Nope, that’s not some typo or weird alien language in my title. It’s me trying to phonetically spell out a very popular Chinese saying - “yeet hay”. Before I go any further, let me backtrack. So this past week I have been experimenting with how my body reacts to nuts and nut butters and dried fruit. I love cashews and almonds and raisins but my problem is, once I start eating them I can’t stop. So I generally try to keep them out of the house but lately I’ve been having so much fun making my own Lara bars and nut-based desserts, that I’ve brought in all these bags of pine nuts and almonds from Trader Joes – yikes! Other than my increased consumption of these delicious foods, I have been eating my normal salads and juicing every morning. Well, last night I developed this painful canker sore in my mouth and today, I have a second one. I have a deep gut feeling that it’s due to me going overboard with the nuts. So now, I am “yeet hay”, which is a saying my mother taught me and it means your body has too much toxicity and “heat” and imbalanced energy. I know it sounds a little nutty (no pun intended) but I really do feel like I have this bad heat energy permeating throughout my body and my mouth – ugh! So what’s the best way to counter this “yeet hay”? With cooling foods like cucumber and celery and light greens. Wish me luck, I can’t stand canker sores! I’m unable to eat much because it’s painful. I think I am going to lay off the nuts for a little bit.
My coworker saw my lunch today and exclaimed, “Ohmigod you’re so funny! That looks like something from a restaurant!” to which I smiled and responded, “Yep. That’s exactly what I want.” OK OK so it’s not exactly restaurant style but it’s close, right? Presentation-wise maybe? Flavor-wise, it was simple but delicious – just another reason why I love raw food. You learn to appreciate the flavors of fresh and seasonal produce so much more that you can do without the oils and the dressings and the sauces. Don’t get me wrong, though, I love dressings and sauces but for me, a salad dressed with some lime juice and sea salt works just as well. So here is my lunch: a bed of mesclun greens with sliced bell pepper, avocado and a couple of Ak-Mak crackers because they are so tasty and provide the perfect “crunch” that I like with my salads. I know the crackers are not raw but frankly, who cares? It’s more important to enjoy your meal than to stick to rules and regulations. I brought this salad plate from home because even though I was at my desk for lunch (as I’m sure many of you are as well), I wanted to have a pleasurable dining experience. Call me dorky if you want
As I have slowly entered this blogosphere of raw foodies, vegans, etc etc, I’ve noticed so many of them have had the pleasure of dining at Pure Food & Wine, a popular and beautiful eatery in NYC that makes everything raw. I have the cookbooks from Pure Food & Wine but have never dined there and doubt I’ll be back in NYC anytime soon. Darn! Luckily, my friend just got back from NYC and I asked her to stop at One Lucky Duck Juice Bar and Takeaway, which belongs to Pure Food & Wine and houses many yummy to-go items like raw crackers and sweet treats. Look what she got me! The famous Rosemary Quackers, Cheesey Quackers, Wild Atlantic Dulse, Cacao Powder, Blonde Macaroons, and these adorable heart shaped chocolate chip cookies. Sure, you can order these online but to be honest, I didn’t want to pay the shipping and handling fee (which, in my opinion, is alot!) This is as close as I’ll get to One Lucky Duck and Pure Food & Wine for now…but I’m so grateful to finally have these goodies in my hand YAY!
Me and working out just aren’t the best of friends. I have 100% respect and admiration for those that consistently go to the gym or partake in physical activities. After all, a state of good health can really only be achieved by a balanced mix of eating right and exercising. It’s just that simple. And I know it. The only problem is, I’m not consistent. I’ve done everything from yoga to pilates to cardio kickboxing to actual boxing to hitting the weights to running. You name it, I’ve done it. And I’ve never kept at it. For me, the problem is I’m somewhat of an extremist. It’s all or nothing and this is something about myself I am trying to change. Whenever I started to get into a working out zone, I’d hit the gym or do activities 6 days out of the week. Then I’d get burnt out and scowl at the sight of a treadmill or my running shoes. On and off. On and off. That’s the way it’s been.
Now I’m ready for a change. I’d rather workout and exercise 3 times a week for the rest of my life than overdo it. And it’s all about consistency for me. So I have to keep at it. Now what’s my workout personality you might wonder? Well, I like yoga as long as it’s making me sweat. I’m not really into the calm, peaceful, zen yoga stuff – it’s a little too boring for me and it makes me more stressed because I’m just thinking about other things (but that’s just me and I have mad respect for those that do this type of yoga.) I love pilates – great for the core. I really enjoy kickboxing because it’s intense and a great stress reliever. I don’t like to run. Actually, I HATE running. I also hate crowds, which is why I avoid the gym and over-filled classes. So what does that leave me? You guessed it. A personal trainer. I know, I know. It sounds like such a luxury to have but I found a great guy who charges on the cheap since he has a home gym. And my plan is to see him twice a week, do cardio on my own once a week, and then a yoga/pilates dvd at home another night. It’s an expense that I see as a health investment. So it’s worth it to me. Just like organic and healthy produce is. I had my first session today with Drew, the trainer, and told him “Look, I don’t want bulky muscles. I just want to lean out and firm up.” He’s been great so far. Very soft spoken and nice. And he kind of looks like Tom Brady. Kind of. More of an awkward Tom Brady haha.
