Saturday, September 10, 2011

Juice fast day 10!

Howdy again everyone! I know it's been awhile again, and again, I apologize. Still didn't post about my dinner last month! (I will be posting recipes and photos, i promise!!)
I'm truly gonna try to post more often. Whatever it might be: a photo, a whimsy, anything fun and interesting enough to share basically. Such as this cool photo of my cupcake pan with fun new liners, how pretty is this? Very art nouveau I think. :)

I'm on a juice fast again (yes, already), and today is day 10, yay! After the 30 day juice fast I did this spring, this is nothin! I have found my greatest craving over the last couple days and it's a bowl of mixed steamed greens (mustard, kale, collards) with shiitake mushrooms, and onions all in a succulent rich broth. drooool.... I know what I'll be making when I finish this fast!

Today I made the BEST juice concoction yet on my fast and had to share it with ya. I could drink this everyday and never get sick of it. This recipe made about 2 quarts, so you can pare it down accordingly :)

3 Peaches
3 Nectarines
8 Carrots
A dozen strawberries
BIG chunk of ginger (about 4-5" chunk)
2 T. spirulina
2 tsp. coconut butter
Juice all fruit, carrots n ginger in a juicer. Then blend in your blender with the
spirulina powder and coconut butter. Voila!

If you're not strictly juice fasting, I think this would be great with additional spinach or swiss chard blended in, or perhaps a banana if you'd like it a little thicker. Flax oil too if you fancy it? Course I'm juice fasting, so I didn't wanna go too overboard. I suggest trying this combo though, while all the beautifully juicy stone fruits are still in season.

You can never get too much green in ya, and this is a scrumptious way to get lots of vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and protein, all in one big fat green mason jar. :) Enj0y!!

thanks for the inspiring chat Clea ;-) Cheers to you!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Back in the saddle!

Howdy Friends!

It's sure been awhile since I posted, and I'm totally going to give a bunch of excuses!
Don't judge me. My guilty conscious couldn't take not posting anything anymore, I had to break the ice and post again after being dormant for a month. I got a promotion at work! Which is great, and I'm loving it! It does, however, take a little more of my time doing more managerial type things... I'm trying to find a balance though, so I can still do this and commit to at least ONE blog a week, instead of one per month. Ugh. I've also felt sorta uninspired, which to me, is a very bad feeling. Not wanting to fire up the stove, or try a new vegetable in season, or even make myself a healthy dinner?! My yoga has slipped a bit too, ugh. Does this ever happen to you, where you just give up on creating and slip into a slump? Doesn't have to be food per se, but just a block I suppose. Not sure what's been goin on the last month, but I feel like I'm in the clear now. I'm ready to cook, invent, capture it all on camera and tell YOU about it. YAY! Probably cuz we're in Leo now and my birthday is comin up :) Yah, that's it....

It's a good thing too, that I'm feeling my oats again, as I've got a BIG exciting delicious fantastic dinner party I'm cooking for this weekend! It's pretty much my first "secret dinner", which is a trend that's been rearing its' head in the last few years. Underground supperclubs are one of my favorite things. Invite a few dozen people to a big space, serve them a few courses of whatever it is you want to make, and you have yourself a beautiful evening.

This weekend the dinner will take place at a friends' home. They have an amazing urban farm here in San Diego, with bees and chickens runnin to and fro. They've got at least a dozen huge raised beds with everything you can think of planted. There's even a macadamia nut tree and guava tree! So, there's 40 people on the bill, and I'm schemin up a 5 course vegan meal to dish up for the lovely crowd. The theme is definitely summer at her peak! I'm going to post a blog of the end product with lots of scrumptious photos and recipes, so please come on back soon.

