Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hawaiian-style Thanksgiving

It's Sustainable Sunday! Let's get into it. Since Thanksgiving is next week, I want to encourage you to incorporate as many island grown ingredients as possible in your turkey day spread.

Speaking of turkey, unless you'll be hunting for your bird on the slopes of Mauna Kea, you won't find a  Hawaii raised turkey in the grocery store. Maybe an herbed-stuffed whole fish will grace your table, or some prime grass-fed beef steaks.

Get real Gwen! I know what you're thinking, there is no way you are going to forgo a turkey dinner for my personal agenda. Ok, ok fine, but will you consider doctoring a few sides then?

Let's start with potatoes. Why mash up some decrepit mainland shipped potatoes that have been rolling around on the bottom of an ocean liner for several months when you can make delicious, fresh and unexpected mashed breadfruit? Below you'll see my recipe for mashed breadfruit with roasted garlic and goat cheese.

Grab some fresh island grown green beans (I've seen them at Costco, KTA and the farmers' market) and some Hamakua mushrooms and you've got yourself a green bean casserole, recipe below.

Savory pumpkin pie

Kabocha squash is widely available and will make the best (sweet or savory) pumpkin pie you'll ever have. Maybe you're up for adventure? Serve some avocado pie.

Will you be serving locally grown dishes at your Thanksgiving this year? I'd love to hear about it. In the meantime, I hope you'll consider trying these sides.

Mashed breadfruit

Mashed Breadfruit with Roasted Garlic and Big Island Goat Cheese
serves 6-8

1 green breadfruit (make sure it is hard, like a bowling ball. If at all soft, find another one)
1 head garlic
2 to 5 oz Big Island goat cheese (found at KTA)
2 TBL butter
1/2 cup Big Island milk (found at all major grocery stores)
Hawaiian sea salt
2-3 sprigs rosemary (if desired)

Preheat oven to 400. Peel and core the breadfruit. Keep in mind the sap is messy and can stain, so use a junk knife. Cut breadfruit into bite-sized pieces and place in a steamer basket. Steam for 20-40 minutes or until very soft. I realize that the cook time is vague, but I have found that all breadfruits are slightly different, which has to do with its stage of ripeness. Don't be afraid to steam the heck out of it.

Wrap head of garlic in foil and roast in oven for 30 minutes.

When garlic and breadfruit are finished cooking, transfer breadfruit to a large pot and mash. Peel garlic and add to mash. Place pot over low heat and add goat cheese (I only added 2 oz or so, but if you want it cheesier, add more), milk, butter, and sea salt. Continue to mash until all is combined and mixture is smooth. Sprinkle with chopped fresh rosemary, if desired.

Big Island green bean casserole

Big Island Green Bean Casserole with Hamakua Mushrooms
adapted from My Life as a Mrs. 
serves 6-8

1 lb island grown green beans
1 TBL olive oil
1 TBL butter
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 package (12 oz) Hamakua mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
dash cayenne pepper
3 TBL flour
1 cup water (or vegetable broth)
1 cup milk
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Blanch green beans in salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain.

In a cast iron skillet heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Saute onion until soft, adding some salt & pepper. Add mushrooms and cook until soft and fragrant, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute or so. Add flour and stir to coat. Add water and bring to a simmer, then add milk and simmer until the mixture thickens, 5 minutes or so. Be sure to add salt & pepper along the way, tasting as you go.

Add green beans to the mushroom mixture and stir to coat. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. I LOVE the idea of that green bean casserole. I'm definitely going to adapt it to accomodate the local ingredients here. My father-in-law grows the green beans and I literally live in a place called "The New Forest" so local mushrooms are no problem. It's not Thanksgiving without a green bean casserole and this will be a wonderful twist to it. Breadfruit isn't something that's available here but celeriac root is so that might be a fun substitute.

    1. I'm so glad to hear it! I've always wanted to go mushroom hunting, you will have to let us know what kind of mushrooms you find. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Looks delicious!!! :) Thanks for the shout-out! Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!

  3. It all sounds delicious, Gwen! Happy Thanksgiving!


Aloha Saturdays with Maggy reader! Thank you for your comments, I love hearing your thoughts and feedback.


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