Los Angeles is the city I travel to most often. That’s because five of my closest friends live there. Yep, they’re all of the way on the other coast from me. (Could it be something I said?!) In any case, on my most recent trip, I went for business and stayed several nights at The Line Hotel. On the day I settled in, I decided to grab a bite at the hotel restaurant, Openaire—and devoured a sandwich made with avocado, braised carrots, sunflower tahini, shaved fennel, and sprouts on 7-grain bread. I was inspired … as you can see by this recipe. It’s my twist on it.
I seriously don’t think I could live without hummus. Being half Lebanese could be one reason for that! The other is that I simply love it. It’s definitely one of my top go-to foods when I need a fast fix. How about you? While I adore the classic version, I also enjoy mixing things up with a non-traditional version every once in a while.
One of my favorite kitchen pastimes is to recreate comfort food into a new food experience. Ultimately, my goal is to make the dishes even tastier, healthier, and plant-ier (I think I made that word up?!) … and to elevate them so they’re a slight bit fancier. That’s what I did here. And don’t worry, it’s not complicated even though it might look like it. It’s my newest take on chili cheese fries. Yep, it’s still carb-rich … but at least it’s 100% “good” carbs!
One of my favorite things to enjoy after a long power walk is a smoothie. And when it comes to whirled up beverages, there’s no better flavor in my book than chocolate … the darker the better! So, meet my dark chocolatey smoothie. You only need three ingredients to make it—fat-free milk (preferably organic), unsweetened cocoa powder and, for sweetness, California prunes. Yep, you read that right … prunes! In the culinary sense, these dried fruits (dried plums, to be precise) enhance chocolatiness. They provide sweetness in a no-sugar-added manner. Plus, they’re beneficial for gut and bone health! In other words, that’s a win-win-win-win!
I’m a big, BIG noodle fan! They’re such a fun food. This cool bowl of noodles is no exception. You can make it with any variety you like. And there are sooo many types available today. When doing a cold salad like this, I find that whole-wheat or brown rice noodles offer the best texture. But when you want a boo punch of plant-based protein, you can make it with a pulse pasta like I did her. That’s red lentil spaghetti you see.