Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Karinna's Cranberry Kiss


Happy Holidays!
It's the time of year to celebrate and gather with family and friends! This is a fabulous cocktail recipe that will impress all your guests. My cocktail uses the finest ingredients including one of my favorite Champagnes. The only thing you may be missing is the Mistletoe!

Karinna's Cranberry Kiss

Party Recipe: Serves about 10

1 1/2 cups Grand Marnier
1 1/2 cups Cranberry Juice
1/2 cup Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
2 tablespoons Organic Agave Nectar
1 750 ML bottle Moët & Chandon Nectar Imperial Rosé Champagne*
Fresh Organic Cranberries for Garnish

Stir together the Grand Marnier, Cranberry Juice, Agave Nectar and Lime Juice. Cover and chill for about 1 1/2 hours. Serve into 10 Champagne flutes and top with Moët & Chandon Nectar Imperial Rosé Champagne. Drop 3 fresh Cranberries into each flute and serve.

*M & C Nectar Imperial Rosé is a deliciously sweet, smooth, and fine Champagne. For those who prefer to emphasize the tartness of the Cranberry and citrus, I recommend using a brut like Veuve Clicquot's Brut Yellow Label and less Agave and sugar.

*Another great garnish idea is to skewer a sugar coated cranberry and lime rind to form a "mistletoe."

Single Cocktail Recipe: Serves one

1 1/4 oz Grand Marnier
1 1/4 oz Cranberry Juice
1/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1 teaspoon Organic Agave Nectar
3 oz Moët & Chandon Nectar Imperial Rosé Champagne
Fresh Organic Cranberries

Pour Grand Marnier, Cranberry Juice, Lime Juice, and Agave Nectar into shaker cup filled with ice. Shake and pour into Champagne flute, top off with Champagne. Drop 3 Cranberries into flute.

Enjoy!
♥ K

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Weekly Call to Action: Choose Eco Bags over Plastic!

We're all doing a lot more shopping this season so now more than ever we need to be conscious of our choices! Recently Los Angeles County banned the use of plastic bags in unincorporated areas and Long Beach was the first to enact its own ban. Retailers are not allowed to give out single-use plastic bags. Not quite a victory in my opinion, but at the very least, it sets a new standard and brings this environmental danger to people's attention.

Why are plastic bags bad for the environment?
Travel down any highway or stop at any local park, and you will find plastic bags floating around, stuck in bushes and trees, or overflowing out of garbage receptacles. These plastic bags end up packing our landfills and threatening flora and fauna. Plastic bags are not biodegradable! They break down into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic but never return to nature in a sustainable way.

According to Heal the Bay, "Californians use 19 billion plastic bags every year. This generates over 147,000 tons of waste that ends up in landfills, local rivers and storm drains, and enters the ocean, killing marine life."


Plastics take hundred of years to break down and never return to an organic state. Did you know that millions of animals worldwide ingest the plastics that we throw in the trash? This is a photograph of a decaying Albatross; its body is halfway decomposed, yet the plastics in it's digestive system remain intact.



What are the benefits of using and reusing Eco-Bags?
Eco-bags are sturdy, reusable, and hold more groceries than the largest plastic bag you can find. Eco-bags are not made using petroleum and are usually not made with harsh chemicals. Most eco-bags are washable or can be wiped down. Myfavorite are made of Jute fiber from India, but Cotton or Canvas bags are also great alternatives to plastic!

At this year's Go Green Expo in LA, I met Nann Zinn, owner of Green-Eco Products who gave me several Jute bags which are so strong, I use them to hold the heavy items like cans and large bottles of juice! My eco-bags have saved hundreds of plastic bags from ending up in my home and in the trash.

In Anaheim, at the Natural Products Expo West, I met Stanley Joffe, President of Earthwise Bags, who introduced me to his "Veggie Bed." I have been using my Veggie Bed ever since and I couldn't imagine grocery-shopping without it. I take it to the Farmer's Markets and the grocery stores as well.

According to a recent article on Change.org, Plastic Bag Bans have been opposed by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) who supports companies like EXXON. ACC, the company which lobbied to keep BPA in baby bottles, is currently fighting the cities attempting to ban plastic bags. Since EXXON produces the disgusting ingredients that make those plastic bags, their billions in profits are threatened by the bag bans.

Are you Eco-Savvy?
At the Top of my List of Eco-Conscious Cities in SoCal is Carlsbad, California. Earlier this month, I interviewed several dozen shoppers at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets and Costco Wholesale on Palomar Airport Road, and an amazing 80% were holding eco-bags and stated that the environmental impact of plastic bags is ominous and requires our attention.

One lady, Mary, who was shopping with her husband, said "I really don't even notice it anymore and I don't think twice when I head to the store and take my eco-bags. I actually have a collection from all the stores where I shop! They are sturdy and much more convenient for me than those loud plastic bags."
Call to Action: What can we do individually to make a difference?
Each of us makes choices everyday. To help reduce the environmental impact of plastic bags, take eco-bags with you everytime you go shopping. Reuse those eco-bags in your home, in your car, and find other creative ways to use your bags. Bringing home groceries in eco-bags is so much cleaner because you just unload, fold them up, and pack them away in your pantry or back in your car!

So this holiday season, while you're swiping your plastic, make sure you're saying NO to Plastic Bags!

Chad Ochocinco's Ink Not Mink PSA


Ochocinco's setting records on the Football field as one of the Bengal's top Wide Receivers of all time, and now he's got a new strategy joining forces with Peta to condemn the Fur Industry's grossly cruel and inhumane methods. In a recent PSA, Ochocinco took off his shirt for an Ink, Not Mink ad which encourages his fans to:

"Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin, and Let Animals Keep Theirs!"


Watch Chad Ochocinco telling us his reasons for not wearing fur. This Holiday season, remember that your gift purchases, your fashion and style, and your dietary choices make a statement. What statement are you making?




Sign Peta's Pledge to be Fur-Free here!

Thank You! - ♥K

Getting Inked Vegan-style

My fellow vegan amiga Hayley Marie Norman, contributing writer for ThisDishIsVeg, recently wrote an awesome article on Hollywood Tattoo artist, James Spooner.

If you like a little ink without added cruelty, I recommend you read this article: Tattoo artist in Hollywood allows vegans to get inked the animal friendly way.

Follow xoHayleyMarie and thisdishisveg on Twitter!

Oh, and Remember.... INK NOT MINK.

- ♥K

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Weekly Call to Action: Pesticide Danger

The food we love so much looks Very Delicious on our plates at our favorite fancy restaurant or served up at our own dinner tables. But looks will be deceiving if our government allows irresponsible farmers to spray cancer causing chemicals on our fruits and vegetables, polluting not only the fruit flesh we will be consuming, but also the water supply, runoff into soil, and the air we breathe. This should be considered criminal.




