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Salad Pizza

salad pizza

What a summer it’s been: Beachin’ it, barbeques, pool parties, and it’s been play date central over at our house. Honestly, we’re having one of the most amazing summers, and we’ve got a whole month to go! The only downside to being so social is that our my family life is so busy that I haven’t been able to share my wonderful recipes with you. Arghh, the many times I’ve baked beautiful pies, tossed delicious salads, and concocted pitchers of summer time drinks , then I dash off thinking, ” I need to post these yummies on the blog!” And that’s just my recipes. I have a few friends that are bad asses in the kitchen,so I’m going to have to hit them up for their recipes! Here’s a lightening quick recipe that we’re had a few times over summer. I’m all for making your own pizza dough, but heck it’s summer, and when I crave pizza, and fast, I snatch an organic ready made pizza dough off the shelf. Hey, I’m only human people! Here’s a zero guilt pizza. Serve olives on the side, pour a glass of sauvignon blanc, and you’re good to go! Salad Pizza mesclun mix [...]

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Aubergine and Wild Mushroom Moussaka

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 [...]

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Fusilli in a Spicy Tomato Sauce with Spinach and Olives

Fusilli with Spicy Tomato Sauce

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 [...]

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Vegan California Roll

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 [...]

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Tomato Sauce with Porcini Mushrooms

Fresh-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 [...]

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Vegetable Pot Pie

I’m running around like a crazed banshee this holiday season. The upper half of our house is still a building site, and we’re living downstairs. On top of that, we’ve got house guests coming from London in less than two weeks. That’s right, it’s a ‘lil crazy up in here. Plastic sheeting has been used to tape us off from the worst of the building mess, but today we spent the first half of the day in an all out assault against dust. Who ya gonna call: DUST BUSTERS! Two days a week we are sweeping, vacuuming, cleaning glass, changing bedding, on top of the usual Sunday ritual of laundry and groceries. One more week to go and we’ll be finished! It’s been 4 months of building work and camping out, so I’m feeling a little sorry for myself.. Pardon my “let it all hang out” attitude this week. Ever since I had a Linda McCartney country pie years ago in England, I’ve always wanted to make my own pies, but I have been putting it off for years…..because I have a phobia of making pastry. O.k, it’s certainly low in the Richter scale of dirty laundry, but an admission nevertheless. [...]

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Buckwheat Soba Stir Fry

Today’s post will be as quick as it takes to make this stir fry. This statement is not entirely accurate. The writing will take longer, but you’ll have a delicious meal in minutes. By time you cook, drain, and rinse your soba, your veggies will be ready to rock! Stir, serve, and enjoy a thoroughly cleansing meal. How simple is that?  It’s been a monster of a week with construction going on in the house: Builders in at the crack of dawn, knocking out the ceiling in our living room, stuccoing the outside of the house, tiling and plumbing bathrooms. Oy. This is the first peaceful Sunday in weeks, and I’m going to chill and read Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” with a nice cup of Earl Grey. I will post “before” and “after” photos soon!  Buckwheat Soba Stir Fry 8 oz package to buckwheat soba (I use Eden Brand) 2 tablespoons sesame oil for frying 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped 2 medium carrots, sliced in diagonals 3 inch piece of daikon, sliced into matchsticks 3 leaves dino kale, deveined and sliced lengthways 5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced 1 tablespoon gomasio to season (also by Eden) nama shoyu to season 1. Heat [...]

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Jamaican Pumpkin and Seitan Stew

Jamaican Pumpkin and Seitan Stew is a wonderful main dish. As the weather cools down, stews are so satisfying, and easy to throw together. Wondering what seitan is? It’s made out of wheat gluten, and it is a nutritional powerhouse: 16 grams of protein, per 3.5 oz, which is 25% of the US Daily reference intake requirement (pretty much the protein as meat, and a much healthier alternative). Another example to hit the point home: Seitan has 40% more protein than 2 eggs! Think about that when you’re looking to cut down on fat intake. For all my friends that are making the transition to a vegetarian diet,  seitan’s texture is very similar to meat, and take flavor so well. Find it in 8 0z packs in the cold section at your nearest health food store. I like The Eden Brand.  Enjoy the West Indian flavors of curry powder, fresh ginger, cinnamon, with a splash of coconut giving the stew a mellow, sweet spiciness that is irresistible. Serve this dish with my Caribbean Rice and Peas, and your taste buds will be rockin’ and rollin’ all through dinner.     Pumpkin and Seitan Stew 3 tablespoons good olive oil 2 lbs [...]

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Shepherd’s Pie

As Fall is flirting dangerously, I thought it would be nice to share a heartier recipe. Although I love summer, and the light dishes that it brings, I also adore cooler weather, throwing on wooly jumpers, and curling up with bolstering meals. Sayeth the woman that lives in Los Angeles. Well, I did live in London for 12 years…… So here we are: Creamy mashed potato and sharp English cheddar, cozying up to organic veggies and lentils in a light, savory sauce. Sorry, no misty-eyed stories my sheepdog and I on a farm in the North of England. Just flannel shirts and wooly socks please (optional extras), good conversation, and a nice black and white film with a cup of tea after dinner. Oh yeah. Shepherd’s Pie Mashed Potato 2 lbs russet potatoes (King Edward are very nice too) 1/4 cup good olive oil 1/2 stick unsalted butter 3/4 cup organic milk, unsweetened almond, or soy milk sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste Filling 2 1/2  cups cooked brown or green lentils 1/4 fresh corn (frozen organic corn is just fine) 1/4 cup fresh green peas (again frozen organic veg is cool in the gang) medium onion [...]

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Raw and Vegan Pesto Pasta

Raw and vegan pesto pasta? If you haven’t a clue what I’m on about, stay with me for a few. I haven’t crossed over to the “Nature Girls Gone Wild side (sounds quite amusing actually),” but have become acquainted with the raw food movement. Introduced to raw food culture six years ago, I too remember the first time someone mentioned green smoothies and sprouted organic grains and pulses. Thankfully, they weren’t scented in patchouli and wearing rope sandals, or the whole thing would have been dead in the water. As a cynical city girl, I was looking for an excuse to run, but surprisingly, it took all of 30 seconds to get excited.  Uncooked food is brimming with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants. By eating raw organic fruits and vegetables, you are giving your body pure energy. Try incorporating more raw food into your diet, and watch your skin glow, your weight drop, and your hair grow. I went cold turkey on the raw diet for 30 days, and the change was incredible. To eat 100% raw would be amazing, but we all lead busy lives, or have loved ones that are stuck on cooked food (mine sneaks out for the occasional [...]

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