My kitchen scrap vegetable garden is looking pretty good! Click on the photo to check out my easy DIY video
My new love, a Shun knife (gift from cousin Po)
Random grocery haul: I’ve got big plans for the fillo dough and agar!
When it’s absolutely, positively too hot to cook, the best thing to make is…reservations!
One of my favorite new restaurants is The Grove. We may not have an all vegan restaurant in Kailua yet, but there are certain establishments that make a great effort to have more plant-based options. The Grove offers beautiful salads, flatbreads,and sandwiches that can be easily veganized and my favorite, the kiawe grilled vegetable terrine. The terrine is a piece of art. Layers of eggplant, zucchini, peppers, sea asparagus,tomatoes and basil are served cold (or warm by request) atop swirls of two different purees, kabocha pumpkin and Okinawan sweet potato. Dig into this stack of yum and make sure to get some of the balsamic reduction on your fork to tie it all together into a perfect bite. The presentation is so gorgeous, I’d expect to see it plated for close to $20 at someplace like Millennium in San Francisco. It’s on the menu for only $8 here! And if you really want to dine frugally, get there between 5:30-6:00pm for the early bird menu- 3 courses for $17.
Kiawe Grilled Vegetable Terrine @The Grove, Kailua
Hawaii is a food obsessed state. When we’re eating breakfast, we’re thinking about what will be ono (delicious) for lunch. At lunch, we’re dreaming about dinner. And no meal is complete without something sweet at the end. I could write a dozen blog posts about this topic, but as a starting point for my PDX family that will be vacationing here soon, I offer this small sampling of my favorite spots to get a plant-based meal on the island.
Z Pizza uses organic ingredients and offers vegan pies and calzones with Daiya cheese and Gardein sausage. My favorite is the Berkeley Vegan with extra zucchini.
151 Hekili Street Kailua, HI 96734
Mon-Thu 10 am – 9:30 pm
Fri-Sat 10 am – 10 pm
Prima offers a selection of small plates intended to be shared with the table. The menu is always changing, but there is always a nice selection of veggie options. Stop by Foodland or R.Fields next door to BYOB as they do not have a liquor license. Reservations strongly suggested.
108 Hekili St Suite 107 Kailua HI 96734
Dinner Tuesday – Saturday 5p-10p
Lunch Tuesday – Saturday 11a – 2p
Closed Sunday & Monday
Kalapawai Café is a quick service joint in the heart of Kailua town. Daily breakfast specials, made to order sandwiches/pizzas and a full deli case with offerings like grilled vegetables, special salads and more.
750 Kailua Road Kailua, Hawaii 96734
Friday & Saturday Kitchen closes at 9:30PM
Saturday & Sunday Kitchen opens at 7AM.
Down to Earth is Hawaii’s only all vegetarian market and café. Pay by the pound hot food bar with selections like stews, chili, roasted vegetables. Full salad bar. Prepared grab & go items in the refrigerated case. Made to order sandwiches, wraps and more at the deli counter.
201 Hamakua Drive Kailua, HI 96734
7:30am – 10:00pm, 7 days a week
Lanikai Juice is smoothie heaven but the real treat is the Acai Extravaganza bowl topped with tropical fruit and granola.
600 Kailua Road, #101 Kailua, Hawaii, 96734
Sat 7am-8pm , Sun 7am-7pm
Aloha Salads is right next door to Lanikai Juice, so while you’re waiting for your morning smoothie, pop over and grab a salad or a wrap to take to the beach for lunch. I am a creature of habit and always order the Satay salad with no chicken, substitute black beans for my protein and request an extra side of dressing.
600 Kailua Road #103 Kailua, HI 96734
10 AM – 9 PM Daily
Town bound destinations:
Shirokiya is a feast for the eyes and your tummy. Full review and video HERE
1450 Ala Moana Blvd. #2250 Honolulu, Hawaii 96814 Food Court (2nd level)
Mondays thru Sundays 10a.m. to 9p.m. (store hours subject to Ala Moana holiday hours)
Mana Bu’s is home to the master musubi maker using the freshest and highest quality ingredients he can find. Not your run of the mill spam musubi by a longshot. Really cheap eats that will fill you up, full review HERE
1618 S. King St Honolulu,HI 96826
Mon-Fri 6:30am- when sold out or 1pm ( whichever is sooner)
Peace Cafe is Oahu’s only fully vegan café. I can’t believe I haven’t done a blog post with a proper review yet! My favorites are the Popeye sandwich, the Soy Soba salad, Caesar Salad if you want something really light or the BBQ Tempeh or Korean Bi Bim Bap for bigger appetites.
