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Easter Dinner With A Neighbor

It has been an awfully long hiatus from our last post and we do apologize for that. As you are all quite aware Easter was last month. Unfortunately not everyone lives close to family to invite over for dinner on a Holiday. My neighbor Alice one door down from me in my apartment complex came over to enjoy a four course, Easter Sunday meal. Two days before I was scrambling to find the perfect ingredients at several stores. I shopped at Whole Foods, Ralph’s and Bristol Farms. We made Southern Style Cabbage, which consists of cabbage, tempeh bacon strips, earth balance non dairy spread and sweetened with agave. Other items on the menu included black eyed peas, rice topped with mildly spice fermented cabbage known as Kimchi, cornbread and baked sweet potatoe. The main course: faux Italian sausage, with leeks and spinach in marinara sauce. For dessert we all shared a slice of carrot cake courtesy of Bristol Farms. Alice described the meal as a ‘Symphony of flavors’. We were glad the outcome was a success since this was the second time she has tried our food. We owed it to her since she bought us dinner a couple of months ago to one of our favorite vegan/ kosher restaurants called Bodhi where we had spicy eggplant over rice, pumpkin curry and Thai sticky rice and mango for dessert . We look forward to inviting Alice over again to enjoy the blend of flavors we love experimenting with in the kitchen.Image

Utterly Non-Udderly Delicious

This past Saturday night, Lauren and I headed to one of our favorite vegetarian restaurants, The Vegan Joint, located in Palms, Los Angeles. I not surprisingly ordered a shitake curry and Lauren ordered what her palate usually demands, a sweet and sour medley. The food, as usual, did not disappoint. Prepare for a more lengthy article discussing their comprehensive menu soon!

After finishing this tasty meal, Lauren and I were craving chocolate, and were more than pleased with cookies Vegan Joint had displayed at the front of the restaurant, courtesy of No Udder Desserts Inc. The cookies were rich in flavor and had a superb texture. Lauren ate a chocolate chip cookie and I had a double chocolate one, mmmm…!

As it turns out, Udderly Delicious, based in Woodland Hills, CA offers a multitude of other desserts, including, exotic coconut cakes, cupcakes, and taffy like goodies.

Check out the website for a comprehensive list of all their tasty desserts, and if you’re in the area, swing by for a cup of coffee to compliment whatever sweet treat you decide on!

http://www.noudderdesserts.com/

Chemicals and Toxins in daily products.

These days toxins are everywhere from the air we breathe, to gardens treated with pesticides, and even clothing on our backs. Try as we might, it can be difficult to eliminate exposure these harmful substances. They sneak their way into our skin, hair and even our internal organs. Toxins are not natural and can cause many diseases. Personal use products and cosmetics can be a gateway to contamination. Fortunately, non-profit Environmental Working Group provides extremely useful information to consumers.

Equipped with a team of scientists, lawyers, engineers, policy experts and computer programmers and their own laboratory; EWG runs tests on products to expose health and environmental threats and helps to find solutions. Consumers have a right to know if what they are buying could pose as potential problems to their well being. Their site has useful information on environmental issues, and unbiased pesticide data and petitions to sign to help make changes in legislature and create new laws. EWG’S section entitled “SkinDeep” gives you access to their database of  about 69,000 personal care and cosmetic products and rates them on a scale of 0 to 10 based on toxicity, chemical potency and the effect each individual product could have on the human body. Since 2004 EWG provides great service  and excellent resources to consumers.

Visit these sites: http://www.ewg.org/  and http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ for more information.

xo Lauren 🙂

Dress Up Your Ramen!

Once in awhile, like most people, I get a hankering for “gross foods”. “Gross foods”, for me at least, correlate to foods that don’t do much in the way of improving one’s health and all in all, lack any nutrition content. But them gross foods sureeee doooo hit the spot!!! Ramen noodles are one of the foods that most certainly fall under this category. Lacking a large amount of protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals, this a food that you eat at night when you are super starved, kind of craving something salty and don’t feel like putting too much thought into your meal. Ironically though ramen soups, and similar soups like Pho, have been popping up as staple menu items in restaurants all over the world. So why not enjoy some “gross foods” after enduring a frenzied day?

