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‘The Curious Palate’ Santa Monica: Supporting Local Artisans, Serving Sustainable Foods

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

A recent private press tasting at The Curious Palate at Santa Monica Place had my taste buds bubbling with delight. Five courses of truly fresh fare, all completely produced and perfected in their kitchen, was an authentic, eye-opening revelation…simply that real, whole food with no awkward surprises could be done with consistency, and without cutting a single corner. Absolutely unlike any experience (at least that I’ve had) to date. There really is something extraordinary happening here. And it’s sitting right under the very noses of health and taste conscious Santa Monica residents and tourists. What excited me most about this restaurant also got me thinking…

Do you really know your food? Do you know where it comes from? What goes into that gourmet holiday feast, soulful stew, romantic refection, plain flavorful fixin’ or gastro grub?

Sure, we’re all very woke these days about choosing organic meats, non-hormone pumped poultry and environmentally safe-caught fish and obtaining fresh fruits and vegetables that give us a nutritional edge to our health, beauty, and conscience. If nothing else, most of us can add ‘label snob’ to our life resumes when it comes to shopping and carbon footprint awareness.

But how much thought are you really giving to the chain of growing, raising, catching, harvesting, processing, and getting it all to market? All that time! So much effort!

And cooking! The chore of decisions every step of the way from menu-to-meal on the table. Have you actually ever thought about all the pinches of packeted or bottled extracts, seasonings, zests and essences that round out or thicken or add that finishing touch of gusto to the perfect recipe?

‘Do you know your food?’ is the question that adults are asking a whole generation of kids subsisting on a diet of fast foods and plastic wrapped edibles from super shopping centers and quicky marts.

Comestible aficionados will insist they know all they know when it comes to their favorite epicurean delights and where to obtain stuffs for cooking at home. Somehow though, that doesn’t always translate when dining out.

Insist to the contrary all you want, but many of us who have worked in the restaurant business know what really goes on in commercial kitchens. I’m not talking sketchy, just not entirely transparent. You know, the kind of ‘oops we skipped that part’ kind of menus that even at vegan and vegetarian establishments have customers questioning potential allergic reactions to ingredients.

So, is it really possible to know every single addition to your favorite restaurant prepared meal?

Yes, absolutely! That is if you are dining at The Curious Palate. This is your fantasy casual, couples, friends and family-friendly dining experience so available you might feel like if you blink it might disappear. (Not if we have anything thing to say about it!). And they’ve taken on ALL of the work involved to serve their community.

For co-founders Elliot Ruben and Mark Cannon who pride themselves on whole foods and sustainability, cooking is all about connecting with people – and the earth. That means they are always exploring new ways of supporting artisans and local producers who can provide them with fresh, natural ingredients.

Here are a few important facts about The Curious Palate:

  • All sauces and condiments are hand-made in-house (includes jams, peanut butter, ketchup, coleslaw, sauerkraut, etc.).
  • All meats are antibiotic free and hormone free and come from sustainable agricultural farming.
  • Fish & shellfish are sustainably harvested and delivered fresh daily.
  • Produce is pesticide free and majority organic; purchased at local farmer’s markets at least 3 times per week for freshness and availability.
  • Only wholesome, natural ingredients are used (i.e. non-bleached flour, no corn syrup, rice bran oil, no artificial additives or preservatives) and that includes the pastas made in their kitchen daily.
  • The Curious Palate uses paper straws and compostable to-go cutlery and cups.
  • Compostable waste from the restaurant is sent to a composting facility

Both the lunch and dinner menus are filled with incredible variety. In addition, they have 20 taps of craft beers, cider, and kombucha direct from independent local brewers. There is a kids’ menu. They are currently partnering with Tutti Frutti Farms, Cadoro Bakery, Wong Farms, and Valdivia Farms – all family owned/operated businesses.

They also recently were added to GrubHub, making their food more accessible to the public through delivery.

Here’s what we sampled! Visit for your own experience!

All photos by Lily Fassnacht.

Copyright © 2019 Gia On The Move

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher,addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”.

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Fry Madness Downtown L.A.: The Day to Night Food Stop You Must Make

Reviewed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Once upon a time, there was a tiny café that used to stay open late. The menu was large and full of variety. But the customers mostly came in to order the French fries. It was such a phenomenon that soon the owners began to wonder why. How could this be? Are they really that good? They must have been. Because night after night patrons ordered the fries like they were kissing frogs to get princes. And one by one the other items disappeared from the kitchen, never to been seen or eaten again. The madness eventually became an idea…the little café closed, the chef found a new home in downtown L.A. …and voila…a specialty French fry bar!

