Trying to be meat free

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I can be a pretentious eater on occasion, like trying to go all the way vegetarian or strict vegan, until back to being the foodie that I truly am.

I had unforgettable seemingly healthy meals like in the top photo was a Sozai Mixed Bento from the kitchen of Delicatessen by Ozawa in Pasadena. That was so tasty and always a great idea to have a lot of variety in one meal.

Then making an effort to try the intriguing Baroo at a drab LA neighborhood was like a lucky treasure hunt. This tiny hipsterish Korean restaurant specializing in fermentation is so big in flavors. I liked everything I tried — from the ragu pasta with faux oxtail and tendon pops to traditional Korean salads imbued with beautiful modern twists. It deserves the spot in LA’s best, appearing frequently in lists since it opened.

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I now know what it’s like to be in an uncompromisingly vegan restaurant like Cafe Gratitude on Larchmont Village. Ordering is reciting affirmations (hahah!) making the mood zany, yet light, in this always packed healthy spot.

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Vegan can be very tasty like Cafe Gratitude’s samosas.

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Having breakfast at Sage Organic Vegan Bistro on Sunset Blvd., in Echo Park, was accidental, nevertheless, a wonderful discovery with the corn pancakes I found strange, yet enjoyable.

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I love the use of rusty corrugated metal panels with clean white, something akin to earthy and fresh.

Talking about natural and fresh, I’m big on fruit juices, a luxury, like fine wine. I frequent juiceries for potent mixes, preferably those with spinach, lemon, ginger, turmeric, kale and beets. Not to mention, Mexican shops for agua frescas, but they tend to be too sugary.

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Have you ever tried a kombucha? It’s fermented tea, with probiotics, often flavored with natural fruit juices. The first time I had it, I got hot and red, like I drank champagne. I read it’s a good way to cleanse.  You can find the fizzy tea beverages at health food shops and better juice bars.

And then my current breakfast obsession.

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Backyard Bowls, Ubatuba, and The Harvest Bar top my list for breakfast bowls.  It’s fun that you are able to customize your own bowl or add more to your typical acai, fruit and grain bowl.

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Also, loving the vegan Superfood Nachos at The Harvest Bar with jackfruit (langka) meat stand-in for the carnitas. It’s a great tasting vegan version of the original, which ends up even better with its winning makeup.

Savory bowls as lunch options for the healthy eater make breakfast bowl places pleasurable all day. Qwench Juice Bar has vegetarian burritos.

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I am discovering so much about a better, more healthy eating lifestyle. Give me a little more time.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Photographed by Blauearth COPYRIGHT © BLAUEARTH™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Loving this grilled watermelon salad…

I grew up loving watermelon. Every summer, we always had sugar baby watermelons my parents bought from a family friend’s farm in Darayday. We always ate them fresh. When I moved to Manila for secondary school, I was introduced to pickled watermelon. Even the not too sweet variety tasted so well with vinegar and salt.

When I stumbled upon this intriguing grilled watermelon and tomato salad recipe on treehugger, which was originally posted on the New York Times, I just had to try it myself. Heirloom tomatoes, opal basil and Maldon salt? Well, I happen to live on the other side of the planet. Let’s try tweaking the recipe, and see if Ilocos tomatoes, Pasuquin salt and dried basil leaves will blend beautifully with the smoky watermelon wedges.

Ingredients:

  • watermelon wedges (1 k)
  • 4 pcs. Ilocos tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pasuquin salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • aged balsamic vinegar
  • dried basil leaves

Preparation:

  • Heat a grilling pan until very hot.
  • Place watermelon wedges on the pan. Heat until color changes and the wedges emit a smoky aroma. Be careful not to sear.
  • In a bowl, place tomato wedges and toss gently with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add a sprinkle of basil leaves. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice.
  • Arrange the watermelon wedges on salad plates. Drizzle each salad with remaining olive oil, and top each with balsamic vinegar.

Loving it! Sensual and flavorsome.  And really easy to prepare.

Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED