Pumpkin Oat Muffins

‘Tis the season for PUMPKIN! Here is an easy and delicious recipe for pumpkin oat muffins. Happy fall everyone!

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Ingredients:

1 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup honey (maple syrup or agave work too)

2 eggs

1 cup pumpkin purée

1/4th soy milk (or milk of choice)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 ½ cup whole-wheat flour

½ cup oats (plus more for garnishing)

Recipe makes 12 muffins

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the coconut oil then immediately mix it with the maple syrup, eggs, pumpkin purée, soy milk, vanilla, and almond extract. The coconut oil will begin to harden again so it needs to be stirred in with the other ingredients right away.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together (baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, flour and oats) then combine it with the coconut oil mixture.
  4. Divide the batter between the twelve muffin tins. Sprinkle a few oats on top of each muffin. Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, around 20 minutes.
  5. Let cool and serve with pumpkin butter from TJ’s.

Breaded Curry Cauliflower

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Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2/3rds cup coconut cream (canned from TJs)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut the cauliflower into large pieces.
  2. Mix together the coconut cream, egg, almond meal, curry powder, coconut oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Coat each piece of cauliflower with the mixture.
  4. Cover a baking sheet with coconut oil and cook the cauliflower at 350 degrees for 25- 30 minutes.
  5. Serve with ketchup or dijon mustard. Enjoy!

Thanks a brunch, SF!

Waking up Saturday morning is my favorite part of my week—you have the whole weekend in front of you. I enjoy starting it off with an almond milk latte and eggs benedict at a bustling cafe. Luckily, there is no shortage of brunch options in San Francisco. There are over ten decent places walking distance from my apartment in the Marina. I’m naturally an early  riser  and I immediately start thinking about breakfast. I try to wait until at least 10 so I can consider breakfast…brunch. Needless to say, my friends and I are the first in line. I love the energy and excitement (probably caused by the caffeine) at brunch as my friends and I eagerly share our latest life updates. The atmosphere is carefree and giddy. Nothing compares. Here are some of my favorite places from the past two months:

Tipsy Pig (Marina) Popular bar by night and trendy brunch tavern by day

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Goat Cheese-Chive Scramble

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Dutch Pancake

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Regular Bloody Mary

I was pleasantly surprised by the food and atmosphere. We sat in the back patio on a nice day and it was the best brunch experience I’ve had in the city. My friend and I shared the Dutch pancakes (with candied bacon, caramelized strawberries, and ricotta cheese) and the goat cheese-chive scramble (with asparagus and prosciutto). My other friend ordered the breakfast sandwich, which wasn’t as good. Everything was very tasty though. They have excellent Bloody Marys as well. I recommend the regular, not the spicy one. Recommend: Dutch pancakes, goat cheese- chive scramble, and the regular Bloody Mary. (5 taste, 5 atmosphere, 5 service)

The Mill (Alamo Square) Eclectic and airy café known for their fresh bread and spreads

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Ham and Cheese Pastry

They also serve four barrel coffee and decadent pastries. I came with a group of friends and we ordered everything on the menu—granted they only have 4 specialty toast options a day. I ordered whole wheat poppy seed bread with house-made pear blueberry jam and butter. I would come here alone to read and sip on coffee. You order at the counter then find a table. On the weekends the line will be out the door. It is also around the corner for Alamo Square Park. Recommend: Everything—you can’t go wrong! (5 taste, 5 atmosphere, 5 service)

Jane on Fillmore (lower pac heights) Small bustling cafe with light and creative breakfast options, Stumptown coffee, and homemade baked goods

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They offer a simple and healthy menu. Some options include avocado toast (with pickled onions and jalapenos on homemade sourdough), chia seed parfait (with berries and house-made granola), and gluten-free pastries. They also have gluten-free bread available. Great lattes and cappuccinos made with Straus milk. They have soy and almond milk available as well. It gets crowded on the weekends but the line goes pretty quick. This is the kind of cafe I envision myself opening (way down the road). Recommend: Chia Seed Pudding and avocado toast (5 taste, 4 atmosphere, 5 service)

Brenda’s French Soul Food (Tenderloin) Southern comfort food with Creole and French influence

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Pulled-Pork Eggs Benedict

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Special Breakfast Sandwich of the day

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Beignet Flight

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Open-face egg sandwich and creamy grits

It is a very popular spot so go early or get Philz Coffee (around the corner) while you wait. You have to order the beignet flight (chocolate, apple, crab, and traditional). The savory crab and traditional were my favorite. Most breakfast dishes are served with creamy grits or potatoes. I ordered the creamy grits but wished I ordered the potatoes. The grits are extremely rich (loaded with butter and cream) so it is hard to eat more than half of the heaping bowl they give you. The portions are large—no one finished their meal. Overall the food was very tasty but a little too heavy for me. Recommend: pulled pork eggs Benedict or goat cheese omelet. (4 taste, 4 atmosphere, 5 service)

