Breakfast cookies

I have stated this before, but chocolate chip cookies are 100% my favorite. Nothing does it for me like a warm, crispy and chewy chocolate chip cookie. They're just sooo good. But as I've reduced sugar and cut out gluten, they don't always feel as great in my belly as how they tasted in my mouth. But man, that first bite is heaven.

So since I think about food 24/7, I have often dreamed about having chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. It's well documented that nothing tastes better with coffee than some kind of delicious baked good. And to this point, I have make breakfast muffins for years, fulfilling that desire. But a few weeks ago, I decided it was time for something different. Something even more delicious and comforting. Something that used basically the same ingredients as muffins but more cookie like.

It was time for the breakfast cookie.

Breakfast Cookie

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups gluten free oats (I love Trader Joes brand)
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 1 extremely ripe banana 
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips or whatever you have laying around.

Ok so there are a couple foodie notes here. You can do 2 eggs and one banana. Or you can do 2 bananas and one egg. You can blend up some of the oats to make oat flour, or you can leave them as is. If you do this, I would recommend blending like 1/2 cup of the oats into flour. You can add more chocolate chips (duh). You can add more cinnamon (it's so good for you). You can omit the salt. You can add coconut flakes. You can sprinkle with hemp seeds. You can probably blend kale up in these bitches and bake that in. The possibilities are endless.

Preparation:

  1. Whisk eggs and then mash the banana into the eggs. I use a fork for this. Note - use the ripest banana ever. Your banana needs to have black spots all over. It should be mushy... like so ripe that it is attracting fruit flies. This will yield the best result - promise!
  2. Add the oats into your egg-banana mixture.
  3. Add chia, flax, cinnamon, vanilla, sea salt and mix until well blended.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Lay parchment paper over a cookie pan (makes for easy clean-up)
  6. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture on your parchment paper and then use the bottom of a glass to push the cookie down into shape - it helps to grease the bottom of the glass with coconut oil.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Makes like 15 cookies.
  8. Devour! And then save some for breakfast :)
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Bali faves 2.0

I've been a little swept up in the tides and forgot to share my favorites from last month's trip to Bali! We love Canggu, a surf town with great coffee shops and yoga vibes, so we spend most of our time cruising the Batu Bolong strip - which I refer to as the Bali equivalent of Purdy Ave. In the year since we last visited, there has been a surge of development (sad) but some great new spots have sprouted up (score). So if you're planning a trip in real life or just taking notes for your future adventures, here are my most recent recommendations:

Milk and Madu: this place rocks. It's by the same peeps who run Watercress, another great resto. Bali has an excellent coffee shop slash breakfast thing going on, which I'm pretty sure is drawn from the strong Australian influence. And man, do they nail it. Avocado toast, coconut milk chia puddings, incredible cappuccinos with Revolver coffee and gorgeous presentation. Mike and I loved to hit this spot up for brekkie after our respective yoga and surf sessions.

milk and madu

Dandelion: I don't even know how to describe this adorable warung, so I'll just tell you what it offers. Great food, cheap prices, a balinese mariachi band and bunny rabbits that run free around the backyard. Go for dinner, stay a while, tell all of your friends. It's just too cute not to share.

Alchemy: This Ubud joint is famous and I don't know why I didn't make it here last time. This place sets the standard for raw vegan food. High vibration food, great atmosphere, delicious smoothies and cold pressed juice. We loved our lunch up here - it's about an hour from Canggu.

The Chillhouse: This hotel also has some solid yoga teachers, a nice breakfast and offers cool adventurous activities like surfing, biking and more. I loved my morning practice with Octavio.

Deus Ex Machina: Motorcycles, surfboards, music, restaurant... this place is epic. Their revered Temple of Enthusiasm flagship in Canggu is popular for their Tuesday night tradition - tacos and free tattoos. I was very close to getting one... but instead I opted to get inked at a proper place later that week! Surprise! Here I am getting a fresh tat at Mason's Ink Tattoo in Seminyak.

bali tattoo

My little Bali souvenir! A reminder to love through all things - always lots of challenges and times of growth on trips like these.

Mike and I are also planning a super duper dope Bali yoga retreat for 2016 so you can come explore all of these places with us and do some amazing yoga and personal discovery! Stay tuned, info coming soon :) xox

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Travel muffins 2.0

Jet lag is a bitch. Back in Miami and wide awake at 4:30am yesterday, I scrolled through instagram for way too long before I finally got out of bed. In my semi-conscious state, I wandered into the kitchen  - where it seemed like a good idea to make another batch of travel muffins. The same ones I made before we went to Bali. People had been asking for the recipe and I really couldn't remember what I had put into them so I needed to make them again. As I was cracking eggs into the mixing bowl at 5am, I wondered if I was perhaps a baker in a past life. 

travel muffins

I love to bring homemade food on a trip, much more nourishing than airplane junk. Although I did have some decent food on my flights to and from Bali. I request the Hindu Vegetarian option when I fly - which means Indian food and veggies... I even got a pretty yummy saag paneer for one meal. 

namaste muffin mix

Back to the muffins - they are super easy because a) they come from a mix! and b) they don't require a vitamix or anything fancy. I stumbled up this mix in Whole Foods a few months ago and was instantly drawn to it by the brand name - Namaste Foods. Excellent marketing to this yogi. 

It's sugar free and gluten free as well, so that's awesome. A forewarning - when they say it's sugar free, they really mean it's sugar free. No sweet taste AT ALL... so if you like a little sweetness, give it some chopped banana on top, or you can mix some banana into the batter. Older bananas are sweeter but younger ones hold up better as a topping. Your call. It's a brown rice flour based mix and super versatile. You could do all kinds of things with it. 

They're perfect for a long trip because they're quick to make (who has time when you're packing for a big voyage), they hold up super well in your carry-on luggage, they're light and munchy and you can put some chocolate in them which just feels like vacation. Enjoy!

