Ooh Baby It’s Hot Outside

Watermelon Juice!

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With temperatures soaring to the high 90s by the beach and into the 100s inland, Angelino’s are feeling the heat. Make sure to stay hydrated with plenty of cold WATER. If you are looking for something refreshing as well as tasty I suggest making this simple and tasty drink. As well as being completely natural and fat free, it is full of vitamin A, Vitamin C and Potassium.

1/2 Ice Cold Water Melon
3-4 Ice Cubes
4 Leafs of Mint
1/2 Lime

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Blend Watermelon, lime juice and ice until frothy and smooth.
Add Mint to garnish.
Serve over ice with a straw and enjoy!!!

Top 10 Vegetarian Friendly Lunch Spots in LA

I am a big fan of cooking at home, but when time requires something quicker or I schedule a lunch date, I often head to one of the following establishments for a healthy and delicious meal. Each restaurant listed has amazing vegetarian and vegan options. Click on the Restaurant title to visit their website.

10. Veggie Grill– Vegan fast food. Beware the burger and fries…. they are still burger and fries even if they are vegan. Go for one of their delicious chopped salads or soups. My favorite salad is the All Hail Kale; delicious, chopped and massaged kale with pecans, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage with a tasty fruity vinaigrette  either served alone or with blackened tempeh or “chicken.” If you must indulge the Kickin Buffalo Wings are amazing and served with a sauce so similar to ranch it is scary. Check their website for locations, there are new ones opening all the time. $$

9. Native Foods– Tasty vegan fast food. Try their Rockin Moroccan Bowl if you have a hearty appetite or go for the Ensalada Azteca for a light, crisp salad, I often add tempeh or fake chicken for a protein boost! Their Lavendar lemonade is divine. $$

8. True Food Kitchen– Located in the Santa Monica Place mall, this place has a diverse and delicious menu. Everything is very good and mostly very healthy! My go-to dish here is the Teriyaki Brown Rice Bowl with Avocado and Tofu with Sambal on the side. The presentation and preparation is perfectly executed. It is a fine place for dinner as well.  Other highlights on the menu are the Inside Out Quinoa Burger, Shitake and Tofu Lettuce Cups, Edamame Dumplings, Carrot Lemonade and the Farmer’s Market Salad! $$$

7. Whole Foods– Delicious deli and salad bar, filled with organic produce, soups and cuisine from all around the world; fresh sushi, tacos, sandwiches, pho, raw foods, as well as pre made salads to die for! Some of my favorites are the lemon cranberry quinoa salad, the potato leek soup, sesame tofu sticks, raw kale salad etc! Check the website for locations… my favorite one is on Rosecrans and PCH in El Segundo, it is spacious, has ample parking and is rarely crowded. $-$$$

6. GTA (Gjelina Take Away)– Modern farm to table counter spot on Abott Kinney in Venice. Delicious pre made salads that change daily, some of my favorites have been sliced hard boiled eggs with asparagus and tarragon, panzanella, and a delicious faro, mint and feta salad. Their dishes depend on what’s in season. There are sandwiches and amazing pizzas available as well. The main restaurant Gjelina is right next door and is my favorite restaurant!!  The only downside to GTA is there is no where to sit, but old milk crates. $$

5. Playa’s Pita– The most delicious Lebanese Cuisine in town! They have the most amazing vegan combo plate with the best baba ganoush, tabouli and garlic sauce you will ever taste! Their falafel is light and tasty on the inside and crispy on the outside. The fattoush salad is perfectly dressed and their swiss chard and lentil soup is among my favorite soups in the city! I hear that the meat dishes are phenomenal. Five star restaurant in terms of flavor and friendliness! $$

4. Tender Greens– Delicious freshly made assembly line style eatery. Fresh salads are tossed to perfection and served up with your choice of protein, soup, grilled vegetables or fluffy mashed potatoes. I recommend the kale salad with grilled vegetables or the happy vegan, a medley of vegan salads; green hummus, tabouli, barley and faro. It is conveniently located next to my gym so I often hit up “TGs” after my workout! Check out their website for a location near you. $$

3. Senor G’s– My Favorite local joint in Playa Del Rey. Serves up fresh, healthy Mexican food, juices and smoothies! I love these guys. The service is amazing, the food is always consistent and delicious and they serve breakfast until 4pm everyday. The guys will make you anything you want and will work with whatever diet you’re on. My regular order is one guacamole taco and a side of black beans with a fresh young coconut to drink! One taco is enough food to fill you up! Plus their salsa is my absolute favorite so indulge in a few chips! The grilled veggie taco or grilled veggie salad are also great. The veggies are fresh and tasty and not overcooked! For breakfast my new favorite thing has been the breakfast Ole with egg whites and black beans and guacamole instead of rice!!! If you’re a meat eater, I hear the Martin’s Kickin Chicken taco is the way to go. Trust me, once you go G’s you’ll keep coming back! $

2. Mendocino Farms– Amazingly crafted sandwiches. My meat eating man’s favorite sandwich in LA is their Vegan Banh Mi! Delicious marinated tofu, crispy julian cut carrots and cucumbers, cilantro, sticky chili sauce, jalapeños, the works! This sandwich is to die for. It is usually served on toasted ciabatta however I opt for the gluten free option from local GF Rising Hearts Bakery. The side salads and soups are delicious as well! Don’t miss the Wheat Berry, Kale and Tofu salad or the curried couscous. There are many delicious sandwiches and wraps at Mendocino, I suggest checking out their website and choosing which ones appeal to your taste buds!!