You'll be happy to know however that I haven't been TOO lazy. I revived my also dormant sourdough and made a few batches of bread. The first was a total dud, as the starter wasn't active enough just yet. I waited another week and fed it some more (she was hungry), and voila, much improved loaves! Good crumb, good rise, but not too sour. It's been about 3 more weeks of nice warm weather and plenty of feedings, and it smells good n sour now. I might make some more this week if I have time between planning/cooking my garden dinner. I also made a couple birthday cakes, some cookies, a wedding cake-birthday cake, which was super fun. Also, gotta keep drinkin those green drinks. :)

It's funny blogging, as I feel like I'm letting people down in a sense if I don't post what I'm doing. I know I'm letting myself down for sure not doing what I love, which is cooking and sharing! So there, that's my confession and I will be back more regularly. Thank you for reading my lil blog, and happy cooking to all!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Burrito contest!

Hey all! So remember that vegan blogger conference I was wanting to go to? No? Well, there's this awesome vegan blogging convention in Portland this August and it's sold out.

But, turns out there's one ticket left and one lucky dog will get it by way of winning this vegan burrito contest being held over at Epicurious Vegan blog. How fun eh? Lucky for me, not only do I LOVE burritos, but I live in a magical burrito land where they practically grow on trees (okay, it's really San Diego) and I eat burritos every week in many variable forms. I know what makes for a good one, so it wasn't hard to bust one out this afternoon to my liking.

Right away I thought of doing something scrumptious and out of the ordinary, protein wise. All I ever get in my burritos when going out is beans, beans, and more beans. Plus they are hard to find vegan, as you all may know. Pesky chicken broth or lard often lurks. I love beans, don't get me wrong, but if given the opportunity I'm gonna explore some other options. Seitan came to mind immediately. I carmelized some red bell peppers with onions, garlic, jalapeno and simmered it all good-like with some smoked paprika and oregano. Also, instead of the obvious shredded iceberg lettuce, I thought some garlicky kale with fresh corn would be sweet, nutritious and delicious. Nice for color as well. I thought the reliable red tomato rice would still be good in there, so I cooked up a pot of jasmine rice with tomato sauce. I usually don't get the rice in my burritos when going out, as 99.9% of the time it's cooked with chicken broth. Beware fellow vegan and vegetarians! Anyway it's so nice and flavorful and sorta binds everything together nicely in the tortilla. Lastly, I LOVE LOVE LOVE any excuse to make tofu sour cream, it's so creamy and wonderful, so I made a batch of that to dollop in with all the other goodies as well. Lil squeeze of lime here, handful of fresh cilantro there, shred some red beautiful cabbage and dog-gonit i think I have me a fabulous vegan burrito entry! Not to mention incredibly delicious, my god, I'm so full right now from grazing during the whole process. I'll have lunch for the week too, yay!

[mise en place]

Seitan, Peppers and Onions
1 Package Seitan, cut into thin slices
1 red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch slices
1/2 yellow onion, cut into crescents
1/2 (or a whole) jalapeno, mine was really spicy!, cut small
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. fresh oregano
2 T. shoyu or soy sauce
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 lime, juice of
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste

In a cast iron skillet or saute pan, saute onion the onion in a touch of olive oil. Cook on low heat for about 10-15 minutes until nice and soft and caramelizing starts happening. Add in the garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeno and continue to slow cook it until everything is nice and caramelized together. Add in the seitan, smoked paprika, shoyu, oregano, cumin, and tomato sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in the fresh cilantro and lime juice. Taste for deliciousness and season to taste if needed.

Kale & Corn
1/2 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch kale, shredded thin
1 ear of fresh corn, cut off the cob
1/2 lime, juice of
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

In a large pot or large saute pan, saute the onion and garlic in a dab of olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add in the kale and corn with a little splash of water and cover to steam for 2-3 minutes. Remove lid and add in the lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

Simple Red Rice
1 Cup Jasmine Rice
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup tomato sauce (plain)
1 tsp. salt

In a saucepan, combine rice, water, tomato sauce and salt. Bring to a simmer and keep on a low heat, covered. Be careful to keep it on a low low heat, as the tomato sauce likes to scorch the bottom if the heat is too high. You may want to stir it occasionally, which is what I did. Check the rice after about 15-20 minutes, it should be done with no more liquid remaining and fluffy rices abounding.