Travel muffins 2.0

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Namaste Muffin Mix (buy online here or at Whole Foods)
  • 1/2 cup alternative milk (cashew, almond, coconut)
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped low sugar dark chocolate bar (or if you don't care about sure, use enjoy life mini chips - they're the best) 
  • 1/2 banana
  • hemp seeds for topping

Preparation:

  1. Mix muffin mix with water and milk - make sure you break up all the lumps. 

  2. Mix in eggs (if you're using mashed banana, add this in here as well) Let this sit for a few minutes to so that the mixture warms.

  3. Melt coconut oil and add it to mixture. If your mixture is too cold, it will cause the coconut oil to harden into little chunks. If that's the case, let it hang out on the counter until everything warms up to make sure it blends properly.  

  4. Add cinnamon, vanilla, sea salt and mix until well blended.

  5. Stir in chopped chocolate.

  6. Lightly grease a muffin pan with coconut oil and drop mixture into the individual muffin shapes. Makes 12 large or 24 mini muffins. I prefer mini ;)

  7. Top with cinnamon and hemp seeds and sliced banana if you're using. Make sure to push the banana chunks down to ensure they stick into the mixture.

  8. Bake at 400 degrees for 13 - 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and then pack up a ziploc bag full of muffins for your trip and freeze the rest for when you come home!

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Detox

If there's something worse than Jewish guilt, it's yoga guilt. 

I have started eating meat again. Red meat, even. Given some of the looks I've gotten from people when I say this, you would think I'm a leper in the yoga world. But let me tell you, it's delicious. And I feel a lot better. 

How did this happen, you ask? I'll just go ahead and start from the top.

I've pretty vocal that I'm not a fan of sugar. Even if you say "oh, but it's honey" (or coconut nectar or agave or fructose) the truth is that your body doesn't know the difference and still processes it all as sugar - one of the most addictive substances on earth. So when my friend Vanessa asked me and Mike to join a group of friends for a two-week anti-inflammatory cleanse, we were all in. No sugar, no gluten, no starch, no alcohol. The vibe was all whole foods - veggies, little fruit, and lots of protein. Think chicken in lettuce cups or fish with broccoli. Or burgers with no bun. Pretty much the paleo diet meets the Tim Ferriss' The 4-hour Body... detox central.

Ok, easy enough. 

On day one, I was nauseous and by day two, I was vomiting. My sugar and grain addiction was so strong that I might as well have been quitting heroin. My body craved quinoa. I daydreamed about Ezekiel Bread. Warm chocolate chip cookies danced in my subsconscious brain. Before we started this cleanse, I thought I was good, that my sugar addiction wasn't so bad. Man, was I wrong. 

 sample dinner - chicken and egg bok choy stir fry set-up

sample dinner - chicken and egg bok choy stir fry set-up

Day three got better and by days four and five, better still. I eventually got into a rhythm and developed a very sincere appreciation for a good grass-fed burger (no bun, of course). And after the requisite two weeks, I felt great. My brain was super clear, my blood sugar was stable and there was no 4pm coffee craving. It felt so good that we kept on going with the cleanse rules after the two weeks were up. 

And then I was offered some fresh challah bread. Damn, was it good. Warm and deliciously carby. But I woke up the next morning feeling like I had been hit by a truck and developed an overnight brain fog. It was clear - no more gluten. It hijacked my mental clarity. Sugar, on the other hand, is a little more insidious. My body loves it and doesn't want to rest at one sugary thing. It just wants more. And that's a slippery slope that I don't want to be sliding down. 

So, a month after starting this thing, we're jamming on lots of veggies and protein. Breakfast is eggs or chia pudding made from homemade no-sugar cashew milk (just cashews and water). Lunch is a salad or soup with veggies. Dinner is either a veggie medley or a meat + veggie situation. There is red meat. There is chicken. There are lots of greens. There is experimentation and refinement. Ultimately, it's all to get to peak performance, peak mental clarity and no inflammation. 

So that feeling great and being your best possible self isn't something that you have to think about or strive for, it's something that you already are every day.

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Superfood Oatmeal

Call me weird, but I like reading cookbooks cover to cover. There are so many fun factoids you can pick up! Lately, I have been reading a cookbook called Nourishing Traditions. It's all about how people have eaten traditionally - sprouting and soaking things, raw milk and preservation through a process called lacto-fermentation. It's fascinating. 

Anyway, due to the recent 60 degree mornings, I've been really into oatmeal. For a while, we were buying the superfood oatmeal in the store and eventually I realized I should start making it myself, so I wanted to share this no-brainer recipe. I just mix a bunch up on Sundays and put it in a big mason jar for us to use throughout the week. 

The fun really comes with the toppings though. You can add berries, sliced bananas, cacao nibs. nuts, seeds, coconut shreds, nut butters... the sky is the limit. 

 If you close your eyes, it's almost like having Menchie's for breakfast!

If you close your eyes, it's almost like having Menchie's for breakfast!

Superfood Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 cup liquid (water or milk or milk alternative)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal

Preparation:

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.

  2. Bring liquid to a boil on the stove and then stir in the oats. I usually cook my oats in water and then add a splash of coconut milk on top. Yum.

  3. Cook for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

  4. Add toppings of your choice. Feel free to make it pretty and tag me in your photo!

  5. Nourish yourself and eat it warm. Makes two generous servings.

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Gluten-free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

So I'm still what I guess would be considered "almond-sensitive." I can have a bite of something with almonds in it, but a large quantity of anything almond-y still causes a reaction. I think it's the best of both worlds because it means I can sample almond recipes but not really eat them. Score.

Here is a quick recipe I whipped up for my friend Vanessa's delightful holiday party, which was a predominately gluten-free affair. Even though the name makes them sound like they'll taste like cardboard, they're actually little bundles of awesomeness. They have a great texture - chewy and crunchy - similar to a normal chocolate chip cookie. Packaged up in a little holiday tin, these make an easy holiday party addition or a great gift.

Or you can always just leave them out for hipster Santa with some hemp milk. 

Enjoy!

gluten free chocolate chip cookie

Gluten-free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (room temp)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (I love Enjoy Life brand)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. Combine almond meal, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.

  3. Add coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extra and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.

