So as promised, here is a recap of my wonderful birthday dinner last night! We went to Pure Food and Wine (a raw food restaurant here in NYC). There were four of us and we all ordered the tasting menu (it has to be ordered by the whole table). The cool thing about the tasting menu at Pure is the fact that everyone gets a different dish for each course! So instead of trying 5 courses, you actually get to try a lot more!
I was only able to take photos of some of the dishes, but I will try my best to remember everything we tried.
To start everyone got an amuse of kumquat, mushroom and onion with a BBQ sauce. It was good, the sauce was amazing, I had to refrain from licking my plate!
Then came the first course. We all decided to taste everything and pass it around. The picture above was what I had in front of me and it was so delicious! I can’t remember exactly what it was since it doesn’t seem to be on their usual menu.
This was the Salad Of Winter Greens With Medjiool Dates, Pignoli And Saffron Meyer Lemon with curry vinaigrette, shaved onion, argan oil, chestnut honey (from the menu).This salad was a little too sweet for me, it might have been the combination of the dates and the honey. It wasn’t my favorite.
The other two first courses we had were the Hazelnut Crostinis With Crimini Mushrooms And Caper Bearnaise with caraway sauerkraut, in a local apple cider reduction (from the menu). This was good, but I didn’t like it as much as I liked the first thing I had.
Lastly there was a pressed salad with avocado. I forget what else was in it, but I do remember that it has asian flavors and there was a delicious sauce on the plate.
Our second course was a soup course, so everyone got the same thing. It was a butternut squash soup. There were some very delicious flavors in it, but I can’t really remember the exact description.
For our third course I found myself in front of a lovely taco with spicy sun-dried tomato filling, corn cilantro guacamole, tomato-lime salsa, and cashew sour cream. I’ve had this before at One Lucky Duck and it was delicious as always.
There were some maki rolls which were very good.
We had the Pizzette in The Style Of Southern Italy With Almond And Rosemary Crust with spinach pesto and arugula (from the menu). This was not my favorite, it didn’t have as much flavor as everything else we ate, and it was difficult to eat because the crust fell apart.
Lastly we had the Pad Thai With Kelp Noodles And Baby Bok Choy with snow peas, king oyster mushrooms, tamarind sauce, sesame salted cashews, and cilantro oil (from the menu). This was really good! This felt more like regular vegan food to me than raw food. Needless to say, it was with me last and I finished it all!
This was my fourth course. It’s a balsamic marinated portbello. There were carrots and other veggies underneath. It was tasty.
This is the Spanakopita with Spinach, Almond Feta, Cucumber Yogurt, local cauliflower and grapes (from the menu). This wins, hands down! I absolutely loved this! Creamy spinach, light flakey crust…so yummy!
We also had the Sweet Corn And Cashew Tamales With Chili Spiced Portabella with salsa verde, cashew coconut sour cream, avocado, and raw cacao mole (from the menu). This was really good. Everyone enjoyed it because it was really hearty.
The final 4th course was the Porcini Ravioli With Truffle Cream Sauce, Baby White Asparagus with pickled ramp, parsley salad, porcini oil (from the menu). This was just ok for me. It was a very strong mushroom flavor.
Before dessert we had a simple palate cleanser of coconut ice cream with cilantro syrup. You couldn’t really taste the cilantro, all you tasted was coconut, but it was refreshing.
Then came the desserts! In front of me was a mexican chocolate cake with a pear sorbet and pear crisp. It was tasty. (I don’t have the biggest sweet tooth, so all these desserts was a little overwhelming for me.)
I’m not 100% sure, but I think this was the Mexican Cinnamon Mousse guajillo chili pepper chocolate cake, pear relish and sorbet (from the menu). The boys really liked this one, it was too sweet for me.
We also tried the Trio Of Dark Chocolate Coated Indian Spiced Ice Cream Treats - chocolate cardamom coconut ice cream cone, pistachio gelato ice cream sandwich, and chai tea creamsicle (from the menu). These were good, the chocolate was REALLY dark. It made it difficult to taste the fillings because all you tasted was chocolate.
The last dessert was a passion fruit mousse, with a chocolate sorbet and tropical fruit. I like this one because the fruit really balanced out all the chocolate.
My favorites from the meal have to be the Spanakopita, the Pad Thai With Kelp Noodles, and whatever it was I ate for my first course! Everything was delicious and now I feel like I have a much better handle on the menu at Pure Food and Wine, and I will be able to recommend dishes to all of you when you are in NYC!
Overall the meal was an amazing experience and a wonderful treat! (I would do it again anytime anyone wants to!)
