Ugh…It’s “summer” again in San Francisco. I’ve given a lot of praise to my city, but if there’s one thing I will never get over, it’s the lack of summer and the non-existent nature of warm summer nights.
In case you didn’t know, San Francisco has mild weather all year round ~ 50-60 degrees every day except for give or take 20 days out of the year where temps can reach 70-80 degrees. From June to August, the city gets blanketed in fog when the Central Valley heats up. My non-scientific explanation is this: the heat from the Central Valley sucks the cold air and moisture from the Pacific Ocean through The Golden Gate Straight and gets trapped over our beloved city in the form of bone-chilling fog.
Recently, we just experienced one of those delightful weeks of the 75+ degree days. But, like most things in life, all good things must come to an end. This morning I traded in my running shorts and tank top for long spandex and a running jacket. The fog was sitting heavily over our neighborhood and didn’t look like it would lift all day. And once Karl the Fog rolls in, I immediately know what I want to make for dinner: a nice warm bowl of udon noodle soup with loads of sriracha sauce. It’s the perfect thing to make you sweat without weighing you down. After all, it still is “summer.”
My first quinoa post! I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to write about quinoa since I make it every other day for dinner! I think quinoa has gained enough popularity that most people are also cooking this in their own homes on a regular basis.
If you didn’t already know, quinoa is a complete protein so it will help keep you fuller, longer. It is the only grain that is considered a protein.
This meal also has a lot of staying power due to the beans and kale. I added a dressing to punch up the taste, but feel free to use whichever dressing is your favorite.
Finally, kale is great for detoxing. Kale provides a comprehensive support for the body’s natural detox system. New research shows that isothiocyanates (ITCs) found in kale can help regulate detox.1
It is also packed with antioxidants, which help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. Some research suggests kale helps reduce the risk of certain cancers.
I’ve only been to Mexico once, and I’m embarrassed to admit it was for a crazy week over Spring Break. I honestly didn’t know what I was getting myself into. We spent the week on this one strip in Acapulco, which had absolutely no remnants of Mexican culture. Everything was geared towards the American spring breakers – cheap alcoholic drinks, late night salchicha stands, and a club the size of a football stadium. I mean, it was what is was, and I guess the eight of us really weren’t going there for the culture at that time in our lives.
I do want to return to Mexico, but for a more enriching experience. Until then, I’ll just keep eating at the local Mexican spots and try my best to replicate the delicious foods myself.
Why do Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
This weekend Americans will celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I’ve never understood why, so I turned to Wikipedia for some help:
Cinco de Mayo is celebrated nationwide in the United States and regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla. The date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War. In the state of Puebla, the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
So in honor of Cinco de Mayo I made a recipe that’s not exactly a traditional Mexican dish, but it’s a tasty appetizer that’s great for a crowd.
I’m rounding out the weekend with Eselan’s Kale Salad recipe – made famous by the Eselan Institute located in Big Sur, CA. Eselan is nestled on 120 acres of land on the California coastline, just off of the Pacific Coast Highway.
Natural Mineral Hot Springs and Eselan Massage
The property has its own natural mineral hot springs that are positioned out of a seaside cliff. The hot springs are known for their natural healing properties, but most famously for a 180 degree view of the Pacific Ocean. If you’re lucky, you can catch wales breeching during migration season.
Eselan offers workshops on yoga, cooking, massage, meditation, and more. The Eselan massage is also famous - inspired and influenced by the rhythm of ocean waves.
Peter and I will be attending an Eselan workshop this summer. We joke that this is our “summer of love” – in reference to the ambitious amount of “hippie” activities we will be participating in. (We’re also going to the Wanderlust Festival in Lake Tahoe.) In just two years in California, we’ve fully embraced the culture out here. But we don’t take it too seriously. Whenever we explain our plans to our friends, I laugh and roll my eyes knowing how ridiculous it can sound.
A common question that I ask my vegetarian friends is, “How do you get your protein?” The answers are most likely a combination of beans, nuts, and special grains. I thought it would be great to feature one of my go-to recipes when I need to increase the protein in my diet.
I came up with this flavorful recipe after spotting something similar at a small town cafe on the way to Lake Tahoe. Although their original concept was nice, I thought it was lacking in flavor. I tweaked it to finally come up with this version.
This recipe is tossed in a tahini dressing, which most of you will recognize as something similar to Annie’s Goddess dressing. It’s essentially the same thing, but without the preservatives.
I served this recipe with a couple of slices of vegan bread from a local bakery. Everything you see is vegan-friendly! More »