Happy Almost Superbowl Sunday

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Isn't this pic hilarious?  Its creative and super disgusting.  It gets me excited for the Superbowl though.  I am excited to see our team play yet again!  I love to check all my blogs like elana's pantry and Dinner: A Love Story and see what they're cooking up for apps and game time snacks.  This one from Giada looks like recipe I want to try.  Also sesame Buffalo wings from my Nourishing Traditions cookbook that I unearthed last night.  More on that later.  

What are you cooking up/eating/bringing to a party this year?

Chew on this...

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Chew celebrates and explores life through food, with a group of dynamic, engaging, fun, relatable co-hosts who serve up everything to do with food -- from cooking and home entertaining to food trends, restaurants, holidays and more -- all aimed at making life better, fuller and more fun.  It is broadcast live, weekdays, from New York City.

The Chew stars Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. 

This show is like Opera for food enthusiasts.  I s you not it is brillz to the 9's and so fun to watch.  Daphne Oz  is so cute and gives her point of view from being a mostly 80% vegan who allows herself delicious meat and cheese and other foods on occasion, which is basically how we all should be eating.  She wrote a cookbook called the dormroom diet and it helped her shed 30lbs permanently.  Amaze!  And just look at this bit I pulled from the ABC website on Clinton Kelly;

"Kelly is also the author of Freakin’ Fabulous: How to Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, Decorate and Generally Be Better Than Everyone Else and Oh No She Didn’t: The Top 100 Style Mistakes Women Make and How to Avoid Them."

 Hilar.  I want both those books ASAP.  So the show is loaded with fun recipes, tips, makeovers with food, food games, entertaining, etc.  It so entertaining and I find myself glued to every word.  Please tune in if your as nuts about cooking and lifestyle shows as I am.

What I bought Wednesday. Sunday Edition.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I went a little nuts today. It was my first time at Penczey's spices and I had no idea a spice store could be so exciting. It all started in the C section and I just loaded my basket with jars of spices I never even knew I needed. I went in a crazed scurry from one department to the next loading up on star anise, ground Guatemalan cardamom, "extra fancy" Vietnemese Chinese cinnamon…they have these jars out so you can take a whiff. I was blown away by that cinnamon. It smelled like Christmas in Europe. I wanted everything and more but luckily hubs and child were in tow so I had to cut the spree short. I added just a pinch of the ginger and cinnamon to my lassi-esque smoothie with coconut milk and mango. Delish. I could drink it every day.

Lassi-ish Shake
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4-1/2 cup frozen mango chucks
a pinch or shake of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg
1/2 a banana
1/2 cup pumpkin if you're feelin it!
1 T Flax seed oil

Blend and add water as necessary to get it to the consistancy you want.  

KIND OF replaces my chai latte/frappuccino desires

Steak less steak night

Saturday, January 28, 2012
Pix courtesy of Google images

The hubs and I like to stick to my parents' weekly food regimens and have been getting in the habit of Monday pasta night (because it's the easiest way of observing meatless Monday) and Friday night steak night if we do happen to skip our regular date at our "club" for appetizers and drinks with our little guy.

I was missing the ritual of cheese and wine and trying to think of the best way to eat a decadent dinner without meat, cheese and alcohol. Steakhouse sides! Mushrooms sautéed in lots of butter, flavorful sautéed greens with tomato and garlic, and of course a giant baked potato. Sounds like a cleanse to me!

Ok I had 2 sips of wine.

Channeling my inner Channa

Chana Dhansak
Recipe courtesy Nadia G

TOTAL TIME:1 hr 45 min
Prep:15 min
Inactive Prep:30 min
Cook:1 hr 0 min
YIELD:4 to 6 servings

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter (or buy at Whole Foods)
3 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon cardamon seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 small yellow onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Canola oil, for deep-frying onions
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 fresh red chile pepper, minced
1 knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 red onion, diced
4 cups organic vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
3/4 cup dried split red lentils
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
3 cups canned chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Brown rice, naan or whole wheat pita, for serving

To make the ghee: Simmer the butter in a saucepan on medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not stir, but delicately skim off any froth. When there are golden brown protein bits at the bottom and the butter begins to turn an amber color, take off the heat immediately. Let cool for 30 minutes, and then strain through cheesecloth into a jar.

To make the dhansak: Heat a dry pan over medium-high heat. Throw in the spices and toast for a few minutes, stirring continuously, until fragrant. Once toasted, grind the spices in a mortar and pestle, or use a coffee grinder.

