simple foods

Healthy Fast food: Backyard Bowls

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       There is plenty of healthy plant based food in LA so I knew it would be a satisfying discovery for each meal coming here, but I was also sure that I'd go back to Backyard Bowls. I discovered it 2 years ago when I was staying for the first time in LA, and I would walk more than 1h back and forth just to go to their place in WeHo!! Haha, yes I like to walk, but I also love their food. Is it an extraordinary culinary experience? Probably not. But it is exactly the way I conceive food: healthy, abundant, plant based and simple but still with lots of flavors.

They have several locations and the pictures in this article are from their Santa Monica location which is the area I am staying.

 

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       The Menu

       Is simple: smoothie bowls (acai, pitaya, green bowls), smoothies, porridge bowls, toasts and grain bowls. That's it. The bases of a plant-based diet. I told you I like to eat a "high carb low fat" kinda diet and I feel like that's what I can easily get without thinking about it too much at Backyard Bowls because the carbs are in the center of everything (and carbs are definitely life). And you have quantity on your plate (actually in your bowl) which is also one of my criteria when I go to a restaurant: how much food will I have on my plate?

The other thing I like is that when you eat in, you get a proper bowl, a proper spoon: no plastic and no waste. It's something I was missing when I tried to have acai bowls in New York. Maybe the next improvement would be to also give a proper cup for the water fountain but I know it's not always easy to organize it.

Finally, it's fast food: you order at the counter and wait for your food that you can eat in or take away. It's really nice to know that you have healthy and yummy options when you are in a hurry.

 

       What Do I personally order?

       I generally go for a large (yes large, and the portion is huge! but we know as plant-based eaters that we tend to eat a lot more in quantities, especially on HCLF) Island bowl, which is my favorite of their smoothie bowls: there is mango in it, which is one of my favorite fruits, and coconut milk! It's a simple tropical bowl and I love how they aren't cheap on the granola compared to other places! It's very hot in LA so I love how a smoothie bowl cools me from the inside.

I was also very curious to test their grain bowls because macro bowls are really my favourite way to eat, and I am always more attracted to savory meals than sweets. So I built my own: green rice, hummus, hot sauce, cauliflower + chickpeas, sweet potato puree, shaved carrot, avocado, shallots and pickled beets, sprouts, micro greens and toasted almonds. And it was delicious! Like, really delicious! I really felt like I am going to make efforts to cook the same way at home because it is accessible and it is a way to eat that I would like to share.

 

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Santa Monica Neighborhood

Santa Monica Neighborhood

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Backyard Bowls

Website. They have many locations so check if there's one close to you!

 

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Simple foods: Summer Rolls

 

        I don't think you're ever going to see complicated recipes on The French Glow. I like to share simple foods because not everyone is able to cook for hours, especially me as I am still learning about cooking and how not to ruin every meal I try to make haha! But also because I want to show that eating healthy isn't complicated if you don't want it to be.

        Summer rolls are my favorite at the moment, perfect for the summer as it's fresh and simple to make, eat and digest. I like mixes of flavors so that's why I love sushi rolls/sandwiches/vegan burgers/currys... Because you can have lots of different flavors in just one bite. What I also like with summer rolls is that it looks rather beautiful, and to me, the pleasure of the eyes reinforces the pleasure of the taste!

 

 

Recipe

This isn't MY personal recipe (I didn't invent it) but it's the one I love to make :)

For the Dipping sauce

 

  • 1-2 table spoons of peanut butter (chose one that has only peanuts as ingredients!)
  • Warm water (depending how you want the consistency to be)
  • Lime juice (optional)
  • Sriracha (depending how spicy you like it)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 table spoon soy sauce

For the summer Rolls

To make about 4 summer rolls

  • Rice paper (usually found in the Asian section of your supermarket)
  • 4-8 big lettuce leafs
  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 2 medium carrots
  • Rice noodles (optional)
  • Tofu
  • Mint

And you can add mango and avocado which I didn't add today but that I love to use!

 

        Cut the cucumber and carrots (and mango and avocado) in thin long slices. Cut the tofu in thin slices and cook on a pan with a little bit of olive oil while you cook the noodles. When the tofu and noodles are ready, start making the rolls with 1 or 2 lettuce leafs for each roll and a bit of everything else you prepared (make sure not to put too much noodles to be able to test everything), add fresh mint and roll! You can cut them like I did as I find it easier to eat. For the dressing, simply mix everything slowly until it has the right consistency. Et voilà. It's really quick and simple to make!

 

 

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