Wednesday, October 31, 2012

{VeganMoFo} A Trip to Farm Sanctuary

I've longed to visit Farm Sanctuary since I first read about it six or seven years ago.  The amazing part was discovering that a place like Farm Sanctuary - where rescued farm animals would be treated with the kindness and compassion they were completely denied their entire lives - even existed.  The not-so-amazing part was that the nearest Farm Sanctuary was 700 miles away from where I lived at the time.

So, when we made the move to NYC a little over a year ago, visiting Farm Sanctuary quickly shot to the top of my priorities list.  And, I'm happy to say, CH and I took a road trip to the inspiring Watkins Glen, NY farm just a week ago.    

Monday, October 29, 2012

{VeganMoFo} Perfect Pumpkin Muffins

There's a distinct possibility that I'm sitting on my kitchen floor, eating these pumpkin muffins in the dark right now, seeking cover from the "Frankenstorm" that's likely to hit NYC.  If so, thank heavens for auto-posting, otherwise I might not have been able to hold up my end of the MoFo bargain.  My fingers are crossed that that's not the case, but if so, let's just say these muffins are so amazing, they'll even get you through a hurricane.


Oh, pumpkin!  Why must you entice me so?

I mean, I know it's that time of year and everything, but seriously - pumpkin's in the air, and in our food, in a major way right now.  According to New York Magazine (my source for all important information), pumpkin drink offerings, alone, have increased 400% during the past 5 years.  Talk about an upswing!

The odd part is, many of the so-called "pumpkin" items on offer at restaurants and in coffee shops don't even contain actual pumpkin.  The secret of Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte, for example, is that it's "just a latte spruced up with pumpkin-flavored syrup - connoisseurs cite cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove" as integral flavors, per NY Mag.

Friday, October 26, 2012

{VeganMoFo} Kale Chips + a Brief Kale Primer

kale chips w/ nutritional yeast

It's official: Kale is finally getting its due.

These days, you can find kale salads in restaurants all over the country, kale in juices at gas stations/convenience stores, and even kale chips on the store shelves of non-health food stores (see:  Trader Joe's).

In fact, it has become so popular - so ubiquitous - that I'd be surprised if a backlash weren't a' brewing.  Soon enough, poor kale will be languishing on the "Not List," having been upstaged by some other food that vegans have been obsessing over for ages...

Regardless, its myriad health benefits (and fantastic, though some would call "acquired," taste) always keep me coming back for more.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

{VeganMoFo} Restaurant Reviews: Dos Toros Taqueria

It's no secret that New York City isn't exactly a Mexican food haven, which is a bit tough, since I love Mexican food. That's why I was completely ecstatic to discover Dos Toros Taqueria, a fast-casual, Mission-style burrito place with three locations in NYC.

Now, before I go any further with this review, let me be clear:  Dos Toros doesn't exactly have a veg-friendly reputation.  Not only did they get into a bit of hot water back in 2010 (before I'd heard of them) for neglecting to note that their "Basic (No Meat)" burrito contained rice made with animal-based stock, but most people don't even realize that one of their locations has vegan options.

I'm hoping that this post will help change all of that.

So, wanna know which Dos Toros location is vegan friendly, and what I like to order there?  I bet you do.

Monday, October 22, 2012

{VeganMoFo} Apple Chowder with Maple Cashew Butter

JD and CH are currently on vacation in the Finger Lakes region of New York - sampling lovely vegan food, visiting adorable animals at Farm Sanctuary, and enjoying the wine trails at Seneca Lake (with limited internet access).  As a result, this Monday's VeganMoFo breakfast post will revisit an oldie, but goodie:  Apple Chowder with Maple Cashew Butter (now including the recipe!).

Dear reader, let me introduce you to the most fabulous breakfast that you'll ever meet. His name is Apple Chowder, and I have no doubt that once you see him in person, it'll be love at first sight.

Now, I know what you're thinking:
"I worked so hard to snag Mr. Popularity (aka: "Johnny Cereal"), and now that our "routine" is down to just 5 mins, why in God's name would I wanna leave him?"
"But Old Reliable (aka: "Oatie Oatmeal") and I have been kickin' it since the days of middle school, and he's always been so good to my heart - I'm not taking a chance on someone who might break it!"
Don't worry, I completely understand. You and your breakfast already have a great relationship going, right? I mean, it's not like you get hungry before noon is it? And you're certainly not getting tired of having the same thing over and over again, are you?

Friday, October 19, 2012

{VeganMoFo} Raw Zucchini Pasta w/ Creamy Avocado Sauce

I know, I know, I just did a post about a raw zucchini pasta two weeks ago.  But come on!  That was fourteen whole days ago!  And it's not like you can ever have too many zucchini pasta recipes... right?

