Raw On Tour!

Eating Vegan and Raw on the Road with Pandie Suicide

Welcome back to LA smoothie and salad extravaganza! July 8, 2010

To calebrate the return to Hollywood, I was treated to a feast of raw food goodness on a grey LA day. First stop was my perpetual favourite, Real Raw Live, (in Franklin Village, Hwood) for some smoothies and snacks. Today my companion and I both chose to get highlighter orange Monk Shakes, delicious, light, refreshing and full of banana, goji berries, papaya, toco’s, nut milk and agave, the perfect thing before a gentle workout.

I also purchased  a mountain mint flavoured Wildbar, delicious and chocolatey and packed with the raw vegan goodness of blue-green algae and all sorts of other good stuff. It definitely felt good on my blood sugar after a workout and tasted like yum. Along with that I grabbed an up cup, in mint chip with maca flavour, as I’ve been feeling a little drained from constant travel, lack of exercise and slim pickins in raw food delicacies on the road and maca is a great energising herb.

Finally, the day was rounded off with some fresh fruit, larabars and this sexy salad from a deli down the street, yum! Tour was amazing, but it’s good to be back for a bit!!

 

Erewhon Valentine’s Day Adventure! February 19, 2010

On Valentines Day I was taken on a super exciting adventure to what could just be THE ultimate grocery store.

Erewhon

Erewhon is located in the West Hollywood area of LA, and boasts a wealth of delicious, nutritious vegan, raw, gluten-free, low-sodium etc and organic produce, sandwiches, meals, pet food, vitamins/ supplements, superfoods, beauty products and speciality items. For the meat eaters, they stock organic/ free-range/ hormone-free etc meats which are certainly better for your health and the planet’s/ and to a degree the animals, though being a vegan (for ethical as well as health and environmental reasons) nI obviously don’t consume meat but it’s nice to know that if they’re going to have it, it’s at least nit your usual factory-farmed, antibiotic-fed kind.

Erewhon also features an impressive smoothie/juice bar, everything of which I read on the menu I of course wanted to try immediately, but alas didn’t as we were on a tight schedule of errands and exciting bits and pieces, including an interview with Brendan Brazier, professional athlete and author of the excellent, excellent Thrive: The Vegan nutrition Guide,  for RawOnTour later in the day, but more on that in another post!

Here’s a few of the sights along the way followed by, of course, the delicacies we decided upon for the day:

Cacao butter by ELF foods. Yum. I had to take a picture of this, because recently when I was in Anaheim for the NAMM show I was introduced to the bass-player who played for this singer whom I just met. The band were all from Texas. Part of my introduction was something along the lines of “This is Pandie, she’s from New Zealand. Make her say the word ‘Texas’.”

The bass-player looked at me for a moment and then (before trying to make me say Texas over and over) asked, in all sincerity, “Oh, are you an elf?”

Lately it appears that Peter Jackon’s Lord of The Rings Trilogy has been following me everywhere and whatever I do I simply cannot escape! So of course in the grocery store is no exception!

Lucuma Powder, a great mineral-rich alternative sweetener

Kelp and dulse, mm delicious seaweed!!!

Trailmixes and various sea salts

And hemp seeds, simply delicious in everything, a staple of my diet, hemp is absolutely fabulous. Brendan Brazier talks about why hemp is so great for us in my interview with him coming very soon.

Now on to the lunch!

The sandwiches to start:

Avocado Sandwich on gluten-free bread with veganaise and a side of coleslaw

While I’ll save going into detail about the whole gluten-free/ wheat-free/ allergy/ intolerance type thing for a later and more intensiv post, I can’t eat foods that contain wheat or I’ll get incredibly, incredibly sick. This means of course, nothing with white flour in it such as most traditional breads, cakes, cookies, pizzas, pastas and more. Therefore even though I enjoy eating as close to 100% raw most days as I can, when a place offers sandwiches made with gluten-free bread…well I am all over it!

