Walk the walk: support your farmer directly

I must share this incredible post by Crystal Cun of the film FRESH* (hitting theatres later this year)

"Take a glance at your grocery bill. How much of that money do you think goes to the farmer who produced the food? Half? 70%? Actually, in the U.S., only 19% of the money spent on food goes to farmers and ranchers (USDA). And this share has been shrinking for the last few decades. The other 81% goes toward transforming these raw foods into processed products and transporting them to your grocery’s shelves."

Please go to their blog to read the full post.

Here's their movie's trailer, in case you're interested in learning more! I hope so :)

*About the film: FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.


Soaked Quinoa Time!

While in France....and still living in a hotel without a kitchen (but only for another week)...I have been experimenting with soaking quinoa...and it's a lot simpler than I thought, just as long as I remember to soak it the night before...I have quinoa for the next day....

I fill up a jar half with the dry quinoa and half with water...rinse it, drain it, and then fill up the remainder of the jar with water again and let it sit over night....Note: besides traveling with a small mason jar, I recommend a small hand held colander for rinsing purposes....so that you don't loose any grains or seeds down the drain when you are rinsing them :(

The next day, I drain the water and rinse the quinoa once more....then it's ready to be mixed with dried fruits and honey for breakfast or ready to be wrapped up in a Nori sheet with raw veggies for lunch or dinner!!

I have been able to find yet another all organic (biologique in French) products store, this one much closer to the hotel....about a 1/2 hour walk....called Biocoop, their info is below....We have been really lucky to find organic food at most markets in France, big and small, chain stores and not....it seems to be much more accessible here than in Long Beach....but just as expensive or more.

301, av. de Grande-Bretagne
31300 Toulouse


Cauliflower Popcorn with Aioli!

This recipe I tried and loved, except I cheated and added Aioli....for those of you not familiar with Aioli...it's a delicious garlicky vegan mayonnaise. This recipe can be found in the book called "Rapid Raw" Fast food with heart....pg.16......and Aioli can be found at Beach Health Tree in Long Beach (address below), Sprouts in Seal Beach and probably many other "healthier" food stores....


1 Cauliflower, florets chopped
1 T flax oil, optional....or any other oil you like
1 T Nutritional Yeast
1/2 t salt
Spices (optional):
Chili Powder
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
My addition: Aioli :p

Serves 2-4

Pour (flax) oil over the popcorn size cauliflower in a bowl and mix. Sprinkle on yeast, salt and desired spices and mix. Serve with a movie.

Beach Health Tree
305 Redondo Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90814-2652
(562) 434-1155


3/50 Project

I highly encourage you all to look into this excellent project, whereever you may live, in order to support locally owned independent businesses across the country, and even across the globe.  Take a minute to read about it and then do what you can to spread the word and lend your support.


Veggie Weekend in Paris

Below are some of the delicious stops we made while in Paris...too bad it was a short visit...so much to see and taste!

Happy eaters at Aanchan Gastronomie Indienne on Friday afternoon.....late lunch!

We tasted some of the typical veggie dishes ....along with some garlic naan and white rice....

Mangolicious dessert.....

This came after our dessert...it had bits of fennel and something else I could not pin point...plus colorful sugary nibs....it left our mouths with a refreshing feeling

Aanchal Gastronomie Indienne, 104 Rue de l'Ouest- 75014 Paris
Tel: 01 45 40 73 32
Metro: Pernety et Plaisance, Bus: 62

Saturday and Sunday we had lunch at
Maoz Vegetarian 36 Rue Saint-Andre des Arts-75006 Paris
Tel: 01 46 33 87 19
They also have locations in Barcelona, Madrid and London
Falafel Sandwiches for 4.50 euros each, great deal and full belly!
Totally forgot to take pictures :(

Above, random fruit stand inside the subway station.....how cool is that!

Chocolate piano and chocolate-everything-else around it!!

