Thursday, June 25, 2015

My Favorite Restaurant Salad

Flatbread Pizza Co. UGH, this place ALWAYS temps us when we're passing through Paia Town. Half the time we stop in, I'm wet, sandy and crispy from way too many hours spent at Ho'okipa Beach Park. Thankfully, this is Maui, and being make-up free with wet salty hair is the norm. Where shoes are replaced by rubber slippers and my 4 yr old Acacia pareo will pass as clothing. Ha! Gotta love this lil' island I call home.
Anyway, this restaurant is usually broiling hot thanks to the large open Kiawe pizza oven in the center of the dining area so instead we like to sit near the entrance at the bar. A glass ( or 2 ) of Rose, a vegan pizza, a custom made salad and I couldn't think of a better way to spend lazy afternoon.
Now, speaking of that salad. Flatbread Pizza Co. makes one of my favorite salads of all time! Starting with tender local greens, Ono Farms shredded green papaya, local shredded carrots, Kahanu Aina organic sprouts, sesame seeds and a housemade local pineapple vinaigrette, you are free to add as many "extra" toppings as you like. I personally like adding blackened Bell peppers, Kalamata olives and a creamy local avocado when available. My husband adds even more ( mushrooms + local Surfing Goat Dairy cheese ) For years I've been trying to come up with the recipe for this incredible dressing and I think I've finally figured it out? Or at least close enough to now replicate this delicious salad at home.

Maui Pineapple and Sesame Vinaigrette
-makes about 2 cups-

1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sunflower or any neutral flavored oil
2 TB sesame oil
1 clove garlic
3 TB tamari or soy sauce 
1/2 tsp ginger juice**
1 small Maui onion or any sweet onion like a Vidalia
Blend everything ( except oil ) until very smooth in a highspeed blender. Slowly add oil until completely emulsified.

**I like to juice a bunch of fresh local ginger at once and keep it in a small glass spice jar in the fridge to add to drinks and dressings. Keeps for a week or more.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Guilt Free Vegan Pancakes

Lately on Instagram I've been seeing loads of decadent looking vegan and gluten-free pancakes popping up all over my feed. What's up with this? So not fair.
Normally I'm not one to cave when it comes to mainstream comfort foods but when I came across THRIVINGONPLANTS  pancake recipes on Insta I finally had to give it a go. FYI - She has a blog too, Thriving on Plants
Three simple ingredients ( ground oats, banana and nut milk ) make up the base of this super easy, super delicious, perfect for Sunday brunch meal. I added a few little tweaks to Cherie's basic recipe just to give it a bit of a kick and WOW so good.
Here's a tip: For the oats flour, all I did was dump a 1.5 cups of dry quick oats in my Vitamix and gave it a whirl. Easy.

Vegan Pancakes
1.5 cups quick oats
( look for oats that are gluten free if possible )
1 ripe banana
1 cup almond milk
2 TB coconut sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
Blend all ingredients until combined in a blender. Heat non-stick skillet on medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto skillet and cook until golden brown ( flip and repeat ). 

Topping Ideas
maple syrup
coconut syrup
hemp seeds
cacao nibs
ground flax
vegan butter


Friday, June 5, 2015

I Love

my beautiful Balinese offering box

my prolific tomato plants

my custom labeled candle from Le Labo 

my cute wedding ring holder from Cost Plus World Market


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Island Style

I love this dress. The color, the silky fabric, the low cut back, it's perfect island wear. I found this on a recent trip to Florida at Drift in Neptune Beach. Seriously, Drift is the cutest boutique ever! If you're ever in coastal North Florida, you must check it out.
I also discovered the best little bralettes by Essentials for Zula. I found them at a gorgeous new shop in Makawao called Driftwood. This store will be the end of me. Amazing stuff!! I purchased a white bralette at Driftwood and loved it so much I ordered the black online. It's perfect for a low cut dress like this one.

Dress// Knot Sisters purchased at Drift in Neptune Beach, FL
Bralette// Essentials for Zula 
Earrings and Ring// Hula Hoops Maui
Rubber Slippahs// Acacia

Photos by Carlos Barberis of BECfoto


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Colorful Venice Beach, CA

It's been over two decades since I've strolled down Ocean Front Walk in Venice Beach. Always turning right instead of left when visiting family in north Venice ( an upscale beachfront neighborhood with manicured promenades crawling with yoga pants and baby strollers ) we decided to turn left this time. It was Mother's Day and my husband was dying to see, "wacky Venice Beach" and my 73 year old mother couldn't have been more happy to join. As far as I can remember, little has changed. The "creatives" are still out in full force and the boardwalk of Venice Beach is still as colorful and as out there as ever.

Me on my phone while Mom takes it all in.

Photos by Carlos Barberis of BECfoto


Monday, May 18, 2015

Tour de Low-Country


We just returned home from a couple of weeks on the Mainland. We spent some time in north Florida and southern Georgia before heading out to California for a few days. 
This was a family trip so most of our time revolved around them but we were able to squeeze in some nice drives and just a bit too many indulgent lunches. Hard not to do, especially when you are in The South.

Here's a few shots of one of the most beautiful regions on the U.S. Mainland, The Florida/Georgia Low-Country.

St. Simons Island, GA

Fort Federica, GA

Veggie Empanadas at Del Sur on St. Simons Island

Pumpkin and Pea Ravioli at Del Sur ( not vegan ) I had a handful on non-vegan ( always vegetarian though ) meals on this trip. Not proud to admit this but I did. 


St. Simons Pier

Dunes at Huguenot Beach, FL

Fernandina Beach, FL

Stuffed veggie wraps at 29 South in Fernandina Beach, FL

Stormy Amelia Island


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Vegan Ranch Dressing

I make a nut based vegan sour cream almost weekly. It's insane! It seriously tastes and looks just like the real thing! Besides just adding it to my Mexican inspired salads and vegan tacos, I've been mixing it into soups and salad dressings when I want something rich and creamy. 
I was craving ranch dressing big time the other day as I watched a friend devouring pizza with the devil sauce drizzled all over it. Ugh, it was absolute torture. What is it about creamy dressings like blue, Caesar and ranch? So yum...
  I didn't cave though. The ingredients used to make traditional ranch dressings are loaded with cancer causing, heart stopping saturated fats and loads of animal cruelty. I won't go there anymore so I had to come up with something to replace it. This is really really close to the real deal! Give it a try!

Vegan Ranch Dressing
-makes about 1.75 cups-

1 cup vegan sour cream ( recipe below )
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk ( to make a thicker or thinner dressing )
2 TB lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
1/4 tsp dried dill
2 TB fresh chopped parsley
2 TB chopped green onions

Vegan Sour Cream
-makes about 1.5 cups-
1 cup unsalted cashews soaked in water overnight ( drained )
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
10 TB cold water
pinch of sea salt
Blend in a highspeed blender until very smooth.
Recipe adapted from HERE