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HealthySkoop Powders

green smoothie bowl

I have been eating smoothie bowls almost daily all summer. One of my favorite add-ins I’ve found are powders by Healthy Skoop. My favorite for flavor (and to add a thicker consistency) is the Choco-lot Plant-based protein powder (16 grams of plant-based protein delivered with only 1 gram of coconut sugar per serving).

healthyskoop review

These delicious powders are

  • Gluten-Free
  • Soy-Free
  • Vegan / vegetarian (whey-free & dairy-free)
  • Non-GMO
  • QAI-Certified Organic (contains 80% organic ingredients)

healthyskoop green smoothie bowl

And if all that isn’t enough motivation to try this brand, how about this: they donate 3% of every purchase to Project Produce, a give-back initiative they co-founded to help kids eat more fruits and veggies.

green smoothie bowl

The greens blend (which pairs perfectly with sweet fruit to mask the most savory taste) naturally fights inflammation, boosts energy and powers your best, most resilient super-self. Smoothie bowls can be difficult to make since they consistency and thickness needs to be just right; powders are a huge help. Especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan, it can also be helpful to add some protein to your bowl, to ensure you’re properly fueled.

healthyskoop

Click here to try a free HealthySkoop sample!


Cookbook Review: Simply Delicious Vegetarian

zucchini quiche recipe

A couple years ago, I bought the cookbook Simply Delicious Vegetarian by Carla Bardi. It was on sale at Barnes and Noble, and I liked the feel of the book (and flipping through, the recipes seemed easy enough but interesting). This isn’t my favorite cookbook on my [highly-curated] shelf, but it’s a fantastic staple, especially now that I have been eating completely vegetarian.

vegetarian cookbook review and zucchini recipes

I appreciate that the recipes are things that I would not have thought to make, but are simple and don’t require unusual ingredients.

vegetarian cookbook tomato recipe

Also, each recipe includes, at the top, how many it serves, how long the preparation and cooking will take, and difficulty level.

vegetarian cookbook review and zucchini recipes

The book is definitely geared toward all English-speakers, including those outside of the US; the recipes include Celsius as well as Metric measurements, in parenthesis, where applicable.

vegetarian tomato potato dish

Even though this book was published in 2008, some of the photos look very old to me. However, the recipes that I’ve tried have all been very good.

zucchini quiche recipe

The 318-page book is organized into the following sections:

  1. Salads
  2. Soups
  3. Savory Pies, Focaccia, & Pizza
  4. Pasta & Gnocchi
  5. Grilled Vegetables
  6. Vegetable Stews & Stir-Fries
  7. Gratin & Casseroles
  8. Fried Vegetables
  9. Beans & Lentils
  10. Rice & Grains
  11. Eggs & Cheese

vegetarian zucchini frittata recipe

I went on a zucchini-cooking-spree this summer (since I adore summer squash).

zucchini quiche recipe

Zucchini Quiche

This is the recipe on the cover of the book

Serves 4

Preparation: 30 min

Cooking: 55 min

Difficulty: Level 2

  • 8 oz (250 g) frozen puff pastry, thawed (I used phyllo)
  • 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 6 zucchini, with flowers attached
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch arugula, shredded
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 8 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

vegetarian cookbook review and zucchini recipes

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 10-inch pie plate or springform pan.
  2. Place the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle with 1 tbsp. of poppy seeds. Roll out into a thin sheet. Line the prepared pan with the pastry. Cover with a sheet of waxed paper and fill the pie with weights or dried beans. Bake blind for 20 minutes.
  3. Trim the zucchini flowers and cut each one into 3-4 pieces. Slice the zucchini thinly lengthwise. Sauté the zucchini in the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the flowers and sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Beat the eggs and egg yolk in a medium bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until frothy. Season with salt and pepper. Add the arugula, cream, and Parmesan. Mix in the sautéed zucchini and flowers.
  5. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and sprinkle with the remaining poppy seeds.
  6. Bake until golden brown and set, about 25 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

zucchini quiche recipe

Next I want to try making the Green Paella.