  4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and drop batter by rounded tablespoons. Flatten top slightly (they don't spread out much when baked)  

  5. Bake for 9-10 minutes and then allow to cool before serving.

  6. Rub your belly. Makes about 15 cookies. 
     

 Some dairy-free gluten free chocolate chips, baking soda, yummo black sea salt and Mexican vanilla. 

Some dairy-free gluten free chocolate chips, baking soda, yummo black sea salt and Mexican vanilla. 

 Rollin' in the dough. Oh and since they're vegan - you can eat the dough without worry!

Rollin' in the dough. Oh and since they're vegan - you can eat the dough without worry!


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Hot Cacao

Confession: I'm not a "holiday" person. Being raised as a cashew (Catholic and Jewish), I've always had mixed emotions around this time of year. Couple that with the fact I worked retail for ten years and had to deal with some the worst of the worst around the holidays... it's safe to say that I haven't always looked to December with visions of sugarplums. 

However, this year, maybe it's us being married or maybe I've just grown up, but I have gotten more into the holidays. I decorated our house a bit. We talked about getting a Christmas tree. I don't cringe when Mike plays Christmas music all the time. AND I even considered sending holiday cards. Progress, right?

 Santa ON A BIKE!!! Thanks Mom.

Santa ON A BIKE!!! Thanks Mom.

So anyway, I was out walking around today, wearing a sweater, feeling particularly festive, when out of the blue I started seriously wanting some hot chocolate. I was not going to stop this wave of festivity. I would get a hot cocoa. I weighed my options. Where on Miami Beach is there a decent hot chocolate? Nowhere. I needed to make my own. My memory flittered back to the hot chocolate that my Grammy used to make for me when I was little - using cocoa, sugar and evaporated milk on the stovetop.  Absolutely delicious and creamy, but not exactly the nutritional profile I was going for today. I recalled reading about putting coconut oil in chai teas to make it creamy and latte-ish, like butter coffee. You blend it all in the blender (preferably a Vitamix) until frothy.

"Perfect," I thought. "I will try this with hot chocolate." 

I walked home to my apartment, started messing around in the kitchen with some superfood coconut oil... and lo and behold - the coconut hot cacao was crafted. So easy and it totally hits the holiday spot - it's not coconutty at all, just rich, delicious and metabolism boosting. Enjoy! 

coconut oil hot cocoa

Coconut Hot Cacao

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut milk (or almond, soy, hemp, cow...)
  • 1 tablespoon cacao (I like Terramazon with Maca)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon raw cane sugar or natural sweetener of choice
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Splash of vanilla (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Heat coconut milk on the stove until hot, but not boiling.

  2. Pour coconut milk into high speed blender with the other ingredients.

  3. Blend for a minute or two - until hot and frothy. Makes 1 delightful serving.
    *As a habit, I go light on sugar, so feel free to add more to taste. And if you want more festive flavors, try adding some cinnamon or mint.

hot cacao
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Juicy

Confessions of a yogi...

wait for it....

I don't love juice cleanses.

I totally dig green juice, but I really struggle with doing a whole no-food juice cleanse, mainly due to the high sugar content and various horror stories - like my friend Heather crashing her car while reaching for her fourth juice of the day in a hangry rage. 

So when JuiceRx emailed me saying they wanted to send me one of their seasonal cleanses, I was understandably wary. But all they asked was for me to try out the flavors from their new fall line-up and they said they'd send me the green juice options. It was also right before Thanksgiving, which felt like a good time to do some internal rinsing.

Ok. 

They're based in Chicago and their thing is that they overnight their juices fresh off the presses anywhere in the USA. So at 10am, a package arrived at my doorstep. I was out and about teaching early so I had already had coffee (not exactly off to the best start for a day of juice sampling) and I got home around noon to test the waters. I unpacked the freezer packed box and got to sipping.

juicerx

My first libation was a Spicy Lemonade, which was not so spicy and quite yummy. Since I was basically starving at this point in the day, I followed that up immediately with a Green Glow - packed with cucumber, zucchini, fennel, apple, celery, sprouts, watercress and ginger. Satiation.

I was feeling pretty good, so I kept up with the juices... but after some private yoga clients, lots of liquid and no food, I was not a great teacher at my 6pm power hour class (read: I was such an airhead that multiple people asked me what was wrong) so I decided to have some solid food for dinner and get back to taste testing in the morning.

Over the next few days, I sampled a variety of juices - the standouts were the Cucumber Mint Electrolyte Boost, the Evening Green and the Pumpkin Spice Milk, which had a delish base of sprouted raw pumpkin seeds.

It's a cool concept, especially if you're traveling or you live in a food desert and are looking to have some healthy yumminess shipped your way. My personal take on juicing is everything in moderation, lean more in the direction of greens, listen to your body and - like everything else in life - choose things that make you feel good. Peace and love, omies.


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Tahini Lemon Salad Dressing

Typical morning: I wake up in the morning and my first order of business is coffee. If I could have an IV drip of espresso at 7am, I probably would.

Hmm, actually - no, because I really do enjoy the whole process of making coffee. So then I usually either teach yoga or do some kind of exercise (read: FlyBarre) come home, shower and have some grub. My typical breakfast is either A: One scrambled egg and avocado, B. Avocado toast, C. Overnight oats or D. Green Smoothie

I almost never variate from these options. Oh yeah, unless I have made some travel muffins.

But then last week came along, when I made a tahini inspired dinner for some friends. Tahini quinoa lentils, tahini cumin roasted carrots and at the last minute, I blended up some tahini lemon dressing for the salad, since the food processor already had a thick coat of tahini on it. I was chatting as I was blending... adding in a little of this, a little of that and then bam, I tried a spoonful.

The second it hit my tastebuds, I was like whoa... That shit is good.

It was so good that the next morning I woke up and had SALAD FOR BREAKFAST.

tahini lemon salad dressing

No joke. This happened twice over the past week! SALAD FOR BREAKFAST. This is an oddity that is usually reserved just for Asian countries, but no, here in Miami Beach I was happily chowing down on mixed greens, chickpeas, avocado, cucumbers and the most delectable salad dressing to ever cross my lips. I also love it simply poured over some chickpeas - it's like a deconstructed hummus.

