Monthly Archive: February 2011

Wilshire-versary

Soooo, let’s just get this out of the way.  There’s been a glitch in the system.  Thanks to Google I have no account, and so my life is a little bit scrambled at the moment.  I feel oh-so-lucky to be one of the chosen deactivated 0.02% (sarcasm much)…

I’m sorry the announcement of my giveaway was delayed (I couldn’t access the chart I was tracking everyone’s entries on).  Sorry kids!  It appears a peace treaty has been reached between myself and Google right now.  Let this be a lesson, though – back yo shiz up! 

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While my Google crap was still getting sorted out, Kyle and I had a fabulous anniversary dinner date at Wilshire

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There were a few key reasons I chose this restaurant – the most important being their focus on supporting organic and local farms.  I like rewarding places that are environmentally responsible.  In addition to honoring sustainable practices, Wilshire has a pretty legit wine list, too. 

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The menu is veg-friendly with several salads and even a vegan entree (plus vegetarian pastas, fish dishes, and steak/burger options).  And half a dozen veggie sides that I was eyeing, too.

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The ambiance was fabulous – pretty much exactly as I’d design my own restaurant – with indoor and outdoor areas.  There were TONS of heater lamps and a couple of fireplaces (and as someone who is perpetually freezing, this was the warmest I’d been all day).  The tables were scattered among trees lined in lights, which made the experience casual but special.  There were several separate outdoor areas, too, all hidden by various treetops and canopies, and yet it still seemed so open.  Also, there were many places for private parties (noted).  I definitely felt like the dining atmosphere was really special. 

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We started with bread – hot and steamy with the fluffiest insides.  The butter (which I obviously skipped) was infused with pepper. 

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To start, Kyle and I shared the little gem and endive salad with persimmon, walnuts, roaring 40’s, and pomegranate vin.  And although it was quite tasty, I quickly discovered “roaring 40’s” was in fact very old cheese.  It was easily picked around, but there was still a pretty strong aroma present.  Well, now I know.

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For dinner, I ordered the panko crusted tofu with edamame puree and stir fried mushrooms.

YUM!!!

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The panko crust on this was to die for.  Absolutely to die for.  The edamame puree was especially complimentary, while the mushrooms were so good I wanted an entire plate of them alone.  I practically licked the plate clean, it was devoid of even a drippy drop of food; and even though I was completely stuffed afterwards, I still wished the portion had been twice the size.  It was simply amazing.

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Kyle chose the braised shortrib with mashed potatoes and glazed cipollini onion.

The night was fabulous.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for…

Congrats to elaine who wrote:

thanks for holding this awesome giveaway! Terry is such an inspiration – the interview was wonderful to read.  I also love the question, "If you had to choose 3 foods to eat for the rest of your life what would they be?" because that’s one of my favorite questions to ask! you find so many incredible new ways to eat certain foods when you just ask! my top 3 foods:

1. KALE (same as terry!)
2. the blackened tempeh from native foods (it is like NOTHING i’ve ever tasted before)
3. cashews – my one true nut love

Send me an email with your address so I can get you your very own copy of Terry Walters’ Clean Start

Veggie Squash Noodles

This recipe will fill you up and then some. 

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It will probably leave you with a small fiber baby too.

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Spaghetti squash is pretty much the easiest squash to prep ever.  Literally all you do is hack it open, flip it so each half is face down in a pan with an inch of water.

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Simple enough, right?  No chopping, no peeling, no Jackie Chan knife skills required.

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Left: pre-oven; Right: after 50 minutes at 375.

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Scoop out the stringy flesh, and tupperware it up.

Unless you are a squash whore, I’d recommend separating the portions and perhaps freezing some because there’s usually a pretty substantial yield.  Then again, if you are feeding an entire family (or a certain hippie), this probably won’t apply.

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Below is half the yield (and that’s a monster tupperware in case you can’t tell).

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I can’t believe an entire fall and nearly all of winter have passed and I am only just now making my first spaghetti squash dish of the year.  Geez.  For it’s first use, I decided to make a creamy sauce and load it with extra veggies.  I was craving fiber in a HUGE way (most likely because I ate an undocumented and hideously embarrassing amount of pretzels with almond butter the previous night – but who’s to say). 

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Nope, not alfredo.

I have perfected a mock “cheese” sauce that will make you ditch dairy forever.  And assuming you have the same pantry staples on hand as I, it’s probably something you could make for your next meal.

