Columbia Mailman Orientation +Vegan Eats in NYC

Oy! It was orientation week. I thought I’d blog through a wee bit of the past week for ya, in case any of you are interested.

Saturday + Sunday

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I flew into NYC early Saturday morning, and got straight to apartment hunting. Apartment hunting in New York City is among the worst activities one can put oneself through on earth. Anyone who has done it can vouch – it is literally the most ridiculous, stressful, and upsetting processes of all times.

I ran around the city all day, ate a bunch of snacks (apples, bananas, nuts, nut butter packets, chocolate covered nuts, etc) and eventually grabbed Just Salads for dinner. I have a weird obsession with Just Salad.

 

Everyone I know prefers sweetgreens. But I’m a Just Salads gal FO LYFE. I got kale + romaine mixed, double roasted sweet potatoes, apples, chickpeas, organic roasted tofu, beets, and jicama, with a side of each spicy avocado dressing and agave mustard dressing. And bread, because bread.

I passed out, and did the whole damn exact same thing the next day. And repeated dinner. Good times.

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Monday

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Monday was day one of orientation. Lunch was a buffet style of yummy food. The quinoa salad had chickpeas, cranberries, herbs, and a lemony (I think?) dressing. Wrap was white bean dip and grilled veggies. P impressive.

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Swag:

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There was also a reception that night with lots of appetizers and snacks. I made a plate of fruit, crackers, nutty bread, guac, hummus, and nuts. Yum.  I was pretty impressed by the food selection at Mailman. They did a good job of providing healthy, yummy, filling options. Bravo!

I had a bad day that day for personal reasons. Really bad day. My anxiety is out of frickin’ control. I found out some icky stuff about my mom’s health issues, and was rejected from an apartment, because as a student in NYC, you need a guarantor who makes 64-80 times the annual rent to co-sign your lease. My mom was rejected, because she can’t provide proof of employment (since she doesn’t work since she is disabled). I found this frustrating; I understand that renters want to be sure rent will be paid, but I find this is also somewhat discriminatory. So if you aren’t wealthy or know someone who is, you can’t get a place? #annoying.

I ended up at my friend’s place in Brooklyn late that night, where I ate a banana with peanut butter and some of his leftover kale salad. And a bunch of chocolate. And went to bed.

Tuesday

Tuesday was day 2 of orientation. I’m bad at orientations. We got boxed lunches (I went with that day’s vegan option), and then we had a long 5 hour small group discussion thing on diversity and privilege. Tough conversations, etc. I was having another bad day with anxiety, and probably came off as emotionally unstable to other people since I was being overly emotional. Oh well. Just gotta move on and not obsess.

Bathroom signs at Mailman:

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For dinner, I stopped at Whole Foods out of fatigue and convenience. I got a salad with roasted sweet potatoes, lemon roasted tofu, and some vegan dumplings. I also got a ‘power’ bagel (whole wheat with cranberries and seeds) on the side because my body wanted CARBS baby. Eaten with a vegan cookie. Noms.

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Wednesday

Wednesday was another day of orientation. I had some errands to run in the morning, then headed up to Mailman. I had a hummus wrap and grapes and chips for lunch, but didn’t snap a photo. After orientation, my friend Raag made us some yummy Indian food for dinner.

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He also taught me some cooking tips. Apparently, many Indian dishes are prepared by first browning onions and tomatoes together. This was new to me. Usually, I add tomatoes much later. This was a fun new tip! He also taught me I should rinse my rice before I cook it. I was happy to learn his tips. He’s so kind, and an awesome cook!

Thursday

Thursday I ran some errands around the city and sat around like a crazy anxious person waiting to hear back about an apartment and catastrophizing my life in every way imaginable. At some point, I stopped and enjoyed an organic peach in Bryant Park.

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I swear my anxiety has been peaking this week. I have really been struggling to get through normal daily activities. I know I have to get it under control, but this week has been so busy I haven’t had time to deal with myself. I am VERY thankful to my supportive friends and aunt for being there for me this week.

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A bit later I once hit up Whole Foods for lunch. I got a Justin’s almond butter packet (on sale for $0.50 WHAT UP), another bagel (because I really enjoyed the last one, and for $1.00, it’s a lot of filling carby goodness), a banana, and some salad and hummus from the salad bar. I think the cashier rang up my order wrong, because this lunch ended up costing me $2.77 which I didn’t even notice until I looked at the receipt while eating? Okay. I’ll take it.

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My friend Caty let me come over and sit on her bed and watch dumb videos on my laptop while she went on a run with a friend. I had been pinning out at coffee shops all day but needed to like, not be sitting in real pants around humans. THANK U CATY.

We grabbed a late dinner at Peacefood, which is one of my favorite restaurants in NYC/the world. We split the Asian greens salad (with greens, jicama, tempeh, carrots, and a yummy spicy peanut dressing), and the vegan cheeseburger. Pardon the crapy pics; that place has dim *~*trendy romantic*~* lighting.

