Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What's in my pantry??

I get asked this often....
I think having a well stocked pantry is absolutely key for any "whole food, clean eating" chef. Good quality spices, oils, and dry food staples will bring your beautiful fresh seasonal fruits and veggies to a whole other level!
If you are in need of a pantry overhaul I suggest doing this....
Clean the thing out!!!
1. Start by checking the expiration dates. Back in the day when I cleaned out Carlos's pantry ( before we moved in together )  I found things that expired 5 years earlier ( wtf really?? )...Gross.
2. Toss anything that contains ingredients like corn syrup, bleached white flour, or trans-fats.
3. Take stock of your "snacks"....Ya know things like cookies, chips, crackers, etc. I'm not saying that all of that stuff is bad I'm just saying think about it.... The more I talk to people about snacking the more I believe this stuff crushes peoples good intentions. Wanna snack? How about some celery and almond butter? Strawberries dipped in Greek yogurt and local honey?  Maybe some cracked green olives heated up with some rosemary and citrus zest?? I don't know...get creative.
Just so you know...we rarely have any of the typical "snack" foods in our house except for a very occasional box of Wheat-Thins ( my bad ) or Ak-Mak crackers. When I cut out the "snack food" in the house Carlos lost 25 lbs....Just saying.

Anyway..
Once you have figured out what you have that can stay and what you no longer need it's time to stock up!
FYI
I have a little bit of an obsession with clear Mason Jars ( or recycled almond butter, salsa, olive jars ) I love how they look in my pantry and how they show off all our pretty grains, lentils, nuts and dried fruit! I love shopping in the "bulk section" now at a health food store just so I can fill my jars...Oh and by the way....buying spices in the bulk section is sooooooo much cheaper it's ridiculous!

Here's my typical Mason Jar bulk staples.....
wild rice mix
jasmine rice
sushi rice ( short grain )
split peas
yellow lentils
red lentils
unsweetened coconut flakes
red quinoa
white quinoa
rolled oats
couscous
Israeli couscous
amaranth
walnuts
pumpkin seeds
peanuts
raw cashews ( for soaking to make raw nut cheeses and spreads )
black and white sesame seeds
brown and golden flax seeds
golden raisins
dried cranberries
currants
dried de arbol chilies

Other Staples
canned black beans
canned chick peas
canned organic tomatoes
organic almond butter
coconut milk ( full fat baby! )
vegetarian refried beans
canned organic hearts of palm ( a must for Carlos )
canned organic pumpkin puree
canned chipotle peppers in adobo
canned organic tomato sauce
nori sheets
Vietnamese rice paper sheets
an assortment of organic pastas
croutons
boxes of almond milk

Next!
The SPICE cabinet!
FYI - I'm a artisan salt and vinegar junkie so obviously a lot of my staples are not necessary (but they're fun!)
Vinegars
( organic when available )
brown rice
balsamic
balsamic syrup
raw apple cider
white wine
rice wine
red wine
Oils
( organic when available )
macadamia nut
sunflower
olive oil
Meyer lemon olive oil ( a must!)
coconut oil
coconut butter
organic sunflower cooking spray
Spices
( organic when available )
These vary but I use a TON of cumin, coriander, curry, cayenne, whole nutmeg, cinnamon, and several other hot chilies.
Salts
Australian Murray River Valley ( light pink flakes...my favorite! )
Cyprus Flake
Himalayan
Big Island black salt
Red salt ( Alaea from Maui )
Maldon ( love...)
Sel de Fleur
Sanchel sea salt ( used in Indian cooking )
Celtic 
Basics
vanilla extract ( organic )
vanilla paste ( love love love!!! )
baking powder
baking soda
organic unbleached white and whole wheat flour
Supplements
 ( mostly the Navitas Naturals brand that I purchase on iherb.com )
raw cacao nibs
raw cacao powder
lacuma powder
stevia powder ( green....not white )
mesquite powder
lecithin granules
maca
Random "Must Haves"
vegan veggie bouillon
Nativas Natural's raw cacao butter ( to make yummy raw chocolate treats! )
matcha powder ( tea )
wasabi powder
large assortment of herbal and green teas
raw local Hawaiian honey
recycled plastic forks, spoons, knives, and straws

Awe...that was fun. Fridge and freezer coming soon...
Aloha!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Love

{ my new "Bali Home" book }

{ Ironwood Beach }

{ the addition of spinach, olives, and hot peppers to this sauce }

{ my sister's ankle boots }

{ late afternoon sun spots }

Friday, March 25, 2011

Supplements I love....

