"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Monday, April 30, 2012

Source: My Favorite Vegetarian Restaurant

I was at my friend, Nick's, house when his roommate came home with some leftovers from her new waitressing job at Source. We dove into her Grilled Moo Skewers and they were the best vegetarian mock meat skewers I've ever had! She gave me her 'studying' menu which I took home and studied until I finally made it to the restaurant. Source is a 5 min bike ride from my house, I've been three times, each time with a group ordering different items and it is by far one of my favorite restaurants in the city, if not the Bay Area. It's a vegetarian restaurant that is vegan friendly. I'm an omnivore, but I really appreciate a vegetarian restaurant that celebrates the variety and versatility of vegetables, nuts and seeds. The ambiance is peaceful, communal and comforting  and the restaurant was actually designed with the ancient principals of metaphysics and and energy in mind!  Pictured above is the 'Live Platter' which includes hemp tabouli, marinated mushrooms, their version of a green goddess salad, cesar salad, lettuce tacos and living chips. Their green goddess salad is dino kale, carrot, sesame seeds and a cashew based green goddess dressing. Simply delicious.
Below we have the 'Chili Cluck Pie' which includes house made mozzarella, plum tomato sauce, sriracha sauce, truffle oil and a balsamic glaze. Source also has a brick oven, so all the pizzas and breads have that extra perfect crust. 
Source has daily specials and last time I went they had this 'Wilted Kale Salad' which was DELICIOUS. Similar to their green goddess salad but a balsamic based dressing and topped with half an avocado. You could tell this kale had been massaged and well loved.
'Peking Quack Spring Rolls' served with plum sauce. 
'Spicy Buffalo Bytes' with slaw and vegan ranch dressing
Here we have the 'Dan Dan': mixed veggies and tofu over rice noodles, with a sweet almond, sesame, ginger soy sauce.
Another one of Source's daily specials that includes perfectly stir fried mushrooms, vegetables in a light sauce all served in a sort of baked cracker bowl with a bed of lettuce.
A Source 'Burger' made with beets, celery, carrots, lentils, mushrooms, brown rice, fresh herbs, soy protein, garlic and onion served in a pita with fries.
And now for dessert:
Living Mousse Parfait made with chocolate cashew creme, with caramel, cacao nibs and brownie bites
Live Brownie Bites covered with cacao nibs
Cookie Sandwich
SOURCE - Organic Vegan/Vegetarian International Cuisine
11 Division Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Food for Your Soul ~ Rhymefest with Citizen Cope

...there is so much more underneath the armor. How are we still engaged in war? Life is so fleeting and short and we all the same exact thing: peace, safety, happiness. It's only in the last few decades that we've become overworked, overpaid, and lost track of our priorities. We've compromised our family & health for materials items, power, and meaningless labels. How did this happen so quickly? Why did this happen? People and society created this thinking it would make us happier. Maybe it was just an experiment - but now it is a paradigm we accept. We are people too - so we can change this. Put our world back on track and help our fellow beings that we, ignore...
Why do we every day put the things that matter most at the expense of things that matter least? Are we all so scared of falling off track - losing our grounding? Where has the strength of the community gone? Why are so many people left on the streets, unsupported, and dying slowly in the cold - ignored. So often I wish our eyes could see deeper than the surface. If we can activate our minds, occupy our hearts, we can see deeper. On the surface we see a poor person on the streets, we see someone who has 'slipped through the cracks', we see someone stealing, fighting, struggling - but if we can activate our hearts and mind we can see so much more! We can see truth and hope and let this be our inspiration to inspire change. We don't have to accept anything...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Apple Crumble (Paleo & Gluten Free) with Scream Sorbet

 As the finishing touch to a paleo feast, I made an apple crumble sin flour and milk. Served with Scream Sorbet out of the East Bay which is sold from the Ferry Building Farmer's Market on Saturdays. I had the pleasure of meeting Sierra who was working the Scream Sorbet stand. Sierra is full of life and knowledge about Scream Sorbet's process and ingredients. They usually have 4 - 6 flavors available for sampling and purchasing and I believe it changes week to week. For this I used their 'Saffron Almond' flavor which was divine. The ingredients are on the carton and include nothing more than water, Kashiwasi Farms blanched almonds, sugar, sea salt and saffron.
Apple Crumble 

6 large apples, peeled and sliced. I recommend the Pink Lady apples for crumbles
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 egg
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Raw honey

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place apple slices in a glass baking dish. Drizzle the honey on the apple slices
2. Mix the almond flour, egg, coconut oil and cinnamon in a bowl until you have a 'crumbly' consistency
3. Add the topping to the apples. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, until hot and bubbly and the crust is golden.
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving with Scream Sorbet. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

