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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

A Pescaterian’s High-protein Ahi Fave

When it comes to creating the perfect ambiance for special events, Steven Boyle excels. His company, Steven Boyle Designs, creates impressive events, such as Hawaii Food and Wine Festival, setting the perfect tone with everything from logistics to entertainment to flowers.

Speaking of flowers, sadly, the arrangements you see at weddings and special events often end up in the garbage. After more than 20 years in the event-planning industry, Steven was dissatisfied with the practice of discarding flowers after an event, and decided to do something about this waste of a beautiful resource. He founded the nonprofit organization ReBloom Hawaii to find them a new home and purpose. Thanks to Steven, those flowers are cheering the lives of patients and visitors at health care facilities.

Now, the floral arrangements from festivities such as the Governor’s Ball receive a makeover by Steven and his staff and brighten places such as St. Francis Hospice, the Children’s Justice Center, Shriners Hospital, Hospice Maui and Lanai Community Hospital. It’s a wonderful, creative way for more people to enjoy the gifts of nature.

This column is dedicated to Steven for his caring about other people and bringing beauty into their lives!

Steven is a pescatarian, meaning he eats a great deal of seafood but no other meat. This healthy ahi recipe is one of his favorites.

Ahi is low in fat and high in protein. It contains B vitamins, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium, and is high in omega-3 fatty acids, and a good source of selenium, which aids in antioxidant production. Most tuna contains some levels of mercury and should be eaten in moderation.

HEALTHY AHI RECIPE

* 2 tablespoons olive or sesame oil (whichever you prefer)
* 4-8 ounces ahi fillets
* 3 medium purple sweet potatoes
* 1/2 teaspoon wasabi (or to taste)
* 1/4 cup coconut milk
* salt and pepper, to taste
* 4 stalks bok choy
* 1 cup vegetable broth
* 1 cup shiitake mushrooms

Heat a nonstick skillet with olive or sesame oil.

Add ahi steaks and sear on each side for 2 to 3 minutes, just enough to cook the outside and keep the center rare.

Cut purple sweet potatoes and boil until ready to mash. Drain and mash with wasabi, coconut milk, and salt and pepper, to taste.

In another pot, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Add bok choy and sliced shiitake mushrooms and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from broth and arrange on plate with fish and potatoes.

Makes four servings.

Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program. Email heartychef@hotmail.com.

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