Introducing Leafy Café Express & To Go-Go Menu at THE CLUB, SSI


Here's how it works: From May thru October, the lovely, Leafy food ladies will be in the café kitchen at various times preparing fresh salads, soups smoothies & wraps with organic, and often locally sourced ingredients. These delectable items will then be placed in our case so you can Grab 'n Go whenever you are at The Club! Our menu will feature several protein add-ons for the salads/wraps and fresh smoothies which you can request on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-7pm, or when you catch us. At other times, the ladies will make an assortment to be placed in the case, for you at your convenience.
When the Leafy ladies are not present, the support staff at the Club Front Desk will be happy to assist you.

Salads: (rotating on a weekly basis)
Seasonal Mixed Greens Salad $8.00 DF/GF/V
Mixed Greens with Strawberries, Brazil Nuts & Sunflower Seeds. Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette on the side.

Greek Salad $8.00 dressing
contains dairy
Hand Cut Hearts of Romaine, Red Cabbage, Red Onions, English Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives and Green Onions. Paired with Greek Feta & Cucumber Dressing. Vegan option available on request.

Kale Waldorf Salad $8.00 DF/GF/V
Fresh Kale with Sliced Apples, Matchstick Carrots, Celery, Craisins, & Walnuts with a Creamy (no mayo) Date & Apple dressing.

Salad of the week $ Market Price
Each week our salad offering will change, according to what is in season and spectacular! Check the menu board or take a peek in our glass case.

Make any Salad a Wrap!
N/C (When present in the café wraps will be made to order)

Additional Grab 'n Go
Gazpacho $7
A healthy blend of veggies, served as a cold summer soup!

Fresh, Seasonal Soup of the week will rotate with Gazpacho $ Market Price

Greek Yogurt Parfait $4 GF contains dairy
8 oz. of Non-fat Yogurt, Fresh Berries, Super-berry puree and House-Made Granola

Healthy Smoothies and Drinks
Breakfast Smoothie $6 DF/V
Fresh Apple, Banana, Rolled Oats, Peanut Butter and a dash of cinnamon and agave, blended with chocolate almond milk
Fresh Complexion Berry Smoothie
$6 GF contains dairy
A perfect mix of antioxidants from berries with agave, kale & spinach, flaxseed, and nonfat yogurt
Summertime Vacation
$6 DF/GF/V
A fresh blend of pineapple, coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon and orange juice.

* Smoothies made to order when the Leafy Ladies are in the café kitchen. At other times, there will be a premade smoothie you may purchase from the case.
Iced Coffee & Frappuccinos: Cold-pressed cashew milk iced coffee, unsweetened $3
Blended with Ice $5 & Coconut Ice Cream $6 DF/GF/V



Fruited teas
Black, green or herbal tea, iced with a fruit pairing $3
Fresh Apple, Pineapple or Orange slices adorn Black, Green or Minty herbal tea! A refreshing low calorie beverage with a twist!

Fruited Waters
Refreshing Spring Water with a fruit pairing $3
Fresh Apple, Pineapple, Orange, Lemon or Minted Lime!

Simple Grab Snacks
Chips, Cookies, brownies, muffins, and other baked goods, (When Available) priced as marked
Water, and an assortment of other beverages are available at the Front Desk.

For updates, ordering & recipes, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Check out Pinterest, Google+, & You Tube too!



The New Face at Leafy Cafe: Introducing Jennifer Osburn-Wiemers!

Sometimes, you just don't know what to do next, and then out of the sky drops an angel, steering you into a certain direction and a solution magically appears.

Meet Jennifer Osburn-Wiemers, the new face of Leafy Cafe, at least for the Summer! Jennifer is the angel to whom I refer. As you all know, I head north for the Summers and always struggle with the idea of having to close Leafy Cafe. 
Last year, I literally bumped into  Katie Sims in the Harris Teeter parking lot and a light-bulb went off telling me she would for some reason be interested in carrying on the Leafy Meals to Go Service, and guess what? She DID!! Fantastically, just walked in and took the bull by the horns preparing all of the same fabulous WHOLE PLANT FOODS for anyone who wished to order. YAY! Thanks Katie!!

