San Diego: Adventures in Veggies

A good trip home came with a good sampling of vegetarian eating (always enjoyed with family and friends, thought I’d take a moment to relish some beast free high lights.

Monday: Stopped by the full vegan deli at Oceanbeach People’s Food COOP for a post dental cleaning lunch with the madre (no cavities BTW, considering I work of a chocolate confectioner I think this warrants a pat on the back). Mom and I both got a bowl of simple and stellar coconut beet soup with a sampling of other rawfferings on the side. The Soomi Seaweed Salad is a nice salty sweet option, while a heap of the macadamia nut cream drenched Zucchini Alfredo left my fat tooth well satisfied. Mother Debbie opted for a spinach salad and a square of lentil loaf.

obpdelibakery2

OB People’s = Clean, Simple, Satiating

That evening I stopped by my raw alma mater Peace Pies to catch Dave the Raw Food Trucker describe his transformation and tout the power of liquid greens. I am being cynical (two hour talk, o gawd), but the guy did beat cancer and lose 200 lbs. Thankfully the Peace Pies friends were willing to chat in the kitchen and feed me kale chips, faRAWfels and chunks of mango curry wraps. When the talk finally wound up and dinner did happen I went right to my old fav.

mocktuna

Sunseed Mock Tuna Sando on milled flax onion bread. Dessert… chya. Cashew Cheese Cake w/ fudgy walnut date crust

peacepie

Tuesday: Made some simple birthday fare with the sis. Deadly roasted butternut w/ steamed broc & kale and a side of sibling bonding.

butternutskull

Wednesday: Met my Pops at a new local sourcing outfit called Seasons 52 (don’t know what the 52 is all about, I doubt there is 51 other ones around). I got a mixed green salad and the ‘Vegetarian Tastings’ (Roasted Pear & asparagas, steamed beets with cilantro salsa, corn tort taco, spear o’ butternut, quinoa cranberry salad, and cedar plank roasted tofu)

seasons52

It was good, but really just five things I make myself at home for a quick no frills dinner. Adventuresome for the veggie novice but for anyone off the meat wagon for more than a month, this was a plate of old hats…. ‘cept for the taco, that was fun.

My dad is a good source for a friendly reality check. As the conversation turned to diet he gave me some good advice.

Stop. Think. What is the worst that could happen. Your taco has some black beans, your roast pear has some sugar, what is the worse that could happen. Answer: a little constipation and a mild grogginess, i.e. not much. This sounds silly but for those with and unconformable amount of food anxiety it can be a day saver (as it was on Saturday when I found out a frittata slice I ate had milk and cheddar. Sh*t happens and so does dairy, no use crying over unspilt milk.

Thursday: Met up with long time tasty companion Leron for some cool chat and clean greens at a spot in Carmel Valley of all places. Urban Plates has an epic salad bar that leaves way to much room for creativity.

saladbar

I got the Raw Kale Salad but went 1/3 kale 2/3 hearts of romaine, nixed the mandarin oranges, subbed in some olives, had them hold the foccatia and throw a pasture hard boiler on instead. That prep cooks head spinning.

All star of this salad though is the raw tofu, which is far from the silken chunks of blah found at your local grocer. I don’t know where it comes from but melts in your mouth like a warm cube of subtle brie. I always forget to ask what local soybeanery is churning these magical curds. Urban Spoons has a lot goin’ on at the hot bar to, but remains one of the only spots I have found where salad for dinner isn’t a chilly bummer.

Friday: Back in the Oakland at 3pm work at 4pm, guess I gotta get Flacos for a hurracha, hold the beans, pile on the avo.

flacos

Good to be home… Happy Nomings


Veganism… Your Flavors are Still King

Friend and fellow Lacy Davis has wonderfully motivation life/recipe blog I often visit. A post of hers enlightened me to my own recent neglect my strongest dietary foundation, Veganism.

veg

With the novelty of the pastured egg (chickens, ducks, and quails O my) available for culinary play, I have been unfair to my friend fauna. Aside from eggs I am eat no animal products. Taking energy percentage into account diet is 85% vegan… I mean I eat my weights worth of veggies per week. I did eat 6 eggs today (blame the livkly lifting of a crossfit total max out morning) but…

I also ate:
Cup o quinoa
½ a spaghetti squash
1 turnip
1 beat
1 avocado
½ a red onion
4 cups spinach
½ a block of tofu
handful of roasted chestnuts (Last o the season… sigh*)
hempseeds, tahini, pumpkin seed, flax, garlic, and what ever the hell else I’m forgetting

Eggs my be in the lime light, but plants clearly rule the day.