It took me a few tries to get the proportions right, and I think this comes pretty close. And so I offer you the simple recipe for easy-peasy kitchen sink lemon tahini salad dressing. 

lemon salt

Ingredients

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • juice of 1 lemon 
  • 3 tbs tahini
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinger
  • Splash of red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tbs water

Instructions

  1. Mince garlic in food processor (drop it in while processor is already running for best results)
  2. Add the other ingredients one by one, it will blend into a thick paste. *You can also do this in a vitamix but the garlic won't mince as well.
  3. Add water slowly to thin it out to your desired consistency.
  4. Use on everything.

*It will thicken up if left in the fridge. Add a splash or two of water to perk the dressing back up... and then drizzle for shizzle.

 Trying to get fancy with my new camera! Thanks Dad!

Trying to get fancy with my new camera! Thanks Dad!

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Pumpkin Muffins

"What was the ghost's favorite muffin?"

"Boo-berry!"

HA. Let's be honest here... we know pumpkin is better but the joke is way cuter this way. And although I haven't been the biggest Halloweener this year, I have been doing by part by making frightfully ridiculous Halloween jokes in cat/cow pose for the past few weeks.

Happy Halloween - and what better day than today to share a seasonally appropriate recipe. These delicious gluten-free muffateers are a great breakfast or mid-afternoon snack - and naturally, they're excellent toasted up with some almond butter.

Nom. You'll eat that shit faster than a witch's broom... just sayin'.

 Pumpmelonkins?

On a quick side note... one of my favorite Halloween memories was five years ago, when Mike and I were new to Miami and ventured out to buy a pumpkin to carve. We couldn't find a pumpkin patch (this was pre-iPhone) and we ended up at Publix, where they were sold out of pumpkins. We were not going to go home empty handed so in a stroke of genius, we decided to carve WATERMELONS. It was epic. You can't even tell the difference!

Anyhou, back to ye old pumpkin. This recipe has canned pumpkin (mainly because I am lazy and have not roasted the pumpkin I have sitting on my counter) but you can use fresh pumpkin... according to my sister, you can roast up all your pumpkin, freeze it in baggies and thaw as you need it. Nice tip, Allie ;) 

Oh... one more... "What do you call a fat jack-o-lantern?"

"A plumpkin." 

....womp womp.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Muffin recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour (or just blend gf oats in a blender until they turn into a flour)
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin (either freshly roasted or organic canned pumpkin)
  • 1 large, very ripe banana
  • 1 eye of toad (just kidding;)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 - 2 tsp vanilla (depending on how much you like vanilla)
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk (can be sweet or unsweetened depending on how sweet you like things)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I am super into Trader Joe's chunky chocolate chips lately. OMG)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional but yummy)

*If you like it more pumpkin-y you can do 1 cup of pumpkin and omit the banana.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F
  2. In a big bowl, mix the dry ingredients - oat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt.
  3. In another bowl, mash the peeled banana and pumpkin together with a fork.
  4. Stir egg, vanilla, milk, cranberries and chocolate chips into the banana mixture.
  5. Add banana mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix and allow it to set for a few minutes.
  6. Pour into an oiled cupcake pan (I use spray coconut oil)
  7. Bake 30 - 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  8. Let them cool completely before removing from pan. I also always have better success in my silicone muffin pans when it comes to removal. Trick or treat, y'all!
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Avocado toast

It's so simple. I don't even know where I first had avocado toast but I do remember my mind being blown. But I remember thinking... "why have I never had this before?"

Mashing the avocado is such a subtle thing but it's like the difference between peanuts and peanut butter - life changing. It only takes a minute to make and the deliciousness is through the roof.

Sometimes we'll get really crafty and drizzle tahini on top or toasted black sesame seeds. Or add feta for tartness. But truth be told, the simple and classic avocado, sea salt and toast combo does it for me every time. The ideal post-yoga weekend breakfast. And I've been told it's Ayurvedically perfect, so that's a bonus.

avocado toast

Avocado Toast

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 Ezekiel english muffins
  • 1/2 tsp ghee (or whatever oil you like)
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  1. Cut avocado open, scoop out the inside fruit and mash it in a bowl. I like the leave some whole bits of avocado - kinda like leaving the peanuts in crunchy peanut butter. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.

  2. Add ghee/oil to a pan and pan fry the english muffins over medium heat until browned (2-3 minutes) on both sides. 

  3. Spread avocado mixture on hot toasty english muffin. Nothing to it! And then devour. Makes 2 servings. 

avocado
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Mexiquinoa

An example of a very normal conversation between two yogis:

"So... what are you doing for dinner tonight?" 

"Oh, you know... some quinoa."

Quinoa. Staple food of yogers everywhere. It came out of the blue too, right? All of a sudden it was on the scene like crazy. And now there's quinoa sushi, quinoa pasta, quinoa milk. The Peruvian quinoa gods must have some crazy Machu Picchu marketing team behind them.

I'm not one to talk - I always keep a stash of quinoa in the pantry. Both tricolor and white. Just in case. But it gets boring when you're cooking the same ol' quinoa all the time. You gotta spice it up. Personally I am a huge Mexican fan and am constantly disappointed by the state of Mexican food affairs in Miami. So I end up frequently making my own south of the border inspired dishes. Mexican and quinoa go really well together, but you can more creative than just putting some guac and sour cream on top.

 these were all things to go on top of the mexiquinoa. the quinoa itself isn't very photogenic. it just kinda looks like quinoa with beans in it.

these were all things to go on top of the mexiquinoa. the quinoa itself isn't very photogenic. it just kinda looks like quinoa with beans in it.

Here is a great way to add flavor and protein to your quinoa that leaves lots of room for your favorite toppings. For this one, while the quinoa was cooking, I sautéed mushrooms, asparagus and corn in another pan. When it was all done, I layered the veggie mixture on the quinoa and topped it all off with heirloom tomatoes, cilantro and avocado. It was pretty yumtastic and completely plant-based. Mike couldn't stop saying how good it was - and it's really easy!

