All posts tagged: healthy

Comfort Cooking at Home ~ Delicious, Easy, Healthy Recipes

During this Universal Pause while we are all tucked away in our homes in one gigantic act of loving kindness and solidarity for our fellow man, we want to extend our love to you in the best way we know how~ through heart-and-soul-warming food. We wish to brighten your hearth and home with some of our favorite comfort food recipes, all gathered together here in one place for your home cooking pleasure. These are our “greatest hits” recipes that we constantly get requests for over the years. They also happen to be very simple, easy-to-make recipes with just a few ingredients that pack a huge flavorful punch. We hope our healthy comfort food recipes help to bring some joy to your table. Stay safe, healthy and vibrant! We are sending you all of our love! xoxo, Christina & Sarah || Sirens & Scoundrels Comfort Mains & Sides *CLICK ON THE DISH NAME TO BE TAKEN TO THE RECIPE* Spaghetti Squash Pasta  ~  Vegan + Gluten-Free (w/ Vegetarian Option)   Lentil & Sweet Potato Salad  ~  …

Sacred Art of Self Love

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl // Contributing Photography by Christina Huntington To kick off the Season of Love at Sirens & Scoundrels, we’re bringing back our most requested subject: The Sacred Art of Self Love. Before we can ever be available to truly love anyone or anything else, we must first learn to love ourselves. When we know how to love ourselves as a daily practice, we enter into our relationships whole, balanced and complete, able to joyfully give and receive with ease instead of just take take take take taking without ever feeling fulfilled. The following super simple and practical tools will help you start transforming your entire relationship to yourself today. Dive in, be gentle and enjoy the LOVE!! The Sacred Art of Self Love ~ As we deep dive into all things L-O-V-E this month, we come face-to-face with the most crucial form of love to master: self love. It’s easy to look at seemingly endless social media feeds overflowing with infinite selfies and moment-to-moment replays of every minuscule activity as if everyone is engaged in broadcasting …

Best of Fall Fun Hitlist

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl In Southern California, we don’t measure the change of seasons in terms of sun or snow. We measure it in light. Did you catch the subtle shift in sunlight this week—all that bright yellow of Summer fading into the hazy gold of Fall? If so, you may have been filled with a strange urge to stock-pile sweaters and buy everything with a pumpkin on it. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin toothpaste? Sure, throw it all in the cart! Amidst the first-week-of-Fall flurry, we here at Sirens & Scoundrels have been inundated with requests for our “Best of Fall” adventure recommendations. Lucky for you, we happen to be experts on the matter. So to get you prepped for the cozy months ahead, we present you with our “Best of Fall Fun Hitlist”…all the best of the best for getting out into the world and exploring the many gorgeous, off-the-beaten-path treasures that make Autumn in California feel so magical. So grab your list and check it twice…you won’t want to miss …

Zion National Park

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl // Contributing Photography by Gina Cholick A couple years ago, I came across a photo of a giant bright peach of a mountainside towering over a meandering aqua river adorned with patches of bright green fluffy trees dozing under a hazy golden sunset. It seemed like something out of a dream. Or perhaps a distant memory from some other world where only peace, beauty and tranquility exist. A mythological fantasy planet that someone managed to come back to Earth with visual proof of. I recognized it somehow, though I had never seen it before. This intense feeling immediately rushed up from deep down inside my soul and commanded, “We must go to there!!” I could almost taste the gorgeous landscape on my tongue, hear it whispering in my ear. My eyes searched for the name of this biblical Eden incarnate until they landed on the word “Zion”. Of course…Zion. I had heard the tales many times from others who had made the epic journey before me but this was the first time …

Fermentation Rocks!~ Pickles

Words by Liz Beebe  // Photography by  Becca Murray & Sarah Prikryl  // Featured Photo by Sarah Prikryl  Welcome to the second installment of Fermentation Rocks! Your quick and easy guide to making fermented foods at home. If you missed the first installment on fermenting sauerkraut, you can read about it HERE. As a quick recap, fermented foods are great for feeding and replenishing the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Your gut health, beyond making sure your digestion is functioning properly, is also fundamentally instrumental for the well being of your immune system, in hormone regulation and production and so much more. So feed your gut! A healthy gut means a healthy life! Today, we’re gonna learn how to ferment pickles at home. PICKLES INGREDIENTS~ 3-4 cucumbers (your choice what kind!) 3 cups of organic green beans 1 bunch of fresh dill, ripped into large pieces 1/2 cup sea salt 1 Tbsp of peppercorns 1/2 Tbsp of red pepper flakes (1 Tbsp if you like spicy food) 1 gallon of water INSTRUCTIONS~ I use a fermentation crock at my house. It is a one-time investment but …

