vegetable diaries

Archive for the ‘raw’ Category

smoothie power!

Posted by vegetablediaries on May 29, 2013

strawberry & banana smoothie

strawberry & banana smoothie

it’s only been a few years since i started drinking green smoothies, and they usually consist of mostly greens, lots of berries, one beet, a little knob of ginger, one banana, other seasonal fruit, and spring water. they are super delicious and a major energy boost, so i like to pack them with me on my hikes. it wasn’t until this weekend that i ventured off my smoothie track and onto simple berry smoothies, and wow! i am so amazed at how blending up berries with a frozen banana (and a little bit of spring or filtered water) is instant pleasure, and instant energy, with no crash afterwards like typical caffeinated beverages. so, now i’m addicted to my berry smoothies.. my favourites are strawberry & banana, and blueberry & banana. i whipped up a raspberry & banana smoothie last night and it was certainly delicious but it had a lot of seeds still swirling around, so it didn’t turn out as creamy as my strawberry smoothie. maybe i needed to blend it longer. speaking of blenders! i use a vitamix, which i will forever swear by. i sometimes use my vitamix 5 or 6 times in a day! anyways, i hope you give these simple berry smoothies a whirl.. they will not disappoint!

blueberry & banana smoothie

blueberry & banana smoothie

i didn’t measure, but i used about a pint or more of fresh berries, and one frozen ripe banana. i added about 1 cup of spring water.. you can’t go wrong. you can make it thick or thin.

raspberry & banana smoothie

raspberry & banana smoothie

enjoy!

strawberry & banana smoothie

strawberry & banana smoothie

Posted in gluten-free-friendly, raw, recipes, vegan | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

burgers, tiramisu, and lots more: a mary’s secret garden adventure

Posted by vegetablediaries on March 6, 2010

tiramisu from Mary's Secret Garden

you can never ever ever go wrong with Mary’s Secret Garden! although i’ve only eaten there a few times, every time has been such a pleasure. you can find my older post on Mary’s here.  i think this is probably my favourite vegan restaurant in southern california. i think i want to tell everyone i know to eat there. i think i’m going to start talking about my dinner now.

we started off with a small order of the fresh thai spring rolls. mmm, you have to order these! julienned carrots and cucumbers, basil leaves, smoked tofu and lettuce all wrapped up in rice paper, and served with a spicy peanut sauce. these are probably some of the best fresh spring rolls i’ve ever tasted (note: i’ve had many many fresh spring rolls!).

the secret burger--mary style at Mary's Secret Garden

for dinner i ordered the thai yellow curry stew, which included stewed kabocha squash, carrots, potatoes, red onions, ginger and basil leaves in a creamy curried coconut sauce. they offer a choice of protein and i went with the tofu. again, i think this thai yellow curry is seriously one of the best i’ve tried! it was seasoned to perfection and topped with lots of fresh cilantro, which i love! my only complaint, if you even call it that, is that it tends to cool down right away. they served it steaming hot but after a few minutes it tended to cool off. but that didn’t keep me from enjoying it. i actually could only finish half of it because it was so big, but i just ate it for lunch today and it was still so delicious!

my friend ordered the secret burger–mary style. oh my lord. i’m not a fan of burgers but this thing was tremendous! we are talking homemade secret sauce, grilled soy patty, melted cheeze (which i’m not a fond of, but it really tastes like cheese), lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, red onions, and tempeh “bakin.” i think when you order it “mary style” it includes extra sauce, pickles, avocado, and tempeh. it was crazy delicious! it also comes with a good size salad.. it was a caesar salad and off the charts good!

raw cherry ice cream at Mary's Secret Garden

we were both pretty full from dinner but the desserts sounded too heavenly to resist. the cake of the day was tiramisu, and it was the best tiramisu ever! i was expecting it to be heavy and espresso-ish but quite the contrary! it was light and fluffy and had notes of cinnamon, almond and vanilla. it’s not always available but if you see the tiramisu on the menu you must try it! we also tried the raw ice cream du jour, which was cherry almond chocolate something something. it was very yummy, too. the cherry flavor was so rich, and they drizzled chocolate sauce over the top and added slivered almonds for good measure. oh man, what a meal. thank you, Mary’s Secret Garden!

i went back the following day with my not so vegan-friendly mom. we both ordered the burgers (i got mine sans the cheeze) and they were just as tasty as ever. the side salad was mixed greens with a really lovely vinaigrette dressing. my mom was really impressed and wants to go back for more. although my last couple of meals weren’t gluten-free, Mary’s is very gluten-free-friendly and they also have many raw options. everything is clearly marked on their menu.

their menu isn’t posted on their website so here it is for you to see:

mary’s secret garden menu

Mary’s Secret Garden
100 South Fir Street
Ventura, CA 93001
805-641-FOOD
www.maryssecretgarden.com

Posted in gluten-free-friendly, los angeles, raw, thai, vegan, vegan ice cream | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

vegan in ventura: mary’s secret garden

Posted by vegetablediaries on December 27, 2009

raw apple pie: Mary's Secret Garden

while i was in ventura i had the lucky opportunity to visit Mary’s Secret Garden for lunch. oh my, what a fine dining surprise! i didn’t know what to expect because i didn’t read any of the reviews online, and all i knew was that it was ALL vegan and filled with awesomeness. first off, this place is pretty tiny. we had lunch around noon and didn’t have to wait for a table, however i think you should probably make a reservation just in case.

