Month: January 2016

Vegan Comfort Food ~ Lentil & Sweet Potato Salad

So, this dish is pretty legendary amongst our friends. It seems inconspicuous enough at first glance—lentils in a bowl. Big whoop. Until you bite into it. Then universally everyone asks, “Wait, WHAT’S IN THIS?!” Quickly followed by, “Can you give me the recipe?” after going back for thirds. This is quite possibly one of the simplest meals you will ever make, but it is just undeniably delicious. It’s healthy vegan comfort food that settles deep down into your bones and feels like a big warm food hug. The secret is the richness of the roasted sweet potatoes combined with the unexpected creamy tanginess of the lentils cooked in olive oil and apple cider vinegar. I know people who have literally lived off this dish after being introduced to it. And it’s so easy ANYONE can make it. You ready? Here goes… Serves 6 INGREDIENTS~ 2-3 medium-large sweet potatoes 3 cups soaked or pre-cooked lentils (I use 1 bag of Trader Joes pre-cooked lentils) 1 bag of arugula (optional) olive oil unfiltered apple cider vinegar everyday …

Museum Free-For-All: January 30th, 2016

If one of your resolutions was to get up close and personal with more art this year, congratulations! Your hour has come! This Saturday, January 30th, you and your friends can get into over 30 museums in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas totally free as part of the 11th Annual Museums Free-For-All. It’s the perfect opportunity to check out that museum you’ve always been curious about but never tried or visit an old favorite and explore their collections. General admission is free, but special exhibition tickets are not included and parking fees are still required where applicable. Here is the official list of participating museums from So Cal Museums: Annenberg Space for Photography Armory Space for Photography Autry Museum of the American West (Includes free admission to the Autry in Griffith Park & Autry’s historic Southwest Museum Mt. Washington campus) The Broad California African American Museum California Science Center (Does not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions or IMAX films. Timed reservations are required for space shuttle Endeavour.) Craft & Folk Art Museum (Sun, January …

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Flu season is upon us and nothing “cures what ails ya” like homemade chicken soup.  Recent scientific studies show that chicken soup really does have more medicinal value than a lot of over-the-counter medicines that just mask symptoms versus aiding your body in healing.  In my recipe, every single ingredient is medicine–each delivering anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, immune-boosting magic. Coming from a Tex-Mex and Korean food background and now being a gluten-free Cali-girl home cook, my version of chicken soup includes all the standard components of this traditional wonder broth…with some delicious twists. I’m revealing all my secrets here to keep you in the best health for 2016 and beyond. All of our sirens & scoundrels need to be in premium health for this year’s coming adventures, so we’ll get past this flu season together!  First, let’s talk about the magic of all of these luscious ingredients: –Coconut oil is extremely anti-viral. –Garlic is also anti-viral, detoxes your body from heavy metals, aids in heart & bone health, is rich in manganese, vitamin B6 and that powerful vitamin C. –Ginger …

The Lake Shrine ~ Pacific Palisades, CA

A picturesque wooden windmill resting atop a blue lagoon. Gushing waterfalls cascading down lush green tropical hillsides. White swans floating gracefully along a glassy lake as dragonflies skip and chase each other. A sprawling rose garden bursting in full Technicolor rainbow bloom. And a sweet gentle hush of stillness so deep you’d swear you entered another dimension. And maybe you’re right. There is definitely something other-dimensional about this place. But luckily, you don’t have to book an international or intergalactic flight to experience all of its tranquil magic. This little piece of hidden Heaven is right here in our own backyard. Tucked away behind an unassuming wood gate just above where Sunset meets PCH in Pacific Palisades, the Lake Shrine Temple has been helping people cultivate inner stillness since its origins in 1950. Founded by yogi Paramahansa Yogananda as the Los Angeles flagship of his Self Realization Fellowship, the Lake Shrine Temple’s 10-acre grounds provide the perfect environment for contemplation, meditation, inner reflection and connecting to whatever Higher Power you believe in. Open to people …

Cabin Feasting

With winter finally hitting Los Angeles, it’s time to plan your next cabin excursion with friends. We’re so lucky that in California we have a million options for local getaways where the cabin game runs strong. So if you’ve got a cool case of Cabin Fever coming on (and really, who doesn’t?), then go check out Idyllwild, Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead, Yosemite, Mammoth, the Sequoias…or all of the above! This week, we shared our recent New Year’s adventure to idyllic Idyllwild with you. One of our favorite parts was getting to stay at a beautiful snowy treehouse cabin in the woods with friends. The great thing about being tucked away in a secluded cabin somewhere for a few days is that you get full permission to rest, relax and rejuvenate. Sacred time to just unplug, hunker down and, of course…chow down. And that’s really our favorite part. Grab your gang, have everyone bring some groceries to cook up their favorite mountain meal and enjoy a weekend of culinary adventuring. On our Idyllwild trip, we hit …

