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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Golden Cherry Tomato Spicy Arrabiata Pasta

I am in Cali, where the farmers market is booming with an abundant variety of amazing tomatoes. And, because of that, I always always seem to buy more than I can eat cause they all look so beautiful!!! So, if I don’t eat my luscious ripe tomatoes right away, I put them in the fridge to stay fresh but…ummmm…note to self: don’t forget about them!!! Huh. I know. My beautiful boxes of ripe golden red cherry tomatoes got pushed to the back of the fridge where I couldn’t see them clearly. Oh and I also found a bag of hot red chili’s from the farmer market too…hmmm….what to make…what to make…ohhhh, I know… a spicy Arrabiata Pasta sauce!!!!

Since coming back to the states from my Italian food adventures, I have been completely inspired to cook many incredible Italian dishes I experienced. Ahem…let me be specific…my newfound love for PASTA!!! Whole grain pasta, that is. I made the homemade pasta we learned at The Awaiting Table cooking school but it didn’t come out as perfectly as it did when we made it there, in Italy. Maybe it has something to do the all those wonderful minerals in the water…who knows…hopefully one of these days I will perfect it. It’s not that mine tasted bad, it’s just that it came out a bit thicker and chewier…in the meantime I am joyfully exploring the world of organic dry Italian pasta. Right now, I’m diggin’ Rustichella d’Abruzzo rigate di farro. It’s made from 100% farro flour, which is an unhybridized form of wheat that closely resembles spelt so any of you wheat sensitive peeps should find this ancient grain A-OK.

It’s a glorious end of summer kind of day with that wee bit of crispness of Fall in the gentle breeze, perfecto for an outdoor Italian pasta lunch! Yes, I was thinking the same thing; a special “friend” and some Italian wine is a must too! Either way, enjoy yaself!!! Ciao ciao….


1 box of dried penne pasta or any fresh pasta will do

2 boxes of golden and red cherry tomatoes, halved

½ red onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 fresh red chili pepper, halved, seeded and chopped (leave some seeds if you want more heat!)

good Italian olive oil

1/3 cup black or green olives, pitted and halved

½ cup dried tomatoes

1 tsp sea salt or more to taste

1 TB smoked dulse flakes

½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Pine nuts to sprinkle on each serving as garnish

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese or your choice of a vegan alternative

1. Make pasta as instructed on box.
2. In a medium sauce on medium heat pan add about 1TB of olive oil.
3. When hot add diced onions, garlic and red chili if using and dash of sea salt. (I like a lot of heat from the chili but if you don’t, by all means, don’t use any chili peppers or if you just want a little, only add a dash of dried red pepper flakes. Your choice.)
4. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
5. Add tomatoes and dried tomatoes and stir until combined.
6. Cover and put on low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes or until tomatoes are fully broken down.
7. In a large bowl add about 4 TB of olive oil, chopped parsley, 1 tsp sea salt and olives.
8. Stir to combine and add your reserved fresh tomatoes.
9. When pasta is down add to the bowl and stir in dulse and combine.
10. Then, when sauce is done add some sauce and combine being sure to add more sauce on top of individual bowls with cheese and pine nut.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rustic Fall Garden Vegetable Soup with Pistou (fancy way of saying basil pesto)

I woke up this crisp September Sunday morning with the feeling of Fall. A slight chill in the air. Mist along the west coast. Mmmmm. I LOVE these morning’s. Especially here in Cali, where the weather of the season’s seem to always blend together. Finally, a change! YAY! Gonna embrace this new day in all it’s glory. Enjoy it while it lasts. Stay cozy for as long as I can. And that means, makin’ one of my most beloved dishes…SOUP! Woooooooo hooooooo. Yes, I am really THAT excited to make some yummy homemade soup! And, yes, I am the type of gal that fantasizes about makin’ it in the last long hot days of summer…just sayin’…

Soooooooo stay in your warm comfy PJ’s, put on some holiday music. I know it’s very early in the season for some holiday cheer but, I ain’t gonna lie, I’ve been know to rock out in the kitchen to those fab festive jams while makin’ me soup as soon as it gets chilly outside…:)...Oh and be sure to call some friends and invite them over for a delish homemade Sunday Soup Supper! Just ask them to bring a baguette and a bottle of wine and you got a wonderful din din…

Oh and I’m also gonna make a stock. It adds more flavor to your soup and is very easy to do. You can always tailor your homemade stock to enhance the soup you are making. For example, if you’re making a sweet vegetable soup, add sweet potato or squash for extra sweetness to your stock. You can also use your vegetable trimmings, such as leek tops, mushroom caps, squash skins and fennel tops. But avoid spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, collard greens, brussel sprouts, beets, onionskins and wilted vegetables. They will make your stock bitter.