What supplements do I use?
I get this question a fair bit these days so I figured it was time to do a quick post on the topic.
Just a note though...I think that my balanced high vegetarian/vegan diet provides most of the nutrients my body needs but I like playing around with different supplements. 
 I think everyone is different though.What works for me might not work for you.
However that being said.... Here are some daily favorites.
I started taking Liquid Chlorophyll about 6 months ago after a suggestion from a pregnant co-worker. It's wonderful for alkalizing the body and it provides oxygen for the acidophilus in the bowel. I love the clean fresh taste of Liquid Chlorophyll and several companies even pair it with spearmint oil for a wonderful tea like taste. I keep trying different brands to see which one I like best. So far, all have been nice.....This is "Sunny Green Liquid Chlorophyll".
 Carlos loves it because it taste like his mate tea from Argentina.
I always put local Pure Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica in my green smoothies. This stuff is fabulous! First of all it's gorgeous in texture and color and it's packed with Beta carotene ( Vit A ), B12 , Vit K and iron. Love love love this stuff and it last forever in the fridge at just a teaspoon a serving...
Maca
The sexy South American super food!
Maca enhances the endocrine system which supports important things like the nervous system, brain, fertility, sexual function, and digestion.
I throw about a teaspoon of it in every smoothie I make...
Organic extra virgin Coconut Oil....
I love this stuff! Once feared because of it's high level of saturated fat, coconut oil is making a comeback in a very big way thanks to it's content of lauric acid. Check it out here!
Plus....it just tastes yummy. I use it to cook with ( or uncook with in gourmet raw cuisine ) all the time! And I think it has done wonders to my hair and nails.
I take my B vitamins like every good vegetarian might consider (depending on how much dairy/eggs you consume of course... I don't eat much dairy and never eggs these days ). I think this vitamin will become even more vital the more I slip towards a true vegan diet.....
I also take folic acid like any wanna be "mommy to be" should. More on that another time possibly.

I also like these supplements but don't necessarily use daily...
Acai Berry ( usually in frozen form and added to smoothies )
Milk Thistle ( a great antioxidant for the liver....cuz I like my wine sometimes )
Noni Juice ( local, medicinal fermented fruit and possibly a cancer fighter )
Green Tea (esp.) matcha powder ( antioxidant )
Lecithin-great emulsifier in smoothies ( nervous system supporter )
So there you go!
What are your favorite supplements?
Aloha! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Green Smoothie: Maui Style

I recently came up with a fantastic new green smoothie!
While sorting out our freezer I discovered 3 bags of mangoes and passion fruit pulp left over from last season.  I figured time to use this stuff up because mango and passion fruit season is just around the corner again!

{ Carlos harvesting our mangoes last year....}

Anyway
This new smoothie was delicious!! Very light and refreshing! And don't worry....you don't taste any of the green stuff :)

Maui Green Smoothie
-vegan-
serves 2
1/2 cup to 1 cup frozen mango
pulp and seeds from 2 lilikoi ( passion fruit )
1 frozen banana
2 cups fresh kale
1 peeled orange
1" of fresh ginger
1.5 cups of coconut water more or less ( this totally depends on how thick or thin you want your smoothie )
1 tsp Spirulina
( I use Spirulina Pacifica from the Big Island of Hawaii....fabulous! )

Carlos wanted seconds....That should tell you something.
Aloha!

Monday, March 21, 2011

I Love

{ salty dogs }


{ hand painted umbrellas }

{ watching Taj watching the rain }

{ Ke'e Beach, Kauai }


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Creamy Spicy Tomato Soup

This was incredible....
I know I say this a lot but this truly really was.
I found the recipe here via the blog Eat, Live, Run and then I tweaked it a bit by adding a good pinch of cayenne pepper.
The ingredients are simple...Things you probably already have on hand so it's possible that no shopping will be required.
I however had to buy some milk and butter.
The recipe called for whole milk but I opted for 1%. The result was so rich and creamy that I'm sure I didn't sacrifice much by not using whole milk.
Also
The tomatoes in the market were looking a little bit blah so I chose some organic canned tomatoes instead.

