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Vegan Eggnog

Happy Holidays everyone! Here is a dairy-free eggnog recipe that is incredibly quick, easy, and so so delicious. With or without alcohol it is OMG good! Vegan Eggnog 1 liter of unsweetened almond milk 1 can of light coconut milk 1 banana tbs vanilla extract (no alcohol added) 3 tbs agave syrup tsp ground cinnamon tsp ground nutmeg tsp allspice handful of ice cubes optional: 1/3 cup rum 1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth. Serves 8-10

Peace, Love….and Butternut Squash Soup

All around the world, kids are in our hearts this week. And parents. As human beings first, we do our best in an ever-more complicated society of computers, cell phones, internet, video games, Facebook and Twitter, not to mention 24-7 news coverage. I will say it again: we do our best, because my heart grieves for everyone involved in the tragedy in Newtown. Rather than raise a fist in anger, we must find softness in our hearts. Rather than pointing fingers, we must find compassion and empathy. Rather than get political, we must realize that we the people have the power to change our society, not just elected officials. The NRA doesn’t have the power, we have the power and we are the change. I’m not talking daisy chains and love-ins, I’m talking about understanding that we live in a global community and we’re all connected. As brothers and sisters in a world that we share together, we have an incredible responsibility to create a future that’s safe, full of inspiration….and possibilities. As a human being that shares a little patch on planet earth with you, my goal is to create an environment of peace and understanding. My heart is heavy, yet [...]

Creamy Tomato Alphabet Soup

The wintry weather has finally arrived in Los Angeles! Along with my excitement over wearing sweaters three days a year (bah doomp boomp) I hanker for thick and creamy soups. The sudden drop in temperature also signals flu season at school, so time to ramp up the vitamin-packed soups to keep the doctor visits away! This recipe epitomizes my love for fresh food fast: quick and easy, and best of all nutritious. Enjoy!  Creamy Alphabet Tomato Soup 1 cup alphabet pasta 1 onion diced 3 cloves garlic, mincedx 1 cup carrots, chopped 2 stalks celery, diced 4 cups vegetable broth 2 x 28-ounce cans of diced plum tomatoes 2 teaspoons dried basil 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried parsley tablespoon of parmesan cheese (optional) 1/2 teaspoon of unbleached sugar (optional) sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season 1. Cook the pasta, rinse in cool water, and set aside. 2. Using a soup pot, sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes until soft. Add the carrots and celery and sauté for 4 minutes. 3. Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, basil, oregano, and parsley and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 [...]

Vegetables au Gratin

Back to basics! For the last two weeks I’ve pressed the rewind button, going back to the classics that work, albeit with an update of healthy ingredients. We all remember Vegetables au Gratin swimming in “cheese” sauce as kids, but it’s time to reclaim our taste buds (and waistlines) for real flavor without all the funky additives. There’s another reason why I’m turning back the years: kids love vegetables with cheese, and I tell ya, I’ll do almost anything (within reason) to get my kid to eat more vegetables. Oh yes, I’ve heard all those stories of the Bombastic Supa Dupa Magnificent Moms that drop out of the sky, sprinkling fairy dust here and there, getting their kids to do or eat anything they want, but hey, It Ain’t Me Babe, N0-Ho-Ho, it ain’t me babe! Dang, there’s goes my Mommy Medal of Honor. Bummer Dude. So back on track, like that, in a rub a dub stylee…Man, I just lurve being imperfect, don’t you? Life is just so much more interesting. William Blake once said that ” Improvement makes straight roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement are the roads of Genius.” Now I’m not sayin’ I’m a flipping Genius [...]

Cheese Toasties

No seriously. Cheese Toasties. That’s right. I can’t get my son to eat sandwiches and my faded memories of grilled cheese sandwiches are 2 slices of white bread swimming in butter and Velveeta (shudder shudder). We had a play date this week with Mary and Caleb, and it’s always the way: you revisit old favorites with friends and bring the dishes back to your family menu. Well, maybe you’re a clever bunny and I’m a fluffy bunny, but I forgot about their moreish simplicity of melted cheese on bread. What’s more, you can posh them up with a rub of fresh garlic, a smattering of pesto, or quince chutney (ooh). Ooh, a spoon of Branston pickle in the mix might rock too. For kids, it’s smart to keep it simple, playing with high quality organic ingredients: 12 grain bread, mature cheddar, and unsalted butter (there’s enough sodium in the bread and cheese). For my friends that are asking “where’s the green stuff,” Remember, you can always put a little salad on the side, or if you’re kids are averse to all things green, try the kid’s green smoothie in the previous post. That’ll work a treat.   Cheese Toasties 12 slices of [...]

