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!

vibrant chickpea & herbs salad

Bright green herbs stand in for mixed greens in this filling meal-sized-salad. It’s a great way to include more fresh herbs into your diet, and make use of those random green thingies that show up unannounced in your CSA. Feel free to swap as you like- dill, parsley, mint, basil, Thai basil, cilantro, and sorrel would all be great mixed together in some pretty combination! I made this in cooking class recently, but the recipe comes to us via a coworker, from whom I often ‘borrow’ recipes. Mahalos Cyn!

so green, so lovely

Chickpea & Herbs Salad

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups chickpeas, room temperature
2 cups finely sliced fresh basil
2 cups sliced cucumber
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup fresh mint, minced
1 cup fresh cilantro, minced
½ cup fresh parsley, minced

  1. In a large bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, soy sauce, and salt/pepper. Whisk until emulsified and add chickpeas. Let stand one hour.
  2. In another large bowl toss together remaining ingredients. Add in dressing and chickpeas and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Yields: 4-6 salad servings

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!)

Ala Moana Farmer’s Market

I was able to start my weekend off right with a trip to the Ala Moana Farmer’s Market. This is one of my favorite markets here on Oahu, run by the same dynamic lady duo that runs the Haleiwa Farmer’s Market. The Ala Moana market is great for many reasons:

  • Most importantly, lots of quality produce from our island farms. Organic, exotic, local!
  • It’s at a good time (Saturday mornings), and I can usually remember to go!
  • It’s held at the mall, and I think it’s a GREAT way to give the finger to the consumerist bullshit that the mall generally represents. Who needs all that Prada, J.Crew, and Chanel crap when we have beets and greens and fresh bread and eggs and music?!
  • Such good prices: for only $40, I walked away with lots of calamansi (sweet-tart mini citrus fruits), limes, oranges, mangoes, pastured eggs, turnips, collards, kale, beets, choi sum, cilantro, jicama, lemongrass, green papaya salad, avocado, and two wee bananas.
    My favorite market find: calamansi limes. Can't get these babies at Safeway!

My favorite market find: calamansi limes. Can’t get these babies at Safeway!