Raw On Tour!

Eating Vegan and Raw on the Road with Pandie Suicide

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!

 

Immunity Dinner at Planet Raw February 6, 2010

Last night I got taken out to my newly-fave raw restaurant, Juliano’s Planet Raw. The food there is always absolutely delicious, they excel at everything – from delectable desserts (raw “cheese”cakes and the like) to invigorating elixirs (smoothies, juices, teas,”milk” shakes and all kinds of crazy, creative concoctions) to slammin salads (better than any I’ve ever had ANYwhere – and I’ve had a lot of salads!) and dazzling main meals (lasagna to die for! Avo sammies! raw pastas, noodles and curries oh my!) – and last night was definitely no exception!

Juliano is not only famous for his amazing restaurant, but also his great “un”cook book called “Raw:The Uncook Book New Vegetarian Food For Life” which I don’t yet own but drool over every time I go to the restaurant (you can buy a copy for yourself here if you like!). His recipes are truly gourmet, and everything is presented in style with delicious raw flair, both in the meals served up at his eatery, and in the pages of the book itself. They also run cooking classes/raw chef certification out of their restaurant which I am thinking of checking out soon!

Now on to the food!

The appetizer:

Raw spring rolls, I think I have had them every time I have been there. These spring rolls are THE bomb for sure. The wrapper is made somehow from coconut ( I guess they dehydrate the coconut to make it nice and wrappery) and the insides are tasty veggies and avo.

The dipping sauce and marinated veggies are also mouthwateringly good. Even the garnish makes me melt. I cannot tell you how good these are. I would travel eight hours each way to get there, just for a bite of one of these spring rolls!

The main courses:

Fat cheze melt

Green curry pasta

The thirst-quenchers:

Tasty Probiotic Immunity drinks (we figured since it was raining we’d better top up that immunity!)

The grand dessert:

Coconut “chez” cake

(SOOOOOOOOO Good)

The midnight snack:

Raw choc balls

When I am “at home” in LA ( you will see me refer to New Zealand and probably various other places
as “home” too!) I like to take advantage of the fact that there are so many good places to eat here!
I am also fortunate enough to have great people to go try them all with! But fear not, very soon I will
have a brand new raw road warrior series for you, as well as more in the lifesavers series and plenty
of how-to/informative articles on veganism, nutrition, raw food, health,great eats on the cheap, and
living the rawk n roll lifestyle! Not to mention more pics of what I ate today, tomorrow and beyond!

Also thank you so much to the wonderful Gala Darling for giving me a shout out on her blog! Much appreciated, and hi to all you nice iCing readers, hope you’re enjoying my blog, and how are you doing??!

 

Hot Cayenne Pepper on a Cold Day – Lunch from Healthyca

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 😉

 

Kefir Madness from Real Raw Live! February 5, 2010

Yesterday I stopped by Real Raw Live in Franklin Village again for breakfast this time.  Usually I would get my never-fail favourite, their Super maca 3500 shake, or at least some incarnation of it – with added spirulina or hemp protein or God knows what else! But today I felt a little adventurous. I felt like having….something…else.

The Menu there is always dazzling, and just like Wholefoods, I want to eat everything off it pretty much, but one thing that had caught my eye over and over again on various expeditions to this place, was the ‘Kefir madness’ drink. Just the name alone begged me to try it. So after double-checking it was vegan yu never can be too careful!) I ordered up one of these to go.

In the meantime while I was waiting for homegirl to whip up my fancy new concoction, (it was a little busy in there but that’s good – I love to see people eating…or in this case drinking…healthily ) I took a shot of E3 live that she poured into a real life shot glass for me. It felt as if I should be pouring whiskey down my throat, but no instead it was blue-green algae, the colour of green, green, green. “Here’s your pondwater”, as one of the guys whoserved me there one time exclaimed. Pond water indeed, but tasty pond water that makes you feel amazing! With all those nutrients packed tight there in that one little shot glass, E3 live is one superfood for sure.

Wow, she set it in front of me and just wow. The whole thing was an ultraviolet orange colour. It looked vicious. It looked tasty. It looked…divine. And it was. Coconut kefir, the main constituent of this drink other than berries and what seemed like quite a lot of paprika, is a fermented drink with probiotics in it that help promote good intestinal flora in your guts. so in other words it’s pretty good for you. Not having enough of the right ones in your belly is allegedly responsible for a whole host of health complaints, so kefir is amazingly good for digestive health.

While it was a little spicy due to the copious quantities of cayenne pepper she threw in there (again supposed to be good for your metabolism etc) this was a tasty treat that made me feel great and I would definitely get it again. Go real raw live!

 

Lifesavers: How to Eat Healthy On the Road. Part 1

Image from Used-buses.net

If you’re anything like me,  a restless Sagittarius, travel and adventure are in your blood. It’s just something you have to do, you’re constantly seeking out the new and interesting. Or perhaps you hate that and you’d rather be at home with a nice cup o tea and the tele on, but you have no choice but to travel for work or family reasons. Or may be you’re a rockstar/ roadie who’s always on tour, a total road-dog, and travel is the life. The road is your home.

