A Lotus Grows in Brooklyn

Our Hen House Launch Party
October 4, 2010, 1:38 pm
Filed under: LGBT, Photography, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , ,

Longtime readers of this blog know that I pretty much never miss a party at MooShoes, a vegan shoe shop on the Lower East Side. This past Friday was no exception, as I trotted down to the launch party for Our Hen House, a nonprofit working to improve the treatment of animals. This party was particularly well-attended, and I saw a lot of familiar faces from other vegan events. Small but vocal community we are!

Now, the highlights in pics!

The crowd perusing the very desirable raffle prizes

Lovely wines provided by Frey Vineyards, an organic winery. The rosé was particularly good, I must say.

 I’m not much of a chocolate person, but I do appreciate the concept behind Rescue Chocolate, which donates all net profits to animal rescue groups.

 My fave munchable of the evening: “faux gras,” a walnut lentil pate that was mad good. Provided by the chef and caterer The Regal Vegan.

Always, always good: Sweet & Sara s’mores. (And always good when I don’t have to pay for them—you can get their vegan marshmallow treats at Whole Foods but they are a smidge pricy.)

 The ladies behind Our Hen House, Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan.

Victoria Moran, a very sprightly raw vegan speaker and author of The Love-Powered Diet.

 Jasmin Singer’s mother, talking about being in a family of vegetarians. Cute!

Well, that’s it. I had a great time and look forward to the next time I can stop by MooShoes, get free food, and mingle with all you lovely vegan folk!


Please See Me at My New Blog
September 27, 2010, 1:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hi, Lotus readers:

I have a new blog that will feature some (mostly) nonfiction writing by me, as well as entertaining and/or insightful tidbits. It’s called Sparkle for a Moment. I’d love if you’d check it out! Any vegan reviews, news, and recipes I will keep posting here on Lotus.

Cheers and namaste!


Morning Wisdom
August 18, 2010, 8:34 am
Filed under: Photography, Quotes | Tags: , , , ,

“Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all life really means.”

—Robert Louis Stevenson

I read this quote this morning and though I realize it smacks of cheesy inspirational crap, it made me release the breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding and smile. Because I can do that.

Photo taken by me July 31 in the Shakespeare Garden, Central Park.

Summer Hiatus
August 13, 2010, 2:25 pm
Filed under: New York miscellany, Uncategorized

Hi Lotus readers!

It’s been a long, hot, ridiculous summer, and the photo I took above on Prince Street in SoHo is pretty indicative of my life lately. You may have noticed I’m not blogging much. That’s not because I don’t love you but because I’ve been busy living my life instead of writing about it. I hope to soon get back to blogging more frequently and to branch out from my recent vegan recipes and restaurant reviews into other more thrilling, fascinating, amusing, or bizarre topics. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile … namaste. And cheers!  🙂

The Only Pasta Salad Recipe You’ll Ever Need
August 2, 2010, 6:59 pm
Filed under: Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , ,

I think I’ve finally perfected the pasta salad. My life is now complete.

I made a pasta salad for a barbecue last month that was creamy (thanks to Vegenaise) but ultimately a bit bland. This weekend, I made one that eschewed the ‘naise and used a great vinaigrette to tie it together instead, and I tell you, it’s wonderful. Here’s the approximate recipe, which I made up on the fly (always the best way to cook).

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Pasta, half a package. I like spirals but penne would work too, and I prefer veggie kinds (tomato, spinach, etc.) to plain ol’ pasta. The color and flavors are much more interesting.
Asparagus, half a bunch
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper

Artichokes, marinated, one jar
Handful of grape tomatoes, halved
Olives, sliced, one can
Soy feta, quarter to half a round
Salt and pepper to taste
Herbs to taste (basil, oregano, thyme)
Vinaigrette of your choice (I suggest something with some punch. I used the sun-dried tomato and garlic flavor from Organicville. Highly recommend!)

Boil the pasta per package directions, drain, cool slightly.
Quarter the bell peppes and arrange with asparagus on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and broil in the oven until the asparagus is tender and the peppers are just about to brown/blacken. (I had to remove the asparagus before the peppers—you don’t want to overcook it.)
Chop the artichoke into quarters.
Combine all ingredients, crumbling the feta as you add it. Let sit for at least half an hour to let the flavors get to know each other.  Serve chilled or room temp.

I’m seriously, people. This pasta salad got a rave review and I think it would be a great addition to your next picnic or cookout. Cheers!

Omg! Amazing Vegan Slice.
July 15, 2010, 12:52 pm
Filed under: Bars/restaurants, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , ,

Just a quick note to tell all the New York vegans to get their buns to Zpizza in the West Village (Bleecker at 7th Ave.) tout de suite to try their vegan slice. I had it on Saturday night and it completely and thoroughly blew my mind. Daiya cheese! Vegan sausage! So tasty!

Vegan Philadelphia
June 21, 2010, 11:07 am
Filed under: Bars/restaurants, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , ,

Perhaps the best thing about traveling to other cities is getting the chance to explore new restaurants. I don’t know why, but often the food just tastes better when you’re on a trip, out of your city, out of your element.

This weekend I had the great fortune to try two stellar vegan restaurants in Philadelphia, Pa. The first was the one that’s been coming up over and over each time I search for veg eateries there—Horizons. A friend took me there Saturday night and it was just as good as the hype. We took a sidewalk table in the warm evening sunlight and perused a menu that featured innovative global cuisine. For appetizers, we had a light and savory Vietnamese-style ravioli and taco-rolls with tempeh and spicy mayo that pretty much rocked my world. We then shared a “Peruvian Mushroom Crepe” that was extraordinarily interesting and well-crafted. I can’t do it justice here: Go check out the menu at this place and commence drooling. (And look, they have a cookbook!)


Sunday, we embarked on a lengthy odyssey to find a vegetarian restaurant that supposedly had a brilliant vegan brunch. After much walking in circles through the hot Philly haze, the restaurant, Mi Lah, at last appeared like an oasis of air conditioning and mimosas. I had the tofu benedict, which was pretty good but not as good as the one I make, if I may be so bold. The home fries, though, were an insanely delightful, melt-in-your-mouth mix of regular potatoes and sweet potatoes, perfectly seasoned. Even better, my friend had tofu scramble-black bean quesadillas and taquitos that were so outrageously good as to be nearly beyond words. I can’t pinpoint all the ingredients and factors that came together to make them great, but trust me, they were life-changing. (As in, they served as a great corroboration of my claim that being vegan is easy and tasty.)

Next time I visit, I think I may have to check out one of the cafés serving vegan Philly cheesesteak. Mmm.

Blurry photo of Horizons exterior from the restaurant’s website. Photos of Mi Lah brunch by me.