Monday, April 23, 2018

Avocado pesto

Here is a green vegan avocado pesto recipe to celebrate all things green and of this earth! I've made plenty of pesto before, but Chris' avocado pesto is a game changer. The avocado makes the pesto so smooth and creamy. This recipe is loaded with healthy fats and fiber to keep you full and glowing. Spread it on toast, toss it with pasta, or use it as a dip. But most importantly, be grateful for all that the earth provides and celebrate by going green! 

Avocado pesto (serves 4)
1 medium avocado 
1 bunch basil 
1 cup spinach 
1/4 cup roasted almonds 
1/4 cup olive oil 
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Cajun spice

1. Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth

Avocado pesto linguini w/ fresh peas and sauteed spinach

Monday, April 16, 2018

Self-care Sundays: spa water, honey glow face masks, & coconut oil sugar scrubs


Sometimes you just need a spa day. A detox from all the mental and physical clutter of living. It's rare to find myself spending a day at home, but when I do, I make it worth it. I started this Sunday with some oil pulling and sun salutations, followed by breakfast and mindfulness exercises. I always focus on hydration and getting in my greens, but I needed a little extra self care this time and made some natural skin remedies. 

The first time Chris and I did self-care Sunday (after a blustery weekend at Joshua Tree), we made honey lemon cinnamon face masks. We decided to up the boujee on a budget and added an avocado, which made the mask feel much more moisturizing and resulted with optimal glow. After face masks came the full body coconut oil sugar scrubs with essential oils, which let me tell you left our skin silky smooth -- just in time for the massages. Why I haven't used my kitchen ingredients for skin care before is beyond me because clearly I got everything I need in my pantry for the glow up.  

Even if you don't get to the masks and the scrubs, you should always take some time out of your week to relax and cultivate your body and mind! 

Spa water 
32 oz water
1 cucumber, sliced
1 lemon, sliced

1. Place all ingredients into a large pitcher
2. Allow ingredients to diffuse for at least 30 min to an hour
3. Add more water as needed 

Honey glow face mask (for 2)
1/2 avocado 
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1. Mix all ingredients together to a smooth paste 
2. Apply onto face, avoiding eyes
3. Leave on for 10-12 minutes, gently rinse off with warm water 

Coconut oil sugar scrub (for 2)
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp sugar 
2 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops orange essential oil 

1. Mix all ingredients together
2. Gently exfoliate skin 
3. Rinse off with warm water 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Bell pepper and beans bake

Happy Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day! In honor of my certification, I'm sharing this delicious Moroccan inspired recipe with you that my fellow RD at UCLA taught me several months back. Now when I have red bell peppers, this is really all I make. She originally baked this with salmon, but now I just make this nutrient packed vegan dish regularly to go with whatever else I'm eating. Whenever I do a taste test out of the pan, I find myself just straight eating out of the pan. The natural flavors of the ingredients and spices really meld together for a mouthwatering finish! 

Bell pepper and beans bake
6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped 
15 oz chickpeas, rinsed and drained 
15 oz pinto beans, rinsed and drained 
2 serrano chiles, minced
1 red onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil 
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp Cajun spice 
1/2 tsp black pepper 
1/2 tsp tumeric 
salt to taste 

1. Preheat oven to 325F
2. Mix all ingredients in a deep baking dish
3. Bake for 35 minutes or until tomatoes are soft

✓ vegetables 
✓ protein 
✓ fiber 

Monday, March 12, 2018


First impressions: wild, extreme, desolate. Iceland is an island blessed with the most magnificent natural formations, but cursed with whirling winds and erratic weather. The views were grand and intense, but it was near impossible to enjoy them due to the heavy winds constantly threatening to sweep you away. There was a noticeable lack of fresh produce and leafy greens that I'm spoiled with, so I resorted to daily skyr and juices. Most foods were remarkably salty, whether cured or not. I warmly welcomed the fruity teas, slathered the rich butter on everything, and devoured all the (salty) soups. However, I was most impressed by the pristine tap water and the geothermal heated water throughout the island. My favorite moments were snowy happy hours in the outdoor hot tub after a full day walking on waterfalls. Will I go back? I don't know. I would love to see the puffins and the icy landscape turn to green come warmer weather, but there are so many places yet to visit where you can also glimpse the elusive Northern Lights. 

