Sunday, October 31, 2010

Upcoming CSN Review!

The kind people at CSN are giving me the opportunity to do a review about one of their items. I've done a couple of giveaways sponsored by them in the past and they've been really great to deal with.  They've got a TON of stuff, including bar furniture, cookware, home decorating items, and more!

So go check out some of their stores, because they have pretty much anything and everything you could ever need/want. And stay tuned for a review!!

Eat smart,

Friday, October 29, 2010

Risotto for the Fall and upcoming Vegan Queso!

First off, here's what I got at the market this week (I know, I'm going again tomorrow...I can't seem to catch up!): apples, turnips, kale, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, green beans, satsumas, mixed greens, mustard greens, and yellow squash.

Next up, a great recipe for this time of year, especially with all the sweet potatoes I've been getting at the market!

Sweet Potato Barley "Risotto":

1 cup hulled barley
3 cups water (or broth)
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large bunch of kale
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 TB Creole Seasoning (less, if you add salt)
garlic & onion powder
juice of 1 lime (or lemon)
some extra water, possibly

Put the the barley and water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer until chewy (1-1 1/4 hrs). It will take less time if you use pearl barley-follow package directions for that.

Put the cubed sweet potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until soft (30-40 minutes, depending on size of cubes). When done, drain and set aside.

When the barley is done, add in the sweet potatoes and stir well, mashing it up. You may need to add a bit of water so it doesn't stick to the bottom and to make it a bit creamier. Add in the seasonings and mix. Add the kale, cover, and cook another 5 minutes. When done, add the lime (or lemon) juice.  Add salt if needed at this point. Serve!

Other stuff I've been eating:

Amazing salad dressing from Ani's Raw Food Essentials: Asian Greens with Lemon-Tahini Dressing-
(goes great with hemp seeds on top!)

Made my whole wheat pizza again, with Daiya, of course:

Sometimes I crave mac n' cheese, so here's my version:

1 cup cooked brown rice
2 TB almond milk, unsweetened
1 slice Galaxy Nutrional Foods Vegan Cheddar
1 TB nutritional yeast
1 tsp each garlic powder & onion powder
salt & pepper

Heat up the rice (unless you just cooked it)
Mix in the almond milk. Tear up the slice of cheese and add it in. Stir well. It may take several minutes for the cheese to melt in.  Then add in the rest of the ingredients. Add more almond milk, if you like it creamier. Enjoy!

And I am currently addicted to Robin Robertson's Tahini-Miso Sauce. Yup, I've been making tons of brown rice and steamed veggies with that stuff all over it! Delicious. It's in her 1,000 Vegan Recipes cookbook.

And last but not least.....who wants VEGAN QUESO??? ME!!! Ok, so I ran out of the best stuff ever: Nacho Mom's Vegan Queso. That's a disaster right there. I had to think of something. So I made my own! Yup. But it still needs another test, so I'm not putting up the recipe yet.  Now, it's not going to be nearly as delicious as Nacho Mom's, but I'm doing my best. And as soon as it's available here, I will buy it up :) But here's a sneak peek:

Eat smart,

Sunday, October 24, 2010


It was pretty much a cram session. A quick weekend in Manhattan.  We tried to get in as much vegan food as possible in a short amount of time! So here it is:

Can you believe there's not a place to get coffee at all in the New Orleans airport, after security?? That was a real downer.  So I had to get some on the plane. Luckily, I had my SoyGo creamer with me:

Stop one: Candle Cafe
It was really crowded in there, although we didn't have to wait long at all. We got there around 1 pm.  Tables were pretty crammed in there. We were practically sitting on our neighbors' laps. Oh well. Welcome to NYC, right?

We ate lunch here.  I ordered the Butternut Squash Soup, which was delicious and a very large portion:

S ordered the Classic Ceasar Salad:

I ordered the Tuscan Lasagna, which was out of this world. It was huge (luckily, S ate some). Greens were a bit garlicky, but quite good nonetheless:

Dinner: Franchia
Check out the ceiling in this place:

I really wanted to try this place having found it online. I hadn't seen anyone talk about it nor had anyone suggested it to me. I'm SO glad we went. The ambience was perfect. Tables were far enough apart, spread out on 3 levels of dining.

I started with some Persimmon Leaf Tea (the waiter suggested it), which was delicious:

We ordered some Spicy Kimchi dumplings (steamed) to start. They were not at all spicy, but really tasty:

S ordered the Franchia Roll with brown rice. It was quite good:

...and I ordered the Pumpkin noodles salad. I was kind of expecting noodles made out of pumpkin, but alas, they were real noodles (pumpkin flavored). Still delicious though and not drenched in dressing, which was nice:

Luckily, we had a Keurig coffee machine in our hotel room (I have one at home!), and so all I had to do was run around the corner to Starbucks, grab an oatmeal, come back to the room and make myself a cup of coffee with the soy creamer I bought at the grocery store nearby (yes, we had a fridge):

A few sights:

A few bedbug mishaps, changing of hotel rooms.....etc......and then we continue....

Angelica Kitchen:

Setting was nice, not too crowded or small.

We started with the Ruby Kraut, which actually came out with the rest of the meal. Was good, pretty mild:

S ordered the Thai Mee Up, which was delicious (can't go wrong with kale!):

I got a basic Combo Bowl with brown rice, steamed vegetables (kale, bok choi), and sea vegetables. The waiter suggested the Black Sesame Sauce, which was amazing:

Red Bamboo:

There was a short wait for this place. Although it was small and crowded, it was set up nicely. You weren't able to hear your neighbors' conversations. That's always a plus!

I knew I was going to get dessert here, so I didn't get an appetizer or a beer, both of which looked quite appealing.