For the Vegetable Stock:
In a large pot add 1 diced a large onion, throw in about 6 cloves of unpeeled garlic, a few stalks of chopped celery, a couple of carrots, parsnip if you got it, corn cob, a chopped seeded chili pepper, a couple of slices of fresh ginger, bag dried shitake mushrooms or a few fresh ones, a piece of kombu seaweed, handful of fresh parsley, a bay leaf, 1 TB mirin (Japanese rice wine) and a tsp of sea salt. Top it all off with some filtered water to cover, bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for about an hour. Strain and, boom, you got homemade veggie stock. It will last about 5 days in the fridge and 2 months in the freezer.

For the Vegetable Soup
2 TB olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, scrubbed, halved and cut into half moons
2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into half moons
6 fresh shitake mushrooms, stemmed / thinly sliced
2 large celery stalks, sliced
1 fresh red chili pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tsp sea salt
Homemade veggie stock (recipe below)
1 ear corn, kernels only
1 box cherry tomatoes, halved
1 /2 cup fresh Italian parsley chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cups cooked quinoa or cooked pasta, 1/3 cup on top of soup when serving in individual bowls.

For the Pistou
2 cups green basil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp sea salt
2 TB pine nuts
2 TB fresh lemon juice
4 TB olive oil

Instructions For Soup:

1. In large pot heat oil and sauté onions, garlic, carrot, parsnip, celery, shitake mushrooms, chili pepper and 1 tsp sea salt.

2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to turns golden, about 8 minutes.

3. Add tomatoes and sauté about 5 minutes then add veggie stock to cover vegetable about an inch.

4. Bring to boil then turn down to simmer for about 25 minutes or until carrots and parsnips are soft.

5. Add corn kernels and cooked pasta or grain for a few minutes then add fresh chopped parsley and cilantro.

6. Taste, and then add more Tamari or seas salt if needed.

Instructions For Pistou:

1. Put everything in food processor and chopped until combine.

To serve:

Ladle soup into bowl with fresh sliced basil leaves and large TB of pesto (bring pesto to the table so you can add more if desired). Oh and if you can eat dairy serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese or you can always do a vegan option. Toast the baguette and serve with the soup. Yum Yum!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Strawberry Guava Sorbet

Yum. That's all I gotta say about this incredible creation. Now I am on the west coast at the moment where the Spring produce at the Farmers Market is in full gorgeousness so please forgive me if you are reading this and are on the east coast and do not have these fruits at your local market...BUT if you are lucky enough to have them or be on the west coast do yourself a favor and get your ass to the Farmers Market and buy some organic Strawberries and Guavas straight from your trusted organic farmer. You and your guests will thank me. Period. This is sooooooooooo easy and delicious you may wanna jump back and kiss yaself!

3 boxes of fresh Strawberries, washed and stemmed

1 box of fresh Guavas, washed and peeled

pinch of Sea Salt

2/3 cup agave

1 TB Vodka (yes I said Vodka -- it helps with the freezing and the texture!)

1 TB real Vanilla extract

1/2 cup unsweetend soymilk or organic cream if you can

Juice of half a meyer lemon (you can use a regular lemon if you can't find the meyer)

Put everything in a high speed blender. Blend for about a minute. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer into a pitcher. Discard the little seeds in the strainer. Put pitcher into refrigerator and chill at least a few hours or overnight.

