I had the pleasure of teaching a fabulous floral and cooking class with my good friend Tam Ashworth owner of Isari Flower Studio. (More on that class in a few!) This is the floral salad I created. I love a salad like this at a dinner party! It doesn’t take much effort to arrange a salad like this and I think it makes such a huge impact for your guests.
1 head of boston head lettuce
1 organic peach
8 organic strawberries
6 organic blueberries
fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, tarragon, etc.
Stack the lettuce leaves on the plate making a flower shape. Garnish with the fruit.
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. agave nectar or honey
2/3 cup olive oil
Combine all the ingredients in your food processor except olive oil and pulse until the shallot is finely minced. Stream in your olive oil. Serve immediately or make sure you stir if ingredients separate.
I first heard about Dave’s Killer Bread months ago, but I could never find it in the store… well that changed. Looks like someone got the memo. It’s like Southern California grocery stores have been flooded with it! By the look of their website, they are available most places now.
I don’t eat a lot of bread and when I do, it’s homemade. But I will say, this bread is the exception! It’s delicious! I don’t think I’ve ever had such yummy packaged bread. It’s got a great crust, is super soft and fluffy in the middle, but is still strong enough to stand up to the hardest to spread peanut butter. All of their breads are vegan, organic, and contain no GMO’s.
You should check out their website to hear Dave’s story; it’s very touching and inspiring! But you should check out the bread if you want something tasty! Man, I wish I could say Dave’s Killer Bread paid me to feature them, but I’ve never been in contact with them, just a big fan!
I am an early riser. I like getting a good start to the day. I skip that trip to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and head outside. Yup, the first thing I do is grab my dog and go out for a walk. I just love starting my day by going outside and breathing fresh air! If you read this site you know that I travel… a lot… but that never stops my walks. I walk for about 30 minutes. When I get home I drink a tall glass of room temperature water and I make myself a nice breakfast. Today was my Oatmeal Quinoa Blend made with coconut milk topped with bananas almonds, and cinnamon. More on that in a minute! Then I shower and lastly I open my computer and say hello to all you wonderful people Not too intense, I’m sure some do it better, but that’s my morning for you.
Ok, more about that Quinoa Breakfast Blend! Quinoa is a great way to start you day because of the high protein and fiber, but I don’t like it on it’s own in the morning, so I started blending it with my oatmeal and then I had the epiphany to cook it in coconut milk and now nothing else will do! (that’s not true, I use almond milk when I don’t have it lol!) Give it a try and let me know what you think! I’m giving you the recipe for a 50/50 blend, but if you are unsure about having quinoa for breakfast, adjust so there is a little less and a little more oatmeal. This fabulous hearty breakfast is ready in 15 minutes!
1/2 cup quinoa (color doesn’t matter)
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 cups coconut milk (I use the canned light coconut milk from Trader Joe’s)
sliced banana, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, shredded coconut, your favorite dried fruit etc.
toasted nuts like almonds, granola, non-dairy yoghurt etc.
Place the quinoa and coconut milk in a small pot and bring to a gentle boil, immediately reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add in the oatmeal, stir, and let simmer another 5 minutes. Pour in bowls and top with fruits, nuts, and cinnamon.
I remember my Great Aunt Rose telling me a story before she passed about a trip to Rome she took with my Great Uncle. Fettuccine Alfredo was named by an Italian restaurateur, Alfredo Di Lelio, at his restaurant Alfredo on the Via della Scrofa in Rome in 1914. My Great Aunt and Uncle were lucky enough to dine there and have Mr. Alfredo Di Lelio serve them his dish personally table side! She said he served all of the Alfredo in the restaurant with large gold engraved fork and spoon that were given to him by Mary Pickford! How cool is that???
Ok, so why the story? Well, I used to love fettuccine alfredo when I was a kid, but authentic kind that was just butter and parmesan cheese. So when I became a vegan I was always thinking of healthy ways of making this dish. Cauliflower was the obvious choice in vegetable for me to experiment with and I think I’ve developed a recipe that you’ll enjoy! It’s super duper creamy and dare I say actually pretty good for you! I’m serious, you will be blown away by how creamy it is! In my picture I’ve served this sauce with Bisogno’s vegan, gluten free, spinach pasta that I found at the farmers market today, but you can use this sauce in so many ways! I loooove it on a baked potato with some broccoli! It’s great in lasagna, potatoes au gratin, etc. Hope you enjoy!
1 large head of cauliflower
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp. vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced
6 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
Cut off any bottom leaves of the cauliflower and cut out the toughest part of the core. Then break the cauliflower down into florets. Boil them with the vegetable broth uncovered until the cauliflower is very soft and tender. About 15 minutes.
While the cauliflower is cooking, heat a large frying pan and saute the onion and garlic with the Earth Balance and olive oil until soft.
When both are done, using a slotted spoon, remove all the cauliflower from the broth and place in a blender or food processor. Add 1 cup of the cooking broth, all the contents of the frying pan, the nutmeg and salt. Puree on high until very smooth, 3-4 minutes. Add a little more broth at a time if it needs to be thinned. Add pepper to taste.
Serve with fettuccine and serve warm.
OPTIONS: Drizzle the finished fettuccine alfredo with some truffle oil for something really special! Add red chili flakes to kick up the heat on your pasta! Or saute asparagus, mushrooms, squash, tomatoes, broccoli, or any other veggies you like and add on top!
