Maleeya’s Minnierella 4th Birthday

DSC05802 DSC05806 DSC05828DSC05800


I can’t believe that Maleeya is already 4-years-old. It’s almost a month later and I’ve been slacking on my food blogging, but this was a very special birthday party catering and since I’ve blogged about each of her birthdays, I can’t stop at 3. So here is the 4th edition.

DSC05761 DSC05759 DSC05750 DSC05751 DSC05752 DSC05753 DSC05756 DSC05757 DSC05748 DSC05746 DSC05745 DSC05740 DSC05772 DSC05773 DSC05777

This year Maleeya had a Minnierella (Minnie Mouse as Cinderella) themed princess birthday party for her friends at our house. My mom made Maleeya’s beautiful pink dress for her Minnierella costume and my sister decorated the house. Everyone enjoyed playing games, catching up, delicious food and togetherness and I don’t think we’ve ever had so many people in our house at one time, which was really fun. We had a special feast of Maleeya’s favorite foods for her party. I asked Maleeya what she wanted to serve at her birthday party and her list was as follows: latkes, fruit, veggies, salad, chicken, strawberries and cake. So with those directions in mind, as well as some special Vegan and Gluten Free requests, I came up with this menu and we had a blast.




Fruit Tower and Melon and Grape Platter

Fresh Vegetable Tray

Sweet Sesame Chicken Skewers

Turkey Meatballs

7-Layer Bean Dip

Pico de Gallo

Grilled Sweet Soy Chicken Drumsticks

Italian Pasta Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad

Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

Bread Basket


Grilled Vegetables and Tofu

Thank you to everyone who helped celebrate this very special little lady, or as she liked to be known that day, Minnierella. Happy fourth year of fun, love and excitement, Mighty Maleeya!




Beautiful Bountiful Body Retreat from Judgement


kimberly fujitaki yoga BBB

I’ve had a few weeks to reflect and enjoy the memories and events that took place  during our Beautiful Bountiful Body Retreat from Judgement at Lido Palms in Desert Hot Springs. This week has been such a busy week of staying in the moment, being present to the flow of opportunity and really being intentional and authentic in my actions and words. I’m truly blessed to be exploring such amazing opportunities in my career and life.


I managed to wear my yoga pants and chef coat at the same time. This has been a dream of mine since I stepped away from the professional kitchen and onto the yoga mat full-time. My love of culinary arts will never leave me, nor does it have to. I am at home in the kitchen, just as I am on my yoga mat, which feels like a tremendous honor and privilege to be able to express my passion for union through culinary arts, asana, pranayama, meditation and mindfulness.


When the amazingly talented Thea Pueschel (artist of living, body positive yoga instructor and hypnotherapist) asked me to venture out into the desert to look at the venue where we would be holding the yoga retreat, I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen. From walking around the space and seeing the rooms, I knew that I would be able to make amazing meals there because if there is one thing you learn from working in a professional kitchen, it’s that you don’t need much to make a great meal. I’ve cooked using camp fires, tin cans, hot plates, 20-burner ranges, expensive gas ranges and electric stove tops, but the thing is, they all can be used in ways that produce amazing food.


So we took a gamble. After we drove a few hours away, we talked it over and agreed that we should give it a go. Thea made the big moves and put herself out there with the intention and desire to be of service and that’s just what she did. Just a few short months later and we were one room from being sold out! It was an amazing showing of how perseverance and hard work truly pay off.

BBB Yoga practice

The healing mineral water pools and warm desert climate made for the perfect October evenings. Thea offered insightful workshops and yoga sessions, including her signature detox to retox, yoga nidra and gentle practices to soothe and aid the body in compassionate, body positive and deeply connected practices. She also acquired the amazing reiki skills and compassionate body positivity of Adriana Franco, who conducted mini reiki sessions with all of the attendees and offered her graceful wisdom and heart felt conversation and connection with us all. Women from all over joined us and truly met themselves on the mat as they were, with open hearts and open minds. This was truly a retreat from judgement and a gathering of powerful intention to love ourselves deeply and practice self-care.


