If you missed me on Food Network’s One Last Bite, here’s my clip What would your last bite be??
I get asked a lot of questions about eco/vegan beauty so I thought I’d let you in on a little secret of mine. Planet Salon. It is my “happy place” in LA. It’s an eco-friendly salon where magic happens. You might not think of your hair and makeup being eco/vegan, but your body absorbs everything you put on your skin. So why would you want to put all those chemicals and toxins in your body that are in most beauty products? I say no! Ginger Boyle and Dean Roybal own this little gem and they both do my hair. I’ve known Ginger since I was 21 and modeled for her all over the country. I have so many fantastic memories traveling with her!
They’ve just moved to a new location on Melrose right next to Fred Segal. And it’s awesome!! Planet Salon is mainly an Aveda salon which is one of my favorite eco/vegan beauty brands! I’m personally inviting all of you to come out to their grand opening party this Saturday!! I’ll be there and I’d love to see you!
Come meet the incredible staff there! This is not your typical Hollywood salon with nose-stuck-up people. The staff at Planet are some of the kindest people I’ve ever met! And your experience will be something you’ve never imagined. You are truly treated like a rockstar at this place! From the relaxing tea, to the best hair wash in the country, to the fabulous hand and arm massage you receive during your treatment, you will leave feeling like a superstar! I mean, check out this processing patio on their roof where you can relax and enjoy a cup of tea and sunshine while you wait for your color!
If you are looking to switch up your routine, create a new look or go eco, I highly suggest getting over to Planet Salon!
Have you given up your New Year resolution already? What if instead of setting a huge, general and unattainable goal, you do one minor thing that you can actually achieve this year? My good friend and sports nutrition superstar Brendan Brazier has come up with this #OneChange campaign and I think it’s awesome! Check out his website for Vega’s OneChange and pick which habit you’d like to break this year and he’ll give you some great advice and easy steps to reaching your goal.
Occasionally I find myself falling into The Breakfast Skipper category. It’s hard to get breakfast in every morning when you are traveling as much as I am, but my secret weapon is now Vega One Nutritional Shakes. The small packets are easy for packing and you just add 1 cup of water, shake, and go! These saved me on my recent trip to Florida!
Head on over to #OneChange and see what simple steps you can do to get healthier!
I cooked up a big Italian feast for my good friend Mark Thompson‘s birthday party the other week and I decided to share some recipes with you guys First up is this cucumber carpaccio. I was originally thinking I’d make my zucchini carpaccio, but since Mark is not a big fan of zucchini we switched it up a bit to cucumbers. This dish is super tasty and is fabulous as a salad, appetizer or even something to nibble on while watching the upcoming games and award shows.
1/4 cup finely diced purple onion
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
6 Persian cucumbers (the little ones with tiny seeds), thinly sliced on a mandolin
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
Place the onions and vinegar in a sealable container with a big pinch of salt and refrigerate overnight or for a few hours.
Toss the cucumbers and dill in the onions and vinegar. Season to taste with the salt and pepper and finish by drizzling the olive oil over.
Serve room temp or chilled.
In a magical city over a famous bridge, there is a gem of a Italian restaurant that needs to be added to your “must try” list. It’s called Sociale, it’s in Brooklyn and it’s delicious! Is it an all vegan restaurant? No, but if you call ahead, the very kind staff and immensely talented chef will cater to any of your dietary restrictions. The restaurant is modern and clean, but still quaint and homey. Front of the house is run by Francesco. He is everything you would ever want from a front of house captain. He is charming. He is enthusiastic. He is from Italy. He is incredibly passionate about food! He will make you feel like you have come home for a leisurely, romantic, delicious food experience. The lighting in Sociale is exactly what I like: dimly lit, creating a perfect glow. The only trouble with this is taking photos is not so easy. Please forgive me for the quality of these pictures and take my word that you have to get over to Sociale asap! Nonetheless, this is what we ate, savored, and enjoyed!
Risotto style farro with tender asparagus. This was a unique take on risotto that I loved! I’ll definitely be recreating this dish in the future!
And ugh this picture does this dessert not even an ounce of justice. This pumpkin spice cake was one of the best vegan desserts I’ve ever had in my entire life. It was moist, light, and packed with huge flavors! This dessert alone is reason to fly back across the country right now!
