LAweekly’s Artopia

LAWeekly hosted what I hope becomes an annual art, music, food, photography and pretty much everything else festival in downtown Los Angeles recently. Guys, if you get a chance, you should go next time. It was pretty awesome, with artists creating on large canvases, live music (love The Record Company), a XXX peep show and all kinds of food—pretty much anything you could dream up. Continue reading “LAweekly’s Artopia”

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Pre-Race Prep at Whole Foods

I love Whole Foods early in the morning, right when they open. All the fruit and produce are fresh and perfectly arranged and the store isn’t too too crazy yet. I stopped there for some Suja green juice (to which I’m now addicted) this morning and snapped a few shots of the perfect produce before heading out (and got some weird looks but, eh).

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Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash with Black Bean Guacamole

When I start feeling a little stuffy, I like to cut back on dairy, especially before a big run (like, you know, the marathon on Sunday, no big deal). I decided a little spice wouldn’t hurt either, so I found this yummy recipe from Oh She Glows: Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash with Black Bean Guacamole.

Holy yummers, it was delicious. And super, super easy.  These pictures don’t really do it justice, but I was in such a hurry to chow down that I didn’t pause long to take them. Oops!

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Ingredients:

FOR THE SPAGHETTI SQUASH:
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • ground cumin
  • ground chili powder
  • dried oregano
  • salt & pepper
FOR THE BLACK BEAN GUACAMOLE:
  • 2 avocados, pitted and flesh scooped out
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1.5 cups cooked beans)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
  • fine grain sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • red pepper flakes, to taste

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice off the stem of the squash and place the squash cut side down on a cutting board. With a chef’s knife, carefully slice through the squash lengthwise to create two long halves. Scoop out the seeds and guts with an ice cream scoop. Brush some olive oil onto the squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet and roast for 30-50 minutes, depending on how large your squash is. When the squash is tender and you can easily scrape the strands with a fork, it’s ready. I like to check the squash after 25-30 minutes to make sure I’m not over cooking it. Be sure not to cook for too long or it will turn mushy.

Step 2: While the squash is roasting, prepare the black bean guacamole. Mash the avocado flesh in a large bowl. Fold in the onion, tomato, drained and rinsed black beans, and cilantro. Season to taste with lime juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

Step 3: Remove squash from the oven, flip over, and scrape the flesh with a fork in vertical motions. Do this until you’ve scraped all the strands off the skin. Now sprinkle on some chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper (as much or as little as you want). Top the squash with guacamole and serve warm. You can also plate the spaghetti squash, if preferred.

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Cauliflower Soup with Goat Cheese

Mmm, I love creamy, delicious soup when it’s cold outside (and today it was definitely cold outside). This is a fun one because it has a bit of a tangy taste (thanks, goat cheese!) and is creamy without being heavy (thanks, cauliflower!). I found this recipe on Closet Cooking.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 red bell pepper, cut in half and seeds removed
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups chicken broth or chicken stock or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Place the red peppers on a baking sheet with the cut side facing down, broil until the skins are blackened, about 10 minutes, place in a sealable container and let ‘steam’ for 20 minutes before pinching the skins off and dicing.
Step 2: Meanwhile, toss the cauliflower in the oil, place it in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated 400F oven until tender and caramelized, about 20-30 minutes, mixing once in the middle.
Step 3: Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook the onion until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
Step 4: Add the garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
Step 5: Add the roasted red peppers, cauliflower, broth, paprika and goat cheese and simmer for 10 minutes before pureeing to the desired consistency with a hand blender. Season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with goat cheese.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Servings: 4

For Slow Cooker: Implement steps 1 and 2, optionally implement steps 3 and 4, place everything except the cheese in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-10 hours or high for 2-4 hours before pureeing and mixing in the cheese while the soup is still hot so that it melts.

Option: Use jarred or frozen roasted red peppers to save some time; use a can of white beans as the thickener instead of the cauliflower; replace one cup of broth with cream or milk.

Nutrition Facts: Calories 328, Fat 16g (Saturated 6g, Trans 0), Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 517mg, Carbs 30g (Fiber 7g, Sugars 14g), Protein 17g

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Burritos

burrito stuffs 2I know that pretty much every recipe I feature here is, just, my new favorite thing and the best thing you’re about to ever eat. And to be fair, I never really exaggerate—I have found some amazing recipes! But this one is my new favorite, seriously, I could eat it for days. (Haha, I did eat it for days.)