Mexiquinoa

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of quinoa (any variety)
  • 2 cups of low sodium or homemade vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp ghee (or whatever oil you like)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion or half a large one
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed

Preparation:

  1. Chop garlic and onion.

  2. Add ghee/oil to a pot and sauté garlic and onion over medium heat until fragrant and soft.

  3. Rinse quinoa well in fine mesh strainer to remove the saponins.

  4. Add quinoa to pot with garlic and onion and pour vegetable broth over top. Add spices.

  5. Bring pot to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for roughly 20 minutes. It will smell delicious.

  6. Once quinoa has spiraled out and all the water is absorbed, add black beans and garbanzo beans to the quinoa.

  7. Stir it all together until it's heated throughout and top it off with whatever you're feeling! Or it's really delicious just like this with some avocado. How do you say nom in Spanish?

 You can't really see it but inside there is a very delicious and filling Mexiquinoa concotion! 

You can't really see it but inside there is a very delicious and filling Mexiquinoa concotion! 

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Mini Cauliflower Pizza

I love pizza. When Racked Miami asked me my favorite cheat meal, pizza was the first thing that came to mind. If I really thought about it, I would have said pizza and chocolate chip cookies.

Next time.

The unfortunate thing about pizza is that I typically feel like shit the morning after I eat it. Like a bad gluten hangover. What usually happens is we will eat pizza late on Friday night after H2om (a late night yoga sesh at the Standard) and then I'll feel gross and bloated through Saturday morning yoga. Ugh. 

I've never been super pleased by the alternative dough options. Almond meal was really heavy and rice crust was both just so... blah. I started reading about cauliflower crust. It promised a delightful and light gluten free pizza experience. And then I saw a recipe from Detoxinista with goat cheese in the crust and I was like woah. "Ok, cauliflower." I thought to myself. "I don't like you that much as a vegetable - but let's see how this goes. Maybe your blandness will make for a delicious pizza crust." 

The cauliflower cooking is a little bit of a process but it's worth it. While my road rashed thigh is recovering from the Whistler fiasco (I'm still icing a hematoma the size of a grapefruit) I have lots of time to spend in the kitchen so it didn't bother me. The cauliflower squeezing is weird but you'll be rewarded with a delightfully light vehicle for whatever toppings you desire. The crust doesn't have a ton of flavor, so if you prefer a more robust pizza flavor, add more spices to the crust or sprinkle the pizza spice blend on top after cooking.

I made them mini because I think it's cute, but you can do a full size pie. Or square. Or heart shaped. Or without cheese and just toppings since there is already cheese in the crust.

Bonus - I woke up this morning feeling great. I'm also going to make this recipe again this week with some chia and flax in the crust, probably a tablespoon of each. Let me know if you try it!

*I added a tablespoon of chia to the crust and it was awesome - added a nice crunch.

 Freshly picked basil from our basil plant! 

Freshly picked basil from our basil plant! 

Mini Cauliflower Pizzas

Crust ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower or 2 small heads
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 oz soft goat cheese 
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Pizza toppings:

  • Pizza sauce (I used San Marzano Sugo Di Pomodoro from Fresh Market)
  • Part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Mushrooms
  • Fresh basil leaves

Pizza spice blend for topping (optional):

  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 salt
  • 1/4 black pepper

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F

  2. Create cauliflower 'rice' - chop cauliflower into smaller florets and process in food processor or high speed blender until it looks like legit rice. The resemblance is almost creepy. Go slowly because the rice tends to get bunched at the bottom.

  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and once boiling, add the cauliflower rice. Cook for 5 minutes. 

  4. Drain the cauliflower rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water to cool it off.

  5. It sounds strange but pour cauliflower rice into a large clean dishtowel and squeeze it to remove all moisture. This part is really important! You want it to be as dry as possible so that the crust will hold together. If it's hard to squeeze because it's still hot, put the cauliflower it in the freezer to cool it off for a few minutes

  6. Mix the cauliflower rice, eggs, goat cheese and spices in a bowl. Use your hands for the most efficient blending. The crust will feel weird but as long as you got the moisture out of the cauliflower, it will hold together.

  7. Line a pan with parchment paper and divide the dough to make 10 - 12 adorable little baby pizza crusts. 

  8. Bake the crusts for 25 - 30 minutes - until lightly golden. They should be firm and maintain their shape when picked up (and not fall apart)

  9. Remove the crusts from the oven and top them with pizza sauce, mozzarella, chopped baby bellas, kale... the sky is the limit! Place the pizettes back in the oven for 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted and toppings are cooked. Warning - some veggie toppings (like spinach) can become watery when cooked so you may want to give them a quick sauté beforehand.

  10. Remove the crusts from the oven and serve them with fresh basil and pizza spice blend. 

 Taste testing some delicious litte mini pizzas. There weren't any leftovers.

Taste testing some delicious litte mini pizzas. There weren't any leftovers.

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Coconut cashew butter

I woke up today thinking about Bali. And Mike. He's been gone for almost a month - off in Vancouver getting yoga-fied. And we have reached the "ok, that was fun for a few weeks, we need to be back together" point. I'm over the novelty of being by myself and very much ready to have my partner back. I can only keep myself busy for so long - when I slow down and really feel my emotions, I am immediately reminded how much it sucks to be apart.

In missing him, I waxed nostalgically back to our adventures in Bali and also simultaneously starting thinking about food prep - weird, I know. I am going to Canada on Friday to meet up with him and I have been wanting to make something for the trip.

Hmm. Bali was a goldmine of cashews and coconuts. I am on a nut butter kick this week. I need something deliciously filling and portable for the flight.

Bali + food prep + Canada trip... 

"Can they intermingle?" I thought to myself. "Dude. They totally can." And in that moment, coconut cashew butter was born.

  *Notable - all of this happened while pulsing during 7:30am FlyBarre class this morning. Moments of brilliance are not limited to when you're in the shower.

