Bold Statement: The Best Vegetarian Sandwich available in California.

Having worked at the Starbucks Coffee location in the Village[Corte Madera, Ca], I was privileged to be adjacent to San Francisco's finest bakery: Boudin Sourdough. The original breadmakers were discovered in 1849 when they reinvented the then popular French bread and introduced consumers to the unique tang added to their traditional French bread  creating "San Francisco Sourdough French bread".

But aside from their well-known bread, their vegetarian sandwich stands out from the typical deli version. I have had my fair share of average sandwiches eaten solely to quench my hunger, yet I go to Boudin just for this sandwich.  Within this impeccable item lies:

havarti & pepper jack cheese, avocado, red peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, red onion, tomatoes, sun-dried tomato spread, balsamic vinaigrette,multigrain bread

Equipped with natural and wholesome ingredients, Boudin will satisfy your hunger and your taste buds. In fact, their entire Menu is golden: even your pickiest eaters will be begging to come back tomorrow-

 P.S. In this particular sitting, I strayed away from my typical Sandwich and Soup Combo: the half sandwich and their unbelievably delicious Tomato Basil Soup (served with Parmesan cheese and homemade sourdough croutons; I apologize for making your mouth water if your in public), and tried their vegetarian Chili. 
When I first became Vegetarian(and later committed to my current diet of Pescatarianism), I caved in for chunky beef Chili with corn bread(oh, such a great combination!), so choosing to alter my usual comfort soup for the chance this chili could measure up to such a classic in my opinion made me excited, yet apprehensive at the same time. 

Boudin stood up to the challenge; the balance of spices, flavors, and ratio of beans to liquid pleased my palette. Knowing this was a limited time summer special made it that much more special, but don't worry; the Vegetarian sandwich is a staple on the Menu. For only $6.99, you're killing two birds with one stone: saving your bank account while delighting your soul. 

Pescatize your cuisine!

For anyone who has ever watched the American television reality show, "Hell's Kitchen", you are well aware that Gordon Ramsey is a stickler for perfection when it comes to the preparation of the infamous Beef Wellington. A succulent piece of meat is roasted within a flaky crust to create a moist and pleasant dish.

Salmon Wellington. Two words not normally associated together, Whole Foods has created a recipe that takes the classic assembly of this dish but adds some omega-3's and eliminates the heart attack at the end of the meal. A modern Pescatarian version of a carnivore's favorite food, I don't doubt that Ramsey would be floored by this recipe.


3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 pound mushrooms, very finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped, divided
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
¾ cup frozen thawed chopped spinach, squeezed dry
1 (14-ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed but very cold
6 (6-ounce) pieces center-cut skinless salmon fillet
1 cup dry red wine
1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water


In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter. Add mushrooms, half the shallots, half the salt, half the pepper, and half the thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are tender and almost completely dry, about 8 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until the mixture is very dry. Set aside to let cool.

Preheat oven to 400°F. On a well-floured surface, roll out pastry to a rectangle about 21 x 16 inches. Use a sharp knife or pizza wheel to cut into 6 pieces, each about 7 x 8 inches. Season salmon on all sides with the remaining salt and pepper. Place a piece of salmon on each piece of puff pastry; if any ends of the salmon are particularly thin, tuck them under so the pieces are fairly uniform in thickness. Top salmon with mushroom mixture. Use your finger to moisten edges of pastry with a little water, then fold pastry sides in like a package and press to seal, completely covering the salmon and mushrooms. Arrange seam-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine remaining shallot, thyme and wine in a small saucepan. Simmer until reduced to about ½ cup; set aside off the heat. Brush the tops of the pastry with egg and bake in the top third of the oven until pastry is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Reheat reduced wine; remove from heat and whisk in remaining butter a little at a time. Spoon sauce onto plates and top with salmon. 


