Nori Rolls are a great healthy lunch option for while on the go.
If you haven’t tried making Nori Rolls before, I suggest you give it a shot… once you get the hang of rollin, they are super simple and you can fill them with practically any vegetable and grain! Roll them right into a piece of aluminum foil and just turn over the ends. Perfect for a for easy grab-and-go lunch and you can enjoy like you would a burrito – pulling down the sides of the foil as you munch down.
Limy Miso Ginger Dressing:
These are a few ingredients I always keep on hand – they last for ages in your fridge and you can have fun playing with the ratios….
Miso Paste (made of chickpeas, soy free gluten free), Organic Honey, Rice Wine Vinegar, Amino Acids, Crushed Ginger, a little Sesame Oil and Fresh Squeezed Lime.
Just back from a wonderful week of Bed & Breakfasts with Ben on the coast of Mendocino County. Oh man, we could get used to that! A light knock at 9am, followed by the secret bookcase-door creaking open and in comes our 3 course farm-to-room breakfast! (We stayed at Glendeven in Mendocino).
What better way to transition into the week back than enjoying a “healthier” version of the most important meal of the day with a few of mi favorite ladies (been watching too much Downton Abbey). Sarah hosted, Molly and I puttered around the kitchen and Melanie popped in with Andrew and their precious Zoe for a surprise visit.
Sarah served with warm organic syrup, strawberries and fresh orange juice HERE
I’ve been wanting to find and perfect a healthy and fast pancake recipe. Seeing as I am a gluten free chef and not big on breakfast (I know it’s bad, but a pot of coffee, fruit and a spoon full of almond butter is all I want until 12) I have not taken the time (nor am I interested in) making pancakes. That is until now. This are great and the dry ingredients can be combined ahead of time and kept portioned in your fridge/freezer.
I combined a few recipes and here we go. (ps if you are looking for a present to get me look no further than here)
1 cup milk (I used a combination of almond and coconut because I had 1/2 cup of coconut milk that needed to be used), 1 cup water, 2 eggs, vanilla and 1/4 cup oil (I use almond or walnut), 1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup sweet rice flour, 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup sorghum flour, 1/4 cup tapioca starch, 1 t baking powder, 1/2 t salt, 3/4 t xantham gum,
I’ve just embarked on the next beautiful chapter in life….
Not exactly sure how to start. Ok, off we go…
This is me: My passion is creating naturally nourishing meals accessible to all while inspiring and educating people on the art of living healthy and well. My cooking style is beyond simple to the point I feel a little silly when I post a recipe as basic as this here. I cook with with familiar ingredients from the earth, I can’t follow a recipe with more than 5 steps, I’m intimidated by kitchen gadgets (though I love people who aren’t!) and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I’ve never made a galette. I am not a chef by any means, I’m just a gal who loves chopping with the seasons and cooking for health.
So, here I am: “Rabbit” as some call me. A produce-loving, natural-believer who hopped upon an organic farm on a beach in Todos Santos, Baja last May (see here). A dream come true for a Rabbit! So it is here on an organic farm where I will be for awhile, living and learning.
Doing what I believe: I feel this is my opportunity to fully embrace what it takes to have 100% control over what goes onto my plate and into my body. From seed to soup and slaughter to skewer, I’m here to learn and experience first hand what it means to live the “farm-to-table” life. With access to all the resources and knowledge any farm girl could imagine, I’m so excited to share with you what I learn! From planting, cultivating, picking, hosting sunset soirees and wellness retreats, I’m beyond excited for this opportunity. And being in a beautiful place surely helps…see here
Keeping it real: Without the pretentiousness and snootiness that comes with the organic and local-food scene in the Bay Area, Todos santos offers true, raw, authentic farming and dining. There is no middle man making millions off your Whole Foods purchases, and as Logan’s family would say, “we are ethically producing and providing produce to all” (too many P’s? I like the sound of it though. Bumper sticker, right!?)
Day 1 on Farm: Gettnig dirty putting up a green house and hoping to gain the respect of the hard workers. Logan said, “They’ve never seen a girl working on the farm, let alone a gringa.” You’ll be buying this basil in Whole Foods in January.
