Hawaii has history for me. I've been traveling to and from Hawaii since I was 10, (my first trip was to Maui with my Dad and brothers) and there were many more rounds of Hawaiian vacations. Looking back I'm not quite sure how my Dad and Step-mom managed to shuttle 5 kids from the East Coast to Hawaii numerous time without ripping their hair out?? But needless to say, I'm so thankful to them for our amazing childhood travels.
Traveling to Maui and Kauai with Nick was so special. I found myself in a parallel universe where my past merged with my present grown-up self. There were moments of nostalgia when annoying kids were screaming and splashing honeymooners in the resort pool. I thought to myself, wow, that was SO me and my siblings. It made me smile and almost cry. There was a lot of letting go on the trip. I felt myself emotionally letting go of the childhood me and stepping into a grown woman. Something I thought I was before but had never truly accepted.
Then there were moments of pure honeymoon bliss where Nick and I were alone together and on a great adventure driving into the rain forest or swimming side by side in the pool. We watched the sun sets, felt the sand beneath our feet and talked seriously about when we could come back to visit Hawaii again.
My love for Hawaii and it’s spectacular culture and beauty is boundless. I could really go on and on. But since Nick and I always have such big appetites for life and food I wanted to highlight a few of our culinary adventures from our vacation. It's a rare pleasure when we have some really amazing healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free food options and I doubted several times that I would be able to eat. But alas and thankfully I was dead wrong. The amazing healthy fare made it very easy for me to just sit back, relax and enjoy myself.
My top-five favorite meals in Hawaii:
When I saw this dish on the menu on the first night of our vacation my face lit up. This was the Macrobiotic Plate at our first resort in Maui, Fairmont Kea Lani. Thanks to their "allergy-program" all the restaurants on-site always had a running list of foods I can't eat. They also had a special diet menu which included this AMAZING Macrobiotic meal. Hello, this is so me! They served this speciality dish at the hotel's main restaurant Ko, inspired by Maui's Sugarcane Plantation era. Served in a bento box, this rocked my world.
|Ahi-Fish Plate at the Kilauea Fish Market in Kauai. This plate was so easy to love. I'm a huge supporter of simple dishes. This was simple at it's best: brown rice, FRESH ahi-tuna and a crisp side salad. I also requested no sauce (although there was an Asian-sauce that came with it) so taking it to the next level of simple. :)|
|The truly spectacular farm-to-table lunch at O'o Farm in the Maui's upcountry. Okay this meal came with a private chef and an awesome view. Plus we got the freedom to pick our own unique and fresh ingredients from an organic farm. It doesn't get much fresher!|
|Mama's Fish House in Maui. Haven't you heard you should never judge a book by it's cover? Well Mama's is no exception to that rule. This place is clearly a famous spot and you can tell it has been around forever by the cheesy floral decor. But the food is as good as it gets in Hawaii. The fish is fresh full of flavor and seasoned well. Nevermind it could have possibly been the best tasting fish I've ever had. ... what really blew me away was the service and the gluten-free options. Plus, every local we talked to said it was their favorite place to go for a celebration (birthday, anniversary, etc) and I think that says quite a bit about the food. And be sure to leave some time to walk around the town of Paia where this spot is located, it's the cutest hippie town ever!|
|Verde is dive food at its best! This was our first stop after arriving in Kauai. We were really craving some fresh guacamole and Mexican cuisine and this hit the spot. We loved the fun and colorful dishes. Everything there was fresh and seriously so SO good. It was a really lucky find.|