Cooling Off Summer With A Spicy, Fruity Dip

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - July 29, 2009
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There was a time when Leeward residents had to travel all the way to town to receive hospital care. But 20 years ago, the not-for-profit Kapiolani Medical Center at Pali Momi opened its doors, becoming the center of life and healing for the Leeward Oahu community.

Dr. Don Wilcox, medical director at Pali Momi’s Emergency Department, worked the very first shift on July 31, 1989, the day the hospital opened. That first month, Pali Momi’s ER served some 500 patients.

Today, Dr. Wilcox is still managing the department - the only difference is Pali Momi’s ER now sees 3,000 patients a month. Dr. Wilcox serves as a volunteer director on the board of trustees for Hawaii Pacific Health (the nonprofit medical system whose Oahu affiliates include Kapiolani Medical Center at Pali Momi, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children and Straub Clinic and Hospital). He and his fellow doctors are front-runners in a fundraising campaign celebrating Pali Momi’s 20th anniversary, together pledging nearly $10,000 to the hospital.


He says, “The Leeward community is a tightly knit ohana, and we doctors recognize that as capable and caring as we might be, we simply could not do what we do if it weren’t for the hospital facility and administration, from our COO Jen Chahanovich to the custodial team. So we wanted to be first in line to show our support for Pali Momi.”

This column is dedicated to Dr. Wilcox for his dedication and caring.

In the hot summer months, barbecuing and potlucks at the beach are good ways to keep cool, and this dip is a crowd-pleaser. Just remember to keep it on ice when transporting it, and keep it cold when serving to keep food-borne illness away (keeping covered in a bowl set in ice will do the trick).

This dip has a unique combination of spicy sweet flavors and is good served with a platter of cut up green and red bell peppers, carrot sticks, celery sticks, and broccoli and cauliflower florets.


* 2 cups peeled and cored, grated firm pears, drained of excess water

* 1 1/2 cups fat-free ranch dressing

* 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

* 1 tablespoon wasabi

* 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

* 1/4 teaspoon allspice

* 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

* salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients and chill for about an hour.

Makes about 20 servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 40
Fat: 0.5 grams
Sodium: 230 milligrams
Cholesterol: 2 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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