**UPDATE: Native Foods no longer has this happy hour! Very sad as we looked forward to it every Friday. Maybe it will come back periodically?**
Last night I took the girls to Happy Hour at Native Foods. It opened about a month ago on Ocean Park Boulevard between 29th & 30th. We used to go to the one in Culver City once in a while. Like twice a year. Since it opened here a month ago, G’s been once and I’ve already been twice (two Fridays in a row!)
This time I took the kids solo. We parked our massive stroller outside, walked in & ordered at the counter. All the starters & sides are 50% off during Happy Hour. We ordered accordingly:
Saigon Roll. A really tasty wholesome wrap accompanied by a spicy/sweet dip. YUM! I love these.
Bowl of Black Bean Soup. I could take or leave the soup. I make a fair amount of soup myself in the wintertime and found this one to be just so-so. It had some croutons in there that immediately turned to mush. Plus, the flavor was very one-dimensional. Can you tell I’ve just watched “Around the World in 80 Plates?”
Seasoned fries. (I recommend the sweet potato fries but my kids don’t like them. Bea liked the seasoned fries.)
Sweet Potato Fries (Photo taken last visit…)
Native Chicken Wings with Ranch. (I got these instead of the kids’ chicken nuggets b/c I knew my kids wouldn’t eat the rice and they didn’t need the lemonade.)*
Mini Greens Salad. This is an excellent, pretty little salad that is piled precariously high in an adorable little bowl. I dumped mine out on the large plate so I could toss it in the dressing better. This is no lame-o salad you typically get for $5.00. (Keep in mind – you get it for $2.50 during Happy Hour!)
I also got a glass of chardonnay for 50% off. Nice!
NOTE: I do NOT recommend the kids’ Macaroni & Cheese. It’s in a milky/watery sauce. Last time I was there, neither of my kids liked it and they were really hungry.
I took the pix LAST Friday when we went with our friend Elsie. Last night I was the only ahem…adult there and I had NO free hands to take pix!
My bill came out to $16 and change. Of course I had to leave a big tip for the greasy booth we left behind but still a great deal! We were all stuffed full of mostly healthy fare (‘cept for the fries) + a nice glass of wine. Not bad.
- Although there is patio seating, wine & beer are currently only allowed inside.
- Be sure to get a Native Foods frequent diner card. I have been twice and already got a free non alc drink.
Btw: G is a meat-a-tarian and he likes it!
2901 Ocean Park Blvd.
Park behind (off of 29th Street), at a meter on Ocean Park OR take the #8 Blue bus which goes from Westwood to Main Street (and not sure where it goes from there). I highly recommend the bus so you can have a couple of glasses of wine!
50% off all appetizers, beer & wine.
Let me know how you like it!
*Incidentally – they also have Native Foods in Boulder and at several locations in Chicago! Check their site for more.
Some call this the “Shrek” smoothie. Since my kids don’t know Shrek as well as Kermit I called it a Kermit smoothie.
They LOVE it!
1 frozen banana
1 c frozen peaches
1 c frozen mango chunks
2-3 c cold almond milk
2-3 ice cubes
2 handfuls spinach
OPTIONAL: splash lemon or orange juice
Honestly, I don’t measure this stuff! I put about half the frozen fruit into the blender & 1 c of the almond milk & blend. Then add the ice cubes. Blend. (Add as much more almond milk as you may need.) Add the rest of the fruit. Blend. Then add the spinach. Blend. As you can probably tell, I don’t have a powerful blender. If you have a Vita Mix or whatever you can probably toss it all in at once!
Start out using less almond milk until you get used to it. It’s easier to thin the smoothie out than it is to make it thicker.
I love to add a few ice cubes and 2-3 TBSP lemon juice since it’s a sweet drink and needs a little acid.
You can’t taste the spinach at all! My kids LOVE this! They have had variations on this one for the past three days. What’s the spinach for? Spinach is SOOOOOOO full of vitamins!! And it makes a crazy bright Kermit green smoothie! (Unless you add blueberries & strawberries, in which case it makes a gnarly brown smoothie that is still delicious.)
There’s my other “smoothie” on the left. A STRONG coffee.
The kids drink it from those plastic cups you get at restaurants.This one is from Benihana’s. And the beer cozy (koozie?) is courtesy of a pre-kid weekend up at the Tuolumne River. Classy!
Maddie wants to call it “Frog Pillow Smoothie” after a particularly filthy little someone special to her.
During my salad-a-day month last March, my Canadian friend Kinga sent me this recipe. It’s a really popular dish named not after anything in the movie Porky’s but rather a ski bowl at Whitewater Ski Resort in Nelson, British Columbia. It took me a while to get over to Whole Foods for the nutritional yeast flakes. I had never heard of them & tried to never go to Whole Foods for various reasons. Also, when I read this recipe it sounded a little TOO healthy in that unsatisfying way some restaurant salads are. So I put it off.
Finally I had all the ingredients and decided to go for it. It’s SO WORTH IT!!!! SOOOOO WORTH IT!!!!! It’s amazing – something that looks like a pile of what G would call “Rabbit Food” but is so flavorful, satisfying & doesn’t weigh you down.
You’ve got to try this. Although it has a lot of components, the prep for each one is pretty simple.
Here’s what you need for the salad:
**NOTE: this makes enough for 8 people so you may want to halve it, which is what I did.**
2 TBSP vegetable oil
2 c cubed extra firm tofu (remember to press water out first!)
8 c hot cooked brown rice
2 c grated carrots
2 c grated beets
2 c packed baby spinach
2 c slivered or slice almonds, toasted
For the dressing:
1/2 c nutritional yeast flakes
1/3 c soy sauce (or tamari)
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
1/3 c water
2 TBSP tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1-1/2 c vegetable oil
2. While that’s a-pressin’, add all your dressing ingredients to the blender & puree until creamy!
(Note: Properly stored, this can be kept for up to ONE week in the refrigerator.)
