What does a Luau, a BBQ and coffee have in common?

Oh, I know...they will all be mentioned in this post!

This morning I was reading something about Celiac Sprue and a gluten free diet. It reminded me (I was still in a dream state I suppose) of the Luau Ryan took me to on our honeymoon in Maui. He arranged for us to go to the Old Lahaina Luau one night for dinner and entertainment.

Since I am a vegetarian and picky with some foods I am always nervous when it comes to a buffet setting. I don't want to pay a ton of money to eat a scoop of something and maybe have some salad and fruit. While that is a good and healthy meal, I can do that anywhere and there is no need to pay a lot of money for that. But in the case of the Luau you are also paying for the show, which is how I rationalized it. When in Hawaii you must do a Luau at least once, right?

So Ryan booked this and when we arrived they handed me a copy of the menu complete with an ingredient list. I could not believe this. All Ryan said was that I was a vegetarian (some buffets will offer a discounted price for vegetarians, but not any in Vegas) and they said that would not be a problem. I was so impressed that from hearing I was a vegetarian they thought to give me an ingredient list for everything on the menu. This way I could just look at the list and know what I could eat since often times things like chicken fat/stock and gelatin wind up in foods you would not expect it to be in. This then saved me from having to track down a chef and ask about every item on the line that looked possibly vegetarian. Yes, I have done this before, and yes this is a pain and draws attention to myself, but necessary still. They were so kind that without me even asking the chef did come out to make sure I located everything alright and that there was enough for me to eat.

I was extremely impressed by the hospitality and genuine care that they placed upon their guests. So what does this have to do with a gluten free diet. Being the dietitian that I am I saw immediately the true uses of this menu and ingredient list. Obviously it was not designed for vegetarian guests, although it did work well for this situation. It was designed for guests with food allergies and those following a gluten free diet. It could be used in those cases, and lactose intolerance too. All ingredrients were clearly listed. Some places do offer a gluten free menu (like P.F.Changs ) and others do list allergens clearly, but there remains a large amount of places to eat out that do not offer this information. So I was just very impressed with this. And it did make my night less stressful.

Here are some other pictures from the Old Lahaina Luau

Here they are getting ready to uncover the pig that was roasted underground. I gave Ryan my camera to take pictures since I was not tall enough and really did not want to see this poor little piggy.

And of course there was some hula action
And a great performace throughout the night that showcased the history of Hawaii through traditional dance.

We had a blast on our honeymoon. Ok, so what about the BBQ. This coming weekend we have a bull fight running past our house. This is a tradition here all summer long. If you are madly curious about the fights we have been to already this summer click here .

If the bull fight goes by your house then you will hold a party. This is inevitable since the bull can get you if you are on the street so in order to watch you need to be up high, like in someones yard protected behind some sort of wood and or/cardboard barricade. Therefore, party planned at our house. This bull fight was potentially going to be cancelled but we do not speak enough Portugese to ask anyone. Well we need to ask the neighbor actually but that means catching them when they are outside.

So for now, BBQ cookout at our house. We have an outdoor kitchen, which is common here. This pic was taken as we were moving in, so it is still a bit on the dirty side here. You can see we have a sink, a stove top (back left corner) and two grill surfaces to the right.
So the plan is to make cheese burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, fruit salad and have sodas. We decided to do BYOB since this can get costly. We are expecting a lot of people now. I am hoping some other people do some potluck dishes too. At these bull fights there are vendors that sell popcorn, nuts, ice cream and other candy so if people at our party want anything else they can flag down a vendor. Hopefully everything goes smothly and we do not wind up with any damage from any bulls, or people for that matter!

Now on to the food from yesterday. Remember how I boiled eggs the other day. This was because there were so many eggs in the house. So yesterday for breakfast I made this open faced egg sandwhich with melted cheese on flax bread. It was actually breakfast and lunch since I ate around 11:30.
You can really see the bread from this angle.
When Ryan came home from work we both decided to keep working, so coffee was needed. I decided to give those Sun Crystals a try. Surprisingly I only needed one packet. It really was that sweet. I would have had to use 2 regular sugars. And this only had 5 calories, WOW!
This is our homemade version of a meia da leite.
I love the cute little espresso spoons we bought downtown.
Ryan actually drank his espresso as an espresso! These are the awesome espresso cups I bought while on the local artists studio tour . I love the color.
Since we opted for coffee and a late night of working, we did not get to dinner until after 8 pm. Ryan went with a nice bowl of Italian Wedding soup (canned, not homemade, sorry).
And I wanted to do something with the left over Morrocan Chowder before we completely forget about it in the fridge. So I decided to do the ultimate in fiber and protein. I cut up a spicy black bean burger.
Then I put it on top of the chowder. This was an awesome combination. The sweet from the chowder (which had sweet potatoes) and the spicy from the burger really complemented each other. This was super tasty, and I think Ryan was getting jealous because it smelled really good too.
So, aren't you glad you read all the way through to see what a Luau, a BBQ and coffee have in common?
QUESTION: Have you ever been to a Luau? What is the craziest concoction you have made to save leftovers from winding up in the trash?


Gina; The Candid RD said...

LOVE the egg sandwich. I usually do that with egg beaters and havarti cheese on whole grian bread, I love it.

With leftovers I do crazy stuff all the time! I literally through foods into a bowl, and just cook them. I eat the weirdest combinations! I would much rather eat it then throw it away, obviously.

I have never been to a luau but I would love to one day. Nick and I might go to Hawaii for out honeymoon (when we get engaged that is...) and maybe I'll get to experience one then! I've also never seen a bull run. Take pictures when they run by! That's very cool.

Unknown said...

who got you that wonderful espresso maker?? must have been a pretty awesome couple!

saving leftovers...well, u always get too much rice w/ Chinese or Indian...sometimes we make fried rice w/ the leftovers. not really "crazy" but whatevs!

See U soon!!

chow and chatter said...

oh the laui looked like a lot of fun love the way they cook in a pit

Anonymous said...

I have never been to Hawaii and never to a luau; but hopefully one day... :) Love the pictures!

I love that they were able to provide you with a list of all the ingredients in the dishes. There are so many people with food allergies and different dietary needs that this should really be standard...

I eat quite strange food combinations on a regular basis. Basically, anything in the fridge gets put in a bowl, and I call it lunch... ;)

Anonymous said...

Terrific post! Except it made me miss Hawaii so much!!

Maui restaurants said...

We did a bunch of other amazing things during our trip to Hawaii, but I really wanted to share this experience as a must do! Here’s a link to there website http://www.oldlahainaluau.com I’m making a list of the other fun activities we did, so feel free to hit me up for ideas : ) If you are looking for what to do in Maui this is highly recommended. Enjoy your trip!"

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