We discovered another great use for the Koda Farms Mochiko Rice Flour we mentioned a while back—vegan savory rice flour crêpes. Quick + easy-to-make, these have become a new go-to in our house for a fun, Pan-Asian-inspired breakfast, lunch or dinner.

You can do whatever you want for the filling, really. We usually take stock of whatever fresh vegetables we have on hand and do a combination of raw + some thinly sliced and salted for a short amount of time on very high heat.

For the crêpes themselves, you need:

1 cup sweet rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup almond or soy milk
1/2-1 cup water
1 Tbsp ground flax
2 tsp vegetable oil

First, in a small bowl, mix the flax together with 3 tablespoons of very cold water, whisking thoroughly with a fork until consistent and then place in the fridge; allow to chill for 10-15 minutes, until thickened (you can also place it in the freezer for a shorter amount of time). That’ll be our ‘flax egg’. Now sift the rice flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl and then beat in the milk and water until smooth. Vary the amount of water you add depending on how thin you want the crêpes and how confident you feel flipping them (more water, thinner crêpes). Once it’s sufficiently chilled, add the flax mixture and oil and mix until consistent.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat or until it is hot enough to bounce water droplets. Lightly oil pan and then ladle enough of the batter into the skillet to form a relatively thin, large pancake. It may take a little practice/trial and error to get the right thinness. Cook until you start to see small bubbles form throughout the crêpe—the middle will come last; once it does, carefully flip the crêpe, gingerly starting at the edges and working your way around with a spatula. Cook for a little less time on this side, checking the underside with the spatula; once done, add fillings, fold over, and transfer to a plate with some nice herbs and/or Gochujang to top.

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For any who don’t already know, Brooklyn’s long-running foodie fair Smorgasburg opened its western counterpart in Downtown Los Angeles last weekend and—totally side-stepping the fetishization of food in general, the undeniable Brooklyn-ization of LA, and how all these damn New Yorkers are ruining this fine city (ahem)—Smorgasburg LA is really worth a visit, especially for vegans.

Whereas none of the food vendors are explicitly, totally vegan, many if not most have some really great animal-free eating options, amongst them, our friend Minh Phan of porridge + puffs who does a great rice porridge topped with housemate pickles and savory jams; vegan grilled cheese from Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese; vegan slices from skater-pizza connoisseurs Pizzanista; Japanese-style rice balls from Mama Masubi; vegan ego donuts from Donut Friend; and vegan options on a ton of other stuff we have yet to try like pozole, tacos, deserts, and everything else under the unforgiving sun (it’s pretty hot of late).

SmorgLA runs every Sunday from 10AM-6PM on the site of the Alameda Produce Market in Downtown Los Angeles. You can find more information and a full vendor list on their site.

porridge-and-puffs_3790 porridge-and-puffs_1991 mama-musubi_3795greenspan-grilled-cheese_2008 pizzanista_2014 vegan-pozole_2011donut-friend_1984 chef-minh_1998

The single greatest thing I’ve ever seen gastronomically in New York City.
Mario Batali on Smorgasburg

We’re not really behind the concept of ‘superfoods’, truth be told—we love fermented foods and appreciate that they’re good for us as a beneficial side-effect, but we don’t think that popping alai berries or downing green smoothies are our bodies’ salvation.

We were, however, huge fans of Greek-style yogurt—thick, creamy, and far more savory + tangy than it is sweet.

Our go to for a dairy-free, vegan, cruelty-free version used to come from Wildwood, but they changed their recipe years back so that their yogurt—like most other vegan ones on the market—is sweet, even when unflavored. So whenever we come across a new vegan yogurt that claims to be Greek-style or even just not sweet, we give it a try.

On our last trip to Ojai, California, we swung by the local natural foods store, Rainbow Bridge (which is awesome, by the way), we noticed this one from San Luis Obispo-based company New Earth Superfoods and decided to give it a go. The verdict—it’s the best on the market in terms of Greek-style vegan yogurts. Not the least bit sweet, rich, with a subtle sharpness reminiscent of its dairy-based counterpart, the yogurt is superb on its own or with a little granola or fruit or even topping other savory dishes.

New Earth boasts a brick-and-mortar in lovely San Luis Obispo (which is a really cute college town and nice stop to or from San Francisco) that’s open Tuesday-Sunday and they seem to offer even more vegan-friendly products in-store (like a dairy-free probiotic cheese).

Now that we’re back in Los Angeles, we’ve looked into who carries their products in-town—Lassen’s does, but we don’t shop their given their owners’ strong, anti-queer stance and past actions; it looks like a place called Grassroots in Pasadena carries them not far too though, so maybe we’ll stop by there before our next Ojai jaunt. The cost of a one container is pretty significant (about $20), but it’s really worth it in our opinion. And you get a handy little Mason jar!

