Tuesday, September 29, 2015

>>> BALI

We're heading to Bali for over 3 weeks next April and we are so excited! Flights are booked as well as half of our accommodations. 

We are dividing our stay into 4 locations. We're using hotel points to stay in Nusa Dua and Seminyak but plan on booking a small residence in Ubud and Canguu. We we're also planning trip out to Nusa Lembongan.

I cannot wait to explore Bali's incredible vegan friendly cafes, spas, yoga studios, shops and awesome surf breaks. If you have any suggestions please comment below. Alchemy and The Yoga Barn are definitely on the agenda!


Monday, September 7, 2015

Spicy Gazpacho

It's been unbearably hot and humid in Hawaii this summer. Last week we had 3 Catagory 4 hurricanes spinning around our little island state bringing rain, extreme heat indexes and super muggy conditions. 
My office is in an open air environment and so is my home ( common island style slatted windows, outdoor dining room, doors that are meant to be open all day, no AC, etc. ). It was so uncomfortable sleeping one night that my husband and I just started laughing in pure delirium. I can't wait until this winter. Winter in Hawaii is the best. Until then, I am not turning my oven on until Christmas.

So, that being said, all I've been wanting lately is fruit, Acai Bowls, and big salads. Cooking has been kept to an absolute minimum these days and unfortunately we've been dining out way to often just to sit in air conditioning. I mean really, WTF is that all about? 
So, I decided to drag out my staple Gazpacho recipe. This was originally inspired by Terry Walter's soup in Clean Start ( great book BTW ) but over the years I have made some of my usual tweaks. Here's my version below. Enjoy!

Spicy Gazpacho

5 ripe tomatoes
I used medium size, vine ripe
scored, blanched, peeled, then chopped
1 diced medium English
1 ripe diced Bell pepper ( red, orange, or yellow )
chopped red onion
1 minced Serrano pepper
2 cloves of chopped garlic
4 cups tomato juice
handful or cilantro
handful of Italian Basil
handful flat leaf parsley
3 TB lemon juice
2 TB balsamic vinegar
2 TB good olive oil
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp salt ( or more to taste )
1-2 tsp hot sauce for more kick if desired

Toppings Ideas
chopped bell peppers, scallions, chopped cucumber, extra cilantro, red chili flakes, chopped avocado, extra olive oil, kalamata olives, sliced almonds

Blanch tomatoes by scoring the tops and then dropping them in boiling water for 30-45 sec. Remove from pot, let cool, peel and then chop. Add to a blender along with remaining ingredients above. Blend until desired smoothness is achieved. I usually go with a more chunky styled soup but this time I blended longer for a smoother consistancy. I like it either way. Add desired toppings. Keeps for about 3 days.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I Want

I need to make this. Like ASAP. It seems like Hawaii has been under a hurricane watch for over a month and the humidity has been unbearable. All I want is cold soup and this Gazpacho from Running with Tweezers is looking pretty perfect.

What I wouldn't give to have a Gracias Madre on Maui. Best vegan restaurant I have ever been to. It's absolutely gorgeous inside as well. Decor8 gives you a tour HERE

My obsession with gold for the home is very much alive and well. I've been totally crushing on the blog Design Love Fest and I absolutely adore this simple DIY.

I love this. I want this. I need to have it. Lately, seashells have been my go-to for home accents.

Mara Hoffman is amazing. Totally in love with this Mahina Maxi.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Vegan Tom Kha Soup

This just might be my new favorite soup. It's creamy, spicy and has the perfect balance of sweet and sour. Try it with a scoop of fragrant Jasmine rice for a filling plant based dinner. So delicious!


1 Tb coconut oil or safflower oil
2" fresh ginger minced
4 cloves of garlic minced
3 shallots thinly sliced
1 Serrano pepper or 2 red Thai chilies thinly sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
Heat oil on medium in a large soup pot. Saute ginger, garlic, shallots, hot peppers and mushrooms for about 5 minutes or until translucent.
2.5 cups good veggie broth
1 and 1/2 cans coconut milk ( I used organic full fat )
3 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs + 1 tsp tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos ( I used coconut aminos)
2 tsp sriracha ( optional )
1 Tb coconut sugar or brown sugar
4-6 kaffir lime leaves
2 small stalks of lemongrass, smashed but left whole
2 cups chopped bok choy ( optional )
1 cup diced extra firm tofu
Bring to boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
1/4 cup - 1/2 cup Thai basil
 handful of chopped cilantro ( optional )
handful of sliced green onions
Simmer for 1 more minute 


