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Peace, Love….and Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

All around the world, kids are in our hearts this week. And parents. As human beings first, we do our best in an ever-more complicated society of computers, cell phones, internet, video games, Facebook and Twitter, not to mention 24-7 news coverage. I will say it again: we do our best, because my heart grieves for everyone involved in the tragedy in Newtown. Rather than raise a fist in anger, we must find softness in our hearts. Rather than pointing fingers, we must find compassion and empathy. Rather than get political, we must realize that we the people have the power to change our society, not just elected officials. The NRA doesn’t have the power, we have the power and we are the change. I’m not talking daisy chains and love-ins, I’m talking about understanding that we live in a global community and we’re all connected. As brothers and sisters in a world that we share together, we have an incredible responsibility to create a future that’s safe, full of inspiration….and possibilities. As a human being that shares a little patch on planet earth with you, my goal is to create an environment of peace and understanding. My heart is heavy, yet [...]

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Creamy Tomato Alphabet Soup

Alphabet Soup

The wintry weather has finally arrived in Los Angeles! Along with my excitement over wearing sweaters three days a year (bah doomp boomp) I hanker for thick and creamy soups. The sudden drop in temperature also signals flu season at school, so time to ramp up the vitamin-packed soups to keep the doctor visits away! This recipe epitomizes my love for fresh food fast: quick and easy, and best of all nutritious. Enjoy!  Creamy Alphabet Tomato Soup 1 cup alphabet pasta 1 onion diced 3 cloves garlic, mincedx 1 cup carrots, chopped 2 stalks celery, diced 4 cups vegetable broth 2 x 28-ounce cans of diced plum tomatoes 2 teaspoons dried basil 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried parsley tablespoon of parmesan cheese (optional) 1/2 teaspoon of unbleached sugar (optional) sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season 1. Cook the pasta, rinse in cool water, and set aside. 2. Using a soup pot, sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes until soft. Add the carrots and celery and sauté for 4 minutes. 3. Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, basil, oregano, and parsley and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 [...]

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Superhero Soup

Superhero Soup

This recipe is a twist on Charlotte Gerson’s famous Hippocrates Soup which is full of rejuvenating nutrients to help you enjoy good health. Enjoy Superhero Soup when you are feeling low on energy, in need of an uplifting meal after a big night out, or simply just to enjoy “feel good” food. I often start by checking out what greens are hanging out in the fridge, then I add a few special ingredients: rainbow carrots, shiitake mushrooms, daikon, or lotus root. Whatever takes your fancy, as long as it’s organic and fresh. Always remember that when your greens get bendy and limp, they’ve lost their spark and lack nutritional value. For a nice kick, add a splash of Nama Shoyu (naturally brewed soy sauce) at the end of cooking for flavor. In case you’re wondering, you won’t turn into Wonder Woman or Bat Man as a result of eating this soup, but you will feel energized, clean, serene, and lean by incorporating this recipe into your regular diet. Superhero Soup 6 cups of filtered water 1 cup broccoli florets 1 1/2 cups of rainbow carrots, chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 1 cup daikon, cubed 1 cup mushrooms (any organic type that takes [...]

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Lentil Soup

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. [...]

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Minestrone Soup

Hearty 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 [...]

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Miso Soup

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.

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Corn and Mushroom Chowder with Coconut Milk

There’s nothing better than fresh corn in the summer. Our favorite way to enjoy it is to grill it on the barbecue, husks on, until tender. Hoo wee, it’s so sweet, juicy, delicious, and one of the few vegetables that kids say, “can I have some more please?” If only kids would get this excited about chard. If yours love chard, may I present you with the world-renowned 99 cent store gold medal. Seriously, check ‘em out. They come in bags of 6, and are pretty cool. Well, if you’re the mother of a small child. These are the moments of spontaneous genius that make me proud to be a food blogger. Today, I craved a refreshing summer corn chowder with a wee twist. Just ’cause. Hey, can’t a Mommy get a little crazy in the kitchen? Corn chowder is undoubtedly a classic, but can also be a minefield of calories and fat. I am all for a bit of nip/tuck…..that is, when it comes to editing out useless calories in recipes. Usually, this can be the death of a dish. Have you ever had a sneaky, suspicious feeling that if something tastes great, it must be bad for you? Oh, [...]

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Cream of Leek and Potato Soup

I flew into London this Friday, and excitment aside, I’m feeling a little dazed and confused from jet lag. Lacking in the energy department, my objective today was to make a delicicously satisfying, yet simple dish. It doesn’t get more English, or easy, than Cream of Leek and Potato Soup. My first idea was to make another thoroughly English favorite, Veggie Bangers and Mash, but when I saw the incredible leeks on display, I had to go for the soup idea. This recipe is actually vegan if you leave out the dairy garnish. The “cream” comes from the silky texture, so you don’t have to worry about extra fat calories. Bangers and Mash, is on the menu for next week. If you are wondering what Bangers and Mash are, they are veggie sausages and mashed potatoes. Pure comfort food.  Here are some photos taken at Virginia Woolf’s Sussex cottage, Monk’s House. Click to enlarge for a nicer look.     Cream of Leek and Potato Soup 4 medium sizd leeks, cleaned and sliced into rounds 4 medium sized potaoes, boiled, peeled., and cut into quarters 4 tablespons good quality olive oil 1 onion, roughly chopped 3 cloves of garlic, minced 4 heaping tablespoons of vegetable stock [...]

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Fava Bean Soup

The wet and rainy December and January in Los Angeles brought me back to the days when I made regular pit stops to the Edgeware Road in London for Middle Eastern food. The minute you open the door to these casual canteens, you are transported to another country. Fava beans simmering in the kitchen offer you an unmistakable, home is where the heart is-scented atmosphere.  I ordered religiously: Okra and Tomatoes,  Tabouleh, Foul Mudammas, and Ful Nabed (who needs the gym to work this off when you’re chasing after double decker buses and stomping up and down the stairs of the Tube all day). The Edgeware Raod is the spot if you enjoy dark and robust coffee, delicious and affordable eats, finished off with rose water-soaked baklava or delicate shortbread pastries. It may not be the most glamorous street in London, but herein lies it’s charm. A bustling, multicultural street, which at first glance seems to be the route for every metropolitan bus, is a slice of life snapshot of the city. Christ, I shouldn’t be writing for a food blog, I should be writing for “The Lonely Planet” travel guide. Fava Bean Soup has all of the middle eastern flavor, [...]

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Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Coriander, Cumin, and Fennel

For some reason, I lacked inspiration this week. Truly, I was a deer caught in the blinding glare of iced cookies shaped in silhouettes of Santa, his reindeer, trees, and angels. Of holiday gingerbread houses, and a perfect trifle on the cover of Saveur (beautiful if I do say so). What to do? How could I possibly say anything when it seems everything had already been said? An even grimmer prospect: My house is a complete building site. Whatever dream I had of being creative was shot to hell without a kitchen work top to rock and roll on. And so it’s Christmas. TV dinner anyone?  I pressed on, hoping for inspiration. Christmas food is yum. I get it folks, I get it. It’s just that I want to eat something that won’t make me riddled with guilt the next day. Is it against the law to hanker for something that feels bad, but is good for you? Then it came to me in the middle of the night. I have heard of nighttime creativity, but honestly, deep love for my pillow has been too intoxicating a contender. At some point in the wee hours, my mind became transfixed on [...]

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