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This cheeseburger. You guys. It is my FAVORITE vegan cheeseburger on earth (and I’ve had a lot of veggie burgers in my 17+ meat-free years). It’s a house-made vegan patty with cheese, guac, pickled peppers, caramelized onions, and some sauce or something on homemade focaccia. It is messy and hearty and flavorful and delicious. LOVE.

After dinner, the Van Leeuwen truck was parked right by Peacefood. Van Leeuwen makes the most delicious, rich craft ice cream I have ever had. Their vegan base is a blend of coconut, cocoa butter, cashews, and extra virgin coconut oil. It is OUTSTANDING.

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I ended up with “one scoop” of vegan strawberry jam, and one scoop of vegan cookie dough.

One scoop ended up being more like a pint. And I ate it all because it was FRICKIN’ delicious. I was really glad I sampled the strawberry jam, because it was honestly one of the best ice creams I’ve ever had! And not something I would normally think to order (I tend to be a chocolate/nut ice cream over fruit kinda gal).

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But it had a rich base with swirls of housemate strawberry jam and pieces of biscuit that were like crunchy and sort of soft simultaneously. And the vegan cookie dough was obviously amazing, with big chunks of vegan cookie dough. My fav flavor there is vegan banana nut, which tastes likes straight up banana bread, but they didn’t have it at the truck. Which probably turned out for the better, since I tried the strawberry!

We ate in Union Square Park, then headed back to BK. I went to bed at my friend’s apartment, and she went out with some friends.

Regarding the large amount of ice cream…I DEFINITELY ate past the point of fullness. In fact, I felt a little TOO full about 30 minutes later. I inhaled it because I think I really needed a good meal after so much walking the previous few days, but the stuff is soooo rich I think I overate beyond my needs. Yes, I was a bit uncomfortably full. But you know what? You live and you learn. Yup, I probably inhaled like, a day’s worth of calories in the form of vegan ice cream in like, 2 minutes, but it is NOT worth obsessing over. I went to bed with a very full tummy and decided to slow down on my ice cream inhalation next time (also, usually they don’t give me THAT much, even when I order two scoops instead of one…I think the guy just was feeling generous).

Friday

Friday I woke up early, went on a run (hadn’t exercised besides walking all week and figured it may do my anxiety some good), showered, and got brunch with Caty and one of her friends.


She called me around 10:40am asking if I wanted to go to Champs, which is a vegan diner. I was bummed I had LITERALLY just finished a bagel with nut butter and banana and wasn’t super hungry but decided to go anyway. I’m glad I did.

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Since I wasn’t super hungry I got a pancake with berries. And syrup. Champs was fun. It’s like an old school diner with classic diner entrees, but all vegan. And with fun art.

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The pancake was yummy. Tasted like a straight up diner pancake, if that makes sense. Like that unique, griddle-cooked taste.

After that, I spontaneously booked a plane ticket for that night and decided to head home for the long weekend, since I learned the apartment I was approved for wouldn’t let me move in until Thursday, and I was quite frankly in need of some real sleep on a bed (not a couch) and some alone time.

I’m quite the introvert, and not having any personal space, especially during an orientation week, makes me feel anxious and overwhelmed. I literally often feel like I need to be alone and calm down to get back to baseline when I’m overwhelmed with anxiety, and having no place to just sit and be by myself has increased my stress, anxiety, and panic.

Also, I MISSED MY FRICKIN’ DOG who has been in Wisconsin until I’m settled with a place.

Thanks for reading! Sorry I’ve been absent this week. Haven’t been in the headspace to blog. But feel much calmer home and with my doggo and with a good night’s sleep in me.

Can any introverts out there relate to feeling super overwhelmed when you don’t have your own space? Any tips for crippling anxiety? Let me know and stay #blessed!

Weekend Eats Recap: November 20-23rd, NYC

So I’ve never done one of these posts before, where I recap what I ate for a few days. A lot of bloggers do it every day, or post weekly updates on every meal they ate that week. Personally I love to read these and I have no idea why. Why is it so darn interesting what someone you don’t even know in real life ate for a week or a day? I don’t know. Maybe because you can get inspired for new ideas based on something they ate? Or inspired to try a new restaurant or cuisine? I do not have the answer to such questions, but I thought I would try out the whole what-I-ate thing once on this blog and see how it went.

my old stomping grounds !

my old stomping grounds ! #nyu

So heres what I ate from the evening of Thursday, November 20th-Sunday November 23rd while I was back home in good old NYC. Per usual, I ate a lot. I eat constantly. This might be why I’ve never done one of these posts before. I snack so often that I forget to take pics of like 80% of what I eat (yes, all my obnoxious food-instagramming is only a tiny portion of my actual overall food consumption). Anyways, here are my eats for those 3 days in photos and words. Honestly everything I had was great. And it made me excited and eager and anxious to return! NYC, I’ll be back soon ;-). In the meantime, here are my EATS:

Thursday, November 20th, 2014:

Breakfast:

  • 2 slices Angelic Bakehouse Sprouted Raisin Bread (THE BEST bread EVER – has replaced my Ezikel habit…seriously try it; it’s softer and more delicious, and it’s local to my hometown, Milwaukee, although it is available at Whole Foods nationwide) + almond butter and a sliced banana. I also had coffee with soy creamer and chamomile tea on my way to work.

