Hello Orveganic!

Located in Lawndale, California is what is a hidden gem in every sense of the word. Orveganic Coffee House and Protein Bar is at the corner of a small dead end street and can easily be missed but missing this place would truly be a sad thing for it is well worth a visit.

Orveganic just opened up this past March 2018 but they are no stranger to offering healthy and tasty treats to the South Bay and beyond. They are the brains behind Healthy Butter; nut butter that can be found in several different Farmers Markets around Southern California. Taking the same kitchen where they produce Healthy Butter; the owners decided to expand and open up Orveganic; a cafe offering organic, plant Based and gluten-free dishes and drinks.

I had the pleasure of coming to this cute cafe and loved it the moment I came in. Chic and comfy are perfect words to describe the interior where they have light oak wood benches and tables. There are colorful pillows along the seating and a good display of their various offerings.

Coffee houses are always my crush and I knew I had to try out one of their coffees. Their coffees have even been chemist tested and there are 0 out of 418 chemicals and pesticides. Each of their drinks are even packed with lots of protein! For my drink choice, I chose to get the Cinnamon Vanilla Maple Latte.

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The Cinnamon Vanilla Maple Latte was truly a wonderful way to start off my meal here. Warm and nutty; it was packed with healthy goodness.

For the entrees; my friend and I chose two of their more popular dishes; the TexMex Tofu Scramble and the Almond Chardonnay Cheddar Alfredo.

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The TexMex Tofu has peppercinis grilled tofu with tomatoes, red peppers, onions and garlic. It is topped with avocado seed guacamole and is served alongside warm corn tortillas. I loved the mix of ingredients in this dish. The soft tofu along with the tomatoes, red peppers, onions and garlic were simply wonderful. The avocado seed guacamole was creamy and definitely a nice touch. One can really tell it is healthy and homemade. It really reminded me of home cooking.

The Almond Chardonnay Cheddar Alfredo was my favorite entree of the day! Who knew pasta could be healthy and tasty at the same time. This is not your typical pasta dish and instead something very special. This cheesy and yummy dish consisted of sautéed scallions, mushrooms and garlic mixed with almond mealk, cashew butter, chardonnay cheddar cream cheese sauce all over sorghum and quinoa fusilli. I loved the overall creaminess and taste of “cheese.”

I was quite full after the latte and the entrees; but I’m so glad that I tried one of their desserts! For dessert; they offer mealk shakes, chia pudding, raw jam yogurt and raw ice mealk (their version of ice cream!) I chose to get their raw jam yogurt and it sure was a treat.

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From the outside; the raw jam yogurt looks simple but inside a pleasant surprise awaits! It is made with cashew cheese yogurt and raw seasonal fruit jam with a hint of maple. I loved the fruitiness that instantly hit the palate. It has a passionfruit taste and was definitely one of the most unique and best desserts I’ve ever had.

This place is truly a gem. Every thing I tried was wonderful and surpassed by expectations. I loved how they’re able to turn in various healthy ingredients into such tasty treats. I was smiling the whole time here 🙂

Small and cute; it can be easy to not spot Organic. This place however is definitely one that Hello Kitty Foodies and friends should check out. From their fresh, hearty and healthy treats; one is sure to smile just like me.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Orveganic.

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Hello Sage Bistro: Culver City!

Often times I get asked where my favorite spots are around the city. Just recently, I got to try a place that will surely hit the list as a new favorite.

Sage Bistro is a plant-based bistro specializing in vegan and vegetarian cuisine. They have a farm to table concept. Working with local farmers, Sage offers seasonal, organic and local food. There’s three locations for Sage; Echo Park, Pasadena and Culver City.

I recently got to check out the Culver City location; the biggest of all the three Sage branches. This location has a wood fire pizza oven and a full organic bar that offers 25 beers and wines on tap.

Sage’s menu is full of healthy and delicious eats. They have small plates, salads, tacos, tostadas, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, pizza, pretzels, bowls and more.  I got to try two of their items and was instantly impressed with the quality and how they were able to bring out the best of locally sustained and produced food.

The first item I got to try that night was Sage’s Bollywood Bowl.