Please take a moment to urge California Governor-Elect Jerry Brown to reverse Governor Schwarzenegger's last minute decision to allow Methyl Iodide to be sprayed on Strawberry fields as a pesticide.

Petitions by Change.orgStart a Petition »


What is Methyl Iodide? Methyl Iodide is a liquid chemical used as a pesticide and approved for use by the US EPA, which leaves me thinking, who is the EPA anyway and who is in their pockets? In a 2009 report, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) concluded that Methyl Iodide fumigation "results in significant health risks for workers and the general population."
Several Nobel Laureates have spoken up against the approval of methyl iodide by the EPA, including Roald Hoffman, a Nobel Prize winning chemist at Cornell University.

According to an article on Nature.com, Tokyo-based Arysta Lifescience owns the patent on producing Methyl Iodide and had $1.3 BILLION in revenues in 2008.

CALL TO ACTION:
Make a difference in two ways! First, sign the above petition on Change.org or submit your own letter to Governpr-elect Jerry Brown. AND choose organic produce everytime you shop. In these next few months, more than ever, this is imperative! If California rejects the use of Methyle Iodide, the US EPA will consider to re-review the pesticide for approval earlier than their planned 2013 review date. The time is now! Please take action.

Thank you!
* Karinna *

Monday, December 6, 2010

Making an Impact


One of my missions in this lifetime is to make a positive impact on the world one person at a time, and show by example that being responsible inhabitants of our earth means making conscious choices everyday!

In addition to living an Eco-Responsible lifestyle, I also choose to live the rest of my life as a Vegan. Vegan means: not consuming animal products or by-products of any kind (no eggs, dairy, honey, gelatin -or meat/flesh), not purchasing or wearing animal skins, fur, or wool, and making the effort to use only cosmetics and pharmaceuticals not tested on animals in laboratories.

Through my website: KarinnaZarate.com, Twitter, or my Facebook page, I receive mail/messages/comments from my readers and viewers thanking me for the inspiration, recipe ideas, or just the positive motivation. Recently, I received a touching email from a reader who told me they stumbled upon my site through friends on facebook and spent an hour reading through my various articles and blog posts. "I had never thought about going green," she said, "sure I recycle and reuse things; i don't buy paper plates and cups and I separate my trash. But I had never thought about going vegan and really changing my lifestyle. All of the phrases and thoughts on your blog really hit me." She went on to tell me how a mother of one of her son's friends has cancer. She said that from now on, she will be thinking about everything she does at home and how it may be affecting the future of her children and her husband. "Your philosophy really wowed me, and really got me thinking."

I am very grateful for my readers' messages, it brings a personal level to what I do and makes everything worth it!

If I inspire others to try the Vegan lifestyle even just a few days out of the month, I know that these small changes will (#1) help our earth and environment immensely, (#2) bring more peace to each individual and the earth as a whole, and (#3) increase an individual's longevity and add years of health to their lifespan.

Vegans are peaceful, loving, caring, compassionate advocates of health, longevity, and responsibility. Open your minds, open your tastebuds, listen to your heart.

After all, we are--in essence--borrowing the earth and it's resources from our children and future generations. If you think of it in this way, perhaps you will take more time considering the effects of your actions on the earth, animals, and the environment.

Peace and Blessings during the Holidays!

♥ Karinna

Sunday, November 28, 2010

olsen Haus - Cruelty-Free Never Looked This Sexy!


The Vegan Lifestyle does not stop at mealtime! Compassion is making its way into mainstream fashion, much to the dismay of the leather and fur fashion giants. I've recently discovered olsenHaus a green and eco-conscious fashion house that brings trendsetting style and a socially responsible philosophy together.
Hello Animal Prints, Goodbye Animal Skins! Now you too can say no to cruelty in style!
View their Lookbooks and seasonal collections here.
I look forward to wrapping my little vegan feet in olsenHaus boots this fall! I'll be making a statement and strutting my eco-loving style everywhere I go.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Berry-licious Smoothie

Tantalize your taste buds and nourish your body from the inside out with this delicious raw, organic, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nutrient-dense Triple Berry smoothie.




Karinna's Berry-licious Smoothie Recipe

20 oz Organic Almond Milk
1/2 cup Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder
4 tablespoons Organic Sprouted Golden Flax
2 tablespoons Kal Nutritional Yeast Flakes
1/2 teaspoon Health Force Nutritionals Truly Vitamin C Powder
1.5 cups fresh or frozen Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries
4 tablespoon Organic Blue Agave Nectar
Place all ingredients in a blender on medium-high setting and blend until smooth, adding agave nectar to taste. (Makes 2 large servings)

This smoothie is great for fighting colds for its antioxidants, vitamin c, and other immune boosting nutrients. It is also a great meal-replacement for lunchtime or between meals. This is not a low-calorie smoothie but it is nutrient-dense and vegan so you don't have to worry about saturated fats, low-density-lipoproteins (bad cholesterol), or refined sugars.
Ingredient facts:
  • Almond Milk is low-calorie, approximately 35 calories per 8 ounces in the unsweetened version and 60 calories per 8 ounces if lightly sweetened which makes it a perfect alternative to soymilk. It is appropriate for smoothies since you will be adding so many other nutrients, you want the liquid base to be as low-calorie as possible. (Try Pacific Foods, or Silk)
  • Garden of Life Raw Protein is an excellent protein powder from raw organic sprouts. It contains 18 grams of protein per scoop (and the recipe above calls for double that amount). The organic sprouted proteins include brown rice protein, amaranth sprout, quinoa sprout, millet sprout, buckwheat sprout, garbanzo bean sprout, kidney bean sprout, lentil sprout, adzuki bean sprout, flax seed sprout, sunflower seed sprout, pumpkin seed sprout, chia seed sprout, and sesame seed sprout. Garden of Life Raw Protein also contains live probiotics and enzymes, bioactive glycoproteins and lipoproteins, amino acids, and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K.
  • Organic Sprouted Flaxmeal provides essential Omega 3 Fatty Acids and dietary fiber and lignans which help maintain a healthy digestive system, maintain healthy levels of cholesterol and sugar, protect against heart disease and help regulate metabolism.
  • Nutritional yeast is one of the only plant-based sources of Vitamin B-12 and is essential for cellular metabolism and healthy circulation. It is water-soluble and is not stored in fat, so unused B-12 is excreted by the body. B-12, or cobalamin, is "essential," therefore must be consumed daily. Vitamin B-12 is also essential for proper neurologic function. It is hard to find, but i've found that KAL is a great brand and can be purchased at your local health food store.
  • Health Force Nutritionals Truly Vitamin C is a great addition to your smoothie. Most Vitamin C supplements contain synthetic forms of Vitamin C like Calcium Ascorbate or Ascorbic Acid. Health Force Nutritionals uses pure Acerola Cherry which is highly absorbable and does not create high acid levels in the body or put a negative strain on the liver or kidneys upon excretion.
Enjoy a healthy super meal in a glass for your longevity and immunity!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Incredible Inedible Egg

The Truth Behind the Egg Recalls


Thousands of hens crammed into battery cages

Just months after a huge recall of eggs originating from an unsanitary factory farm in Iowa, Salmonella has been detected at an industrialized factory farm in Ohio sparking yet another massive egg recall. These huge entities are not farmers who care about their consumers, they are simply mass-producing corporations whose only goal is to maximize profits. Sadly, they are exploiting sentient creatures for their ova--their reproductive cells. The lack of concern for LIFE is appalling.