Snack:

  • a sliced pear with cinnamon and almond butter

Lunch:

  • Leftover spaghetti squash marinara, small salad, veggie burger on more Angelic Bakery bread with sriracha, and a big old glass of almond-coconut milk (trying to use things up before leaving for the weekend).

Snack on the plane from MKE–> NYC:

  • half a Kashi peanut butter bar, an apple, a banana, half an almond butter sandwich on more Angelic Bakery bread (#addicted)

Dinner:

  • Beyond Sushi takeout. I landed late at night (like 9:00pm) and got dropped off at the 14th street location to pick up sushi for my friend and I. I had the November Roll of the month, which had Sweet Persimmons, Roasted allspice Turnips, grilled Heriocot Verts, and was topped with Seaweed Salad. It wasn’t my favorite roll of the month (that would go to the one they had in August), but it was delicious none-the-less and fun to try Persimmons, which I’ve been meaning to give a whirl for a while. I also had my go-to favorite roll. The Sweet Tree, with Sweet Potatoes, Avocado, Alfafa sprouts, and 6-grain rice. AMAZING AS ALWAYS. I love you so much, Beyond Sushi.
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November Roll of the Month

The Sweet Tree Roll

The Sweet Tree Roll

Snack:

  • Remaining half of Kashi bar + a few bites of chocolate, after which I face-planted into a pillow and slept!

Friday, November 21th, 2014:

I woke up early and although I usually immediately eat and drink coffee, I was sleeping at a friends and didn’t have a kitchen to use. I had a meeting in Brooklyn at 10 and decided to take a train from Union Square and swing by the Farmer’s market on the way. I ended up grabbing stuff at Whole Foods, cause I saw it as a one-stop place for coffee and food and was running short on time.

Breakfast:

  • Coffee with soy milk, a big-old whole-wheat NYC bagel with peanut butter, and a giant organic Gala apple which was one of the best apples I’ve had in a while. I had to eat this breakfast on the train because I was so low on time, and I felt super obnoxious being that person. I figured it would be no biggie but the train ended up being SUPER packed, but my blood sugar was super low so I wallowed in a corner and ate my apple and half my bagel. Once I could see/think/again, the train was at the Wall Street stop, and like 90% of the people got off. And then I had a whole train car basically to myself to eat the remaining half of my bagel in peace. Lol. #alittlelate

Lunch:

  • After running around Brookyln and back to Manhattan and meeting a friend for coffee quickly, I ended up not eating until around 3 pm, by which time, I happened to be near the Union Square Whole Foods again. I was so hungry and grumpy and indecisive of what to eat, and I remembered I had a $50 Whole Foods giftcard on me so I opted to hit the EPIC Whole Foods hot/cold food bar for lunch. It was perfect because I had no idea what I was in the mood for and the millions of options could all end up in my bowl together. This is my favorite way to eat. Buffet styles are the best, cause I like to try EVERYTHING. I spent $12 on my mixture of salads and grain salads and tofu dishes and falafel chunks and dumplings. I also grabbed a sprouted roll and 3 Mast Brother’s bars and an unsweetened iced tea to use up my $50 giftcard. #freelunch sort of. #winning. I ate upstairs overlooking the park and charged my phone and sat down for a while and people watched. It ended up being perfect.
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this + a million other things at Whole Foods. YUM.

Snack:

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Snack #2:

  • A mini cupcake from Magnolia Bakery (they have minis now !!!)

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Dinner:

  • I met two of my favorite people/friends Joanna and Cassie for dinner at Peacefood, a vegan restaurant in the village. It was late, I had walked 15 miles that day according to my iPhone tracker, and I was HUNGRY. Like, I needed a sandwich hungry. I ordered the Vegan Cheeseburger with Cashew Cheese, Avocado, Caramelized Onions, Sprouts, Tomato, Lettuce, and some drippy delicious sauce. I inhaled it.
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Vegan Cheeseburger at Peacefood NYC. SO GOOD.

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best sandwich of my life. i inhaled it. 

  • We had dessert at Peacefood, too. Strawberry Shortcake and a giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich exploding with frosting. The 3 of us split these two. SO GOOD.

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Saturday, November 22th, 2014:

Breakfast:

  • Shocking fact (not): I ended up leaving my purse at Peacefood, so I headed back in that direction early the next morning. The nearest subway station is Union Square, so I ended up, once again, grabbing some food there. I had the BEST Vegan Blueberry Muffin like, ever and another organic Gala Apple (it was just too good the day before). I have to recreate those muffins. I think they used spelt flour, and I think that did the trick. I ate that on my way to pick up purse and visited a friend who works at an East Village coffee shop, where I got some free coffee with soy milk and some free granola with soymilk. Yummies.

