Blog

June 28, 2018  2:37 pm

Today I am creating a blog for my website, where I will cement, in writing, the concepts that I think are important to art, society, graffiti, the graffiti community, the art world and the world in general. I consider myself to be an intersectional feminist. I am deeply passionate and equally concerned about all the contributing factors that create the human condition, which all converge to find us here on earth at this time in history.

I am grateful to be sharing this place and time with all of you and hope that my thoughts can spark new conversations for how we can all be more connected to each other and to the many places and (human and non human) people we call home.

This blog will not be a place for public comment, but I encourage you to communicate with me and to communicate with each other. We need to. Communication is so often taken for granted but lets truly appreciate the ability we have in this moment in history to physically communicate with so many people (known and new). Thank you for taking the time to read what I’ve written and what I will continue to write. Thank you for indulging the curiosity that led you here, it led me here too.

 

June 28, 2018 2:51pm

Why this is important to me:

The world doesn’t need more self-aggrandizing artists or entertainers who seek to distract in an endless cycle of media consumption, products and time tokens (money). The world needs more idea liberators, more intellects willing to discuss the real reasons why we’re here, more open hearts ready to accept the ebb and flow without needing to possess.

In short, I felt I would better serve my greater purpose on earth by sharing my principles, thoughts and ideas than to solely project these notions in art imagery. My artwork relates to so much of what I will share on this blog, but much of it is raveled in riddles far too personal to explain. This blog will help unravel those threads for anyone curious enough to explore.

 

June 29, 2018 3:15pm

No longer putting new, exclusive content on Instagram and why you should too:

So many of us artists produce free content for other people to consume on social media nearly every day. Some of us use social media to promote ourselves as best we can, planning that the work we do will make the right connection, and promote sales, and some how allow us to make more work and to support our lives and families and pets and dinners and hopes and dreams. Some of us work double time, allowing our artwork and passion projects to suffer in order to make sure we can pay bills or losing sleep/compromising health in order to get it all done.

Facebook owns Instagram, and a bunch of investors (a grip of people I never met) own Facebook, they technically own the content I post and they monetize the content that I produce. They get paid for it every single day but I don’t. I allow them to sell my passion with their advertising  and I’m probably addicted to it, but I’m not benefiting from it.

The other day my razor-sharp smart bae Tabby put me onto Patreon – its a platform where artists, musicians and creators can publicize their projects directly to fans and patrons who pay a monthly membership (at a tier of their choice) to join artists on the journey as they create new work.

I looked into it and decided this would be a great way to take ownership of the daily content that I produce. I felt that a Patreon account would help filter the caliber of people who have access to me and my artwork via social media. By reserving my posts and process strictly for those who are willing to pay a meager $1 a month (less than 4 pennies a day), it allows me to limit needless online interactions with people who aren’t interested in my artwork. Beyond that, it helps me maintain ownership of the content I create. This is my way out of being a revenue source for someone else and being a revenue source for myself.

I invite you all to join me. Make your own Patreon page. I have no shame in paying $1 a month to subscribe to an artist I like in exchange for access to their daily content, creativity and vibes. This is our way of endorsing each other in a practical way – way more tangible and legit than a like or a repost.

Thanks for taking the time to read my position. Hope I see you there! —> Patreon.com/EmeraldArtStudio 

 

July 23, 2018 10:27pm

Answers to open questions. Thank you to those who submitted:

1. In general, I don’t like to isolate women from the rest of graffiti. For me, it is very important for women to be perceived on the same “playing field” as anyone else who performs whatever task. We need to be judged as a whole for our talent, not for our sex or gender. Being clever and creative and talent in making letters and applying spray paint to a surface has nothing to do with a persons gender or sex as far as I’m concerned. That said – I am enthusiastic about dope graffiti writers who happen to be women. For instance, Miss 17 has been the king of New York City street bombing for a long time, Utah has painted circles around probably every clean train painter on the planet, and Musa has outpainted everyone on nearly every wall she’s been on for as long as I can remember. The primary reason they stand out is because their work speaks for itself.