Waterfall Hikes in LA ~ San Gabriel Mountains

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl Spring has officially sprung in LA! After one of our wettest winters in recent history, the waterfalls of LA are overflowing! Located just 30 minutes from the heart of the city, there are no excuses not to get out there and enjoy them. Grab your dog, grab your friends, go run around the mountains and splash in some waterfall pools like kids again. Added bonus: the hills are alive with spring wildflowers of every color! So let your inner Fräulein Maria out to play…mountaintop twirling totally optional. SWITZER FALLS~ Just a few miles into the San Gabriel Mountains past La Cañada Flintridge near Mt. Wilson, Switzer Falls is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Los Angeles. The mostly shaded Gabrielino Trail winds you next to and through a gushing stream in Arroyo Seco Canyon for the first part of the hike. (HOT TIP: you criss-cross the stream continually on your hike. Wear proper footwear and be prepared to get your feet wet…it’s part of the fun!) When you …

Fermentation Rocks! ~ Sauerkraut

Words & Recipe by Liz Beebe  // Photography by Becca Murray // Featured Photo by Jennifer Simonson With Spring officially upon us, it’s time for a little Spring Cleaning—from the inside out! We’ve enlisted our fave LA lady songstress and healthy eating expert, Liz Beebe, to contribute a series of do-it-yourself fermentation recipes to help heal your gut, support your system and keep you in prime health so you can get out there and enjoy your fullest life! HAPPY SPRING EATING!! xoxo, Sirens & Scoundrels I am a huge proponent of food as medicine. I fully believe that if you feed your body whole, organic (when possible), nutrient-dense foods, you will look and feel your best. A great documentary called “Food As Medicine” just came out illustrating this lifestyle. It features some of the leading experts on diet as the number one intervention you can address to turn your health around. (It’s available for free to stream if you have Amazon Prime.) One of the ways I ensure that I’m getting all the vitamins I can is by …

New Year’s Eve 2016 Hitlist

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by  Sarah Prikryl Well, 2016 is wrapping up with quite a bang. While many of us are still feeling the bumps and bruises of these last few months, it is as important as ever to continue to celebrate life, community and all the people we hold most dear. It’s time to send 2016 off and welcome in a brand new year. And we’ve got our top picks to ring in 2017 to match whatever mood you’re in. From roaring 20’s decadence to soul-full reflection to cozy self-care, we’ve got you covered! Whatever you get up to, take care of your self, your hearts and the hearts of all those around you. Remember, we are all in this together! Here’s to a New Year!! CELEBRATIONS ~ KCRW’s annual 1920’s-themed “Prohibition” party in Downtown’s gorgeous Union Station is always a top pick for a great NYE out in LA. Guests dress up in their Gatsby finest for a night of dancing to DJs, jazz and live bands while enjoying an open bar and …

Mama Gina’s Greek Hummus (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

What you are about to read is very coveted, top-secret information. As a Greek girl, hummus has always been a staple at our family table, especially on holidays, when family gatherings traditionally start with mezethes. Fresh-cubed feta cheese, Greek olives, grape leaves and creamy dips with pita bread are dug into by hand over lively conversation before moving to the table for the main meal. The star of our mezethes spread is always my mother’s homemade hummus. This recipe has been passed down from generations of Greek women, originating on the island of Samos with my grandmother’s relatives, travelling with my Yiayia to America where it settled into New York’s immigrant city blocks and finally landing with my mother in sunny Southern California and onto our suburban table. Over many years in LA, our family hummus was the favorite attraction at every gathering even before it became the de rigueur go-to Cali party snack. Many of our friends growing up were exposed to hummus for the first time at our house. But no matter how popular it …

Italian Vegetable Stew ~ (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

As summer ends and we step into fall, I can think of nothing more satisfying than a piping-hot, hearty bowl of homemade stew!  The seasonal changes are sometimes subtle here in California but it allows for fresh produce year round.  I love that we can easily get seasonal, organic produce from our local farmer’s market throughout the week or even grow it in our own home garden. At a recent Sirens & Scoundrels trip to Northern California, my friends generously shared their backyard harvest with me and I couldn’t wait to start experimenting in the kitchen! These were some of the best tomatoes I have ever eaten and the beautiful bounty of squash, zucchini and basil ran rampant in their garden. My Italian Vegetable Stew began as an experiment inspired by our farm-to-table experience and became an instant hit! It’s so easy, healthy and delicious (plus it’s vegan and gluten free)!  This crave-worthy, comfort bowl is so rich in flavor because of the quality of the produce. I highly encourage you to use organic ingredients, especially the tomatoes, when making this stew. I’m so happy …