3. Cook your rice. I found this quick cook brown rice at Trader Joe’s. Takes about 10 mins instead of 45 mins so I did it! You can also find pre-cooked brown rice in the FREEZER section at Trader Joe’s. Just pop in micro for about 3 mins. That’s what I do when I’m in a crunch. **NOTE: if you’re using the regular brown rice – start this earlier according to how much time you need. You can always heat it up if you need to.**
4. Now prep your veggies. As you may or may not know (or care) I use a hand grater. Builds character.
5. Time to lightly pan fry that tofu! Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. I sprinkle a few pinches of salt over the tofu and turn when it’s golden brown. After all sides are lightly browned, drain on a paper towel lined plate.
6. Now for the fun part: ASSEMBLY! Add your rice layer in a nice sized bowl.
Drizzle about a tablespoon of dressing over the rice.
Top rice with spinach.
Add carrots & beets.
Now the almonds.
The tofu and about 3 more TBSP of the dressing.
Bea loved this dish! She doesn’t have that many teeth yet so she had some trouble chewing the spinach but she ate 2 bowls of this.
First, press your tofu. This needs about 15-30 mins and can be done while making the dressing, cooking the rice & grating the carrots/beets.
While that’s a-pressin’, add all your dressing ingredients to the blender & puree until creamy! (OR start your rice – depending on your cook time.)
Cook your rice. I found this quick cook brown rice at Trader Joe’s. Takes about 10 mins instead of 45 mins so I did it! You can also find pre-cooked brown rice in the FREEZER section at Trader Joe’s. Just pop in micro for about 3 mins. That’s what I do when I’m in a crunch.
Now prep your veggies. As you may or may not know (or care) I use a hand grater. Builds character.
Time to lightly pan fry that tofu! Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. I sprinkle a few pinches of salt over the tofu and turn when it’s golden brown. After all sides are lightly browned, drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Now for the fun part: ASSEMBLY! Add your rice layer in a nice sized bowl. Drizzle about a tablespoon of dressing over the rice. Top rice with spinach. Add carrots & beets.
Now the almonds, the tofu and about 3 more TBSP of the dressing.
1. Start your rice depending on how much time you need. You’ll want warm rice to put in your bowl. Or you can always reheat your rice if you’ve made it ahead of time.
2. The dressing will keep for up to a week, properly stored in the fridge.
3. Definitely halve this recipe if you need to. This is for EIGHT people!
This afternoon I wrestled two tiny heads of red cabbage out of the garden. They’d stayed about the same size for two weeks now so I assumed they were DONE. Since all I had in my cupboard were some carrots, onions and a ginormous bag of CA grown garlic (COSTCO!!! wink wink), I looked on the internets and found this mayo-less slaw. You remember a few weeks ago I posted a mayo-friendly broccoli slaw. G did not like that one. Here’s this one, G. Just for you, Baby!
Looks like I am plumb out of maple syrup but I had another full one in the cabinet. Also, forgot to put the sesame seeds in the pic.
1/2 a red cabbage (I used a whole one since my cabbages were so teeny tiny), sliced thin
2 medium carrots, shredded (I used 4 small ones)
1 small onion, sliced thin
3 green onions, sliced
2-1/2 TBSP rice vinegar
1 TBSP maple syrup
1 TBSP crushed red pepper (OR hot chili paste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp salt
2 TBSP toasted sesame seeds
1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust anything to your wildest desires! It will be kind of thick due to the sesame seeds. Yum!
2. Combine slaw ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle 3/4ths of the dressing over it and toss to coat. Add more if desired!
3. Let your slaw sit for about 15 minutes before serving if you have the time!
I know, it’s wayyyyyyyyyyyyy too early in the year to start making potato salad. Hold on a minute? Says WHO? I felt like making this salad in March and so I did.
Lord knows, G will gag and possibly need to be hospitalized if he so much as smells mayonnaise. Also, although I love almost ANY kind of potato salad, I wanted to try a brighter, lighter version. This one is AMAZING and can be eaten room temp, warm or cold.
This salad has NO mayo.
All you need is:
and these: Please excuse that basket of junk in the back.
Here’s a gratuitous shot of the parsley from my garden:
8 oz green beans, trimmed & cut into 1-1/2″ pieces
3 lbs small red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, halved (if yours are medium-sized, then quarter them)
2 TBSP dry vermouth
2 TBSP white wine vinegar
1 large shallot, chopped
1 TBSP coarse-grained Dijon mustard
2/3 c olive oil
2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
1. Boil beans in large pot of salted water until crisp/tender, about 4 minutes.
Drain. Transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain. Pat dry with a towel. (Or let drip dry, like I did!)
2. Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 12 minutes. Drain. Transfer to large bowl (I put them back in the pot to save dishes!) Sprinkle vermouth over hot potatoes. **NOTE: I had medium sized potatoes so I ended up cutting them into quarters. I think I overcooked them a tad but they were still excellent.**
Toss gently and let stand for 5 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, shallot, and mustard. Gradually whisk in oil.
4. Pour over potatoes and toss gently to coat. Obviously, pre “tossing to coat.”
Cool completely. Mix in green beans and parsley. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
I love this salad!! It’s a little more “refined” maybe? Fresher & definitely lighter than the mayo based potato salad we all know and still love. (Except for those of us who gag and throw themselves on the floor at the sight or even thought of mayo ((Christina Lynch & George, you know I’m talking to you…))) Wow, those parenthesis are blinding me!