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Less Fat, Still Ono

By Barbara Burke
and Joannie Dobbs

Wednesday, August 23, 2000

Tasty, low-fat
offerings fill
cafe menu

Mocha Java Cafe is much more than just another coffee house. In addition to getting a great cup of espresso there, you can also order from an extensive list of omelets, pancakes, waffles, crepes, sandwiches, salads, smoothies and other menu items. And even when the menu item isn't quite low-fat, it's likely to be a lot lower in fat than food served in most other restaurants. Lower fat options are clearly marked on the menu, making it easier to order healthy choices

One reason the restaurant offers such a diverse menu is it originated as two separate eateries -- Mocha Java Cafe and Crepe Fever. The two restaurants merged under one name about 10 years ago.

How has Mocha Java Cafe been able to weather the stormy economic climate in Hawaii this past decade? "Customers get what they want for the price they can afford. We use a lot of different vegetables in our dishes. If customers cook at home, they would have to buy all those different ingredients to create a similar meal," said Luzia Maia-Jube, owner of Mocha Java Cafe .

Some of the restaurant's most popular items include crepes, fried rice and stir-fry dishes. Mocha Java also offers a full complement of vegetarian and vegan menu specials. These include a tofu scramble, granola topped with either apple-strawberry juice or low-fat milk, vegan burrito, and vegetarian curry chapati.

"Our regular customers are health-conscious," said Maia-Jube. "Nothing at the restaurant is deep-fried. We try to use a minimum amount of fat. We saute vegetables with a drop of olive oil or sesame oil, and finish cooking them with a small amount of water."

For breakfast, Mocha Java offers whole wheat, banana and blueberry pancakes prepared with no added oil. Other breakfast items are routinely served with whole wheat toast (rather than white) and, upon request, omelets are made with cholesterol-free Egg-Beaters. All dishes containing cheese are made with a low-fat blend. Chicken breast, turkey breast and turkey ham are used in place of higher-fat meats and poultry.

Without a doubt, Mocha Java Cafe is a place where people with all types of eating preferences can enjoy a meal together. The only dilemma is which mouth-watering dish to choose.


Mocha Java Cafe

2 large eggs
1/4 cup of 1/2-inch cubed, cooked potatoes
2 tablespoons diced onions
2 tablespoons diced bell pepper
2 tablespoons diced fresh tomatoes
1/4 cup shredded low-fat cheese
1 teaspoon olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper

In an 8-inch saute pan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil. Saute potatoes, onions, bell peppers and tomatoes for one minute. Season with salt and pepper.

In a cup, beat 2 eggs and pour into pan and cook for approximately one minute. Flip and cook one minute longer. Flip again and top with cheese.

Serve with toast, biscuit or muffin (not included in nutritional analyses).

Approximate nutritional information per serving (made with eggs): 290 calories, 17 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 430 mg cholesterol, 270 mg sodium.

Approximate nutritional information per serving (made with Egg-Beaters): 200 calories, 7 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 350 mg sodium.

Health Events

Barbara Burke is a Hawaii-Pacific University instructor who has been teaching
and writing about food and nutrition since 1975.

Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S., is a food and nutrition consultant
and owner of Exploring New Concepts, a nutritional consulting firm.
She is also responsible for the nutritional analyses
indicated by an asterisk in this section.

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