My weekend ritual is not complete until I take a trip to the Kailua Town Farmers Market on Oahu’s east side. I love meeting the people that are growing my food and letting them know how important organic, non-GMO food is to me.
A plant-based lifestyle can seem cost prohibitive if you try to do all of your shopping for organics in the supermarkets. I’ve found that the best way to stretch my dollar is to shop for seasonal, local produce.The savings can be up to 50% less than buying at the supermarket.
Here’s the breakdown of what I got on this shopping trip:
2 large non-GMO papayas $6
1 bunch apple bananas $5
2 bags lychee $8
1 Hayden mango $4
1 head green leaf lettuce $2
2 bags micro greens $2
1 bunch curly kale $3
3 Japanese cucumbers $2
1 bag green beans $1.50
1 Hamakua tomato $1.50
1 Sea Asparagus bento $8
One week worth of fresh produce Total: $43
I do purchase some items like organic frozen fruit and quinoa from the big box stores to get more bang for my buck, along with nuts, seeds and grains from the bulk bins at my local vegetarian market. When I shop at the supermarkets, I always have a stack of coupons and the weekly deals flyer in hand.Yes, I’m that person, so you probably don’t want to get behind me in the checkout line! I’ll share my tips on couponing for organics/vegan food in an upcoming post.
My mother has two favorite meals that she can eat every week and never get tired of : spaghetti dinner and tuna salad sandwich. Mom is a proud creature of comfort food habit. It was easy enough to win her over with a veganized bolognese sauce, so I started making this un-tuna spread too. She loves it on toasted bread with lettuce and tomato. I prefer to surround a huge scoop of the Garbanzo Salad with spiralized watermelon radishes,micro greens and edible flowers. Double bonus: This meal is budget friendly and protein packed with 15g protein per one cup serving.
This recipe is only intended as a very loose guide since the possibilities to personalize this dish are endless. Substitute green apples, jicama or water chestnuts if you don’t care for celery (you know who you are). Choose a chickpea miso and soy-free vegan mayo if you have an aversion to soy. I used a food processor to mash the beans but the job can also be accomplished by using the back of a fork and a little brute force.
Add garbanzo beans,vegan mayo and miso to food processor.Pulse just until the beans are still chunky.Do not turn it into hummus.Transfer to a mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients.Mix well.Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Serve the garbanzo spread over a bed of lettuce and garnish with colorful vegetables and edible flowers.Or serve on multi-grain bread for a killer sandwich.Try it as a dip or roll it up into a wrap.
Store unused portion in refrigerated an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Wowzers,yesterday’s mail delivery was like Christmas in April! My new lighting set-up/microphone arrived from Amazon so I can finish up a new video project, I got a sample of START! Hot Sauce to review(recipe in progress) and my April Conscious Box came,woohoo!
I exist in a world where a large consensus of people are not used to eating a plant-based plate. So I should not be surprised when I hear people say things like “I never knew you could eat broccoli raw”. Well step right up folks and let me indulge you in the wonder that is this Broccoli Crunch Salad. It’s nothing original,you can find a version in most supermarket delis. But this one,I guarantee, is the simplest to make and you get a big flavor payout for very little effort.
This is a great vegan take along for picnics or potlucks and the omnivores will be non-the-wiser after your eating hippie granola food. A big Mahalo to Joey on Facebook for asking me about this salad and motivating me to finally type up the recipe and make a video.
Adjust the ingredient measurements to your liking. In real life, I don’t ever measure when making this salad. Just be sure you have enough dressing to coat the veggies. Add a squeeze of lemon if you prefer a tangy dressing. And if you give it a try, post a pic to Instagram and tag me in it.
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup (or sub maple syrup,agave,etc)
1 1/2 tablespoons spicy mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder
salt & pepper
In a small bowl,combine vegan mayo,mustard,curry powder and brown rice syrup.Mix well, add salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.
Cut broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces add to large mixing bowl. Toss in carrots,celery,onions,pecans,cranberries.Pour in dressing and mix until veggies are well coated. Add un-bacon bits right before serving.
Note: This salad tastes best after being refrigerated for a few hours before serving. Keep unused portion in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Natural Products Expo West, one of the largest trade shows featuring all the latest and greatest in the natural products industry can be seriously overwhelming. It would literally take you all three days of the show to see everything. My original strategy was foiled when I missed my flight on Friday, leaving me only a day and a half to try to hit all the vendors I wanted to see, so here is my round-up of the best vegan products that hit my radar.
There will be a chance for you to win one of four prize -packs with my favorite products at the end of this post!
I’m allergic to malls. Time served in the conspicuous-consumer thunder domes was completed in my twenties,while working in the retail fashion industry. Since my escape,there aren’t too many occasions I find myself saying “Let’s go have lunch at the mall” but those are exactly the words that came outta my very own mouth as we headed to M.A.K.E. in Santa Monica Place,CA.