Mark Middleton, founder of AnimalVisuals.org, has created this 3-D interactive view of what life is like for the hens stuffed in battery cages. But the suffering, pain, and mutilation cannot be conveyed through your computer screen. Take a minute to click below, read the captions and imagine life tortured and crammed into battery cages then read on for information on Salmonella and the dangers you risk every time you choose to eat eggs.




What is Salmonella?


Salmonella is the genus for many different species (aka strains) of salmonelloses bacteria; they are gram-negative, rod-shaped, and flagellated bacilli. If you were able to zoom in on these bacteria, you would see the rod shape and the flagella make them motile and able to maneuver through intestinal mucosa and membranes, and the gram-negativity produces endotoxins. What does this mean pathophysiologically? Salmonella is easy to contract and cause damage. In particular, S. typhi, S. enteriditis, and S. cholerae-suis are the most damaging strains.

Salmonella is transmitted through the FECES of animals. Yes, if you or anyone you know contracts Salmonella, it originated from the fecal matter of some animal and traveled either by water supply, unwashed worker's hands, or unsanitary conditions at the facility or in the kitchen.


What are the symptoms of Salmonella poisoning?

There are a couple of thousand Salmonella strains out there, a dozen of which cause severe illness in humans. Most of these illnesses are classified as Gastroenteritis, and in developing countries, Typhoid fever is more common.
Incubation Period: several hours to 2 days.

Symptoms:
  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Severe Abdominal Cramps
  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Chills

  • Muscle Pain

  • Blood in the Stool

SEXY!?

No. Eating eggs is disgusting! Eggs are slimy, disease-infested reproductive cells of a chicken, mass produced for our consumption. In our society, we've become nutritionally lazy. Protein, vitamins, and other nutrients can be and should be derived from natural plant sources which come from the earth. Our bodies naturally produce many of the nutrients we look for in animal flesh and by-products. Egg consumption has been linked to many long-term health disorders which most people do not realize until it is to late: such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and atherosclerosis. At this moment, however, the major concern is our immediate safety and the risk of contracting a horrible strain of bacteria that causes extreme discomfort and even death.

What can you do to avoid contracting this deadly disease?

There is only ONE solution to avoiding this disease and also sends a message to factory farmers that their lack of concern for human as well as farm animal life will not be tolerated: Stop Buying Eggs!

Egg Alternatives:


  • Tofu (e.g. tofu scramble)

  • Applesauce (baking)

  • Bananas (baking)

  • Ener-G Egg Replacer

  • Bob's Red Mill All Natural Egg Replacer

  • Ground Flaxseed

"But Salmonella has been found in vegetables."

Sure, Salmonella and E.Coli has contaminated our water supply and found its way into Spinach farms and other vegetable crops, so it is up to us--the mighty consumer--to speak out against careless farmers and corporations. By making a conscious effort to be informed and not support companies like Tyson, Butterball, Farmer John, and others who historically have allowed unsanitary and inhumane conditions, we take a stand to ensure our health and well-being.

Looking toward a healthy future and increased longevity

Can you imagine four years of your life without the use of eggs? Four years ago, I had no idea what I would do without meat, eggs, milk, and other animal products. I was uneducated on the subject (or just indifferent) and eating eggs for breakfast, using eggs in baked goods, and consuming other products processed with eggs was tradition for me -- it's bred into our culture. One evening after watching "I am an Animal" the story of Ingrid Newkirk, I decided that I would never consume animal products again. Simple as that, I walked to my freezer and refrigerator and threw out all meat, eggs, milk, dressings, cereals, condiments and anything else with animal products. I went Vegan "cold turkey."

I strive to inspire all of my readers to question everything and be informed. Take nothing for granted, including your health, the safety of the water you're drinking, or the food you are being served. However eye-catching a package of food is, however great the photographer was who captured a steamy delicious picture, or however enticing the words they use to market it are, you must be inquisitive and not be gullible.

I'll leave you with this thought: The current state of our food industry (i.e. agriculture, food production, market, trade, regulations) is tearing down our earth's resources--to the point of making even plant-based foods unsanitary--in order to produce animal products. Kill the natural, to produce the unnatural. It doesn't make sense does it?


Thank you and please leave me your questions and comments below.
Find me on Facebook.com/KarinnaZ or Facebook.com/Verdelicious (click "like!")
Be Well!

-Karinna Z

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Meal Ban in San Fran is Veto-Proof!


Parents, Listen Up!
If you feed your children a Happy Meal, they are consuming over 1/3 of their daily recommended caloric intake and nearly 50% of recommended daily fat, sodium, and carbohydrate intake in just one meal. The saturated fat in a Happy Meal, if consumed more than once a week is enough to cause heart disease. Happy Meals lure kids with the colorful plastic toys, and the greasy, extra salty flavors. Not only are fast food meals high in fat, sodium, and low in vitamins and fresh vegetables or fruits, they are also loaded with preservatives that cannot be good for our bodies. New York Photographer Sally Davies documentation of a Happy Meal resisting decomposition brought media attention to this matter.

Setting a new trend, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance today to require meals with toys to meet specific nutritional criteria. Mayor Gavin Newsome promised to overturn such legislation, but fortunately the 8-3 vote is veto proof. Now let's just hope more cities in California and around the country follow in this example to help combat childhood obesity and promote healthy eating habits in children.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Low-Fat Vegan Diet Can Help Reverse Diabetes

A Low-Fat Vegan Diet Can Help Reverse Diabetes



" Significant benefits for diabetes prevention and management have been observed with vegetarian and especially vegan diets. Research to date has demonstrated that a low-fat, plant-based nutritional approach improves control of weight, glycemia, and cardiovascular risk. These studies have also shown that carefully planned vegan diets can be more nutritious than diets based on more conventional diet guidelines, with an acceptability that is comparable with that of other therapeutic regimens. Vegetarian and vegan diets present potential advantages in managing type 2 diabetes that merit the attention of individuals with diabetes and their caregivers. " ND Barnard MD Usefulness of vegetarian and vegan diets for treating type 2 diabetes

Four years ago, I became vegan overnight after watching a documentary on factory farms and the way animals are unnecessarily tortured and mutilated. Since then, I started this blog and began contributing to various magazines and online publications as an outspoken advocate of the Vegan and Green communities. Every once in a while, something happens that incites conversation on the topic of going vegan--a beef recall, a salmonella outbreak, tainted water supply, or a new startling statistic. Recently something happened closer to home. A very close family member of mine was diagnosed with diabetes and I began to take a closer look at the alternatives to traditional diabetes drugs. Although the answer was clear to me--go vegan--I found that many doctors now agree that a low-fat vegan diet can reverse the symptoms if well-planned and monitored.