'Spaghetti' Squash & Bison Meatballs (Paleo)

Bison is by far my favorite meat. I debuted by love for bison on GLHC with my bison stuffed squash. I've never been a huge meatball fan - mostly because I never felt that great after eating meatballs however with bison, it's completely different. As with all meatballs, you can experiment and make them slightly different every time. For a recent paleo feast, I made these meatballs as the main course with a homemade tomato sauce. Instead of spaghetti, I used 'Spaghetti' Squash. It's the end of the season so I literally bought the only ones available! I'd never cooked this type of squash but was delighted on it's much healthier and equally tasty substitution for spaghetti. I was certain I would cut off my hand as I was trying to cut open this squash. I had to put all my weight on the knife to open the squash so be careful when doing this at home. Disclosure: I'm also accident prone - this may not be an issue for most folks :)
This meal can be made in advance and heated up. The meatballs are addicting and taste DELICIOUS the next day on sandwich bread or even cold. The longer and slower you cook the tomato sauce, the more enhanced the flavor will be and the thicker the texture. So, in true Italian style - cook this meal slowly with love, music and glass of wine.
'Spaghetti' Squash & Bison Meatballs 
Makes enough for 10-12
A meal planning tip: Start with baking the squash. While squash is in the oven start the sauce then the meatballs.

2-3 large 'Spaghetti' Squash

For Meatballs:
4 lbs ground bison
2 small onions, finely chopped
4 eggs
1 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons fresh herbs
1 head of garlic
Olive oil
4 tablespoons ghee

For Sauce:
1/3 cup olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, crushed
2 28 ounce cans plum tomatoes
1 16 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 small cans of tomato paste
2 bunches of Italian parsley, chopped
2 chili peppers, chopped

For Spaghetti:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the squash in half. Place cut size down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, until it is easily pierced with a knife.
2. Scrape the spaghetti out of the squash shell and set aside into a bowl.

For Meatballs:
1. Saute the onion, garlic with 3-4 tablespoons of ghee until the onions are translucent. Allow the onions to cool.
2. In a bowl, vigorously whisk the eggs. Whisk in the almond meal and herbs. Add in the bison and mix until everything is incorporated. The best tools for this are your hands.
3. Roll the bison meat into small balls. Saute on a pan (LOW & SLOW) with a bit of olive oil. The bison meatballs don't take much time and you want them to maintain their moisture so be sure the heat is set to low. They should be golden brown.  They will produce their own natural oils which make for a fantastic base for sauteing vegetables. Set aside on a platter while you finish the meatballs.

For the sauce:
1. Heat live oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic until soft.
2. Add in the pureed tomatoes with juices, crushed tomatoes, parsley, and peppers. Bring the mixture to a boil. Season with salt and pepper
3. Reduce the heat and cook until it is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Add in the tomato paste and cook for 20 minutes.
Enjoy with a nice big salad and a glass of wine :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lemon Walnut Parsley Pesto

I was recently given the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and have loved learning all the health benefits to various foods. When I made the flax and almond paleo bread, I wanted a pesto like spread to go with it. Ordinary pesto is made with cheese however this pesto is effectively paleo and vegan. It contains no cheese. I love Italian flat leaf parsley and it comes in bushels in our Eat Well CSA so I decided to make this  a parsley pesto. Raw parsley is one of the best sources of Glutathione. Glutathione acts as a super antioxidant and can inactivate cancer-causing agents, that may otherwise damage cells. It also neutralizes fats that initiate artery clogging build up. Glutathione also protects our eye lens from the destruction caused by ultraviolet light, as such it is an antioxidant that helps protect us against cataracts. 
Lemon Walnut Parsley Pesto

1 cup chopped scallions
2 cups parsley
2 garlic cloves, smashed
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 heaping cup walnuts
salt to taste

1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you have your desired consistency and taste. Sprinkle in the salt depending on your preference.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Flax & Almond Bread (Paleo & Gluten Free)

 I recently made a Paleo feast for 8 good friends. This bread is like an energy and fiber packed bread that is lovely alone, with dips and it keeps in the refrigerator for a little over a week.  Instead of flours, this "bread" is made with flax meal and almond meal. The finer the grind, the better the bread will taste. I grind my flax seeds in a mini mill. In addition, flax seeds need to be ground for us to get their full nutritional benefits, so always be sure to cook with flax meal as opposed to flax seeds. It's an extremely easy recipe and can definitely be jazzed up with pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top, or walnuts folded into the batter. I've also though this would taste nice with crushed dried herbs. Let me know if you come up with any good ideas! I served this bread warm with a paleo lemon walnut parsley pesto.
Flax & Almond Bread
Makes 1 loaf
1 1/3 cups flax meal
2/3 cup almond flour
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & Pepper

1. Turn on some nice tunes - Natalie Merchant recommended
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil a loaf pan.
3. In a bowl mix the flax meal, almond flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda.
4. In a separate bowl vigorously whisk the eggs. This is where your love goes into the bread baking
5. Add the olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper to the eggs.
6. Add the dry mixture to the eggs mixture and mix.
7. Put mixture in the loaf pan. It will not be as wet or fluid as most bread batters, you will need to use a spatula to get the batter into the pan. If it is too dry, you can add a little more olive oil. 
8. Bake for 30 minutes.

