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Tag Archives: Sweet Dash of Aloha

  • SWEET DASH RECIPE: Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies with Guava Jelly

    May is Celiac Awareness Month! (Sorry, we weren’t very aware, so this recipe comes late in the month.) Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease which causes the body to attack itself in response to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. An entire chapter of A Sweet Dash of Aloha is devoted to gluten-free recipes, and, in fact, one of the cookbook’s contributing chefs, Carol Nardello, has celiac disease herself.

    Chef Alyssa Moreau, who specializes in vegan cooking, developed this gluten-free vegan recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies with Guava Jelly. Yum! No gluten, no animal products, no refined sugar—no problem! Who says you have to feel like you’re missing out on anything?

    Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies with Guava Jelly

    Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies with Guava Jelly. Recipe by Alyssa Moreau; photo by Adriana Torres Chong.

    Recipe by Alyssa Moreau from A Sweet Dash of Aloha 
    Makes about 24 cookies

    There is something that brings out the kid in all of us with peanut butter cookies. In this peanut butter and jelly cookie, you can play with the flavors by alternating jams in the filling. Other ideas: crystalized ginger in the batter; making a peanut butter “sandwich” by rolling out the dough between two sheets of parchment then spreading jam on half of the dough, folding over and baking and cutting into bars. (Baking time is a bit longer due to the increased thickness; add about 3-5 minutes.)

    • ½ c. sorghum flour
    • ½ c. brown rice flour
    • ½ c. millet flour
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • ½ tsp. baking soda
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • ½ tsp. guar gum (or xanthan)
    • 4 pckts. Truvia sweetener
    • 2 c. peanut butter
    • ½ c. agave or honey
    • ½ c. almond milk (or any milk)
    • 1 T. vanilla
    • ½ c. guava jelly
    All "Sweet Dash" recipes include a Nutrition Facts sidebar.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the peanut butter, agave, almond milk and vanilla. You may need to whisk or pulse-blend with a stick blender to incorporate all the ingredients. Add the liquid mixture to the dry and stir until it looks like a thick cookie batter.

    Form into balls (about the size of a quarter) and press in the middle with your thumb or small spoon to form an indent. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes; cookies should be slightly browned around the edges. Cool 5 minutes on rack, then fill cookies with a small spoonful of jelly and transfer to cooling rack.


    • Omit the jelly and roll the balls in cane sugar, then flatten (criss-cross style) with a fork; baking time will be a bit shorter, so check at 8-10 minutes.

    Alyssa Moreau, contributing chef author, is the Chef/Owner of Divine Creations. She has been a personal chef for private households since 2000, focusing on healthy vegetarian meals. She has taught Vegetarian/Wellness Cooking Classes for the continuing education programs at Kapi‘olani Community College since 2002.

  • Watermark Publishing Sweeps Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association Cookbook Awards Category

    The annual Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association’s Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards were announced Friday, May 11, 2012. Watermark Publishing’s nominees in the Cookbook category, A Sweet Dash of Aloha: Guilt-Free Hawai‘i Desserts & Snacks by Kapi‘olani Community College and The Hawai‘i Book of Rice: Tales, Trivia & 101 Great Recipes by Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi, swept the category, taking the top Award of Excellence and the Honorable Mention award, respectively.

    The judges praised A Sweet Dash of Alohafor its departure from the norm in Island cookbooks, saying,

    So many locally published cookbooks are mishmash collections of ‘local food’ recipes. A Sweet Dash of Aloha is a refreshing well-focused, well-written cookbook that offers a new angle on local flavors and ingredients, combining simplicity and clarity with a sophisticated understanding of food, nutrition and health.

    The Hawai‘i Book of Rice received compliments for its comprehensive coverage of the Aloha State’s favorite grain:

    Tsutsumi has compiled a collection of dishes that reflect local tastes while exploring new and creative uses of rice. With its recipes for salads, appetizers, entrées and desserts, The Hawaii Book of Rice is certainly versatile. The book’s chapter on the history of rice in Hawai‘i is a well-researched, delightful introduction to the recipes and offers a solid backdrop for the social and economic importance of this local staple.