zucchini quiche recipe

I also made a delectable zucchini frittata (I made the mistake of adding salt; it didn’t need it with the salty cheese).

vegetarian zucchini frittata recipe

Zucchini Frittata

Serves 4-6

Preparation: 10 min

Cooking: 15 min

Difficulty: Level 1

  •  1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lb (1 kg) zucchini (courgettes), cut into short, thin lengths
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese

vegetarian zucchini frittata recipe

  1. Sauté the garlic in the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until pale gold. Add the zucchini and sauté for 5-6 minutes, or until tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Beat the eggs and cheese in a medium bowl. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the egg has almost cooked.
  3. Slide the frittata onto a plate, turn onto another plate, then slide it back into the pan to cook the other side. Cook until golden brown and the egg is cooked through, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Transfer the frittata to a serving dish and serve hot.

Corn & Basil Chowder {Recipe}

Ok, one more summer recipe! This is from the AWESOME vegan cookbook Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a Fuck. It’s less than $15, includes so many helpful tips and tricks, and even my boyfriend (who is a meat-loving home cook) says that it’s his favorite cookbook. I will definitely post a full recap of this book soon; but for now, here’s a counterintuitive summer recipe: it’s soup. But corn is sweetest and cheapest at the height of summer, and basil makes the soup feel light, fresh and summery. Corn chowder is one of my favorite soups, so I was excited to try this lighter, vegan version. Here’s the recipe.

thug kitchen corn chowder with basil summer recipe cooking

Corn & Basil Chowder

  • 6 large ears corn, shucked
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 medium russet (baking) potato
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
  1. First you want to use a sharp knife to cut the corn off the cobs. It’s easier if you snap the cob in half, stand it on its end in the middle of a large bowl and cut the kernels off from top to bottom. When you’re all done, you should have about 4 cups of kernels. Don’t get lazy and use frozen corn here; that shit will not taste the same. Chop the onion, celery, bell pepper, and potato into bean-size pieces and mince the garlic. Prep work done.
  2. Now grab a large soup pot and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it browns lightly, about 3 minutes. Add the celery, bell pepper, potato and garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes. Add the salt and then three-quarters of the corn kernels and stir. Add the broth and let that son of a bitch simmer until the potato pieces are soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. When the potato is soft, turn off the heat. Use an immersion blender and blend until that motherfucker looks nice and creamy and without a bunch of chunks. (You could also pour it into your blender and do it that way; up to you. Just return the blended soup to the pot.) Add the rest of the corn and the lemon juice, and bring it back to a simmer. Turn off the heat, add the basil, and then taste. Add more salt, more lemon juice, more basil, whatever. Serve right away with some more basil on top to make that shit look as legit as it tastes.

 

Summer Orange Salad {Recipe}

summer orange salad recipe

This vegan, gluten-free recipe is so simple and easy, it can barely even be called one. My best friend Zan’s mom made this for Kiyo and me when we visited St. Thomas, and we were both blown away by how such a simple dish could be so lovely.

Summer Orange Salad

Serves 2-4

  • 3 oranges
  • .25 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 tbsp. capers
  • fresh basil, sliced or chopped
  1. Cut the skin from the oranges, then slice each orange into desired thickness (about half an inch worked well for me)
  2. Top with olives, capers and basil
  3. Enjoy!


Mango Lassi {Recipe}

Summer in Hawaii means that everyone is currently overloaded with mangos. Sadly, I don’t have my own mango tree, but luckily I know so many people who do (my mom, my yoga students, etc.) that I also have an overabundance of the fruit. I regularly use Pinterest to find great recipes to try, and recently, I realized it was finally time to make this mango lassi I’d pinned months ago.

hawaii fruit mango lassi recipe

This ridiculously easy recipe called for 2 tbsp. of sugar, but I only used 2 tsp. Still, that was a little too much for me. I recommend using only 1 tsp. of sugar, at most; but of course, feel free to add more or less according to your personal taste.

