Archive | July, 2013

Raw Pineapple Cheesecake

30 Jul

Truth be told, I’m not much of a cheesecake fan.  I’m definitely more of a cake/ cupcake/ cookie/ cookie dough/ brownie/frosted baked goods kinda gal. In summation, I love all dessert, cheesecake being the exception. I just think that cheese and cake, while both generally spectacular, should remain separate from one another.

This cheesecake came to be after I overextended myself the other evening. Danny called me  following a particularly long  day at work,  and full of good intentions, I told him to relax and promised that he could put his feet up while I whipped up dinner and something “extra special” for dessert (remove mind from gutter, please). He surprised me by being extra excited about the “extra special” dessert.  Unfortunately I took this as a lot of pressure and to add, I’d forgotten that his fave dessert is, meh, cheesecake.

Being the opportunist that I am I saw a chance to experiment and attempt to pull l a fast one on him (because that’s almost always entertaining). I remembered having been told that raw cheesecake was easy to make, bonus #1. Bonus #2 was the fact that I  wouldn’t be tempted to eat it, you know, cause it’s not my fave.

Outcome:

1. He scarfed it. When I broke down and told him that not only was is the dreaded V-word (vegan), it was also raw, he fell silent for a moment, and then cut another piece and simply asked “So I can have more and not feel bad?”  He then proceeded to ask me numerous times, ” Babe, are you sure there’s no cheese in this?”

2. I scarfed it. In my non-cheesecake loving opinion, this shiz is way better than the real deal. It’s dense and fluffy (just go with this description please), and practically refreshing, if that’s possible for something with “cheese” in the name. I also cut a second piece. Self control fail.

Let me say once more that I’m no cheesecake expert so perhaps my opinion is skewed, but Danny is well educated in the department and he loved it. So did the picky friends I pimped it out to. The other greatness is that it’s totally easy to make and if you aren’t into pineapple something is wrong with you but also you can probably replace it with another fruit. I’m thinking peach sounds fab.

Sidenote: the “cheese” part (eg, not the crust) is very liquid right out of the food processor/ blender. Don’t worry, it’ll completely set in an hour or so.

Raw Pineapple Cheesecak

Crust:

1.5 cups raw almonds

6 pitted dates

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine above ingredients in a food processor, streaming the vanilla in while the motor is running. When the mixture begins to ball on the sides it’s ready. Transfer to a spring-form pan. If you don’t have one, a glass brownie/cake pan is fine.  Use a flat bottom bowl…or your hands… to press the crust evenly into the pan. Work the crust up the sides.

Filling:

2 cups raw cashews, soaked 1 hour and drained

4 cups fresh pineapple, chopped

3/4 cup raw honey

1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon sea/kosher salt

1 cup extra virgin coconut oil

Place above ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and process until smooth, about 3-5 minutes. Scrape the sides down with a spatula. Pour half of the mixture onto the crust and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until the filling sets. Top with chopped pineapple and prepare to be blown away.

pineapple

Seawheeze Prep, part 1.

29 Jul

No Meatless Monday today (copy + paste: “vegetarian recipes” to Google.com search bar. You’re welcome). I hope you’re not devastated but in appreciation of your understanding I promise to post a recipe for an amazeballs raw pineapple cheesecake that I devoured over the weekend.

In other news, I’m flying to Vancouver in 2 weeks to run the Sea Wheeze half marathon and I’m going to be honest – I’m already trying to decide what to pack.

Seawheeze is Lululemon’s event but I must admit, I was at the Nike last week for new kicks and I have found myself absolutely obsessed with the new Nike vintage line.

Like I will definitely be going back for some gear ASAP.

I digress.  Back to shopping/ purchasing/packing: Here’s what I’m leaning toward  so far:

Seawheeze1

Nike Vintage tank, Nike Flyknit running shoes, Michi Hydracrop leggings, and Lululemon Go With the Flow Bag

venice vancouver

Topshop LA Burnout Vest, Lululemon Speed Short, Aviator Nation The Weekender Cord Bag, Nike Free 3.0

Clothing aside, I’ve got a few other very serious issues to consider such as my number 2 priority (second only to shopping, oh, and finishing the race):  food.