*Notable - all of this happened while pulsing during 7:30am FlyBarre class this morning. Moments of brilliance are not limited to when you're in the shower.

Coconut Cashew Butter

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of raw cashews 
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
  • 1 tablespoon shredded or flaked coconut
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 - 4 shakes of cinnamon

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F

  2. In a large bowl, mix cashews with honey and hemp hearts and spread the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  3. Bake the mixture for 20 - 25 minutes until golden.

  4. Remove the nut mix from the oven and let it cool off for a few minutes. 

  5. Once cool enough to handle, add the nuts to your food processor.

  6. Let the food processor run for 5-10 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides.

  7. After the almonds stop being meal-y and become buttery (about 5-7 minutes), add the coconut oil, chia, coconut shreds/flakes, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Let the processor run for another few minutes. Add more oil as you see fit. 

  8. Once it reaches your desired consistency - this takes longer than almonds, fyi - my food processor ran for another good 10 minutes. It will make a big cashew ball but then it will smooth itself out into delicious creaminess. Patience, young grasshoppers. 

  9. Put it all in a mason jar and eat with a banana. Nom-enal. Refrigerate if it's going to last you more than a day or two.

 A field of honey coated cashews awaits you...

A field of honey coated cashews awaits you...

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Chia hemp almond butter

3 months - almond free. Forging a diet of soy, coconut and regular milk has been... interesting. And kind of a pain in the ass. Last night, I decided to try my luck and eat some almonds again, just to see what would happen. And yay... no reaction! I might be cured from my almondosis

I wasn't going to push it, but of course today I started thinking about almond butter - delightful, creamy, delicious almond butter. It reminded me of this recipe I had been meaning to play with. Chia and hemp maple almond butter. I looked in my cabinets. I had all of the ingredients. I even had the food processor. Dare I try it? 

I dared.

 The goods.

Chia Hemp Maple Almond Butter

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of raw almonds (I get mine at Trader Joes)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

*you can find hemp hearts (aka raw shelled hemp seeds) at Whole Foods or here. Vitacost.com rocks, btw. 

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F

  2. In a large bowl, mix almonds with maple syrup and spread the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  3. Bake the maple almonds for 25 minutes, until your kitchen smells like waffles. Yum.

  4. Remove the almonds from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Try not to eat them all while you're waiting.

  5. While they're cooling, separate 10-15 almonds and chop them into tiny pieces with a knife - set aside.

  6.  Process the rest of the nuts in the food processor.

  7. Let the food processor run for 5-10 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides.

  8. After the almonds stop being meal-y and become buttery (about 5-7 minutes), add the coconut oil, chia, hemp, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Let the processor run for another few minutes. 

  9. Once it reaches your desired consistency (which can be up to 15 minutes), stop the food processor and add in the reserved chopped nuts into the almond butter.

  10. Put it all in a cute container and store in your fridge. And brace yourself. That shit is delicious.

 Doesn't get much better than this childhood fave. Although I was way more into chia pets than chia seeds back then...

Doesn't get much better than this childhood fave. Although I was way more into chia pets than chia seeds back then...

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Travel muffins

It's been a tough month for appliances at the Dannheim casa. First the A/C broke. In July. Awesome. And then two weeks ago, the dishwasher malfunctioned, flooding water all over the floor. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal, but we have cork floors, so the water seeped under the tiles and caused all of them to jut up and out - like a cork mountain range beneath my feet. Not the most fun to walk around on. Thankfully the tectonic cork situation is now fixed (and we got a sparkly new dishwasher!) so it's time to celebrate the return to the kitchen with my signature creation.

Travel Muffins.

Travel + muffin. Two of my favorite words - together as one. Delicious little morsels of chia, flax, oats and chocolate... these little bad boys are easy to make and are the perfect on-the-go morning treat. Or anytime really. I coined them travel muffins because I started making them before long flights or car trips since they keep pretty well, are healthy and delicious and deliver a compact yet hearty meal. They're denser than normal muffins and oh so easy to scarf down.

I sometimes make them full-size and sometimes do mini-muffins - it just depends on how I'm feeling. Both are equally delightful, it just depends on how big of a bite you want. I also freeze them once I make them so I don't eat them all within 24 hours. This method may or may not work for you, but it's nice to know since the mini-muffins in particular are a little too cute and tempting and before you know it, a whole batch might disappear. Hence the forewarning.

Ok, without further ado. TRAVEL MUFFINS!

Travel Muffin recipe

- 2.5 cups gluten free or old fashioned oats 

- 1 cup plain greek yogurt (low fat or non fat works great) 

- 2 eggs 

- 2-3 dates (I like medjool)

- 2 tsp. baking powder 

- 1 tsp. baking soda 

- 2 Tbsp. chia seeds 

- 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed

- 2 Tbsp. almond milk (or I'm using coconut milk since I'm still allergic to almonds)

- 1 tsp. vanilla 

- 2 ripe bananas 

- 1/2 tsp cinnamon

- 1/4 tsp salt

- Optional toppings like walnuts, blueberries, cacao nibs, dark chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put oats in a blender or food processor and pulse for 10 seconds - I use my vitamix. Add remaining ingredients (except toppings) and blend until smooth - add more milk than specified above if it seems too thick. Batter should have a creamy consistency. Stir in the toppings into the mix (make sure you don't blend again) or put then on top. Hence the name, toppings;)

Grease a muffin pan (I use spray coconut oil for this) and bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Devour! Or freeze. Nommers!

 Muffin preparation.

Muffin preparation.

 Muffin complete. These dudes have dark chocolate and walnuts. Nom to the maximum. 

Muffin complete. These dudes have dark chocolate and walnuts. Nom to the maximum. 

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Hummus

 The Steiner clan - mom, dad and my sis, Allie.

The Steiner clan - mom, dad and my sis, Allie.