Snack:

  • banana purchased at a bodega #nyc and half a Kashi peanut butter bar

Lunch:

  • I ended up NEEDING food when I was at Dominque Ansel with friends later that day so I ordered real food there, which I’ve never done before. I had a delicious salad with Endive, Sprouts, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Pear, Caramelized Pecans, and a Truffle Vinaigrette. The salad was delicious and the Roasted Sweet Potatoes and caramelized nuts were so flavorful that I, thankfully, didn’t need that vinaigrette. Which was nice, because to me, that dressing had a very strong flavor, and was a bit too much for me. I like truffle, but only in small amounts. I found the dressing a bit overpowering, but enjoyed the salad nonetheless.
Salad at Dominque Ansel Bakery

salad at Dominque Ansel Bakery

  • I also had a DKA from Dominique Ansel:
DKA!

DKA!

  • And took a selfie while eating lunch with Dominique in the background. I’m really creepy. Whatever. I idolize him.

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Dinner:

  • I met up with another amazing friend for dinner. We ended up at Peacefood again, which was honestly fine by me. The dinner was early and I’d eaten lunch and a pastry a few hours earlier, so I wanted something lighter. I ordered the Asian Greens Salad with Jicima, Tempeh, Carrots, Greens, and some delicious Peanut Ginger dressing. I’ve ordered this salad many times, and it’s always fresh, flavorful, and light-yet satisfying. It’s still my favorite salad there…minus perhaps when they have the Protein packed Kale Salad on the specials menu.

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  • I wasn’t going to get dessert cause I had just had some, but then my friend ordered carrot cake and I ended up eating half of it because it was so fucking good. (Sorry Olivia…) Great meal, great conversation, great friend. 🙂
  • In other news, Amanda Seyfried (aka Karen from Mean Girls) was dining near us. I tried snapping one creeper pic as I sat down, but it was blurry and I felt rude attempting again, and was also soon distracted by food.

Bedtime Snack:

  • remaining half of Kashi peanut butter bar, more chocolate

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014:

Breakfast:

  • I grabbed some trendy pour-over coffee (with soy milk) at a hipster-y coffee place with my friend Cassie, and ate a banana and an apple and half another Vegan Blueberry Muffin to fuel me up for the day.

Lunch:

  • I met my friend Minhye for lunch at Chelsea Market. I tried to talk myself into eating something “different” but desperately wanted Beyond Sushi again. So I got it. I got a Mighy Mushroom Wrap and another Sweet Tree Roll. I’m not usually into mushrooms, but this wrap is honestly amazing. I get it without the mushroom-y sauce on top and ask for an extra hot sauce. It’s literally so good I almost cried eating it. It was randomly VERY nice out so we ate outside upstairs on The Highline. It was awesome.
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Beyond Sushi on The Highline

  • And went for a stroll. The Highline Park is now fully open, and totally awesome. WALK IT!

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Snack at the Airport:

  • Plane delays = grumpy/hungry me. I had a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee with soy milk, a whole-wheat bagel with vegan spread, and highly overpriced apple and banana. #airportfood. I also ended up eating an Enjoy Life Caramel Apple Bar and a Cashew Cookie Larabar that I found in my backpack. I love finding food in my backpack. What a win. I also had some tea and a mini bag of mini pretzels on the plane.

Snack at Home:

  • I got home around 11:30 and needed a second dinner before showering and going to bed. I ate a bunch of veggies with dip and crackers and another veggie burger with an Angelic Bakery whole-wheat wrap and hot sauce/ketchup and chopped lettuce. I then downed a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter and some almond coconut milk and called it a night.
my helper.

my helper.

So that’s it. All my eats last weekend. Lots of fruit and granola bars and carbs and veggies. Like 90% vegan. Pretty standard to my typical eating, but also more eating out than usual. In case you care, which you probably don’t. But it was kind of fun to recap it. Maybe I’ll do it again. Maybe not. That’s sort of the fun of having your own blog. You can experiment. I wonder if anyone is still reading. Doubtful. If you are, leave a comment below and I’ll send you a special surprise. Lol. Have a good day!!

xoxo,

K-Bakes

Recap: The Seed Experience NYC – Cooking Demo with Guy Vaknin of Beyond Sushi

This weekend I was fortunate enough to win tickets to The Seed Experience courtesy of Beyond Sushi. They had a giveaway and I entered and somehow won! Whoohoo. So on Saturday and Sunday I trekked myself down to Soho and ate a lot of samples and talked to a lot of cool inspiring people and ate a lot more samples and had me a good time.

