Friday, May 29, 2009

Vietnamese Crepe (Banh Xeo)

After buying some fresh scallions from the farmer's market at Union Square, I decided to make Vietnamese Crepes.  The main ingredients for the crepe flour included rice flour, wheat flour, salt, baking soda, and tumeric (I always add a little extra tumeric for color).  I think you can find the prepared flour at your local asian supermarket.  Look for the brand I used below.
Prepared Rice Flour (Bot Banh Xeo)

Follow the directions on the package for making the crepes.  You will need coconut milk, water, scallions, and ingredients for the filling.  For a vegan version, I made the crepes with tofu, onion, mung beans, scallions, and bean sprouts.  I also served the crepes with romaine lettuce, fresh cucumbers, and fresh mint.   In addition, I made a soy vinegar dipping sauce (a vegan nouc mam-traditional Vietnamese fish sauce) with sugar, vinegar, water, fresh lime, soy sauce, fresh garlic, and red chiles. Here are a few photos of the crepe making process.

Cooking the mung beans
Crepe with tofu, scallions and onions
Adding the mung beans and fresh bean sprouts
Drum Roll please.....a nicely seared Vietnamese Crepe
This meal reminded me of eating Vietnamese food with my lovely family:)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Three Grain Tempeh with Couscous

For dinner I made couscous with tempeh and roasted brussel sprouts.  I enjoy making cous cous because it only takes about 7 minutes. 

Recipe for couscous:
1 cup french couscous
1  1/2 cup of water
extra virgin olive oil

2-3 T nutritional yeast
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried parsley
salt & pepper to taste

Boil water with 1 TB of olive oil.  
Add couscous and bring to a boil.  Then turn the heat off, remove the pot to another burner, and cover for 5 minutes.
Next, remove the lid (I used a small plate) and fluff cous cous with a fork. 
 Then add the seasonings and finish with an additional tablespoon of olive oil.  
Fold all the ingredients together and enjoy!
I also had a side of BBQ sauce for dipping:)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day

Vegan BBQ Plate

Here was my plate from yesterday's feast.  On the left was a vegan chili cheese dog.  Top right, vegan mac and cheese and bottom right was a vegan potato salad.  I wanted to try another potato salad recipe from eat'n veg'n, but didn't have all the ingredients.  Hopefully I'll try it soon.
Vegan Mac and Cheese
Organic Fruit Salad

To end this meal, I had a nice bowl of organic fresh fruit (kiwi, blueberries, banana, and orange).

Recipe for the Vegan Potato Salad:
1/3 cup diced red onion, yellow and red bell peppers, scallions and gherkins
6 baby potatoes
2 T vegannaise
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt & pepper to taste

Boil water and add 1T salt.  Cook potatoes until barely tender (10-13)minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, chop vegetables and set aside.  Drain potatoes and let cool until warm.  In a large bowl, combine chopped veggies with potatoes, add the vegannaise and dijon mustard. Fold all of the ingredients together.  Add S & P to taste.  Chill for at least 30 minutes then serve.  

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mini French Bread Pizza

I had some leftover french bread from making sandwiches the other day.  Not wanting to waste it, I decided to make mini pizzas. The sauce is made with organic tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast.  Each mini pizza had a different topping.
Mini Pizza #1: Sauteed spinach, fresh garlic, and tomatoes

Mini Pizza #2: Peppers, vegan sausage, and mushrooms
Although these pizzas were small, they were full of flavor and easy to prepare. I'll definitely add these mini pizzas to my quick go-to meal list.  

Friday, May 22, 2009

Restaurant Reviews

Lan Cafe, Mamoun's Falafel and Stogo
I would like to share with you 3 reviews of restaurants in the East Village. Starting with Lan Cafe, this is a Vietnamese vegetarian restaurant with mostly vegan items (the only dairy ingredient is the condensed milk in the Vietnamese coffee, but you can substitute soymilk).  The food here is affordable, fresh and mostly authentic.  On my first and second visit (sorry no pics), I tried their seitan vermicelli (bun) and seitan baguette (banh mi). The vermicelli was mediocre at best. The rice noodles were bigger than the usual vermicelli used in traditional Vietnamese (bun) dishes, which made it a little less authentic. However, the use of fresh basil, cilantro, crushed peanuts, pickled daikon and carrot reminded me of eating traditional vermicelli in Vietnam.  Next, the seitan baguette.  This warm, delicious sandwich was a winner. Hopefully when I return to Lan Cafe, I'll be sure to take pictures of this delectable sandwich.

