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Vegan Chocolate Pudding

This recipe was born out of a Choc Attack. No seriously. There I was, lazing one afternoon revisiting Virgina Woolf’s, “A Room of One’s Own,” and bam, I longed for a blast of chocolate to accompany my tea. Pain in the bum that I am, I didn’t hanker for a Snickers,  Hershey bar, or Almond Joy, but something high end that wasn’t high maintenance (that’s right, I am a pain in the derriere). The only redeeming part of my idiosyncratic desires in the food department is that my recipes are full of flavor, easy, and fuss free. Phew. By the way, this dessert’s a winner with the wee ones. Make a batch with the kids, but be careful: once they find out how yummy the pudding is, you might have to duck and dive to keep their fingers from dipping into the bowl. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so. Vegan Chocolate Pudding 5 bananas, mashed 7 tbs coconut oil 2 tbs vanilla 3/4 cup cacao powder 6 tbs agave syrup 2 cups fresh raspberries to garnish 1. Put all of the ingredients into a Magi Mix and whizz until smooth. Pour into individual bowls, and chill for 1-2 hours (if [...]

Spanish Shabby Chic

It’s been so hot in the last two weeks that I’ve decided to follow my bliss and share another passion: nesting in our new crib. After selling our house at the beach three years ago, it took us almost a year to find our next home. The “right house” meant a fixer-upper with good bones and a great community of like-minded people. Joni Mitchell said it best about L.A. when she sang, “they paved paradise to put up a parking lot.” This sentiment has unfortunately moved into residential properties, so much so, that old houses with tons of character are gutted and synthetically styled to create an upscale lifestyle. The question us, how do you create an authentic atmosphere when bling is king? Our search felt a little like looking for a needle in a haystack. After growing up in Venice, and Toby in west London, we were looking for a laid back community with creative brothers and sisters and a great school. A tall order. Thankfully we found our house. A Fixer-Upper indeed. Check these photos out. The house used to be a Casino. During our first viewing, the owner lead us through rooms with gambling tables, video games, pinball [...]

Vegetable Samosas

Toby, Jake, and I went down to Venice Beach today for the Hare Krishna “Festival of the Chariots.” Every year, the Krishnas take over the boardwalk with a celebration of music, indian dance, delicious food, and good vibes! Chilling on the grass with friends we soaked up the atmosphere, enjoying our “Free Feast” of vegetarian pasta Indian sweets,  and Rosehip-flavored  juice (divine). The whole experience ignited my desire to share another fab indian recipe today. This recipe has been in the back of my mind for months, but now full of inspiration from technicolor indian saris, krishna face paint, carnation garlands, and peaceful spirit, today seems like the right day to share this delicious snack with you. Try this when you have a little extra time, but it’s truly worth the effort. Vegetable Samosas Dough 1/2 cup all purpose flour 1/2 tablespoon sooji (semolina flour) (optional) 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 tablespoons oil 1/4 cup minus 2 tablespoon lukewarm water Filling 3 large boiled potatoes (cooked to tender, not soft) peeled and cubed 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 teaspoon coriander powder 1/4 teaspoon garam masala 1 teaspoon dry mango powder (optional) 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoons oil 1/2 cup fresh green peas (frozen [...]

Fruit Trifle

This is not your ordinary trifle with custard, sponge, jam, and a splash of alcohol. Call me crazy, but that’s exactly what’s kept me from eating it for years. Many of you out there downright refuse to do the same and hey, that’s absolutely cool in the gang. So I don’t seem like a gastronomic alien, custard just isn’t my thing (o.k. it’s official, I AM and alien). This recipe’s for my alien brothers and sisters out there who have a sweet tooth, crave creamy yummy-ness like the next person, but don’t want the extra baggage of carbs and fat. Zingy organic raspberry puree teams up with soft, vanilla-scented cashew cream, mouthwatering fresh fruit, and you’ve got yourself breakfast or dessert. Sorry, but ya can’t say that about an ordinary trifle. Well you can, but you might need to spend a little time on the treadmill. Fruit Trifle 4 cups your choice of fresh fruit: blueberries, blackberries, peaches, or nectarines 1 cup fresh raspberries Raspberry Puree 3 cups fresh Raspberries 3 soft medjool dates Vegan Cream 4 cups raw cashews (soaked in filtered water for an hour. save the soak water. juice of half  lemon 1 tsp vanilla seeds from [...]

Fusilli in a Spicy Tomato Sauce with Spinach and Olives

This pasta recipe’s  a lifesaver when you’re pressed for time, but crave a fresh, home cooked meal like Mama used to make. There’s no need to dial for a take away when cooking is this easy (and rewarding). Sooth your senses by filling the house with the heavenly aroma of sauteed garlic and chilli, sweet plum tomatoes, fresh spinach and moreish olives. Finish with a flutter of Parmesan. Ah, any day’s a great day for pasta if you ask me. Fusilli with Spicy Tomato Sauce with Spinach and Olives 3 tbs good olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced tsp dried red pepper flakes 1 1/2 lb tomatoes, blanched for 2 minutes, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped (or a can of organic chopped plum tomatoes) 3 cups fresh spinach, washed and dried 1 cup pitted black olives 1 lb dried fusilli handful fresh basil leaves, torn freshly grated parmesan sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste 1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan and stir in the garlic and chili flakes. Cook for 2 minutes or until soft. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper to taste. Raise the heat to hight for 2 minutes, then lower [...]

Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas

What a blissful day in the Canyon. A bit of gardening in the morning, swimming with friends, a fresh and easy lunch, followed by a bit of blogging. One of things I’m most excited about today is finding another kid-friendly recipe that’s delicious and nutritious. As a Mom of a finicky eater, I’m constantly on the lookout for healthy food that’s appealing to young taste buds. You’re in for a treat today because this recipe brings smiles from everyone at mealtime. Jake had not one, but four big slices of  Quesadillas! Serve with guacamole and salsa (recipes below) and you’ve got heaven on a plate. While I continue my research for the new site, please join me on my Facebook page, to view exciting therapies and ideas for optimum health. Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas Filling 1 can organic black beans, drained 2 cups organic corn from the cob, boiled or grilled, then sliced off the cob (defrosted organic corn also works) 3 cups shredded “Mexican Blend” of cheese(asadero, monterey jack, sharp cheddar, and queso blanco)  or cheddar (vegan, dairy-less cheese is available at your local health food store) tsp garlic powder tsp onion salt pinch of freshly ground black [...]

Vegetarian Kebabs with Smoky Tempeh

One thing came to mind with all the hooplah surrounding the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Affordable Care Act to stand this week: rather than debate over the variables of the law, shouldn’t Washington (and every American for that matter) focus on eradicating The Western Diet? How is it that we are straying so far from the real issue? As a nation, we need to focus on healthier eating habits and taking some form of light exercise, instead of lining up like lambs to the slaughter for a veritable buffet of disease (type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, cancer, to name a few). Education is the best form of preventive medicine, but somehow we’re worrying about how and when to line the pockets of insurance companies. Furthermore, our government could save millions of dollars if people actually understood the implications of eating junk food everyday. Once again, politics has trumped prioritizing the health of our nation and education. I wholeheartedly support the idea of  providing healthcare for every citizen in our wonderful country. I believe that it is an absolute necessity and a right to have coverage which ensures a healthier and happier society. I also believe that as [...]

East West Salad

Cool and refreshing, the East West Salad is also remarkably filling, thanks to the addition of ginger-grilled tofu. For the best flavor, marinate the tofu overnight in the tangy ginger inflected soy sauce.  For my friends that are allergic to peanuts, I have substituted peanut butter for almond butter with incredible results. Macrobiotic and  vegan, with a high content of raw organic ingredients, this is a quick and easy recipe that will make you smile and your body glow with health. East West Salad with Sesame Dressing 4 cups napa cabbage, shredded 2 cups red cabbage, shredded 2 carrots, shredded 3 inch piece of daikon radish, julienned 4 cups ginger grilled tofu (recipe below) 1 cup Sesame Sauce (recipe below) sprinkle of gomasio (optional) Gingered Tofu: 1 12 oz pack of extra firm tofu 1/2 cup tamari sauce 1/4 cup brown rice vinegar 1/4 cup sesame oil thumb size piece of ginger, minced tbs canola oil 1. Whisk all the wet ingredients in a bowl. Toss the tofu in the sauce. Cover and chill for 3-4 hours, or better yet, overnight. 2. Preheat the oven to 400. Strain the tofu. Grease a baking sheet and lay the tofu on the sheet, grilling on [...]

Vanilla Almond Milk

I’ve been drinking almond milk for years, but to be honest, I’ve never really found “my brand.” Sometimes the vanilla flavor can taste a bit synthetic, it’s too sweet, or the texture is too thick or thin. O.k. o.k., so I’m a little A-type when it comes to my almond milk! The test of a great nut milk is whether it’s drinkable on it’s own. After years to searching, I thought it was time to make my own batch. The only reason I’ve been holding off for so long is the thought that it would  too complicated to make. Boy was I wrong. What I love about making almond milk is that you can gauge it exactly to suit your taste, and there’s no funky fillers to worry about. You can either uses a nut milk bag, or a fine sieve to strain out the nuts and spices. You can find nut milk bags at your nearest health food store, or buy them on Amazon (info below). I also created a Chai-flavored nut milk with chai spices I bought from my local Indian grocer. I have to say that I’m leaning to my chai flavor nut milk, but you decide! Feel [...]

Kale Salad

Phew, I almost missed the boat on this post. Hey kids, the week isn’t over, I’ve got an hour left! Seriously though, I’ve had the most incredibly busy week. Four final exams, plus this weekend I wrote one essay, revised another, studied for a math exam tomorrow, wrote this blog post, and more importantly, hung out with my 5 year-old son (La Brea Tar Pits. woo hoo.)!  I’m exhausted, but darn it I’m here! In my argumentation class this semester, I debated against discrimination for people with unhealthy lifestyles. What I found were some startling statistics: 35% of Americans are obese, which is a third of our population! The World Health Organization ranks The US 37th in the world’s health systems, and obesity-related health spending reached $147 billion this year. After taking the time to research the topic, I think it’s necessary to give you more than just recipes in the coming months. I won’t completely reveal my plans, but rest assured I’m on a mission to help people. Although I’m dog-tired, I feel energized and invigorated by the idea of sharing information to make us all have happier lives. Just this week I had a wonderful conversation with one of [...]