Tuesday, July 28, 2015


This is not the start of a joke, but what do you get when Chef Michael White, and the Altamarea Group, partner with actor and Bedford Post Inn owner, Richard Gere? Campagna. My new absolute, hands down favorite place to dine in Westchester, New York.  

“We are delighted to open Campagna in the Fall season and deepen our presence at the Bedford Post Inn. We thank Richard Gere for the confidence entrusted to us and look forward to welcoming guests and being part of the Bedford community", said Altamarea Group CEO Ahmass Fakahany.
We at the Bedford Post are more than pleased, we are delighted to welcome Campagna to our inn. I have enormous respect for Michael White and Ahmass Fakahany and know they will take the whole Bedford Post experience to extraordinary new heights.   What a wonderful addition to our community to have these world-class restauranteurs with us,” said property owner Richard Gere.

The setting is beautiful and peaceful, and the food and drink are spectacular!  My cocktails - one before dinner and one during (and I was not driving) - were also flavorful, custom creations of the bartender.  My friend enjoyed his appropriately named cocktail: Pretty Woman (get it?)

I need to tell you this is NOT a vegan restaurant, but everyone was so accommodating!  While my other guests enjoyed an heirloom tomato tart with stracciatella, mine was a stunning plate of toasty, warm tomatoes with carmelized onions.  I had warm olives, with a bit of spicy heat, and got the manchego cheese on the side for everyone else.  For my entree, while they would have made me a custom pasta, I had the outrageously crispy potatoes with capers and variety of cooked summer squash.  Other menu items include lots of grilled meats and fish, a variety of homemade pastas, and other creative definitely not plant-based dishes for the carnivores or pescetarians who may be dining with you.

If you live in or near Northern Westchester, this needs to be your new dining destination.  We were there on such a lovely summer night, that we got to dine al fresco.  If you get there before the snow finds its way back to the East Coast, maybe you can too!  If you have even more time, the Inn itself is a wonderful escape...it is definitely worth investigating for a weekend away.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


I have to admit that, while I love entertaining, once my son leaves for camp each summer, I seem to shut down the kitchen.  Eating out, weekends away, even take out - those three options trump cooking for 95% of the 7 weeks he's not here.  Last night was an exception, as my friend and her husband recently left the city for the 'burbs, so I invited them for dinner.  My vegan cooking contributions were that amazing avocado pesto linguini recipe I shared earlier this week, a salad, and roasted cauliflower.  I also decided to opt for sangria over wine or my usual go-to: a tequila cocktail.

For some reason, the few times I order sangria, I always choose red, but when I stopped into this cute wine store in Salisbury, Connecticut last weekend, I was inspired to go with white.  The proprietor looked up a recipe for me, and I chose to modify it (as I do most recipes.)  My creation was not only beautiful, as you can see, but delicious, and I am making more for tonight when I head to a friend's house for a Mexican-themed dinner party! 

You will need the following:
1 bottle spanish white wine (ask your local store for a great selection)
1 bottle club soda
2 shots brandy
1 shot peach schnaps
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime sliced
1/2 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
1/2 nectarine, thinly sliced
1/2 c raspberries

Mix all together and chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours before serving.  Place a nectarine slice, some apple and a couple of raspberries into each glass, and then mix the sangria well again before pouring in the liquid.  Keep the limes and lemons in the pitcher...the other fruits can be eaten at the bottom of each glass.  As a side, tonight I am cooking one more thing: vegan black beans with sauteed, diced yellow onion, jalapeno and a small tomato, topped with a little melted vegan cheese...just give me some guacamole and some more of this sangria and it will be a perfect meal!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fabulous VegNews Recipe!

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Avocado Pesto Pasta
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Our Favorite Avocado Pesto Pasta
This month, vegan cookbook darling Chloe Coscarelli opens her first restaurant in New York City, and to celebrate we’re offering her delectable avocado pesto pasta recipe. The green fruit offers a rich, velvety texture to a dish that comes together in less time than it takes to boil water. Whip up this VegNews staff favorite for a simple and flavorful summer meal, and to go gluten-free, substitute brown rice pasta.
Serves 6
What You Need:
1 pound dried linguini
1 bunch basil leaves (about 2½ ounces)
½ cup pine nuts
2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
½ cup olive oil
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
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What You Do:

1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add pasta and cook to package directions. While pasta cooks, in a food processor, blend basil, pine nuts, avocados, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Drain pasta. In a large serving bowl, toss pesto with hot, freshly cooked pasta and garnish each serving with a basil leaf. For an extra touch of color and flavor, top pasta with sun-dried tomatoes. 
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More Food from VegNews!
>> Chloe's Seasonal Berry Cobbler
>> Three Steps to Smoothie Success
>> Coffee Chip Frozen Yogurt
>> Vegan-Friendly Fine Dining
>> Chloe's Favorite Cooking Substitutes
>> Make Your Favorite Sweets Vegan
>> No Need for Omega-3 Supplements
>> Grilled Veggie Pizza
>> Grapefruit & Cranberry Cocktail
>> Veganizing India
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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Oak Room

I love Boston and thankfully, with a sister who lives there and a job that funds research there, I get to visit rather often.
Last night there was a threat of thunderstorms and I was having drinks and dinner with my sister and a friend, so rather than hop from place to place and risk getting soaked, we headed to Oak at the Fairmont Copley. Once inside, we knew this was the place to stay.
Vaulted ceiling, classic and stunning decor, a beautifully appointed bar, a cocktail list that was unique and a mile long, and a menu that looked promising and tasted even better than we'd hoped!

We started with an order of hot bread with pretzel salt and honey. (I am a vegan who eats honey though I know many don't.) The dough is baked right into a skillet and then drizzled and sprinkled...it was melt-in-your-mouth amazing.
We followed that with an order of spicy, roasted shishito peppers. Super flavorful with just the right amount of heat, and plenty for the three of us to share.
While the salads looked good, we knew their pizza dough stood a good chance of being fabulous after that skillet bread, so they made me a custom vegan pizza with marinara, fresh basil and thinly sliced zucchini. It was worth the indulgence! Super thin crust and bursting with flavor.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Hair of the (Vegan) Dog


It's summer so I'm thinking about beachtime and pool time and parties and picnics and fireworks and lazy summer Sundays...

How better than to kick off a slow weekend morning than with a delicious brunch and a refreshing cocktail.  Maybe a mimosa?  Or, better yet, a Bloody Mary?  You know some mornings it's what your body is craving after a long night out with friends.

McClure's, better known for it's pickles, makes a fabulous Bloody Mary mix, and this baby has a kick!

McClure's writes "made with our spicy pickle brine, tomato paste, fresh pressed cucumber juice and other fresh ingredients, our Bloody Mary mix is spicy and undoubtedly McClure's.  Drink it as a vegetable juice cocktail or with your favorite vodka."  The best part is that this is anchovy-free ~ hello vegan beauty!

Toss in a couple of olives and a celery stick and you're good to go with a cocktail you and your guests will love.  But yeah, you'd better like spice.  It might be a good idea to pick up some chips and guacamole to accompany this baby!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer Salad Recipes

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With the warm weather, I think crisp, cool, raw salads may just be the most refreshing way to enjoy lunch or dinner.

When considering the ingredients, why not tomatoes? I never liked them as a kid, but they grew on me when I switched to a vegan, plant-based diet.  Did you know they come in hundreds of varieties?

Cherry, beefsteak, heirloom, Jersey...those are just the beginning.

Regardless of what you call them, or what color you choose, they are certainly a healthy addition to any meal, raw, stewed, roasted, or in a sauce.  

Displaying IMG_2813.JPGIf you like to cook, or prep your own meals, here are two salads for
you to try.  

For the first, a more traditional version, combine romaine lettuce, a diced juicy yellow tomato, chopped carrots, celery, and cucumber and a tablespoon of fresh dill.  

Dress with fresh lime juice and avocado oil, and top it off with some hemp seeds. Just add your favorite protein and you have a complete meal!

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For the second, take a Middle Eastern spin.  

Dice up any tomato of your choosing and add it to finely chopped kale.  

Then add chopped flat leaf parsley, diced celery, some zhatar seasoning (imagine Israel's version of herbes de'Provence,) and some tahini. 

The tahini, a sesame paste, is thick and has a strong flavor, so you be the judge of how much to use. Add some fresh lemon juice to loosen the tahini, and mix well with tongs before serving.  You can also add some pomegranate seeds, crushed almonds or some protein to this as well.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Body Fuel Nutritionals ~ Your New Go-To Food

What happens when you get Butterfield Market, a high-end NYC marketplace, and The Trendy Vegan together to look for tasty, healthy, energy-fueling options?  Body Fuel Nutritionals! No gimmicks.  No chalky taste.  No unpronounceable preservatives.  No artificial anything.  Just great flavors, quality ingredients, all packed with protein to fuel your busy lifestyle.  At the breakfast table, as a midday snack, or in sync with a grueling workout, Body Fuel Nutritionals is the way health enthusiasts snack, one crunch at a time.  