When I did have my camera in tow, I managed to take a couple of pictures.  As you can see, the restaurant was empty (I arrived as soon as they opened) and pretty small.  I think there were 12 tables of 2. 

Photo of Lan Cafe (interior)
For my lunch, I ordered the Vegan Pho.  Pho is a traditional noodle soup dish made with rice noodles.  The dish is normally garnished with mung bean sprouts, fresh lime, red hot chile peppers, fresh basil and cilantro.  The soup was excellent. The vegetarian broth had subtle flavors of star anise and cloves.  The vegetables in this pho consisted of carrots, straw mushrooms, tofu, baby corn and baby bok choy.  
Lan Cafe's Vegan Pho 
Lan Cafe
342 East 6th St.
New York, NY. 10003
Vietnamese Vegetarian
Website: None, but their menu can be found here.

Next up, Mamoun's Falafel.  Mamoun's was first established in 1971. They have three locations, which are located in the East Village, Greenwich Village and in New Haven CT. I've only ever been to the East Village location, but hope to visit the Greenwich Village location soon (there's a bigger selection there).  This has got to be my favorite falafel sandwich in all of New York so far.  The service here is very fast and the falafels are made fresh to order.  Here is a picture of their famous falafel sandwich.  

Mamoun's Falafel Sandwich
You can't go to Mamoun's without trying their lentil soup. Always piping hot, this soup had fresh bits of carrots, onions and lentils.  Also at an affordable $2.50 for each item, you'll be sure to come back for more.  
Mamoun's Lentil Soup
Other vegan-friendly items on their chalkboard menu include a hummus sandwich, falafel platter and many sides such as baba ghannouj (eggplant with sesame sauce), hummus, stuffed grape leaves, falafel balls and tabbouleh (cracked wheat parsley).  
Mamoun's Falafel
22 Saint Marks Place
New York, NY 10003
Middle Eastern

Last, but certainly not least is Stogo, a gourmet organic dairy-free ice cream shop.  

Photo of Stogo
They offer soy and soft serve flavors some of which include chocolate hazelnut, mango berry, Mexican spiced chocolate, toasted almond joy and pomegranate chocolate chip. They have many toppings such as cookie bits, dark chocolate chips, coconut and goji berries. On a recent visit I tried the peanut butter fudge and cinnamon banana cookie.  

Stogo's Vegan Ice Cream
I have to say that Stogo is very good, but not as good as Lula's Sweet Apothecary.  I'm compiling my pictures for a full review of Lula's coming soon.  
159 2nd Ave.
New York, NY. 10003
Gourmet Organic Dairy-Free Ice Cream

Phew! End of a very long post. Thanks for sticking with me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Typical Day of Eats

Breakfast usually consists of oatmeal during the week.  I like the Old Wessex 100% Natural Whole Grain Instant Oatmeal. All I have to do is measure 1/4 cup of instant oats into a bowl, add 1 T of Organic Grade A Maple syrup, boil 1/2 a cup of water, add to oats and stir. Takes about 2 minutes to make.  On the weekends, you can find me eating this.

Some of you may already know, but after breakfast and working out, I usually have a smoothie.  This is a blueberry, banana, strawberry and mango smoothie with ricemilk.  
Then it's time for a real lunch.  I've been on a sandwich kick lately.  See my "Sandwich 3 Ways" post here.  Today's sandwich is made with BBQ tempeh strips, tomato, lettuce and vegannaise aka a TLT.  Here's an inside shot (I made an extra sandwich for tomorrow).

For a snack, I either have fresh or dried fruit. 

