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The Blissed Out Veggie Burger

An honest admission: I was by no means “blissed out” putting this recipe together. I naively assumed that I could pull it off easily. Boy, was I wrong. The first burger was tasty, but it wouldn’t hold it’s shape when cooked. Using egg as a binder was out of the question this week, for no other reason than looking for another creative option (why don’t I just throw a few stones in my path already?). The next burger was good,  but felt a bit too straight, just the usual run of the mill burger. I kept trying to configure different ingredients, looking for something with a bit of a twist, that didn’t feel too exotic for it’s own sake. Try and try again was the order of the week. Working through the creative process, I got a bit cynical. I called my friend Malina, who is a chef and food stylist, and threw her a curve ball: “Why should I even bother with a veggie burger recipe when most people will go to the frozen section, buy the prepackaged type, and sling them on the grill?” Her quick-fire response was, ” there will always be those that buy frozen burgers, [...]

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Peaceful Potato Salad

Fourth of July is only a few weeks away, and a potato salad that’s tasty and healthy is a welcome alternative to the usual barbeque spread.  I’ve been working on this recipe for a while, and finally made it for the family. I also brought some over, along with my Vegan Farro Salad, to our neighbors, who had a baby girl this week (congrats again guys!). I got a thumbs up from everyone, so here it is for you.  Realistically, there is only so much preparation one can muster, especially when you have a family and a job. The aim of Food For Vitality is to create recipes that are delicious, quick ‘n easy, and healthy options to the usual calorie and preservative ridden food on offer. I call this recipe peaceful because it is vegan (dairy free), and therefore half the fat, full of nutritious protein, carbohydrates, and fresh veggies. You certainly won’t need to take a nap to get over this dish. In the next weeks, I will be sharing recipes that you can rock over the summer, and surprise your friends at how delicious a meat free meal can be. Peaceful Potato Salad 6-8 small russet potatoes [...]

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The California Burrito with Salsa Fresca

Seriously, when is it not a good time for a burrito? It’s such a classic, and hits the spot every time. Toby, Jake, and I love road trips in our 1968 VW bus (that’s our old 1070 Westfalia to the right, parked in Big Sur. We now have an olive green ’68), and while trucking up and down our beautiful state, we have discovered time and time again that Californians really know how to make a killer veggie burrito. In Ojai, they steam zucchini and carrots, then roll ‘em up with brown rice, avocado, and salsa. In Big Sur, they throw in grilled red peppers, yellow squash, queso blanco (a mexican creamy soft white cheese), pinto beans, white rice, avocado, and salsa. In Santa Cruz, the tortillas are toasted to a golden brown, the rice is dotted with fresh cilantro, tangy salsa, pinto beans, and a herby salad. To express my feelings of love for all of these burritos, may I quote Meg Ryan’s character from the film When Harry Met Sally: “YES, YES, YES, YES, YEEESSSS!!!” Now that we are in the full swing of the said thang, we have to adhere to a few laid back rules. Whatever [...]

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Bhindi Bhaji (Curried Okra)

For years, I have ordered Bhindi Bhaji in Indian restaurants, thinking, “I wish I could make this at home.”  When I finally dared to face my fear, it took me all of 25 minutes to make it. Isn’t that always the way? Seriously, all you have to do is trot over to your local Indian market and buy six spices. If I have to be completely honest, this was more a “duh” than an “ah ha” moment. Push the fear and procrastination aside and be adventurous. A little commitment can go a long way.  Bhindi Bhaji (Curried Okra) 1 lb of fresh okra, washed and dried 1 large onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic minced thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped (a tsp powdered ginger also works) tsp chili flakes (optional) 2 tbls ghee of cooking oil 1 tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp coriander powder 1 tsp cumin powder 1 tsp black mustard seeds 1/2 tsp dry mango powder pinch of gram masala sea salt to taste 1. Make sure the okra is washed, and dried throughly with a paper towel. Top, tail, and slice the okra, then set aside. 2. Heat the oil on medium heat in a wok or large [...]

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Glorious Gluten Free Pancakes

Happy Mother’s Day Ladies! I am off to celebrate with the boys, so here’s a ‘lil ditty I that’s inspired by our trip to the annual Venice Beach Fireman’s Pancake Breakfast. We now live and love in Laurel Canyon, but I will forever be a Venice Girl. Here are a few photos from breakfast at the firehouse.  Fireman Jake to the rescue The roof is on fiya! Oliver and Jake diggin’ in. Fun at the Firehouse Glorious Gluten Free Pancakes Dry ingredients 1 cup brown rice flour ( I use Red Mill brand for all of the flours, baking powder, and baking soda) 3 tbl tapioca flour 2 tbl potato flour 1/2 tsp xantham gum 1 1/2 tsp baking powder  1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp sea salt Wet ingredients 2 medium free range eggs 1 1/2 cups filtered water 3 tbl buttermilk (optional) 3 tbl canola oil 1 tabl agave nectar Optional extras for pancake batter thinly sliced banana fresh blueberries sliced strawberries for a garnish 1. Combine all of the dry ingredients together in the order shown. Next, stir in the wet ingredients in the same order. When all of the ingredients are combined, give the mix a [...]

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