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The Seed Experience was a collection of plant-based speakers, demonstrations, films, samples, more samples, and what I was most interested in: COOKING DEMOS.

vegan goat cheese for days!

vegan goat cheese for days!

And yes! There was a cooking demo by the owner/executive chef of  my ALL time favorite restaurant Beyond Sushi. You better believe I went in squealing.

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fooooooood

So on Saturday afternoon after I drowned myself in new products like aloe water, maple water, tons and tons of vegan cheese and ice cream (which were all very delicious!) I watched Guy Vaknin (owner/executive chef of Beyond Sushi) make some rolls, speak about how he got where he was, and wow the crowd with incredible avocado filleting skills (seriously, you should have seen it).

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I’m planning to soon post a recipe with a how-to for making black rice sushi but I thought I’d dedicate a little time/space to speaking about Guy:

Turns out Guy started as a chef and did a lot of catering for kosher crowds. Kosher people have lots of dietary guidelines that do not allow them to eat certain things at certain times. I’m not going to pretend I understand the rules well, but Guy mentioned there was rule about not preparing and consuming fish and meat together. But Guy wanted to make a sushi roll appetizer for the crowds. So he started making vegetarian rolls. Though he’s a trained chef, he was not a sushi chef, nor even a vegetarian when he started this concept. He sort of learned it form another caterer, and when he was off duty had no other option other than to master the art.

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Guy, a culinary creative genius, used black rice in his sushi instead of white rice. He said he “saw the reaction,” and knew there was something special about this concept. He started bringing his black rice/vegetarian sushi to vegetarian food festivals, and got lots of positive crowd reactions, inquires, and press, he was inspired to go back to the kitchen and keep working. After a second year vegetarian food festivals, he decided to take a big risk, poured everything he had into one business concept, and started Beyond Sushi. He built the original location on 14th street (between 2nd & 3rd – see my original rave review here) and started by serving vegetarian sushi.

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For a few weeks, customers came in and Guy noticed that some were confused by the different vegetarian vs. vegan options, as some of his original menu items contained eggs and dairy in their rolls and/or sauces. Guy made a lot of personal reflections and seriously considered desires of customers, and decided to turn the restaurant completely vegan, and made the switch to a vegan lifestyle himself. He says he can now “not even picture” life any other way.

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The tiny sushi shop quickly exploded in popularity and has received endless rave reviews and press features for its creative and delicious approach to vegan dining and sushi. Guy still works there 7 days a week, usually in the downstairs kitchen area.

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He puts a phenomenal amount of thought and effort into every roll and every piece of sushi that beyond sushi produces. I was shocked at the time and effort the prep work behind each item on their menu. All the regular rolls have such depth and preparation – including marinating and fermenting of vegetables (often overnight) to get the flavors exactly where he wants them. The rolls of the month are all produced using local, seasonal produce from the Union Square Green Market, which although are more expensive, truly reflect the flavors of the season and the responsible sustainable drive behind the Beyond Sushi concept. It was humbling to see such a successful man so deeply passionate about his craft. He also addressed the possibility of expansion – turns out he has been approached for franchise opportunities, but wants to stay small so the quality of each roll can be carefully controlled. People are hard at work, Guy insists, every morning at 5am, julienning and prepping vegetables and sauces to stuff the rolls with flavor. This care and attention to detail are part of the reason Guy won’t go big (yet). “You can’t mass-produce this,” he said, looking down at his just-crafted roll.

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And as a huge fan having had almost every roll and wrap on the menu, I must agree with him. There is nothing like it. That’s why it’s my favorite restaurant and why I can’t even go to another sushi place since trying Beyond Sushi.

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So thank you, Guy, for the inspiration. And thank you Beyond Sushi for the tickets to The Seed, the inspiration, and for continuously delighting my taste buds. I will forever be a loyal fan and customer – wishing you all the success in the world !

Beyond Sushi

Hello again! Once again, school and NYU Spoon got busy, and I got a dog and stuff. So basically I got really busy again and let blogging fall wayside. Because it turns out blogging is time-consuming. Which you don’t really realize until you start. I mean like, you gotta take a bunch of pics, upload them, write stuff, blah blah blah….anyways I’m back, and better than ever! Can’t wait to get this thing re-rolling this summer. I plan to start explaining the last semester (my new dog, my life, etc). 

You can get a sneak preview of the latest in my updated About Me section. In other news the cashier at starbucks asked me yesterday, “Aren’t you a bit young to be drinking iced coffee?” I’m 23. This doesn’t really bother me any more; I mostly just think it’s funny.

But before I start adding all my new stuff this summer, I’m going to add all the stuff I collaborated on this semester, including NYU Spoon and my friend Dan’s blog Like It’s Your Last. Both are really cool projects with really cool people and you should check them out. 