This year seemed a bit more of a challenge. The club managers really wanted something different in the cafe space in my absence. More like a "real" cafe, with regular hours, a menu, ETC. There was talk of outsourcing the cafe to various and sundry franchise type operations, etc. but how would this work when I returned, and  lucky me, management wanted me back!!
Then another light-bulb moment, how about Leafy Cafe EXPRESS or Grab 'n GO?? A fun new menu with cool, refreshing fare for the Summer!!??
Like that idea??
Well, rewind to March 10. I received an email from a bright young woman who is a dy-no-mite corporate coach, looking to move more towards the wellness field. Jennifer! She sent me a brief bio, she is a recent addition to the Golden Isles and wanted to provide more healthy options for the community. Jennifer was interested in taking a cooking class but it just was not happening for her at the moment. She is planning to become certified as a Health & Wellness Coach through the Mayo Clinic program. 
In the following weeks, she really had to chase me down, I just could not figure  how we would partner or how I could help her in any way. Then, in late March, after much email banter, we arranged a meeting, still no idea of how we could get it together BUT we did start talking about food trucks, her interest in cooking, smoothies and other stuff so the dialogue was morphing into something more than coaching.  Finally, sometime in Late April, the whole plan came together and thus LEAFY CAFE EXPRESS was created, with Jennifer at the Helm!! Double YAY!!

Currently, I am training Jennifer to take the reigns at the Leafy. We will be in the kitchen & cafe 3 evenings each week until I depart. Mondays, Tuesdays, & Thursdays from 4 - 7. Here is how it works.
Please stop by and welcome Jennifer to The Club. Stay tuned for our MENU, Soft Opening & Tasting Hours AND a Launch Party/Farewell to MiMi event!

Chicken Marbella - Vegan Style!


Do any of you remember the Silver Palate Cookbook? It was one of my favorites back in the 1980's and 90's. Before I decided to go to Culinary School, I was always throwing large, themed  (seriously, with rented china, etc.!) dinner parties and often used the recipes from this particular book. I loved that  type of food and so did everyone who gathered at my table to dine with us.

Fast forward to today... time goes on and things change. I'm not cooking with tons (or even any) olive oil, cream, butter or meat these days. Unless I am cooking for a private client who desires it, most of my meals are no-oil, low fat and VEGAN, And it is this life-giving food my dinner guests usually enjoy when sitting around our table today. 

I have never claimed to be a Vegan, and even though I eat a vegan diet, I am not an ethical vegan or vegetarian by any means. I consider myself a "human health advocate" which is my reason for choosing a Whole Foods, Plant-based Diet for myself and promote this to my clients.
SO,every once in a while, I will cook meat for my non-vegan friends. Such is the case for this Chicken Marbella.

I decided I wanted to make chicken marbella, but what would I use in place of the chicken for myself and David?? I have tried using eggplant, and it works really well too. This time, I thought of these Soy Curls I had recently received. 
Soy Curls from Butler Foods
I had heard about Butler Foods Soy Curls over on Susan V.'s Blog: Fat Free Vegan (one of my very favorites which I recommend to client frequently. HERE are some of her recipes using this versatile product. The recipe I noticed them in was for Mu-Shu Lettuce Wraps which I was making for the Leafy Cafe Meals to Go-Go service. I had never heard of them. I was curious so I ordered some directly from Daniel at Butler Foods. 
The Marbella Marinade
I made the marinade for the real chicken just as it is in the recipe, oil and all. I made my own marinade without the oil, using veggie stock, lemon juice and later, wine, otherwise, it was the same.

The soy curls in the marinade
 I failed to take any photos of the finished dish because I was entertaining a house-full of hungry guests. Both dishes were really enjoyed! The vegan diners (myself and my husband) loved the soy curls prepared in the Marbella style. The chicken eaters loved their version AND many of the non-vegan diners tried the soy curls and LOVED them!! They ate everything!

THANK YOU Daniel and Butler Foods for producing this great, non-gmo, whole food!! Now I have used it in many recipes, including FFV's Mu-Shu Lettuce Wraps!!
If y'all order some curls from the folks at Butler, tell them I sent you!!

Special Valentine Chocolate Collection!

