Monday, April 20, 2015

Naked Cafe in Solana Beach offers cute kids breakfast

Since moving here almost 2 years ago I haven't done much with restaurant reviews.  We've been to the The Naked Cafe in Solana Beach a couple of times.  It sits directly across from Fletcher's Cove Park on the beach, so you can see the ocean from every seat in the restaurant.  It's also very affordable and the wait has never been more than 15 minutes, making it the ideal place for a family of 4 to have brunch on the weekend :-)

My kids first response when they heard the words "Naked Cafe" was "do we have to be naked to eat there"?   Ummm, no!  Naked in this case means they are using fresh, mostly organic ingredients, no preservatives, and cooking most things from scratch.

Besides these cute little bear face pancakes, they offer a wide variety of healthy breakfast options with eggs and veggies, salads, a rice bowl, fresh baked bread, and a variety of herbal teas and coffees.  I shared a large fruit plate with a friend and my husband had a breakfast burrito.  This is my kind of restaurant.  It's not too far to the super health nut side.  It's in that comfortable place where we can all find something to eat and not be hungry afterwards.

If you ever find yourself in San Diego, I highly recommend it!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Healthy Eating Hacks: Mason Jar Base Salads

We all need a hack when it comes to healthy eating, right?  Welcome to "Salads in a Jar", if you've never seen them before.  It's not a new concept, just Google the term or go on Pinterest.  Lots of ideas exist on how to fill these jars! 

Though the idea seems very basic, it's actually super helpful and time saving.  A lot of times when I buy stuff for salads I end up not using half of it because I have excuses for why I don't want chop it up.  I also tend to ignore stuff stored in plastic containers. These beautiful mason jars filled with colorful salads cannot be ignored!  I started using these jars a couple of years ago for a raw food swap a friend started, and then got them back out again this year.  Now I'm wondering why I stopped using them for salads and put all of my dry goods like rice, oats, etc. in them...

You can find a set of 32oz Bell Mason Jars at your local hardware store or grocery store or  

How to make your own "Base Salad": 

Base salad meaning it serves as a base that you can add to and change up every day so that you are not eating the exact same salad every that you don't start to feel like a cat or dog or someone on a special diet ;-)  You can do these for the whole week if you want to. Depending on what you put in them, they should stay fresh...however 7 jars will take up a chunk of space in your refrigerator.  That's why I only prep 3 at a time.
  1. Pick a type of green.  Maybe you prefer mixed greens or spinach over my choice of romaine. For three salads you need one bag of 3 Romaine Hearts, one bag of 10 to 12oz lettuce, or 2 big heads of Romaine from your garden
  2. Pick a type of slaw.  I like pre packed broccoli slaw from Trader Joe's.  You could also make your own slaw with purple cabbage, green cabbage, carrots, or whatever...but that requires chopping ;-)
  3. Pick a nut or seed or both...I like Walnuts and Hemp Seeds.
  4. Chose a dressing.  You can make your own or choose one with fewer ingredients and with olive oil instead of Canola. I like Tessemae's Green Goddess Dressing
  5. Pick an assortment of fruits or veggies like bell peppers, cucumbers, avocado, tangerines, apples, etc. to customize your salads.
  6. Schedule 5 minutes on Sunday to make your salad jars for Monday-Wednesday.  Then prep another 3 on Wednesday night for the rest of the week.  Use my photo as a guide to layering the salads.
  7. Pair the salads with soup if the salad will not be enough food for you.  I often use Trader Joe's Lentil and Minestrone soups in their prepared foods isle near the produce section.
And that's it!  Have fun!!