On Saturday, we were lucky enough to pass by this store and find chocolate truffles!!
Un Dimanche A Paris, Le Chocolat
4-6-8 Cour de Commerce Saint Andre, Saint Germain des Pres
Tel: 01 56 81 18 18
Metro: Odeon

Saturday we had dinner at Bio Asia (Bio meaning organic)
16 Rue de l'Ouest-75014
Tel: 01 43 20 94 17
Metro: Gaite, Bus: 13
An all organic Asian food restaurant!!!
Again, forgot to take pictures :(


La Crêperie du Midi

Last Sunday afternoon we were driving around starving....we had ventured off into this little town called Minerve and before we knew it it was past 2pm and the only restaurant open was not serving anymore food....we frantically went searching for food.....lucky enough we found a Creperie in St. Marcel near Narbonne.....as you can see below we took a break from our vegan selves and decided to enjoy some delicious crepes...two savory and one sweet....I wish I could remember the exact ingredients....but enjoy the pictures and imagine the filling you would want instead!

Carabanane Crepe (sugar and banana for sure, too much shantilly...whip cream)

Garden Crepe

ingredients?? fromage de chèvre???

We also had a cup of coffee....check out this cute cup/spoon set.....

And we also ordered some lemon verbena tea....another cute tea cup/pot set....

The creperie is located at: 2 Av. de Narbonne, 11120 St. Marcel, France near Narbonne
phone: +33 04 68 27 09 81
Could not find them online :(


Salad Sandwiches....almost all raw....

While living in a hotel room in Toulouse France, with no kitchen, I am preparing lots of raw food...or somewhat raw....tonight I made salad sandwiches with an assortment of veggies and condiments....including: zucchini, cucumber, avocado, tomato, carrot, broccoli, onion, garlic, sesame seeds, squeezed lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, moutarde de Dijon, coriander powder, black pepper and alaea salt.

All of these ingredients between 2 slices of pain de mie (crumb bread)....and a little craving of mine....POTATO CHIPS!


Herbal Kitchen

Today I wanted to introduce you to a wonderful new book my sister and I ran into at our local library. It's called "Herbal Kitchen" by Kami McBride and it is a wealth of information and yummy recipes to incorporate the healing properties of herbs into our daily lives.

We're big fans of herbal medicine in my family, and this book seems to be the best complement to using those wonderful herbs in the kitchen.
Sure, I know it's good to add some astragalus to a soup in order to infuse the food with some kick-ass immune boosting goodness, but Kami McBride provides a refreshing recipe for astragalus apple juice for example. The drinks section alone sends me to "ooo" and "mmm" as I turn the pages... So creative, so delicious, so nourishing!

I highly encourage you to check your local library for this book, or if you're interested in glancing through it a bit just click to open and new tab and check it out!

Imagine the possibilities!!! and then make them :)



Vert de Terre

Last night we found this great all organic/health food store in Toulouse called Vert de Terre...translates to "Green Earth". We purchased organic everything...fruits, veggies, quinoa, tea, bread, ginger, nuts, cereal bars, etc...we went crazy.....it was nice to finally find organic produce because the conventional one is just as bad here as it is back in the states...you can taste it! The owner is vegan so we were in heaven! Vert de Terre is located at 17 Rue Peyras, downtown Toulouse. http://www.happycow.net/gmaps/get-map-direct.php?vid=888

Check out this helpful food finder for when you travel: http://www.happycow.net/

Back at the hotel we prepared raw veggie burrito style nori wraps. Ingredients: zucchini squash, carrots, bell pepper, radish, avocado, garlic and ginger....dipped in soy sauce of course!
We also shared an already prepared veggie soup (which we heated up in the electric tea pot) accompanied by a nutty bread.

We are experimenting with quinoa...soaking it tonight overnight and will try to eat it raw tomorrow......will share the results soon!