Prior to Dr. Neal D. Barnard's groundbreaking study on the effects of a low-fat vegan diet in patients with diabetes, most physicians believed diabetes had no cure or treatment with the exception of drugs. The truth is, a carefully planned low-fat unrefined vegan diet helps patients with diabetes shed excess weight, and helps to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine reports that patients in the study responded positively and found unexpected benefits like improved asthma conditions and mental outlook as a result of losing weight and being self-sufficient without needing drugs. The American Diabetes Association low fat non-vegan diet study patients continued to need the diabetes medications, lost less weight, and had a lower reduction of protein loss in the urine than the vegan diet patients.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2007, 23.5 million or 10.8% of individuals age 20 or older had diabetes and 12.2 million or 23.1% of individuals over 60 had diabetes in the United States. The statistics are shocking. Direct medical costs of this disease are estimated at $117 Billion dollars per annum and indirect costs (loss of work, disability) are estimated at $58 Billion per annum reaching a total of $174 Billion dollars in Diabetes related costs each year. The likelihood is high that someone you know currently has the disease or is starting to show symptoms.
Image of a bar graph.  Detailed information is available by clicking on the image or by following the link below.
Estimated prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes in people aged 20 years or older, by age group, United States, 2007


People who switch to a vegan diet find that food costs are significantly lowered compared to a diet consisting of meat and animal products. Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes are less expensive than beef, pork, chicken, or seafood. Although in some cases vegan food seems to cost more for the fast food consumers and those who purchased predominantly processed foods. However, the savings in medical costs for patients with diabetes far outweigh the slightly higher cost of some "specialty" foods.


The American Diabetes Association now also acknowledges that a low-fat vegan diet is more effective than their recommended ADA nutritional guidelines based on the study results:
"Eating right and exercising are the best ways for patients with type 2 diabetes to begin to treat their disease. This study shows that a low-fat vegan diet and a diet based on ADA nutrition recommendations can help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood glucose levels and lower their chances for heart and blood vessel problems. These improvements were greater with the low-fat vegan diet." -American Diabetes Association

For diabetes reversal or prevention, switching to a low-fat vegan diet is proven to be more effective with longer lasting effects than previously thought. There are many reasons to eat healthier and smarter. *Please be well-informed before making any changes to your diet and consult a physician for careful monitoring of medications and sugar levels.*



"The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined." Dr Neal D Barnard

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Denny's Goes Vegan!

Strategic Marketing, Sales, and Nutrition joined forces in the Denny's Corporate offices recently when they teamed up with Amy's (you know that amazing brand of frozen veg food you can find at a grocery store near you) to offer a Veggie burger that's VEGAN!



Yes! Denny's now offers a Vegan option. 24 hour dining will never be the same.
Denny's Veggie Burger:


Amy's® Veggie Burger made from fresh organic grains and vegetables with protein-rich soy. Topped with melted Pepper Jack cheese, fresh spinach, tomato and grilled mushroom on a wheat bun. Served with a side of balsamic vinaigrette.
15 grams of fat or less when you select green beans or seasonal fruit in place of French fries.
**Disclaimer: 86 THE CHEESE PLEASE


Thank you Denny's. Now us Vegans can enjoy some comfort food any time of the day with our meat eating friends.


Verdelicious!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Savvy Vegan Entertaining!

Vegan Entertaining for our Non-Veg friends
is a great way to expose their tastebuds to new adventures and culinary delights!

Every season is party-planning season, but Fall is my favorite time of year during which more warmth and laughter seem to fill a party. I love the smells of the season: the pumpkin spice, the apple cider, the wood burning in the fireplace, the fruits of the harvest. The enjoyment of food and drink begins with the aromas, so make sure your dishes are aromatically enticing and never introduce friends to low fat Vegan dishes. These tend to be flavorless and unsatisfying.

Whether you're planning a large scale event or an intimate gathering at home with friends, Vegan entertaining should be fun and exciting.
Plan ahead and call up your friends or send an online invitation! Give your party a theme! Throw a Champagne party with Vegan finger foods and hors de'houevres. Challenge friends to bring their own Vegan appetizer or bottle of Organic or Bio Dynamic Sparkling wine!


Karinna at Z Lounge for Champagne Girls Night


There are many ways to help our friends try Vegan foods and Entertaining can be fun if you are Veg-savvy! Especially when they are willing to try new things and offer to bring Vegan dishes for the occasion like my friend Ginger of Going Grape and the Wine Chixs who brought over a Vegan Pizza! *There is nothing we Vegans can't enjoy!*
Here are some photos from my latest intimate get together where i served Vegan Tempeh-Dill Stuffed Mushrooms, Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip, and Crostini topped with Vegan Italian Sausage and Baby Heirloom Tomatoes.
I will post recipes soon!
Cheers!



My little Vegan Crostini with Vegan Italian Sausage, Baby Heirloom Tomatoes drizzled with Avocado Oil and garnished with Dill (or basil).


My Friends Kim and Megan sharing my Chaise Lounge with a glass of bubbly


Vegan Pizza with Roasted Garlic, Soy Cheez and Mushrooms
and my Tempeh Dill Stuffed Mushrooms




Special Thanks to all my friends who tried my Vegan Dishes and shared some Strawberries and Champagne with me last night!

For more information on Ginger Baker-Giordano and her extensive knowledge on the California Wine Country, look for her articles in Vine Times Magazine or visit her website!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

All Opportunities are Not Equal

This is a warning call to society and mostly to all the girls out there with a mission, with a goal, with a dream and passion to attain it.

My mission and dream begins with my childhood, growing up in a loving, caring, affluent family with parents who never drank, never smoked, and instilled in me the highest of morals. I was taught to care for others, to respect my elders, and to always choose the high road without ever lowering myself to fight for a cause. I developed a fondness for the planet and all living creatures, a rebellious spirit, and a desire to uncover truths hidden by greed. In my day to day choices now, I use those values to evaluate the opportunities I create and the ones presented to me.

I've been able to see through the perverse nature of some troubled individuals trying to manipulate and control young women and use their beauty for their benefit. Unfortunately, some young girls fall for these schemes and are swiftly taken under a whirlwind sad and viscious cycle which will deplete their spirit and exploit their physical beauty. Then guess what happens to their "message?" It's ruined. Tainted. Under no circumstances should women lower their morals for a buck.

