My Vegan Luau

I grew up participating in the beautiful festivities of the Hawaiian Luau. Whether I was visiting the Island of Oahu with my family and attending a luau or whether we were having one of own on the mainland, it was always something I so looked forward to. It was so fun for me to be a part of the planning, shopping, prep and cooking that went into creating such a meaningful and flavorful event. Attending a luau was always exciting too! Such a rich and powerful cultural event that moved all of my senses.

Traditionally, meat is a central part of a luau - with dishes like Kalua pork, Lomi Lomi salmon, Lau lau, Huli huli chicken and Mahi mahi. At a luau while guests pile their plates high with a myriad of meat centered dishes, a vegan may have on their plates just three items: salad, poi and haupia pudding. It may feel impossible or even strange to host a plant based luau. We want to hold in high esteem the spaces and cultural vestiges that belong to a cultural community, but we also want everyone to participate!

While it is important to honor culture and cherish the recipes that belong to age old tradition and beautiful community, I believe we can hold that respect and also slightly adjust the recipes to make them accessible to more people. These plant based adaptations to my luau favorites really capture the textures, flavors and cooking styles of the tradition that is the luau! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

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Lau Lau

by Mark Reinfeld

Ingredients:

  • 8 large whole collard leaves
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes or Okinawan purple sweet potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika, or a few drops liquid smoke

Photo Credit: vegetariantimes.com

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Teriyaki Tofu

by SarahBee

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz. package of extra firm tofu
  • 3 Tablespoons of tamari
  • 1 Tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp of sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar (original recipe called for honey)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • Cooking spray
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Portobello Poke

by Mark Reinfeld

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup arame
  • 6 large portobello mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut or sesame oil
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon miso paste
  • 1 tsp. wheat-free tamari sauce or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (1/4 cup)
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 Tablespoon white sesame seeds

Photo Credit: vegetariantimes.com

Miso Sesame Dressing and Mixed Greens

Miso Dressing & Mixed Greens

by Food Network Kitchen

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup white miso paste
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut oil
  • ½ tsp sesame oil

Salad:

  • Mixed greens
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 Cucumber
  • Sesame seeds to sprinkle

Photo Credit: foodnetwork.com

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Hawaiian Haupia

by Contemplating Sweets

Ingredients:

  • 1 14 oz. can of full fat coconut milk
  • 5 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 5 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup water

Photo Credit: contemplatingsweets.com


Shopping List:

  • 2 14 oz. Cans of full fat coconut milk - $2.58 (2)
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger - $0.79 (1)
  • 1 16 oz. Box of cornstarch - $1.00 (1)
  • 1 lb Box of cane sugar - $1.99 (3)
  • 1-2 Bunches of collard greens - $1.99 (1)
  • 2 Medium okinawan purple sweet potatoes - $2.00 (1)
  • 1 Bin of spinach - $1.99 (1)
  • 1 Bunch of green onions - $1.00 (3)
  • 1 Container of red pepper flakes - $1.50 (2)
  • 1 Jar of liquid smoke - $1.48 (1)
  • 1 2 oz. Bag of arame sea vegetables - $10.00 (1)
  • 6 Large portobello mushrooms - $6.99 (1)
  • 1 Jar of Sesame oil - $3.48 (3)
  • 1 oz. Container of ground nutmeg - $4.69 (1)
  • 1 Bottle of cooking white wine or rice wine vinegar - $3.99-$12.99 (3)
  • 2 Lemons - $0.78 (1)
  • 1 Tub of miso paste - $7.50 (2)
  • 1 Jar of tamari sauce - $3.28 (3)
  • 1 Medium tomato - $1.00 (1)
  • 1 Bin of mixed greens - $3.50 (2)
  • 1 oz. container of white sesame seeds - $1.88 (2)
  • 1 Salt shaker - $1.99 (1)
  • 1 Jar of peanut oil - $4.89 (1)
  • 1 Avocado - $0.89 (1)
  • 1 Cucumber - $0.79 (1)
  • 1 Red bell pepper - $0.99 (1)
  • 15 oz. Package of extra firm tofu - $1.17 (1)
  • Cooking spray - $3.18 (1)

$70-$100 *Prices may fluctuate depending on tax, store, sale and season. I paid $77.30 this week.


References

Reinfeld, M. (2013, June 25). Portobello Poke. Retrieved June 13th, 2018, www.vegetariantimes.com website:

          https://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/portobello-poke

Reinfeld, M. (2013, June 25). Lau Lau. Retrieved June 13th, 2018 from www.vegetariantimes.com website:

          https://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/lau-lau

Food Network Kitchen. (2001). Miso-Sesame Dressing. Retrieved June 13th, 2018, www.foodnetwork.com website:

          https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/miso-sesame-dressing-recipe-2011568

SarahBee & genius kitchen. (N.D.). Marinated Teriyaki Tofu. Retrieved June 13th, 2018,

          from geniuskitchen.com website: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/marinated-teriyaki-tofu-303786

Contemplating Sweets. (2018, March 10). Hawaiian Haupia. Retrieved June 13th, 2018 from contemplatingsweets.com

          website: https://www.contemplatingsweets.com/hawaiian-haupia-coconut-pudding/


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Faith Escher

Faith is passionate about pursuing ways to simplify life in order to help people find the adequate time and resources to cherish and invest in what is important to them. Whether it be traveling, cooking, adventuring, or studying, she desires to treasure the present, while daring to dream big for her future, and the futures of those around her. Faith is an enthusiastic practitioner of American Sign Language and Education.