The Journey: Now for the exciting Part! My dear friend Morgan (our business Performance-Foods) and her fiancé joined me on our 5 night adventure down highway 1! I traded in my old convertible for a truck, loaded it up with pots and pans, and off we went. We stopped only to sleep and fuel up on roadside tacos and gasoline.
Numbers on the map are as follows.
1) “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” Confucius
2) Driving to Ensenada
3) A magical night in Valle de Guadelupe… baja’s wine country. Our second wine tasting turned into a 6 hour dinner until 12am with a family on their vineyard…fire pit, bbq, kids running around and bottles of wine being poured with out even their label on yet! Truly an unforgettable night… hint, we’ll be in Travel & Leisure (in towels
4) Sunrise Shot on Highway 1
5) Staying the night at Catavina (so small, didn’t even take a picture. One hotel in the town run on a generator)
6) Morning Taco
7) Staying the night in Loretto
8) Beautiful Drive and Bay
9) We make it to Todos Santos! first thing’s first: Celebratory Margaritas and Chips and Salsa!
Before pulling away from my home, I was feeling a little uneasy and my mom say:
Thank you Momma (and dad!) for always believing in me, supporting me and being my biggest cheerleaders!
I believe the food we put into our body should come from the earth, not a factory. Replenish and Nurture your body with whole foods (meaning without the additives, preservatives and nasty crap) so that your body can spend it’s energy on rebuilding, repairing, rejuvenating and recovering not digesting Skippy and Fried Chicken
I was inspired to make a healthier version of Banana Bread when a client told me it was a favorite of his. I absolutely LOVE taking people’s favorite old school comfort foods and by making just a few simple swaps turn them into healthier pieces of deliciousness! Every ingredient I choose, I choose for a reason. Every ingredient has medicinal and health benefits, and particularly helps with post workout recovery.
For Example the Banana Coconut Muffins: I used coconut and almond flours because they are higher in protein, fiber and vitamins than wheat flour. I sweetened with honey and coconut milk. I added Tera’s Organic Whey Protein for extra full protein
I believe that if you can not pronounce an ingredient on a label, and you don’t keep it in your pantry – do not put it into your body!
For Example, my Post Workout Smoothie: Banana, Spinach, Almond Butter and Coconut Water. As simple as that. But lookie here, I choose every ingredients for their health and medicinal benefits, not just because they taste great. Read HERE. Aa oppose to Odwalla and other packaged drinks that have additives and ingredients that you wouldn’t even find on your own pantry.
Banana: high in potassium..balances electrolytes
coconut water: natures Gatorade minus the added shit
almond butter: high in vitamin E, helps prevent muscle soreness
spinach: contains natural plant base “steroid” phytoecdysteroids” .. “can increase muscle growth by 20%”
Berries: vitamins and antioxidants steve off soreness
yogurt: choose organic plain and greek for protein
Coconut Banan muffin Rcipe:
note: when i am baking I just throw ingredients together until I reach the consistency I am looking for… so this is not exact… but you get the idea
3/4 cup honey
2 Bananas Chopped
2 egg whites
2 T coconut oil
canned coconut milk
mix in 1/2 cup Organic whey protein powder
1 cup coconut flour
1. 1/2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 t baking soad
1 t salt
I forget (it was 3 days ago) but think I baked at 375 for 15 minutes… sorry guys…. I’m such a “go with the flow, don’t make it technical” kind of chef
Back to reality. Back to the grind. Back to the fog. Oh how I missed the San Francisco.
After 3 weeks of vacation (Nantucket and Baja pic here), the things I am happy to come home to: that leaf blowing on the ground is NOT a cockroach, a shower warmer than the ocean, and oh, you can flush the toilet paper!
On my last day in Mexico I threw together this breakfast just with what we had on hand. Was ready in 5 minutes and was so simple I feel silly even writing the recipe. The beet’s came from Logan’s farm, the eggs were SO local and organic that there were still feathers on them, and the rice was made the day before with our Chicken Mole dinner (I’ll post recipe later…used the chicken we slaughtered).