It is time for society to WAKE UP and see what this is doing to our children and our future. Why is it that men can be so quick to exploit women and yet if their daughters were caught doing the same, they would disapprove? It is because there is a double standard in American Society.

So, all opportunities are not created equal and this is why I turn things down regularly. Guess what? Sex sells, but I'm not trying to sell sex. I'm trying to help the planet, help increase your longevity, improve the level of compassion in the world, and this global message I have is not going to be effective if I allow one society to exploit my appearance.

On to the NEXT...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Urban Vegan

In a recent article in the Huffington Post, author Victoria Moran writes about her transformation from MidWestern omnivore to animal activist turned vegan and all her experiences in between. I recommend this to any of you curious about the reasons why us vegans change our diets and lifestyles in the name of animal rights, compassion, and global responsibility.

Peace!
-♥K

Friday, July 16, 2010

Loco for Vita Coco

http://www.coffeeforless.com/images/uploads/intro/Vita-Coco-Pineapple-Water.jpg
My NEW Favorite Summertime Drink!

At last month's Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City, I was introduced to Vita Coco. It is the most delicious, refreshing, light, and nutritious way to hydrate!

I am going on 2 years without purchasing or using sugar, so i prefer drinks with no added sweeteners. You would never believe Vita Coco is not sweetened! It is all natural! It's light as water with just the most natural sweetness ever!

Everytime I leave a tradeshow like the NASFT Fancy Food Show, I wonder "when and where will i ever be able to taste that product again?" Well, in this case, you can get Vita Coco almost anywhere! Last night, while shopping for Organic products at Wal Mart, I found Vita Coco there!
My absolute FAVORITE Flavor: Pineapple! Totally amazing and so perfect for the Beach or Pool parties!
Ingredients: Natural Coconut Water, Pineapple and Coconut Purees, Vitamin C.
More electrolytes than leading sports drinks, 15 times the potassium (more than 2 bananas) which helps with recovery and hydration, 100% natural. Try it and let me know what you think!
♥ K

Thursday, July 15, 2010

One Meal at a Time

Our food industry has changed more drastically in the last 60 years than ever before in the history of human kind. That change has been brought on by industrialization and the effect of population growth on supply and demand. Food companies have become empires, farms have become factories, and farmers have been replaced with machines.

Animals are no longer seen as animals, they are referred to as "livestock," "cattle," "poultry," or "pork," and they are "grown" not raised. Huge factory farms are now the breeding ground for mutated disease-causing organisms which multiply rapidly among animals crammed so tight and knee deep in their own filth, feces, pus, and urine that the run off from these factory farms contaminates neighboring farms growing spinach, leafy greens, and other nutritious vegetables.

When we go to our grocery stores, we no longer look for in-season tomatoes. The tomatoes are always bright red, perfectly shaped, and shiny. When we need a quick meal, we no longer shop for wholesome ingredients to cook--we drive through the closest fast food establisment where we can feed a whole family for $10.00!

Salmonella outbreaks, E. Coli deaths, an increase in obesity, heart disease, digestive problems, allergies, immunities to antibiotics, diabetes and a myriad other health issues can be directly linked to our current Food Industry.

But where does your food come from? The transportation of food from thousands of miles away not only congests our highways, but also contributes to the amount of smog and pollution in the environment.

There are ways you can help change this epidemic. You can start by making informed decisions at every meal! You can start getting healthy and making a change ONE MEAL AT A TIME. Don't feed your children food that will cause them to have health issues in the future. Cheap food is not really inexpensive on a social, health, and environmental level.

Buy in-season produce

Shop at Farmer's Markets

Choose Organic produce

Buy free-range

Buy from socially responsible companies that treat their workers, animals, and the earth with respect.

Buy Local

Plant a garden in your own backyard, you will be proud to serve your guests and family food that you grew yourself!

And try a Vegan meal a few times a week!!!

Be well and always QUESTION, READ LABELS, AND ASK "WHERE DID MY FOOD COME FROM?"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What's So Special About Specialty Foods?

Everyday we make choices which will impact our health by choosing to consume highly processed, preserved foods or authentic, high-quality specialty foods. Only products which are innovative, minimally processed and packaged, and use the highest quality ingredients fall into the category of specialty foods.

Since 1955, the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade has been showcasing these products at their Fancy Food Shows twice a year. This month, I will be attending the NASFT 56th Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City. There will be thousands of food companies representing their various specialty foods and beverages. I can't wait to see all the new Vegan foods!

I'll post video and photos during the trip on my social media accounts: Facebook ; Twitter ; Flickr

Visit SpecialtyFood for more information on the 2010 NASFT Summer Fancy Food Show!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Visit Verdelicious.com for all the latest news in the Vegan world!! Looking forward to featuring my vegan amiga Hayley Marie Norman showing us new Vegan spots!
Visit my website and social media sites! http://www.KarinnasDish.com http://www.facebook.com/Karinnaz http:h/www.twitter.com/Karinnaz, http://Karinnaz.yelp.com

Monday, June 7, 2010

Thank You, Alec Baldwin

In a recent contribution to the Huffington Post, Alec Baldwin describes the type of Governor that New York needs. He addresses many issues including budget deficits, environmental concerns, and the need for divorce and child custody reform. In his final statement he addresses one of the most horrific discoveries of the year on the Conklin Dairy Farm in Ohio. He states:
"On another, certainly more important note, did you see the video posted here regarding the Conklin Farm animal abuse story in Ohio? Let me assure you, someone risked their health and maybe their life to record that video. When you see this, you will never again doubt the necessity for and courage of the animal rights movement."
Animal rights and environmental supporters thank Alec Baldwin and other high profile celebrities for speaking out against animal abuse and for their courageous quest for a cruelty-free society.

Speak out, Question the Norm, and Live with Kindness!
Peace.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

¡Viva México! Felíz Cinco de Mayo!



It's that time of year again! Time to celebrate and throw a fiesta! Everyone knows Cinco de Mayo is a big party day full of family, friends, Carne Asada, Salsa, Guacamole, Margaritas and Cerveza!

It's also a very significant day in Mexican history commemorating the day the small Mexican Militia under President Benito Juarez defeated Napoleon III's French army double its size in the town of Puebla in 1862. They fought an intelligent battle by using techniques that managed to outsmart the invading army. México's Independence Day falls in September, but Cinco de Mayo is a special day we celebrate here in the United States to honor our neighbors to the South. Although we were in the middle of our own Civil War here in the U.S. in 1862, General Phil Sheridan sent Union forces straight to the Texas/Mexico border to boost the Mexican Army and ensure the French were defeated! Cinco de Mayo is a day to celebrate the unity between my two countries.

México has shown gratitude on many occasions, sending troops to help fight along with the U.S. at Pearl Harbor and even offering support during the Gulf War and during Terrorist attacks.