Eating away from home can be tricky. I’m totally a snacker but I like to make my own stuff. I definitely avoid 99.5% of packaged snacks because sorry, they’re super yuck.  That said -there are a couple on my short list that deserve a cheer.

A. Goodbites. You can read more about them here but here’s the Readers Digest version: I usually crave something sweet after dinner and frozen yogurt just can’t happen every night. But these sooo can happen every night + they’re a  way better choice.  Goji berries, hemp seed, spriulina and cacao. No soy, agave, or gluten. Party (in your mouth) on, Wayne.

goodbites

B. DNA Life Bars. Lookie. I admit to having a bit of a battle with protein bars. They’re so  convenient, I get totally distracted by the amount of protein they contain, and I have become accustomed to tolerate fine, like  the way they taste (sorry. I’m a terrible example of a healthy human being), and well it’s made a lazy girl out of me. The trainer-bestie lectures me constantly about how they are not real food, how I should know better and I do, so in recent months I’ve made an effort to make my own high protein snacks for after working out or stick to a clean protein powder.  So I was sure it was bad news bears when I was recently intro’d to these bad boys. Fortunately (and let me tell you, this made my day), the ingredient list is something I feel good about: clean ingredients, nothing I don’t recognize. If it’s not going to come out of my own kitchen, these are the bars I’m going to eat.

And oh, they taste like cake. On the real.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

DNA Life Bars

C, Justin’s Almond Butter. My favorite flavor ever: Maple. My other favorite flavor ever: Almond Butter. Oh hay, look at you, Maple Almond Butter.  In cute little travel size packets and everything. I will eat you right out of the packet mixed with Plant Fusion Vanilla Bean protein powder (also available in said cute travel size packets) after a workout.  Or any time I guess because I love that shiz.

justins almond butter

Course I’ll be makin’ up some of my own bars n’ balls (oh, stop) to bring on the plane, cause that’s how I do. Here are a couple of my favorite superfood snacks, all pinned neatly to a board for you.  And of course, if I can find a good Green Juice up there, I’m bout it bout it.

Lastly, I’m on a mish to create the best playlist ever. Finishing 13.1 miles will take a couple of power songs toward the end. You can check it out if ya need some music inspo and if you have songs I need to hear, I’m taking suggestions. In the meantime, here are my jams on Spotify. A little bit of everything, if you will.

Alright, I’m out. Happy Monday peeps.

XO
M

Interview with GOODBITES Founder and Raw Foodist, Angelica Xavier

26 Jul

I had the pleasure of sitting down for tea and date shakes the other morning with Angelica Xavier, Raw Foodie extraordinaire and founder of raw snack company, GOODBITES. She shared her thoughts about everything from living a self-described “High-Raw Lifestyle” to what it’s like to deal with the ups and downs of launching a company in Los Angeles.

In terms of Raw Foodism, “raw” is considered to be unprocessed food that among other requirement, is never heated above a relatively low temperature (ranging from around 100-116 degrees, depending who you ask).  It sounds intimidating but whatever this woman is doing, she makes me want to do it too. She has an aura of incredible calmness, skin that absolutely glows, and an insatiable love for raw chocolate (See? I knew you’d love her).

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If this is raw I dont wanna be right (shut up) raw2

She was totally generous when it came to dropping knowledge – so of course I’m going to share the goods with you, my healthy little love bugs.  Read on.

Do you exclusively eat raw foods?

I make exceptions for occasional dinners out and special events; I love to try different types of food for flavor and texture so I definitely make exception for research and development. The other night, my son and I went to Supurba [Snack Bar] and we split a few plates, but that’s rare. Most of what I order is vegetable based.

What prompted a switch to a raw diet, and how long have you been eating raw?

Fives years ago I was faced with a health challengeI was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. It could not be adequately treated with Western medicine. I read about people curing themselves of very serious diseases through a raw diet and decided to try it.  I read up and was primarily self-educated

Did it happen all at once or was it something you eased in to?

It was definitely an all at once experience.  I was a vegetarian, primarily vegan, and went Raw Foodist overnight. I thoroughly researched it, went for it and 30 days later is was my lifestyle. I complied lists of ingredients and equipment that I needed such a a Vitamix, a juicer works, and a dehydrator, and in a few days had set up a raw kitchen. It helps to have a stocked kitchen so that you don’t have to run out and buy funky ingredients, like Maca, every time you make something new.  Once you stock your kitchen it becomes much easier to just prepare.