    This marks the fourth consecutive year that a Watermark Publishing title has received the Award of Excellence in Cookbooks. Last year’s Award of Excellence went to The Blue Tomato: The Inspirations Behind the Cuisine of Alan Wong by Chef Alan Wong and Arnold Hiura. Previous years’ recipients were Kau Kau: Cuisine & Culture in the Hawaiian Islands by Arnold Hiura (2010) and The Island Bistro Cookbook by Chef Chai Chaowasaree (2009).

    Don’t Look Back: Hawaiian Myths Made New edited by Christine Thomas; Kapoho: Memoir of a Modern Pompeii by Frances Kakugawa; and The Cocktail Handbook: Cool Drinks from Hawai‘i’s Hottest Bartenders by Jesse Greenleaf and Amie Fujiwara were also nominated in other Ka Palapala Po‘okela categories, but did not take home awards.

    Our nominees & winners. Back row, left to right: Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi (The Hawaii Book of Rice); Christine Thomas (Don't Look Back); Amie Fujiwara and Jesse Greenleaf (The Cocktail Handbook); Watermark Publishing publisher George Engebretson. Front row: Wanda Adams and Adriana Torres Chong (A Sweet Dash of Aloha)

    Each year, the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association presents the Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards to recognize and honor the best of Hawai‘i book publishing from the previous year. “Ka Palapala Po‘okela” literally translated from Hawaiian means “excellent manuscript. ”

  • Healthy Pi Day


    It’s Pi Day! (That’s 3.14, didn’t you know?) If you can carry pi past 10 digits, you’ve probably got a pretty healthy brain. But we want to help keep the rest of you healthy, too! So here’s a pie recipe from our recently released cookbook all about healthy desserts and snacks: A Sweet Dash of Aloha.

    The ingredients may give you pause—avocado? In a pie?!—but we assure you: the tart lime flavor of this dish shines through, and you’d never know it was made with avocados at all. And you can rest easy knowing that the vivid green hue comes solely from fruit—no artificial coloring here. Some doctors believe that avocado is a “brain food,” so have a little on Pi Day, and maybe you’ll tap into some advanced mathematics skills you never knew you had!

    You can also watch Chef Alyssa walk you through making this pie in this Hawaii: In Real Life video segment with Nonstop Honolulu hosts Melissa Chang and Ed Morita.

    Key Lime–Avocado Pie

    Recipe by Chef Alyssa Moreau

    Makes 6-8 servings     

    This is a great way to use up extra avocados and a unique way to serve a favorite dessert in the Islands. The avocados, preferably local and a variety with smooth texture and no strings, should be good and ripe. The key is to taste not avocado but the tart lime paired with the light sweetness of agave. The avocado and coconut oil add good fats to this dish and wonderful texture. The pie must be chilled in order to set it up, so give yourself ample time to prepare this one. You will need to zest limes, then juice them and divide juice for use in separate parts of the recipe.


    For the crust:

    • ¾ c.       shredded unsweetened coconut
    • ¼ c.       unsalted macadamia nuts
    • ½ tsp.    lime zest
    • ⅛ tsp.    salt
    • 1 tsp.     lime juice
    • ½ c.       dates, chopped
    • 2 T.       shredded coconut

    For the filling:

    • 1½ c.    ripe avocado
    • ⅓-½ c.  fresh lime juice
    • ⅓-½ c.  agave or honey
    • 4 T.       refined* coconut oil
    • ¼ tsp.   salt
    • Zest of ½ lime (for garnish)
    • 2-3        lime slices for decoration

    To make the crust: In a food processor, combine the coconuts, nuts, zest and salt and chop coarsely. Add lime juice and dates and process until it sticks together. Sprinkle a 9-inch pie plate with the remaining coconut and pat the crust on top and up the sides of the plate. Chill while making filling.

    To make filling: Combine all ingredients in a blender (start with the smaller amount of lime and agave, as some avocados are wetter than others and milder in flavor; add more if needed). Blend until smooth. Adjust flavors to taste. Pour over crust and chill 4-6 hours or overnight. Garnish with remaining zest and some lime slices, if desired.

    * If you use unrefined, it will add a coconut flavor to the dessert, a nice alternative if you want it to taste more tropical. Refined coconut oil is available in health food stores.

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