Monthly Archives: May 2012

wednesday wisdom: i believe in symmetry by bright eyes

Conor Oberst, aka Bright Eyes, first wormed his way into my angst-ridden, girly emo heart back in my early college years during the Bush administration. I was drawn then, as now, to his soulful, poetic, political lyrics. “I Believe in Symmetry” is a genius anthem (and dare I say, it’s super yogic! I mean that as a compliment, Conor!), a dark symphony of time and space, choice and fate, birth and death.

First the live performance, from last year’s Austin City Limits:

And now the lyrics, so you can sing along:

I Believe in Symmetry
Some plans were made and rice was thrown
A house was built, a baby born
How time can move both fast and slow
Amazes me
And so I raise my glass to symmetry
To the second hand and its accuracy
To the actual size of everything
The desert is the sand
You can’t hold it in your hand
It won’t bow to your demands
There’s no difference you can make
There’s no difference you can make
And if it seems like an accident
A collage of senselessness
You weren’t looking hard enough
I wasn’t looking hard enough at it

An argument for consciousness
The instinct of the blind insect
Who makes love to the flower bed
And dies in the first freeze
Oh I want to learn such simple things
No politics, no history
Till what I want and what I need
Can finally be the same

I just got myself to blame
Leave everything up to fate
When there’s choices I could make
When there’s choices I could make
And now my heart needs a polygraph
Always so eager to pack my bags
When I really wanna stay
When I really wanna stay

When I wanna stay [4x]

The arc of time, the stench of sex
The innocence you can’t protect
Each quarter note, each marble step
Walk up and down that lonely treble clef
Each wanting the next one
Each wanting the next one to arrive
Each wanting the next one
Each wanting the next one to arrive

An argument for consciousness
The instinct of the blind insect
Who never thinks
Not to accept its fate, that’s faith
There is happiness in death
You get to the next one
You get to the next one down the line
You get to the next one
You get to the next one down the line

The levity of longing that
Distills each dream inside my head
By morning watered down forget
On silver stars I wish and wish and wish

From one to the next one
From one to the next right down the line
From one to the next one
From one to the next right down the line

You get to the next one
You get to the next one down the line
You get to the next one
You get to the next one down the line


meatless {memorial} monday: open-faced grilled veg sammy

the outdoor vegetarian is: rustic, hearty, bright.

From HuffPo’s Kitchen Daily way back in March and a perfect contribution to the outdoor cooking that’s going on across this great land of ours. Eggplant, like a portobello or thick wedge of squash, is a meaty, rich vegetable that provides sustenance for the meatless. When a slice of eggplant gets that nice char and smokiness inherent to grilled foods, meat is naturally, easily substituted and not at all missed.

Happy Memorial Day to you, yours, and in remembrance to those who’ve served and continue to serve. Peace.

Grilled Eggplant Sandwich with Creamy Celeriac Sauce
Adapted from The Inspired Vegan: Seasonal Ingredients, Creative Recipes, Mouthwatering Menus by Bryant Terry, 2012.

For the creamy celeriac sauce:
1/2 lb. silken tofu
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. paprika
A few pinches of cayenne
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper
1/4 c. minced green onions (green and white parts)
1/2 c. loosely packed, peeled and coarsely grated celery root (celeriac)

For the sandwiches:
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 med. eggplant (about 1 lb.), sliced crosswise into 1/2-in. rounds
2  med. red onions, sliced crosswise into 1/2-in. rounds
4 heirloom tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/2-in. slices
1 loaf of rustic bread, cut diagonally into eight 1/2-in. slices
Freshly ground white pepper

For the sauce:
 In a blender, combine tofu, lemon juice, 1 tbsp. of parsley, garlic, agave nectar, mustard, olive oil, paprika, cayenne, 1/2 tsp. of salt, and 1/4 tsp. of pepper and blend until smooth. If necessary, season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Transfer sauce to a bowl, stir in green onions and celery root, and garnish with remaining parsley.

