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Food & Drink Friday Recipe

Recipe Friday – Winter Salad

January 21, 2017
Winter Salad

Winter Salad

Winter in California means Citrus! Oranges and grapefruits are everywhere and there are so many varieties to try. Oranges may seem like a boring and all too familiar fruit. However, this super-fruit should not be overlooked! This week we bought some gorgeous blood red oranges that we wanted to incorporate into one of our recipes.  Our goal this January is to reset our bodies and eat a plant based diet. Our recipe contributor, Katelyn, found this winter salad recipe from that is packed with anti-oxidants and was easy to Veganize. We were so happy with the result! The tofu was a perfect substitute for the chicken and the mint really balanced out the tanginess of the oranges. Not only is this salad healthy and delicious, it is also a beautiful!

Health Benefits of Oranges:

Oranges are a good source of Vitamin C & A, Folate, and Potassium. They help to alkalize the body and stimulate the digestive system, thereby helping to relieve constipation. The high levels of Vitamin C is well know to help to boost the immune system, but oranges also contain polyphenols, a type of anti-oxidant that helps to reduce inflammation and combat viruses and other bacteria. Oranges also help to fight cancer, prevent birth defects, maintain healthy bones and improve your mood.


Winter Salad Avocado

Winter Salad Ingredients


cara cara oranges

Winter Salad


Winter Salad


For the Salad:

  • 1 lb. Tofu (drained and sliced)
  • 2 blood red oranges peeled and cut into pieces
  • 1 avocado, cut into slices
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils
  • 2 cups spinach, torn or cut into small pieces
  • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • a handful of chopped fresh herbs – we used mint

For the Tofu Marinade:

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • juice of one half of a lemon
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the Dressing:

  • 1-2 tablespoons champagne
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, or other grainy mustard
  • salt, pepper



  • Whisk marinade ingredients together. Place in a bowl with the tofu, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes (while prepping other stuff).
  • Whisk the dressing ingredients together.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and warm the tofu.
  • Toss all other salad ingredients, including tofu, together with the dressing! Season with additional salt and pepper and maybe a drizzle of good olive oil.



Credits: Author: Jill Uechi // Recipe and Photography: Katelyn Guerrero


Food & Drink Friday Recipe

December 2, 2016


If you are like me, Veganism isn’t something that you wouldn’t love to embrace, but it’s just not easy to do so, especially if you are cooking for other non-vegan family members. The switch to 100% vegan is a process and although I usually enjoy trying new vegan recipes I had become really busy and trying new recipes seemed like an added chore. So, when we decided to try this vegan reset, it was a perfect time to do so. I am so happy that we did this too! The recipes are easy to prepare and they don’t use ingredients that are hard to find. They are family friendly too, so I didn’t find myself always cooking 2 meals. If you are interested in transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, this is a great way to incorporate healthy, nutrition dense, and delicious vegan meals.

Today we’d like to share one of the dinner recipes from Kim- Julie with our 10-day vegan reset – The Black Bean Avocado Bowl. All of her recipes that we have recreated have been amazing and we tweaked this one just a tad.

If you are interested in finding more about the 10-day vegan reset, please check it out at We promise that you will not be disappointed!

black bean avocado bowl ingredients

avocado dressing



Black Bean Avocado Bowl


  • 2 cups black beans
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 potatoes cubed
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon vegetable paste
  • Handful of fresh rosemary
  • Tbs olive oil
  • Red chili peppers to taste


  • 1 avocado
  • 6 cherry tomatoes diced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • Handful of cilantro chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 375 deg. F
  2. Mix cubed potatoes with oil and fresh rosemary.
  3. Place potatoes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 45 minutes.
  4. In medium pan sauté red onion & garlic 3 minutes
  5. Add zucchini, black beans, red chili flakes & vegetable paste sauté another 3 minutes
  6. In a separate small bowl mash avocado with a fork. Add lime juice, tomatoes, cilantro, salt and pepper.
  7. To serve: In a large bowl place raw spinach and the baked rosemary potatoes. Top with cooked vegetables and avocado dressing.




Credits: Author: Jill Uechi // Recipe adapted from and Photography: Katelyn Guerrero

Food & Drink Well-Being

Recipe Friday – Layered Salad in a Jar

August 12, 2016

Salad In A Jar

Pretty, portable and delicious! What’s not to love about a salad in a jar? If you haven’t adopted the layered salad in a jar trend and you have a busy life that’s always on the go, then I really recommend that you give in. These salads take so little prep time, they last for several days and are so helpful in making healthy food choices.

Breakdown of Salad in a Jar

The breakdown of the layered salad in a jar…

Like most things, there is a “way” to layer the salad so that it stays fresh and crisp. I don’t think anyone likes a soggy salad, so this part is important!


