It is the month of September, and whether you’d like to admit it or not, summer-lovers, the air is getting crisper, leaves are dancing to the ground, and fall is imminent. Autumn-romantics: rejoice!
Along with this glorious season brings the bustle of back to school. Don’t lie, even if you’ve been out of the classroom for years, you know the utterly blissful feeling of a brand new box of unused, perfectly narrow-tipped colorful crayons, a fresh, un-doodled planner, and pencils, sharp with erasers still intact. Yes, and a new pair of sweet kicks. This feeling of a clean slate, a new beginning and a fresh start is one that is comforting and reminiscent of a simpler time. You might not be breaking out the new zippered AND Velcroed Trapper Keeper, but LUSH Cosmetics has a way you can feel new and young again while getting so fresh and so clean (clean).
When looking over a menu, there are often a few things that catch our eye: the familiar, the strange, and perhaps a new dish with some of my favorite ingredients. Often after agonizing decision making, we'll veer towards the familiar or the favorites, not wanting to risk a bad meal on a night out.
This past Saturday, however, we went to dinner at Ootoya in Chelsea, and a dish on the appetizer list sounded too interesting to pass up:
"Homemade Tofu with World Selected Salt"
Yes, we have plenty of salt and tofu at home, but words like "homemade" and "world' stand out; we needed to get my chopsticks on this starter.
Recently there has been an increase in the number of eateries focusing on healthy, clean-eating dishes, as more and more people are forming dietary restrictions and adapting a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. With so many health-conscious eateries around the city, you no longer need to settle for tofu, bland veggie burgers, and "facon" to have a healthy, satisfying meal. Opening right before Hurricane Sandy, Table Verte in the East Village offers diners of all kinds, an approachable, flavorful meal consisting of market-fresh vegetable dishes using French culinary techniques. Even the most carnivorous meat-eater you know won’t be looking around for a burger after a dinner at Table Verte.
Yesterday, new baked goods shop, Vegan Divas, opened up on the UES with a slew of health-friendly treats. Founder Fernanda Capobianco (wife of famed Francois Payard) is excited about opening her flagship store after her brand took off in the US. Celebrities such as Madonna and Alicia Silverstone have already caught on to the phenomenon that is Vegan Divas. The vegan sweets replace animal products with healthier ingredients such as maple syrup and cold pressed coconut oil, making the goodies less caloric, kosher, and both cholesterol and lactose free.
There’s only one word you can use to describe the weather in New York City—HOT! The heat is enough to drive a seemingly sane person to do unnatural things. The price of air conditioners and energy bills will certainly go up but don’t let this heat allow you to loose your cool. Fight off your stress with summertime comfort food: ice cream. And we’re not just talking plain vanilla or chocolate, let the heat sway you to try some crazy, innovative flavors.
From the outside, Souen Soho appears quite subtle, nestled into a small area at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Prince Street with bicycles parked all around the ramps. Inside, however, the restaurant feels very roomy, even being furnished with such small tables. The best place to sit is in the back towards MacDougal Street, as it offers a peaceful view of neighborhood apartments, rather than the passing traffic on Prince Street or Sixth Avenue. Once seated, the many potted plants and vines placed around the restaurant present an earthy feel even within the Downtown Manhattan setting.
Soul Tempeh is a delicious vegan concoction that mixes healthy food with fried food, American cuisine with Asian cuisine, and bitter greens with sweet starches. A light dish prepared this way tastes great, but is not super greasy and overly filling.
- 18 oz brick of tempeh, chopped into 20-24 small pieces
- 2 medium yams, peeled and chopped
- ½ bunch of kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped, 1 cup water
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 cup uncooked Basmati Rice, 2 cups water
- Canola Oil
- Dash of Salt
- Dash of Pepper
On Wednesday, April 18th at 6:30pm, check out the Last Chance for Animals Annual Gala, an exciting night of drinks, vegan hors de'oeuvres, live music, and the striking work of renowned artist Peter Max. One of the most famous living artists, Peter Max is a pop culture icon known for his use of bold colors and uplifting, psychadelic images.
Tickets for the under-30 crowd can purchase tickets at a discounted rate of $100, with all proceeds benefiting Last Chance for Animals.
Last Chance for Animals (LCA) is a national animal rights organization based in Los Angeles. Founded almost three decades ago with a focus on the cruelty of vivisection, LCA now conducts animal advocacy on issues ranging from the fur trade to puppy mills to animals used in entertainment. Check out their site to learn more and get involved!
Date and time: April 18th at 6:30-8:30pm
Location: Peter Max's Art Studio, 37 West 55th Street, 7th floor, NYC
Poor Jamie Oliver.
He's just a boy, standing in front of a portly nation, asking it to love him eat better.
And how has America thanked him? By deeming his latest cookbook one of the least healthy tombs of the year. Sort of.
It was announced yesterday that the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine released it's annual list of the country's worst cookbooks and Oliver's Meals in Minutes was at the top. The group specifically criticized the nutrition-conscious chef's recipe for a Meatball Sandwich, as it contains "more fat than a Big Mac and more than double the calories, cholesterol, sodium and saturated fat." The offending sandwich calls for ground beef, pancetta, Jarlsberg cheese and ciabatta loaves.
With the holidays approaching, there will be the requisite family gatherings and plenty of dietary restrictions to contend with. Perhaps one of the most difficult diets to accommodate is a vegan diet. Not only are vegans vegetarian, but they also do not eat any dairy or other animal products. So even innocuous baked goods are verboten if they contain eggs, milk, butter, cream or honey.
Enter Liz Lovely - artisan cookies made with 100% natural and vegan ingredients out of a small Vermont bakery. These are the perfect sweet treat for the vegan in your family, and unlike many vegan baked goods, which can be dry and chalky, these are perfectly soft, moist and crumbly. I love the chocolate flavors, like chocolate walnut and peanut butter chocolate, which feature a smooth layer of dark chocolate at the bottom, but perhaps the Snickerdoodle was my favorite of all. A simple cookie done so well that non-vegans won't even know the difference!