Several months ago, I was in a restaurant (Levél Veggie Bistro) by Retiro Park in Madrid when I was blown away by a dish called “Timbal Fresco de Quinoa” which means “Fresh Quinoa Timbale.” This beautiful plate of layered quinoa, sliced avocado, and chopped tomatoes with sprouts and ground black peppercorns on top was served with basil leaves along with a lemon squeezer and olive oil. I simply sprinkled the fresh lemon juice over the top with a sprinkle of salt and the flavor was magnificent. Read more
Grocery stores are filled with fresh fruit – peaches, plums, apples, and more – that looks great on the outside but is often mealy, flavorless, or dark on the inside (indicating the fruit was picked too early and put in cold storage).
I can’t tell you how many peaches, nectarines, and apples I’ve thrown out over the past few months. And, it’s not just from ordinary grocery stores; I’ve purchased awful peaches and nectarines from Whole Foods and Fresh Market on numerous occasions. Often times, this is because the fruit is technically out of season – grown in a faraway place, cooled, and transported – but in the summer and early fall, there is no excuse. We should be able to buy peaches, nectarines, and apples that are juicy, flavorful, and delicious during the summer and fall.
Farmers Markets are often reliable sources of high quality, locally grown fruit but if these are not an option, consider ordering fresh fruit from Frog Hollow Farms – a certified organic farm that grows peaches, nectarines, apricots, pears, pluots, cherries, avocados, and more. Read more
Oatmeal is not one of those sexy breakfast foods that most people get excited about. Some devotees, like my husband, add fresh fruit, maple syrup, dried fruit, and nuts to make it palatable (he’s not a big oatmeal fan) while others simply sprinkle a bit of cinnamon or brown sugar and a spoonful of walnuts or pecans to add some crunchy texture to a breakfast staple.
But, there is a third option: Qi’a™ (pronounced Kee-ah) Superfood Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Oatmeal (gluten-free): a blend of seven organic ingredients: rolled oats, buckwheat groats, pumpkin seeds, inulin (a natural fiber and sweetener derived from the root of plants, often chicory), chia seeds, hemp seeds, and cinnamon. That’s it. No added refined sugars, flavors, preservatives, and no artificial colors or flavors. Read more
Everyone in New York and beyond has an opinion about bagels so I’m just going to put my two cents out there. Tompkins Square Bagels makes the best bagels, period. A great bagel has to be big and round, golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside and doughy on the inside – and that’s what Thompkins Square Bagels are.
With two locations (the original location at 165 Avenue A by Tompkins Square Park and 184 2nd Avenue between 11th and 12th Street) in the East Village, Tompkins Square Bagels is a neighborhood bagel shop but also a destination spot for many New Yorkers who know a good bagel when they taste one. Read more
Rich in Omega 3’s, fiber, and magnesium, organic and fair-trade Himalania chia seeds are grown in Peru. A popular seed used in cereals, chia seeds are also used as an egg replacement because the seeds when moistened expand into a gel-like texture that helps bind and elevate foods together. But beyond using chia seeds as a nutritional boost, leavening agent, or binder for cereals, puddings and baked goods, chia seeds are also a great tasting snack food, especially when they are covered in rich, dark chocolate. Read more
Pretzels are a part of the landscape of New York City and, yet all pretzels are not created equal. Those hard, dry and tasteless pretzels sold on virtually every street corner taste like cardboard and make people wonder what the fuss is all about. Surely New York can do better than that…and, they do but you have to know where to find them. Read more
Chocolate caramel turtles – the unbeatable combination of roasted nuts combined with creamy caramel enrobed in chocolate) were one of three foods (the other two being a slice of cheese on my toasted bagel with lettuce, tomato, and red onion; and bread pudding) that made me think twice about changing my diet from vegetarian to completely plant-based.
I could certainly enjoy nuts and dark chocolate on a vegan diet but caramel which is typically made with milk and butter was out of the question. After much soul searching, I made the leap anyway and went through a brief period of mourning until I discovered Lagusta’s Luscious Salted Galapagos Turtles – which turned out to be better than the chocolate turtles I gave up! Read more