That said here is an awesome recipe I make some variation weekly… or daily.

NOT NACHO CHEESE: A savory satisfying goop to spread generously on all things edible

Whip it good

Whip it good

Ingredients:
½ cup steamed or boiled carrots (beets work well to)
1 tb yellow or white miso paste
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
½ cup stock, or H2O from boiled/steamed carrots
*stock = nutrients and flavor
*sweeter cheese = ½ cup cocomilk and one date… or some honey

Steps:

Steam or boil carrots (or beets) til the achieve a slightly al dente softness, toss them in your blender or food processor and let it ride. Once its about the consistency of humus your good to dip, top, dress, and wrap this versatile cream.

This recipe is demand customization and variation, so cayenne it up, zap it with some ginger, seek in some greens, or add some silken tofu for a protein boost.

P.S. It’s pretty bomb in an omelet


Some Sweet Action

For anyone out there we doesn’t want Medicare to bankrupt under the weight of add sweet stuff here is an easy doable effort to support.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has announced that 10 health departments, 20 health and consumer organizations, and 41 health professionals (including my idol, Marion Nestle) have signed a letter in support of its petition asking the FDA to:

1) Initiate a rule-making proceeding to ensure that the content of sucrose and HFCS in beverages is limited to safe levels consistent with authoritative recommendations.

2) Revise the “Sugars” line on Nutrition Facts labels to address “added sugars.”

3) Set targets for lower levels of added sugars in other foods that provide significant amounts.

4) Conduct a public education campaign to encourage consumers to consume less added sugars.

O' Marion, your so dreamy

O’ Marion, your so dreamy

This is not an expression of a nanny state, this is the democratic process gosh darn it. The number of persons taking a vested interest in their health is growing as type 2 diabetes and obesity are finally starting to subside, woohoo. The tools to thrive are rights, as is the ability to make an educated decision to pick our poison.


Seven Sweet Health KaPows! of of CaCaos!

cacao

I have had a few heavier posts this month, sorry to hit you with another. It is time to get serious, so sit down take a deep breath, gather yourself for a moment. I am concerned about your chocolate consumption, I feel that you are not eating enough high grade cacao.

SEVEN CHOCOLATE HABIT JUSTIFICATIONS:

1) One of the highest antioxidant foods ever tested, BOOM!

2) High in Phethylamine and Anandamide: Know as the “love” and “bliss” chemicals respectively a little morsel of the darky dark is a quick cure for the blues and a content companion to any romantic endeavor

3) Flavanols in cacao decrease dementia and boost memory: Cacao is brain food. By increasing neural blood flow it effectively enhances the minds processing power. Basically it’s brain oil.

4) Flavanols in cacao prevent blood clots: Any of the men in your fam wrestling with heart disease, its what kills my kin. Give them some 70% or darker, it is pretty much heart medicine.

5) One ounce = 200% of your daily Iron requirements (of which 1/3 of Americans are deficient.

6) Cough Medicine?! Participants in a British study consuming a daily dose of dark chocolate where found to cough during illness. Likely due to theobromine levels in cacao. I don’t know why beyond that, I just know its tastier than codeine

7) And finally, sweet sweet serotonin,

I happen to be charged with farmers market sales for a cacao outfit known as Coracao Confection’s. I encourage all bay area folks to stop by the Tuesday and Saturday Berkeley Farmer’s Markets, and the Sunday Marin civic center market if you are feeling a journey. Come to the Coracao and get yourself a free junk of true soul food.

Raw Fudge Truffle, Almond Heart, Hazelnut Ganache, and the Espresso Eye Opener

Raw Fudge Truffle, Almond Heart, Hazelnut Ganache, and the Espresso Eye Opener

Come on get happy, huck the Heresy’s, nix the Nestle, ditch the Dove and get yourself a brick of some quietly fair trade dark. You ARE worth it.

*UPDATE*

A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine tracked 1000 adults and found that the people who ate chocolate more regularly had a lower BMI (Body Mass Index). On average the people who enjoyed chocolate regularly weighed 5lbs less than those who didn’t.

Here are some possible reasons why, according to David Katz, MD, MPH, director of the Yale Prevention Research Center:

1) Dark chocolate is bittersweet. Whereas sweet stimulates appetite, bitter actually suppresses it. So the benefit comes from eating dark chocolate in particular.

2) It’s high in fat, a quality that slows digestion and helps curb appetite longer.

3) Chocolate also has a little caffeine. Caffeine revs metabolism, increasing the number of calories the body burns at rest.