Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Your Greatest Beauty Secret

                   RENEW   REFRESH    REVITALIZE

💠💠  Feed Your Face💠💠
January 28th Saturday 4 - 6pm

❇ Facial In A Glass ❇

Working from the inside out - learn what foods and superfoods are must-haves in your own at-home beauty and elixir bar.  Learn what foods specifically nourish, hydrate the skin and most importantly protect against premature aging! 

Sip and Sample - from a variety of delicious skin healing foods and learn how to create your own delicious superfood smoothies while you are at it.   

❇ Probiotic Facials ❇

Beauty and Bacteria - Learn the relationship between bacteria and beauty.  Be prepared to concoct a probiotic facial mask that we will wear in class!

Don't miss this super fun class!
Hey don't be shy - I already have a few guys signed up!


Website - truefoodbeauty.com
Instagram  - True Food Beauty
Facebook - Lisa Valantine

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Are you Delighted by Chocolate?

Dark Chocolate Coconut Smoothie Bowl with Toppings
For those of you who are delighted by chocolate and have access to Instagram - you will want to keep an eye out for my posts over the next week or so at truefoodbeauty.

An avid reader of historical fiction, and with a particular interest in the Tudor and Elizabethan period, I am currently experimenting with traditional and often over looked seasoning such as grains of paradise, hyssop and red sandalwood powder, I thought it would be loads of fun to create a 12-night observance.   With a flare for the dramatic, of coarse, I had a hard time deciding whether to be a lit major or a drama major, I began to envision fireside suppers sipping and supping wassail and kings cakes.  Coming back down to earth I decided to take smaller more reasonable steps towards realizing my 12-night fantasy - and will be posting 12 indulgently chocolate breakfasts - aka desserts - on Instagram instead.

What would the dates be?  Traditionally, the festivities and celebrations, which included extravagant entertainments and dramatic food presentations, took place between Christmas and Ephiphany, which was what became known as the twelve days of Christmas, or what the English often called Christmastide, December 26th through January 6th.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Back to the Bacteria

In my fermencentric household moving from fruit smoothie bowls and classes on raw chocolate to fermentation in short order is not unexpected. Fermentation has been a secret passion and then a not-so-secret passion of mine for a number of years.  Back in the summer of 2010 little did I know that when I began experimenting with fermented beverages and sourdough pancakes my life would never be the same.   In no time I quickly moved to krauts and pickled turnips as summer turned to fall which then lead to the exploration of fish ferments and catsups in the winter and then light fluffy fermented nut cheeses and elixirs made from flowers in the spring.  Now when I encounter a new food I wonder what will happen if I ferment it.  Just about every nook and cranny, cupboard and closet in my house has been repurposed at one time or another to make way for the alchemical, almost magical, phenomenon called fermentation.

My secret life began to gain a little traction when I met up with folks from the fermentation festival held yearly and then bi-yearly in Santa Barbara and most recently in Los Angeles.  Founded by mother and daughter Lynn Hartman and Katie Gershfelt, the festival which aims to revitalize traditional food preparation methods and promote local food and traditional farming practices as well as empower attendees to nurture their immune systems and micro-biome with beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods, is just so totally aligned with what I have been doing that I couldn't believe that I had just located so many like-minded people!   It was SO exciting to find the festival and be part of it and the growing community of people - from all walks of life - from amateur fermenters to accomplished entrepreneurs - who are beginning to challenge the way we view our food, how we view our connection to the earth and how we inhabit it.

For the last couple of years I have taught numerous classes on how to make lacto-fermented soda, kombucha, kraut, kimchee, dill pickles, nut cheese and the list goes on and on as more and more people begin to understand the importance of fermented food.

It is hardly surprising that the final class of the year 2016 - to be held on the winter solstice - will be a Winter Kraut Making Gathering.  

Another noteworthy item -  and I will be sharing details later - I am very honored to begin work on ferments for a 2017 Slow Foods Ventura event which will be held in conjunction with American Gut Project which will track the influence of fermented foods on the human microbiome.   