[fermented tofu- like vegan bleu cheese]

Tofu Sour Creme
1 12 oz. package silken style tofu
1 lemon, juice of
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T. fermented tofu (optional, but recommended- see above photo)
1/4 tsp. white pepper
2 T. Nutritional Yeast
1 T. Rice Wine Vinegar
1 T. Umeboshi Vinegar (optional- but gives a great flavor)
Sea Salt to taste

Combine all but the olive oil in the blender. While the blender is running, slowly drizzle in the oil, this will help it emulsify and get a nice consistency. Season with a splash more vinegar or salt if you need. Refrigerate until ready to use. Should keep for a week in the frig.

Tortillas and Shredded Red Cabbage also needed to complete your delicious burritos.

yum, yum and yum!

[the finished mise en place]

You know the deal, stuff that tortilla with all the fixins however you like, roll it up and devour it!

[piling it on....]

[top with tofu sour cream....]


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mercy me!

This last weekend on Saturday night, I drove up to West Hollywood after work and attended a lovely soirée at the jaw dropping mansion of James Costa, nestled way up in the Hollywood hills with a stunning 180 degree view. Downtown L.A., fireworks shooting off in the distance, twinkling lights of other stunning homes tucked away, and a sliver of a crescent moon hung low in the sky between the clouds, all setting the mood. Why was I in attendance of such a lavish setting you wonder? It was a benefit for the animals of course! More directly, honoring Mercy for Animals.

Mercy for Animals is a non-profit organization which was started by Nathan Runkle in the late 90's, who was at the time a mere 15 years old. I could regurgitate and recap all of the wonderfulness that this man is and how he started this amazing organization and how much it has grown, but instead I will link you here, to an article from 2007 Satya magazine which will introduce you nicely. I urge to you learn more about this organization and if you can, please donate to their cause! To be brief, this sweet guy is an immeasurable inspiration and hero, I love him. What an amazing soul! Mercy for Animals has grown considerably in the last couple of years, as they've accomplished several huge feats going up against HUGE farms and companies, all in the name of justice for animals. As he said that night "we're going up against people who have more money than god and we're winning!!" These heroes really are the true voice for these defenseless animals. They do the work that I know in my heart I simply could NOT do. Not in a million years, and to them I bow down in gratitude. Going under cover in the most miserable, loathsome conditions to capture footage and document the most malicious mistreatment and vile abuse of these poor factory farmed animals. If you've ever seen Earthlings or other undercover footage, you know what I'm talking about. The second you start watching your eyes flood with tears and someone reaches into your chest, pulls out your heart and serves it on a platter to some wealthy corporate asshole. Yes, it's that bad! The Ohio case last year was, I believe, one of the first real shockers they exposed to hit the mainstream, getting big press coverage on all the networks. Please, see this link for details- warning- the video is disturbing and graphic.