The other day I found out about My Other Bag and I’m a little obsessed! I picked up the above beauty and have been carrying it with me everywhere! (and getting plenty of compliments!) So why am I mentioning these bags in Eco-Style? Well let me just tell you
My Other Bag is 100% vegan using no byproducts of animals and they are manufactured in the United States, more specifically right here in Los Angeles!
I love that I can have the styles made by my favorite designers, in an affordable eco-chic way! I’m using My Other Bag as a farmers market tote as well and a chic bag to bring to meetings. Really, these are appropriate for most occasions! Check out some of my other favorite styles:
There’s a little company called Sambazon… you might have heard of them. They are a the producer of my favorite acai berry products drinks and smoothie packets! They have a storefronts and cafes in San Diego and Newport Beach, that I highly recommend if you are ever down there! At the cafe they serve these fantastic acai bowls. They also sell their smoothie packets in a lot of grocery stores nation wide and with those is how I make my acai bowls at home.
Acai berries are a purplish berry from the Acai Palm Tree and are loaded with antioxidants and taste super yummy!
2 packets Sambazon smoothie packets
3/4 cup soy or almond milk
1 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. chia seeds
Anything else you can imagine!
Blend the smoothie packets, milk, cocoa, and chia in the blender until smooth, pour into a bowl, top with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!!
This salad is not only packed with flavor, but with super nutrients as well! Check out some of the benefits:
Kale: vitamin A and C, calcium and cancer-fighting phytonutrients
Chard: Vitamin C, E, K Magnesium & Calcium
Spinach: Iron, Carotenoids, Vitamin K, Coenzyme Q10, B vitamins, Chlorophyll, Polyphenols, Betaine
Blueberries: Pytochemicals that protect against cancer and heart disease
Strawberries: Vitamin C, Manganese, and Fiber
Coconut: Fiber, Manganese, Potassium, and Copper
Almonds: Vitamin E, B-Complex Vitamins, Fiber, Manganese, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, and Selenium
Apple Cider Vinegar: Detoxes the body, Cures allergies, Clears acne, Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure
Pomegranate Juice: Potassium, Vitamin C, Polyphenols and Vitamin B6
Olive Oil: Vitamin E, and monounsaturated fat
6 oz. greens mix of baby kale, baby swiss chard, and spinach
1/2 cup blueberries
3/4 cup strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp. pomegranate juice
1 tsp. agave nectar or honey
2/3 cup olive oil
Combine all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a separate bowl and toss with the salad. Enjoy!
Happy Sunday! Sunday nights in my Italian family meant pasta for dinner. I have always loved Pasta Alla Norma for 2 reasons… eggplant and ricotta cheese. Well, gone are the days of making homemade ricotta… So what is that on top of the pasta you ask? Well, that’s Nary Dairy’s cashew cheese. I found Nary Dairy last week at the Studio City Farmers Market and fell in love with their “cheeses”! Remember when I Instagramed about them? They are a local company here in Los Angeles and you can buy their cheese at the Studio City and Hollywood Farmers Markets and I highly suggest you do! These cheeses have awesome texture and are packed (and I mean packed!) with flavor! Ok, back to the pasta! Pasta Alla Norma was such a perfect dish when invented in Sicily it was names Norma after the hugely successful Opera by Bellini. And perfect it is, perfect for a Sunday supper!
(Oh and the crazy talented Laura Grier took that picture when I made this for her Major benefit of having professional photogs for friends! Check out her amazing new travel photography site, you’ll get lost on it for hours!)
1 lb. pasta (I prefer rigatoni or spaghetti, but use your favorite)
1 large eggplant, diced in 1/2 inch cubes
1 small onion, chopped
28. oz can of whole peeled tomatoes (San Marzano if you can get them)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
a pinch of salt
a pinch of sugar
1 3.5 oz. container of Nary Dairy Cheese (I used the Gilroy garlic flavor)
about 5 fresh large basil leaves, thinly sliced
In a large frying pan, on medium-high, heat up a few tablespoons of olive oil. Working in batches, drop in the eggplant cubes to make one layer in the frying pan. Toss until golden, about 10 minutes. Strain on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with the rest of the eggplant.
In a sauce pot, on medium, saute the onions in a couple tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. When the onions are soft, pull the tomatoes apart with your hands and add them and the juice to the pot. Stir, cover, and reduce heat to medium low. When the pasta is almost ready, add the pinch of sugar and chopped garlic.
In a large pot, cook your pasta according to the directions until al dente.
In the same frying pan you used for the eggplant, on medium low heat, place the cooked pasta, eggplant, and a few spoonfuls of sauce and toss until covered and warm. Plate and add a dollop of “cheese” and a good sprinkle of basil. Serve immediately.
I hope you enjoy as much as I do
Pretty picture huh? Well… that’s cause one of my favorite people in the world took it! If you haven’t seen her work, check out Laura Grier’s Website and see her amazing photography! And yes, you might even find some pics of me on there if you are lucky
Now, that is ceviche in that pic and yes, it’s vegan ceviche! How you ask? Well, obviously I took out the seafood aspect and I added mushrooms. Just like my Aunt makes it. It’s super duper yummy and I hope you enjoy as much as I do!
1/2 sweet onion, diced
6 oz. mushrooms, diced
the juice of 1 lime
5 large roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 jalapeño, finely diced (more if you like it spicy)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp. ketchup (here’s my homemade recipe)
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt
Mix all the ingredients but the avocado in a bowl, cover and refrigerate a few hours or overnight. Before you serve, stir in the avocado and enjoy with tortilla chips.