Before we left for Bali, Mike and I took a trip to see my parents and sister up in Tampa. A lot of my personal focus this year has been to spend time doing things that are meaningful to me - like family. In the past, I hadn't been as close to my family - distance and relationship-wise - due to circumstance and choices I had made. So the past few years, I've been attempting to make up for my bitchy, sullen teenage years by spending more quality time with them. And my parents, thankfully, loved me no matter what. As part of that love, they proudly kept all my soccer trophies from over the years, and on this particular visit, they wanted to know if I wanted to keep anything from the box out in the garage. 

After I was done going through the box of old sports memorabilia, I spied an old Cuisinart that had long been abandoned. "Dude!" I said, "I have been wanting one of those!" My mom replied "sure, take it - I haven't used that thing since the 80's." So I lugged the hefty Cuisinart back to Miami, giving a fresh life when all it had known before was shoulder pads and Aqua Net.

I love my Vitamix, but a food processor is a nice thing to have in the kitchen because the blade is closer to the bottom of the container - meaning you can prepare smaller quantities of things and it can mince small amounts of vegetables, make nutbutters, etc. more easily than a blender can. AND... it is absolutely perfect for hummus. 

I love authentic hummus. When Mike and I were in Dubai, I consumed so much hummus, I couldn't bear to look at it for a few months. Thankfully that was long ago and I'm back on the hummus train. Store bought brands pale in comparison to the richness of homemade hummus. This recipe is delicious - creamy, tangy and wonderful. The secret is using dried chickpeas - something I once thought was complicated but it's not! They're cheaper and tastier than canned and easily available in the bulk food section. I have tried a few recipes, but this one is my favorite, adapted from one of my vegan food idols - Angela Liddon from Oh She Glows. 

 the trusty cuisinart making hummus! it's vintage.

the trusty cuisinart making hummus! it's vintage.

Homemade hummus recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (which will become 3 cups soaked chickpeas)
  • 1/3 cup tahini 
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground himalayan salt
  • 1/3 cup fresh water

Preparing chickpeas

  1. Rinse 1 cup of dried chickpeas and put in a pot. Cover chickpeas with 3 to 4 inches of water and soak overnight (or at least 8 hours).

  2. In the morning, discard the water (it will be yellow) and rinse chickpeas.

  3. Transfer chickpeas back to pot and add fresh water to cover them by a few inches.

  4. Bring water to a boil, skim off any foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat to medium and simmer the chickpeas for 45 minutes to an hour - until they're soft enough for you to squish one with your fingers. Watch out, they're slippery :)

  5. Drain chickpeas and give a final rinse. The end result is 3 cups of chickpeas.

Hummus itself

  1. Peel the garlic cloves and with the food processor running, add the garlic in one clove at a time - watch as it is magically minced before your very eyes.
  2. Add chickpeas, tahini, salt and lemon juice to the blender. Add water to bring everything to desired hummus consistency. Process until smooth and creamy - at least 2 minutes. 
  3. Transfer hummus to a bowl and top with olive oil. Serve with freshly cut veggies, whole wheat pita or pita chips. YUM! Perfect summer snack.
hummus
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Gluten-free banana muffins

The downside of traveling from Asia…. wide awake at 5am. 

The upside? Extra time to play with a new recipe! And I had been wanting to modify a gluten free banana bread recipe that I saw a while ago but hadn't had the chance to do it while traveling. So since I couldn't sleep in (and still can't yet)... Saturday before sunrise, I got busy like a baker in the kitchen and tried my hand at some gluten-free muffins. The result? Delicioso! Moist, filling, low sugar and gluten and nut free (since i'm currently a recovering almond-holic). These are a new staple in the breakfast rotation, perfect for a little something pre or post yoga. Probably also incredible slathered with nut butter. Unfortunately this recipe isn't vegan - can't win 'em all. You can definitely try the recipe using a flax egg, I just haven't done it yet.

 Yummo. Delish. Amazing. Wow. I'm a fan.

Yummo. Delish. Amazing. Wow. I'm a fan.

A little tip - Once they've cooled, I freeze all my muffins so I don't eat them all in one day. I also recently discovered Lily's chocolate chips, sweeted with stevia. They are super amazing. 

 Delicious! I picked mine up at Whole Foods.

Delicious! I picked mine up at Whole Foods.

Gluten-free banana muffin recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour (or just blend gf oats in a blender until they turn into a flour)
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour 
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large, ripe bananas
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 - 2 tsp vanilla (depending on how much you like vanilla)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • chocolate chips (I like Lily's! Or put in anything else you want to add)

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 375 °F

  2. In a big bowl, mix the dry ingredients - oat flour, gluten free flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt.
  3. In another bowl, mash the peeled bananas with a fork.
  4. Stir egg, coconut oil, vanilla and honey into the banana mixture.
  5. Add banana mixture and chocolate chips into the dry ingredients. 
  6. Mix together and then pour into an oiled cupcake pan (I use spray coconut oil)
  7. Bake 30 - 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  8. Devour one! And freeze the rest once they're cooled ;)
 The colors of baking!

The colors of baking!

 Fields of muffins… No gluten in sight...

Fields of muffins… No gluten in sight...

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Side effects

I left Bali with my heart fuller, my inner chatter quieter and... my pants a bit tighter. Ugh. I'm blaming it on the coffee. My logic? Since almonds are expensive in Indo, they don't do almond milk, my default milk. And I don't do soy. I'd prefer not to take the chance on more estrogen.

So... I broke the cardinal rule of yogi's everywhere… and got real milk. Whole fucking milk! The horror. And guess what. It was creamy and delicious. So foamy. I loved every drop.

 How cute is this cappuccino chirper?

How cute is this cappuccino chirper?

But the obvious side effect... five weeks of full fat dairy left me with more luggage than what I packed when I left Miami, if you know what I mean. So when I got back to MIA, I immediately wanted to resume my "normal" Miami diet. On the plane I was dreaming of kale smoothies with almond milk, almond butter on some Ezekiel toast, raw almonds… yum!

But something weird happened. Yesterday morning, almost immediately after having an almond milk cappuccino and some overnight chia oats made with almond milk, my throat felt scratchy. I got a little headache-y. I didn't feel super great. Definitely didn't feel as good as I did when I was milking it up in Bali. Perplexed, I thought… what could it be? Did I pick up something on the plane? Do I need sleep? Maybe it's jet lag.