The one thing about women who are graffiti artists – all of us, regardless of how we approach what we do – we’ve all had a similar experience of being harassed by men in graffiti because of our gender. In that regard, that is one thing that does separate us, and one thing that a lot of my work is a reaction to. Women in graffiti are objectified, harassed, bullied, stalked, subject of and subject to lies and gossip, name-calling, and the list goes on. Stuff that men in graffiti do not do to other men. In this regard, we are different, and we are often on our own. In my experience, the Neverland boys club of men in graffiti don’t often defend their female peers. That is something I think we should pay more attention to. Not the fact that women paint graffiti, but the fact that majority of women who paint graffiti deal with sexual harassment in silence.

2. I got into veganism on accident, and into animal rights unintentionally. I had been vegetarian since 2009 after reading the book “Eating Animals.” After I adopted my first pitbull, I was constantly watching dog programs and animal shows – initially to do more research on dogs and then because it was entertaining and eventually stuff just autoplayed on Hulu. One day a farm vet reality show autoplayed on Hulu, and what they did to the pregnant cow to HELP her made her collapse in pain. I dropped the slice of pizza in my hand and threw away the rest of the pie and haven’t eaten dairy ever since. Beyond that, a friend of mine, Chris Alas, has been vegan for a long time and he’s involved in animal rights and liberation. I saw one of his stories of a vigil with Los Angeles Animal Save and I felt compelled to go. When I saw the pigs being trucked to slaughter and gave them water, I couldn’t help but see the resemblance between those pigs and my dogs – their ears literally look the same shape. I cried and cried and ever since have not been able to stop speaking out.

I’ve identified as a feminist for as long as I can remember. In growing up with older brothers, I never understood any kind of difference between my desires in life and theirs.  I always felt I was equal and on the same “playing field” as them. Even as a kid, I felt the desire to be competitively better than the guys for as long as I can remember. Because of my brothers and befriending their friends I’ve always had an easy time befriending males, and always had groups of guy friends growing up, even before I got into graffiti. Until I was sexually assaulted for the first time, I hadn’t ever seen a difference between a mans abilities and mine. As I got older and took more classes in school, I was able to define that original attitude I always had as feminism. After the first sexual assault on the street in public at age 19, I experienced first-hand the biological difference between men and women. While we may be biologically different, I don’t think that difference should make our rights and opportunities any different in life.

To that extent, feminism includes all beings for me. Human and animal rights are important to me. We are different but we are the same. We all have souls and we all want to live. Sadly, humans are the only species that is known to commit suicide, all other animals (especially the ones that are eaten as food) want to live. I believe they deserve that right.

100 years ago it was socially acceptable to own slaves. And 50 years ago it was acceptable to deny women social rights. 25 years ago it was acceptable to deny rights to members of the LGBTQ community. It is not so outlandish to think that eventually it will no longer be socially acceptable to rape, enslave and eat animals. My only regret is that I didn’t make the connection sooner. I’m still in the process of getting vintage leather pieces out of my home and placed into the least wasteful, in-vain situation.

Above the animal rights, what eating animals does to peoples bodies, emotions and souls is not good. I feel healthier, lighter and more connected to myself than ever before. I have less anxiety, stress and pain. It’s probably because I’m not eating the dead body or secreted hormones of a stressed out anxious animal that is in pain… Right? Right. Xo

 

 

February 21, 2019

More than meets the eye.

I grew up mostly as a tomboy, friends with boys who would talk about girls in a way I never wanted anyone to talk about me. I purposely didn’t make efforts (and sometimes still don’t) to make myself look attractive. I have always had a fear of ending up with someone who is only with me for the way I look, knowing how little respect most men have for attractive women despite how much they value them as sex objects.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized more and more how women in society are most often valued by the way they look. If I dress nice and blow dry my hair and put on a little makeup, people (total strangers, men and women) are significantly nicer to me in public – holding doors, paying for food, paying my tolls, going out of their way to make things happen for me. And the more I think about it, the more I realize how far that concept extends. Women are valued for the way they look, but not much else. A pretty woman in great shape is expected to be a model or an actress – because the notion that she could have talent, intelligence, skills or passion  doesn’t supersede her appearance. In most cases, the better a woman looks the better her value is in society, yet she won’t be taken seriously for anything else -she’s a pretty face and when you look at her that is all you see.