Per serving: 610 calories (300 from fat), 33g total fat, 11g saturated fat, 125mg cholesterol, 880mg sodium, 27g total carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 3g sugar), 43g protein
Serves 6. *Photo Credit: Whole Foods. 

Those Large Bitter Balls.

They linger next to the sweet commonly consumed oranges, tart sweet apples, and [hopefully] crunchy grapes. Being about the size of a softball, most know this fruit as the bitter avoidable fruit that shouldn't be given a chance in our sugar addicted society.

Here is your challenge: Eat an entire grapefruit: plain.

The natural bittterness after the initial slices will fade and the delightfully tart taste will ascend onto your taste buds. After maturing my palette with no added additives to my cuisine like salt on vegetables or avoiding honey in tea when possible, the all natural bare item allowed me to discover how incredible the raw fruit could be to my system. Develop that Cultured and Adventurous palette: I eat grapefruits on a daily basis, plain, for breakfast. A marvelous start to the day with great health benefits;you can make this happen as well.


I've never been one for dressing...

...so I experiment. I am not reluctant to challenge my palette with innovative combinations of ingredients. Though many find certain decisions regarding my food choices to be a bit too peculiar, let us reflect on the iconic Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. Whoever initially received credit for joining these two unlikely partners together within two pieces of bread most likely didn't receive any credit at all; this is how we discover potentially classic combinations: by overstepping the boundaries that society labels "normal".

The above image is a combination of lettuce, vegetarian chili from Trader Joe's, and Grape Nuts to add texture[crunch!] without completely overpowering the spices from the bean soup. Grape Nuts may appear odd with chili and lettuce, yet the already bland flavor of the barley cereal doesn't taste weird, and merely delights your tongue with an added crunch!  In fact, curry or soup as a "dressing" to salads not only surprises your taste buds with the contrasting temperatures, but is a healthy alternative to the fat injected dressings that sit on our hips.
*Photo Credit: Annie Green[myself.]

A Gourmet Salad from Orange's Finest.

Eaten at 'Francoli's Gourmet' Authentic Italian Northern Cuisine, I  enjoyed the earthy and natural flavors to this impeccable[and not too pricey for great quality] salad. *Photo Credit: Annie Green[myself.]

Medley of seasonal fresh marinated grilled vegetables,
Roma tomatoes & polenta on a bed of 
mixed organic baby greens.

Browse their other authentically Italian items on their website:
*Located in the Circle in Orange, CA near Chapman University.


Initiation: Feast of Roses

A deliciously rich Devil's food cake combined with fluffy chocolate whipped frosting and a layer of dark chocolate cream spread across the top of each slice. Complimented by a freshly picked raspberry, the cake will melt in your mouth and melt your soul into a sweet blissful abyss. *Baked by Sodexo

A Harvest salad equipped with fresh berries, spinach, candied walnuts, purple onions, and topped by crumbled feta cheese. A palette cleanser, or great beginning to a gourmet meal, this salad was a lovely addition to a Winter themed dinner. 

Pesto Palooza! Sodexo provided us a creamy pesto blanketed penne pasta with roasted red bell peppers, squares of grated Parmesan cheese, and a sprig of basil.
*Photo Credit: Annie Green[myself.]


The Infamous Nut Loaf"

When residents enter the Cafeteria on Chapman’s campus, I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t acknowledge the Vegan option when they cook, “The Nut Loaf.” All I can say, is their loss. Their sad, sad loss. The Nut Loaf, essentially the meatless version of meatloaf with a delectable gravy, steamed vegetables and brown rice is unbelievably delicious. I undoubtedly will say this is my favorite item in the cafeteria. Made with walnuts, mushrooms, onions, and a crisp outer layer cooked to perfection is mouthwatering without even taking a bite. A hearty well-balanced meal, the Nut Loaf will be missed when I move off campus next Fall.

I HIGHLY recommend the Nut Loaf. Please at least sample it-you will never disregard its presence when it is on the menu again. Adventure with your palette. You won’t be disappointed.

Source: Flickr / zeenes