Besides how yummy it is, I also love that it can be done with regular cheese, Daiya cheese for a vegan recipe or with no cheese at all because it’s Just. That. Good.

I didn’t do step-by-step photos, but you can find some great ones at Oh She Glows, where I originally found the recipe. Guys, I just can’t recommend this enough. Seriously, I’m texting my best friend right now that it’s also good just as a side dish. I’ve included the recipe as I originally found it, but when I cooked it, I changed it up a bit by doing 1 cup of wild rice (instead of a half cup of short-grain brown rice). It gets pretty rice heavy, but it’s worth it. I stirred in some cheddar cheese and then served it with avocado.

Yield: 4 burritos or 3.5 cups of filling

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, cubed, & roasted
  • 1/2 cup uncooked short grain brown rice (yields: 1.5 cups cooked)
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • One 15-oz can black beans (about 1.5-2 cups cooked), drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup Daiya cheese (or cheddar cheese)
  • 4 tortilla wraps (large or x-large)
  • Toppings of choice: (avocado, salsa, vegan sour cream, spinach/lettuce, cilantro, etc)

Step 1: Preheat oven to 425F and line a large glass dish with tinfoil. Drizzle olive oil on squash and give a shake of salt and pepper. Coat with hands. Roast chopped butternut squash for 45 mins. or until tender.

Step 2: Cook brown rice (for directions, see here)

Step 3: In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add oil, onion, and minced garlic. Sautee for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Now add in salt and seasonings and stir well.

Step 4: Add chopped red pepper, black beans, and cooked rice and sauté for another 10 mins. on low.

Step 5: When b’nut squash is tender remove from oven and cool slightly. Add 1.5 cups of the cooked butternut squash to the skillet and stir well. You can mash the squash with a fork if some pieces are too large. Add Daiya cheese and heat another couple minutes.

Step 6: Add bean filling to tortilla along with desired toppings. Wrap and serve. Leftover filling can be reheated the next day for lunch in a wrap or as a salad topper.

A Happy Start to the New Year: Vegan Whole Wheat Waffles

Happy 2014, everyone! Instead of black-eyed peas, we started the new year with whole wheat waffles, a recipe from “Vegan Cooking for Carnivores” by Roberto Martin. Don’t worry, you don’t even have to ask—they are sooo freaking good. Highly recommend. I also recommend buying the cookbook if you’re curious about a vegan diet—Roberto is excellent at making a plant-based diet palatable to those who prefer the meatier side of food.

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Ingredients

Step 1: In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Step 2: Stir in the milk, water, applesauce and melted butter until well incorporated.

Step 3: Let the batter rest for about 5 minutes while you preheat the waffle iron.

Step 4: Spray the preheated waffle iron with nonstick spray and cook the waffles according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve with maple syrup.

*Makes 8 medium waffles.

Thanksgiving in Ojai

We decided to do something a little different for Thanksgiving this year. Instead of a big family dinner with tons of turkey, stuffing, bread rolls, cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, yada yada yada…we decided to take a relaxing holiday, and each person made something different for dinner: pomegranate martinis (from fresh pomegranates!), brie en croute for appetizers, spicy Italian sausage lasagne, caesar salad and pumpkin pie (some traditions we want to keep). It was so delicious! And with our non-traditional meal, there wasn’t the urge to overeat…just to enjoy our food and be thankful. Hope you had a great holiday!

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Moroccan Couscous—My All-Time Favorite Vegan Recipe

So, you guys, this is the best. Whether you’re a meat eater or a plant-based-diet lover, you’re going to love this recipe, it’s so yummy and easy. It’s from Alicia Silverstone‘s “The Kind Diet” and so worth trying.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups peeled butternut squash, cut into 1/4 to 1/2 cubes
  • 2 cups yellow onion, large dice
  • 1.5 cups carrots, cut into 1/4 to 1/2 cubes
  • 1.5 cups zucchini, cut into 3/4 cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5  cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1.5  cups whole wheat couscous
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Step 2: Place the squash, onion, carrots and zucchini on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Step 3: Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, turning once with a spatula about midway through.

Step 4: While the vegetables roast, bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a saucepan.

Step 5: Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cumin, saffron and salt to taste.

Step 6: Cover the pan and steep for 15 minutes.

Step 7: Scrape the roasted vegetables and their juices into a large bowl and add the couscous.

Step 8: Bring the vegetable broth back to a boil, and pour over the couscous mixture all at once.

Step 9: Cover tightly with a plate and allow to stand for 15 minutes.

Step 10: Add the scallions, toss the couscous and vegetables with a fork, and serve