The Green Smoothie for Kids

Miracle of miracles: my son just had a 2 cups of raw kale and he’s smiling! Yup, no negotiations, no moaning, no groaning, just requests for “more smoothie please.” My son is most certainly not one of those amazing raw foodist kids we’ve all head about (but never actually met). I’m not saying that he doesn’t like vegetables, but honesty is the best policy: I smooth things out with a little olive oil, garlic, and a bit of sea salt, a tangy stir fry, or a veggies blended into Mama’s zesty tomato sauce. You know the score. Apart from the color, this drink is an easy sell: mangoes, bananas, and pineapple juice blended to hide the nutritious kale. I served this smoothie to Jake’s class this week and 20 kids asked for seconds! The Green Smoothie for Kids 4 cups raw kale, rinsed  and deveined 2 bananas, peeled 2 cups of mango juice (fresh or no sugar added brand) 1 cup pineapple (fresh or no sugar added brand) handful of ice cubes 1. Put all of the ingredients into a blender and whizz until smooth. Serves 2

Aubergine and Wild Mushroom Moussaka

Along with being a Mom, I’m also a student, taking 5 college classes: English Lit, Sociology, Biological Psychology, Math, and French. Don’t call me Wonder Woman, call me crazy: I’m Dog Tired. Feeling a little sorry for myself today, I made a rustic dish to make me feel like I was wrapping up in a cozy blanket of yummyness.  I couldn’t turn down the plump aubergines (eggplant) or the wild mushrooms at the market today, so went for  a nice veggie Moussaka. Served with a herb salad on the side and a glass of Malbec, hello, I was back in business! Eggplant and Mushroom Moussaka 2 medium aubergines (eggplant), sliced 4 tbs good olive oil 1 meium onion sliced 1 clove garlic, minced 1 lb wild mushrooms, roughly sliced 1 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes, drained 1 tbs balsamic vinegar 3 tbs fresh parsley, chopped 1 tbs dried marjoram and thyme 3 medium potatoes, cooked until tender, peeled and sliced 1cup grated cheddar cheese salt and pepper to season Bechamel Sauce 2 cups cows milk or Soy milk 2 oz ricotta cheese 3 tbs unsalted butter 3 tbs plain flour pinch of nutmeg sea salt and freshly ground black [...]

Fig and Date Flapjacks

Prepare yourself for a sweet treat that’s soft in the middle, with a moreish toffee crispness on the top and sides. If you’re fast enough, you might get your hands on one of those heavenly crunchy corner pieces! I’m not going to sing the recipe’s praises for keeping your waistline in check because once in a while I throw caution to the wind and live a little, albeit with something homegrown from my own kitchen rather than a flat tasting industrialized dessert. O.k., that may sound a tad judgemental, but you know what I mean. On the other hand, food that’s cooked with love and readymade comes with a premium pricetag, so why not do it yourself in less than 30 minutes and save money? That’s right, fancy pants, 30 minutes. Figs are in season, so buy a handful and get your groove on! There’s a wonderful organic garden program at my son’s school where the kids have a blast learning about the natural world and nutrition. Celebrating figs this month, Jake had a tasting with his class. A cleaver parent came up with the catch phrase, “don’t yuck my yum,” thereby pooh poohing the idea of bumming other kid’s trips [...]

Sag Paneer

We have Indian food at least once a week in our house, and I’m telling you, this is a cracking recipe. Not only because it requires little preparation, but also because it’s so good for you. If you don’t like Paneer (Indian cheese) or don’t have an Indian grocery store nearby, this dish is still divine. Try it with basmati rice and oooh, I can’t help myself: a nice bowl of Dal would go nicely with it. Argh, I know, we’re trying to save time, but I just have to slip the idea in. Just cuz. I can honestly say that I too have those days when I just want to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea, turn on the TV, and chill out without a thought of what to make for dinner each night. Don’t we all dream about having our own personal chef (a personal assistant would be nice as well) on our craziest days? When I finish my tea, come back to reality, and shimmy off the couch, I roll up my sleeves and cook simple yet satisfying dishes that save money and time. Sag Paneer Soaked Masala 1/2 cup water 1/2 tsp [...]

Superhero Soup

This recipe is a twist on Charlotte Gerson’s famous Hippocrates Soup which is full of rejuvenating nutrients to help you enjoy good health. Enjoy Superhero Soup when you are feeling low on energy, in need of an uplifting meal after a big night out, or simply just to enjoy “feel good” food. I often start by checking out what greens are hanging out in the fridge, then I add a few special ingredients: rainbow carrots, shiitake mushrooms, daikon, or lotus root. Whatever takes your fancy, as long as it’s organic and fresh. Always remember that when your greens get bendy and limp, they’ve lost their spark and lack nutritional value. For a nice kick, add a splash of Nama Shoyu (naturally brewed soy sauce) at the end of cooking for flavor. In case you’re wondering, you won’t turn into Wonder Woman or Bat Man as a result of eating this soup, but you will feel energized, clean, serene, and lean by incorporating this recipe into your regular diet. Superhero Soup 6 cups of filtered water 1 cup broccoli florets 1 1/2 cups of rainbow carrots, chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 1 cup daikon, cubed 1 cup mushrooms (any organic type that takes [...]