As for the name, Fry Madness certainly fits the bill. And whether you are in for a quick fix lunch, pre-party snack, an evening topper or a binge recovery meal, this is the holy grail hallelujah you are searching for.

To be fair, there is more than one item on the menu…sort of. Yes fries, but the variety is mind-boggling. Full portion gourmet meals consisting of French fries and a variety of meats, fish, poultry and sweets (YES! REALLY!) in traditional and surprising flavors that will seriously rock your taste buds.

My visit was more like a gorging than a tasting. I couldn’t force myself to stop until luckily Brenda, the manager, (aware that I had to get back on the road) got me to look up from the frenzy to ask if I’d. “…like those boxed?” … to my chagrin. Really, once you start into a serving, you won’t be able to stop.

Float Fries

My selections included the Buffalo Chicken Wing fries with house made wing sauce, Mozzarella cheese and celery, for a traditional taste, and the Jerk Shrimp fries, with jerk spiced Shrimp, Mango Pico and a house made Caribbean nectar for some odd and exciting.  Both were mouthwatering. But there is so much more from Lobster to Pastrami to Garlic,  You can even get fries in a float!

You must not pass up the desert fries on the menu! I tried both the Smores Sweet Potato Fries with broken brownie pieces, torches (at the counter) marshmallow and caramelized banana. Also the Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sweet Potato Fries with white chocolate sauce and broken brownie pieces. Nutella fries are also featured here. (And I got it all on video) No matter which you choose the dish is guaranteed to have your eyes rolling to the back of your head in ecstasy.

There are some quirks here that you will love. Regulars in the know generally stop in early for the Sabe, incredibly smooth blended tequilas. Everyone else for the beer. They also serve eye-crossing delicious Margaritas on tap. They are open until 1am weeknights and for DTLA post-club, post-party weekend Zombies, 3am (their busiest time).

Nothing on the menu will squeeze your wallet. You’ll find your ‘happy place’ pretty quickly in the simple choices. Don’t think about it too much. Everything is super tasty, quick and satisfying. Prices are reasonable. Do not ask for changes or variations to your order. The chef will not do it. This dishes at Fry Madness are an art form. Comfortable, no frills atmosphere. Sit at the bar and watch the game, table service or take out.

Recommended

Copyright © 2019 Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”.

AllSpice Kitchen & Grill: Food, Art and Good Company Meet on the Sunset Strip

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

In a the-more-things-change-the-more-they-stay-the-same, Hollywood neighborhood most famous for its 24-hour Rock & Roll Ralphs and The Guitar Center, restauranteur and chef Justin Saunders has installed a très modern, culinary slash art eatery to the corner of Sunset and Gardner. Frankly, it’s a welcome addition.

Restauranteur and Chef Justin Saunders

Focused on clean eating, the oeuvre of AllSpice is more than health-conscious, Mediterranean fusion with a hint of Asian influence, the menu and decor call up Saunders’ own Caribbean roots…also his fine art & design origins. The flair ascertained directly from its charming, energetic founder.

“It’s exciting opening your own place. I sold all of my art to get to America. The piece on the back wall by the kitchen is the last of my original collection. It’s an award-winning piece.”

According to Saunders, AllSpice is more than a name. It’s a metaphor. People are spicy. Food uses spice. Art has spice. Life is spice. The restaurant itself is really a part of a larger picture. He is serious about bringing together the local community through art, creating a haven for artists…while of course, sampling the culinary offerings in the totally relaxed, un-bougie atmosphere. As part of AllSpice‘s humble endeavors, Saunders is currently collaborating with Gardner Street Elementary School to bring art to kids.

Floor to ceiling glass walls facing Sunset invites gorgeous natural lighting during the day and all the excitement on the strip at night. And the ambiance points directly to the simplicity of the menu. Offerings at the press tasting were breathtakingly straightforward packing a lot of flavor in each dish, although carb heavy.

