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"Garden Grill" Debuts Today at Hillcrest Farmers’ Market

Hey San Diego friends! Get your compassionate butts up early & head over to the Hillcrest Farmers’ Market & show your support for the grand opening of the Garden Grill

Here is a sneak peek at some of the menu items ~

Menu:

  • STONE IPA BEER BATTERED AVOCADO TACOS ~ A crispy Stone IPA beer battered avocado on a bed of fresh cilantro, purple and green cabbage. Topped with our house made creamy cilantro Pepita dressing and organic Sriracha. 
  • BREAKFAST TACOS ~ Scrambled organic tofu, plant-based sausage served on a bed of sauteed spinach. Topped with our house made creamy cheeze sauce.
  • RAW TACOS ~ Organic dino kale, walnut “meat”, fresh tomato salad, and nut-cho cheeze all wrapped in a romaine leaf. Gluten Free - Raw!
  • CHICK’N ‘N’ WAFFLES ~ Cinnamon spiced waffles, country fried chick’n, herbed mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy.
  • THE REUBEN ~ Two toasted artisan pumpernickel rye swirl deli style bread slices, smeared with our house made Russian dressing, our locally made raw organic sauerkraut and thinly sliced house marinated deli style Reuben meat topped with melted mozzarella style cheeze!
  • BEER BATTERED MUSHROOMS ~ Stone IPA beer battered crimini mushrooms along side our house made creamy dill sauce.
  • AND MORE!!!

All ingredients are 100% plant based Vegan. No MSG, no GMOs, no refined oils or sweeteners. We use local organic ingredients whenever possible.

Oh my heavenly yum! Be there. 

Massaged Kale Salad

There is a new post at Vegenista’s Kitchen! A light & summery kale salad with the most delicious, yet simple garlic-tahini-lemon dressing. When the weather heats up & the body starts to feel a bit sluggish & lethargic, nothing tonifies & detoxifies quite like a kale salad! This one is packed full of summer veggies straight from the local farms, massaged with a flavorful mix of roasted garlic olive oil, tahini, lemon juice & sea salt. Perfect for summer, summer, summertime…(best summer song ever!)

Get the recipe here!

Gingerberry Smoothie
There’s a new post over at Vegenista’s Kitchen,but I’ll be kind & share the recipe here too! 


"Gingerberry Smoothie" 
Serves 1

INGREDIENTS: 
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
¼ cup plain coconut yogurt
1 cup mixed summer berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries)
1 large handful of chopped kale
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
A few sprigs of mint
A drizzle of raw honey (or agave) for sweetness, if desired
INSTRUCTIONS:
Put all ingredients into a high speed blender & blend until smooth.



Enjoy!

Gingerberry Smoothie

There’s a new post over at Vegenista’s Kitchen,but I’ll be kind & share the recipe here too! 

"Gingerberry Smoothie" 
Serves 1
INGREDIENTS: 
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • ¼ cup plain coconut yogurt
  • 1 cup mixed summer berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries)
  • 1 large handful of chopped kale
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • A few sprigs of mint
  • A drizzle of raw honey (or agave) for sweetness, if desired
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Put all ingredients into a high speed blender & blend until smooth.

Enjoy!

"Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret" 

Hey San Diego Friends!  "COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret" is premiering this Tuesday July 15th at the Hillcrest Cinema & a few tickets are still available. Please join us in viewing this groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary that follows an intrepid filmmaker as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today, & investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it! This film is expected to be as eye-opening as "Blackfish" & as inspiring as "An Inconvenient Truth."

Tickets can be purchased here & be sure to stick around after the film for in-depth Q & A with the filmmakers. 

If you are not in SD, click here for screenings in your area. 

Hope to see you!

Health Nut Muffin | Lemon / Chia / Strawberry Jam Grammy’s Birchermuseli | Coconut Yogurt / Local berries / Oats Breakfast Panini | Gluten-Free Sourdough / Tempeh Bacon / Avocado / Basil Aioli / Roasted Bell Peppers / Savory Potato Hash / Wilted Greens Minty Sundae | Quinoa Brownies / Mint Chip Ice Cream / Raw Chocolate Sauce

Sunday Pop-up Vegan Brunch with Katie’s Healing Kitchen!

Holy Yum!!!! What a way to spend a Sunday ~ with good friends & delicious food at the Wine Vault & Bistro for Katie’s Healing Kitchen’s"Vegan Pop-up Brunch." 

