Nobu Made Me Do It

Ten years ago, I walked into a Japanese restaurant. I had less than a year of Open Table experience and a referral from someone I never met. I learned quickly that if you want a job at Nobu, the phrase "fake it till you make it" are words to live by. I walked out with an audition on the books - a weeklong stint as a reservationist. I made it out alive and soon, I became a hostess.

A hostess gig meant more human interaction and the chance that someone might ask me about the yellowtail sashimi or the difference between wagyu or washu beef. This terrified me. I was the girl who pounded a bag of Cheetos and a Pepsi on my 10-minute break. I was not a foodie by any means. But in true New York City fashion, I was peer pressured into changing my eating habits. After all, who in their right mind eats Cheetos while walking the streets of Tribeca...besides me. So there I was, giving sushi a try, consuming sashimi with the tiniest jalapeño slice I've ever seen. My ten-minute break now consisted of string cheese, a Naked juice and some tic-tacs. My appreciation for food (when I wasn't forced to eat like a model) and the people who are skilled enough to prepare food grew tenfold. 

Today, I'm dairy-free and gluten-free - a decision I made only one month ago, but one I would have never even considered if it weren't for five years at Nobu. I'm now open to trying all sorts of foods, understanding how they break down in my body and respecting the origin of ingredients. 

Sushi is something I've always wanted to learn how to prepare since my Nobu days, and recently I made baby steps in this department. Like any gluten-free newbie, I was fooled by white rice and started to experiment with cauliflower rice. Avocado, cucumber and carrots made this roll vegan - even cooler.

Keep scrolling for the recipe!

  • 1 half head of cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3-4 sheets nori
  • assorted veggies  (carrots, cucumbers avocado)
  • bamboo sushi rolling mat

Start by preparing the cauliflower rice. Cut the cauliflower in half and remove the thick center stem. Cut or break each half into smaller pieces and throw in the food processor. A few pulses is all you need.

Transfer the cauliflower rice to a microwave-safe bowl, add olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Cook on high for three minutes. Remove from microwave, uncover and set aside.

Slide veggies into thin strips and it's time to make some sushI!

Lay a sheet of nori on the sushi rolling mat and spread the cauliflower rice onto the nori. You want to cover the nori from edge to edge, but leave a one-inch space at one end of the nori without rice. Add your filling, placing them close to the end of the nori where the rice comes all the way to the edge. 

Time to roll, but make sure to have a small bowl or glass of water on hand. Place the sushi mat so that the side of the nori with the filling is facing you. Start to roll by pulling up the mat slightly and tucking the row of filling into the first complete roll. Press down with the mat around this to help make a nice tight roll. Continue rolling with the help of the mat and pressing/tucking as you go to keep the roll tight until you get to the end of the nori sheet with the one-inch section without rice. Dab a bit of water on the end of the nori to help it stick to itself and then complete your final roll.

Using a sharp knife, cut the sushi into pieces and serve with tamari!

Enjoy, my friends!


Life updates with a side of green smoothie bowl deliciousness

Everyone around me seems to be getting healthy - from cutting out gluten to 30 days of yoga - and it’s been quite inspiring. I moved to Pittsburgh six months ago and I still don’t have a routine, a workout class I love; I don’t even cook anymore. I drive to work, I sit at a desk, I barely walk. Gone are the days of ten million flights of stairs at the 63rd Street F stop. And what’s funny is that I expected the first year to be tough. I expected that we’d be living in our own little world with no social life, but I figured this would be the year to escape everyone and work on myself. I’d go to work, get super fit, cook all of our meals and pour myself into my blog. Guess what? I was wrong. I now know it’s going to happen in stages. I have to focus on a new job before I can move on to other areas. I can make small adjustments to my diet without feeling restricted and miserable. I can work out at home in lieu of taking the time to drive to the gym and I can focus on my blog when I have some down time. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you can probably expect ClaraMaeJames to change a bit and it’s all part of my constant journey to be honest with myself (and honest with you.)

This little epiphany (which is one of many - I have like ten a day) occurred over the last few weeks. And so I’m turning to the people around me for inspiration and like I said before, everyone is getting on their A game. Now, more than ever, I need to follow their lead. So, here I am. I’m starting to re-introduce foods I once loved, recipes I once enjoyed to prepare. First is this beautiful bowl of goodness. It’s super easy to assemble (cleaning a blender is a drag), but overall it’s worth it. I hope you enjoy. xo, Jamie


  • 1/4 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries (strawberries/raspberries)
  • 2 large handfuls spinach 
  • 1 small handful kale, stems removed
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk 
  • 2 Tbsp salted creamy almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp agave


  • Mixed nuts
  • Coconut flakes
  • Dried blueberries

Add all smoothie ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more agave for added sweetness, more spinach for a brighter green, or coconut milk for creaminess. Divide between two serving bowls and top with nuts, coconut flakes and dried blueberries, but really anything will do!

Nutella Strawberry French Toast Rolls

I'm so excited to be going home for Mother's Day! It's a really special weekend because my entire family will be walking the Race for the Cure. We will be there in support and in honor of the amazing women in our lives who have been affected by breast cancer.

I'm also pumped because I'll have the opportunity to make brunch for everyone post-race! My mother LOVES strawberries - maybe more than me - so this recipe is perfect. Nutella. Strawberry. French. Toast. Rolls. I's so simple and so delicious. 

Serves 4


  • 12 slices white bread (crust off and flattened with rolling pin)
  • 6 strawberries, chopped
  • Nutella or Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp almond milk
  • Splash of vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Maple syrup

Spread Nutella along one edge of the bread slice and layer with chopped strawberries. Tightly roll bread and repeat until they're all filled. 

In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar with the cinnamon.

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet set over medium heat.

Add the rolls to the egg mixture, turning to coat on all sides, then place them in the pan seam side down. Cook in batches until golden brown, turning them to cook and brown on all sides. Add butter to the pan as needed.

Add the hot rolls from the pan to the cinnamon sugar and roll until completely covered.

Serve with maple syrup.

For more fun and delicious recipes to make for brunch this weekend, click on the images below!

acai bowl

acai bowl

Spinach cheese strata

Spinach cheese strata

pumpkin spice doughnuts

pumpkin spice doughnuts

Zucchini Pasta with Avocado Cream Sauce

Happy Thursday! I just got back from LA where everyone is super fit and healthy and my time there inspired this recipe. I made with my spiralizer, which can turn most fruits and veggies into noodles. This dish isn't the prettiest, but I promise it's good. 

  • 3-4 zucchinis, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp roasted garlic pepper spice
  • 1 garlic clove or 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup or 7 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ripe medium avocado, pitted
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Pine nuts, toasted for garnish
  • Red pepper flakes

With the spriralizer, rotate zucchinis to create noodles and place in colander to get rid of some of the juice. 

In a food processor, combine garlic and basil and pulse to mince. Add the lemon juice, 1 tbsp oil, avocado and 1 tbsp water. Process until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat up 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in a sauté pan. Add zucchini noodles, making sure you drained as much of the liquid as possible, and 1/2 tsp roasted garlic pepper spice. Stir for 3-5 minutes until tender. 

Remove from pan into a bowl and add the avocado sauce. Top with toasted pine nuts and red pepper flakes.