Sol Food (Marin) Healthy Peruvian food

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You order at the counter then find a table. We ordered the bistec platter, bistec sandwich, veggie sandwich, and fried plantain chips. I recommend ordering half regular plantains and half garlic plantains. The platter comes with a large serving of the bistec, black beans, rice, garlic, salad, and fried plantains. They also make their own limeade. It is the kind of food where you feel satisfied and full but not uncomfortable. It is very colorful and lively inside with large communal tables. Great food and company. It’s hard not to enjoy yourself here. (5 taste, 5 atmosphere, 5 service)

Causwells (Marina) Another great brunch spot in the marina

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Pork Hash

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Chilaquiles

We sat outside on a perfect sunny afternoon. I ordered the omelet of the day, which was Canadian bacon, arugula, caramelized onions, sweet potatoes, and Parmesan cheese. A perfect combination. My friends ordered the Chilaquiles (tortilla chips, salsa, black beans, scrambled eggs, and sour cream) and the Pork Hash (braised pork, potatoes, and a fried egg). They are known for their breakfast hamburger that I’ve heard is spectacular. Recommend: Pork Hash and Omelet. (5 taste, 5 service, 5 atmosphere)

Blackwood (Chestnut St, Marina) Chic traditional American breakfast with an Asian twist

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My favorite brunch place in the Marina. Most brunch dishes have an asian twist and flavor. They have excellent dinner as well. It is the same owners as Sweet Maple and Kitchen Story. There is always a wait on the weekend and they do not take reservations for brunch (like most popular brunch places). Recommend: the BQ Scramble (chicken apple sausage, sweet basil, shallots, and carrots) and the eggs Benedict with millionaire’s bacon. (5 taste, 4 atmosphere, 3 service)

Belga (Marina) Sophisticated European style café with dishes ranging from French Croque Madame to German sausages

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They also offer brunch and happy hour. They have fun drink options like Devil’s Advokaat (brandy, egg, lemon, & nutmeg) or Oude Cobbler (aged genever, vermouth, lemon, sugar, sherry, berries). They have the best cinnamon brioche beignets served with whipped crème fraiche. Recommend: Veggie frittata (squash and goat cheese) or flat bread with shaved brussels sprouts and a fried egg. (4 taste, 5 atmosphere, 4 service)

El Techo (Mission) Trendy Argentinean tapas and brunch dishes situated on a rooftop in the heart of the Mission

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I came here for a friend’s birthday. On a nice day you have a beautiful view of the city—unfortunately it was raining when we went. The food is great. I ordered the Chorizo Scramble with roasted veggies and potatoes. The potatoes were amazing but I was not a fan of the chorizo. I preferred my friend’s Techo Rancheros (tortilla, pork, fried eggs, salsa, and beans). Recommend: Techo Rancheros and the fresh squeezed OJ. (4 taste, 5 service, 5 atmosphere)

Grove (Pac Heights) Rustic café serving traditional breakfast and lunch dishes

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I ordered the avocado toast and my friend ordered the breakfast sandwich. The rosemary potatoes were disappointing but overall I would recommend this place to someone looking for a casual and reasonably priced brunch place. They have great pies too! The service is a little slow. You order at the counter then find a seat. (4 taste, 4 atmosphere, 3 service)

Perry’s (Financial District and Marina) American soups, salads, and sandwiches

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They also have decent brunch and happy hour.  There are 3 locations in the city: Cow Hollow, Embarcadero, and Potrero. The Embarcadero location near the water and is a perfect place to come on a nice day. The food is decent but you get what you expect. They do not experiment with unique flavors, spices or combinations. It’s a perfect go-to restaurant to bring your non-adventurous/picky friend who is visiting.  Recommend: California Eggs Benedict (comes with avocado, tomato, and spinach). (4 taste, 4 atmosphere, 5 service)

Almond Oat Scones

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This can be a vegan recipe if you use almond milk.

Ingredients:

2/3rd cup oats

2/3rd cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4th cup or 4 tablespoons butter (melted)

2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar

juice from 1 lemon

1/2 cup almond or regular milk

1/4th cup shaved almond (plus an extra teaspoon to sprinkle on top)

1/4th cup raisins (optional)

1 cup fruit (strawberries or blueberries work best)

Directions:

  1. Mix the oats, flour, and baking powder together.
  2. In a separate bowl combine the vanilla, cinnamon, butter, and sweetener. Then add the lemon and milk.
  3. Stir the two mixtures together then add the almonds and fruit. I used fresh strawberries but frozen fruit works too.
  4. Pour into a buttered baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle almonds on top then bake at 400ºF for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Enjoy with tea or coffee.

 

Roasted Root Vegetable Galette

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Crust:

Modified Savory Tart Dough from Williams-Sonoma.

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon sugar

12 tablespoons butter

7-8 tablespoons cold water

Pinch of salt

I also added a 1/4th cup of Parmesan cheese to make it extra delicious for the holidays.

