Salad Sundays: The Monday Edition

My "I only have 10 minutes to cook" Salad
  • frozen artichoke hearts
  • tomatoes
  • garbanzo beans
  • Rawmesan vegan cheese
  • mixed greens
  1. Heat artichokes and 1/4 cup of water in a large skillet (like this one).  Cover with lid. While artichokes are cooking chop tomatoes.
  2. Drain and rinse garbanzo beans. Set aside.
  3. When artichokes are almost cooked (about 5 minutes), drain excess water from the pan.  Then toss tomatoes and garbanzo beans into skillet along with spices of your choice.  I like lemon pepper and garlic with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
  4. Lower heat to medium and allow to simmer.
  5. Toss mixed greens with dijon vinaigrette dressing (like this one).
  6. Spoon artichoke mixture** on top of dressed greens and sprinkle with Rawmesan vegan cheese.
  7. Eat and enjoy!!
-♥ J :)

**Artichoke mixture is also delicious served over brown rice.

Champagne and Babycakes NYC

Yesterday I had one of those overly ambitious days where I tried to conquer my monster to-do list in one fell swoop.  I did ok, but one of the to-do's that didn't make the cut was eating (and therefore posting) a salad for Salad Sundays*.  Instead, I opted to have a delicious dinner of champagne and cupcakes while watching the SAG Awards.  What can I say?  Some days salad just doesn't win the fight.  But, hey, at least the cupcakes were of the heavenly Babycakes NYC variety.  Babycakes are vegan and gluten free so I feel like that kinda counts as a balanced meal (and champagne** counts as a fruit, right??).  

If you haven't checked out the new Hollywood/ Larchmont Babycakes locationyou need to go immediately.  In addition to the cupcakes and baked goods, they have homemade lemonade, cheap coffee and the very promising sounding "icing shots" for only $1.50.  The staff is as sweet as the treats and the fun, kitschy vibe of the store makes you feel like you are in a homey, small town bakery.  They even had silly tip jars marked "Pauly Shore or Jersey Shore…Vote with your tip."  I put money in each since I wasn't sure…get it…I wasn't "sure"…"shore"…"sure"…never mind.  One thing I am sure of....Babycakes for dinner is a really fun way to end a Sunday.

- J :)

*Salad Sundays: The Monday Edition will be posted later today…just as soon as I make my lunch. ;)
**Charli would want me to point out that the "champagne" was actually prosecco.  She is a stickler for details like that.


The Cold Front

Yesterday, I was felt a cold coming on, so I decided to make my go to "kick-that-cold-back-where-it-came-from" home remedy.  I made it up last year when my Mom felt like she was getting sick.  She drank it as soon as she started to feel run down and BAM!  Cold was sent a packin'.  

  • 2 cups organic low sodium* vegetable stock
  • chopped garlic cloves (to taste)**
  • cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • juice of 1 lemon

In a small saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil.  Drink and enjoy!

-♥ J :)

*It is very important that the vegetable broth be "low sodium."  I forgot to tell Erin that when I gave her the recipe and she woke up with puffy, salty eyes.

**I usually use 3-4 cloves of garlic and as much cayenne as my stomach can stand (about 1/4 teaspoon).  Be warned...this is not a breath friendly recipe.  Consume only around your closest friends and definitely not before a hot date.  I usually drink it and go right to sleep.

P.S. Do you have any favorite home remedies??  Hop on over to the Happy Healthy Belly Facebook page to share them!!


Martha Stewart for the win.

About 40 seconds into this video I had to cover my eyes.  Think about that.  40 seconds into a video about where America's food comes from, I had to cover my eyes so as not to see the acts of monstrous cruelty.  A video about our food supply should not have the same effect as a horror movie.  Thank you Martha Stewart for bringing awareness to this important issue.  To learn more about factory farming and what you can do to stop it, click HERE.

