Category Archives: Vegetarian Adventures

Green Festival LA!

Join me at THE GREEN FESTIVAL on October 29th, the biggest GREEN LIVING event!

I will be demonstrating how to make nut milk, raw oatmeal, and a healthy eggy delight!
http://www.greenfestivals.com/speakers/kagan

What: Healthy Delectables Breakfast of Champions 

When: Saturday, October 29th 11am

Where: Downtown Los Angeles Convention Center
1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, United States

Email me for limited FREE tickets!

With Every Season…

The Groom & Groom!

Last month I took a trip to the East Coast for a wedding. My dear friends Chris and Keith, who have been together for 15 years, decided to seal the deal as soon as gay marriage became legal in the state of New York. I arrived at the edge of Fall, the leaves had just started to change, and the weather quickly transitioned from the hot, muggy and balmy that greeted me upon my arrival at JFK, to cool and drizzly. The wedding was in the Catskills, near Phoenicia, one of several towns in that area that was sadly devastated by Hurricane Irene. Despite the still visible signs of damage, with broken roads, and trees, some signs of flooding, the locals were friendly and happy to be in business, have their power back and moving on.

Along with the wedding, which I was SO excited to go to, with my foodie partner in crime, April, who as most of you know is the Director/Producer of The Healthy Delectable Web Series, I couldn’t wait to explore the food. When I lived in the East Coast, one of my favorite things to do was go to the Farmers Markets, for the many varieties of local apples, and when the weather got especially cold, there was nothing better than a cup of hot cider to warm my hands and my tummy. On our first day, we learned about a Farm Stand called Hanover Farms, in Phoenicia, that is open 24 hours a day! They sell local honey, maple syrup, dairy products and local fruit and vegetables. And let me tell you, their Honey Crisp Apples were outstanding! The perfect amount of sweet, tart and crisp; Fall was in my mouth!

 

Hanover Farm Stand, Phoenicia, NY

Honey Crisp Apples

We stayed in an adorable little cabin in Chichester, NY that had the most curious and friendly goats on the property. These goats (with the help of the proprietor, Cindy) produced the creamiest and loveliest goat cheese. That was as local as I’ve ever eaten! There were so many gems of experiences to cherish – the greatest of course being the sweetest, funnest and most touching wedding I’ve ever been to.

Charming Catskills Cabin

Friendly Goat #1

Friendly Goat #2

Friendly Goat #3

 

 

 

 


 

Click on the pics to enlarge.

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I returned home to warm and sunny Los Angeles, where most fruit and vegetables are available year round. And even in Los Angeles, while not as dramatic, there is a palpable shift in the seasons. My trip reminded me of the importance of eating seasonally. Not only are you eating locally, supporting local farms, and limiting your carbon footprint, but it’s also so fun to change your diet according to the seasons, to try out new recipes, flavors and ingredients!

Fall foods are some of my favorites; early to late in the season, there are so many wonderful and nourishing foods to taste!

Among some of my favorite Fall foods in season in Southern CA are: Apples, Artichokes , Asian Pears, Basil, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Chard, Chili Pepper, Eggplant, Grapefruit, Grapes, Green Beans, Kale, Lemons, Mushrooms, Oranges, Pears, Persimmons, Potatoes, Raspberries, Spinach, Tomatillos, Tomatoes, and Winter Squash, (and many more!) :)

What a wonderful season for soups and stews, hearty greens and delicious fruity desserts! Here is one Fall recipe I will share with you. More to come. Happy Harvest, enjoy the big yellow moon!

Braised Red Cabbage

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples
*Feel free to play with this recipe to suit your taste. Try it with green cabbage, sub apples with pears, add nuts, top it with a poached egg…so many possibilities!!

Ingredients:
1 Red Cabbage (about 2 lbs)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (or butter)
1 Shallot (or onion)
1-2 Apples (Granny Smith are a good choice because they’re tart)
1/2 Cup Chicken or Veggie Broth
1 Bay Leaf
1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar (or try Red Wine Vinegar or Port!)
Dash of Salt and Pepper
*Optional 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar (I don’t find this is needed, but some like their braised cabbage sweet)

Directions:
Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage if they’ve browned. Slice the cabbage in four, cut out the core, then cut the quarters into thirds. Rinse in cold water and set aside. Saute shallots and apples with olive oil or butter over medium heat, until they start to soften, about 2 minutes. Add cabbage, Bay Leaf and broth and cook until it the cabbage wilts, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, salt, pepper and optional sugar, and simmer for about 20 minutes until the cabbage is soft, stirring occasionally. Make sure to take out the Bay Leaf when serving.


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Some awesome links, related to this post.

* Check out Chris and Keith’s fabulous online store, Fred Flare.
Here are some of the causes they believe in and requested donations for in place of a wedding gift:
* The Mark Project, an organization dedicated to relieving the devastation from Hurricane Irene.
* It Gets Better Project is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bi, or trans can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future.  It’s a place where our straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members.  It’s a place where people can share their stories, take the It Gets Better Project pledge, watch videos of love and support, and seek help through the Trevor Project and GLSEN.
* Mount Tremper Arts, is the wedding venue, and is a very special non-profit arts center for contemporary visual and performing artists in the Catskills.

Spring Inspiration

Happy Spring!