  1. Measure 2-4 tablespoons of salad dressing into the bottom of the jar. (amount depends on the size of your jar)
  2. Add the non-absorbent or hard vegetables that won’t soak up the dressing.  (Such as carrots, celery, bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli)
  3. Add the soft vegetables & grains.
  4. Greens of your choice – this creates the moisture barriers that keeps the other ingredients from getting soggy.
  5. Garnish with protein and toppings – nuts, cheese, tofu, fish etc.
  6. Make sure you pack ingredients tightly, less air between layers will help ingredients stay fresh. Cover and store in the fridge for up to five days.  When ready to eat, turn the mason jar upside down and shake the contents into a bowl.  The shaking helps to spread the dressing evenly over the whole salad!

There are so many creative ways to make these salads and there aren’t really any measurements for these salads either. Just layer as much or as little of each ingredient as you like. Here is our Healthy Happy Salad for inspiration. It includes a couple of ingredients (pea sprouts and basil) that we haven’t featured yet, but wanted to highlight for their health benefits.

Pea sprouts:

Sprouts are one of the most nutrient rich foods. They are the ultimate detox food and help with cell regeneration and prevent aging.

  • Vitamins- A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C, K
  • Minerals- Calcium, iron, phosphorus 
  • Lowers risk of diabetes by keeping blood sugar levels low
  • Great antioxidant support.
  • Aides in weight loss because they have an excellent nutrient to calorie ratio & offer a good amount of dietary fiber.


A common aromatic herb in the mint family. Basil, of course, is used to add flavor to a variety of recipes, but did you know that it also has many health benefits and immunity-enhancing properties?

  • Stress reducer- herb contains phyochemicals that lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when you’re tense.
  • High in vitamin K, A, C
  • Contains manganese, copper, calcium, folate, iron, magnesium & omega 3’s
  • Volatile oils found in basil protect against antibacterial growth


Healthy Happy Layered Salad


  • Avocado Dressing*
  • Bell pepper
  • Barley
  • White beans
  • Sugar pea sprouts
  • Cucumber
  • Watercress 
  • Tomatoes

In a quart sized wide-mouth mason jar, layer ingredients in the order listed. Use as much of each ingredient as you like. Pack tightly and seal with the jar lid.

AVOCADO DRESSING: Blend the following ingredients together.

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 4-5 leaves of basil
  • Squeeze of lime
  • 1/4 cup walnuts 
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt, pepper, garlic to taste

In a blender pulse until smooth.


Food & Drink Skin Care


May 13, 2016

Salmon Salad with Mango Avocado Salsa


Lately, it’s hard to escape the sweet smell of mangoes at the spa. We’re not complaining either because nothing reminds us of summers more than like the smell of a freshly cut mango!

Today on Recipe Friday, we’d like to share one of our favorite recipes. And, yes, it includes mangoes! For those of you who know Willow Spa’s philosophy, you know that we believe that our skin is affected as much by what you eat as what products you put on your skin. So, today, we’d like to touch a little upon the amazing mango!

Amazing? Yes, we think the mango is amazing. This fruit boasts some real power for your skin both externally and internally. Used topically, the mango helps skin to glow, treats blackheads and dark spots, and is great for sensitive skin. Mangoes are high in antioxidants, fiber and vitamins A and C. Therefore, mangoes are great at fighting cancer, boosting your immune system, and improving your digestive system. Mangoes also decrease cholesterol, boost your metabolic rate and help to balance your body’s alkaline environment. So, this will help prevent disease, especially diabetes, heart disease, and strokes.

Did we mention how yummy the mango is? But you already know that! So it’s no wonder that we’ve been craving mangoes these days. Plus, summer isn’t quite here yet and this recipe gets us in the mood for the hot summer days and balmy nights yet to come!

Mango Salsa Lime CilantroLime


Marinade & Dressing:
  • 1 lb salmon cut into 6 oz filets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon garlic
Mango Salsa:
  • 1 large diced mango
  • 1 large sliced avocado
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
First, make up the marinade/dressing | Pour one third out into a shallow dish | Marinade the salmon in that sweet, tangy, cilantro marinade | Reserve the untouched marinade to use as a dressing later.

Next, pan fry or grill your salmon until cooked through. The honey in the marinade will char these slightly

Lastly prepare the best salsa you’ve ever tried in your life with a couple tablespoons of the reserved dressing. Enjoy!

Spa Musings Signature

Food & Drink

Green Pudding with Chia Seeds

March 17, 2014

Green Pudding CupsToday seemed like a good day to post our green pudding recipe. We’ve been loving chia seeds lately and wanted to experiment with a chia seed dessert. This started out as a smoothie, but ended up more like a pudding, which was a nice surprise. The avocado gives a creamy almost whipped consistency, while the chia seeds add that gummy-like texture.



1 avocado (a list of health benefits here)

1 banana

1 tablespoon chia seeds (a list of health benefits here)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup Almond Milk (we use Silk Pure Almond Milk or Trader Joe’s refrigerated, both do not contain Carrageenan)


Blend all ingredients and pour into ramekins or glasses. Set in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. (We set ours overnight). The chia seeds will thicken as they soak up the liquid. Enjoy!

Green Pudding Collage