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Lost in Pineapple Paradise

Chef Linda Weiss

Many years ago, my husband and I went to Maui, Hawaii. Our hotel room balcony looked out over the ocean. There was a lot of noise out there and on looking, we discovered a whale slapping his (or her) tail on the water. A site that was pretty common for the week of our stay.

Steve and I are wanderers when it comes to traveling. We had a car rental and took off without a guide. We started for the town of Hanna on a narrow, palm shaded, and winding road. On the way we saw giant waves in a lagoon, tropical waterfalls, and coconuts in the road that we had to move to get by, but we never saw Hanna. Unknown to us until we met a passer-by, the road to Hanna, although short in distance, could take up to 3 hours one way. So we turned around and came back up the road to civilization because we were not prepared to spend the night there.

On another adventure we just kept driving along a paved road until we thought we were at the end but then it became a dirt road. We thought why not, just keep going, and you will not believe the most awe inspiring view as we drove across the top of a high cliff that looked out over the Pacific, and eventually ended in the middle of a pineapple field. Not a soul around. We had no clue where we were, but we discussed it and decided that Maui could not be that big, and that surely we would come out onto a main road at some point in time. We did and what awesome sights on the way.

We snorkeled along the coasts, and went to the Eye of the Needle. We met a Mrs. Hanes there who discussed underwear with my husband. Don’t even ask how that conversation got started.

Pineapple from the plantations nearby and Mahi-Mahi, fresh from the Pacific were two of the dishes that we ate more often than any others on our trip. The pineapple was sweet and succulent, and the slices or wedges were grilled and served along with fish, pork and chicken at most of the local restaurants.

This week I made a couple of Mahi filets and had them with pineapple salsa. But, the best dish that we had this week was the leftover salsa with teriyaki pork tenderloin the night after. The flavors had mingled in the fridge and the salsa was much better the second day.

A whole pineapple goes a long way. This week I’ve used it for salsa with fish, and pork, then made chicken salad after church today, and now I have enough left over for cheese toast with fresh pineapple for breakfast in the morning.

Serve fresh pineapple tidbits over ice cream, then sprinkle over some toasted coconut and you’ve got a tropical sundae good enough for a special company dessert. It’s great on the grill when served with burgers and barbecue and as a side dish for lunch or dinner. Pineapple is good for you since it has lots of natural fiber.

Enjoy a taste of paradise with pineapple.

Pineapple Salsa

1 ½ cups chopped fresh pineapple
½ cup peeled and diced cucumber
1 seeded and finely diced jalapeño pepper (or to taste)
¼ cup finely sliced green onion including stems or ¼ cup diced red onion (if you want it hotter)
2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Zest of ½ lime
½ lime, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together and refrigerate. Make 2 ½ cups. Add more or less of what you like.

Pineapple & Dried Cranberry Chicken Salad

Chopped or shredded chicken
Chopped green onions
Finely diced celery
Dried cranberries
Freshly chopped pineapple
Fresh finely chopped mint
Sliced almonds or walnuts

Use the proportions of each item that you like.

Pineapple Cheese Toast

1 slice of bread
1 slice of cheese to cover the bread- your favorite, but great with Cheddar
1 slice pineapple

Place in toaster and when cheese is melted, remove from toaster and eat! MMMM good.

Visit Chef Linda at her website:
and her blog:
Linda’s first book, Memories From Home, Cooking with Family & Friends
is available at or at her website.

All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

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