Archive for February, 2010

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It’s kind of like a nut-butter/pancake-open-face sandwich of a post

February 28, 2010

Hello dear readers!

I know what you have all been waiting so patiently for and so, without further ado, the lucky reader going home with two jars of internationally delicious nut butters is…

Congratulations commenter number 68:

Congratulations, Mike! It looks like you won something just by facebooking! Isn’t the internet grand?!

Willie and I want to thank all of you for your participation! We quite enjoyed your comments and posts and hoped you enjoyed your visit(s)!

Perhaps, if you aren’t expecting any exciting nut-butter parcels in your mailbox, you may want to console yourself with some pancakes. Some carrot cake pancakes that is. I will warn you that my pancakes are not the most aesthetically pleasing, but they are still pretty fluffy and tasty.

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Yield: about 8 medium-size pancakes

dry ingredients:

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 + ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon allspice (optional)

¼ teaspoon salt

dash of cloves (optional)

wet ingredients:

1 tablespoon maple syrup

¾ cup non-dairy milk (I used rice milk, you may need to add a little more)

1 flax egg (1 TB flaxseed meal + 3 TB warm water)*

2 tablespoons applesauce

1 cup of shredded carrots

¼ cup raisings or dried fruit of your choice (I used dried currants)

Method:

  1. Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Prepare flax eggs (if necessary)
  3. Add wet ingredients
  4. Add carrots & dried fruit
  5. Fry ‘em up on your griddle/frying pan.
  6. Commence Nomming.

I’ve been in a pancake-y mood recently and these really hit the spot. They are lovely topped with maple syrup, earth balance, nut butter… Anyway, This recipe is super simple and tasty and I hope you give it a shot!

Until We Eat Again,

Caitlin & Willie

*Feel free to use any other egg replacer, or even eggs, if you must. Let me know how it goes!

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An Unlikely Pair

February 24, 2010

Hi everybody!

First, be aware that our International Nut Butter Contest of Nut Butter Giveaway is still going on. Enter for your chance to win today! We’ve been really excited with all the entries we’ve received so far, and I really enjoy reading what everyone has to say! And remember, you can write in additional entries simply by linking to the contest on your Twitter, Facebook, or blog. We will be announcing the winner Sunday.

Second, although I am now back in Toronto, I still have a few NYC blog entries left in me. I’ll be getting around to them in the next week so. But right now, I just want to quickly share with you all the wacky lunch I made for myself today. Check it out:

This is an Avocado Kimchi Sandwich. Sound gross? It’s not! Caitlin gave me the idea for this while I was visiting (possibly in response to our delicious Valentine’s Day dinner of Bibimbap?), and seeing as I still had some kimchi left in the fridge, I decided to give it a go today. It strangely works. Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who doesn’t like kimchi (or, god forbid, doesn’t like avocados), but if you are a fan of both, you may want to give this a shot. Be warned, though: it can get messy.

That’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon, and probably with more exciting tales from New York!

Until we eat again,

Willie

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International Nut Butter Contest of Nut Butter Giveaway!

February 21, 2010

Dear readers,

Do you like nut butter?

Well, in celebration of our 2000th visit this weekend, we’re giving away two jars of nut butter! And not just any nut butter—international nut butter: one jar of New York City nut butter and one jar of Toronto nut butter!

The Prizes

One (1) jar of Peanut Butter & Co. Peanut Butter of your choice from the following flavors:

  • Smooth Operator (smooth peanut butter)
  • Old Fashioned Smooth
  • Mighty Maple (peanut butter + maple syrup)
  • The Bee’s Knees (peanut butter + honey)
  • Dark Chocolate Dreams (peanut butter + dark chocolate)
  • White Chocolate Wonderful (peanut butter + white chooclate)
  • The Heat Is On (spicy peanut butter)
  • Cinnamon Raisin Swirl
  • Crunch Time (crunchy peanut butter)
  • Old Fashioned Crunchy

AND one (1) jar of Nuts To You Nut Butter of your choice from the following flavors:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Valencia Peanut Butter
  • Almond Butter
  • Cashew Butter
  • Hazelnut Butter
  • Macadamia Nut Butter
  • Tahini
  • Sunflower Seed Butter
  • Pumpkin Seed Butter
  • Almond Cashew Butter
  • Almond Hazelnut Butter
  • Macadamia Cashew Butter
  • Peanut Hazelnut Butter

