Monthly Archives: April 2010

meatless monday recipe(s)…51 quick veggie dishes from martha!

scrolling through martha stewart‘s 51 meatless recipes* (all ready to eat in less than an hour), i had a hard time picking just one! so here are the top 5 i want to try…if you do the math, martha has hooked you up for your meatless mondays for nearly the entire year!

1. her west coast grilled pizza looks so fresh and delicious! this version is made with spinach, but once our arugula kicks in, i know i’ll be going out to our garden often to whip up a peppery version of this recipe!

2. i have my own go-to version of pantry peanut noodles, but am dying to try her lighter sesame noodles! she doesn’t use ginger and chooses creamy over chunky peanut butter…but who am i to question martha?

3. i am intrigued by her use of lime as a finishing touch for her tofu stir fry…and i’m not a big fan of button mushrooms, so will probably substitute shiitakes or oysters.

4. i LOVE roasted vegetables and ever since my boyfriend’s sister told me to roast my chick peas, i’m a total fan! so i will roast the peas along with the veggies and use either couscous or quinoa (whatever i have on hand) and this lovely couscous salad with roasted vegetables and chickpeas will give me a complete protein!

5. i love eating eggs for breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner, dinner, late night supper – anytime. and how fancy pants will i look when i serve my guests this beautiful family style rolled omelet with spinach and cheddar? this is one of those recipes you can change endlessly…arugula and romano? sure, why not? sundried tomato, basil and parmesan? oh, yes please!

hopefully, these recipes will excite you as much as they did me and…as always, thanks martha!

* obviously, all photos courtesy of

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until we can afford adult sized… modern miniatures…

i’ve been meaning to post the fabulous gift we received from my boyfriend’s mom. she is a true artist when it comes to miniatures and when she came across this little beauty, she had to get it for us! so, here is our miniature mid-century modern starter set! tim is going to build us a lovely modern home now that we have the living and dining room ready to go! i think he will probably build some sculptures and mobiles and paint some mini-canvases for the perfect finishing touches!

maybe he can also work on a mini jere sculpture for above the fireplace (and build the fireplace) and we definitely will need some pottery…such fun!

check out this article from the ny times, called modern design, in miniature is growing. in it, they talk about my new hero, christine ferrara and my new favorite blog, call of the small – which shows you how creative and fantastic and exciting this world of mini-modernism can be!

hello, rock wall and groovy wallpaper!

excuse me, eames lounger, may i take a seat?

have we met before, mr. cabinet and ms. chair?

just pulled up in my mini mini and am ready for cocktails on the rooftop!

this emerson house is a bit too contemporary for me, but is available for preorder on

vitra design museum has ten pages of iconic chairs and sofas like this beauty by le corbusier:

image from

i am so excited to scour call of the small and figure out tons of little projects for us to do!

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happy earth day!

today is the 40th anniversary of earth day and before i post photos from our earth day LA event last weekend, i want to go way back to the beginning of this blog and my post about what “living in a modern world” means to me. the whole philosophy of this blog and of our company is to do the best you can with every choice you make. despite my best efforts, as a lover of modern design, i have purchased items made of plastic. but the biggest culprit endangering our planet is single use plastic:  shopping bags, bottled water, straws, packaging, etc. i’m not trying to guilt you into a plastic free life (although i truly admire those who are able to do so), i’m just saying to weigh those purchases in terms of how much you need it, how long you’ll use it and how much you love it. i believe it is the small, collective things we can do as citizens that will make a big difference and inspire corporations to follow suit.

meatless mondays is a perfect example. more and more companies are now offering meatless options and even going completely meatfree on mondays! the positive impact of this tasty action can be potentially huge! across the nation, many cities are now banning plastic bags.  from the small things we all can do,  these changes will ripple outward into true and lasting benefits for our planet.

it may not make sense to celebrate earth day from the blog of a consumer goods company and i know there is a lot of greenwashing out there – everybody is trying to jump on the wagon! but despite some of these claims, i am happy that we are all thinking about the 3Rs of reduce, reuse and recycle and that corporations (while motivated by profits) realize that they, too, must start thinking about their impact upon the earth.

we live in a world of plastic and that plastic is killing our world. as you may know, a portion of our profits will be donated to 5 gyres and the surfrider foundation. all we want is to do our part to make a tiny difference for this beautiful, fragile place we call home. we hope our bags will be a stylish replacement for all those plastic and polypropylene bags – when properly cared for, our bags will last more than 10 years! i don’t want this to sound like an advertisement, it’s just that this blog has been up for about six months now and some of you may not know what modernest is all about.

so, onto the photos!

thank you to all our friends who have been so supportive and to all our new friends and clients we have met along the way!

happy earth day 2010!

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meatless monday recipe: spring pea and mint soup…

image from veggie belly

we are so exhausted from yesterday’s earth day LA event, that the thought of preparing food makes me want to crawl back into bed. with all the delicious springtime ingredients to choose from at the farmer’s market that was also happening  (i was able to schlep my tired body out of our booth and wander down the promenade), my bleary eyes were brought to life when i saw a pile of vibrant, fresh peas – hooray! this recipe from veggie belly will be a perfect, simple and comforting meal for tomorrow’s meatless monday supper.

sala’s recipe celebrates the flavor sensation of these little green powerhouses and seriously, looking at this recipe, it should be done in around 20 minutes or less! so, i’m thinking artichokes tonight and this lovely soup tomorrow – if you don’t have fresh peas, sala says you can use frozen (i’m just happy i had the presence of mind yesterday to buy loads of fresh!). peas are full of nutrients and in particular, tons of b-vitamins (which is exactly what we need after our long days of prep leading up to the show), protein and vitamin c, among others.

the world’s healthiest foods has posted all the nutritional info on peas and i had no idea these little pod dwellers packed such a punch! i’m wondering if our meatless monday should be tonight (a hunk of artisan bread and an early night) and then we can have the artichokes tomorrow…a little bit of a meatless monday cheat (artichokes are still veggie, but not really a recipe), and it could give us the fuel we need for the week ahead!