This is a FANTASTIC breakfast for a hangover! There’s really something to be said for a greasy fried egg after a night out…. truly magical. Plus, the starch from the rice and vitamins in the greens… add a sprinkle of chia seeds and a glass of coconut water and you’re game!
Shredded Beet and Carrot Salad with Desert Cattle Cheese, Toasted Almonds and Honey Dressing
Mix about 1/2 cup cooked rice with an egg white. Form into 2 patties and fry. Sautee Beet greens, red onion and garlic. Fry an Egg. Done and Done!
List of things to do while in Mexico: Surf. Fish. Camp on the beach. Plan future business. Kill a chicken.
After a week here: Check. Check. Check. Check. Ok, stop dilly-dallying
It only seems natural that if I respect animals the way I say I do, then I should be able to take one’s life with my own hands. I wanted to really connect with life, death and the process in which an animal goes from being a living, breathing, beautiful, creature, to a piece of meat on my plate. I wanted to have 100% control, awareness and involvement in the process of an animal’s death for my consumption.
Little did I know, I am not cut out for stabbing into a living creature and slicing a knife through it’s neck. I chickened out mid-slice.
Since we all may not have the access and resources to a chicken to slaughter, let’s dedicate today’s post to practicing mindfulness and to making conscious decisions. You can start by becoming aware of where your food is coming from. For Pete’s sake, at least be mindful of what animal is in your meatballs on Mondays.
Logan (my farmer friend) who has killed “thousands of animals” as humanely as one can, talked me through the process and steps in preparation. With a knife in one hand a strong drink in my other, I paced the patio for a few minutes trying to mentally prepare myself for what I was about to do.
Ok, now is the time. Logan held the chicken’s wings tightly against its body, I looked the chicken in his eyes and let him know it would all be ok and no part of him will be wasted.
I found his vein with my left hand and held the knife in my right. My hands were shaking uncontrollably and my heart was racing a mile a minute. I took a deep breath and stabbed him in the neck. The chicken let out a scream. I couldn’t finish it. I couldn’t rip the knife through his vein and out the other side. I put down the knife and said, “I can’t.” At this point Logan was upset because all I’ve really done is stab a chicken and left it to suffer. I turn away and say “You do it, I can’t.” When I look back the chicken is hanging upside down with his head dangling by a small piece of flesh as he bleeds out onto the patio.
By this time tears are pouring down my face uncontrollably. I don’t know why I started crying. Maybe because I made an animal suffer or because I was disappointed in myself for not being able to follow through with something. Or maybe because I’ve never been in the presence of an animal being slaughtered. Or was it because I was 100% responsible for taking the life of a creature?
Whatever the reason, I still cannot explain the feelings and emotions moving through my body and mind. Definitely made up for having not cried in the past 3 years!
I think everyone who consumes animals should try and kill an animal once in their lifetime, or at least educate themselves on how most animals are raised and slaughtered. See HERE and HERE
How it all started and step by step:
Logan came home from the farm around noon and at about 12:30 said, “oh I got us a chicken” and went out to his truck. He walks in carrying a cardboard box with white feathers poking through the holes. Not the grocery bag I was expecting. I asked “Is that for me to kill?” while halfway laughing because he had forgotten about a living creature in the bed of his truck on a hot summer day
I said, “Ok, tell me a little bit about the chicken”
Logan, “He lived on the our farm. Some of the farm workers had him living in their yard. He ate all the bell peppers, cucumbers and other organic produce I grow. He is about 4-5 lbs and 5-6 weeks old. They asked for 5 bucks but I gave them 10.”
And there you have it…
This expression represents thoughts and feelings I’ve never experienced before
“I don’t think I can do this. Yes I can. Shit. Can he feel my energy? Am I making the chicken scared? What if I hurt him. I don’t want to kill an animal. Yes I do. This is ancient human behavior, I can do this. Shit no I can’t. My hand is shaking .I think I’m going to vomit. Ok. Pull it together and do it.
Pouring boiling water on the chicken helps with removing the feathers
Cleaning him up before putting him in the ice bucket
We drive down the road (2 minutes from Logan’s house) onto the beach to take a swim. Feeling the need to cleanse in the ocean. No one else for miles.
