If you haven't heard of Siete foods, then you better listen up or you will be missing out on some of the best snack foods that are currently on the market. 

Now keep in mind this article is being writen with the idea that I would consider myself someone who has a legit snacking problem.  I admit it I am addicted to snacks, as we all love something crunchy right?

Sometimes you just have to splurge on those snacks that not only satiate your cravings, but don't add all the nasty ingredients and saturated oils that will clog your arteries. So, here is the scoop that tostitos better learn from if they don't want to miss out on some serious snacking market share. I am here to share with you one of the best new snacking and crunchy foods that has been brought to the market in the last two years.  Rolling out the red carpet for Siete Foods as I write this testimonial and I know I am not the only one who feels this way.

Just about an hour ago I went to Wholefoods to pick up a few items with the hopes that I would find one of the new Siete foods products that came to market in the beginning of July. Low and behold I was perusing the aisles looking for the items I needed and I spotted an empty spot on the shelf in the dairy case. My eyes nearly bugged out and so did another shopper who saw my excitement, to think we won the cashew queso lottery was an understatement. We both grabbed one of the few bottles that were neatly stocked on the shelf. We both knew we had to have a bottle, knowing very well, it might be a bit spicy, which to my delight it is not spicy at all, a very light kick, just enough for someone like me or you, who cannot tolerate spice.

Siete foods is a family of you guessed it, 'seven' family members who like me had digestive issues. One of the family members was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and in 2016, Siete Foods was born. The Mexican-American family of seven, hails from South Texas and whilst trying to maintain a healthy diet. 

The family realized the staple of tortillas in South Texas and serves at Restaurants and establishment general made from corn and wheat weren't working for autoimmune illnesses and Siete foods came to fruitiion.Screen Shot 2018 07 31 at 10.35.09 PM

It all started with the first bag of paleo inspired chips, with the main ingredient being cassava root, which is typically sourced from Brazil.  If you are not familiar the paleolithic diet is generally known to be a grain free diet, free of legumes, wheat, corn, soy and dairy.  The paleo diet is a popular way of eating for many who have either autoimmune illnesses or sensitivities to certain ingredients.  Siete foods started off with just three flavors of paleo tortilla chips, that ditched the corn and wheat and only had non-gmo clean ingredients and this is where their brand took off. 

I discovered them at my local natural grocer and then recently was lucky to stop by their booth at Expo West in March, which had I not known, you would think they had been in business for many years, to be surprised they only just launched in 2016.

Todays article was inspired by the launch of their new flavors of chips and incredible new surprise of dairy free, 'cashew queso.'  Now if you are like me you know not being able to consume dairy can be frustrating at times when you really have a love for all things dairy. This queso cheese comes just in time to add to their addition of new cassave tortilla chip flavors along with their new hot sauces are found in the shelf stable section of the store.

After getting my hands on this amazing new 'spicy blanco,' queso I have already stopped at two other Wholefoods markets in the area and have yet to get my hands on another bottle of the new cashew queso, but when I do I know I will be delighted to share a jar with a friend, or two, maybe even three, or hey why not seven, or was it 'Siete?'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you looking to venture out of your neighborhood and head off the beaten path to a new hot spot?  If you are then I highly recommend that you don't pass by the new meditteranean Restaurant in the Downtown LA's arts district. 

Spending time with another foodie is essential to exploring around Los Angeles to appreciate all the city has to offer. That is exactly what I was able to do two weeks ago.

The arts district has a New York city, Brooklyn kind of vibe and has new buildings and Restaurants popping up often. Downtown LA as a whole has many new projects happening throughout the city, so it is a draw for many to live and eat in downtown.

Arriving at Bavel, you pull up and the valet service will gladly take your car. Anyone who has ventured into Downtown Los Angeles recently know that parking in downtown can be a bit difficult especially in an area that is up and coming. The name of the Restaurant Bavel a hebrew word is pronounced as (buh-vel) which comes from the story of when the Middle East was one.

Restaurant owners, Ori and Genevieve, spent many years in the Restaurant industry to later open their first Restaurant in 2012 known to many as Bestia.

They recently opened Bavel in April 2018.  The food is inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine with Ori and Genevieve having family roots in Israel, Morocco, Turkey and Egypt.  The flavors in each dish we tried truly are unique and like nothing I have ever tasted anywhere in Southern California.  As shown in the below photo the spices are propietary blends and blends that are special to the flavor and flair of the food showcased at Bavel.  

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From the menu we ordered the following items: slow roasted lamb neck shawarma, fois gras halva, baba ghanoush (as pictured), and two desserts: paglava and cardamom apple, prune cake. Every item that we tasted, had flavors that reminded me of the Middle East.

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Having visited Israel nearly five years ago, it was reminiscent of my time abroad and this alone made me want to return to savor the rest of the items on the menu.  The drinks (as pictured) prices are representative of the Los Angeles, food scene, but despite the higher prices, they were made to add to the meal instead of take away. They complimented our tastebuds and meals perfectly. We ended with a higher end cider that was like no other cider I have ever tasted. 

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The coolest part was, my visit to Bavel, was just days before a visit to Europe. I was off to visit Istanbul, Turkey for the first time and it was truly a great send off with savory food and service. 

After just returning from Turkey I can tell you that I am really looking forward to returning to Bavel to try their take on Sujuk, which is a tasty beef sausage that is served in the mornings or anytime your heart desires while in Turkey. It is listed on the Bavel menu, described as, " beef salami, grated tomato, red onion, yogurt, marjoram, olive oil and sea salt." Let's see if Bavel's Turkish roots duplicates the tasty treat that was served abroad that I grew love.

The design and aestetics of Bavel's interior creates a warm and inviting feel, like that of the countries I have visited to include Israel and now Turkey.  The theme throughout the restaurant is inviting and warm and the raceway of planters throughout the Restaurant create the ambience that you would want to return to. Tiles, plaster and various furnishings give you the feel of Israel, Morrocco and Turkey all in one.  The restaurant draws their ambience and compares it to the herbs of nutrition and health such as tumeric, saffron and turquoise, which are all warm and calming colors.  To experience all this establishment has to offer make sure you plan in advance and call ahead to make a reservation. You won't be disappointed.

 

 

 

What is this collagen  craze that is continuing to take over the supplement space?

Well, the fact is collagen is good for so many things, including improving hair, skin and nails.

I recently wrote up an article about the collagen creamer by Vital Proteins and here I am back at it again, but this time for their most popular collagen peptides and sampler packs.

One of the brands that is extremely popular and done an amazing job at marketing and taking over the collagen supplement space is Vital Proteins

Stickpack Sampler Box Front

Vital proteins was one of the first brands to really dive into the collagen market and really got their feet wet and now many companies are following suit. However this may be the case, Vital proteins has done a great job at bringing a clean product to the market with non-gmo collagen protein

New to the market is a veggie blend that you can find at a local retailer or you can purchase here.

In addition to their new sample pack with various options you can grab a Matcha collagen to get your extra boost of energy and have the combined benefits from the Matcha.

The Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen as noted on their website, "is sourced from high-quality Japanese matcha green tea and grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hide to ensure top quality and maximum nutritional benefit."

You can grab most of their collagen in stick packs or a full canister, making it convenient for travel or to use at home, or in the office.

Sampler Box 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, the Chicago, Cubs are huge fans of Vital proteins powders and are officially using the Vital Proteins products, so if you are a Cubbies fan, then you will fit right in by ordering your canister of Vital Proteins in any flavor.