 More whole milk porn. And journaling.

More whole milk porn. And journaling.

But then I remembered my bud Sharon mentioning she was told she had become slightly allergic to almonds due to overeating almonds. I thought - what the?? Have I overdone it as well?! Naturally I turned to Google to substantiate these claims. And can you believe what I found on MindBodyGreen.

Eek! So - I'm experimenting. Some coconut milk, some dairy. We'll see. But taking a little break from almond life for now. Knowing most of you guys are almond consumers, I wanted to share in case you also happen to experience something like this. Back in Miami also means back in the kitchen so I'll be posting some recipes soon - stay tuned!

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Favorites: Bali food

Whoa. Have we really been here a month? I've slipped into a vortex of scooter rides, 2 hour yoga practices and coconuts as far as the eye can see. Time is losing it's grip on me. I find myself wondering what day it is. 9:30pm feels like midnight.

I could get used to this.

My Bali goals of journaling every morning and beach walks haven't happened with the regularity I would have preferred, but every moment has been perfect and exactly what it should be. What we have not forgotten, though, is eating. With a large and hungry surfer as my traveling companion, we have tried many amazing Bali favorites. And as a yogi and foodie (yoodie?) I am very happy to help Mike sample the fresh and tasty offerings around Bali.

Here are the ones I have to share with you today… categorized by the aforementioned areas of Bali. Note - There are lots of diverse places to eat in Bali, these are my yogi-friendly recommendations. They are mainly vegetarian/vegan and pretty mid-range in price, which is essentially half the price of anything in Miami and twice as healthy and delicious. 

Seminyak - Bali's Miami

Revolver Espresso - where I am writing this blog post from:) Awesome coffee and breakfast/lunch spot with incredible eats and a great local and international vibe. Gun themed menu and venue rocks my world. The Smith and Wesson (read: smashed avocado on gluten free bread) is the jam.

 Cappucino at Revolver Espresso. They get a 10 on presentation every time. 

Cappucino at Revolver Espresso. They get a 10 on presentation every time. 

Earth Cafe - This vegan cafe slash grocery store has all kinds of great organic finds. Extensive juice menu and lots of lunch and dinner choices. They have lots of yummy little desserts and energy balls pre-made in the fridge. We eat here basically every day.

Watercress - Such a cool vibe! One of my favorite places in Bali. Great menu with creative salads and sandwiches and they serve Revolver Coffee (the gold standard of coffee around here). Breakfast served all day? Yes, please!

crate cafe

Canggu (my favorite spot - it's like the Purdy Ave of Bali!)

Crate Cafe - Everything I've always wanted in a little cafe. Breakfast served all day, green smoothies, good wifi, amazing coffee and cool people. The iced latte is to die for - it can only be described as a latte slurpee. Mike loves the brekkie board. Oh, and they mix two types of smoothies together in one glass! You really can't go wrong. 

Cafe Avocado - Great casual lunch spot, juices, smoothies and lots and lots of yummy things involving one of my favorite foods - avocado. Coffee is ok. Food is yum.

Betelnut Cafe - Quick, easy and healthy dinner spot. Lots of mexican and salad options. Cool vibe with upstairs seating overlooking Batu Bolong and some rice paddies. They do breakfast and lunch too but not breakfast all day - bummer. Oh and they have the best chocolate chip cookie in Bali.

Old Man's - Aussie beach bar with lots of lounge seating and beachy food options. Not the most healthy but fun to go for the vibes or a drink - they normally have weekend events with live music or DJ's. Big local hangout where you can meet people from all over who now call Bali home.

 Sunday nights at Old Man's

Sunday nights at Old Man's

Uluwatu - the dirty South

Buddha Soul - Veggie burger like whoa. We ate here lots when we were in the Bukit and it was consistently great. Cool outdoor seating with umbrellas and lots of nice choices for a tea or smoothies if you want a midday pick me up. 

Land's End Cafe - The best green smoothie I have found in Bali so far. Mike's egg wrap rocked his world. This little warung turned cafe has a California vibe and excellent eats. Looks a little shady when you first pull up but trust me, it's worth it. 

Cashew Tree - A great night time spot, they often have live music. Lots of healthy menu options  and pretty good Mexican fare. Great couches and seats to lounge in and soak up those hazy Bali nights. 

Ubud - Hippie paradise

Clear Cafe - Cool place! Super modern. Organic. My favorite is that they have a shoe valet, which means everyone is barefoot inside, which I love (and is quite common in Bali). Extensive juice menu, raw vegan options, come here more for the vibe and a juice than the food. Little shop in the front where they sell snacks, chocolates and such.

Kafe - Ah, Kafe. I ate here pretty regularly in Ubud. All kinds of yumminess on the menu. Macrobiotic, raw vegan, Ayurvedic. They also have an offshoot inside Yoga Barn called the Garden Kafe. Same menu, but service is much better at the original Kafe on Hanoman Road.

Soma - Raw vegan paradise. Gorgeous place with an awesome vibe, great for hanging out at night. The night we went they had some live music and people with bindis and sarongs were congregating everywhere. Great food, but typical raw vegan small plates so we ended up ordering a few things. Cash only.

Bali Buda - A Bali institution. They have four locations but we went to the one in Ubud a couple times - it's just across the street from Radiantly Alive Yoga. They also have a market around the corner with lots of goodness. Great menu. Amazing pizza and veggie stuff. Not great Mexican. 

Sari Organik - They have a couple spots - the Bodag Meliah one is the one I'm referring to. It is worth it just to go and experience the location. It's in Ubud but feels like a different world. You take a really crazy footpath out into the rice paddies and stumble upon this open air restaurant where they serve stuff straight from their garden. You're sweating by the time you get there so order a coconut (if they still have some left) Excellent salads and the views are amazing. Give yourself extra time to wander around the rice paddies and slip back in time.

 sunset over Sari Organik rice fields

sunset over Sari Organik rice fields



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