My menus were designed with many things in mind. Even with dietary restrictions, we all cared and nourished our bodies in abundance, which is what Unrivaledkitch is all about. We are more than the things we aren’t and that is what we have to focus on. Many of us seem to highlight the things we can’t do or things we don’t do, instead of celebrating the things we can do and will do, and for me, this goes for food as well. Whether you can or can’t eat something, I always strive to find accommodations for people to nourish their soul and I truly felt that this was accomplished. The menu was a plant-based seasonal vegetarian meal with a variety of vegan options. Here are the menus I created for this special Unrivaledkitch event for the Beautiful Bountiful Body Retreat.


Beautiful Bountiful Body Retreat

Special Fall Menu Prepared by

Chef Kimberly Fujitaki of Unrivaledkitch

BBB Welcome Dinner

Welcome Dinner

Cheese Plate

Vegetarian Honey Goat Cheese, Red Leichester, Pere Brie and Gorgonzola

Crudite Platter of Raw Seasonal Organic Vegetables

(Vegetarian, Legume-Free & Grain-Free)


Fresh Organic Heirloom Tomato, Basil & Garlic Flatbread BBQ Pizza

with Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese and Parmesan

(Vegetarian includes Grain and Dairy & No Cheese Option)


Grilled Mediterranean Vegetable Skewers

with Oregano, Basil and Red Pepper Flakes

(Mushrooms, Bell Peppers, Eggplant, Zucchini)

(Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Legume-Free & Grain-Free)


Autumn Pear Salad

Organic Living Lettuce with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Shaved Pear, Walnuts, Pink Beets and Cucumbers

(Crumbled Blue Cheese on the Side Vegetarian Option)

(No Cheese Vegan, Legume-Free & Grain-Free )


Grilled Fall Fruits with Whipped Cream & Cinnamon

Pears, Persimmons, and Apples

(Whipped Cream on the Side Dairy-Free Option)

Welcome Dinner BBB


Beautiful Bountiful Body Retreat

BBB Breakfast table



Homemade Breakfast Pumpkin Cookies

with Pepitas, Raisins, Cranberries and Whole oats

(Vegan Dairy-Free includes Wheat and Oats)


Soy Yogurt

(Vegan includes soy)


Greek Yogurt


Vanilla Granola

(Contains Wheat and Oats)


Dried Fruit & Nuts


Whole Grain Toast

with Organic Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Peach Jam

and Organic Mixed Fruit Jam

(Includes Wheat and Oats)


Fresh Fruit

(Bananas, Oranges, & Apples)




Green Smoothies

(Kale, Ginger, Apples, Strawberries, Oranges, Banana & Spinach)

BBB breakfastBBB Practice


Beautiful Bountiful Body Retreat

BBB Lunch Table



Grilled Vegetable Tacos

Assorted Chopped Grilled Veggies spiced with Cumin and Coriander

Zucchini, Peppers, Squash, Broccoli & Cauliflower

(Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Legume-Free & Grain-Free)


Soyrizo Potatoes

(Vegan, Contains Soy, Gluten-Free)


Served on Corn Tortillas


Taco Bar Includes

Pico de Gallo, Roasted Jalapenos, Cilantro and Onions,

Lettuce, Guacamole and Cheese


Cumin-Scented Mashed Organic Black Beans

(Cheese on the Side Vegan Option)


Fire-Roasted Red Pepper Organic Spanish Rice

with Roasted Corn and Tomatillos



Fresh Fall Fruits

Pomegranates, Persimmons, Apples, Pears

BBB Lunch

Beautiful Bountiful Body Retreat

BBB Dinner table



Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” & Polenta


Roasted Vegetable Sauce

with Butternut Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Zucchini,

Carrots, Celery and Onions with Olive Oil,

Garlic, and Fresh Basil

Walnut Pesto with Parmesan Cheese


(Spaghetti squash, No Pesto Vegan Option

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Legume-Free and Grain-Free)

(Vegetarian Option Polenta with Pesto includes Dairy)


Spinach Salad

Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Cherry Tomatoes,

Avocado, Cucumber and Sherry Vinaigrette

(Vegan Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Legume-Free & Grain-Free)


Roasted Fall Vegetables

(Vegan Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Legume-Free & Grain-Free)


Seasoned Grilled Tofu

(Vegan Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)


Green Tea & Homemade Pumpkin Bread

BBB Dinner dishes


Beautiful Bountiful Body Retreat

BBB Brunch table



Mini Vegetable Frittatas

with Mixed Vegetables and Roasted Jalapenos

(Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Legume-Free & Grain-Free)


Autumn Vegetable Hash

Butternut Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Acorn Squash,

and Zucchini with Fresh Herbs and Spices

(Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Legume-Free & Grain-Free)