Celebrate on this fun and special day! Celebrate Freedom, Liberty, and Unity!

Make your own Karinna's Margarita!

4 oz. Tequila

3 oz. Juice of Lime

3 oz. Grand Marnier

1/2 oz. Blue Agave Nectar

Rimming Salt, Lime wedge for garnish

Pour all ingredients into a shaker cup, add ice, cover and shake.

Rim the glass with salt, serve cold in a large margarita glass and garnish with lime wedge.

Variation: If you're really bar-savvy, try muddling some strawberries or cucumber into the bottom of the glass and shake up with the rest of the ingredients!

¡Disfruta!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dreamy Creamy Delicious Asparagus


There is something so magically sensual about Asparagus--those gorgeously green stalks that are in season right now!
Uncooked, fresh Asparagus stand tough and firm; yet, when cooked, these tender stalks become creamy and luscious satisfying the senses with their beautiful green color, succulent nutty flavor, buttery aroma, and intricate fleshy texture. A nutritious source of fiber and vegetable protein, Asparagus are also low in calories and carbohydrates (low sugar content), low in cholesterol, sodium, and fat. Loaded with Vitamins, Minerals, healthy Fatty Acids, and phytonutrients, Asparagus are considered excellent choices for reaching optimal health and wellness.
Vegetables which are high in Folic Acid are essential for women at child-bearing age because Folate reduces the risk of birth defects especially defects in fetal brain development within the first few weeks of conception. Folate is also essential for proper cardiovascular function. High levels of carotene and Vitamin C make Asparagus an effective anti-carcinogen. Asparagus (and many other vegetables) are immunogenic, anti-carcinogenic, help eliminate toxins through the liver, and help improve Prostate health. Yes, Gentlemen, these vegetables will help prevent Prostate Cancer!
Asparagus are a natural diuretic and help regulate water retention. Green foods that contain inulin also benefit our digestive system by promoting good bacteria in the intestinal tract.
Preparation: Purchase from your farmer's market or grocery store and try to use them within a few days. Store in the refrigerator with ends wrapped in damp paper towel and not exposed to light. When ready to prepare, rinse them well and snap off the fibrous ends before cooking. My dad always told me to save these for making a vegetable soup or broth.
Recipe ideas:
1. Asian
Sauté in canola oil and Earth Balance Vegan butter with some minced garlic. Cook covered for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and add tamari or soy sauce and allow to brown for a few more minutes. Serve these with brown rice or asian noodles and stir fry veggies with Tofu or Seitan.
2. Italian
Add steamed Asparagus to pasta dishes like spaghetti or fettucine with marinara sauce. Experiment with herbs like Rosemary, Thyme, or Basil.
Make your own Pizzas using Asparagus as a topping.
3. Salads
Make a tempeh (tuna-style) salad using Vegenaise instead of Mayo. Add all the veggies you love, chop up some sauteéd Asparagus and mix it up with pasta or potatoes. The possibilities are endless.
Make a fresh Spring Mix and Spinach salad with cooked Asparagus on top. Add Chickpeas for extra protein, olives, red cabbage, carrots, and your favorite dressing.
4. Dips
Make a Spinach & Asparagus dip instead of Spinach Artichoke!
I use the recipe from the amazing Veganomicon ultimate Vegan Cookbook.
There are so many other ways to enjoy Asparagus. Get creative and have an adventure in the kitchen, it's fun and nutritious!
Buen Provecho!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Real Men take on Veganism!


VEGAN ( ˈvē-gən ) = a vegetarian who consumes only plant foods, and avoids all animal products or by-products and leather, wool, fur.

Just read an interesting article in the Boston Globe! Last week, Globe correspondent Kathleen Pierce wrote about a growing trend in lifestyle changes among men looking to shed pounds and improve their overall wellness in Men leave their own mark on veganism. These men come from all walks of life; some overweight or obese, some athletes, and some environmentalist animal lovers-- but all looking to live longer, healthier lives!

Movers and Shakers among "Hegans" include Tobey Macquire, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Moby, firefighter Rip Esselstyn, Tony Gonzalez, Alec Baldwin, Paul McCartney and of course Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, Leonardo DaVinci, Buddha, Jesus, Thomas Edison were vegetarians! Go Veg!

Interesting Reads:
The Engine 2 Diet -- by Rip Esselstyn
Tony Gonzalez - Veganism in the NFL
Moby - on being Vegan
Thom Yorke - Radiohead

Sunday, March 28, 2010

♥ Sweet and Vegan ♥


I had the pleasure of working with Hayley Marie Norman last week! She's such a genuine sweetheart and guess what?!? She's Vegan and passionate about it!!! Check out her blog Hips Lips and Fingertips and follow her on Twitter! You'll recognize her adorable smile from Deal Or No Deal. She's this year's Lady Hennessy and she's in the new movie Our Family Wedding with Forest Whitaker, Carlos Mencia, and America Ferrera!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Discover Quinoa!


QUINOA, pronounced Keen-Wah, is a power-packed Super Food used by the ancient Incas.  It was considered the "Mother Grain" by the indigenous people.  Quinoa is actually a seed closely related to the sugarbeet and spinach.

Quinoa remains a staple in South American cuisine among the descendants of the Incas throughout Peru, Bolivia, and Chile because of it's high protein content. It contains more protein than most other grains, and the great news is: It's super easy to prepare!

Quinoa is appropriate for starter-Vegans because it contains all essential amino acids which our bodies use as building blocks for muscles and highly complex processes throughout our bodies.

Using Quinoa in dishes is so easy because you can just rinse, place in a rice cooker and let it cook. It cooks super fast, so if you ever have last minute guests arrive, you can whip up an awesome stir-fry dish using quinoa in 15-20 minutes!

Key Words I use when describing Quinoa: VERSATILE, PROTEIN-PACKED, NUTRITIOUS, FUN TO EAT! Below are some recipe ideas.

HOW TO COOK: Rinse First!
1. Rice Cooker: treat Quinoa like rice. 2 parts Water to 1 part Quinoa.
2. Stove Top: 1:2 Quinoa to Water, bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer, and cover for 10 - 15 minutes. When cooked, you will see the germ ring pop on the grain.

ASIAN:
1. Quinoa goes great in stir-fry dishes! Just chop up some Veggies, sauté with Earth Balance Vegan Butter or Canola Oil; add Mushrooms like Shiitakes; bean sprouts; Tamari Soy Sauce. Serve over Quinoa.
2. Fried-Quinoa: Fry the cooked Quinoa with Earth Balance Vegan Butter, add Tamari, Salt and Pepper to taste and cook until golden and yummy. Add finely minced veggies and/or Tofu and serve as a side dish!

