re-acclimating at The Breslin

Having spent the weekend away from NYC, I was prime for a NYC fix: sensational food, and an interesting, buzzing scene. The Breslin fit the bill. I had been avoiding the place, having heard the menu was beyond indulgent. Surprise—there were many items on the menu that would satisfy even a vegan. See details of my dinner here. I am definitely headed back for the Caesar Salad and the SIDES...


black bean BOMB

In week five of my meatless quest, I learned that my body is not built for consuming massive quantities of beans. I began by making my first pot of black beans from scratch, which looked so beautiful in the pot. Day one, I was inspired by a recipe online for a black bean burger, which had the visual appeal of a real burger, and almost as satisfying. This was looking pretty good. On Day Two, I decided to mix the black beans with broccoli, carrots, celery and some stale bread. Well, I might as well have set off a bomb in my abdomen. I felt sick for about three days thereafter. So it looks like a beans as a main course is out of the question! Live and learn, as they say. Let’s move on to the couple of fantastic meals I had, that were fish centered. Aquamarine, had a special appetizer with guacamole and spicy tuna that was served on wasabi chips. Bob and I had to get a second round of the chips, because the 4 they offered were not enough to service the dippins. I flipped one over so you could see the seaweed on the back of the chip. For my entree, I had the chilean sea bass in a black bean sauce. It was really out of this world, a bit on the sweet side, and extremely flavorful. I am pretty sure these dishes do not qualify as low-cal, but, hey, I needed to live a little. Friday night’s dinner destination was Clerkenwell, which I chose because my British friend Rupert Kirby had a catering business in that part of London (Panini was the name of his company). In this Lower East Side spot, they served upscale Fish and Chips, and a fine piece of salmon. See more photos from our dinner here.


healthy meat-free dinners and snacks

It’s been an interesting meat-free journey over the past month. I will declare January the month of experimenting with tofu.
1. I got some medium firm tofu, sliced it and fried it in a pan with avocado oil with a little sesame oil added in, then sprinkled sesame seeds on it while it was still in the pan.
2. To the tofu, I added sauteed tomatoes and onions.
3. And later in the week, mushrooms, red onions and spinach.
Despite all the flavorings, the tofu was still pretty bland, but an okay departure.
4. I defrosted a butternut squach-cauliflower soup I made a while back, then added the sauteed tomatoes and onions that I had left over from the tofu topping and tore some raw spinach leaves for texture.
5. This meal was very filling. While cooking whole wheat cous cous (5 minutes on the stove), I chopped up into tiny pieces some raw cauliflower, carrots and arugula. This was great to have in the fridge to fend off hunger. I also added a handful of hemp seeds.
6. Pea pods and broccoli stems got sauteed with olive oil and garlic, and I opened my bag of frozen, pre-cooked shrimp for a very fast, healthy dinner. I love broccoli stems, after removing the hard skin on the outside, the inside has a wonderful texture.
7. Have you heard of Hemp Butter? It’s made from hemp seeds (which look a little like sesame seeds). Think peanut butter with an earthier, greener taste. Not bad! I am trying different hemp products to write about in Organic Spa Magazine, so stay tuned! In this photo, is the hemp butter spread on a crispbread of rye and sesame, from Ryvita.
8. I whipped up this snack in seconds: tofutti, avocado and halved cherry tomatoes with a sprinke of cayenne pepper on a Wasa Rye Cracker. So good, I had another.
For the month of February I will be experimenting with beans.


dine out diet week four

This is the last week I am going to cover this because even I am getting bored at the repitition. Next week I will focus on the delicious meat-free snacks I have been creating at home. Here’s this week’s wrap-up. Monday night, DBGB pulled through for me with an exceptionally delicious crudo, which looks like cubes of watermelon here, but was actually tuna. Fantastic. (click on the link to hear some Clash while viewing photos of the restaurant) Wednesday night, stopped in at Savoy to take care of some business, and had a lovely dinner of romaine lettuce, bayley hazen blue cheese dressing, pears and toasted pecans (this portion was so large, and a bit rich, that I could not finish it) along with chilled Maine lobster, superior white potatoes, candied fennel, broccoli and dill agrodolce. Friday night’s dinner at Sagaponack, which just recently opened for dinner, featured white tuna tataki, and an octopus spring roll. It’s been one month since I have had meat, and I am just starting to kind of miss it. But having fun experimenting, and seeing how far I can go.