When Laura and Ben Lefler were planning a vacation in Hawaii, they knew they wanted to bring Sophia, their 1-year-old pug, along with them.
What’s more, they hoped to get lots of exercise while they were there, but didn’t know where to find healthy fare.
So, Laura, a 37-year-old accountant, joined forces with her 30-year-old husband, Ben, a photographer, and together they created a “food adventure” as a group endeavor.
Their guide was Mrs. Lefler’s former boss, Clint Jaffe, a famed foodie who usually comes up with cooking ideas and stocking menus for visiting guests. In fact, Mrs. Lefler invited Jaffe over last week, thinking he would come up with a take on a “herb-heavy” Hawaiian meal for the couple and their dog.
Jaffe was less than impressed, finding both the food and the demonstration “gloomy.”
So he devised an alternative. He wrote out his menu for what he hoped would be a fun DIY culinary experience – although it was also, he said, to show people how to make healthier, better-tasting food.
The results: a mostly vegetarian, vegan and raw food-centric meal that Jaffe presented to them and to their dog on June 16, including a few familiar meals – he marked down the times she usually snoozes – plus a whole lot of new things.
For example, they started with mushroom toast, which they called a “chickpea ravioli” before adding a homemade “cucumber goop” (cheers!). And for dessert, they gave themselves a “cat-cake” instead of a “cat’s breakfast.”
Together, the Leflers clearly enjoyed the meal. “I haven’t had such a wonderful vegetable creation in a while,” Mrs. Lefler said afterward. “We needed some healthy food … I learned a lot.”
And Jaffe – who says he went from being an “animal lover to a vegan overnight” when he decided to become “more socially conscious” – said he enjoyed himself, too.