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.
Is the question I get all the time, accompanied by the look of whaaaat the heeeeeck, when I tell people what it is I do not eat.
And my response is “Everything from the eaaaaaarth!”
What it is I do not eat: Gluten, Soy, Sugar, Processed/Packaged Foods (which usually contain all of those ingredients), pigs and animals raised inhumanly on factory farms.
What I do eat: Absolutely every single fruit and vegetable I love. There isn’t one I don’t like. Actually, I’m not a big truffle fan. I think I must have had too much truffle oil on a hot summer day and now the smell gives me the willies. Well, maybe not the willies, but I’m just like, “eeeeh no thanks”. Love all gluten free grains: millet, rices, quinoa, cornmeal, amaranth, buckwheat. Now just imagine all of the amazing combinations we can make with these ingredients woohoo yummy!
I know cutting out packaged/processed foods may seem intimidating or overwhelming at first, but just take a look at what I ate today – you’ll be surprised at how simple it can be! Living a whole, clean, earth based life is delicious, healthy and easy! Bonus: everything I ate today can be prepped on Sunday and stored/enjoyed for about 5 days. I’m telling you, I don’t even get out a knife or cutting board during the week – all veggies, fruit and grains can be prepared ahead of time. Because honestly, who really has the time to spend making BLD (breakfast, lunch, dinner) every day?! Try starting off with these 20 staples to help get you on your way to whole livin’!
Breakfast: Cut fruit. Lately I’ve been enjoying grapefruit, kiwi and pineapple. ChiaChatta is a chia seed pudding that tastes like horchata. It’s so simple to make and can be made in a big batch on Sunday and enjoyed until Friday. Combine 1/4 cup chia seeds, 1/4 cup oats 1.5 cups almond milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon. Mix well and store in a glass container. Read here all the amazing benefit of chia seeds. You should start enjoying them daily!
Lunch: I usually like to stick to a salad with plant based protein during the day (check out veg/protein combinations here). On Sunday I always prepare a grain (this week brown and black rice) and throw in a vegetable towards the end of cooking (this week edamame). Also, cabbage is soooooooo good for you and stays fresh for awhile. It’s just a real winner. So, a big bowl of cabbage with a few spoon fulls of rice and edamame. Then I was feeing a little Asian inspired and added avocado, black sesame seeds, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. Done. 2 minutes tops! Packs well for work too.
Snack: The perfect combination of fat, carbs, protein and sugar are medjool dates filled with almond butter. They pack well, can be made in advance (do I need to keep mentioning that?) and are sooooo delicious. I actually can not walk down the bulk aisle and not put my hand in the date bin and take one. I seriously begin salivating as I approach them. So awkward getting caught mid bite, ek! Hard boiled eggs also make a great snack on the go. Don’t eat them in meetings though, please. They may be the most disturbing food to watch people eat – eeeh – actually deviled eggs are worse. I think my mom is the only person who still brings them to every occasion and holiday party.
Dinner: Usually a cooked vegetable and animal protein. Today I just cooked some green beans I had on hand in a little coconut oil (make coco oil your new cooking staple – it has so many health benefits), added a little of that already made rice and edamame, throw a fried egg on top and viola! So yummy and again, only 2 minutes. Another way to reheat the rice and cook fish at the same time – check this recipe outand while you’re there read up on how Eating Healthy is Easy and Cheap!
Start small you guys. Maybe try just one new vegetable a week. Or replacing that roll with your salad with a whole grain, like rice.
Dr Weil’s Food Pyramid. I replace the tofu with red wine. You gotta get your antioxidants, right!?
Oatmeal is also a great way to start off your morning. I assembled these for my friend who’s a nurse and would buy oatmeal every day at work. She was spending $3 every morning, plus the oatmeal she was buying was packed with sugar, preservatives and ingredients that you can’t even pronounce. I spent $20 on ingredients at TJ’s and assembled 20 baggies-to-go (a waste of plastic, I know, sorry). Plus, they were way healthier because I added chia seeds and cinnamon (so many health benefits) and no sugar or preservatives were added. 10 minutes on Sunday will save you money, time waiting in line and your waistline!
“Panzanella” is Italian for Bread Salad I make this with heirloom tomatoes, asparagus, Italian black olives, big hearty croutons made with 2 types of Acme breads, fresh basil and a simple balsamic vinaigrette
I catered a beautiful Picnic Birthday Party this weekend at Stow Lake in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park Like I’ve said before, one of my favorite things about catering is coming up with a menu and all the cute little creative ideas to make the party all the more special and personal. This party in-particular had a great menu and lots of extra little special touches.
a few clips from the picnic:
lemonade served in a large jar with raspberries, lemon slices and mint tin bucket filled with bottles of tea and San Pellegrino
honey-soy glazed chicken skewers
garnished with black sesame seeds and parsley
sweet cornmeal cake layered with fresh mango, papaya
and mango butter
chopped salad (corn, avocado, feta, bell peppers…)
forks wrapped in a napkin and tied with green and white baker’s string
Kids lunch boxes:
“who’s name starts with the leller l”
Long sheets of Butcher Paper instead of tableclothes.
