Friday, May 17, 2013

SHAMELESS GUEST POST PLUG - Quinoa + Walnut Mushroom Pate Wrap

A little while ago, Lisa from Simple Beauty Minerals asked if I'd be interested in contributing a plant-based recipe post for her blog. As some of my favorite pastimes include eating and playing with my food, I happily obliged.

While Lisa is a bona fide natural cosmetics guru, she's also all about beauty from the inside out. Basically, a 'eat those plants and get pretty' mantra. I totally second that credo. After some experimental culinary chemistry and plenty of taste-testing, here's the vegan, gluten-free, {mostly} raw end result:

yummy kale wrap

Yup, it's a mouthful, but pretty dang tasty. Mosey on over to the complete, tummy-satiating, skin-detoxifying recipe here.

And, while you're at it, get your organic, glamorpuss face on with some of that Simply Beauty Minerals magic. Disclaimer: no, I don't get any sort of kickback for that promotion. I'm just a beauty product junkie (sometimes hoarder) and really dig her products :)

xx Here's to being beYOUtiful - especially when it involves eating

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


SoCal is the land of eternal sunshine and has very nearly mastered the art of balmy. The desert evenings, on the flip side, are downright shiver-inducing. I know, I know; I'm not exactly dealing with tundra-like frigidity here. And the mild desert chill ain't got nothing on the bitter winters of the mid-West and East Coast. This gal comes to Los Angeles by way of the blustery winds of Chicago. I spent twenty odd years of my life desperately trying to acclimate to anything sub-75 degree perfection. Guys, don't hate. I just run cold. I swear I was amphibian in a former life.

The good news is that I've developed a damn near foolproof formula for a cozy evening to offset any lingering nippiness. Key ingredients include an over-sized chunky sweater, the latest episode of Game of Thrones on HBOgo (obsessed), and a steaming bowl of homemade curry. While finding the perfect sweater and TV show are on you, I am more than happy to hook you up with a stellar coconut milk curry recipe. Peep it:

{token ingredients shot}


14 oz can light coconut milk
2 tsps red curry paste
1 1/2 tsps curry powder (I used equal parts coriander, cumin and tumeric)
1/2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp fresh ginger
4 tbsps Tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
1 bunch of green onions
an assortment of your favorite veggies (I used rainbow carrots, asparagus and bok choy)
1 cup brown rice
salt to taste

{the token in-progress shots}


  • Add the cup of rice to two cups of water in a large pot and turn the burner up high. 
  • Once the water starts to boil, cover pot and turn down to medium heat
  • Cook rice for about 45 minutes and then drain
  • Careful not to overcook the rice; it should have a nutty taste and an al dente texture

  • Do a rough chop on the array of beautiful vegetables you've assembled
  • Dice the green onions
  • Combine coconut milk, red curry paste, curry powder, soy sauce, and ginger in a skillet
  • Turn burner to medium heat; bring to a boil
  • Add chopped veggies and green onions; cover skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes
  • Stir in the basil; continue to cook for a few minutes until vegetables are tender (they should still have some bite)
  • Have yourself a taste, add salt if you so desire
  • And, huzzah, you've done it!

{token glamour shots}

Don't be timid with the portion size. My attempt at a more refined presentation was solely for the purpose of the photos. This is your night. This is your curry. Get sloppy.

Pour yourself a hefty helping of the brew over a substantial bowl of rice. Eat up,  homies!

Here's to cozy nights at home (with Peter Dinklage).

xx DRV

Thursday, April 4, 2013


On clear, sun-soaked days, herds of Angelenos grab their most revealing beachwear and greasiest tanning lotion and beeline to the nearest body of water. A fine bit of revelry to be sure, but why follow the crowds when you throw on a classic fedora, grab your camera and prance throughout downtown LA with one of your best friends in stride?

And, let me tell ya, traipsing through the beautiful, gritty streets is all the more delicious when sporting your fave vegan footwear and an over-sized handbag. Fact.

A few snapshots from the day. Admittedly, I got a little graffiti-happy, but I was rendered helpless by the colorful splendor.

Fedora from Etsy, Gap button down, Madewell jeans, Falling Whistles pendant, Rocket Dog booties, Cri De Coeur handbag

We stumbled upon this ancient contraption: ye ol' payphone.

xx Here's to aimless city wandering. In a fabulous hat. 

Photos by Meghan Wilson

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

MORE RECIPE LOVIN' - Blackberry Fennel "Goat Cheese" Pizza + Some Booze

I know I just did a recipe post, but shmeh. Since when can you ever have too many recipes?! I ask you.

