15 January 2014

You're Invited!

So I kind of forgot I resumed this blog.  Oops!  I swear, this memory of mine...

So I kind of forgot I resumed this blog.  Oops!  I swear, this memory of mine...

Just kidding.

My memory isn't that bad.

I was just trying to be funny.

In all honesty, though, I kind of had forgotten that I had revived this blog.  Part of that revival is going to mean making posts a regular part of my schedule, and not just because I need to post or because I impose it on myself but, rather, because I want to!

Tonight I had two great friends over for dinner.  Since moving to California, I have become really good friends with this girl, Rosie, whom I met through Instagram, as well as her boyfriend, Rich.  They are WONDERFUL people and I feel so lucky to have them in my life.

For dinner I made curried parsnip and sweet potato soup with Sarah's "Life-Changing Loaf of Bread."  They both seemed to like the food (they licked their bowls clean!).  I also made Rosie a batch of dark chocolate cashew cream truffles for a belated birthday gift.  She already posted a picture of it to Instagram!

These are the dark chocolate cashew cream truffles I made for Rosie's belated birthday.  She snapped this photo right away and tagged me on Instagram!  Rosie is so popular in the Instagram world that by tagging me I got 66 "Likes" and 4 new followers!

I hope to host more events like this.  It was a much more enjoyable way to spend my post-work hours instead of by myself...streaming Netflix.  Rosie and Rich, you have an open invitation!

The stage is set!

The Life-Changing Loaf of bread I made, fresh out of the oven!

Here it is close up.

Choppin' some parsley for soup garnish (I also served dinner with toasted pumpkin seeds!).


 Everything is just about ready to go, except for the soup.  I took this right before Rosie and Rich arrived.

Dinner is served!

07 January 2014

Another Day, Another Post

I'm off and running!  Two jazzy days in a row of blogging!  You might call that a roll!  I'd actually composed this blog post during the day but, as I sit here typing, I have more--different--words I want to say.  I think those four sentences were it!  Wait, four, if you include that last "I think..." one.  Now it's six.  Ok, this last and final, seventh, sentence consists of the only previously unscripted words I wish to express.

My head hurts.

Now that I have re-entered the blogging sphere, I thought I’d share with you all where I’ve “been” (in the world of food) for these past nine months.  I swear, I have eaten.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have eaten at some pretty incredible restaurants…once, twice or twelve times (Source);  I’ve made some incredible friends who have actually prepared food for me;  I’ve found some A-M-A-Z-I-N-G farmers’ markets with the most insane produce I’ve ever experienced; and I’ve also dabbled in some cooking of my own, both inspired by other recipes and my own creations!

So without further ado, here is an Instagrammic snapshot into the good eats I’ve had this past almost-year:

I ordered this at The Plant, one of my favorite veg-friendly restaurants in San Francisco.  This beauty has perfectly cooked quinoa (which is an art, in and of itself), the BEST smoked tempeh, beautifully cooked seasonal vegetables and refreshing pea shoots.  Happy mouth.  Happy tummy...very happy tummy.

I love Cha-Ya.  Specifically, their seaweed salad.  It's unlike any other seaweed salad I've had.  I get it literally every time I go.  I assume their other dishes are tasty??

Pictured here is a HUGE bowl of soba noodle wonder.  There are some mushrooms mixed in there (everything's better with mushrooms, right??), some baby lettuces and a generous topping of crispy rice noodles and avocado.  The whole thing is drenched in "plum yaki" sauce.  I don't know what that is but I do know that it's darn tasty.  I had this at Source.

Another Source meal.  Umm.  Ridiculous, right?  So much food.  Hidden within that freshly oven-baked pita, among the snappy leaves of organic lettuce and buried below a river of liquid cashew 'cheese' is about the best burger I've ever eaten.  Made with beets.  I swear, carnivores would be fooled...and, perhaps, converted. 

This might be another Source meal?  It might be a "Squash the Funghi" [translate: butternut squash and mushrooms] dosa.  It might be the thing I order 90 percent of the time I go.  Might...

Finally, a non-Source dish (although there's nothin' bad with Source).  What you have here is a Flacos dish!  Ooh, baby, was this incredible.  Not only was this my first ever experience having a vegan empanada, but it was my first experience having an empanada...period!  How I went so many years without having one is an utter mystery.  I mean, just look at that!

Funny little story:  I made this raw 'toast' in my dehydrator in Michigan and transported it back here to California to enjoy.  That there on the left is freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.  The warm lighting perfectly captures how magical this little brekky was.

I made up this raw little breakfast bowl (I'm into eating raw for breakfast, if you can't tell--it ensures I get in one raw meal a day, which makes me feel my best!) and am pretty darn proud of its presentation and creativity.  It's your basic chia pudding, rehydrated with water, splenda and cinnamon, and topped with perfectly in season (at the time) persimmon and pomegranate plus a glob of sprouted almond butter for an even greater protein boost!

