Raw On Tour!

Eating Vegan and Raw on the Road with Pandie Suicide

Food Tour blog at The Gauntlet! July 1, 2010

Currently I’m in Nashville, Tennessee, on tour with the System of Freaks tour, featuring Mary Magdalan and Blue Felix with myself as the host of the show. I’ve been on tour for about a month now, and let me tell you, it’s been a little tough, but it’s been a great learning experience as far as how to eat healthy, vegan, and with a particular emphasis on raw, on the road!

I’m traveling in a 50ft tour bus, with 13 guys, none of which who are raw, vegan, or even remotely vegetarian (minus one “pescaterian”!) so pickings are a little slim on the ground for sweet raw vegan eats, though I have been incredibly lucky in places such as New York, where I got to stop by One Lucky Duck for a delicious raw choc  smoothie (see pic above!) and raw oreo cookie!!!!! But more on that very soon,

I have actually been writing a blog for The Gauntlet about what I’ve been eating on the road, the internet has been a little scarce on tour, but I have so much good stuff coming up for you that it’s unbelievable! In the meantime check the piece on the gauntlet out, but stay tuned, for Raw on Tour is on the revamp!

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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!

 

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 😉