Hawaiian Flava

Today's inspiration comes from a lifetime of friendship and love. I have known Brent for just about half my life. I don't remember the exact moment we met, but one of my earliest memories was showing up to his place for an Arbor Day celebration. We got WILD back in those days. Brent always threw the most amazing parties with truly memorable moments. I remember when he was a pale goth kid with bright blue hair and an infectious smile. I instantly fell in love with his dry, dark sense of humor and his huge heart.

The thing about Brent is that he will give the shirt off his back to help somebody in need. He is one of the hardest working people I know, and it has given me great joy to see how our friendship has grown and blossomed in the past three years.

How I met Chris is a slightly different story. I remember officially meeting him for the first time at Brent's graduation dinner from culinary school. At the time, I was so happy Brent found somebody who brought him such joy. Chris has become one of my special friendships. He has a the most delightfully dark sense of humor. He is so smart and witty and truly connected to nature and the world around him.

Fast forward several years, and I had the honor of officiating their wedding. There are moments in life I can never forget. I was so filled with emotion that I could not stop crying as I tried to share the vows they had secretly written for each other. Brent and Chris are two of the kindest, most giving, funniest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Every month, my friends and I meet for family dinners. Most of the time, Brent and Chris come bringing those Hawaiian flavors, and it has been an absolute delight. Here's to my attempt at bringing the flavors of paradise!

   Hail seitan! White Mountain seitan block

Hail seitan! White Mountain seitan block

HAWAIIAN FRIED RICE

Veganized from this recipe

Serves 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes    Cook Time: 10 minutes

  • 2 cups diced vegan ham
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Follow Your Heart Vegan Eggs
  • 3 cups cooked and cooled rice
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2-3 chopped green onions

Preheat a large skillet or wok to medium heat. Pour vegetable oil in the bottom. Add vegan ham, onion, and red bell pepper and fry until tender.

Slide the vegan ham, onion, and red bell pepper to the side, and pour the vegan eggs onto the other side. Stir often to cook through. Once cooked, mix the vegan eggs with the vegetable mix.

Add the rice and pineapple to the wok. Pour the soy sauce and sesame oil on top. Stir and fry the rice and veggie mixture until heated through and combined. Add chopped green onions and heat through.

   Hawaiian fried rice, vegan style

Hawaiian fried rice, vegan style

Feel free to use any vegan egg in the mix. I just happened to have Follow Your Heart on hand. As for the vegan ham, I used White Mountain seitan (with added soy sauce and liquid smoke). Any vegan ham tube from an Asian market is probably preferable. It is super important to make sure your rice has been thoroughly cooled, or you will end up with mush.

Brent's fried rice is better, but this was pretty good and easy to whip up! Special thanks go out to my two shining lights of joy and inspiration, Brent and Chris. Thank you for nearly two decades of friendship. I appreciate all the support, love, and advice you've given me throughout the years. I love y'all from the bottom of my heart. Mahalo!