Napa Cabbage Salad with Sweet Tamari Vinaigrette

Napa Cabbage SaladNapa-Cabbage-Salad (1)

Not far from my home is a healthy Asian bistro that my husband and I have patronized for years. I always order their “Ho-sum” (wholesome) Napa cabbage salad with crunchy noodles and an irresistible “magic” dressing. The dressing is sooooo good that they won’t reveal their secret recipe. So, I’ve contemplated working there to get it. My heart leaps with excitement when the waitress sets the heaping bowl in front of me. My chopsticks ready to catch any precious pieces that threaten to tumble off the top. Who knew Napa cabbage could taste so good?

To my devastation, the restaurant closed a year ago after being destroyed by a kitchen fire. While my husband and I patiently wait for them to reopen, I’ve played around with this Ho-Sum inspired Napa cabbage salad with sweet Tamari vinaigrette.

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Two days in Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca4 (1)

Oaxaca is a vibrant colonial city recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. It’s well known for it’s cuisine, fine restaurants, cultural arts, Pre-Colombian ruins and traditional crafts. I’ve wanted to go there for awhile but flying through Mexico City was an obstacle. So, when I found a new direct flight from Los Angeles, I snapped up tickets for a quick, two day trip.

The flight was smooth and uncrowded and we luxuriated in having a row all to ourselves (just like the old days).

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Meditation is Not Easy. But Do it Anyway!

Let’s face it, meditation is not easy. In fact, it’s downright uncomfortable! Trying to meditate can leave you feeling more like a stressed out New Yorker than a peaceful Buddha.  Isn’t that creating the opposite effect???

The mind is one of the hardest things to discipline so it’s normal to feel impatient and antsy when trying to conquer it. But, this is a good indication that your “thinking” has run amok  So why, with all this discomfort, should you meditate?

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End of Summer Vegan Fruit Crisp

delicious vegan fruit crisp

I LOVE fruit crisps!! Especially, peach. They are lighter than pies and have that irresistible granola crumble on top. I don’t often cater to my sweet tooth, so it’s rare that I will make one. But, as the end of summer approached, I wanted to celebrate the peaches, plums, nectarines and raspberries that would soon be out of season. With company coming that Friday, I decided it would be perfect.

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Volunteering with Elephants in Thailand at The Elephant Nature Park

elephant-nature-park

I had two reactions when I first arrived at the Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary in Thailand that rescues and rehabilitates overworked elephants. Part of me was giddy with excitement to see such amazing animals up close but I also felt a deep sadness in the pit of my stomach when I learned what they had suffered prior to their arrival.

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The Perfect Hike in Rocky Mountain National Park

Hiking is my bliss and one of my favorite “quick trips” is going to Boulder, Colorado to hike. Boulder has many great hikes (Mt. Sanitas or The Royal Arch) but a quick 90 minute drive takes you to Rocky Mountain National Park. National parks are great places to hike. The trails are gorgeous and well marked, the parking system is organized with timely shuttles and friendly rangers are available to answer your questions. But, crowds swell during the summer and Rocky Mountain National Park gets overrun with visitors. However, this year we went during the eclipse and lucked out! Not only did we find the perfect hike but the park was empty, we had it all to ourselves.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Being Vegan

Avo toast
Social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest are making veganism more popular. And as it becomes more mainstream, “vegan friendly” options are increasingly available.  Countries and restaurants that were traditionally “meat based” are trending towards plant based selections free of meat and dairy. This makes me happy! I’ve recently had several friends proudly prepare vegan dishes or want to come over for an “all vegan” meal. I am grateful for their enthusiasm.

But veganism is still new, and I’ve met curious people who want to learn more about it. In this post, I respond to the top 10 frequently asked questions I get about being vegan. I hope my answers help anyone who is thinking about becoming vegan or knows someone who already is.

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What I’ve Learned as a Vegan Over 10+Years

raspberries

I never planned on being vegan. But as a young girl, I loved animals and ate like a rabbit so I naturally gravitated towards a vegetarian diet. By the end of college, I completely stopped eating meat, chicken and fish. That was 26 + years ago when my journey with a plant based diet began.

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How to Eat Raw Cauliflower – Try this Superfood Detox Salad

cauliflower detox salad

As it turns out, cauliflower isn’t always the vegetable on people’s minds. In fact, this humble superfood often goes completely unnoticed. When was the last time you ate cauliflower? If you can’t recall, you are not alone. It’s easy to overlook this white Brassica but it ranks among the top 20 foods according to the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index score (source).

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Vegan “Cheez” and Healthy (GF) Crackers

crazy seed crackers

Before going vegan, I was vegetarian for many years and LIVED on cheese and crackers. It’s one of my favorite snacks in the world, but I found myself addicted to cheese. At parties I would hover over the cheese plate instead of socializing. I was hooked! Unfortunately, crackers are highly processed and cheese is dairy so, rather than deny myself something I love, I set out to make a healthier version.

I found a tempting recipe for grain-free, low sugar, gluten-free healthy crackers that would pair well with a zippy vegan cashew “cheez” spread.

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