I realized recently, that despite being aware of this my whole life, I was guilty of the same exact line of thinking in some ways. I’m getting older and I’ve caught myself saying that I don’t care because I still look young – as if that is what matters about getting old. I’ve caught myself looking at tall, thin women and wondering why they were working in an office and not modeling – as if that’s a more suitable job for her and whatever skill set she has isn’t as valuable.

I realized these concepts have been ingrained into me since I was a kid, my mom is one of those kind of women – the type who are taught to value themselves based on their appearance, the type who project those same attitudes onto their daughters – a product of patriarchy.

My goal in addressing this is to bring awareness to it. Maybe others do the same thing but are not aware of it? How can we ever be socially equal if women are subject to these attitudes and stigmas? Women hold value in society regardless of their looks. Women are unique, intelligent, talented, skilled, clever, funny, inventive, entrepreneurial,  trendsetting, record-breaking, hardworking, innovative and contribute more to society than the way we look, the way we dress or who we date.

If we want a better world, we need to deconstruct the parts of the existing one that are not working. I challenge you: the next time you see a woman, don’t assess her attractiveness or her appearance, ask yourself what kind of passions she has or what her goals are. It makes a world of difference.

 

August 12, 2019

 

Emerald’s Plant-based Recipes list

 

So here are some general guidelines: 

 

Buy organic and non-gmo as much as possible. Wash your fruits & vegetables in a solution of baking soda and fresh water. If you have a combination of organic and conventional produce, wash the organic stuff first and then the conventional stuff after. 

 

Here is EWG’s 2019 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Over Half of Samples of Kale Tainted With Possible Cancer-Causing Chemical: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

 

Cook and bake with high heat oils such as sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, canola, or sesame seed oil.

 

Cold-pressed oils, such as olive oil, flax seed, hemp seed are best cold – so are the best for salads and dressings or topping pasta with once it’s finished cooking. 

 

I cook with Celtic Sea Salt (so when I say salt, I am referring to this type). The following info is pulled & pasted from their website, https://www.celticseasalt.com/:  it is the ideal nutritious salt. Celtic Sea Salt includes, as nature intended, a spectrum of naturally occurring, essential minerals. Nothing is removed from the natural salt and absolutely nothing artificial is added to it. It supplies the body with vital trace minerals and elements, along with the proper balance of sodium chloride, which is the scientific name for salt.  The unique combination of natural minerals in Celtic Sea Salt is made up of natural electrolytes that give your body a “positive electrical charge”. Human health depends on the abundance of the vital minerals found in Celtic Sea Salt. Among other functions, the minerals help us assimilate vitamins and nutrients into our cells. 

More info on how to select: https://d163axztg8am2h.cloudfront.net/static/doc/95/4d/0b4b2569c5f08e0a3e055363d0d3.pdf

 

Because of metal leaching into food when it is cooked, I bake with glassware and cook with cast iron – having iron added into cooked food is a good thing whereas aluminum and steel are not. Plastic can leach into food as well, so I store all my food in glassware. Empty coconut oil and tomato sauce jars can be cleaned and used as storage containers if needed.

 

Heat up food on a pan or in a toaster oven, never use a microwave. Use parchment paper to line your toaster oven tray since it is likely made of aluminum and you don’t want aluminum leaching into your food.

 

Many of these recipes require a Magic Bullet blender or something equivalent that can blend up ingredients.

 

If I learn of any other tips I’ll keep you posted! 

 

One thing to note, I’m not a chef, the measurements are guesstimates, and I’m not a professional recipe writer so this is written terribly. Some things are vague, if you have any questions, ask! 


Also, despite the fact that a lot of these recipes are cooked and feature combined ingredients, the best way to eat fruits and most vegetables is raw and mono (where you don’t mix them).

 

When you eat fresh fruit with your meals, make sure you eat it first. The acids in fruit can cause other foods to ferment in your stomach (bread for instance). Adding fruit on top of a sandwich in your stomach will cause major gas because of the reaction of yeast to fruit sugar.

 

One last thing to note: You must take a B-12 or B-complex vitamin at least every few days. This is the number one vitamin that most people are deficient in (even meat-eaters), but especially vegans.

 

Here goes with the recipes…

 

Breakfast Options:

 

Fruit 

Raw organic fruit is the best thing you can eat first thing in the morning. If you feel it doesn’t fill you up, eat as much of it as you need to feel full. Try not to mix fruits if possible.

 

Smoothie

Banana, 3 tablespoons of almond butter or peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds + 1 1/2-2 cups of unsweetened almond milk, 2 or more teaspoons of cinnamon, handful of walnuts or almonds (optional, I like my smoothie chunky) – put it all in a blender and blend it up. 

 

Banana Walnut Pancakes 

I use a gluten-free pancake mix. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free pancake mix or Arrowhead Mills

Organic Buckwheat Pancake & Waffle Mix are both vegan and bomb. Follow the instructions for the mix and instead of eggs use 1 mashed up banana, instead of regular milk use almond milk or water, use coconut oil instead of butter, ground cinnamon, ground clove and ground allspice, add chopped walnuts – and if you want extra points you can add some chia seeds. Cook however you would cook pancakes. It usually takes 1 or two bad ones to get the temperature right so they don’t burn or cook awkwardly. If you can’t get it, you can grease a cake pan and make banana bread.

 

Oatmeal 

Organic steel grain oats (follow the directions on the box) or you can use organic rolled oats (they cook faster) When the oatmeal is prepared, add maple syrup, ground cinnamon, a handful of raw or roasted walnut or almond pieces, 1 tbsp of hemp seeds, 1 tbsp of chia seeds

 

English-style Breakfast 

1 small/medium tomato, 1/2 of an avocado (scooped out), 2 slices of toasted sourdough or grain bread (millet, sorghum, flax seed, poppy, etc), black or pinto beans 

 

Avocado Toast

 2 slices toasted bread, 1 ripe avocado, 1 ripe tomato, 1 clove of garlic, salt, pepper & olive oil. Prepare tomato topping at least an hour before eating this for full flavor: Chop tomato into cubes (as best possible), crush and chop clove of garlic, mix in a small bowl with salt, pepper and olive oil. Let it marinate for at least an hour (covered if there are summer flies hanging around). Room temperature is best flavorwise but you can marinate in the fridge as well. Once tomatoes have soaked with the garlic, salt, pepper & olive oil. Cut avocado in half, scoop out with a spoon and mash 1/2 side of avocado onto each of the toasted bread slices. Top with marinated tomato. 

Optional: Add a drizzle of balsamic reduction glaze (I purchase a pre-made bottle)

 

Cereal 

Organic corn flakes or rice chex cereal, topped with chia seeds, hemp seeds and almonds or walnuts, and a drizzle of maple syrup or agave with unsweetened vanilla almond milk

 

Toaster Waffles + 

I like gluten-free toaster waffles from trader joes. Not sure if everyone has access to these, but you might have to do some digging to find one at the grocery store that doesn’t have eggs or milk in it. Whole foods or any health food store will have some version of it. Toast until desired level of crunchiness. Top with a layer of almond butter(or peanut butter), sliced apples, sprinkle of ground cinnamon and drizzle with maple syrup or agave.

 

Dips:

 

Guacamole

Chop up avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeño and mix all together with salt and cayenne pepper + fresh squeezed lemon juice. Add more or less of each ingredient till it suits your taste. Let sit in the fridge for 20-30 minutes the flavors to soak in. Still yummy if you don’t let it soak in, but much better if you let it sit!

 

Pineapple or Mango Salsa

Chop up fresh pineapple (or mango), red onion, tomato, cilantro, jalapeno (if you don’t have it you can use powdered cayenne pepper),add salt, 1-2 fresh squeezed limes. Add more or less of each ingredient till it suits your taste. Let sit in the fridge for 20-30 minutes the flavors to soak in. Still yummy if you don’t let it soak in, but much better if you let it sit!

 

Emerald’s version of Tabouli

Chop up parsley, red onion, tomato, red bell pepper, cucumber, whole olives (green or black, drained and washed), add salt and fresh cracked pepper, olive oil + 1-2 fresh squeezed lemon. Add more or less of each ingredient till it suits your taste. Let sit in the fridge for 20-30 minutes the flavors to soak in. Still yummy if you don’t let it soak in, but much better if you let it sit!