I’m sure I’ll be sore tomorrow since we did all these arm moves and squats. I haven’t worked out in god knows how long and I’m really really out of shape, it’s pretty sad. I have another session on Friday so wish me luck! Gotta stay consistent, Melissa!
Lunch today consisted of green, green, green! A bed of fresh mesclun greens, green bell pepper and a whole sliced avocado mixed in. For my “dressing”, I used a couple squirts of macadamia nut oil (expensive but worth it if you’re looking at the cost per use), some lime juice and celtic sea salt. Healthy, nutritious, light and filling all at the same time. To this, I also added a baked sweet potato, dressed ever so lightly in some goats milk butter and sea salt (didn’t get that picture, sorry!)
I’m known for taking a zillion pictures whenever I go on a trip. For example, I went to New York a few months ago with my two girlfriends for work and I snapped 720 shots on my Canon. This past weekend, Chris and I drove up to Los Olivos, CA to go wine tasting for a day and night and I came home with 252 pictures waiting to be uploaded. Well, come on. I’m asian! We take lots of pictures! Haha. Just kidding. But I definitely do fit that “asian picture taking person” profile minus all the peace signs and cheesy grins (though I like to do that every now and then to really bug my boyfriend.)
This weekend’s trip was fantastic. Why did we go? Just because. We don’t really follow the rules of the universe and go somewhere romantic just because it’s Valentine’s Day or do something special if it’s someone’s birthday. We like to do things just because. We stayed at the Hotel Corque (highly recommended if you plan on going to Solvang anytime soon because they just remodeled the building and all the rooms are practically brand spanking new!) Saturday consisted of wine tasting at 10am but we were running on empty fuel (except for a morning fruit smoothie I whipped up before the drive) so our wine tasting adventure ended earlier than we had hoped with me passing out for a nap at the hotel. Heat + long drive + lots of wine tasting = tired Melissa. We had nine wineries on our list and we were able to make seven…. not bad, right?
Anyway, I’ll stop talking and let the pictures speak for themselves. I love being so close to wine country – just another beautiful thing about living in California I suppose
I felt like I was in a Steinbeck novel.
Here’s the hotel – Hotel Corque. Go there!
The entrance to Rancho Sisquoc Winery, which I highly recommend. It’s way out in the middle of nowhere so don’t freak out if you think you’re driving into no-man’s land…
The famous Foxen Winery – I’m sure you’ve seen their wines if you’re a wino. Great stuff but we weren’t ready to shell out $50/bottle quite yet so we did their tasting and exchanged a few chuckles with the friendly wine man behind the bar. Oh, did I mention you get to keep most of the glasses from the wine tasting? Not bad if you don’t have wine glasses to begin with.
It’s hard to get lost around here. Follow the signs.
Firestone Winery, home to Andrew Firestone & Co. (aka the Bachelor). This was about where the room started to spin for me. I’m not proud of it and I definitely learned my lesson: EAT BEFORE YOU DRINK!
Fast forward to dinner at The Ballard Inn, which was SOOOO romantic and cozy with excellent service and a beautiful setting. We dined out on the porch of the inn and feasted on all things non-raw and non-vegan, ha! And you know what? I loved every single bite of it. I’m human
We split the seafood tomato bisque that was creamy, dreamy and yummy in my tummy! It was topped with a swirl of creme fraiche, slow roasted tomatoes and herbs.
My entree was a shrimp mousse-crusted sea bass on a bed of creamy garlicky risotto with a side of sauteed broccolini.
Chris ordered the scallops that came with a side of greens and sliced apple and a Thai style sauce.
The next morning before we left, we hit downtown Solvang (all three streets) and had breakfast at some Belgian cafe. I ordered the Belgian waffle because, duh, they are SO good and Chris got Crepes Benedict (way way too rich and heavy for me but it was nice to look at.) We strolled around the streets then decided to take off for some more wineries before driving back to LA.
Here’s me infront of the vineyard at Kalyra Winery, another place I’d recommend. Also, scenes from Sideways the movie was shot there.
We were blown away by the winery at Melville. GORGEOUS property.
Babcock Winery was right next door. Literally. So we cruised on over and finished our last wine tasting there – NINE OF THEM! Thank god we split all the tastings on Sunday.
Who’s that goofy looking couple?
So here’s the rundown on the wineries, if you’re ever in the area and need suggestions. These were actually recommendations from our friends who love wine but to be honest, none of them really appealed to us in a super fabulous way. I hate to admit it (and maybe because I’m such an amateur at wine) but I far more enjoyed the bottles of Chianti and Kim Crawford whites we got from Trader Joes and Beverage Warehouse.
Rancho Sisquoc: beautiful setting for a fun picnic. If you’re going here, be SURE to buy food before you drive because this place doesn’t sell snacks or food (such a shame, too, since they have great picnic seating) and we didn’t see a grocery store in sight. The wines were pretty good. We bought two bottles of their Riesling but then again, I’m a sucker for Riesling anything. They also carried a good Merlot, if you’re into reds.