Make sure to put the glass container you will be using to put the Sorbet in, in the freezer. Pour the chilled mixture into your Ice Cream maker, turn it on and let it do it's thang. Check it from time to time. It will be done in about 20 minutes. When it's done, take out the chilled glass container from the freezer and transfer the sorbet. Cover and freeze for a few hours.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Cleaning for your Colon

I am very fascinated with my innards. I think I have always been this way. Since the days when it was cute to play with my poop. Yes I said poop. I have an enthralling curiosity by what goes in, and most importantly by what goes out of me. And yes I have been known to inspect the porcelain throne with scientific obsession. And so should you. Embrace it. (Well not literally.) Embrace what's swirling around in there. It could teach you a thing or two about what is going on with your internal health. With why you are feeling a certain way. With how you're digesting or not digesting foods. With knowing when it is time to do a little cleansing. A little love for your intestines. For your colon. It works so hard for you each day. Why not take some time to give it a massage. Give it a cleaning.

I am a strong believer in doing colon cleanses. I try to do them 4 times a year. Around the change of the seasons or if I'm feeling a little sluggish or ate something funky or if I'm a wee bit stopped up. Doing these cleanses have completely healed my digestion, stomach issues, acne and food allergies which I had for many years of my life. It's really amazing how we can really heal ourselves of ailments we have through what we consume. I am also a believer in doing a colon cleanse before you start any kind of fast. It helps your body get ready. Eases you into it. Now. The products you choose are obviously extremely important. And what might work well for me might not be good for you. So I am gonna share with you 3 Organic Snob Approved products I have used and loved. I am actually using one of them right now which has inspired me to write this post.

Dr. Schulze Intestinal Formula #1 and #2.

This is my staple and one that I stand by and have used many time thoughout the years. I sometime use #1 if I am stopped up and need a little friendly help and also use #2 when ever I have eaten something bad or have ingestion or tummy trouble. It works wonders. You must must be near a toilet though when you are on formula #1 cause this is definitely an intense roto rooter for your colon and when you gotta go you really gotta go. I am just warning you. Go to there website as they explain all you need to know about what's in it and how it works. These products are under digestion & elimination:

Intestinal Formula #1 - 250 ct.Intestinal Formula #2 – Powder

Quantum Herbal Intestinal Cleansing Formula #1 and #2

I am using these products right now. It's my first time trying and I'm digging them. They are much gentler then Schulze and you don't always have to be near a toilet which is good when you are walking the streets of the city. I found them in the health food store. Check out there website for info:

Quantum Herbal, Intestinal Cleansing, Part 1, 50cap

Health Force Intestinal Drawing Formula

I love this company. They have some wonderful products. And delicious Superfoods to put into your smoothies. However there Intestinal movement formula didn't work that well for me so I use this Intestinal Drawing formula with one of the above #1 formula. This Drawing formula is also a very soothing powder and helps relieve any sort of after dining discomfort. Check out website:

Intestinal Drawing Formula 130 gms

So there you go. The colon cleanse usually lasts about 2 to 3 weeks. Give or take. Try to eat more simple foods while you do it. Trying to avoid processed foods, gluten, fried foods, red meat, dairy, sugar and excess salt. A week into it you will probably want to eat lightly anyway cause you are getting rid of a lot of crap and you will hopefully feel clearer and cleaner. Slow and steady win the race so remember that. Eat as many raw foods as possible. It will help with the cleansing process. Below are a list of foods to avoid and enjoy. Do what you can. I still drink my green tea. Don't be takin' that away from me. Oh no... :)

Foods to AVOID when you are cleansing:
Wheat and Gluten
Canned and frozen food
Cooked grains, except Millet and Quinoa
Distilled vinegar
Foods cooked with oils
Fruits that have been glazed or sulfured
Meat, fish, birds, shellfish
Nuts, seeds and legumes that have not been soaked or sprouted
Processed cereals
Processed milks (soy, rice, almond)
Soft drinks
Tea (except herbal, caffeine free tea)
Tofu and soy products

Foods to ENJOY when you are cleansing:
All fresh fruits
All raw vegetables
All salad greens
All sprouts — beans, seeds, nuts
Apple cider vinegar (raw)
Dried apricots
Dried figs
Fresh or dried seasoning herbs
Fresh, raw juice
Herbal Teas — no caffeine
Raw, cold-pressed, organic olive oil, flax seed oil and coconut oil

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dark Chocolate Cookies with Dried Dark Cherries and Crystallized Ginger

