Louie Loves: Your New Favorite Salad Dressing

Nutritional yeast is certainly the grossest sounding food product ever. So much so that we refused to put it in the title of this post. But it does make for a bomb salad dressing that you’ll soon be putting on everything. We promise. We’re still unclear exactly what nutritional yeast is but it is in fact somewhat nutritious as it provides protein, iron and B vitamins. It is technically deactivated yeast which apparently means thin yellow flakes that resemble fish food. You’re totally on board now right? It also smells a bit weird. Stay with us. It’s found in many many vegan things because people claim it tastes cheesy. If you are not vegan and regularly eat cheese you will likely not agree with this claim.   But it does have a certain richness to it and that why we like it so much in this salad dressing. When added to otherwise pretty standard dressing ingredients, it adds a sort of salty sort of tangy flavor that you will quickly realize makes everything better. We love this on any salad, drizzled over grain bowls, as a dip for fresh veggies (currently loving it with snap peas), even on eggs. And as with all good salad dressing you just dump all this stuff together and blend. We looked up a bunch of recipes and after some trials this is sort of a combo of all of them.

Your New Favorite Salad Dressing

You’ll need:

½ cup nutritional yeast
1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/3 apple cider vinegar (any vinegar would work really)
few cloves of garlic
1 cup olive oil
¼ water (more or less depending on how thick you want it)

What to do:
Put it all in a blender and blend away.

This makes at least 2 cups which is ideal as it keeps for a week or two in the fridge and you’ll want to put it on everything.

Louie Loves: Alter Eco Chocolate

All chocolate is pretty good right? Sure, but Alter Eco takes it a step up. The packaging lured us in at the Whole Foods checkout line and we’ve been hooked since. All the bars start with 100% organic fair trade cacao beans so there’s that. The beans are sourced in Peru and Ecuador and then sent to Switzerland for the chocolate magic to happen. Most bars fall into the 60% to 70% cocoa range (this makes them healthy right) and are spiced up with more delicious organic ingredients. Our absolute favorite is the Quinoa which is basically a very fancy Crunch bar and a perfect combo of rich chocolate and light crispy puffs. Alter Eco sells quinoa too so it’s no surprise this is a standout.   The Mint and Almond are better versions of the standard chocolates you’ve been eating while the Brown Butter and Burnt Carmel offer super indulgent options. And just in case you need more reasons to pick up a tasty treat for yourself, Alter Eco is also a carbon neutral company and their wrappers are compostable. Delicious and socially responsible – woohoo! We usually just eat the bar as is, but of course they are great chopped up an mixed into your favorite cookies and such. Also useful for making killer s’mores. As mentioned they also sell a few varieties of quinoa and rice and truffles too! While we often keep these all for ourselves, they make a great hostess gift too. The stylish packaging means no wrapping is required. (PS they also have a little llama mascot that sometimes appears in their Instagram and is the cutest thing ever. )

Check out all the flavors here.

Louie Loves: Pre Workout Power Muffins

We’ve become totally addicted to these. We usually don’t eat anything before a run unless it’s going to be more than 10 miles. We’d usually have a piece of toast toped with peanut butter and banana – a solid option but it sometimes felt a bit heavy. Or we wouldn’t have any bread around. Or any bananas. This summer we’ve been aiming for a 10 mile run every Friday and these muffins have gotten us through every one feeling GREAT. They really are the perfect pre-workout snack. Oatmeal is a great easily digestible carb (with protein too). Chia seeds are filled with more protein, tons of antioxidants and help keep you hydrated.   Bananas have potassium to ward of cramps. Maca powder is great for endurance and stamina. Basically every ingredient will help your run. These are so easy to make – you pretty much just dump everything in the food processor – and the recipe makes at least 20 muffins. Store them in the freezer and you’ll always have a fuel filled snack to keep you going. It takes a few minutes to heat them up in the morning, but you can put them in the fridge the night before if you think of it. Otherwise we pop them in the toaster oven for a few minutes, then toast, cut in half and top with almond butter. Yum.   This recipe comes from RunOnVeg.com where the adorable Lotti has tons more tasty superfood filled vegan recipes. Be sure to check out the site for more ideas!

