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Fuel Up With Quinoa

Ono, You Know

October 21, 2018

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

Yellow Cab Pizza Co.’s Quinoa & Feta Cheese Salad ($8.75) powers editor Ellise Kakazu’s day.

What do you turn to when you need an energy boost? Your answer is probably coffee, which is totally fine. But a cup of coffee will only sustain you for a few hours (cue in the dreaded caffeine crash).

So, if you are looking to maintain your energy the entire day, you may want to fill your cup with some quinoa, a nutritious grain-like seed, instead. This superfood is a complete protein packed with amino acids, antioxidants and minerals that will have your engine running on full speed from dusk to dawn. In fact, quinoa is known to be the “gold of the Incas,” as it was used to increase warriors’ stamina.

Just because quinoa is good for you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good. One can enjoy the nutritious, fluffy seeds in yummy salads and soups, or as a nice rice substitute.

With many delicious ways to get your daily dose of quinoa, there’s no reason for you to be running around town on an empty tank. Check out some of my favorite places to get revved up on the powerful food.

GO, GO, GO!

Our first pit stop is Yellow Cab Pizza Co. on Dillingham Boulevard, one of my go-tos for New York-inspired cuisine. This pizza joint is known for its irresistible pies, such as New York’s Finest, Barbeque Chicken, Manhattan Meatlovers and Four Seasons, which features four flavors in one.

A closer look at Yellow Cab Pizza Co.’s Quinoa & Feta Cheese Salad

But that’s not all. Yellow Cab Pizza Co. offers an array of chicken wings, pastas and salads like Quinoa & Feta Cheese Salad ($8.75). This scrumptious bowl of greens comes with arugula, heart of Romaine lettuce, sun-dried tomato, feta cheese and this week’s highlighted ingredient quinoa, served with balsamic vinaigrette.

“It’s tasty and it’s light, and a good complement to our pizza and pasta,” notes Maly San Luis, general manager. “We wanted to meet every customer’s need. Many are looking for healthier options.”

For extra energy, I suggest ordering the restaurant’s soup of the day for just $3.95, as it rounds up the meal perfectly. Some options typically on rotation are clam chowder, lobster bisque and tomato soup.

What’s more, as a special Halloween treat for guests, Yellow Cab will be offering a sweet deal on Oct. 31. Customers who purchase a 10-inch pizza will get a second one of equal or lesser value at 50 percent off.

Offering dining options that are both tasty and filling, Yellow Cab Pizza Co. surely will take you from zero to 60 in no time.

FULL SPEED AHEAD

Kicking things into high gear is Stage Restaurant located within Honolulu Design Center.

Stage Restaurant’s Roasted Kabocha ($12)

As soon as you step foot in the restaurant, you will be blown away by Stage’s eye-catching decor and diverse menu, which will take you on a tasty trip around the world in record time.

According to sous chef Joy Yamane, Stage Restaurant’s mission is to serve “world comfort cuisine,” drawing inspiration from one end of the globe to the other. She also notes the kitchen staff is encouraged to play with techniques, flavors and ingredients.

Yamane explains executive chef Ron de Guzman has a passion for fine-tuning and elevating comfort foods, which results in re-imagined classic dishes. A prime example of his creativity is Roasted Kabocha ($12), an appetizer that takes nutritious ingredients such as kabocha, baby arugula and quinoa and presents them in a new light.

Highlighting and enhancing the ingredients’ natural flavors, chef tosses the aforementioned items in a special yuzu olive oil and then adds salt and black pepper. Then, the mixture is plated alongside a generous smear of Sweet Land Farm goat cheese and a serving of honey. “It’s like the perfect balance,” notes Yamane. “It’s something different.”

Some other unique plates that can be enjoyed at Stage are Graham Cracker Calamari, Duck ala ‘Lilikoi’ and Twice Cooked Braised Pork Belly.

With all that Stage Restaurant has to offer, I know you will be racing back for more.

Powering this week’s venture with quinoa, I still am left with a ton of energy to burn. So it looks like I will continue scouring the streets for more ono eats, catch me if you can!

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