Last month, movie stars primped and groomed, waxed and exfoliated, donned their most lavish duds and were promptly shuttled over to Dolby Theatre in preparation of the most anticipated event of the year in Hollywood: the Oscars.  Meanwhile, the rest of civilization threw on their Sunday's finest (read: comfiest sweatpants), grabbed some tasty morsels, and curled up to watch the ceremony. I still say that we, the people, got the better end of that deal.

Alright, so I did (somewhat begrudgingly) manage to transcend the ratty lounge wear, throw on some suitable street attire and get my booty to a friend's viewing party; believe-you-me, that took some serious doing on the part of my will power. There was food awaiting me at said shindig, so I was up to the task.  Here's the lowdown on what I made for zee soiree:

(P.S. I borrowed Cara's awesome recipe from her blog She gets fancier than I did; check it out!)

1/2 cup raw cashews (soak for a few hours)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup water
1 tb coconut oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt


  • Use a couple of small ramekins and be sure to line them with plastic wrap
  • Blend all of the ingredients in a blender at high speed until the mixture is smooth
  • Pour into ramekins and cover over with plastic wrap
  • Let it set and refrigerate overnight


egg-free cornmeal pizza crust (I got mine at Whole Foods)
1 1/2 cups blackberries
1 small bulb fennel thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer)
1/2 goat “cheese” (recipe above),
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
a few sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper


  • I bought a frozen vegan, gluten-free cornmeal crust from Whole Foods. If you're feeling ambitious and want to create the crust from scratch, power to you :)
  • If you take the lazy way out as I did, remove crust from plastic wrap and let it thaw
  • Pre-heat the over to 500 degrees
  • Drizzle some olive oil over the crust and spread the goat cheese on top of that
  • Sprinkle blackberries, fennel, crushed hazelnuts and sprigs of thyme on top of the cheese
  • Back for 10-12 minutes
  • The crust should be cooked through to the center and browned on the edges
  • Remove pizza from the oven and let it cool
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • And, huzzah! There you have it

Mmmmhmmm. Slice me off a piece of that. And what's an evening of pizza without a little libation? 


2-3 cups tangerine juice
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup Champagne (or your sparkling wine of choice)
WARNING: don't forget to set aside plenty of Champagne for the actual cocktail!

  • Heat 1/2 cup of the tangerine juice and Champagne in a sauce pan on low heat
  • Once warm, add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved completely
  • Remove from the stove top and set the saucepan aside
  • Once it's cooled, pour into a bowl and put it in the fridge to chill for the better part of an hour
  • Once the mixture has been properly chilled, you have two options: you can be a fancy pants and put it in an ice cream machine OR you can do as my cheap ass did:

    • Put the mixture in the freezer once it's cool
    • At 45 minute intervals, remove the bowl from the fridge and, equipped with a sturdy spoon, scrape the ice chunks from the edge of the bowl and mix them into the rest of the sorbet
    • Doing so will cause the mixture to get thicker with each interval
    • Once the concoction is uniformly thick throughout, you've done the impossible: you've made sorbet without no stinking machines. BAM
  • Now that the sorbet is done, it's time to blame it on the alcohol. Bust out your fanciest Champagne flutes or wine glasses, scoop out whatever amount of sorbet your heart desires into the glass. Pour the wine over that deliciousness and voilà!  

And, with that, I conclude this hunger-inducing tale. It's been a slice.

xx Happy munchin' (and drankin')

Monday, March 11, 2013


A few months ago, my wonderful, mind-numbingly talented friend Morgan Karr hosted a live, interactive performance of a few select tracks off his (then upcoming) EP.  He crooned and serenaded his digital audience from the intimate setting of his bedroom. And, being the giving, supportive friend that I am (Ahem. Morgan, take note.), I came over in the wee hours of that Sunday morn and showed my undying love by whipping up a batch up vegan, gluten-free banana blueberry pancakes.

This past week marked the official release of his stellar EP, "yellow skies." In honor of this momentous musical event (and his BIRTHDAY - give it up!!), I thought I'd share a reinterpretation of the pancakes from that morning:


-Ingredients - 

1 1/3 cups quinoa flour
1/4 cup maple syrup 
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 green apple, thinly sliced
1/3 cup walnuts
1 1/4 cup almond milk
1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp water (equivalent of 1 egg)
olive oil to grease pan


Apple Walnut Topping

1. Grease bottom of a skillet with olive oil and turn on oven to medium heat.
2. Slice apple thinly. Once the skillet is hot, throw in the apple and walnuts. 
3. Once the apples start to soften, turn down the heat and toss in the nutmeg and cinnamon (warning: your kitchen will start to smell REALLY good).
4. You still want the apples to have a bit of bite to them, so only keep them over the flame for a moment longer.
5. Take the apples off the stove and put them aside.


