Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mother's Market and Slater's 50/50

I'm visiting my family in Orange County this week. It's strange being vegan around my family and away from home, but so far, so good! Finding vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants in the area is far from difficult and we can always cook at home, too.

We checked out the restaurant in Mother's Market for dinner yesterday. I ordered the stir fry and was very pleased. My mom ordered two tacos, one with tofu and the other with potatoes. My dad ordered a quesadilla. Everything on the menu looked so good!

I'm hoping to head back this week to try the chickpea scramble my parents say is amazing:

MA’S CHICKPEA SCRAMBLE - A high protein, soy-less wonder! Soft chickpeas scrambled to perfection with spinach, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers and tomatoes. Served with a side of herb roasted potatoes, organic brown rice or organic lemon quinoa.

We did a little grocery shopping after dinner. Mother's Market is full of vegan food. I loved it! We decided to try two vegan cheesecakes. I'll make my own raw cheesecake sometime soon, but we had to do a little taste-testing first! :)

My mom had a vegan, gluten-free cheesecake and I had a regular vegan cheesecake. I thought they were great, but I don't want to even think about the calories!

We headed to the Mission Viejo mall today to stay out of the heat. We had a little too much fun in Brookstone. Here's my dad trying out the bungie chair!

And later, we headed to Slater's 50/50 for dinner. We couldn't believe we were all in one car together. I think it's been over 10 years since this has happened, so I just had to capture the moment!

Slater's 50/50 is known for their Design-It-Menu. You can design your burger and name it whatever you want. I think it's a fun idea. I ordered the vegan patty with sprouts, baby greens, avocado mash, grilled onions, and tomato. I thought it was great and since I was so hungry, I forgot to take a picture of my burger! Oh and if you like beer, they have 101 beers on tap.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hydration Calculator

As mentioned in a recent post, I'm really trying to drink enough water. I bought a CitrusZinger and it has helped tremendously. I typically like to infuse my water with an orange and an organic wild berry hibiscus tea. It's so good! I usually fill up the bottle twice then move onto just regular water the rest of the day. I rarely have coffee in the mornings now and I'm feeling more lively and awake.

If you're wondering just how much water you should drink, check out this Hydration Calculator.

My friend Tony recently wrote: "If you insist on having coffee each morning, at least chug a glass of water first. When your body wakes from sleeping, you may not have drank water for 8-10 hours and are likely dehydrated. Drinking a coffee (which dehydrates) first thing in the morning compounds the problem and you start your day starving for water. Replacing coffee with a hydrating alternative is your best bet and as mentioned in TONY’S HEALTH TIP #44, staying hydrated is vital to your brain health. If you’re struggling with headaches or fatigue – this could be a life-changing health tip for you! If you’re going to switch to herbal teas from coffee – loose leaf is better because most tea bags contain plastic. The boil point of water is 212 degrees and the breakdown point of food grade nylon is 169 degrees. These plastics have been linked to infertility in rats and suppressed immune function. Organic, unpasteurized juice is the best morning alternative.

Good to know! Tony is so smart! 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sweet & Salty Popcorn

If you've never made popcorn on the stove, you should definitely try it! I had so much fun watching the kernels pop through the glass lid.

I popped 1/3 cup popcorn kernels in 1 tbsp coconut oil. After doing a quick search online, I learned you should avoid using olive oil because it burns and you should test 3 or 4 kernels in the pan before adding the rest. To do this, heat your oil in a large pot over medium heat, add a few kernels when you think the pan is hot, cover, and wait for them to pop. When this happens, add the rest of the kernels. To avoid burning, lift the pan off the burner often and move it in a circular motion to distribute the kernels.

In a separate bowl, I mixed together a little brown rice syrup, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, pecans, sea salt, and cinnamon. After all my kernels were popped, I added my sweet topping and put on a movie. :)

Earlier that day....

I finally checked out Slice of Life in Sebastopol. I ordered the butternut squash and zucchini ravioli , which came with a salad and garlic bread. I thought it was very good! Slice of Life has quite the menu, so I'll definitely be back to try some more items.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Email Subscription

If you're signed up to receive my blog posts by email, I learned today that the emails haven't been feeding over. I hope to have the problem fixed soon!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Raw Cleansing Salad

I try to avoid taking pictures in my poorly lit kitchen in the evenings, but I wanted to share with you all this raw cleansing salad I made tonight.

Using a food processor, I chopped broccoli, celery, spinach, radishes, sprouts, carrots, garlic, ginger, cilantro, parsley, and dandelion greens with a little lemon juice. I made a big portion so I have lunch ready for tomorrow. :)

I topped the salad with sprouted lentils, raw pumpkin seeds, and a few more sprouts.

 I tried Boo Koo in Mill Valley on Sunday. This is the Boo Koo Peanut with Sweet Garlic Tofu.

And I splurged at The Grass Shack in Tiburon. I tried their only non-dairy option - Raspberry Sorbet. It was surprisingly smooth and not your typical sorbet (thank goodness!). :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Potatoes, Pasta, and Fajitas!

Wondering what I've been up to? Maybe not, but I'll tell you anyway!

I roasted red potatoes with onion, garlic, tomatoes, rosemary, and thyme.


I made a tofu scramble with collard greens, onions, tomatoes, turmeric, a few other spices (can't remember!) and avocado on a sun-dried tomato bagel.

I threw together a stir fry with broccoli, collard greens, carrots, shallots, garlic, ginger, parsley, and a dash of soy sauce.  

I tried a bagel with hummus and veggies from Sonoma Valley Bagel.

I spent some well-needed time with friends.

Watched the sunset.

And made an amazing pasta dish with spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, basil, parsley and a white wine sauce with grape tomatoes, onion, and garlic.

After trying some really good veggie fajitas at El Torito on Tuesday night, I had to try making them myself. I marinated onions, zucchini, and bell peppers in a sauce similar to this one for 30 minutes. I made guacamole and pico de gallo and then started sauteing my veggies. I added corn to the mix just before dishing up and warmed up some black beans with garlic powder and a little cumin.

The fajitas had a little kick from the cayenne and paprika I used. They were great!

Breakfast during the week is primarily fruit, oatmeal, muesli, or a mix of the three. Lunch has been salad or leftovers from dinner. Dinner has been much of what I've posted tonight. I also recently tried the Veggie Dragon Roll at Gohan Japanese Restaurant in Petaluma. Yum!

Besides trying all this lovely food in my free time, I've been working on my house, walking around IKEA, hanging out at my favorite farmer's market, reading, playing with my pets, watching a movie or two, checking out local towns, and I even stopped by River Rock Casino. Summer is great!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Drink Up!

No, I'm not talking about alcohol. I'm talking about water! I recently read Are You Chronically Dehydrated? I've been trying to drink more water and I can only hope I haven't caused any damage to my body from not drinking enough water in the past. All I can do is educate myself and move forward.

Additional Resources:
Dehydration: What Happens If You Don't Drink Enough Water?
20 Benefits of Drinking Enough Water
Water - A Vital Nutrient

Try These Helpful Tips:
  • Add fresh lemon, lime, orange, or cucumber to filtered water
  • Or try watermelon, pineapple, berries, and fresh herbs
  • Freeze fresh citrus juice in ice cube trays so you always have it on hand
  • Make unsweetened, caffeine-free berry iced tea
  • Try using straws
  • Try using reusable BPA-free plastic, glass, or stainless steel containers
  • Drink plain sparkling water if you like a little fizz
  • Set alarms on your phone to remind you to drink water (my dad does this!)
  • Try an Aqua Zinger to infuse your water with fresh fruit