A good wrap Try this healthy new take on burritos at Kye's

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Jeanne Chang isn’t your typical restaurateur. She’s got a degree in molecular biology and has been a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and spiritual psychology.

So what’s she doing hawking burritos?

Her recently opened counter-service restaurant Kye’s serves what she calls “kyeritos,” a twist on the burrito that uses romaine leaves, collard green leaves and nori (toasted seaweed) as tortilla alternatives. The gluten-free, dairy-free kyerito ($9 to $14) is stuffed with wholesome fillings, including clean proteins (grass-fed beef, wild salmon and organic chicken), healthy grains, organic veggies and a variety of from-scratch sauces. Vegan and Paleo options are also available.

Jeanne Chang and her son Kye. (Photo credit: Marie Buck)

“Every chance we get,” says Chang, “we infuse extra nutrition.” The local free-range eggs in the breakfast kyeritos are blended with spinach, the ground beef in the nori burger is mixed with chard and the shakes all have Chinese yam. Foods recognized as health promoting in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine—like goji berries, amla berries and lotus root—also find their way into many of the dishes.

The ultra-portable kyerito (eat in or take ‘em to go) are as tasty as they are nutritious, and that’s by design. Chang has grounded the restaurant’s philosophy in the Chinese principle of yin-yang. The yin is the nourishing aspect of the food, while the yang is “for the joy of it, for the pleasure, the happiness.” We’re beaming.

Kye’s
1518 Montana Ave., Santa Monica
310-395-5937
www.kyesmontana.com

Healthy Camaraderie Eat, juice, detox and gather at The Springs

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So you want to eat raw, drink juice, practice yoga and visit a wellness practitioner, all in one day? Chances are you’ll spend more time getting aggravated in traffic between venues than zen-ing out from your healthy choices.

Unless, that is, you visit recent Arts District arrival The Springs, which brings all of these activities under one skylight-laden roof.

It’s the brainchild of co-founders and partners Jared Stein and Kimberly Helms, whose vision of offering organic raw vegan fare within a wellness context (as well as their instinct about the burgeoning Arts District) lured them away from careers working on Broadway shows in New York City.

The Springs is a place where you pull up in the morning and juice, go straight to yoga, get a massage, have lunch, do some work, meet a friend,” says Stein. He and Helms aim to make healthy living a “social event.”

The Springs has created a wellness oasis where you can hangout, eat, juice and stretch to your hearts content.

To that end, the bar offers sharable nut-cheese plates and biodynamic, sustainable wine and beer, while the kitchen—helmed by chef Michael Falso—turns out raw vegan fare that’s tempting enough to entice carnivores. Signature dishes include enormous salads like the seaweed Caesar with nori ($16) and a raw take on spaghetti carbonara ($21), with kelp and zucchini noodles, black pepper cashew cream sauce and house-made coconut bacon. Wash it all down with fresh juices, smoothies and nut milks—we swooned over the matcha milk ($9).

And consider checking out The Springs for dineL.A.’s Restaurant Week, running January 19 through February 1. They’re offering a three-course meal for $50/person, which includes sweet corn polenta, mushroom “scallops” and carrot cake.

Maybe stick around for a massage, too? Just call it meatless multitasking.

The Springs
608 Mateo St., Los Angeles
213-223-6226
www.thespringsla.com

New year, new cleanse Sip these hot and cold soups to reboot your system

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We love organic, cold-pressed juice as much as anyone. But juice cleanses? Hmm. We’re not crazy about indulging in multiple bottles of the stuff per day, given all that fruit sugar with little fiber or protein to mitigate the sugar’s impact or nourish the body. Eek.

This year, we’re warming up to a new cleanse trend that incorporates whole fruits and vegetables: souping. Blended soups keep fiber and protein intact, so they promise a more filling and nutrient-dense way to give the system a rest from solid foods and toxins, while bone broths offer a collagen- and mineral-rich warm-up.

Los Angeles-based soup delivery company Soupure is leading the local soup charge with a collection of all-organic warm vegetables soups, chilled fruit-and-nut soups, healing bone broths and fruit-infused alkaline waters. Co-founders Angela Blatteis and Vivienne Vella consulted with nutritionists and doctors to develop one- ($79), three- ($235) and five-day ($375) cleanses that deliver complete daily nutrition, including 20 grams of protein and 60 essential nutrients per day.