Here’s the menu:

  • Falafel Balls with Mint Pesto – the perfect texture married with the perfect spice. Nothing bland, heavy, greasy, or overdone about this staple. It was a mouthwatering start to the beginning of the evening.  The pesto added a delicate kick.
  • Mushroom and green pepper kabobs – Absolutely fresh but definitively without fanfare.
  • Brussel Sprout Salad –  Served warm. Tender, succulent.  And for this vegetable that saying a lot.  It’s a dish you’ll actually want to eat more of.
  • Sweet Plantains – ok, like, we didn’t want to believe it but the plantains had a sort of ‘jerk’ flavor and were truly sweeter and ‘brighter’ than anything we’ve tasted ever before.
  • Sweet Potato fries – a seemingly omnipresent epicurean essential from diners to hotels everywhere, these were nevertheless, crisp, flavor balanced for sweet and salt, and served hot in a Chinese food container (which actually made the experience more fun). We gorged. Seriously, what else?

Signature Cocktails (spiked with Vodka for the evening from sponsor American Harvest Organic Vodka)

  • The Handsome Ginger
    ginger, lemon, simple syrup, fennel, brown sugar
  • Fresh Mint Lemonade (This was our absolute favorite!)
    Lemon, Basil, simple syrup, fresh mint ground and strained
  • Spicy Hibiscus
    Closes, AllSpice, simple Syrup, Cinnamon

Other items served (We were seriously full and stuck to the vegetarian stuff.)

  • Mango Fried Rice
  • Sweet & Sour Chicken

Portion sizes are light. But the food is packed with so much flavor that a few bites is seriously enough to satisfy.  The regular menu is small and uncomplicated. Prices are fair. Flavor gets an A. Epicure factor a B. Ambience a B+. Overall, giving this place a recommend. We can’t wait to visit for some of their lunch and dinner wraps, salads and (more protein based) kebabs.

Copyright © 2019 Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”.

Annual Los Angeles Westside Food & Wine Festival Returns

The 2nd Annual Los Angeles Westside Food & Wine Festival returns this fall at the Courtyard by Marriott Los Angeles Westside, 6333 Bristol Pkwy., Culver City, CA 90230, on October 14, 2018 from 4:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. (3:00 p.m. for VIP ticketholders) serving up delicious tastes from some of West L.A.’s popular restaurants, food trucks and caterers, paired with an abundance of wine, craft beer, spirits tastings, non-alcoholic beverages, and plenty of entertainment with live music, DJ, strolling magic, vendors, silent auction, and giveaways.

For the first time, the Todd Elliot Entertainment and Events produced Festival will be open to all ages, making this a family-friendly event with those under 21 years of age allowed into the Festival, but not within the area where alcohol is poured and tasted.

Proceeds benefit Westside Food Bank which has mission to end hunger in our communities by providing access to free nutritious food through food acquisition and distribution, and by engaging the community and advocating for a strong food assistance network. It currently provides a wide variety of nutritious food including fresh produce, high protein foods, and pantry staples to over 70 agencies with food assistance programs in West Los Angeles County, reaching over 108,000 people each year, nearly half of whom are children.

Every donated dollar allows WSFB to provide food for four nutritious meals. 

Restaurant and other food tastings provided by Panini Kabob Grill, Stonefire Grill, Benny’s Tacos, Fresh Brothers Pizza, Gourmet Paper Plates Catering, Due Mani Pizza, Marriott Hotel Catering, Deep Seeded LA, Fresh Farm to You, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, Red Shoe Cakes, Sweet Tooth Confections, Kind Bars, GoGo SqueeZ, Down South Sweets Catering, Luna Olive Oil, Di Stefano Burrata Cheese, among others.

A substantial and varied selection of fine wines, craft beers, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverage companies pouring include Obvious Wines, San Antonio Winery/Riboli Wines, Smog City Brewing, Embajador Tequila, Blossom Brothers Wines, Vera Vino Wines, One Hope Wines, Harajuku Taproom-Baird Beer & Sake, Topa Chico Sparkling Water, Kevita Kombucha, Vita Coco, Naked Juice, Essential Water, My Wine Society, among others.

VIP tickets include early entry, wine glass tumbler, and free parking.

Culver City Honda and Culver City Toyota are this year’s Westside Food & Wine Festival Gold Sponsors. Additional festival sponsorship includes Wescom, T-Mobile, MedMen, Renewal by Anderson, Winning Ways, Acme Sign and Design, Getaround Ride Share. Media sponsors include LA Weekly, Yelp, LA Art Party, The Argonaut, Coast to Coast Newspaper, Culver City News, Culver City Chamber of Commerce, and the Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce.

