Providing the people of Hawaii with healthy alternatives in dining, catering, nutrition and wellness.

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Japanese Soba Salad with a Twist

Soba SaladAt ‘Umeke, we’re known for putting a healthy twist on local favorites. One local favorite that flies off our shelves is the Soba Salad, and since we blogged about the Buckwheat Groat recently, we thought we’d continue the buckwheat trend by talking about our Soba Salad!

Did you know that soba is Japanese for buckwheat? Yup, many of us have eaten this yummy, chewy noodle (either hot or cold) all of our lives and know it’s made of buckwheat, but we probably didn’t know what the buckwheat groat looked like till we blogged about it.

Soba is a great noodle for those who are on a lower carb diet as well as those who just want a healthier noodle alternative (as opposed to spaghetti noodles). However, if you are on a gluten-free diet, Japanese brands of soba noodles are made with some whole wheat flour, so please check the packaging, especially if the noodles are from Japan.

According to the Livestrong website, “Soba noodles are a good source of manganese. Manganese helps you metabolize cholesterol, amino acids and carbohydrates. It also helps to form bones. Soba noodles also contain thiamin. Thiamin helps your body convert food into energy. It’s vital for a healthy brain, muscles, skin and hair.”

At ‘Umeke we offer a traditional cold Soba Salad, and we just added a Cilantro Soba Salad (see photo above). This new twist on the traditional soba salad comes with a cilantro dressing that brightens up the earthy noodle flavor. Cilantro is amazing, it has crazy amounts of vitamins A and K as well as some anti-cancer properties.  So dig in!!!




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Buckwheat Groats

Buckwheat Groat

Sometimes we like to experiment with our brown rice mixes to keep lunch interesting, so some of you may have noticed a new grain in our brown rice mix. 

This new grain is not really a grain at all, but a fruit seed related to rhubarb called BUCKWHEAT GROAT. It’s grain-like, plump like a small tapioca ball and tender with a mild nutty flavor. This complex carb is rich in magnesium and manganese, and is gluten free. Being a complex carb that is fiber-rich, buckwheat groats help promote a healthy digestive system, reduces cholesterol and can regulate blood sugar levels. 

If the term buckwheat sounds familiar (and no, not the character from that tv show about rascal kids), it’s because this is what is used in buckwheat soba. So the next time you come in for a healthy plate lunch, opt for the brown rice / buckwheat groat mix. 

Information provided by http://www.livestrong.com/article/291696-buckwheat-groats-nutrition/

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Gluten-Free Strawberry Cream Cheese Scone

strawberry cream cheese sconeWhen we put these little treats out at the beginning of the day, you look away for a moment and they are gone! What are these pretty treats you ask? They are our Gluten-free Strawberry Cream Cheese Scones!!! They are so good, and no wonder, cream cheese baked good? Oh yeah!

Another reason why they are so good is we use rice flour (as opposed to wheat flour), so it’s a little reminiscent of mochi in flavor, but not too sweet. We also use Earth Balance Natural Shortening so they are super moist.

When you come in to ‘Umeke, and you see these scones on the counter (next to the cold case by the registers), check to see which version is out, as we do make a regular wheat flour version every now and then.

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Salmon Fried Rice

Our Salmon Fried Rice makes a great addition to your list of grab-and-go options. This tasty alternative to the standard fried rice (i.e. spam, Portuguese sausage and white rice) is usually available only in the morning because they fly out the doors really fast! You can find them next to our baked goods by the registers.

Made with fresh salmon and brown rice, it’s simple yet nutritious. Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin D and selenium, which helps with joint, cognitive, eye, cardiovascular, skin and hair health, and may help with cancer prevention.

Try our Salmon Fried Rice and let us know what you think, cause we already know it’s a winner!

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Oat Cakes


Most of us at one time or another have tried a certain oat cake found at a very popular coffee house. The thing with those oat cakes are they are super dense and chewy, and beg to ask, how healthy are they really?

Well, we’re not going to mull over those oat cakes, instead, let’s take a look at our ‘Umeke Oat Cakes!!! Yeah!!!

For one, they are pretty substantial, but not to the point where you feel you have a boulder in your belly. They make a great morning (or afternoon) snack paired with your favorite wake-up juice (coffee, tea, etc). Our oat cakes also come in various flavors:

Coconut Date
Cranberry Flax
Maple Walnut
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
Raisin Flax

As always, we do our best to provide healthy alternatives to common dishes, snacks, drinks, etc., so we created a healthier oat cake by using Earth Balance Natural Shortening (which is plant-based, vegan, made without artificial ingredients or hydrogenated oils, and are free of gluten, lactose and eggs) and offer vegan versions (please check that we have the vegan option when you come in).

The next time you need to curb your tummy grumbles, but don’t want a full-on meal, try one of our Oat Cakes!

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Grilled Veggie Focaccia


Hello veggie (and non-veggie) friends out there!!! We want to break down our popular Grilled Veggie Focaccia sandwich for you in case you haven’t tried it or just wanted to know what’s up.

For starters, we bake our own focaccia bread so it’s super fresh. We smear a healthy portion of our homemade pesto spread and then add grilled eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, Maui onion, spinach and provolone (which is melted to gooey awesomeness!)

Here are more reasons to LOVE our Grilled Veggie Focaccia:

Did you know that when heated, mushrooms and spinach have more nutritional value? Mushrooms provide hard to get minerals like selenium, vitamin B, potassium and protein. While spinach is a superfood, cause it’s super green! It’s vitamin, mineral and antioxidant rich, and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and iron.

Side note, this sandwich makes a great lunch, and is perfect for your next catered event or get together.

Well there you go folks. Enjoy our Grilled Veggie Focaccia not only because it tastes amazing, but because it’s also amazing for you!

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Quick Bites – Sandwiches and Wraps

Sandwiches and WrapsNeed a lighter lunch? We got what you need! Right there in our cold case near the dining tables, you’ll find our grab-and-go items, which includes healthy and tasty sandwiches and wraps. We have veggie and meaty versions to satisfy. We pride ourselves in providing the healthiest, tastiest and freshest options and ingredients, so all of our grab-and-go sandwiches and wraps are made daily.

Chicken Salad, Turkey Pesto, Grilled Veggie Pesto and Vegetarian w/hummus are examples of what we offer regularly. But we like to change it up too, so check out the cold case and see what we’ve got up our culinary sleeves.

If you prefer a made-to-order sandwich, our grill master Ray can build you a B.L.T.A. (Turkey bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado & vegannaise), Tuna Melt Focaccia (Tuna salad, Maui onion, tomato, dijon mustard & melted cheddar), Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Homemade mac nut pesto, roasted red peppers, free-range chicken & provolone) and The Portabella (Pesto, roasted red peppers, grilled portobello mushroom & provolone) to name a few.

Check out our full menu on our website www.umekemarket.com for our complete sandwich lineup.

Oh, and by the way, our sandwiches and wraps make great catering options! We can set you up with a sandwich or wrap platter or combo. Call us at 522-7377 for more information.