(L-R) Soupure founders Vivienne Vella and Angela Blatteis.

You might start the morning with refreshing pear yuzu alkaline water, have a warm morning chaser of chicken miso bone broth or vegetable broth and tuck into a velvety bowl of hot zucchini basil soup at lunch. The “Superhero” blend of nuts, seeds, dates and reishi eases post-workout recovery, while warm, ginger-laced Japanese sweet potato soup makes for a hearty dinner. The deeply flavorful soups are low in natural sugars and free of dairy, gluten, corn, MSG, preservatives, fillers and GMOs.

Soupure delivers to most zip codes in Los Angeles for a $10 fee, or you can pick up cleanse packages or soups a la carte at Cardio Barre Studio City or at Soupure’s new kiosk in the Brentwood Town Center, set to open next week.

Juicing, you’re so 2014.

Soupure Brentwood Town Center Kiosk
13050 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles
1-844-SOUPURE
soupure.com

Spit-tacular Savor healthy rotisserie food at these new hotspots

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Still mourning the shuttering of Koo Koo Roo?

Wipe your tears: A new crop of artisanal rotisseries (try saying that three times fast) has arrived with antibiotic- and hormone-free meats, gourmet preparations and fresh vegetable sides.

At Stir Market, the new Fairfax-district food hall from Jet Tila, the European rotisserie is the heart of the operation. Free-range chickens—seasoned Provençal style with preserved lemon, garlic and herbs—emerge from the spit with burnished skin and juicy meat. The porchetta—pork tenderloin brined in a wet rub of fennel, rosemary, lavender and lemon zest—boasts succulent meat and a crispy exterior.

Executive chef Chris Barnett notes that rotisserie cooking is “a healthier way of cooking versus the oven.” Meat done on the spit is “self-basting,” he says, “so there are no added oils or butter needed to keep the meat moist.” Plus, excess fat drips away, leaving leaner protein.

Status Kuo’s tender, golden rotisserie chicken.

Rotisserie plates ($18 to $19) are served with roasted seasonal vegetables sourced organically and locally whenever possible. Whole porchetta ($110) and chickens ($22) can be purchased to go, and a special orange and soy-glazed rotisserie duck will be available for the holidays.

Across town in Mar Vista, chef David Kuo has just opened Status Kuo, his ode to rotisserie meats. The spit-roasted selection currently includes tender, golden half chicken served with persimmon and pomegranate salad ($15) and rosy slices of tri-tip served with root vegetables ($18). The produce is sourced primarily from the Mar Vista Farmers’ Market, which sets up right outside the restaurant on Sundays.

Kuo will soon add baby lamb and organic suckling pig to the offerings; you’ll be able to pick up an entire roasted pig for a family meal. Now that’s what we call going whole hog for the rotisserie trend.

Stir Market

7475 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles

323-879-8283

www.stirmarket.com

Status Kuo

3809 Grand View Blvd., Los Angeles

310-574-7610

www.eatstatuskuo.com

Buy a rotisserie oven for your home

Healthy Swag Grab these gifts for clean-eating lovers

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The joyous holiday season can be even merrier when you give gifts that promote health and sustainability. Frosted yule logs and dulcet fruitcakes have got nothing on these selections: we’ve found something for everyone in your clean-eating clan.

1. Kale Sweatshirt ($48): Who needs Yale when you’ve got … Kale? Lovers of super greens will appreciate this ironic take on college gear from Sub_urban RIOT. (Even Beyoncé’s giving kale a shout-out; she wore the unisex raglan pullover in her recent video for “7/11″.)

Where to find it: Sub_urban RIOT’s online store or their Fashion District store.

2. Sky Planter ($25): Know a home cook who loves fresh herbs but doesn’t have space for herb pots in the kitchen—let alone a plot for an herb garden? These suspended planters hold soil and plants as if by magic and boast an innovative reservoir system that conserves water.

Where to find it: Poketo’s online store or their Arts District store.