It is a rainy night here in Southern California.  The door just knocked and it was a friend of mine standing in the rain with a new baby kombucha scoby in a jar for me!  Yahoo!  Back to the bacteria!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Deliciously Sugar-Free Raw Chocolate

~  Menu ~

Triple Layer Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Dessert

Medjool Date Sweetened Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Raspberry Ganache

Chocolate Pudding

 Raw Chocolate Dessert Class

"I was so happy I came.  
I've never had deserts like this."
~ MB

True Food Beauty Raw Chocolate Class

"It is always a great time around people who enjoy healthy food. " 
~ M

Experience The Benefits 

Raw chocolate contains anandamide which is know as the bliss chemical and which actually enhances our sense of well-being.  Another mood enhancing compound found in raw chocolate is PEA which triggers the release of the same neuro-chemicals we experience when we fall in love.

Polyphenols and flavanols in raw chocolate help improve blood circulation.
The healthy fats found in raw chocolate are similar to the monounsaturated fat found in olive oil.
Raw chocolate is a good source of magnesium which helps to lower blood pressure.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

November Cooking Class - Dessert - Delicious And Guilt-Free!

Don't Deprive Yourself Over The Holidays!

The good news is - you won't have to spend hours slaving in the kitchen to enjoy delicious holiday desserts.

Learn how to make a repertoire of delicious - decadent, and did I say easy to make, desserts!  These desserts literally take moments to whip up.

Most will feature chocolate, of coarse, and many will feature fruit and nuts and natural sweeteners such dried fruit and dates.   

None of them have sugar - not even organic cane sugar - and none of them have grain, grain products or gluten of any kind.

Best yet - you will not be turning on the oven.  

November 12th 4 - 6 pm

Sign up:   lisavalantine@gmail.com

Cost: $40.00
Couples: $75.00

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The CSA Box Challenge

CSA boxes, in addition to regular farmer's market foraging, can present a culinary challenge when you get all sorts of things you might not ordinarily buy.  Today as I prepare for a busy work week I am making good use of the CSA Box and the vitamix blender.  In fact, I have used the vitamix more times than should be counted.

I got a basket of strawberry guava in the CSA box this week.  I decided to make a batch of strawberry guava juice to flavor botanical elixirs.  It smells heavenly and is the most delicious looking color.  I can't wait to try it.

Next I prepared a batch of blended gazpacho from beautiful CSA and Farmer's Market heirloom tomatoes.  The gazpacho is already jarred for work week lunches.

Gazpacho Ready To Go To Work
I happened to get a wealth of summer squash in the CSA box.  I made a blended summer squash soup seasoned with fennel seed.  This blended soup will be very welcome when I come home at the end of a busy day and want something in a hurry right?

Beets, cilantro and green onion stirred into quinoa and dressed with lemon and olive oil are jarred for lunches.

We are in the middle of a mid-September heat wave here in Southern California.  The fragrant melon sitting on the counter, the local California mango, local California blueberries, the crisp cucumbers and celery will make refreshing juice and smoothie concoctions.

The remaining bunch of radishes, romaine lettuce, arugula and cucumbers are stashed in the crisper drawer to become this weeks salads.

I just discovered that what I thought was dill in the CSA box is actually baby fennel!  I have never had baby fennel before!  I wonder what I will make with it?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

~ Friends Gather To Enjoy Local Flavor ~

Another Ferment-Centric Culinary Adventure

Preserved Lemon Class ~ August 20th 4 - 6 PM ~ Thousand Oaks

Meyer lemons, which are actually a cross between a lemon and mandarin orange, are considered the ideal lemon for making preserved lemon because they more closely approximate the flavor of Moroccan lemons.

Even though it is not Meyer Lemon season here in California I found some really nice lemons at the farmer's market that were a good substitute.

What do you look for if you want to make preserved lemon and don't have Meyer Lemons?  Look for small lemons that can easily be packed into jars and that have plenty of juice.  If they are on the dry side augment the jar with plenty of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Dinner Featured Local Farmer's Market Produce!