NYC Food Update

What a great couple of food outings I have had over the last couple of weeks! YUM! Some goodies but oldies and some that I have been wanting to try out and finally made my way over to. Love that!!

My Babies Blessing Party at Candle 79. Awesome!! Always an amazing time there 🙂

Quintessence in the East Village has always been a solid stand out as far as vegan raw food. I have been totally craving Caesar salads lately and they make such a great one! I have actually had that and their raw tacos twice over the last 2 weeks haha. So good! The Caesar dressing is amazing with a generous amount of avocados in the salad to make for salad perfection! YUM! Plus the tacos are just super awesome too. I love that you can order just one.

Dirt Candy is also in the East Village and I have been wanting to go there since Amanda Cohen opened it up a few years ago. FINALLY we were able make it there! It was actually pretty hard to get a decent time reservation but luckily I planned this one in advance and there we were 🙂 It is a pretty tiny, yet adorable place but of course the main reason why we were there was the OUTSTANDING food! As you know I am quite the foodie and been to many many restaurants but I have to say – I was beyond impressed with everything we ate! I am really hoping to go back super soon and try the other half of the menu!

We started with the Jalapeno Hush Puppies served with maple butter (how could we not!) and the Mushroom! dish portobello mousse, truffled toast pear & fennel compote, incredible! Complex, creamy and of course deelish! Then we moved on to our entrees. I have to say, everything we had was well thought out, very creative, visually stunning and sooo tasty! Chardchard gnocchi, grilled chard, garlic granola & drunken fig jam and Cauliflower buttermilk battered cauliflower, waffles,  horseradish, wild arugula. And although we were getting pretty full how could I not try their dessert after such an incredible meal! Popcorn Pudding salted caramel corn. The other desserts had more of an out there sound to them, and although I am sure they were deelish, I had to go with this one. Suffice it to say, there was no disappointment here 🙂 We will for sure be back and are just sad that it took us this long to finally make it there!

Cauliflower - buttermilk battered cauliflower, waffles,horseradish, wild arugula

Chard - chard gnocchi, grilled chard,garlic granola & drunken fig jam

Lula’s Sweet Apothecary is another East Village fabulous vegan stand out when you are craving some amazing dessert. This awesome warm weather we have been having was just the perfect excuse to head over for some ice cream. They have a ton of fabulous flavors and I have tried many of them but I am sure as a lot of people would agree with – the Cake Batter soft serve is not to be missed. This is the first time I tried it with a topping and I had to go caramel sauce. So happy I did that! haha YUM!!!!

Cake Batter Ice Cream -- photo from http://www.theurbanhousewife.com

Gingersnap’s Organic  is another amazing new raw place to open up in the East Village. It just opened up in November and I am so happy I didn’t wait too long to make it over there! The owner, Jamie, is super awesome, friendly and down to earth. The place itself is really cute, comfortable and they specialize in food on the fly. So although they have an awesome full menu, you can can just grab pre-made food and run. I had already eaten lunch when I went but wanted to try one of their raw vegan dessert specialties. OH MY Chocolate Ganache Cake! It was seriously the best raw food cake I have ever eaten! I am sure this would pass to anyone for a master slice of chocolate cake. I love raw food, but I know the thoughts and feelings many people have about them as desserts, and this one seriously measures up! YUM! I am excited to come back here and try the rest of the menu and their cool looking cleanse as well. Welcome to the neighborhood Gingersnaps!

Gobo is a West Village mostly vegan restaurant that has a cool vibe to it. I have been going there for years and years! It was always the, parents taking me out go-to restaurant, for so long 🙂 But it had been maybe 2 years that we have been there and it was super nice to revisit. I always start with their Scallion pancakes with homemade mango salsa. Then we moved on to the natural Seitan medallions in sizzling spicy citrus sauce and the Organic king oyster mushrooms in sizzling basil black bean sauce. I typically would not order a mushroom dish as an entrée but last time I was here my friend ordered it and I was lucky to get a taste. So deelish! The king oyster mushroom is such a star! My very favorite dish there is the Pine nut vegetable medley with lettuce wraps, which I could not help ordering to go for my lunch the next day 🙂 Absence does make the heart grow fonder, it was nice to go back. Yum!