To make the fried onions: Heat some canola oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and deep-fry until dark and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

To make the curry: Heat the ghee in a saucepan over medium heat. Throw in the garlic, chiles and ginger, and saute until the garlic is golden, about 1 minute. Add the red onions and saute until they have some crispy, caramelized edges, about 12 minutes. Add the ground dhansak spice mix, stir and saute for 1 more minute. Deglaze the saucepan with the stock. Add the tamarind paste, lentils and sweet potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the garlic and ginger pieces, add the chickpeas, cilantro and salt and heat through for 5 minutes.

Spoon the curry into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with cilantro and top with the fried onion slices. Serve with brown rice, naan or whole wheat pita.

This cleanse hasn't been easy and it hasn't been fun. But...

Yesterday morning I woke up at 5am, wide awake and sprang out of bed. I felt like I had that chatty, coffee buzz energy while walking with my friend. When I went shopping at Whole Foods that afternoon I felt crisp and sharp, like I was looking at the world through HD glasses. The oranges looked orangier, I swear. I even cooked up this Channa Dhansak dish for brunch instead of plopping down for another taped episode of Gossip Girl. Let me tell you Indian fare is the way to go if you are looking for comfort in vegetarian food, and in very little to work with. Their combinations of warming spices with ghee (clarified butter) and root veggies is super satisfying when you're subjected to a life of salad and freezing cold smoothies.

I saw this dish being prepared by Nadia G on the Bitchin Kitchen and it took my breath away I didn't fry the onions but it was equally delish and got me through the mid morning and afternoon until yet another detox shake.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

I thought it would be nice to break up all the detox talk with some fattening images of steak and Hollywood restaurants.  We went to Boa last Friday with hub's sister and mother and had a grand time.  We got a phenomenal booth, saw a star or 2 and I had a delicious martini with a new fave gin, Oxley.  I thought we were sitting next to River Cuomo, the lead singer of Weezer, but it turns out it was just a look-alike.  Boooo.  I had a large hunk of bone-in petite rib eye and loads of sides; sauteed wild mushrooms, baked potato, beet greens with tomato confit, truffled mac n cheese.  Dreamy, just dreamy.  We brought I new wine with us to drink with the dinner and it was amazing. I will think about this and it will get me through this cleanse...

Cleansing brunch

This is pretty much what my breakfast has looked like these past 5 mornings.  Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, banana, SP Complete Detox shake Mix and Whole Food Fiber powder.  I'm actually liking them and getting used to having a smoothie for breakfast instead of an egg or a frozen gluten free waffle because its easy, healthy, and I can sip it through a straw as I chase the little one around in the morning.  I don't have to think about it, I just throw it all in the blender on autopilot. 

This one in particular has acai in it which is such a treat, because its so super sweet and almost milky in consistency that it makes you think you are having something decadent.  But alas, you're not.  I really hope I can last longer than one week on this cleanse but I don't know.  The cravings and sluggishness are supposed to be over today and I won't up in a bad mood, all I see is people with Starbuck's cups, and I'm dreaming of pancakes and oats.  Maybe I'm not built to cleanse.

Detox day 3

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day 1 was not fun. Day 2 even less. Today was ok, I just feel bored and boring. I ate a plate of lettuce tonight for dinner at Rubio's tacos while my pregnant friends mowed burritos and chips. My cravings aren't to bad but food is kind of my life so I feel so lacking. Hopefully that "I feel great, I don't even NEED alcohol, coffee or sugar" thing will happen to me soon. Why did I do this again? Oh yeah, health. Please detox soon miss body, so I don't have to keep eating this for dinner...


1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup lentils
1 1/2 t turmeric
1T ghee
1T mustard seeds
1T cumin seeds

Melt ghee in a pan and add spices. Fry until seeds start to pop. Add to rice and lentils in a rice cooker or pan and add enough water to over by one inch. Bring to a boil and simmer for 40 minutes or follow rice cooker instructions.

Photos from google images

Shameless Friend Promotion

Monday, January 23, 2012

My friend David Ready produced this film and it premiers tonight!  I am so excited I almost forgot I can't drink...or eat.  I am headed to the premier this evening and it is my first premier experience.  I hope it makes lots of $$$!  Go Dave!

