A Lotus Grows in Brooklyn

Weekend o’ Vegan Delights

Ah, Monday. Time for me to gaze dolefully out across the prospect of a long workweek but also to fondly recall all the great vegan meals I had over this past lovely, happy weekend. Highlights!

► A vegan meetup in Williamsburg where we sampled treats from three eateries: the “Tom Hanks” pizza from Vinnie’s with vegan barbecue chicken, bacon, mozzarella, cheddar and barbecue sauce (above); a cubano and the “Merckx Werkx” sandwiches from Boneshakers (the latter featuring: “tofurky, sham, olive tapenade, chipotle mayo, lettuce, tomato, on a ciabatta hero”); and an outrageous selection of cookies, cupcakes, pastries, and pie from the new Champs vegan bakery. Besides the food, the best thing about the meetup was I got a slew of recommendations from fellow vegans on restaurants I am now dying to try. (Just more for me to share with all you Lotus readers!)

► Stood in line at Babycakes on a busy Saturday afternoon for their apple cider doughnuts, one dripping in delicious caramel sauce. Small and expensive, but totally worth the wait. (Sorry no pic, we were too eager to indulge and I forgot to snap a photo.)

► And best of all, brunch at Life Café in Bushwick, where I had the Eggless Rancheros pictured above, which was every bit as delicious as it looks!

And now, back to my regular workday diet of fruit and hummus. Sigh. 🙂


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.

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 Picnic-tastic

Memorial Day weekend in New York meant huge gatherings of friends and families in every park and the scent of sizzling animal flesh on every grill. I, however, got to enjoy a nice little picnic for two in Riverside Park on Sunday (right before I bailed on my rollerblades and became a sheepish, scraped mess). 🙂

The menu

Strawberries, seedless green grapes, marinated green and kalamata olives, supercrazydelicious Baked Kettle chips (salt & fresh ground pepper flavor), and a bean salad and sandwiches I made that morning. Mm mmm mm.

Approximate recipes:

Chili-Lime Bean Salad


1 can garbanzo beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 can sweet corn kernels
1 can black beans
1 jalapeño, diced finely
1 orange bell pepper, diced
Bunch of cilantro, snipped into small pieces
Spices!!! I threw in generous amounts of chili powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
Juice of two limes

Mix all in large bowl. Enjoy!

Tempeh-Hummus-Veggie Sandwiches

Tempeh (any variety, but I like the Lightlife Garden Veggie)
Teriyaki sauce
Lemon pepper
Baguette (I am in love with a multigrain one from Fairway. Crazy awesome!)
Hummus (flavor your choice, I used roasted red pepper)
Cucumber, sliced
Plum tomatoes, sliced
Red onion, sliced
Roasted red pepper, sliced (from a jar or roast your own)
Spinach leaves

Slice the tempeh thinly and marinate briefly in a bit of teriyaki sauce with a few dashes of lemon pepper.  Sauté in a skillet on each side for a few minutes until browned. Slice the baguette in half and spread the hummus on the bottom half. Place the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, red pepper, and tempeh, topped by spinach leaves. Cut the baguette into smaller sandwiches. Voilà.  

Obviously you could add anything else you liked to this versatile sandwich. Artichoke hearts? Vegan feta? Grilled mushrooms? All great!

And a couple more pics of the view from our picnic spot. Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!

When a Vegan Wants Pizza …
April 8, 2010, 3:08 pm
Filed under: Bars/restaurants, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , ,

… she should make her own. I trekked to Café Viva on the Upper West Side last night in order to sample their vegan pizza slices, many of which sound utterly delicious. I was hoping to try one that used a vegan cheese because sometimes you just need a tasty, cheesy treat.


Alas, at 6pm on a Wednesday night most of the slices, vegan or otherwise, were gone and I had to settle. I got the Naturale, with organic tomato sauce, tofu marinated in miso, eggplant, zucchini, red pepper, and spinach on a whole wheat crust.

The crust was great! The rest? Meh, pretty bland. I really don’t feel tofu makes a good stand-in for cheese. Next time I want to indulge, I’m baking my own pie. With Daiya!

For a Free Tibet
March 13, 2010, 7:14 pm
Filed under: Buddhism, New York miscellany | Tags: , , , ,

This past gray, chilly Wednesday evening I came upon a Free Tibet protest in Union Square, which was peaceful, respectful, and of course, well-regulated by the NYPD. I later learned that it was part of worldwide protest to “commemorate the 51st anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day and to show solidarity with a new nonviolent resistance movement gaining momentum in Tibet,” according to Phayul.com.

There had been a march over the Brooklyn Bridge to the U.N. earlier in the day, and the rally I saw was apparently a group of Uigyur students describing how similar their struggle is to the Tibetan struggle, which is interesting

I thought I’d share a few photos.

Feel the Love
March 1, 2010, 4:31 pm
Filed under: Bars/restaurants, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , ,

Apparently New York is one of the last places in the world to be getting access to Loving Hut, a chain of 100% vegan fast-food restaurants that has experienced much popularity around the globe (it’s  especially prolific in Korea and Taiwan). The first location in New York City opened recently on 7th Avenue in the Flatiron/Chelsea area and I got taken there by a date for a quick bite prior to an impov show recently.

vegan chicken sandwich

Ambiance: Small! Very functional space with only a few tables along one wall. Each Loving Hut is family-run and that made for a quirky, friendly dining experience. The server at this location was the daughter of the café’s owner and was very sweet, if not the most experienced waitress in the world. Her mother was there overseeing and offering customers free brownies from a test batch that went awry. You can’t argue with free dessert!

Loving Hut burger

Food: Extremely affordable! While most sandwiches at vegan places around the city run to $9, those at Loving Hut were a refreshing $5 or $6. I had the Loving Hut Burger and it was honestly the best vegan burger I’ve had just about anywhere. My date had a sandwich with vegan chicken that was not such a hit, but it appears the proprietors are continuing to tinker with the menu and recipes and were very open to constructive feedback.

Overall: A fun, tasty little place that I would certainly recommend. Our server said her mother is considering already opening another location, so keep an eye out for more Loving Huts to come your way!