Organic Beet Greens (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

When most people buy a big bushy bunch of organic beets down at the local farmer’s market or harvest them from their home garden, they immediately begin dreaming up all kinds of delicious things to do with those plump red juicy bulbs. Stewed beets! Roasted beets with root vegetables! Beet salad! Fresh-pressed beet juice! They excitedly prep their beets, chopping off the greens on top and throwing them…right into the trash or compost. (Cue record scratch.) Hold it right there, Quick Draw. Those leafy greens on top are not only incredibly delicious, but are also one of the most nutrient-rich parts of the beet plant. With a look and taste very similar to swiss chard, those leafy beet greens are a yummy, nutritious side dish that will instantly bring a gourmet farm-to-table touch to any meal. The best part? Sautéed beet greens are unbelievably simple and take only 10 minutes to make, start to finish. Beet Greens Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 5 mins Total: 10 mins Serves: 4 people   INGREDIENTS~ tops of …

Tuscan White Bean Dip (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

In California, it seems you can’t hit a single party without ten different people bringing hummus. Don’t get me wrong—I LOVE hummus. As a Greek girl, it comes with the territory. But if you’re looking for a new way to spice up your Mediterranean bean dip offerings for your next gathering, look no further than this unbelievably fast and tasty Tuscan White Bean Dip. Creamy, delicious and flavor-packed with just the right amount of chunk, this vegan and gluten-free side dish can be served warm or room temp. It’s a savory, hearty, mouth-and-soul-satisfying twist on a white bean dip to leave your guests begging for more. The best part? It literally takes ten minutes from start to finish, possibly less if you’re a Speedy McGee—the fastest gourmet meal you’ll ever make! It all happens in one pan with basically no clean-up. Try this recipe out and keep it in your back pocket as your secret weapon and be prepared to impress with zero fuss. Serve with vegetable crudités and crackers as an appetizer or with …

Camp Cooking ~ Lentil Stew (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

With summer in full swing, it’s time to go camping! Last week, I let you in on a delicious, quick and easy campout breakfast idea: Hayley’s Crave-Worthy Banana Fritters. As promised, I am continuing to divulge all of my Campout Secrets. There’s nothing like a warm home-cooked meal, especially after a day in the sun. After mountain hiking, dog chasing and river plunging all day, the act of gathering around a glorious campfire in your dusty clothes with an iced beverage in hand is so satisfying.  While the sun sets over the mountains and through the trees, the harmony of the crickets and crackling fire are hypnotizing as you smell supper ready to be devoured. What could satiate better than a piping hot bowl of delicious hearty stew? My favorite camp eats to cook are always quick and easy, no-fuss, healthy hot-pots. The last thing you want to think about when you’re hungry and ready for some serious campfire lounging is making a complicated dinner for the crew. My recipe for delicious Lentil Stew is probably the easiest camp food you will ever eat. It is so hearty, …

Banana Fritters ~ (Gluten-Free & Sugar-Free)

I can’t think of anything better than being surrounded by nature and eating around a campfire. Some people pack granola bars in their backpacks when they go camping and call it a day.  But when my crew makes their way out into the wilderness, the cars are loaded down with everything you could possibly need to make a feast under the stars. Half the fun of setting up a camp for a few days is impressing your fellow campers with a gourmet meal by firelight or waking up in your cozy sleeping bag to the aroma of fresh brewed coffee and the sound of bacon sizzling in unison with the river rapids in the distance. It is not a secret how much I love California. We have every magical adventure you can think of at our fingertips within a car ride’s distance. I have camped out under the astounding constellations overhead in the Sequioa National Forest on many occasions. So when I got an invite from my crew of besties to celebrate our gorgeous Hayley’s birthday in the mountains, …

Your Weekend Hit List ~ 4th of July 2016!