fresh thai spring rolls: Mary's Secret Garden

the food! wow, what a great menu.. everything is organic and there are cooked and raw food plates available, with lots of gluten-free options (gf is clearly marked on the menu). when our server first came over to greet us he said “Mary recommends you try the fresh thai spring rolls as an appetizer..” okay, i thought this was really endearing because i don’t usually hear what the owner suggests.. it seemed quaint to me and i like that. so, we did order the fresh thai spring rolls and they were amazing! i loved the spicy peanut sauce so much that i ate it by itself when the spring rolls were all finished.

middle east platter: Mary's Secret Garden

for the main course i ordered the middle east platter, which included syrian falafel with tahini sauce, hummus, tabouli, grilled pita bread and kalamata olives (i’m not fond of olives, but there were only two on my plate, so no biggie). everything was delicious and quite filling. my friend ordered the thai yellow curry stew, which was also so tasty! there were stewed kabocha squash, carrots, potatoes, red onions, ginger and basil leaves in a creamy curried coconut sauce; served over brown rice, with your choice of protein (shrymp, tofu or chycken). then they topped the hell out of it with fresh cilantro (my favourite!). i really am excited to go back because there are so many wonderful things to try, including a bazillion shakes!

thai yellow curry with tofu: Mary's Secret Garden

and now for dessert.. i ordered the raw chocolate hazelnut pie ala mode: rich chocolate coconut and hazelnut filling topped with chopped hazelnuts and chocolate ganache and served with homemade raw vanilla bean ice cream. i didn’t even finish it (which is a very very rare thing) because it was so insanely rich!

raw chocolate hazelnut pie: Mary's Secret Garden

my friend ordered the raw apple pie: layered, thinly sliced and well spiced apples, over a pecan date crust, topped with a sweet cashew cream and raspberry sauce. both of these desserts are lookers, but i think the apple pie would win the beauty contest!

raw apple pie: Mary's Secret Garden

after writing about my lunch, i want to go back NOW!

Mary’s Secret Garden
100 South Fir Street
Ventura, CA 93001
805-641-FOOD
www.maryssecretgarden.com

Posted in gluten-free-friendly, los angeles, raw, vegan | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

*monkey bites* raw vegan banana granola

Posted by vegetablediaries on October 11, 2009

monkey bites from Rawk-n-Roll Cuisine

monkey bites from Rawk-n-Roll Cuisine

i must say that the packaging really grabbed me on this raw vegan granola snack from Rawk-n-Roll Cuisine. when something says “monkey bites,” combined with raw and vegan i will stop and listen (or read). well, the monkey bites are little clusters of banana granola made from buckwheat, oat groats, bananas, raisins, dates, agave and cinnamon. all of the the ingredients are organic and for 5 oz. it was about $5.99 at whole foods. this is a very healthful and fun treat; however, prepare to chew a lot! that’s a good thing though.

up close to the monkey bites

up close to the monkey bites

Posted in raw, vegan | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

afghan melon

Posted by vegetablediaries on September 8, 2009

afghan melon

afghan melon

i love melons and have tried the ubiquitous cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydews, et al. the afghani melon is something new for me, so i had to buy one. i suppose the taste is somewhere between a honeydew and cantaloupe, but definitely mild in sweetness. i find honeydew to be on the saccharine side, so this melon seemed like the right balance between flavour and sweetness. i also think its pretty to look at..

afghan melon with a little scar

afghan melon with a little scar

melons are in abundance now, especially in southern california. let us all eat melons!

afghan melon

afghan melon

Posted in gluten-free-friendly, raw, vegan | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

i am.. cafe gratitude

Posted by vegetablediaries on July 29, 2009

i am whole from cafe gratitude

i am whole from cafe gratitude

i would love to be whole again, and again and again and again. i visited cafe gratitude in healdsburg, california (there are other locations in SF and the east bay) with a friend and had no idea what this place was about or that i would be further seduced by the “i am” mantra. i really wasn’t sure about this place, but my friend reassured me that i must try it. we both ordered the “i am whole” which is a lovely bowl of shredded kale, sea vegetables, kim chee, and sprouts in a garlicky-tahini sauce with terriyaki almonds! YUM. cafe gratitude is raw vegan but they also offer quinoa and rice, which i think is quite nice. i like quinoa so i went with that; my friend ordered a red rice and quinoa combo. good choice.

lets just get right to the dessert!

i am bliss from cafe gratitude

i am bliss from cafe gratitude

“i am bliss” is a chocolate-hazelnut mousse pie. it costs around $9.00 and is so worth it!! its all raw, vegan and gluten-free, too. my friend got the “i am cool” which is a minty chocolate chip shake and so worth $10.00!

the staff at cafe gratitude were very friendly.. almost scarily so. beware, there is always a question they will ask at the end of your meal for you to ponder.. our question was “what time is it?”

http://www.cafegratitude.com/

Posted in gluten-free-friendly, raw, sf bay area, vegan | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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