Today, Katie took over this typically omnivorous restaurant & prepared an all out awesome vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, & refined sugar-free brunch! She delighted us with 4 courses of amazing eats, mimosas, fair trade coffee & more. Check out this menu: 

Sip ~

  • Morning Jolt | Fair Trade Coffee / Coconut Cream 
  • Superfood Green Tea | Goji Berry / Pomegranate
  • Citrus Mimosa | Champagne / Orange 

Eat ~

  • Health Nut Muffin | Lemon / Chia / Strawberry Jam 
  • Grammy’s Birchermuseli | Coconut Yogurt / Local berries / Oats
  • Breakfast Panini | Gluten-Free Sourdough / Tempeh Bacon / Avocado / Basil Aioli / Roasted Bell Peppers / Savory Potato Hash / Wilted Greens 
  • Minty Sundae | Quinoa Brownies / Mint Chip Ice Cream / Raw Chocolate Sauce

Yum! Right? The proof is in the pictures! And all of this deliciousness for only $30!

My favorite dish of the day? Hmmmm, it’s a tough call, but if I had to choose…I really loved the "Breakfast Panini" ~ some of my favorite things wrapped up in a sandwich! Contrary to popular belief, when grilled or toasted, gluten-free bread is not bad at all! Of course not all are created equal, so I asked Katie which brand she prefers. She uses Cook’s GF Sourdough Bread which you can find at the co-op if you’re local. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the "Minty Sundae" knocked my socks off, come on! Ice Cream for brunch? Don’t have to twist my arm. But honestly, in true Katie fashion, everything was fantastic!

So, if you are in San Diego & you have not been to a pop-up or cooking class with Katie you are missing out! Katie has an upcoming dinner pop-up on July 22nd that you do not want to miss. The theme "LONGEVITY." Who wants a bit more of that? I know I do!! Check out Katie’s lovely website for more information & to RSVP. And to learn more about Katie, be sure to read my extensive review of her Thanksgiving Cooking Class & her Superfood Breakfast Guest Post

Be sure to sign up for her mailing list & newsletter. Hope to see you at a future event!

Light & Fresh Summer Pasta

Welcome summer! Looking for a light meal that embodies the essence of the season? Check out my “recipe” for this light & fresh summer pasta that combines a mix of quinoa spaghetti & raw spiralized zucchini topped with a drizzle of roasted garlic olive oil, chopped tomato, fresh basil & a generous dusting of pepita “parmesan.” Delightful! Read the full post & get the recipe at Vegenista’s Kitchen.

Strongest Hearts Web Series

Hey there! Just a quick post to spread the word about an awesome Kickstarter campaign to help launch Strongest Hearts, a web series focused on vegan athletes hosted by Registered Dietitian  & my pal Matt Ruscigno of True Love Health. The goal of the series is to promote positive examples of veganism in action by showing the world you can be fit/healthy eating plant-based. Check out the video above!

What is the Strongest Hearts Series?

Filmmaker Sasha, & Registered Dietitian Matt produce high-quality, fun and educational videos with exemplary athletes. Rather than make exceptional claims about veganism, they let the athletes show what they are capable of on plant-based diets in a non-judgmental way. Veganism is extremely popular right now, & their videos as tools for people to share with their friends who doubt that one can eat plants & get strong. It’s activism in action!

Why the Kickstarter Campaign? 

Since their webseries has been DIY up until this point, they are doing a lot with fewer resources. With minimal funding & a punk-rock approach they’ve produced 11 free episodes. That means no hotel rooms when travelling, using personal or borrowed equipment, couch surfing, & spending personal cash. As true activists, Sasha & Matt make this work because they truly love what they do. But it does come at a cost. Traveling is expensive, making quality productions with only two people is challenging. They need assistants at shoots & assistance with web & graphic design, marketing & promotion. The two man team is getting pulled in too many directions & have realized they need more funding in order to continue.

What is in it for You?

Other than that intrinsic “feel good” moment when you know you’ve done something positive, there are some fantastic “rewards” available from stickers to BPA free water bottles, t-shirts & autographed books, to a private nutrition consultation with Matt.


So please take a moment to watch the video, check out the backer rewards & throw some green their way if you can! Veganism is definitely on the rise, but there still remain so many misconceptions about vegans being sickly, malnourished waifs, when the truth is so many athletes are finding that they truly thrive on a plant-based diet. We can be strong, fit, active & thriving. Time to show the world a new perspective, eh? Let’s get Strongest Hearts funded so they can begin to share their message with a wider audience! 

Kale Salad with Blueberry, Quinoa & Avocado

Good Morning! I have an absolutely delicious salad recipe over at Vegenista’s Kitchen!

This naturally sweet treat is full of nutrient dense superfoods - crunchy kale, sweet blueberries, creamy avocado, fluffy quinoa, & nutty almonds, with a fragrant dressing of fresh squeezed meyer lemon & tangerine juice, olive oil, lavender infused honey & cinnamon. It makes a refreshingly divine breakfast salad, but makes a spectacular lunch too!

Get the recipe here: http://vegenistaskitchen.com/kale-salad-with-blueberry-quinoa-avocado/

Vegan Dining in OC: Seabirds Kitchen

Hello there! Last month I finally made it up to Seabirds Kitchen in Orange County & OMG, if you are in the So Cal vicinity….GET OVER THERE NOW! 

Ever since I experienced my very first bite of a “Beer Battered Avocado Taco” from theSeabirds Truck at the Los Angeles Vegan Beer Fest a few years ago, I’ve been dying for more. Since that magical day, I’ve tried a few other’s attempts, but honestly nothing has yet to compare to Seabirds’ creamy, crispy, crunchy goodness. Sounds like an oxymoron, I know. How can it be creamy, yet crispy? You must try for yourself! Unfortunately for me, the Seabirds Truck was operating out of the OC, so when a craving hit, it’s wasn’t so convenient to get on the road & seek out the truck. And then, they, sadly, announced the truck’s retirement!

One of my favorite things about is that they source their fruits & vegetables from local organic farmers, so they offer a varying seasonal seasonal menu, with a focus on “farm to plate.” Oh, & did I mention that Seabirds is 100% vegan? Since it opened last summer, Seabirds Kitchen has been in the forefront of my mind as a must go-to, but even at a quick 1.5 hour drive away, I’ve had a hard time making time for a trip up there. So when I recently reconnected with a friend who is now living in Marina Del Rey, I suggested we meet up for a life update session over lunch at Seabirds. One look at the menu & she was in!

My lucky lunch date? The lovely Angela, health coach & blogger behind Nutritious Freedom. Angela & I worked together many years back during our respective make-up artist days. Angela left San Diego to pursue a career in NYC, & after a quick meet up in the Big Apple a few years ago, we’d lost touch. She recently relocated to the LA area & we reconnected through social media…this time our worlds colliding in a totally different forum – health, happiness, & the pursuit of wellness. It was so cool to see, after all these years, that we were on the same page when it came to nutrition & lifestyle. After getting very burned out in the make-up industry, Angela worked at New York’sInstitute for Integrative Nutrition, before moving back to the West Coast & launching her health coaching business. Seabirds was the perfect venue for sharing a healthy bite & catching up!

We began our meal by sharing a plate of “Burnt Brussels Sprouts” roasted & tossed with garlic, lime, & Dijon mustard. So delicious! It’s hard to go wrong with brussels sprouts, especially when roasted to a crisp! Upon my vehement recommendation, Angela ordered a “Beer Battered Avo Taco” a corn tortilla filled with fried avocado, seabirds sauce, crisp cabbage, red onion & lime. Simple flavors, but just as ridiculously yummy as I had remembered it to be (of course I had to sneak a bite, just to make sure!). Such a wonderful contrast of textures – creamy, crispy, rich, yet light, along with great crunch from the cabbage & zesty zip from lime. So good!

Deciding on an entree was not an easy. Do I order a couple of tried & true favorites, or go out on a limb & try something new? While everything on the menu sounded amazing, one entree bowl in particular caught my eye…the “Holy Smokes Bowl”… a hearty bowl filled with bbq jackfruit, sautéed greens, steamed cauliflower, pickled red onion, coconut bacon, Seabirds sauce & kentucky bbq sauce on a bed of brown rice.Oh, holy smokes, it was tasty! I was definitely intrigued by the bbq jackfruit, as it had been on my bucket list of unusual ingredients to try. I’ve heard it is the perfect vehicle for a flavorful sauce as it soaks it up like a sponge, & that its texture is similar to shredded beef or carnitas. I’ve never had either, so I cannot make a related comparison, but the texture was definitely tender & a bit stringy, &  I can see how this could be a wonderful vegan substitute for a variety of recipes – from tacos & enchiladas, to sliders, or a topping to a hearty bowl like this one, or a lighter salad. There were so many wonderful flavors & textures married in this dish – tender greens & cauliflower, crispy coconut bacon, piquant pickled onion zesty bbq jackfruit, plus more bbq FTW &  a generous drizzle of creamy cool “Seabirds Sauce” (hint, hint: vegenaise, cilantro, garlic, lime, jalapeño, salt & pepper, so a lithe bird told me!), & lets not forget the comforting bed of brown rice, which quite honestly I didn’t each much of. This bowl was generously portioned, full of flavor & super satisfying. I highly, highly recommend it!

Angela ordered the “Locals Bowl”, which I too was tempted to try, with brown rice, black beans, sauteed greens, pickled red onion, ancho salsa, fresh cilantro, tortilla strips, & chipotle sour cream. My photo did not do it justice, so it’s not pictured, but I can assure you that it looked as good as Angela said it tast have a feeling that its hard to go wrong with anything on the Seabirds menu!

I am so happy that I finally made it up to Seabirds Kitchen. This place is where it’s at! Casual, quaint, & comfortable with farm fresh vegan cuisine that will knock your wool-free socks off!  We need more places like this in San Diego? Oooh, writing this post has me craving MORE! I must return, ASAP. So if you are in the LA/OC area, do me a favor, & visit to your hearts content. I certainly would if it was closer to me.

And those of you headed up to LAVBF this weekend enjoy, stay cool, & don’t drink & drive! Be sure to head immediately to the Seabirds Truck to get your avo taco on! I promise you won’t regret it!