LATIN:
Use Quinoa instead of Rice in your favorite dishes!
1. Spanish Quinoa
2. Paella con Quinoa
3. Veggie Albondigas soup made using Quinoa

ITALIAN:
Use Quinoa instead of Pasta:
1. Veggie Meatballs with Marinara sauce over Quinoa Pilaf
2. Portabello Zucchini Quinoa Cakes
3. Stuffed Mushrooms with Vegan Sausages and Quinoa

BURGERS:
Add Quinoa to your Brown Rice from-scratch Veggie Burgers for some extra protein!

DESSERTS:
Cook Quinoa until almost fully cooked, then remove from the rice cooker and add to breads, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pancakes, or muffins before baking!

Lastly, I recommend cooking Quinoa with no salt or seasonings if you are making a large batch for several dishes.  The reason for this is that you can use it in a savory dish as a substitute for rice, and you can also add it to sweetened baked goods.  Simply prepare it in advance and place in a reusable container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Enjoy! -K

Friday, February 26, 2010

Finding Peace

Life unfolds with unexpected twists, surprises, victories and failures. Throughout my adventures, I've found renewed inspiration and strength from ancient wisdom.
Not religious figures, not religious texts. But truly spiritual wisdom which flowed through clear, unaffected minds. Minds not preoccupied with the material world and gaining power, not trying to get attention or fame, not trying to rule others or obtain monetary gain. I have transcended the need for religion to guide my mind through materialistic greed.
In Buddha's wisdom I've found myself able to let go of conventional power struggles and control dramas which individuals use in order to control the flow of energy in interpersonal relationships. Buddha's wisdom has helped me feel closer to nirvana; to ultimate peace within. Here is a collection of Buddhist quotes & thoughts which have helped me overcome obstacles and self-doubt. I see all human beings as beautiful individuals each on their own plane and level of spiritual development. Clear your mind and allow these empowering quotes to inspire you! Peace always!



“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”



“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become."

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.”

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”

“Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.”

"To understand everything is to forgive everything”

"The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”

“You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself”

“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”

“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky”

“However many holy words you read,However many you speak,What good will they do you If you do not act on upon them?”

“A jug fills drop by drop.”

“The tongue like a sharp knife... Kills without drawing blood.”

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

“Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”

“A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.”

“There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.”

“The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.”

“Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little.”

“Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

“The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.”

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”

“Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.”

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.”

“To keep the body in good health is a duty...otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”

“Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.”

“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.”



Peace. Joy. Happiness. Wisdom.
♥K

Monday, February 1, 2010

Be my Eco-Savvy Valentine in 2010!


It started shortly after New Year's--the transformation of our shops, grocery stores, malls, and superstores from Wintery White to Valentine's Day Red! The day to shower affection on our loved ones and friends is fast approaching. Love is in the air! This Valentine's Day, there is a way for all of us to show a little kindness and show our children that we can be a part of something bigger. Kids love to feel important and allowing them to help others is one way to boost their self-confidence.


Each year, millions of parents sift through hundreds of lovely red and pink boxes of Valentine's Day cards at their local superstores for their children to pass out to their classmates and friends. This year, make a more socially responsible choice! Save the Children is offering a set of Valentine's Day cards designed by kids. Your donation will directly help impoverished children in the United States and support Save the Children's efforts to provide programs focused on early childhood education, literacy, physical activity, and nutrition!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Los Angeles Go Green Expo

Karinna at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the Go Green Expo January 24th, 2010





**Go Green!** It's the statement of the millenium, born with Gen X, and leaping to the next level with Gen Y. Last weekend, I attended the Go Green Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center--the first convention center in the U.S. to be awarded LEED Green Building Certification for existing buildings by the USGBC. The South Hall was filled with businesses dedicated to social, global, and environmental responsibility displaying their products and services. From eco-bags, to eco-bottles, to eco-friendly food and drink, to candles that melt down to lotion, to vegan cooking classes, and that was only in the first aisle! There were sections dedicated to Pets, Solar Panels, Clothing, Automobiles, and Wind power. I even had the pleasure of seeing Mariel Hemingway speak to us about the connection between Self and environment and all of her experiences finding her true mission in life. It was a memorable experience for a "green-savvy" girl like me.

















I enjoyed some Vegan Kabobs from One World Veggie West Covina and discovered an amazing Eco-Water Bottle with built in filter; then tasted some treats from Blue Hen Vietnamese in Eagle Rock and met the founder/creator of Vapur Water, David Czerwinski.















**************************************************


Of all the products I saw at the Go Green Expo, I have found my new Green-Eco Bags the most useful. I was fortunate to meet the owner and founder of Green-Eco Products, Nan Zinn. In my green-mission, one of my goals is to reach the average person and help them see how even small changes in our everyday lives can make a positive global impact if we all dedicate ourselves to eco-responsibility! By using products like Green-Eco bags in our everyday life, we are making a statement and eventually making a huge positive impact on our climate change crisis. Be a responsible citizen of the earth--it's easy, rewarding, and Eco-Stylish!


These eco-bags are made of a high quality fiber called Jute. Jute is second only to cotton in global consumption, usage, production, and availability! I have used my new bags several times and they are very durable and hold the heaviest grocieries. I would have used at least 5 plastic bags on this amount of groceries! Imagine if we all took this issue more seriously. In addition to durability, these Green-Eco Bags are naturally 100% biodegradable and recyclable, making them environmentally friendly. For more information on the bags, please visit http://www.green-ecoproducts.com/.



If you missed the West Coast Go Green Expo, the next stop is New York City in March! http://www.gogreenexpo.com/


Vive Verde! Live Green!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Delphine Eatery & Bar Opens Tonight!



Innovative Dining Group's Newest Hollywood Hotspot debuts to the public tonight, January 28th, 2010! I was fortunate to have a sneak peak dinner last Monday with an exclusive tour of the restaurant and it's two lounges: Station Hollywood and The Living Room by Tom Cardenas, Vice President of IDG! Located within the luxurious W Hotel Hollywood, set to open tonight, Delphine is an elegant yet breezy and refreshing retreat sure to transport you to the French Riviera with it's Mediterranean cuisine and classy ambiance. Not your typical Brasserie--this is a world-class experience!
I recommend making reservations weeks in advance! Call (323) 798-1355

Please read my review below or at CitySearch, Yelp, or UrbanSpoon!
**I typically take my meat-lover friends out to dine with me so that we may get the full gourmet experience; and so my readers will see that although these talented Chefs take pride in "Veganizing" dishes for me, you can enjoy their meat or seafood traditional specialties as well!**


{Photo Courtesy: www.RestaurantDelphine.com}



Travel to the French Riviera...in the heart of Hollywood!

The brand new W Hollywood is home to the hottest new restaurant in Southern California: Delphine Eatery & Bar. It is reminiscent of a Brasserie in the South of France. Driving up on Hollywood Blvd, you can't miss the red W at the top of the Hotel. Valet and enter through the W Hotel, or you can enter the restaurant from Hollywood Blvd: you'll find a great bar on your left with frosted glass windows behind it and a host stand on your right staffed by gorgeous ladies smiling and happy to answer any questions you may have.

