Author Archives : Melissa Gisler

All Recipes or Posts by Melissa Gisler

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Bengali Mustard Salmon

Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s book At Home with Madhur Jaffrey, this recipe is a quick and delicious way to get more of the nutritional superstar salmon in your diet.  In fact, if you stock ...

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Flower and Berry Beauty Cocktail

A tart and refreshing aperitivo incorporating the potent Petal and Berry Tonic from Amanda Chantal Bacon’s gorgeous Moon Juice Cookbook and the exotic rose and silica-based Beauty Water Cocktail Mix from ...

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Tortilla Chicken Soup with Kale

This recipe, my take on a classic from Rick Bayless (the master of all things Mexican), can be as quick or as slow as you want.  For dinner on the table in 30 ...

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Chocolate-Beet Cupcakes with Raw Cacao Glaze

Made with sprouted whole-grain flour and sweetened with beets, maple and a touch of honey, these are healthier cupcakes that taste anything but.   A note on the beets here: ...

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Vegan Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding

Rich, creamy and deceptively naughty, this vegan butterscotch pudding is based on all things coconut – coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut sugar.  But with only 5 ingredients, quality really ...

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Chunky Monkey Muffins

While this recipe is adapted from a pregnancy nutrition book called Feed the Belly, these muffins are good for everybody, not just mamas-t0-be.  High in fiber, protein and omega-3s, and ...

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Spiced Cold-Brew Coffee

Making the cold brew concentrate couldn’t be easier.  What you do with it after is up to you – drink it straight up, over cold brew ice cubes, gently heat and add ...

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Whole-Grain Gingerbread Cookies

Adapted from a recipe in the gluten-free baking book Sweet Goodness, these gingerbread cookies give you everything you want (soft, delicate crumb, sweet warm spice) and nothing you don’t (white flour, ...

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Cranberry-Orange Smoothie

As we kick off the season of indulgence, I need my morning smoothie more than ever to feel balanced.  And man, I miss them when I’m traveling!  This smoothie captures the ...

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Turkey Meatballs

There are a million versions of turkey meatballs out there.  What makes these special is how moist and juicy they remain, despite being relatively lean.  The secret is the long ...

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Want a Clue How a Wine is Made? Play Spin The Bottle…

There’s a ton of excellent natural wine out there, one just needs to know how to find it. But without ingredient labels to guide you, you might be asking yourself: “how do I find such wines if my wine shop/restaurant server/local Whole Foods doesn’t know anything about how the wine is made?” Answer: acquaint yourselves with the importers who specialize in low-intervention wines! information alone will provide important clues about the style and constitution of the juice, and help guide you when choosing blindly.  

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Bengali Mustard Salmon

We eat salmon at least once a week in our house. It’s a nutritional superstar, full of brain-boosting, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids — and all of us, including my two little guys, love it. This recipe, from Indian goddess Madhur Jaffrey’s book At Home with Madhur Jaffrey, is in constant rotation.

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Flower and Berry Beauty Cocktail

Full disclosure: I am obsessed with all things Moon Juice, a Venice, CA juice/lifestyle brand based on medicinal herbs, whole foods and the soothing cosmic wisdom of fabulous founder Amanda Chantal Bacon.  The whole package is right up my nouveau-hippie alley. Expensive, yes, but can one really put a price on optimal health or eternal beauty? Priceless I say!  So […]

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2015 Populis ‘Reversee’ Carignan

I love finding new California winemakers who are making clean, delicious and extremely interesting wines that are actually affordable. The Living Wines Collective, a band of four young winemakers based in Orinda, California, are doing just that, with several edgy brands under their umbrella (among them, Populis, Elizia and Les Lunes).

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Tortilla Chicken Soup with Kale

This rich, rustic tortilla soup with warm, smokey spice nourishes the body and soul. And it seems just right for these late season warm days that turn into brisk nights, as summer fades into fall. I love all the different textures – chunks of chicken, earthy kale, soft avocado and crunchy homemade tortilla strips. And let’s be honest – my boys love the opportunity to eat tortilla strips for dinner…

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2015 Bichi Dry Muscat ‘La Gorda Yori’

Jair Tellez, chef/owner of the progressive Laja Restaurant in Valle de Guadalupe (Mexico’s wine country), is the guy behind Tecate-based Bichi, the only known natural winery in Mexico. A few years ago, he decided to make the kind of wine he wanted to pair with his food, and began resurrecting old vines in Baja to make delicious, authentically-made wine from grapes suited to Mexico’s hot, dry climate – with awesome label art (bonus!).

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Drink Pink (and Clean!) Your New Summer Rosés

Those lovely, inexpensive summer rosés that go down like water?  Most are industrial products, with conventional farming, high sulfur levels and who knows what else. Not these.  Super clean, from smaller, family-owned estates or even smaller mom & pop shops.  They’re all practicing (or certified) organic, with a few taking it one step further to biodynamics, […]

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Chocolate-Beet Cupcakes with Raw Cacao Glaze

For me, and many a parent, I suspect, cupcakes have become ubiquitous.  Birthday parties, class treats, play dates – they all call for a cupcake, portable, portioned for tiny hands and crowd-pleasing.  So, as the mom of two little boys, I make a lot of cupcakes.  And being the healthy hacker that I am, there […]

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Jetset Guide to the Amalfi Coast & Rome

Originally written in 2008 for a luxury travel blog, this is a partial recap of my honeymoon in Southern Italy that summer. Please forgive the posh tone – it was geared towards a pre-economic crash jet setting audience. I’m posting it now, with a few updates, because, after emailing it around for years to countless friends and friends of friends traveling to Rome or the Amalfi Coast, I realize that honest travel insight filtered through a food, wine and style-focused lens is valued by some. And hopefully inspiring for others.

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Natural wine: WTF is it, and why do I care?

So here’s the thing. I love wine, and it makes me happy opening up people’s eyes to great bottles, something I’ve been doing professionally for the past 10 years. But something changed for me in the last few years: I learned about natural wine, essentially just fermented grape juice, and was shocked that all wine wasn’t made that way. So I started researching, learning how different producers were working, and discovering a whole range of delicious natural wines that I wanted to drink.

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