Campfire Cider

We were introduced to this mouth-blowing apple cider while on a beach camping trip with friends. (Yes, we just made up “mouth-blowing”, but that’s exactly how it feels drinking this cider.) One of our resident Sirens, Alexa, whipped out a bottle of rich dark brown swirling magic with cloved orange rinds that she’d been spice-infusing overnight. She threw it on the camping stove and lives were changed that night as we huddled around the bonfire, warmed from inside by what felt like Christmas in a cup. The recipe is kept loose, meant to be open to your unique spice preference. The key here is the infusing process—letting the cider marinate in the spices in advance for a good many hours before heating and serving, creating a robust and complex cider experience beyond anything you’ve tasted before.   INGREDIENTS~ -1 gallon Apple Cider – fresh-pressed, not from concentrate -Spice Blend to taste (add slowly and keep tasting): Cardamom – we used the green pods even though you have to shell them Star anise Ground clove Ground …

Breakfast Baked Potato (with Vegan Option)

This December, I woke up one morning and decided I wanted to combine my two favorite deep-winter comfort foods: baked potatoes and breakfast eggs. And just like that, my Breakfast Baked Potatoes were born. I began serving them to friends as December got chillier & chillier, culminating at our New Year’s cabin getaway to Idyllwild. It’s such a simple dish, but people lose their minds over it. We seriously had people moaning at the breakfast table. Plus, it’s the perfect hearty meal that easily keeps you going all day long while satisfying you deep down into your soul. The following recipe is how I like to make it, but feel free to experiment with ingredients and make it your own. Serves 6 INGREDIENTS ~ 6 medium-large Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes 6 organic eggs 1 large white or yellow onion 1 carton of cherry tomatoes 1 carton of mushrooms 1 bag of fresh spinach leaves 1-2 garlic cloves (optional) Olive oil Salt & pepper to taste ASSEMBLY ~ Preheat oven to 350°. Rinse and scrub …

Mountain Escape ~ Idyllwild, CA

After many years of patiently waiting, winter has finally decided to grace us with her presence in Southern California. The recent rainstorms have brought fresh snow throughout our local mountain ranges…just in time for everyone to go back to work. For those of you suffering from Mountain Fever and looking for a quick and easy weekend getaway, we’ve got just the thing for you. But here’s the catch: you have to promise to keep this between us, okay? Purposely kept extremely hush-hush within the mountaining crowd, Idyllwild is a quaint and charming artists’ colony located just two hours east of LA in the San Jacinto Mountains above Palm Springs. It’s such a hidden gem that we debated even writing about it. But since we are sworn to provide you with the inside scoop on all things off-the-beaten-path-awesome in California, our sense of duty won out in the end. So without further ado, may we present: Idyllwild, the place to make all your mountain dreams come true. The first thing you should know is Idyllwild is …

Detox Salad

After the Holidays (a.k.a. the universal feasting marathon), January is usually a time to reboot. What better way to start your year off than with clean eating and lots of organic fruits and vegetables? The “juicing” craze is alive and well in Los Angeles and many of our favorite juice shops are promoting a New Year’s Juice Fast/Detox to help you kick-start your resolutions. More than just a diet fad, juicing is a quick and delicious way to get those healthy vitamins delivered right where you need them. Inspired by detox juices but wanting a little more “bite”, I created a detox salad that has all the delicious sweet and savory flavors of an apple & beet juice, but with all the fiber and crunch of actually eating food…so you leave fully satisfied. When my body is screaming for a cold-pressed juice, my favorite flavors are both sweet and savory. I’ve integrated my favorite delicious immune- boosting ingredients into this salad: Apples are anti-inflammatory, high in fiber, filled with anti-oxidants and full of C & B vitamins. …

The Springs ~ Downtown LA

Happy New Year to all of our Sirens & Scoundrels! The first week of the New Year can be such a rush. You celebrated, made your resolutions and set your intentions for the year ahead of you. There is so much excitement in the air for all the new possibilities at your fingertips. But then comes the part that’s just a little harder—actually DOING what you promised yourself you’d do. If you set intentions around your overall health, wellness and fitness this year, consider yourself lucky because things are about to get a whole lot easier for you. Meet The Springs. Located in Downtown’s Arts District, The Springs is your personal mecca for everything health and wellness, all wrapped up in one cool package. Just stepping into the beautifully designed, sprawling, open-air loft space, you immediately feel a sense of peace and calm begin to settle in as the scent of fresh cold pressed juices washes over you. The juice bar is on the right as soon as you enter and should naturally be your first …