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Cooking Up ‘Annie’s Favorite Favorites’

Inspiring, loving and giving are three words that come to mind when describing Annie Yonashiro.

Annie was born and raised in Hilo, graduating from Hilo High School in 1972. She moved to Honolulu after graduation to attend beauty college, and is currently co-owner of Salon Nanea on Ward Avenue.


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Curry Quinoa and Couscous Salad from Annie Yonashiro’s new cookbook, ‘Annie’s Favorite Favorites — Island Style Cookbook Volume II’. Photo courtesy Annie Yonashiro

What makes Annie so special is her dedication to helping others. She and Hilo classmate Wes Fujimoto have done many fundraiser dinners, fashion shows, ’70s dances and cookbooks for the Hawaii Bone Marrow Donor Registry.

Annie also did a cookbook for Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, and established the Camren Lu Fund.

Her current cookbook, Annie’s Favorite Favorites – Island Style Cookbook Volume II, will be raising funds for three Hilo organizations: Special Olympics-Hawaii East Area, American Cancer Society-Hawaii Island, and Meals on Wheels-Hawaii County Nutrition Program. The cookbook contains 104 easy-to-prepare recipes with 32 colorfully styled pictures. Many of the recipes are new creations by Annie, plus recipes donated by Big Island restaurants and chefs, friends, relatives and some of her clients’ favorites.

For more information and where to purchase the book, call Annie at Salon Nanea, 593-9300.

This column is dedicated to Annie for her caring and tireless efforts in helping those in need. Here is a recipe she has given me to share with MidWeek readers.

The ancient Incas cultivated quinoa in the Andes regions of South America, and it has been eaten for more than 3,000 years by people who live in these regions.

Quinoa is really a seed, which can be cooked as a whole grain. It has the highest protein content of all the whole grains and contains all nine amino acids, which makes it a complete protein source. It also contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese and zinc.


* 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
* 1 cup couscous
* 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
* 1 cup dried, sliced shiitake mushrooms
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 onion, diced
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1 carrot, diced
* 1 celery stalk, diced
* 1/2 cup dried cranberries
* 1 cup chopped cilantro
* 1 cup sliced almonds or chopped walnuts
* 2-3 tablespoons Kaiulani Spices Exotic Curry, medium, or your favorite curry powder
* 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
* 2 cup fresh spinach, cut in 1-inch strips
* 3/4 cup feta cheese(may use less, to taste, or to lower fat)

Cook quinoa, couscous, broth and mushrooms in your rice cooker. Right after it is done, mix in garlic and onion. Let it rest as the rice steams in residual heat for 5 minutes. Place in mixing bowl and let cool. Add oil, carrots, celery, cranberries, cilantro, nuts and curry. Stir well. Add more curry powder, if desired. Add tomatoes and spinach. Mix well. Fold in feta cheese.

Note from Annie: “I love the flavor of the Kaiulani curry spice in this healthy salad recipe. I find it at health food stores and at the Kapiolani Community College farmers market on Saturdays. You can search the Internet for Kaiulani Spice to purchase and find more recipes.”