Nom Nom Paleo

8 Things I Love To Do On Maui

Pin It

It’s getting chilly outside. Instead of complaining about the cold, let’s dream of laying out on a warm, sunny beach out in the middle of the Pacific instead. What do you say?

8 Things I Love To Do on Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

For my fellow dreamers out there (including those of you who are planning a trip to Hawaii), here’s a list of my 8 favorite things to do whenever I’m on Maui. (Confession: this is also the perfect excuse for me to bore you to death with my vacation photos.)

1. EXHALE.

8 Things I Love To Do on Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Seriously. As soon as I get off the plane, I blow out all the air in my lungs—along with all the tension and worries of Real Life. I then proceed to suck in a long, deep breath of sweet vacation air.

Hawaii isn’t New York. Everything’s slower, mellower. (Traffic included.) I don’t fight it. Whenever a bit of stress creeps into my shoulders or neck, I take a deep breath and remember how lucky I am to be here.

2. LOAD UP ON GROCERIES

Dining out every meal on the island can get expensive fast—and finding Paleo-friendly foods on restaurant menus can be a challenge.  You can save a bundle by just cooking breakfast every morning and a few suppers.

8 Things I Love To Do on Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

As soon as we leave the airport, we always hit the Costco and/or Whole Foods to stock up on everything from purple sweet potatoes and fresh pineapple to grass fed meat and farm-fresh eggs. Down to Earth is another great place to stock up on natural foods in Kahului. Produce from the mainland is definitely more expensive, so try to get locally-grown stuff from Kula.

And to replenish throughout the week, we usually head to the Foodland Farms in Lahaina and the (vegan-friendly) Honokawai Farmer’s Market.

3. GO RESTAURANT HUNTING.

Cooking is awesome, but it’s not vacation if you find yourself in the kitchen preparing all your own meals.

8 Things I Love To Do on Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Our restaurant excursions have ranged from special-occasion joints (Mama’s Fish House, Lahaina Grill, Pineapple Grill, Sansei, Honu)…

8 Things I Love To Do on Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…to cheap plate lunch spots (Da KitchenAloha Mixed Plate).

8 Things I Love To Do on Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

8 Things I Love To Do on Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

8 Things I Love To Do on Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Vacation’s the perfect time to visit out-the-way eateries (like The Hali’imaile General Store) and food trucks (like Shark Pit), too.

8 Things I Love To Do on Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

We’re not always Paleo-compliant while on vacation, but we’ve found that most places are super-accommodating to dietary restrictions.

For example, longtime readers know that I can’t get enough of Star Noodle – I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve eaten there in the few years since it opened. We don’t order from the “noodles” side of the menu, but there’s plenty of other dishes to enjoy. There are gluten-free items, too.

8 Things I Love To Do on Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Read more

Paleo Eats 9/28/13: Back to Maui

Pin It

After a hurried morning meal of baked eggs seasoned with furikake (toasted sesame and nori)…

Paleo Eats 9/28/13: Back to Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…we grabbed our bags and hopped on a plane bound for Maui.

Paleo Eats 9/28/13: Back to Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

If you’ve stuck around for a while, you probably know that once or twice a year, our family decamps to Hawaii—our home away from home. I love everything about the islands: the people, the pace, the climate, the beaches, the sunsets, the food.

Paleo Eats 9/28/13: Back to Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

{Photo credit: Lil-O. This officially marks the first time my five-year-old has contributed a photograph to my blog.}

This trip came at the perfect time. It’s been an especially busy year for us. And though we’ve done our best to juggle parenting, full-time jobs, blogging, and cookbook-writing—not to mention a good deal more traveling than usual—we’ve all felt the strain. (Our schedules aren’t letting up, either. In two weeks, Henry, who just got back from New York, is heading off to Asia yet again.) Hitting the “pause” button is exactly what the four of us needed.

Paleo Eats 9/28/13: Back to Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Well, okay…the five of us, if you include Cat Power. (Just to be clear: I’m referring to Cat Power, Lil-O’s ever-present stuffed cat—not Cat Power the musician.)

Paleo Eats 9/28/13: Back to Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Although my carry-on bag was crammed with meaty treats…

Paleo Eats 9/28/13: Back to Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…we were starving by the time we arrived on Maui.

Paleo Eats 9/28/13: Back to Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Even after polishing off a late lunch of Thai food and hitting the grocery store to stock up on protein and plants for the coming week…

Paleo Eats 9/28/13: Back to Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

9/28/13: A Vacation Day in Pictures by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…our stomachs declared that it was dinner time.

A return to Star Noodle was in order.

Paleo Eats 9/28/13: Back to Maui by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Read more

Paleo Eats: 11/11/11 (Maui Day #7)

Pin It

Man, how does a week pass by so quickly? 