It was super delicious in there with all kinds of avocado, greens, tomato, carrots, sprouts, and as mentioned above, the veganaise. Veganaise, if you’ve never had it, is a vegan version of mayonnaise. It’s pretty damn good. I had to ask for the veganaise, so be sure to talk to them about it if you go there and are vegan, because otherwise you may end up with the real deal mayo and that tasty lunch will be ruined!

Yum!

Also in case you were wondering the coleslaw contained no dairy or egg products either, just some good old olive oil. Thanks Erewhon!

What he ate:

Now my Valentine is not really an actual vegan, he’s just mostly a good sport who eats little to no meat but for a bit of fish, and is not too fussed about the whole dairy/egg issue but tries to keep it healthy, so he got the same thing as me, the avocado sandwich but on sourdough bread (which contains wheat/gluten and probably some dairy) and with mayo, a great option for a non-vegan/vegetarian that’s still super tasty and full of greens!

The drinks:

Zola Acai: We saw these things in the big cooler fulllll to the brim of water of a thousand different kinds and juices, smoothies and infusions galore. For some reason, amongst all the others, these ones called our names. And they were pretty tasty too.

Mountain Valley Spring water (mine)

Mountain Valley Sparkling Water (his)

Our selection of raw choc/energy bars (don’t worry, even raw Vegans get to enjoy Valentines day chocolate!) I actually ate the I am Strong bar before/ after my workout the day after and wow it produced tremendous results with regards to my energy and performance. I had a couple bites 40 mins before, and the rest 20 mns after. The taste is quite spicy which I wasn’t expecting but I would definitely get it again. The One bar was a delicious raw vegan dark choc, and I don’t believe I tried the Indigo nights bar myself, but the Gnosis power choc…

This stuff was great! It was full of things like hemp,  macagoji berries and the key ingredient: love! It’s amazing to try a chocolate that’s actually good for you and makes you feel fantastic, wow! Its taste is more on the darker choc side than say a milk choc flavour so it has a little bitter hint to its sweetness, but I rather like that. Mmm!

Such a great adventure, and that was only the first half of the day, fear not I shall be updating you on the delicious dinner I had next very, very soon. Tonight I am heading up towards San Francisco for the weekend. I can’t wait to see what exciting sights, and sounds, and sweet feeds will be found there to feast upon!

 

Rawnola bar snack! February 11, 2010

I’ve been looking these over for a long time. They had been tempting me out of the corner of my eye each time I ordered a smoothie at Real Raw Live and perused the shelves and refrigerated section of the place looking for more deliciousness to devour. But I had always resisted the urge to throw one on the counter and announce it was to be mine. That is….Until Now.

For some reason, when the little raw food bar whispered hot things in my ear after I gave it the once over, I finally gave in. And Oh My Goodness. Why oh why did I not give in to that little devil sooner? This rawnola bar has to got to be by far one of the most scrumptious things I have ever had the good fortune to ingest! I think they almost just beat my complete and easy favourites Larabars right off the map. Uh oh, Rawnola is where it’s at!

I just checked out the list of ingredients in these things, and there’s even one sourced from New Zealand, my home home (other than LA!), it’s just like we were meant to be.

Rawnola bar ingredients: *Coconut, Soaked *Almonds, *Pumpkin Seeds,*Figs, *Real Raw Agave Nectar, *Sun-Dried Sea Salt (certified organic by BioGrow of New Zealand), *Cinnamon, *Ginger, *Vanilla Bean (whole). (*organic)

Delish, definitely give them a taste test if you’re blessed enough to stumble upon them, because like I said before, Rawnola is where it’s at.

 

Hemp Protein Shake, Raw Cherry Cheesecake and Super-Wellness Shot from Real Raw Live February 10, 2010

Today I stopped by Real Raw Live in Franklin Village, Hollywood, to get a bite to eat. And by bite, I really mean sip! It was a wonderful rainy day again, all grey and gloomy and beautiful outside (I love a little of this dreary weather, it’s a welcome change from the LA sun seeking to scorch me with its far-reaching rays all the time!) so I figured now would be as good a time as any to top up the olde immune system again.

