Finally the weather has started to shift in NYC and it feels like we’re collectively taking a deep sigh. There’s nothing like those first few days when you no longer need AC to sleep and there’s finally a cooler breeze in the air. This is hands down my favorite time of the year.

Now that the summer heat has subsided, I’m starting to feel my oven again. I can appreciate baking and filling my house with those warming smells without worrying about overheating the house (or myself). This granola is the perfect transition treat filled with, not one, but three whole grains. Top with your favorite add-ins or whatever you have on hand, then store in an airtight container. Although this granola technically keeps for over a week, mine never lasts that long ;)

WHOLE GRAIN MILLET & BUCKWHEAT GRANOLA (Gluten-free, Dairy-free) Makes 3 1/2 cups 

  • 1 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 cup puffed millet
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup clover honey
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the first eight ingredients. Once mixed, add in all wet ingredients. Using your hands, mix together all ingredients to make sure everything is well-coated.

Add to a baking sheet in one even layer. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn off the oven, mix together granola with a spoon, then add back to oven for 5 minutes. Then set granola aside to cool.

Your granola will stay good in an airtight container for about 10 days. Storing in the fridge will help it keep even longer.



In the warmer months, I’m always looking for easy, throw-together meals that are more about “assembling” than actual cooking.  Smoothies are great, of course, but in looking to change things uplittle I found these amazing breakfast bars. I know they look like candy, but they’re actually protein-packed, whole grain and totally capable of being a breakfast food. (* If you remember, I posted these to instagram a few weeks ago and I promised I'd post it)  You could always omit the chocolate part, but I believe there’s nothing wrong with just a hint of decadence at breakfast.  Not only are they completely addicting, but because they can double as a sweet treat and feed a crowd.  

Puffed Brown Rice Bars with Tahini & Bittersweet Chocolate (gluten-free, vegan) Makes 18 bars

  • 9 medjool dates, pitted and mashed
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter(or almond butter!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil 
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (I even use my leftover almond pulp, that I dehydrate at 200 until golden brown - works great for this recipe)
  • 1 cup puffed brown rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Generous pinch of sea salt
  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces

Using a fork, mash the dates on a plate into a thick paste.  It’s ok if there’s a few chunky bits, but make sure the dates are generally broken down.  Add to a large mixing bowl with tahini, peanut butter, vanilla, and coconut oil.  Using a fork or whisk, mix ingredients until well combined.  

Add sunflower seeds, almond meal, puffed brown rice and cinnamon.  Add a generous pinch of sea salt and mix together until ingredients form a thick, cohesive batter.  

Line a square dish, 8 or 9 inch is best, with parchment paper then add mixture in.  Using the heel of your palm, flatten until it’s in one even layer.  

Double broil the chocolate*. Once all chocolate has melted, spoon over the prepared bars, either coating entirely or in a zig zag shape.  Add another pinch of sea salt over top, then add to the fridge to set for 1 hour.  Cut into 18 bars and serve.  You can store these in the fridge for a week or store in the freezer as a treat.

*Add a heat-safe (glass) bowl fitted over a saucepan with 2-3 inches of water.  Make sure the water does not touch the bowl.  Add chocolate to the bowl and bring to a rolling simmer, stirring chocolate until it melts completely.  You can also melt chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals until chocolate melts completely. 


I had the pleasure of working with Mercedes-Benz on their She's Mercedes campaign this month.  It's all about work lunches & how to survive them without losing your mind.  Whether working in an office or freelance, lunch has always been a point of tension personally.  I felt like I was spending a small fortune eating out and not even really getting what I actually want or eating something weird (and usually cold) out of my fridge on a deadline.  Not cute or fun.  I think we can do better.

It doesn't require hours of "batch cooking" or whatever people say they do on Sundays.  It requires a little prep, a little patience and some hope that lunch actually can be great.  Read below for my "tips" ;)

5 essentials for a perfect work lunch

A healthy, convenient and inspiring work lunch sounds like a paradox, but it doesn’t have to be. If the phrase conjures up images of heavy restaurant pastas, long lines and ticking clocks, it’s time to rethink your routine. While make-it-at-home lunches may seem daunting at first, it means you’re eating wholesome nutritious food that will give you enough energy to breeze through your late afternoon meetings. Whether it’s a hearty, protein-packed salad or a nourishing grain bowl, it’s time to recreate the homemade meals we love at home and enjoy them at the office, too.

It doesn’t take a ton of effort--just a little inspiration, some simple tips and a bit of prep. Once you get the formula, you’re golden. Now, you’ll have a meal you’re actually excited to break for


Grains, legumes, baked tofu - you name it. Making ahead is the key to having perfect lunches all week long. Make a big batch of lentils, quinoa or baked tofu - the most important part is making sure you have enough protein to keep your hunger at bay. Without enough, you might be susceptible to brain fog or blood sugar drops, so always make sure to include at least one hearty source. Use last night’s baked salmon or a serving of lentils for an instant boost to any salad. Why not make a full on grain bowl? Add it all to a mason jar for a perfect lunch vessel (which will naturally toss your ingredients for you).