What you need:
2 ½ cups old fashion oats + 1 additional cup
½ cup chia seeds
¼ cup maca powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 bananas mashed up
2 cups almond milk (orange juice or coconut milk will work too)
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350

1 – combine 2 ½ cups oats, chia seeds, maca powder, baking powder and cinnamon in food processor and pulse until it resembles flour.
2 – Add banana and pulse until combined.
3 – Add almond milk and applesauce and pulse until combined.
4 – Transfer to bowl and fold in beries and the rest of the oats.
5 – Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray and scoop batter into cups.
6 – Sprinkle with more oats and bake for 35 mins.

Store in the freezer.

Louie Loves: Cutoffs! A How To

Cutoffs are our most favorite item of clothing. As Los Angeles residents we feel it is acceptable to wear them all year round and to pretty much any occasion. The gold standard of cutoffs is of course, Levis. Preferable very old, very warn and owned by you for many years. We have a pair we made in high school and will never ever give away. They still fit and have been patched and repatched. They are very fragile and thus have become special occasion cutoffs only to be worn to the most important of beach parties. The best cutoffs are also home made. We really do not care for store bought versions, with perfectly neat fringe. So he’s how we make our own. This can be done with any jeans that fit well in the waist and are not too tight in the leg. Jeans with no stretch like the original Levis work best in our opinion. A vintage pair of jeans, already broken in, is a great place to start but a nice fresh crisp pair will also work. Here we used a brand new pair of 501s, the classic dark wash men’s version. The actual cutting off process takes less than 5 minutes and requires no special tools. Keep in mind, they don’t have to be perfect. That’s part of the charm. When you’re done, whether your jeans were old or new, wear your cutoffs as often as possible so they conform to fit you and just you and wash as little as possible.

What to do:

1 – Try on your jeans and decide on the length you want. Make a little pencil mark on both sides of one leg so you can cut straight across. To help make it even, you can make a little fold in the leg across the front so you know the marks on both side will be at the same length.

2 – Carefully fold your jeans in half, making sure the legs line up properly.

3 – Now you simply cut straight across through both legs (at the same time!) from one little pencil mark to the other. If you are unsure of your scissor skills, use a ruler to draw a line all the way across first.   And ta-dah! Cutoffs!

4 – We like to make a little slit on the outside of each leg, about an inch and a half. Just cut straight up along the outside seam.

5 – Wear daily.

Louie Loves: Overnight Chia Oats

The idea of overnight oats was never very appealing to us, nor was the idea of chia seed pudding, but then we had a delicious combo of the two as one of our tasty Sakara breakfasts and much to our surprise, in combination, these things are delicious. We decided we could easily recreate this ourselves and after a little experimentation we’ve worked out a pretty solid version for what is definitely one of the easiest make ahead breakfasts around. You can put together a few of these at the beginning of the week and be set for healthy, filling breakfasts with out giving it another thought. The proportions are really the important thing here and you can adjust those to your liking too. This is just a good place to start. All you have to do is put everything in a jar overnight. Not tough! We found all we need to sweet this up is some fresh fruit but you can add in some honey, agave, dates if you like. We do love some cinnamon mixed in with the almond milk. Of course, you can top with whatever you want too – chopped nuts for a little crunch, coconut for a little sweetness, cocoa nibs, almond butter. The one thing we don’t really understand is why all the recipes say this must be made in a covered jar, but we just went with it. If nothing else, it makes your breakfast portable. Also we’ve been making this in a layered form but you could definitely mix the chia and oats together. Basic recipe below – experiment away.

For one serving:
½ cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds
¾ almond milk
around ¼ cup fresh or frozen fruit

Add oats to jar, then add chia seeds, pour in almond milk and top with fruit. Seal with lid and keep in the fridge overnight. DONE!

