We head back to sunny Arizona tomorrow. It’s been a super fun month in NY. It’s hard to believe that we’ve even been here this long – feels like 7-10 days, tops! Even though the weather has been super crappy the majority of the time, today there is plenty of sunshine, making me quickly forget the rainy days (for the most part – ha!).
Once I return to AZ, it’s back to working on my next book (SUPER excited about the topic!!!) as well as doing some hardcore 100% raw food living. Heaven knows I need it after this trip. Although, I have to admit. I’ve felt pretty darn great in spite of all of the cooked organic vegan food I’ve eaten. It must be the massive amounts of green juices I’ve been drinking. Also… I’ll be making some videos for the blog (fun!), and getting out my next email newsletter (sign up on my website here)! Oh! And, I’m having 2 awesome giveaways for July since I missed June!!! Stay tuned and check back for those.
Yesterday was a neat day. We ventured into new territory, much farther south than our usual expeditions. We met Gena at SproutCraft for some Raw vegan food (that’s Gena above, she’s SO fun!).
I have to start by saying that I loved the kim-chi. I’m still salivating for it. I had three bowls!!!! It was amazing. The best kim-chi I’ve ever had. It had the perfect level of heat that just barely made me break a little sweat on my brow, yet wasn’t too spicy for my mouth. As many of you know, I LOVE unpasteurized fermented foods. They are so good for you! In fact, I made another batch of organic raw unpasteurized sauerkraut the night before we left for NY. Since it’s been a month now, I can go home and immediately harvest it. Awesome. (Read about my first sauerkraut adventure here.)
I also ordered the taco salad which was so-so although the corn chips served alongside were good. I wouldn’t order it again though. (Instead I’d have 4 bowls of their awesome kim-chi!) Gena ordered two of their Chai drinks and she really liked them.
My husband opted for the burrito wrap. His lunch looked impressive, very pretty wrap. But, I wasn’t crazy about the filling. He thought it was alright, and agreed that the actual wrap was the best part.
The decor of this place was quite cool. It’s probably my favorite raw restaurant as far as that goes. It was spacious with interesting table and seating arrangements (unfortunately, this pic only shows a little bit).
After lunch, we walked to Organic Avenue, a neat little store stocked with Norwalk (type) pressed juices, organic and natural beauty products as well as plenty of raw goodies (both things like lasagna and key lime pie as well as packaged nuts and crackers, etc). What I loved about the juices and water is that they come in these groovy glass bottles. I immediately knew I wanted a couple of the glass bottles to take home so I bought a fresh green juice (very good!) and a large bottle of their alkaline water. The jury is still out for me regarding the science of “alkaline” water, but I admit it was damn refreshing and tasty!
Here are a handful of my favorite blog recipes. Enjoy! (And, yes, I’m still in NY)
Tuscan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (click here, scroll down to Aug 23 post)
This stuff is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I love showing it off at parties. People are always asking for the recipe.
I get email after email from people telling me how much they love this simple soup. My husband’s and my favorite way is to prepare it with the pumpkin pie spice. Yum!
I always make a double batch of this heavenly scrumptious pudding and it’s devoured in a couple of days. I love it. My husband loves it. My step-dad loves it. My mom loves it. Need I say more?
Ummm…. I don’t really have anything to say but… MAKE THESE!
My regular followers know I’m addicted to this sauce. I love dipping carrots and celery into it. I love dipping organic blue corn chips into it. I love dipping flax crackers into it. I love using it as a sauce on cooked or raw veggie burgers. I simply LOVE it! *Note: my favorite chili powder for this recipe is by Simply Organic.
This recipe is EASY PEASY! It’s extra delicious and is packed with uber healthy ingredients. Worried about garlic breath? No problem. Just make sure you serve some of this to people you’re going to be around. ;)
Refreshing, delicious, healthy, and awesome. And… it’s summer!
Thursday, June 25th, 2009
I’m still in New York (and loving it!) with plans to get back to sunny Arizona some time next week. Today, though, we had some sun. Yippee! Here’s a brief recap of vegan foodie heaven, NY style.
