Paul and I just got back from a beer-filled weekend in San Diego. Our favorite stops were:
- the Hess Brewery where they make extraordinarily well-balanced silky smooth beers in pots not much bigger than mine, all in a business park garage.
- Tiger! Tiger! where we had the most brilliant vegan take on poutine - hand-cut skinny fries scattered with fresh cilantro leaves served with a steaming bowl of creamy rich green curry sauce to pour over. Those goopy fries were beautiful friends with both a crisp ESB brewed with English hops and a maltier organic brown ale.
- Afternoon coffee and sweet potato streudel from Stephanie's Bakery. (And the boys were delighted with the tiny vanilla cupcakes we brought home.)
- Oh! And the house-made vegan sausage at The Blind Lady Ale House served with apple mostarda house pickled onions and whole grain mustard.
I was shocked over and over by how seemlessy vegan-friendly every place we visited was. Even the Mexican place that we stopped at on the way down for emergency lunch when traffic jacked up our plans had vegetarian enchiladas and potato tacos and vegan refried beans, and the waitress knew to let us know that the rice wasn't vegetarian. We also had an unplanned and totally pleasant stroll along Doheny Beach, but still, please don't let me forget that we are taking the train next time.
And then at the end of all that beer and streudel and tortilla chips and sausages and french fries, do you know what we did? Went home, right? Took a long walk? Had a big glass of water? Maybe did a load of laundry? No. We went to a four course vegan Oktoberfest dinner in Atwater Village. There was more beer, and lights strung over a long table set for forty, and oompah music, and bread dumplings in mushroom gravy, and a lovely refreshing cucumber salad flecked with dill, and more beer, and housemade suaerkraut, and warm potato salad, and smoked king mushroom sausages, and ice cream for dessert. It was pretty magical.
So now, are you wondering where Jennifer Cornbleet's Chia-Blueberry Breakfast Pudding comes into it?
This book is totally accessible. You don't need a dehydrator. You don't need all day. You don't need a million mail order ingredients.
She starts with a great introduction on setting up your kitchen - what staples and basic equipment you should have on hand and then a weekly shopping list for one or two people. She covers all the raw basics like soaking nuts and prepping produce. The recipes are organized into three sections: breakfast, lunch and dinner, and dessert. There are tons of really simple recipes for smoothies and salads and spreads. It's an everyday useful sort of book to really help you eat better.
I love this breakfast pudding recipe. I never thought of doing this with fruit and chia seeds. Have you? It gels up nicely to a firm pudding. It's light and bright with fresh fruit, but the chia seeds give it a bit more stick to your ribs lasting appeal. I think I'll try it for an afternoon snack for the kids today. And tomorrow I'm going to switch the blueberries out for mango.
Slinky dress here we come.
Chia-Blueberry Breakfast Pudding
From the book Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People, Revised Edition by Jennifer Cornbleet. Excerpted by arrangement with the Book Publishing Company. Copyright (c) 2012.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups, 2 servings
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed and drained frozen blueberries
- 1/2 orange, peeled, sectioned, and seeded
- 4 pitted medjool dates, soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds, unsoaked
Put the blueberries, orange sections, and dates in a blender and process on medium speed until smooth. Add the chia seeds and process on high speed until well incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, Chia-Blueberry Breakfast Pudding will keep for 24 hours.