Filling:

Olive oil

½ teaspoon thyme

2 sweet potatoes

3 beets

2 turnips

2 parsnips

5-6 carrots

1/4th cup goat cheese (optional)

1 egg

Salt and pepper to taste

Glaze:

1 ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

This recipe requires a bit of prep but you can make the dough and glaze a day or two before. It’s a perfect winter recipe that will impress your friends and family. Not to mention it’s delicious!

Directions:

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Stir in the butter and water. Mix the dough until it comes together. I used my hands. Put it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  2. Cut the vegetables into squares then toss with olive oil and thyme. Roast at 400ºF for 30-35 minutes.
  3. Roll the dough into a circle then place the vegetable mixture in the center.
  4. Mix the glaze with an egg then pour it over the vegetables.
  5. Sprinkle the goat cheese on top.
  6. Fold over the edges of the dough.
  7. Cook at 375ºF for 35-40 minutes, until the crust is golden.

15 Super Foods

Here are 15 super foods that are easy to incorporate into your daily diet. I included links to my recipes that contain the ingredients.

Rainbow Chard (and other dark leafy greens)

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  • Extremely high in Vitamin K and A.
  • Excellent for blood sugar regulation.
  • Great source of dietary fiber.
  • Recipes.

Read more here.

Coconut and Coconut Oil

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  • Contains fatty acids the body needs.
  • Helps the body burn fat.
  • Recipes.

Read more here

Almonds and Walnuts

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  • High in protein.
  • Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • The body’s “brain food.”
  • Recipes.

Read more here.

Ginger and Ginger Chews (from Trader’s) 

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  • Helps soothe the stomach and treats nausea.
  • Recipes.

Read more here.

Chia Seeds

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  • High in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants.
  • Recipes.

Read more here.

Flaxseeds

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  • Lowers cholesterol.
  • High in micronutrients.
  • Recipes.

Read more here.

Sprouts

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  • High in Vitamin K.
  • Contains protein.
  • Alkalinizes the body.

Read more here.

Cinnamon

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  • Loaded with antioxidants.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Recipes.

Read more here.

Apple Cider Vinegar

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  • Lowers cholesterol, clears sinuses, fights bacteria, aids in digestion, and provides extra energy.
  • Recipes.

Read more here.

 Blueberries

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  • One of the most nutrient rich fruits.
  • Extremely high in antioxidants.
  • Recipes.

Read more here.

Gogi Berries

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  • High in Vitamin C.
  • Great source of antioxidants.
  • Add to your smoothies.
  • Recipes.

Read more here.

Gim (a.k.a Seaweed or Nori)

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  • I grew up eating Gim (Korean for seaweed) with rice and Korean side dishes. My family buys it in bulk from the Korean market. It’s recently gained popularity in mainstream supermarkets. Trader Joe’s sells single snack packs. Eat it plain or with rice and veggies.
  • High in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and magnesium.

Read more here.

Cocoa Powder

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  • Reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Satisfies your chocolate cravings without the guilt!
  • Recipes.

Read more here.

Hemp Seeds

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  • Contains essential amino acids.
  • High in protein.
  • Add to shakes and smoothies.

Read more here.

Nutritional Yeast

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  • Cream or cheese substitute.
  • High in protein and fiber.
  • A good source of B12 (great for vegetarians because B12 is typically found in meat).
  • Try sprinkling nutritional yeast and spike on popcorn.
  • Recipes.

Read more here.

Juicing

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I learned about juicing from working at Pressed Juicery. You can never consume as much fruits and veggies as you can in a juice. Juicing extracts the insoluble fiber allowing your body to absorb the nutrients fast and effectively. However your body needs about 25-30 grams of fiber a day. Juices are a great supplement to your diet but I do not believe in juice cleanses. There is not enough protein and fiber to sustain you through the day. Even if you lose a couple of pounds, you will quickly re-gain it once the cleanse is over. Juice cleanses are too extreme to be effective over the long-term. Drink juices when you feel sick or want to get some extra vitamins in.

Some of my PJ favorites:

Citrus 1 (aloe, coconut water, cucumber, lemon, pineapple): Very hydrating and refreshing. We call it our natural Gatorade.

Citrus 2 (apple, lemon, mint, pineapple): One of our best sellers. Mint soothes the stomach. High in vitamin C.

Greens 3 (apple, ginger, lemon, and greens): Our best seller. You get the nutrients from the greens but the ginger and the apple makes it sweet.

Activated Lavender Lemonade (lemon, honey, lavender, activated charcoal): Activated charcoal binds to your toxins and flushes them out. Drink after a night of overindulgence.

Roots 2 (apple, carrot, ginger, kale, parsley, romaine, spinach): Creamy and smooth. If you mix it with our vanilla almond it taste like carrot cake!

Apple Lemon Ginger Cayenne: Sweet and spicy. I recommend this if you are feeling sick. Combine with the cayenne water if you want an extra boost.

Read more about Pressed Juicery and juicing vs. blending.