A couple nights ago we went back to Cafe Blossom (you all know this is my favorite place by now), and this time I went Raw. I had an enormous salad piled high with spring greens, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, jicama, and avocado (I love that everything there is organic!). It was delish! Then, I also had an order of their Raw Autumn Sweet Potato Rolls. Oh! And, of course, I had a large Field of Greens green juice (spinach, cucumber, apple, lemon, and ginger). I was feeling alive and on cloud 9 with so much organic raw food goodness. The food was fabulous, the atmosphere was wonderful and the staff, as usual, were awesome. (We’re going back there for dinner tonight!)
Another night we ventured out to Pure Food & Wine. I adore Pure. But, this particular dining experience was not our best visit to this great restaurant. I had the taco salad, which was pretty good. I especially like the portion size. I also had a very green juice that caused me to make faces when drinking it (you know, like when you do a shot of vodka or something), but I’m a hard core girl and I appreciate mega green juices so that was good. Bring on the greens! My husband had the lasagna and here is where there was some disappointment. The cheese was hard around the edges and dark yellowish like it had been sitting out or perhaps sitting in the refrigerator uncovered. The overall dish just didn’t look very fresh. Maybe someone who isn’t accustomed to raw nut cheeses might not have noticed this, but I wouldn’t have served it like that. All three of us at the table were quite surprised given Pure’s reputation. When it came time for dessert, I was oh-so tempted to get my favorite thing there: Mallomar! But, I ended up ordering the Peach Cobbler. It was pretty good. The flavors were extremely intense, making the super small portion actually not a bad thing. Overall, my husband and I liked it, the presentation was beautiful, it had unique flavors, and I loved the fresh peaches. But, I wish I had ordered the Mallomars; those are wickedly amazing.
Fast forward to today. My husband and I went for vegan (mostly raw) sandwiches at a little deli near our hotel. These sandwiches are loaded to the gills with fresh veggies, sprouts, avocado, etc. Well, I left my purse there! Doh! We were walking back to the hotel, when we decided to stop into Cafe Blossom for some green juice and raw cookies for dessert. We were there a good 15 minutes before I realized I didn’t have my purse!!! I said to my husband, “OMG! Wait here!” I ran out the door like a bat outta hell, and, in the process, I basically ran over a guy as he was going into Cafe Blossom. I ran like crazy back to the sandwich shop and found my purse – WHEW! – and then headed back to Cafe Blossom. As I was walking in, the guy I ran over was leaving. Apparently though, after I ran him over, he walked into the restaurant and exclaimed in front of my husband, “Did you see that lady running?” Turns out it was Matt Dillon. Ha! But, that’s not the only star enjoying the delectable food of Cafe Blossom. Currently, Ann Hathoway is doing Shakespeare in the Park and she’s been eating there like twice a day. Told you it was awesome!
We’re still in New York (it’s been almost three weeks) and we’ve extended our trip. I still have many restaurants to try and things to do. This week we have on the itinerary: Bonobos (Raw Vegan), SproutCraft (Raw Vegan with some fermented foods), walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, tons more green juice at Liquiteria, more Pure Food & Wine (ehem… mallomars!), a possible dinner at Rockin’ Raw in Brooklyn, and more visits to my favorite restaurant in the city Blossom (upper west side location).
Speaking of Blossom… tonight we met Gena (Choosing Raw) for dinner there. My husband opted for green juice and the soy bacon cheeseburger with Cajun sweet potato fries. I had a green juice and then went for a more macrobiotic approach: organic tofu (plain), gently steamed kale, and a side of their “holy shit, this stuff is the bomb!” potato salad. (OK, that’s not really the name of it, but it’s what I call it.) For Gena’s dinner choice, she took the ultimate high road and went Raw with an enormous salad and an order of their raw sweet potato rolls appetizer.