MiMi's handmade chocolate covered truffles

You all know I love making my own artisan chocolates - right? and that I have a strong desire to open a chocolate shop in downtown brunswick and call it "port city chocolates" and use a liberty ship or a mermaid as the logo, maybe both! hmmmm???
MiMi's Rawsome Truffles
 Well, I have found some handmade chocolates which are far superior to my own! 
while cruising the web for ingredients to make valentine chocolates, i came across mama ganache. I was really impressed by the company mission and after talking with cindy by phone, decided rather than making my own, i would introduce this great company to my readers and give us all a chance to try their delicious chocolates. 

Leafy Love!

MiMi's coconut nipples (I mean macaroons)
then, in addition to the mama ganache assortment, i will add my own selection, handmade by me, using mama ganache 70% dark chocolate (fair trade, organic of course)and the usual lotta leafy love!
chocolate gets a bad rap for many reasons. To read more about the benefits of chocolate/cocoa click here. to find out more about fair trade cocoa and why its important, click here.
MaMa Ganache  & MiMi assortment



Ordering info is on this week's leafy cafe meals to go-go order form which you will find right here. feel free to order the chocolates without ordering the meals if you live close enough to pick them up from the club (2929 demere rd, st simons, ga). because of the special-ness of this product, the chocolates will not be available for pick-up until wednesday or thursday february 11 or 12th. those of you who would like to mail order chocolates from mama ganache should do so right from their website. sorry, this custom selection is for pick-up only. 

Kumquat Marmalade

When life hands you kumquats, you make kumquat marmalade, right? I know, you are thinking "this stuff has tons of sugar" and you are right! But there are those times when a little bit of sugar might just sweeten up your day. I use so little jams, almost no jellies, and very rarely do I spread marmalade on anything, until last week.

Finally over the jet lag from our recent trip, we have been getting outside for walks together as much as possible before D heads off on another filming adventure. We were walking by the beautiful courthouse square in our town and saw a kumquat tree heavily laden with fruit. The tree was growing in the garden of a fantastic Carpenter Gothic Victorian home which is acting as a law office. I couldn't resist going in and asking if I could take some of the fruit in exchange for a couple of jars of what ever I might make with it.
Carpenter Gothic houses Williams Litigation Group

I knew immediately it would be marmalade, something I have only made once or twice before, mostly because we do not eat it much. The people at the law office were more than happy to give us the fruit as well as a bag to put it in so we started picking! Happily walked away with about 3 lbs of kumquats! I pondered for a moment but quickly realized, I had JUST the right recipe! 

While we were on the Silver Discoverer, I met some really great people from many places including Lyn from Australia, Christina and Chris, both from New Jersey, in fact, Chris and I were both born in the same NJ hospital! These folks were my buddies on zodiac trips, through many lectures, and in the evening for recap cocktails and dinner on countless occasions - THANKS GUYS, I am forever grateful to you all for luring me out of my shy-self and without y'all there, I might have been locked in my cabin, which we know would have ended badly! 
Christina, Chris, Lyn & David in Milford Sound, NZ
Back to the recipe. On Christmas night, we were visited by Father Christmas, who made the rounds with gifts of candy for all. When he laughed his way to our table I was so excited to see it was one of my newer acquaintances, Dr. John. He asked  if I'd been naughty or nice this year, of course I answered "naughty" and we instantly bonded. 
Dr. John as Father Christmas! The image is fuzzy because the ship was rolling so much, seriously!
We had only met very briefly and little did we know at this point we both share the love of food. Yes, Father Christmas/Dr. John & I are passionate FOODIES! After Christmas, Dr. J would begin to show me images of his prize-winning jams, Madeleine cookies, and more, while I drooled. We compared our love for the Australian Woman's Weekly Guide to Preserving, all things Maggie Beer, Stephanie Alexander and more. Dr. J affectionately (for the love of food, not necessarily for me...) scribbled notes and tips, web addresses and titles of books about everything from food to music on scraps of paper during our conversations. I urged him to do this for me so I could remember it, after all, I do suffer from CRS! I also love to read recipes which were hand-written by someone and lovingly think about that person while reading & cooking the recipe.
Then, one day, John gifted me his award-winning method for making jams, jellies and marmalade IN THE MICROWAVE! I thought perhaps, being the trickster that he is, maybe he was leading me a stray...
Kumquats with Dr. J's handwritten recipe on Siverseas paper!