Tell me about some of the obvious and less obvious health benefits of going raw.

The energy, clarity, and focus are the ones that you hear about, and it’s all true. Improved energy was the benefit that was most profound for me. I did not realize how my much my sleep would be affected. I sleep really well on the raw diet. I take medicine for my autoimmune disease, and it keeps my test levels stable,  but on the medicine alone I don’t feel great. It’s the food that actually helps me feel great.

What’s the biggest misconception about raw diets?

A big misconception is that being a raw foodist will encumber your social life. Many people have told me that they can’t eat raw because of business lunches or social dinners at restaurants. I have not found this to be true -you can order a salad just about anywhere.  Looking for possibilities in such situations is a must, but I would never skip seeing friends- I will find a way to eat just about anywhere if I’m with good company.

Favorite raw restaurants/chefs in Los Angeles (or elsewhere)?

Pure Food and Wine in New York City is my favorite raw restaurant. The food is excellent and the environment is gorgeous – they make a mint sundae that is divine. At one point, Charlie Trotter collaborated with Raw Foodist Roxanne Klein on a restaurant outside San Francisco (called Roxanne’s) which was a favorite of mine until it closed. I was going to Chicago [home of famed Trotters] and I called the restaurant to  ask if [Charlie] would make a raw meal for me – I got a phone call back and was told he’d be delighted to. It was incredible.

What advice would you give someone who is interested in going raw?

Start with the snacks. Salads are easy, but finding raw snacks is often a reason people derail from this lifestyle. They’re more difficult to find, and most people don’t just want carrot sticks anymore. Start by mastering the snacks.  Sugary processed packaged snacks are such a drag on energy and general overall health. Raw snacks leave you with the energy that you need and not a sugar crash an hour later

What did you do prior to starting Goodbites, and what was the motivation to start the company? What advice would you give someone who is interested in starting her or his own company?

Be patient and prepared to be the whole company for a while. Talk to people in your industry, listen to people in your industry.

I have worked with artists and entrepreneurs to assist them in business for 15+ years. I ‘m an entrepreneur myself so that was a natural evolution and rewarding. That eventually crossed over into consulting and coaching people on health and personal issues. I love this work and seeing positive change in people’s lives. Over the past 5+ years I have organized group and personal raw food detox programs. This led me to start a raw superfood company.

My biggest challenge, as well as an asset, is that I move very quickly so waiting has been difficult. GOODBITES is going into 3-4 LA Whole Foods in August. We will be in approximately 20 locations by the end of August. We are also adding a second product in August. In addition our website is going live and we will have a snack box and a raw detox box available for delivery or shipping.

How is your product being received by your non-raw peers and friends?

I’m so pleased with the response. The non-raw crowd loves GOODBITES and loves the idea that a raw snack is so delicious. That is fun to see.

What are some of your favorite superfoods to cook with?

I have several but right now I am using hemp seed to prepare with. The are so versatile and have a great nutty flavor. I use them in a wide range of recipes from  chocolate to salads. I love them!

What other snacks do you grab on the go?

Raw chocolate, raw chocolate, and raw chocolate.

           gb1 gb2

gb3

***

I must admit something. I tried a GOODBITE Truffle in the middle of  tea  and the moment I got in the car  I immediately scarfed down the remaining three. I even bought a few packages for a friends and I received a text within an hour of sharing that said “Those are freaking unreal.”

Understatement.

 My favorite place ever (Whole Foods) has committed to selling them in several LA locations. She’s currently in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a larger kitchen so she can expand to more locations. ((I happily backed it cause frankly, I need more of these in my life. So if you want to contribute, just hit up her Kickstarter website. ))

Homemade Almond Milk – Recipe from Angelica Xavier 

Soak 1 cup almonds in water overnight.

Rinse almonds & put in blender with 4 c water.

Drain thru a nutmilk bag (available at Whole Foods) and pour the liquid back in blender

Add 1/4 tsp of pure vanilla powder, a pinch of Himalayan salt, 1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup, or drops of liquid stevia to taste.

Stir well.

almondmilk

How to lose 10 lbs in 5 days

24 Jul

Ten pounds in a couple of days?  Don’t be  dumb, you’re better than that. 