Also:  CH and I are headed off on a mini-vacation today (we're going to upstate New York to visit Farm Sanctuary and hit the wine trail, if you must know).  As a result, I'm gonna keep this post short and sweet.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

{VeganMoFo} Restaurant Review: Sun in Bloom

chocolate chip cookie sandwich (gluten-free)

Sun in Bloom is an adorable little vegan restaurant, nestled in the heart of Park Slope, Brooklyn.  CH and I first dined there when we were scouting out Brooklyn neighborhoods to relocate to from the Chicago suburbs.

While waiting for our check, I remember fantasizing about living nearby - imagining that I'd visit at least once a week, laptop or Kindle in tow, seeking refuge from my busy New York life at a place that makes food so delicious I could weep.

Monday, October 15, 2012

{VeganMoFo} Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seed pudding.  The quintessential vegan food.  It sounds healthy, looks weird, and seems vaguely edible.
Fortunately, only one (well, okay, two) of those descriptors is correct...

Friday, October 12, 2012

{VeganMoFo} Raw Taco Salad

This raw taco salad is something of a revelation.

In it, crisp lettuce marries with seasoned taco meat and tangy cashew cheese to form the main components of the most coveted raw recipe in my arsenal.  The trick is to throw in just a few of the usual taco suspects:  tomatoes, scallions, olives, and cilantro, and to top the whole thing off with nothing more than a bit of freshly squeezed lime juice, which allows every flavor to shine through brilliantly.

Yes, there's a little advanced prep work here.  Yes, it's totally worth it.

This is pretty much heaven in a bowl.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

{VeganMoFo} Restaurant Review: Peacefood Cafe

fluffy quinoa salad w/ baby greens, sprouts, avocado, sweet peppers, onions, corn, & creamy lime mustard vinaigrette 

Peacefood Cafe is not only one of the first vegan restaurants I visited when I moved to NYC, but it's also one of my favorite restaurants in all of NYC, period.


Not because it's 100% vegan, so you don't have to ask questions about a single, solitary, ingredient.  Not because of the atmosphere, which is the perfect combination of sexy and cute.  Not because of the bakery case, which beckons you like a siren song with its decadent desserts.  And, certainly not because I once saw Sam Waterston (of "Law and Order" fame) dining there.

Monday, October 08, 2012

{VeganMoFo} The Perfect Bowl of Oatmeal

Blueberry, Walnut, Cinnamon Oatmeal

I'm a sucker for a good bowl of oatmeal.  Always have been, always will be.

And although I do have a bit of nostalgia for the old days - when making "oatmeal" meant tearing open a packet of instant Quaker Oats (maple 'n' brown sugar, represent!) - I'm quite enamored with the weekend ritual of preparing oatmeal from scratch.  The slow-cooking, don't-walk-away-or-the-pan-will-overflow cadence of breakfast preparation kinda feels good.  In my soul.

Friday, October 05, 2012

{VeganMoFo} Raw Zucchini Pasta w/ Fresh Tomato Sauce

I absolutely love the way that eating raw foods makes me feel.  It's kinda my equivalent to that feeling some people describe when making the leap from an omnivorous diet to a vegan one.

Since my path to veganism essentially started at birth (my mom can attest to this fact), and I was a long-time vegetarian before becoming a vegan, I didn't experience an overnight change in my mood and energy when I altered my diet.

Honestly, my changes have been much more subtle (but nonetheless magnificent), which sometimes makes me envious of people who have a different story.  Fortunately, however, I've been able to cultivate that missing feeling through raw foods.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

{VeganMoFo} Restaurant Review: 'Snice

I have a bit of a confession to make: I'm kind of addicted to 'Snice.  And.  I.  Don't.  Care.

Even though NYC is full of great vegan options, I generally fall back on the same few places, mostly due to proximity (in this case) or to sheer picky-ness (my trademark).

Now, I'm not gonna sit here and claim that 'Snice is the be-all-end-all of vegan cuisine.  It's not.  But it is reliably good, and it's one of those places that you can take just about anyone - even non-vegans (le sigh!) - for a satisfying, relaxing meal.

Bonus: they even have vegan desserts.

Monday, October 01, 2012

{VeganMoFo} Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins

Bananas are a staple in our house (ahem... very small apartment).  If we don't have them, it's a pretty safe bet that something crazy has happened.  Yet, because they're always around, they sometimes get passed by for more novel fruit, which means that overly-ripe bananas occasionally plague my kitchen counter.

Whenever I notice said offender(s), my mind instantly flashes to an episode of 'The Simpsons,' where Marge says to Lisa, "We have black bananas, and you know what that means!"  To which Lisa gleefully shouts, "Banana bread!"