Louie Loves: Summer Beauty Essentials

We must admit that our beauty routine never takes more than a few minutes, but even so, when the days get warm we feel the need to streamline it even further. Several things contribute to this; the main reason being than when on vacation we would much rather be lounging on the beach or sipping a margarita at the bar then in a hotel room melting under the heat of a blow dryer. This feeling is doubled when on a group trip because we always have a moment of is-everyone-else-ready panic. We imagine others feel this way too so here are our recommendations for the easiest possible way to look slightly put together when it is super hot and you want to maximize the fun having time.  Also everything is carry on friendly.  For the hair: R+Co’s Tinsel Smoothing Oil and Rockaway Salt Spray. Rub the oil in your ends (or all over if you have very dry hair) when it is wet and then mist all over with the salt spray. If your hair is naturally wavy just let it dry. If it need a little help, put in in a loose bun for a bit and then take it down when part way dry. The spray help the waves hold perfectly and results in the messy on purpose look that compliments all your breezy summer outfits so well. PS – the packing of all their products is so cute, we want to try everything. For the face: Start with Nars The Multiple. We like the South Beach shade for summer because it is a nice peachy bronze that complements a tan and has a nice shimmer. Smear some on your cheekbones and blend in. Sweep some on you eyelids and lips and top with a gloss. Follow with Tarte’s Gifted Mascara and you are ALL SET. This mascara is seriously makes lashes look thicker and longer with just one or two quick swipes. Spritz on your favorite scent and get yourself to happy hour. Our current fave is Le Labo’s Bergamote 22 which has a hint of grapefruit and comes off smelling both fresh and sweet.

Pack these items in your Louie and you’ve got your bag needs all taken care of too.

Click to shop: Tinsel Smoothing Oil, Rockaway Salt Spray, The Multiple, Gifted Mascara, Le Labo Bergamote.

Louie Loves: Unreal

We admit to being shameless fans of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. So naturally when we heard Lifetime had made a show about the behind the scenes drama of a very Bachelor like reality show we were instantly on board. The fake terrible dating show is called “Everlasting” and the season we are following has a dashing Brit as the prize. He’s only on the show to rehab his reputation but the lovely ladies in waiting are of course dazzled by his charm and accent. Naturally the best part of Unreal is the insane things the producers do get good footage for the show. We’d guess this is not too far from the truth. The creator of the show worked on the Bachelor so you know some of this stuff happened. And of course, there is just as much drama going on off camera – lies, affairs all that good stuff. The show stars Constance Zimmer as the no nonsense producer and Shiri Appleby as the master manipulator of the girl (obvs she’s a bit torn though). There’s also the stupidly handsome Josh Kelly as a cameraman. It’s on Monday nights right after The Bachelorette – such a perfect pairing.

Catch up here and here and tune in Monday nights.

Louie Loves: The Overnight

You guys this movie is so funny. Totally hilarious and cover you eyes cringeworthy all at once. Parents Taylor Shilling and Adam Scott have just moved to LA and are slightly concerned with how grown-ups make friends so they are super happy when Jason Schwartzman saunters up to them in the park and invited them over for dinner. The couples have dinner with the kids play. Then they get drunk. And stoned. And naturally things get a little out of hand. Everything is just ridiculous enough that if something almost this uncomfortable hasn’t happened to you, its happened to a friend. The casting is perfect in this movie and everyone is delightful. Particularly Jason Schwartzman who we sometimes hate but we feel may be playing himself in this movie. It works. The problem is, we want to tell you what happens but there are so many scenes that we don’t want to ruin. So… there’s skinny-dipping, water filtration, breast pumps, art, and a massage parlor among other things.

Here’s a trailer.

Click here for theaters.

