What’s Up Saturday

A few weekends ago I started doing “What’s Up Saturday” – and listed out my favorites for the week. It’s been 3 weeks now and I am finally getting around to posting another one! Getting married keeps you pretty busy. So these links are for the last 3 weeks… (I star these things in my Google Reader to keep track.)

Deals and Good Reads

What I’m Reading (Books)

  • For the honeymoon I kept reading material pretty easy – on the plane to Maui I read The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud. It reminded me a bit of Nicholas Sparks’ novels, but also of Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Charlie St. Cloud is being made into a movie (it came out yesterday?) with Zac Efron. The book is one man’s interpretation of what happens to us after we die. There’s more to it than that 😉
  • Now I’m reading The Seer and the Sword (by Victoria Hanley), which I got at a used bookstore for $3.75 in Lahaina. I think it’s a young adult novel (it’s a very easy read) and it’s kind of sci-fi-ish/historical fiction. It’s set in medieval times and there is a girl who can see the future and there is also a magical sword. I’m liking it! I’m guessing it’s a romance but I haven’t gotten that far yet.
  • Also got a few more books at the used bookstore and at B&N before we left, but I will save them for when I actually start reading them…

What are your finds this week? Any new blogs I should check out? Any blog gossip I’ve missed while I’ve been in Maui? (I’m blogging this at 7am local time, waiting for Bobby to wake up. We’ve been up super early this whole trip so I shouldn’t have to wait much longer.)

Marina: Vegan Wedding Fare

Today’s guest post is from one of my dear New York bloggie friends: Marina! Marina and I have gotten brunch together several times and she always has the best suggestions for vegetarian-friendly restaurants in New York. I was so happy when she agreed to do a guest post on vegetarian and vegan weddings for me 🙂


Hello, this is Marina from A Veggie Girl (and her cat!). I blog about food (I am a vegetarian) and my cat, Peanut (who was the most adorable baby kitten EVER– check out my blog and see for yourself! ;).

I always said that if I had a wedding, meat would not be served there. I’ve also said that I will elope (and actively encouraged Maggie and Bobby to do so! lol). But just at the outside chance I DID have a wedding, a vegetarian one would be the only way. And if the guests didn’t like it– too bad. They could suck it up and not fill their faces with meat for ONE day! lol

It was actually Alicia Silverstone’s entirely vegan wedding that gave me the idea for this post!

Here was her wedding menu:

Grilled tempeh with black rice, vegetables in a saffron-sage sauce with vegan aioli, and individual chocolate-almond midnight cakes topped with raspberries and maple-almond pecan pralines.

Some other delicious and creative vegetarian dishes at weddings are…

Fried risotto cakes

Butternut squash ravioli

Or you could go the route Maggie went, and decide to have vegetarian options at a buffet!

This picture is from a vegetarian Indian wedding.

And of course a lot of people wonder, what about the cake?! The good news is, there are so many amazing vegan wedding cake companies now! Look at this masterpiece!

This cake is from Vegan Treats in Bethlehem, PA. (And was featured at this vegan wedding.)

And check out these amazing vegan wedding cakes by The Chicago Diner! They use cane sugar, vegan cream cheese, agave and other natural sweeteners, etc.

So the bottom line is, if you want to have a vegetarian or vegan wedding, there are SO many great options out there! Just do an internet search for vegetarian/vegan catering companies in your area. And if you’re worried about your meat-eating guests, remember that if the food is good, that’s all anyone is going to care about anyway! 🙂


Thanks again, Marina! If anyone is interested, Marina alerted me to this article – it looks like Chelsea Clinton is having a vegan wedding with a gluten-free cake. Very cool.

If you’re married, what was your wedding food like? If you’re not, what do you want it to be like?

Janet: Each To Their Own

Today’s guest poster is an inspiring and talented health conscious foodie. Janet‘s recipes and pictures always make me drool! Hope you enjoy her contribution 🙂


I’m Janet and I’ve been a long time reader of Maggie’s blog and also blog at my own website: Pantry Bites.

My food philosophy is a bit different in that I follow a Paleolithic/Primal lifestyle. So the topic of this post is – “Each to their Own.”

I’m a self confessed foodie. I love good food. I have a pretty good sense of what works for me and what doesn’t but it took a long time to get here. Part of the reason is there is so much media and marketing out there for new diets and foods and when you are a news junkie as I am, you fall into the trap of the latest food/diet trend and forget what works for you.