What You Have To Do To Win

Entering is easy, and you can enter up to four times! Here’s how:
  1. Simply comment on this post saying how much you want them, and what flavors you’d like!
  2. Link to the contest on your Facebook page and then leave another comment.
  3. Link to the contest on your Twitter page and then leave another comment.
  4. Link to the contest on your blog and then another comment.
This contest will remain open until next Sunday, February 28 at 8:00pm (EST), and is open to both U.S. and Canadian residents. After the contest is closed, we will then choose one lucky random winner from among the comments. Remember to check back at around that time to see if you’ve won!

Good luck!

Until we eat again,

Caitlin & Willie

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Restaurant Review: Siggy’s Good Food

February 21, 2010

Hi all!

We’re back again with yet another NYC restaurant review, this time from Siggy’s Good Food in Brooklyn Heights! Caitlin and I went here Friday night and had a wonderful meal. Siggy’s bills itself as “The Universe’s First Organic Diner,” and as that slogan suggests, it is a hip little restaurant that offers an entirely organic and seasonal menu. It’s not strictly vegetarian, but it does have a number of vegetarian/vegan options on its menu. But most importantly: this place is delicious! Here is a rundown of all the lovely things we ate.

Our meal started off with an unexpected but much appreciated plate of complementary bread and olive oil. I love it when restaurants do this sort of thing, but I never feel like they do it enough (at least not in the restaurants I tend to go to). Moreover, the plate they gave us included some seriously good olive oil and some seriously good bread. In short: this meal was off to a good start.

Quinoa Spinach Cakes

The menu at Siggy’s includes several scrumptious looking appetizers, but for our meal Caitlin and I decided to go for these Quinoa Spinach Cakes, which were definitely a popular choice at the restaurant that night (we saw many other tables enjoying them as well). These were topped with a tasty Tomato Pepper Cilantro Salsa, but honestly I could’ve eaten the quinoa spinach cakes our their own. They were simple and effective, and baked for just the right amount. Highly recommended!

Sesame Fried Tofu & Onions Salad

For our second course, we got a salad, and what a salad it was! Probably the highlight of the meal for me, this salad was perfect in every respect. So much so, in fact, that it deserves another picture:

This salad included delicious fried tofu fingers which were unlike any other tofu I’d had before, nicely caramelized onions, a bevy of sesame seeds, a subtle flavor of soy sauce throughout, and a tasty tamari ginger dressing. Awesome.

Moroccan Vegetable Couscous

Our main course was the vegetarian special for the night, Moroccan Vegetable Couscous. This bountiful dish included so much goodness: chickpeas, butternut squash, turnips, carrots, cabbage, celery and parsley, all over some very good whole wheat couscous. It also came with some spicy harissa sauce and pickled tomatoes on the side:

This was my first time trying harissa, and I was a big fan. The pickled tomatoes were interesting, but neither Caitlin nor I really took to them. The dish on the whole, though, was very good.

So how does Siggy’s rate? I give it high marks all around. All our dishes were very good, and I appreciate the restaurant’s commitment to organic cooking. The space was a little cramped, but not noticeably so. The only real downsides were: (a) I wish they had more vegetarian options, and (b) I wish parts of their menu were cheaper. Our salad was very reasonably priced at $9, but the couscous was a little pricey at $15. Still, overall our dinner at Siggy’s was wonderful, and you should definitely check it out if you’re in the area!

Until we eat again,

Willie

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N.Y.Cooking

February 19, 2010

Hello readers!

I’ve been in New York for about a week now, and I’m sad to think about how little time I have left of this break. Fortunately, this week has been full of great food (check out the excellent restaurant reviews below, if you haven’t already). Today I want to share with you all some of the homemade goodies we’ve cooked up over the past few days. Ready? Okay go!

As a morning treat, Caitlin whipped up these tasty treats: “Mary’s Famous Banana Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes” from Crescent Dragonwagon’s Passionate Vegetarian (and, thanks to Google Books, you can get the recipe online for yourself—just go to page 544). These were really really good, and gone in no time!

