably be about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot with crusty bread. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Portuguese Mussels, Shrimp 
and Sausage Stew with White Wine
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves minced
1 small spicy Portuguese sausage, peeled and diced
1 green pepper diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 bay leaf
6 ounces tomato paste
1/2 750ml bottle of dry white wine (I use Pino Grigio or a Pouilly-Fuissé, see Note below)
1 pound of mussels
1 pound of shrimp, shelled
1 small bunch of fresh parsley
salt and fresh ground pepper
1 loaf of crusty bread

Add olive oil, onion and sausage to a large heavy pan. Turn heat to medium high and brown onion and sausage. Add minced garlic, diced green pepper and large tomato and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add bay leaf, tomato paste and wine and stir on medium heat until the sauce is blended well. Add mussels and shrimp and cover pot. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Discard any unopened Mussels. Sprinkle with parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with hot crusty bread, and more wine. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Note: You might as well buy 2 or 3 bottles of wine while you're at it and make sure it's cold!

Portuguese Bean Soup
This is a delicious hearty rustic soup/stew, the way the Portuguese would have made it.

2 ham hocks
1 10-ounce mild Portuguese sausage, thickly sliced
1 chorizo sausage, peeled and broken into pieces
1 medium onion, minced
2 quarts water (8 cups)
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 celery rib, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can whole stewed tomatoes, broken with your hands
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/3 cup cider vinegar
3 to 4 cups cabbage, roughly cut
2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place ham hock, sausages, onion, and water into a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour, covered. Take ham hocks out and remove the meat, roughly chop, and return to soup, discard bones. Stir in potatoes, celery, carrots, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic and vinegar. Cover, and continue simmering for 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in cabbage and kidney beans, cook until the cabbage has softened, about 10 minutes. Taste, then add salt and pepper and more water if needed. Serve with a garden salad and fried bread (recipes below). Makes about 10 servings.

Note: The photo above shows macaroni in the soup, many Portuguese soup recipes have macaroni in them. I decided to take it out of the recipe because it gets mushy, and I can't believe that the Azoreans used pasta in their soup anyway. If you still want to use it, use 2/3 of a cup of uncooked macaroni and put it in the soup with the potatoes.

Portuguese Sausage in Whiskey Sauce
2 large packages Portuguese Sausage
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whiskey (I use Maker's Mark bourbon, but use whatever you like)
1 cup ketchup

Mix sugar, whiskey and ketchup in pot and simmer about 15-20 minutes. This can be made in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. When ready, cut sausage in bite size pieces, put in baking pan, add sauce, cover with foil and bake until heated (350˚F for about 1/2 to 3/4 hour). Makes 8 servings.

Roasted Fish with Cilantro and Cherry Tomatoes
In Portugal you would use a sea bream for this recipe, but in Hawaii, I would suggest moi. Moi is a delicious, delicate Hawaiian fish that was once reserved only for royalty, it is now farm raised on the Big Island, and available in many stores here.

2 pounds whole moi, cleaned and scaled, or other white fish
suitable for roasting in the oven: Onaga, Ono, or Opakapaka
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lemon, cut into wedges
16 cherry tomatoes
sprigs of cilantro
2 stalks of rosemary
olive oil
salt and peppercorns to taste

Stuff garlic, rosemary and lemon wedges in the belly of the fish. To prepare the wrapper, place a sheet of parchment paper on top of an aluminum foil sheet. Place the parchment paper and foil on a cookie sheet. On top of the parchment paper sheet, place a sprigs of cilantro and then on top of that place the fish after being seasoned with salt. Sprinkle the fish with chopped garlic and sprigs of cilantro. Place the cherry tomatoes around the fish. Sprinkle with peppercorns. Sprinkle with olive oil and close the wrapper tightly. Put the cookie sheet with the fish into a preheated 400˚F oven for 40 minutes. Makes 4 serving.

Baked Portuguese Potatoes
3 cups water
1 or 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 or 2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
4 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 pound of chorizo (spanish pork sausage)

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Pour water into a roasting pan. Add vinegar to taste. The water should have just a hint of vinegary taste. Sprinkle paprika over the water and mix, removing the lumps. Add salt, pepper, onion, tomato, parsley and potatoes. Remove the casing from the chorizo and break apart the meat, add to other ingredients. Bake for 2 hours. Do not cover potatoes because they will steam and not roast. The potatoes will have a nice red color when they are done. Makes 6 servings.

Portuguese Sausage Stuffing
This stuffing is great with turkey, chicken, duck, whatever.

