Tossing A Cool, Fruity Rice Salad

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - March 07, 2007
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Manoa residents Janne and Jody Boyne are enjoying their almost newlywed status and their “baby,” a lovable cat named Tigger. Janne graduated as a registered nurse from Kapiolani Community College this past December, and has started her professional career at Castle Medical Center. She is also an accomplished water-color artist; her paintings have been auctioned off at charity events in Hawaii for the past several years, and are always in high demand.

Jody has spent the last 12 years as an academic librarian at UH-Manoa’s Hamilton Library, and undertakes advanced computer research projects on Google for a number of UH faculty and research staff.

When they need time off from their busy lives, the couple retreats to Salt Spring Island on the Canadian side of the San Juan Islands, where they own a quaint house and cottage overlooking the water. The Boynes are avid readers, and especially like science fiction and fantasy novels.

It is a pleasure to dedicate this column to such a loving couple who enjoy helping others whenever they can.

The grape is one of the oldest fruits in the world, dating back thousands of years to the earliest civilizations. The exact origin of the grape is not known, but it is believed to be Asia Minor, the Caspian Sea region, or Armenia. Some studies suggest that grapes were cultivated in Western Asia more than 7,000 years ago. Drawings found in Egyptian burial sites indicate that they may have been cultivated as early as 2375 BC.

Today, the largest grape-producing countries are Italy, France and Spain.

Grapes vary in color from green to greenish yellow, reddish, blue-black and purple. The sweet fleshy pulp is covered with a skin that has a thin powdery coating called the “bloom.” Some varieties are seedless, while some contain seeds.

Some common varieties in the United States include the Concord, Flame, Ruby and Thompson.

Grapes are almost always treated with chemical substances and must be washed carefully before eating. To prevent the stem from drying out, remove small clusters of grapes with a scissors rather than pulling them off individually.

They are said to have numerous medicinal properties such as being diuretic, providing energy, good for the digestion and having a laxative effect. They are also said to be of help in purifying the system thanks to their invigorating and cleansing qualities.


* 2 cups cooked white rice, cooled
* 1/2 cup seedless red grapes, cut into small pieces
* 1/2 cup seedless green grapes, cut into small pieces
* 1 small can mandarin oranges, drained and rinsed
* 1 kiwi, peeled and diced
* 1/4 cup low-fat raspberry vinaigrette dressing
* 2 teaspoons chopped walnuts

Put rice in a colander and rinse so rice does not stick together. Add grapes, mandarin oranges and kiwi; toss to combine. Pour dressing gently over all and toss to combine. Sprinkle with nuts just before serving.

Makes four servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 250 Fat: 4 grams (will depend on dressing chosen)

Cholesterol: 0 milligrams Sodium: 250 milligrams (will depend on dressing chosen)

(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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