Happy Earth Day! A Little Food for the Soul

Such a beautiful song....

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Green Pasture's Restaurant in Austin, TX. Pure Deliciousness

We recently went to SXSW in Austin, Texas for our event The Lean Startup. The night before the big conference, my manager, Christen, took me for one of the best meals I've ever had...and richest meals! The restaurant, Green Pastures, is in an old Victorian home. Our waiter told us he had seen a ghost just before dinner....I won't lie, I was a little scared to walk alone to the restroom so I just stayed in the main dining area! We had a lovely waiter who ended up driving us home because its impossible to catch a taxi in Austin during SXSW! True southern hospitality:
The meal was spectacular. Each ingredient was thoughtfully incorporated for true sensory bliss. We did not hold back for this meal...
It all began with a little taster from the chef of ahi tuna on cucumber with a wasabi sauce. 
Appetizer 1:
The Mushroom Martini
Saute of Exotic Mushrooms with Garlic and Vermouth 1
This was rich, decadent, warming and truly celebrated the royal mushroom.
Appetizer 2:
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Stuffed Texas Quail
With Shiner Bock Glaze and Truffle Veal Glace
Appetizer 3:
Toasted Brie Sandwich 
With Toasted Hazelnuts, Caramelized Onion Preserves and Balsamic-Fig Coulis
Gourmetified grilled cheese sandos....yes please!
First Course:
Avocado Salad
With Tomatoes, Texas Goat Cheese, White Truffle Oil and Hibiscus
This was so creamy and delicious!

Pallet cleanser of grapefruit sorbet....looks like a planet.

For our main course, Christen ordered:
Salt and Pepper Poulet Rouge Chicken
Heritage Cou Nu Breed Chicken, Truffled Mashed Potato, Buttered Mushrooms, Sauteed Green Beans, Roasted Garlic, Rosemary and Natural Jus (I don't know what 'Jus' is either...)
and I ordered the Pecan Salmon
with Lobster Bread Pudding Honey Carrots, Candied Jalapenos & Herb Butter
The lobster bread pudding....HOLY COW!! or should I say HOLY LOBSTER!?

and for dessert....
Creme Brulee With Grand Marnier and Caramelized Sugar

Green Pastures Restaurant
811 W Live Oak
Austin, TX 78704 
Tel: (512) 444-4747

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

500 Startups - Grubbing on the 12th Floor of Mountain View's 'Sky Scrapper'

I've been working at 500 Startups for just over a year now and I've loved the ride! We are about to start our 4th Accelerator batch of startups and I'm excited to learn what they are all about. It's always an adventure over here at 500 Startups...and more than not there is something 'foodie' going on, whether it's a startup or a bribe or both. This post is a glimpse at the humor, experimentation and sometimes mild insanity that takes place at 500 Startups. One of the founders of the startup, DailyAisle, wrote this funny piece on 50 things she learned at 500 Startups.

To start - this is one of the views from our office. We are on the 12th floor of a building where everything else is 3 floors at max! So we have 360 degrees of uninterrupted views. It's gorgeous watching the sky change as the day turns to night.
In our last batch we had a group of Swedes who made these delicious chocolate balls for Demo Day:
We also had some folks who didn't make chocolate balls...but they made this pyramid of pigs! PRODUCTIVITY at its finest.
One of our wonderful foodie startups, Love with Food, delivers gourmet samples to your doorstep on a monthly subscription basis. In my case, it was delivered to my desk - this is for the month of March.
 Inside is a card with details about the samples and a note about their philanthropic efforts where for each box delivered, one meal is given to the non-profit 'No Child Hungry.'
 Tasty treats! The jerky, pictured in the background....was beyond addictive. 
 Another foodie perk of 500 Startups are the goodie bags (bribe bags?) delivered to the team... this one was particularly gourmet from 'Indie Food New York Mouth' (not one of our startups). This gift was actually for Dave, but I checked out the goods...naturally :)
 The piece of chocolate on the bag above is a bacon toffee chocolate.  Tasty but too much toffee and not enough chocolate or bacon...
 Do I see stroopwaffles? YES!
With all this good food - who does the dishes?
Sometimes our startups leave dishes in the sink. So we have to leave scary notes...