Vegan Sausage

(Vegan includes Grain, Gluten, Barley, Red wine)


Fire-Roasted Potatoes O’Brien

with Peppers, Onions and Spinach

(Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Legume-Free & Grain-Free)


Fresh Fall Fruits


Fresh Berries with Yogurt


Lemonade and Iced Tea

bbb brunch


I was also privileged to teach my signature Deeply Rejuvenated Restorative Yoga practice. Restorative Yoga is such an important practice for self-discovery and self-study. We learn from stillness that our body can gain a tremendous benefit from slowing down, resetting our nervous system and replenishing the oxygen supply in the blood.  Under the beautiful star-filled sky, we offered out our intentions and connected with the inner authenticity as we breathed and let go deeply. This was truly one of the highlights of my yoga teaching thus far and I was truly privileged to teach such an amazing group of empowered women, relaxing and leaving the practice deeply rejuvenated.

Restorative Yoga KFY BBB

The weekend ended with laughing, tears, joy, and for me, a sense of accomplishment, hard work paying off and extreme gratitude for this opportunity to blend my two favorite things in the whole world. I shopped, catered, packed, cooked, cleaned and repeated these steps many times throughout the weekend and I know I will do it again. I am truly humbled by this amazing experience and I hope you’ll join us on our next yoga retreat.

10547919_314752352046452_1328736761571136101_oPhoto by Adriana Franco

I want to thank all of the wonderful ladies who came to practice in the desert with us for a retreat from judgement. And of course, an extra special thank you to the amazing Thea Pueschel for bringing me along on this wonderful journey.




Kimberly Fujitaki

Executive Chef/ Owner

Yoga Instructor


Roasted Cauliflower with Crispy Cavolo Nero

We’re all looking for new and interesting ways to eat vegetables, right? Well, we should be, even if we currently aren’t. Being on a quest for healthy living, we sometimes come across a dish that just appears so often on the table that it’s second nature. One of these dishes in my family is roasted cauliflower.

If you haven’t had roasted cauliflower, you really are missing out on something very simple, yet quite delicious. You can make it with a variety of accompaniments, but you can also just make it with a little salt, pepper and a bit of water in a hot oven and you’ve got something delectable to pair with your favorite foods. This recipe is for roasted cauliflower, but I used the addition of roasted Tuscan black kale also known as cavolo nero, to make a textural and flavorful difference, that’s sure to get anyone’s lack of green veggies replenished. Tuscan kale is highly nutritious and like most kale, has a bit of a bitter earthy flavor. The use of lemon and garlic, along with a very hot oven, changes the texture and flavor to a wonderful new experience. I hope you enjoy this lovely side dish.


Roasted Cauliflower with Crispy Cavolo Nero


1/2 head cauliflower, cut from the stem and made into small florets and washed, but not dried

1 bunch cavolo nero or Tuscan black kale, cleaned and chopped into bite-size pieces

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ lemon, juiced and zest of ½ lemon



3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Pinch cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

On a large cookie sheet, place small cauliflower florets on sheet pan, just after they are washed and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the edges are brown and crispy.


In a small oven-proof sauté pan or on a large cookie sheet, mix together cavolo nero with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice spread evenly over the surface. Then place in the oven for about 10 minutes. Check the cavolo nero about half way through and turn them in the pan so they don’t burn.

Pour the two together and let roast for another 3-5 minutes, till flavors incorporate together. Check seasoning to taste and add fresh lemon zest.

Place in a serving dish and serve.





Spanakopita Inspired Pasta – Whole Wheat Penne with Feta Cheese, Spinach, Basil and Mushrooms



This pasta was inspired by the Greek dish Spanakopita. Spanakopita is a phyllo dough pastry that has spinach and feta cheese in it. I love the flavors of this dish; it has herbs with a crunchy texture from the crisp phyllo. I didn’t have phyllo dough at my house and I wasn’t too keen on the idea of going to the store to get it and turning on the oven and waiting to bake, so I just took inspiration to create this dish.  I used healthy whole grain pasta and some of my favorite vegetables to get a flavorful and healthy meal from a classic idea. I also like to add the freshness of raw vegetables as a side to this pasta.


