Surf Girl Eats

We met with Pamela Ellgen from Surf Girl Eats to find more about her and yummy recipes for surfer girls.

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and didn't swim in the ocean until my late teens. When I moved to California, as an adult, I fell in love with surfing. I've been hooked ever since. I studied writing in college and worked as a food and health writer for the last several years. I just moved into a marketing and public relations role with a healthcare tech startup. 

How did you come up with the idea to create Surf Girl Eats?

A friend and I were surfing together and she asked me what I did in the kitchen to stay healthy and fit.

I realized that what I eat has a profound effect not only on how I look and feel but also on how I perform in and out of the water.

When I eat a mostly plant-based diet, I can see the effects in how quickly I paddle out to the lineup, how quickly I pop up, and even how I recover after a long surf sesh or land workout.

The concept for the website was really just an opportunity to share the recipes that I cook regularly. It's healthy-ish but not low-calorie, by any means. We need calories for energy! 

Tell us a bit more about Surf Girl Eats?

Surf Girl Eats celebrates fresh, whole foods from coastal California. Many of the recipes are plant-based and some include sustainable animal products, such as seafood, eggs, and meat.

As a surfer, I care about climate change and the impact my choices have on the earth.

That said, I don't think a rigid approach is very helpful, so I try to be gracious with myself and others and simply do the best I can. 

What your day to day looks like?

I work remotely for a company located in Santa Barbara. Most days involve driving my kids to school, heading into my co-working space for work, and then possibly hitting the beach for a sundown surf. When it's light in the mornings, I love to dawn patrol before work and shower off at the beach.

Surfing in the morning just makes the rest of the day so much better. 

What inspires You?

I'm inspired by acts of compassion and peace. Seeing humanitarian work at the US Mexico border reminds me that humans, at our best, truly care about one another.

I find inspiration in nature, of course, the ocean, mornings with the sun rising over palms, the feeling of sand between my toes. 

Who inspires you?

My childhood best friend Marcella inspires me. She sees beauty in everything and is so kind and gracious to the people around her. 

What's your favorite place or country you like to go just for the food & surf?

I live in California and love surfing here. I know other places are warmer, and I'd love to explore the Maldives and Indonesia. 

What kind of snacks we should always have (especially when we traveling)?

Fruit and nuts are my go-to snacks. Of course, I love avocados, too. They make the perfect beach snack because they pack a lot of healthy fat and calories in a small package.

Chilled, unsweetened coconut water is my healthy-ish indulgence. 

What're your favorite recipes that you will like to share with us? 

Vibrant Carrot Tofu Noodle Bowl / Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan

Yields 4 servings  / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 20 minutes

  • 1 (14-ounce) block extra-firm tofu (not silken)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons) lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as avocado or canola oil
  • 1-3 teaspoons sambal oelek chili paste, or 1 teaspoon minced red chile
  • 1 to 3 drops liquid stevia 
  • Large handful roughly chopped mint
  • Large handful roughly chopped basil
  • Large handful roughly chopped cilantro
  • 2 large carrots, spiralized or sliced thinly with a vegetable peeler
  • ¼ head green cabbage, shredded   
  • 4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Slice the block of tofu in half horizontally. Place the two slabs between two cutting boards and top with a cast-iron skillet or something else heavy. Allow the water to seep from the tofu for at least five minutes. Cut the tofu into about 1-inch cubes.
  3. Place the tofu cubes into a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon the sesame oil. Spread the tofu onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Flip the tofu and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. To make the dressing, combine the soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, avocado or other oil, chili paste, and stevia in a small jar. Cover with a lid and shake to combine.
  5. To assemble divide the cabbage, carrot noodles, herbs, and roasted tofu between four serving bowls and drizzle with the dressing. Toss gently to mix. 

Per Serving Calories: 310; Total Fat: 25g; Protein: 15g, Carbohydrates: 12g; Fiber: 5g; Net Carbs: 7g

Smoked Salmon and Spinach Scramble / Dairy-Free, Nut-Free 

Serves 1 / Prep time: 5 minutes / Cook time: 5 minutes

I grew up vacationing and playing in the icy waters of Lummi Island. My family always caught Dungeness crab, which also goes well in this bowl. This healthy, colorful breakfast comes together quickly, so be sure to have all of the ingredients prepped ahead of time. 

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 green onion, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 packed cup of fresh spinach
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon
  • 1 small avocado, sliced
  1. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil and tilt to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the white parts of the chopped green onions and cook until they begin to brown, stirring frequently about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the eggs and cook for about 1 minute, or until nearly set.
  3. Fold the spinach into the eggs and cook for about 30 seconds, just until the spinach begins to wilt.
  4. Fold the smoked salmon gently, being careful not to break it up too much.
  5. To serve, top the scramble with the remaining sliced green onions and the avocado.

Per Serving Calories: 423; Total Fat: 33g; Protein: 25, Carbohydrates: 7g; Fiber: 5g; Net Carbs: 2g (70% 24% 6%)

You can find more recipes in her book recently released