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Island Life. Recipes. Frugal and Sustainable Living.

My Best Island Life

My Best Island Life

Island Life. Recipes. Frugal and Sustainable Living.

Recent Posts

Ulu (Breadfruit) Burgers

Ulu (Breadfruit) Burgers

Ulu, also known as breadfruit, is a versatile fruit beloved in many areas of the world, including Hawaii. I was excited recently to be able to harvest some for making these burgers, not just because it is a beloved local staple, but because it is […]

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Taco Salad Basics

Taco Salad Basics

It seems like I tend to have small flashes of culinary brilliance on Mostly Vegan Mondays, and today was no exception to that. I am finding more and more, that having a lot of vegetables on hand really saves the day when Monday rolls around. […]

Hurricane Bagels

Hurricane Bagels

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When I woke up yesterday and realized that I would be stuck inside for a few days because of Hurricane Lane, my mind went immediately to bagels. On holiday mornings, our family indulges in eating bagels with smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, fresh tomato, and onion. When it’s a holiday, we are normally distracted by gift-giving and meal preparation, but this time, the situation was different, and I actually had time to think about what I could do. Since bagel making is no easy feat, I decided that I could take my time and not rush the painstaking bagel process. I’ve had many bagel disasters that turned out to be dense, rip-your-teeth-out, pucks of hard tack.

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All together, I’ve had some recipes that were great, and some that were complete disasters. Part of the biggest challenge with making perfect bagels lies in my environment, which is at a tricky and humid ‘4000 elevation. If you’re like me, it may take you a few tries to find the perfect recipe for your cooking environment and particular culinary taste. The preference of bagel texture and tastes are often very personal and/or rooted in tradition, and I tend to prefer a New York Jewish-style bagel  and consider anything else blasphemy.

One of the better bagel recipes I’ve come across, is this one by Peter Reinhart. This recipe makes a good-sized batch, and has more of the chewy, mildly, dense texture as opposed to the more bread-like texture of the store bought varieties. Since I did not have bread flour like stated in the original recipe, I added vital wheat gluten and also switched out a cup of white for wheat flour. **If you have bread flour on hand, you can skip the wheat gluten in this recipe. Overall, this is a good base to start with, and you could add savory flavors to the dough, like sundried tomatoes or chopped Kalamata olives. You could also just as easily turn these into cinnamon raisin bagels by adding 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and a cup of raisins.

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Bagels ready for the oven. Lightly misted with olive oil and topped with garlic powder, black and white sesame seeds, and Hawaiian sea salt.

Hurricane Bagels

  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

    SPONGE
  • 1 teaspoons yeast
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • DOUGH
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 4 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda (set aside)
  • TOPPING SUGGESTIONS: Garlic, sesame seeds, caraway seeds, poppy seeds, sea salt, cracked pepper

Directions

  1. Make the sponge in advance by combining the yeast, AP flour, wheat flour and water in a large bowl. Cover with a towel and let rest for about 1 1/2 hours, or until expanded and bubbly.
  2. In the same bowl, add the remaining yeast, additional AP flour, vital wheat gluten, salt and agave. Carefully knead the mixture to incorporate all of the flour, about 8-10 minutes. The dough should feel firm, but smooth. If dough is too sticky, add a few tablespoons of flour until it feels somewhat firmer. (This is not as soft as normal bread dough, but should not be too stiff either!)
  3. Divide dough into 12 or 24 evenly sized pieces and roll around in your palm until smooth, and then place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Let the dough balls rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper and begin shaping bagels by poking a hole into the center of the piece. Gradually widen the center hole to approximately 1 1/2 inches. (It should look a lot like a donut.) Then, place 12 bagels per large sheet, a few inches apart. Let bagels rest again for 30 minutes at room temperature and them put in the refrigerator (for at least two hours) or overnight. I did mine overnight for this.
  5. When you are ready to begin cooking the bagels, preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and make sure to put the oven racks in the middle of the oven for even baking.
  6. Bring a very wide pot, filled with several inches of water, and the remaining teaspoon of baking soda to a boil. Using a wide, slotted spoon or spatula, carefully slip the bagels into the boiling water. Flip each one gently over after 1-2 minutes and boil each side.
  7. Remove bagels from the boiling water back onto the parchment lined baking sheets. If you can, do this as quickly as possible so that you can start putting on the toppings while the bagels are still sticky.
  8. Brush the tops of each bagel with olive oil and heavily dust your toppings over the top of each one. Place them in the oven and bake for 5-6 minutes on 500 degrees. Turn down the temperature to 450 degrees and rotate sheet pans so that they cook more evenly. Cook for another 5-6 minutes or until light brown and remove from oven. I like to leave them on the trays until they are completely cool because I like the bottoms a little more crisp, but you can remove them from the trays right away of you prefer.

