What Vegans Eat – Day 18

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We keep some crazy hours here at Responsible Eating And Living. We have begun to prepare for our first fundraiser in New York, since we launched the organization in 2011. You can find more about it here. We got up late and I was craving savory Japanese food, starting with miso soup. I chopped up some cabbage and onions cooked them in water with a piece of kombu. With some leftover rice and ripe avocados my mouth was watering for avocado maki. I got rolling. I reheated the rice with a little vinegar and agave to make “sushi rice” and got out the bamboo mat for rolling maki. I made one roll and realized I only had one sheet of Nori. What else could I use? An old memory came forth of a food demo given by my friend Gabriele Kushi at some EarthSave event we had organized. She made maki with collard leaves. I had collard leaves. I got rolling… I began with a raw collard leaf.
 
rolling-collards
The raw leaf was a little stiff for rolling. Gary suggested blanching the leaf. My pot of soup was cooking on the stove and I dipped a collard leaf in it for a few seconds, pulled it out and it was perfect – ready to roll! Some firm tofu and mung bean noodles were added to the soup along with some South River 3-year barley miso.
 
Lunch: Vegetable Miso Soup with 3 kinds of Avocado Rolls and Bai Mu Dan white tea.
 
miso-maki-lunch
 
This meal felt so nourishing. Afterwards I thought I would never be hungry again. Wrong!
 
Dinner: We were invited to dinner by Joy Pierson and Bart Potenza at one of their restaurants, Candle Cafe West. The four of us had been wanting to do this for a very, very long time and the day finally arrived! This was an unforgettable evening of perfect food, conversation and love. Thank you Joy and Bart.
 
* My iPhone pictures with limited lighting do not do these fantastic dishes justice!
 
APPETIZERS:
 
Grilled Artichokes with string beans, chick peas, olives in a tomato-based sauce and Avocado Quinoa Salad with black beans, cucumber, jicama, radish, grape tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, field greens, chipotle dressing.
 
grilled-artichoke-hearts
 
quinoa-salad
 
MAIN COURSE:
 
I had the Chanterelle Crusted Tofu with celeriac purée, sautéed shallots, wild mushrooms, roasted Brussels sprouts, mushroom gravy. I love chanterelles and its flavor delicately infused the tofu making every bite heavenly.
chanterelle-crusted-tofu
 
Gary wanted to try something new but ultimately went for his old favorite Seitan Piccata which he told me was the best ever with creamed spinach, mushrooms, garlic mashed potatoes, white wine-lemon-caper sauce. He said, “The Seitan Piccata was liberating, it was chewy and delicious with just the right amount of tang from the piccata sauce. To call it a meat substitute is an insult, it transcends meat as the leader in protein.”
Seitan-Piccata
 
Joy had the beautiful Vegetable Ravioli with wild mushrooms, sautéed spinach, roasted garlic-tomato sauce, cahsew parmesan.
ravioli
 
And Bart had the Pasta Special for the evening.
pasta-special
 
We all shared the Wheat Balls in Marinara and Sautéed Greens. The wheat balls were pure nostalgia for me of delicious Italian flavors and chewy texture.
wheat-balls-and=greens
 
DESSERT:
 
You cannot miss the desserts when dining at Candle! I had the Live Coconut Key Lime Pie with a granola nut crust, candied almonds, raw huckleberry ice cream…
coconut-key-lime-pie
 
… and a lovely cup of Chai Latte.
chai-latte
 
Gary had the Apple Cranberry Pie with vanilla soy ice cream and coconut whipped cream.
apple-pe
 
One of the bonuses of eating at the Candle restaurants is seeing who else is there. We got to say hi to Victoria Moran who was enjoying a night out with her daughter Adair. Adair told me about her upcoming event Bunnies For Bunnies on April 17 for her nonprofit, the Urban Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitation.
 
bart-joy-caryn-gary-victoria
 
We came home, enjoyed a cup of peppermint tea and got back to work, with happy, love-filled bellies.

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