Foxen Winery: the wines were good but not good enough to make us go ga-ga for the $50 bottles. The bar man was friendly and easygoing. Didn’t like the fact that their “bathrooms” were porta potties (gross!) and their indoor tasting room was fairly small. We had to squeeze our way into the bar in the outdoor tasting area. But it has a very pretty view in the back area and a cool little tiki bar setup.
Curtis Winery: this came so highly recommended by our friends but, wow, what a disappointment. Their wines were so-so but the service was AWFUL. I repeat, the service was AWFUL. We kept waiting and waiting and waiting and the girl forgot about us at one point…or was she just ignoring us? Either way, I didn’t have a good experience here. Hopefully, the next will be better if we decide to go back.
Firestone Winery: HUGE. Lots of people. But attentive service and friendly staff. As for the wines…um, this is when things started to get fuzzy for me. Don’t quite remember but I was having a good time.
Kalyra Winery: Very friendly staff and cool ambience – tropical, island-like. Wine was good. If you enjoy dessert wines, you’ll like this place. We tasted an orange Riesling that made us both gag from the sugar content. Yes, there is such a thing as too sweet!
Melville Winery: The property was amazing and well-kept. Beautiful beautiful. The lady behind the bar was super nice and knowledgeable. Wines were good but again, not good enough for us to buy.
Babcock Winery: Sat on a mini hill. Very pretty but the staff wasn’t quite so friendly. Wines were just mediocre to me. The plus was that you got nine different tasting instead of the average five.
If there is one thing (of many things) that brings a grin to my face, it’s when when I know I’ve done something to influence someone. Take my sister, for instance I don’t know if she was already taking pictures of her food before she became a frequent contributing editor to Pastries & Bacon, but it makes me smile how she delightfully arranges her meals now just to capture a shot for me. I present to you her dinner from this evening: broiled salmon, Japanese rice with toasted sesame seeds and steamed veggies. Love how that rice got molded into a little cylinder shape, sis – thanks so much again!
Man, I’d love to invest in a new camera (a Nikon D80 to be exact) to take beautiful pictures like these two blogs below that I absolutely love, love, love. I’m from a pretty artsy fartsy family – my dad was a photographer and my mom likes to draw (and I am a graphic designer) – so for me, presentation is very important. Again, I truly believe that most people eat with their eyes so a beautiful presentation of food is half the battle. That’s why I am beyond infatuated with Pure Food & Wine in NYC even though I have never been there. I have the two cookbooks from the restaurant and am planning to knock out a recipe or two each week because it combines my two loves: raw food + spending dedicated time in the kitchen preparing beautiful food!
You know those people that you “talk” to via email but have never met in person or spoken to over the phone yet somehow you guys just click? Where your e-conversations can take up paragraphs and paragraphs because you both have a ton in common and all the “!!!” in your emails are an expression of how excited and enthusiastic you are? Well, that’s me and Marlena, who also has a super great blog right here so check it out! It’s full of fun recipes, useful tips, and her beautiful reflections on life in general.
How did I “meet” Marlena? Well, through Google searching! Haha, no joke. I was looking for a recipe one day and those keywords on Google took me straight to her blog, which I found delightful and fun. So naturally I had to check out her “About” page and emailed her a quick hello. Since then, we’ve sprouted this wonderful online friendship, which I actually value just as much as my friendships here in LA! Marlena is truly a beautiful and genuine soul and she has such a warm heart, always checking in on me to say hi and see how I’m doing. One of the things we have most in common is how much we both love to be in the kitchen! And how fun it is to cook, create, and serve the people you love most.
She may be practically on the opposite coast but I hope one day I get to meet this girl. In the meantime, I asked her to do a little “guest interview” for me (hehe) so check it out and enjoy! And thanks sooooo much for doing this, Marlena! You rule!
Hey Marlena! Thanks for letting me ask you a couple of questions for P&B!
Hey Melissa! Thank you so much for interviewing me! I feel so honored to be on your blog and talking about FOOD not health for a change is always fun and so refreshing, which is why I love P&B so much!
How would you describe your diet?
First off I want to thank you for interviewing me! It is such an honor and I am so excited, as I really love P&B! As far as my diet goes, I would say pretty it’s pretty free. I eat what I want when I want it! I focus on green juice and green salads, usually (but not always) consuming only green juice during the day. Sometimes I’ll much on some crudités or have a raw soup during the day if I feel the urge. Dinner is always a big green salad with either avocado, goat’s cheese, or occasionally a tahini based dressing. A few times a week this precedes a cooked vegetable dish such as a sweet potato or baked roots, steamed greens or cooked broccoli. This past week I just made a delicious caponata that I’m going to be sharing on my blog! I love cooked vegetables, they are the perfect comfort food!
