A Light Salad And A Cup Of Joe In Kailua

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - August 12, 2009
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Ana Dorsey prepares a cup at Morning Brew

A welcome addition to Kailua is Peter Anderson’s expansion of Morning Brew, the eclectic coffee shop he opened more than 14 years ago with only himself and two employees.

Last year, Peter expanded into a much larger space and added a kind of loft for customers who want more seclusion. Over the years, Morning Brew has slowly become a Kailua institution and now has more than 20 employees and many customers.


The menu emphasizes healthy food choices at moderate prices, including such interesting items as ahi skewers, humus and garden wraps, veggie pizza, and a fresh fruit, yogurt and granola bowl.

There is an open mike on the third Saturday of each month in addition to a variety of live music acts every Friday and Saturday night.

Morning Brew is distinctive in its charming and unique ambience, which is markedly different from the national corporate coffee chains.

Peter has two children - son Griffin, 8, and daughter Paris, 5 - and he is waiting for the day that they can help out with running Morning Brew. He enjoys interacting with his customers and surfs as much as he can on his days off.

It is a pleasure to dedicate this column to Peter, his family and his loyal customers.

To make this recipe lower in fat I used chicken breast, which has half the fat of chicken thighs. Most of the traditional dressings for this salad contain a lot of fat and sodium, so I used just a touch of sesame oil to add rich flavor, used low-sodium shoyu and added sugar to neutralize the acidity in the rice wine vinegar. Sesame seeds give crunch appeal and a pleasing flavor burst to the dressing. You can try different variations such as substituting walnuts for the almonds, or adding a bit of shredded carrot or even red pepper to the salad. The chicken and salad ingredients can be prepared the night before and refrigerated for a quick after-work dinner.


GUILT-FREE CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD

* 1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced thinly, or chopped
* 1 small can chopped water chestnuts
* 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
* 4 stalks green onion, sliced thin
* 1/2 cup crispy Chinese noodles
* 1/2 cup sliced almonds
* 1 tablespoon sesame oil
* 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
* 3 tablespoons low-sodium shoyu
* 1/4 cup white sugar
* pinch salt, or to taste
* pinch ground black pepper, or to taste
* 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Combine oil, rice wine vinegar, shoyu, sugar, pepper and salt until well-mixed. Mix lettuce, chicken breast and water chestnuts; combine well. Add cilantro and green onion and combine. Just before serving, top with the noodles, almonds and dressing. Toss to coat.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 320
Fat: 5.5 grams
Sodium: 166 milligrams (depending on how much salt you add to taste)

Cholesterol: 68 milligrams

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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