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Wrapping Up A Sweet Vegetarian Fiesta

Sweet potatoes are native to Central and South America DIANA HELFAND PHOTO

Sweet potatoes are native to Central and South America

Marla Momi Musick created Pacifikology, a pop up design shop, to showcase the work of artists, designers, Hawaii products and creative services that reflect contemporary Pacific region creativity — in different community spaces.

“I grew up in Hawaii in a family that taught, valued and encouraged pride in culture and in being creative. I used to spend summers in Lahaina and remember sitting at my grandfather’s side as he made beautiful kukui nut and opihi jewelry. In many ways, those are lost arts now that these things can be mass-produced elsewhere,” says Marla.

After graduating from Kamehameha Schools, she went on to earn a BFA in design from University of Hawaii. She moved to New York City and finished an MA in visual arts administration at New York University. She also worked in fundraising, communications and design management at Whitney Museum of American Art, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and New York Public Library.

Marla believes experimenting with Pacifikology as a moving and changing palette of creators and collaborations is exciting — and good for the community. “We are seeing more of these kinds of events help revitalize old neighborhoods, bringing life and excitement to sometimes forgotten or older spaces,” she says. “Pop-ups also are about connecting people and ideas, and adding ways to economically support creators and venues alike.”

The next Pacifikology popup in Honolulu is set for May 6-17 at Paradise Park. For more information, visit facebook.com/pacifikology, or go to pacificnetwork.tv/pacifikology.

This sweet potato burrito recipe is dedicated to Marla. It’s easy to make and a delicious twist on a Mexican food staple!

The sweet potato is native to Central and South America, and is one of the world’s oldest vegetables, having been consumed since prehistoric times.

Evidence of sweet potato relics found in Peruvian caves date back 10,000 years. They are an excellent source of vitamin A, and contain vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, biotin, potassium, fiber, B vita-mins and phosphorus.

When purchasing, choose sweet potatoes that are firm and have no cracks, bruises or soft spots.


• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 6 cups canned kidney beans, drained
• 2 cups water
• 3 tablespoons chili powder
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 4 teaspoons prepared mustard
• 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
• 3 tablespoons soy sauce (may use light low-sodium soy sauce)
• 4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
• 12 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
• 8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a medium skillet and sauté onion and garlic until soft. Stir in beans then mash them. Gradually stir in water, and heat until warm. Remove from heat, and stir in chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper and soy sauce. Evenly divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes among the warm flour tortillas. Top with cheese. Fold up tortillas burrito style, and place on a baking sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes and serve.

Makes 12 burritos.