Whole Wheat Penne with Feta Cheese, Spinach, Basil and Mushrooms


6 basil leaves, chopped

2 cups frozen spinach

2 cups fresh kale, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

½  small onion, diced

1 stock celery minced

8 oz carton button or crimini mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered

5 florets cauliflower rough chopped to small pieces

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Pinch garlic powder



1 teaspoon dried parsley or 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced

Pinch red pepper flakes

¼- ½  cup feta cheese

Shaved pecorino for garnish

½ pound whole wheat pasta


In a large sauté pan, place 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of the pan.  Heat till glistening, add the onions and cook about 3-4 minutes till soft.

Add dried parsley, pepper flakes, garlic, garlic powder, celery, cauliflower and mushrooms, then cook for about 2 minutes.

Add fresh kale and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add frozen spinach and cook for 6-7 minutes till heated through and kale is soft.

Cook pasta as directed and save about 1 cup pasta water.

Put the pasta into the vegetables and toss in desired amount of feta cheese.

Add black pepper and salt to taste.

If desired, finish with a little more extra virgin olive oil and top with pecorino cheese.

Serve aside chopped tomatoes, basil and cucumbers, seasoned with salt and pepper






Whole Wheat Berry Pancakes with Honey and Granola


There’s something about a perfect fluffy pancake that can be heartwarming. I don’t mean going out to get some, because honestly, they’re so simple to make that paying $10 for pancakes just makes me cringe. So every now and again, when I’m in the mood, I’ll put together a little something different for a delicious breakfast treat.
I had pancakes like these in Seattle, over 2 years ago, in Capitol Hill at Glow . They were delicious and I remembered that particular set of flavors was really just wonderful, so one Saturday morning I decided to make my own rendition. Here’s what ended up coming out. I thought they were delicious I hope you do as well.

Whole Wheat Berry Pancakes with Honey and Granola
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ¼ cup milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon flax seeds
1 cup mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, and/or raspberries)
Honey for drizzling
½ cup granola or 1 plain or honey granola bar, smashed
Optional powder sugar

Sift together all dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) and put together in a medium bowl.
In another bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, egg and milk together.
Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet and whisk together.
Fold in berries and flax seeds.
Heat a medium-sized skillet and using non-stick spray heat over medium heat.
Place ¼ cup of batter in the pan, making one to two pancakes at a time. Be careful not to overcrowd each pancake.
Flip pancakes over when bubbles are around the sides of the pancake.
Finish cooking the other side and serve warm with crumbled granola, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.



Arugula and Toasted Pita Salad with Tomato Red Wine Vinaigrette

Anyone eat Fatoush salad? It’s that delicious bit of crunchy pita that satisfies your craving for extra bread and fresh vegetables, sitting in an acidic-flavored dressing, with a bit of middle eastern influence. I love it. Working with what I have, I decided that this would be some of the flavors I’d like to achieve. But seeing as though I didn’t have the classic ingredients (cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions)–um someone needs to get to the grocery store!–I made something that could remind me of the salad. I’m always looking for new ways to eat vegetables, and this gave me some great inspiration. So here’s a bit of a fatoush-inspired, delicious, seemingly summer salad, seeing as it’s over 90 degrees where I live right now. Summer came very quickly in California this year.

Arugula and Toasted Pita Salad with Tomato Red Wine Vinaigrette

1 large pita, toasted crispy and crumbled
2 cups arugula
1 large romaine heart, chopped
6 green olives, sliced
1 large carrot, chopped oblique
5 pepperoncini, sliced (or fewer if you’re not a big fan)
¼ green pepper, minced
1 teaspoon of shredded pecorino cheese or Parmesan

¼ cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons tomato juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small lemon wedge, juice squeezed
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Small pinch garlic powder

Cut all ingredients and place in a large bowl.
Make dressing in a small bowl by combining all ingredients and mixing well. Dressing should be acidic with a slight sweet finish.
Combine salad with enough dressing to your liking and lastly, toss in pita crumbles.




An Early Mother’s Day Celebration at Summer Canteen

Wednesday afternoon, we decided to celebrate Mother’s Day a little early because of my brother’s work schedule. So all of us (me; my sister, Kristen; my niece, Maleeya; my brother, Kyle; my mom, Trudy; my dad, Mark; and my boyfriend, Brandon) decided to meet up and enjoy some delicious Thai food in Toluca Lake, where Kyle lives.