The third of my breakfast installments--and raw too!  Shock!  I made probiotic coconut yogurt which I know sounds frightening and creepy, like it should belong in the movie Alien, but I assure you, it was delicious, made even more so by drizzling in some raw local honey and dropping in some dried cherries.

The last in my now dubbed "Breakfast Series."  This bad boy is my favorite of the bunch and, I'm proud to say, created the recipe.  Basically it's strawberry sprouted buckwheat groat porridge with flaked coconut, nectarine and hemp hearts.  Say that ten times fast!  Yeesh, I feel like the names I have for these breakfasts are getting progressively longer!

Gorgeous.  Just gorgeous.  Now I can't take full credit for this recipe (though I can take a little) since it was inspired by Ali over at Inspiralized.  It's cucumber 'noodles' with roasted persimmons, roasted grapes, Trader Joe's A-MA-A-Z-I-N-G rosemary Marcona almonds and Kitehill 'cheese.'  Here is the original recipe.  I will totally make this again.  In fact, as I type this I am sad I do not have *cough* any of these ingredients on hand so for now it will have to serve as a distant memory.

This pear upside-down cake was the brainchild of Ashley at Edible Perspective.  Her recipes are solid.  Period.  This one was no exception.  Now I want this too...again, though, I don't have any of the ingredients.  Sad :(

Another EP brainchild.  I wasn't kidding when I said her recipes are solid.  I seriously make them all the time.  This spaghetti squash with chunky mushroom and chard marinara sauce I think I had, like, three nights in a row.

I went to a Vegan Mac and Cheese cook-off with one of my closest California friends, Rosie, who also has an amazing food blog.  The event was super fun and it was awesome to see all the creativity people injected into veganizing a very non-vegan dish!  For the record, my favorite was the Mac and Cheese with the crispy sage, which you can see in the bottom right of the photo.

Geez.  Writing these captions and, essentially, reliving all these amazing meals is making me hungry.  I lifted this recipe directly from 101 Cookbooks  I didn't need to change a thing.  And yes, it really was as good as it looks.

Okay, I kind of forget if I made up this recipe or borrowed it.  I think I borrowed it from a source but then changed so much of it that it became my own.  Funny how that works!  It's rosemary-turnip soup that I thickened with Vitamix pulverized germinated brown rice.  Day-um, I'm creative (if I may be so humble).

Pretty as a picture!  Hey, wait!  I hosted a vegan potluck at my apartment a few months back with two vegan Instagram friends--the aforementioned Rosie of Rose Petalz Vegan Blog and Jen of Wholly Vegan.  We each made a course.  Rosie made this raw Brie nut 'cheese.'

Jen's dessert of coconut cream pie.  Mmmmm.  Oh, and I made a cauliflower crust pizza.  Not pictured (obviously).

More in the way of friends cooking for me!  My former coworker, Louis, made this gazpacho and brought me in some.  Now, I'm not normally a gazpacho type o' gal but this was dynamite.  Just ignore the weird thing on the left of the photo--the star of the photo is the soup!

I love cold-pressed, raw juice!  I must say, juice is one of the best parts about having moved out here.  I can find juice all over (and do) and the flavors are so creative!  I have made a ritual of starting my day with a green juice, which makes my mind and body very happy (though it makes my pocketbook very sad--green juice ain't cheap!).

Cafe Gratitude is a California institution and rightfully so!  The food was incredible!  When I went I ordered I Am Warm-Hearted (that's how they do their menu--"I Am...").  I Am Warm-Hearted consists of grilled *organic* polenta, ratatouille and cashew ricotta, basil and Brazil nut parmesan.  Are you drooling yet?  I am.

What better way to end than with dessert?  Toasted coconut ice cream made with full-fat coconut milk.  Holy moly.  No.  Holy Gelato!

05 January 2014

I'm Back! (Plus a Recipe for the BEST Mushroom Soup Recipe...Ever)

Many moons ago I had this blog called "Delightfully Vegan."  I loved it.  I wrote recipes, talked general food stuff and shared goings-on in my life, as they related to healthy living.  Then I moved to California and Delightfully Vegan was not more...until now!

That's right, I'm back!

And to kickstart this revival, I'm offering the BEST mushroom soup recipe ever.  It's not me being conceited.  It's just a fact.  This is, hands down, the best [mushroom] soup my taste buds have ever experienced.  I'm sure that once you try out the recipe and taste it for yourself, you'll agree.

In the words of Julia Child, Bon Appetit!