For breakfast, I cooked the last of our bacon and veggies, and fried up what was left of the three dozen eggs in our fridge. I picked at the bacon while I was cooking, so by the time I thought to photograph my plate, it was already bereft of bacon.

image

The rest of our day’s eats were less than stellar because we chose proximity over quality in order to spend more time chilling in the pool.

image

We ate lunch at the poolside bar and grill…

image

image

…where I ordered an expensive bun-less burger with an extra side salad.

image

D & T have watched the kids all week while we’ve escaped to Lahaina CrossFit, so the least we could do was allow them a date night in Maui. So after a relaxing afternoon indoors, Fitbomb and I took the five — yes, FIVE — kids out to an early dinner.

image

We decided to wander down to Duke’s for supper because we could walk there and because…well…that’s the only reason, I guess.

image

image

image

Fitbomb and I both ordered the tasting menu ($25.95 for three courses if ordered between 4:45-5:45 p.m) just ‘cause the Asian in me can’t pass up a deal. Our eats at Duke’s were fine, but the portions were smaller than expected. And since we ate around the non-Paleo stuff on our plates, there was even less that ended up in our stomachs. 

We started with a teeny arugula salad…

image

…and a micro nicoise salad.

image

For our entrees, we got the baked fish (which came with a side of risotto)…

image

…and the petite filet. This was a case of absolute truth in advertising because the steak was indeed petite; it couldn’t have weighed more than about three ounces, even with a bunch of caramelized onions piled on top.

image

I ordered a side of macadamia nut roasted broccolini which, unfortunately, came covered in panko breading.

image

Dessert was included in our tasting menus, so at the end of the meal, the server brought over some creme brulee and sorbets. The kids half-heartedly picked at the sweets, but were too busy chatting to even bother much with dessert.

image

In the end, I can’t really complain because we were in-and-out of Duke’s in less than an hour, and back on our couch by half past six. Plus, the kids were happy as clams, and none of ‘em turned to pumpkins. We’re totally thankful that D & T are total rockstar parents because their munchkins were super-well-behaved and easy to babysit. (Maybe the kids felt sorry for outnumbering us?)

Now that everyone’s tucked into bed, I’m gonna catch some zzz’s so I’ll be able to deal with the cluster-bleep at the airport tomorrow. Aloha!

Paleo Eats: 11/7/11 (Maui Day #3)

Pin It

Another relaxing day in paradise – made even nicer ‘cause the kids slept in until 6:30 a.m. and more family joined us on vacation.

For breakfast, I made some omelets stuffed with Keoki’s Kalua pork and leftover sautéed spinach and mushrooms. image

image

Then, we wandered to the Farmers Market of Maui… 

image

image

image

…before returning to the beach where Fitbomb and I took turns watching the kids while the other snorkeled.

image

image

image

image

Fitbomb’s cousin’s family flew into town to stay with us this afternoon and we were all excited to greet them. The Triple-A’s are the most adorable three girls and my two boys become unbelievably giddy when we all get together.

image

At luchtime, I made us a simple lunch of reheated Keoki’s pork lau lau (a traditional Hawaiian dish that consists of pork and a piece of butterfish wrapped in taro leaves), green salad with carrots and tomatoes, and a big bowl o’ chopped-up fruit.

image

image

image

image

Afterwards, we hung out poolside before getting ready for our early dinner at Honu Restaurant.

image

Wow. Look at that spectacular view from our table…

image

Good eats, great view, better company.

image

Eating Out Paleo: Honu Restaurant (Lahaina, HI)

Pin It

image

Mala Ocean Tavern is one of our favorite beachfront restaurants in Maui, so we were happy to discover that owner Mark Ellman opened up a new restaurant, Honu, right next door. A bigger restaurant that features local seafood and organic produce— we’re there!

Honu is located in the old Local Motion site but all signs of the former surf shop are long gone.  The space now has beautiful ocean views, exposed beams, high ceilings, and a huge bar.

image

The restaurant features local seafood and, er, pizza baked in a 900 F brick oven. There’s a bunch of Paleo-friendly options on the menu if you avoid the pizza and sandwich sections plus the complimentary fried garbanzo beans.

image

A couple years ago, I’d only be ordering from those sections and I’d be demanding more beans, please! 

For dinner, we shared a bunch of appetizers and starters because I think it’s more fun to eat that way.

We started with the special soup of the day, butternut squash and cocout… …

image

…lamb riblets…

image

…fried pig ears (yes, there’s some breading on it)…

image

…grilled rock shrimp and asparagus…

image

…steamed mussels…

image

…and kale salad with seared ahi.

image

Yummy bites, great view, and the kids were fed and entertained. Win cubed.