A big thank you to my 3 amazing (meat eating) friends who came with me to enjoy this meal, you guys really made it one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had.
The idea for this recipe came from my love of guacamole and my desire to eat more dark raw greens. Don’t get me wrong, I get plenty of kale in my diet. But it’s mostly in the form of green juice. I wanted to start eating kale in salads, but I wasn’t ready to jump head first into a salad made only of kale. Baby steps people.
So this is my variation on a massaged Kale and Avocado salad.
First you need to chop up your kale into very small pieces. Then, in a small mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil to the kale. Massage the kale with your hands to mix in the salt and oil, then set it aside.
Next chop us a tomato, half and onion, and some cilantro to make some pico de gallo. Mix the three ingredients together in a bowl with some lemon or lime juice and a pinch of salt.
Then take half of your pico de gallo and add it to a mashed avocado to make the guacamole. If you need a refresher on my guacamole recipe, you can read it in more detail here.
I chopped up some romaine lettuce to fill out the salad. You can use whatever type of lettuce you like best.
Next toss the lettuce with the kale and the rest of the pico de gallo. Mix this together well. Then add in the guacamole. Mix it together so that the guacamole coats the salad like a thick creamy dressing.
Now just grab a fork and enjoy! This salad is super filling.
Today I needed lunch but I was getting pretty tired of just having salad. Instead of making an unhealthy choice, I decided to head over to Organic Avenue’s West Village location.
I’ve been meaning to check out Organic Avenue for some time now. They started out as a juice cleanse, but have expanded into selling raw foods. They say that everything they do is embodied in the word LOVE (Live, Organic, Vegan, Experience).
I’ve been reading a lot about keeping my body alkaline, which Crazy Sexy Diet talks a lot about. So while I’m on this cleanse I’ve been trying to stay as raw, low glycemic-index, chlorophyll and alkaline-focused as possible.
The store itself is really small inside. Just enough room for some coolers full of yummy juices and raw foods to-go.
On the other wall are some supplements and raw food snacks.
The juice was delicious! What I love the most about it is that is isn’t too sweet (which I find many green juices to be). When my goal is weight loss I try and keep things very low on the glycemic index scale.
The pasta came with a raw “cheese” topping that was delicious! The noodles were fresh and crisp, and the pesto was super flavorful. Overall it was a lunch that left me feeling light and happy.
I will certainly have to go back and to check out all the other delicious food and juices they offer!
So I asked you guy what I should make this weekend and someone answered:
(un)cooking raw foods without appliances? I’m just starting and I don’t have even a blender…
This was a simple one. Eating raw can be as simple, or as complicated as you want it to be. Sometimes it may seem like you need lots of appliances (blender, juicer, dehydrator, etc) just to get started eating raw. But really all you need is a good knife and some imagination.
Salads are a great way to explore new flavors within something familiar. You might say it’s boring to eat salad all the time, but my response to that is you have never had a great salad.
I never used to like salads, but that was because my idea of a salad was some cut up lettuce with store bought dressing on it. (gross) But when I realized that I can be as creative and crazy as I want with my salads, I started to love them (and even crave them).
So here is what I made this weekend, a fennel and grapefruit salad. I had to make enough salad to bring to a big Sunday lunch, so I will try my best to adjust this recipe down to a normal size.
You will need:
1 ruby red grapefruit
1/2 bulb of fennel
a handful of kalamata olives (pitted)
good olive oil
lettuce of your choice (I used a combination of spring mix and romaine)
First thing is thinly slice the fennel. I used a mandoline but you can do this just with a knife.
Next you need to cut the grapefruit into supremes (sections). If you have never done this before, here is a quick tutorial:
First cut the top and bottom off the grapefruit so that it stands flat on your cutting board.
Then slice off the peel from top to bottom getting as close to the flesh as possible. When you are done it will look like this.
Then carefully slice in between each membrane to remove the segments. Tip: this is best done over a bowl to catch the extra juice that will fall.
Next you need to make the dressing. In a bowl combine the juice of half a lemon and a tablespoon of the grapefruit juice.
Slowly pour in olive oil and wisk together to create a dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This lemon and olive oil dressing is a basic dressing that I use in almost all my salads. So much better than store bought!
I mixed together two kinds of lettuces for this salad. A spring mix and some romaine.
Finally, just toss everything together in a big bowl. First add the fennel to the lettuce, drizzle the dressing over, and toss well. Next add the olives and grapefruit and gently toss again.
Delicious! I brought a huge bowl of this to a friends house for a Sunday lunch and everyone loved it!
Please let me know more things you would like me to post about. I love the inspiration!