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A Week of Eating Local--Eat Local Challenge: Day 2--Featuring An All-Local Ahi Nicoise Salad

Posted Sep 28 2010 11:56pm
Here is my recap of Day 2 of the Eat Local Challenge I am participating in this week. The goal of this challenge? To bring awareness to the importance of building a sustainable food supply in Hawaii. This is critical because as I have mentioned in previous posts, the Hawaiian Islands import about 85% of our food consumed, and if for any reason shipping and air freight were cut off to Hawaii, the food supply would only last about 12-14 days. Also, if everyone in Hawaii bought even 10% of their food from local sources, it would bring millions of dollars of revenue to the economy and also open up a few thousand jobs.

Many of you have pointed out that I am lucky to live in a place where such good food is readily available and that is very true---it would be much more difficult to do this challenge living in other areas. Still, it isn't easy to eat exclusively local, it requires planning, sourcing local ingredients, doing without some regular favorites, and when purchasing certain items, it is more expensive. But all that being said, it has been a fun challenge and it is exercising my organizational skills and creativity, and the resulting meals have been pretty terrific.

Especially the Ahi Nicoise Salad that was last night's dinner. Absolutely delicious and well-worth making even when not in challenge mode. Grilled local ahi tuna, steamed green beans, slices of roasted Okinawan sweet potatoes (filling in for the regular white potatoes in a typical Nicoise), local eggs, tomatoes and cucumber, served on a bed of local greens. The dressing is a vinaigrette comprised of Oils of Aloha Macadamia Nut Oil, local Meyer lemon juice, tarragon, rosemary and chives from my herb garden and a little Hawaiian sea salt. Drool worthy for sure!

The rest of my day:
  • Breakfast: Watercress sauteed in a bit of Naked Cow butter, topped with an over-easy egg sprinkled with Alaea Red Hawaiian Sea Salt and served with tomatoes, GMO-free papaya with a squeeze of lime. Delicious and according to Dr. Nicholas Perricone on Good Morning America watercress and eggs are two of his anti-inflammatory foods that keep wrinkles at bay and prevent disease--whoo hoo! (The other foods are green tea, coconut oil, cinnamon, turmeric, and salmon--just in case you were keeping track!) I am pretty sure I looked at least a couple of years younger after breakfast! ;-)
  • Lunch: Leftover mini-Maui beef patties, with leftover guacamole and feta cheese, wrapped in lettuce and served with cucumbers and tomatoes. To drink, a cooling honeydew melon and mint yogurt lassi. Tasty and easy to throw together on a break from work.
  • Dinner: The Ahi Nicoise Salad mentioned above and that was more than plenty! ;-)
  • Dessert: A locally made (& with mostly local ingredients) Mountain Apple-Rose OnoPop.

Notes/Results: Another delicious day! Sure, some capers on my Ahi Nicoise would have been wonderful but even without them, it was pretty perfect. I also decided I need to cut back a bit on the local dairy as I am pretty sure it is stuffing me up--why I cut back on my dairy in the first place. I still plan to use what I bought but a bit less each day. I am still getting lots of salad and greens in, and the Okinawan sweet potatoes are a nice starchy bulky item that helps round out some of the "salady" meals. An after-challenge resolution is to roast a bunch of the sweet potatoes to snack on more often. The hardest part of the challenge so far is taking all of the pictures. ;-)

Tune in tomorrow for Tuesday's recap and my local Pots Au Chocolat for the new monthly blog event Food & Flix, featuring the movie Chocolat .

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