Alas, the evening on the contrary was quite lovely. People were meant to bring their coin purses and let em flow into those donation envelopes! The featured star of the night was Bob Barker. He was honored with a much deserved award for all of his contribution$ to MFA. That night he came with a check for $250,000. Shortly after, with some gentle prodding, people started yelling out more donations of their own "$25,000!!!", shouted Cindy Landon, widow of actor Michael Landon. "Do I hear another? $500, $1,000? $5,000?", asked James Costa, trying to rile up the obviously wealthy crowd into giving as much as they could to this wonderful cause. "$1,000!!!" yelled another woman, "$1,000!!" another yelled.... It was pretty amazing to witness, as I merely paid for my $100 ticket to attend and barely had enough gas money to drive up there and back from San Diego. I know, of course every bit helps, and you'd think I would've felt out of place in this house oozing with money and status. On the contrary, however, I didn't. I felt at home and at one, knowing everyone was there for the same reason- love and compassion for animals and making a difference in whatever way each individual could in their lives. What a dynamic guest list, it was like vegan superstar central! Filmmakers of several documentaries including Earthlings and Forks Over Knives were in house, along with Steve-O, and so many other glamourous animal activists and representatives of various animal rights groups, farm sanctuaries, vegan publications and every other kind of angle in the vegan industry you can imagine. Among the many beautiful people I met that night were a couple from Orange County running a group called Friends for Seals, who are contributing however they can to fight the endless slaughter of seals, another guy Ryan who is Vegan Filmmaker and a lovely writer named Katarina who wrote this great article capturing the evenings details. I even ran into a gal I met in Paris years ago in a vegan restaurant who was in Paris at the time working for PETA to crash the fashion week by jumping on the runway stating that fur is MURDER! I couldn't have felt more comfortable at this party actually, everyone was very lovely, approachable, and kind. One of my favorite Bob quotes of the night was, “I care about all living things. All animals, all people, all trees, all plants. I care about the world.” We would all do well to learn from this compassionate philanthropist who is approaching 90 years old.

And so, I return to my blog and making delicious vegan food and treats, doing what I can, trying to be the change I wish to see in the world. I was blessed in this life to make vegan food taste good, that is my (non-harming) weapon of choice, or should I say bait. ;-)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wildly Edible

Tonight I am, like most food bloggers, taking photos of and reporting my dinner to you. I didn't think it was going to be anything special, as I was just about to boil some pasta when...oooh what about theees and ooh yah..... mmm, hmmmm.... Voilà! I love when these kinds of meals happen, as you can use all sorts of items you forgot you had, and the most exquisite end result is achieved. Paired with a precious Midwestern hard cider I've been sitting on for a few months, I think I've found myself with quite the little bloggable and delicious meal! :)

Spelt angel hair pasta tossed with the remainder of my "herbed buttery spread",
sauté of shallot, dandelion greens, pine nuts and hand foraged (by my very own sister in Wisconsin) Hen of the Woods mushrooms.

Hen of the Woods

"Chicken of the Woods" mushroom- Called so because they grow high up on the trees, and look like hens roostin up in the trees! Cute eh? :)

Every spring and fall my sis goes out pokin through the woods and scores loads (literally buckets) of Morels, Hen of the Woods, "Honeys" (real name?), and a few other varieties that elude me. Even my 93 year old grandma is hooked and goes lookin for the tree'd prizes so she can fry 'em up in butter. Last year Heather (my sis) dried bunches of 'em and sent me a precious ziplock full. I use them so sparingly as to cherish them, but tonight I thought with my bitter dandelion sauté they'd have just enough earthy complexity to balance it all out.
(My hunch was correct).

I feel like I've been kinda spoiled in this lifetime with mushroom foragers in my circle. When I lived up in the fertile territory of the Bay Area the chef at Millennium restaurant where I worked would bring in Porcinis fresh and bright with mustard-yellow gills, still dusty with soil from just being plucked outta the earth. He would find them on his morning mountain bike ride through Marin, and we'd use them on the menu that night. My other dear friend in Berkeley would often also bring over GROCERY bags FULL of Porcinis, Chanterelles and the highly coveted and seducing Candy Cap mushrooms who's maple aroma is so intense it smells like you've converted your kitchen to a sugar shack and have been cookin down maple syrup for days.... I extend my gratitude to these foragers and to the sweet little forest floor dwellers, for they are so varied and delicious! It is of course a skill and art to hunt and pick the right ones!
Not too many people are so bold as to go out and hunt for them,
and even less so cook 'em up and eat their harvest.

Ahh, nature and the delights which you bestow upon us! There are so many exciting options for us all, right outside our door.... dandelions, nettles, lambsquarters, mushrooms, ramps, asparagus, acorns, nuts, berries, herbs... I might just go live in the woods of Wisconsin yet! Acorn flour pancakes with elderberry syrup anyone? :) Yes, please!!

