Monthly Archives: July 2011

True Food Kitchen :: Santa Monica

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Months ago my friend Rebecca began sharing about this restaurant we had to try. So, she and I dined there a few months ago and I loved it. I knew I had to take Josh. So after an amazing morning of beach lounging and surfing in the South Bay we headed up to Santa Monica Place for a late lunch date at True Food Kitchen.

As Josh & I drove closer to True Food, we got more and more excited and even more and more hungry. By the time we finally walked in the door (Santa Monica traffic is no fun on Saturday afternoons) we were absolutely famished. We were seated on the outdoor patio, perfect for the pleasant summer day.

I ordered a Natural Refresher, the Green Arnie made with Matcha Green Tea & Honey Lemonade. It lived up to its name and was super refreshing with a little caffeine kick.
Josh ordered a smoothie, the Weekend Warrior which banana, flax, almond butter, low-fat vanilla yogurt, and apple juice. He loved it and it definitely refueled his exhausted surfing body!
We split the Herb Hummus for an appetizer, substituting cucumbers for the pita bread offered with the dish. One of the best things about True Food is that they are sensitive to dietary needs and are well educated on what gluten free means. We have found that to be rare with many other restaurants.
Josh never passes up a chance to eat breakfast foods, and ordered the Two Organic Eggs which includes turkey bacon and sweet potato hash. He loved his meal, and proclaimed that “these are the best eggs I’ve ever eaten!” Myself, not being a fan of eggs, tried a bite and enjoyed it. The eggs were fluffy and flavorful. We aren’t sure how such a simple egg dish really tasted that good!
Lately, I’ve been on an Ahi Tuna kick, so the Wild Ahi Sliders sounded super appealing to me. I requested them to be served without a bun and on top of lettuce instead. Oh my goodness. The lightly seared tuna mixed with the radish, avocado, cucumber, and wasabi aioli (not too spicy!) mixture was out of this world. It was one of those meals where the flavors danced around my tongue, leaving me longing for many more bites despite being pleasantly full.
I can’t say enough good things about True Food Kitchen. It has become my favorite restaurant in LA. It is a haven for people who love eating healthy, seasonally, and locally. It is a treasure for those with dietary restrictions. Go and try it. You won’t be sorry.

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Green Bean Deliciousness

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We have had the pleasure of having a variety of house guests the last 3 weeks. We enjoyed all sorts of adventures together, including the joy of cooking together. We received green beans in our Abundant Harvest box this week, and I asked Sarah if she had any good ideas for cooking green beans. We thumbed through different cookbooks, and she pieced together this recipe… a little from a recipe and a little from her childhood. The green beans were fantastic this way.

Ingredients

1 lb. green beans
2 T olive oil
1 c chopped tomatoes
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1/4 c slivered almonds

Preparation

Cook green beans in covered in boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Drain. In pan 1 T oil saute garlic & almonds. 1 minute later add green beans and tomatoes. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste and serve.

–Sarah Kennedy

Chicken Burgers

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Summertime has become a time of burgers in our house. We don’t have a grill (yet…) but I find I can whip up a good burger with the oven broiler or in a pan on the stove. We eat lots of turkey burgers and beef burgers but haven’t gotten out of that box, until now. I came across this recipe in Cooking Light and was excited to attempt it. I modified this recipe a bit to adapt to our tastes.

Verdict? SO easy and flavorful! I think this may be my new favorite way to cook chicken. We follow the Paleo Diet at our house, so we ate the burgers with forks & knives instead of in a bun. We dipped the chicken in the scrumptious basil vinaigrette, but you could also dip it in mustard or mayonnaise or whatever condiment you’d like.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3-4 fresh basil leaves
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, process until finely ground. Divide chicken mixture into 4 equal portions; shape each into a 1/2 inch thick patty. Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Heat olive oil in pan; cook patties 5 minutes on each side.

–Adapted from Cooking Light

Basil Vinaigrette

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There is no herb that I look more forward to using than basil. When we began to receive it this summer in our Abundant Harvest weekly box I was already dreaming of ways to use it… basil in soups, salads, pesto… But when I saw this Basil Vinaigrette recipe posted by my friend Jenny, I knew I had to try this before anything else.

This recipe did not disappoint! We planned on just using it on our roasted vegetables that night, but couldn’t contain the joy and lavished it on our roasted potatoes and chicken burgers. I had a hard time restraining myself to not simply eat it with a spoon!

Ingredients
2 cloves garlic minced
1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (I left this out, we didn’t have any)
1-1/2 ounces fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
1 cup olive oil

Preparation

1. Combine all of the ingredients, except oil, in a food processor and blend. Slowly add olive oil in a slow, thin stream until thick and creamy.

2. Season to taste and serve or refrigerate up to a week.

–Victoria Gray of Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook

Curry Pork Loin

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I’m constantly looking for ways to add texture to food now that we don’t eat grains or gluten. This recipe definitely succeeds to adding texture and lots of flavor to pork loin.

Ingredients

6 thinly cut pork loin
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten

Preparation

Mix together all dry ingredients in 1 bowl. Beat egg in second bowl. Dip each pork loin first in egg, and immediately second, the dry mix.

Cook 2-3 minutes on each side.

–Recipe from myself

Green Bean Salad with Goat Cheese & Dates

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I was inspired by a recipe found in Whole Living. The dish is too tangy without the dates, but when added the dates bring a perfect sweet & sour mixture. Perfect salad for hot summer night.

Ingredients:

1 pound green beans, trimmed
2 ounces crumbled fresh goat cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 C dates–pitted & chopped

Preparation:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook just until they turn bright green and are barely tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and cool in a bowl of ice cold water. Drain and pat dry.

To make the dressing, whisk together remaining ingredients. Toss green beans with it. Chill until serving.