A Fresh Dille

burritos and organics.

Posted in FASHION, FOOD, MAGAZINES, VEGAN by clairedille on August 5, 2008

The brief stint my family and I spent living in Laguna Beach, California was filled with an abundance of Mexican food. Since those preteen years I have been searching far and wide for anything remotely close to the freshness of authentic Mexican food, especially like the Adolfo’s I frequented those two years. Converting from the chicken and cheese tacos I consumed weekly back then, I have ventured towards bean filled burritos and grown to love homemade salsa’s and guacamole. Summer is the time of the year I become increasingly nostalgic for those tastes. I am not one to turn up my nose at a veggie filled burrito a la Chipotle, since reading an article in Time magazine about the owners desire to keep their menu ethical (no antibiotics, humanely raised livestock). However, I become a little more disappointed passing more and more Qdoba’s and Taco Bell’s. Today I was lucky enough to be introduced to a new vegetarian friendly joint, The Purple Cactus in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.

The classic rice and bean burrito is always delicious but I opted for the tofu burrito with the former ingredients and guacamole on a whole wheat tortilla (and no cheese or sour cream with this recent vegan adventure). This really hit the spot and I will be sure to return after taking home a menu and browsing the list of choices. Here are some knock-outs: a squash and corn burrito; fajitas (with your choice of protein, even tofu); a thai wrap with fresh broccoli, shredded carrots, bean sprouts, jasmine rice & thai peanut sauce (choice of protein); vegetarian chili; an abundance of sides-squash and corn, brown rice, simmered black beans, and marinated tofu. Other things that were brought to my attention were the juices and smoothies (my personal favorite-carrot apple with celery or ginger) and the many different options of tortillas (spinach, red chile, whole wheat or even none-just a burrito in a bowl). This will be a regular pit stop for me once I move to the outskirts of Boston come September. Oh, and how can you not love a kid-tested-and-approved menu with the famous pb&j wrap.

No, I am not a mother…just a nanny on the side of being a student. D walked into this place with an agenda all right, “I’m going to get bean soup. Claire, you can share.”

How great is she. Since she often forgets I steer clear of some ingredients she prefers, I suggested she get her own and she still decided on the special of the day: a lentil soup with cilantro. Here she is too distracted by the stone ground tortilla chips and soup to smile for the photo. Gotta love her.

A few hours later I was still in the foodie mood and Cooking Light happened to be right on the counter when we got home. An article from the August issue caught my eye. Sometimes I worry that I am not getting my money’s worth by purchasing organic over conventional produce but I am happy to admit that this article proved me wrong.

I actually really enjoy how this image turned out…it was just a photograph of the article, not a scan. The article didn’t forget to mention the common list of the dirty dozen,  those certain produce items you definitely should buy organic because they are most likely to have the highest amount of pesticides. The most useful information was regarding tomatoes and a study proving that organic ones have more vitamin C and antioxidants including flavonoids, the naturally occurring compounds linked to reduced risks of heart disease and certain cancers. The article went on to say that heirloom tomatoes may be naturally higher in certain nutrients than a hybridized variety simply because of the genetic info contained in the seeds.

I am ashamed to admit that my love for tomatoes didn’t develop until my late teens. Preceding this article was one focusing on the aforementioned heirloom tomatoes and here is a small glimpse into what you should be buying off the newsstands.

Some of the names of tomatoes are so silly. There is an Abraham Lincoln, Mr. Stripey, and the hilarious titled, Mortgage Lifter. Along with the details of shapes and sizes of heirlooms is Cooking Light’s specialty, recipes to play with your tomato tastebuds.

Enough of the food speak for today, on to other things capturing my attention these last few days:

The countdown to the Olympic Games via Runner’s World’s viewer’s guide. This makes me love my sport more than I already do.

Urban Outfitter’s blogging about jewelry designer Pamela Love, her inspirations, and what items she covets from the store.

Even more protection from the sun, like Red Carter’s big floppy hat at Miami Fashion Week.

Last but not least is fashionista’s opinion on how the athletes will be outfitted at the Olympic’s, a little of two things that make me happy.


9 Responses

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  1. Adam said, on August 5, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    A purple catcus in Mass? Now I’ve heard of everything:) Seriously though, the food sounds great. I love anything with squash in it, and the Thai one sounds delicious too.

    That’s definately a cute kid there, and she’s even down with trying lentil soup. You’re a great nanny, because I usually had mac n cheese when I was babysat.

    Thanks for the update on complete proteins… I’ll have to look further into that, but its great news to hear.

    Are you still in college and running cross country?

  2. VeggieGirl said, on August 5, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Ahh, I’m excited for the olympics too!! :0)

  3. nicole said, on August 6, 2008 at 12:01 am

    i just discovered your blog and i love it! i’m a dabbling vegan as well and i love the food pics and organic info!

  4. clairedille said, on August 6, 2008 at 4:21 am

    adam-yes, I am running XC this fall after a hiatus from the competing world! I am a little nervous but trying to get as trim and strong as possible. (long lean muscles for the distance runner! plus I can’t really bulk up, its not in my genes) My protein has been way low these last few days…it’s a toughy for me!

    veggiegirl-Too excited for words!

    nicole-thanks for visiting my blog-It is a lot of fun when I find time to post! Good luck in your vegan adventure too!

  5. orangepop said, on August 6, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Hey Claire! You seem like such a fun nanny…trying to broaden her tastes and getting her to try new things! Good for you for not sticking her in front of a TV or video game, haha! I LOVE Mexican food and this place seems like it would hit my tastes so well! I once had a burrito with rice, beans, veggies and BBQ sauce! It was very interesting- sweet and spicy!

  6. runroamrecycle said, on August 7, 2008 at 3:28 am

    I replied back to your post! Only I did it on my page.. because I wasn’t sure if you are the same “dille” as the Claire who left me a comment. So I apologize if I have this all wrong and just confused you beyond belief!

  7. Christie said, on August 7, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Ohh man that place sounds great… I wongder if it is a chain or not?

  8. Natalie said, on August 8, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Aww, she looks so cute with her soup!

  9. ruby red vegan said, on August 8, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    A lot of bloggers write about how they thing organic produce tastes better, too. I had the best organic raspberries a few weeks ago, but they definitely were a splurge price-wise. I’m in favor of purchasing local over organic a lot of the time, because if organic produce has been sitting around for awhile/comes from afar, they aren’t as nutrient-dense.

    I’ve really grown to love bean burritos too. I like Chipotle when I’m in the mood for it, too. It would be so great if they had tofu, though. The Purple Cactus sounds like it has some great offerings… And I love all your photos!

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