I mentioned before that I am in San Diego, California. Its where I want to be. I love it here and am staying forever. Here are some lovely vegan/food-related photos. I’d add more but then it would be endless!!!!!
I haven’t posted in quite some time. I feel terrible about it, as I wanted to keep this blog rollin’. So here I am picking back up the pieces. I’ve been in San Diego, California for quite some time, and I’m considering staying. I love it so much here. Its everything I want. Surfing, warmth, and more access to local, organic food. I love it, love it, love it.
I’ve been making some great vegan dishes, both raw and cooked ones, and have been especially loving the ones that include coconut (either oil or milk), and lots of curry spices. I’m just going to post some pictures of some of the random dishes I’ve been making to catch up.
A more simple but delicious dish, black beans and salt-free tomato sauce, mixed with spices and spread on plain, salt-free rice cakes.
Organic lettuce, black beans, nori pieces, avocado and apple cider vinegar.
A beautiful part of summer is being able to explore outside and observe all the plants and flowers, which seem to be radiating a sparkling warmth. I’ve always loved incorporating edible wild plants, flowers and herbs in my diet, especially wild greens. These greens I used recently are very common ‘weeds’ that you can find pretty easily.
One of my favorites is purslane. It is a succulent, similar to spinach in taste and nutritional value, and is an unknown superfood. It has one of the highest omega 3 content of all plants, and has abundant antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium. Try mixing it in salads, or blending it into soups and smoothies, as I often do.
Other favorites of mine include Lamb’s Quarters and Plantain Weed, which both have simple tastes and are easy to blend in various dishes. They have respectable amounts of vitamins A and C and antioxidants, as most greens do. They are definitely a great staple to add to your diet if you have the time to find them.
One thing thats great about using wild edible plants is that, if you get it from an area that is free of pesticides and fertilizer, they are as natural as you can get, just as nature intended. Plus, they are FREE! It really is a win, win. Try to make some time to find edible wild plants, as they are a great way to enhance your diet and lifestyle! Just make sure you are careful and familiarize yourself with the plants you wish to find. Do research, look at photos, watch videos on YouTube, and do whatever you have to do to make sure you are 100% sure you are picking the right plants! Be safe!
For this recent recipe, I blended the 3 greens with water, chickpeas, olive oil, fresh garlic, and herbs that i grow in my back yard including fresh basil, mint, oregano and parsley. I had originally planned on making a version of hummus, but it came out as soupier texture, so I decided to consume it like I would a soup. It was absolutely delicious! I would have liked to have some brown rice cakes with it or something, but I didn’t at the time. Try this or a similar recipe and see what works for you!
I’ve been extremely busy lately this past month, especially with my new job. Its hard to make a lot of time for myself, especially because when I actually do have time, I feel like everyone wants a piece of me. -Sigh- But I guess its better to keep busy, right?
Anyways, the other night I took some photos at this place called the ‘bluffs’ where I go quite often, and then later on I caught some awesome pictures at this carnival that took place right near me. I love the lighting of carnivals at night. The food and the over-priced cost to go on rides, not so much.
I feel like these photos captured a summer essence that I crave. They emphasize the beauty of simple things in life that we take for granted so easily. Nature, love, laughter, the sky, light, fun and festivity. Take in as much of it as you can.
I’ve always enjoyed papaya in the past, but I never had the opportunity to cut open my own fruit and see how interesting and beautiful it really is.
Not only it is a pretty sight, but papaya is a very nutritionally dense fruit that offers A LOT of health benefits. Similar to pineapple, it is great in aiding digestion, containing an enzyme called papain that especially helps to break down proteins. Like many other tropical fruits its also high in vitamin C, A, carotenes and is rich in antioxidants.
It has a interesting taste, which is not entirely too sweet or tangy. The really interesting part of a papaya are the seeds inside, which taste very similar to peppercorns (and they look a bit like them too). While many people throw the seeds out, they are VERY good to eat. They are a great detox food and help the body eliminate toxins, parasites, and bacteria in the digestive tract. So make sure you save those seeds! If the taste of them are too off-setting, try grinding them up with some lemon and garlic and arugula to make a bit of a pesto or something. Just a thought.
So its has been a while since my last post, something I am a bit upset at myself for. This is mainly due to the transition coming back home to Long Island. If I hadn’t already mentioned this, I had been wanting to transfer to Stonybrook University and it has officially happened! I am living back home on Long Island and will be attending Stonybrook this upcoming fall. I couldn’t be more content. Finally feel like things are falling into place. It feels great to be back home and nourishing my roots.
What else? I started working at Trader Joes and I absolutely love it! Having always shopped there growing up, I have been wanting to work there since I was in High School, and now I am proud to say that I am a crew member. Its perfect for me because it allows me to constantly be around different foods, learn more, and interact with other people. I get to help share my knowledge and answer any food-related questions people may have. Its an awesome environment and I couldn’t be happier.
Recently, on June 2nd, I attended a Full Moon Ceremony at CoSM. It was an unbelievable experience, and I had, hands down, one of the best nights of my life. The artist Alex Grey, and his wife, Allison Grey, are two unbelievable artists, a dynamic power couple who are beautiful people. In Wappinger Falls, NY, CoSM (Chapel of Sacred Mirrors) is nestled on forty beautiful acres. The couple built this ‘sanctuary’ for people to visit and explore not only their surroundings and beautiful art, but also themselves. This location is fairly new, as it moved here from NYC in February 2009, but it offers much more room, as well as the options to go inside or outside. Basically, at CoSM, they have all different types of events and workshops and celebrations that are open to the public. Since 2003, CoSM has Full Moon Ceremonies for every full moon. The night consisted of walking around, listening to wonderful guest speakers, meditating, dancing, drumming in a drum circle, and being around a bonfire. It was one of the most spiritual nights of my life and I definitely want to keep going there in the future. To learn more about CoSM, visit their website. Don’t just take my word for it, experience it yourself: http://www.cosm.org/index.html
I included the few pictures I took while I was there. It wasn’t really a time when I wanted to take many pictures, because sometimes I feel like it takes away from fully embracing the experience. The pictures I did take don’t even begin to describe the energy that was going on. Its something you really need to just experience in person in order to fully absorb.
This is definitely one of those “don’t knock it till’ you try it” type of dishes. A lot of people who have seen me make this get turned off by it, saying its ‘weird’ and funny-looking. Despite the fact that to some it may look unappetizing (appearing like baby-food), it is actually extremely delicious and one of my favorite mixes to make. Its very simple and versatile also, so you could swap ingredients and could serve it as a dessert, breakfast, or anytime snack.
Basically, you need cooked sweet potatoes (try to have them soft so it will be easier to mix), some natural peanut butter or almond butter (or any type of nut butter really depending on your taste preferences), cinnamon, and any other sweet spices (nutmeg, caromoden), and raisins. Shredded coconut and banana also goes deliciously with this.
Mash the cooked sweet potatoes first into a soft mush, then add nut butter (the ratio is really all about how much you want, but 2 tbs per sweet potato is usually sufficient), then mix in cinnamon/spices and raisins. When you mix them all together it will thicken, and its easiest to eat with a spoon. You can also make this mix into balls and freeze them to make a ‘nut-ball recipe’, or add it on top of rice-cakes, or gluten-free bread.
Viola! Its one of my favorite things to eat when I have all the ingredients. Its satisfying, vegan and gluten-free, nutritionally-dense (great source of fiber, vitamin A, iron, protein, magnesium, and B-vitamins), and balances your blood sugar. Try it and see for yourself!
Oh, and here’s a shout-out to all the mommas in the world! HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!