Pine nut vegetable medley with lettuce wraps

Mushroom-Barley “Risotto”

I love all things mushroom! So this was one of those amazing recipes for my house. Thank goodness I made a bunch as we were super happy to eat it for a while 🙂 The best part was that unlike regular risotto – I didn’t have to stand over the hot stove and stir this dish the whole time. And of course barley is way more nutritious than arborio rice.

Check out these other mushroom dishes from the past…Mushroom and Crumble StroganoffVegan Creme of Artichoke and Mushroom Soup with Pesto, Raw Spinach & Wild Mushroom Quiche, Chopped “Liver” Spread, Thai Coconut Bliss Soup, Mushroom Stroganoff and Raw Mushroom Cream Sushi

huge pot of goodness!Mushroom-Barley “Risotto”

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups mixed mushrooms, quartered (chanterelle, cremini, morel, and oyster)
1 cup pearl barley
3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions; cook about 5 minutes and stir in the garlic and cook, 30 seconds.
  3. Add the mushrooms; cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the barley to coat.
  5. Add the stock, salt, and turmeric and bring to a boil.
  6. Lower to a simmer and cover, stirring occasionally, until the barley is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Butternut Squash Cornbread Stuffing

I’m so sorry to have gone MIA for so long! It was a crazy couple of months and then we went on a fabulous whirlwind tour of Australia 🙂 So no complaining here but I am happy to be back home and back in the kitchen!! And just in time for an awesome Thanksgiving recipe!!

I have always Loved the stuffing part of the meal so this dish is pretty perfect. It has all the carby goodness of the cornbread but much more veggies than a normal stuffing, so you can even enjoy this as a great fall meal. Yum! And I just love roasted squash! Plus this dish is also really low in fat compared to all the butter laden stuffing recipes out there 🙂

What are your favorite vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes/dishes? I would love to hear from you!!

Butternut Squash Cornbread Stuffing 
Serves 8 as Main Dish or 16 as Side Dish

  • 1 butternut squash (love buying the pre-chopped!!), cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3-4 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 lb. button mushrooms, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 ounce bag cornbread stuffing
  • 2 cups “chicken” flavored veggie broth
  • salt

Heat oven to 400°F. Spray sheet or roasting pan (I needed 2 pans – but I also made extra squash for buttnernut mash- nice to be able to double duty the recipe!) Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray and roast squash for 25 minutes. Rotate squash and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Set aside and reduce heat to 350°F.

In a saute pan or wok – heat canola oil and cook onions, pepper, celery and mushrooms until onion is translucent. Add garlic, cook for one minute more and remove from heat.

Combine squash, veggies, broth and cornbread in large bowl. Place in a baking dish/roasting pan (use the same 1 or 2 that you roasted squash in) and cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt to taste and enjoy 🙂

Mushroom and Kale Polenta

We love polenta! It cooks so quick and you can do so many fun things with it 🙂 You can probably guess from many of my recipes that I love kale and mushrooms and they went SO well with the polenta. This an easy dish that also makes great leftovers.

Some other polenta goodness: Polenta with Nectarine-Blackberry Salsa, Vegan Creamy Polenta, Polenta with Black Beans, Pan-Fried Tofu & Roasted Coconut Tomato Sauce, Slow Cooked Corn Polenta and Chiles and Polenta Vegetable Casserole.

Here are just a few other mushroom recipes if you love them too! Mushroom Stroganoff, Mushroom and Crumble Stroganoff, Raise-the-Roof Sweet Potato Vegetable Lasagna, Raw Spinach & Wild Mushroom Quiche, Vegan Creme of Artichoke and Mushroom Soup with Pesto, Thai Coconut Bliss Soup, Easy Tofu Scramble, Raw Mushroom Cream Sushi and Chopped “Liver” Spread.