New-Earth-Yogurt_3645 New-Earth-Yogurt_3643

Fermentation and culturing of foods can be very beneficial and newer research clearly points to its application in many health related challenges.
New Earth Superfoods

We’ve been covering upstate New York electronic duo Phantogram for quite a while now. Since we first heard them back in 2009 or so, they’ve consistently crafted succinctly catchy electro-pop that really stands the test of time.

But with their latest single, it really seems like they’re all growns up.

“You Don’t Get Me High Anymore”—from their forthcoming third full-length, aptly titled Three— delivers a much more polished, evolved sound that kicks ass nonetheless and maybe even more, truth be told.

The song’s beat is raucous + dancey and the music + vocals are darkly anthemic.

The track’s even got a vocal flourish that’s either a deliberate or an unintentional nod to Rihanna’s “Umbrella”.

Check it out below.

You can pre-order Three via Phantogram’s web site.

Metaphorically, it’s about addiction. It’s also about certain things that we see in culture, pop culture, and even music that we find redundant, that we’ve always kind of strayed away from as a group.
Josh Carter of Phantogram on their new single

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The summer is usually a pretty low-key time for sports. The NHL and NBA are over, it’s still a couple of months before college football starts, and it’s still too early in the MLB season for the games to mean much.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything worth watching! Right now, we’re kind of in a sweet spot for soccer, and even if you don’t love sports, I bet you love America, and even if you’re on the fence about America, and this election has you researching properties in Vancouver, I bet you still love people being kind to other people.

The U.S.Men’s National Team is playing in the Copa America tournament and just won a thriller of a quarter-final last week against Ecuador, which means they advanced to the semi-final today.

That’s reason enough to root for them, but their touching actions in the wake of the horrific massacre in Orlando should make you root a little harder.

There were the usual moments of silence at ballparks and stadiums around the country, but the USMNT took it much further than a perfunctory bowing of their heads. First, they released a new video that honors the LGBT victims of the shooting and sent a strong message of unity.

I don’t blame you for getting a little choked up watching it.

But their gesture didn’t stop there. On Thursday, USMNT captain Michael Bradley took the pitch against Ecuador wearing a rainbow armband with “One Nation” written on it to pay tribute to the victims.

I know it’s not a big deal, but it feels like a big deal. Professional sports still has a long way to go when it comes to equality and inclusion and the Men’s National Team stepped up in a very vocal and visual way.

But I’m not saying you should only root for America. Euro2016 is also happening right now, and there’s been enough insanity happening off the pitch to make it a must-watch. Disregard the disgraceful actions of some fans, who’ve been fighting and rioting in the streets, and instead embrace the kind of celebrating England fans did after defeating Wales 2-1 during their match last week.

The dudes in this bar got so stoked they rained beer down on everyone.

On the other side, here’s a Welsh fan BREAKING DOWN IN TEARS during the same game.

This is what soccer does. It makes you want to douse strangers in alcohol and break into unreasonable tears. How can you not love that?

Anyway, the USMNT have a semi-final match today and Euro2016 is still in group play, which means you have plenty of time to practice your beer-dumping celebrations.

Hemal Jhaveri is the Senior Social Media Editor for USA TODAY Sports Media, a resident of the District of Columbia, and, above all else, an awesome person. In the past, she’s worked as Executive Director of Digital Innovation at Politico, Executive Producer at AOL, and in various positions of prestige in worlds of politics and sports. She’s also contributed to an ongoing series on these pages titled Please Explain Sports, where she eloquently explains various sports and sporting activities to people who don’t follow sports that closely. Feel free to contact us if you have any timely or timeless sports-related questions you’d like Hemal to tackle.

Photo: USMNT.

I know it's not a big deal, but it feels like a big deal. Professional sports still has a long way to go when it comes to equality and inclusion and the Men's National Team stepped up in a very vocal and visual way.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship on Sunday night, and on the surface, that doesn’t really mean much unless you’re a basketball fan. But this victory, unlike other championships, feels like it means so much more.

First off, the Cavaliers came back from being down three games to one against the Golden Sate Warriors, who had basically been unbeatable in the regular season. Before the Finals started, people predicted that Cavs would be hard pressed to win one game against the Warriors, much less the series. That wasn’t a knock on Cleveland per say, but a testament to how dominate the Warriors have been all season.

And for a few games it looked like those prognosticators were right. The Warriors dominated the Cavs and pushed them to the brink. The Cavs then had no choice but to win three games in a row, becoming the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to clinch a title.

