Thursday, July 31, 2014

THE PLAZA FOOD HALL

I was doing a story about New York City's food halls for my day job and needed to go take some photos of the Plaza Hotel's Food Hall. I had no big expectations, I assumed it would be something similar to Harrod's Food Hall in London, but smaller. But wow, I was truly impressed with this one as soon as I walked in. It's sophisticated, yet casual. Some of the stores included are Billy’s Bakery, FP Patisserie, Kusmi Tea, Lady M, La Maison du Chocolat, Pain D’Avignon, Piada, Sabi Sushi, Tartinery, Three Tarts, Todd English Food Hall, Vive la Crepe, William Greenberg Desserts and YoArt Frozen Yogurt Boutique (the finest frozen yogurt spot I've ever seen!). The Plaza Food Hall is next on my list for a nice dinner with girlfriends.

Monday, July 28, 2014

5 FAVORITES

Our neighbor James makes the best organic vegan foods and sometimes brings us little tastings of his desserts he sells in his foodtruck The Green Radish (NYC & Montclair, N). These above creations are his Donarts (half-doughnut half-tart masterpiece). It's a pastry that looks like a tart and tastes like a doughnut. Yum! Also his latest dessert, the Raw Chocolate Brownie made with walnuts, dates, cacao and hemp seeds is so good!
My summer favorite is... the rhubarb. It is super easy to grow and requires minimal care. One cup of rhubarb provides you with almost half of the recommended daily value in vitamin K(healthy bone growth and can limit neuronal damage in the brain, even to the point of Alzheimer's prevention). It contains infection-fighter vitamin C, vitamin A (powerful antioxidant for good skin and vision), folate, riboflavin, niacin, B-vitamins, and pantothenic acid. It also includes tons of manganese, along with iron, potassium, and phosphorus. One cup of cooked rhubarb contains just as much calcium as milk, and it's actually much better for you. Try this Rhubard Salad recipe.
Whenever you are around other people, you are exposing yourself to their subtle energies. Most of the time, these energies are positive, and will therefore have a positive, or perhaps even beneficial, effect on your own energies. However, there are times when bad energies, such as negative thoughts and emotions, can be toxic to your own.  Stones and crystals can be used to protect the aura from any harm that can come as a result of these negative energies. I have this big crystal that my spiritual mentor gave me some years ago and I keep it at my desk at home and it also travels with me. 
I bought this little dry eraser board to plan my life one month at a time. It's helpful to keep it somewhere I can see it easily so I can stay on track. I write down my work shifts, things to do, blog posts, events I want to attend, deadlines and birthdays.
I love succulents and got these two beauties little while ago. I might need to get a whole succulent garden now.

Monday, July 21, 2014

MEATLESS MONDAY : BROWN RICE AND ASPARAGUS BOWL

From my easy-breezy summer kitchen: brown rice, beans, onion and asparagus quickly fried with coconut oil. Served with a side of kimchi. Similar recipe here.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

MY WEEK IN SNAPSHOTS

 It has been lovely having Saturdays off and heading out to our little farmer's market first thing in the morning. I so much rather shop this way than at the supermarket. I actually hate going to the supermarket which is why we usually get our veggies and fruits through a delivery service called Door to Door Organics that brings a box full of goodies right to our door once a week. These peaches above were super sweet and juicy, perfect for my smoothie and just to snack on when craving for something sweet.
After the farmer's market we went to hang out at our local bookstore and browse around, getting inspired and enjoying the atmosphere. There are very few independent bookstores left and I sure want to support them. So no more ordering books from Amazon. Except if I need an audio book... Oh, and we got towed back home from the middle of the highway one day when coming back home from the city. This is the second time in the past 3 months when our tire blows up. The sunset was beautiful though, if I have to think something positive from that evening :)
One day I spent couple of hours in downtown NYC just walking around the riverside while waiting for hubby to get out of a meeting. We also dined at Smorgas Chef and I had my favorite comfort food of all time: veggie meatballs, mushroom sauce, mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam and red cabbage slaw. So good! South Street Seaport sure has changed since my last visit (before hurricane Sandy) and I love the public hangout areas such as the picnic deck with sun chairs overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. South Street Seaport was my favorite area when I first moved to NYC and I would walk there from my apartment in Lower East Side every single day when I was off from work. So I have warm memories from here. It was exciting time, moving to the city where I knew no one, started working in a brand new job and living in Lower East Side. Good times.
We also finally went to the beach! First time this summer and oh my, how wonderful it felt to walk (run) in the hot sand barefoot and feel the warm ocean breeze. I could live in the beach. No, seriously, I could. Long Branch Beach has become a favorite beach since it is only about a 50 minute drive away, it's clean and pretty. Previous posts about this beach can be found here and here. For all beach posts check this out. Follow me on Instagram here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

