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Minestrone Soup

There’s nothing like a rainy day to inspire you to make a pot of delicious soup! As the rain pitter pattered throughout the day, nourishing the the lush hills of Laurel Canyon, Jake and I hunkered down, breaking out art pads, colored pencils, water colors, paint brushes, board games, and Match Box toys (Jake’s favorite: an orange and white ’57 Chevy). Later in the afternoon, we made this wonderful soup together. I chopped the veggies and Jake added them to the pot, using all the strength a 4 year-old can muster to stir the soup, marveling at the honeyed aroma in kitchen, and taking pride in his culinary creation with Mommy. Going to Farmer’s Market, picking out organic vegetables, and playing around with ingredients in the kitchen are cherished moments for the both of us. What I love about Minestrone soup is that it’s so rich, filling, and flavorful that meat eaters are never disappointed, and it’s a boon for kids that get finicky about eating veggies. The combination of pasta and creamy parmesan helps the wee ones forget about carrots, celery, and zucchini lurking in the soup (dicing vegetables so that they melt into the soup works a treat). Add a side salad, sliced crusty ciabatta, and you’re good to [...]

Gluten Free Rice Crispy Treats

Who could turn down Kellogs Rice Crispy Treats back in the day? Who can turn them down now? I remember when I would stand over the stove, melting unsalted butter and vacuum-packed marshmallows, then pour the warm, melting mass of yummyness into a bowl of crispies, stirring, grabbing a spoonful, stirring, erm, grabbing some more…well, you get the picture. By the end of my teens, I was a bit of a rice crispy treat myself. I pretty much “Snap, Crackle, Popped” myself out of a whole lot of dates. Saying that, I saved myself years of dating headaches living here in L.A. Ask any single woman in this town, and she will attest to the drought of good men (high five). Before my blog tilts to an episode of Sex in the City, I will move on to dessert. Not that dessert, the rice crispy treats….. Thankfully, we’re living in a health conscious era where we can rock the flavor and texture of rice crispy treats with, hello, whole grains! Who would have thought that you could match the cheeky, chunky, crunch with no guilt? My son Jake went nuts for them today, so we’ll make them with his class [...]

Tofu Rancheros

My polished version of Tofu Rancheros is for your viewing pleasure, but by all means give yourself a love hug of a portion when enjoying this meal at home. Every single ingredient will make your soul sing, so come on, live a little! Mexican food is synonymous with comfort, and the key to it’s popularity. There’s absolutely no pomp and circumstance when it comes to eating chips and salsa, tacos, burritos, or enchiladas. Speaking of enchiladas, have a listen to Keb Mo’s fab  ” The Whole Enchilada.” What a heartwarming track! I tell you what, there’s nothing more beautiful than the simplicity of a man strumming a guitar with a voice that oozes the atmosphere of a 1940′s rusty Ford pick up. Back to the rustic simplicity of food! So your Ranchero Sauce is simmerin‘, the Tofu Scramble is scramblin‘, you whack the black beans, olive oil and pinch of salt in a pan, giving it all a good mash. All you have to do next is toast the tortillas on the stove by flipping them back and forth until they get those wonderful charcoal marks (the scent from toasting them is amazing too) seen above. Try this recipe for breakfast [...]

Steamed Kale, Carrots, and Shiitake Mushrooms with Toasted Tamari Pumpkin Seeds

A day in the life: breakfast, dress and drop the kids to school, work hard all day, sit through bumper to bumper traffic each way,  pick up the kids, then arrive home by 6 pm exhausted. Ring any bells? I bet the first thing on your mind when you walk through the door is, “ah, YES, I’ll make a Spinach Souflle, a tossed salad, followed by individual vegan Chocolate puddings.” But of course! O.k, back to reality.There’s no need for fanfare because hey, we’re not cooking for Sir Paul Mc Cartney (I wish) but a simple and wholesome meal for the family. Now you’re thinking, “how in the heck will I get the kids to eat steamed kale with carrots, mushrooms and toasted tamari pumpkin seeds?” I’m with you, and I’m not going to lie. My son will most likely be eating sauteed fish or Fakin Chickin nuggets, steamed carrots plucked from the melange of veggies, and short grain brown rice. He’s only 4 years old, and the fact that he eats veggies and brown rice makes me do cartwheels (remember, I am just like you). Mealtime at our house is a little interesting to say the least. It’s all [...]

Bombastic Oatmeal

With so many breakfast options these days, we tend forget about the satisfying simplicity of oatmeal. In case you’re wondering, I’m not talking about quick oats, but the old fashioned kind, with vital nutrients that kick start your day, and sustain you until lunch. Also, if you’re looking to cut the fat out of you’re diet, this satisfying vegan recipe (dairy free) is a winner. Life is moving so fast these days that meal time, once a sacred part of the day, has now become a rush. I say let’s put an end to the time tyranny and give ourselves a few minutes for good old nutrition….and digestion. Take the time to smell the roses, and enjoy a healthy breakfast with fresh and delicious ingredients. In the next few weeks, I’m going to back to the basics, debunking the myth that you have to spend hundreds of dollars on health food gadgetry to glow from within. The foundation of a healthy diet should be organic fruits and vegetables, followed by organic bread, rice, pasta, and milk (our family uses organic soy, almond, and cow’s milk). If you’re worried about the expense of organic products, compare it to the price of [...]