S ordered the Portabella Mushroom entree, which he loved. I agree, it was pretty good, but I liked mine better:

I ordered the Bamboo Curry "Chicken". It was awesome! I don't often eat "fake meat", but this was really delicious. Great sauce, nicely cooked vegetables:

Thanks to Lindsay at Happy Herbivore for the suggestion of getting dessert here! I ordered the Pumpkin Cheesecake, which was absolutely out of this world! So rich and creamy....could NOT have been low calorie :)

Was definitely worth the splurge of sweetness! And the prices are pretty reasonable for NYC. Big portions too.

We stopped at two takeaway places during the weekend. First, Babycakes, since we were at MooShoes and it's just around the corner.  You know, I wasn't too impressed.  It was a small place and there was quite a line.  They do have a large choice of cupcakes, including several gluten free options. I got a pumpkin cupcake (or was it carrot?? I can't remember) and a small brownie.  They were just ok.  I've had better vegan cupcakes for sure.  Maybe some of the other flavors are better?  Not bad though.  I wish they would've tasted better, for the price I paid.

Then we stopped in at One Lucky Duck.  That place is tiny too! And there was a line. I couldn't even see what to order until I got to the front. I wish they had a board up, or at least menus at the entrance.  All 3 chairs were taken inside, so there was nowhere to sit. They had shelves filled with raw foods, but no prices! I picked up a couple of bags of things, but then realized they were probably too expensive, so I put them back. They really need to put prices on that stuff! So the place needs some work. But, I read that the Mallomar is a must, so that's what I got! And boy, was it tasty.  Wow! Highly recommended:

Very expensive, but that's why we didn't eat at Pure Food and Wine, which is the sister restaurant just around the corner.

A few more sights:

(that's me!)

We stopped at Heartland Brewery for a sampling:

Went to Le Pain Quotidien for some lunch. I got the Six Vegetable Quiche, which is vegan. It was really good:
This was my first time at Le Pain. We went to one on the Upper West Side and I really liked the ambience. You can sit outside as well. I love the wood floors and the really long communal table in the middle!

And then there was.......the wedding!

(S out on the balcony at Studio 450)

(the chuppah)

(the bride)

(under the chuppah)

Congratulations, Bill & Meira! It was a beautiful wedding :)

That's it for the whirlwind tour of Manhattan.  We were staying in Midtown and walked EVERYWHERE! No subways or cabs for us.

PS-we brought back some Murray's Whole Wheat Everything bagels!

Eat smart,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lots of good food and some great Fall recipes!

I know! I know! I'm lazy. Posting barely once a week....what is that?? Now that I'm back at work, it's a bit more difficult to post every other day. So sorry. I'll do my best.

Anyway, be sure to go all the way to the bottom of this post for an amazing Fall recipe!! One of my better ones, if I don't say so myself :)

Remember I bought Nacho Mom's Vegan Queso??? It's so of my new addictions. Unfortunately, I only bought 2 jars. One jar is gone....I'm waiting to open the other because I know when I open it, it will be gone...sniff....and then there will be none.

And I've been eating my awesome Dr. Cow Cashew Cheese (Kale flavor) good, you gotta try it:

Other stuff I've been eating-

(Teese and Arugula Quesadilla on a Sprouted Grain Tortilla)

(Cold rice salad with leftover zucchini spirals)

(filling for a burrito:rice,black beans,peppers, onions,squash)

(millet with a creamy cashew tomato sauce based on VeganYumYum's sauce)

And this week's Blogger Recipe is an awesome Alfredo Sauce from Healthy.Happy.Life
(served with sprouted grain pasta)
This was really delicious! The Vegenaise gives it a nice tangy flavor. I don't use Vegenaise all that often, but it's a real treat when I do. Thank you, Kathy :)

Here's a great recipe for couscous salad, using the Toasted Pine Nut Couscous from Near East!! Really tasty stuff.

Cold Couscous Salad

1 pkg couscous (toasted pine nut is great in this)
2 small tomatoes, chopped
2-3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds
3 Tbsp Orange Juice (or juice from tangerine,satsuma,etc.)
pinch of cloves
1/2 tsp orange zest (I used dried)

Cook the couscous according to the directions, adding the raisins in with the water. Add the rest of the ingredients to the cooked couscous. Mix well. Cool before serving.

I also made an amazing sauce for my grains & veggies bowl from Robin Robertson's 1,000 Vegan Recipes: Miso-Tahini Sauce. SOOOO good. I doubled the recipe and added lots of extra lemon juice.  Wow was that delicious over my veggies and brown rice!

And now for that awesome Fall recipe:

Autumn Rice and Beans

1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp each: paprika, cinnamon, chili powder
1 tbsp Creole Seasoning (or some cayenne and salt)
garlic & onion powder to taste
juice of 1 lime
1 bunch of kale, chopped

Peel the sweet potatoes and cube them.  Put them in a pot and cover with water. Bring to boil. Boil lightly until soft (~30 min).  Drain.  Put the rice and beans into the pot you cooked the sweet potatoes in.  Add 1/2 cup water. Cook on medium heat until heated through, adding water as needed.  Add in all spices. Stir well. Add in the kale and let it wilt for a few minutes. Then, add in the cooked sweet potatoes. Stir very well. At this point, the sweet potatoes will mash up very easily in the pot. That's ok. I like it mashed up well. Add in the lime juice last. Again, stir. Serve with more lime juice on top!

Phew.....that took forever. Hahaha....but at least it's done.  I'll be out and about this weekend eating some great food....can't wait to post about it!!

PS-Have any of you been to Ireland?  (thinking about a possible future trip) We've never done any actual escorted tours on buses....but I'm tempted to do one or two there, since a lot of the great scenery/coastline is not accessible by train.  Thoughts?? Have any of you done coach tours before?

Eat smart,


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