1. Mix the rest of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
2. In a separate
bowl, briskly stir together the wet ingredients.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.

4. Prepare a pan on medium high heat with a small amount of olive oil. 

5. Pour about 3-4 tbsp of the batter onto the pan per pancake. 

6. Once bubbles start to form at the top of the pancake, and the edges start to crisp, flip the pancake.

7. Allow the pancake to cook for a few more minutes.

8. Carry on with this process till all of the batter is gone.

9. Arrange the apples on a sky-high stack of pancakes and sprinkle the walnuts on top.
10. Drizzle with maple syrup, Earth Balance, or your topping of choice and EAT EAT EAT :)

Sidebar: Morgan's music is heart-stoppingly, knees-buckingly AWESOME. Do yourselves a favor and check it out :) You can rock out to his tunes while munching on some delicious pancakes! Sounds like a winning morning to this girl.

Here's the rock star in action, singing his beautiful heart out as always:

xx Hugs + pancakes

P.S. As an added vegan bonus, Morgan sported some stunning, hand-stitched vegan shoes from Krže Studio to go along with his dapper duds at his EP release show. Peep these beauties:

Monday, March 4, 2013

CHILDREN OF THE RAWVOLUTION - Matthew Kenney's Restaurant M.A.K.E.

For the last few years, a clan of highly innovative chefs have been reinventing the vegan culinary wheel with a vengeance, churning out daring flavors and boldly imaginative presentations of what used to be seen as a bland and limited spectrum of food options. More recently, that gastronomic venture has gallivanted into the realm of the raw.

Chef Matthew Kenney (see: two-time James Beard Award nominee) is on my shortlist of the most influential and inventive pioneers of the raw movement.  At his restaurant M.A.K.E. Chef Kenney has masterfully architected a triple-threat of a menu: vegan, health-conscious and raw. Oh, and lest I fail to mention his food is also a visual carnival and explosively delicious. In short, the man is a raw vegan foodie GOLDEN GOD. Enough of my gushing; let's get to the food porn, shall we?

Kimchi Dumplings
Black Pepper Kelp Noodles
Market Tomato Lasagna
Wild Mushroom Tacos

Melon Sorbet with Passion Fruit (sans the honey)

And a highly pixelated pic of the gang, for your viewing pleasure:

There you have it, kids. The proof is in the pics; the food at M.A.K.E. is stellar - scrumptious, gorgeous and, dare I say it, GOOD for you. Damn. The chefs approach each plate like a blank canvas, filling them with a sophisticated balance of vivacious colors and dynamic arrangements. The flavors match the vibrancy of the plating; each bite is both aggressive and delicate. The only caveat is that a few of their items (namely the seductive desserts) contain honey. Honey-averse vegans be wary. Other than that, the fare is impeccably seasonal, local and utterly vegan.

The setting, though in the food court of a (granted, rather swanky) mall, manages to exude an elegance and sensuality. It also offers versatility;  diners are given the options of a communal omakase-style bar, the spacious dining room, or the full service outdoor patio.

Bear in mind, dinner won't break the bank, but is not the cheapest evening out. Oh so worth it, though. Reserve this one for a special evening - it definitely has a wow factor.

xx Love all your faces

Monday, February 11, 2013


I firmly subscribe to the idea that brunch isn't as much a time as it is a state of mind. Unless, of course, brunch is being laid out in honor of the Chinese New Year at Susan Feniger's restaurant Street. And, when Chef Feniger and Chef Kajsa present us with a Vegan Dim Sum brunch, we set our alarms, chug some joe, and get our booties to brunch at a reasonable hour.

Feast your eyes on this beauty of a menu:

The place was packed tight - and rightly so. As usual, the Street chefs did not disappoint and made every dish worth the early Sunday morning rising. All elevated interpretations of classic dim sum fare, the dishes were elegantly plated and complex in taste. Even what appeared, at first glance, to be the more pedestrian of dishes, had unexpected kick and depth of flavor. Behold, the glory:

Cantonese-Style Radish Cakes (that chili sauce - mmmm)

Sesame Fritters (I'm such a sucker for bean paste, so this was happiness in the shape of a ball)
Mushroom Shu Mai (earthy mushroom filling and tangy souce)
Vegetable Potstickers (spicy goodness)
Jackfruit Bao (I was so into this; though, there is rarely a jackfruit dish that I don't like)

Mung Bean Crepes (seriously considering begging for the crepe recipe - perfection)

Fried Rice (had some unexpected and pleasing heat at the end)
Youtaio Donuts (churro-like with extra sugar and soymilk for dipping - yes, please)
Coconut Tapioca Pearls with Shanghai Fruit (as a coconut and lychee fanatic, this may have been my runaway fave)
Rice Batter Pancakes (the black sesame syrup and cream was to die for!)

