Tag Archives: True Food Kitchen

Must Have Salad

A little over a month ago I was invited to a media dinner at True Food Kitchen, and if you read the post, you will recall how I promised to recreate the salads that we had that evening.  The salad I came up with wasn’t exactly like the ones at True Food, but it was quite delicious.  I served it at our Golden Globes party this past weekend and it was a big hit!

The best thing about this salad is you can customize it to how you like it.  Don’t like goat cheese?  Leave it out or swap something else in.  Not a fan of dried cranberries?  Try dried cherries or another dried fruit instead.

Whatever you decide to do, just promise me you will make this salad because it is that good.  And it’s equally as good the next day as well.

Harvest Vegetable Salad



3 cups lactinato kale (Trader Joe’s sells this kale pre-washed in a bag – I highly recommend getting!)
1 cup sliced radishes
1/2 avocado, diced
¼ cup pepitas
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 cups roasted butternut squash
¼ cup goat cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat your oven to 350F. Peel and cube your butternut squash and place on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the squash is tender (but not mushy).

While the squash is roasting, rinse your kale and rip into small pieces into a large mixing bowl and add the olive oil. Gently toss the kale (or massage the kale if you will) in the olive oil until well coated. Add the radishes, avocado, pepitas,dried cranberries and your salt and pepper. Toss everything together until well mixed, and then add your goat cheese.

When the butternut squash is done roasting, you can either add to the salad immediately for a warmer salad, or you can let it cool and then add to the salad.  Enjoy!

Love at First Sight

It’s no secret that I love cookbooks, but when I found out the True Food Kitchen one was available, I had to get my hands on it.  My mom and I dined at True Food Kitchen this past weekend, and by the time the meal was over, I had the cookbook in my hands and was pouring over it.

Aside from the beautiful photography and the excellent recipes, this cookbook also has lots of useful information, such as the True Food Pantry, which lists out some of the main ingredients True Food uses in their recipes and what the health benefits of each ingredient are.  The book is divided into 9 different course sections including breakfast, appetizers, drinks and pasta to name a few.

I’ve already earmarked some of my favorite recipes from the restaurant (Chicken and Farro Salad anyone?) and can’t wait to try a few new to me recipes such as the Bison Chili and the Summer Vegetable Casserole.  There’s also a Parsnip, Carrot and Zucchini bread I have my eye on for making next weekend.

If you like good food made with fresh, natural, ingredients, I highly recommend getting this book.  You can get it at any True Food Kitchen restaurant or order it off of Amazon.com.


Weekend Snapshots

Is anyone else having a hard time believing we are over halfway through summer?  I mean, August starts this week!  I still have a lot of summer-y things to do including have a bonfire at the beach, make sangria, go bike riding either to or along the ocean, and figure out how to make corn syrup-free marshmallows so I can enjoy some smores.  Thankfully summer seems to last into September in Southern California, so I suppose I have a little extra time.

This past weekend was filled with good eats, good friends, and scoring a good deal on a dress to wear to a wedding I am attending in Colorado next month.  All in all, not too shabby of a weekend.  Instead of a play-by-play, let’s let the pictures speak for themselves.

Saturday brunch at one of my favorites, True Food Kitchen:

A visit from one of my besties:

The Olympics (yeah swimming!) with a side of green juice:

New summer reading:

Fresh fish for dinner with honey roasted carrots and potatoes:

And watermelon, obviously:

2011 Food Highlights

As 2011 wraps to a close I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the dining adventures that I had over the past year.  There were some highs, there were some lows (cough Ecco) but overall it was a great year for food.  I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings!  I already have some places on my must try list…

Here is the best of the best for 2011:

Best Organic Restaurant:  True Food Kitchen

My love affair with True Food Kitchen began early this year and hasn’t let up since.  I love the breakfasts, the freshly made hummus, the light flatbreads and of course the mojitos.  There will definitely be more True Food Kitchen in 2012.

Best Italian:  Cucina Alessa

Cucina Alessa is by far the best Italian restaurant I’ve been to in the O.C.  All the pasta is freshly made and the butternut squash ravioli is something else.  If you are looking for the real deal when it comes to Italian food, this is your place.

Best Mexican:  Mi Casa in Cabo San Lucas, MX

Mariachis, margaritas the size of your head and authentic Mexican cuisine.  Does it get any better?  I think not.  The chicken enchiladas were the best ones I’ve had in a long time.

Best Bar:  SideDoor

SideDoor was an early discovery in 2011 and I’m sad to say I haven’t been back since.  I loved the pub feel, loved the food, and loved the wine.  More return trips are in my future.

Best Burger:  Paul Martin’s American Grill

Paul Martin’s breathed fresh life into Irvine’s dining scene and I hope to see more places like this in 2012.  The burger I had was cooked to perfection and was incredibly juicy and flavorful.  The dirty martini that went with the burger didn’t hurt either.

Best Dessert: Sugar Blossom Bake Shop

Sugar Blossom Bake Shop was a refreshing change from your standard cupcake-chain fare. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Sprinkles, but I also loved the delicious cupcakes and unique flavors that Sugar Blossom had to offer.  In addition to cupcakes Sugar Blossom has cookies and other treats, namely a chocolate covered macaroon that I basically had a love affair with.  The carrot cake cupcake comes in a close second.

Best Bakery/Breakfast:  C’est Si Bon

C’est Si Bon isn’t new to Orange County, but it was a new discovery to me this year.  The scones are amazing, the croissants are nice and flaky and there is always a line out the door.  That should tell you something right there.

Best Cheap Eats:  Bruxie

Waffle sandwiches that are freshly made at a cheap price?  Sign me up.  Bruxie makes delicious waffle sandwiches with delectable fillings such as eggs and bacon, fried chicken and pastrami.  If you are skeptical about the idea of a waffle sandwich fear not – these sandwiches are a must try.

And that’s a wrap for 2011!  Bring on the good eats 2012!