I was invited to a Oscar party last week and was asked to bring something sweet. Ummmmmm-- I needed something easily transportable and easily nibbable. Something with a little glimmer. A little sparkle. A little pazazz. Decisions decisions decisions. For me, that’s the hardest part with cooking-- or baking-- or blending—or shopping—or-- I guess you could say that about anything really. To make that ‘perfect’ decision. My mind races. I become obsessive. Some would probably classify me as a wee bit OCD. But when that choice comes to light and I have made my final decision I am at ease. At one with the universe. Complete. Happy. At least for a little while anyway…

1 cup dried dark organic cherries

½ cup brandy

1 ½ cup gluten free all purpose flour

¼ heaping teaspoon xantham gum *

3 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder

1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon coarse sea salt

½ cup organic jungle vegan shortening, softened

¾ cup organic palm sugar

½ cup agave syrup

6 ounces dark chocolate, cut into ½ inch pieces

1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped

Bring cherries and brandy to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, and let stand for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, xantham gum, cocoa, cinnamon, the baking soda, and salt.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat shortening and palm sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add agave, and beat until creamy. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and beat until combined. Drain cherries; discard liquid. Add cherries, chocolate and crystallized ginger to dough. Mix to combine.

Scoop 1 tablespoons dough to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart, as you work. Bake until just set and starting to crack, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on sheets.

*Xanthan Gum is used by people who are allergic to gluten to add volume and viscosity to bread and other gluten-free baked goods. It helps replace the gluten in a recipe and aid in binding and thickening recipes. It is an essential ingredient in gluten free baking.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Homemade Hemp Milk

I have been on a seed milk kick these days. Yes. I said seed. Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Sesame Seeds and finally Hemp seeds. They are one of the easiest thing to make. When it comes to 'milk substitution' most people reach for the Soy milk over and over and over again. This is kinda no bueno. A little Soy is good but I am sure that if you take a look into how much you consume on a daily basis you may wanna ease up and try an alternative with your morning cereal or shake. It's very important to mix things up at bit. In and out of the kitchen.

Hemp seeds are considered to be one of the most nutritious food sources on the plants. They are packed with 33 percent pure digestible protein, rich in iron, omega-3, GLA and contains three times the amount of vitamin E found in flaxseeds. Hemp protein contains all 20 known amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce. It also is free of the tryspin inhibitors which block protein absorption and free of oligosaccharides found in soy, which cause stomach upset and gas. So drink up and be merry!

1/4 cup hemp seeds

4 cups filtered water

4 TB raw agave

dash of sea salt

Put everything in a high speed blender. Blend for about a minute then pour the 'milk' slowly through a nut milk bag. This is a must have. I bought mine here:

However, if you don't have a nut milk bag yet do not fret. Just line a fine mesh strainer with multiple layers of cheesecloth, pour milk, strain and squeeze - making sure all the liquid is out. Boom. You are done. That's it! You now have your easy breezy homemade hemp milk.

Pour into a glass pitcher and refrigerate. Lasts about 3 days. Remember stir or shake to combine before use.

P.S. Use this milk in it's raw state. Some say heating Hemp can make it toxic.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream

I received a late night call last night from my husband. "We are out of your Green Tea Ice Cream!!!" Unfortunately we are not in the same city at the moment so I could not make him a new batch. He was very upset. "What am I gonna do!!??" I told him he could learn to make more Ice Cream himself or wait for me to get home. He is a green tea Ice Cream junkie. He is my Green Tea Ice Cream junkie and biggest fan. He can not wait. So my love...this post is dedicated to you!

First off do yourself a favor and buy a very inexpensive Ice Cream machine. I use this Cuisinart one: ’

Alright. Now. As you know I am always inspired by how to create old school unhealthy recipes into healthy ones. A bit obsessed with making homemade sorbets and vegan ice creams. Once you start experimenting, it's very very hard to stop. Yummy yummy...


3 cups organic unsweetened Edensoy milk, chilled

1/2 cup organic agave nectar

1/4 cup organic brown rice syrup

4 TB organic matcha green tea powder

pinch of sea salt

Put everything in blender and blend until blended. CHILL mixture in refrigerator overnight or at least until very cold. Also chill the glass container you will be using to put the Ice Cream in, in the freezer.

Pour the chilled mixture into your Ice Cream maker, turn it on and let it do it's thang. Check it after about 20 minutes. When it's done, take out the chilled glass container from the freezer and transfer ice cream. Cover and put into freezer for at least 2 hours to harden. That is if you can wait that long... ;)