He carefully wrote the step by step instructions for making microwave jam, in small batches (about 3 cups or so at a time, depending on the bowl and microwave strength). I knew I would have to try this
as soon as it seemed the right opportunity, which I presumed would be next Summer, in Maine, when I have access to an abundance of fruit. Little did I dream I would find a bumper crop of one of the very fruits we discussed, Kumquats (also spelled cumquat) right in my own backyard, for FREE! I purchased some kumquats at the grocery store in November to garnish the dairy-free cheese platters and they cost about $6 a pint!
I double checked some other favorite jam-making books to compare recipes, I still could not believe I would be making jam in the microwave! I decided to make one batch in the microwave and one, more traditional, using Beverly Sutherland Smith's recipe shown here:

Beverly's recipe; notice the Drambuie!

The cost of the Drambuie, which I simply had to use in both recipes, made up for the savings on the fruit! $25 for a pint! 
Here is the recipe Dr. J sent when I emailed regarding Kumquats specifically. I wanted to be sure they would work as well as any fruit:

MICROWAVE KUMQUAT MARMALADE (or any other fruit jam) a la John.
Great to hear from you, Stephanie Alexander's mum's recipe is good 
BUT my microwave one is better and specifically 
1. Cut the cumquats in half. 
2. Separate the pips and half pips from the fruit don't try to be delicate because you then chop (slicing is impossible) the fruit up. 
4. Put any juice and chopped up fruit in the Pyrex bowl and put pips in a Muslin bag tied well so none escape but free enough to cook. 
5. Just cover with water and cook for 20 mins, leave over night.  
6. Follow microwave recipe ie 1 cup VERY cooked fruit (may need 20 more mins and additional water) : 1 cup sugar, leaving pips in bag for whole process. If they escape at the time of rolling boil they are dark brown and are tricky to remove but must not go into jars if you want a transparent look the pips will be dark brown and chewy. 

Have fun 
Missing you already 
It is 37C today SUMMER 

Both batches turned out really nicely. I modified Beverly's recipe by using less sugar. I only used 1 cup sugar - each cup of fruit, as in John's recipe, and I did not use any citric acid in the stove top batch, which John's recipe called for at 1/2t. Citric acid per cup of fruit. I actually found the stove top batch to have a slightly better flavor and consistency but then John mentioned in another email, he doesn't hesitate to add a bit of boiling water to bowl during the  boiling process if the mixture is looking too "gummy". Here is John's advice:

"if getting gummy I have no hesitation in adding a half cup of boiling water but not towards the end of the 15 mins of rolling boil, within first half cooking time only.  Re citric acid I just find sometimes lemon juice can be less predictable but yes keep experimenting, if free access to lemon juice use it, about half a small lemons worth of juice per cup of fruit. Fruit acidity is hard to ascertain but I read that pectin will not form unless the jam is acidic. "

John has won First Prize with his orange marmalade so I trust he knows what he is talking about!!

the finished marmalade, both batches came out super!

Thanks Williams Litigation Group!!
Good Luck making your first batch of microwave jam! If any questions, please email or leave comments below!


Merry Christmas from New Zealand!

It's Christmas Day here & the morning was spent hiking to waterfalls & spectacular lookout spots at Ships Cove, one of Captain Cooks favorite landings. This afternoon, we are off to Picton and special tours to the Marlborough region for food and wine pairings, which should be interesting to say the least! Thus far my "special diet" has been beautifully and tastefully accommodated.
Here are a few pictures of the ship, our cabin, and other various shots. 

Yesterday we had a cultural tour with the chief of a Maori tribe & his family. They served us an afternoon tea with snacks including fresh veggies & hummus!! Wow! 
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!! I might have a bite of Christmas pudding or some pavlova tonight, just for the heck of it!! 
Can't publish with all of these photos so I've deleted some. Merry Christmas everyone!!! 

Is it Possible? AKA Anything is Possible, including Kale Salad!

