Thirteen Gems: a small collection of original and unusual vegetarian recipes

Thirteen Gems: a small collection of original and unusual veg. recipes

I just completed my first recipe book! Purchase a copy directly at From now until December 26, for every book you buy $3 will be donated to my family’s nonprofit Karimu International Help Foundation. That $3 will be matched by a generous donor. The money will provide for one school child to eat lunch for a whole month! Makes a great holiday gift. Get a copy today. Soft and hard cover available.

Kickstarter for local woman entrepreneur

As you know, I generally write about the internal care and wellness of the body. However, on this occasion, I would like to shed the spotlight on a friend and local Bay Area designer, Diana Mitchell, who has launched a Kickstarter campaign for her new active wear and yoga clothing line. As we know, yoga and wellness are an internal process, but art, fashion, and beauty sure add to the fun and joy of life! Also, cheers to local women succeeding in business! More info here…
Company founder and designer Diana Mitchell’s aesthetic for the new line is far more polished than the neon “gym wear” worn by many women who would rather not be seen in it. Each DDCC garment is engineered with sleek style lines and color blocking, “anti-muffin top” waistbands, and flatlocked seams, to fit and flatter a woman’s body with streamlined comfort as well as performance.
The result is a line of garments that are functional in the gym but also fashionable on the street. The goal of the line is to flatter the woman on the outside while inspiring her active and fun spirit on the inside.
“For so many women like me, working out just can’t be some boring ‘task’ – fitness has to be a positive and social experience. So I wanted to create an activewear line that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but at the same time inspires real women to get up, get out and get active in new ways,” Mitchell said. “DDCC’s mission is to make garments with a combination of design and function that enable women to experience friendship, fitness and fun together.”
Just as the design is creative and new, so is DDCC’s approach to bringing it to the marketplace: The new line will be funded through a month-long Kickstarter campaign running from November 12 through December 10. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, DDCC’s new line has a planned arrival date of March 2014.
“My new line is about combining the functional and the social, so I decided to take the same approach to funding it,” she said. “Through Kickstarter, I hope to reach women who are inspired by my design approach and who want to support a woman-owned garment business that’s both designing and producing product in the USA.”
A former teacher, Mitchell launched her design career idea that women with on-the-go lifestyles needed comfortable clothing that was also fitted and fashionable. Her first collection included three hoodies that, she soon discovered, her customers were wearing for working out. That inspired her to refine her design approach to reflect her customers and develop an activewear collection.

To test the collection, Mitchell has “stress tested” it herself, wearing it to Bikram and Iyengar yoga, Cardio Barre and even to run her first half-marathon in early October. It confirmed for her not only the performance of the garments but also their ability to enchant and motivate real women like her.
“I used to think it was cheesy when people said that activewear inspired them to work out, and now I totally get it. Now when I see this cute new line in my closet, I want to put them on – and once they’re on, I find myself inspired to get up and get out,” she said. “But I also love it that I can put them on sometime and just hop on the couch, watch some TV and eat ice cream.” (#yogapantseveryday)
For those in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mitchell’s new line will be on display at Fashion on Fire!, a Pop-Up featuring five local designers. The event will be held at Firehouse, 8 Pacific Ave. in downtown San Francisco, beginning with a Happy Hour shopping on Friday, November 22 from 3-9pm, and a Kickstarter party from 6-9pm. Additional daytime shopping will be available on Saturday, November 23 from 11am-6pm, with a free gift for the first 25 purchases.
For more information on DDCC please use the following links:;;;;;

Support her new active wear line here!

Spaghetti for Breakfast

Spaghetti Squash, that is. In recent months I have made a point of eating a regular breakfast. So, I am always looking for ways to make the morning meal sustaining, tasty, and occasionally–novel. This is a simple meal and a good one for Autumn.

Slice a spaghetti squash in half
Steam or roast. I steamed it for about 20 minutes in a large pot. It should be tender, and break into a noodle-like texture when you cut it open.
This time I added a spoonful of ghee, a handful of gogi berries, lots of cinnamon, some fennel and turmeric powder, and honey. Mush it up with a spoon and enjoy. You can give the other half to someone else or save it and spice it savory for lunch.


Cooking with the Seasons

Seasonal produce offers a natural menu guide. It is a lot easier to decide what to eat when we stick to what’s fresh, local and seasonal. Not only will our produce be more flavorful and of better quality, but eating this way will also keep our bodies in sync with the changing season. As summer wanes and fall makes an entry, it’s a great time to experiment with squashes and root vegetables. Also, you can still make the most of the figs and stone fruit that are available fresh from local growers.

A pan seared peach salad is a great way to enjoy the final notes of summer. Slice a large peach and grill it or pan sear it with olive oil and fresh thyme. Add a little salt or sweet soy sauce and cook til the peach is browned on the outside. Eat it over a bed of arugula. Add olive oil, fresh dill, a squeezed lemon slice, and either goat cheese or avocado. Great with pea shoots or mung bean sprouts.

Late summer/early fall is also an excellent time to make use of the variety of squash that can be found at your local market. I have been enjoying collard wraps as a warm yet relatively light dinner. Steam whole collard greens in a large pot. In a skillet, add a rounded tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil. Add spices:

cinnamon sticks

cumin seeds


fresh grated turmeric

fresh grated ginger

caraway seeds

sea salt to taste

optional: a tiny dash of hing/asafoetida

Allow the spices to cook into the oil for a few minutes. Be sure to turn the heat down before the oil smokes! Add cubed summer squash (I usually pick up a variety. Two small summer squash will go a long way and can usually feed two people). Add 1/4 cup of mung bean sprouts. Sautee squash, sprouts, and spices for ten minutes, until squash softens. Now you have a tasty filling to wrap up in those steamed collards. Great with a slice of fresh avocado and a little mango chutney. You can also spread some nut butter on the collards before doing the wrap for a little more hearty creaminess.