Eat Well, Live Well

I always wanted to be a contributing author to edible Hawaiian Islands and this dream came true with the launch party that happened in early 2014 at Taste.

The name of my featured article is Eat Well, Live Well: A Game Plan for Health

edible Jawaiian Islands Jan - Mar 2014

The photography (and actually everything) in this issue is really spectacular.  So professional! All the articles are a very interesting read, with the entire content focusing both on health and sourcing local.

Game Plan for Health

The party itself was a lot of fun in the pop-up restaurant space Taste in Kaka’ako. I provided vegan brown rice sushi for pupus (appetizers).  Here is what people were saying about the day…

leslie reading article

Here I am seeing the article in print for the very first time.

dania leeann leslie

That’s Chef Lee Ann Wong behind me who was featured on Bravo’s Top Chef in the background nibbling my “sushi butts” as she called them, as I sliced everything for the other guests in attendance. Next to me is Dania Katz, the brilliant woman in charge of the magazine (and who organized the launch party).

jenn's pic of leslie's sushi

This photo (above) means a lot to me because it’s from Jennifer Hee of Kale’s Deli who is a brilliant vegan baker and chef herself!  Anyone on the east side of the island, go check out their menu.

kim shibata instagram

melissa808 instagram

What is mole anyway?

“What is mole? Mole generically means “sauce”. Modern mole is a mixture of ingredients from three continents, North America, Europe and Africa, making it the first international dish created in the Americas. Moles come in various flavors and ingredients, with chili peppers as the common factor. The ingredients are all roasted and ground into a fine powder or paste depending on the ingredients used. This roasting and grinding process is extremely laborious and if done by hand, takes at least a day. Traditionally, this work was shared by several generations of women in the family, but after the arrival of electric mills, it became more common to take the ingredients to be ground. Moles made in families are all different, as each has had its own varieties passed down for generations, with the making of it reserved for special events in large batches.” (From Wikipedia)

I first had enchiladas al mole when I lived in Eugene, OR. There is a large Mexican population there so the restaurants are amazing, and my dear friend Mario (and his wife Jenny) used to treat me to his mole and homemade salsa while we listened to salsa music from all over the world.  I’ll be serving this tasty sauce over a pinto bean burrito, with a side of MA’O Organic Farms Sassy Salad.

xoconusco

Learn more on the EVENT PAGE

or

Eventbrite - Mexican Pop-Up Dinner

Could brown rice change your life?

When was the moment in my life where changing my diet made a real results-producing difference? I was thinking back to this, and when my life truly started to become really awesome was actually when I started to eat brown rice. It sounds completely strange and a little woo woo, I know. But here’s the story:

I was living and working in Eugene, OR at the age of 23 and had about the most disastrous break up a person could have; the lowest of moments probably for me by far and I’ll spare you the gory details. I’d get up and walk over to this cafe near my home and order the tempeh chili with brown rice and then go home and go back to bed for a while.

Slowly but surely, I see how my life started getting better. I would never have attributed any changes in my life at that moment in time to having eaten the rice, but now in hindsight, all of the most most profound healing things I did for myself came after that. That time was the vortex, the quantum leap, even though it took time to root, grow, and flower.

The flowers looked like this: I quit smoking, finished my undergrad degree, got an amazing job in the Psychology Department, came to Hawaii to get my MA, and then went to Japan to work and ultimately learn macrobiotics.  Along the way with these changes, I started earning more money and found greater inner peace.

The next big quantum leap came when I fully committed to eating a whole foods plant-based diet.  That put my journey on warp speed with pretty radical change. Now I suddenly wanted to open a business and do public speaking and actually ENJOYED this. (This surprised me more than anything.)  Of course not every moment has been perfection or ideal, but the general trend has been of great personal growth and improvement.

I just can’t say enough about the benefits of eating healthy, even if you do just one thing for yourself.  Eating well changes people on a deep holistic level that you would never expect. Whatever you do will sprout and grow into more goodness, perhaps without ever realizing!

 

Brown Rice Sushi

Today in the Healthy Back to School Lunch Box cooking class another one of the items on the menu was brown rice sushi. I brought home the leftover ingredients made up some extra pieces for my lunch on Monday – brown rice, natural ginger pickles, ume, carrots, tofu, and cucumber. I used to think that making sushi was difficult, but it’s much easier than I ever realized, once I rolled a few. You don’t need to be an expert to do this. Excited to enjoy them!

(I will be teaching how to make brown rice sushi on Sept 3rd! We’ll have a great variety of delicious sushi. More info here….)

Brown Rice Onigiri

In this photo, you see some items ready for my lunch on Friday. I pressure cooked some brown rice with azuki beans and a little bit of barley, and when it was done, mixed it with some shiso kombu furikake and sesame seeds. Here are the onigiri waiting to be wrapped up into some nori.

When you make your rice balls by hand, your right and left hands are joined in prayer formation over your heart, so your rice is blessed! I wonder if this is why many Japanese people feel so loved by having their mothers’ brown rice balls packed into their school lunches?