November 27, 2013

Vegan Thanksgiving Guide 2013

Planning a feast for Thanksgiving? Here are a few of my favorite recipes to get you started so you can spend less hours scanning the internet for recipes and more hours hiking in mossy hills surrounded by your beloveds. As is tradition, we made a big vegan Thanksgiving in my wee apartment last weekend with many clanging glasses and filled plates. It was lovely! Full of surprises and glee. Below you'll find links to some of the recipes we made as well as some of my favorite festive recipes of the year.

Pumpkin Challah
Green Bean Casserole (if you are having trouble finding vegan mushroom soup like I did, substitute with a runny version of the Mushroom Gravy)
Roasted Romanesco Cauliflower with Pecans (page 72)
Roasted Acorn Squash stuffed with Cornbread and Pears
Market Kale Salad (sub honey for sugar)
Mashed Potatoes with Chives (you know how)
Orange Cranberry Sauce
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Red Onion
Pumpkin Pie Brownies (try without the pumpkin pie layer for a light and cakey brownie)

Have a very happy Thanksgiving, and by all means, hold the turkey!

Vegan Potato Pierogi

Pierogi! Pierogi! Pierogi! There is this funny little produce store on Fulton that I visit often for their juices and cheap veggies. It's a bit like glorified dumpster diving- every day a new super-sale special in the front bins, 3 peppers for $1, Lettuces, $1, etc. A few weeks ago I stopped in to buy a too-good-to-pass-up $1 bag of yukon gold potatoes and tried my hand at these delicious pierogi. Don't be intimidated if you've never tried making Polish dumplings! They are very easy to prepare. I used a food processor to make the dough but it could easily be kneaded by hand. These pierogi are stuffed with potatoes and kale (they could be filled with anything!) and are served alongside a pile of sauerkraut, homemade applesauce, and tofu sour cream. Smacznego!


3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1- 1/2 cups warm water
4 Tbs. olive oil

Place the flour and salt in a food processor equipped with a knife blade. Pulse to mix. While mixing, add the warm water and olive oil slowly. Add flour or water to reach desired consistency and knead until very smooth and elastic.


2 pounds yukon gold potatoes (cubed)
4 Tbs. earth balance
1 medium sized yellow onion (diced)
1 bunch kale (de-stemmed and chopped)
3 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
black pepper

In a large pot, heat the earth balance over medium heat. Saute the onion until translucent. Add the potatoes, kale, salt, and water. Stir to combine. Cover and cook until potatoes are soft, adding water as necessary. Remove from heat and mash. Add the vinegar and a few dashes of black pepper.

Roll the dough out until it is about 1/4 inch in thickness. Use a lid or cookie cutter to cut circles. Fill with a spoonful of filling and use a bit of water along the edges to seal the dumpling as you squeeze it closed.They don't have to look perfect! Line a tray with flour and place your prepared pierogi to rest. While you are making the dumplings, heat a large pot of water on the burner until boiling. Once boiling, lower the pierogi one by one into the hot water using a slotted spoon. My pot accommodated 6 at a time. The pieroigi will sink immediately and then rise once they are finished. Use the spoon to fish the dumplings out and place on a plate. Continue this process until all pierogi are boiled. Next, heat a large pan over medium heat. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil and fry the boiled pierogi lightly, flipping once.

Serve hot!


November 22, 2013

Kale and Tofu Brunch with Mushroom Gravy and Baked Oatmeal Apples

It's Thanksgiving time! The wonderful season of the year where a warm blanket of savory gravy covers every teeny morsel and the root-roasting oven keeps the apartment toasty. Try this heartening brunch as a plate or layer the ingredients on two slabs of seedy toasted bread. What's not to love about crispy baked tofu slabs on a bed of wilty sauteed kale with a smothering of Isa's Mushroom Gravy?

These baked apples were a bit of an experiment, but I'll perfect a recipe and post it soon! Halved and cored apples stuffed with a combination of oats, cinnamon, brown sugar, almond slices, earth balance, water and baked at 400 degrees until soft. Delicious!

Yours in the sun,

November 12, 2013

New York, New York: 20 Favorite Meals by Neighborhood

Three years spent perched in this challenging, sharp, singular, gem of a city. Here are twenty of my favorite vegan meals that are available on any given day at (almost) every hour, sorted by 'hood. As much as I like trying new things, I have been known to have "an order" meaning- I have some serious favorites. This list is by no means comprehensive! Restaurants that are exclusively vegan are marked with a (V) but know that all of these places have many vegetarian and vegan items available.


