Tag Archives: Food

Rainbow Grocery

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*singing*

“Sooome-WHEEERE, o-ver at Rainbow, are greaaat fiiinds…”

From herbs to housewares, there is so much to explore.

 

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And so my anti-Black Friday experience began at this AMAZING, worker-owned co-op in San Francisco.  No crazy hours, no camping-out, no crowds, no ridiculous lines, no pushing or trampling , no BOGOs or desperate discounts, and no commercial hype.  Just good people, with positive energy, offering great products, with smiles.  Sign. Me. Up.

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The spices and teas tho’…

I could [literally] stop there; but I didn’t, and I won’t.

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I live here, in the Bath and Body Department.  And THIS, my friends, is where I nearly lost my mind!  It happens every time.

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Despite my desire to [permanently] move in, I had to keep it moving.  So, I made my final selections and checked-out.  I appreciate the sweet employee, who suggested that I include one of their reusable canvas bags in my purchase.  It’s a souvenir that’s guaranteed to make me smile.

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But wait!  There’s MORE!  Did you know that they recently added a cafe???  Oh yes, they did!!!  I concluded my experience with a custom-blended Pumpkin Spice Latte, from their special Holiday Drinks menu.  YAY and YUM!

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Wanna see what I got???  Here’s a look at some of my loot:

Sjaak’s Almond Butter and Peanut Butter Bites

Matcha Green Tea & Spirulina and Coconut Ash & Banana Super Dark Chocolates by Vosges Haut-Chocolat

The Big Yummy Double Chocolate Brownie by Wholesome Chow

Herb Pharm Calendula Oil

Valentina’s Home-Brewed Magickal Mineral Bath Salts (True Love, Sweet Dreams, and Prosperity)

Propolis Extract by Y.S. Eco Bee Farms

100% Pure Virgin Coconut Hand Buttercream

Evan Healy’s Whipped Shea Butter for Lips

*singing*

“If happy, lil’ ole me can find…great stuff at Rainbow…

…GOOO…EX-PLOOORE…THOOOSE…AIIISLES!!!”

My Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods

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When faced with ovarian cysts and the possibility of cancer, I sprung into action and tightened up my “food game.”  Mind you, no one advised me to do this.  However, I consider diet to be an important aspect of my health and well-being.  (Is it me, or does it seem like diet is always the LAST thing to be addressed in the wake of a health issue in our society?)  Personally, I am 14 years into my holistic health journey, and it was one of the FIRST things that crossed my mind when my recent health drama unfolded.  I decided to be proactive with my food choices to ensure that my body was in the best possible condition to deal with whatever was going on inside of me.  A little inflammation in the body can indicate a healing response, and that’s okay.  But too much inflammation could indicate, or contribute to, a chronic problem, and lead to disease.  That said, here are some anti-inflammatory foods (in no particular order) that I have been consuming with conviction:

1.  Green Tea:  Heralded as one of the world’s healthiest beverages, it has been used medicinally for thousands of years.  This flavonoid-packed drink is often touted for its anti-aging, brain-boosting, and cancer-fighting capabilities.  I’ll drink to that!

2.  Garlic:  Hhhhhhhow do you like your gaaaaaaarlic, dahhhhhhhling???  I like mine sauteed with veggies; pressed and added to salads; sliced and eaten raw with hummus and crackers.  It’s a pungent, yet powerful, healing food.

3.  Ginger:  In addition to being an “upset tummy tamer,” this spicy root increases circulation.  When I order a “Green Giant” juice at my local Whole Foods Market, I add this to it.  Cheers!

4.  Turmeric:  Used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb, this member of the ginger family is what makes curries yellow.  I have been adding fresh turmeric to my green juices, such as the “Abundance” at Pomegranate Cafe.  And although I feel that fresh is best, I sprinkle the powder on my cooked kale and quinoa.

5.  Kale:  It’s the alpha and omega of dark, leafy greens, in my opinion.  I enjoy mine in salads, blended into smoothies, cooked with quinoa, and I love it in chip form.  All hail kale!

6.  Spinach:  One of my other go-to greens, it’s rich in vitamins and minerals.  I use it in my green smoothies, as a base for many salad recipes, and enjoy it sauteed with garlic.  Mmm!

7.  Other Cruciferous Vegetables:  These vitamin, mineral, and fiber-rich foods can help fight cancer as well.  In addition to kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts are my personal faves.  They’re great in salads, and as side dishes.  Yes, please, and thank you!

8.  Almonds:  Rich in fiber, calcium, and vitamin E, I snack on these during the day.  Furthermore, I use almond milk in my smoothies, pour it on cereal, and drink it straight.  Aaaaah!

9.  Pineapple:  This tropical treat is loaded with vitamin C and bromelain.  For me, it’s a staple smoothie ingredient.  However, recently, I’ve been topping homemade pizzas with it.  Pssst…try it!

10.  Berries:  Gotta love these antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory gems!  I use them to make smoothies, and eat them by themselves.  When I mix them with a little So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt, it helps to curb my desire for more decadent desserts.  Yum!

While my anti-inflammatory food consumption did not eliminate my cysts (I wish!), I do believe that it has boosted my immune system, nourished my body from the inside out, and helped tremendously with my healing process.

What are your favorite anti-inflammatory foods?

 

 

 

Thanksgivukkah 2013

Yesterday, both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah (a.k.a. “Thanksgivukkah”) were celebrated for the first time since 1918.  This will not occur again until 2070.  During the course of the day, my family and I got a “taste” of both.  First, we visited our Jewish friends in San Francisco, who were making preparations for their annual Hanukkah party this weekend.  Although we will miss the festivities, we offered to help in the kitchen…

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We made Hanukkah cookies, while we discussed faith, family, and the future.

