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.






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)

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 : 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 www.herchigimages.com

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.


My Trip to Waikiki Worm Company

I’ve dabbled in composting before, but I was told that I wasn’t doing it quite right. I had a spinning composter, but worms don’t like to get tossed around. When I changed living arrangements, I sold my spinning composter and took a hiatus from the whole endeavor.

Throwing vegetable scraps away just didn’t feel right, and after attending the recent agriculture conference, I committed to seriously getting back into composting. I made my visit to the Waikiki Worm Company this afternoon and purchased all my new composting items. Here is the store owner getting my worms ready for me.

Mindy explained to me how to set up my system. First, I have to shred paper and place it into my composting bin.
Then, I take the pile of worms and separate it from the vermicast, sprinkling the vermicast onto the paper to make a nice bed for the earthworms. It’s important to water it so that it stays moist.
From there I take the ball of earthworms and place them onto the bed and let them wriggle their way into their bed of paper and vermicast.

Now I can begin to feed them, so I grabbed some alfalfa sprouts that I had leftover from a cooking class and sprinkled them in.

Finally, it’s important to cover the food with more paper, and then wet everything down, and place on the lid.

My system is now operational! I’m heading back to her shop on Saturday to pick up some compost tea to spray on the foilage of my plants.

I’m really seriously working on getting a big container garden going. Here is my kale, basil, thyme, chives, parsley, and Maui onions…. (hard to see but they are all in there!).

Cilantro and arugula are sprouting in some other containers…