To start:

Super-Wellness Shot (pictured above)

This delightfully dark green drink was comprised of all sorts of sexy, constituents, from cayenne pepper to lemon juice, algae and chlorophyll. It’s not as bad as it sounds, I swear! It’s got a spicy lil tang to it, but you just knock it back in one or two hits and you’re good to go. You’ll feel great and your immunity will get a little ramp up while you’re at it!

The Drink

Protein Power Smoothie: This was full of hemp protein (be sure to ask them to make it with hemp protein if that’s what you like because they also have (non-vegan) whey protein and I believe brown rice protein too – you don’t want to get poisoned!), L-Glutamine (supposed to be awesome for your muscles!), almond milk, bananas, almond butter and cinnamon. I also added the superfood Maca to it. (Costs a little extra but certainly worth it! Maca is an ancient South American superfood meant to aid your libido, hormone balance and energy levels!)

Dessert!

This was a cherry dream cheesecake by Earth Cafe. These are too good, they are melt in your mouth tasty! Also completely vegan, raw and gluten-free.

According to the ingredients list it contains: Fresh cherries, soaked cashews, coconut, coconut butter, agave nectar, soaked pecans, soaked walnuts, lemon, lecithin, vanilla bean extract, cinnamon and sea salt.

The label also mentions that it’s made with love, yum!

The whole thing was gone in 60 seconds, I swear! Just that good!

 

Superbowl Sunday Dinner at Cru! February 8, 2010

Well on Superbowl Sunday, after a day of posing as a Fallen Angel for a photoshoot,(pics should be up on my other blog at some point soon) and ironically, the Saints winning the same day as I fell bloody and broken-winged from the sky – , I was incredibly fortunate to be taken out for dinner yet again to another one of my new fave raw restaurants, Cru!

Cru is a cute little restaurant in Silverlake that is completely vegan and has a menu choc-full of delicious raw food delights! My dinner date and I arrived at about 8pm tonight, to an almost full-house. We were lucky enough to secure the last table in the place, the same exact table as we had actually been seated the previous time I had gone there.

The wait staff were very friendly and helpful, and the girl even cracked a joke about us being seated back at our same spot. While we were eyeing up absolutely everything on the menu, several parties of people arrived, eager to get some sweet vegan eats. Alas there was not a seat left in the house but these brave souls would not let this deter them. They waited and oh they waited and were finally rewarded when other groups of guests left.

The pile up continued as we ordered and ate our meals. Cru was going offffff tonight!

And it’s not hard to see why, the minute our meals arrived we were immediately reminded of the reason – oh my god is their food ever good!

Now to the breakdown:

The Appetizer


Bruschetta Rustica: Sunflower bread with a traditional chopped tomato and basil spread and cashew cheese. Amazing way to kick off the night!

The Thirst-Quencher


Fresh squeezed raw ginger limeade. I had looked at this on the menu last time I was here, and this time I just had to order it. It was soo refreshing!

The Main Event


Hawaiian Flat Bread Pizza: Sunflower flatbread with cashew cheese, sundried tomato sauce and shitake mushrooms, side salad (x2 – it’s just that good we both had to get one each!)

The Grand Finale


Coconut Chocolate Mousse Pie: off the raw dessert menu.

This cake/ pie thing was soo tasty. My dinner companion didn’t like the consistency of the coconut layer so much (I had no problem with it, I loved it!), but said it tasted amazing – the chocolate part though = pure and complete heaven.

I think this sums it all up nicely:

Cru, I will definitely be back!

 

Hot Cayenne Pepper on a Cold Day – Lunch from Healthyca February 6, 2010

Today was a lovely, rainy LA day, and inspired by yesterday’s delicious delving into the world of cayenne pepper, I decided to order something hot and spicy to sip on again. I chose “The Fighter” a drink from Healthyca in North Hollywood, which contained… you guessed it… cayenne pepper.