Louie Loves: Sakara

We’ve never been super into cleanses, because obviously it is better to try and eat healthy on a regular basis. But after a month that included three bachelorette parties and a wedding, we were looking for something to lead us back down the path to healthy eating. We knew we wanted something easy and something with FOOD. Enter Sakara. Serving up plant based, gluten free, and organic meals this seemed like just the thing for us. You can choose one, three or five days (or 20!) and one, two, or three meals a day. We went all in with 3 meals a day for 5 days. Today is our last day and we have to say it’s been pretty great. To start all of the food is truly delicious. We haven’t had anything yet we didn’t like. Breakfast has been superfood packed scones and muffins, chia waffles (yum) and some overnight chia oats, which were shockingly delicious. Lunch and dinner are usually a salad or a small wrap served with a giant pile of greens. There’s lots of greens with every meal. And amazing, amazing dressings. We tend to stick with a simple oil and vinegar combo so these all felt indulgent but, of course, are packed with good for you things. (The balsamic was a bit too sweet for us though.) You also get a tasty rose oil ‘beauty water’ to drink every morning and a Chlorella laced superfood night water. Plus two detox teas a day. After 5 days we definitely feel much better. A little slimmer and lighter and definitely less bloated.  Win!  Because we wanted to fully commit to this we also avoided caffeine and alcohol as advised.  We really missed our daily coffee. We didn’t get headaches or anything but we felt pretty spacey in the afternoons and took a short nap a couple of days. Not something we normally do. We worked out every day and while we had no problem in pilates our run on day was definitely slow and we felt a bit sluggish. We run marathons and are almost always training for something so this definitely didn’t feel great.   We felt full after all the meals but the calorie count is pretty low so we would add in some snacks if we had longer runs planned. A few of our fave meals to get excited for if you sign up: Chia Waffles, Cobb Salad, Green Ceasar with Polenta Crutons. Yum! One more note – it’s pretty expensive. When you think that is all you will be paying for food and drink all week it doesn’t seem so bad, but if you break down the per meal math it seems a bit silly. (So just don’t?) BUT we clearly would say it is worth it if you need a little kick to get you back on track or help you look your best before a big event. They also have an online shop filled with healthy stuff to help you out on a daily basis – including the bomb salad dressings.

Check it all out here.

 

Louie Loves: De Lux

We love when we fall in love with a band and then learn that they are from LA. Especially when we learn that they met skateboarding because that really seems how all LA bands should meet right? These dudes – Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco are super young but their music, while fresh and fun, seems to be from another time. They sort of sound like Talking Heads but with a bit of disco? Something like that. And maybe a little Duran Duran. Really no way that combination could be bad. And it isn’t, is glorious and thus De Lux will be sound tracking our entire They released an album in 2014 that I entirely missed so I’m just getting involved now, with their album Generation – out June 23rd. LA Threshold is naturally the perfect song to soundtrack for LA cruising, whether stuck in miserable traffic or breezing up PCH. We also have Someday Now and When Your Life Feels Like A Loss on repeat. From the older album, check out Sometimes Your Friends Are Not Your Friends and Better At Making Time. We just mean to start; you should purchase both album pronto so you are never with out the perfect party tunes. Seriously, day or night this is what we want playing in the background of all our summer adventures.

Generation on iTunes and Amazon.
Voyage on iTunes and Amazon.
Rad KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic live session here.

Louie Loves: Everything Oribe

Oribe products are a dangerous addiction. Any product can be the gateway drug, your trusted hairstylist and friends the pushy dealers. Seriously though. We first tried Oribe products after we chopped our hair last fall. We were scouting tips for styling our new ‘do and after stumbling on this Beauty Department guide, decided the only way to ensure success was to buy all of the mentioned products immediately. Then our hair looked just like the photo and we knew we’d made the right decision.  And we thought with a mouse, a pomade and a hairspray we probably had everything we needed. The next time we got our haircut our stylist used the Dry Texture Spay and we realized we were wrong, we needed this too. This is the problem; everything they make is so good, it is almost impossible to stop adding more and more products to your collection. We’re seriously proud we’ve resisted the shampoo and conditioner for so long. Aside from the fact that everything seems to have a very light finish too it – nothing to heavy, sticky, greasy, Oribe products smell heavenly. So heavenly in fact that we sort of stopped adding perfume when we were using Oribe because we liked the smell so much. (PS, they make perfume too.) The packaging is a bit glamorous too, definitely dresses up the bathroom shelf.   If we had to pick one product to recommend first we’d go with the Dry Texture Spray for sure. It’s the perfect finish for any style, giving it a nice lived in, I woke up like this look. YES!