What made you become raw/vegan (if either applies)
Actually neither applies! I suppose I can be considered somewhat raw seeing that most of what I eat consists of raw vegetables and juices, but being 100% raw isn’t a goal of mine. I do go for periods of time where I eat only raw foods, but I don’t do it with the intention of never eating cooked food again. I like cooked food, especially in the colder months, and find that setting boundaries like that sets me up for failure in terms of how much I enjoy my diet. Veganism also isn’t a goal of mine. I did the vegan thing years ago and gained weight and plenty of digestive issues. Instead of eating meat, I was eating a lot of soy substitutes since everyone was convincing me I was in dire need of protein. Now I know better, so I do better. There are weeks at a time when I go without any animal foods, but just like I said before about being “raw”, I don’t do it with the intention of never eating animal foods again. If goat’s cheese left me feeling poorly, I would exclude it. But it doesn’t, so I don’t! Fish is something I usually will only eat when I go out to dinner. It’s not something I desire on a regular basis.
What’s a favorite go-to recipe of yours?
My favorite go-to dinner is definitely guacamole salad! Here is my summer guac recipe I recently shared on my blog:
2 very ripe avocados
The juice of 2 limes or 1 lemon
1-2 packets of stevia
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 ear of raw corn (slice it right off the ear with a knife into a bowl)
1 big heirloom tomato, diced
1 big clove garlic
3-4 tablespoons red onion, diced
Plenty, and I mean plenty of fresh cilantro, chopped up very well. I usually use 2 big handfuls at least. I can’t get enough of it.
Now you can mix this up and serve it up in romaine leaves as guac wraps, or just mix it up with baby romaine and eat it as a salad (what I typically do). I usually squeeze extra lemon or lime juice on the salad, sprinkle some more stevia or sea salt to pack a little extra flavor into the salad. You could even drizzle your favorite olive or nut oil over it too. Avocados in general make extremely satisfying salads.
I often will follow this with a baked sweet potato with some coconut butter (or just plain organic butter), cinnamon, and stevia. This is extremely comforting and satisfies my sweet tooth. A recent summer concoction I’ve been throwing together pretty often is a combination of about 1/3 cup Green and Black cocoa powder, about a cup of water, a big heaping tablespoon of cashew butter or really any nut or seed butter you have on hand, a tsp of vanilla, about 8-9 packets of stevia, and a tray of ice. Blend this together and you have a super light and water rich chocolate ice cream that has no sugar! Since I honor food combining, I treat this as a neutrally combined dessert because the amount of nut butter is so small in comparison to the water and ice. My husband loves this dessert as well.
Where do you usually shop for produce and pantry items?
In Lancaster I go to Rhubarb’s which is a local health food store that’s been around for decades. I used to work there and the owner and employees are wonderful. I order my husband’s sprouted-grain bagels and my favorite dark chocolate sometimes, too. I sometimes order things offline, such as Artisana nut butters (the BEST!) because Rhubarb’s doesn’t carry them. I usually will order these through therawfoodworld.com.
What are three kitchen essentials you can’t live without?
My juicer, my big knife that makes chopping and slicing so easy (thanks mom!), and my blender. Am I allowed 4? I really love my spiralizer too! You cannot beat veggie pasta.
What are three key ingredients/foods that you always stock up on?
I always make sure I have ripe avocados, plenty of ice in my freezer during summer months for ice creams and water ice, sweet potatoes because both my husband and I love them (surprisingly, when you slice them very thin, they are delicious to snack on raw), carrots for juicing and for raw soups, and lemons because I use them for EVERYTHING…juice, salad dressings, and lemon ice.
I’m going to have to say Everyday Italian by Giada DiLaurentiis. It was the first cookbook that really inspired me to be brave in the kitchen. Italian food is particularly inspiring to me. I just love it. It is another reason why I don’t really ever want to be vegan, pretty much anything with marinara and goat’s cheese is perfection to me.
If you could meet anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
I’m going to have to say Paula Deen from the Food Network (I used to be a bit of a Food Network junkie, I must say). I think she is so cute, and I love how simple and honest her cooking style is, although it is entirely unhealthy! I am not sure I would eat anything that she makes, but I would love to make her some guacamole salad and my version of Pure Food and Wine’s cinnamon ice cream! I think she would be shocked at how good natural food can be when given a fair shot.
Any plans on coming to Southern California?
I’ve had those plans for years! So yes! We’ll have to make a detox-kitchen date.
Hi everyone! Chris and I just returned from a whirlwind weekend trip up to Los Olivos, CA (aka wine country) and I am EXHAUSTED. I had my fair share of wines both yesterday and today and combined with the heat and the long drive, I’m about ready to tuck into an epsom salt bath and then hit the sheets. But not without a little post, of course! My pictures from the trip will be featured this week but for now I just wanted to share what I made for dinner. After indulging in some delicious wines (no regrets) and an amazing meal last night at the very famous, very romantic and very cozy Ballard Inn (again, no regrets), I decided I needed something simple and, well, raw. What can I say, I LOVE raw food. It always makes me feel good. So tonight, I threw together some fresh lettuce greens, heirloom tomato, sprouts and homemade guacamole and drizzled a bit of macadamia nut oil and sea salt over it. As I stared at the salad, I was craving something else so I took a sampling of those same ingredients and rolled it up in a nori sheet, sliced it up, and voila! An interesting “sushi” roll with a side dipping sauce I made out of sesame oil, nama shoyu and rice vinegar. Yummy!