I have found home. If I ever go missing......please call Eataly in NYC on 5th Ave between 23rd and 24th. I probably have gone there and decided never to leave. Being in Eataly is like being in Italy, but with a NY accent!

This place is awesome. It is the brainchild of Mario Batali, celebrity chef extraordinare who prides himself on his authentic Italian cooking. Now, Eataly is not just a restaurant. Eataly is an Italian marketplace that carries any Italian foodstuff you can imagine (canned goods, honey, coffees, pasta, chocolate, wine, etc). They also have multiple "counters" like in a grocery store that specialize in different things, such as a butcher, seafood guy, fresh pasta counter, bakery, and even a vegetable butcher! They also have 4 different restaurants on premise from which to choose from (fine dining, all vegetarian, pizza/pasta, and fish). In addition to that they also have a Piazza, which is in the middle of the store and is standing only with high boy tables where you can order meats, cheeses, and wines by the glass. Thy also have a coffee bar and a gelato counter.

Now, obviously Eataly is NOT a vegan or vegetarian haven. They definitely have vegan/veggie options in regards to dining, and definitely in regards to foodstuffs, but if someone loves meat, they would have a field day as well. I feel like this place is a haven for people who LOVE food. Not just like it, but love it. The people who have love affairs on the side, the people who are torn between their loved one and this "other". I confess, I am currently having a love affair with Italian food. I can't get enough of it. I'm not talking about chain restaurants, or jarred pasta sauce, or frozen Italian dinners. I'm talking about simple, fresh Italian meals made in the old-fashioned rustic way. A big pot of homemade marinara, fresh ricotta (I know, I know), freshly baked crusty bread, a great quality olive oil, truffle honey. Those are the things I love.

I dined with a friend last night and had a splendid (and vegan!) meal. I had the napoli pizza, which was a fresh baked crust with homemade pizza sauce, and fresh herbs. I started with a winter salad of cauliflower, fennel, asian pear, and cabbage. It was lightly dressed with EVOO and salt and pepper. YUMMY! I also enjoyed a glass of prosecco rose. Molto bene!

All in all I love Eataly. I love walking by the truffle counter (yes, they have a truffle counter), I love the fresh espresso smell, and I just love watching people love fresh and rustic ingredients. There is nothing complicated or fussy at Eataly. It is just good food for just about every diet/appetite. I have been here twice, and I would go there again.

*I have pics, but I am on the Internet in a hotel in NYC and my connection is slow as molasses and will not accept downloads. BOO!


Vegetarienne Experience in France Part 1

While in France we are visiting different restaurants, vegetarian when possible. The first night we arrived, we found "La Faim de Haricots" (which literally translates to "Hungry bean"), a vegetarian restaurant, buffet style, our kind of place....located in downtown Toulouse. We tried almost everything....so good we forgot to take pictures....I decided to go vegetarian that night and tried their savory tarts....with ricota and caramelized onions, délicieux!

On the weekend we visited 2 small towns, one of them called Cordes Sur Ciel, a fortified town built in 1222. After walking up the hill in the rain and exploring the little streets on top, we decided to have lunch at Auberge de la Cite, a little family owned restaurant up in the hills.
The dish consisted of a veggie medley and wild rice with an orange and a pineapple sauce. So sweet, so good!

The previous night we dined in Albi, another old town, dating back to the Bronze Age! I can not remember the name of the restaurant but I do remember that we got to order vegan food. Pasta with veggies and a veggie pizza....sans fromage (without cheese).

Back at the hotel on Sunday evening we prepared our own raw meal....I grated zucchini, chopped onions, garlic, red bell pepper, avocado and cashews...sprinkled lemon, added some olive oil, salt and pepper, yum yum! We brought some cooking utensils for the trip including: grater, knife, cutting board, tin containers and bamboo eating utensils....This way we can prepare some of our own healthy meals and don't have to always rely on getting restaurant food. Luckily, the hotel room has an electric tea pot that we can use to heat up water for tea and soup! Viola!