Monthly Archives: July 2012

meatless monday: mango sushi rolls

any way you slice it: mango sushi. image via La Fuji Mama.

Mango = refreshing, nutrient treat. Mango sushi roll = still refreshing, vitamin packed, bright, and a pleasant surprise served with a side of coconut ice cream. Enjoy!

Mango Sushi Rolls
Makes 2 rolls; adapted from La Fuji Mama

4 cups steamed rice (white or brown)
6 tbsp. coconut milk
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
pinch of salt
splash of rice vinegar
2 mangoes, sliced into strips
2 soy wrapper sheets (or 2 sheets of nori)

Prepare rice as directed and place it, hot, in large bowl. In separate bowl, combine coconut milk, sugar, lime juice, and salt; stir until sugar dissolves. Fill a small bowl with water and splash of rice vinegar; set aside. Sprinkle half of coconut milk mixture evenly over rice, then toss rice by gently cutting into it vertically with a spatula or rice paddle, and then lifting the rice and turning it over, working from the outside of the bowl into the center. As you do this, fan the rice with a hand fan or piece of cardboard (or get someone to help you). Sprinkle the remaining coconut milk mixture over the rice and continue the cutting, folding, and fanning process. Fanning the rice facilitates quick cooling, which gelatinizes the surface of the rice and gives a glossy finish to the rice. Fan the rice so it cools to room temperature, about 5 min.

Place soy wrapper sheet, shiny side down, on a bamboo sushi mat. Dip both hands in the bowl of water, shaking off the excess (this helps prevent the rice from sticking to your hands), then spread the cooled rice evenly over the soy wrapper, leaving about a 1-in. strip of space at the edge furthest away from you. Put the strips of mango horizontally across the middle of the rice.

Place your thumbs on the back of the bamboo mat of the edge nearest you and begin rolling forward tightly. Press gently and continue rolling forward to complete the roll. Shape the roll by applying light, but even pressure with your hands. Remove the bamboo mat and set the roll on a cutting board, with seam on bottom, for a few minutes to let edges of the soy wrapper fully adhere and set.

Wipe a sharp knife with a damp cloth and cut the roll in half. Cut each half into 3 pieces, wiping the knife after each cut, and arrange on a plate and serve.


wednesday wisdom: it’s a trap


meatless monday: pomegranate guacamole

Avocado, you are the summertime savior. You add sustenance and satisfaction when it’s too hot to cook, and you’re there whenever an afternoon snack of guac and chips simply turns into a full supper of guac and chips (hey, it happens). We’re punching you up a bit by adding a smack of pomegranate seeds to your goodness. Thanks Domestic Divas, for the meatless inspo.

avo + pom on tostadas. summer sweet + savory. via pinterest.

Pomegranate Guacamole
Serves 12
2 avocados, peeled & pit removed
1/2 c. pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp. basil, chopped
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tbsp. jalapeños, seeded & chopped
2 tbsp. green onions, chopped
juice of 1 lime
salt & pepper to taste
tostadas, tortilla chips, or other dipping mechanisms

Place avocados in medium-sized bowl, gently mash with a fork, stopping when the mixture is still chunky. Add pomegranate seeds and basil to the bowl. Season with cumin, jalapeños, green onions, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Taste for seasoning, adjust if desired. Spread over tostadas, sprinkle with extra pom seeds and serve for an informal appetizer, or dunk your favorite chip straight into the bowl!

chill out, yo: 4 ways to beat the summer heat

Yo! (channeling my inner Jesse Pinkman, yo). In case you weren’t already aware, east coasters and midwesterners and others suffered a MAJOR heatwave earlier this week. Not that you would know it today, as it’s almost 40 DEGREES COOLER in NYC, and raining and gray and nasty to boot. Don’t worry, though, we’ll get more heatwaves again, thanks, mid-July! So have you experienced melting? Sweltering? Sweating? And all that? Me too. Over the past six summers in New York I’ve come to appreciate central air, coconut popsicles, and have embraced helpful heat-busting trends like the top knot and short shorts. Need more? Here are four more essential (and all-natural!) ways to chill yo’self.


Peppermint essential oil. Peppermint has natural cooling properties and revives depleted energy, while enhancing concentration and positivity. So many uses for summertime! Try mixing 3-4 drops in a spray bottle with water, and spray pillows and sheets at bedtime, or spritz lightly on head, face and chest in the morning. Or: mix 2 drops peppermint and 4 drops myrtle in a refreshing bath. Or: mix 4 tsp. sweet almond oil (or other carrier oil) with 2 drops peppermint, 4 drops rosemary, and 4 drops black spruce and massage into fatigued summer muscles.

via Refinery29.