1/4 pound thick-sliced slab bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
1 pound chourico, linguica, or dry-cured smoked Spanish chorizo, roughly chopped
Olive oil, if needed

2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 cup button mushrooms, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2/3 cup dry white wine (a friend of mine prefers a red port, Sandeman Founders Reserve)

3 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons tomato paste
12 cups 3/4-inch cubes of day-old rustic bread

About 3 cups chicken stock
2 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Turkey giblets (see note below)

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until the fat has rendered and the meaty bits are crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels. Pour off all but a thin film of fat from the pot into a cup and reserve. Turn heat to medium-high, add the sausage, and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat, adding it to the bacon fat. If the pan is dry, add 2 tablespoons of oil.

Lower the heat to medium, add the onions and mushrooms and cook until soft, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute more. Splash in the wine, add the paprika and tomato paste, scrape up any stuck-on bits, then simmer for a few minutes.

Turn the heat to low, add the bread and the reserved bacon and sausage fats, then gradually pour in just enough of the chicken stock to make the mixture moist. If you use all the liquid and the pot is still dry, add a little juice from the olive jar as necessary. Fold in the bacon, and sausage. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Scoop the dressing into a bowl and sprinkle with the eggs, olives and parsley. Makes 8 servings.

Note: If you have, and like turkey giblets, cook them with the chicken stock, chop them up, and add them to the stuffing. Personally I love giblets, but my wife doesn't, so one year we will make it with and the next without. Enjoy!

Portuguese Corn Bread
Portuguese Corn Bread (Broa) is a rustic, dense part-corn loaf that's perfect for sopping up hearty soups and stews. It is not at all like the American Southern cornbread, which is quite sweet, and leavened with baking soda and powder.

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups stone-ground or standard cornmeal
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Cornmeal for pizza peel and dusting the top

Mixing and storing the dough: Mix the yeast and salt with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients without kneading, using a spoon, a 14-cup capacity food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with dough hook). If you're not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.

Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapse (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 10 days.

On baking day, dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Flatten slightly and allow to rest and rise on a cornmeal-covered pizza peel for 40 minutes.

Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat a baking stone to 450˚F, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray on any other shelf that won't interfere with the rising bread.

Just before baking, sprinkle the loaf liberally with cornmeal and slash a cross, "scallop," or tic-tac-toe pattern in the top, using a serrated bread knife. Leave the cornmeal in place for baking; tap some of it off before eating.

Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 30 minutes, until deeply browned and firm. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in baking time. Allow to cool before slicing or eating. Makes four 1-pound loaves. This recipe is easily doubled or halved.

Portuguese Fried Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 quart vegetable oil for frying

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add milk, and mix well. Divide dough into 16 balls. Pat out on a flat, floured surface to 1/2 inch thick. Fry in 1/2 inch hot oil, browning both sides. Serve warm. Makes 16 rolls.

Black-Eyed Peas and Tuna Salad
This is a wonderful, and easy Portuguese salad for two. You can add other things to it if you like: hard cooked egg wedges, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, or capers.

2 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, rinsed
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 red onion, sliced into thin half moons (about 1/2 cup)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
2 7-ounce cans solid white albacore tuna packed in water (I use Kirkland brand)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lettuce leaves, Boston or romain, to form a cup to put the salad in
Rustic crispy crackers, like Wasa, multi grain crispbread

In a small bowl, whisk the oil and vinegar until blended. In a large serving bowl, combine the beans, onion, garlic, and all but 2 tablespoons of the parsley. Pour in the dressing and toss to coat. Fold in the tuna, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours for the flavors to blend. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving. Take a taste. Add a splash of oil or vinegar or season with salt and pepper, if needed. Toss, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoon of parsley. Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves with crackers on the side. Makes 2 large servings.

Sardine and Celery Salad
I love canned sardines, and they are very good for you, rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This simple salad uses canned sardines and celery to create a wonderful Portuguese side dish or a nifty little lunch.

1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Four 4 3/8-ounce cans sardines in oil, drained and coarsely chopped
4 large celery ribs, peeled and cut into 1-inch matchsticks
salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large bowl, mix the parsley with the olive oil, grainy and Dijon mustards, red onion and the lemon juice and zest. Fold in the sardines and celery and season with salt and pepper. Chill and serve with rye crackers. Makes 4 servings.

Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese Custard Tarts)
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup white sugar
6 egg yolks
1 (17.5 ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
paper muffin liners

Preheat oven to 375˚ F. Insert paper muffin liners in 12 muffin cups (you can just spray the muffin tins with vegetable spray, but they are easier to get out if you use liners). Cut squares of puff pastry and insert into muffin liners, pressing with your thumbs from the bottom to the sides so the pastry is thinner at the bottom. Put the tins in the fridge while you work on the filling. In a saucepan, combine milk, cornstarch, sugar and vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Place egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture into egg yolks. Gradually add egg yolk mixture back to remaining milk mixture, whisking constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes, or until thickened. Fill pastry-lined muffin cups with mixture and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is lightly browned on top. Eat them warm, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon on top, as is traditional in Portugal. Makes 12 tarts.