For dinner one night, we made a big spread of Indian food! Due to some infestation problems with Caitlin’s brown rice, we ended up being a little untraditional and making buckwheat kasha as the side grain, which was just as good in my opinion! Here are the two mains:

First up, we had some Yucca Saag. We based this on one of VeganDad’s recipes for Tofu Saag. It was good, but still a little short of the real deal. One day, though, I’m going to make authentic Indian spinach. And it will be delicious.

Our other dish was Coconut Curry Chickpeas, and it was fantastic! The recipe also came from VeganDad, and was so so good and flavorful! (And I think Caitlin agrees!)

Lastly, Tuesday night I took care of dinner while Caitlin was out in Manhattan at class. My meal of choice was Pad Thai, sort of. I adapted this recipe from Closet Cooking (leaving out the fish sauce, shrimp, and egg, and substituting in other things as well), and made some of this delicious roasted tofu from Chow Vegan. The end result? Well, it looked like this:

Somewhat surprisingly, this turned out awesome. The base sauce was a wonderful flavorful that the rice noodles soaked right up. Along with that I added some tasty snap peas and green onions and a big handful (or two!) of peanuts. Also, the roasted tofu, as I said before, was amazing! Plus, the recipe is super easy and only calls for four ingredients (and that’s including the tofu!). I would definitely make this recipe again!

That’s all I have for today, but I’ll have much more to post about before this weekend is through. Check back soon!

Until we eat again,

Willie

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Restaurant Review: Candle Cafe

February 16, 2010

Hiya! We’re back with another NYC restaurant review, this time from Candle Cafe in the Upper East Side. Caitlin and I met my parents here for lunch on Monday, and enjoyed a tasty, inventive, and colorful meal! Here it is, course by course:

Appetizer #1: Tortilla Soup

One of the daily specials, this tortilla soup was full of nice tomato flavor with a spicy kick and corn chip slivers on top. This was a nice way to start the meal for me!

Appetizer #2: Yucca Croquette

Another one of the daily specials, this yucca croquette was nice and creamy on the inside with a wonderful lightly fried exterior, served on top of a tasty red pepper sauce. It was really nice, although a little hard to share among four!

Appetizer #3: Nori Rolls

This appetizer plate was much easier to share! These were fairly standard sushi rolls with tofu and avocado inside. They were good (as were the dipping sauce, ginger, and wasabi), but not spectacular. I still enjoyed them very much.

Beverage: Amazon Mania Smoothie

Candle Cafe was a large list of smoothies and other drinks on their menu, but the one that caught my eye was this “Amazon Mania”: a mix of acai, apple, and banana. This was very good and very refreshing.

Entree #1: Crunchy Sprout Salad

This salad was filled with more types of sprouts that I could identify. It was really good, although I was a little disappointed in my choice of Creamy Pumpkin dressing (it just wasn’t the flavor I was hoping for). The one downside about this salad for me was that I had to eat it with a fork. I know that sounds spoiled, but I’m really bad at eating salads with forks since I only use chopsticks nowadays, and this salad especially would’ve been infinitely more enjoyable to eat with chopsticks in my opinion. But that’s just a small grumble. And they might’ve even had chopsticks to give me if I had asked.

Entree #2: Chipotle Grilled Tofu

This formidable tower of vegan-y goodness featured a bed of quinoa and chard on the bottom, an avocado somewhere in the middle, and two perfectly grilled pieces of tofu on top, garnished with some delicious pineapple salsa. This was probably the most impressive dish I tried. It was super flavorful, nicely varied, and different. Thumbs up!

Entree #3: Beet Salad

This Beet Salad was actually my mom’s entree, and I didn’t get to try it. She seemed to like it though. I mean, look at it—it’s clearly delicious.

Dessert #1: Vanilla Rice Pudding

And this cute little glass was my mom’s dessert, which I also didn’t get to try, but which I also feel fairly confident in assuming was delicious.

