eat well, live free

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Winter

Slow cooked, simmering tofu in a simple tomato and coconut base makes a delicate summer stew. Paired with an arugula and spinach salad with fresh local berries, this meal is perfect for an outdoor dinner in the garden. We used chives and tomatoes from our garden making it as fresh as possible.

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Tikka Masala is the most vibrant and mouth watering dish found in Indian restaurants in America.  A little known fact in our society is that tikka masala originated in London.  A curry typically made with a creamy tomato base with tandoori chicken, this dish requires only a handful of ingredients and is prepared in under fifteen minutes.  No joke.

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Saturday mornings, sleeping in (past 6 a.m.) and laying in bed for a while thinking about the excitement of the day to come is probably the most special time of the week.  Moments that the only energy spent is purely on the excitement of a hike, working in the garden or a day of shopping and errands, are something to cherish in our fast paced lives.  And then comes the inevitable question of the day, “What’s for breakfast?”

Marcos’ favorite breakfast, hands down, is anything you can pour maple syrup on.  You could give the guy hot cereal, cold cereal, Greek yogurt or fresh peanut butter- set a jug of real maple syrup on the table and he is a happy man.

My favorite breakfast meal is a creamy bowl of hot porridge.

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Growing up, my favorite Jewish holiday was the celebration of Passover and the freedom of Jews from slavery in Egypt at a ritual dinner called the Passover Seder. We haven’t celebrated Passover in years, so when Nancy Eisman invited 6 food bloggers to attend a “Cyber Seder” (not even knowing that I am Jewish!), I had a wave of very special memories of my Mom who would create this meal from scratch.

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Coconut Lime Tofu

Marcos and I have met so many incredible friends through this blog in only 7 months. As a brand new married couple we have embarked on this project that has turned into so much more than a website with pics and recipes. Marcos is working as a food photographer at Mayahuel, I am now on the board of  the California Food Literacy Center and we have made amazing new friends like Marjorie, the blogger behind This is my dinner.

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butternut squash tacos

The California Food Literacy Center is a phenomenal new organization whose objective is to educate our community about healthy food choices, the environmental impact of our food system and our local community contribution to the food we eat. The Center involves students, teachers, parents and the local agricultural community to teach these issues. They are currently working in an under-served and low income school in Oak Park, Sacramento teaching children how to read labels, and introducing them to wonderful winter vegetables such as broccoli.

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Stir fry-  It seems like such a simple main dish to master.  Veggies, lightly fried in a pan, with sauce. Regardless, over the years I have made many inedible stir fries that went into the trash.  Soggy, limp, overly salty, disastrous flavor combinations and unsatisfying.  I consulted the internet and found ridiculous and difficult recipes that included ingredients such as ketchup and sugar.  For years now I have believed that there is a stir fry recipe conspiracy.

My vision of a perfect stir-fry is a piping hot dish of fresh vegetables, that are still intact both in form and true flavor, colorful and vibrant, lightly glazed in a layer of chili’s and salt.

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One thing I Love to do is host dinner parties in our home. I adore cooking for people, sharing new types of food, especially vegetarian dishes (or vegan, oh my!) with meat eaters. At our dinner parties we often pass around our favorite specialty items like The Meadow salts and the traditional balsamic vinegar. It’s a blast. So, when I went to the International Food Bloggers Conference in Santa Monica a few months ago, I immediately thought I should invite some of those folks over for dinner.

As this party began to take shape and save the date e-mails were sent out, a few common themes kept emerging. 1) I’ve been cooking for years, but I have been blogging for only. five. months. 2) I would be cooking for “FOOD” bloggers 3) Most of the invitees were vegan, but there were a few big meat eaters 4) No pressure.

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The truth is, I was going to make something with frozen bananas for today’s post because I am still so psyched about the power breakfast smoothie. But… Marcos had put the left over frozen bananas away in the refrigerator. That’s right, a big pile of mush. I asked my helpful honey, why he didn’t put them back in the freezer, and he innocently asked, ‘Well we still can, can’t we?’

Note: We have a “leave no man behind” rule in our house. So, if you are one of my readers who eats out way too much, and you are scratching your head right now, wondering why frozen bananas don’t go into the refrigerator, don’t worry I will help you (and my husband) learn to cook delicious healthy foods.

Anyway, I did find a bag of peanuts from Trader Joe’s and remembered that I promised my cousin Elena a post. So today is her day.

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Cardamom rice

Everyone’s table

Marcos and I had an awesome time at the Sacramento Veg Fest this weekend! We met so many folks who want to eat well including vegetarians, vegans and veg-curious. If you missed it, you are probably sad that my Mother-in-Law, Grandma and I brought 500 homemade oatmeal bites and anise cookies giving them away as fast as people could eat them.

I was overwhelmed by the number of parents who attended the festival to learn more about their loved one’s dietary choices. Seeing parents commit to making significant dietary accommodations for a child is impressive. I remember the mantra at our dinner table all too well, “I’m not about to cook separate meals for each of you.”

In my experience, having a veggie and carnie at the same table can be trickier than having a Democrat and Republican eat a meal together! To make this easier on the chef, here are my top 10 tips on how to feed your entire family without spending an entire day cooking.

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