Monthly Archives: March 2013

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Quinoa Kale Salad

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While reading Kimberly Snyder’s blog post last week, I was inspired to eat kale salad.  That same day after I had my hair done, on my way home, I noticed a cute little restaurant tucked within a busy street corner — Sage in Echo Park (Los Angeles).  While in my car, I read the yelp reviews, which were great… so I stepped right in.  Sage is a vegan, organic, raw restaurant. Normally, I’d be scared to walk into a place like this, but many reviews said they don’t compromise on flavor, which, thankfully, they were absolutely right about.

At 1:30pm, it was still bustling with patrons.  I had a seat, asked my server what he recommended and he pointed out his favorites in all of the sections of the menu.  Since I’d read Kimberly’s blog post about kale salad, I decided to go with the recommended Goatless Greek Quinoa Kale Salad.  It was a tad saltier than I expected, but nonetheless delicious. I left Sage that Friday afternoon, full and satisfied.  Then I got home and jotted down some notes about my experience.  Usually when I really enjoy a meal, I go back the next day.  I like to really savor food and keep long-lasting memories of a meal I loved so much fresh on my mind and palette. The next day, after we spent the day at Peyman’s parents’ house, we went to Sage for dinner.  Yep, I liked it that much. Peyman was a little apprehensive about it at first, just like me, but was surprisingly pleased after dinner.  We’d arrived at 8:30pm, a peak time for dinner.  There was a waiting list of 10 parties before us.  They, however, had outdoor seating with heating lamps, and we were so hungry that we decided to just take the little table outside that no one wanted: right across from a graffiti laden van.  Service was attentive and quick, and the food was delish!  During dinner, Peyman observed masses of hipsters walking in and out of the restaurant and said, “This place is a gold mine”. I agreed.  I thought it was definitely a diamond in the rough, being in a pretty sketchy part of town.

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The next day, Sunday, I had a gathering at our place with my girlfriends to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  In keeping with the St. Pat’s theme, I made a chocolate stout cake and a green cake with chocolate, mint and pistachio.  I also provided fruit for my friends, while they brought wonderful components for our huge, delicious feast.  I’m sorry to disappoint you, but it was a cheat day for me!  After the day was through, I felt blessed and very grateful to have thoughtful friends with such good taste in food.

On Monday, I got back on track with clean-eating and with the memory of Sage still fresh in my mind, I created a kale salad for Peyman and I to eat for dinner.  First I watched Kimberly make her Dharma Kale Salad, then I applied a similar technique of breaking apart the kale and smashing the avocado into the kale as a dressing into my own salad.  I incorporated some ingredients I liked in Sage’s kale salad.  We liked it so much, I made it for my sister the next day for lunch and she liked it so much she made it the following day for her family.  She said, though, that my measurements were a little off (her’s came out a little differently).  But as with any recipe, I told her to taste, and season or add things as you make it.  I tried my best to get a more accurate measurement of the ingredients, below.

Here it is.

Quinoa Kale Salad

Yields 2 large servings

Time 20 minutes

 

Ingredients

1 head of Kale, stem removed

At least 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt

2-3 tomatoes (about 1 cup), diced

1 avocado, diced

1 gala Apple, diced

1/4th onion, diced small

1 tablespoon flaxseed

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

1/4-1/2 cup quinoa, cooked

About 1/4 cup  or small handful of walnuts, toasted (toasting optional) and roughly chopped (toast in a 300 degree oven for about 8 mins..or until fragrant or until they taste yummy)

2 tablespoons of dried cranberries

At least 3-4 shakes of cayenne pepper, depending on how much of kick of heat you like in your food

1 whole juicy lemon

1/4 cup Cucumber, chopped (optional)

Directions

Click here, to see a demonstration on how to massage kale with sea salt and avocado.

1. Wash greens well. Remove the kale stems and save them for later – to be used for a green juice or shake.

2. Add kale leaves and salt to a large bowl. With clean hands, tear the kale into bite-sized pieces while massaging salt onto the leaves.  This will sort of tenderize the leaves.

3. Add remaining ingredients.

4. With clean hands, toss the salad, while massaging the avocado onto the kale leaves. Toss, toss, toss.

(No oil is required because the avocado is the fat.)

5. Season to taste. If you think it needs more salt, add more salt or try adding some seaweed or dulse for less sodium. If you want it spicier, add more cayenne.

6. Toss. Serve and enjoy.

 

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Glowing Green Smoothie

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One of the first changes my husband, Peyman, and I made when we switched over to a plant-based lifestyle was to replace our morning coffee with 16 ounces of alkalizing, glowing green smoothies.   This smoothie has positively changed our lives.

Right away, we felt a difference.  We felt more energized and light on our feet.  Within 3 days of drinking the smoothies, we noticed that we looked more vibrant and glowing.  After a month, we lost some weight and some of Peyman’s fine lines even went away.  After a year, my eyes look brighter and I am in the best shape of my life. These smoothies are really life-changing, inside and out!

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Since the base of these smoothies is a lot of dark, leafy greens (the most nutritionally dense of all foods) and some fruit, they are great for digestion.  When our digestion is efficient, it allows energy to work on other areas of the body other than in the stomach digesting food all day.  Instead, energy is used to help rebuild other parts of our bodies, for example, to rebuild skin, hair, and nails.

There are so many health benefits that we can reap from these smoothies.  Just to name a few– beautiful skin, less puffiness around the eyes, calcium, iron from the dark leafy greens; parsley and cilantro pulls heavy metals out of fat cells; fiber and electrolytes from the celery; and, lemon is packed with vitamin C, which helps the body absorb the iron in the greens and  helps support the liver, our main fat-burning organ

This green smoothie will keep you full and give you all the nutrients you need.  This recipe is my adaptation of Kimberly Snyder’s glowing green smoothie that Peyman likes best.  I hope you try it and love it as much as we do!

Cheers!

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Green Smoothie

Servings 4

Time 10 minutes

V, GF, VGF, DF, SF, SRF, NF, CF, R

 

Ingredients (all organic). 

2 cups of filtered water

1 handful of cilantro

1 head of romaine lettuce, base cut off

2-3 big handfuls of spinach or kale

4 stalks of celery

1 gala apple

1 ripe pear

1 ripe banana (spotted)

juice from 1/2 a lemon

1 tsp of turmeric, optional

1 tsp spirulina, optional

 

Directions

In a blender, add 2 cups of water, cilantro, romaine and spinach.  Cover and blend from medium to high just until it is completely blended.  Add more spinach and water if it looks too thick.  Blend from medium to high speed.  Add the celery, apple (seeds removed), pear (seeds removed), banana, turmeric, spirulina and lemon juice.  Blend from medium to high speed until smooth.  Enjoy!

 

 

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