Tickets:
$75 and $95 VIP; children under 10 are free with paying adult (one child per adult required). No one under 21 years of age will be allowed into the alcohol drinking and pouring area.

Parking:
$8 at hotel; free for VIP; or street parking

Food & Drink

Activate your senses and your tastebuds with these multidimensional edibles and libations! From reviews to recipes, vegan or full-on Paleo, restaurants, festivals and pop-ups – even our favorite apps – we’re sharing our most toothsome comestible experiences with you.

Artisanally Fresh – Milk and Eggs Adds Imagination to Food Delivery

We were so excited to adventure to The Container Yard downtown Los Angeles for the Milk and Eggs Food & Art Installations!

An artisanally arranged food pop-up, the Milk and Eggs art and food immersion lived up to its hype – people coming together, letting their imaginations (and tastebuds) run free.

Milk and Eggs logoComplimentary food was served by some of their favorite vendors:
Abbots Butcher | Barely Bread | Boxed Water | TheBu Kombucha | Domenico’s Pasta | Forager | Harmless Harvest Coconut Water | Kite Hill | Barely Bread | Stumptown Coffee | Laura Ann’s Jams | Petit Pot | Unisoy Foods …along with complimentary craft bar with cocktails created by @Barlingual and Sponsored by Ventura Spirits.

The Fried Chicken from Highland Park’s very own, new, restaurant, Partido was all gobbled up by the time we arrived. But no matter. We tasted some incredibly delicious local fare.

Domenico’s Porcini Ravioli was by far the best tasting item (and the most colorful display).  But it was Unisoy’s Vegan Jerky that blew us away!  Of any faux meat jerky we’ve every tasted, Unisoy’s had the best texture – like EVER!  Other favorites were Kite Hill Cream Cheeses and Barely Bread.  Sooooo yum!

Photos (above) by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move.  Photo of woman in blue provided by Milk and Eggs.

Milk and Eggs – Fresh and Local:

Their goal is to directly connect customers to farmers of great food. Customers sign up for subscriptions of milk, eggs, dairy, meats, vegetables, and fruits on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Delivery is FREE and orders can be changed anytime. All vegetables, fruits, dairy, eggs, and meats will be the freshest available, be locally sustainable, and environmentally friendly with their eco-friendly aggregation and delivery system.

All Milk and Eggs products are sourced from local growers or aggregators. That means they  procure all products locally when possible. If not seasonally available, they will source through a local aggregator.

Environmentally Important:

The Milk and Eggs delivery system allows for minimal carbon footprint, much less than customers going to the grocery store themselves. One emissary (driver) can deliver many orders in 1 efficient trip, saving on both emissions and the environment; not to mention saving you time.

Featured Vendors:

3rd Annual Good Food Org Guide Names 46 California Groups

gia on the move food organicThe James Beard Foundation and Food Tank, along with a prestigious advisory group of more than 70 food system experts, has published the third annual Good Food Org Guide

The guide identifies and celebrates 1,000 U.S.-based groups who are cultivating a better food system in the areas of food and agriculture, nutrition and health, hunger and obesity, and food justice. At least 10 organizations were chosen from each of the 50 states so that wherever people live they can find nearby organizations working to cultivate a better food system.

The vision and objective of this annual publication is to focus attention on the hundreds of organizations who work every day in fields, kitchens, classrooms, laboratories, businesses, town halls, and Congress to create a better food system. Selected organizations and initiatives that spotlight efforts active in community building and engagement, advocacy, and service.

Distinguished experts, including past recipients of the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award and food and agriculture leaders, collaborated to generate the list.

Included in the Guide are these 46 groups from California:

  • Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
  • HOPE Collaborative
  • California FarmLink
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties
  • Ceres of Community Project
  • San Diego Food System Alliance
  • California Institute for Rural Studies
  • Nourish Wellness
  • San Francisco – Marin Food Bank
  • Orange County Food Access Coalition
  • La Cocina
  • L.A. Kitchen
  • Imperfect Produce
  • Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA)
  • Food Forward
  • ExtraFood
  • California Certified Organic Farmers Foundation (CCOF
  • Food Craft Institute
  • Community Food & Justice Coalition
  • TomKat Ranch
  • Alemany Farm
  • Sierra Harvest
  • California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets
  • Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project
  • California Food Literacy Center
  • California Women for Agriculture
  • Californians for Pesticide Reform
  • California Climate and Agriculture Network
  • California Endowment
  • City Slicker Farms
  • Community Alliance with Family Farmers
  • The Cooking Project
  • Dig Deep Farms & Produce
  • Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
  • The Center for Land-Based Learning
  • The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture
  • Food Empowerment Project
  • Ecology Center
  • Farm to Fork
  • People’s Grocery
  • Roots of Change
  • Ubuntu Green
  • Life Lab
  • Long Beach Fresh
  • Los Angeles Food Policy Council
  • Hidden Villa

An App To Make Food Look Good Enough To Eat!

LINE Foodie Image 1

Wishing you could shoot your own sizzling #foodporn social media shares? You know…like a professional photographer. But how?

Introducing Foodie, the dedicated camera app specifically for food photos!

LINE Corporation just released  Foodie, a new camera app available for free on both iPhone and Android devices, dedicated to taking delicious photos of food.

iTunesGET IT FREE ON ITUNES

imgresGET IT FREE ON ANDROID

Foodie is a new specialized camera app that offers a cornucopia of features with a singular goal: to make food pictures look more delicious.

image003

Its 24 types of food filters are sure to make foods such as Meats, Sushi, Cakes, and other cuisines look delicious. Since the app’s “best angle” feature lets the user know through color when the camera is positioned horizontally above the subject, it’s a snap to take trendy flat lays like you’d see in a gourmet magazine.

What’s more, the app includes features like an auto blurring effect to give images the air of SLR photography, as well as brightness adjustment and flashlight features to increase your shooting options. Foodie also offers the basic features expected of a camera app including sharing to social networks like Instagram and Twitter.

image001

And…there’s more on the way.  Foodie intends to also develop more food-specific features, such as filters and effects.

Plus...the apps supports multiple languages: Chinese (Simplified/Traditional), English, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.

Foodie Main Features

image005

1.      Food filters make culinary photos more enticing

With a selection of 24 filters optimized for food photography, users can take exactly the type of food photos they want.

2.      Best angle feature for stylish flat lays

Uses on-screen color to let the user know when the camera is positioned flat, directly above the food on the table, for easy flat lay photography.

3.      Auto blurring feature for pro-style images

Automatically recognizes food as the subject and defocuses the surrounding area that is not food, producing images like those photographed using a single lens reflex (SLR) camera.

4.      Brightness adjust and flashlight features for shooting in dark locations

The user can manually make the image brighter or darker when taking pictures. Plus, the light can be turned on like a flashlight to enable shooting in dark environments.

Note: 40-step (-2.0 to +2.0) brightness adjustment is possible.

5.      Sharing through a variety of services

Processed photos can be shared not only through LINE but also on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Six Plant-Based Foods You Should Try Today

The Fire Driven LifeCan you believe it?  With all the information out there, STILL!, more than 90 percent of adults and children do not eat the amount of fruits and veggies recommended by the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

So in order to tempt you into expanding your food horizons, we’ve decided to share an article written by Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Lifestyle Coach Vanessa Chamberlain, who offers some tasty and easy to find items that can potentially become your new “staples”.

Six Plant-Based Foods You Should Try Today

The glorious thing about plant-based eating is that your grocery store or farmer’s market is full of an incredible array of foods, flavors, and textures that are just waiting to be discovered. Even a typical grocery store has a produce section that carries seasonal and ethnic foods that often get passed-over, but are convenient, inexpensive, and yummy.

If you’re stuck in a rut of getting the same lettuce-tomato-onion-type foods that you always get, take a walk! Look at some of the other plant-based foods and see how you can work them into your diet.

Not sure where to start? In the spirit of a number that signifies longevity, here are six plant-based foods I totally love that are healthy and tasty, but not part of the average diet. What are some delicious food discoveries you’ve made and put on your grocery list each week?

 Jicama
Jicama

Jicama, also known as a Mexican potato, is a big, heavy, brown fruit that really does look like a weird potato. The excellent thing about jicama is that it is very crisp and crunchy, but has a mild flavor like a cucumber. Jicama can be sliced and used with dips as an alternative to chips, eaten in sticks like any other crunchy veggie, or added to salads for a snappy texture without confusing the flavor profile. It’s a great summer side dish served with a spritz of lime juice and a dusting of chili powder if you’d like a little kick!