Winter kept most of us wet and some of us very cold. Now as the sun makes its way back into our lives, and the weather warms, most of us are feeling inspired and motivated, and are taking on some spring cleaning, tax paying and exercising outdoors.

Below I posted a gallery of some of the dishes I’ve made in the past that are healthy, nutritious and easy to make. They are here to inspire you to get in your kitchen and make something clean and delicious that nourishes your body and gets you ready for Summer (click on the “i” to read the description).

Enjoy!

 

Rainy Day Kale Potato Soup

It’s a rare rainy day in Los Angeles. I happen to have a bunch of kale and a few potatoes in my kitchen, but any dark leafy greens will do. And I made this comforting soup in about 30 minutes. After posting a pic of it on facebook, the requests for a recipe started to pop up. So here it is. I am sorry now that I didn’t photograph the step by step process.

Ingredients:

1 Onion (I didn’t have any, so I chopped up a bunch of scallions), chopped

2-4 Cloves Garlic, roughly chopped

About 4-5 medium Potatoes, quartered

1 Bunch Kale, Rinsed and finely chopped, stems removed

8 Cups of Water with Vegetable or Chicken Stock (I used the concentrated kind, but you can use 8 cups of pre-bought stock if you prefer)

Instructions:
Heat oil over medium heat in a large Soup Pot. Add chopped onions and saute until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Add vegetable or chicken stock, potatoes and garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

When the potatoes are tender, transfer the potatoes and garlic to a bowl; lightly mash with a fork. Return the mashed potatoes and garlic to the pot, and bring to a simmer. Stir in kale, add sea salt and a pinch of cayenne. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the kale is tender. I used an immersion blender here, with a tablespoon of yogurt, to make it semi pureed with a touch of creaminess and tanginess from the yogurt. While the soup was cooking, I also hard boiled an egg, and added half an egg and a teaspoon of sour cream, garnished with scallion to the bowl.

This soup was a super comforting and hearty treat for a rainy day!

Your Neighborhood Farmers Markets!

It’s Spring, the season of artichokes, baby carrots, strawberries, lettuces, and more!

Recently, a friend took me to the Larchmont Farmers Market, and it’s turned into a Sunday ritual. I’m still loyal to my Monday Farmer’s Market at Plummer Park in West Hollywood. I have a few favorite vendors that I enjoy seeing every week, including Hassan at the Greek stand (best olives and feta cheese!), Dirk, with his beautiful, flavorful mushrooms, the squash blossom man who teaches me new words in Spanish each week, and Laurent Bonjour, with the loveliest cheese. I feel a real sense of community when I’m there.

The Larchmont Farmer’s Market has a stand with fresh Italian pasta, more vegetable and fruit varieties, a stand that sells vegetable garden kits, and the lovely and adorable Kei, the Sugarbird Sweets & Teas lady. I sampled her delicious Zoe Tea, which is a green tea with mint, cacao nibs, peppermint and vanilla, and bought her most delicious homemade dark chocolate chip scones. Warning, if you’re a dog lover like me, there’s a puppy rescue stand next to the market, and it’s hard to leave without a brand new doggie! So, check out your neighboring markets, explore, explore, explore!

How To Eat On Set

While acting on a film or tv set feels as though my dreams are unfolding into a beautiful reality; another reality on set is the dangerous culture of craft services. Usually, there is a lot of down time between takes, as the set gets redressed, the lights and camera are positioned, and the talent, and crew members sit off in the side lines, much too close to that craft services table, that is often covered with mini candy bars, twizzlers, pretzels, chex mix, to name a few token items. Somehow, the tangerine cuties, carrot sticks and broccoli spears aren’t as appealing. But then, after we stop shooting for the day, I feel the effects of too much sugar and salt, and the bloat sinking in.

But I found a solution! At breakfast, I made sure to eat some protein and fruit for energy; and at lunch, I filled up on fiber-rich food, like salad and other veggies. So, I didn’t end up stuffing myself during that mid-afternoon lull, the time when my energy sinks, and I crave coffee and sweets to stay awake and alert. Don’t get me wrong, I had my share of goodies – but I ate far fewer than I would have, had I not packed in the greens during lunch. Additionally, I emailed the Producer before the shoot, to let him know I’m a vegetarian, and the craft services lady, Diane, was a Goddess with the veggie fixins she added to the catering. So, without being high maintenance, feel free to request your healthy needs. I think at the end of the day, everyone will be grateful.

craft_service_pic

A common selection on a craft services table

On the set of Bloomkampf

A production still of my most recent "on set" experience - Bloomkampf, directed by Ben Arfmann

My “Grill It With Bobby Flay” Audition!

Although I’m not a huge twitterer, I’ve mostly used my Healthy Delectable Twitter profile to ‘keep up with the Jones’, if you will. I follow a few of my favorite culinary stars, including Bobby Flay. When I saw his tweet that they’re looking for people for their “Grill It! With Bobby Flay” show, I decided to apply. Meanwhile, I’ve never been a huge fan of grilled food! But because I like a good challenge and a chance to meet and play in the kitchen with Bobby Flay, I decided to figure out what kind of grilled vegetarian food I would make. I went with a Mediterranean Vegetarian Feast.

Click here to see the result of my grilling adventure. I have to say, the meal came out crazy delicious!” And please feel free to rate and leave a comment.

And here’s a pic of the final product. :)
"Grill It with Bobby Flay" Mediterranean Vegetarian Feast