There are many community garden groups or nature clubs with excursions where one can go on walks and pick and eat these delights which grow right under your noses. See if your community offers one! I'm not too sure what grows abundantly in the San Diego area, but I'll have to investigate. If you're curious, check out this guy, "Wildman" Steve Brill. :) He's amazing, and will give you a great intro to dining in the woods or your own backyard even. If you live on the east coast, you could be lucky enough to catch a class with him.

Until next time, may you flourish, be happy and follow your heart!
Happy holiday weekend everyone~

Monday, May 23, 2011

May Grey and Macrobiotic Tendencies

Just a short and sweet post today about a lovely lunch I just made, and wanted to share. I'm trying to do more of this... sharing business. :) Today was a perfect example of the "May Grey" phenomenon here in San Diego- overcast, windy, and drizzling. I made it to my yoga class, but afterward the weather sure made me wanna stay inside, make a big mug of earl grey tea and fire up the stove, and that's just what I did. Pretty sure I could never be a 100% raw foodist unless I lived on the balmy equator and was hot and humid all of the time. Even then I'd probably wanna make rice and beans or a soup every now and then.

Today I was feeling nostalgic for a hot macro bowl.
I was the chef at a macrobiotic restaurant in Oakland for about 2 years, and that food made itself a big place in my heart... and stomach. :) The rule of thumb for the plate of the day was that it had to be constituted of: a grain (usually rice), a protein (beans, lentils, tofu or tempeh), a vegetable side, a small raw salad and of course a big ol' pile of kale and collards, decorated with whatever pickle we were inspired to make for the day with some delicious slathering of sauce. Those macro plates were ALL about the sawce, cuz if you know macrobiotic cooking, it's very basic in seasonings and flavor and can use a little (or big) burst of flavor to keep you inspired to finish your zen-like nutritive plate. I kept it a little more simple and on the fly today, so I had no grain or salad, but the basic concept was still there for me.

Here's my macro inspired lunch of today:
Sauteed an onion, sweet potato, some firm tofu and a mess o' greens (kale and swiss chard). To finish it off, in a bowl I whisked together juice of one meyer lemon, big spoonful of tahini, lots of chopped fresh dill, splash of water, and sea salt. That's it! So simple and nurturing, and so delicious.

Not the greatest picture, but it will have to do...

Special gratitude for the ever lovely Suzie's Farm again,
for the swiss chard, kale and luscious dill.

It would have definitely been delicious with some nice nutty short grain brown rice freckled with toasted sesame seeds and served with a cup of miso broth with seaweed floaties. Should you have more forethought on your lunch, I suggest the full macro treatment. Also, don't forget the big rule of macrobiotic food- Chew your water and drink your food! Another one is "Chew once for every tooth in your mouth". In other words, be mindful while you're eating- slow it down and focus on your nourishment, be thankful and present while you eat. Hm, or how about "over the lips and past the gums, look out stomach here it comes!"? haha, whatever your food mantra is just make sure there's some mindful chewing in there somewhere :)
Hope you're having a great week and a wonderfully rainy and sunny, springy May!
Time to bake some cookies now....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oatmeal and Prunes and Green Drinks, OH MY! OH YES!


So..... I didn't win anything from the Earth Balance contest, but the show must go on! I did win in the last contest after all! All in all, I do love a good fire under me arse to create somethin under the gun. Those are 4 delicious new things I may have never created had I not been prompted to do so. It's been nice to take this week off to catch up on life again, do laundry, eat good food, and swandive into my yoga practice again.

I shopped at the farmers market Sunday and got a BOUNTY of amazing fruits and vegetables! Here's what i got.... apricots, blueberries, granny smith apples, kale (2 varieties), sunflower sprouts and broccoli sprouts, tray of strawberries, and swiss chard. My mom was visisting for 10 days, so I haven't been cooking or doin anything in the kitchen these days, so it was good to recharge at the market.

