Producing A Nutrition Powerhouse

David Farmer’s professional career combines the law and the arts. He’s been an actor, director and producer for the past 40 years, and appeared in both original and new Hawaii Five-0 episodes.

David also is president of the newly merged SAGAFTRA in Hawaii, which brings together two labor unions – Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists – to represent members working in Hawaii and Guam. You could say that acting runs in the family: David’s aunt was actress Frances Farmer.

Given his Hollywood connections, David is the ideal director for Quartet, about the sunset years of opera singers, which debuts Nov. 14 at Manoa Valley Theatre. Movie buffs will recognize the plotline from the 2012 film of the same name. Not only does Quartet celebrate aging with grace, the production also marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great Italian Romantic composer Giuseppe Verdi.

Here David shares one of his favorite recipes with MidWeek readers.

Watercress is a power-house of nutrition, with more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals. It contains a good amount of iron, calcium, protein, folic acid, iodine, vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, potassium and vitamin K. It is low in fat and contains no cholesterol. Its peppery flavor – which comes from mustard oils – is released when chewed, and stimulates the taste buds and digestion.


* 2 bunches watercress (cut into 3-inch pieces)

* 1 package bean sprouts

* several stalks green onions (cut into 1/4-inch pieces)

* 10 ounces tofu (cut into 1-inch blocks)

* 1/4 cup shoyu

* 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger root

* 1 teaspoon sesame oil

* 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Drain tofu on paper towels in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. After tofu is drained, cut into 1-inch blocks. Heat pot of lightly salted water. Cut 2 inches off the bottom of the watercress and discard. Cut watercress into 3-inch pieces. When water comes to boil, add water-cress, lightly parboil for 1 minute, then add bean sprouts and lightly parboil for additional 30 seconds. Drain and cool vegetables in ice bath.

Combine shoyu, ginger, sesame oil, sesame seeds and blend. Add sauce to cooled bean sprouts and watercress, sprinkle with green onions and serve. Makes four servings.