Meatless Mondays- Cauliflower, Garbanzo Bean, and Spinach Curry

As a lot of you might have heard there is a strong movement rising called Meatless Mondays.  I thought that I would like to do my part by posting a meatless recipe every Monday for you all to enjoy.

This week I’m showcasing a Cauliflower, Garbanzo Bean, and Spinach Curry.  It is super easy to make and one of my staple go-to dinners.  I am a huge fan of cauliflower and am always trying to incorporate it as a main ingredient in my veggie dishes as it is a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, dietary fiber, B6, riboflavin and folic acid.

Many people get concerned with their protein intake when eating meatless, but have no fear, garbanzo beans (chickpeas to you New Yorkers) have an amazing 15g of protein in one cup!


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use safflower) 
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 6 cups small cauliflower florets (from 1 medium head)
  • 2 15 1/2-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 4 fresh tomatoes diced
  • 1 14-ounce can lite coconut milk
  • 12 oz organic spinach
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in large skillet over high heat.
  2. Add onions and sauté until golden brown, about 8 minutes.
  3. Mix in curry powder and stir 20 seconds.
  4. Add cauliflower and garbanzo beans; stir 1 minute.
  5. Add diced tomatoes and coconut milk; bring to boil. 
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and boil gently until cauliflower is tender and liquid thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes.
  7. Stir in spinach and let it wilt just slightly
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This recipe serves about 6.  If it’s just me and Mike, I’ll cut the ingredients in half and still will have some leftover for lunch the next day!  I served the curry this night with couscous and a side dinner salad that had bell peppers and avocados.

So check back here every Monday and start your week off right by joining us in Meatless Mondays!

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First Annual NYC Cherry Blossom Fest!

Last weekend our D.C. friends were bragging about how amazing the cherry blossoms were looking and how excited they were for the flower’s annual festival.  As they succeeded in making me jealous of not being there, I decided to create my own New York City Cherry Blossom Festival.  So Mike and I started from our apartment in Washington Square Park and walked our way up to Central Park stopping to take in the first wave of Spring’s blooms. 

Coming across Union Square first, I was so excited to see that my favorite monument was sitting in a backdrop of pink flowers.I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent. – Mohandas Gandhi

We continued up Broadway and were pleasantly blinded by the new chrome statue of New York and pop art icon, Andy Warhol.  The 10 foot sculpture created by Rob Pruitt was placed in front of Warhol’s old Union Square factory on March 30th and is only slated to be open for viewing until October 2nd.  I had been watching the three-part documentary series “Factory People” just that week so I was that more elated that we were able to view this tribute to the great Warhol. 

I think that having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anyone could ever want to own.  -Andy Warhol

As we walked up 5th Avenue, the streets were bustling with people happy to finally get a little break from the rain we were having the rest of the week.  Some of my favorite cherry blossom trees are on 59th street right in front of the Plaza, and this year they didn’t disappoint. 

We entered Central Park and I was amazed how different the park had looked after just walking through it two weeks before. 


We left the park on the east side and made our way back home via 1st Avenue.  Like the parks the streets were beautiful and in full bloom. 

And how cute it this spring time monument?

Our last stop on was Grace Church on East 10th and Broadway.  This church on its own is gorgeous, but that more picturesque with all the flowers. 

As I returned back to my apartment that evening all those feelings of jealousy left as I reflected on my day and the creation of my first annual NYC Cherry Blossom Fest!

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Happy Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day!   As someone who considers themselves eco-conscious, I still think that this is a good day to remind ourselves how we can be better to our precious Mother Earth. 

So recommit yourself to another year of turning the faucet off while you’re brushing your teeth, taking a shorter shower, replacing one of your cleaning products with a green product, bringing your own reusable bag to the grocery store, recycling, eating less meat, carpooling and buying from your local farmer’s market. 

These are obviously only some of the few actions we can take to help make this planet a better place for today and for our future. 

What are you going to do this year to make every day Earth Day?

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“Chiling” with Friends

Its been a wet week here in New York and it made going out this past weekend very uninspiring.  So Friday night we had Mike’s brother, Anthony and a couple of friends over to hang out and watch a movie.  Since we were going to be sitting in front of a television I wanted to make something really easy to serve with the least amount of dishware.  I instantly thought of my go-to veggie chili that I found about a year ago in Food and Wine magazine and some  Trader Joe’s cornbread. I know, everyone asks how you can do chili without meat?  But trust me when I say that this is delicious, hearty and the biggest of meat eaters I know have tried and loved it!