 

Hummus

Soak approx 1 cup of dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas) in warm water overnight. If you have the time and energy you can peel the skins off the garbanzo beans. If you don’t, it’s OK, it won’t affect the taste toooo too much. It tastes much better with the skins peeled fyi.
In a blender or magic bullet: Combine the soaked garbanzo beans with 4 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 tsp of pink himalayan salt (or sea salt), 2 tablespoons of tahini (ground sesame seeds), squeeze the juice from an entire lemon, 1/4 – 1/2 cup of olive oil, blend until you reach desired texture. May need to add more lemon juice or olive oil if the mixture gets too thick and can’t be blended. At the end top with sprinkles of smoked paprika, olive oil and chopped mint. Let sit in the fridge for 20-30 minutes the flavors to soak in. Still yummy if you don’t let it soak in, but much better if you let it sit!

 

Snack Options:

 

Almonds

I always carry a bag of roasted, unsalted almonds on me. Raw is better, but I prefer the crunch of roasted. If you’re craving something sweet you can heat them in a toaster oven for a few minutes and top with semi-sweet chocolate chips or ground cinnamon and agave or maple syrup

Pita Chips, Sliced Carrots, Sliced Cucumbers & Hummus
Can purchase an organic hummus or make my hummus recipe: Soak approx 1 cup of dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas) in warm water overnight. If you have the time and energy you can peel the skins off the garbanzo beans. If you don’t, it’s OK, it won’t affect the taste toooo too much. It tastes much better with the skins peeled fyi.
In a blender or magic bullet: Combine the soaked garbanzo beans with 4 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 tsp of pink himalayan salt (or sea salt), 2 tablespoons of tahini (ground sesame seeds), squeeze the juice from an entire lemon, 1/4 – 1/2 cup of olive oil, blend until desired texture is achieved. May need to add more lemon juice or olive oil if the mixture gets too thick and can’t be blended. At the end top with sprinkles of smoked paprika, olive oil and chopped mint.

 

Hummus Toast:

Hummus: In a blender or magic bullet: Combine the soaked garbanzo beans with 4 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 tsp of pink himalayan salt (or sea salt), 2 tablespoons of tahini (ground sesame seeds), squeeze the juice from an entire lemon, 1/4 – 1/2 cup of olive oil, blend until desired texture is achieved. May need to add more lemon juice or olive oil if the mixture gets too thick and can’t be blended. At the end top with sprinkles of smoked paprika, olive oil and chopped mint.

2 slices toasted bread, spread on hummus and you can top with any chopped vegetables (I prefer cucumber, tomato or red pepper)


Avocado Toast

 2 slices toasted bread, 1 ripe avocado, 1 ripe tomato, 1 clove of garlic, salt, pepper & olive oil. Prepare tomato topping at least an hour before eating this for full flavor: Chop tomato into cubes (as best possible), crush and chop clove of garlic, mix in a small bowl with salt, pepper and olive oil. Let it marinate for at least an hour (covered if there are summer flies hanging around). Room temperature is best flavorwise but you can marinate in the fridge as well. Once tomatoes have soaked with the garlic, salt, pepper & olive oil. Cut avocado in half, scoop out with a spoon and mash 1/2 side of avocado onto each of the toasted bread slices. Top with marinated tomato. Optional: Add a drizzle of balsamic reduction glaze (I use a pre-made bottle).

The most basic version of this, if you don’t have much time, is an avocado sandwich: Two slices of bread, mash avocado on each slice, top with salt and put the sandwich together and eat.


Pineapple Turmeric smoothie 

1/2 cup of fresh or frozen pineapple, 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 a banana if you want, a bunch of ice (as much as you want), 2-3 teaspoons of turmeric. Blend in a blender.

 


Apple slices with peanut butter or almond butter + cinnamon 

Core and slice an apple, top with peanut butter or almond butter and sprinkle cinnamon on top.

 

Walnuts

I also like to have a bag of raw walnuts on me, great to snack on in traffic or in between meals. If you want something sweet, you can heat them in a toaster oven for a few minutes and top with semi-sweet chocolate chips or ground cinnamon and agave or maple syrup

 

Guacamole and tortilla chips

Guacamole: Chop up avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeño and mix all together with salt and cayenne pepper + fresh squeezed lemon juice. Add more or less of each ingredient till it suits your taste.

