Archive for May, 2011

May 27, 2011

Three New Maui Favorites : Parts II + III

This is the second [and third] part to this morning’s post.  To read Part I, click here.

My two other new faves are food-related, which is why I’ve decided to do a dual-post.  In addition to supporting my local farmer’s market and buying as much local produce as possible, I’m always on the search for food products that are being made on island [we really do need to become less reliant on outside sources].   For these reasons, I am so excited to tell you about the following local products! 


Maui Preserved

Okay, so I didn’t know that pickles were made out of cucumbers until high school.  To be fair, we didn’t eat many veggies growing up and we only got our pickles from the supermarket.  Plus, because I’ve never been a fan of salt, I’ve never particularly liked pickles. 


Ben does.   

Last weekend we hit up the Swap Meet with Ben’s cousin Kimo, who was visiting from O`ahu.  We browsed the booths of jam and jelly [can’t do sugar] and smoked products [salmon from the U.S.], but I literally stopped in my tracks when I saw the tent with Maui Preserved products.  Canned products that I can use?  Made on Maui

We were lucky to have met Anthony and his partner, who run Maui Preserved, that morning.  They were both incredibly friendly, down to earth, and passionate about what they’re doing [which makes all the difference, if you ask me]. 

Maui Preserved sells a variety of products ranging from hot sauces [lilikoi/hot hot] to tomato puree; from marmalades to – of course – pickled veggies [jalapenos, beets, cucumber dill pickles, etc.].  They utilize what’s fresh and local, but have a few staples that are always being produced. 


We sampled a few of their offerings at the Swap Meet and then decided that we couldn’t live without a jar of their Cucumber Dill Pickles in our fridge for a few reasons: (1) the spices looked way too fresh to pass up, (2) the ingredients list is legit [no sugar!], (3) they weren’t overwhelmingly salty, and (4) we’re supporting local!


I really love Maui Preserved’s packaging [clean and simple].  I meant to take photos of the unopened jar, but someone had gotten to it before me. 


[Pretty sure Ben really likes these – he’d already polished off almost half the jar in just four days.]

Take it from someone who doesn’t typically like pickles – these are delicious!  They were good at the Swap Meet and all, but they were 10 times better cold and straight from the fridge!  They’re bursting with flavor without being overpoweringly salty, and they’ve got the perfect crunch. 


The only downside?  This 16 oz. jar of pickles costs $6.00.  It’s quite the splurge, but boy are they ever worth it! 

I hear they’re also selling Maui Preserved products at Mana Foods in Pa`ia, Ha`iku Grocery, and at Morihara Store in Kula!  To learn more about Maui Preserved, visit their website at or email

Uma’s Spice Mix

Uma sells her delicious homemade vegetarian food at the Upcountry Farmer’s Market  every Saturday, and for the past few months Mom and I have been addicted to her incredible samosas and curry! 

A few weeks back, we asked if she’d be open to teaching us how to cook some of her recipes.  The next week, there was a sign-up sheet for a Naan cooking lesson.

And last weekend, for a mere $10 and a few spare veggies, we joined Uma and some new friends for a community cooking class. 


We got so much more than a simple piece of naan with a recipe.  Uma – who is from Malaysia, and whose family is originally from South India – took the time and effort to teach us about her beautiful culture.  Since my body is sensitive to gluten, she gave me pointers on making gluten-free naan [I’m excited to play around with the possibilities]! Using the veggies we all brought, Uma also made a pot of vegetarian curry for us to eat with our freshly-cooked naan, which we ate off of banana leaves with our fingers [my kind of meal!].


After lunch, we all looked at our calendars to set a date for our next community cooking class [we leave on our U.S. trip in a week and a half, so we’ll probably miss the next one], and then Uma brought out her highly sought-after packaged mixes! 


Uma sells saffron, chia tea mix, and both meat and vegetarian curry mixes all over Maui [you can find them at Cash-n-Carry, Mana, and the farmer’s market, to name a few].  Each curry mix package costs around $5 to $6 and will make a few pots of curry!  Seriously, check out those spices in the bag – this ain’t yo’ Momma’s curry mix [unless yo’ Momma’s from India.  Or Malaysia.]. 


Uma has lived on Maui for years, has a family and the most adorable children who are all part of our community.  More importantly, she has a heart of gold and takes the energy to teach our community about her beautiful culture through her cooking.  She’s passionate about what she does, and that’s something I can definitely support!

To learn more about Uma’s Spice Mix, or about her cooking classes, email her at or come visit her at the farmer’s market! 

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!

May 27, 2011

Three New Maui Favorites : Part I

I have an immense passion for supporting local people and businesses [check out my Support Local section to learn more].  Since leaving the office, I’ve had more time to explore new products and people, and I’m so excited to tell you all about them! 

Pilates 808

What do you think of when you hear the word Pilates?  If you’re anything like me, you think of a room-full of women breathing heavily while trying to balance inflatable balls between their legs [is that just me?]. 

Yes, I’ve taken a few mat Pilates classes before [I even spent a semester getting a credit to take Beginning Pilates], and I know the very basics.  But I had no idea Pilates extended beyond simply core-strengthening, nor that it could be done on machines! 


So when Laura invited me to visit her newly-opened Pilates studio [located at the back of Ha`iku Town Center] and try one of the machines, I was more than intimidated.  I can work my way around the gym weight section with no fear, but what am I supposed to do with these?


Soon after arriving at Pilates 808, my worries were quelched by Laura’s guidance.  We started with a postural analysis and she gave me excellent pointers for creating better posture in every-day life.  And then I got a demo on my new friend, the Reformer!


Laura was extremely patient while explaining how necessary proper form is. The machines are meant not only for core-strengthening, but total body fitness!  I did a round of moves, ranging from mobility [matwork-style] exercises to resistance [pully-style] exercises. 

The concept behind the Reformer is brilliant – it’s so versatile and the resistance can be adjusted to fit individual needs.  My personal favorite moves on the Reformer were the ones that focus specifically on strengthening shoulders.  I’m learning that shoulders are a bit of a weaker area of mine, and with Laura’s guidance I was really able to isolate that single muscle group [something I’ve never been able to do with free weights or even machines]. 

The session was over before I knew it, and I left feeling aligned and—is it possible?—longer than when I came.  I’m excited to try the other class options available! 


As it turns out, Pilates is much more than inflatable balls.  It’s even more than simply strengthening your core.  Pilates is great for creating long, lean muscles [um, yes please!], restoring natural spine curvature,  maintaining bone density, and improving balance. Plus, it can be done by anyone.  Laura offers classes ranging from solo sessions to “circuit training”, which means there’s bound to be something that works just for you!   

Combine all that with the fact that Pilates 808 is run by Laura Rice, a woman living on Maui, and I am in sustainable-Maui-LOVE

To see the complete list of class options, visit the Pilates 808 website or give her a call at 633-2808. 

Stay tuned for Parts II and III of my New Maui Favorites post – homemade island-grown PICKLES [!!] and Indian cooking classes – coming at you later today.

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!


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