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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

Tossing In The Goodness Of Grapes

Either red or green grapes work in the accompanying recipe | Thinkstock photo

Either red or green grapes work in the accompanying recipe | Thinkstock photo

Sarah Daigle came to Hawaii almost five years ago from Maine, following her heart and embracing the aloha spirit.

She is creative director for the Aloha Movement Project (alohamovementproject.com/blog), mentoring students and working with others who are looking to align their school projects or personal life projects with their passions and purpose.

Sarah is also secretary for the EveryDay Hero Project, which helps to educate others about recycling and sustainability, while helping to raise funds to help communities get food, clean water, solar energy and supplies.

To combine her interests in helping to raise awareness, she is an event coordinator, helping nonprofit organizations and businesses plan functions, fundraisers and promotional events.

“We are here to support each other,” she says, “and through an endless loop of support comes the rise up of all.”

This column is dedicated to Sarah for her caring and loving heart.

When purchasing grapes, choose firm, undamaged and evenly colored fruit. They should still be attached firmly to the stem.

Green grapes are sweeter if they have a yellow tint.

Avoid grapes that are very soft, wrinkled, or whitened at the stem end, as they are probably not fresh.

Grapes almost always are treated with chemical substances and must be washed carefully before eating. To prevent the stem from drying out, remove small clusters of grapes with scissors rather than pulling them off individually.

The grape is a good source of potassium, and contains vitamin C, thiamine, and vitamin B6. It is said to have numerous medicinal properties such as being diuretic, providing energy, aiding digestion and having a laxative effect.

Grapes also are said to be of help in purifying the system, thanks to their invigorating and cleansing qualities.

BOW TIE CHICKEN AND GRAPE SALAD

* 12-ounce package farfalle (bow ties), cooked al dente and drained

* 1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken breast

* 1 1/2 cups seedless grapes (any color), halved

* 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper

* 1/2 cup cooked green peas (Note: Frozen peas work best; cook until just tender.)

* 1/2 cup diced firm ripe tomato

For Dressing:

* 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

* 1/4 cup nonfat sour cream

* 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

* 1 tablespoon prepared Dijon-style mustard

* 2 teaspoons sugar

* 1/8 teaspoon caraway seeds

* 1/4 teaspoon dried dill

* salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine pasta, chicken, grapes, bell pepper and peas. Toss to mix. Add tomato and toss lightly.

Mix all dressing ingredients and whirl in blender until smooth. Season to taste. Pour over salad and toss lightly to coat. Chill for about three hours and serve. Makes six servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 264
Fat: 6 grams
Cholesterol: 25 milligrams
Sodium: 500 milligrams

heartychef@hotmail.com

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