Monday, August 3, 2015

Island Home Inspiration

-image source-

Over the last year I've been slowly painting and replacing things throughout our small island home. The walls are primarily white now and so are most of our linens, pillows, bookshelves, kitchen cabinets, dishes, couch throws, etc. Not the best color palette when you live on an island full of red volcanic dirt and a black kitty cat but I've been craving this for years. Light, white, and open were on my "must have" list and I think I've finally achieved it.
 I used a lot of wood, white marble, local beach finds, glass, luxurious scented candles and potted orchids for simple decorations. I cleared most of the clutter ( my husband's clutter of course ) with pretty storage boxes made of lauhala, woven bamboo, or aluminum from Bali. That being said, I'm really loving the clean and organized look of everything.
I'm a total minimalist but my husband is not. It's always been a battle when it comes to our living space but I think we've finally found a happy medium. It's island style without the clutter and kitsch. I'll take some pictures soon but in the meantime here's some images from my home inspiration folder.

White kitchen

Thursday, June 25, 2015

My Favorite Restaurant Salad

Flatbread Pizza Co. UGH, this place ALWAYS temps us when we're passing through Paia Town. Half the time we stop in, I'm wet, sandy and crispy from way too many hours spent at Ho'okipa Beach Park. Thankfully, this is Maui, and being make-up free with wet salty hair is the norm. Where shoes are replaced by rubber slippers and my 4 yr old Acacia pareo will pass as clothing. Ha! Gotta love this lil' island I call home.
Anyway, this restaurant is usually broiling hot thanks to the large open Kiawe pizza oven in the center of the dining area so instead we like to sit near the entrance at the bar. A glass ( or 2 ) of Rose, a vegan pizza, a custom made salad and I couldn't think of a better way to spend lazy afternoon.
Now, speaking of that salad. Flatbread Pizza Co. makes one of my favorite salads of all time! Starting with tender local greens, Ono Farms shredded green papaya, local shredded carrots, Kahanu Aina organic sprouts, sesame seeds and a housemade local pineapple vinaigrette, you are free to add as many "extra" toppings as you like. I personally like adding blackened Bell peppers, Kalamata olives and a creamy local avocado when available. My husband adds even more ( mushrooms + local Surfing Goat Dairy cheese ) For years I've been trying to come up with the recipe for this incredible dressing and I think I've finally figured it out? Or at least close enough to now replicate this delicious salad at home.

Maui Pineapple and Sesame Vinaigrette
-makes about 2 cups-

1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sunflower or any neutral flavored oil
2 TB sesame oil
1 clove garlic
3 TB tamari or soy sauce 
1/2 tsp ginger juice**
1 small Maui onion or any sweet onion like a Vidalia
Blend everything ( except oil ) until very smooth in a highspeed blender. Slowly add oil until completely emulsified.

**I like to juice a bunch of fresh local ginger at once and keep it in a small glass spice jar in the fridge to add to drinks and dressings. Keeps for a week or more.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Guilt Free Vegan Pancakes

Lately on Instagram I've been seeing loads of decadent looking vegan and gluten-free pancakes popping up all over my feed. What's up with this? So not fair.
Normally I'm not one to cave when it comes to mainstream comfort foods but when I came across THRIVINGONPLANTS  pancake recipes on Insta I finally had to give it a go. FYI - She has a blog too, Thriving on Plants
Three simple ingredients ( ground oats, banana and nut milk ) make up the base of this super easy, super delicious, perfect for Sunday brunch meal. I added a few little tweaks to Cherie's basic recipe just to give it a bit of a kick and WOW so good.
Here's a tip: For the oats flour, all I did was dump a 1.5 cups of dry quick oats in my Vitamix and gave it a whirl. Easy.

Vegan Pancakes
1.5 cups quick oats
( look for oats that are gluten free if possible )
1 ripe banana
1 cup almond milk
2 TB coconut sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
Blend all ingredients until combined in a blender. Heat non-stick skillet on medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto skillet and cook until golden brown ( flip and repeat ). 

Topping Ideas
maple syrup
coconut syrup
hemp seeds
cacao nibs
ground flax
vegan butter