There is really negative to say about this place. It’s fantastic! My dinner mates ate animal protein off the normal menu and they loved their dishes as well. And note that there is a really beautiful private table downstairs that is perfect for an intimate dinner.
tel +1 (718) 576 3588
Merry almost Christmas! Hopefully, you’ve got all your holiday shopping done and now we can focus on the food! Whether you are hosting or you are brining a dish to your Holiday gathering, here is a roundup of recipes that will be sure hits!
1. Apple Cranberry Chutney! This dish will make your house smell like Holiday Heaven!
2. Avocado Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes! My Grandma used to make these and don’t they just look like little adorable ornaments??
3. Gigante Bean Salad! Easy, light, and a perfect antipasti.
4. Chi-Chi Bean Toasts! A yummy
5. Italian Layer Dip! This is a HUGE hit every time I make it! And it’s super festive looking
6. Zucchini Carpaccio! This raw crudo dish is packed with flavor!
7. Aunt Rose’s Caponata! This is my Great Aunt Rose’s traditional caponata recipe
8. Marinated Mushrooms & Artichokes! This is a great make ahead dish! The longer it sits, the better it tastes!
9. Antipasti Wreath Centerpiece! Did you catch me making this on Home & Family?
With Christmas just around the corner, I thought I’d give you a light and yummy recipe that you could easily serve as an anitpasti salad, or a side dish to your Italian (or American!) feast! It features some of my favorite ingredients including gigante beans! They are a like a lima bean. If you can find them, feel free to sub with white, garbanzo, or cannelini beans. This is a great dish to make the day before! The flavors will only develop as it sits in the fridge
2 15oz. cans of gigante beans, rinsed well
1/2 cup finely diced white onion
2 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 6oz. jars of marinated quartered artichokes
1 bulb of fennel, sliced thinly
2 cloves of garlic, minced
the zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together and serve chilled or at room temperature.
I can’t believe this year is coming to a close already! It sure flew by! Here we go guys, this is my gift guide for the year of all my favorite things that I’ve found! Read each list clockwise starting in the upper left corner Happy Holidays!!
Melissa’s Virtue Flats These flats are so super cute! And eco friendly! They are 100% recyclable! Holiday Bonus offer! Enter Veggiegirl15 at checkout and get 15% off your whole order!
Jill Milan Newbury Street Portfolio Jill’s entire line is just stunning! These portfolios are great for tablets and even as a statement evening bag!
Stella McCartney Heart Cuff Show someone special you really love them with this gooooorgeous cuff!
KRZE STUDIO Clair Bag Leila creates some of the most beautiful all vegan handbags in Italy! AND she is about to launch her shoe line! I’m drooling!
Amazonas Sandals These sandals aren’t only cute, they are made up of “eco rubber” that’s at least 80% recycled materials!
Vaute Couture Book In Luxe-Petal If you aren’t familiar with Vaute Couture, go ahead an get an education on her site! She is turning out some of the most beautiful and eco fashion out there!
Namaste The Monroe Bag This bag is sitting right next to me right now. It usually is! This is my go-to travel bag! It fits my laptop, my snacks, my favorite scarf, my passport, and anything else I need!
One Love Unified Long Sleeve Raglan This shirt is one of the comfy coziest shirts I have! I also love the meaning behind this shirt and company. The peace sign design is made up of all the countries in the world spelled out and they donate part of their proceeds to charity.
Sugarbaby Aprons These are my favorite aprons that I wear in almost all of my cooking classes and appearances. I adore the style and they are having a huge sale right now!
A Beautiful Mess kitchen towel I saw this towel at Anthropologie and thought what a perfect towel for my kitchen
Saigon Surprise Popcorn Popsalot This is the best gourmet popcorn I’ve ever had! This the kettle corn sprinkled with cinnamon flavor! I just love it!!
Glasstic Water Bottles These water bottles are so cool! They are glass on the inside and have a plastic outer case that makes them virtually unbreakable. Which is great for someone like me who travels with their bottles all over the world and has dropped them all over too They are truly glasstastic!
Shiny Spoons Buckwheat Pudding I discovered these puddings at Green Festival in Washington DC and they are deelish! They are vegan, gluten free, soy free, and yummy! My favorite flavor is the dark, dark chocolate!