Here is my first piece published on Like It’s Your Last. It’s about Beyond Sushi, which is my current addiction. It’s also the photo that’s on my homepage. Its gorgeous. It’s vegan sushi. But it doesn’t really taste like sushi. Basically it’s like constant flavor explosions and I can’t get enough. For skeptics I beg you to keep an open mind and an open mouth (but then close it when you chew plz). This piece was also edited quite a bit and and published on NYU Spoon and The Daily Meal. The one I wrote for Dan is more my own thoughts and stuff but in publications apparently things get changed a bunch. That’s fine. I’m still learning. But that’s also why I want my own blog so I can say whatever the heck I want and not get tweaked. More on this later.

Anyways here it is. I’m gonna copy/paste it from Dan’s site:

Beyond Sushi, located on 14th street between 2nd and 3rd, is easy to miss. In fact, even as I regular, I sometimes walk by it. A no-longer-hidden gem, the green space is small but tidy, with a zen dining room that seats up to 12. The three small tables are for sharing, elbow room is a small sacrifice to make for such innovative cuisine.

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Beyond Sushi is a vegan establishment, and while the idea of vegan sushi may sound paradoxical, I bring even my most carnivorous friends here, soliciting their blind trust to follow me into the delicious world of Beyond’s redefinition of sushi.

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I like to start with the carrot salad. The carrots themselves are lightly blanched: slightly tender but with a nice, crisp bite and lightly dressed in a heavenly sauce. The sweetness of the carrots is enhanced with notes of chili, ginger, garlic, fresh cilantro and sesame seeds. Although the flavor combination sounds like it could overwhelm, it doesn’t. It’s simply perfect.

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Then comes the sushi. Surprising combinations of healthful but hearty ingredients like sweet potatoes, avocado, mushrooms, tofu and crisp green vegetables are thoughtfully paired together, wrapped in a seaweed hug, covered with a layer of rice and finished with a specially paired sauce. This food is beautiful. It’s art. It’s almost impossible to eat without snapping a picture. What’s even better to discover is that its beauty is not just skin deep; when it hits the palate, it delivers flavors that surpass expectations.

Take, for example, the La Fiesta roll. Filled with avocado, pickled jalapeño and chayote, this beauty is artfully topped with a mango chili sauce, bringing a burst of sweet and spicy to the earthy roll. One thing that is striking at Beyond, both aesthetically and to taste buds, is the rice. Beyond Sushi uses a 6-Grain blend or black rice in all their rolls. Both of these rices put white rice to shame, providing more flavor and a far superior mouthfeel. The quality of the seaweed (which, in my opinion, makes or breaks a sushi experience) is reflective of every ingredient they use: it’s at its peak freshness and prepared perfectly.


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Food is clean, and flavors shine. I liken my journey through a roll to solving a puzzle. As I make my way through, I discover a new element in each piece: Tanginess from the pickled jalapeño. Umami from the black rice. I just got a hint of chili. That brightness…wow the cilantro was a nice touch. By the time I’m finished, I’ve gone through an entire whirlwind of flavors, and eagerly move on to the next roll.

If it were up to my taste buds, I would pack away ten rolls without taking a breath. However, the limits of a student budget usually stop me after 2 or 3, which, I have found (after a few minutes surfacing for air) to be surprisingly satisfying, leaving a feeling of full nourishment for body, belly and spirit.

 

“That’s the best sushi I’ve ever had,” is what my mother (a carnivore) said when I took her for the first time, and I’ve heard this phrase echoed from every skeptic I’ve brought along. I tend to agree. Each time I gather my things to leave the small healthy haven, I catch myself thinking, “Wow, that wasn’t even sushi – it was better than sushi – like, beyond sushi.” For a moment I mistake this as a profound thought; I then realize, I’m simply reiterating their quintessential name.

Beyond Sushi
229 E 14th St
(646) 861 2889
@BeyondSushi

5 Easy and Healthy Ways to Feel Like You’re Eating Dessert for Breakfast

 

Here are 5 super yummy, super fast breakfasts that taste like dessert. Which I’m a big fan of. This article was originally written for and published on NYU Spoon. You can check it out here.

 

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Breakfast Cookie for One

“Cookies for breakfast?” Yes! No, it’s not Cookie Crisp cereal; in fact, it’s much more delicious and has fiber, whole grains, and healthy fats that, unlike the sugary cereal, will actually keep you full until lunchtime. This is a base recipe that can be jazzed up with whatever fruits, nuts, jams and nut butters you have around your apartment. Use flavored oatmeal packets for an extra flavor kick (maple brown sugar flavor with almond butter and pecans makes for an excellent combination) but if you do, reduce or omit the additional sugar. The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup rolled oat or one packet of flavored oatmeal
1 tablespoon nut butter or coconut oil.
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg whites
mix ins: chopped fresh or dried fruit, nuts, a teaspoon of jam

Directions:
1. Place oats in a small bowl. Add nut butter or coconut oil (coconut oil will need to be melted in the microwave), baking soda, brown sugar, and honey. Mix well.
2. Add egg whites to oat mixture.
3. Add mix-ins of your choice. Mix.
4. Gather into a ball of “cookie dough” and place on a small plate. Smush down the dough to make a flat cookie shape. Spritzing the plate with non stick spray (optional).
5. Microwave on high for 1-3 minutes until browned and fluffy. Allow to cool briefly and enjoy.  