We chose a neighborhood favorite of Kyle’s, Summer Canteen; a lovely little Thai inspired modern eatery. Kyle and his wife, Viet-Linh, have been going here since it opened and we’ve frequented the place many times since then. For some reason or other, I guess it’s eluded my blog, but with such a large group and a variety of dishes, I thought this would be a nice sampling of what Summer Canteen has to offer–wonderfully fresh and well done Thai food at reasonable prices with a modern and chic atmosphere.


Kristen and Brandon ordered Curry Noodle: a delicious yellow curry broth with chicken and vegetables, along with both crunchy noodles and soft rice noodles, sitting in a large bowl. Curry Noodle is definitely a dish that is always on our table at Summer Canteen. It’s not like any other curry that just comes with rice; the combination of crunch and rice noodles with the spicy mouth-watering curry, makes for a delicious and filling meal.

My dad ordered Thai Sukiyaki. The noodles were small cellophane noodles with an array of vegetables in a spicy sirracha sauce. This dish is a very different interpretation of Japanese sukiyaki, but appetizing nonetheless.

My mom ordered Pad See U with tofu and shared a bit with Maleeya. This dish is made of delicious flat noodles sitting in soy sauce and egg with tofu and broccoli, a perfectly scrumptious dish for the less adventurous pallet to enjoy Thai food.

Kyle ordered Pad Thai, a classic dish that never seems to fail here. I love the peanut sauce and noodles that are always cooked to perfection.

I ordered the Panang Beef with extra sauce and brown rice. The brown rice that they use here is fantastic. It’s not your usual cardboard tasting brown rice and it’s a beautiful, almost purple shade of color. The deep spicy and sweet flavors of the Panang beef with fall-to-pieces tender large pieces of beef, topped with some steamed bok choy, was the perfect meal. It’s something that I’ll definitely order again. I was completely satisfied and had plenty left over, even as a lunch portion.

Our service was kind and attentive, without being overly intrusive, which gave us plenty of time to converse and talk about what’s been going on and what’s going to go on. I love my family very much and this was a wonderful experience to have with all of us together, which doesn’t happen as often as I would like, but when it does it is always a great time.

This is my sisters second Mother’s Day. It’s so different when your sibling becomes a parent, I’m truly amazed by the transformation and strength it takes to raise such a beautiful little life.  I love my mom so much, shes always been such a great support of myself and my dreams. I love you both and a special thanks to all the amazing moms out there doing one of the hardest jobs on the planet.

How are you spending your Mother’s Day?



Spring Breakfast Bagel

I’m always on the search for the perfect bagel. Something that’s not too crazy, you don’t have to be in the kitchen for too long making it, and it’s just plain satisfying. I don’t eat a bagel the same way twice, but this one made me think a lot longer about that statement, so I decided to share it with all of you. There is something about that toasty, crunchy, yet doughy substantial flavor of bagels that beats out other types of breakfast breads; sure, I love toast, mostly rye or sourdough, but I don’t know if I can get through a whole loaf of it on my own. English muffins are tasty, but just not substantial enough for my personal preference of bready morning goodness. Croissants are for luxury morning eating and sweet rolls are for those extra sweet lazy weekends. So what do you do when you need a good “get me going” breakfast on the go? Eat this Spring bagel and you’ll have enough energy for the rest of the day.  Pea shoots make for a subtle boost in flavor, and the freshness of spring veggies help kick start the day, with a spicy arugula finish.
1 everything bagel, sliced in ½ and toasted
1 small hand full pea shoots
½ cup arugula
½ medium yellow heirloom tomato, sliced
2 thin slices red onion
4 slices cucumber
1-2 tablespoons cream cheese, depending on your preference
Place toasted bagel down and spread cream cheese evenly over each side.
Then, add thinly sliced cucumber and yellow tomatoes. Season with a small amount of salt and pepper.
Add thinly sliced onions on top of tomatoes.
Mix together pea shoots and arugula and top the bagel with this mixture.
Top with other half of the bagel, slice in half and enjoy.