Well that’s awesome, we are very privileged to live in a world where super-sonic travel, red-eye flights, AMTRAK, metro, and everything else is available at our fingertips. Hell, we could probably even go on a visit to the moon if we really, really wanted to (and had a couple mil or bil at our disposal!), but constant travel can stress a body out, not to mention the lifestyle that comes with travel for pleasure, adventure-seeking, or rock-n-roll – late nights, time-changes, temperature changes, season-changes, long-haul flights, living out of a suitcase,eight-hour drives, alcohol and caffeine and…well whatever else. These things do not make for the healthiest of lifestyles!

Add to this the typical food available and easy on these trips and you’ve got a recipe for disaster!Drive-through dinners, greasy burgers and fries, beers, fatty, fried nutritionally-devoid whoknowswhats from seven elevens, roadside diners, McDonald’s “restaurants”,pub food, pizzas and backstage catering. Or of course, the rockstar “Ramen diet”, that nearly every university student, starving artist and musician has been on at some point in their lives, and what do you have? A sick, sad body!

Terrible! How are you going to make a hit record when you’re half-starved or in a fast-food induced coma? How you gonna write that novel, save the world, run for president, sell those products, enjoy yourself, do a walking tour of vineyards in the south of France?

Answer: you’re not! Or you’re going to do a less-than-you’re-worthy-of job of it. And who wants to look back in ten years on their achievements and say hey, if only I’d taken a little better care of myself, if only I’d got enough sleep, cut back on the booze and eaten my greens. I could have had my Nobel peace prize by now. Not me! And I’m guessing not you either!

So I have decided to write a series of articles on tips and tricks on how to survive life on the road/plane/boat/ mountain-top/whatever in order to help any of you out there looking to improve the way you eat, think and feel. obviously I’m a vegan and a raw one at that. You may not be, but you can’t deny the importance of fruit and veggies in the diet, especially greens and especially as fresh and organic as possible. When you’re traveling though and you haven’t had a chance to eat all day, there’s not a restaurant or open store around, or your buddies driving the van don’t give a damn and won’t stop for you to go buy some bananas at the corner store, there’s something to be said for the energy bar.

I take stacks and stacks of the things with me wherever i go, literally. I should be ordering them by the case! Pre or post-workout when you need to top up your blood sugar, at 3 or 4pm in the afternoon when you feel like you’re about to kill someone because you haven’t eaten, on your second flight for the day with no time in between connections to eat and no food offered on the plane, on a tour bus crossing the Mississippi at midnight, any or all of these places and situations – could be rescued simply by planning ahead and packing yourself a couple emergency energy bars. You can get them in all kinds of different types and flavours, from chocolate to fruit and nut to apple, coconut, whatever. There’s definitely something for everyone!

My favourite ones that are generally reasonably readily available (I’ll go into more detail in the future about this) vegan and raw contain no dairy, no wheat, no artificial sugar – in fact no artificial anything just all sorts of natural goodness are :

Larabars

Raw Revolution Bars

Pure Bars

So Lifesaver number 1: Go to the store or look online at energy bars/granola bars etc that don’t contain high fructose corn syrup/ too much sugar/artificial flavours/additives and other weird ingredients. Make sure they don’t contain anything you’re allergic to/don’t eat (i.e. for me I always make sure they are completely vegan (no animal products), gluten-free (no wheat etc products) and preferably raw!- if you are allergic to nuts or soy etc be sure there’s none in there!) Pick a couple out to try. Experiment with them until you find one or two favourites. Invest in a stash and take them with you whenever you think you might get caught with low blood sugar, a growling belly and/ or food options that really don’t sound like food to you because at the end of the day, your body and what you put into it are your responsibility, not your boyfriend’s, not your wife’s, not your mum’s, not your tour manager’s, not your airline’s, not your boss’s, not your best friend’s, not your waiter’s, and with just a little thought and planning and the decision to do the best for our bodies and the earth and animals (if you are vegan like myself) etc nothing can stop us from being at our best, healthiest and most awesome, even if we are lost somewhere in the middle of Yemen!

 

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!

 

Mandarines, Raw Cacao Butter and more at Wholefoods Market!

One thing that you must know about me is that I love Grocery Store Adventures. Yes I know that may sound a little strange, but a trip to the grocery store, any grocery store no matter where or which one is always full of exciting discoveries. I love to explore those aisles and see what kind of weird foods I can come up with to find out about or incorporate in my next taste sensation.

Now, the creme de la creme of grocery stores, for myself at least, has got to be the one and only Whole Foods Markets chain. Visiting Wholefoods is like a first trip to Disneyland when you’re 10 years old – only better. I walk in there and literally want to buy everything! Tonight when I stepped in there to purchase some delicious feeds for dinner I saw this cute little fish box full of mandarins and was mesmerized. It’s cute fruit for sure.

And then in the “raw foods” section of wholefoods (yes they have one of those, I’m so excited!) i discovered they now stock raw cacao butter which I’d never seen in stores before, yum!! Imagine the magic you could make with that stuff! More tales to follow of my West Hollywood Wholefoods grocery store adventure !