Well, my husband and I had been kind of holed up in the hotel room for the day making calls and working, without much food other than my container of organic prunes from Whole Foods (gotta poop when you travel and prunes do the job!) and a smooshed berry flavored Vega bar. Seriously, guys, the Vega bars are just not that great. I love the ingredients and pretty much eat them just so I can have a quick snack with nutrients. But, do people seriously taste test these recipes before mass producing them? Did they try it and say to themselves, “This is actually good and people will love it.” I have my doubts. Don’t get me wrong… I love Brendan Brazier. I love Vega’s EFA oil. I love Sequel Naturals chlorella tablets. I cannot stand the vega meal shake. And, the bars? I tolerate the berry flavored bars. But the chocolate ones? Bleh… they sometimes taste like soap to me.
Anyway, I did not intend for the post to go on about Vega. Back to dinner. So, my husband and I basically only had prunes all day. We were famished by the time it came to dinner. I was in no mood for a salad because I didn’t think it would satisfy me. But, damn. I tell ya… when Gena’s plates came and all of the live raw food was in front of her, I was insanely envious. Her salad was huge and beautiful. The rolls, which I’ve had before, looked amazing. Yes, my food filled me up as hoped (and it was good), but I wish I would have gone Raw. Next time! Oh! And, Gena is such a sweetheart. She surprised me with roses for my birthday.
Funny story… so, it’s been raining pretty much non-stop since
we arrived. It’s the most bizarre weather for NY during this time of year. We literally have had about 2 days with some sun. And, all I brought for shoes are Crocs. You know, the shoes with holes in them that are basically made for wearing near water and are super comfy. Well, wearing shoes durable near water at the ocean or on a yacht is one thing. Wearing these through New York City with muddy puddles (while crossing Central Park) or disgusting dirty pools of water underground while walking from subway to subway is another thing. It’s really nasty. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and bought a pair of super cool rain boots. I was happy. I was proud. And, my tootsies were finally warm and toasty nestled inside my fancy new red rain boots. My attitude was GRRR! Bring On The Rain and my husband was calling me Wonder Woman (fitting now that I’m a brunette). I felt cool. It wasn’t until many hours later, after walking around in them all day, that I realized I had the enormous tag hanging out of the back of them. I am such a dork.
As most of you know, I usually follow a diet and lifestyle that is HRAV (high raw, all vegan) and always as organic as possible. The rest of the time, I go all raw. But… there are times, like now (traveling in NY), that I’m loving up both the Raw and the Cooked Vegan. I’m a foodie at heart. And, in NY, I’m surrounded by tons of vegan restaurants (some which offer Raw options) as well as a handful of Raw restaurants, and I can’t help but joyfully indulge. I’m like a kid in a candy store out here. I want to try everything! But, even though I’m eating a fair share of cooked organic vegan food, I’m drinking lots of fresh green juice to keep my cells happy and dancing. Again, easy to do in NY because so many places offer it. (Oh, and we’re taking digestive enzymes to help our digestion).
So, without further ado…. here are some details about our foodie adventures.
Our hotel is one block away from a place called Blossom. I’ve briefly written about it before here, and I need to write about it more. It’s organic vegan cuisine with a few raw options on the menu. The raw options are indeed very good, and the cooked vegan food is awesome as well. The staff is amazing and super cool. And… the green juice is mega delish (I’m in love with Field of Greens juice and have it almost daily). Needless to say, we’ve been spending a lot of time at Blossom.
Tuesday afternoon we went to the east village because later in the evening we were going to meet Gena (my new great friend) for dinner at Caravan of Dreams. We arrived in the area quite early so that we could walk around and check out Liquiteria (a super popular, wicked cool juice bar) and some other places. Liquiteria is hands-down awesome. They had a huge refrigerator full of organic Norwalk pressed juices – can you say HEAVEN? (And, they’re less expensive than One Lucky Duck’s pressed “to-go” juices.) I immediately bought one and chugged it down. Aahhh! Yum.