Core Bamboo Salad Bowl and Utensils I love Core Bamboos products! They are stylish and eco friendly
Forest Friends Dish Towels How cute are these towels!? They are flour sack tea towels printed with eco friendly ink
Hail Merry Macaroons If you know me, you have heard me RAVE about Hail Merry snacks! I love these products! They have these fabulous Holiday tins they are offering this year with their raw, gluten free, vegan, incredible coconut macaroons **Please note the blondies have just sold out! But they do have my favorite flavor: the chocolate, chocolate chip!!
My Other Bag Dopp Kit Spending most of my days on the road, this dopp kit is super cute and perfect for anyone who likes to travel in style
One Love Unified Mens T-Shirt I know I already featured the women’s tee, but I just love the design of these shirts and I think it’s the perfect gift for men too!
Recycled Wine Glasses I love these tumbler style glasses and the wine lover on your list will as well!
My Other Bag Tote Ok, I’m slightly obsessed with these bags… they are just perfect for travel, the market, gym, everything! I have brought mine all over the world. It’s a stylish alternative to those “other” bags.
World Wildlife Fund Umbrella This umbrella is super duper cute and the money goes to a great cause!
Inception Wine Ok guys, this is my faaaavorite wine! (It’s Wolfgang Puck’s as well!) Must try!
Sprout Watches I cannot get enough of these watches! I gave a few of them for gifts last year and don’t tell, but more people are getting them this year They are eco friendly! Made from cork, bamboo, and corn!
Cardiff Skates Last but not least! You guys, these are my absolute favorite thing this year on the list! These skates are so cool and I looooooove mine! They strap right to your shoes so you never have to sit down to take them on and off! They are also way easier than roller blades (if you went to college with me, you probably saw me eat dirt multiple times on campus lol!)
Alright! That’s the list this year! I hope you enjoy and find some fun stuff!!
Shepherd’s Pie is one of my favorite hearty meals for the cold months! It takes awhile to make, but it’s so warm and filling, it’s worth every minute! My recipe is packed with lentils and veggies and has a dark rich broth with mushrooms and red wine I’m a fan of wine broth with anything and this is no exception! This would make the perfect main dish for Thanksgiving!
2 carrots, sliced and quartered
1 onion, diced
6 oz. mushrooms, sliced (whatever your favorite is, portobello, crimini, porcini etc)
1 tbsp flour
1 cup peas (fresh is always best, but use frozen if they aren’t available)
2 cups chopped kale (or chard, or spinach)
1 cup cooked lentils (any color will do)
1 1/2 cup red wine
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp. tomato paste
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
salt & pepper to taste
1 lb. red potatoes
4 tbsp. Earth Balance
1/4 cup plain soy milk (you can use any alternative milk you like, but I like the texture and taste of soy the best for this)
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, sauté the carrots, and onions in a few tablespoons of olive oil. After 3 minutes add in the mushrooms and continue to sauté until the mushrooms are soft (about 5 minutes). Sprinkle in the flour and mix well so a roux (paste) has formed. While stirring constantly, add in the wine and broth and mix until the flour has dissolved. Bring to a simmer and add the kale, peas, lentils, soy sauce, tomato paste, garlic, and oregano. Stir and continue to cook lightly simmering about 7-10 minutes or until the mixture reduces to a thick stew-like consistency. Pour into a 9 x 9 baking dish and top with mashed potatoes. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the potatoes get a little golden, at 400 degrees.
The other day I was craving Thai flavors, but didn’t have too many Thai ingredients on hand, so I made this soup with the inspiration of Thailand and what I had on hand. It came out pretty tasty! The sweet coconut milk, ginger, and spices did the trick! This is perfect as a soup, or it would be delicious over some rice or quinoa.
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 cup lentils (green or red)
1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, or a dusting if you don’t like too much spice
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 large carrot, diced
1 cup chopped cauliflower (bite size pieces)
10 baby potatoes, sliced (I cut each one into 4 pieces)
1 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of cilantro, chopped
In a soup pot, melt the coconut oil and add in the lentils and onions. Saute till the lentils are soft, about 5 minutes. Add in the spices, stir to coat, and then the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Then turn the heat down to a simmer. Let cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the carrot. Let sit 5 minutes and add the cauliflower, and potatoes. Let cook for about 15 minutes or until veggies are fork tender. Add in the coconut milk. Stir and season with salt, and pepper. Serve warm alone or with rice topped with fresh chopped cilantro.