Dessert #2: Mexican Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Ice Cream

This was the dessert Caitlin and I shared, and it was deliciously decadent. I think the “Mexican” of the “Mexican Chocolate” got lost somewhere though—this cake wasn’t spicy at all! Nonetheless, I loved the combination of rich chocolate and cinnamon ice cream. Delish!

And that was our bountiful lunch at Candle Cafe. Overall, I think Caitlin and I agreed that the thing we liked most about the restaurant was how colorful all the dishes were. Usually, I’m not too swayed by presentation, but the kitchen at Candle Cafe really give you something to look at and appreciate before you bite in. Of course, once you bite in you get even more to enjoy, since all of these dishes were super delicious.

The only downside to Candle Cafe in my opinion is the price, but what more can you expect from the Upper East Side? I wouldn’t call it overpriced, just expensive. Besides that, Candle Cafe gets high marks all around! Check them out sometime if you’re in the area!

Until we eat again,

Willie

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Restaurant Review: Dao Palate

February 15, 2010

Hi all,

Today I’m writing you with a restaurant review today, from the restaurant Caitlin and I dined at last night in celebration of Valentine’s Day and the Chinese New Year: Dao Palate in Brooklyn, in the Gowanus/Park Slope area. I’m just going to cut to chase and tell you all up front that this restaurant was FANTASTIC, probably the best dinner restaurant I’ve been to in NYC yet. It bills itself as “Pan-Asian Vegan Cuisine”, and the menu is creative, delicious, and has lots of variety. From start to finish, our meal was pitch perfect, but this is of course only a small sampling of all the menu has to offer. But here is what we had; apologies in advance for the lowish quality of these photos.

Appetizer #1: Miso Soup

This miso soup was actually just included with one of our dinners, but it was the first thing they brought out, so it became our de facto first appetizer. Now miso soup is not generally a flashy soup, but it still can be done right and wrong. Fortunately, this soup was done right, very right. I don’t know what did it (but the quality of the miso used was probably involved), but this soup was extremely well executed. It was a great way to start off the evening, and we enjoyed with a nice pot of Ambrosia White Plum tea—yum!

Appetizer #2: Crispy Watercress & Soy Cheese Wontons

These wontons were our first appetizer proper, and they were quite the treat! Although I wasn’t in love with the soy cheese and watercress filling, these were still very very good, and they were topped with a deliciously tangy and spicy mango sauce.

Appetizer #3: Yam & Taro Tempura

Caitlin was craving some taro early in the day, and so we were happy that there was a taro appetizer on the menu, and even happier when we tried it. This was a very straightforward tempura, but done perfectly, and served with a tasty tempura sauce.

Entree #1: Mango Soy Protein

This big plate was a lovely mix of mango, zucchini, peppers, turnips, onion, and soy protein medallions served in a mellow plum sauce. Although this was probably the low point of the meal for me, that was just because everything else was so amazing. I really enjoyed the sauce, and the mix of vegetables and fruit and soy was a fantastic combination.

Entree #2: Bibimbap

This was probably the highlight of the evening for me. For those that don’t know, Bibimbap is sort of like Korean hotpot (but for more details, check out its Wikipedia page). Dao Palate’s vegan variation was anything but ordinary, however, including: avocado slices, pork-style seitan, hijiki seaweed, spinach, kimchi, fried rice, and kimchi sauce. This was simply amazing. I think if and when I go back, I will want to order it; it was just that good.

Dessert: Avocado Soy Milk Smoothie

What better way to end a meal than with a tall avocado smoothie? I can’t think of one (although Caitlin might suggest that this would’ve been better with a little chocolate sauce added in).

Aside from all this amazing food, Dao Palate also features a pleasant and hip decor (albeit it a little for picture taking), with attractive wall decorations and tableware. The staff were very nice and very attentive, and to top everything else off, they included a rose with our check—it was Valentine’s, after all!

I have to say that I really couldn’t’ve been happier with Dao Palate. Plus, it isn’t even that expensive: entrees were about $12 each, and apps were around $6. And don’t think that you have to be a vegan to enjoy this place—Dao Palate will please omnivores and herbivores alike. In short, if you’re in the Brooklyn/NYC area (it’s easily accessible by subway—right across from a Q stop), go to Dao Palate. You won’t be disappointed.

Until we eat again,

Willie

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