Then, we started walking down the street toward a neat farmers’ market, when I noticed a place called Stogo (pronounced stoe-go). I was instantly drawn to it because it said Gourmet Organic Vegan ice cream. Even though we were scheduled to have dinner about an hour and half later… I couldn’t resist. There’s this part of me that gets so excited seeing a business that is both organic and vegan, and frankly, I want to give them my business. I want to support them. “OK, twist my arm” (my husband says – haha) “let’s have vegan ice cream before dinner.” So, we did. It was phenomenal.
I admit though, that by the time we met Gena for dinner, I was stuffed (and I had only eaten a small ice cream – what the heck?). But, being the foodie that I am… I made room in my tummy for more great food at Caravan of Dreams. This place is fantastic. The inside is cozy, warm, and dim. They have plenty of raw options on the menu as well as tons of cooked vegan. It’s mostly organic as well. I decided to have two soups for dinner. One raw. One miso. The miso was very good. It was a big bowl packed full of veggies and miso broth. The raw soup was fabulous… oh my goodness gracious… the raw soup was fresh, clean, and so good. I would get it again and again and again if I lived here. I also ordered a crazy swamp-like kombucha drink that I actually was just not hard core enough to finish. I gave it to my husband. It was…. pretty ick. I mean, doesn’t it look swam-like in that glass? The ingredients were: fresh raw organic kombucha, aloe, spirulina, fresh green juice.
After dinner, Gena and I ordered some yummy tea. It was called “The Good For Everything Tea” made of ginger, cayenne pepper, lemon, and goji berries(?).
I knew that I had to have more of the raw soup though, so before leaving I ordered a bowl to go and ate it in the hotel room later that night. The ingredients: avocado, young thai coconut, and sea salt. That’s it. It’s fab! (Those are little flax crackers they gave to eat along with the soup. Not as crazy about those.)
Because of all of the food we ate Tuesday, we decided to fast a bit for the first part of the day while we visited the Museum of Natural History. Then, after the museum, we went and ate dinner at Blossom (again). After being on our feet all day at the museum, we didn’t want to venture far (and hello, we were starving!) so we stayed close to home and went for a great dinner and green juice at Blossom.
We went back to the east village for the afternoon. We found a very cool place called Cosmic Cantina. They’re open until 5am (my kind of place) and they serve all organic, all veg burritos, salads, and fresh citrus juices. Sweet! We stopped in and split a macro burrito which had a homemade whole wheat tortilla, brown rice, broccoli, tamari, and adzuki beans. It was quite good. Very clean tasting. If we get another chance, I’d like to drop by and try something else of theirs… maybe at 3am.
After that, I was craving my green juice. Since we were in Liquiteria proximity, we made a mad dash for them. I chugged down an awesome alkalizing green juice and bought two more for the hotel room later. That’s a picture of it in an ice bucket, staying chilled. It’s soooo good.
My husband has been looking forward to the release of the new movie “Moon” and it happens to be currently showing in both NY and LA. Score! We’re in NY! So, we went and saw Moon. It was weird and very good. A groovy story. After the movie, we tried another restaurant that I had on my list, Angelica Kitchen. We had sandwiches, miso soup, and kuchika tea. The tea hit the spot. It’s been raining pretty much non stop since we arrived in NY and the tea was nice, soothing, and warm.
We have many other places that we want to try… stay tuned for more raw and vegan foodie adventures in New York.
Wednesday, June 17th, 2009
Sunday we went to Quintessence for a raw vegan brunch. We’d heard from different people that we had to try the “bagel and cream cheese.” So, off we went on a mini-raw adventure.
I immediately liked the Quintessence when we walked in. It was a delightful place with an interior that was bright, clean, and cheerful. And, the service was superb.
I started my meal with a large glass of fresh organic Green Juice, and it was fabulous. BIG YUM! Then, I went on to have the bagel and cream cheese. It was pretty good. The cheese had a nice flavor, and although the (kamut) bagel part was hard to bite into, I still enjoyed it.