Day 1

Sunday, January 22, 2012
"Red and Green" brown rice with fresh avo

This was my first substantial meal on my first day of the Standard Process liver cleanse.  You can look it up here if you a researching cleanses and want to do one.  My nutritionist tells me our liver holds a lot of toxins and can back up everything in your system, giving you stuffy, allergy-like symptoms and making you sluggish, gassy, constipated, etc, etc.  That fun stuff.  So I am sworn to nothing but fruits, veggies, lentils, brown and wild rice for the next 21 days.  Scary, but I'm excited to experience that "I haven't felt this good in 20 years" thing.  I REALLY missed my caffeine today, but I'll be patient and wait for that natural high to kick in.  Please hurry. 

This dish was quite good and I intend to make it even after the cleanse unless I eat it every day and want to throw it against the wall once I can eat normal food.  You make a pesto from basil and sundried tomatoes, then mix it up with brown rice, lemon and oil.  I used the leftover oil from the bottom of the sundried tom jar because it has so much dang flavor.

Dinner was brussel sprouts and a baked dish with tomato, zucchini and onion slices with ghee and some leftover rice.  I didn't include a photo because it looked so...boring.  I'm sure I'll be getting a lot more creative as the week goes on.  Until tomorrow!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

I am doing the 21 day liver cleanse starting tomorrow and I'm really nervous as I've been eating trader joes microwaveable s'mores and tortilla chips all week. No time like the present eh? Please wish me luck as I've never been on one longer than a week. Stay tuned for recipes and progress!

Perfect snack

Sorry I didn't post yesterday. I will be posting twice today to make up for it.

I am a banana and peanut butter eating fool. Throw a waffle into the mix and it's all over. I stole some of Dax's Van's mini gluten free waffles and threw them in the toaster just to lightly toast them. Then PB, a coin of banana and voila. The perfect snack.

This is my only Post

Thursday, January 19, 2012
I'm tired and going na-na.  I forgot to post today but this still counts as a post so I will say that there will be more exciting food posts tomorrow.  Stay tuned! xoxox...

Images of Ojai

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Crazy instagram-altered pic of Ojai palms
Our friend at the pool
Romaine, deconstructed
Carpaccio with crunchy salt and microgreens
Tasting at the Casa Barranca organic tasting room
My dinner outfit.  Doesn't it look like a 70's polaroid?

We were Ojai Valley Inn virgins.  Now we're not.  We spent the most relaxing, peaceful, enjoyable, mature date night out at this quaint little inn last night and had such a grand time.  The service was phenom, the property was absolutely gorgeous and serene.  We saw 2 bird friends while there; a falcon and a large gray pelican by the pool, who kept us company.  It was empty!  We felt like the only people at the resort.  For dinner at Marvilla we had a deconstructed caesar salad (i love) and carpaccio to start.  I had the Halibut with parsnip puree (a new fave) and hubs had the juicy pork chop with shredded brussels.  Then we curled up in bed and watched tv, a guilty pleasure that I only allow the both of us while in hotels.  I'm so zen.

"Are you not entertained?" Gladiator Oatmeal

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

OMG is really all I have to say.  This oatmeal is beyond my new fave.  I read about the recipe in Whole Living and immediately had to try it.  Daphne Ozz, daughter of Dr Oz and host of a show called The Chew created it, and it is brillz beyond brillz.  It is savory and sweet with sauteed rosemary, shallots, tofu canadian bacon (or real organic stuff if you choose.  She is vegan) and dates!  Really?  Who comes up with this stuff?  I am totally in love.  So satisfying and delish.  make a vat and ring in a healthy 2012.  Do it for YOU.

Sugar-free and Xylitol-filled

Monday, January 16, 2012

NOW my big diet change is trying to focus away from sugar.  I am going on a cleanse in about 10 days and need to prepare myself for all fruits and veggies, all the time.  I tend to slip into candida symptoms so I need to cool it with the sugar.  Its addictive to me anyway, the more I eat the more I want more.  And the more processed the better.  I am not a huge fan of stevia because it tastes chemical-y to me even though its "all natural"  I am a fan of xylitol in some things, although I don't care for the "menthol" sensation.  I haven't tried erythritol because it sounds like a geriatric pharmaceutical.  But I'm open to it.  I love this recipe for banana date walnut muffins on elana's pantry.  Its great and you can hardly detect the sugar-freeness of it all.  I've dusted off my grain free cookbooks and i'm diving in.  Wish me luck.
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