Vibrant Wellness Supper Club

A few weeks ago I hosted a supper club for ten friends. A supper club, or underground restaurant, is a way for aspiring chefs (or home cooks) to cook up a semi-professional meal while making a bit of money- like a dinner party with an entrance fee. Cooking for a crowd is a daunting task, and my friends generously paid to be my test subjects. But they were all happy with the meal, and I think the night went wonderfully: good food, fun drinks, great people, gorgeous food photos, and only a few mishaps- sorry about the salted truffles, friends! Many of the photos you see here on ManisKitchenworks were taken that great evening, captured by my talented friend Tyler of The Intire Project.

Find the recipes for Black Rice with Mushrooms and Cilantro and Coconut Ginger Tempeh here on Vibrant Wellness Journal.

Black Rice, braised greens, Coconut Ginger Tempeh (topped with some cabbage slaw!)

Black Rice  with cilantro, carrots, onions, and mushrooms. Delicious, but stunning too!

Enough tempeh for 10 hungry friends. Coconut Ginger Tempeh!

VeganMoFo 2012

aloha friends! Please join me in celebrating the annual Vegan Month of Food, starting next Monday, October 1! VeganMoFo was started years ago by Isa at the Post Punk Kitchen, as the bloggers version of the National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. The goal: writing about anything and everything vegan, EVERYDAY for the month. This gives participants a chance to buff up their writing skills, learn more about vegan food, talk about their favorite spices, or just stalk new blog friends on the blogroll. Find more information on the Vegan MoFo website, and on Facebook and Twitter.

Along with many fun discoveries this month- new recipes, new blog friends, new cooking techniques- we are also celebrating the compassion and excitement inherent in vegan cuisine. As stated by the MoFo’ers themselves, “As the world catches on that vegan food really is the best choice for animals (suck it, humane meat!), the planet (bite me, melting ice caps!) and people (piss off, heart disease!) let’s show them what vegan eating is all about!

This year Manis Kitchenworks will be focusing on student and staff favorites from my two years (!) of cooking classes! I’m going to conduct a poll in my next class about what the students have loved the most and just run with it. But sure to be on the list: Baked Tofu, Quinoa Fried Rice, Coconut Quinoa Risotto, Tomato Flatbreads, Carrot Cake, Black Bean Soup, and so much more.

guest post: favorite green goods for the kitchen

aloha friends: BakeryManis has another guest post up at Green Business Owner featuring some of my favorite green goods: eco-friendly dishsoap, rubbish bags, sponges and such. Not the sexiest post ever, but if you are looking for good quality green goods, these are my recommendations!

favorite green goods for the kitchen |

notes from the kitchen: pu-reh tea

photo from Numi site

My new favorite tea: Numi Coconut Pu-erh Tea. It’s so incredibly delicious and addicting! As if I need more tea to love- have you seen my tea collection?

I have always been curious about Pu-erh tea, supposedly full of antioxidants and full of earthy, rich flavors. There are lots of companies offering this type of tea, but I’ve long been a fan of Numi. They are a small brother and sister company that offers organic, fair-trade, delicious tea products. They offer many varieties of Pu-erh tea on their site- including cardamom, basil mint, ginger, and chocolate. You can probably find them at well-stocked natural or gourmet stores, too. Our grocery buyer got some samples, and I was instantly smitten and purchased some straight away.

But what is pu-erh tea, aside from being a tongue-twister (say poo-air)? Pu-erh is an ‘ancient healing tea picked from 500 year old organic wild tea trees in the majestic mountains of China’s Yunnan province” according to the Numi tea tutorial. It is a black tea, though significantly lighter (less tannic) and more refreshing than traditional black tea. Pu-erh tea is fermented, which results in an altogether different, mellow flavor, and high antioxidant content. It has been said that this tea can, “aid digestion and metabolism, maintain healthy cholesterol levels, help with weight management and naturally boost energy.” All that and it tastes great too!

dark colored but light flavored pu-erh tea is my new favorite.

sorrel: a new green to love

Generally I consider myself a greens geek: having grown many varieties of greens at home and at farms, I am familiar with most things leafy. But last week at the farmer’s market I found a beautiful new green friend in the form of sorrel.

Sorrel has a bright, almost lemon-zesty flavor, with a texture similar to spinach. It can be used in drinks, as a sauce, or sauteed with other greens. I chopped it and tossed into a cabbage/kale salad, which worked beautifully and was a hit with the ladyfriends.  If you are lucky enough to come across this lovely, flavorful green, I definitely recommend trying it out in your next salad or greens saute!
I did a quick search for veggie recipes using sorrel, and this is what looked the best:

Sorrel-Kale Soup (and hummus!) from Oops, It’s Vegan

Gnocchi with morels, peas, sorrel oil, pine nuts, and miso broth from Vegansaurus (sounds OMG delish)

Sorrel Drink (they sell this at the Jamaican restaurant here in HNL)

Warm Potato Salad with Sorrel and Sampire (I think this might be sea asparagus, which is available locally!)