Dressing Fresh Island Greens

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - June 15, 2011
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Statistics show that hawaii has 60,000 adult residents who did not complete high school or did not continue on to at least some higher education. This is creating a work force gap that the new “Ready, Set, Grow - hawaii” program wants to bridge.

The coordinator for the program is Deenie Musick. her life’s passion is supporting the efforts of adults who want to gain job skills, academic credit, and be one step closer to earning a living wage and succeeding in life.

“As an educator, education administrator and school principal over the course of my 20-year career,” says Musick, “i can say that most of the students i have taught want to move forward in life. it is really gratifying to see when they do.”

Ready, Set, Grow - Hawaii is a statewide initiative that will address the basic skills, career explorations and work readiness gap for those who are not equipped to acquire a living wage career. it’s a partnership with the Uh community colleges, the state department of labor and Oahu Work links with Windward Community College as the lead. They envision seven education sites statewide by 2014, serving 3,720 students in total. initial pilot sites include

Windward Community College, leeward Community College and hawaii Community College.

Musick not only enjoys growing local talent, she prefers to shop for locally grown greens. She frequents KCC’s Saturday farmers market, where she finds arugula, baby Mizuna, tatsoi, baby kale and watercress - mixings for her favorite sesame seed dressing. native to Japan, Mizuna is used in stir-fries and soups as well as mixed with other lettuce in salads. it is a dark green fringed vegetable, with a fresh, mild, peppery mustard taste.

Choose Mizuna with fresh green crisp leaves; avoid brown or wilted leaves. it can be kept for up to five days in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator; wash just before using.

Mizuna is high in beta carotene, vitamins and minerals, has no fat, good fiber and is low in calories.


* 1/2 cup sesame oil
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1/4 cup vinegar
* 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, ground
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 2 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press

Combine ingredients in jar and shake well. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about 1 cup.

(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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