Creamy Mushroom and Potato Soup

-  20 dried Cepes mushrooms, thinly torn 
-  5 small-medium Yukon hold potatoes, peeled and diced-
-  4 semi-large cloves garlic, minced
-  1/4 heaping c. freshly chopped parsley
-  6 c. boiling water
-  1.5 tsp. sea salt (or more, to taste)
-  1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
-  1/4 c. cashew cream 

1.  Sauté potatoes and mushrooms in oil over medium heat for three minutes. 
2.  Add boiling water, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.
3.  Let cook, uncovered, for one hour or until potatoes are tender. 
4. At the very end, stir in cashew cream and mix thoroughly to incorporate...that's it! 

31 March 2013

Farewell, For Now!

Well, my surprising news is...

I've moved to SAN FRANCISCO!

I've started a new blog to document my adventures here and I hope you all will continue to follow me.

The new address is:


See you all over there!

25 March 2013


Part of the great thing about doing IIN is that I am going to be exposed to SO many different dietary theories.  My knowledge of the wide range of dietary theories that exist will benefit not only my future clients but myself as well!  On this journey I will be encouraged to try different diets (kind of scary for a vegan--I'll see what's entailed!) and seek out my own information as well as the supplemental resources IIN provides me.

Part of what I'm really excited about, too, is being able to share my newfound information with you all, here on my blog!  I hope to share not only objective, factual "stuff," but also my own personal experiences and discoveries, as they relate to the different diets.

That said, let me refer now to the subject of my post:  Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is, very broadly, a way of living with respect to one's dominant "dosha" as well as to the daily and seasonal cycles.  The three "doshas" that every person has is Vata, Pitta and Kapha (more information can be found about each of the doshas online), however, one or two typically predominates within the individual person.  If a particular dosha is off balance, it can lead to a whole slew of maladies.  Similarly, if a person is entirely in balance, he or she will feel optimal!

Ayurveda teaches how to balance oneself as well as how best to live in a way that supports YOUR dominant dosha[s].  Ayurveda teaches which foods to consume and which should be avoided, based on one's dosha, as well as which types of physical activities and lifestyle habits one should adopt, based also on his/her dosha.

There are numerous quizzes online you can take to figure out your dosha[s], if you don't already know it.  From there, you'll know which foods best support you and what you should do to live the happiest, healthiest life you can for your body.

I'm a Vata, which means the types of foods that nourish me are cooked, warm foods with heavier textures and added oils and healthy fats and those I should reduce are foods like leafy greens, most beans, mushrooms, cruciferous vegetables, et cetera.

Hmmmm.  The wannabe high-raw vegan in me is wondering HOW cooked foods can be better than raw and how POSSIBLY reducing leafy greens can be better for me.  Sprouts are a no-no??!

Well, part of IIN's program is being experimental and open-minded to other dietary theories so I decided, yesterday and today, to more closely follow the guidelines Ayurveda advises for Vata types and you know what?  I felt better.  Like, a lot better.  I still adhered to my vegan diet but roasted, steamed or sauteed what I might otherwise have eaten raw.  Additionally, I avoided certain foods--even those I thought I liked--based on the recommendations Vatas were encouraged to reduce.

You know what?  I felt even better there too.

So while it's weird and foreign for me to think that high raw isn't necessarily better, it isn't!  I'm talking about me, personally.  I know people who THRIVE on a high-raw or 100-percent raw diet but that's not me.  From experimenting, I've found that my physical body responds much better to cooked vegetables and warm foods than it does uncooked (for the most part) and cold.

I'm proud of myself for discovering this and being okay with it.  When I start seeing clients it will be important to keep this open-mindedness and understanding in mind.  Basically, the most important thing for ANYONE is to eat more fruits and veggies and less crap.  Saute, boil, steam, roast, stir-fry, grill...do whatever...just eat 'em ;)

Ayurveda also discourages eating raw food with cooked as well as combining fresh food with leftovers.  Similarly, it discourages eating fruit with other foods.  These relate more to food combining guidelines, though.  That'll be another post.

P.S.  Here's a little fun fact!  The five foods that BEST support me are listed below.  I found this list from listening to my body.

1.  Mangoes!!!
2.  Beets, roasted
3.  Squash, roasted
4.  Dates
5.  Almonds

24 March 2013

A Present For Me!

I forgot that when I enrolled in IIN they'd be sending me a welcome package as a thank you and congratulations for entering the program--that is, until I opened my front door today!

Immediately, I knew what the package was and with great fervor, I tore open the cardboard and removed my surprise!

The Institute included such nice, thoughtful tokens of encouragement for me as I embark on this exciting journey.  They included a bumper sticker, lavender-scented heart pillow, a water bottle, a waterproof bag (I'm assuming for transporting groceries), a journal in which to write my daily goals, intentions, reflections and gratitudes, two DVDs with helpful cooking and grocery shopping tips, Joshua Rosenthal's book and an accompanying course workbook.

 I feel spoiled!

Also, I have some potentially HUGE news to share but you all must stay tuned...until Friday...