Where do you live?
Kendall, by Miami Dade College

How long have you lived in the area? 
All my life – 30 years. I was born here.

Please share about what you do for a livelihood or what keeps you busy during the week?
I work for the City of Miami Police Department. Previously, I was in the civilian side, in the health services department. Now, I am transitioning to the police side. I am in the academy to become a supervisor.

How did you get interested in the police department?
It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. My father’s a retired cop. Also, there is a department that I am interested in called Environmental Crimes. It’s a lot of undercover work. And, if I can help the environment, that would be great!  

How often do you come to the market?
I try to come every Sunday – but for sure every month.  

What’s your favorite thing to buy at LNB Grovestand?
I come for the half ‘Sapo’ and half Sunrise (or Jackson) smoothie. I love getting the jackfruit, the mameys, the little bananas and lychees.

Where did you learn about jackfruit?
I went to a farmer’s market in Tropical Park and tried it for the first time. But, I didn’t love that market. When I started going to the Pinecrest Market, that’s when I really found out about Jackfruit.   I’d like a tutorial on how to cut it up.

(A+W) Much easier in person for a tutorial, but there are a few pointers for cutting up jackfruit. Cut in half then quarter it and then cut out the core. Invert the whole fruit and the good parts will pop out so that you can twist each fruit aril out. Inside each pocket is a seed. Keep the seeds. They are delicious boiled with a little salt – they taste like chestnuts. Use oil or chapstick to get the sap off your hands and surfaces. Since we harvest our jacks tree ripe there is much less sap but that is usually the hardest part to deal with so don’t use your favorite knife. 

What’s your favorite thing to buy at other stands at the market?
I go to Bee Heaven for kale and greens. I only get my honey from John at Keez Beez. I stop by Patricia – she has all the incense and crystals.

I wish the market had:
I wish there was more organic produce. Also, we’re missing a vendor that sells herbs and could teach you how to grow them. I would really like to cook with more herbs.

Most-frequented local restaurants and what dish to order:
I’m vegan, so I really like Mediterranean foods. I like Daily Bread’s salad bar. In Midtown, the Love Life Café, and in Wynwood – Della Bowls. There’s a lot more vegan food coming out now that is not just salad. As a vegan, people think that’s all we eat.     

When did you become a vegan?
A little over a year ago. I had been a vegetarian, but it was hard for me to let go of the dairy. I read two books – Eating Animals and the China Study book, and watched the documentaries Forks Over Knives and Conspiracy – that really opened my eyes on the effect that we are having on our environment, planet and bodies. I made the commitment and ever since, I have felt better. My cholesterol dropped, I lost a bunch of weight, and my skin cleared up.

Do you have a family recipe that you would be willing share?
I usually like to meal prep during the weekend. I try to make all my snacks and meals to last through Friday. Today, I made spiralized zucchini. Sometimes, I’ll make a tabooli sauce for it, but today I made a cashew based ‘cheese’ sauce. I’ll add chopped up tomatoes, onions and pickled ginger.

To make the sauce, I use a VitaMix blender. I soak the cashews overnight in water, the next day I add two teaspoons of garlic powder, 1.5 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, and a little less than a half cup of water with 1.5 teaspoons of Himalayan salt and black pepper. I squeeze a whole lemon and mix it until it’s creamy. You can add more nutritional yeast to make it cheesier. It’s a great replacement for an Alfredo sauce. I’ll use it for the whole week.

What are your hobbies?
During the week I’m mostly working or working out. During the weekends, I like to do things I really enjoy. I have a humongous garden with succulents and I enjoy readying.

What are you reading now?
If Women Rose Rooted. It’s about the Celtic history of women and how the patriarchy came about. It’s pretty good.

A worthy splurge:
Something that makes you feel good and love yourself. When I want to detox, I go to the Russian  Bath House on the beach. They have different hot and cold rooms and they offer massages – which is a worthy splurge for me.

Rainy-day activity:
I like to stay inside, read or rent movies. It’s nice to take time for myself.

Are there any events coming up that you are excited about?
The Mango Festival is coming up in July at Fairchild. It’s always nice to go to, but it’s really hot. They also have a downtown market called the Flea that is a lot of fun.

Is there a question that you would like to ask the LNBs?
So, when are the little bananas and jackfruit going to come back?

(A+W) This weekend!!

Is there a question that you would like to ask the community?
I’m looking for knowledge about making new garden beds and keeping pests away. If you are good at this, I would be really interested in talking.