3. Matcha Starter Set ($110): Who doesn’t love a healthy caffeine buzz? With organic, unsweetened matcha and all the necessary accoutrements (glazed matcha bowl, bamboo whisk and scoop), this set will get any tea (or even coffee) lover started on a love affair with amino acid- and antioxidant-packed whole-leaf green tea.Where to find it: American Tea Room’s online store or their Beverly Hills store.

4. Affirmation Bottles ($15): Heading to a holiday gathering? These swing-top glass bottles etched with sayings like “Joy,” “Love & Gratitude” and “Abundance” make lovely hostess gifts, and they’re an eco-conscious way to serve water at the holiday table (or any day of the year). Plus, they’ll cue you to eat and drink mindfully.

Where to find it: Spoken Glass’s online store and at the following retailers: Café Gratitude (Larchmont), Presence (Sherman Oaks), Kingfisher Road (Woodland Hills), Brentwood General Store (Santa Monica), Beyond O2 (Santa Monica).

5. Holiday Vegan Cashew Torte ($35-$55): Sweets are a popular gift at the holidays, but who wants to sign off on all that processed, sugary stuff? All-organic Buttercelli Bakeshop whips up tasty vegan tortes sweetened only with xylitol. The nutty crust is filled with a coconut-cashew mixture and topped with festive orange-cranberry compote.

Where to find it: Call to pre-order from Buttercelli Bakeshop.

6. Abeego Variety Pack ($18): Holiday meals often mean abundant leftovers, so anyone on your gift list will appreciate these all-natural food wraps that extend the life of fresh foods and are environmentally conscious to boot. Each washable, reusable wrap is made of hemp and organic cotton fabric coated with beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin.

Where to find it: Abeego’s online store.

7. M Café’s “Tis the Seaweed” Gift Bag ($50): Want to get macrobiotic under the mistletoe? Pick up a sampler of seaweed treats—including organic nori snacks (nori paper, sesame seeds and brown rice syrup) and kelp noodles—along with M Café’s organic salt scrub for hands (in flavors like cinnamon-spearmint and vanilla-cardamom), all in a reusable jute tote.

Where to find it: All three M Café locations (Melrose, Beverly Hills, Brentwood).

8. ExtraVEGANza Gift Basket ($100): Most holiday gift baskets are loaded with meat and dairy (salami, cheese and milk chocolates, anyone?), but not this vegan collection from Fancifull. Among the vegan, gluten-free delicacies are Grace & I Fruit and Nut press, Belvoir Elderflower Pressé, Gary & Kit’s nuts, and Amella caramels.

Where to find it: Fancifull’s online store or Melrose shop.

Still looking for more options? Check out our National Gift Guide.

Minus the meat Fine dining-worthy vegetables from a carnivore chef

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If you’ve been to Beverly Hills’s Scratch Bar, you know that chef Phillip Frankland Lee is an unabashed carnivore, to the tune of 40-ounce rib-eyes and roasted bone marrow.

So why has the young restaurateur made a sharp left turn into animal-free dining at his new Studio City venture, The Gadarene Swine?

Two years ago, Lee, 27, discovered he had a tumor inside his right ear. Though it was benign, he risked losing his hearing from the surgery required to remove it.

In the eight weeks leading up to the surgery, his wife—pastry chef Margarita Lee, a raw vegan at the time—put him on a strict plant-based diet. Amazingly, the pre-op CT scan showed the tumor had shrunk by 50 percent. The doctor was able to use a less invasive procedure, and Lee’s hearing was spared. “Obviously that made a very big impact in my life,” Lee says. “I immediately started looking at nutrition.”

“I’m not saying ‘don’t eat meat,’ … I’m saying go with your 40-ounce rib-eye tonight, but tomorrow come and eat vegetables.” Chef Phillip Frankland Lee of The Gadarene Swine

His inquiry into vegetable-driven cooking led him to open The Gadarene Swine (named for a logical fallacy), where no animal products (aside from honey) are used. Cozy and cottage-like, it’s a fine-dining spot where vegans can have an elevated experience and meat eaters can feel comfortable giving plant-based dining a whirl… without a whiff of patchouli.

Lee creates elegant dishes like roasted maitake mushrooms over sweet potato mousse ($16); blackened multicolored cauliflower over cauliflower puree ($12); and asparagus, tomatoes and shimeji mushrooms in a potato “box” ($17). There’s also a 12-course chef’s tasting menu available at the counter seats ($85).

