Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Book Picks - Michael Pollan

Organic Theme Park highly recommends Michael Pollan's books, Omnivore's Dilemma and The Botany of Desire. These are must read books for all who embrace the organic food lifestyle. In Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael writes about "Big Organic" and the conventional imagery of "supermarket pastoral" dispelling the notion of "farm animals living as they did in the books we read as children." Organic companies such as Earthbound Farm, Cascadian Farm, Cal-Organics and even Rosie Organic Chicken are discussed. It will give you an insight on both conventional and organic business. In The Botany of Desire, the author takes us on a journey deep into four familiar plants - the apple, the tulip, cannabis, and the potato (with the "human desire that link their destinies to our own"). Definitely worthy of adding to your library or virtual bookshelf !

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Leaf Organics, Sherman Oaks, CA

Join me as Organic Theme Park takes you to Leaf Organics restaurant in Sherman Oaks, CA. Leaf Organics' philosophy is to "create healthful, tasty, and affordable foods, in their natural state, using only organic ingredients, imagination and conscious care." Let's check it out !

Just walking in to Leaf Organics, we are surrounded by bright life affirming colors in a modern casual environment. Let's read over their menu offering.

Katie smiles with anticipation and shows off her healthy meal. Let's take a closer look at the next photo below !

This is the cashew creamy cheese (not real cheese - as it is vegan, "cashew based") with onion & chive on crisp mango bread. Yum !

Here is the Bombay salad with lentil croquettes topped with a curry-coconut sauce with mixed greens (they added some kale per my request), sprouts, red cabbage, carrots and tomatoes. Delicious !

Here is one of their delicious wraps which are normally wrapped with a collard green leaf or you can pay for a sprouted grain tortilla instead.

Dessert time - all vegan and guilt-free! Also served was this young Thai coconut in the husk which are freshly cracked open before serving with its refreshing chilled clear natural sweet liquor.

The store front in Sherman Oaks, CA. There is also a location in Culver City, CA. as well. Be sure to stop in and treat yourself to some delicious casual style organic and raw food dishes. You can also find their products at Whole Foods, Erewhon and other natural organic and raw foods markets throughout California. Your body will thank you !

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Axe Sunday Brunch - Venice, CA

Organic Theme Park takes you to a Sunday Brunch at Axe Restaurant in Venice, California. Chef and owner, Joanna Moore has created a relaxing and minimalist designed vegan organic restaurant now in its 10th year on Abbot Kinney Blvd. The name Axe (pronounced ashay) is a salutation from Yoruba (where Nigeria is today) that means "go with the power of the Gods and Goddesses."

Sshhh! There's no name outside the building . . .don't let it intimidate you from entering.However, I do suggest reservations as guests line up outside!

Here is Axe's simple Sunday brunch menu. I love Axe's principles which embraces local organic farmers, seasonality of produce and earth friendly sustainability.

So what is Axe's Sunday brunch specialty? An absolute must is an order of their 9 grain pancakes with berries!

Of all my travels, this is the "holy grail" of vegan organic pancakes. Also served with genuine maple syrup!! These 9 grain pancakes have a wonderful nutty texture with the berries mostly hidden under. Perfection !!

Another great dish is their rice bowl with tofu, bean sprouts, carrot, cucumber, onion, cabbage, basil, mint with sesame dressing.

Here Kelli shows off her minimalist organic omelette of parmesan, goat cheese, scallion, spinach and basil.

Go early and don't forget to make your reservations for Sunday brunch at Axe!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Le Palais Gourmet's Matcha Tasting Event

Le Palais Gourmet in Beverly Hills, California, hosted an organic matcha tasting event to the delight of all the attendees. It was an epicurean event with matcha cuisine created by world renowned chef, Christy Choo (owner of Jin Patisserie).

The tea bar at Le Palais Gourmet was a spectacular with so many wonderfully prepared desserts all made with organic matcha, the Japanese green tea ground by stone into fine powder. Matcha is receiving world-wide acclaim for its super concentrated amount of antioxidants (more than 10 times that of pomegranate). Rather than simply, steeping the green tea, it's actually ingested which allows the concentrated antioxidants to stay in the body longer to deliver its powerful nutritional benefits. Let's take a look at all the tempting offerings!

These are creme brulee's made with organic matcha!

These are matcha pound cake slices over a bed of raspberry sauce with a touch of creme fraiche and a raspberry garnish.

Would you like a matcha soy smoothie? Perfect for the summer or anytime!

Take a look at all the canisters of tea along the walls . . . many of which are organic!

Beauty is everywhere at Le Palais Gourmet tea emporium !

The crowd gathers to watch Le Palais Gourmet's tea master, David Barenholtz demonstrate how to prepare hot matcha. This is a daily ritual of health, peace and tranquility.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Santa Julia Organic Wines

The selection of organic wines are growing everyday . . . thanks to more oenophiles demanding wines without pesticides. Santa Julia is an Argentinian Winery which has produced an organic Chardonnay that is wonderful and can be found at Whole Foods.

Another single varietal organic wine by Santa Julia is this Tempranillo which has an aroma of honey and dried fruits like pears, apricots and peaches. Its flavor is sweet with balanced acidity; complex and long finish. Cheers!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Flore Vegan Cuisine

For those of you Los Angelenos who venture to the East side of town, there's an organic-vegan sidewalk cafe style restaurant in Silver Lake called Flore that's worth a visit. While not chic in design or presentation like M Cafe, it's definitely more bohemian and a fun "people-watching" dining experience!

The late summer sun was setting at 8PM was we arrived for dinner.

A table outside is an absolute must especially on a summer evening (warning - too hot inside so wait for a table to open up outside). A delicious basmati brown rice bowl with kale, baked tofu, avocado, shredded carrot, daikon sprouts, raw sunflower seeds with a tahini dressing was yummy. Save room for vegan-organic desserts . . .

Lot's of cup cakes !!!

Even chocolate with agave or maple syrup sweeteners.

Or settle on this organic chocolate-strawberry gluten-free cake ! Flore Vegan Cuisine is definitely an organic-vegan restuarant to add to your list !

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Turmeric - The Spice For Longevity

One of my favorite spices is turmeric which is a component of curry. Did you know it is also used as an herbal beverage in Okinawa, Japan? Could turmeric be a diet secret for the Okinawans whose population is known for its longevity? Turmeric has been used for generations in Asian countries to control infection and reduce scar formation. The spice's active chemical, curcumin, has been shown to act as an antioxidant and an antimicrobial. Studies have also shown that extracts of turmeric root can reduce the secretion of acid by the stomach to protect against inflammation and reduce ulcers. Turmeric has been shown to have a protective effect on the liver by clearing harmful toxins as well as preventing damage. Turmeric may also relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Current research by Cornell University shows promise for curcumin's positive effect on breast cancer.

How to add turmeric to you daily diet? Sprinkle it on your salmon or tofu, add it to soups and as the Okinawans - make an herbal beverage. Turmeric is available at Whole Foods (organic) found in the spice section, or you can purchase it elsewhere in capsules, fluid extracts and tinctures.