 Bok Choy
Bok Choy

In Asian cuisine, Bok Choy is a staple! For most of us, though, we’d never think to work bok choy into a dish, which is unfortunate because of how versatile and healthy this veggie is. Bok choy can be added to a salad, but it can also be eaten like you’d eat celery with a little hummus or nut butter. It can also be added to soups or stir-frys, or braised or grilled on its own, and given a little seasoning to become a brilliant side dish.

Pluots
Pluots

Pluots are an incredible, juicy little snack that comes from mixing a plum with an apricot. They’re so good! Plums aren’t terribly uncommon, but not a lot of people are familiar with pluots. It’s a shame because they’re easy to carry in a lunch for you or for your children, they’re a little sweet with the benefits of both plums and apricots, and they’re another inexpensive fruit. They might be seasonal depending on where you live, but look for a fruit that’s a little smaller than a plum, and more yellow, in the plum area of your grocery store.

Rutabaga
Rutabaga

Rutabaga is popular in some countries around the world, but it frequently gets forgotten in the US. With a little bit of a punch like a radish, rutabaga is an awesome root vegetable. If you like the spicy snap of it, it’s great to be eaten as a raw veggie. Others would enjoy rutabagas along with things like potatoes, parsnips, and squash in a cold-weather harvest stew!

 

Nopal Cactus
Nopal Cactus

A lot of people feel strange about eating cactus, but Prickly Pear Cactus (also known as Nopal) tastes great and is SO good for you! It can have positive effects on blood sugar and managing diabetes, and it can help lower cholesterol. I suggest buying it cleaned already because the spines can be difficult to deal with if you’re new to the food, but many average grocery stores (and I imagine every Mexican or Hispanic market) carry cleaned nopal ready to cook. Similar in texture to something like a green pepper, nopal is great in dishes like scrambled tofu, or really anything sautéed. It tastes like other green veggies (think green peppers or green beans) with just a little lemony tartness. It goes really well with spicy dishes.

Dandelion Greens
Dandelion Greens

The wonderful world of leafy greens leaves us with plenty of options at pretty much every grocery store, but Dandelion Greens aren’t something most people eat every day. The green leaves are great in salads and slaws, but they can also be boiled like spinach or sautéed and seasoned. They’re just a little bitter, but fun to try, and you can even forage for them if you’re really up for an adventure!

When people tell me that they don’t do plant-based eating because they don’t want to limit themselves, I have to laugh. People limit themselves all the time! Even with great options and an endless menu of flavors and colors, most people fall into a routine of eating the same things all the time. This is your wake-up call to use plant-based eating as a way to EXPAND your diet, and bring in fantastic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans that you otherwise never would have enjoyed.

All-Star Lineup at Miami Plant-Based Food Fest

Seed Food Plant-Based Festival Miami, plant based, food, wine

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SEED Food & Wine Festival, presented by Whole Foods Market, is the nation’s only plant-based food and wine experience!

“We’re beyond thrilled with the lineup that’s shaping up for 2015. Some of the biggest names in the plant-based world will be joining us and helping to make history on the sexy sands of South Beach”  ~Alison Burgos, co-founder of SEED Food & Wine Festival.

This November, the conscious culinary fete will welcome ultra-athlete and author Rich Roll, chef and restaurateur Matthew Kenney, former NBA star and vegan wine owner John Salley, and many, many, other notable names to be announced soon. The celeb-studded five-day festival will kick off on November 18 through November 22, featuring chef dinners, a grand tasting, film screenings and many other activities, all dedicated to a message of conscious consumption—and delicious cuisine.

The weekend kicks off on Wednesday night with a compelling film screening, TBA.

Thursday night, the 1st annual Burger Battle (complete with a green carpet) will showcase the best veggie burgers America has to offer.

Eat Clean

Friday night brings the return of the Farm to Table Dinner, hosted by five celebrity chefs and local farms. Saturday morning starts with the new 5k SEED RUN, followed by the Outdoor Yoga Experience.

In the afternoon, the flagship Festival Day and Tasting Village will showcase an unparalleled display of food, wine and spirits served with a side of celebrity at the culinary demo stage.

Saturday night closes with a Modern Dinner Experience, Sunday morning will begin with a new Mantra Yoga Brunch presented by Mantra Yoga & Healthy magazine, and the festivities will conclude with a celebration for mini foodies at Sprouts Kids Day.

