Saturday, July 28, 2012

Thailand Part 2

Best Thai Food in Town

Hands down my favorite place in Thailand.  The food was soooooo good that I came back again, and again, and again.  I even ordered take-out for my return flight back to the U.S.  The owners are a husband and wife team and they were very helpful in ordering from the menu.  They made sure to cook without egg and fish sauce and made everything to order.  These photos take me back....mmmmm now I want those noodles!  I can still taste the kaffir lime, veggies, ground peanuts, and coconut milk flavor. 
Plate 4: Pad Thai (No Egg, No fish Sauce)

Plate 5: Veggie Curry with Greens

Plate 6: Side of Coconut Rice

Went back to Jasmine for dinner.

Plate 7: Green Curry
Spring rolls from the hotel restaurant.

Plate 8: Vegetable Spring Rolls

Dinner at Sawadee Restaurant.

Plate 9: Sweet and Sour Vegetables

Plate 10: Vegetable Stew

Back to my favorite place for some take-out.

Plate 11: More Pad Thai (You have no idea how good this was!!!)

Plate 12: Vegetable Fried Rice

Next up.....Vietnam.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Around the World in 80 Plates

Have you ever watched this show on Bravo? Well, it's a culinary competition where 12 chefs travel around the globe to take on challenges to recreate different types of food.

Now...I thought I would try my own installment here, but instead of taking on challenges to recreate food, I'm going to show you foods from around the world in 80 vegan plates.

I'll take you on a trip around some of the places I've traveled; Thailand, Vietnam, Europe, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. (Hawaii in particular).  

The journey begins with Thailand!

About a 45 minute ferry ride from Phuket, Thailand,  there is place called Koh Phi Phi.   Phi Phi is a tropical paradise!  It is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world...Maya Bay.  This Bay has gained a lot of popularity from the movie The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  The beach is a bit overcrowded, therefore, I would suggest going early, or visiting some of the other beaches. My favorite, Pileh Bay:) 

Pileh, Phi Phi

Pileh Bay

Maya Bay, Krabi Thailand

I could show more pictures of the trip, but....ok...all right, back to the food.  That night, I went to Jasmine restaurant near the hotel.  On the way there, you could smell the flavors of basil, ginger, and garlic as you walk along the beach.  Once I arrived, the place was happening.  Music playing, waves crashing, people dining, it was the place to be.

Plates 1 and 2: Thai Curry Vegetables and Pad See Ew

Close Up

   Dinner was delicious.  It was so good, I went back again the next day for lunch and dinner!

Plate 3: Fried Bananas

After dinner, I still had room for dessert.  Sitting on the beach at night with the wind blowing from the waves prompted me to order this dessert.   It was served with honey on the side, which you can see in the background, but I opted to eat them plain. Somehow, they were all gone by the time the bill came!  Next up...more dishes from Thailand.

On the Beach
Ko Phi Phi Don

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Soy and Sake West Village

 Soy and Sake is one of my favorite restaurants in the city.  When I first discovered this place, I was in love (see related post here)! The staff is quite friendly and the manager always welcomes you with a bright smile.  Their menu is pretty heavy in the mock meat category.  If you're a fan of veggie meats, try the Crispy Chicken Nuggets, Grilled Chicken Salad, Thai Grilled Chicken, Ying Yang Noodles, Bento Boxes, or try their specialty Sushi Rolls.   However, if you're not a fan, no fear, there are plenty of non-mock meat dishes such as a variety of salads (house, seaweed, avocado), vegetable entrees, and sides. They also have a great lunch special too!  See the latest lunch visit below. 

Green Salad with Ginger Dressing

Soy Chicken Teriyaki Skewer

Vegan Chicken Pad Thai

Vegan Sweet and Sour Chicken

Spicy Soy Tuna Cucumber, Kampyo Sushi, and Spicy Soy Tuna Avocado

Sushi Roll Close up

My love affair with Soy and Sake has slowly faded, but I always know where to go for a good Vegan Bento Box or Sushi Roll.  Btw...they serve Vegan Treats for dessert! 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Homemade Granola

Hmmmm....I thought.   What can I snack on other than potato chips (my first love)?  GRANOLA!  Here is the recipe that I used.  I modified the recipe to make it vegan friendly.  

Ingredients (Adapted from here)

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ flax seeds
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter Earth Balance Margarine
  • 2/3 cup honey agave
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter (vegan margarine)  an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the flax seeds.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Place the margarine, agave, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the raisins and cranberries and stir well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

The granola turned out great (after 3 attempts).   They make great gifts too.  I made these for a few friends who were traveling to London.  Apparently, the granola was gone before they arrived:)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Caramelized Tofu and Snap Peas

Caramelized Tofu with Red Onions

A couple weeks ago, I was craving Dau Hu Kho (Braised tofu).  Pair it with snap peas and steamed rice, and you have yourself a satisfying Vietnamese meal.  Enjoy!