You can buy your chips or make them at home. Homemade tortilla chips: Get simple, round corn tortillas and cut them into 4 quarters. Put them in a hot pan with oil till fried to perfection or bake them in the oven.

 

Lunch Options:

 

Veggie Sandwich

 2 toasted slices of bread, Sliced beet, sliced carrot, sliced cucumber, greens, tomato, sliced onion, sliced avocado, top with salt, pepper, drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

 

Beyond Meat Burger sandwich

 1 Beyond Meat brand “Beast burger”, any bun or bread of your choice (can eliminate bread altogether if you want by using green leaf or red leaf lettuce) sliced tomato, sliced cucumber (the long way so its skinny and long, not short and chunky), sliced avocado. 

 

Super Food Chopped Salad 

1 broccoli head chopped up, steamed or raw beet chopped up, cherry tomatoes sliced in half, unsalted raw or roasted walnuts or pistachios (shells removed – they sell them in bags called “pistachio nutmeats”), chopped cucumber. Put all your chopped veggies in a bowl and toss with Dressing: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup or agave, salt, pepper. Let sit in the fridge for 20-30 minutes for the dressing to soak into the salad. Still yummy if you don’t let it soak in, but the salad takes on the flavor when you let it sit in the dressing for a little while.

 

Asian Chopped Salad 

Purple & green cabbage, bok choy, cilantro, scallions, sliced almonds, 1 tangerine (peeled and separated), carrot, sesame seeds. Chop up all the vegetables, put them in a bowl and top with sesame seeds. Dressing: 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil, 2-3 tablespoons of agave or maple syrup, 1/8 cup of fresh lemon juice, 4-5 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce, 1 small chunk of grated ginger. Mix together with a fork or wisk and adjust ingredients to taste. Pour dressing on the salad and let sit in the fridge for 20-30 minutes for the dressing to soak into the salad. Still yummy if you don’t let it soak in, but the salad takes on the flavor when you let it sit in the dressing for a little while.

 

Kale Salad

Massage and peel the kale off the stem and tear into pieces if you’d like or you can chop with a knife. Add walnut pieces (or sunflower seeds), chopped celery and chopped bell pepper. Mix veggies together and add dressing: fresh squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup or agave, salt + black pepper. Toss and let sit in the fridge for 20-30 minutes for the dressing to soak into the salad. Still yummy if you don’t let it soak in, but the salad takes on the flavor when you let it sit in the dressing for a little while.

Optional: I like to top it with Follow Your Heart brand vegan parmesan cheese.

 

Guacamole Tacos

Guacamole: Chop up avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeño and mix all together with salt and cayenne pepper + fresh squeezed lemon juice. Add more or less of each ingredient till it suits your taste.

Heat up tortillas (can put a plant-based cheese on them as they heat up), take off stove (or out of oven)  and fill with guacamole.

 

Veggie Tacos

Chop up bell pepper (any and all colors), red onion, mushrooms and zucchini. Stir fry with fresh squeezed lemon juice, salt + pepper (can use black or cayenne). Heat up tortillas (can put a plant-based cheese on them as they heat up), take off stove (or out of oven)  and fill with stir-fried veggies. Can top with guacamole and salsa if you’d like.

 

Mediterranean platter

Hummus, tabbouli, chickpea fritters, rice (brown rice is better!) & pita (I buy at the Middle Eastern store)

 

Hummus

In a blender or magic bullet: Combine the soaked garbanzo beans with 4 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 tsp of pink himalayan salt (or sea salt), 2 tablespoons of tahini (ground sesame seeds), squeeze the juice from an entire lemon, 1/4 – 1/2 cup of olive oil, blend till creamy. May need to add more lemon juice or olive oil if the mixture gets too thick and can’t be blended. At the end top with sprinkles of smoked paprika, olive oil and chopped mint (the herb).

 

Emerald’s version of Tabbouli

Chop up parsley, red onion, tomato, red bell pepper, cucumber, whole olives (green or black, drained and washed), add salt and fresh cracked pepper, olive oil + 1-2 fresh squeezed lemon. Add more or less of each ingredient till it suits your taste.

 

Fried Chickpea Fritters – they taste just like fried chicken!