This year’s event will continue to add to the nation’s growing—and sometimes controversial—conversations about food and health.

Quinoa pasta and basil pesto w avocado. #eatclean #whatveganseat #plantpowered #green
Quinoa pasta and basil pesto w avocado. #eatclean #whatveganseat #plantpowered #green

The 2015 lineup includes chefs Chad and Derek Sarno of Wicked Healthy Food; Julie Piatt, co-author of The Plantpower Way; Charles Chen of RawYouth.org; Jay Astafa of 3 Brothers Vegan Cafe, and Jeremy Ford of Matador Room; Bad Ass Vegan John Lewis; entrepreneur Maranda Pleasant; yoga instructors Dawn B and Corbin Stacy; life coach sand author Jennifer Grace; ultra-marathoner Brendan Brazier; Sexy Fit Vegan Ella Magers; YouTube sensation Megan Elizabeth; and even more plant-based celebrities to be announced. Miami’s amazing local culinary scene will also be strongly represented. Participating chefs include Jonathan Seningen of DIRT, Brad Kilgore of Alter, Jamie DeRosa of Tongue & Cheek, Chef Taco of Jugofresh, Todd Erickson of Haven, Amber Antonelli of The Naked Bite, Mark Reinfeld of Vegan Fusion, and South Florida blogger Burger Beast who will be guest-judging the country’s first-ever Veggie Burger Battle.

Proudly sponsored by Whole Foods, SEED is designed to showcase the delicious side of plant-based living, helping to fuel mainstream acceptance of sustainability and prompting a major change going forward.

 

Body Holiday Love: Simple Raw Food Eating

Dollarphotoclub_65850826-2Admit it.  You KNOW it’s on your mind…that nagging annual remorse centered on end of year festivities – indulging (and imbibing), weight gain, pop dieting and the dreaded New Year’s resolution that never seems to stick. You just can’t shake it.  Honestly, all that guilt is probably a good thing if the Top 20 Holiday Snacks list has almost replaced your regular meals entirely.  We’re not saying that’s a bad thing.  All those cheese plates, spreads and dips were certainly a better alternative to most of the carb and sugar loading.  But the salt!  My blood pressure is boiling already.  You?  Why not love yourself better and get back on track with healthier eating now? And why not make it easy?  Make it delicious. No pressure!

Here at Gia On The Move we are in love with “raw foods”.  So when we got these tips and recipes forwarded to us from Omega Nutrition and Excaliber companies, we definitely needed to share.

To reduce intake of processed food, incorporating natural and/or raw foods into your diet can improve health and aid in weight loss. While changing aspects of your current diet can seem a bit intimidating, taking small and simple steps to include raw fruits and vegetables into any meal can be easy and yes, even fun, with the right kitchen tools.

Below are a few tips to effectively start a raw food diet.

Change Your Mind Set – Many people think of starting a diet as being deprived of tasty foods. However, incorporating raw foods into your meals is about taking steps to increase vitality and feed your body the fuel it needs to get and stay healthy. Fruits and vegetables taste good and are packed with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Think of including eating raw ingredients into your meals as a pleasurable experience that is both delicious and satisfying.

Dollarphotoclub_52146390Planning and Preparation – Be prepared to be a bit frustrated in the beginning. Your mind and body need time to process the change. Research raw food recipes (two provided below) and create grocery lists accordingly. To fulfill your urge to eat when traveling or running errands, keep raw snacks at your disposal such as raw nuts, fruit or baby carrots.

Get a Healthy Kitchen – Stocking your kitchen with the necessary cooking and preparation tools is an essential step in sticking to a healthy eating regimen. You may already own an immersion blender or steamer, which can be resourceful tools to puree soups or lightly cook vegetables. However, if you’re looking to get creative with your raw dishes, a food dehydrator or masticating style juicer are great ways to whip up exciting creations that harness the most nutrients and vitamins possible. From making homemade nut butters, nut milks, fruit and veggie juices and more, Omega’s Nutrition Centers are a versatile tool for transforming raw foods into culinary creations. Excalibur’s units on the other hand, help you re-create store bought favorites such as granola, yogurt and fruit leathers, right in your own home. These commercial grade units (now available to consumers) are making it easy and fun to create healthy meals at home

Join a Community – Whether it’s gathering a group of friends to take a trip to the farmer’s market or joining online communities via Facebook or forums, enlist the help and support of others on your journey to eat healthier.