Sugar Snap Peas with Garlic

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pukk Thai Restaurant

Tofu Coconut Soup
(Tofu, mushroom, scallion, cilantro, coconut milk)

The East Village neighborhood provides a lot of options for vegetarian/vegans.  Some of the restaurants in the area include Angelica Kitchen (see post here), Viva Herbal Pizzeria (see post), John's, Bad Burger (hit or miss...Separate veggie kitchen...they also have a location in Williamsburg...24/7 at both locations), Organic Grill, Quintessence, Caravan of Dreams (see post), and the list goes on.  Pukk is an all vegetarian (mostly vegan) Thai restaurant located between 4th and 5th st. on 1st avenue.  Don't miss out on their lunch specials. For $6.50, you can get a soup, appetizer, and an entree.  Unfortunately, I missed out....OOPS, but ordered from their regular menu.  Everything was great....the only complaint...the summer rolls.  I'm pretty sure they pre-make their rolls. I can tell because the texture of the rice paper is somewhat firm and chewy.   Not my idea of a "fresh" summer roll. Favorite dish would have to be the coconut soup.  If you haven't been to Pukk, stop in for lunch sometime or just order takeout.  They'll come in a matter of minutes!
Mini Smorgasbord

"Fresh" Summer Rolls
(Rice paper, carrots, tofu, lettuce, red peppers served with hoisin sauce)

Vegetarian Duck Basil
(Onion, bell peppers with chili basil sauce)

Vegetable Pad Thai (No Egg)
(Smoked tofu, radish, zucchini, carrots, bean sprouts, peanuts, and scallions)

Steamed Veggies
(Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, zucchini, spinach, bok choy)

The Spread

Vegetarian Thai Cuisine
71 1st Avenue
New York, NY. 10003


Monday, July 16, 2012

Angelica Kitchen

Had lunch at Angelica Kitchen in the East Village a couple days ago. Ordered the Kale chiffonade of kale with miso marinated tofu feta, diced sun-dried tomatoes & toasted walnuts; dressed with olive oil, lemon & garlic. Also ordered 1/2 an avocado and a 5-item pantry plate (baked-marinated tofu, walnut-lentil pate, hummus, curried cashew spread, and the nori maki of the day.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Union Square Greenmarket

Most Saturday mornings you can find me at the Union Square Greenmarket.  I usually go without a shopping list because I like to see what's new and in season.  Each week, I try to find something I've never had before to expand my cooking repertoire and palate.  This week I bought shishito peppers.  I'll probably saute the peppers with eggplant and Rocambole garlic from Keith's Farm.    Looking forward to cooking some tasty meals.  

Shishito peppers

Fairytale Eggplant

Need another idea? See this recipe for grilled eggplant.

Blueberries and plums

Mushrooms and garlic

Cauliflower, zucchini, and cucumbers

Tomatoes and greens

Sweet Bell Peppers

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Recipe for Spinach Pie is finally here!

Spanakopita without Cheese

Okay.  I have to be careful when I leave a teaser post.  Recipe coming soon...should mean recipe within a couple days not recipe a whole month later.  Ok. I got it.  No more teaser posts.

Here is the recipe you've all been waiting for:)

For the Spinach filling I used this recipe:

(Adapted from here)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes


  • 5 pounds of fresh spinach (or mix of spinach and other leafy greens)
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 8 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of  leek leaves finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 pound package of phyllo pastry sheets (approx. 24 sheets)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper


Wash the spinach (and other greens, if using) well in cold water, removing roots and damaged leaves. Chop coarsely and place in a colander. Salt lightly and let drain for 10 minutes. Press or squeeze to remove all excess liquid.
In a large pan, combine spinach (and greens), dill, parsley, onions, leeks, pepper, and half the oil, and cook until ingredients are well blended.

To replace the cheese, I made a tofu filling with fresh tofu(drained and crumbled in a large pot), nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, walnuts, and a little nutmeg. Then combine the tofu mixture with the sauteed spinach.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
Brush the pan with oil (it can be round, square, or rectangular). Lay about 6 phyllo sheets on the bottom, brushing each one lightly with olive oil.
Spoon in the spinach mixture and spread evenly.  
Lay 6 more phyllo sheets on top, brushing each with oil. 
Add one more layer of the spinach tofu mixture (forgot to take a photo of this step...oops).
Oil the top layer.
Score the top into serving-size squares.

Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 1 hour on the rack just below the middle of the oven. When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool 1/2 hour before serving.