Sunday, February 26, 2012

mom in NYC!

My mom came to visit me this weekend here in the Big Apple! Although she grew up in Brooklyn, she hasn't seen NYC from her daughters college-kid eyeballs. We were both really excited before she got here, so I decided to meet her at the airport. From there are weekend took off, although with a slow start.

I met mom at the airport, than we rode the subway back to the village. We walked to her hotel (very nice!) and checked her in. After, we walked around a bit, although it was about 7 PM. We parted ways after a bit, because I had to go to cycle practice at the gym (more about that in a later post). Mom walked around a bit, towards uptown after I left her, then we both went to sleep.

My cousin was also in town this past week, with one of his friends. Tyler, Kris, and I all met up in the morning so I could show the boys around the village before class. We walked around, and ended up at my favorite place in Soho for a late breakfast. I left the boys before class, and met up with my mom's cousin Paul and her after class. We went to our normal vegetarian place called "Gobo" on 6th ave, and I got soup. Mom and Paul both got the veggie burger, which they enjoyed. Our lunch was delicious. After, we all walked down 14th st. to the Highline, my favorite park. After a brief relaxing sit in the park, I went back to do some homework before I met up with Mom again.
After some homework, I met Mom at her hotel, and we went up to Grand Central Station. We walked around, looked at things, and walked through the famous market. Next, we decided to go to a small dinner at a french chain. It was delicious and exactly what we needed before heading out to the Empire State Building.

We met up with my friend from home, who now goes to Columbia, at the Empire State Building. There isn't much to say in words that pictures can't say, the view is beautiful and amazing.

NYU! The white thing in the middle is the Washington Square Arch.

Mom and I got up, exercised, then went to lunch at one of my dining halls. I figured we could go for a meal to show mom what it's like, and to grab just a salad before we went off on our day. Afterwards, we went to the 9/11 Memorial. It was a bit of a horrible day outside, very cold and foggy. The memorial was interesting, sad, but very powerful especially with the weather.

Next, we walked around Soho and stopped off at the Cartoon Museum. I've never been there, and although a small place it was really interesting. They had a lot of Batman comics, but also an Archie bit.

For dinner that night we met up with a lot of family. Seven people in total came to eat at Angelica's Kitchen, all from my mom's side of the family. Tyler and Kris were part of that, so it was good to talk to some young adults from my family. I had a small order of the daily sushi, and a small order of what's called a "dragon bowl". Although the food was incredible, the company was even better. I highly enjoyed seeing my family, since it's a rarity.

We went out to see another part of my mom's family in Long Island for lunch. Lunch was at Red Lobster, which I've never been to. I kept my mouth shut about the food choices, and enjoyed spending time with extended family. The important part was my mom's enjoyment in spending time with family she hardly gets to see. After lunch we took a drive over to Jones Beach, a beach in Long Island. It was extremely windy yesterday, so we mostly stayed in the car. However, because of the storm clouds and the sunshine, the beach was beautiful. You could see all of the dark clouds illuminated by the sunlight, and the empty beach lit up as well. It was really really nice, I wish I got a picture.
After returning to Manhattan we rested a bit, got dressed up slightly, then headed uptown to Blossom Cafe for mom's last night in the city. Blossom Cafe is an upscale vegan restaurant, and somewhere I've always wanted to go. Words can't describe how amazing the meal was...

A starter of black eyed pea cakes, my gluten free zucchini lasagna, and my mom's veggie burger with french fries. Everything was amazing, absolutely delicious and spectacular. But our meal hardly compared to our dessert..

Chocolate ganache cake. Oh man... as my mom says "that was the best cake I've ever had in my entire life." And so you know, she's not always a fan of vegan desserts. It was moist, light in the right places, heavy in others, and extremely perfectly chocolatey. The ganache on top was sweet, and the crumbs on the outside of the cake really made it perfect. I may bike up to Blossom Cafe just to get some of this cake in the future...
After our amazing meal, we walked along central park west towards fifth ave, where we caught the subway and walked back to our separate beds.

After a weekend of activity and fun, I had to sleep in and relax a bit until mom was done jogging. We met up before lunch, dropped her things off at my dorm, and went to lunch with my roommate. I picked out a Thai food place, that seemed to be pretty healthy based off the yelp reviews. Not that far from our dorm, this place was called Pukk. It ended up to be spectacular, and I think I'll go again before the year is through. All three of us got lunch specials, which included a vegetable soup, an appetizer, and an entree.

Mom got spring rolls with fried rice, and I got a green salad with pad see ew. My roomy got the green salad with pad thai, which she also really liked. The food was really good, and almost perfect sizing.
After lunch, mom and I strolled through Soho, then ended up back at my dorm where we said goodbye. It was very sad to see my mom go, but I know I'll see her again when I go back for Spring Break. I'm glad (and hope) she enjoyed NYC and seeing tons of vegan food, and even more family. I now have my fridge stocked with leftovers, which I'm very excited about. More on how biking is going next time. I'll leave you with a picture of something I found in Union Square:

*I was not contacted by any restaurant, and all opinions on this blog about any food source are all of my own.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

vegan at NYU 102

I recently discovered how to make an amazing dinner by combining dining hall food, and a few trader joe's products. There's no name for what I created, maybe vegan gumbo? or, stew? not sure... would like to know what other people think.

Basically all you do is get an entire thing of vegetables from the dining hall:

Throw it into tomato sauce on top of the stove:

Then keep on adding!

Then, add the spices while the pot is still on the stove:

Then go ahead and throw in some black beans, and heated up rice into the mix:

Keep the stew/gumbo/dish heated until your vegetables are soft, and everything is mixed.

This made a HUGE pot.. I can probably eat it for at least 5-10 more meals... It's incredible.

The things that are in this mix:
-bell peppers
-baby corn
-tomato sauce (tomatoes!)
-black beans
-brown rice
-garlic salt
-nutritional yeast

This gives you tons of different types of vegetables, a complete protein, whole grains, and a bit of B12 vitamins from the yeast. I can't rave about this enough.... So simple, not time consuming, and utilizing the dining halls. This recipe is also gluten free, as well as vegan.

Enjoy! :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

banana pear vegan gluten free pancakes

I think I've found my new favorite breakfast dish this morning..

Banana, pear, vegan, gluten free, three-servings-of-fruit, pancakes. I made these up based off memory of pancakes I made after my stomach procedure- but I added some pears that I had on hand. Here's the recipe:

-1 ripe banana
-1 cup almond milk
-1 cup all purpose gluten free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
-2 tsp baking powder
-1 packet truvia (or 1 tbsp sugar)
-1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
-1 tbsp applesauce
-2 pears for topping

-mash banana and mix with almond milk
-mix in all other ingredients except pears

-turn on stove to low setting (3.5 out of 10 on my dorm stove) and place greased pan on top
-chop pears as small as you'd like, and place in batter

-pour pancake batter onto heated pan, and cook until bubbly or golden brown (or darker) on either side

Enjoy topped with maple syrup or just plain! These are a delicious way to start my homework filled, superbowl Sunday :)