Mushroom and Kale Polenta

1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 – 2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
2 cups sliced mushrooms (any mix)
1 – 2 cups kale, washed and chopped
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2-3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt, freshly ground pepper, olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the cornmeal, whisking continuously. Add corn, thyme, and salt and pepper, turn heat to low and continue to cook for about 10-15 minutes. If the polenta becomes too stiff, add a little more water. (1/4 cup at a time.)
  3. In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt, and continue to cook for 5 minutes; the mushrooms should be giving off some liquid.
  4. Add kale and about 2 tablespoons of water to the mushrooms, then cover the skillet for about a minute, until the kale softens up.
  5. Add everything in the mushroom and kale skillet to the polenta. Mix the nutritional yeast into the polenta, and spread the mixture into a glass baking dish.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Either serve right away or chill and cut into squares.

Mushroom and Crumble Stroganoff

Here is another Stroganoff recipe. The first one was such a hit but I still always love to experiment. I whipped this one up super fast and it was great! It was very different from the first one since I included the crumbles and vegan sour cream. Try both and see which one you like best 🙂

Mushroom and Crumble Stroganoff
Makes 4 servings

1-lb. pasta
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon canola oil
1-lb. pkg. Morningstar burger crumbles (or your favorite soy crumbles)
1 cup vegan (I used Hain Pure Foods Vegetarian Brown Gravy Mix)
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti)
3/4 cup white cooking wine

  1. Cook the pasta in boiling water.
  2. While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, heat the oil and cook the onions and mushrooms until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
  3. Drain the pasta, and serve the sauce over the noodles.

Veggie and Tofu Moo Shu

This was super yummy, quick to make and very low in fat, which is always lovely! Perfect weeknight meal! Deelish!

Veggie and Tofu Moo Shu
Makes 8 wraps

8 – Whole Wheat Tortilla Wraps
12-oz. bag dry broccoli slaw mix
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 block tofu, cubed and crumbled (or vegan crumbles)
1 cup water chestnuts
1 can bamboo shoots, drained and chopped
3 tablespoons tamari
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
dash white pepper (black is fine, if you don’t have white)
hoisin sauce

  1. In a small bowl, combine tamari, vinegar, garlic, cornstarch, and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Heat a wok to medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook, 2 minutes.
  3. Add broccoli slaw and mushrooms to wok and, stirring occasionally, cook for 3 – 4 minutes, until veggies are soft.
  4. Add bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and sauce to the pan, mix well, and cook for an additional 3 – 4 minutes, until entire dish is hot.
  5. Remove from heat and transfer moo shu mixture to a serving dish. Set aside.
  6. Serve tortillas and hoisin sauce alongside moo shu mixture. Spread hoisin sauce on tortilla and spoon moo shu mixture and wrap.
  7. Enjoy!

Mushroom Stroganoff

HOLY deelish!!! This was soooo good!! You can also use any combo of mushrooms and I’m sure it would turn out really good! Michael and I could not get enough of this pure, vegan, comforting goodness! I would suggest eating this with a spoon to make sure you get all that lip-smackin sauce 🙂

Mushroom Stroganoff
Makes 4 servings

2/3 cup water
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups sliced white mushrooms
2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 cup sliced oyster mushrooms
1 dash cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons white wine
3 tablespoons tamari
1 cup soymilk
1 cup Vegetable Broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water
1 freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 ounces dry fettuccine noodles, cooked

  1. Place the water and onion in a large non-stick skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are slightly limp.
  3. Add cayenne, wine, tamari, soymilk, and broth and mix.
  4. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Uncover and add cornstarch mixture to pan, cook, and stir until thickened. Season with black pepper to taste.
  6. Serve mushroom mixture over fettuccine.

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