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The Bollywood Bowl has yellow lentil daal, eggplant, tomato, potato, onion, corn, edamame, steamed kale that was topped with spicy pickled cabbage, tamarind sauce and mint chutney. It was served with flat bread. Being a big fan of Indian food, I instantly loved this bowl. It had the right spicy kick to it and the flavors mixed together perfectly. Healthy and fulfilling; it was a great start to dinner!

The next item I got to try was the Eggplant Artichoke Parmesan Pizza.

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I love all dishes with eggplant along with artichoke and thus I was thrilled to see this on the menu! The pizza crust is made out of organic heirloom white flour crust. The crispy crust was topped with marinara, pesto sauce, mozzarella breaded organic eggplant and artichoke hearts and was then drizzled with cashew alfredo. The cashew alfredo was a wonderful touch bringing a unique creaminess to the pizza. It’s a pizza unlike any I’ve ever tried and definitely a winner.

Sage Bistro definitely hits the list of places I am a fan of. Each dish I tried during my visit was phenomenal and I love their concept. It is truly amazing to have food with ingredients from local farmers who are committed to organic pesticide free farming and regenerative agriculture. This farm to table at it’s best and is my new favorite.

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Sage Bistro: Culver City!

Hello Samosa House El Segundo!

Stepping into the newly opened Samosa House in Plaza El Segundo, I was already quite mesmerized. The floor is adorned with colorful Indian designs and the place was popping with upbeat Bollywood music. There’s a wonderful aroma of spices from the array of hot Indian food on display.  I knew that I was in for a treat at this newly opened place.

Samosa House in El Segundo is the newest branch of a family owned and operated Indian restaurant specializing in Vegetarian and Vegan dishes. Their first restaurant was Bharat Bazaar in Culver City and they’ve since branched out to restaurants in LA, Santa Monica and now El Segundo.

It was hard to choose from their various savory dishes but there was one dish I knew for sure I didn’t want to miss and that was their famous samosas.

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Samosa House’s samosas were once featured on Food Network’s  “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” and it is not surprising. This was a great start of a meal here. It was crispy pastry filled with mashed potatoes and peas. It was served with tamarind and mint sauces. I loved the crispy edges and the savory ingredients.

After the savory samosa starter, it was time for my main entree! I got a three item combo with charcoal smoked cauliflower, matar paneer and veggie chicken.

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The charcoal smoked cauliflower had crispy cauliflower in a creamy sauce. I loved the flavor of the cauliflower. The cauliflower  is really distinct because of how it is prepped. It is first marinated and afterwards smoked with a charcoal pot.

The veggie chicken was wonderful as well. The gluten nuggets were so tender. I also was such a fan of the butter sauce in this dish.

The matar paneer was my favorite. This dish was packed with flavors! It had big chunks of paneer in a tomato based sauce. I loved it over the white rice.

Aside from the white rice, the combo plate comes naan and raita or vegan soup.

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I chose to get garlic naan and had the pleasant surprise of receiving a very large piece of fresh-baked naan. Piping hot and fresh out of the oven, it was wonderful. The garlic flavor simply oozed out of the fresh bread.

Last but not least, I tried Samosa House’s ginger chai.

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The Indian tea flavored with ginger and spices was so comforting on this somewhat overcast day. It’s slight hint of ginger was just right.

I truly enjoyed every single item I tried here at Samosa House El Segundo.

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From start to finish, I was a fan. From their famous samosas to their savory dishes and their comforting ginger chai tea; this Hello Kitty Foodie was full of smiles.

For more smiles, please see my Yelp review on Samosa House El Segundo.

Hello Pressed Juicery @ The Point!

Another new hot spot has opened up at El Segundo’s  The Point and it is no other than Pressed Juicery.

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Pressed Juicery is a popular juicer offering cold pressed juices made out of farm fresh produce. They are known for juices that do not have any sugar, sweeteners, fillers, or preservatives. It’s all about bringing a healthy lifestyle to people through juice.

Their juice menu offerings are from the following categories: seasonal, green, roots, citrus, fruits, signature, coffee, H2O and refreshers and classics. They also have three different cleanses to choose from.