Pickled Watermelon Rind

Pickled Watermelon Rind

My mantra has always been to use everything and waste nothing. This is especially true with food, and part of my frugal living lifestyle is to try to use kitchen scraps whenever I can. Last month, I had a 4th of July post that featured […]

Fresh-Is-Best Platter

Fresh-Is-Best Platter

Is it Monday already? Oh yes, I guess it is. Since there is a slew of tasks for me to do today, I wanted to throw together something easy for the family to graze upon as we go about our duties on this Mostly Vegan […]

Summertime ‘Sparklers’

Summertime ‘Sparklers’

Aloha, Friends! I just wanted to share a quick and healthy way to celebrate your holiday tomorrow. My inspiration for this one came from one of my favorite places to look for ideas, Pinterest! This adorable idea from ‘This Healthy Table’ is a real crowd pleaser and tastes soooo good on a hot day. I’ve pinned it to my board “Celebrations and Party Ideas”.
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These are unbelievably easy to prepare and they add a festive look to your barbeque spread. Since many folks already plan on buying a watermelon, you only need grab a few additional things, like fresh blueberries, a star cookie cutter, and wooden skewers. FYI…if you don’t have a star shaped cutter, but do have a flower shaped one, or something similar, use it! They would come out just as cute. 🙂

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The photos show my watermelon looking a little more orange than red, and that’s because I used a smaller Thai watermelon. If you are feeding a large crowd, you may want to get the more common, larger size watermelon. I made ten skewers with one small watermelon and a pint of fresh blueberries.

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For my recipe, I cut approximately 1/2 inch thick slices across the width of the melon. I recommend you cut your melon slices a little less thick than the size of your cutter. You will have many circles of melon to work with and then next you will push the cutter into the middle of the circle (seedless) part. This is the best tasting part of the melon and also the most red in color, so it’s going to look great with those plump blueberries.

Next, stick the sharp end of the skewer through about 10-14 blueberries, (depending upon the size of skewers and berries), leaving a couple of inches at the bottom for holding on to, and at the top for your melon star. Stick a melon star on the top of each one and cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. If you can pre-cut the melon, this would be a fun dish for ‘little hands’ to help you prepare. Happy Summer!

*This post may contain affiliate links of which I may earn a small compensation (at no cost to you) from qualifying purchases.

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting and Fresh Raspberries

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting and Fresh Raspberries

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday, and because summertime is in full-swing, I wanted to do something decadent with berries. Our family doesn’t care much for the store-bought bakery cakes that are thick with waxy frosting or a dull tasting fondant. Eww. No, we like things […]

Roasted ‘Hapa’ Potatoes

Roasted ‘Hapa’ Potatoes

My exposure to any type of potato growing up was very limited to the basic Russet variety, or sweet potatoes covered with some kind of sickening-sweet marshmallow goop. I was so traumatized by the marshmallow potato nightmare of my childhood holidays, that at one time, […]

Golden Veggie Burgers

Golden Veggie Burgers

This is the perfect recipe to kick-off my Mostly Vegan Mondays campaign. These colorful beauties are called “Golden Veggie Burgers” because they’re made with golden beets and turmeric. They not only look vibrant, they also taste fabulous and really pack a nutritious punch. My inspiration started with this veggie burger recipe from a lovely blog called Cooking Without Limits. I decided to put my own twist on things by adding cumin, turmeric and kale, and golden beets from Ohana Organic Farm & Orchard in Puna. (**Sadly, these beets were harvested a few weeks before lava from Kilauea volcano covered their one hundred acre farm. The delicious, high-quality produce they supplied the Big Island will be sorely missed, and we wish their friendly staff all the best.)

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This is also a great recipe to make in double batches and freeze the patties for a quick and easy meal later on. You can reheat them in a skillet on medium-low until warmed through, or you can put them on a baking sheet in a preheated oven (400 f) for 8-10 mins. I like my patties a little crispy on the outside, so I prefer to reheat them in a skillet with coconut oil. If you prefer, you could also switch out the potatoes for sweet potatoes and the kale for spinach. The mashed potatoes do a good job of holding everything together pretty well, and the egg isn’t absolutely necessary if you want to make this totally vegan. When finished, I like to top mine with lots of vegan mayo, fresh tomatoes, shredded cabbage, and pickled daikon. Yum!

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These veggie burgers are shown sitting atop my homemade pretzel buns. It takes a little bit of effort to make the buns a day ahead, but I really love pretzel buns and consider it worth the energy. The buns are chewy and delicious, and a perfect fit for the heartiness of these flavors, but a multi-grain or gluten-free bun would also work just as well. If you’re interested in making a pretzel bun for your veggie burgers, I suggest checking out the recipe I used on my Pinterest board Baked Goods. The burgers and bun together were so filling that I only needed to serve a small green salad on the side. These patties could also be made smaller and eaten as sliders for a lighter meal, or served in a lettuce wrap to make it lower in carbs. Enjoy!

Golden Veggie Burgers

  • Servings: 8 patties
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole golden beets (cooked)
  • 1 cup peeled diced potatoes (cooked)
  • 1 15.5 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup diced Maui sweet onion
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 egg (optional)

Directions

  1. **If you cook beets with the skin on, it is easier than peeling ahead of time. When cooled, the skin should just slide right off when lightly rubbed. Grate the skinless beets through the largest hole on your hand grater and set aside.
  2. Mash cooked potatoes together with garbanzo beans and then add all other remaining ingredients. Add grated cooked beets to potato mixture and thoroughly mix. Adjust spices to your taste.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a large baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
  4. Form mixture into 8 uniform patties and place on baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20-25, minutes, flipping halfway through.

*This post may contain affiliate links of which I may earn a small compensation (at no cost to you) from qualifying purchases.

Calla Lily

Calla Lily

The ornamental Calla Lily takes center stage this Aloha Friday. The species in my yard is called the Zantedeschia aethiopica and it is native to southern Africa. The Calla Lily is the national flower of the British territory of St. Helena and has been a […]


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