Hope this finds you healthy, happy and well fed! I still cannot believe we are in the full swing of summer-it certainly doesn’t feel like it here in Los Angeles. This year has not been so dreadfully hot (thank goodness!). I hope you are enjoying your summer where ever YOU are.
I first off wanted to acknowledge all the new registered users of the site (and you know who you are)-thank you SO much for taking the time to read the blog! I hope you have found it interesting, applicable and fun! If you have any comments, suggestions or specific topics you want to know about, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
So, instead of writing this page specifically on one topic, product or theme, I thought I would just give you a run down of what I am doing, what I am using to cook (or uncook) with, where I am eating, who I am spending my time with, etc…hopefully this won’t bore you to tears, but I felt an update was in order.
The trip I mentioned in my last blog to Sicily will be postponed until Spring of 2011, so start saving NOW! It is going to be absolutely beautiful and such the perfect time to go to Italy. I hope you will consider joining me and Attavola for a delicious tour of Mediterranean foods you simply cannot get here in the states. More details to come but I’m here to answer any questions you may have about the tour.
What have I been cooking? Well, I have been doing a lot of kale chips lately; mostly cheesy kale chips! They are so fun! Just today I modified the nut cheese recipe because although I liked the way it tasted before, I simply did not have a red bell pepper, so I hope they turn out okay. All I did was take about 1 cup of cashews (best to soak them for about an hour first), juice of 1 lemon, 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast, some sea salt and a bit of water. Process in food processor until smooth and mix into washed and dried kale that has been cut into chunks. Dehydrate for about 8 hours. Yes, it’s quite a long time, but it is SO worth it. Trust me. And everyone I make try them LOVES them (yes, I make people taste my food, against their will-it’s awesome!) They even suggest I start selling them-what do you guys think? 😉
I also started sprouting which has been so much fun! My dear friend Renee (who you may know from my Facebook posts) came for a visit and we sprouted some mung beans together and I am telling you, they are SO delicious in salads (or just plain!). I am currently sprouting some kamut berries to attempt my first raw bread-hopefully the olive kamut bread from Jenny Ross’s book (she is the chef at 118 Degrees in Costa Mesa, CA)-I think that is my favorite raw bread so far.
I have successfully tasted the top 3 raw food restaurants on the West Side-all are in Santa Monica. First up: Planet RAW -Juliano’s restaurant-okay, LOVE the food and the intimate atmosphere. The service is always nice, too, BUT, it is a tad pretentious as most people do report. I’m sorry to say it! I still eat there and love it and always will because it truly is unique and a delightful eating experience, and plus, I cannot live without their Cheezy Kelp or their home made kombucha (OMG!). They really know what they are doing and I definitely support them.
Next up is Better Life Cuisine, which is more like a little cafe. It’s very casual, the portions are HUGE and their food is divine. Their lasagna, nachos, and wraps are definitely creative and tasty, but make sure to save room for dessert-try the spirulina pie or the cinnamon roll-I don’t even know how they do what they do but it’s worth the drive over the hill to snag dessert there. The downfall of the place is that it is shared with a yoga studio, so sometimes as you walk to the bathroom, it can smell like feet. 🙁 Don’t let that turn you off-the food is so worth it!
Last, but certainly not least (and I believe this is my fave of the 3) is Euphoria Loves Rawvolution. This quaint little cafe is tucked away on Main St. in Santa Monica and it is so lovely inside. The atmosphere is definitely my favorite of the 3 mentioned. It’s homey, with an earthy feel. The food is creative (I have tried the coconut jerky, Thai coconut soup (cold), nachos, Cocophoria sandwich, and a bowl they had on special which featured kale, seaweed, nut cheese and tofu that was made out of nuts as well). Also, their dessert display is magical. Lots of chocolate treats, cookies and pies to choose from. The black and white cookie-not so much, but everything else I have tried has been divine.
So, there you have my mini reviews of 3 “rawsome” raw food restaurants in LA. I urge you to try them all and let me know what you think!
I also wanted to mention some of my latest kitchen staples as I am learning that I cannot live without them and I will explain why…
1. Barlean’s Extra Virgin Coconut Oil-it’s 100% organic, has a nice, rich flavor and although it is a bit costly, I believe you have to invest in a good quality coconut oil. This can be used not only in your foods, but on your skin and in your hair. It’s absolutely divine! I use it to make a different kind of kale chips (kale chips coated with coconut oil, sea salt and raw honey), in quinoa, on sweet potatoes, and as a skin moisturizer. Really! Barlean’s also makes probably the BEST quality flaxseed oil on the market. Flaxseed oil provides you with essential fatty acids (EFA’s). We need EFA’s (omega-3’s) for proper brain function, healthy skin, hair and nails, and flax also provides protein and phytonutrients. You can use this to top salads or even put it in your smoothies.
2. Amazing Grass Chocolate Green Superfood Powder-this is a long time favorite and staple in my kitchen. I have been doing a lot of smoothies in the mornings for breakfast and here is what goes into it as of late:
-6-8 oz almond milk
-1 scoop AG powder
-1/2 frozen banana
-1 tbsp raw honey
-1 tsp coffee grounds
-1 tbsp almond or sunflower seed butter
-a few ice cubes
3. Maranatha ‘No Sitr’ Almond Butter-this is hands down my favorite almond butter and I eat it EVERY day! I love that it is pre-stirred! I use it in my smoothies, on apples or just eat it by the spoonful with some raw honey (my guilty pleasure).
4. Maintoba Harvest Shelled Hemp Seeds-hemp, just like flax, provides us with a healthy dose of omega-3’s. These nutrient dense seeds pack quite a powerful punch when thrown on salads, cereal or yogurt. You can eat them plain as well and feel like a little bird. 🙂 2 tbsp provides you with 11 g of protein! Take THAT meat eaters! 🙂
5. Pacific Organic Almond Milk-I honestly love the taste of almond milk better than rice, which I had been using forever. It’s creamier, thicker and overall, is just more pleasing to me. I have to have it and go through about 2-3 boxes per week. I have found that Trader Joe’s has it at the best price, so although I don’t do a ton of my shopping there anymore, I do go there for my milk. I haven’t gotten into making my own almond milk yet because almonds seem to be so costly (if you buy raw and organic), so I admit, I am cheap and lazy sometimes, so I just buy it in a box. Sue me. I’d rather spend my time dehydrating kale. 😉
I could go on and on, but I don’t want to risk losing your attention! Plus, I know you have to get to the grocery store to get the items mentioned above, right? 😉 Again, please feel free to contact me at any time at email@example.com I welcome questions, comments, praises or criticism and look forward to hearing from you… Thank you again so very much for supporting HTF and reading. It means the world to have people take notice and if this reaches one person and helps them in any way achieve better health, I have done my job as a health practitioner. Many blessings and enjoy those beautiful summer nights!