My husband had the “fofu” (a raw version of tofu). Specifically, he chose the “Fofu Benedict.” They nailed it with the raw tofu, by making something that mimicked the cooked version. Regular cooked tofu is flavorless with a unique texture. Quintessence offered the exact same, but Raw. My husband’s fofu was served on the same type of kamut “bread” as my bagel, and topped with a raw vegan hollandaise sauce.
After the meal we enjoyed a cup of teeccino. Finally! We found a place serving our favorite herbal coffee. My husband had his teeccino black, while I opted for some raw nut milk in mine. It was the perfect ending to our brunch.
We saw Food, Inc. at the Film Forum in New York City tonight. It was amazing. I was moved to tears a couple of times. I was riled up. My blood boiled in parts. I was humbled. I was motivated. And, I was inspired.
After the movie finished, the director of Food, Inc., Robert Kenner, was there for a brief Q&A session, which I recorded for my readers.
Food, Inc. is a MUST-SEE documentary. I’ve heard a couple people say, “Oh, it’s stuff I already know and has already been shown.” It doesn’t matter. Food, Inc. is to be praised. We will effect change only by getting the message put out there multiple times, until more and more people learn about these problems with the food industry. Multiple impressions and repetition work.
Even if you think you’ve heard this stuff before, I’m sure you’ll learn some new things. You’ll be motivated all over again.
Over the next few weeks, the movie will be shown in more cities around the United States, and you can expect the dvd to be available in September/October 2009. I definitely plan on picking up a copy of the Food, Inc. dvd so I can loan it out to people, who I know aren’t going to get to the theater to see it.
Even though the movie had me upset and frustrated in many instances, there is still hope for change. We have to keep pushing. Vote with your dollar. Buy locally. Buy organic. Read labels. Avoid genetically modified foods (GMOs). Go to your farmers’ market and join a CSA. I love my CSA, and after seeing this film, I love my local farmer even that much more! Throughout the film I couldn’t help but feel very protective of him and the food he makes available for my family.
If you’re as fired up as I am about making change, then tell everyone you know to go see the movie, and check out this link: Take Part.
Saturday, June 13th, 2009
Friday was a fun day. Even though it started with clouds, we actually had the sun peak out for about 3 seconds. I am hopeful that tomorrow will be even better.
We started the day with tea in our hotel room. Then, we scooted our butts to the subway so we could go to Union Square where they have a green market (farmer’s type market) every Friday. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any fresh produce that was calling my name though (I needed fruit that could sit without refrigeration in our hotel room. So, we ended up going to Whole Foods and getting (organic) bananas, apples, and cherries.
When I’m traveling, I like to have plenty of fresh, organic Raw vegan snacks on hand in the hotel room. (Later, I put the cherries in a bag, in our hotel room’s ice bucket, with some ice and water to keep them chilled. Of course, I didn’t keep them there very long because we ate them around dinner time. And, I used the same set up to keep my Norwalk juice cold until I drank that baby down!)
But, before going to Whole Foods, we met Michelle for a juice at One Lucky Duck (I’ve fast become a regular there – wish they had one of those punch cards “Buy 10 Drinks, Get One Free!” That’d be sa-weet. Or better yet, “Buy 10 Mallomars, Get One Free!” – A girl can dream, right?). My husband and I arrived at One Lucky Duck early, so we each had a smoothie (Blue Sunset) and it was really good. Then, when Michelle arrived, I had some fresh plant blood (Green Spice: greens, lemon, ginger) while Michelle had the Hot Pink (beet, pear, pineapple, ginger) and she had a Mallomar. She took her time enjoying her Mallomar and actually made it last for about 15 minutes… taking small bites using a fork. So unlike me; I tear into one of those things with my hands and it’s gone, seriously, in 2-3 bites (usually about 1 minute). Before we left, I grabbed a Norwalk One Lucky Duck green juice to go (seen in the pic with apples, bananas, and cherries above). The Norwalk juice is great because it has a little bit of a shelf life, due to the extraction process, and as long as I can keep the juice chilled, I can store it for a day or two before drinking it (although, I always drink it the day I buy it).