-♥ J :)


Salad Sundays: Mas Malo's Mexican Chopped Salad

Last night a bunch of us went to Malo for dinner. In addition to the requisite chips, guacamole and margaritas, I was dreaming of the salad that I had the last time we went there for Sophie's birthday.  Turns out the Malo we went to last night (the Silverlake location) doesn't have the salad.  My beloved salad is only available at their downtown location: Mas Malo.  So in honor of the salad I didn't get to have last night, I am making it this week's featured salad.  Guess I will be making it at home, too.

Mas Malo's Mexican Chopped Salad** 
  • celery
  • garbanzo beans
  • red radish
  • iceberg lettuce
  • cucumber
  • bell pepper 
  • tomatoes
  • avocado

  1. Chop all ingredients and toss with a lime vinaigrette (recipe HERE).  
  2. Eat and enjoy!!!

-♥ J :)

**The Mas Malo chopped salad actually comes with queso fresco, but I order it "no cheese sub avocado".


And speaking of Paula Deen...

Paula Deen's “Lady’s Brunch Burger” 
A couple of weeks ago, my father got really sick.  He had a debilitating pain in his stomach as well as nausea and a fever.  He couldn't get out of bed.  "What did you eat today??" I asked.  "Maybe you have food poisoning."  "I don't know," he said between groans of pain.  "Nothing weird.  A roast beef sandwich.  I'm fine.  It's probably the flu or something."  I googled his symptoms and a host of scary ailments came up: heart attack, diverticulitis, blocked intestine.  "Dad, if you don't feel better tomorrow you need to go to the doctor."  "Hrumphdk," he grumbled...


With great power.

"Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such thing as Wisdom; 
and no such thing as public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech."
-Benjamin Franklin

I owe you some Crazy Sexy Diet chat, but that is going to have to wait until tomorrow.  Today Happy Healthy Belly is "going dark" in protest of the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA).

Real threat to our liberty does not come as we think it will: loud and scary and with great furor.  Real danger is often quiet and placid and cloaked in good intention.  It is the unassuming ticker tape scroll that runs subtly beneath a "news story" that Paula Deen has Type 2 diabetes

Take action NOW.

-♥ J :)

*As Steve said, this article is "short, but gets to the heart of the issue."


Salad Sundays

A couple of weeks ago, while enjoying a three hour layover in the Cleveland airport, I ate one of the saddest salads...ever.  It was so sad that it practically looked up at me and said, "Yeah.  I'm your salad.  I'm sorry."  As I picked at the wilted, depressed lettuce, I had the thought, "If this is what people think salad is, no wonder no one wants to eat it!!"  So in the hopes of rebranding salad and giving it a fresh, sexy allure, I am starting a new feature on the blog called Salad Sundays.  Every Sunday I will highlight a snazzy, happy salad in the hopes that it will inspire you to bring a little salad love and joy into your week.

This week's salad is brought to you courtesy of one of my favorite LA restaurants: Tender Greens.  It is the Tuna Nicoise salad with NO TUNA, NO EGG, sub GRILLED VEGGIES.  (They don't even get mad at you when you order it that way.  Love them Tender Greeners!!)  If you want to recreate this yumminess in your own kitchen, you will need:
  • mixed greens
  • tomatoes
  • capers
  • olives
  • assorted grilled veggies of your choice (Tender Greens salad pictured above has green beans, brussels sprouts, yams, parsnips and cauliflower.  They change the veggies according to what is in season. )
  • roasted fingerling potatoes (recipe HERE)
  • sherry vinaigrette (recipe HERE)
Toss all the ingredients together and enjoy!!!  Happy Salad-ing!!!

-♥ J :)

P.S.  Haven't forgotten about our Crazy Sexy Diet.  Today is Day 1 of "Wean Week."  I'll explain more tomorrow.


I feel the need…the need for greens.