Maleeya’s First Birthday Celebration and Catering

My niece, Maleeya, just recently turned one on Easter, which was April 8th, so we decided that it would be a good idea to celebrate Easter with our family, including a small birthday celebration for her and then, the following Sunday, have her huge birthday celebration at the park. First birthdays, and birthdays in general, are a huge deal for the Fujitaki family, so we knew it was going to be a big production to get everything together; naturally, I was in charge of the food. As the number of guests grew and grew as we approached the party date, I knew that I was in for a good weekend full of catering and cooking, which felt nice because I haven’t done a large event in a while, but boy did my body feel it after cooking for 14 hours, not to mention the countless hours in preparation, shopping, organizing and sourcing. Needless to say, I slept a lot the next day and took a completely necessary yoga class to get my aching back and feet back to normal. 
I didn’t have time to make the cakes but these are pretty darn cute!
The final count for Sunday was about 65 people and I think there seemed to be even more people than that. I have no problem making a lot of food for a lot of people, but with space limitations, refrigeration limitations and my new time limitations (aka Yoga Teacher Training), I found myself planning a different sort of menu.  One person cooking for 65 people in a residential kitchen can be a tricky thing, but with a little patience, a lot of intuition, and a calm demeanor, anything can happen.  I want to thank my sister, my parents and our friend Valinda for helping me put the last minute touches on everything and hauling it over to the park. The whole party was such a success with everyone’s help and I’m so grateful to be a part of such an amazing family and extended family and friends. It’s such a beautiful feeling to see how much love is surrounding this amazing little girl and how it shapes and molds her lovely little soul. Happy Birthday Maleeya! Auntie loves you so much.

Roasted Chicken, Sundried Tomato, Mozzarella and Spinach Basil Pesto Sandwich on Rosemary Garlic Bread
Chinese Spiced Pork Tenderloin (Char Siu) Sandwich on Toasted French Roll with Spicy Asian Mayo, Cucumbers, Pea Shoots and Carrots
Roasted Salmon Lettuce Wraps with Cherry Tomatoes, Arugula, and Quinoa
Sliced Turkey Pinwheels with Hearts of Romaine and CheeseScallion, Black olive and Celery Potato Salad
Rainbow Pasta Salad with Roasted Peppers, Tomatoes, Red Onion and Colby Jack Tossed in Red Wine Vinaigrette
Orzo Salad with Stripped Beets, Broccoli, Cranberries and Fresh Spinach Tossed in Sherry Vinegar Dressing
Purple Cabbage Coleslaw with Honey, Peanuts, Carrots and Granny Smith Apples
Vegetable Platter And Fruit Platter



Follow Your Heart

A delicious grocery and dining establishment, Follow Your Heart adorns the streets of Canoga Park on Sherman Way. Amongst the dollar stores, small antiques marts and other dining establishments is a valley landmark for Vegans and Vegetarians alike. A store unlike many, it’s a one-stop for all types of delicious vegetarian goodness. I’ve loved and frequented this place many times since I found out about it in high school, and it’s still one of my favorite places to go.

The store is set up like any shop with isles of whole grains, cultured enzymes, supplements, and every other type of veggie and health friendly items. Some of my favorite things to pick up there are their bulk items like Nutritional Brewer’s Yeast, interesting tofu products, organic produce and interesting grain flours. If you’re in search of something crazy for a vegan recipe, you’re more than likely to find it here.

Also, besides the great options for taking home and cooking, there is a small diner-style eatery available for dining in and taking out delicious vegan and vegetarian foods. A worldly menu of different styles of food, there is something for everyone here—meat eater or not.

I took my friend Stephanie here one weekend afternoon for a little shopping and beautiful patio dining. It was a gorgeous day for a late afternoon lunch and we indulged in the most delicious of options. I ordered the Spanakopita, which is a Greek pie filled with spinach and cheese and then wrapped in light and flaky wheat phyllo dough. I have to say, it was quite memorable—ever so decadent and cheesy, with delicious ricotta and feta running through the piping hot spinach. The dough was so delicate and delicious and for using wheat dough, you wouldn’t be able to detect the difference.  It was served with a side-salad of Greek-style vegetables, topped with cheese, as well as a mixed green side-salad with tahini-tofu dressing that was fabulously creamy, with no oil in it whatsoever.

I love the different ideas that vegan and vegetarian food can offer; it something I’ve always loved. Stephanie ordered the Nut Burger, a specially prepared vegan burger made in-house and served on wheat bread with a side-salad, carrot chips and a tea, all for about 10 bucks—such a steal. The two of us chatted over new upcoming projects and what inspires us, then headed back in the store for a couple of fun treats. Follow Your Heart is an interesting and honestly delicious and inspiration view of vegetarian and vegan food in the San Fernando Valley.