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.
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!
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!
I am thrilled,excited and over-the-moon ecstatic to be nominated for YouTube’s February “On the Rise” promotion. Details about how you can help me create better vegan cooking videos by voting HERE are in the video.
Mahalo for all of your support as I develop this channel into an entertaining resource for discovering how delicious plant-based cooking can be.
To celebrate the start of the weekend, I made these Sweet Potato Tot-chos, inspired by Wholly Vegan. Quick n’dirty style, I used store-bought tots, baked until nice and crispy, then slathered in Food For Lovers Vegan Queso. Topped with more hot sauce, olives, green onions and cilantro. Then,The Vegan Virtuoso challenged me to make the tot-chos using Ube Gnocchi. The girl is a freakin’ evil genius. Check out my Instagram feed to see how insane they turned out.
Went to the Secret Sound Showcase at the Doris Duke on Friday to see ukulele virtuoso Taimane Gardner perform. I first saw Taimane’s mesmerizing artistry on YouTube and if you think ukuleles are only for Hawaiian music, this girl will set you straight. She shreds everything from Led Zepplin to the Mission Impossible theme, with softer touches in songs from Phantom of the Opera or her original “Moon”.
Got my autographed CD like a true fan girl and Taimane was gracious enough to take a photo with me and my friend, Animal Rights Activist, Anjie Pham.
Spent Saturday morning whale watching/counting for NOAA and spotted about 3 adults + 1 calf off Diamond Head.
Quick stop at Blue Tree Cafe Hawaii for a Lilikoi+Aloe Kombucha ( very refreshing!) and an Orange Pistachio Coconut vegan bar. I’ll do a review after I try the raw vegan brunch they do on Sundays.
Time to start editing the next video recipe! My new cap is providing the inspiration
Mahalo for stopping by and have a delicious week my friends!
Cheers to the weekend friends! I’m back on track with my good habits instead of allowing my gluttonous holiday self to make poor decisions.
In addition to eating a variety of healthy plant-based foods, drinking lots of water and getting enough rest, I am sticking with the magnesium regimen recommended by my chiropractor after my car accident in November. Magnesium has been a life saver for me in helping reduce pain and spasms in my neck and back, as well as giving me relief from the headaches. I notice that when I do not remember to take magnesium, I have bouts of restless leg syndrome and my quality of sleep is interrupted. You can read more about the health benefits of magnesium here.
I had purchased a bottle of magnesium from a local natural foods store but soon after received a sample of the Natural VitalityNatural Calm magnesium and I like it so much better!Unlike the first magnesium supplement I tried, the Natural Calm does not need to be mixed with hot water. I add 1 rounded teaspoon to an 8 oz glass of fresh-squeezed, chilled mandarin juice to make this refreshing drink. Natural Calm has a pleasant raspberry lemon flavor sweetened with organic stevia, so you can mix it with water if you’re not in the mood for a frou frou juice drink.
This post is not intended as medical advice and you should consult your trusted doctor before taking any supplements. But, if you are suffering from symptoms of stress,anxiety,fatigue or musculoskeletal conditions you may want to find out if you’re magnesium deficient.
Okonomiyaki is a savory Japanese style pancake and literally translates to Okonomi “to your liking” + yaki “grill”. This one skillet meal since is a great way to eat a lot of cabbage (or your favorite greens) topped with crunchy, savory, salty goodies.
This is one of my favorite ways to eat cabbage and I use green onions straight from the garden.
The super fun ingredient I added was vegan prawns. I first discovered Sophie’s Kitchen vegan seafood during ExpoWest way back in March. It took awhile for me to get my hands on the products here in Hawaii, but let me tell you, it was worth the wait. The prawns look amazingly real and lend a chewy, bounce to the pancake. Added bonus: they are gluten and soy-free. The vegan calamari is also mind-blowing amazing. I served it fried up and slathered in home made tartar sauce.
I thought it might be fun if you could win some of the ingredients I used in this recipe, so I’m having a giveaway for (2) free products from Sophie’s Kitchen, (2) packets of The Vegg and (6) That’s It Fruit Bars! That prize pack should keep your taste buds happy.
Combine cake flour,dulse and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix in water (or dashi) and the Vegg until smooth. Add cabbage, green onions, prawns and bacony bits.
Heat a non stick skillet over high heat. Pour half of the mixture into the pan and form into a pancake. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Flip the pancake, cover and cook for another 2 minutes. Flip one last time,cover and cook for 3 minutes.
Brush with okonomiyaki sauce and garnish with Sriracha mayo, seaweed, sesame seeds,beni shoga (pickled ginger) and green onions.
Disclaimer: I was not paid or obligated to make this video or feature these products. I reached out to these companies and asked if they would donate product for this giveaway and they were kind enough to do so. My opinions are always honest and I only feature products that I use and enjoy.