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A taste of paradise: tropical flavors bring a little sunshine to the table

By Penelope Wall, February 23, 2010 - 11:33am

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A taste of paradise: tropical flavors bring a little sunshine to the table

I usually consider myself pretty rugged when it comes to the cold—but we could all use a little taste of sunshine in the dreary midwinter. So after a very Vermont winter wedding in January, my husband, Colin, and I decided to honeymoon in Kauai, Hawaii. It was a dream get-away, so much so that the minute we stepped off the plane back in Vermont and felt the frigid 10˚ air, we both looked at each other and thought, “I want my Hawaiian honeymoon back!”

With all the fresh fruit, veggies and seafood available, it was easy to eat healthfully—and deliciously—while we were there. Being a big “fruitie,” my favorite meal was the sweet island fruits like Hawaiian pineapple and papaya that I had every morning for breakfast with a squeeze of fresh lime. We enjoyed fruity drinks like pina coladas with gigantic pineapple slices. We devoured the most amazing tropical fish tacos I’ve ever had. What a big change from winter fare in Vermont! (Not to mention the 70˚ difference in temperature.)

We were already missing the fish tacos and fresh pineapple before we boarded the plane to come home. So as soon as we got back to snowy Vermont, we decided to bring a little sunshine to the table with an island-inspired meal with our family. After the second round of pina coladas, my sister declared, “I feel like I’ve enjoyed a little taste of your paradise!”

It’s easy to create your own island get-away right at home. Here are some delicious, sunshine-filled recipes to try:

Passion Smoothie
There are tons of roadside fruit stands in Kauai serving up fresh fruit smoothies. Mango and liliko’i (the Hawaiian word for passion fruit) are some popular tropical flavors.

Fish Tacos
We had the most amazing fish tacos with creamy cabbage slaw at Tom Kat’s Grille in Old Koloa Town. This recipe brings back those island flavors and can be made with salmon, halibut or tilapia.

Papaya-Avocado Salad
Papaya and avocado are the perfect pair in this refreshing tropical salad. Jicama and walnuts add a nice crunch.

Monkeylada
If you like piña coladas, try this lower-calorie version using ripe bananas blended with fresh pineapple and coconut milk.

What recipes get you through the winter? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Penelope Wall, Food Blog, Dinner, Entertaining, What's in season

Penelope Wall
Penelope is a web producer and writer for EatingWell.com. When she's not busy geeking out at the computer, she loves cooking and trying new recipes on her friends. Some of her favorite foods are dark chocolate, coffee, apples, sweet potatoes and cheese.

Penelope asks: What recipes get you through the winter?

Tell us what you think:

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