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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 [...]

Miso Soup

I’m busy working on the new site today, so here is a quick and nutritious recipe for when you are in a hurry, erm…like me. See you all soon! Miso Soup 5 cups filtered water 1 small carrot, sliced thinly in diagonals 1/4 cup daikon, sliced thinly in diagonals 1 strip kombu 5 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, and sliced cup fresh snow peas 1/2 cup tofu, cubed 5 tablespoons of dark or light miso paste (I like Wesrbrae brand) 1. Bring the water, kombu, and mushrooms to a boil, Lower the heat, add the tofu, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the kombu, slice into ribbons, and put back into the broth. Add the carrots and daikon, simmering for 3 minutes. 2. Add the miso paste, stirring to incorporate into the broth,  then add the snow peas and sliced green onions, simmering for 2 more minutes. Place into soups bowls and serve immediately.

Tomato Sauce with Porcini Mushrooms

What a gift to live in Laurel Canyon. The jasmine is creeping along the path that leads to our house, blooming and scenting the air, which is absolutely heavenly. Just yesterday morning, I peered out from my bedroom window, and gazed upon two deer grazing on the hill opposite our house. Today I pointed out two eagles flying in the sky to my son Jake, who quickly said, “oh Mommy, they are so beautiful.” In the spring, wild turtles sun themselves in their favorite spot: through the dappled sunlight of the ivy that curls up the hillside next to our house. I will always be a Venice girl, but Laurel Canyon has it’s own unique pleasures: the most amazing creative community that are, drum roll please….nice! If you happen to live in Los Angeles, the search for the perfect neighborhood can be one of the hardest things to find.  For whatever reason, the average length of stay in L.A. is about 4-5 years. Much like Venice beach, the community spirit is chilled and creative. Essentially we’re talking Venice beach in the hills. Home to many legends such as Jim Morrison (the only house he ever owned is opposite the Laurel [...]

Grapefruit Skin Cocktail

The sun is shining, the weather is sweet, makes you wanna move, your dancing feet! Whatever the weather, the sun can shine from within by drinking this wonderful tonic that gives a burst of life to your skin, and reduces your cellulite. I am not kidding folks! There’s no point beating around the bush: unless you’re Gisele, a 19 year-old Victoria’s Secret Model, or workout for 2 hours, 5 days a week (we salute you Madonna), you’re going to have a conversation with cellulite. I have I have fought the good fight, eating well for most of my life, 13 years of yoga, and regular exercise, but hey, I’m only human. I found this recipe a few years back in a wonderful book by the raw food guru, David Wolfe. The book is titled, “Eating for Beauty.” I fasted on this drink for three days and could not believe the results. Not mentioned in the book is an added surprise: decidedly younger looking skin with a dewy glow. C’mon, what are you waiting for? Buy yourself a bag of organic oranges, grapefruits, lemons, pineapple, and get cracking! I recommend a week of light eating before you ease into any fast, [...]

Bandgobhi alu subji (cabbage, carrots, and potato cooked in Indian spices)

Toby, Jake, and I started a gloriously warm and sunny California day off with banana and blueberry pancakes for breakfast, followed by a trip to the park so our son Jake could try out his new bike. Spider Man helmet in place, off he went, zooming along the pavement, teetering back and forth on his training wheels. After a few goes around the park, Toby took the training wheels off the bike (deep breath), and bam: Jake was rockin’ and rollin’ along the path, with his proud parents running behind yelling, “GO JAKE!!! WHOOO HOOO!” Other parents nodding and smiling in appreciation of our lovely moment together. I simply cannot believe how fast kids grow up. One moment, they’re taking their first wobbly steps, walking around the living room like a mummy, then they’ve singing all the lyrics to Beatles songs, writing their name, skateboarding, and riding a bike. My baby’s growin’ up! LIfe is beautiful. I have no idea how to smoothly transition from our lovely morning at the park to this recipe, apart from it flowed as easily as Jake riding his bike for the first time. Today’s dish was determined by what was hanging around the pantry. [...]

Szechwan Eggplant

  Ooohh, I’m excited about dinner tonight: Szechwan Eggplant, Spicy Green Beans and Tofu, Gingered Fish for the boys, with steamed short grain brown rice on the side. I can honestly live on food like this for the rest of my life. Not only does it take minutes to prepare, but it’s so satisfying for a veggie like me. Eggplant is one of those vegetables that’s so filling and meat-like. If you’re making the change from a meat eater to a veggie, or just looking to add more vegetable dishes to your diet, this one’s a keeper. A dedicated meat eater when we first met, my husband Toby has slowly incorporated more organic vegetables to his diet. Never in a million years would he have eaten green beans and tofu or Asian style eggplant back in the day. Spotlight on myself, I shudder to think of the days when I ate Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and sliced Hostess bread. Snap! Thankfully, in our own time we can all make a change for the better. I’m constantly amazed by our son Jake asking for almond milk with oatmeal and banana for breakfast, Mochi (puffed brown rice treats that you bake), and yams [...]

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Here’s a fresh and zingy dressing that I’ve been making for years. Simply throw the ingredients into a recycled jar, give it a shake, drizzle onto greens, toss, and serve. The agave syrup tempers the acidity of the balsamic vinegar and lemon, and the garlic gives the dressing an extra “something something” flavorful note. Over the last two years, my intention was to offer easy mains and sides that are healthy, yet substantial. I love to eat, and I certainly don’t want to feel deprived when I finish a meal. This year, I will stay on this path, but also add basics that are like your favorite jeans or t-shirts; recipes that take minutes to prepare, and you want to make them over and over again. Double this recipe. You will no doubt come back for more, and so will your friends.   Balsamic Vinaigrette   1 cup good olive oil 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 2 cloves garlic, minced tablespoon Dijon mustard juice of a lemon tablespoon agave syrup or  honey teaspoon of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Combine all of the ingredients, shake, and serve. Store at room temperature.