We passed the exhibition window showcasing the emerging talent from the Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy and I had a feeling we were in for a special gastronomic experience.
James Beard award winning chef and best-selling cookbook author Matthew Kenney’s raw cuisine elevates plant-based food to another level. I wanted to try as much of the menu as possible.The intelligent foodie’s approach would have to come in after 5:30pm when the market tasting menu is available. A well thought out menu teases,excites and calms the palette to best experience the next wave of flavor. Since I was on an abbreviated trip to CA,my schedule only allowed for a mid-day visit. I ordered six dishes during the lunch service and got down to business.
My inner cocktail dragon was calmed with this Lemon Kefir Bellini before we started on the first course.
A trio of tree nut cheeses, sweet & spicy mustard seeds with fennel crisps.
Kimchi Dumplings.Ginger foam.Coriander. Best.Dish.Ever.The filling is savory with a slight kick from the kimchi. Plated to perfection like the work of art these scrumptious parcels are. I was so obsessed with these dumplings,I had to create my own recipe here. My version is a fusion of M.A.K.E.’s dish and the Edamame Dumplings I had at True Food Kitchen in AZ. Continue Reading →
Watch out California. Your reign as the vegan-friendly food capital of the world may be coming to an end, as Arizona is now home to some of the best vegan/vegetarian eateries I’ve tried in the past year. After my food warrior pal Ali and I returned from our weekend at the Raw Living Expo, we were ready to put on our comfy pants and start eating our way through the Grand Canyon State.
Me & Ali at Postino Wine Bar for sangria brunch with friends
I’ll get to the all-vegan eateries in a quick second, but let me tell you about Postino Wine Bar for just a moment. The ritual of Sunday brunch is my favorite way to embrace the weekend. Gathering a bunch of friends, sharing a nosh and listening to some live music feeds my soul.
Sangria brunch- Postino
There are three locations for Postino, but we love the Arcadia vibe. It’s an unpretentious mix of hipsters,lovey-dovey couples and groups celebrating birthdays/showers/what-evs.
Bruschetta- White bean w/tomato basi,white bean w/dates+pistachio,Buratta w/tomato+bacon(ordered by omni friends)
The menu is not vegan/vegetarian, but there’s an ample selection of panini,salads and bruschetta that can all be veganized. My only caveat will be to those trying to stick to a gluten-free diet, this is not your joint. Ali raved that they served the best bruschetta she’d ever had, and she wasn’t lying. Four big, crusty slices of bread with sweet or savory toppings are served on a cutting board and sliced into four smaller,pieces that can be negotiated from hand to mouth in about three bites. Try the white bean spread as a base for the toppings to keep it vegan. Check out your wine selection on Barnivore to verify that it’s vegan-friendly. The cost: Five people had two drinks each (10 adult beverages),we ordered one bruschetta board, one salad, one bowl of soup and a panini for $97+tip. I was actually shocked that our bill was less than $100 but then again, I’ve lived and eaten out in some of the most expensive cities like New York, San Francisco,Los Angeles and my hometown of Honolulu.
Aaron,me,Ali and Mike- Do you like our RHOAZ pose?
Pomegranate Cafe is everything I’d want a vegan cafe to be. An inventive mix of raw offerings,cooked comfort foods, fresh juices/elixirs and ridiculously divine desserts.
Screenshot of Pomegrante Cafe’s website. I was too concerned with ordering food to remember to take pics of the front of the cafe!
We got down to business and Ali ordered the Breakfast Chimichanga. She could barely finish this monster wrap filled with a well-seasoned tofu scramble, topped with fresh salsa and guacamole.I’ve had more breakfast burrito type things than I can count but this is the one I will remember.
Breakfast Chimichanga- Pomegranate Cafe
The New Yaw-kah in me craves a simple bagel and caw-fee.Then I spy a raw “everything” bagel on the menu and order it despite my apprehension that I’ll get a flax cracker with Tofutti cream cheese on it. I don’t know how they did it, but the texture of the bagel was moist and kinda chewy, my mouth approved. The bagel is schmeared with a flavorful vegan herbed cream cheese and piled high with a gorgeous mix of sprouts,peppers, carrots,tomato,cucumber,onions and lettuce. I demolished the whole thing, leaving only a faint trace of the red bell pepper hummus on the plate. Go here and eat this, you won’t be disappointed, especially if you’re trying to end your relationship with gluten like I am. Continue Reading →
Conscious Box has just revamped their website and to celebrate the launch, I’m partnering with them to host a giveaway for a 3-month subscription($59 value) to the vegan box. Wooooooot!!!!! I am a self-admitted product junkie and I love getting something other than bills in the mail. Gifting yourself a subscription (1-month,3-months,6-months or a full year) is a super fun way to get a variety of vegan products delivered right to your door. I’ve been subscribing for about a year now and I’m always impressed by the balance of new products to sample,along with plant-based favorites. The newest addition to the subscription box offerings is a 100% gluten-free box, hooray!