The only variety of “Top Ramen” noodles that are vegetarian, would be the “Oriental” variety. To dress up this ramen, I simply throw in a bunch of veggies, and at times tofu or fake meat. Typically Lauren and I seek out a bag of frozen veggies that have a blend of mushrooms, broccoli, and green beans, but then once in awhile on these “gross foods” nights, we may have enough energy to chop up fresh veggies and throw them in the mix.

Simply cook the ramen according to package directions and throw in the veggies whilst boiling the noodles. Once everything is soft, but not too soft, because ramen noodles that are too soft take on an engorged and watery quality, add the seasoning packet. Now add a combination of garlic powder, curry powder, and a sprinkle of reduced sodium soy sauce. Or choose of those or hey, just be creative!

Again, this is not a nutritioius food! Do not go crazy and have too many “gross foods” nights, ramen is only something you should eat once in awhile, for us, that “once in awhile” was this evening. 😉 Bon apetit!

 

Almond Butter to the Rescue!

We all have those hurried mornings where we have no time to prepare breakfast at the house, and instead scramble to grab purses, wallets, jackets, or even just ourselves to get inside our cars to make our way to work. What is one thing I suggest not forgetting during this frenetic time? Almond Butter, and some whole grain English muffins or bread. If you don’t have time to quickly slap on some almond butter on your toast prior to engaging in the departure madness, then try and prepare it the night before!

Breakfast, or at least, a morning snack is critical to feeling okay for the rest of your day, particularly for yours truly (Without some kind of food in the morning, I quickly will turn kinda psycho). Almond butter is a spread that for me, sticks to me longer than peanut butter, and when spread on top of a lightly toasted bagel, muffin or bread slice is soo satisfying!

Almond butter is a better alternative to peanut butter because almond butter contains more calcium, protein, and has not been proven to rise your “good” cholesterol, whereas peanut butter has. Almond butter also has more B vitamins than it’s peanut rival.

So grab a banana, almond butter and toast on your way out the door and be a much happier doctor, writer, model, office warrior, or whatever awesome thing it is that you do during your day!

The Tale Of Crazy Shoes And Tasty Chinese Food

After I wrote my last entry, a preamble to what would be an entry about the amazing food that I discovered in San Francisco, I was diagnosed with a nasty skin infection.

The week prior to my vacation I was modeling for Wella Color Charm at the International Salon and Spa Expo. Four days straight I had my head in and out of a portable salon bowl whilst having the noxious fumes of hair dye enter my nasal passages. It was a blast! The first two days were “prep days”, wherein I was really going through the hair bowl scenario hardcore, and the next two days were spent marching throughout the convention center in sky high heels, demonstrating just how magnificent you can be with hair courtesy of Wella. Did I mention that for the majority of the time the sky-high heels were my own—comfy reliable and CLEAN? This is a preamble in and of itself, leading into how I acquired the nasty infection that led to the inevitable blog writing hiatus.

After walking industriously in my own heels throughout Sunday (First show day), I was told by a rather militant, albeit fabulous woman, that my heels just would not do. Can you imagine the look on my face? I was in mild pain, but my Steve Maddens were being good to me overall. The reason I was wearing my own shoes is because I was told that it was acceptable by another woman, and also due to the fact that they did not have any size 7’s.

Miss Fabulousity handed me a pair of size 8 heels, and demanded that I demonstrate my walk. If you’ve ever seen Devil Wears Prada, this woman equals Wintour 100%. She tartly said, “Well, you seem just fine!” flipped her strawberry blonde hair and flounced away, Armani scarf flowing frantically behind her. Not wanting to seem divalicious, I swallowed my pride and slipped on the shoes. Well, here it comes everyone, the shoes gave me not one, but two large welts! By the time I reached the stage, (felt like I was preparing for a role in which I had to play a nomadic gypsy) I was in tears and the backs of my ankles were RIPPED UP! Mutilated ankles aside, I still “rocked the runway”!

