Au Lac: The Vegan Vision of the Amazing Mai Ngyuen

A treacherous Vietnamese regime dictated escape. So, in the stealth of night, Mai Ngyuen and her current husband stowed away on a boat headed to America. A sister awaited their arrival in Texas. The food culture of her new homeland was a shock. “The serving of steak (for one) would feed an entire family in Vietnam.” Still, assimilation was important. So Main lined up for the steak lunches at the college cafeteria with her American classmates. Yet, Mai’s body rebelled. Soon she was praying to Buddha to heal her body wracked with illness... 1980年に、 MAI NGYUENさんはベトナムの厳しい政府から逃れるために、密航してアメリカにたどりつきました。そのとき、今のご主人も彼女とアメリカへ渡りました。彼女の姉がテキサスに住んでいたので、二人はそこで暮らし、学校に通いました。テキサスは肉料理で有名な州なので、毎日肉ばかりを食べて生活していました。そのため、彼女は病気になってしまいました。彼女は仏教を信仰していたので、大仏に祈り、仏教の教えに従って、肉を食べるのをやめました。すると、彼女はすぐに元気になりました。

Native Foods, A Vegan Celebration, Cookbook #Giveaway

2016 may be your lucky year. Especially if you win my giveaway of Native Foods Celebration Cookbook: Delicious Vegan Recipes to Celebrate Every Month of the Year.  (Scroll down for details.)

Of course, you are already lucky if you live in LA and live close to a Native Foods restaurant.  Even if you don't care about healthy eating, one bite into a Native Foods dinner or dessert may change your mind forever.

Lemon Brasadella Italian Coffee Cake, #TwelveLoaves

When Life gives you lemons, make Sugar Free Lemon Brasadella Italian Coffee Cake! What is the sourest lemon sentence you can give a foodie? A doctor demanding a reduction in sugar, threatening diabetes gave this Ninja Baker a wake-up call. Good news is I lowered my numbers and am no longer on the diabetes precipice. I also learned to eat protein before diving into dessert. Previously I skipped the bacon and filled up a ginormous frozen yogurt cup...Sugar-free, gluten-free Lemon Brasadella Italian Coffee Cake baking in the oven smells luscious. Lemon scents wafting through the apartment had me hopeful. Turning the lemon coffee cake out of the bundt pan proved promising, too.

Gluten-Free Donuts, #SundaySupper

I nibbled the Ninja Baker’s adaptation of a BabyCakes gluten-free donut. Deeeelicious! Whew! Substituting banana for applesauce along with a few other Ninja tweaks made for one scrumptious gluten-free donut. Dare I say it? I do believe my gluten-free donut was better than a regular cake donut! Added bonus: My gluten-free donuts are also vegan!

Today’s #SundaySupper chat at Twitter is all about recipes using beans. (Scroll down to see your invite to the virtual dinner table.) So, Erin McKenna’s BabyCakes gluten-free cake donut recipe, which requires garbanzo bean flour, fit the bill. To honor the beanirific #SundaySupper theme, I also added vanilla bean paste.

Dipping my gluten-free donuts into rose-colored candy melts, a few musings about the humble bean stirred…

Vegan Midori Melon Cupcakes, #CupcakeDay

Christmas in Tokyo is a commercial affair. Tinseltown LA is similar. Last Christmas, I was touched to see true reverence for the season in Medina, Ohio. Snowy churchyards cradled full-size crèches. Never had I seen so many Nativity scenes or churches in one location. My heart still warms at the memory.

Yet I confess I also smile when seeing photos of Tokyo dressed up for Christmas. The illuminated Omotesando Hills looks like fairyland. (The avenue gives Disneyland’s Main Street at Christmastime a run for their money.) The Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada shops in the Omotesando/Harajuku area also vies for the most creative Christmas displays. Similar to Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive. Strolling down Omotesando or Rodeo Drive is like walking through the pages of a glossy magazine.

5 Tricks to Tantalizing Treat Trays, #PacificMerchants #Giveaway

Halloween is creeping up on us fast! In a blink of an eye, many of us will be serving Thanksgiving turkey. (And scolding spouses to stop watching football in favor of family time. Not any spouses I know of course!) Soon after, snow may alight in time for Christmas in colder climates. Along with the fall leaves and flurries, the season ushers in holiday parties. I love the festive spirit of this time of year. It’s like we’re given an extra excuse to celebrate life! For greater ease  during the holidays, I’ve prepared 5 Tricks to Tantalizing Treat Trays...And a giveaway!

Vegan Mini Chocolate Cream Cakes, #SundaySupper

Have you ever tripped and found yourself sprawled out on the sidewalk? I’m not speaking metaphorically. I woke up anxious about my massive to-do list. I  pushed the feelings aside. Women are masters of multi-tasking, right? Starbucks in hand, I was determined to check off the items. Life had other plans. Preoccupied with “priorities” while scanning Santa Monica storefronts, the jagged sidewalk escaped my attention. Splat!

Asian Pizza Rice

Dashing out the door to the PTA or a dance party? For a fast and easy dinner, how do you feel about a Japanese-style cheese pizza topped with octopus and mayonnaise? I thought so.

I’ve modified Asian flavor profiles and pizza with The Ninja Baker’s Asian Pizza Rice. This is one of those meals you can whip up in mere minutes. Especially if...