Chris asked me to put together a fruit bowl of our farmers market berries for his work lunch. My carnivore boyfriend asking moi to assemble fruits for him? WOW! My pleasure In the mix? Sliced strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and grapefruit.
Ah, gotta love that Snoop song, right? Anyway, here’s me at work with my favorite juice: carrot, romaine, kale, beet and ginger. Oh so tasty. This has helped me kick my twelve-year old coffee habit (which I would have never thought possible even six months ago!) But now I’ve got WAY more energy, don’t have those afternoon dips like I used to AND am healthier overall. The juice craze isn’t a craze for a reason, folks, it’s for reals. Even Chris has a juice every now and then as long as I don’t throw a ton of ginger in there.
Nope, that’s not a typo. I Live Chocolate is the name of ChocoVivo’s website, a line of organic stone-ground chocolate from Mexico. I had the pleasure of coming across this stall at the farmers market last weekend, and was treated to a “chocolate tasting” very similar to wine tasting – we started with the boldest strongest flavors, which consisted of the 85% and 75% dark chocolates (“these are going to be your dark reds, your cabs and merlots”, the owner told me with a grin) and moved on to the lighter chocolates (“…just like your sweet white dessert wines, this is how we end the tasting…” she continued.) Chris saw how thrilled I was about this chocolate and bought me a bar, wrapped in neat recycled paper, for only $5. Though that might seem like a lot for chocolate – which it can be – its cost per use is low, low, low! Each time I eat it, I only have about half an ounce at most since it’s so bold and strong and I don’t need a ton to feel satisfied (remember, quality over quantity!)
For more information, please check out the website here. I’m a huge fan of the artisan way of creating things, and ChocoVivo uses a tool similar to a mortar and pestle called a mano and metate to stone-grind the chocolate, which is how the Mayans and Aztecs made chocolate over 2000 years ago!
Dinner tonight was nut-based and fantastic: a wonderful salad blend with julienned carrot, mung beans, fresh greens and raisins tossed in a creamy tahini dressing. More importantly, however, was dessert – the delicious chocolate macaroons I made from the Raw Food, Real World cookbook and my cashew/date “lara bar”, which I pressed and packed into a small ceramic tart dish then froze to taste bud perfection.
I finally gave in and forked over $$$ to purchase whole vanilla bean. I’ve never bought whole vanilla bean before, mainly because it’s so expensive but I guess my taste buds are worth it. Besides, I don’t get manicures and pedicures (maybe one pedicure in two months) and I don’t go to the salon to get my hair done (I have dark hair, lucky me, and I like my tresses LOOONG so no need to really cut it.) So the way I see it is with all that money I could be blowing elsewhere, I might as well spend it on things that mean alot to me…food! I cut up a tiny smidge of the bean and used it in an “ice cream” I whipped up in the K-Tec Blender: young coconut meat, coconut water, ice cubes, a little drizzle of agave and the vanilla bean. Wow. The consistency came out so smooth and soft and creamy and the little flecks of the vanilla bean made it such a pleasant dish to look at. We eat with our eyes first so it’s always important to make it look pretty!
The next time I am in Orange County, I’ll be sure to hit up Au Lac Restaurant, which serves nice raw fare. Here’s the menu, sampled from their website:
Antipasto baby greens, “black pepperoni” sauerkraut, red onion, italian dressing
Chef’s Hand Roll nori, rice, sprouts, avocado, daikon, nattō, onion, mustard
Chimichurri dip with garlic bread
Cream Cheese flax, basil, avocado, mushroom, onion, red bell pepper
Da Bowl romaine, pistachio crumb, onion, olive, tomato, flax, sweet mustard
Deep House romaine, kalamata olive, dill, ranch
Herb Salad romaine, mixed herbs, tomato, onion, umeboshi plum dressing
Norrito Wrap nori, mixed greens, herbs, lime leaf dressing
Pistachio bread raisins, macadamia, spices
PopEye spinach, sweet and spicy pecan, red onion, fresh fruit, Kenchur dressing
Song watercress, tomato, onion, teriyaki
Sweet & Spicy Pecan
The Sea greens, wakame, dulse, arame, kelp, kimchi, ranch
Winter Roll thin zucchini, coconut meat,lime leaf sauce
Au lac raw nori, tomatoes ,onions, garlic , shallots, bean sprouts, lime juice, celery leaf, dill, cilantro, red bell peppers, pine nuts, macadamia, avocado soaked in miso
Humanese avocado, cilantro, coconut meat, onion, tamari, flax
Loranowa blended spirulina, coconut oil, bok choy, broccoli, carrot, onion
Hot and Sour sea veggies, red bell pepper, olive, coconut, curry spice, macadamia cream
Laksa turmeric, “fried onion,” dulse, “hard boiled egg,” kelp noodle, red chili
Sayur Asem tamarind, soaked macadamia, cashew, mixed veggies
Risotto aquatic grass, mint, mushroom, carrot, avocado, marinara
