Uncle Willie K Rocks In The Kitchen, Too

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - June 09, 2010
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Willie K is cookin

This week, our delicious and healthy recipe comes from none other than Maui’s Willie K.

Born William Kahaiali’i, he’s known by fans around the world as “Uncle” Willie K. He’s not only an amazing guitar virtuoso and singer, he’s also an award-winning record producer. Throughout his career, Willie has helped to share Hawaiian music with people around the world.

These past years, Willie K has focused on his music and new artistic ventures, including his acoustic jazz trio Lima Wela.

He recently lent a hand to the financially challenged Hawaii Youth Symphony, singing Italian opera, and also appeared at free educational concerts. Hawaii Youth Symphony is the only statewide orchestra program for kids ages 8 to 18.

In August, Willie is hosting “A Family Gathering of Nations” - a multidiscipline martial arts tournament hosted by Disney Sports - in Waikiki.


Without a doubt, the tournament will include a concert with Willie K, as well as a celebration of hula. There will be several surprise guest artists and a Lifetime Achievement Award presented to acclaimed actor James Hong.

What’s next for Willie K? He’s continuing his very popular “Wailea Wednesdays with Willie K” at Mulligan’s on the Blue and gearing up for a very special announcement this summer. He also will be appearing at Hawaii Theatre. This column is dedicated to him.

Here are some great uses for tofu:

* Add chunks of firm tofu to soups and chili.

* Make tofu patties with mashed tofu, seasonings and bread crumbs.

* Stir silken tofu into nonfat sour cream and add chopped chives for a baked potato topper.

* Add silken tofu to cream soups instead of cream, which is high in saturated fat.

* Make mock egg salad with chunks of firm tofu, chopped celery, chopped onion, minced red pepper and fat-free mayonnaise. Add 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard for zing and color.


* 1 (13 ounce) pack of firm tofu, washed and cubed

* 2 1/2 tablespoons yellow curry paste

* 6 cups chopped spinach

* 2 tablespoons grated ginger

* 1 large onion, chopped

* 3 tablespoons olive oil (may use less or coat pan with cooking spray instead)

* 1/2 cup light coconut milk

* salt and pepper

Saute onions with the oil and curry. Add ginger and coconut milk. Simmer for four minutes. Add the tofu and simmer another five minutes. Add the spinach, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer until the spinach wilts.

Serve with basmati rice.

(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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