That’s all well and good, and everyone loves an under dog, but to really understand what this means, you have to understand LeBron James’ complicated relationship with his hometown, and how the places we leave often have a way of calling us back.

LeBron started his career in Cleveland and played there for 7 years before he became an unrestricted free agent. He had a choice to make. Should he stay in Cleveland or move on and pursue his dreams of an NBA championship? After a lot of hand-wringing and speculation, LeBron decided to sign with the Miami Heat.

Now, him leaving Cleveland was a big deal. People hated him for it. They said he was disloyal and that he had abandoned the city to chase personal glory. And honestly, that was partly true. In Miami, he won two NBA titles with the Heat, achieving personal greatness. But in 2014, he opted to not re-sign with the team and returned to Cleveland.

In a moving essay in Sports Illustrated, he spoke candidly about why he wanted to come home.

“I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.”

LeBron has always been clear about why he came to the Cavs. It wasn’t really about him (though he did get a huge, $42 million contract) but about bringing the championship back to a city that hasn’t seen one in over 50 years. That was the promise he made and the city welcomed him back with open arms.

And on Sunday night, LeBron played the game of his life to fulfill that promise. He led all Finals players in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. He didn’t just play, he performed to the best of his ability.

There’s a joy in watching someone be incredible at their job, but watching LeBron play, you could tell he wasn’t doing it for himself really, but for everyone in North East Ohio, an area that has struggled and been economically depressed for so long.

And if it wasn’t clear in his play, it was clear in his post-game celebrations and interview. After the final buzzer, LeBron fell to his knees and sobbed.

When he spoke to Doris Burke, LeBron wasn’t able to hold back his tears either.

“Cleveland, this is for you,” he roared.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 11.34.13 PM

I’m not going to lie, I’m not from Ohio, but even I cried watching it. Of course, LeBron wasn’t the only Cavaliers player to perform last night, but it was clear the responsibility rested on his shoulders.

Just look at him embrace Kevin Love after the final whistle.

It’s moments like this that make it clear that sports aren’t always about what happens on the court. An NBA Championship won’t fix any of the economic problems in Ohio and it won’t make the job market suddenly take a sharp turn upward, but it will give people some tiny piece of hope, some tiny bit of connection to those around them and make them say, ‘Holy shit look what we can do.’

Hemal Jhaveri is the Senior Social Media Editor for USA TODAY Sports Media, a resident of the District of Columbia, and, above all else, an awesome person. In the past, she’s worked as Executive Director of Digital Innovation at Politico, Executive Producer at AOL, and in various positions of prestige in worlds of politics and sports. She’s also contributed to an ongoing series on these pages titled Please Explain Sports, where she eloquently explains various sports and sporting activities to people who don’t follow sports that closely. Feel free to contact us if you have any timely or timeless sports-related questions you’d like Hemal to tackle.

Photo: Getty Images.

An NBA Championship won't fix any of the economic problems in Ohio and it won't make the job market suddenly take a sharp turn upward, but it will give people some tiny piece of hope, some tiny bit of connection to those around them and make them say, 'Holy shit look what we can do.'

One of our longtime favorite artists, Cindy Sherman, just celebrated the opening of the first special exhibition at Los Angeles’ The BroadCindy Sherman: Imitation of Life.

We were lucky enough to visit the opening weekend and highly recommend reserving tickets—the exhibition is expansive + deep—featuring 120 works from the artist—and even features some brand new work from Sherman done just this year.

Tickets can be reserved online and are good for general admission to the third floor’s general collection as well.

male-gaze-cindy-sherman

I am trying to make other people recognize something of themselves rather than me.
Cindy Sherman

We’re just releasing our June mixtape and, with it, a new look—we like the old one, but it was starting to feel a little stale. Evolve or die, mixtapes!

This month features new work from Australia’s DD Dumbo; a new track from our favorite Canadians, Braids (who we interviewed at month’s start); a catchy glitch-rock from Philly’s Son Step; beautifully jangly pop from NYC’s Sunflower Bean; an undeniable anthem from LA’s own Gothic Tropic (shout-out to Cornbread on drums); some really nice white boy R+B from newcomer Tuskha (solo electronic project of Phil from Raleigh’s Bowerbirds); a sample-heavy track from the duo Lewis Del Mar outta the Rockaways;  a brand new track from Beth Orton that takes her in a great direction; Icelandic electronic pop from the trio Samaris; and, as always, a lot more.

Check it out + enjoy.

There’s lots of connecting threads to what I’ve done before, but it is a breath of fresh air to have made this record.
Beth Orton on her new record, Kidsticks.
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