[Random Broadway photo. Can you spy the person in the crowd wearing a squirrel costume?]
So, where the heck have I been this past week? It feels like a long time since I last posted on this blog. In reality, it’s only been since last Thursday’s Wellness Weekend. Even though Wellness Weekend does occur each week–and I do LOVE all your incredible, healthy, sugar-free recipes, so please keep ‘em coming–I’ve been itching to post a new recipe of my own for a while, but, as sometimes happens, life intervened.
In a nutshell, here’s what’s been going on:
It all started with that darned birthday. . . .The HH and I decided to skip over to one of my fave places on the planet, New York City, for a quick junket and meetups with friends. As it turned out, our two days there preceded Hurricane Sandy by one day–we literally flew out of the city the night before they began preparations, a weird coincidence that left us feeling lucky and, at the same time, devastated for those we left behind.
And, like so many of you, I’ve been riveted to the TV, twitter, etc. following the aftermath of the hurricane and feeling heartsick for the poor people who’ve been ravaged by it, thinking about the city and environs since we left. And while I’ve heard from friends and family (and thankfully, they’re all safe), there are still so many others left without power or supplies who need help. If you’d like to help, here’s one list of ways to support the New York area and New Jersey, and a more general list here. Angela from Oh She Glows has created a Disaster Fundraiser (and an amazing giveaway at the same time) through which you can donate. I’m sure there are many others, too–please add any other ways to help that you know of in the comments!
So it feels a bit odd to be recapping a trip to New York when it’s currently so different from the place we saw last week, but I will cherish these memories all the more now.
As you might expect, most of our adventures involved. . . food! Mealtimes were spectacular, both because The HH totally indulged me and ate every meal (save for one, which was his choice) at one or another of the incredible vegan haunts in the city, but also because we met up with so many friends, online or otherwise, while there.
Unfortunately, my highly portable point-and-shoot camera is not great at taking photos in semi-darkness. . . so most of the shots came out sort of like this:
Do you feel dizzy yet? No, it’s not you. But that is kind of how I felt once the flu bug hit (bed, tea, tea, bed). Oh, and that’s a blurry image of the amazing Ruby Red juice I had on our last morning: brunch at Cafe Blossom.
In other words, please forgive the photos here . . . I really do need an iPhone for those instagram ones, don’t I?
Our first dinner was a return visit to Candle 79 (we loved it so much last time, we just had to go back there again), where I savored the Pomegranate-Chipotle Grilled Tempeh while the HH went for the Baby Arugula Salad (after scarfing down a huge bowl of meaty pasta for lunch). Dinner was followed by Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf on Broadway (for which we scored half price tickets–yeah!). We were joined by my friend Babe, who also just happened to be in New York for business! The play, what was likely one of the most spectacular productions of it ever mounted, kept us entranced for the full three hours. If you’ve seen the movie or read the play, you know that this is not a light entertainment, and I could only marvel at the energy required by the actors to remain so focused for the duration.
[My Green Spice juice; the HH's Strawberry Blonde shake.]
Friday was a food-and-fun-filled day of meetups! We started at One Lucky Duck, where I finally met my colleague Andrea Nakayama, the genius behind Replenish PDX and with whom I’ve taught the Sweet Victory detox, in person. It was like meeting an old friend as we sampled some of the famous raw goodness at One Lucky Duck (that’s my kale juice on the left; The HH’s shake on the right).
After wandering a bit in the East Village, we strolled over to Caravan of Dreams to meet up with JL and her hubby for a farewell lunch before they move across the country to Colorado. JL writes the fabulous blog, JL Goes Vegan, as well as the blog Stop Chasing Skinny. As she tells it on her blog, “I am proof that you are never too old to change!” JL ran a marathon, became a triathlete, and transitioned to a vegan diet. . . all in her 40s. Now she practices as a Vegan Lifestyle Coach and lives as a fabulous role model for all women who want to achieve their dreams. Go, JL! It was so great to see her and Dave again, and gab over great food!
[JL and me in the cavernous Caravan of Dreams. Did we plan our matching all-black T-shirts and sweaters? Our mirror-image pixie cuts with bangs swept in opposite directions? Our same-shape glasses? Ah, we'll never tell.]
Dinner took place at one of my dream destinations: Pure Food and Wine. I’ve read so many great reviews of this place, and after my friend Gena recommended it as a favorite, I knew there was no other choice for the evening. And what an evening it was! I met with one of my favorite bloggers with whom I’ve had an online friendship since I bought her first cookbook, My Sweet Vegan, back in 2008–the incomparable and amazingly talented Hannah from Bittersweet! Hannah was just as lovely in person as she is on her blog, and we thoroughly enjoyed catching up–in person.
We were joined later by Tess, The Blender Girl, and her partner for a raucous, rollicking evening. If you don’t know Tess yet, you should–head over to her blog asap! It’s filled with amazing, mostly quick-and-easy recipes that can be made in a blender, food processor, or mixer. And she hosts some pretty awesome giveaways, too! I met Tess for the first time last April at the Nourished conference, and immediately felt as if I’d known her for years. Not only is Tess one of the most hardworking bloggers I know, she’s also one of the most generous–and fun! It’s impossible not to spend an evening filled with laughter when you’re with Tess.
[Dr. Cow Cheese Plate.]
And the food! We began by sharing the Plate of Assorted Cultured Dr. Cow Tree Nut Cheeses and Rosemary Crisps. Oh. My. Goodness. Having never tasted fermented raw nut cheese before, I couldn’t have imagined the buttery soft yet firm and even slightly gritty texture of the cheddar–just like dairy cheese. Next up, I ordered Alfredo Noodles made with raw salsify (yep, I even learned something new at Pure Food!). Finally, the meal was capped off with what may very well be the most decadent chocolate-mint sundae I’ve ever tasted. Behold:
[No, it didn't really glow with a thousand tiny diamonds, as appears in the this flash-enhanced photo. But I did have a bit of an afterglow when I ate it.]
After staying up too late despite that nasty flu bug, the HH and I ended the trip with a brunch at Cafe Blossom, where I indulged in raw nachos and an incomparable Farinata Puttanesca (chickpea crepe with caramelized onions, capers, olives–hold the mushrooms).
[Raw nachos and guacamole]
It all ended far too quickly, but as chance would have it, just in time: we flew out of the city literally hours before the city shut down. As I write this, many in the region are still without power or full utilities. It’s bizarre to me that many of the places we visited were flooded a couple of days later.
And what about the week since our return? Well, once I finally kicked that nasty flu bug, I got to the kitchen and testing recipes for the cookbook! Here’s a glimpse of what my testers have been cooking up (everything gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan!):
Sunshine Breakfast Loaf
Dalmatian Cheesecake Brownies
High Protein Waffles
. . . and much more! To get a peek at all of the testers’ own photos of what they’ve been baking, check out the cookbook Pinterest board.
Now that I’ve whetted your appetite. . . it’s time for a new recipe. I promise to bring one along later in the week.
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Last Year at this Time: Buckwheat Breakfast Bake with Heart-Healthy Almond Butter (gluten free; ACD Stage 2 and beyond)
Five Years Ago: Baked Oats (gluten free; ACD maintenance)
© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs