Thursday, March 25, 2010

sensuous salad and a new health food store

last night and this past weekend i got to spend time with my good friends carol and lisa. they teach a fun vegan cooking class at the local high school which includes a potluck on the last day of class.

after trying to give up meat and dairy for about a year, i signed up for their class last winter. the class was the push i needed as it opened me up to a whole new world of foods.

for the first time i tried veggies that i've never heard of, like kale and fennel. carol and lisa inform me of all the delicious vegan and raw restaurants in the area, as well as invite me to all sorts of vegan meet-ups. along with yahya and carmella from the sunny raw kitchen, i consider them to be my food mentors.=)

last night, i was telling carol that i'm sick of food shopping. i used to love to go to whole foods, but now i can hardly stand it. she reminded me of a store not too far from me called Natural Health. i made a few brief trips there a few years ago to pick up some probiotics and didn't notice that half the store was filled with food (typical for when i was teaching elementary school full time, eating like crap, and walking around like a zombie. but i was starting on the path of natural health remedies!=)

well, the store is amazing!!! it carries an impressive selection of raw, vegan, and organic products. Natural Health is family owned and has been in business for over 20 years. i much prefer supporting small businesses over the big corporate chains. the staff is so nice and helpful! they offered to order me brown rice vermicelli and promised to call when it comes in. they sell raw cacao powder and organic produce at comparable prices. their organic fuji apples were $1.09 a pound! woohoo! i also picked up broccoli sprouts for $1.99.

the most exciting feature of the store is their bulk herbs and spices section. i spent quite some time opening jars and smelling all the spices, and i am officially in love with fennel seed and cardamom. if you have any recipes, please send them my way!=)

excited to try my new spices, i immediately made a fennel seed, cardamom, brown rice syrup, lemon and olive oil dressing to go over a salad with broccoli sprouts, portobello mushrooms, tomato and celery.

midway through i thought to add hemp seeds for extra protein and yumminess.

if you live in or around Southern NJ, you might want to stop by Natural Health in Lindenwold and check it out for yourself. also, the American Vegan Society is hosting their annual Garden Party this year on Sunday, May 30th in Malaga. it is their 50th anniversary and Christina Pirello of Christina Cooks will be speaking. should be a fun time!=)


  1. the sprouts look sooo pretty and delicate and awesome!

  2. i love fennel seeds...i'm italian, so i grew up eating tons o' fennel...

    i've been very curious about cardamom seeds...can you try to describe the taste??? sorry, stupid question huh?!

    your salad sounds incredible...thanks for sharing the dressing recipe...i love salads...salads are my life...gosh, i miss my hemp seeds...i have to figure out how to buy them in bulk, i go through a $20 340 gram bag in about a week...i love them!

    i also love finding family owned businesses and supporting them over whole the whole foods in my area are pretty much placed in well to do areas of the province, and it's just really unpleasant to go in there...people wearing nothing but gucci or prada...haha...walking around in 6 inch heals giving me the once over...i don't know about you, but when i grocery shop i want to be comfy and prefer to walk around in my converse...just sayin'!!!! plus i take grocery shopping to a whole new level...i can spend hours in a's one of my many pleasures in life...


  3. hi averie! broccoli sprouts are so tasty, too! yesterday was my first time trying them. i think i like them better than full grown broccoli!

    hey nelly! cardamom is hard to describe. it's like a sweet and spicy clovish cinnamony flavor? i don't know... it's one of those flavors you need to try for yourself. if you like fennel i think you'll like cardamom. it also smells amazing!

    please, i practically wear pj's when i go food shopping! i choose comfort over fashion these days. as long as i'm comfy i'm happy!=)

  4. pretty pretty sprouts and so yummm!!
    i love cardamom, i use it in something or another almost every day, sweet or goes very well with bananas, mangoes, in quinoa or chia seed puddings, with chickpeas or asian style dishes...lots more too - like you said, experiment and try for yourself :-)
    in india we chew fennel seeds after meals - they help with digestion....
    have a lovely weekend kelli, love and xoxox

  5. thanks so much, neeta!



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