Thursday, May 26, 2011


Last night, GFVFBF and I headed down to Santa Monica to check out Planet Raw--a casual joint that boasts a menu of exclusively raw, gluten-free, and vegan food (except certain items contain honey). In short, my mind was blown. GFVFBF agrees.

Some background. The raw food movement is a dietary belief that uncooked food is healthiest (although food can be heated to 104-118 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the raw foodie you ask).

Appetizer. To start with we had spring rolls sans avocado (I'm allergic). Honestly, it was INCREDIBLE. The sauce is something to the tune of blended cashews, lemon, ginger, and garlic. As you can tell by the picture, it's really creamy and tasted so good that GFBFVF and I were eating it plain when we finished the spring rolls. GFBFVF, who generally doesn't like cabbage, loved the shredded cabbage with the spring roll sauce.

Entree #1. GFBFVF had the good sense to order the cheesy
kelp pasta. Again, words can't describe how creamy and amazing the raw cheese was. This dish was so delicious that I have been fantasizing about eating it all day today. This dish contained cauliflower, and, like the cabbage, GFVFBF was all over it even though he normally doesn't like cauliflower.

Entree #2. Despite the perfection of the spring rolls and cheesy kelp pasta, I could not stand the pad thai--for the sole reason that it contained a lot of rosemary. First, I hate rosemary and all things rosemary-flavored with a fiery passion; it sickens me. Second, who in their right mind would think that
pad thai would come with rosemary? Barf. GFVFBF, on the other hand, enjoys rosemary and thought it was a fine dish (although I think he was lying to make me feel less guilty about scarfing down his cheesy kelp pasta...what a lovely partner I have).

Although I LOVE LOVE LOVE Planet Raw and will be a devoted patron for as long as I live, there are a few things that I didn't like. First, it tries to be a restaurant and a raw food quickie mart at the same time in a very small space. I find it rather disjointed and would prefer it to be less casual. Second, GFBFVF and I had an early dinner (around 6), but ingredients had run out for 3 of the dishes we originally wanted (this is how I ended up with the nasty rosemary wannabe pad thai).

Complaints aside, Planet Raw is now on my favorite list and I cannot wait to go back again.

Monday, May 23, 2011

"Health Care Reform Starts in Your Mouth"

Garrett Mize really hit the nail on the head in his piece "Health Care Reform Starts in Your Mouth."

As a progressive political activist, I attend a lot of political get-togethers and events. But if you take a look at the food offered at any one of these events, you’d think I was at a Republican fund-raising dinner for Sarah Palin. At fancy dinners steak, pork tenderloin, and lobster is on the menu. At activist events and phone-banks cheese pizza with pepperoni and extra sausage is the preferred choice. At morning grassroots planning meetings breakfast tacos filled with egg, cheese and sausage and bagels with flavored cream cheese are the expected progressive staples...It doesn’t make a lot of sense to chow down on pizza while phone-banking for health care reform, or to have a BBQ party to celebrate a successful legislative session that included the expansion of health care...
Obviously it's extreme to say one must eat 100% healthy food 100% of the time. I read this in terms of general lifestyle trends, and not as a call to police every bite of food.

The article continues with a great clip of BC. Really hoping the plant-based message can at least resonate with people vulnerable to or struggling with heart disease.

GF/V Review: Rice Divine's Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Ice Cream

Despite the rumors that us vegans only eat vegetables, many of us (me included) love to get down with some ice cream. Celiac Disease impacts my love of ice cream, particularly when it comes to coconut, rice, almond, or soy milk ice creams that have cookie chunks in them (sad panda).

Now that I'm living at home in LA for the summer (woot woot), Mama Bear brings home lots of goodies for me from Whole Foods. Today's goodie: Good Karma Organic Rice Divine Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge.

I totally dig this flavor. While the chocolate-flavored ice cream isn't anything out of the ordinary, the magic lies in the fact that it's filled with chunks of GF/V cookies and random spots of organic, creamy peanut butter.

But, don't take my word for it. After all, I have the warped taste buds of 3.5 years of vegan living and don't even remember what ice cream made from cow lactation is even like any more. For a more objective assessment, I put this flavor to The Dylan Test. In case you don't remember, Dylan is a grubby 7th-grader who lives off of hamburgers, french fries, pizza, and Coke.

Turns out, this flavor passes. As Dylan salivated and back-washed melted ice cream all over my spoon, he described the flavor as "awesome."

(Although, I will admit that I didn't want to give Dylan a bite with cookie or PB chunks, so his reaction is based solely on the plain chocolate ice cream. Whoops.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

If you're leaving veganism, be honest about it.

Perusing Ecorazzi, I was quite peeved to read about Ginnifer Goodwin's cowardly bow out of veganism.

If you no longer desire to be a vegan, just be honest that you wanted to stuff your face with animal flesh, lactation, or embryos. No one can knock you for sharing your sincere feelings.

But if, instead, you take the Goodwin route--scapegoating on "health" issues--you only reaffirm the damaging myth that vegans are necessarily weak or somehow nutritionally lacking. And let's be real, her feeble attempt at saving face didn't work. This interview is obnoxious.