Watermelon cooler. Taste and smell are the senses most closely linked to our memories. Whenever I see the pink of a watermelon slice, I’m instantly taken back to lazy childhood summers on my friends’ pond, floating in our RiverRats, spitting black seeds at each other. Watermelon is not fruit for the sophisticate. But it’s high water content, and light, refreshing taste give it powerful rehydration and cooldown components. Post-workday or post-workout, try this: toss into a blender 1/2 c. ice, 3 c. chopped watermelon (seeds removed and reserved for spittin’), a splash of coconut water and handful of fresh mint leaves. Blend until coarsely incorporated, then pour mixture over a glass of seltzer water; top with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.


Sitali Pranayama. This breathing exercise physically and mentally cools you off. Sometimes I do this breathing on the train when it’s crowded and sweaty and I’m feeling anxious (yes, people stare, but stay on that train long enough and you’ll see WAY crazier things going on). How to do it: sit tall, with a long spine. Curl your tongue into a tube and let it protrude out beyond the teeth a little. Take in a long inhale through the mouth, dragging breath across the tongue and soft palate, for a count of five or so. Close mouth and exhale through the nose, also slowly. Repeat this for at least five minutes, or longer if you can. This practice is known to aid in digestive and mental detoxification, reduces fever, and when practiced regularly, to extend your lifespan.

Loving my stylish summer skin saver, in breezy, nautically striped silk (with cool hardware details). From Zara.

Long sleeves. Am I last to know that this is one of the best ways to stay cool when you’re out and about? Yes, apparently so. I used to think less clothing equals cooler core temp, but history and culture have proven me dead wrong. Wearing loose, natural fabrics (think: cotton, linen, silk) over bare shoulders shields your skin from UVs. This sun worshipper finally hopped on that boat.

What do you do to cool off in the heat? Happy weekend. xx

wednesday wisdom: so french

I have never seen a greater monster or miracle than myself.
Michel de Montaigne, French writer & Renaissance man

meatless monday: raw slaw, inspired by chicago

chicago. here comes the storm.

This weekend was a whirlwind of white tulle and flash rainstorms and weaving through downtown streets, as I took off for a wedding in Chicago. Less than 24 hours wasn’t quite enough time to soak in its midwest glory, but I did manage to: hop a clean, on-time train from the airport (I love taking public transportation whenever I visit a new place, is that weird?) to my downtown hotel, meet up with a college friend, trek to Taste of Chicago in Millenium Park, sample a mere one Chicagoan dish before the sky opened up and absolutely soaked us to the bone before we could even blink, traverse back to the hotel in squishy shoes, power nap, slide into heels and false eyelashes and celebrate the marriage of friends Ashley and Jason all night long.

You know Ashley because the logo for this coffee shop is her creation. I know Ashley because we spent four years together at Syracuse, one of which was spent abroad in Italy as partners in crime. Though we never saw each other much after college, we kept in touch through weekly marathon G-chat sessions and have counseled each other through relationships and career, city, and life changes and the Bush Administration. A talented designer, a hilarious thrill-seeker, and a beautiful bride. Love this girl.

THEN: trekking the rainy trails of cinque terre, italy (feb. ’04)

NOW: celebrating love & marriage! (july ’12)

We all knew her wedding would be aesthetically pleasing (I mentioned she’s a talented designer, right?), but so was the buffet. We had dishes that nodded to both bride (Maryland crabcakes) and groom (Kansas City barbecue), but I was really delighted by the coleslaw. The coleslaw?! you ask. Who cares about coleslaw when you’ve got pulled pork and blue crab and pretzel bread and carrot cake? I love slaws of all kind because it’s the very best way to get raw crunchy cabbage in your life. This particular slaw was dotted with red grapes and gorgonzola. Yum.


I made this vegan raw slaw years ago, and here I’m adding red grape halves for some Chicagoan flavah. Make extra dressing because it’s mayo-free and healthy and you will be obsessed with it. Add extra avocado to thicken it up and you can add it to other salads, sandwiches, etc. Happy Meatless!

Chicago-Style Raw Slaw
serves 8

For the dressing:
1.5 c. cold plain almond milk
1/2 c. unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. avocado (double this for an extra-thick version)
1/4 c. raw agave nectar
1 tsp. sea salt

For the slaw:
1 sm. head red cabbage, shredded
4 med. carrots, shredded
1 lg. red onion, finely chopped
1 c. seedless red grapes, halved
1 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped (more to taste if you like)
2 tbsp. celery seed
sea salt & pepper to taste

In a food processor, blend all ingredients for the dressing until combined and creamy. Add extra avocado for thickness if so desired. Set aside.In a large bowl, combine all prepped veggies, grapes and herbs. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Salt & pepper to taste, garnish with a sprig of dill. Serve immediately.

wednesday wisdom: carlin

No one knows what’s next, but everybody does it.
George Carlin