Despite his flair for cooking vegetables, Lee remains a carnivore—in moderation. “I’m not saying ‘don’t eat meat,’” he notes. “I’m saying go with your 40-ounce rib-eye tonight, but tomorrow come and eat vegetables.”

The Gadarene Swine
11266 Ventura Blvd., Studio City
818-508-5500
www.thegadareneswine.com

Slow your (breakfast) roll Whip up a proper breakfast with Huckleberry's new cookbook

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A smoothie downed while getting dressed. A nutrition bar thrown in your bag. A bottle of pressed juice chugged on the morning commute. So much for leisurely mornings—the measure of a good breakfast has become all about speed and convenience.

But Zoe Nathan, the chef/co-owner of Huckleberry Bakery & Café, is making a rallying cry for a “slow” breakfast with her new cookbook, Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes from Our Kitchen, which reflects the Santa Monica eatery’s nourishing approach to morning meals.

To Nathan, taking the time to mindfully eat a nutritious breakfast can be a healthful and meaningful start to the day. “Sitting down for a few moments and slowly eating a homemade muffin is good for you,” she says.

That is, if it’s a muffin from the Huckleberry repertoire. The cookbook features recipes for wholesome muffins, pancakes, scones and other baked goods loaded with fresh fruits and veggies. Nathan often employs alternative flours like rye and buckwheat, as well as natural sugars like maple syrup. There are also plenty of gluten-free options among the recipes and choices for vegans too.

Zoe Nathan, Chef and co-owner of Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe. Photo credit (L-R): Matt Amendariz, Emily Hart Roth

 

But if your tastes or dietary preferences tend toward the savory, then the book’s egg dishes, like hearty roasted root vegetables with eggs, will supremely satisfy. You might not think of beets, carrots and turnips as breakfast fare, but the combo with sunny-side-up eggs is surprisingly delicious.

Want to make this “slow” breakfast a fast one? Simple: roast the vegetables the night before. As Nathan says, “Just wake up and put an egg on it.”

  Makes 2 servings

2 or 3 small beets, plus 3 cups beet greens, washed and    chopped
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 apple, unpeeled, sliced into eighths
2 small turnips
2 cups sliced carrots, cut into ½-inch coins
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon capers in brine, drained and coarsely  chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 to 4 eggs
Fleur de sel for sprinkling

Preheat your oven to 425°F.

1. Put the beets, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and ⅛ teaspoon salt on a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap thoroughly. Roast for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, toss the apple, turnips, and carrots with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and the rosemary. Place on a sheet and roast beside the beets until browned, 15 to 20 minutes longer, and the beets are fork-tender. While warm, but not hot, rub the skin off the beets with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel. Slice the beets.

3. When everything is roasted, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and the garlic in a large sauté pan over medium-high until browned and fragrant. Discard the garlic. Add the beet greens and capers and sauté until wilted. Add the roasted vegetables and sauté until heated through. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Remove from the heat, toss with mustard and parsley, and set aside.

4. When it comes to frying the eggs, you may need to either work in batches or have two pans going at once. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a nonstick sauté pan over high heat. Crack 2 eggs into a small bowl and gently slide them into the butter. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the whites are set but the yolks are runny, about 2 minutes. When ready, give the pan a gentle shake to loosen the eggs.

5. Meanwhile, mound the roasted vegetables onto two plates. Slide the eggs on the vegetables, and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Repeat with any remaining butter and eggs.

The roasted vegetable mixture keeps, refrigerated, for up to 2 days.

Huckleberry Bakery & Café

1014 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica

310-451-2311

www.huckleberrycafe.com

You’re golden Try this healthy alternative to the pumpkin spice latte

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This time of year, it seems like everyone is clutching a hot cup of holiday cheer in latte form. The pumpkin spice latte is a perennially popular choice, but did you know that a certain coffee super-chain’s version packs 49 grams of sugar (that’s 12 teaspoons!) in a grande serving?

We’re keen on a healthier alternative: the Golden Latte ($10) at the all-organic Tonic & Juice Bar at Erewhon Natural Market. While you’ll find it on the menu at the store’s Calabasas location, it’s an “off-menu” item at the Los Angeles location; those in the know ask for it by name.