Check out all the hair magic here.

Louie Loves: Post Run Espresso Smoothie

Everyone loves a smoothie right? We certainly do! We have one almost every morning, ranging from green to berry filled. Our current go to blend after a long run involves some espresso because we’ve found that along with a mix of protein and carbs, we like a caffeine boost too. This one tastes like a milkshake and is magical. It’s also great because it doesn’t involve lots of fresh produce so you can whip it up anytime even when you’ve just returned from a trip to a totally empty fridge. The only ‘fresh’ item you need is a banana but a frozen banana always improves smoothie texture so cut up a few and keep they ready to go in the freezer. If you’re using a non-frozen banana just add extra ice to make sure its super cold. We always add extra to ice to this one because after a sweaty run an extra chilly beverage is always welcome. Also need to balance out the warm espresso. And that ice helps you rehydrate right? Full disclosure, we used to occasionally add Nestle Quick to this to add a little chocolaty flavor but we’ve upgraded to cacao nibs which taste even better, add a little texture and are one of those supposed super foods we’re all supposed to be eating. You could easily use regular milk, coconut milk or even coconut water in place of the almond milk. This makes enough for two but we usually drink it all ourselves – half right away and half after we’ve showered and cleaned up.

Post Run Espresso Smoothie

1 cup almond milk
2 shots espresso (or ½ cup coffee)
1 banana
1 scoop protein powder, about 2 tablespoons. (We use this kind but any kind will do. The vanilla and chocolate flavors obviously work well here too. )
2 tablespoons flax seeds
1 tablespoon cacao nibs

More good things to add – almond or peanut butter, chia seeds, honey, coconut.

Louie Loves: Chairish

Do you like shopping? Furniture? Vintage things? Jewelry? Stuff of any kind? Then Charish is for you! We’re sort of obsessed. The site is a curated vintage marketplace. It’s updated constantly and searchable by city and category so you can see what’s new in your city or browse for a specific item. You can also just check out what’s new or shop in themed boutiques. It’s basically like having 100 of new amazing vintage stores open in your city all at once. Or maybe just like you suddenly have time to visit all the ones currently in your city. There is a ton of stuff, but the navigation makes it easy to narrow it down. When you find something you like – which will probably happening with in 10 seconds of scrolling – you can pay the asking price on the spot or make the seller an offer at a lower price. Most sellers set a reserve price a bit lower than the asking which they are willing to sell for. If your offer is above the reserve it will be automatically accepted and you have a new treasure coming your way. If you’ve bid lower than the reserve, the seller can decide whether or not they want to sell. We find this set up particularly appealing. We don’t feel like we’re over paying but there’s no awkward face to face haggling or bidding wars that require constant attention. You can save favorite items so it is easy to get back to that special something you cant stop thinking about. They have lots of great guest editors too, highlighting their favorite items. All very user friendly and fun. Our favorite buys? An amazing pink rotary phone and a bronze paperweight that say ‘Top Banana.’

Start shopping (or selling) right here.

Louie Loves: Bloodline

 

We could probably explain our obsession with this show by saying that we had seen two episodes of the new season of House of Cards, watched the first Bloodline and then immediately watched all the rest before going back to House of Cards. To start – it is set in the Florida Keys. If you have been to the Keys, we’re 99% sure you’ll agree with our sentiment that everything there, no matter how charming, also seems just a tiny bit sketchy. Perfect for a show that is full of SECRETS. Bloodline centers on the Rayburn family, one of the Keys finest families. In fact, the patriarch (played by Sam Shepard – YES) is about to have a dock named after him when the one wayward brother returns to town and messes up pretty much everything. This is trying for all the other Rayburns, particularly Coach Taylor (aka Kyle Chandler) who plays the town sheriff and sports basically his exact wardrobe from Friday Night Lights – pleated khakis and wrap around sunglasses all day. But no one is exempt from the fallout and they all really just want big bro to leave. But can they make him go? DRAMA. And nothing makes drama seem more intense than humid weather. PS – we’re also convinced that the other brother who runs the local marina is the actual person who took us out snorkeling on our trip. For real. There’s already a season two in the works. Thank god.