Since my juice fast ended, my new favorite morning brekky has been oatmeal, and my oatmeal has never tasted so good! (Not to mention my body has never been so smooth movin! What tmi? too bad, welcome to my blog!) These days i put a sliced up apricot, handful of blueberries, prunes and walnuts, splash of So Delicious coconut milk (sometimes i even steam it) and agave. SO SO SO SO GOOD! This morning I woke up and it was cold and raining and I went to hot yoga and got home and made a hot bowl of this, and it was like sinkin into a hot bath. So soothing and nourishing! Which brings me to my new favorite food and spotlight of the week.... the humble PRUNE!
Who knew how amazing and wonderful they are? Read on....

As i posted on my facebook yesterday...... these dried plums aren't just for constipated old folks anymore! They're chuck full of antioxidants, Vitamin A to ward off pesky free radicals damaging your cells, Potassium for the heart and bones, and yes- loads of fiber. Natures Broom! Prunes' fiber helps hugely to normalize blood sugar, create a healthy environment of beneficial bacteria in your colon and will sweep you clean! Find them in the bulk section at your grocery store, eat a handful, toss em on your oatmeal or mornin cereal, or just eat em on the run-
your body will thank you!

My other spotlight this week (there can be two, right?) is the ever lovely green drink! I've been loving making them every day this week, as its such a fabulous way to get all that goodness in that sweet body of yours! I start with a coconut water and/or apple juice base and add in whatever fresh/frozen fruit or berries i have, a banana, several kale, chard, or spinach leaves, a teaspoon of spirulina, a teaspoon of maca, splash of agave, half an avocado if i have it, and flax oil. The beauty of the green drinks and smoothies is that you can toss whatever you want in there and it's most likely gonna taste delish. :) So go ahead and augment and throw in whatever you love!

To end this post, I'd like to share the simplest yummy *sprinkle* for your oatmeal, yogurt or also to toss into smoothies. In your coffee grinder combine 1/4 cup of flax seeds (brown or golden), 2 T. chia seeds, 2 T. date sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Whizz it all together until it forms a lovely soft powder. Store it in the frig and sprinkle away to your hearts content! Get those omega fatty acids people! Can't go wrong with this fiber rich, sweetly spiced powder. I'm excited to play with this and maybe add cacao nibs and almonds. I'm about to make my oatmeal blush, it'll taste so darn sexy good! haha
Have a great week everyone, I hope you are lovely and flourishing~

Monday, May 9, 2011

Contest done! Whew!

Spring has sprung, and the Spring to Life contest has now ended!

Yesterday was the final entry day in the last category, dessert (how appropriate). Last week's, which I haven't posted about, was the entree category (entry listed below!). Winners will start to be announced starting tomorrow, and will be throughout the week. OH the anticipation! There will be 8 winners (2 from each category) and ONE grand prize winner who will be flown with a friend to NYC and be pampered at an Aveda spa, eat til you explode at the fabulous Candle 79, and stay in a hotel for 2 nights. Please and thank you. :)

It really was a fun and busy last four weeks again, similar to the Holiday Bake Off Earth Balance held back in December-minus the holiday craze. PHEW, kinda glad it's over, but also kinda sad, it sure was a tasty past month! It consumed my thoughts and any spare time I had shopping at the store and farmers markets, recipe developing, blogging, taking photos and doing endless dishes. It's always so inspiring though, to have that fire under the ass prompting you to keep driven and produce something new each week. I love that! So now that it's over, here's a recap... and this sure would be a LOVELY meal now that I'm recapping it....

Bon Appétit!

Appetizer: Root Vegetable Fritters with Herbed Caper Cashew Aioli

Side Dish: Roasted Spring Vegetables with Herbed "Butter"

Entree: Tarte a la Tomate

Dessert: Coffee and Toasted Pistachio Ice Cream Sandwiches

I will of course post an update, should I hear of any particular good news this week.... Thanks to all of my friends for their helpful advice and tasting my creations along the way! :D If I win this trip to NYC, I'm having a big dinner party bash to celebrate! Keep yer fingers crossed!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cupcakes, tattoos and roasties!

