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A Cup of Tea for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Why the heck am I sharing a tea recipe ? To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee of course! Toby, Jake, and I watched the wet and windy celebrations on the BBC this morning, and I have to say I’m constantly amazed at how nothing can dampen (no pun intended) the spirits of the British. Cucumber sandwiches, tea, biscuits, and Victoria Sponge were served in torrential rain. Royalists flanking the river Thames smiled from ear to ear, waving Union Jack flags cocooned in foul weather gear. Royal artists commissioned to paint the scene of the Queen and Co. on the Royal barge were protected by red, white, and blue umbrellas, but their canvases took on a fuzzy, impressionistic slant due to the excess moisture. Oh, England. How I love thee. Earl Grey Tea enough boiled, filtered water to fill a tea cup 1 earl grey tea bag organic soy milk (or try dairy, almond, or oat milk) tsp agave syrup  (raw honey, organic sugar) 1. Put the kettle on (or a pan of water) to boil. Pour into a tea cup. Add the tea bag and steep for 2 minutes (or 3 if you like it very strong). Remove the tea [...]

Stardust Sandwich

  This sandwich satisfies all of my favorite cravings: creamy avocado, spiced hummus, crispy lettuce and carrot, and crusty whole grain bread. All I can say is that it’s heaven in a sandwich. Why did I name it the Stardust Sandwich? Today was one of those picture perfect California days, so Toby, Jake, and I went to the beach. The sun was shining, the ocean glistened, and the sand was toasty under my feet. Intoxicated by the natural beauty, I started singing “Woodstock” to myself, loving the lines, “we are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.” I have no idea why the song popped into my head, but I rolled with it and thanked the universe for the inspiration. Stardust Sandwich 3 medium carrots, grated 3 cups organic mixed lettuce leaves 1/2 cups raw pine nuts 3-4 tomatoes, sliced 2 cups Holy Guacamole (recipe below) 2 cups Heavenly Hummus (recipe below) sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. 12 slices whole grain bread 1. Make the hummus. Put into a bowl, wrap with cling film, and chill in the fridge. Make the guacamole. Put into a bowl, wrap with cling film, and chill [...]

Canyon Cooler

Consider the Canyon Cooler the Cosmopolitan’s hip and healthy cousin: a refreshing drink that’s bursting with vitamin C and antioxidants. If you feeling a little cheeky, the cooler can also be it be turned into a cocktail with a splash of vodka. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to pour myself a tall glass, kick my feet up, and chill. It is Mother’s Day after all. Canyon Cooler 1 quart (10 oz) sparkling water 1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice juice juice of a fresh lime 2 cups fresh pineapple juice 1 cup pomegranate juice 6-9 drops stevia or 2 tbs agave syrup 1. Using a juicer, juice the grapefruit and pineapple juice. Pour the sparkling water, pomegranate juice, and lime juice into a pitcher. Pour in the fresh grapefruit and pineapple juice into the pitcher and stir to blend. 2. Using your preferred sweetener, add and stir. Serves 12

Lentil Soup

I’m going back to my roots with this recipe. Lentil soup was one of the first healthy recipes I learned to make when I was 18, and erm, 160 pounds! As I write this, I’m feeling a bit nostalgic for the days when I dipped my pinky toes into the world of vegetarianism. I remember the days when I used to visit my girlfriend Malina who worked at the first Santa Monica Coop Supermarket, just across the street from where it is now on 16th and Broadway, when it was just a small room and a bunch of long hairs working behind the register. Everything was so new! What’s tofu, miso paste, or quinoa? I miss those days, I tell ya. The world of health has become a booming business, and I yearn for a simpler time when all you needed was an armfull of organic produce and a few seasonings from your larder. Here’s the deal: you don’t need all the gadgets and mumbo jumbo to take care of your body! Keep your diet simple and clean, and always remember, a little goes a long way. Health food stores are emporiums of goodness, but also a lot of gimmicks. [...]

Tropical Fruit Salad with Macadamia Nut Cream

Oh man, this fruit salad is sooo good! One of the bones I have to pick with fruit salad for breakfast is that it’s so light that I get hungry an hour or so after eating it. Of course I could add waffles or pancakes to my fresh fruit, but apart from oatmeal, I walk away feeling too full and bloated (oh the horror). How can one eat lightly, yet stay full enough so you’re not having to snack every hour? This of course is why you have come to my site, to find out the answers to the world’s most pressing issues. Breathe a sigh of relief because I’ve got  ’lil trick up my sleeve for ya (hoots, hollers, and whoo hoos abound). Instead of throwing on some chopped nuts, why not try a smooth nutty cream made with coconut water, sweetened with fruit juice and agave syrup? I’m telling ya, it’s going to knock your socks off (there were a few moans and groans of ecstasy over here today after shooting the salad for the blog). Another bonus, the kids are going to love it too. Oh, and it’s takes about 5-10 minutes to make. High five. Tropical [...]