Dinnertime.  Today's dinner was a vegan chicken strip salad with a vegan caesar dressing. 
I try to have carbs earlier in the day and save my salads for the evening. 

What's your "Typical day of Eats"?  Post about it on your blog or leave a comment.  Also stay tuned for a few restaurant reviews including Lan Cafe and Mamoun's Falafel and Stogo.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Post Workout

I recently added Almond Breeze to my smoothie recipes and love it.  This smoothie was made with bananas, blueberries, strawberries, almond breeze and a little water.  In addition to this, I had some of the fruit below.
Usually on Sundays, I make a batch of fresh cut fruit.  This week I peeled and cut kiwi, clementines, navel oranges and cantaloupe. Take a little bit from each and you have yourself a nice fruit salad to go with your smoothie after your workout.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich

Whole wheat english muffin, vegan cheese, pan-seared tofu, vegan sausage with a little Earth Balance margarine and organic ketchup.  One word comes to mind...YUM!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Avocado Salad

Today's lunch was an avocado salad.  This 5 ingredient salad consisted of chopped spinach, diced orange bell peppers, grape tomatoes, onion and sliced avocado mixed in a red wine vinaigrette.  Fresh, light and revitalizing.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


From VCTOTW (Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World) by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero, I made peanut butter and cookies 'n' cream cupcakes.  VCTOTW was one of my first vegan cookbooks.  The recipes are amazing.  If you don't have this book, make sure to add it to your cookbook collection!
The peanut butter chocolate cupcakes turned out great.  The zig zag is made with a rich chocolate ganache.  
Although the peanut butter chocolate cupcakes were stellar, these cupcakes were even better.  When it comes to cookies 'n' cream, this is always my first flavor choice for vegan ice cream, vegan cake and vegan cupcakes.  Therefore, I may be baised in my opinion. Back to the cupcakes,  for the "cookie", I used Newman O's Organic creme-filled chocolate cookies.  The cookies are mixed in the frosting and used as a garnish.  Mmmm good!

*Note: Isa's new "Vegan Brunch" cookbook is now available here.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Soy and Sake Village

Located in the West Village, Soy and Sake Village is the sister restaurant to Red Bamboo and Vegetarian's Paradise 2.  What makes this restaurant so unique?  They serve vegan sushi.  I'm not talking about avocado rolls and cucumber rolls.  I'm talking specialty rolls such as the Village Roll (Vegan Rock Shrimp tempura, cucumber, topped with banana, avocado and a spicy vegan mayo).  
I couldn't possibly pass on getting a glass of sake, therefore I chose the Momokawa Organic Nigori Junmai Ginjo Sake.  I heard about this sake from This Just In.  It was served with a large wedge of cucumber.  The sake was very light and refreshing with a hint of pineapple.  
After I placed my order, about 10 minutes went by and the waitress came over with a complimentary bowl of their hot and sour soup.  She apologized for the long wait and said that my meal would be out shortly.  I didn't think that I had waited that long, but accepted the generous offer.  The soup was okay.  Nothing spectacular, but a nice treat.
The next dish arrived shortly after.  The House Roll (crisp soy chicken, bamboo shoots, avocado, vegan mayo and vegan eel sauce).  When I read the description on their menu, I thought, "Vegan eel sauce I don't know about this".  However, I'm glad I tried it because this roll was out of this world.  I would definitely order this again in a heartbeat.
Next up, this gigantic portion of Sweet and Sour Chicken.  I typically don't order Sweet and Sour dishes, but for some reason I was craving the sauce.  The entree was another winner.  I had leftovers for two days.  Next time your in New York, be sure to try this place!

Soy and Sake Village
47 7th Ave S.
New York, NY 10014
Vegetarian, Vegan, Japanese, Pan-Asian & Pacific Rim Sushi

Monday, May 11, 2009

Spring Spinach Salad

After my workout, I was craving a nice and light salad.  With only 5 ingredients, this salad contained chopped spinach, sweet corn, avocado, red onion and grape tomatoes (all organic).  The dressing was a red wine vinaigrette.  Ahh, just what I needed:)