Salty Sandy Cleansed
6 years ago I became a vegan after watching the documentary “Meet Your Meat”. My decision was based on animal rights reasons… I could not justify eating something knowing that an animal had suffered so I could satisfy my taste buds. I believe all animals feel pain to the same degree, therefore, animals raised for consumption should be treated with the same amount of respect as domestic animals. Right? I mean it’s only our Westerns culture that tells us it’s okay to eat cows but for some reason inhumane to eat dogs.
I moved to Thailand 5 years ago and started eating seafood and eggs. Then from there moved to Paris and started eating dairy products. My philosophy has changed over the years to “As long as the animal was raised/slaughtered humanely and sustainable/environmental practices were used I support the consumption.”
Eliminating gluten from my diet was the best thing that every happened to me… Almost 😉 cutting out gluten opened my eyes to a verity of grains that I had never even heard of before. Wheat itself is not too nutritionally beneficial. My thoughts: Why bake with wheat when you can use flours like almond, coconut, buckwheat and rice instead? I find these flours give great texture and taste to baked goods not to mention packed with vitamins and minerals.
Cutting back on gluten also means you’ll most likely be cutting back on processed/packaged s**t… which we all could do more of anyway! You can pretty much assume that anything packages has gluten and/or genetically modified soy/corn in it. ugh
2 super simple examples:
Looking for something to dip in hummus or have with cheese? Try sliced cucumbers.
Looking for a fast breakfast in the morning? Mix OATS with toppings like dried fruit, nuts and almond milk.
Instead of reaching for packaged crackers and cereals (which are full of additives and ingredients that you don’t even have in your pantry) think whole, simple foods from the earth…
Gazpacho is one of our family favorites in the summer time. My Nona is famous for her recipe she picked up while living in Seville, Spain, along with my Popa and their 6 kids! The secret trick (according to the Sevillians) is to chill the gazpacho in a ceramic pitcher for hours.
My cousin Laney was in town this weekend which calls for a great reason to get together for family dinners.
Family Dinner Menu: Gazpacho with Grilled Quesidellas and BBQ Flank Steak Salad Photo From Laney’s Blog
The secret to Gazpacho… besides for chilling in a ceramic pitcher:
Every week I offer 5 vegetarian and gluten free meals to clients through out the Bay Area. Menu changes weekly and is based on what’s in season! Want health delivered right to your door? Drop me a line HERE
AH this is gooood.. even if you do not like cauliflower…you will like this! Who would have thought that cauliflower, flax seed meal and eggs could make a crust.
Pesto: Basil, Walnuts and Parmesan Cheese
Tomatoes: Toss in olive oil and Roast at 415 for about 10 minutes, toss with Herbs de Provence crushed garlic and roast 5 more minutes
Was inspired by Beard and Bonnet for the crust HERE
First bake the crusts for about 10 minutes. Add the pesto and already roasted veggies, more herbs, chopped walnuts and bake for another 5 minutes. I topped with Fresh parmesan and basil before serving.
A couple other hits last week:
Ricotta Pea Puree, Roasted Zucchini with Lemon Zest and Basil on a Cornmeal Crust
Zucchini Ribbon, Chickpeas and Quinoa Salad with Feta and Lemony Mint Dressing
Here’s one of my favorite ways to cook salmon on the fly. Every ingredient can be changed…use cod, rice and herbs like I did HERE. The point is, don’t make this technical. It’s a great basic recipe to experiment with and add to your “weeknight dinner” repertoire.
3 steps to dinner. Lay a cooked grain, veggies and salmon on a piece of parchment paper. You can add white wine, olive oil or a little veg broth. Season to taste with fresh herbs, lemon…whatever. Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes
Hola! Feeling inspired from a 2 week va-ca in Baja…and out came these A-mazing muffins! This lunch was part of my weekly menu: 5 vegetarian and gluten free meals. I deliver to clients ever week in SF and you can sign up too, just shoot me an email!
I used cottage cheese and feta to keep the muffins moist and a whole can of chopped peppers also adds moistness (I hate that word).
The Salad may look boring but don’t let the picture fool you. The roasted corn adds depth while the cilantro and lime dressing adds a ton of flavor and freshness. It’s heart healthy deliciousness.