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, cut into i/2 in pieces
  • 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup corn kernels (frozen)
  • 2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained


  1. Heat oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat.  Add garlic, onion and jalapeno.  Saute until onion is slightly translucent, about 4 minutes
  2. Add the sweet potato, broccoli and spices, then stir until powders evenly coat vegetables.  Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add bell peppers and corn, then stir.  Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. Add tomatoes and black beans.  Simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes.

As any chili I think that it tastes better the longer the flavors stew together.  So if you have a little more time I’d let it simmer for closer to an hour.

Per serving: 200 calories, 4g fat, 8g protein, 35g carbohydrate, 10g fiber

This recipe can feed an army!  Even with 5 people who all went in for seconds, I still had plenty of leftovers.  This made Mike extremely happy because he’ll wrap some in a tortilla for a snack and take it to work for lunch the whole week.

Happy “Chiling!”

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Earth Day this weekend!

Earth Day is this Friday, April 22nd!  Always a fun day to reflect and give back to Mother Nature, I think Earth Day is one of my favorite holidays!

Having troubles figuring out what to do and where to join in the festivities?

I thought I’d share some of the events that are going on in some of my subscribers neighborhoods!  If your city’s events are not highlighted on this post, you can go to the Earth Network website for a more extensive list of events.  I’ll start with New York and then list the other cities in alphabetical order.


The be the E campaign is running events in Times Square and Grand Central April 21st-23rd.  Times Square will be featuring a Green Car show, speakers and an interactive area.  As Grand Central will be hosting a two-day festival of art, music and the environment.  Click here to get the detailed schedule.

Brooklyn’s Earth Day Celebration is held at the Erie Basin Park for the Ceremonial Launch of the Giant Floating Earth Ball. It launches 100ft  into the air symbolizing your commitment to 100% percent dedication to action toward mitigating the impact on climate change and pollution.  Click here for more details.


A night of three violinists from different parts of the world, Tara Bangalore, Beth Bahia Cohen and Mimi Rabson.  All proceeds go to the environmental organization, The music begins at 7:00 pm, at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street, Boston, MA. Tickets are $20; $15 students/seniors.  Click here for more details.

Head down to the Rose Kennedy Greenway on Friday, April 22nd for a free lunch time concert starting at 12p sponsored by the solar-powered radio station, The River.  Musical guests include the Bodeans, Colin Hay and Entrain.  Click here for details.


This is a volunteering event where participants will perform park beautifying activities such as mulching trees, removing litter, restoring a nature trail, cleaning signs, and repairing fencing around new planting areas.  Happening Saturday, April 23rd at 10a.  Click here for more details.


In true Hoboken fashion, they like to celebrate holidays bar style!  The Village Pourhouse will be holding an Earth Day Happy Hour on Friday April 22nd from 5p-8p.  Guests will be able to sample Sierra Nevada (an eco-friendly sustainable brewery) and first 100 customers will receive Village Pourhouse seed packets! Click here for more details.  


This event will be held on April 23 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Kenneth Hahn State Park in Los Angeles.  Admittance to the Expo portion of the event is free, and will have healthy cooking demonstrations, youth educational activities, health screenings, eco film festival, gardening tips for urban spaces, green job symposium, green product demonstrations, and concessions. Click here for more details.   

A Venice Beach Fashion Show held for Conservation International on April 22, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m at the G2 Gallery.  They will be selling $5 donation tickets and showing their spring/summer collection.


The Dana Point Ocean Institute will be hosting a day of celebration on April 23rd from 1oa to 3p.  Events will include, learning how to track your carbon footprint. Discovering the benefits of using California Native Plants in your garden.  Performing experiments to learn how air pollution affects our oceans.  And learning about the impact of pollution along the coast and throughout the ocean.   The cost to participate is $6.50 for adults, $4.50 for children ages 4-12. Participate in a beach clean-up that morning, and receive free admission for the remainder of the day.  Click here for more details.


Go check out Mike’s alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University, on Friday, April 22nd who will be hosting a Film Screening of Carbon Nation.  The screening will be held in Doherty Hall, at 7p with refreshments at 6:30p.  Watch the trailer at  Click here for further details.


The City Repair Project and the Buckman Neighborhood Association will be hosting the We Need You! campaign at the Washington high school field.  Festivities start at 10a.  Click here for full schedule. 


UC San Diego Earth Week

Make your way down to the UC campus for the Grow your food, gardening demo and compost workshop on April 24 from 12p to 2p.

Learn how to grow your own vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers in these garden demonstrations. They will also teach composting techniques to help you reduce your landfill contribution and help your garden sustain itself.  Click here for more details.

California Earth Day Jam is the region’s largest Earth Day observance and will take place in National City on Saturday, April 23rd from 12p to sundown.  The festival will feature more than 8 bands and 70 environmental exhibitors.  The entertainment will run on two stages all day and night at Kimball Park.  Click here for more details.  


