POSTED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Heirloom beans make impression

Jeanne Vana has discovered a nice life partner for her tomato plants—beans. Not just any old boring beans, but heirloom beans in striking colors and patterns.

Vana made her name through the Big Wave Tomatoes she grows and markets under the North Shore Farms label, but now she's also selling bags of dried beans.

“;It's really great sustainability for the farm,”; Vana says.

The beans are planted in the same rows as the tomatoes, after the tomato plants have run their course. The bean plants put nitrogen back into the soil, she says, and use up the fertilizer left over from the tomatoes.

They dry naturally in their pods on the vine over 60 to 90 days, depending on variety.

And the varieties? Pink Mayflowers, pink and green Borlottis, a Tiger's Eye with orange stripes, the Calico with burgundy designs, and the Calypso with black and white markings (also known as the Orca and Yin-Yang, for obvious reasons once you see them).

They can be prepared like any dried beans—soak first, then simmer until tender. Use them in soups, salads or to make refried beans, although note that the colors will fade somewhat when cooked.

They are available only at the Saturday Farmers Market at Kapiolani Community College for $10 per pound.

Take a fruitful approach to tea

Learn about herbal and floral infusions and fruit-based tisanes at a free class, 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Pacific Place Tea Garden in Ala Moana Center.

Infusions, often rich in antioxidants, vitamins and trace minerals, have been an important part of the tea world for centuries.

Class samples will include Hibiscus Orange Tisane, Pineapple Coconut Rooibus, Egyptian Chamomile, Hula Dreams and Pink Bamboo Forest. Call 944-2004.


Shakey's plans a benefit debut

The return of Shakey's Pizza Parlor will be official when the eatery celebrates with a grand opening, 5 to 8:30 p.m. Monday.

The evening, which will benefit Child & Family Service's Hale O Ulu alternative school program for at-risk youth, includes a live broadcast on KRATER 96, entertainment by Ben Vegas and Malia Gibson, and goodie bags. The restaurant will donate 20 percent of all sales during the event to the charity.

Shakey's is at Waipahu Town Center. Call 677-1919.

Tapping in to clean water

For the second year, the UNICEF Tap Project comes to Honolulu with its worldwide effort to provide clean water for children.

Patrons of participating restaurants are invited to make donations for the tap water they normally enjoy for free. Participants include Big City Diner, Contemporary Cafe at the Contemporary Museum, Duke's Waikiki, Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas, JJ Dolan's, Kona Brewing Co., Los Chaparros, Subway in Waipio, thirtyninehotel, the Wedding Cafe, Tiki's Grill & Bar, and Vino Italian Tapas and Wine Bar.

This year, much of the funding will go to Haiti. The event coincides with World Water Week, March 21 to 27.

Lecturer offers cautionary tale

Chef Paul Onishi's “;Buyer Beware,”; a cautionary lecture on so-called “;healthy food products,”; will be presented at 7 p.m. Saturday at Ala Moana Beach Park's McCoy Pavilion.

A certified teacher and chef of 25 years, Onishi will also hold a cooking demonstration during the event, presented by the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii.

Admission is free. Call 944-8344 or visit

Cooking demos celebrate spring

The Kahala Resort & Spa's Spring Blast Culinary Showcase features executive chef Wayne Hirabaysahi demonstrating simple dishes using seasonal ingredients.

The showcase also includes a three-course lunch of Tandoori Chicken Spring Chop Salad, Pan-Roasted Island Catch and a Tarte Tatin.

The event runs 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 27. Cost is $50. Call 739-8760 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Murphy's meals benefit charity

Through the end of March, Murphy's Bar & Grill combines festivity with charity. The eatery will donate $2 to the Hawaii Children's Cancer Foundation for each pound of corned beef it sells. Last year, the event earned more than $5,000.

Murphy's official St. Patrick's Day celebration commences today with a block party starting at 6 p.m. Visit