2239 S. King St. Honolulu, HI 96826
Mon-Sat: 11am – 9:00pm Sun: 11am – 3:00pm
Take a ride out to Hawaii Kai and stop in to Kale’s Natural Foods. There’s a few grab & go items in the front of the store and made to order magic at the deli window in the back. Menu items feature local, organic ingredients with vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. When you’re out that way, keep going towards Aina Hina and see Uncle Clay for shave ice with some unique flavors like at House of Pure Aloha
Hawaii Kai Shopping Center
377 Keahole St #A-1 Honolulu, HI 96825
Downtown @ the HiSAM is the perfect break from all the artsy fartsy happenings at the museum. Though the sit down menu doesn’t offer many interesting veg*n dishes, check out the take away bar for a few veggie treats made with local, organic produce. My quickie review HERE
Lunch reservations are recommended.
Hawaii State Art Museum
250 Hotel St, 1st Floor Honolulu, HI 96813
Mon-Sat 11am-2pm (Lunch only)
First Friday 5pm-8:30pm
The Kailua Thursday Night Farmers’ Market -
A rotating assortment of food vendors,fresh produce and baked goods. Bring cash and your appetite, ’nuff said
Mana Bu’s brings a welcome healthy twist to an island and personal favorite, Musubi. Monday thru Friday they open at the crack of dawn(6:30am) to start preparing different kinds of rice balls (musubi) and a small assortment of okazu ( veggie side dishes). Twelve varieties are made in the first round with white rice and classic ingredients like kombu (sea vegetable) and ume (pickled plum). The owner is from Japan and only indulges the Hawaiian yen for Spam musubi with a “Lite” version because he believes in real, whole food ingredients.
At 7:30am, Mana Bu’s starts to offer the brown rice and 10-grain musubis. There will soon be 29 different varieties to choose from! Fresh, high quality ingredients are featured on a little card displaying the origin of each ingredient used to prepare the food.
Weekdays at 8:00am, the full assortment of 35 kinds of musubi ( including organic rice), veggie okazu and desserts are ready. On Saturdays, they open at 9:00am and everything is available at that time. But get there early, weekday or weekend! There is a line before the store opens and since people buy at least a dozen or more at a time, they sell out quick. Closing time is 1:00pm but your favorites will be long gone before that.
Veggie Okazu and dessert offerings: green bean salad, gobo, broccoli corn salad and strawberry mochi
I tried the hijiki, ume, kombu, veggie curry, 10 grain and they were all oishii! If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be the veggie curry…with the hijiki as a close second. Musubi are great to take along on picnics, to the beach, on airplanes because they don’t require refrigeration ,rice fills you up and they’re cheap – $1.40-$1.70 each. Paired with a side veggie and a beverage, it’s the perfect take along meal.
1618 S.King St.
Honolulu, HI 96826
ph: (808) 358-0287
Mon-Fri 6:30a-1:00p/ Sat 9:00a-1:00p/CLOSED Sun,Holidays except for special orders
Downtown@the HiSAM brings owner Ed Kenney’s “local first, organic whenever possible, and with aloha always” fare to downtown Honolulu. Get there early ( before 11:30) or make a reservation because this place is packed by noon with both the business lunch crowd and tourists wandering over from Iolani Palace.
For some reason, I was surprised at the lack of veg*n options on the menu. To keep it real, I did not walk up to the takeout counter to see if they had different offerings there. But I did mention to my server that I was looking for a veg option and he recommended the lentil soup. If it wasn’t 87 degrees and 90% humidity today, that may have sounded like a good option. Instead, I opted for the sampler platter with hummus, curried coconut eggplant and poi. All good, nothing great and the portion is kinda manini for $9.
Mediocre lunch aside, I would go back to Downtown just for dessert. The Grapefruit-Campari Sorbet was so incredible, I did the happy dance in my seat. As it melts on your tongue, it’s Campari…then it slides around your mouth and BAM! Grapefruit. $4 for two scoops.
Our little town has a Thursday night Farmers Market and I’m thrilled to see it’s becoming more popular. I buy all of my produce for the week while supporting local organic farmers. As the market expands, they’re adding more vendors selling prepared foods, like Zarie’s. I tried the hummus, a sun dried tomato spread and the chakchouka. They were all good but the chakchouka was a taste sensation. I loved the sweet tang of the bell peppers and tomatoes so much I bought a container even though it was a bit pricey at $8/8 oz.
Chakchouka is traditionally served with eggs, but I’ve been enjoying it with vegan naan bread and stuffed grape leaves. YUM!