The dude on the phone told me that he would go easy on me and make mine a mild so I was a little apprehensive when the drink arrived that he would have gone a little too easy and left the cayenne out all together. I think this combined with its yellow colour may have been the issue. I was expecting bright, firey hot neon red plasma in a cup! But the delivery guy allayed my fears and told me “that’s what its supposed to look like.”

So with that in mind I took the jump and drank the drink and oh my was it ever good! Not too spicy and not too sweet with just that tang of cayenne as a somewhat secret afterthought. Cayenne pepper is meant to be great for the metabolism and circulatory system so I was of course stoked on that, it was the perfect warming drink to get on a cold day that didn’t veer too far off the raw foodie’s path. The drink also contained pineapple, grape, orange and ginger, yum!

Add to this my mammoth salad (oh my!) and I was in complete and utter raw, vegan heaven. The size of these things is enormous! Full of all the good stuff like avocado (my favourite!), hearts of palm, jicama, artichokes, mandarins, pecans and baby greens! I got the balsamic dressing and a side of quinoa. I love quinoa, it’s such a versatile, nutritious grain and I highly recommend it!I’ll talk more in depth about quinoa and other great nutritious foods, but for now I’m off to Planet Raw 😉

 

Vegan Dinner Feast from Wholefoods! February 4, 2010

As I mentioned below, I freaking LOVE Wholefoods Market! There are just so many good things for a Vegan, and a mostly raw one at that, like myself to choose from! I literally want to eat almost everything in the store. In fact I have a hardtime making the decision of what exactly to select. Luckily for myself and others suffering from this terrible, terrible condition of “can’t pick just one thing it all looks soo good!” there is a dream solution.

The salad bar!

Wholefoods have a fantastic salad bar and hot food bar, with all sorts of soups and tofu dishes and curries and greens, and grains and..and..and… Oh God it’s making my mouth water just thinking about it! So you can have your (hopefully vegan) cake and eat it too, you can get a box and shove all kinds of different things in there to feast upon later! And not only that…as I discovered last night, on Wednesdays at this particular Wholefoods in West Hollywood (I’m not sure if this would pertain to all Wholefoods in the area/world? I’ll have to look into it), they have a deal. Yes there’s a sale on salad! Amazing! You can eat on the cheap and still be healthy! (something that had just been suggested to me as a good blog topic to take on- thanks for the tip!) Both the salad bar and hot food bar are going for $5.99 per lb! As opposed to $5.99 for some stuff and $7.99 for other stuff. You can go ahead and mix and match to your heart’s content!

And so mix and match I did 😉

Taking full advantage of this sweet salad sale and hot meal deal I threw all sorts of rices and tofu curries, dhals, hummus, arugula, greens, cucumber, tomatoes, and other tasty bits and pieces to come up with this:

The ultimate Vegan Dinner Feast:

It’s a veritable sampler of all things good and vegan!

Of course after all that deliciousness, my dinner date and I had to, of course, finish off our meal with something delicious…or should I say… some things! Below we have some water from home! (yes that’s Eternal water from New Zealand, so good and such a sexy bottle with beautiful koru designs on the side!), a banana, an orange, a great delectable mess of berries – strawberries, blueberries, rapsberries, blackberries – everything!, and the piece de resistance – a raw mint cacao ganache from Cru,  Silverlake (purchased at Wholefoods though – this restaurant itself is fantastic, I will be sure to blog all about it’s awesomeness soon!). Too good! There’s also some olives in there too which were incredibly tasty though not quite for dessert.

This cake is so good that you would swear i was deadly. It is rich and tasty and oh so chocolatey! But what’s even more killer is the fact that is completely 100% raw and vegan! It’s actually good for you! No dairy, no wheat, no refined sugar, no hydrogenated oil, all organic ingredients – and yet it tastes almost better than the “real” thing!!!

Oh Cru, how I love you!