MANGO LASSI RECIPE GLUTEN FREE VEGETARIAN

Mango Lassi

Serves two

  • 1 cup fresh mango
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • .5 cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
  • 1 tsp. sugar

Blend and enjoy immediately!

Yoga Playlist: July 2016

I am really digging this playlist I made for my Power Yoga and Vinyasa yoga classes this month. This playlist begins and ends with the same song, which I sometimes like to do to make the class feel complete and separate from regular life.

 

Let me know what you think and I am currently on the hunt for songs for my August playlist, so please send me your recommendations!

yoga playlist july 2016

yoga playlist july 2016

yoga playlist july 2016

yoga playlist july 2016

 


Egg Shop {New York}

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In May, I visited New York City for a yoga teacher training (more on that to come). After the training ended, I had a day to hang out with one of my best friends, who I was crashing with.

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We started the leisurely day walking from her apartment to Egg Shop, in the Lower East Side, stopping at Mud for coffee on the way.

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Mikayla and I both LOVE eggs, so we were destined to love Egg Shop. I mean, what food isn’t improved with an egg? Mik decided to be all healthy by ordering the appropriately named “Spandex.”

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This beautiful bowl consisted of poached egg, miso quinoa, avocado, pickled carrot, farm greens and gluten-free tamari (tastes like soy sauce). IT WAS SO GOOD. I want to stock all the ingredients for this in my fridge and just make it all the time.

egg shop nyc

I had the”Pepper Boy:” soft scramble, gruyere, bell pepper, maple cured bacon , caramelized onion aioli, all in a bell pepper. This can also come served as a panini, but Mikayla had ordered healthily, so I went for my healthier option too. This was very delicious, but I kind of wish I’d had the panini in retrospect. Mostly because the aioli was lost in this pepper-vessel version, although it did add to the overall rich creaminess, of the eggs.

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And because my friend and I are actually fatties at heart, we ordered this delectable biscuit with honey butter to share. Yes, it looks like fried chicken, and tasted like heaven. This is what you’re salty-sweet food fantasies are made of.

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Egg Shop

151 ELIZABETH ST. NEW YORK, NY 10012

(646) 666-0810

My Summer 2016 Reading List

Lately I have been stealing moments throughout each day to read. I’ve also recently (finally!) updated my Goodreads profile (friend me here).

reading on a rocking chair

There’s something magical about laying beach or poolside during the summer, immersed in a great book. Or maybe you prefer porch lounging, or laying in a hammock in the yard or while camping. Maybe you are traveling for the summer, and have a beloved book stashed in your backpack. You could read to pass the time on a train or airplane. If you’re just working per usual this summer, unable to get outside during the day, you can still try to escape from the office during your lunch break; when I lived and worked in New York, I used to sneak across the street to a bench in Central Park during the summer, any time that it was possible for me to step out for lunch.

 

Obviously, summer reading holds a nostalgic place in my heart; and unlike most nostalgia, this activity is still pleasant in the present! So, here are the ten books that I have already read, am currently reading, or plan to read before the end of Summer 2016:

NONFICTION

voices in the ocean summer reading

Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins

By Susan Casey

The moment I opened the book and read the first paragraph of the prologue, this writer’s prose blew me away. I was not expecting such expert composition from a book that frankly looks a little cheesy from the cover. Also, I am not a particularly huge fan of animals in general or dolphins in particular, but my dad gave me this book for Christmas, insisting it was special. Well, in the past 24 hours I’ve devoured half of it, and am not only a converted dolphin fan, but also a Susan Casey fan. I will definitely be looking for her other two nonfiction books after this (one about waves and the other sharks; both perfect for summer beach reading or daydreaming).

eastern body western mind summer reading

Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the Self

By Anodea Judith

I am almost done with this book and I am OBSESSED. For any yogi who is in or interested in psychotherapy, this is for you. Using the insights, information and practices in this book, I feel like I have immediately overcome some personal healing hurdles that have been plaguing me for years. Of course healing is a process, but if you’re feeling stuck in any way, or drawn to the chakras but want more information, read this book!