There’s truth to the healing powers of citrus. Whether it’s adding a slice to your Pellegrino, or squeezing a wedge over your salad, citrus benefits everything from your skin and gut to your immune health. Citrus, especially lemons, can aid in digestion and help naturally flush toxins out. It’s the easiest way to add a little “detox” to your lunchtime. Besides the nutritional aspects, lemon adds the necessary “pop” of acid that almost every meal needs. A squeeze of lemon over a salad or grain bowl goes a long way. Plus, your fizzy water will feel a little extra special.


Green is the true color of health, so make sure your lunch has got some of it. Whether it’s zucchini or swiss chard, think outside the box when it comes to your “greens”. Most dark, leafy greens are considered superfoods, so you really can’t go wrong here. Just because you don’t have baby kale in the fridge does not mean you can’t make a salad. Shaved asparagus and broccoli stem are two of my favorite non-lettuce salads that are hearty enough to last you all day.


Sea salt, the purer, less refined option to the usual table salt, is actually not something you should be avoiding. Because it’s produced through evaporation of ocean water, it can leave trace minerals and elements that actually help your body function better (like cell cleansing and balancing your pH). Himalayan sea salt, the pink-hued cousin to sea salt, is actually known to help detoxify the body. Not to mention, salt truly enhances flavor, so a pinch of flaky sea salt will help intensify your already delicious lunch. So, salt your salad and sandwiches with (almost) no abandon.



What dish isn’t better with avocado? It’s no secret that avocado is a nutritional powerhouse. They’re full of omega-3 fatty acids (keeps your hair, skin & nails glowing), stabilises your blood sugar and is full of too many nutrients to list. Luckily for us, the creamy, nutty “fruit” is the tastiest way to bump up any everyday meal. Add avocado to salads, sandwiches, or grain bowls for a little bit of decadence and a lot of nutrition.


For a long time I didn’t know how to explain my sensibility with food.  I always loved to cook, but I never considered myself a “food person” until my health issues began.  From then on, I was on a rather dismal quest to find things that didn’t make me ill.  I tried a million diets which kept me constantly trying new vegetables, weird ingredients - looking for the few things in the market that were “free” of all the things I needed.  My love for food didn’t start from a rich family or cultural history, but as a result of chronic pain.  Limitation has always been my menu.

Although I’ve had periods of “indulgence” - wanting to cook / eat / bake everything I never had (or could eat) - I always come back to a sensibility that can only be described as Californian (where I’m from).  I relate to avocado, to any kind of sprout, and basically anything that can be described as “1970’s Topanga Canyon vegetarian”.  I would self describe it as hippie food with a bit of culinary curiosity.  

And it’s what I always come back to that helped me understand who I was.  I’ve been having some stomach issues lately that have left me craving comfort.  What I seem to grab in these occasions, when I’m looking for something healing rather than “good”, is always something simple in a bowl. It could be some vegetables, a grain, maybe some avocado.  Usually arugula (my favorite green, especially when my digestion is off).  It’s my own version of comfort food; simple meals that feel like “home”.

California Red Cabbage & Fennel Slaw (gluten-free, vegan) serves 4

4 cups shredded red cabbage

1 cup sliced fennel, thin on mandolin

3-4 radishes, sliced thin on mandolin

1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup sliced chives

1 lemon, juiced

1/3 cup pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped

Fennel fronds, to serve


2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon white vinegar

2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 lemon, juice

About 1/4 cup olive oil

Sea salt, to taste

Freshly ground pepper

In a large bowl, mix together cabbage, fennel, radishes and all herbs.  Squeeze over the juice of one lemon and toss to combine.  Set aside.  

To toast pistachios, add to a skillet and toast over medium heat until browned or add to a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees until browned and smelling nutty (about 10-12 minutes).

To make the dressing, whisk together all ingredients until emulsified (until it’s a thick, cohesive dressing).  

Add the dressing to the bowl of "slaw" and toss together until well combined.  Season with flaky sea salt, freshly ground pepper and top with pistachios and fennel fronds  Optional toppings: baked tofu, avocado or sprouts ;)

*For simple baked tofu, I add 1 inch slabs to a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and tamari. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, flip and bake another 15-20 or until browned and tender.  Season with sea salt  & freshly cracked pepper.


It’s been a busy and chaotic year so far.  I can’t believe it’s already July and that Summer is almost halfway over.  It really feels like I’ve blinked and missed it all.  So many exceptions to this year have caused an unusual lifestyle for me -  I have three sisters all engaged, all getting married this year…within 6 months of each other.  Naturally, they all live in LA (where I’m from), and I’m in all the wedding parties.  Anyone who has been part of one knows the…commitment they require on an emotional / physical / financial level.  So, I’ve been traveling a lot, to say the very least.  July is the first month I will not travel to LA since March.  