Soak a cup of dried chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) overnight (I use boiling hot water to soak them quicker). When ready, blend up chickpeas, red onion, garlic, fresh cilantro, fresh parsley, sunflower oil, fresh squeezed lime juice, salt, pepper, dried cumin and coriander in a magic bullet or blender. If it won’t blend you need more oil or lime. Empty contents into a bowl and mix in garbanzo flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill brand) until it becomes a thick batter.  Heat up a pan of frying oil (I like sunflower and/or grapeseed oil) and when it is hot enough drop heaping spoonfuls of batter into the frying oil. Don’t worry about the shape, they start to look like chicken tenders kinda. Fry until brown, scoop with a frying skimmer and place onto a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Serve hot, but I like them cold too.

 

Dinner Options:

 

Walnut Pesto Pasta with roasted tomatoes + Spinach salad 

Pesto = Basil, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, walnuts. Chop & mix ingredients or blend in blender. Serve on top of hot pasta and mix in, no need to cook the pesto. Roast tomatoes in the oven or toaster oven while the pasta is boiling. When the pasta finishes, rinse it with cold water once or twice and throw it back into the hot pot it was just in. Toss the pesto in. Serve, and top the serving with the roasted tomatoes.
Spinach or Arugula salad – Spinach or arugula, garbanzo beans, chopped cucumbers, walnuts. Dressing: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, agave or maple syrup.

 

Veggie fajitas w guacamole & homemade tortilla chips

Veggie fajitas: Slice red onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper and jalapeño, throw it in a hot pan with oil. You can put the onions in first if you want them extra caramelized. Add salt and cayenne pepper + fresh squeezed lemon juice over the veggies while they’re cooking (and after also if you want). Get some simple corn tortillas in stacks of 2 or 4 and heat them up in the oven for a few minutes.

Guacamole: Chop up avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeño and mix all together with salt and cayenne pepper + fresh squeezed lime juice. Add more or less of each ingredient till it suits your taste.

Homemade tortilla chips: Get simple, round corn tortillas and cut them into 4 quarters. Put them in a hot pan with oil till fried to perfection or bake them in the oven.

 

Picadillo, Black or pinto beans, Quinoa or Brown Rice, Baked plantain + Avocado

Picadillo: Heat up a frying pan with oil and add chopped onion, garlic and ginger, let it stir-fry, then add chopped tomatoes, jalapeno, bell pepper and a tablespoon of tomato paste. Then add frozen vegan “beef” crumbles (I like Beyond Meat brand) and manzanilla olives (either with seeds or pitted and stuffed with pimento). Add salt, cayenne pepper + pour in some water to hydrate it all. Stir fry 10-15 min until it looks ready ( I don’t know how else to explain it!). 

Baked plantain: Get an overripe plantain, the brown ones. Preheat the oven to 325. Wash the plantain but keep the peel on and bake it with the peel on. You can put it on a baking tray so it doesn’t ooze juices to the bottom of your oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until you can smell it! Wait for it to cool before you slice open the peel. Serve the picadillo and platano with a side of quinoa or brown rice and sliced avocado.

 

Lasagna 

Lasagna: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover the bottom of a glass baking pan with sunflower oil, slice zucchini longwise and lay down a layer on the baking pan, slice cremini mushrooms and place a layer directly on top of the zucchini, chop 2-3 cloves of garlic and add it into a pre-made organic tomato sauce jar (make sure there’s no milk added in the sauce) reseal the jar and shake around, open the jar and layer the tomato sauce over the mushrooms, spread the tomato sauce around evenly. The next layer: spinach and almond milk ricotta (Kite Hill brand)- heat a frying pan and add in either a full bag of frozen or fresh spinach + an entire package of almond milk ricotta, add salt & pepper & ground nutmeg, cook until mixed – don’t overdo. Place the spinach layer over the tomato sauce layer. Cover with shredded vegan mozzarella (I like Parmela Creamery brand). Place a few fresh cherry tomatoes on top, and then put into the oven for 20-25 minutes (it will be bubbling + there’s no way of undercooking since its all vegetables). While it is baking, make bread crumbs by crumbling up a few slices of bread into a bowl, add salt & pepper + chopped garlic + fresh or dried herbs + olive oil. Five minutes before you are done baking, take the lasagna out (safely) and layer the top with the breadcrumbs. Put it back in the oven for 5 minutes so the breadcrumbs get crispy + the to activate the fresh garlic. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. You can serve with toast or on top of pasta (I like gluten free pasta cuz its less bloating).