Paella aquatic grass, bell pepper, onion, tomato, avocado, cilantro and mushroom
Asado Detira soft mushroom ribs with Chimichurri sauce, aquatic grass & garlic bread
Anh Fryed Rice grass seed, corn, peas, cilantro, dulse, red chili, tamari, “fried onion,” with ranch
Curried Rice broccoli, avocado, cauliflower, corn peas, “fried onion,” olive, mushroom
Green Pyramid basil pesto, aquatic grass, bell pepper, dulse, flax chip, basil tree
Mermaid black noodle seaweed, kimchi, flax chip, teriyaki, daikon, micro greens, “sausage”e truffles, with white risotto
Angel Hair Marinara zucchini noodle, meatball, parmesan, basil, garlic, parsley, tomato
BBQ Chicken Pizza red onion, cilantro, “cheese”
Cali Roll dulse, nori, cucumber, coconut, avocado, chive, pine nut, tamari ginger
Chips and Salsa with avocado, Curried Guacamole with celery dip
De La Mamma broccoli, zucchini, coconut, onion
Fryed Chicks “deep fried” cauliflower, ginger, onion, sauce, “steamed rice”
Jinos Pizza roma, sundried tomato, marinara, basil, “melted mozzarella”
Mashed Potatoes cauliflower, coconut, broccoli, carrot, avocado, tamari teriyaki gravy
Pasta di Amore kelp noodle, “fried onions”, basil, “parmesan”, tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic bread
Soft Taco iceberg, tomato, flax chip, mustard, coconut,pistachio, ranch, teriyaki
If you happen to live in the Redondo Beach area in California, I highly urge you to visit The Green Temple. Tucked away in the quaint Riviera Village neighborhood, the cafe/restaurant is nestled within a courtyard between a string of little boutiques. You would never even know there is a place to eat in there…something I love. I’ve been dining there for the past four years ever since an old veggie friend of mine introduced me to the place and now it’s a meeting area for me and my dad when I drive down to Redondo from Santa Monica to visit him Last night, we met for dinner and shared the week’s happenings as well as the following yummy food:
The Temple Green Salad: Organic hand torn green leaf lettuce, shredded beets and carrots, organic mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocados and seasonal sprouts. Served with a slice of sprouted whole grain bread made in their kitchen.
The Avocado Sandwich (with extra guacamole): On their whole wheat bread with tomatoes, lettuce, sprouts, seasoned with spike and served with a side of garden mix vegetables topped with organic tofu sauce.
The atmosphere (mine came out blurred so these images are from their website. For more pictures, check them out here). As you can see, it’s all very zen and floral and calm with Balinese-inspired furniture, water fountains, and low hushed voices. How typical California, huh?
And finally…me and my dad!
After badgering my sister for more pictures of her culinary adventures out in Colorado, she’s now happily sending me random shots from different restaurants and her home-cooked meals. She had dinner at a restaurant called Old Blinking Light last night – wow, trying saying that whole thing ten times really quick – in Highlands Ranch, CO. Here’s what she had for dinner…mmm, looks super tasty!
Cheesy grits stuffed jalapenos
Sweet potato with 3 dipping sauces
And the OBL chicken nachos
Once again, thanks sis! Also, she’s getting LASIK surgery today…good luck!
This October our friends, Kevin and Meghann, will be getting married in Austin, TX and I am so excited for so many reasons.
1) I’m super happy for the couple
2) Chris and I will also get to visit another one of our friends who moved there from Los Angeles
3) I’ve never been to Austin and I’ve heard so many great things about it
But now I have another reason to be excited. There is a new raw restaurant out there – Borboleta Gourmet – which I just discovered while reading We Like It Raw. This is perfect because while all my friends will be headed to the famous Salt Lick Restaurant with their beer, I can find comfort in this vegan & raw-friendly place. Score! Here are some pics from Borboleta’s site as well as some info from their ABOUT page:
Borboleta focuses on healthy food that tastes just like the foods you love and crave, only better. Our food provides a way to eat nutritious meals yet feel satisfied. Our cuisine is sourced from the highest quality, 100% organic ingredients. We buy as much local produce as possible, so the food makes a smaller carbon footprint by traveling shorter distances, and tastes fresh, as if just picked from your garden. Borboleta’s gourmet living cuisine is:
- trans fat-free
Came fully prepared to work with an arsenal of healthy food
Breakfast: strawberry banana smoothie. You can see that there is still some in the mason jar sitting in the back. I made a huge batch and knew I’d guzzle it all up.
Corn avocado chilled soup at lunch. It had cumin in it, which was very good. Perfect consistency, too, since I like my soups thick and creamy.
And a sliced avocado on a bed of fresh greens from farmers market, tomato, dulse flakes, sea salt and pepper.
