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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

The Sweetness Of Springtime In A Salad

Take advantage of seasonal fresh, sweet strawberries. Diana Helfand photo

Take advantage of seasonal fresh, sweet strawberries. Diana Helfand photo

Jon Nakamatsu, Van Cliburn piano contest winner in 1997, returns to Honolulu to guest star in this year’s Aloha International Piano Festival, a nonprofit weeklong event slated for June 7-15 at Hawaii Convention Center. Nakamatsu, who has extended family in Honolulu, will offer local students a chance to study with him and with some of the world’s greatest pianists.

Founder Lisa Nakamichi stresses that you don’t need to know anything about music to enjoy the festival.

“The appeal of the festival is that artists communicate with the audience in a welcoming, relaxed environment that’s very entertaining,” she says. “The Finale Extravaganza will be a dazzling evening of Gershwin’s all-time favorites, featuring an ‘all-star’ lineup performing works of Porgy & Bess, the 1924 original version of the Rhapsody in Blue, accompanied by a jazz band, Gershwin songs and much more!”

This year the festival features a roster of evening concerts, competitions for students, enrichment classes for local music teachers, and the second year of an extremely popular amateur program for adults.

For more information, visit alohapianofestival.com.

This salad goes great with barbecues and can be prepared in advance and kept cold. Take advantage of seasonal sweet, fresh strawberries.

Avocados are an excellent source of potassium and folic acid, as well as a good source of vitamin B6. They also contain lesser amounts of vitamins A and C, niacin, magnesium, pantothenic acid, copper and zinc. Despite their high fat content, avocados are easy to digest because they contain a number of enzymes that facilitate the breakdown of fats.

PAPAYA, STRAWBERRY AND AVOCADO SALAD

* 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce

* 1 large ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced thinly

* 1 large, firm ripe papaya, seeded, peeled and sliced thinly

* 1 navel orange, peeled and cut into segments

* 1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries

* fat-free raspberry vinaigrette

* 2 tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts

Place lettuce evenly on four plates. Alternate papaya and avocado slices evenly around the lettuce. Top lettuce with orange segments and strawberry slices. Drizzle vinaigrette over salads and sprinkle with nuts.

Makes four servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 210
Fat: 7 grams
Cholesterol: 1 milligram
Sodium: 20 milligrams

(Will vary according to dressing selected) heartychef@hotmail.com

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