This is us, this is Body Fuel

So why choose Body Fuel?

Fuel is for fitness: Exercise has it's benefits, but all the more so when you fuel your workout with protein to help build strong, lean muscle. Donuts and pizza don't lead to a 6-pack. Unless it's a 6-pack of beer.

It’s fun to go nuts: Nuts and seeds aren't just for the birds. They're super high in protein, fiber and the healthy fats your body needs. We love them. We use lots of them. 

Green is the new black:  It's cool to follow a healthy diet. And animals are cute. Plants are too but you can't pet them. Animal lovers are sexy.

We have no secrets: Our products are the real deal. Almonds, cayenne, chia, ginger. No chemicals. No artificial sweeteners or preservatives or phony coloring. We use only pure ingredients that offer great nutritional value. And they taste great.

Fuel is for Life: Looking good is awesome. Feeling good is even better. Eating plant based, non-processed food doesn't just taste good, but it's a healthy choice too.
What are our products?

Classic Crunch
Hearty and tropical - think granola on steroids.  Classic crunch combines the good nutrition you expect from a filling, yet light breakfast.  The fruits and grains enhance yogurts and desserts.  Be imaginative and add it to your favorite recipes. 

Fun Fuel Fact: Chia grows natively in South America, and was an important feature in the Aztec and Mayan diets.  It provided such sustainable energy, that "chia" is actually the Mayan word for "strength".  Chia seeds, which look similar to poppy seeds and have little flavor, are versatile, protein-packed nuggets which help to reduce appetite and cravings.  Almost all of their carbs come from fiber and are loaded with anti-oxidants.

Ingredients: almonds, cashews, walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, oats, maple syrup, dried cranberries, raisins, unsweetened coconut. (Vegan, wheat-free, soy-free)

Cayenne Crunch

Our best selling product is sweet and spicy.  The delectable maple syrup combines smoothly with the heat of cayenne. This crunchy and savory food is well suited to be your between meal snack, before and after the gym, or anytime you crave a burst of flavorful energy.

Fun Fuel Fact: Cayenne is a well-known digestive aid.  It stimulates the digestive tract, increasing the flow of enzyme production and gastric juices.  This aids the body's ability to metabolize food and toxins.  Cayenne is a circulatory stimulant that increases the pulse of our lymphatic and digestive rhythms.  By heating the body, the natural process of detoxification is streamlined.  Cayenne also causes us to sweat, another important process of detoxification.

Ingredients: sesame sticks, peanuts, cayenne, dried edamame, almonds, cashews, low-sodium soy sauce, maple syrup. (Vegan)

Cocoa Crunch
Sweet with a zesty surprise.  Think of Cocoa Crunch as a healthy candy bar without the candy or bar.  Once you open this bag, it will have to be pried from your hands.  Clusters combine non-dairy chocolate, exotic ginger, and energizing nuts and seeds - a taste sensation.  

Fun Fuel Fact: Candied ginger isn't only a sweet pick-me-up...it is also a centuries old remedy used to treat nausea, inflammation, and certain cancers.  Known for it's spicy, pungent flavor and aroma, ginger can be eaten raw, used within a recipe, or in a candied form with crystallized sugar syrup 

Ingredients: almonds, non-dairy chocolate chips, walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, oats, dried cranberries, crystalized ginger, cinnamon. (Vegan, wheat-free, soy-free)

Sunflower Crunch
Taste: Earthy, clean, complex.  This product reminds us of a walk in the woods on a clear spring day.  Each bite is a powerhouse that easily melts in your mouth providing a little crunch and a whole lot of protein.      

Fun Fuel Fact: Millet is a smart-carb - high fiber, high protein, low sugar, giving you sustained increased energy instead of those surges you get from added sugars.  Millet also offers high antioxidant properties and is gluten-free, making it a perfect addition to most diets.  

Ingredients: millet, gluten-free steel cut oats, organic maple syrup, Bob's red mill garbanzo bean flour, seeds, unsalted sunflower nut butter, dried cranberries, almonds.  (Vegan, wheat-free, peanut-free, soy-free)

Want to order some today? Visit: www.bodyfuelnutritionals.com