To my absolute delight, I came into work today to find a UPS-delivered care package sitting on my desk. It was from my sister in Colorado, who is one of the most thoughtful people I know. Inside, I found: a ZYLISS food chopper (yay! easy and convenient. I don’t have much counter space so the less clean-up involved, the better), a Sleek Slice mandoline (which I will be using 24/7 to make my more creative raw dishes) and As Seen On TV “Turbie Twists” (this is for you if you like to wrap your hair in a towel turban after showering). Yay! Woohoo! Thanks, sis! Love the presents and can’t wait to use them
It’s interesting, the relationship between parents and their children is a great representation of the cycle of life. Everything flows – parents teach children things, children grow up to teach parents things (well, we HOPE that is the case at least.) For me and my dad, this is how our relationship is and I am so blessed. Ever since I was a little kid, my dad would always tell me a “philosophy of the day” as he drove me to school. I think subconsciously all of his little life philosophies really stuck with me as I now incorporate them into my everyday life. Sayings as simple as “let it go” or “your thoughts become reality so think positive“…nothing new but certainly very meaningful. Now the tables have turned and I’ve been teaching my dad a thing or two about health. Mainly the juicing component and how essential it is for your body. Ever so inspired by me, my father has started juicing and has completely ditched his old diet of hamburgers and coffee for a plethora of veggies, fresh fruits and nuts. With increased energy from the lack of fatty foods clogging up the system, my dad (who, by the way, is 62) has experienced a HUGE surge of energy. He’ll text me (yes, TEXT – I taught him) to tell me about his bike rides along the beach and his swims at the gym. My dad is more fit and toned than I am…and so, I am very inspired by him now to get my ass in gear for working out. This morning I got a great email from him in which he outlined his day for me…I love it.
By the way, if you’re wondering why this is so important to me, it’s because my dad was diagnosed with sleep apnea and irregular heart palpitations several years ago. He was always lethargic, taking naps at 4pm everyday. His skin was ash-colored. His undereye circles were puffy and blue. And it was painful to see him withering away, a little bit at a time. Listen, folks, health is the most important things. Without health, we have nothing. All the money in the world, designer clothing and being a sample size zero means nada when you’re laying in a hospital bed, hooked up to a machine, staring out the window. I think when you’re in your teens, twenties, thirties and so on you take your health for granted. It’s not until you get diagnosed with something when you experience a wake up call, but for some, that’s too late. So let’s use preventative health care so we don’t have to pay those medical bills when we become so sick and ill in the future. Let’s get our vitamins from fresh veggies and fruits so we don’t have to get our prescription for XYZ medicine filled up monthly. We eat food everyday, a couple times a day – let’s make sure it’s GOOD food. Here’s to excellent health and to my dad! Oh, and here is his email below
I rode to Hermosa 22nd street, where Martha’s 22nd Restaurant is…remember the “GREEN STORE” or was it the Green Door?
I came home and drank some fresh squeezed OJ I made.
Then I whipped up some:
organic milk and a splash of goat’s milk
I whole banana
and I blended it….
Voila. Granola Blast!@#$
I have been doing about 120 -150 situps per day.
I do about 30 to 40 reps at a time.
I can feel the burn in the small back muscles, not to mention my abs.
I do a routine exercise with †he ball (4 stages)
I am feeling so limber and my back ache is miraculously gone.
I had no idea that a simple ball could do so much for me.
When I do the situps, I don’t go up 90 degrees. I only go up as much as I can feel my stomach and abs tighten. After around 30, I can definitely feel the burn.
I don’t push it…I just do reps that I can manage.
So, my exercise is:
1) Ball exercise: 3-4 times a day.
2) Salsa dancing/aerobics on Sunday mornings
3) Bike riding
4) Swimming 30 min
I mix up my exercise so it is not boring..
Chris and I love Mexican food. Tonight, we both had this cuisine done differently.
Exhibit A: MINE. Raw goat cheese, lettuce cups (to act as the taco shell) and a mixture of garlic, raw corn, tomato, salt, pepper, jalapeno, and cilantro. I layer a couple slices of the cheese on the lettuce shell, then scoop some of the corn and tomato mixture on top. It may sound simple and boring but give this a try – it is incredibly tasty.
Exhibit B: CHRIS. I made him fajitas with the leftover carne asada that our dear friends, Kevin and Meghann, cooked for us over the weekend. Then I sauteed fresh green bell pepper in olive oil with the meat, whipped up some fresh guacamole with shallots, jalapeno, lime juice, salt and pepper and heated four corn tortillas (two super crispy, two semi-soft). Just for a little added option, I threw on some cheese on his plate because I know he likes to layer his flavors. It was a home-run according to the man of the house: “mmmm….your best Mexican meal ever” he said.
HAHA this blog post title is so fitting because I just served my first (and last) day of jury duty today in Compton, CA. Yes, COMPTON. And I have to say, driving through the neighborhoods really made me grateful for everything I have. I already am super thankful for my life, my family, my friends, and all my possessions, but sometimes it takes a little “reality check” of sorts to make you count your blessings one more time. On a brighter note, I was so ecstatic that I had gotten dismissed from jury duty that I came home and celebrated with one of the best smoothies I have ever made: mango-strawberry-coconut. I like to recycle the smoothie cups I get from the juice bar (for one or two more uses after the initial one) so I busted that out to make it feel like I had gotten this concoction from a real professional juice bar I’m telling you, I have only-child-playful-imagination-syndrome!