For the sandwiches: Preheat a grill or broiler. Soak eight 12-in. wooden skewers in water for at least 30 min. In a mixing bowl, combine olive oil, salt, cayenne, and black pepper and mix well with a fork. Add vegetables to the bowl, toss to coat.

Thread the onion slices onto two skewers each. Transfer onions and eggplant rounds to the grill and cook, turning once with tongs, until browned and slightly crisp, 3 to 4 min. per side. After turning the vegetables, add bread to the grill. Cook, turning once, until crisp and golden on the surface but still soft inside, about 4 min.

Assemble sandwich by layering a slice of eggplant, a slice of tomato, and several slices of onion. Slather on some celeriac sauce, then sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.

wednesday wisdom: classic bukowski

meatless monday: tofu tacos

Eating outdoors. That’s what you do when it’s the first really, REALLY nice weekend of the pre-summer season. The smokiness of the grill gets in your hair. The sun sinks below the skyline and suddenly you need your wool cardigan to drape over your shoulders (Should’ve worn pants, you think, glancing your goosebumped legs. You were a little overambitious for late May). You mingle with people you haven’t seen all winter. Every flat surface offers some tasty morsel, so you shuffle around to gather your meal, balancing a beverage underneath your sagging paper plate. Food tastes better outdoors, right?

These tofu tacos are made for summer gatherings, garnished with lime wedges, eaten outdoors with friends.

Tofu Tacos
Serves 4
12 oz. firm tofu, drained and cut into 8 slices
4 c. shredded coleslaw mix
1 small bunch radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1 1/2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 limes (1 zested and juiced, 1 cut into wedges)
1/4 c. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp. taco seasoning
8 8-in. whole-wheat tortillas
1/4 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella or pepper jack cheese
1/4 c. salsa verde

Lay the tofu slices flat on a stack of paper towels; top with more paper towels, then put a heavy skillet on top to press out the excess water, about 10 min. Meanwhile, toss the coleslaw, radishes, cilantro, scallions, 1 tbsp. olive oil, lime zest and half of the lime juice in a large bowl. Mix the yogurt with the remaining lime juice in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Brush tofu on all sides with the remaining 1/2 tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with taco seasoning. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, then add tofu and cook until it begins to crisp, about 5 min; flip and cook 2 more min. (SL NOTE: You could also throw seasoned tofu strips onto the grill).

Toast tortillas in a dry skillet (or on grill!), 1 min. per side. Fill each tortilla with tofu, cheese and slaw, then drizzle with the yogurt sauce and salsa. Serve with lime wedges.

wednesday wisdom: mr. brainwash says

meatless monday: portobello mushrooms with wilted arugula

Sara v. Yoga Journal. Theirs might be prettier (left), but I’ve got the magic: dried cranberries + Sriracha. Yes.

Recipe adapted from “Eating Wisely” in May 2012’s Yoga Journal.

Portobello Mushrooms with Wilted Arugula
Makes 2 servings

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 portobello mushroom caps
Salt & pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
10 oz. fresh arugula (or spinach)
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. almonds, chopped & toasted

Preheat oven to 400. Mix 1 tbsp. oil with balsamic vinegar in a small bowl and brush both sides of the mushroom caps. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast until tender, 12-15 min.

Meanwhile, heat remaining tbsp. of oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 sec. Add arugula and turn to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until greens are wilted but still bright green, 2-4 min. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, and sprinkle lightly with salt.

Mound greens on two plates. Slice each mushroom on the diagonal and place over greens. Sprinkle with almonds and serve immediately over brown rice or quinoa. You can also add a little extra color/texture with dried cranberries and Sriracha.

it’s electric! an interview with michele bohbot, founder of electric yoga

Weeks ago, I was bopping around The Shop at Equinox in SoHo. A selection of vibrant, bright tops and shiny, texture-y tights caught my eye. Amidst familiar garments of activewear giants like Nike, Lululemon and Puma, this kicky little brand, Electric Yoga, had something more that ignited my yoga-fashion-love: neon!!! Lightning bolts!!! And seamless, compression-style high-waisted tights!!! This is not your typical yoga fare. EY has total studio-to-street appeal. So L.A. So amaze.

apres yoga: grab your bag, kicks, and a swipe of neon shadow. boom. ready for street.