Celebrating the 4th of July is all about The 4 F’s: food, friends, family & fireworks! Lucky for us, LA has plenty to offer for some good old-fashioned 4th of July fun! Here’s our run-down on the best ways to celebrate ‘Merica in LA this weekend… Thursday, June 30th~ For all our indie music heads out there, resident scoundrel & filmmaker James R. Petix will be screening his documentary on the Detroit music scene, It Came From Detroit, at Outer Space in Downtown LA. Outer Space: 605 East 4th Street, Los Angeles, California 90013. 8pm doors, 9pm film. It Came From Detroit is the ultimate inside look at the Motor City’s internationally renowned “garage rock” scene. Nearly a decade in the making, this feature documentary chronicles the action both before and after the White Stripes rose to fame and brought an international spotlight on the scene. Beginning with the hugely influential 1980s trio The Gories (and stretching back to a legacy that includes The Stooges and The MC5), the bands of the Detroit garage rock music …

Nectarine Crisp ~ (Gluten Free & Vegan Option)

When I first moved to LA thirteen years ago, one of my first jobs was manning a stall at four different farmer’s markets selling raw cheddar. It was a fairytale of a summer. On Sunday mornings, I was flanked between the fig/berry stand and the peach farmer directly across from a live bluegrass band. As we sat back and listened to some toe-tapping tunes, we snacked on fresh fruit and chatted about life. Now my favorite way to spend a Saturday morning is jumping out of bed, lacing up my Converse and heading down the block to my neighborhood farmer’s market. I head straight to the organic white tent to see what is in season at the moment. As the days turn longer, I know that peaches, nectarines & plums will be aplenty. Leading into summer, my favorite harvest is stone fruit season. Although eating a RAW, ripe, organic sweet nectarine is so decadent and delicious, when I bake, I love to cook fruit into my desserts. I find that fresh organic fruit is so naturally sweet …

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad (with Vegan Option)

If you’re looking for the fastest, easiest, most delicious on-the-go dish to bring to your next summer picnic or potluck, you’re in luck! This is your new go-to recipe! I started making this Gluten-Free Pasta Salad a few years ago and it became an instant hit amongst our friends. Now whenever summer rolls around and a gathering is afoot, this salad is always requested. Light, tasty, healthy and extremely satisfying all at once, this salad can be tossed together in a few minutes and holds at room temperature. Bring it to your next Summer Outdoor Movie Night (for your LA List, click HERE) for a dish guaranteed to put a smile on your friends’ faces and have them coming back for seconds—and thirds! Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 8-12 mins Total: 20 mins Serves: 8-12 people, depending on portions INGREDIENTS~ 1 bag of gluten-free pasta (I use Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Pasta) 1 bag of organic arugula 1 can of organic garbanzo beans 1 box of organic cherry tomatoes 1 log of chevre or 1 box of …

Chia Pudding

The first time I saw chia pudding was a few years ago in San Francisco. My friend had ordered it at a brunch and when it arrived, it was as if a work of art had been presented in the middle of our farm table. The black and white chia pudding with apricot compote and rough chopped almonds looked like a mosaic masterpiece. Once I found out how simple it was to make, it’s been a staple in my refrigerator as a quick breakfast, an easy snack or a decadent dessert ever since. Not only is chia pudding gluten-free and can be made vegan & sugar-free, it is packed full of anti-oxidants, fiber, protein and has more Omega-3s than eating salmon. Because this super food is just hitting the mainstream, so far it is a non-GMO, usually organic, whole grain that has calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, and vitamin B1, B2 & B3! I love the versatility of chia. It soaks up the flavor of whatever you add to it. My recipe for chia …

Goulash~ Beef & Potato Stew

St. Patrick’s Day is usually celebrated by parades of shamrocks, wearing green and drinking beer. But for me, St. Patrick’s Day always reminds me of my Czech grandmother. Her birthday was March 17th, 1916. So on St. Patrick’s Day, we would go visit my grandparents, who were married for almost 60 years by the time my grandpa passed away. Being farmers and homemakers, both my grandparents were amazing cooks. The smell of kolaches baking and goulash simmering on the stovetop were nostalgic aromas wafting through the screen door of their little farmhouse. My most euphoric and vivid childhood memories are always associated with cooking or sitting around a dinner table with my grandparents. We would cook and bake all day, then eat supper gathered around their wood dining table with the Czech radio station playing a polka or waltz in the background. My grandpa would sweep my grandma up in his arms and waltz her around the kitchen with pots bubbling and aprons flying. After a full belly, we would take a walk through the fields down to the railroad tracks at sunset listening to a …

Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai

In 2011, I traveled to Thailand and my true love affair with Thai cuisine began. The explosion of flavors was unlike any Thai food I had experienced in the States. I couldn’t leave “The Land of Smiles” without uncovering the mysteries of those beautiful bright flavors–which prompted a bike ride to a little farm in the northern countryside to take a cooking class from a Thai chef. My friend Kristen & I experienced cooking Thai cuisine for the first time with local ingredients. Thai food is so satisfying because it awakens a symphony of flavor. Spicy, salty, sour and sweet, Thai cooks are masters of balancing the palate. No other dish showcases that magic like Pad Thai. Flash forward to 2016 and that adventure still finds its way into my kitchen. As a home cook and happa, I like to experiment with Asian cuisine but with a California twist. This is not surprising since I grew up with a Korean mother who would sneak rice and kimchi onto our dinner table to accompany any international cuisine from Italian pasta to Czech goulash. This Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai became an …

Vegan Gluten-Free Apple Oat Cookies

I have been asked for this recipe more than any other thing I’ve ever baked. So… I will share it with you now so you can hoard a batch for yourself as an act of self-love or wow a loved one with this bite-sized breakfast-in-bed to accompany a morning coffee. Words that describe my Oat Cookies: Quick, Easy, Healthy, Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Delicious, Addictive, Crowd-Pleaser, Snack, Dessert, Breakfast…Need I say more? Makes 12 Cookies Vegan Gluten-Free Oat Cookies   PREP: 10 minutes COOK: 25 minutes Ingredients 3 ripe bananas 1 cup chopped skinned apples (*you can also substitute chopped dried or fresh fruit like berries, dates, raisins, apricots, etc.) 1/3 cup melted coconut oil ½ tsp salt 2 cups quick oats (*you can use quick oats or regular oats; the regular GF oats give the cookies a crisper texture) 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup unsalted roasted chopped almonds (Optional) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease your cookie sheet. Set aside. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add the oil, salt and vanilla. Mix in the oats. Set aside a few minutes for …

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 …

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. …

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Pizza, pizza, pizza! We at Sirens & Scoundrels are always ones to initiate a gathering and a “Build Your Own Pizza Party” is an instant crowd pleaser. It’s a fun way to feast while accommodating any dietary restrictions. With all the different crust and cheese alternatives available now and an assortment of toppings, everyone can have it their own way! I have been experimenting with Cauliflower Pizza Crust because it’s a wonderful gluten-free alternative. The first time I tried to make this vegetable-based crust, I learned a lot.  I found that the drier my ingredients, the crisper the crust.  All of it was delicious, especially the crisp edges, but the center of the pizza had more of a polenta consistency than a crust. We ended up eating the pizza with a fork, which goes against that satiating feeling of picking up a slice with your hands and devouring it. As your resident foodie, I went back to the drawing board. I’m a fan of New York-style thin crust, so here’ s a few tips: TIP 1: The smaller you make your crust, the …

Apple Castles

Serves 4 Ingredients   4 apples 1 lemon 2 tsp cinnamon pinch of nutmeg pinch of ground ginger 2 Tbsp coconut oil 2 Tbsp brown sugar 1/2 cup pecans Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheet. Set aside. With a melon baller or pairing knife, cut out apple core leaving the apple intact. With a pairing knife or peeler, peel a long strip of apple skin from the very top of the apple and the very bottom, leaving the skin on in the middle. With a mandolin or knife, slice the apple into rings 1/8 inch thick. Squeeze lemon juice onto apple rings. Mix cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger together. Rub/lightly dust tops and bottoms of the apple rings. Stack the rings back into the apple shape on the cookie sheet. With the apple peel from the top and bottom, curl the skin, inside out, around your finger to create a rosette. Place the rosette in the apple stack hole on the top. Drizzle a little bit of coconut oil on each castle. Bake in the oven …

Ricing Cauliflower

  Being allergic to gluten, I plan to experiment with gluten-free recipes for our Sirens & Scoundrels. Riced cauliflower is a great alternative to flour for pizza crusts and a healthy alternative to traditional starches like rice or potatoes. I don’t own a microwave. I choose to cook “old school”. So here’s some tips I’ve learned along the way for ricing cauliflower. Dice the cauliflower tops off the head. You will be using the tops only, not the stalks. In a food processor, puree the cauliflower heads. Pour a small amount of water in the bottom of a pot, just enough to not touch the bottom of the colander that you will place inside. Bring to a boil, then add the pureed cauliflower into the colander in the pot. Cover and cook 5 minutes and remove from steam and heat. Let the cauliflower drain and cool to room temperature. Place 2 Tbsp of cooled cauliflower onto a cheese cloth (I used a linen napkin) to ring out any excess moisture. Quick Tips: Let the cauliflower cool to room temp so as …