everydata summer reading

Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Every Day

John H. Johnson Ph.D. and Mike Gluck

I haven’t started reading this book yet, but it sounds up the alley of Stephen Dubner and Malcolm Gladwell, both writers whose work I enjoy. This line in the book’s description intrigued me: The average person consumes approximately 30 gigabytes of data every single day, but has no idea how to interpret it correctly… EVERYDATA explains, through the eyes of an expert economist and statistician, how to decipher the small bytes of data we consume.

yin yoga summer reading

Yin Yoga: Principles and Practice

By Paul Grilley

This book is short and to the point, but an extremely clear and useful guide to what Yin Yoga is, why you should practice it, and how. Summer is a particularly good time to balance out excess heat (especially for Pitta doshas) with a cooling practice like Yin. As Yoga Journal pointed out: teacher and author Maya Tiwari writes, “The doshas are not simply the dynamic energy within the body; rather, they are influenced primarily by seasonal variations.” As summer heats up, we become prone to accumulating excess pitta. If we already possess a pitta prakriti (nature), we’re at an even higher risk of becoming out of balance. So if you don’t already have a Yin practice, this is the perfect time to start.

FICTION

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The Complete Stories

by Flannery O’Connor

Total honesty: I bought this book because I loved the cover. Also, I have never been into short stories, but I am interested in them all of a sudden. I think it’s important to have at least one challenging and/or classic work on a Summer Reading list. I’ve read two of these short stories so far, and one was poignant, beautiful and resonated with me; the other was confusing and I think its meaning went over my head. But I will keep going! If anyone is an O’Connor fan and wants to discuss some of these, please let me know. ritual of the savage book hawaii

Ritual of the Savage

By Jay Strongman

This is a quick, easy summer read that is mystery/thriller and makes you want to throw a tiki party, or at least drink a mai tai. Perfect to take with you if you are actually on vacation in Hawaii or California. Read my full review here.

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The Alchemist

By Paolo Coelho

We were required to read this book in one of my middle school English classes, and I was way too inexperienced to appreciate it. In fact, I didn’t like it at all when I first read it. Now that I am a little older and wiser, and I consider myself on a spiritual life journey, this book (which is really a fable) was completely endearing to me. I was finally ready for its wisdom. This is the kind of book that gives hope to those of us with some life experience, and I imagine comfort to those of us with a lot. I read this book literally in one afternoon at the beach, and highly recommend it to anyone else who is on a journey, or who believes that things happen for a reason.

the girls summer reading list

The Girls

By Emma Cline

Everyone (on my social media feed and book podcasts I listen to) has been talking about this book, so when I saw a signed copy on sale at Costco last week, I grabbed it. It’s set during the summer in the late 1960’s (perfect for my aforementioned summer reading nostalgia) and sounds gripping: it’s a coming-of-age story involving a cult.

YOUNG ADULT (YA)

eggandspoonsummereading

Egg & Spoon

By Gregory Maguire

If you know me, you know I love Children’s Literature and YA, and did even before Divergent and Hunger Games came out (which I’m also a fan of, of course). I think that anyone who grew up loving Harry Potter (and I was part of the cohort who was the same age as Harry when each book was released) will just have a soft spot for YA forever. Does anyone else agree with this? Anyways, I enjoyed Gregory Maguire’s fiction books for adults, Wicked and the rest of that series, so I’m interested to read this YA book of his, which is set in Russia, where my ancestors are from. Doesn’t this review just draw you in? “A beautiful reminder that fairy tales are at their best when they illuminate the precarious balance between lighthearted childhood and the darkness and danger of adulthood.” — School Library Journal. Sadly, I rented this book from the library but didn’t get around to reading it before it was due (which was Fourth of July weekend, so I had to return it rather than renew). I’ll have to go back for it soon!

origin summer reading

Origin

By Jessica Khoury

I stumbled upon this book in the public library next to my house. It was a fast, easy read, and definitely a page-turner. While I would only rate this book three out of five stars, due to some inconsistencies in the story, I have to admit that I was thoroughly engrossed in it, and very much enjoyed the book overall. The protagonist is the one and only immortal human, living secretly in the Amazon jungle with only the scientists who created her.  If you want an easy, quick and entertaining sci-fi YA book (and one that isn’t about a dystopian future or vampires) this is a good one. It’s also the first book in a trilogy called Corpus, which I plan to read the rest of, so you can continue on if you’d like (but this book does wrap up nicely if you’re not interested in continuing on and reading all three).

summer reading list 2016 book blog

Book Review: Ritual of the Savage

I received a copy of Ritual of the Savage to review for my blog, and although I never would have picked this book up on my own, I enjoyed reading it.