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is my boca making me loca?

oh, gaze upon the beauty of that veggie burger! it looks so healthy and fresh and flavorful…but what if lurking beneath all that soy goodness were neurotoxins? what? neurotoxins? in a veggie burger?!? well, so says this article in mother jones and a study that was conducted by the cornucopia institute. they found that most non-organic veggie burgers currently on the market are made with the chemical hexane, an EPA-registered air pollutant and neurotoxin.

from mother jones:

In order to meet the demands of health-conscious consumers, manufacturers of soy-based fake meat like to make their products have as little fat as possible. The cheapest way to do this is by submerging soybeans in a bath of hexane to separate the oil from the protein. Says Cornucopia Institute senior researcher Charlotte Vallaeys, “If a non-organic product contains a soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, or texturized vegetable protein, you can be pretty sure it was made using soy beans that were made with hexane.”

If you’ve heard about hexane before, it was likely in the context of gasoline—the air pollutant is also a byproduct of gas refining. But in 2007, grain processors were responsible for two-thirds of our national hexane emissions. Hexane is hazardous in the factory, too: Workers who have been exposed to it have developed both skin and nervous system disorders.

this is some scary stuff!

here is the list of veggie burgers found to contain hexane:

  • Amy’s Kitchen
  • Boca Burger, conventional
  • Franklin Farms
  • Garden Burger
  • It’s All Good Lightlife
  • Morningstar Farms
  • President’s Choice
  • Taste Above
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Yves Veggie Cuisine

and the ones which are safe:

  • Boca Burgers “Made with organic soy”
  • Helen’s Kitchen
  • Morningstar “Made with organic”
  • Superburgers by Turtle Island
  • Tofurky
  • Wildwood

basically, i will only buy organic or even better, throw a portabello mushroom on the grill at our next get together! seriously, i don’t mean to make light of this. i always have boca and morningstar items in the freezer and i find this information very disturbing.

the full report from cornucopia is available on the mother jones website (towards the bottom, in a pdf). i suggest we all read it!

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meatless monday recipe: roasted spring veggie couscous…

we planted our garden yesterday and i’m a happy, happy girl! springtime is the best time for all the beautiful fresh veggies that are available at the farmer’s market and i can’t wait until my “farmer’s market” is my backyard…

every sunday i post a meatless monday recipe to help you with ideas to take to the market. many of these recipes are to be made as written, but sometimes, there are a lot of good ideas that you will be able to adapt seasonally and to your taste. that is the case with this meatless monday recipe for a roasted spring veggie couscous

from the top, i’m going to make this dish with quinoa instead of couscous (a better protein source and my boyfriend hates kidney beans). i may add roasted garbanzo beans, omit the green bell peppers (i prefer red and yellow) and use fresh herbs instead of all the dried stuff. but i do love the idea of infusing the olive oil (i’ll do lemon and garlic, thus not needing the garlic powder).

what i hope all this shows you is that vegetarian cuisine doesn’t always mean pasta (although i think there have been some pretty exciting recipes posted here!). there are ways to get fresh, flavorful meals once you have a grasp of the basic elements of the dish. and in case you missed my post about how amazing quinoa is, you can click on the link below – i’ve also included other terrific quinoa recipes (that one from the ny times looks pretty delicious!) and other general information.

you know i am a huge advocate of meatless mondays. it really is a healthy and easy thing you can do for yourself and the planet at least once, but hopefully more times, a week!

for more info, please visit meatless mondays and meatfree mondays!

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marmite vs. vegemite…the taste results!

lucky, lucky me! our vagabond friend has just returned from australia with a didgeridoo for my boyfriend and a jar of vegemite for me! i immediately had to have a taste test this morning…i love, love, LOVE marmite – on a bagel, with butter and cheddar cheese – a delicious lesson learned from a british friend of mine. the girl is gone, but the love for yeasty, salty marmite has endured…

on a strictly design level, marmite wins hands down. i love the shape of the jar, the graphic design on the label and i must say, the giant “kraft” logo on the vegemite is a bit off putting.

let’s open up the jars…on first sniff, the are pretty similar (i had to crack it open yesterday and already was salivating). but this morning, i found that marmite has a stronger, richer flavor. it seemed to meld with the butter better, making poor little vegemite a weaker cousin to the savory powerhouse that is marmite.

maybe i should try 51 degrees north‘s idea and have it with peanut butter? even though she was talking about marmite, it sounds good to me and could add a little umph to the vegemite…my boyfriend introduced me to PBPs (peanut butter and pickle sandwiches) and they were pretty amazing…maybe marmite/vegemite, gruyère, and cornichons? i’ve also read marmite is good with avocados (which makes sense since i like avocado & cucumber sushi and marmite has echoes of soy sauce in terms of its flavor)…boy, am i rambling…

i already have my eye on this beauty – super strength marmite xo – 4 times the flavor of regular marmite! fingers crossed our traveling friend has a trip planned to the u.k. soon (or at least by the time my jar of vegemite runs out)!

cheers, mate!

update: check out maggie’s blog and book, “mish-mash dictionary of marmite: an anecdotal a-z of tar in a jar”!

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