1. Green Peas– A new discovery! The perfect complete lunch. Everything they have, they offer to make vegan or vegetarian. My favorite salad is the Avocado Kale salad, tossed with a lemon vinaigrette and served with soup and whole wheat pita. The jalapeño “chicken” sandwich is a delightful treat served on pretzel bread with soup, salad or potatoes. The preparation is simple, but well crafted and always very fresh and so tasty. The quesadillas are amazing… stuffed with vegetables and served with salsa. Their mint lemonade is delicious. GO HERE! It’s on Sepulveda just south of Culver! It so tasty and the name is so cute! $$

 

ENJOY!!

Yammy Baby Kale Salad with Herb Honey Dijon Dressing

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You will need:

1 large yam (Peeled, Cubed, and Roasted with Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper and Rosemary- baked for 20-30 mins at 400 til soft)
2-3 Cups Baby Kale
1/2 Avocado- Cubed
1/4 dried cranberries
1/4 chopped Sweet/spicy pecans fom TJs (I use these in so many of my salads, because they add the perfect punch!)
Shaved Parmesan To taste

Massage Baby Kale with Dressing and pinch of salt and pepper. Toss together remaining ingredients.

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Serve with soup or cheese and crackers and enjoy!!

For the Dressing (Not sure about exact measurements but try the following)
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Honey
Salt and Pepper
1 Teaspoon Fresh Rosemary- finely chopped
1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme- finely chopped

Whisk Together and add olive oil or balsamic vinegar as needed to balance acidity. (I usually put mine in a mason jar and shake it up… great for storage and limited mess).

Eazy Peazy Banana Berry Smoothie

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Here is the recipe for a simple and delicious smoothie, full of protein, anti oxidant rich berries and potassium from bananas:

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1 Organic Banana

1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt

1 Cup Mixed Frozen Berries

2 Cups Coconut Water

Feel free to add frozen pineapple or mango, your favorite protein powder, or flax seeds to spice it up.

Blend until smooth and Enjoy!!!

I recommend finding some fun straws to make your smoothie fun!

 

Spicy Chili and Gluten Free Cornbread

Caliente Chili!

Delicious recipe for a hearty, spicy three bean Chili flush with vegetarian protein! I made up this recipe with the help of fellow vegetarian, my mom!

2 T Olive Oil

1 Yellow Onion, Chopped

1 Carrot, Chopped

2 Celery Stalks, Chopped

2 Bell Peppers (Red, Yellow or Orange), Chopped

3 Cloves of Garlic, minced

1 (28 oz) Can Diced Tomato

2 ears of Corn-Kernels only (or 1 can of corn)

2 Cans Black Beans

1 Can Kidney Beans

1 Can White Beans

1 T dried Oregano

1 T Chipotle Peppers in Adobo, chopped (Add more to add Heat)

2 t Ground Cumin

2 T Barbecue Sauce

1 Shot Espresso

1 1/2 T Chili Powder

1  T Salt

Heat Olive Oil in a Large pot. Sautee onion, celery, carrot, bell peppers, and garlic until soft. Add Canned tomatoes, spices, beans and corn. Simmer for at least 1 hour, chili should thicken and ingredients should cook down. Stir occasionally. Add more spice and seasoning to taste.  Serve with Pamela’s Gluten Free Cornbread (mix can be found at Whole Foods). ENJOY!!!

 

Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

My friend Jake is an excellent cook, fortunately for me he is always very considerate of my vegetarian lifestyle. This summer his specialty has been Ground Chicken Lettuce Wraps, but when I came over for dinner he made a vegetarian version, Mushroom Lettuce Wraps! So delicious and full of flavor; I had to recreate them at home. Now they have become a favorite in my home as well!

Mushrooms are a perfect substitute for meat, because they are very susceptible to flavoring and when you cook them down they have a hardy, almost meaty texture.

Remember that when cooking mushrooms, it is important to wash them well, and that the mushrooms cook down a lot! Meaning that 2 baskets of mushrooms can only feed about 2 people.

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Mushroom Lettuce Wraps A La Chef Jake 

2 Baskets of Mushrooms (Cremini, button, portabello, whatever’s clever)-finely chopped

1/4 Inch of Ginger- Grated

1 T Coconut Oil

1 Clove Garlic-minced

1/2 red or white onion- finely chopped

1/2 Can water chestnuts-chopped (Optional)

1 T Sambal (Asian Garlic-Chili sauce) (to taste, depending on desired heat level)

1 Head of Butter Lettuce

1/4 Chopped Cilantro- for condiment

1 Sliced Avocado- for condiment

In Large Skillet, Sautee Onion and garlic in 1/2 T of Coconut Oil, once soft(About 10 minutes) add rest of Coconut oil, ginger, mushrooms, water chestnuts. Cook for about 15-20 minutes until all moisture is out of mushrooms, add Sambal to taste. Let Cool, Assemble as if making a taco, where the butter lettuce leaf is the tortilla and the mushroom the filling! Add Avocado and cilantro for extra flavor.  Enjoy!