Watch it all right here.

Louie Loves: Bouchon’s Vinaigrette

So you know we love Bouchon.  And our favorite thing there is the Salad Laitue –  Bibb Lettuce tossed with the world’s best vinaigrette and artfully stacked up for a presentation that’s almost to pretty to destroy.  Almost.  We always make our own salad dressings but this usually means we just drizzle olive oil and vinegar straight on to the salad and give it a quick toss.  Luckily, this recipe doesn’t involve all that much more.  In just a few minutes you can recreate this Thomas Keller dream in your own home.  The best part is that the recipe makes a rather large amount, and keeps perfectly in your fridge for a few days so you can make this once and enjoy delicious salads all week long.  Of course, it’s delicious on any salad, not just the traditional butter lettuce.  Its equally tasty on a mix of fresh spring vegetables, drizzled over white beans, or as a finishing touch to grilled things in the summer.  Note it is made with Canola oil.  Trust Thomas on this one and don’t sub olive oil, the flavor is a bit too strong.  If we’re serving this casually we tear up the leaves a bit so people can easily help themselves and there is no knife required.  For the full Bouchon fanciness, keep the leaves whole, toss gently and then use your hands to create your pretty little stacks.  It does look pretty impressive, making this an excellent dinner party first course.

We found the recipe on Epicurious.  You make a basic vinaigrette first then add shallots and herbs for the Salad Laitue.  The salad recipe only calls for ½ cup of the basic vinaigrette and suggests portion out the herbs for each individual salad.  We toss all of the herbs in with the whole recipe of basic vinaigrette and have found that works out perfectly.  We also chop all the herbs.  If you can’t find fresh chervil you and skip it or add extra tarragon.  Feel free to adjust the herb proportions to your own liking.

Basic Vinaigrette
¼ cup Dijon mustard
½ red wine vinegar
1½ cups canola oil

Blend the mustard and vinegar for a few seconds in a blender.  Slowly add in ½ cup of the oil with the blender on low.  Transfer to a bowl and slowly add the rest of the oil while whisking constantly.  (You can really do this all with a whisk and skip the blender if you want.)

For the Salad Laitue
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced chives
¼ cup Italian parsley leaves
¼ tarragon leaves
¼ chervil leaves
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Chop the shallots and herbs and whisk into the vinaigrette along with the lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Louie Loves: Mother In Law’s Kimchi

Kimchi is everywhere these days. Being lovers of both spicy and pickled things, we’ve been long time fans. Sadly though our kimchi intake was usually limited to restaurant settings as we were definitely not yet ready to make it ourselves and we found the store bought jarred options a little overwhelming. Then we tried Mother In Law’s kimchi. We were first drawn to the clean, crisp packaging because well duh, we love a pretty presentation. We liked the story too – a daughter packaging up the long used recipe form her family’s restaurant – a somewhat local restaurant too. So of course we were thrilled to discover it’s wonderfully delicious. Plus, it is all natural with no preservatives – woohoo.   Our favorite is the Napa Cabbage – a very classic version with just the right amount of heat. The Daikon version is great too of course, if you like a little more crunch. Both are perfectly bright and fresh. We put this on pretty much everything. We like the hint of spice it adds to salads and sandwiches. It turns a regular grilled cheese until the best thing ever and makes regular friend rice ten times better. We’ve also blended some up with Greek yogurt for a seriously delicious (and healthy) dip for veggies. We’re a bit addicted. You should be too. They have a cookbook we’ve been eyeing and we can’t wait to try their Gochujang pastes. So many good things.

Mother In Law’s Kimchi – get it here.