Secured to the green picninc benches with the twine
this gives the picnic a very organic and natural feel
I can actually say it has been “hot” in the good ol’ “Fog City”
Which means I can no longer get away with out shaving my legs for 2 weeks or not wearing deodorant, damn :o)
With this beautiful weather comes picnic-ing…
Whether you are living in a big city, or a quaint town, it is so important to make time to enjoy the outdoors. Spending time in nature is good for your health, mind and mood. Can you believe it, hanging out in the sun releases serotonin, the happy endorphin! (more on ways to increase Endorphins)
I have been having so much fun lately packing a picnic and riding my bike around discovering parks. There are SO MANY parks in SF, who knew?!
Lately my favorite park has been Allyne, tucked away in a quiet hilly neighborhood, it reminds me of something I’d stumble across in Paris’ Montmartre District.
I knew I’d have to make something that would incorporate these beautiful walnuts. I decided on a winter citrus salad (I almost always add chopped nuts to my salads because I think they add an extra heartyness). Citrus fruits are everywhere this January, so I bought oro bianco grapefruit and blood oranges (of course regular grapefruit and oranges would work just fine too). I choose avocados too because they go nicely with citrus and are in season.
Last stop, Cowgirl Creamery, my favorite local cheese store, to pick up some raw goat feta to crumble on top.
To give this dish a little more substance, I made quinoa flavored with mint and lemon!
I made a dressing of fresh ginger and avage- so delicious. The sweetness of the agave and the strong flavor of the fresh ginger really go well with the citrus fruits. If you don’t have agave, honey will work too. I bought fresh crushed ginger in a jar, and since I made this salad I’ve used it about 3 more times in recipes- it’s my new favorite “must have”! Ginger is also super good for you! (Ginger’s health benefits)
This salad can be presented in many ways. NO need to make it technical like I did- I just had the time to spend making it look pretty. These ingredients all thrown together in a bowl will look pretty no mater what.
1 cup of quinoa
Equal parts fresh crushed ginger and agave.
Add extra virgin olive oil until you reach the consistency you like- stir really well
Add your Quinoa (1 part to 2 parts water) to boiling water. Stir a bit, bring to a simmer for about a minute. Then turn off the heat and cover. Let site for about 15 minutes- it will cook itself in the steam!
Add lemon zest and chopped mint to taste
Stir in good olive oil salt and pepper to taste
I used a cookie cutter to shape the quinoa nicely.
Erin? How should I start? We’ve been friends since elementary school and we’re now roomies.
She’s witty and sassy and most importantly has a true appreciation for healthy, local, organic food. Erin is sure to know how the cow in her bun was raised or if the cheese on her cracker came from a happy goat. When it comes to big farms, little farms, corporate and family farms Erin knows it all. If you are willing to listen, she’s sure to make any meat eater think twice before ordering a BigMac. The Truth.
While taking our stroll through San Francisco’s beautiful farmer’s market and seeing all the wonderful produce it was hard to decide on just one dish to make. Erin spotted the persimmons and knew she could whip up something creative with them.
Erin decided to put a twist on the tradition caprese salad (Italian salad of tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella) and added persimmons!
While at the market Erin stopped at Cowgirl Creamery, a store specializing in organic and local cheese, to grab the freshest mozzarella they had.
The sweet flavor of the fruit really mixes well with the tomatoes,
mozzarella and balsamic vinagar- well done ErBear!
Yields 6 servings
2 beefsteak tomatoes- I hate the name
1 Ball of fresh mozzarella (buffalo if you can find it)
A handful of chopped fresh basil.
3 T olive oil
2 T Balsamic vinegar
2 cups of arugula
Slice the persimmons and tomatoes- discarding any extra watery seeds you’d like.
slice the mozzarella.
Toss well with the chopped basil, sea salt and fresh pepper.
Line a serving dish with the arugula.
Spoon the persimmons onto the arugula and drizzle with good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
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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
First, Thank you so much. Recreating the dinner you taught me was surprisingly very enjoyable and easy for me today (which is a huge testament to you) and secondly, every single bite was consumed and thoroughly enjoyed. Salmon dish was a HUGE hit. We all toasted you. — Lauren Irons, Mother of 3
Thank you so much for the absolutely perfect event last week. Many guests said it was a truly "old-fashioned Christmas party!" The delicious family-style meal made it so! — Ann McNamee
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