We actually ended up making this soup two nights in a row because it was honestly that good. Unfortunately, I still have a hard time eating this much dairy at one time so I really had to limit my serving.
But if you don't have a lactose issue or are not currently reading "The China Study" like I am, I beg you to make this....It's that awesome.
On another note.
 I will update soon on the "The China Study" for I'm only about a hundred pages in. I've read millions of books regarding the health issues associated with meat, dairy, and eggs but not one has gotten me to finally give up dairy products even though dairy hurts me. ( ??! )
However.....
 "The China Study" might actually do it. Has anybody read this book? If so, are you still consuming animal products? Just curious ?
To be continued.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I Love

{ "Thousand Peaks" off Hwy 30 }

{ BIG salads }

{ my new metallic belt }

{ the terra cotta pots I painted blue and gold }

{ my new $3 scarf I found at the consignment store }


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Patience



Something I'm still learning...


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Irish Soda Bread with Currants and Orange

I'm not much of a baker....
I don't particularly like "exact" measurements, kneading, or anything to do with chemistry in general. However, after hearing about this gorgeous Irish Soda Bread by Ina Garten ( via the blog "Cupcakes and Cashmere ". )  I had to give it a go....
Not much kneading required and out of the oven in under an hour.
Gotta love that!
{ for Ina's recipe click
{ currants }

{ orange zest }

{ organic egg }

{ dry ingredients }


{ great crust, moist and dense interior, beautifully fragrant }
Enjoy!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cucumber, Radish, and Green Onion Salad

Radishes are something I rarely buy ( when I say rarely I actually mean never ).
I have no idea why? I mean, they are so pretty, spicy, and they are fairly inexpensive!

I saw these on sale the other day so I scooped them up not really knowing what I was going to do with them. I came home and googled recipes and found one that was right up my ally....
Now, I didn't follow the recipe to a T because I didn't have a few ingredients on hand but it came out great anyway. So, here's my version.

Cucumber, Radish and Green Onion Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing
{ adapted from Bon Appetit | April 1998 } click for original recipe )
-vegan-
6 Tbs rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup raw agave syrup
1 tsp sea salt
2 large cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
2.5 cups thinly sliced radishes ( about 2 bunches )
8 green onions chopped
Chili-Lime Dressing ( recipe follows )
1 Tb fresh chopped mint
1/2 tsp black sesame seeds for garnish
1 tsp chili flakes for garnish
Mix first 3 ingredients in a large bowl and blend. Add cucumbers and toss. Let stand 1 hr, tossing a couple of times.
Drain cucumbers ( I reserved this juice for a future dressing ). Return cukes to bowl and add radishes, green onions and mint. Add Chili-Lime dressing and toss. Garnish with more mint, chili flakes, and sesame seeds.

Chili-Lime Dressing
-vegan-
1/4 fresh squeezed lime juice
2 Tb agave
1 tsp chili flakes ( or more depending on heat tolerance )
1 Tb neutral flavored oil ( I used sunflower )
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp mined garlic
1/2 tsp of sea salt
Combine all ingredients in blender. Easy.
So crispy, light, and refreshing!
Enjoy

P.S.
For Japan....
On a more somber note.....In case anyone would like to donate to the Red Cross for the devastating events that have happened to our friends in Japan here is the link . I don't have a lot to give these days but I gave what I could.... I can't even imagine what these beautiful people are going through.
Aloha oe....

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday morning on Maui....

I guess days like this justify the cost of living here....
What do you think?
{ Honolua Bay }


{ snorkeling crystalline water }


{"Slippa Style"...but in dire need of a pedicure }


{ paddling in...}

{ please kokua }



{ the plant that produces the famous "Dragon Fruit"  }



{ Sunday Service }

{ coconut palms, my favorite favorite }


{ Carlos and I spent this Sunday morning surfing and paddling }

{ Maui Gold pineapples anyone? }


{ a Sunday drive through Ka'anapali's Coffee Plantation }


{ almost feels "Napa" like }

{ plumeria starting to bloom in this early spring }

Now you can see why I'm so willing to spend $7 for a bell pepper.....
Hope you are enjoying your weekend too.
Aloha