Pudim de Ovos (Portuguese Egg Pudding)
1 cup sugar for caramel sauce
4 cups of milk
12 eggs
3 cups of sugar
1 tablespoon of flour
zest of one lemon or orange

In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water over low heat. With the back of a wooden spoon, keep sugar moving constantly in saucepan until sugar is completely melted, and of a rich medium brown color (caramelized). Pour the caramel into an ovenproof mold or bunt pan, rolling it around the sides to coat the mold evenly. Preheat oven to 400˚F. In a bowl beat the eggs until frothy. Combine the sugar, the flour, and the lemon/orange zest and beat the mixture into the eggs. Add the milk and mix again. Pour the custard into the caramelized mold. Place the mold in a larger pan and add water to come halfway up the sides of the mold. Bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center of the custard comes out clean. Cool to room temperature. Then place it in refrigerator tree hours. Carefully unmold the pudding on a plate by putting a plate on top of the mold and carefully turning it upside down. Makes about 8 servings.

Lavadores are Portuguese sweet lemon cookies. They are named "washboard cookies" because of the fork marks on each cookie.

1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
zest of 1 lemon
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar for rolling the cookies in before baking

Preheat your oven to 350˚F. With medium-high speed of an electric mixer or by hand, cream the butter and 1 cup of the sugar, about 1 minute. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each, until the batter is fluffy and pale yellow, about 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in the grated lemon peel. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, stirring to distribute the ingredients evenly. Using a wooden spoon, fold the flour into the egg batter. Mix well. Gently knead the dough in the bowl for about 5 minutes. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a shallow dish. Shape pieces of dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Roll balls in the sugar to cover, and place on parchment-lined or lightly greased cookie sheets, 1 inch apart. Flatten gently with the tines of a fork to make horizontal lines. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a light golden color. Makes about 48 cookies.

Candied Papaya
This is a classic Portuguese dessert from the Cape Verde Islands called "Dulce de Papaya". It is important not to use ripe papaya in this recipe, or it will disintegrate in the cooking process.

2 pounds almost ripe papaya
1 pound white sugar
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
4 cups water
1 lemon, grated zest

Peel the almost ripe papaya, remove the seeds and cut the flesh either into strips or into 1" cubes.

Combine the water and sugar in a large pot. Heat until the sugar has dissolved then add the papaya pieces along with the cinnamon stick, cloves and lemon zest. Bring to a heavy simmer and cook over medium-low heat without stirring until the sugar becomes a thick syrup (about 20 minutes).

At this point take the pan off the heat and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

Put the papaya and syrup mixture into a jar and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. It is typically served as a dessert with cottage cheese, cream cheese or thick yogurt, or as a sweet filling in fried empanadas (wonton wrappers stuffed with candied papaya then sealed with a little water and fried, then dusted while still hot, with cinnamon sugar). Delicious, but my favorite is to serve heated candied papaya over cream cheese filled crepes, with candied papaya and syrup over the top, then dusted with confectioners sugar (crepe recipe below).

Crêpes originated in France, they are paper thin pancakes with a filling. They can be used as a dessert, for example, filled with cream cheese mixed with confectioner's sugar and a little vanilla extract, then covered with candied papaya (recipe above), or savory fillings, like crepes filled with spinach, ricotta cheese and pepperoni. Similar to tortillas or other flat breads, they make a wonderful delicate wrapping for foods from different countries all over the world, including Portugal. For more information on Crêpes, click here.

1 cup wheat flour or all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup low-fat 1% milk
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons butter, melted
2 large eggs

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Combine milk, water, melted butter, and eggs in a blender. Add the flour mixture to milk mixture, and process until smooth. Cover batter; chill for 1 hour.

Heat an 8-inch nonstick crepe pan or skillet over medium heat. Pour a scant 1/4 cup batter into pan; quickly tilt pan in all directions so batter covers pan with a thin film. Cook about 1 minute. Carefully lift the edge of the crepe with a spatula to test for doneness. The crepe is ready to turn when it can be shaken loose from the pan and the underside is lightly browned. Turn crepe over, and cook for 30 seconds or until center is set.

Place crepe on a towel; cool completely. Repeat procedure with the remaining batter, stirring batter between crepes. Stack crepes between single layers of wax paper to prevent sticking. Makes 13 crepes.