Dining Out – Eating raw doesn’t have to alienate you from your friends and family. You can still enjoy meals out at restaurants. Be sure to check the menu prior to attending a restaurant to plan your meal options. Salad is always one of the safest choices if you are not eating at a strictly raw or vegan restaurant. Ask servers to hold the egg or cheese on salads.

***Always consult a physician prior to making major diet changes.

Tasty Raw Recipes

Raw Veggie Burger

raw-veggie-burger-delight_24179-veggieburger-640x420
Photo Credit: RawFoodRecipes.com

Moderate  |  Time: 6 hours  |  Servings: 3-5

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Hemp Hearts (hemp seeds)
  • 1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts or Pecans
  • 1/4 cup ground Flax Seeds
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped Veggies (combination of celery, onion, fresh parsley, and/or red pepper – some of each is best, but ratio does not matter)
  • 2 tbsp ground Chia Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp dried Dill (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast (optional)
  • 1 set Paraflexx Sheets

Steps:

  • Add all ingredients except hemp hearts and veggies to your food processor
  • Process until well mixed and transfer into a large bowl
  • Add remaining ingredients to mixture in the large bowl
  • Mix with a spoon until thoroughly combined
  • Line your Excalbiur Food Dehydrator trays with paraflexx sheets
  • Form patties with your hands, similar to burger patties – about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
  • Place on trays so patties do not touch each other
  •  Dehydrate on highest temperature for 1.5 hours
  • Reduce heat to 125 degrees F and dehydrate for another 5 hours
  • Once burger patties are holding together and firming nicely, remove paraflexx, and continue dehydrating until they reach desired veggie burger consistency

 

Liquid Pizza

liquid pizzaYield : 2

Servings : 2

Prep Time : 5m

Cook Time : 5m

Ready In : 5m

Ingredients

  • dash of ground dried Basil
  • 1/2 head of medium Cauliflower
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 2 cups of Cherry Tomatoes

Directions

Step 1: Wash produce well

Step 2: Juice all ingredients except for basil in your Omega Juicer

Step 3: Add basil and mix well

Step 4: Serve and enjoy!

Step 5: If you would prefer your juice warm, in a small pot add juice and basil. Steep for an hour for a warm, pizza-like drink. Mix well and enjoy!

More information on the above highlighted raw food tools:

Untitled 1Omega Nutrition Center 800 and 900. Nutrition Centers are masticating style juice extractors that have the ability to juice at low speeds to minimize heat build-up and oxidation that destroy nutrients. The machine is engineered with powerful components that can easy extract juice from wheatgrass and leafy vegetables. Nutrition Centers are not just for juicing; they turn nuts into nut butter, extrude pasta, grind coffee and spices, mince herbs and garlic, make baby food, and whip up soy milk in a flash. $379.95
excaliburDehydrating offers a better way to dry and preserve food while maintaining vitamin content and antioxidants.   Excalibur Dehydrators, offers commercial-grade results. Equipped with patented Parallex™ Horizontal Air Flow and Hyperwave™ Fluctuation Technology, Excalibur allows the most efficient heating and drying combination on the market. Additionally, its adjustable Thermostat (95◦F to 155◦F) keeps the temperature range low enough to preserve active enzymes but high enough to meet safety standards for dehydrating meat products. Available in 4,5,9 and 10 Tray. Price range: $129.00 – $999.95

Photo (above): RawFoodRecipes.com

The World’s Most Expensive Food

What if you decided to eat only the most expensive dishes all day long.

Would you try an exquisite Anqui Pho soup in Santa Monica? Or maybe a $1000 salad by a celebrity chef Raymond Blanc?

Our friend David Adelman over at Finances Online did a fun experiment and compared the prices for various most expensive dishes in the world.

What was so delicous that it sold for $330,000 at an auction? What is the most expensive spice in the world? How much can a slice of 1937 royal wedding cake cost? Caviar in 24-Karat tins, sushi wrapped in 24-Karat gold leaves, truffle salad, and ‘bacon bling’ — these are just some of the outrageously expensive meals you can encounter in the culinary world and he’s gathered them all in an awesome infographic.

The Most Expensive Dishes In The World: How To Plan The Pricest Meal Ever

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