Michele Bohbot, creator and designer, was nice enough to chat with me for a minute about her inspirations, values, family, and one totally relatable secret desire.


SARA: Quick! Off the top of your head, list your top four favorite things of today.
MICHELE: Vitamins with kiwi, brown rice cereal, chocolate biscotti, and green tea.

S: Prior to founding Electric Yoga, you were a fashion designer. Was there a “lightbulb moment” when you knew you wanted to design yoga clothing?
: The past few years I’ve had lots of moments when I thought of actually doing an activewear line. I remember I had been working on developing this brand for about 12 months. It was December 2011; I had finished a hot yoga class at Hot 8 Yoga in Santa Monica. I was so inspired by the class and the girls in the class that I just knew I was doing the right thing by venturing out on my own and creating Electric Yoga.

S: Sounds like hot yoga is your current preferred yoga practice. What about it speaks to you?
M: I love the deep stretch and focus that the body undergoes when practicing in medium to hot temperatures. The past few years I’ve realized that there is a need for structured and engineered clothing that caters specifically to hot yoga classes. There’s already activewear available that integrates CoolMax and Dri-FIT  fabrics. What I found is that these specific garments are great for running and cross-training, because the breathability is at a maximum level when you are in motion; however, often the fit and the bodies are not as conducive to hot yoga.

S: And the styles are not nearly as cute! So this need obviously influenced your fabric and design for Electric Yoga.
: The comfort, functionality, and aesthetic of the piece are my main concern. It took months of my time researching fabric yarns, different compressions, and body styles when I came up with my special patented ELOY wicking fabrication for Electric Yoga. The most fundamental and IMPORTANT difference between my ELOY fabrication and the CoolMax and Dri-FIT fabrics is that the yarn allows the body to be free and nimble with specified compression at certain areas of the body. Instead of my garments holding on to the perspiration, it is immediately evaporated into the air.

S: What’s been your greatest achievement, professionally and personally?
: My family is my greatest accomplishment. My seven children and my husband are the biggest blessings. I feel very accomplished by my ability to create meaningful brands such as Bisou Bisou and xoxo for the everyday woman. I am excited to see where we progress from here with Electric Yoga.

S: You’ve been practicing yoga for over 20 years, and have traveled the world, learning many different styles and many masters, from Iyengar to Ashtanga, Anusara to Bikram. What, if any, is the universal lesson that spans all traditions of yoga?
M: Stay present and true to your own practice and journey, whatever level you may be.

S: Based on Electric Yoga’s offerings, you clearly dig bright, dazzling colors! What’s your favorite?
: I don’t like to say that I am partial to any one color. However, I truly believe in empowering women, and the empowerment color is PINK. With cancer awareness, PINK is the focal point. I feel that it is so feminine and holds a lot feminine power and energy! You’ll see that in my line, I always carry that color.


S: Who most inspires you?
M: Everyone has a story. The beauty of life is the story of resilience. Right now I am so inspired by the story of Somaly Mam. I committed my monthly classes to her foundation, in the hopes to abolish sex trafficking and raise funds for sex-enslaved women in Cambodia and raise worldwide awareness. I got her book, The Road of Lost Innocence, and I was immediately enthralled. I work with the Yoga Freedom Project as much as I can for her cause. She has such an amazing story to tell, and she has committed her life to something that is a memory of her past, with drive for a brighter future.

S: You’re a whiz in the kitchen and like to share your recipes. What dish are you most excited about right now?
M: I am obsessed with spicy brown rice with tofu! Check it out on my blog.  I think I’ve made it for my family three times this week already!

S: What’s something that no one knows about you?
M: I secretly want to be a ninja!

Me too! Thanks so much for sharing, Michele. xx