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Banana Cream Pie

Bananas and Greek Yogurt are a match made in heaven. Topped with a warm crispy toaster waffle as the “pie crust,” digging your spoon through this twist on a classic parfait is like just like digging through a personal banana cream pie. Make it your own with your favorite flavor of Greek yogurt (recommended: vanilla or coconut).

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Ingredients:
1 6oz vanilla, plain, or coconut Greek Yogurt
1 banana
1 toaster waffle
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 teaspoon honey
optional: coconut shreds
Directions:
1. Place toaster waffle in the toaster.
2. Remove lid from yogurt. Slice bananas and half of it add to yogurt. Mix.
3. Add coconut shreds or nuts if desired
4. Spread almond or peanut butter on waffle and top with remainder of sliced banana, honey, and coconut shreds (if desired).
5. Place toaster waffle on top of yogurt cup.
6. Eat by spooning through the waffle “crust,” and dolloping with the “pie filling” below. Yum!

 

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Chocolate Breakfast Pudding

Pudding is delicious. Unfortunately, dessert pudding is often high in fat, and store-bought pudding is often full of sugar and preservatives. So, when you wake up craving something smooth chocolatey, make this recipe instead. The Greek yogurt is rich in protein, calcium, and B vitamins. The cocoa powder helps thicken the already rich-tasting Greek yogurt, creating a consistency somewhere between pudding and frosting. A surprisingly small amount of sweetener is all that’s needed to make this taste like a treat. Goes great with fresh berries or bananas.

Ingredients:
1 6oz plain Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1-2 teaspoons of sugar or honey
raspberries or strawberries to top (optional)

Directions:
1. Add cocoa powder to Greek Yogurt and mix thoroughly until the powder is well dispersed in the yogurt and yogurt is free of clumps.
2. Add sweetener and mix again.
3. Top with fresh fruit. Enjoy!

 

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Apple Crisp for One

With the weather getting colder, sometimes there’s nothing more comforting than a warm breakfast. This recipe is an easier but just as delicious play on apple crisp, and takes only a few minutes to prepare. It’s also healthy enough to enjoy every day, and can work as a great study snack or dessert.

Ingredients:
1 apple
1 packet of flavored oatmeal (recommended: apple cinnamon or cinnamon spice)
a dash of cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey, and/or brown sugar to top (optional)

Directions:
1. Chop apple into small pieces. Place in a microwave safe bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon and mix.
2. Empty flavored oatmeal packet directly over the chopped apples. Drizzle one tablespoon of water over the top of the oatmeal. Do not add any more water (the moisture of the apples will be plenty).
3. Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, until apples are tender and oats on top appear crispy.
4. Allow to cool briefly, then top with honey or brown sugar and enjoy.

 

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Waffles’n’Dinges Spinoff

Sure, everyone at NYU knows exactly when and where the Waffles’n’Dinges truck parks on campus (Mondays, right in front of Stern), but let’s face it: the Wafles truck, while delicious, is a bit pricey and perhaps not the most nutritious breakfast option before a long day of studying. Fuel up with this healthier version (which even includes a healthy homemade version of the famous Speculoos cookie spread!) and be able to walk by those wafting waffle scents on Washington Square South without a second thought.

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Ingredients:
1 toaster waffle
For the “Speculoos”:
1 graham cracker
1 tablespoon almond or sunflower butter
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon honey or agave
1 tablespoon greek yogurt
“Dinges” of your choice (ie: sliced strawberries, sliced bananas, whipped cream)

 

Directions:
1. Place waffle in toaster.
2. Assemble the speculoos. Start by crushing the graham cracker. This can be done by breaking it into small pieces, placing it in a plastic bag, then smashing it with a large spoon until into small crumbs. A food processor can also be used for this. Place in a small bowl.
3. Add almond or sunflower butter, greek yogurt, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice to the bowl. Mix until well combined into a paste. If the spread is to thick or crumbly, add a bit more greek yogurt and/or honey until paste reaches desired consistency (look for a peanut-butter like spread consistency).
4. Top waffle with “Speculoos” and add your “Dinges” on top of that.
5. Dollop with whipped cream on a test day.