Detox Lemonade

Detox lemonade base is a spring clean in a glass. You can use it three ways: for a quick cleansing morning detox to give your colon and liver a cleanse before breakfast, a meal replacement for breakfast and lunch with light dinner, or as a 3 day detox meal replacement. The addition of burdock root acts as a blood purifier, removing toxins, soothing aching joints, and also helps with skin breakouts. Ginger improves circulation, nausea, gas, and indigestion, and turmeric is a natural inflammatory treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Turmeric also detoxifies the liver, aids in fat metabolism, and weight management.  A votre sante! Detox Lemonade All ingredients should be organic for optimum nutritional benefits: 8 lemons, peeled thumb size piece of fresh burdock root peeled thumb size piece of fresh ginger, peeled thumb size piece of fresh turmeric, peeled (or 1/4 tsp dry turmeric) pinch of cayenne pepper 6-8 drops liquid stevia (a plant-based sweetener. no honey or agave) 8 ounces of filtered water for each serving 1. Using a juicer, press the burdock root, ginger root, and turmeric root. Juice the lemons, and pour the mix into a pitcher. 2. Add the stevia, and cayenne pepper to the [...]

Vegan California Roll

What a beautiful morning in Laurel Canyon. After a week of rain, we are back to clear skies, powder puff clouds, and the gentle breeze of canyon living. Our yard is absolutely singing with gratitude from the 7-day drench of moisture. Here are some snaps taken this morning.   Welcome to the jungle Blooming Bouganvilla The jasmine is jumping   Dappled sunlight Laurel Canyon glow After Hot Cross buns and orange marmalade and a few too many chocolate Easter eggs last week, I thought it would be nice to lighten up with some sushi. Vegan California Roll  is my favorite lunch of choice because it’s a cinch to make it leaves you  feeling light and breezy. The only preparation that the recipe requires is to cook a cup or two of short grain brown rice, and slice up a few vegetables. Add some pickled ginger and wasabi, and you’re ready to roll. Vegan California Roll 2 cups cooked short grain brown rice 2 carrots, cut into long matchsticks 1 medium size cucumber sliced into long strips 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and sliced 5 sheets roasted nori seaweed pinch of sea salt 2 tablespoon of organic sugar 2 tablespoon brown rice [...]

Hot Cross Buns

Truth be told, I’m not much of a knead/rise, knead/rise kind of gal, but I this week I had an attack of  ”it’s springtime, and I must have hot cross buns!” With no English Bakeries, Sainsbury’s or Waitrose (my favorite grocery stores in England) in my neck of the woods, I woke up early, baking them for Easter Sunday to have after our egg hunt with the neighbors in the canyon. Today’s recipe is a traditional, English-style hot cross bun recipe, using organic ingredients. I was chuffed beyond belief with my homemade hot cross buns. Oh, the divine straight-outta-the oven fluffy goodness, and the wonky imperfection of each bun made-me-feel-like-a-na-tur-ral-wo-man! It’s amazing how baking can make you feel so goooood. Following the sweet waft from the kitchen, my son came in, grabbed a warm hot cross bun, took a bite, and said “oh Mommy, you are so beeauutiifuul, and such a good cook.” That’s enough to keep me baking for a whole month straight. Hot Cross Buns 4 cups full fat milk 3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter 4 cups unbleached bread flour 1 tsp fine sea salt 2/3 cup caster sugar 1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 sachet fast-action yeast 1 egg, beaten 2/3 [...]

Butternut Squash, Kale, and Sunchoke Salad

After 7 months of living in a construction site, I’ve been unpacking storage boxes this week, rediscovering my treasured thrift shop finds: vintage crochet ponchos, fringed jackets, concho belts, crayon color typewriters, 1970′s punk magazines, 1930′s poetry books, 70′s flare jeans, 1960′s hats with peacock feathers, and more. It’s my birthday folks! I am feeling so full of inspiration, and I can’t wait to share everything with you in the coming months. My Sears typewriter. I can’t promise that I’m going to type every week (apple mac, hello), but once in a while, I’m going to pull my out my baby and give her a whirl because heck, she’s so dang cute. Strangely, I have color coordinated my day. Check out my afternoon snack (I’m sure Elle Decor will be ringing me any second). Snack attack Scrumptious either hot or cold, this salad has a tasty combination of sweet and salty that keeps you coming back for more. Butternut Squash, Kale, and Sunchoke Salad 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed half a bun of kale, washed and chopped 8 sunchokes, peeled and cubed half an onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 a teaspoon each of ground chili, coriander, [...]

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 [...]