The Paleo/Primal way of eating is perfect for me as it simplifies life. I stick to the basics of vegetables, fruit, meat, and lots of fats with a little of bit of nuts and dairy. This is how our ancestors ate before the onset of processed foods of Today’s modern world. Did you know that our genetic make-up is the same as our ancestors in the hunter-gatherer days yet the typical American diet is now full of junk such as Coke and other processed foods?

It’s not to say that I don’t indulge in the benefits of modern life- I love my flat whites on the weekends and of course the occasional glasses of wine.

The point really is that you have to find what works for you in terms of food and lifestyle as everyone is different. I love the simplicity of a Paleo/Primal diet. My mood swings are completely gone. I’m no longer hungry all the time as I make sure to include plenty of fats in my meals.

One of my favourite flours to cook with is coconut flour as it is completely grain-free, gluten-free and low-carb for those watching their sugar intake. This recipe is a coconut flour version of the classic drop biscuits. I often make it on weekends and have it with my morning coffee. It’s the perfect example of eating Paleo in the modern world.


Adapted from Cooking with Coconut Flour by Bruce Fife.


  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbs raw honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup sifted coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 205° C.
  2. Blend together the eggs, butter and jaggery until mixed through.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the salt, coconut flour and baking powder.
  4. Mix the dry and the wet ingredients together.
  5. Line a baking tray with baking paper and drop batter by the spoonful.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.

Makes 8 biscuits.


Thanks again, Janet! I did not know much about the Paleo/Primal way of eating – will definitely have to check it out.

Anyone else tried the Paleo/Primal diet?

Melissa: Make Your Own Sushi (on the cheap!)

Today’s guest post is dedicated to my wonderful husband, Bobby. Bobby is half-Japanese and has a passion for sushi. Sometimes we make it ourselves (make your own sushi) and sometimes we go out searching for great rolls! Thanks again Melissa for your post. Melissa was one of the first bloggers I started reading regularly. I’ve been enjoying her “side notes” recently. So without further ado…


So, I know you probably go out for sushi and cringe at the sight of the bill after enjoying your meal…but have no fear! I’m here to teach you how you can make your own rolls at home and spend probably half the amount you would at a restaurant! And you can make them anyway you want!

I made a simple vegetable roll to demonstrate (and I apologize beforehand for the pictures, color and angles, since my kitchen lighting is horrible and I had to photograph my own demo) but I’ll provide some nice add-ins you can use that won’t be too foreign!


  • Rice (long grain/Japanese Botan Rice)
  • Nori (dried seaweed, large squares)
  • 1/2 Avocado, cut into strips
  • 1 Carrot, sliced into long strips (I use a peeler to make it easier to handle!)
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced into long strips
  • Small glass/bowl of water to dip your hands in periodically


  1. Cook rice according to directions either on the stovetop or in the rice maker. For mine I used 1/2C of rice for two servings with 1.5C of water, all in the rice maker.
  2. While the rice is cooking, take this time to cut up all the veggies.
  3. After the rice is done, let it sit for about 10 minutes and then remove it to let it cool (it being hot will cause the nori to cinch up and get rubbery).
  4. Lay out the nori piece on a DRY cutting board (I’ve found this to be the best surface where stuff doesn’t stick).
  5. Place about a 1/2C of rice onto the center on the nori.
  6. Wetting your hands, spread the rice out thinly leaving about a 1/2-1 inch gap at the top and bottom.
  7. Stack all the contents you want inside your roll at the bottom of the nori sheet where there is no rice. I normally start with the cucumber on the bottom to help make rolling easier, then cucumber, other vegetables then the meats/avocado/tofu and such.
  8. Now comes the part everyone is so afraid of: the rolling. This isn’t as hard as you think and can be done the first time without a bamboo roller. The easiest way to roll the sushi is to get your thumbs underneath the nori and use your other fingers to tuck and push everything together. Keep the insides as smashed together as possible without causing them to shoot out the side, and keep rolling over the rice layer until the opposite empty side of the nori.
  9. When you reach the other end dab your fingers in the water and apply some to the end of the nori to help it all stick together. Lay the roll on the seem to help it seal.
  10. The next hard part comes with cutting the sushi. This is where many have a hard time and it causes their sushi to get smashed and fall apart. The key thing is a WET knife and quick, concise strokes. I like to put my hands around the roll like a claw and cut very quickly with the knife. I use a wet towel between slices to remove all the gluten and rice to ensure easy cutting.
  11. Then voila! You have homemade sushi!

