We would like to let you in on a little secret: adding fresh herbs to a dish, whether as a distinct flavor or a garnish, is one of the easiest ways to immensely improve your food. Maybe you already knew this, but a friendly reminder never hurts!
However, space in NYC is extremely limited. The prospect of growing your own herb garden may seem merely impossible. But we assure you, it isn't. As a matter of fact, growing your own herbs doesn’t take too much space at all, and the easy gardening reaps in benefits.
Good old New York City fire escapes and windowsills offer plenty of unused space on which to grow delicious things! Fire safety rules make it illegal to store things on a fire escape so be sure to get a planter that will hook onto the ledge and hang outwards toward the street. Planters can be found at most hardware stores or sustainable good shops in Manhattan.
Thai Angel is a tasty lunch and dinner spot located on Grand Street in Soho. Far away from the sultry surroundings of tropical Thailand, the minimal restaurant settings of Thai Angel have been accented by paper replicas of flowers and mock hut rooftops. Other than that, the appearance of this eatery’s indoor dimension is very standard, with wooden tables and medium-dimmed lights.
The menu at Thai Angel offers all of the regular Thai selections. There are vegetarian choices, along with fish, duck, chicken, beef and pork. These protein options are cooked into meals like curry, noodles, salad and Thai Traditional Rice Plates. Some lunch specials are offered during the day, so businesses in the area order from here for take-out. The restaurant lunch crowd in Thai Angel starts getting busy after 1:00 P.M.
Most things I make on the fly, and create a recipe as I go with what I feel like at the moment so with something like hummus you can add almost anything you want (sun-dried tomatoes, nuts, cheese, vegetables, etc).
Serves approx. 4
-2 (15 oz.) cans of chick peas
-3-4 large garlic cloves
-6 medium size basil leaves (fresh)
-virgin or extra virgin olive oil (2 tbsp)
-sea salt (1-2 tsp)
-ground black pepper (1-2 tsp)
-crushed dried red pepper (1 tsp)
-hand blender or traditional blender
Open both the chick pea cans, drain and clean one completely and empty into the blender. Then, with the second can drain out about two tablespoons of liquid but then pour the rest of the liquid and beans into the blender as well. This keeps the blender from sticking since there needs to be a little liquid for it to work.
Next add in the garlic cloves, the basil leaves (lightly chopped ahead of time), and the olive oil and blend together until crushed but stop before it reaches a smooth or creamy consistency.
Then add the fresh sea salt, ground pepper, crushed red pepper and lemon to taste, and continue blending until there are no whole beans but a couple chunks here or there.
I personally don't like my hummus too creamy but if you DO- when adding the second can of beans don't drain it at all, and blend until there are no chunks left.
Now go ahead...try it!!! Enjoy!
Behind a generic-looking window and red awning on 9th Avenue in Chelsea exists Co Ba, a Vietnamese kitchen. Inside this medium-sized restaurant, there is an exposed brick wall decorated with several blown-up, green-tinted photographs of traditional-looking Vietnamese people.
Almost all of the food options on Co Ba’s menu are titled in Vietnamese. It is helpful if you have been to Vietnam and can identify some of the words, but if not, you will have to read the English descriptions. As far as drinks go, Co Ba serves liquors and Vietnamese beer; other than the coffee and tea available during brunch, their only non-alcoholic beverage is the house limeade.
Translating as “The New” from Spanish, La Nueva is a South American-style bakery located in Jackson Heights, Queens. Situated on 37th Avenue and 87th Street, La Nueva compliments its busy surroundings, not to mention the loud music playing at immeasurable volumes out of other establishments and cars passing by. Getting there by subway, one must take the 7 from Manhattan, and enjoy the elevated view this ride offers once the train emerges into Queens. By bike, one will likely become distracted by the intense jumble of interesting urban planning that surrounds this area.
Earth Matters has been around for 11 years in the Lower East Side on Ludlow Street. Even though many chains like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have been opening up in across the city, places like this, thankfully, still survive.
Earth Matters is both a health food store and eatery. Their retail section consists of produce from big suppliers, along with some of the farmers in the area. They also sell products like tea, coconut water, bulk nuts, skin care materials and assorted supplements. Their refrigerators also stock ready-made meals like “Better than Pasta” kelp noodles or macrobiotic dumplings. With such a wide assortment of interesting food, Mimi, the owner, suggests for newcomers to try out their raw desserts, especially the raw cinnamon roll.
Sweetleaf Williamsburg opened back in May after the success of its sister location in Long Island City --a bean lover's staple since 2008.
The new Sweetleaf is located on the corner of Kent Avenue and North 6th Street, a fine location for people to stroll down, window shop, pick up a coffee and then head down to the water. If they want a coffee to stay, the interior of Sweetleaf is quite spacious and relaxing. They have decorated this café with antiques, such as aged scales and fans, along with old doors used to support many of the wooden structures, like the counters and tables. Customers can relax in one of the lounge chairs, small tables or stools set up on counters. If they have not carried their own reading material, Sweetleaf provides a basket full of magazines and newspapers they can access.
- 2 ½ -3 cups baby spinach
- 1 kirby cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 nectarine, pitted and diced
- ½ cup orange or yellow bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup red onion, diced
- 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 small bowl
- 1 large bowl
- 1 large spoon
- 1 knife
- 1 cutting board
Vegetarian’s Paradise 2 is in a prime spot on West 4th Street in Manhattan, a high-traffic area situated close to the subway, as well as many bars, cafes, theaters, shops and other restaurants. This downtown restaurant is frequented mostly by couples and friends in their 20s and 30s, along with NYU students. It offers a friendly, yet sophisticated, atmosphere that is inviting, youthful, and not stuffy. VP2 is a popular spot in the Greenwich Village area, and is quite reasonably priced for a sit-down place.
If you are tired of the pre-packaged, store-bought jars of salsa, preparing your own is actually quite quick, cheap, and easy.
- 2 plum tomatoes, diced and seeded
- 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup red onions, diced
- 1/3 cup parsley or cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup green bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup black beans, drained and rinsed
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste