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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

Topping Off With A Taste Of The Tropics

Hawaii’s own Patrick Makuakane is bringing back Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu to Hawaii Theatre May 9 and 10. The San Francisco-based halau hula is dedicated to sharing Hawaiian culture with the world and helping to preserve Hawaiian traditions in the Bay Area and beyond; the show premiered to glowing reviews in San Francisco last year.

As kumu hula, Patrick is a creative force in developing a unique style of hula (called hula mua), which uses modern music to offer a whole new dimension to the poetry of hula.

Born and raised in Honolulu, Patrick began dancing at the age of 13. He went on to study with John Keola Lake and Robert Cazimero.

The Hawaii Theatre shows are titled “Ka Leo Kanaka” (Voice of the People). Each story is inspired by more than 1,200 pages of recently discovered Hawaiian-language newspapers published between 1834 and 1948. Based on these journalistic treasures transcribed by volunteers, Patrick created a story mosaic that found its perfect medium in hula.

The journey home for Patrick and many of the dancers also will be a celebration that Hawaiian culture is thriving, both here and in many places around the world. For more information, go to hawaiitheatre.com or call 528-0506.

Papaya is plentiful in Hawaii and makes a nice, sweet addition to this healthy salad. They are rich sources of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid; and minerals potassium and magnesium. In addition, papaya contains the digestive enzyme papain, which is extracted from the papaya skin and used in the meat industry as a tenderizer. Papayas also are a good source of folic acid and fiber, which has been shown to lower high cholesterol levels.

GRILLED CHICKEN, SPINACH AND PAPAYA SALAD

* 2 8-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
* 1/2 cup low-sodium shoyu
* 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
* 1 tablespoon brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
* 2 firm vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
* 2 Japanese cucumbers, chopped
* 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh Thai basil
* 1 pound fresh spinach leaves, trimmed, washed well and patted dry
* 1 large, firm papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into thin slices
* 1/2 cup low-fat raspberry vinaigrette or your favorite low-fat dressing

In small bowl or shallow pan, mix shoyu, ginger, garlic, brown sugar and green onion until combined. Add chicken, cover and marinate for at least three hours in refrigerator. Mix tomatoes, cucumber and basil until combined; cover and refrigerate for at least one hour to meld flavors.

Preheat grill to high and brush with oil so chicken won’t stick. Place chicken breasts on grill and cook for about seven minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Slice into thin strips. Place spinach on four plates and top with divided tomato mixture. Divide chicken strips and place on top. Top with papaya slices and drizzle with dressing.

Makes four servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving (depending on your choice of dressing):

Calories: 320
Fat: 4 grams
Cholesterol: 35 milligrams
Sodium: 300 milligrams

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