I found a new appetizer that I really enjoy – hummus!! But my version doesn’t include chickpeas or anything that involves uncomfortable gas and bloat ha! I just bought a new jar of tahini (freakin’ $8 but oh well, it’s so worth it) so I threw a few tablespoons into my food processor along with sun-dried tomatoes, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, some water and lemon juice. Gave the whole thing a whirl for a few minutes and BAM! Out came a super delicious, super nutritious and oh so satisfying pre-dinner nosh. I skipped the usual chips and pita bread for sliced carrots, which tasted just as yummy since my dip was really the superstar of the show.
Dinner from my sister in Colorado tonight: shrimp enchilada pie with green chiles and low fat sharp cheddar. When asked about her dish, my sister said (and I quote): “It looks like a ton of melted cheese but it’s not”….well, whatever the case it looks FAB!!
In the pan.
And on the plate.
Hot weather + lots of fruits and veggies in the kitchen = pesky little fruit flies. That’s right. The fruit flies have invaded our kitchen and they’re annoying, quick little suckers. I’ve tried so many methods to kill them and nothing has seemed to work:
- WINDEX: I’m over the windex method to get rid of them. Not only is that bad for your health but it’s just toxic for the environment and everything in your space. Plus, I don’t spray fast enough.
- THE TOWEL SLAP: Nope. Not fast enough. I have to wet a small towel to do this and I just wind up getting wet marks all over the mirrors and walls.
- THE HAND SLAP: If you’re standing outside our window, don’t be surprised to hear “clap…clap….clap clap clap….DARN!!!” I’ve managed to nab one or two of them, but it’s such a fruitless (no pun intended) effort.
Good thing I came across Happy Foody today because she just posted something about how to rid your house of fruit flies. Check it out here or just read below. I just made this little concoction and left the cup on the windowsill. Stay tuned for what happens…
Tired of the fruit flies?
When you eat a lot of fruit, like we do…you tend to have occasional problems with fruit flies. Here is my “fruit fly killer concoction”:
Fill a cup with water. Add:
- dish soap
- apple cider vinegar
- honey/maple syrup/agave (anything sweet)
They will fly a suicide mission into that sweet yumminess and croak. Good times.
Hey y’all, I’d like to introduce you to another contributing editor, Sandy Smith from gorgeous Vancouver, British Columbia. Sandy is a dear friend and neighbor of my mother’s as well as a fan of P&B. And she so kindly contributed three recipes to me, which I’d love to share with you. I have yet to try them out myself but they’re guaranteed to get your guests licking their bowls! Enjoy!
2 heaping tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp anchovy paste
1 T lemon juice
5 T olive oil
dash of worsteshire sauce
1-2 crushed garlic cloves
1 T parmesan cheese
Romaine Lettuce to serve 4
Whip first 7 ingredients with bamix, (attachment with holes in it) hand blender or whisk. Or put in jar & shake. Stir parmesan cheese into dressing just before serving, (or add separately to salad ) then add dressing to salad, add croutons and toss.
1 green (not ripe) mango, peeled & sliced thinly
½ – 1 cucumber, seeded, sliced thinly
Slice mango & cucumber into similar size long matchsticks
1 – 2 red onions, sliced thinly
1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped slightly
20-30 snow peas trimmed, halved, depending on size
1 to 1½ cups bean sprouts
Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Adjust amount of veggies, as you like.
Lime & Vinegar Dressing
1/4 cup limejuice (1 large lime)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame seed oil
Place ingredients into a screw-top jar.
Shake well then pour over salad.
Toss gently to combine.
4 ripe apples
1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
1/4 cup bleu cheese (crumbled)
Bring beets to a boil in a large pot of water then reduce heat and simmer until tender enough to insert a fork easily. Remove from heat, strain and set aside to cool. Chop apples into 1/4 inch cubes, removing core and seeds.
Once beets have cooled cut away the outer skin, then chop them into 1/4 in. cubes. In a bowl combine beets, apples, chopped walnuts, crumbled blue cheese & dressing, toss lightly until just coated. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with fresh mint.
2 parts extra virgin olive oil
1 part balsamic vinegar
1 tsp country mustard (or Dijon)
1 tsp honey
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl combine oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Wisk vigorously until just combined. This dressing can be made up to a day ahead, then kept covered in the refrigerator, just make sure you re-mix it up before using. Serves 4
Greetings again from beautiful Colorado! Here we have my sister’s chicken salad for dinner with tomatos, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, radishes and raw corn, of course (I think I got her started in eating fresh raw corn – so tasty!) Thanks for the photo, sis! Mmmm that looks delicious.
I can’t wait to try this recipe for a raw Caesar dressing. Courtesy of mmmorgans on goneraw.com:
4 garlic, small cloves or 2 large
½ lemon or lime, juiced
1/3 cup pinenuts
olive oil, drizzle
sprinkle sea salt, pink
water, for consistency
In your food proccesor or blender, chop garlic, then add in pinenuts and your lemon or lime juice. Pulse until creamy adding very small amounts of water if needed. Add sea salt to taste.!!! You can sub almonds as poinenuts can get pretty expensive…I like them though, I find they add an interesting flare!