Over white wine and vegan dip at Amelia's Wednesday night, Grasie mentioned that she was halfway through Kris Carr's 21-Day Adventure Cleanse: Crazy, Sexy Diet.  "Wow, so you gave up coffee, too??" I marveled.  Grasie said it wasn't that bad.  "When I get up, first I'll have hot water with lemon...maybe with a dash of cayenne."  Hot water and lemon.  I've always wanted to be the type of person who wakes up with hot water and lemon.  It seems so serene and civilized.  That type of person wouldn't stumble out of bed in ill-fitting pajamas, unable to muster so much as a "good morning" without half a cup of coffee in their system. That type of person probably does this:

"And then I'll have Yerba Mate," Grasie continued.  "Maybe I could do that.  Maybe I could do Yerba Mate," I rationalized.  "But you already said that you are not giving up coffee this year," Amelia shouted from the kitchen. "You already wrote it on the blog."  Amelia also reminded me that I had promised to eat smaller portions as I reached for seconds of the delicious, crack-like dip she had made.**  Apparently, Amelia is a very comprehensive reader.

"Do you have any interest in doing the Kris Carr cleanse with me?" I asked John when I got home.   "And what would that entail exactly?"  "Basically no coffee, alcohol, meat, dairy, gluten or sugar for 21 days.  And we'd have to meditate everyday for, like, 15 to 20 minutes…among other things.  And in the morning we drink hot water with lemon."  John just stared at me.  "Well, we could just do our best," I prodded.  "It will be fun!!"  John didn't look like he thought it would be fun.  

But it will be fun!!!  Come on, Veggies!!!  We can start on Monday!!  Anyone up for a little cleansing???  Anyone???

-♥ J :)

**The dip Amelia made was the Cheesy, Oozy Guacamole Bean Dip from Alicia Silverstone's book The Kind Diet.  Since I was too busy inhaling it to remember to take a picture for you, here is a video of Alicia herself whipping up a batch.


Out with the old. In with the true.

I'm usually a very even-tempered person.  (Stop laughing, Steve.)  I usually try to be a very even-tempered person, but nothing gets my blood boiling like false ideas and propaganda disguised as helpful nutrition advice.  If you ever want to waste a hour or two ask me about yogurt…or "where I get my protein."  The reason I get so incensed by these things is because brain space is a precious commodity.  The more it is clogged with misinformation and jargon, the less room that is left for truth and innovation.  We will never make lasting change in this world if our brains are occupied with nonsensical busy work like trying to figure out how many carbs are in an Olive Garden breadstick.  So, in honor of loving transformation, I propose that the following useless ideas get shipped back to 2011:

2011: Metabolism  
2012: Flow
You don't have a metabolism.  Not in the way that you think that you do.  People talk about their metabolism in the same way they talk about their hair color or height: as a definitive, birth issued statistic that is fixed and unchangeable.  Metabolism is actually "the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life."  In other words, it is your body working.  It can't be "fast."  It can't be "slow."  It is either working or not working.  If you have a clogged drain, you don't say, "Oh, my drain has a slow metabolism.  It was just born that way."  No.  You fix the effing drain!  Replace the idea of "metabolism" with the idea of "flow."  Are all the systems in your body "flowing" as they should?  Is there something you could do to make the systems flow better??  Framing the idea in that way empowers you rather than placing blame on something outside of yourself.

2011: Calories
2012: Digestion
My good friend once told me that when she was younger she had notebook after notebook filled with calorie lists.  She would spend hour upon hour calculating and tallying everything she had eaten, everything she was going to eat and everything that she might eat in the future.  She said that, to this day, she could tell me the calorie count of any food under the sun.  Whew.  That is a lot of wasted time.  Your body doesn't know what a calorie is.  It only knows if food digests well or if it digests poorly.  If you were trying to lose weight and had to choose between eating a 200 calorie, chemical laden "protein" bar or a 400 calorie avocado, popular diet advice would having you choosing the bar.  But your body doesn't know what to do with that bar.  It doesn't matter that it has less calories because the work your body does digesting it is fruitless.  It is the equivalent of doing a stack load of work that you are not being paid for versus doing tons of work for which you are paid handsomely.  Your body doesn't mind working for the avocado because it is paid very well for its efforts.  After it digest that bar…frankly…it's gonna be pissed.  Start thinking of food as digestible or not digestible.**  It will change your life.