The chemistry isn’t exact, just whisk together:

  • 1/4 cup hummus (or more)
  • 2 tbsp nooch
  • 1/8 cup almond milk
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

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I used as little liquid as possible so that it was really thick, but in actuality the consistency is up to you.

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This was so awesome, I probably could’ve eaten it simply like this, but I craved some crunch. 

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So I added in:

  • a million baby carrots, chopped
  • baby bell pepper, chopped
  • raw shredded cauliflower “rice”

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Piled high.

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Then all tossed together.

It took a loooong time to finish off (my favorite kind of meal).  And because I’m a fiend, I even went back for extra hummus and carrots. 

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Spaghetti squash, while nowhere near as close to my heart as butternut, can definitely be a nice change up.  Due to it’s noodle-y consistency, it can stand in for pasta in a dish (ie squash marinara), or offer up it’s own Vitamin A and Folic Acid packed nutrients as a side dish.  I’ve posted a step by step tutorial on how to prepare spaghetti squash before (see the tutorials section).  And Terry has a really good recipe in her book Clean Start…which you only have a few more hours to enter to win!

Hummus and taxes

I’m pretty sure my version of the phrase is just as true (and not nearly as morbid).  I mean really, is there anything more certain in life than the fact that I’ll consume pounds and pounds of hummus?  No.  The burden of taxes, on the other hand, is a far less joyous inevitability.

Kyle and I have nearly finished ours, though, so at least that will be one big check off the to-do list.  I have to say, moving to a different state and starting new jobs certainly made things more difficult this year.  Good thing my dad has been making me do my own taxes for years.  [I can’t believe I’m admitting that this has been beneficial since I hate hate hate it]

But I digress.

Breakfast was my only meal on Saturday that didn’t contain hummus.

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Banana + MaraNatha almond butter + pita pita

In case you have been on the lookout for the best whole wheat pita ever, do yourself a favor and find Turlock Pita Bread asap.  Mmmm.

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Pac man the pita (see above), stuff in sliced up nanner, copious amounts of nutbutter, and enjoy.

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Apple slices got their own almond butter a la mode.  There is no sharing when it comes to nutbutters.  Definitely a “go big or go home” sitch.

Lunch was wrap-tastic

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Not too complicated – hummus, butternut squash, and bell peppers on an Alvarado Street sprouted wrap.

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Perrrrrfect.

I attempted an afternoon jog, but found the wind to be quite distracting.  There were several points that I nearly wooshed off the street…hideous.  I cut it short and Netflix-ed the afternoon away instead.

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Afternoon snackage.

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The heel piece (best piece!) of my latest loaf of pumpkin banana bread topped with almond butter.  Decadent!

Dinner involved this bad boy.

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With, what else, hummus.  :)

Recipe to come.

Staples

I have more photos on my camera than I could possibly share.

How about the staples?

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Pre-packed food – definitely necessary given the limited cafeteria options at 3 am.

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T.G.I.L. – thank goodness it’s leftovers because it made work prep come together in 5 minutes flat (Israeli couscous with raw cauliflower “rice”, cherry tomatoes, and spinach)

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Dessert – non-negotiable :) [I ate this Kookie Karma holistic choco lot in the car on the way to work so I don’t have a photo, but it was dark, gooey, and utterly decadent – I will be buying again]

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Candied Ginger – I am averaging one of these tubs a week so I’d say it’s almost as much of a staple as hummus

Speaking of hummus…

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Hummus and vegan cheese – the new power couple

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Oats – always a staple in my life.  Especially after a long 12 hour night shift.  Could I have heaped this bowl any higher?

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Coffee – no explanation needed

 

 

 

 

And now for the real Staples

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Downtown LA used to scare me, but it’s not at all as ghetto as it once was.  In fact, the area surrounding the Staples Center was, dare I say it, pretty posh.

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Fine dining aplenty!

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And another staple ;)

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A perfect way to start off my weekend (yes, on a Thursday)!

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And the BEST way to start a Friday.  T.G.I.F.T.  Thank goodness it’s french toast!

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Relaxing in PJs and doing Jillian’s Shred are equally as important in my life.  Naturally, I made sure to do both.

And enjoying back to back nights out…well…that’s not exactly a staple…yet.

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But I’m hoping it becomes one.  :)

What’s a staple in your life? Food or other.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a copy of Terry Walters’ Clean Start.