Williamsburg & Greenpoint

Vegetarian Shanghai-style Lo Mein (spicy with extra spinach)- $8.50 M Shanghai 
Leek Jardinera Arepa (sub tofu for cheese + avocado)- $7.00 Caracas Arepa Bar
Buenos Dias or Raw Kale Salad- $12 Champs! (V)
Seitan Chili Cheese Fries- $5.50 Foodswings (V)
Multigrain Everything Bagel with Tofu Jalapeno Cream Cheese- $4 The Bagel Store
In Ricotta Da Vegan Pizza- $18 Paulie Gee's

Clinton Hill & Bed Stuy

Autumnal Sandwich and G/F Raspberry Chip Cookie- $10 Clementine Bakery (V)
Pumpkin and Okra Roti with Doubles (extra hot sauce)- $7 Trini-Gul Roti Shop
Red Velvet Cake and La Columbe Coffee-$5 Cinnamon Girl (V)
(Delivery) Daily Special- Vegetable Samosas and Bharta (extra spicy)- $14  Bombay Heights

Park Slope & Gowanus

Vegetarian Curry Ramen (fire hot with extra bok choy)- $10 Naruto Ramen
Quinoi Black Bean Salad (+ tempeh bacon)- $8.75 S'Nice
Vietnamese Tofu Sandwich- $6.50 Hanco's
Breakfast Empanadas and a Ginger Squeeze Juice- $7 each V-Spot (V)


Tofu and Veggie Green Curry and Drunken Noodles (shared)- $14 SriPraPhai


Open Face Tempeh Sandwich with Mashed Potatoes and Ruby Kraut- $11 Angelica Kitchen (V)
(Note- this is currently off the menu but I am fighting to get it back! Try the chili in the mean time!)
Tuscan Lasagna- $18 Candle Cafe East (V)
Skyscraper Burger- $10ish Blossom Du Jour (V)
Veggie Dumplings (12 for $5!) Garlic Bok Choy and Edamame- $3 Spicy Village
(Super Fancy Night) Sweet Corn and Cashew Tamales- $26 Pure Food and Wine (V) (Raw)

Full bellied,

November 8, 2013

Kale and Pepita Breakfast

It's November and Winter is creeping in with it's icy morning fingers and late afternoon sunsets. Last weekend I was fortunate to spend what were surely the final climbable days of the year in Vermont with EA & PH. It was so nice to see these old friends and to pass hours scrambling up mossy, leaf-covered trails. Seasonal transitions are always a little hard for me, with many emotional mountains and valleys to negotiate. What do you do to keep your chin up through the darker, quieter months?

I've recently discovered many gems of the New York Public Library: The Doris & Lewis B. Cullman Center at Lincoln Center that houses thousands of records, scores and circulating sheet music (!) and The Picture Library, which is housed in my work's neighborhood branch, The Mid-Manhattan Library. These wonders have given way to a few personal research projects that are filling my mind and heart. In the towering pile on my table there are Bruch concertos, Berlioz duets, Brahms, Vivaldi, Ives, and Cage, a file full of cross-sectioned lichens, and Roni Horn's WONDERWATER, annotated in two (of four) books- one by Anne Carson and one by Louise Bourgeois, which I am reading simultaneously. How enjoyable it is to fumble through red french words and also to hold one book in each hand while riding the C train.

Another way to keep your cheer during the cold months is to eat a nice, hearty, hot breakfast. Here's a peek at my weekly favorite- sauteed vinegar kale and pepitas with nutritional yeast toast. Kale is resilient and can grow deep into the frost. I've noticed the leaves on the lacinato kale that I love are quite skinny these days, but I'm not sure if that's related to the cooling temperatures. To saute the kale, simply heat a swirl of olive oil on medium heat. Remove the stems (optional) and rip the leaves into big pieces. Add to pan. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of water and a dash of Braggs or soy sauce. Once wilted, turn off the heat and add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Sprinkle with raw pepitas and enjoy with a toasted hunk of bread slathered with earth balance and nutritional yeast!

Chin up folks, it's the weekend!

November 7, 2013

The Veganette for Chickpea Magazine- Winter 2013

Hot off the press! I'm very proud and honored to be included in the Winter 2013 issue of Chickpea Magazine! Rachelle Sartini Garner and I worked together on a little piece devoted to the fine art of vegan creperie. Chickpea is beautifully published and this issue is chock full of delightful recipes, photos, interviews and tips for vegan living. Buy a print or digital copy today at the Chickpea store! There are some amazing cocktail recipes that I'll definitely be looking to as the holiday season rolls around.

Preview the issue here and try out this recipe for savory crepes! Crispy baked tofu and furry fresh sage leaves on a soft pillow of roasted acorn squash puree with a creamy and garlic-y sage aioli sauce. Yum! Guaranteed to have your weekend guests grinning ear to ear! Check out this old post for tips on crepe making.