Both Chef Feniger and Chef Kajsa were in the house and were adorably hospitable, making their way around the tables and chatting with the customers.

From left to right: me, Jackie, Jules, Jessica and her little munchkin :)

Lovely friends + spectacular food = amazing Sunday. Here's to the Year of the Snake - it's off to a delightfully tasty start.

Now, please pardon me while I lapse back into my blissful food coma.

xx Love to all! 

Saturday, January 5, 2013


This is the first in the Dinner with Friends series, in which I meet up with another vegan blogger or influencer for some bantering and binging at a local vegan (or v-friendly) restaurant.

The other week, I had dinner with Kristin, the illustrious author of the blog Will Travel For Vegan Food and my dear friend Jessica, creator of The Vedge brand.

Kristin and I first met a couple of years ago when she was a key organizer at the Vegan Expo in Albany, NY. She's now a bonafide vegan trailblazer, eating and blogging her way through all 50 states. Basically, my fantasy life incarnate. Like her blog, she's bomb and a total delight.

We met up at SunCafe - a personal fave - in Studio City, CA. SunCafe is a charming little spot up in the valley, boasting the holy triad: Organic. Vegan. AND a hybrid raw/cooked menu. Jess and I eagerly indulged Kristin's mission by tackling multiple cooked and raw items on the menu. Many delicious bites were had, but my top picks from the night were:

Sweet Kale Shake

This green monster of a drink was an intoxicating blend of kale, bananas, cashews and agave. Divine. I'd go back solely for the shake.

Sun Nachos

The platter of nachos was a beast - and I couldn't stop devouring it. It's a masterful concoction of SunChorizo, nacho cheese, cashew cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, olives, jalapeños, and green onions. You can either get the standard version with baked blue corn chips, or raw with thinly sliced jicama chips. We opted for half and half; who ever said you can't have everything?

From the left: Kristin, me and Jess

It was an evening of scrumptious food and excellent conversation. The three of us joyously cleaned the plates and rambled on for hours till we closed down the joint (they politely asked us to leave).

For more yummy food porn be sure to follow Kristin, Jessica (and me!) on the ol' Instagram.

Here's to many more evenings filled with exceptional food and even better friends.

xx E

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Dropping a quick note to let all my LA vegans (and vegan-curious folk) know about an opportunity to win a FREE cooking class with Victoria Moran THIS SATURDAY! The lovely Kristin, author of the Will Travel For Vegan Food blog, is holding a giveaway for one seat in the class. The event will be held at The All-Star Vegan Cooking Class Series in Pasadena this weekend. 

Victoria is the author of Creating a Charmed Life, Fit from Within and her latest, Main Street Vegan, is set to drop on 4/26. 

To enter to win, please:

(1) 'like' this page:

(2) leave a comment below the post about the giveaway on the Will Travel For Vegan Food Facebook page answering the following question: What omni dish have you yet to find the perfect vegan version of/wish could be veganized? Kristin will be selecting the lucky winner at random by 12pm on Friday, 1/4/13.

xx Best of luck!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I rang in the New Year with dangerously high heels, electrifying funky music, wonderful friends, and (as I do) some sensational vegan comfort food.

A few snapshots from the last night of 2012 and into the morning of 2013:

Keepsake dress, My Delicious Jones pumps and Zoya Monka nail polish

Organic Prosecco and donuts from Babycakes.

The sinfully delectable (and festive) nachos from Real Food Daily for dinner.

Sweet jams from Vintage Trouble at The Roxy. #killingit

Dinner part deux: banana pancakes (I had them add chocolate chips - duh) from Swingers. The detox starts tomorrow...

Throughout the evening of festivities (and noshing with a vengeance), we took some time to discuss our wishes for the new year. Earlier in the day, my yoga instructor had asked us to reflect on our intentions (she felt "resolutions" carried a harsher connotation). As I shared with my friends, here are my mantras for 2013:
  • Fear and procrastination are not an option.
  • Honor and explore creative impulse.
  • Ere on the side of simplicity.
  • Commit time to travel, as well as the study of language and music.
  • Write at least one line everyday.
  • Remember to breathe through pain, both literal and figurative.
  • Focus on health, health, health!
  • To meet this world with respect and compassion. 
Beautiful people. So very glad you're all in my life. 

Cheers to peace, health and compassion in the New Year!

xx So much love to all