Greetings friends!
It's been a very busy week, I feel like a cupcake machine! I made cupcakes 3 days in a row this week, what fun!

First of them- My dear friend Briana has opened her own gorgeous tattoo shop, Buju Tattoo, in Mission Hills here in San Diego.

Front of the shop

What tattoo shop has ever been painted robins egg blue and had
glorious chandeliers in it, I ask you?

It was a really fun night, and I brought some Meyer Lemon Poppyseed cupcakes, with strawberry filling and vanilla buttercream. Yum.

Her shop is named after the most beautiful Buju, one of the sweetest doggies I've ever met.

If you're in San Diego, and would like an incredible tattoo, Briana is your woman. Seriously.

Second event- At my work we had a Japan Benefit, which was a huge success! We raised $7400!! Again, what a fun night with great people, beer, food (ahem) and prizes galore. I stuck with the Meyer Lemon theme, but no poppyseeds this time, and made Meyer Lemon Coconut Cupcakes with fresh strawberries on top. Whoa, they were good. Coconut flavored buttercream and shredded coconut on top. That is a winning combination I shall not forget. I wish I'd have snapped some pics, but I was in such a rush I forgot.

Third event- My dear friend Stephanie's birthday! She too got the lemon coconut cuppers, and they were well received. :) Happy Birthday Steph!

Me n Steph

On top of all this cupcake jazz, the Earth Balance Spring to Life contest marches on!! As I blogged last week, I submitted the veggie fritters for the appetizer category. Last week was Side Dishes, so I ended up making a most divine herbal Earth Balance to serve alongside roasted veggies. Upon tasting it though, I thought holy crap- this could be used on anything and EVERYthing! Biscuits, pasta, crackers, broccoli, fresh bread, steamed veggies, roasted veggies, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes.... the list goes on. Fun and cute part about it too, was using the antique butter pats (tiny little plates just for serving butter)
that my mom gave me. (last photo)
See the recipe here on the Earth Balance Made Just Right website. Here's a few pics of the delicious process....

Purple tators

Earth Balance with all the yummy seasonings 'bout to be stirred in

Thank you Suzie's Farm, as always

The featured beauties

Veggies post-roast and Herby buttery log after firming up in freezer

The final product. I ate that whole plate of veggies :)

I've continued to eat on the herb-Balance. Crackers, quinoa, steamed greens and a bowl of gluten free pasta all pass the test with the lovely condiment.
Try it up for your next potluck or dinner, or just for the sake of having it on hand to liven anything up! Enjoy!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

30 days complete! Onto the contests....

---- a new me!

I did it! I completed my 30 days of juice fasting. It sure was a wonderful challenge, and the first time I ever did a fast for that long (longest before was 15 days). I also simultaneously did a 30 day parasite cleanse and finished it with a liver flush. If this is all like reading some foreign language, there's much information out there if you wanna dive in and learn more. is a fun one, there's a forum on there for just about any topic you want regarding health, conspiracy theories, religeon, whatever! If you're a health nut like me though, hangin out and asking questions on the "Colon Cleansing Forum" is just par for the course!

"Why are you doing this?" "Are you trying to lose weight, why are you dieting?" "Aren't you hungry 24 hours a day?! I would die!!" "I'm worried about you, when will you start eating?!" "Are you still on a hunger strike???" (my favorite one)
I thank everyone in my circle for their concern (support?). It's not easy being the juice fasting oddball, who wants to hang out with that guy? Can't drink, go out to dinner, or go out for coffee, and besides she's always carrying around those vessels of green juice or god knows what it is!!