But waaaait (whiny voice).  You’ve got this Vegas weekend/ bridesmaid thingy/ raging pool party in T-minus-9 days and you totally forgot about losing 10 pounds.  So how the hell are you going to change your body in like, a week?

I’ll tell you exactly what to do: GTF over it.

There isn’t any magic solution, there aren’t any shortcuts, and if those 48 hour Hollywood Juice diets actually worked everyone would do them. Like, all the time.

I’m not going to go into a whole laundry list about why crash dieting is dumber than, well, just about any dumb idea I can think of . But I’ll happily provide you with the abridged version:

One (1). Yo yo dieting is crazy bad for you, physically and mentally. Don’t believe me? Read more here.

Two (2). You’re just not going to get your dream body in two weeks. The most weight you can lose healthily is 2 lbs a week. I mean great for you if you lose 2 or 4 pounds, but instead of crying into your pillow and hating yourself it might serve you well to focus your energy elsewhere.

skinny

Ok? Glad we’re clear. Begin here with these little tippy poos:

Skip the salt

And other bloating foods for a flat stomach. Use lemon, fresh herbs, and pepper to season your food. A fantastic salt free marinade that one of my besties (who happens to be both a trainer and personal chef) turned me on to is Greek yogurt, lemon juice, cumin and paprika.

Start chugging.

I assume you’re aware that water is in fact quite good for you. Drink barrels of it- your skin will glow, your bloat will un-bloat, you’ll feel fuller and your stomach will get flatter. Shoot for 8 glasses a day. More if you can swing it. Not a water lover? (I’m not either) Here are some pointers.

Drink Me

Ingest good things.

Nothing (really), will make you feel better than eating foods full of antioxidants & nutrients. When you feel good, you’ll look at yourself differently, treat yourself differently, and a virtuous (<-That’s a good thing smarty, look it up) cycle begins. You’ll feel good about yourself and nothing in the world is sexier than confidence.

Find instant gratification elsewhere.

Get your roots touched up.  Throw some White Strips on your grill. Go get a good airbrush tan – a good spray tan will make you look more toned. Do all three for God’s sake. You’ll feel like a supermodel.

spray tan

Everybody’s doing it. Like this guy.

Buy outfits that flatter your body and stand up straight.

Did you know that simply making the change from slouching to perfect posture can make you appear 10 pounds lighter? Yes, true fact – your mother wasn’t kidding. Dressing for your body type has the same effect. Invest in a couple of flattering outfits that suit the event or vacation you’ll be attending, throw your shoulders back, and put a smile on your pretty face. It’s just as effective.

Get wet.

Get off your you know what and go sweat you face off.  Hit some spin classes, visit your old friend (the gym, duh), run outside, do yoga, climb a steep hill, whatever blows your skirt up. Sweating boosts your endorphins- I don’t know about you but I feel a hundred times better after I’ve worked out, regardless of the state my body is in. Spoiler alert: It burns calories too.

Look. I’m not saying that if you need to lose weight that you should keep stuffing your face with Big Macs. In fact, please don’t do that.  But I do believe that a lifestyle change that includes adding nutrient dense foods, making gradual changes, and finding exercise that you enjoy rather than counting your carrot sticks is going to be more effective in the long run. And crash dieting isn’t going to do you any sort good, on the real. It’s damaging to both your body and spirit, and ain’t nobody got time for that.

Have a fab time doing whatever it is you’re prettying up for this weekend… and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. 😉

Meatless Mondays: Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Kale Pesto and Roasted Veggies

22 Jul

Did you know you can make an s-load of stuff out of cauliflower? But hold on, before you start in with “yeah, yeah, cauliflower mashed potatoes – old news” (old news or not, they’re soo good) I’m going to have to interrupt you. Sorry.

‘Cause you can also make T-Bone cauliflower steak and cauliflower chocolate cake (I’ve tried both and they’re totally legit), I’m going to do Taco Tuesday tomorrow using this cauliflower tortilla recipe, and tonight I’ll be eating the leftovers from last night’s skinnied-up version of my favorite food ever, using cauliflower pizza crusts.

I’ve made cauliflower pizza crust before and I shall be honest with you, it took me a couple of go-rounds to get it right becaaaauuuse many of the recipes I used in the beginning failed to mention the importance of squeezing the water out of the riced cauliflower. Skip that step and you’ll be fork n’ knifin’ it which is fine, just not very pizza-like.

