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Blueberry and Nectarine Crumble with Lemon Cream

Strolling around Farmers Market really taps into my greedy, produce-hoarding nature. In my wildest dreams, there are no measured thoughts of, ” oh, I’ll just take a pound” of this or that. “Four dollars a pound? Oh, give me ten pounds. Cheers!” Wouldn’t life be so wonderful? Suddenly, another fantasy comes streaming in: Owning a farm outside of the city, of how lovely and peaceful it would be, as well as the garden being unbelievably fulfilling. Amazing as this may sound, reality strikes, and I wonder how two city kids like Toby and I (he’s from London, I’m from Los Angeles) would fare in the woods with the sound of crickets instead of ambulances blaring at all hours of the night. Childhood memories of B rated horror flicks whirl around in our heads, of grizzly bears gone wild and tempestuous termites nibbling at our bedpost in the wee hours of the night. All thoughts of going au naturel immediately fizzle out. For the moment, we love our life in the concrete jungle, with a weekly harvest (or two) of organic produce at outdoor markets. Yin and yang never felt so good. Phwoar crumble! This is a sexy minx of a [...]

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Soulful Red Beans and Rice

I’ve been hankering for a another healthy soul food recipe. Red beans and rice is one of those sacred recipes from the south that is haunted by all things pork: Ham hock, andouille sausage, and bacon fat. It can be a bit of a leap of faith to leave such strong flavors behind, but I promise there is life after eating Babe for breakfast (of course we’re not talking breakfast, but you get the picture). My offering is a healthier version which is as much for the heart n’ soul as it is for the tastebuds. It is still major on flava (that’s flavor for the more dictionary inclined). I’ve upped the ante on seasoning and added a tablespoon of tomato puree, which gives a wonderful richness to the sauce. Give it a whirl and be amazed. Feel free to use dry beans by soaking overnight and cooking the next day. I have a three year old son and a husband who both grumble about the amount of time I spend in the kitchen, so I resort to organic cans of beans to save time. I often wonder how the mood would change with these two if I started warming up [...]

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Split Moong Dal with Masala

Over the last few days, I have been thinking about what to make for you (formerly known as procrastination). While snooping around the back alleys of my shelves, I had an “Ah Ha” moment, as Oprah would say. While discovering a bag of Indian yellow split peas tucked away in the cupboard behind various food stuffs may not rank in your top ten “Ah Ha” moments, I’ll take what the universe has offered me, be grateful, and run with it. I make monthly visits to my favorite Indian grocery, The Samosa House in Culver City to load up on chutneys, spices, 5 pound bags of basmati rice,  chapatis, naan breads, and English biscuits and teas (my husband Toby cannot live without McVities Chocolate Covered Digestive Biscuits with a cup of Earl Grey). Somehow, with all of my stash of goodies, I got sidetracked and forgot to make Dal for the family. I will now seize the day and make a delicious vegan and ayurvedic soup that will cleanse your body, heart, and soul. We are in the midst of June Gloom in Los Angeles, which inspired me to share a hearty, vegan soup for you. June Gloom translation? In the month [...]

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Happy Trails Mix

You can feel the excitement of Summer the air: Happier faces walking along the beach, extra bounce to the exchange of a smiley “Good Morning” while hiking in the mountains, uniformed bands of cyclists giving more way to their brothers and sisters as they buzz along the bike path, and swimming in the ocean is an energizing bath of joy that you share with all of your neighbors. It’s also that time of year when we pack a few things in our rucksack to save time, money, and enjoy healthier options. As you relax and sun yourself on the beach, the last thing you want to do is race over the blazing hot sand for an unappealing and expensive slice of greasy pizza. I recycle my old plastic containers and jars to use for salads, dressings, and sandwiches. If I pick up some tortilla chips from the market, I know I’m not breaking the bank. After all, we are living in a recession, and every penny counts. I also bring my own stainless steel bottles of filtered water. Probably a good thing after reading in the New York Times yesterday that markets are now starting to ban some types of [...]

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Kalelujah Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

Today I have been busy harvesting and distributing vegetables and flowers to Jake’s preschool, neighbors, friends, and our very own lucky kitchen (word is bond). Today, I picked heirloom tomatoes, artichokes, fennel, zucchini, arugula (rocket for my UK crew), kale, and peppers. Summer is in full swing. I love Farmer’s Market, but this is the bomb, for real (doe). Kale Salad. Yup yup. Word to your Mother Earth. Apologies, I’m feeling a lil’ old school hip hop today. I figure I’ll roll with it until I get it out of my system. I promise I won’t get into talking about my spinning rims (I drive a VW, worry not). I could artlessly dole out another salad recipe (is this art? erm, worried), and bail on you, but I figure you’re here because flipping through a book is a lot less fun. I’ve obviously gotten a bit too much sun today…. So Kale Salad. Let’s have another go, shall we? I call it Kalelujah (pronounced kah leh loo yah) Salad because when I finally plucked up the courage to try a raw kale salad, I immediately had that “Halelujah, praise be to the Green Gods” moment. Why had I waited so long? Why [...]

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