ELLARY'S GREENS IN WEST VILLAGE

I've  been wanting to try Ellary's Greens since they opened, but just never quite made it there. Until my friend Mirva had her birthday lunch. Ellary's menu focuses on natural, organic vegetarian food with limited meat and fish options. Butter and cream are banned from the kitchen. Menu clearly indicates what dishes are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free. Decor is very warm and earth-tones rule the restaurant. Plus lots of greens. This is a place where I could hang out writing blog posts, sipping some delicious green juice and snacking some vegan delights. Note that they do not offer WiFi, so if you need to be connected find another spot.
We ordered juices and three very different kind of dishes.
Escarole with Smoked Tofu, Chickpeas, Olives, Walnuts, Red Onions, Nori, Red Wine Vinaigrette.
Salmon Cakes with Yoghurt Sauce and Chopped Hard-Boiled Egg.
Ancho Glazed Salmon with House-Made Ancho Adobo, Tomato-Lime Coulis.
Love the decor!
ELLARY’S GREENS juice was absolutely frigging mind-blowingly delicious: kale, green apple, lime. So simple!

Monday, July 14, 2014

MY FAVORITE KIND OF TOAST

After working out my body just screams for fuel and before I get to cooking I satisfy the biggest hunger with some simple, delicious toast. My favorite is the Ezekiel which is a combination of six grains and legumes, it is non-gmo, organic, sprouted and contains no flour. I toast it and spread some almond butter first, then lemon juice smashed avocado and finally sprinkle with a little himalayan or sea salt (or kelp granules), nutritional yeast and hot sauce. Snack it with fresh, crunchy veggies, almonds and nuts.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

5 QUESTIONS BLOG CHALLENGE

I received a challenge a while ago from the lovely Tibs of Tib's Tips and I finally managed to put my answers together. I am the master of procrastination...


1. Your favorite clothing brand?


This is difficult because I've never been into brand name clothing. I get my stuff from street fairs, Indian markets, H&M, F21 and Strawberry... 

2. How would your dream house look like?

Ranch style (one-level) open floor plan beach cottage. Chef's kitchen and a little yard to grow veggies and herbs. It would also have a yoga and meditation room. 
3. What was your dream career when you were a child?

Dancer in Broadway musicals. I got pretty close to Broadway, but dancing I stopped before I even moved here. 

4. Scent you'll never forget?

Hmm... India.
5. Your biggest dream now?

To have a career that helps people to live happy and healthy and saves lives of animals. Be able to travel much more and not be stuck in one place.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

AN AFTERNOON IN NEW HOPE

 Last Sunday we took a little trip down to Pennsylvania for a Summer Solstice Expo and Holistic Fair. Little did we know that the town where this event took place was cute as a button, just like something out of a storybook. Beautiful historic houses, interesting little stores, antique shops, art galleries, cafes, restaurants, vibrant night life and location right by the river. The name of the town was New Hope. It was a popular gay resort in the 1950s and still has an active and large gay community, which was quite noticeable from the rainbow flags hanging everywhere. New Hope also attracts bikers as you may see from some of the photos below. 
During our next visit to New Hope we're planning on taking The New Hope & Ivyland Railroad that takes you through the historic and scenic line through Bucks County. I always wanted to ride the steam locomotive! That should be so much fun. Another sightseeing option is the ferry boat that leaves right next to The Landing Restaurant. 

Few bikers in town...
We had dinner at The Landing Restaurant right by the river, sitting outside of course. Their menu seemed just like an any average American restaurant's menu and I had no high hopes on the food, but was pleasantly surprised how good it was.  I had their Portabella Sandwich and it was one of the most delicious Portabella sandwiches I've ever had. Oh, New Hope, you stole my heart. We'll be back very soon!