There are a few tables in the bar area which would be great for stopping in for breakfast or lunch or even a nice cocktail in the evening. Further ahead is the dining room at a slightly lower level. As you enter the dining room, you'll notice a wall size mirror on your left on which the specials of the day will be written!

Massive framed mirrors and huge canvas photographs of the French Riviera line the walls. The tables are spacious, booths are comfortable--every seat has a great view of the open floor plan.

There will be a Delphine patio outside as well! The flooring is quite unique, very chic, very French, light blue and bone white intricate design. The overall ambiance is very elegant and refined, yet relaxed and soothing!

Executive Chef Sascha Lyon (of NY's Michelin three-star Daniel, Balthazar and Pastis) has put together an amazing dinner menu and also serves Breakfast and Lunch. The restaurant opens at 6:30 a.m. and stays open late.

Proving once again that even Vegetarians and Vegans can fully enjoy gourmet restaurants, I ordered the Marinated Olives and Peppers, Rapini, Eggplant, and Tomato. The Rapini dish was absolutely delicious. Sweet peppers, spicy rapini, savory eggplant: taste buds were in heaven!
My date had the Caesar salad with Bacon for starters and said it was sensational!

We were able to order champagne and wines by the glass -- Delphine boasts a spectacular wine list!

My server, Nick (awesome), informed me that the chef would combine two menu items to suit my vegan palate: The Penne Puttanesca (w/ tomato olives and garlic) with the Mushroom Ravioli base (Butternut squash, hazelnuts and olive oil instead of the sage brown butter). The penne was cooked perfectly! Creaminess of the Butternut squash, crunchiness of the Hazelnuts and the meaty Mushrooms were a pleasing combination!
My friend ordered the Striped Bass Aigo Bouido (crispy layer, and tender meat, outstanding sauce). I will return again soon and try the Escalavida Pizza!! The grand opening will be on January 28th, I recommend calling ahead for reservations!!

The overall experience was exceptional! After dinner we walked over to the Living Room in the lobby of the W Hotel...stunning! Tall Ceilings, huge spiral staircase, gorgeous chandelier, couches and pillows make you feel like you are at home...a chic, fun lounge sure to be a big hit for star-studded Hollywood parties!

Congratulations Innovative Dining Group on another huge success!


"Zinn" Lives On!


I'll never forget the feeling of awakening I felt as a 9th grader in High School the day I purchased my very first copy of A People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn. Unable to put the book down, I read with amazement the words of a pioneer, a social activist, a paradigm breaker, a man who encouraged us to question authority! His People's History presented history through the eyes of those unspoken for, unheard, and forgotten.
The status quo among the general population had always been to read your history books and trust them as holding true facts. Howard Zinn inspired me to break from those "Intimately Oppressed," incite a "Kind of Revolution," and always speak out against those "Persons of Mean and Vile Condition."

Thank you, Howard Zinn, for having the COURAGE, PASSION, and INTEGRITY to shine a new light on so many political issues in the world: from racism, to poverty, to war, to moral injustice, to social responsibility!

Few individuals inspire me to ask "what would they do, think, or say" on a subject. Howard Zinn was one of those individuals to whom I often referred when reading college texts or watching reported news. What would Howard Zinn have said about this...?

Howard Zinn has passed away but his legacy of challenging the status quo will live on! We all have a limited time here to put our efforts to work, we must make each moment of our lives count!

Friday, January 15, 2010

2010 NASFT Winter Fancy Food Show San Francisco

I am looking forward to being involved in the 35th Annual NASFT Winter Fancy Food Show January 17 - 19 2010. Twenty-four thousand people are expected to attend the event held at Moscone Center in San Francisco. This is the place to be for foodies, restaurateurs, food & beverage businesses, distributors, and buyers of Specialty Foods! There will be about 250,000 products on display and about 2,500 exhibitors.

Being the "Green-lover" that I am, I am most excited see all the new green, natural, organic, and sustainable food products that will hopefully soon be available to us in fine restaurants, supermarkets, health food stores, and other retail outlets.

Follow me on http://www.Twitter.com/KarinnaZ and http://www.Facebook.com/KarinnaZ where I will be posting updates and photos throughout the event!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Luscious, Creamy, Exquisite AVOCADO!


I'm in love with Avocados!
Perhaps it's the gorgeous green color of the meat; perhaps it's the smoothness hiding inside that rough outer shell; perhaps it's the mysterious way they can take on different flavors; or maybe it's just the versatility and all the nutrients Avocados deliver into my body. Whatever quality it is that has me most infatuated, it's got me dreaming up new and different ways to create taste bud adventures with Avocados!
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, contain NO Cholesterol, and NO Sodium! Sure, they're high in calories--that means energy! When you Go Vegan, you need healthy fatty acids and calories. If you eat Cheese, Butter, or Sour Cream -- you're getting more calories and unneccessary fat with little vitamins and no phytonutrients. Try an Avocado spread instead!
Avocados are nutrient dense! Add Avos to your burgers, dips, spreads, salads, tacos, wraps, smoothies, or pasta dishes...the delicious possibilities are endless!
Verde y Delicioso!

Insights for a New Year and a New Decade!

I'm driven! When I say DRIVEN, I mean: When I want something, I show it!
I go and I get it!

Time doesn't stop me, physical boundaries don't even stop me. I'm living proof that INTENTION and an unstoppable DESIRE to reach a goal create a powerful mind-over-matter state of existence.
Financial goals, Physical goals, Relationship goals--all possible if you sieze your power. Take the reigns today!

There are times in your life when you must evaluate EVERY relationship closely affecting your daily activities and decide which ones benefit your ultimate success and which ones are hindering you!

Passion and Desire are GREAT Motivators: but a desire without considerable thought and sound logic backing it up is detrimental to reaching your full potential.

Ultimately, YOU are the creator of your future. You awaken each morning at the dawn of a fresh new day filled with possibilities.

**The world is your Canvas...Paint a Masterpiece...don't waste one moment!**

Monday, January 4, 2010

Weekly WOW: Words of Wisdom 01.04.10

Happy New Year!

As we enter into this new year, we expect to succeed, we expect to do well, prosper, and be happier than our last year!

Every January, millions of us resolve to be more healthy, to be more productive, spend more time with family, quit bad habits--among other New Years Resolutions. However, I would like to remind you that focusing on inner peace is the most important way to start this year! Without a sense of inner harmony with ourselves as we are NOW, we will always be searching for external things to make us happy. This is not religion-based, this is very simple and natural. It is a fundamental need to find true happiness. Find that true happiness inside your quiet Self. Once you reach that inner peace, your possibilities will be endless!



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