Fresh bread with "lobster" soup

Greenhouse tomato soup and cheese crusted bread

Flight got delayed 6 hours then cancelled, so $10USD caviar was necessary

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Perfect scrambled eggs

I did it. I made perfect soft scrambled eggs. They're light fluffy pillows of eggs that really took minimal amounts of effort to scramble up. It was so easy, I can't believe I've been frying my eggs this whole time. I'm quite partial to soft scrambled eggs because the airy texture is just clearly superior to to dry crumbly solid hard scrambled ones. 

So for your next breakfast at home, I recommend pulling out a non stick pan and whipping up some of these babies. That avocado pumpernickel bagel* scrambled egg  plate took me less than 5 minutes to pull together. 

*Bake bagel at 250F in toaster oven for 2-3 minutes. Spread ripe avocado. Sprinkle with Cajun spice and sesame seeds. 

Perfect scrambled eggs
2 tsp avocado oil 
2 eggs, beaten

1. Heat oil in a non stick pan over medium low heat
2. Beat 2 eggs until bubbly, pour into pan
3. Gently fold eggs for 1-2 minutes or until desired consistency 
4. Remove from heat and serve immediately 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Scrumptious Saturday string beans & coconut ginger skillet rice

Thailand withdrawals are real and I've been seriously craving pad kra prow for days now, but I have yet to get my hand on some Thai basil. It was my first Saturday to myself since I've been back in LA. Of course I planned it around picking up some local produce and cooking up a storm. After a Silver Lake farmers market fail, I decided that I would just make due with the ingredients I had at home (mostly from my Mexican market and Imperfect Produce) for a mean green bean stir fry.  And because I had quite an assortment of ingredients, I pulled together quite an eclectic array of dishes for an afternoon delight.

The rice is inspired from a ginger purple rice I had while staying at Anantara Golden Triangle. It was on the New Years Eve buffet line next to all the Thai barbecue pork belly, chicken, and more meats. I reached for the rice first.

I must say that my green beans came out way more scrumptious than I anticipated. My ground chicken thigh marinade is on point. However, I was still missing Thai basil, fish sauce, and birdeye chilis. But let me tell ya, a little bit of Cajun spice goes a long way. 

Scrumptious Saturday string beans 
1 lb string beans, trimmed and chopped <1" 
1/2 lb ground chicken, marinated*
1 bell pepper, chopped 
1 small red onion, chopped
1" knob ginger, slivered 
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp rice wine 
2 tbsp peanut oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce 
1/2 tsp Cajun spice 

*ground chicken marinade: 
2 tbsp rice wine
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp worcestershire sauce 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp black pepper

1. In a deep skillet, heat oil and sear ground chicken as a patty on high heat. Once browned on both sides, break up into pieces.
2. Add wine to deglaze pan. Add onions, garlic, and ginger  and brown. 
3. Incorporate string beans and bell pepper. Stir fry for 3-5 min or until cooked. 
4. Mix in oyster sauce and Cajun spice. 

Coconut ginger skillet rice
2 cups leftover brown rice
1 cup carrots, shredded 
1/4 cup coconut flakes 
1" knob ginger, minced
1 tbsp peanut oil 
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp salt 

1. Heat oil in skillet on high heat. Add ginger and sesame. Once browned, add carrots and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. 
2. Mix in rice and salt. Stir fry for another 5 minutes or until crispy.
3. Turn heat down to medium low and add coconut flakes. Slowly stir fry until coconut flakes start toasting. Remove from heat and serve.