You can always do a traditional pizza sauce, but I love me some pesto pizza so that’s what we’re going with here tonight.  I’m actually a pesto traditionalist but I begrudgingly gave kale pesto a whirl a few months back when I was too lazy to drive to WF for basil. To my great surprise it turned out to be the bomb.com.

Here’s what ya need:

  • 1 head (about 3 cups)  cooked, riced cauliflower

  • ½- 1 cup shredded shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, depending on how cheesy you want it to taste. I go pretty light.

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano and / or basil

  • ½ teaspoon crushed garlic

  • pinch of salt

  • Kale Pesto (hold your horses, recipe to follow), shredded cheese or Parmesan,  and choice of your toppings*

To rice the Cauliflower:

Remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain – crumbly small chunks, taking care not over-do pulse into a puree. Microwave riced cauliflower in a mic-safe bowl for 8 minutes. Wring the  cauliflower out in a dish towel (you may want gloves, it’ll be hot) until the liquid is g-o-n-e.

To Make the Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment (not wax, unless you want a smoke filled kitchen) paper.

  2. In a medium bowl, stir together cauliflower, egg and Parmesan. Add oregano, basil, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a rectangle. Make it pretty. Optional: Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning.

  3. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

  4. Remove from oven.

  5. Add pesto, toppings and cheese, and broil on high 3-4 minutes if using cheese.

*Note: Pre-cook any toppings ‘cause it’s only going under the broiler long enough to melt the cheese.

** Also, The  pesto is so tasty that I actually skipped the Mozzarella  the last time I made this, just loaded it with roasted veggies and dusted it with a little Parm. It was perf.

To Make the Kale Pesto:

  • 2 cups packed kale

  • ½ c toasted pine or walnuts

  • 2 tbsp grated Parm, Percorino, or Romano cheese

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • ½ tsp Kosher or sea salt

  • ¼ c olive or grape seed oil

Food process until smooooooth.

I topped my pizza with roasted tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, olives, and bell peppers and skipped the cheese. It was perfect, exactly what I was in the mood for 🙂

kale1

Pizza1 pizza2

Happy Meatless Monday, darlings.  Hope your week is off to a fabulouso start ♥

Ciao,

MM

InstaPinTwit

19 Jul

Legwarmer Nation is joining the Interwebs! Click to follow here: 

insta

twitter

pinterest

XO,

M

So Hot Right Now

18 Jul

1. Afternoon snack attack: Vanilla Fig shake from Moon Juice.

Jess turned me on to Moon Juice about a year ago  (she’s pretty much BFF with everyone who works there), and it’s the bomb, for real. When I’m in the ‘hood I drop in for their vegan drinks and juices that I feel totally good about drinking: figs are high in fiber, copper, potassium, manganese, and zinc. Add almond milk and vanilla bean and you’ve got yourself a winner…yummmmm.

Couldn’t even wait to get a pic before I slurped half of it down.

IMG_1147

2. My New Lululemon Love-ly tank.

Heart the neckline and the back, reminds me of an old tank they used to make that I♥’d long time but haven’t seen forever. I’ll take 3, thanks.

love-ly

3. Quicky Sun Sesh (starring SPF 45)

Work has been cray for weeks and I haven’t had a second to catch up on R+R, so I snuck away for a couple hours for some Vitamin D and a roasted veggie salad at the Viceroy pool. Heaven.

VR1

VR2

4. My new Buddha Belly

Even skinny Buddha looks lovely in my dining room.

buddha

4.   Kaskade Pandora Station

No caption necessary, right?

Pandora

5.  Sunday Funday

My #1, not to mention devoted workout partner broke her foot on the 4th of July (insert biggest sad face ever here)  but it didn’t stop us from celebrating her big b-day. We climbed (she took an elevator) to the top of Hotel Erwin for skinny cocktails, a perfect sunset and tons of laughs.

Erwin 2 SHRN

This. never.gets.old.Erwin Sunset SHRN

Skinny Watermelon Somethings

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Girls2 SHRN

Surfs up bra! Except just kidding, none of us surf.

girlsuse

Please don’t make me explain why this is awesome.

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Nightcap! Girls SHRN

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