Drink up this liquid gold for a boost of goodness.

Despite being deliciously foamy, this Ayurvedic tonic actually contains no milk—or, for that matter, coffee. Its golden color comes from two powerhouse herbs: ginger and turmeric. The tonic bar cold-presses these fresh roots and blends them with hot gynostemma tea, ghee (clarified butter that’s low in lactose) and Erewhon’s proprietary chai mix that includes cinnamon, cardamom and clove, lending that satisfying fall spice flavor. Raw coconut oil gives the drink its signature foamy top.

It’s a one-stop-sip for anything that might be ailing you, whether it’s that drippy cold that’s going around or an upset stomach. Ginger, turmeric and gynostemma (a leafy green Asian herb) are all recognized as adaptogens—multi-tasking herbs that help support everything from healthy respiration to smooth digestion. Plus you get healthy fats and antimicrobial action from the ghee and coconut oil. It’s a perfect example of the Tonic Bar’s mission to promote healing with functional foods.

The clean cherry-on-top? The drink is sweetened only with stevia and a touch of raw honey.

Bye-bye, pumpkin spice latte.

Erewhon Natural Foods Market
7660 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles
323-937-0777
www.erewhonmarket.com

Fall’s Green Leaves Pine & Crane's Taiwan-tastic vegetables

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Highs have dropped into the “chilly” 60s, so it’s officially autumn. Ready for some celtuce and a-choy?

Huh?

These fall greens may sound unfamiliar, but they’re staples in Taiwan and now at Silver Lake’s recent arrival Pine & Crane, which serves up seasonal Taiwanese food. Owner Vivian Ku is especially able to spotlight exotic veggies at their peak, because she sources most of the produce from her parents’ Sunfield Farm in Bakersfield, where they’ve been growing pesticide- and fertilizer-free Asian produce for more than 22 years.

The large photograph of a man gently pulling a thin sheet of dough from a machine? Ku’s grandfather, who had a noodle shop in Taiwan.

Picture a super-plump asparagus spear with a mop of floppy green leaves on top and you’ve got celtuce, a potassium- and vitamin C-packed vegetable originating from south China. The crunchy stems—which taste like a cross between celery and asparagus—are where the flavor’s at.

Things get leafier when it comes to a-choy, whose long, romaine-like leaves are pointy enough to have earned it the nickname “sword-leaf lettuce.” Be warned, a-choy has a bit of a bitter kick, but like most dark leafy greens it’s full of vitamins, minerals and disease-fighting phytochemicals.

Ku sautés the celtuce with fresh ginger, soy sauce and wood ear mushrooms, the a-choy in rice wine, garlic, salt and white pepper and serves them as sides ($7.50 to $9.50). You can also buy Sunfield Farm’s produce to cook at home; the restaurant sells limited quantities by the pound.

See? Sunset Triangle Plaza isn’t the greenest thing in the ‘hood anymore.

Pine & Crane
1521 Griffith Park Blvd., LA
323-668-1128
www.pineandcrane.com

The best time to eat butter You can't fake springtime butter

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You can’t fake springtime butter.

In the winter months, dairy farmers keep their cows warm by housing them in barns and feeding them stored food, such as dried hay and grains.

But from late April through September, farmers committed to grass-fed dairy let their cows roam verdant fields and chow down on grass and vegetation. This fresher feed yields milk that is naturally higher in butterfat and beta-carotene than winter milk, resulting in butter that teems with elevated levels of beneficial fatty acids (think conjugated linoleic acid and Omegas 3 and 6) and a rich golden hue.

Spring to it by looking for grass-fed butter at your local farmer’s market or co-op. Below, three of our favorites from around the country:

Everywhere: Like all Organic Valley products, the Pasture Butter (find it in the green-foil wrapper) is produced without the use of antibiotics, growth hormones or pesticides.

California: Seek out Straus Family Creamery European-Style butter. These lucky Golden State cows can spend up to seven months grazing on the sweet grasses of Marin and Sonoma Counties in Northern California.
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Mid-Atlantic: The butter from Trickling Springs Creamery comes in at a whopping 91 to 93 percent butterfat and Celtic sea salt is used exclusively in the salted variety.