Bob’s Red Mill Corn Bread Mix (here). I kept it low in fat by substituting the oil for cottage cheese and feta. About 1 cup total. Add a can of chopped peppers too. Top with Sliced Jalapeños. Follow baking instructions. baked for 15 minutes in muffin tins
Roast corn with olive oil and salt and pepper at 425 for about 15 minutes, rotating twice. Roast until it’s nice and brown. Let cool completely before cutting off cob.
Dressing: Zest of 2 limes, Juice of 2 limes. 1 T honey. 1 garlic clove minced. 1 T rice wine vinegar. mix well and whisk in olive oil to taste… I used about 2/3 cup. salt and pepper.
The rest is totally up to you. Here is a perfect example of how my cooking is not meant to be technical…. you like avocado, add that. You don’t like black beans… all good. Just combine a ton of veggies. You can not go wrong. I promise you, anyone can make this salad.
Cornmeal Crust Tarts with Baby Kale, Currants and Pine Nuts
Meatless Mondays: Every week I create a vegetarian seasonal menu of 5 dishes (also gluten free!) and deliver to 6 clients here in San Francisco. Last week I had the pleasure of cooking for a few wonderful local bloggers too: Vanilla Extract, vmac+cheese, Polish My Crown and Sweet & Spark.
I have really been enjoying coming up with a new menu every week and having a chance to get creative with local, seasonal, Bay Area flavors. If you are new to my site, let me quickly explain my cooking style and philosophy… I keep it simple, fresh, clean and easy. You don’t need a measuring cup, ingredients can easily be modified to fit your taste preferences and you most definitely do not need to allocate your entire evening to making dinner. I use the most basic ingredients and techniques so even the newbie-chef will have supper on the table in no time.
Check out Last Week’s Menu. Was so delicious and worth sharing a few of the recipes:
Balsamic Roasted Portobellos, Raw Kale, Lentil and Pecorino Salad(BEAUTIFUL PIC)
Preheat oven to 425. Drizzle Portobello mushroom with balsamic and roast for 15 minutes. Meanwhile combine chopped kale, cooked lentils and pecorino. Dressing: Lemon, Balsamic, Honey, Mustard, Garlic, and Olive Oil. Slice the Portobello and top with the salad.
Half Avocado topped with Fava Bean, English Pea Feta and Mint Salad (PIC)
Shell the English Peas Fava beans and blanch for a couple minutes. Drain and toss with lemon, olive oil, chopped mint and lots of lemon zest. Gentle mix with crumbled feta. Serve over an avocado
Preheat to 300 and grease muffin tins. I used mini tins. Chop and Sauté 1 onion and 1 bunch asparagus (minus tips) in coconut oil. In a bowl combine 1 cup Ricotta, 1/4 cup Goat Cheese and 2 eggs. Mix in cooked Asparagus and Onions. Pour into muffin tins and bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile sauté the remaining aspargus tips. When the quiches are done cooking allow to cool in tins for a few minutes on a wire rack before inverting upside down onto a plater to cool completely. Serve with the sautéed asparagus tops.
Cornmeal Crust Pizza with Chèvre, Sautéed Baby Kale, Currants and Pine Nuts
Cornmeal Crust Recipe HERE (note: I made in a sheet pan and cut into squares)
Meanwhile, soak currants in a little boiling water. Sauté chopped garlic and shallot in coconut oil. Add the Baby kale in batches. Add the water from the soaking currants to help steam the greens. mix in currants. Spread chèvre over the crust is still warm. Top with the greens. Wipe out the sauté pan with a paper towel and toast the pine nuts. Garnish the pizzas with the pine nuts.
ENJOY! All of these recipes are perfect examples of meals that can be easily modified that ingredients swapped to fit your likes/dislikes… donot make it too technical… you can’t go wrong here… BE CREATIVE! Chard in place of Kale. Almonds in place of pine nuts. Parmesan in place of pecorino.
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Just finished salmon with roasted garlic and parsnip purée - brilliant! Everything tasted great and was perfectly filling. Truly, you are the best gift I've ever given myself - thank you! — Karyn Barsa
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