Macrobiotic salads & avocado smoothies to sell your clean-living soul for…

WARNING…this article contains nothing fried or frosted.

If the last post’s content of so-deliciously-messy-I-must-gobble-them-immediately-in-a-most-unladylike-fashion tacos, milkshakes so molten-candy thick you can feel them filling your veins with sweetness, and crisply dunkable sweet potato fries has left you craving something fresher and greener, relax. Take a deep yogic style breath, salute the sun and give thanks for the literary menu here today which responds only to words like ‘clean’, ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ and which will leave you feeling brighter-eyed, rosier cheeked & bushier tailed than the love child of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jillian Michaels.

Welcome to the very LA side of the LA dining scene…

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Mac’n’cheese sandwiches & the country’s best burrito; a lesson on how to be deliciously naughty in San Francisco…

This roadtrip has been a voyage of culinary discovery so far and we’ve barely made a dent in it; from donuts to oysters to bourbon to kale, we’ve scaled the high and frankly, even higher points of West Coast dining and the last post resulted in my lauding with honours the fabulous Pacific Catch and their heavenly salmon rice bowls.

But let’s face it, in order to maintain the perfect balance, everything has its opposite; as there are hot dogs, so there must be mustard. As there is gin, so there must be tonic. As there is jelly, so there must be ice-cream. And as there are healthy salads, so there must be treats of such oozy, heavy deliciousness, they’re worth every potentially guilt-inducing moment of devouring.

I say guilt-inducing in jest because I actually don’t think you should ever feel guilt about what you eat. It’s your choice so put in your mouth, your tummy, your body whatever makes you happy and accept the consequences. Personally, I love pretty much everything so I try and eat pretty much everything in moderation. That said, I’ve never in my life put a Ben & Jerry’s pint back in the freezer half-eaten so let that be all you need to know about how slippery that damn slope of moderation can be at times. Anyway my point is, eat what you like & work it off or eat what you like, don’t work it off &  accept that waistbands may tighten unless the only things you eat that make you happy are broccoli and tofu in which case what are you doing reading this blog?

We’ve established then that San Francisco is the playground of the active, the luminous & the healthy but it also has a dark side that is really quite exceptional. Let’s have a look at the savoury portion of the dark side in this post and talk grilled sandwiches stuffed with mac’n’cheese and a burrito that has frequently topped a gazillion shrieking ‘Best Burrito in the World!’ polls…

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Chilli and chocolate – a heaven sent pairing with a gorgeous Mexican turkey mole…

Mexican food always has been and always will be something I love to eat. Seriously, I’m like a dog who doesn’t realise he’s had too much to eat and just…keeps…going.

Self control? Meh. Portion control? Pshhh.

I just completely adore it. I love the spices, the flavours, the fact that so much of it can be eaten al fresco and casually with your hands and the idea of topping everything with guacamole, re-fried beans, sour cream and cheese just speaks to my very soul. Shocking I know.

Mole poblano is a traditional Mexican dish which offers a decadently dark, chocolate chilli flavoured sauce over turkey and it’s exact origins are often debated through two legends…

…the first says that nuns from Puebla de los Angeles were panicked when they learnt that a visiting Archbishop would be coming to their convent. Their desperate prayers for help were answered by an angel who inspired them to combine chillies, spices and chocolate among other ingredients and to boil and reduce the result down until it became the thick, dark, rich product that we recognise now. Serving it with turkey, the only meat available to them, you’ll be happy to hear that the Archbishop loved it and the nuns were much praised for it.

The second legend says that the Aztec King Moctezuma served mole at a banquet to honour the conquistadors that he thought of as gods but whatever its origins, I think we should just send a general ‘gracias’ out there into the ether and honour both the nuns and the king by enjoying this dish not just on special occasions as in Mexican tradition, but whenever we can.

Truly authentic mole poblano has a list of ingredients a mile long so I’m not even going to pretend for one insulting minute that this version of it was slaved over. In actual fact, it was made with ingredients easily found in your local supermarket but don’t let that put you off because honestly, it’s really a delicious and different way of enjoying Mexican cuisine.

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