Optional salad: Wild arugula topped with walnuts + dressing (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, fresh squeezed lemon juice, maple syrup or agave). Mix up dressing and drizzle on the arugula and walnuts and toss around and serve.

 

“Steak” n Potatoes

Mashed Potato, Steamed Broccoli w olive oil, lemon juice & salt, Chimichurri marinated portobello mushroom (can substitute organic extra firm tofu)

 

Roasted Vegetables

Bell Peppers, Tomatoes, Zucchini, Red Onion, Mushrooms, Any kind of Squash, Potatoes, Yams

You can choose your favorite vegetables but these are my fav to roast. You can marinate your veggies overnight or just roast them with oil and salt. Get 2-3 baking trays and coat the bottom with oil if the veggies haven’t been marinated. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. You can chop the veggies in half or poke holes with a fork and roast them whole. If you roast them whole make sure they are coated completely with oil. Potatoes, Yams and most types of Squash take longer to bake so those should go on their own tray and be in the oven longer. Peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, onion and mushrooms all cook pretty quickly so those can go into the oven last and come out first. Everyone’s ovens heat differently so after 20 min or so you have to keep checking on the tray with quick roasting veggies. The potatoes and yams you will smell and you’ll know they’re ready, but expect about 45 min or so baketime. I serve a plate of all roasted veggies and a side of lemon wedge. As a rule almost all veggies taste better with fresh squeezed lemon & salt 🙂

 

Fried Chik’n Chickpea Fritters

Soak a cup of dried chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) overnight (I use boiling hot water to soak them quicker). When ready, blend up chickpeas, red onion, garlic, fresh cilantro, fresh parsley, sunflower oil, fresh squeezed lime juice, salt, pepper, dried cumin and coriander in a magic bullet or blender. If it won’t blend you need more oil or lime. Empty contents into a bowl and mix in garbanzo flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill brand) until it becomes a thick batter.  Heat up a pan of frying oil (I like sunflower and/or grapeseed oil) and when it is hot enough drop heaping spoonfuls of the batter into the frying oil. Don’t worry about the shape, they start to look like chicken tenders kinda. Fry until brown, scoop with a frying skimmer and place onto a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Serve hot, but I like them cold too.

 

Beverage Options:

 

Cold Mint Tea 

(Unsweetened or if you must have sweetener – use agave or maple syrup) – you can brew the tea with hot water and add a bunch of ice or let it steep overnight in the refrigerator.

 

Cold Green Tea 

(Unsweetened or if you must have sweetener – use agave or maple syrup) – you can brew the tea with hot water and add a bunch of ice or let it steep overnight in the refrigerator.

 

Green Juice

Spinach, Celery, Cucumber, Ginger, Lemon, Apple, Parsley

 

Lemon Water 

add a squeeze of lemon to your water

 

Unsweetened almond/cashew or coconut milk 

(unsweetened vanilla is my fav) 

 

“Jugo Vampiro” (Vampire Juice) 

Carrot, Beet, Orange (add ginger for extra power)

 

Ginger Lemonade

Squeezed lemon and chopped ginger + sparkling water. If you want to add some chopped mint and ice 

 

Dessert Options:

 

Baked apple 

Cut an apple in half, do not remove the skin, remove the stem and seeds in the center of each half. Preheat the oven to 350 and bake for 20-25 minutes till the apple is medium soft. When it’s finished flip it over and sprinkle cinnamon on top. To eat, scoop it out of the skin with a spoon. No sweetener needed.

 

Strawberries dipped in melted semi-sweet chocolate chips

Can melt the milk-free chocolate chips on the stove (put a glass jar with chocolate chips in a pot of boiling water) or in a fondue pot and dip strawberries into the melted chocolate. Place them on wax or parchment paper and put in the fridge until the shell hardens.

 

Fav ice creams: SoDelicious brand Cashew Milk Non-Dairy Ice Cream and Non-Dairy Ice Cream bars, Ben & Jerry’s Almond Milk Ice Cream, Haagen Daaz Non-Dairy Ice Cream, Magnum Non-dairy Ice Cream Bars

 

Banana Bread