A Salad To Celebrate New Beginnings

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - March 10, 2010
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Spring is a time for new beginnings, so this column is dedicated to Rob Hail, founder and chairman of Email Foster Parents International (soon to re-christened eGlobal Family).

The organization links orphaned and vulnerable children in developing countries to compassionate and responsible supporters.

Thanks to Hail, and with the help of Honolulu Sunrise Rotary and many other volunteers, more than 200 Cambodian orphans have been given a new beginning. They’ve been matched with loving families, mostly from Hawaii. The majority of parents of these children were killed in the 1997 civil war or are simply too poor to support them.

Through the emotional and financial support of their foster parents, these children now have the opportunity to go to school, live in a safe and loving environment, eat nourishing food and even have the opportunity to go to college. They also receive encouragement, guidance and love through e-mail letters from their foster parents, ultimately allowing them to develop into confident and self-reliant individuals.


Hail says the program has been so successful, they’ve begun expanding the concept to orphanages in Indonesia and the Philippines, with plans for Thailand and Bangladesh as well.

With help from his cousins Susan and Ed Catmull (Ed is president of Pixar and Disney Animation), Hail has organized a benefit screening of the widely anticipated Toy Story 3 May 16 at Ward Theatres - a full month before anyone else can see it. If you would like to be an Email Foster Parent or help support any of the many orphanage projects, please call Lei at Darcey Builders, 524-2903, ext. 271. The total cost to support a child is $360 per year - plus your caring e-mail letters. And the return on that investment? Priceless.

Ginger is the underground stem of a plant native to Southeast Asia and is cultivated in most tropical countries. It is known for its aromatic and medicinal properties.

Ginger is available fresh, dried and preserved; it can be powdered, candied, crystallized, or finely sliced and pickled in vinegar. When purchasing fresh ginger, choose firm, smooth pieces free of any mold. Fresh ginger can be kept refrigerated for two to three weeks; peel just before use. It can also be frozen, and peeled and cut without thawing. Candied ginger keeps indefinitely. Keep powdered ginger in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place.


* 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1/2 pound scallops, washed well
* 1 pound local mixed greens, chilled
* 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
* 1 tablespoon chopped green onion

Grill or poach shrimp and scallops; refrigerate for about an hour to cool. While seafood is cooling, make dressing:

* 2 tablespoons minced ginger
* 8 garlic cloves, peeled
* 3 tablespoons lime juice
* 4 Thai chilies (remove stems)
* 4 tablespoons chopped lemongrass
* 4 tablespoons fish sauce
* 3 tablespoons sugar

Blend dressing well in a food processor and set aside.

Mix cooled seafood with greens, and toss with dressing to coat. Sprinkle with green onions and cilantro to garnish and serve cold.

Makes four servings.

(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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