2011: Calling food "good" or "bad"
2012: Food is either "helpful" or not "helpful" 
I've already told you about my pet peeve regarding calling food bad.  Giving food a moral quality does nothing but turn us into frightened school children who are either rebelling or blindly following marching orders.  Your psyche deserves better.  Instead try to think of food as helpful or not helpful.  Think of what your body is getting out of the deal.  Is it getting an easy workload and tons of nutrients??  Helpful.  Or is it getting a party in your mouth followed by a massive amount of clean up?? Not helpful.  Whatever the case may be, be truthful without passing judgement.  When we are true to our bodies and listen to their needs, we will make decisions not because we are "supposed to" but because it feels right to do so.  That sounds pretty "good" to me.

-♥ J :)

**Which foods are easily digestible and which ones are not is a topic unto itself.  A post about that is coming up.


The resolution starts now.

Good day, my Veg Friends.  Welcome to 2012.  Doesn't it just sound like the future??? Oooh, I love me a new year!  Nothing sets my heart a flutter like the crisp, dewy newness of January 1st.  It is a new dawn, a new day and a chance to do everything a little better than you "done did it" the year before.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been debating about whether or not I should make some New Year's resolutions.  Part of me agrees with Leo that "the best goal is no goal." All real change takes place in the present moment.  We make small change upon small change and painstakingly inch towards a new way of being.  Then again, I do love a good list.  Ok, if you twisted my arm (Ow..OW!!) the following would be my New Year's resolutions for 2012:

  • Wake up early.  Well…earlier.  I have long had a theory that if I woke up at 6am I would be a vastly more productive person.  I don't know why I have this theory and don't have any real evidence to support it.  In fact, when I have tried this little experiment in the past it usually results in an obscene amount of coffee consumption followed by an afternoon nap.  Nevertheless, I would like to give it a go….again.
  • Shop at the Farmer's market.  I am perpetually trying to eliminate excess waste, eat whole organic foods and save money.  Shopping at my local Farmer's market would accomplish all three of these things in one fell swoop.  And while I'm there…
  • Remember to use my reusable bags. I have enough reusable bags to buy groceries for you, me and a gaggle of our closest friends.  I, also, leave them in my home, my car, your home and your car enough times that I might as well not have them at all.  I'm not saving the planet by keeping them in my trunk.  And speaking of the planet...
  • Stop using paper towels.  Hi, I'm Jen and I'm a paper towel addict.  I have kept this deep, dark secret from you for too long.  Admitting I have a problem is the first step.  The next step is to actually use all the cloth towels that I virtuously bought in the hopes of eliminating waste and being more like this woman.  
  • Eat less. I'm going to follow my own advice and try to eat proper portions of food.  By "proper portion" I mean one plate of fries instead of two. One heaping serving of pasta versus three.  Not finishing a pint of coconut ice cream in one sitting...that sort of thing.  I feel like this will make me feel very French and very chic.  At the very least it will stop me from inhaling food faster than my husband.  Speaking of which…
  • Chew my food.  I eat food so quickly that when I was a kid my father used to yell at me, "No one is taking it away from you!!  Slow down!!"  I am going to slow down and mindfully enjoy my meals like..oh, say...a chic, French person.  Or just less like a rabid dog.
  • No quitting coffee.  Unless I want to quit.  No, I probably won't quit.  Yeah, definitely not going to quit.  For now.  My husband bought me this coffee maker for christmas because he knows that I am forever vacillating between coffee and tea.  My battle with coffee is a grisly, well documented war.  For now though, I give up...or rather, don't give up.  You win coffee!!  I love your bitter goodness and don't want to ever see you go.  For now, anyway.
  • Try to do this: 

I mean, really, that is just awesome.

-♥ J :)
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