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Jay Strongman is a renowned international DJ and a long-time writer on popular and underground culture. The book is named after a record (an object that is central to the story) which I am listening to now on Youtube. Sounding like an old movie soundtrack, it’s kind of kitschy, fun and retro… just like the book, making it the perfect namesake.

Let’s just be honest here and admit that the synopsis provided by the author/editor/publisher was painstakingly written and proofed, so I’m not going to do better. Here it is:

It’s the long, hot summer of 1958 and struggling private eye Johnny Davis embarks on a seemingly routine missing person case which drags him out of his comfort zone of sharp suits, bottle blondes and Tiki bars into a nightmare world of mind-altering drugs, deception and murder. From the cocktail lounges and beatnik clubs of LA to the desert resort of Palm Springs and the island paradise of Hawaii, Johnny is forced to choose between country and conscience, love and lust, and life and death.

This is his first novel, but Jay has written two art books on popular culture: “Tiki Mugs – Cult Artifacts of Polynesian Pop” (2009 Korero Books) which spent seven weeks at Number One in the Popular Culture category on Amazon.com, and the highly acclaimed “Steampunk – The Art of Victorian Futurism” (2011 Korero Books). Obviously, the guy has a soft spot for tiki. If that is a passion or interest you share, this is the perfect summer read. (Parenthetically, here is an interesting article debunking common myths about tiki; and here is an awesome podcast episode all about the origins of tiki drinks.)

ritual of the savage book hawaii

“Ritual Of The Savage” was published last year by Hungry Eye Books, and was “inspired by rainy afternoons as a child spent watching Bogart films on TV, reading Raymond Chandler, Ray Bradbury and Jonathan Latimer novels as a teenager and drinking rum cocktails in Tiki Bars as an adult in 1990s California.”

 

While the synopsis I posted above sounds super dark, the book felt much less serious than I expected (even though all the murder etc. was throughout). What I like about it is that it’s a fast, easy read (great for summer / vacation); it wasn’t drawn out; the mystery was interesting but not outlandish; and the attention to detail (descriptions of music, clothing, beverages etc.) painted a real scene in my mind as I read. I should let you know here that just because I live in Hawaii, doesn’t mean I’m a tiki expert. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an old tiki movie (now I want to, though!) and I can’t think of any true tiki bars here in Honolulu. However, this book was true to what I think tiki is like: retro, kitschy (in a great way), culturally ambiguous / a mashup of all things tropical, and slightly sexist. My one complaint about the book is that somehow the characters are undeveloped, including the protagonist, even though he does have a past that is woven into the story. Although the protagonist struggles with complex personal issues (as a veteran and as a womanizer) he just still seemed one-dimensional to me. However, the book still works because it’s a mystery / thriller. I admit that reading it in Hawaii, although I live here, made me feel like I was on vacation. This book is a great summer / vacation read because it’s almost like a movie. And although I began rolling my eyes eventually at how often the main character ogled and objectified women, I was pleased that the book ended with him finally showing some character development. His future is also undetermined, which left me feeling interested and satisfied with the book. Especially since it could have wrapped up in a really corny, too-good-to-be-true, hollywood style ending, the ambiguity at the end made me like the book more.

 

Thumbs up!

 

What are you reading this summer?


Yoga Playlist: June 2016

Your music recommendations are so helpful to me; thanks for sending! June’s playlist is fun for summer, but still nice and mellow at the end. Feedback is always welcome, and don’t forget you can follow me on Spotify: vshaindl.

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