Super Simple Supper while Camping

I’m all for keeping meals fast, fresh and simple…. therefore, when it comes to camping I prefer doing as much of the meal prepping and cooking in my kitchen before even heading out the door. See our camping trip on the Beach in Mexico HERE

The menu was inspired by EVERYTHING I gathered Friday morning on Logan’s farm.  

This meal was thrown together in less than an hour while Logan loaded up the car with camping gear.  I promise, you wont even need a measuring cup!

Super Simple Supper on the Beach

Blended Papaya Margaritas 

Kale Chips

Gazpacho Served in Bell Pepper Bowls

(tomatoes, cucumbers and green bells, lime)

Campfire Clay Pot Veggies

(Beets, Carrots and Shallots)

Campfire Berry Cobbler

(Blackberry Lime with Coconut Crumble)

our picking from the farm

in action – picking cucumbers

 Gazpacho Soup:  Serve in a bell pepper… that way you can either eat it raw or skew it and roast on the campfire for another meal.  Try this recipe and if you are in a hurry, don’t even bother roasting the veggies first RECIPE
Blackberry Cobbler
Cobblers are one of my favorite go-to desserts!  They travel well to friend’s homes (and even camping) and I love how you can bake them once you get to location.  Just pop it into the oven while everyone is enjoying dinner.  Nothing beats a warm fresh baked dessert with some cold vanilla ice cream.  Another reason cobblers are fantastic: you can change them seasonally and use whatever beautiful fruit is looking good to you.  Serioiusly, you can not mesa up a cobbler… the most basic of cooks can make a killer cobbler..  Here’s my favorite Peach Cobbler RECIPE, again, was taken to a party.
 

Hola from the East Cape: Baja Beach Camping

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“The great transformation of nature into the culture we call food” Michael Pollan

and here you have it, Logan fishing for breakfast

Currently reading Michael Pollan’s most recent book, “Cooked” where he speaks of the importance earth, air, fire and water have had on humans and the development of modern civilization.

And this weekend while camping I too felt like I had gone back to the pre “modern civilization” days.  Aside form a lighter and pillows, we were cavemanin’ it!  It may come as a surprise, but I actually feel most comfortable and in “my element” when down, dirty and roughin’ it in the outdoors.  What beats camping on a beach, no one else for miles, fishing, story telling around the campfire, no phone service, waking up to the sunrise over the ocean and going for a 5am swim!

The menu was made from EVERYTHING gathered from Logan’s family’s farm, HERE, even the tequila.  Oh my gosh I have died and gone to heaven!  Extra virgin olive oil was the only bought ingredient.  RECIPES HERE

Supper Simple Supper on the Beach

Blended Papaya Margaritas 

Kale Chips

Gazpacho Served in Bell Pepper Bowls

(tomatoes, cucumbers and green bells, lime)

Campfire Clay Pot Veggies

(Beets, Carrots and Shallots)

Campfire Berry Cobbler

(Blackberry Lime with Coconut Crumble)


Are we there yet?

Setting up camp under an abandoned palapa

relaxing in a hammock at a near by palapa


 

 

 

Nothing Like Nantucket

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Just spent a wonderful week sailing Cape Cod with a few friends

After the first hour on Nantucket I was already in love!
What is there not to love…?

Quaint town with picket fences and cobble stone streets

we were on a quest for the best clam chowder and crab.  CRU won the clam chowder award!

Sunrise

Sailing

Hold On.. 1 hand on drink 1 hand on boat at all times!

Sunset 


Nantucket

Cruising to the Beach

Puddle hopping from Martha’s Vineyard to BOS

 

Gluten Free Pantry

“Focus on what you CAN eat, not what you can’t eat”

photo courtesy of Free People

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.

Wondering if you may have a sensitivity to gluten?  Take a look at the 10 Signs You Are Gluten Intolerant at one of my favorite sites and resources for whole body livin, Mind Body Green

Here are my Gluten Free Recipes.