DIY Cronuts link (a recipe by me) && an explanation of my disappearance

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direct link to recipe here

hey everyone!

sorry i have vanished from my blog for quite a while. like has been crazy. once school got going, i ended up kind of tossing my blog to a backburner on my priority list and quite honestly even forgot about it for a while. but i plan to update it a bunch this winter break, and hopefully not to neglect the poor thing from now on. i’ve been home from school for a few days now and have literally been baking non.stop. cookies. more cookies. even more cookies (can never have too many cookies, right?). italian rainbow cookies (my fav – swoon). cookies for my dogs and my sister’s dogs (damn so many cookies!). cakes. candy. barks. eclairs. and i got a buche de noel on the way. so now i have quite a bit of inspiration for some posts. on top of that, i have a bunch of stuff i did over the semester that i can slap up here over the coming weeks. 

the semester was awesome. busy, but awesome. i finally felt like i’m at a place in my education where i enjoy all of the classes i am taking, and it was such a thrill to find enjoyment in doing my schoolwork, and actually enjoy lectures and reading. 

in case you are wondering, here is what i took:

  • Intro to Food Science
  • Human Anatomy (at a graduate level…it was a bit of a challenge but i ended up doing it anyway!)
  • Diet Planning & Assessment (a nutrition class, part of the DPD sequence) 
  • Lab in Psychopathology
  • Social Psychology

so that was it. five classes (one a graduate science class that met at 8am). i also wrote all semester long for NYU Spoon. it was great. all of it. especially NYU Spoon. i don’t think those kids realize how humbled i feel to be a part of it. they all seem so legit (journalism majors, working at E! and CNN, etc) and here i am, just some premed (although i’ve been having doubts about med school – more in a future post) and nutrition minor like “oh hey, i like food.” but whatever. i’m thrilled to be a part of it.

which brings me to my first post. 

here is a link to my original article on NYU Spoon on how to make cronuts

truly, it’s not as hard as it sounds. sure, it takes a long time and its repetitive. but it’s not, ya know, hard. give it a whirl and impress your family or someone special for christmas or new years breakfast this season. personally, i have a taste aversion to donuts, so even thought i knew these were good, it was hard to enjoy them, but everyone else seemed to go CRAZY for these babies. and i hope you will too!

happy holidays everyone! and hello again blog world! 

sweets from abroad

here’s an article i wrote for NYU Spoon magazine. see it published and check out the whole site here !

NYU Spoon is really awesome! so many talented writers and photographers. seriously worth some creeping for recipe ideas and food porn regardless of where you live or go to school. they also have an instagram, @nyuspoon. follow for shameless food pics!!

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Have you been missing all those foreign candies you ate while studying abroad? Or perhaps you’re just a regular candy buff looking for something new to tantalize your taste buds. Either way, shake up your candy routine by trying out two new candy shops, GUNZ Fine European and The London Candy Company, each of which have brought imported goodies to village.

 

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GUNZ opened in mid-September on University Place at the corner of 12th street, where University Restaurant once stood. The store clean and spacious, and has a unique selection of candies and snacks, primarily from Belgium and Austria, all at extremely reasonable prices.

 

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Described by the employee as “like a Crunch bar on crack,” the Choc’n’Rice bar is a customer favorite. Puffed rice cereal is molded with smooth milk chocolate, and is noticeably softer – and more addictive – than the American version.

 

 

Other must-tries include the milky Matres Truffout Chocolate Seashells, which boast a velvety texture that practically liquefies in your mouth. The Schoko Bananen candies have a pillowy layer of banana filling and a thin and malleable chocolate coating, creating a compelling banana-chocolate mashup.  Like all the products at Gunz, these are not too sweet, nor too expensive, creating the perfect easy-to-snack-on treat to bring to Bobst.

 

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When you run out of sweets from Gunz, head to the West Village to The London Candy Company at the corner of Bleeker and Morton St. A five minute walk from campus is all you need to have your taste buds hop the pond. Opened on August 10th, this tiny but bright store is quickly growing in popularity. The sign on the floor reads “Keep Calm and Eat Candy,” but with the overwhelming selection of delicious goodies, its near impossible to contain your kid-in-a-candy-store excitement. London Candy Co carries an unparalleled selection of British sweets, including an extensive selection of Cadbury products, European Kit Kats (think Peanut Butter and Hazelnut flavors), as well as potato “crips” in flavors like Ketchup and Beef & Onion. They also serve Stumptown Coffee at very fair prices, and are one of five places in the city that has Stumptown Cold Brew on tap.

 

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If its nostalgia you’re craving, the shop also carries Crispy M&Ms. A former American favorite that was discontinued in the US in 2005, a movie sized pack rings up at 8 US dollars. While this is admittedly a bit steep, they make a worthy splurge and great accompaniment to a PB&J on days when facing inevitable adulthood is overwhelming.

 

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Don’t leave without releasing your inner wine-snob by sampling a pack of Wine Gums. With the texture of Jujubes and flavors reminiscent of sweet wine aromas, these intriguing gummy candies are undoubtedly one of the most unique candies in the shop, and has quite the finesse for a chewy candy. Wine Gums are a socially appropriate way to satisfy wine cravings any time of day, whether it be in class or at work, even for the under-21 crowd.

 

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So put down the Reese’s at Duane Reade (for now) and try something new. Get your sugar buzz on while getting cultured too, at Gunz Fine European Foods and The London Candy Co.