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Aaaaand we [sacrificially] offered ourselves as “taste testers” for the persimmon apple pie filling, and a quinoa dish (Hey, somebody had to do it!).

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Their pet pig was overcome by all of the delicious smells from the kitchen, and waited in anticipation for a snack.  She was too cute!

I was [secretly] hoping to watch our friends make jelly doughnuts (wife) and latkes (husband); but yesterday was not the day.  Not to mention the fact that we lost track of time, and had to make a quick exit to get to our family gathering in San Carlos.  We arrived just in time to pray and feast with our cousins…

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This was the “official” family spread; however, my crew and I enjoyed alternatives from Souley Vegan.

Overall, we had a WONDERFUL day, filled with food, friends, and family!  This is my favorite time of the year; and the fact that two holidays collided made it even more special.  I hope that you enjoyed your day with loved ones as well.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

Crossroads Kitchen

Recently, I dined at Crossroads Kitchen for the first time during a visit to LA.  This gourmet vegan paradise was the perfect place for a birthday celebration for two vegan-lovin’ cousins.  In my opinion, it was much-needed and long-overdue.  LA has the “casual-vegan-dining-thing” down, so it’s nice to have a more upscale option.  Thank you, Chef/Owner Tal Ronnen!

Here, it’s as much about the experience, as it is about the food.  The atmosphere at Crossroads is beautiful.  Everyone on staff was warm, friendly, and engaging.  We were seated in a comfortable booth, at a candlelit table.  Once we made our selections from the menu, our server brought on the flavors, and we embarked on a gastronomic journey that we still talk about to this day.

Melrose Mule and Sunset & Vine "mocktails" at Crossroads.

Melrose Mule and Sunset & Vine “mocktails” at Crossroads.

For our drinks, we chose the Melrose Mule and the Sunset & Vine, and had them made as “mocktails.”  YES YOU CAN!  The Melrose Mule was light and refreshing, and the  Sunset & Vine was sweet and fruity.  Both drinks were delicious, and quickly disappeared.

Kale Salad and Asparagus Soup at Crossroads.

Kale Salad and Asparagus Soup at Crossroads.

Next, we enjoyed the Kale Salad and Asparagus Soup.  You can’t go wrong with kale, as far as we’re concerned.  And the Asparagus Soup was creamy and flavorful.

Artichoke Oysters, Kale Spanakopita, and Crab Cakes at Crossroads.

Artichoke Oysters, Kale Spanakopita, and Crab Cakes at Crossroads.

Artichoke Oysters, Kale Spanakopita, and Crab Cakes…OH MY!!!  The flavors were amazing, and the presentation was awesome!  And the placement of the Artichoke Oysters on a bed of sea salt, instead of ice, was really creative.  Made from hearts of palm, the Crab Cakes were well-seasoned and had great texture.

Grapefruit Salad and Scaloppini at Crossroads.

Grapefruit Salad and Scaloppini at Crossroads.

Then we ate Red Grapefruit Salad and “Chicken” Scaloppini with marsala-glazed morel mushrooms.  The Red Grapefruit Salad was a nice palate cleanser in between some of our courses.  The Scaloppini was tender, nicely spiced, the sauce was wonderful, and we devoured it.

Chocolate Bundt Cake and Cannoli at Crossroads.

Chocolate Bundt Cake and Cannoli at Crossroads.

For dessert, we had the Chocolate Bundt Cake and the Cannoli with candied kalamata olives and almond cream filling.  INCREDIBLE!  The cake was rich and delicious.  And the cannoli were mind-blowing, with the candied kalamata olives providing an unexpected twist.  Whaaat?!?!

Chef Tal graciously came over to our table, where we showered him with compliments about the great food and service, then listened as he explained his approach to gourmet vegan cuisine.  His goal is to inspire others (regardless of their dietary preferences) by offering them foods that are familiar to them, go together, pair well, are easy to eat, and enjoyable.  He has done just that, and we’ll be back!

See you at Crossroads

Location:  8284 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, California 90046

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!

Until recently, I only blended chia seeds into my smoothies.  When I tried chia seed pudding for the first time at True Food Kitchen, I was instantly hooked.  After polishing off my bowl, I grilled the staff for their recipe.  They gave me a short list of ingredients (coconut cream, bananas, brown sugar, vanilla, sea salt, chia seeds), but no specific quantities.  However, everyone assured me that it was easy to make.  Still, I searched for recipes to try until I found a formula that worked for me.  Since it closely resembled the dessert that I enjoyed at TFK, I customized this recipe.  Here are the results:

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You get a lot of nutritional bang for your buck with this ancient super food.  Chia seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and protein.  And who doesn’t want a healthy heart, better digestion, beautiful skin, gorgeous hair, and great nails?  Enjoy!

The Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I love to bake, and one of my favorite childhood memories is making chocolate chip cookies with my mom.  Since changing my diet and lifestyle, I have learned to bake vegan and gluten-free versions for my family.  Vegan author and recipe creator, Dreena Burton, has satisfied the Toll House cookie cravings of many with this signature recipe,  and I am also a fan.  For a gluten-free option, I substitute  Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour and Xanthan Gum; and I adhere to her baking and cooling time recommendations to prevent drying.  I usually double the recipe and make the cookies small to medium-sized, in order to make 2 dozen.  Recently, I’ve been using coconut oil in the recipe, which adds an interesting twist.  These cookies are a sweet staple in our household.  Viva la Dreena!

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