This 2016 lifestyle of mine has led me to understand certain things about my myself.  I could never be the kind of person who travels all the time and is never home (no matter how many amazing things I could see).  I am incredibly introverted (more than I thought I was) and require a substantial amount  of alone time.  Especially these days, there’s nothing I want more than to have no plans, to wake up early, to cook my meals leisurely and off the cuff.  With all the socializing and traveling, I’m craving aloneness and in a similar realm - slowness, which I can say I almost never want. I’ve always been the high-energy/high-intensity type who only has one speed.  But this shakeup of my schedule and lack of control (my usual nemesis), is causing me to turn the dial down a bit.

This salad came out of one of those moments.  A Saturday with no plans, a ton of vegetables and an appetite.  I spent my time, slowing down - leisurely making pesto, slicing radishes, etc.  These are the moments when cooking feels like everything to me. Those slow weekends when I’m alone in my kitchen - it’s what my soul requires.  So, maybe this salad seems like a lot of steps: pickling, processing, cooking, chopping, but for me - the longer it takes, the better.  It’s a weekend recipe - meant to be prepared with no timeliness at all and savoring each and every step.  It’s an ode to cooking - not just because it feeds you (and often tastes good) - but that there’s something else happening. I believe, something magical.


  • 1 cup quinoa, dried
  • 1/2 cup french lentils, dried
  • 1 lb. cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 cup chopped medjool dates
  • 3 purple scallions, sliced
  • 3 large handfuls of baby arugula
  • 1-2 lemons, juice
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice & zest
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup baby arugula, packed
  • 1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • 1 small bunch of radishes, sliced thin on mandolin
  • 1 fennel stalk, fronts & stalk roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander (seeds or ground)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a saucepan, bring 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups of salted water to a boil.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Then set aside to cool. In another saucepan, add lentils with enough water to cover by 2-3 inches (salt the water, too).  Bring to a boil, then simmer (covered) about 20-25 minutes or until tender.  Drain and rinse.  Set aside to cool.

For pickled radishes: In a pint-sized jar, add radishes, fennel fronds, mustard and coriander seeds.  In a small saucepan, bring apple cider vinegar, water, maple syrup, salt and pepper to a boil.  Once liquid just boils, carefully pour into the jar, making sure radishes are completely covered in brine.  Cover and set on the counter to cool.  Once it’s cooled, store in the fridge.  They will be “ready” to eat in about an hour.

For Pesto: In a food processor, add pumpkin seeds, garlic, lemon (juice & zest) and parmigiano.  Process until desired consistency (I like mine more on the pureed side).  Then add salt, pepper and arugula. Pulse until entire mixture is green and arugula is well-combined.  While the processor is running, stream in about 1/4-1/3 cup olive oil or until desired texture.  Set aside.

Add cauliflower to a food processor and pulse until it resembles rice (you can use the same one as the pesto).  Add to a large mixing bowl with grated zucchini, dates, scallion, and arugula.  Toss together with quinoa, lentils and arugula.  Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice (to taste).  Toss together to make sure salad is well-combined.

To serve, top each plate with a generous dollop of pesto and pickled radishes.  For some extra decadence, add a drizzle of olive oil, but you don’t totally need it.  Serve immediately or save for later (the leftovers were still great on day 3).


With this new Summer heat, there’s no way I’m turning on my oven, not to mention the stove.  These days, it’s mostly salads, smoothies & cold-temp meals (even when the AC is blasting).  That’s part of why I love this porridge so much.  It’s the Summer version of your morning oatmeal, with a crunchy, chocolate-y topping you'll want to make and put on everything.

Strawberry Buckwheat Porridge with Cocoa Crumbles (Serves 4) Gluten-free + DAIRY-FREE

  • 1 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana*
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, seeded
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Fresh strawberries, to serve

Cocoa Crumbles:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup gluten-free oats
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of sea salt

In a mixing bowl, add buckwheat and cover with filtered water.  Set aside for at least 6 hours or overnight. (Make sure to freeze a banana now, if you don’t already have one ready). 

In a small saucepan, heat coconut oil and honey over medium low heat.  Then, add oats, cocoa powder, sunflower seeds, vanilla and a pinch of sea salt .  Cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens and becomes “sticky”.  Lay out mixture on a baking sheet to cool.

In the morning, rinse buckwheat well & drain , then add to a blender with almond milk.  On high speed, blend until smooth and creamy.  Then add, frozen banana, strawberries, maple, vanilla, cardamom & citrus.  Blend until well combined.

Then, divide between 4 ramekins.  Top with fresh sliced strawberries & cooled cocoa crumbles.  For extra sweetness, add a drizzle of maple over top.  Serve immediately!