I won’t go into the rest, but I’ll just say self-medicating did not do the trick, and next time I have wounds that look like mean red gashes from a simple pair of heels, I will assume from the get go that I have an infection.  During my time in San Francisco, I had kept up with my Neosporin application and bandages, but the redness unfortunately seemed to only grow throughout the week after my return.  The Urgent Care doctor told me I either had a Streptococcus or Staphylococcus skin infection. Umm…yuck! Seems that Ms. Wintour’s preferred heels were carrying an icky bug. Next time I do any modeling job, I am schlepping some antibacterial spray for shoes. Any models or actresses reading—please take that advice!

So in the end it came down to my taking four 500 mg Keflex pills daily (antibiotic) for a duration of ten days, tomorrow will be my last. I also had to be on the lookout for MRSA—antibiotic resistant Staph—for the first several days. All in all, February really has been beyond nerve wracking. I will be so thrilled when the check for this job comes in.

Sadly there has been no time for cooking during this fiasco, but I did have the luxury of treating myself to some very delicious Vegan Shitake Curry from Green Leaves Vegetarian restaurant several times over. =D

So now that I’ve substantiated my huge break in writing, I can discuss how wonderful my dining experience was in San Francisco. Since living in Los Angeles, CA Lauren and I have not been able to pin down a really terrific Chinese Vegetarian restaurant. For the most part, Vegetarian restaurants out here that have an “Asian flare” are generally Thai in the Southland.  While we adore Thai food, we also get a hankering for Chinese. Me + Won Ton Soup= Amour Toujours.

Our non-Vegetarian friends that went with us to San Francisco had a specific Chinese restaurant in mind, however the restaurant was not going to be Vegetarian, although they assured us that it would offer plenty of Vegetarian dishes. As we walked up to a restaurant with dangling chicken carcasses, I couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow. Luckily for us, (Maybe year of the Good Luck Dragon helped, lol), the place was packed and we moved on.  Yelp led us to a little hole in the wall place, smack in the middle of China Town, called “Lucky Creation”. It was cute and had no animals swinging from the inside, which would have made me barf. As my eyes skimmed the menu, I realized the restaurant was Vegetarian and all the plates were less than $7.00! Can you imagine the joy that enveloped both Lauren and me!? Without giving our friends a chance to contest, we flew inside and grabbed a table in the very back. Behind our table was a beautiful Buddha statue with various offerings. I no longer needed to be skeptical about the establishment being 100% Veggie, knowing that the owners were Buddhist.

OMG. The food was spectacular! Everything was authentic, and I must say when we left we were depressed because we can’t find something akin to Lucky Creation here in LA.   We ordered family style, and started out with the Won Ton Soup and Chinese tea. Lauren (she will be embarrassed that I am revealing this but I think it’s cute), at first was concerned about the floating tealeaves in the tea, but I explained that in Chinese culture, the tea is sipped with the leaves inside. Evidentially by doing so you can better absorb the nutrients and health benefits of the tea. The tea was so toasty and delectable.  Next, we shared some chow mein with some mean mushroom sauce. Often I avoid chow mein because of the fat content, but this dish was exceptionally light. Moving on now to the bean curd. Words cannot describe how heavenly the bean curd was to my taste buds. Ughh…yum. We also ordered some imitation pork that was delightful in addition to an eggplant dish. So next time you are in San Francisco go to China Town and hit up “Lucky Creation”, everything in there is pretty darn lucky.

Enjoy my random pictures relating to the Wella Show and “Lucky Creation”.

Missing San Francisco

*Sigh* Coming back from vacation is always tough–especially from a city as amazing (not too mention accessible for Vegetarians) as San Francisco. Lauren and I went up with friends, and explored the city. Both of us had never been to San Francisco, and were particularly excited about the prospect of trying great vegetarian food. 

All in all, the trip was spectacular, and we had the luxury of finding not one but to two terrific restaurants with great! Getting over the mild feelings of depression that tend to linger after coming back from such a fabulous place will not be easy, but can be done.  It can be done most easily by reminiscing via photos and text about the yummy restaurants we ventured to. Stay tuned!