Kale Salad
Yesterday I had all of these crazy ideas running around in my head while on my morning walk. Besides the usual Kale salad recipes, I was thinking "how can I keep the Leafy Cafe running in Georgia while escaping occasionally on work trips with my husband and living/working in Maine in the Summers? Surely there is a way! Can I do this??" Here is how I see the timeline:

November 1, 2014
Return to Georgia after a very busy Summer in Maine, working at the beautiful Inn at Sunrise Point with a fabulous team and owner (Love it!) I've taught many classes,  including the really fun Beyond Tofu and Beyond Yogurt workshops (muchas gracias to my lovely assistants!) at The Picker Family Resource Center. Private chef gigs galore, etc., etc. Oh, and making lots of jewelry in between cooking/innkeeping stints!
MiMiSpirit Jewelry at the Northern Lights Gallery in Belfast, ME

Making Chocolates YAY
All of November will be spent planning the re-open of the cafe. Cooking for any private clients and events, making CHOCOLATES,  Jewelry, and other goodies for Holiday sales, and having some fun cooking classes at the Leafy Cafe Cooking School at 1008 Union. (and working on the year-end books- boo hiss!!)
Raw Chocolates too!!

Filing and Quickbooks and Quicken and Filing - what a DRAG!!

Mid December - early January
Voyaging on the Silver Discoverer!
I will accompany David on a work trip to South Africa and New Zealand! First time I have been able to travel with my sweetie for work in years!

Helping DW in Planning a Destination Workshop Photo Safari in South Africa!

January -  June, 2015 
Re-open the Leafy Cafe!! We will have regular hours at least 3 days a week, offer the meal services again, and start a monthly FULL MOON supper hopefully to coincide with Full Moon Yoga somewhere??? Possibly adding a once-a-month SUNDAY BRUNCH. PIZZA!! All plant based of course, with options for Gluten Free and Raw. I toyed around adding some animal products but just can't go there folks, sorry. You can get that anywhere. Maybe this is where I'm missing the boat on what will make the cafe viable but... While one is manifesting, might as well go for the gold standard!

Teaching Food for Life Cooking and Nutrition Classes at the Club, or in my home if the numbers are really low...
Speaking of numbers, the number of interested parties ordering food or stopping by the cafe after Memorial Day was markedly lower than previous months. I believe this is the trend in the health club anyway. People are travelling, some go back up north, many want to be outside, etc. On the flip side, the numbers of participants in my Maine activities drops off considerably in the winter, plus the Inn at Sunrise Point closes so somehow this all seems to fit together, right?

Moon rise over Penobscot Bay on a recent evening shift at the Inn

July - October 2015
Return to Maine, work at the Inn, make jewelry, and by this time, have an brick and mortar front for Leafy Cafe in Maine! More private clients, more Food for Life classes and other fun Plant-centered classes at The Picker Family Resource Center, etc. Maybe one more trip with DW???

Can it work? Will it work? How do y'all feel? Suggestions welcome!

Love and Peas!

Three Kale Salad Recipes :-)

Kale Salad Three Ways

Citrus Soy Kale Salad

Kale, any kind
Grated carrot
Toasted almonds

Dressing: rice vinegar, tamari, flax oil, lemon and tangerine juice, sesame seeds, chipotle chili pepper, and cayenne red pepper

Kale Waldorf
Serves 4 to 6

This variation on the classic Waldorf salad uses kale instead of lettuce and adds apple and walnuts to the dressing for a creamy consistency without using the typical mayonnaise base.
4 cups packed finely chopped raw kale, preferably dinosaur kale
1 large red apple, such as Fuji or Honeycrisp, chopped, divided
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped, divided 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons raisins, divided
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons water, more if needed 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Place kale in a large bowl. Add half the apple to kale along with celery, 1/4 cup walnuts and 1/4 cup raisins. Put remaining apple in a blender along with remaining 1/4 cup walnuts, remaining 2 tablespoons raisins, mustard, water, vinegar and salt. Purée until well combined and slightly thick, adding water if needed to thin. Pour dressing over kale salad and toss to combine.

Massaged Kale & Avocado Salad
Serves 2 – 3
1 bunch Kale
1 cup broccoli slaw
1 avocado, pitted and chopped
2 T flax or olive oil
2 T lemon juice
Sea Salt to taste
Pinch caynenne

Combine all ingredients well in a medium bowl and massage and mix with your hands to “wilt” the kale.