Meet Cat – model turned exectuive chef and restaurant owner at Stamp Proper Foods in Los Feliz, CA. I met Cat (Kit Kat to me) many years ago when we used to make livings as clothes hangers and professional walkers. Now, we get together and geek out over the latest health food trends and what recipes we are developing at the moment. Cat opened Stamp with her husband David in 2014. The philosophy behind the restaurant was to create classic and healthy food with minimal ingredients that weren’t specific to any one dietary need. “I believe we are all different and need different food to heal, nourish and satisfy us; that is why we have many options such as vegan, gluten free, paleo, etc…” Cat says with great pride and care and that gorgeous smile.

_MG_4306I visit Cat at Stamp one afternoon and she makes me a Vegan Vanilla Milkshake that’s to die for. Seriously, this is better than the real thing.  You cannot believe this shake doesn’t have sugar, ice cream and all sorts of sinful things in it. But, it’s actually very good for you and I order seconds, then contemplate licking the blender…is that wierd?

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Replete with a whole vanilla bean, maple syrup, cashews and almond milk, Cat shows me how easy this is to make this shake and I feel confident I could conquer this recipe in my own kitchen. But, of course, I wouldn’t miss the opportunity for a time-out to enjoy this treat in the chillaxed atmosphere of Stamp with a good book.

IMG_2688“I grew up in the country somewhat sheltered from restaurants, so my mom and I cooked at home where we made most things from scratch. This is where I gained  kitchen confidence and basic skill. We also ate food that was local or from our own land. This is where I leaned quality and taste. As I became older, I noticed I would cook when I was sad and cook when I was happy. Cooking became my passion. My other passion is medicine. I took the two things I loved most-medicine and food, and turned food into medicine. “

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IMG_2690“I love sweets” Cat says as she slurps the non-dairy, no-sugar milkshake… “I’ve managed to make just about anything I could ever crave without refined sugar and flour. However, I do love chocolate peanut butter ice cream. I am currently learning to make my own. A healthier version of course.”  ~We can’t wait Cat.

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phonto

IMG_4490Some of the mouth-watering (and good for you) bakery treats in the case at Stamp.

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IMG_4510Stamp was originally supposed to be a deli with an inspired menu from around the world (stamps as in ‘postage’). Then, I became executive chef and co-owner. The name changed to Stamp (as in ‘stamp’ of approval) and we added “Proper Foods” because it had a nice ring to it.

IMG_4530Along with her husband David, Cat is at the restaurant everyday making decisions big and small. The devil is in the details and the look and feel of the cafe create a comfortable, neighborhood-y vibe that compels you to order your coffee in ceramic and stay awhile.  Everything from the music to the mugs has her “Stamp” of approval and we say it has ours too.

IMG_4552Proudly serving Stumptown Coffee  and offering a large array of vegan and gluten-free bakery items.

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_MG_4620I believe the healthiest diet is plant-based. I’ve found this to be true for weight loss, health and healing. However, the best diet, or as I like to say, “lifestyle” is one you can stick with that makes you vibrant from the INSIDE and OUT. Lastly, but most importantly, learn to accept yourself the way you were created.

A kale noodle salad from the lunch menu…

IMG_4278Stamp Proper Foods is located at 4500 Los Feliz Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027

Open daily 8am-8pm

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PREP TIME
COOK TIME
TOTAL TIME
Serves: 2
INGREDIENTS
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1¼ cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 frozen bananas (4 frozen banana halves)
  • 1 cup ice
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Blend the first five ingredients until smooth with a milk-like consistency. Make sure all the cashews are blended until smooth. Add the last two ingredients to the milk mixture and blend until a thick, creamy, milkshake consistency is achieved.
  2. Pour into cute glasses.
  3. Add straw.
  4. Enjoy!

This article was written and photograghed by food lover Ragan Brooks.  For more delicious recipes visit, www.beautyinthebite.com