Anyway, it's good to be back and cooking and eating to my hearts content again! Well, not really to my hearts content, I learned alot this time around about what my body truly needs nutritionally and I also feel like I'm in a brand new body and I sure don't wanna screw it up by dumpin a bunch of crap in it. "But you're already vegan!" So what, I could eat nasty processed food, drink too many beers and eat too many carbs, go crazy with sugar and eat too much of what I bake....sugar is still sugar, the body doesn't judge! There's lots of ways to be a toxic and unhealthy vegan, and I'm not choosing that route. I'm not saying I'm a straight edge die hard, no way. I work at an Ale House after all :)

As luck would have it, the week I start eating again, Earth Balance hails their new contest! "Spring to Life" Contest! Such a great title, I don't mind if I do! As I mentioned in my last blog entry, the grand prize is a trip to NYC, dinner at Candle 79 and a day at an Aveda Spa! Good lord, count me in! I had to get right down to business and dream up an amazing appetizer.

I was thinking of some kind of fritter right away. I was reminded of my grandmas "potato pancakes" which I adore to this day, they're AMAZING! Everyone should try one of her potato pancakes sometime in their life. She serves em up with her homemade apple sauce. (need I say more???) I think hers have potato, carrot, onion and an egg to hold em together. I haven't had em in over 10 years, but I can still taste them clear as day. I'll have to make them vegan style with her one of these times. I digress.... I also love those little onion pakoras that you can get at Indian restaurants. The ones that come with spicy chutneys to dip them in, ahhhhh droooool, they're so good. Those are deep fried though, and I didnt' exactly want to make something deep fried for a contest called Spring to Life, now do I? My solution was to do a pan seared oniony veggie pancake/fritter of sorts. I wanted them to be colorful so I used zucchini, red and gold beets, celery root, red onion, scallions and carrot.

To keep them gluten free I used chickpea flour as the batter, with a lil arrowroot to help hold it all together.

Can I just say I think these are one of my most favorite things I've ever made??! I made one extra large and it was the tastiest actual "vegetable" burger I've ever had. I just ate it plain on its own, but it coulda been on a french roll with some fancy smear and avocado for $12.50 in one of these boutique burger shops that are poppin up all over these days. Needless to say, this is a versatile recipe- the seasonings could vary, veggies can vary, and it doesn't need to just be an appetizer as i just explained. Its killer burger material as well. If you like, please view the recipe and let me know what you think! I also made a yummy cashew aioli to serve on top, which too, was so delicious. I had a little leftover and today made some gluten free pasta shells and tossed it with the cashew aioli and some fresh arugula and was in heaven! This is the kinda thing you always want to have on hand ya know? Steamed veggies, pot of quinoa, pasta, bread slather, lover.... ha! There are no limits to the divine use of cashew aioli in my opinion :)

It's good to be back and firing up the stove and my own digestive fire!
I'll leave you with my top 5 new rules for myself that came out of my 30 days, just to sum up, since I could talk forever about the whole endeavor.... They're nothin earth shattering, basically things we already know we'd like to be doing for ourselves, but overlook to often.... A week off juicing and I'm stickin to it 100%!

1) Eat a fresh salad every day! - Packed with nutrition, fiber, protein, and so much more, salads are my staple food! Kale, arugula, chard, beet greens, lambsquarters, dandelions... Don't limit yourself to just boring old "spring greens". Change it up and make salads spicy and exciting!

2) Exercise every day!- This could mean just a 20 minute walk or run, or a full 60 minutes of sweatin my ass off in hot yoga, but I need to somehow shake this tush every day. Even just rollin around in the bed doin stretches is a good way to start the day.... interpret that as you like.

3) The juicer is not getting put away. - Keep that juicer on the counter and make several juices a week. Period.

4) waterwaterwaterwaterwaterwater- drink it! Your body is thirsty!

5) Love and nurture yourself. Be flexible with your sweet self and dont judge yourself or compare. Just try to better yourself for YOU so YOU feel good and love your beautiful self even more and can be proud of all the good you do for that beautiful body and soul.

Thank you all for reading and following me along my lil journey :)