It has been so fun meeting all of these different people in the city. My husband and I were saying how everyone we’ve met here has been so nice… even just people on the street. New York has been very welcoming to us. Thank you, New York!
Today is Friday and it’s another gloomy day in NY. I seriously thought today would be the day that I bust open the drapes upon waking and there’d be sunshine pouring through the windows, but no, it’s completely foggy and overcast again. Are we in Seattle? The constant drizzle is… well, so constant.
Here is my High Raw food intake for Thursday.
I started the day with a cup of herbal tea and a bowl of steel cut oatmeal with a splash of organic soy milk (no, I don’t mind organic soy milk in small quantities from time to time). We had a business breakfast meeting and I’m just not crazy about fruit in a “diner” setting. I’d rather have something “cooked” and low-fat vegan in a setting like that. Then, for most of the afternoon I drank water.
Evening time rolled around and we went to One Lucky Duck. I started my meal with a fresh organic plant blood (greens, lemon, ginger). One of the biggest things I miss when traveling is fresh organic plant blood (green juice), but when you’re in NY there are quite a few options (yay!).
Then, I had the Taco Salad. It was pretty good, although quite heavy with having not only guacamole, nut sour cream, and nut meat, but also a lot of dressing on it. Even though I would prefer less dressing, I’d still probably get the salad again someday if I were really hungry.
Finally… it was dessert time. Oh, the desserts at One Lucky Duck. I’m instantly transported into heaven every time. I started my dessert feast with one of my favorites, the Mallomar. But upon taking my second bite, I dropped it on the floor! Crap! I was so bummed. No “five second” rule here, friends, the floor was not very clean considering it’d been raining all day and people were trekking through the place with wet, dirty shoes from the subway, NY streets, etc. I sadly picked up my smished Mallomar and went up to the counter, alligator tear in my eye (not really, but it could have been for how bummed I was) and I gave it to the One Lucky Duck gal. I walked back to the table, mourning my Mallomar. But… One Lucky Duck Team came to my rescue! Five minutes later the gal behind the counter came over with a new one for me. I was one happy girl!
We quickly realized though that the Mallomars still wouldn’t be enough for us, so my husband and I shared a pint of their Raw ice cream. A pint, yes. A little overboard? Sure. But, we’re in NY and we’re at One Lucky Duck! It’s not like I could take it back to the hotel with me… gotta eat it all! And, so we did. It was wonderful.
Before leaving One Lucky Duck, I bought a bottle of their Norwalk juice. This is juice extracted with a Norwalk juicer which gently juices the produce, meaning that the result is reduced oxidation and increased shelf life. The juice will usually stay pretty fresh when stored properly (airtight container) for a few days. I grabbed a Norwalk green juice to go so I could alkalize a little in the hotel before going to bed.
Ahhh… such a lovely day of food. Yum! I LOVE GOOD, HEALTHY, ORGANIC, QUALITY FOOD! My birthday is coming up shortly and my husband asked me what I wanted to do. All I want is to eat at my favorite restaurants here in the city, and enjoy super delicious healthy food – all day. That’s a great day to me.
Thursday, June 11th, 2009
Animal Planet sent me the following info about the upcoming episode for the TV series Whale Wars (I’m bummed that I can’t watch it in NY in my hotel room, but my friend is Tivo-ing it for me). Whale Wars had over 1.2 million viewers for the premiere episode last week. Here are a few clips from the upcoming episode tomorrow. Take a look below:
Weak Hull: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQ-7pa6gI9I
Close Call: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siSHXStPnSE
A brief synopsis of the second episode:
A huge weather system moves in and the Steve Irwin is forced to take shelter behind a large iceberg. By morning, they are surrounded by ice so thick they can no longer move. The ice begins to push against the aging ship’s fragile hull, denting it inwards. (That’s some scary sh*t!)
Visit the official site for more info: http://animal.discovery.com/tv/whale-wars/
Whale Wars airs Fridays at 9 PM E/P on Animal Planet.