Head down to the Civic Center at 10a to participate in the largest Earth Day festival in the Bay Area.   An educational and multi-cultural entertainment event will keynote pressing environmental issues and promote solution oriented community actions.  With three stages there will be well-known speakers, activists, and musical performances.  Click here for more information.  


The District Department of Environment is hosting GreenDC Day on Wednesday, April 20th in Freedom Plaza.  

GreenDC Day is an Earth Day Celebration where DDOE seeks to increase public awareness about environmental protection, energy efficiency and natural resources. This purpose of this annual event is to expose DC residents to various businesses which offer eco-friendly options for greening their lives, homes, offices, schools.  Click here for more details.  


Hopefully this post gets you to start thinking about how you want to celebrate Earth Day!  I also hope that we all take a little moment and give thanks to Mother Earth and share a way that we can make this precious planet better for today and for the future.  

So, what are you going to do for Earth Day? 

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Always lovely in Tannersville, NY

Tannersville, NY not to be confused with Tannersville, PA which according to Google Search is way more popular, is a really special place to me.  As much as I love the stimulation of New York City sometimes the whole “concrete jungle” part gets me a little antsy.  Growing up in a Southern California beach town I was very spoiled to have the ocean right there, but also to have hills, mountains, deserts all within a quick drive away.

So about a year and a half ago, I was going through one of those “I gotta get out of the city” spells and told Mike I was dying to do some hiking and see some nature.  After asking around and doing some research he presented me with Tannersville, a small, quirky and colorful town in the Catskills about a two and a half hour drive outside of the city.

We stay at this really amazing place called the Hotel Mountain Brook.  It has great views of the mountains and the owner Amy is really sweet.  Every morning they make a delicious breakfast using all local products.

Besides the popular Hunter Mountain, where New Yorkers flock to during the winter, Tannersville is also well know for the Kaaterskill falls.  It is considered the longest waterfall in New York, not to be confused with the largest which would be Niagara Falls.  We started our hike by taking the Escarpment Trail which runs along the mountain above the falls.

Once we hit the trail we were a little surprised as there was still a significant amount of snow on parts of it, but it made the scenery that more beautiful.  One thing I found to be especially pretty was the way the fallen debris imprinted itself into the snow.

It reminded me of a finished paper product I created as a kid with the old flower presses.  As we kept hiking we continued to come across more of the trails treasures.

Falling leaves

Winter growth

And iced over water streams

After we finished along the trail we made our way back down to check out the Kaaterskills.   The first time we hiked the falls we started from the top and made our way down and back up, but with ice on the trail we were unable to do so. Normally you’ll find people swimming at the bottom of each of the falls, but this time the watering holes were frozen over.

We really lucked out with the weather which made this day of nature that much more enjoyable.  After the falls we made our way to Last Chance Cheese Antiques Cafe where we indulged in a couple of their beers from the over 300 bottle selection and their local cheeses.  Main Street, though small has great restaurants including Pancho Villias, a Mexican place with yummy fajitas and guacamole.   We also came across a new find, Currans.  Using only local ingredients and changing their menu seasonally, this place exceed our expectations.

So after a weekend of hiking and great food I felt refreshed, renewed and excited to get back to the city life that keeps me on the go.

Even if you live in a tranquil place, everyone needs a little escape from the craziness of their life.  So I’m interested, where do you like to go to recharge you batteries?

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Imagina a Paz

A couple of weeks ago my boyfriend, Mike (who was somewhat hurt I left his name out of the Orchid Show post, oops sorry!) and I went to the Yoko Ono and Friends to Japan with Love benefit show at Le Possion Rouge.  It was such a fun night of amazing performers with the friends list including Antony, Patti Smith, Tony Shananhan, Cibo Matto and Lou Reed.

When we were at the bar waiting to get a drink I stumbled upon a bowl full of buttons.  As I grabbed a handful to start reading I realized that they had the phrase “Imagine Peace” in all different languages written on them.  Being of Mexican decent I was obviously very happy to come across the button with the phrase in Spanish, but I was equally excited that I was able to recognize other languages.

These other two buttons had a special meaning to me because my dear friend Helena is Korean and one of my oldest, closest friends, Kim’s husband is from Tibet.

I just thought the whole thing was very beautiful and a really great way to remind people that “Imagine Peace” is an international phrase worth spreading.

As excited I was to see Yoko Ono for the first time live, I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that it was Patti Smith who I really went to see that night.  I have been a fan of Ms. Smith for many years and always find her music, style and message to be an inspiration.  So I’ll end this post with a video of Patti, Tony Shananhan and their band performing “People Got the Power” at the To Japan with Love benefit.  Hope this brings a little bit of peace to your day!

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