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…

Check out these 12 great substitutes HERE

 

DIY 4th of July Picnic

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Hop on over to Nichole at Vanilla Extract for MORE

What You’ll Need: 

Jars: Tyler Florence Store, Mill Valley

Silver Serving Spoon and Knife: Antique Shop

Candles: Pier One Imports

Napkins: World Market Cost Plus

Pizza Tart Pan: Sur La Table

Table Cloth: Anthropologie

Red Cups: Target

Straws: Paper Source

Plates: Grandmothers

See more PICTURES from the PICNIC HERE

Now that you’ve packed your picnic basket,  it’s time you dress the part!

from Southern Charm

 

Fuel for the Plane: Packing Snacks for the Road

SUMMER VACATION IS HERE!
Which means lots of temptations in airport snack shops.
Stay healthy while on the road by packing your own munchies.

For 1 month I’m living out of the same suitcase:
1 week sailing in Nantucket
10 days in Todos Santo, Baja
2 weeks house/pet-sitting a hamster, cat & great dane

6 heart healthy foods in my carry-on

Homemade Instant Oatmeal.  Fruit with a peel incase it rolls out onto the airport floor.
Baked sweet potato.  Avocado.  Hard boiled egg.  Dates filled with almond butter and sprinkled with chia seeds

I always pack my own instant oatmeal (pictured above):
oats, raisins, almonds, coconut and cinnamon
Just ask the flight attendant for a glass of boiling water.  mix. wait. enjoy.

I recommend these packaged foods.
All provide lots of nutrients, vitamins and are minimally processed

If you always stock your pantry with these basics then packing for the road is simple

Staying healthy can be tough while traveling.  There are times when you may not see any thing fresh and not from a package for hours, maybe even all day!

It’s important to plan ahead and pack healthy snacks for the plane and layovers.   Your body is already working hard enough to stay healthy in the crowded dirty places…. Don’t add extra stress to your body by asking her to digest chips and soda.

It only takes  a couple minutes to throw together a couple carry-on snack

Chia Seeds.  These are a must.  They fill you up not to mention super good for you!  Think of flax seeds but on steroids.  At hotels, when the breakfast is limited, add chia seeds to  your coffee and grab a piece of fruit.

Oranges and Peel Fruit:  Apples used to be my go to, but I find oranges are a safer choice.  Like when fruit falls out of your purse and rolls across the airport floor, you can still peel and enjoy J  Also, I find sometimes apples can be hard on a empty stomach.

Nuts and Fruit:  hello.  Talk about perfect carb, fat, protein combination…. And SO simple.

 

 

 

 


 

Paris

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Ernest Hemingway, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast”

Getting lost in a city… walking alone for hours, discovering neighborhoods, temples, churches, markets, cafes.

Dreaming of the month I lived in Paris today

 
 

Meatless Monday: Roasted Veggie Gazpacho

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:

Roasting Tomatoes and Bell Peppers add Depth

Balsamic Vinegar or Rice Wine Vinegar is a must

My Recipe HERE

 
 

Meatless Monday: Cauliflower Crust Pizza & a couple last week favorites…

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 crusHERE 

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

 

 

Looking for Salmon?

fish, Gluten Free 1 Comment

aw doesn’t he make you smile.  photo NowPublic

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

 

 

Produce in Paradise: A Day in the Life of an Organic Baja Farmer

Meet Logan Vail

“My goal is to produce quality food and make healthy eating more accessible.  I want to leave this world a little better than I found it” he says, and explains that “People in the States are just uninformed, they are given the wrong information and labels don’t mean anything”  Talk about magic to my ears.  Many people think about making a difference in the world, but few actually take action to do so.  You can imagine how excited I was when Logan invited me to accompany him on his morning rounds at the farm?  Even if it meant waking up before the roosters, this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

History: Logan’s parents moved from Santa Barbara to Todos Santos in 1985 to follow their dreams of becoming the first organic farmers in Baja.  They now grow around 20 different varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs. His father now gets to enjoy surfing the Baja waves while Logan manages the 500 acres of ocean front family farm land!  Yes, at the ripe age of 27, Logan is the brains, ambition, drive, sweat and muscle behind it all!  Impressive.

