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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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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‘Umeke’s Famous Kale Salad

kale salad

Kale is the ULTIMATE SUPER FOOD. It’s a low-carb, high-protien, calcium-rich veggie with antioxidant qualities. At ‘Umeke, we only use local Palolo-grown organic kale in our famous KALE SALAD. It is important to us that we provide you with the best produce in our deli dishes to promote and enhance your health and well-being and strive to support our local farmers whenever possible.

You won’t believe how tender and sweet our organic kale is, you have to try it for yourself.

If you are looking for a quick salad for lunch, give our Kale Salad a try, you won’t be disappointed. Find it in our hot table section or in our ready-to-go cold case. The Kale Salad is also available by the pound if you need a potluck dish for your staff lunch or to take home for dinner for the family.

A little known fact, when you order a regular size plate lunch from us, you can substitute the greens or coleslaw salad for our amazing Kale Salad (*there’s a small extra charge for substitution).

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Brown Rice with Barley

Many people are already aware of the health benefits brown rice provides, like being high in fiber, having a low glycemic rating, rich in salenium (which are said to reduce the risk of colds and cancers), etc. This is why we at ‘Umeke only offer brown rice … cause it’s good for you and we care deeply about what goes into your body.

But what about our friend barley and why do we mix them together?

Barley is an antioxidant-rich grain that’s loaded with vitamins, fiber and can lower the “bad” cholesterol. The beauty of barley is that it absorbs the flavors around it which is why it’s a popular ingredient in soups, pilaf, etc. Barley’s texture is very much like brown rice. We cook/steam the rice and barley to the point where it’s very soft, not hard or too chewy.

You will not be disappointed if you try our Brown Rice w/ Barley the next time you come in. Get it with your next plate lunch or with our Veggie Chili or Beef Stew. Your tummy will be so happy you did!

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After a little bit of a winter blog hibernation, spring has awakened us and we’re HUNGRY!!!


If you don’t have time to prepare yourself a breakfast, or one that will keep your energy up till lunch, we got you covered. We have breakfast burritos, sandwiches, smoothies, scones, musubi and more. You can get your breakfast to go or have your morning meeting in our dinning area.

We serve breakfast bright and early, from 7am till 10am. Just in case you didn’t know, you can add avocado and turkey bacon for a $1 (each).

Start your day off right at ‘Umeke!