Aside from juice drinks however, Pressed Juicery has a very unique offering in their Freeze frozen dessert!

The Freeze is Pressed Juicery’s version of ice cream. This soft serve cool treat is made purely out  vegetables, fruits, nuts and almond milk.  It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and has no added sugars. There are six different flavors to choose from  Greens (Apple, celery, cucumber, kale, lemon, parsley, romaine, spinach, dates, coconut), Roots  (Beets, carrots, apple, lemon, ginger, dates, coconut), Citrus  (Orange, apple, pineapple, dates, coconut), Fruits (Strawberry, apple, coconut, dates),  Vanilla (Almonds, dates, vanilla bean, sea salt) or Chocolate (Cacao, almonds, dates, vanilla bean, sea salt)

I tried a  Freeze with a mix of Vanilla and Greens flavors and topped it with shaved almonds, strawberries and granola.

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This has to be the healthiest soft serve I’ve ever had as well as one of the tastiest. Who knew I could get vegetables in a dessert and have it taste good? The combo I got gave me some veggies (via the Greens flavor), healthy fats (via the Vanilla flavor and shaved almonds), fruits (via the strawberries) and the extra tasty crunch of granola! I could not ask for more in a dessert. It was healthy and made me happy.

I have always been fond of all the spots that have opened up at The Point and I am happy to see Pressed Juicery as part of the amazing line up of places there.

 

Hello Chipotle Sofritas!

Last month Chipotle rolled out it’s newest offering to several states. Their newest menu item is sofritas. Sofritas is made out of shredded organic tofu braised with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos and a blend of spices. The name “Sofritas” comes from the word “sofrito,” which means gently fried in Spanish. In Spanish cuisine, a sofrito is a culinary base consisting of combination of sautéed garlic, pepper, onions, tomatoes.

Ever since I heard that Chipotle would be offering this vegan/vegetarian friendly dish, I wanted to try and taste it. It’s the first time in 20 years that Chipotle is added something new to their protein offerings. I was intrigued. Today, I finally did get the chance to check their braised tofu dish.

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Like it’s other menu offerings, you can choose to get a bowl, burrito or a salad. I chose to get a sofritas bowl with brown rice, veggies, cheese, mild salsa and garnished with sour cream. The sofritas itself is very interesting looking, it looks like chorizo. The tofu texture is firm and makes you almost think it is ground beef or ground chicken.

Similarly, tastewise, it is also very un-tofu like. It tastes very much like you are eating ground beef or ground chicken. It is full of flavor and quite spicy. There’s a wonderful combination of slight tangy & slight smokey giving the Chipotle bowl quite a kick that is different from it’s other offerings. The cheese, mild salsa and sour cream offset the spice but in the end you definitely still feel the heat.

Chipotle’s sofritas is a great addition to their menu. It’s something different. It’s a good option for vegetarians and vegans but I have a feeling even meat eaters will like this. 🙂

Hello Tofu Shirataki Noodles!

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Today’s culinary creation is tofu shirataki noodles!

Ingredients: shirataki noodles, meatballs, hot dog slices, Filipino spaghetti sauce

On a recent trip to a local Asian market, I was introduced to tofu shirataki noodles. They are a traditional Japanese noodles that are made of tofu and yam. After a bit of research, I found out shirataki noodles have several benefits! They are cholesterol free, gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, vegan and high in fiber! They can even help in weight loss. I found these noodles intriguing and interesting and decided to try it out. There were two versions of tofu shirataki noodles that I bought. I got the spaghetti and fettuccine.

The tofu shirataki noodles already come cooked and so all I had to do was add a little boiling water and then mix in the ingredients that I wanted.

For the spaghetti, I added beef meatballs and sweet Filipino spaghetti sauce.

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For the fettuccine, I mixed in hot dog slices and sweet Filipino spaghetti sauce.

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I really liked how these noodles came out when cooked. They were so soft and tender. They tasted great too! I could not tell at all that I was eating something that was low in fat and low in calories! I couldn’t even tell that they are low in carbs! It’s as delicious as regular pasta. I am a fan! It’s healthy and yummy! Yay! I really liked the tofu shirataki noodles and can see myself using these noodles for other homemade creations!