Of course this is a very simple variety of sushi, but you can also add a variety of other ingredients too.

For veggie rolls I also like to add:

  • Bean Sprouts
  • Steamed Zucchini
  • Green Beans
  • Bell Pepper Slices
  • Asparagus
  • Daikon
  • Eggplant (cooked of course!)
  • and anything else you might like!

For protein you can add:

  • Egg (pan fried like an omlette and cut into strips)
  • Tofu (baked/pan fried)
  • Any kind of meat (chicken, port, steak), cut into small strips
  • Fish
  • Shrimp
  • Octopus

Other add-ins include:

  • Cream Cheese
  • Japanese Mayo
  • Dressings
  • Peanut Sauces
  • Sweet Potato Puree

The world is your oyster when it comes to the variety of rolls you can make for sushi rolls! And it doesn’t take long to make either; the hardest most time consuming part is chopping up all the ingredients for the inside of it!

I hope this was easy enough to understand but if you have any questions, feel free to email me (trying dot to dot heal at gmail dot com). You can view my other three sushi tutorials here, here and here.



Thanks again Melissa! I hope to use your tutorial as soon as we get back 🙂

What’s your favorite sushi?

Lynn: Marriage & Food Triggers

We are now *in Maui* (arrived yesterday afternoon) and on the first full day of our honeymoon. I have no idea what we’ve planned (I am writing this a week ago) but I am so excited for what it might be. Now I want to welcome Lynn – thanks for guest posting for me today!


Hello “Say Yes to Salad” readers!

This is Lynn from “The Actor’s Diet” – a food blog about my life as an actress in Hollywood, and the foods I eat to stay looking camera-ready. But my blog is also about my recovery from my longtime battle with eating disorders. Although it’s been over two years since my last binge bout, I am always cautious about a potential relapse. Since Maggie asked for a guest post pertaining to the subject of marriage, I thought I would share with you how I handle when my husband goes away – one of my old triggers.

I used to freak out whenever he left town since I felt emotional about his absence, and would use being alone as an excuse to binge away/not eat for days without his watchful eye. Throughout the years, I’ve learned some coping skills to deal with those feelings/behaviors, and now when he goes away I have almost zero anxiety.

Here’s what I do:

  1. Schedule a massage/facial/mani/pedi. I think self care is uber important, and having something indulgent to look forward to can make the time apart seem like a vacation for yourself. You can get great deals on groupon, or search to see if there’s a massage school near you for discount rates. New to massage? Check out my tips.
  2. Don’t stray from your usual routines – continue to exercise if you do that daily and make sure to eat a healthy, filling breakfast. Some of my favorites are on my blog’s recipe page.
  3. Make sure to indulge/treat yourself too. I’m not a believer in the “no food reward” mentality that most diets have. I think food can be an incredible source of comfort, and a big part of my recovery has been accepting and allowing it to be just that. Bake your favorite healthy treat (I love these black bean brownies) or if you don’t feel comfortable having certain foods in the house, go out and eat your favorite meal/dessert, savoring each bite.
  4. Watch TV shows/movies that your partner would never watch. My husband can’t stand big-budget romantic comedies and shows from the 80’s. That’s exactly what I fill up my DVR box/Netflix queue with!
  5. Plan a fun night out – or in. Get your girls together for a nice dinner in/out, catch up with your old high school friend over a drink and talk about stuff your partner would feel left out about. Or just stay home and pamper yourself with great takeout and a bunch of your favorite magazines.
  6. Video chat with your partner! We’re so lucky to live in a world where we can Skype/IM Video for free. Just like the Jetsons!


Hope you all enjoyed these tips! I will definitely keep them in my arsenal of tricks. Fortunately right now I am with the love of my life for 2 solid weeks and we do not have to worry about anything – no phones, no computers, no responsibilities (ok, we have the phones and computers – but we are not using them much!). It’s amazing how freeing it is to completely get away from your life for a little bit.

Do you have any more tips to add?