Tomato & Basil Hummus

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If this hummus has not yet exploded with flavor in your mouth, I highly recommend checking it out. This is one of my favorite pre-made hummus options and always a big hit at parties. Yum!

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Cream of Broccoli Soup

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The base of this soup works well with many vegetables. I have used cauliflower and mushrooms among other yummy vegetables successfully. Just replaces the broccoli with your favorites. What you will need:

6 cups chopped broccoli

1 yellow onion, diced

1 cube Rapunzel Vegan Vegetable Bouillon, no salt added

1 cube Rapunzel Vegan Vegetable Bouillon, with Sea Salt & Herbs

2 TBS non-hydrogenated margarine

2 TBS white whole wheat flour

4 cups water + 4 TBS

2 cups plain soy or almond milk

3/4 cup nutritional yeast

Sea salt and pepper to taste

In large soup pot, sauté onion and broccoli in 4 TBS of water over medium heat. Once onion is soft, add 4 cups water and bouillon cubes, set to simmer. In a medium sauce pan, melt margarine over medium heat and add flour. Mix with whisk until creamy and bubbly. You are creating a rue and the transformation will happen quickly. Add the 2 cups of soy or almond milk and whisk continually until thick. Do not boil. Once thick and  your simmering broccoli is cooked at the level you prefer, add the cream to the broccoli and stir. Add nutritional yeast and stir. Soup is ready, but can continue to simmer. Taste and add sea salt and/or pepper if desired.

Option: Use submersion blender to blend in some of the broccoli and create a creamer soup. Yummers!

Rice and Beans

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Rice and beans has been a go-to meal for me for decades. No matter my budget or time limits, this meal is always easy and delicious. What you will need:

1 cup uncooked brown rice

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can sweet corn, drained

16 oz jar mild salsa

Vegan sour cream, optional

Baby spinach, optional

Cook the rice according to package directions. In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients except sour cream and spinach. If incorporating optional ingredients, place a handful of spinach on a plate, scoop rice and beans over the spinach and top with a spoonful of sour cream. Yummers!

Candle 79

The trip to NYC was for me birthday. So fun. On my actual birthday, I got to have dinner at Candle 79. I had read about this restaurant for years and longed to try it, but had not had the opportunity until now. Oh, it was delicious.

We had a large booth on the second floor, which added to feeling very special.

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Being my birthday, I decided to start with a drink and selected the Reforestation. Although very tasty, the best part  is that a tree is not being planted in my honor. Score!

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For actual food, we started with a live soft cheese plate. I figured it’s the one thing I can never get! I really enjoyed the cheeses over the apple and pear slices. Hubby loved the dates.

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Next we shared a Caesar salad. This one was very different from others I have tried. The greens were hearty, a baby kale, and the dressing was sweet and tangy. A wonderful combination.

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For my entrée, I was thrilled by a wild mushroom-squash risotto and hubby selected the Moroccan spiced chickpea cake. Both were wonderful, but beware the jalapeño on top of the chickpea cake. It is super spicy!

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We were super stuffed, but could not pass the chance at vegan desserts, especially since it was still my birthday. I gorged on the Mexican chocolate brownie and hubby selected the cannoli. Devine!

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Truly a wonderful meal for my birthday.

Cafe Blossom

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One of my favorite meals while in NYC was visiting Cafe Blossom. I had been here once before, but it was several years ago and writing this blog. I’m glad I can share the delicious parts of my meal.

We started with the mushroom ravioli and were not disappointed.

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Next we shared a Caesar salad that was fresh and crisp. Just the way it should be. Our waiter suggested we add tempeh bacon and that was a very nice compliment.

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For entrees, hubby had port wine seitan and I tried the pine nut crusted seitan. As I have written before, I am not much of a meat substitute person, but the waiter said these were top choices. Both were delicious.

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To close our meal, hubby tried the tiramisu, which was the evening dessert special, and I had the chocolate mousse pie. Mmm…

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Our meal was delicious. With this said, the menu was the same I remembered from several years ago. In addition, many of the options were veganized traditional dishes, rather than interesting options that are naturally vegan. I say this because the current trend is more towards interesting options that are naturally vegan. Cafe Blossom is part of a series of vegan restaurants and I am guessing the other concepts are very different. I look forward to trying the other concepts some day. It means spending more time in NYC. Oh darn!

Moo Shoes

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I have been reading about and exploring the website of Moo Shoes for years. Every time I needed a new pair of shoes, I would covet something from this vegan shoe store. But, I have never bought anything. I don’t like buying shoes without trying them on. I know, it’s a problem.

When I found out I would be in NYC for a few days, I had to pilgrimage! And this place is around the corner from Babycakes, so the destination was an easy choice.

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Walls of vegan shoes, belts, and handbags! All made with fair wages and in fabrics that move like animal based fabrics. It was a real treat to finally experience this store.

Maoz Vegetarian

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Another vegan adventure! I’m in NYC for a long weekend and will be sharing my experiences. At least the vegan pieces.

First up? Dinner after traveling through delayed flights from storm Hercules. Even Hercules can’t keep me from another vegan Mecca!

Maoz is delicious and a local chain. Very simple menu and then one adds extra toppings to a salad or falafel pita. They also had vegan soups on my first visit and I got a great fresh juice. A perfect start to my trip.

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