So, the basil that you (and everyone in North America) bought this week from Whole Foods or Trader Joes… I PICKED on Tuesday May 7th!                                              6am and covered in dirt, I was picking the basil ya’all are havin in those Basil Gimlets!

Currently he’s shipping 20, 000 lbs of basil across the boarder a week.   Can you believe it? And, it’s all grown organically, sustainably and picked by hand.  To make matters even more impressive:  Conventional farms grow on the same land for years, and never give the soil rest.  Whereas, on Logan’s farm, he believes in letting the land rest for 8 months out of the year and changing the crop in the soil ever season.  This is natures way of keeping the land free of bugs and critters.  Also, when letting the land rest, there is no need to use heavy chemicals and pesticides like massive conventional farm.

At 10am I turned to Logan and said, “I’m pooped.  I don’t think I can farm anymore.”  He looked at me with a “Are you kidding, we’re just getting started” expression and lead me back to his truck, “Alright, let’s get breakfast” he said. “Now we’re talkin!”

Finish a day’s work with:

Authentic Baja fried empanadas filled with Slow cooked desert cattle.

 A cold beer at his dad’s beach hut.  Outdoor shower under a mango tree (that was solo)

Rewind to the beginning of the morning: Logan picks me up before the sun comes up.  On our way to the farm we stop at a little roadside coffee stand where the fishermen stop on their way into town to drop off their fresh catch.  There’s one option on the menu: coffee served with a carton of milk.   We then followed a dirt road for about 10 minutes along the ocean before arriving to his farm. Every morning Logan picks up the workers who live in simple “shacks” on the farm…they all hopped into the back of his truck, looking quite happy and cheerful I must say.  Maybe it was the gringa chica in the front seat, who knows? Between 6-10am, we had already picked and eaten, basil, green beans, cucumbers, bell peppers, asparagus, avocado, sweet corn, grapefruit, guava, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, herbs and saw a rattle snake!  You’d be pooped too, right? 

  Curious to know what a farmer makes for dinner?  It was so good, I’m still thinking about it. I’ll give you a hint, he shot a wild animal CHECK IT OUT HERE

Driveway to Heaven

What’s on the horizon for his future?  Bringing the full farm-to-table experience to people.  Allowing people to visit his farm and get the full experience as I did.  Logan said he wishes to, “Create a platform where people can reconnect with their food.  People don’t appreciate where their food comes from.  We’ll get dirty, grow, pick, cook.  It’s the full circle”

Did you know that hundreds of lbs of perfect produce is wasted ever day?   Just thrown into the compost.   You see, us Americans like our produce to look perfect, without scratches or natural marks.  Whole Foods sends back the entire crate of produce if ONE cucumber in a box is a little boat shaped.   Even though cucumbers naturally grow on the ground in a boat shape… they’re only straight because farmers hang them on vines.   Anyway, getting off track.  This is where the farm-to-table experience can come in.  People can come to the farm and pick, cook and can the otherwise wasted produce.  It’s perfect, right?

One might imagine how growing up on a farm in Paradise would inspire you to follow the path of your parents, however, it was professors at UCSB and authors like Joel Salatin and Michael Pollan who taught Logan the importance of sustainable and ethical farming practices.

Note:  Logan’s parents played a huge role in inspiring him and still play a huge role in the success of their farm :) want to be sure that’s clear.

We ended the day with a beautiful dinner at Mac’s house. Couldn’t ask for a better last day in Baja!

 And in the end, Logan said, “I hope to change the minds of people and inspire people, so that the world doesn’t get ruined before it’s too late”

 

 

 

 

dinner with a REAL farmer in Mexico

Does life get much better than this?!

Read about my day on the farm HERE!

Slow Cooked Rabbit Ragout: Logan shot and slaughtered the rabbit on his farm the day before.  I LOVE it. Can you get any closer to hunter and gather days?

Farm Salad: heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and basil with local cheese, balsamic and olive oil

Northern Baja White Wine: Had dinner with the wine makers the night before.

Homemade tequila infused with organic herb

Surfing, Sand and Sun

 

Jalapeño Cornbread and Chopped Southwest Salad

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.

Recipe:

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.