This week I’m on vacation back home in Florida and thankfully escaping chilly New York! While back in town, I’m visiting my favorite vegan/ vegetarian/ raw restaurants and trying some new places too! First up is Christopher’s Kitchen where I had lunch today.
While I have been to the takeaway spot they have next store, “Christopher’s Kitchen to Go” I had never sat down in the restaurant and wine bar until today. This amazing organic, plant-based (raw and vegan restaurant) is my new favorite restaurant ever and brought back memories of the recently shuttered Pure Food and Wine in New York ( my favorite restaurant of all time.)
But enough sadness- let’s talk about this amazing hidden gem that locals adore and rightfully so! The staff is amazing and helpful with recommending the delicious dishes that flutter the menu. Christopher’s Kitchen offers some of my all-time favorite raw entrees such as “live-pizza” served on flaxseed crust, raw vegan tacos, avocado toast, asian-style zucchini noodles, raw lasagna, wraps, quinoa power bowls and glorious macro and kale salads filled with vibrant, healing superfoods. They also offer a wide selection of organic fresh-pressed juices, nut mylks, and organic wine!
Also all the desserts are literally to die for. Handmade and fully raw and vegan, I sampled a few dark chocolate concoctions such as the Chocolate Turtle (with raw chocolate, buckwheat crunch and chewy caramel), the Caramel Bar and the Salted Caramel Pecan Bark.
I couldn’t be more in love with this place if you’re ever in the area it’s definitely worth the trip- I only wish my trip back to Florida was longer so I could come back each day and sample the menu! ( or finger’s crossed to them opening up a location in New York!!)
Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend the 2015 Vegetarian Food Festival here in New York. It was filled with some of my favorite Vegan and Vegetarian local vendors and also featured some world-renowned guest speakers throughout the weekend.
So many vendors!
NYC 2015 Vegetarian Food Festival
The event featured some of my all-time favorite vegan and raw vegan based New York City vendors ( DF Mavens, Mom Pops Rescue Chocolate, Beyond Sushi and GustOrganics.) There were also hundreds of awesome new vegetarian and vegan businesses that were introducing new products and featured samples and free tastings. The 2 levels of vendors offered an incredible selection that I honestly could have been there for 3 days with stuff left to check out, but I made my way to all of the vendors on both levels and tried out some amazing new stuff leaving with a bag full of vegan goodies.
The highlight of the event for me though was getting to meet Fully Raw Kristina! I came across her incredible blog when I ventured into the 80/10/10 lifestyle for a period last year. I think her energy and passion for raw, living foods is both inspiring and amazing and I was so lucky that she was emceeing the event! ( Can you say dream come true?) She’s honestly the sweetest person in real life and really did a great job letting everyone know what the festival had in store for the weekend. All in all it was a great way to spend my weekend connecting with other like-minded healthy friends, listening to inspiring guest speakers and sampling tasty new things sold around NYC!
As an end to midterms treat ( or start of Spring.. however you want to look at it,) and as promised on our Facebook Page, I am posting this recipe for Healthy Cookie Dough Bites!!
Making cookies growing up I always enjoyed licking the raw cookie dough batter off the spoon and bowl instead of eating the actual cookies straight out of the oven ( I know.. I’m weird.) But not only is that not the healthiest thing (because of salmonella and a variety of other reasons) I’m also older now and prefer healthier desserts anyway.
Adapted from Momable’s version, this raw cookie dough ball recipe doesn’t require baking ( yay!) and can be enjoyed right away but they’re best after a few hours of being in the refrigerator. I don’t recommend freezing these though… not the same as cookie dough so they lose flavor and consistency- not ideal. I personally preferred adding a little more honey ( you can add maple syrup or a few drops of stevia if you prefer) to my batch so that they got that cookie dough flavor to mask the saltiness of the other ingredients, but adjust as preferred to your preference!
This is perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth and cookie dough cravings whenever they might arise- Enjoy everyone! xx SS
- ½ cup creamy raw almond butter or cashew butter
- 1/3 cup, plus 1 tbsp raw honey (or maple syrup for vegan version)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup, plus 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 3 tbsp ground flax seed
- pinch of tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips or Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips for Dairy Free Version
- In a large bowl, mix together the almond butter, honey (or maple syrup) and vanilla until creamy and well blended. In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut flour, ground flax seed and sea salt. Next, add the dry mix to the almond butter wet mix and mix until well combined. Use your hands to knead the dough. If the dough is too wet, add a bit more coconut flour. If it’s too dry and doesn’t hold together well, knead in one teaspoon of water. Sprinkle in the dark chocolate chips. Finally taking the mix, knead and form small balls
- *Refrigerate balls for 30 minutes before serving. Makes about 18 cookie bites.
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Now that it’s finally shorts weather in NYC ( bye bye winter wardrobe?) It seems like a perfect time to roll out this frosty favorite of mine- BANANA NICE CREAM! This raw (vegan) healthy treat is actually made out of frozen bananas, a splash of almond milk and topped with chewy granola, dried fruits and super foods. Inspired by one of my favorite bloggers and all-around health goddesses, Loni Jane ( I’m dying to get my hands on her e-book to serve up some raw goodness!)
This treat is perfect for breakfast, afternoon snack or even dessert! While bananas make up a bulk of the everyday calories for those on high carb raw vegan diets, they are also an excellent source of potassium and good for a post-workout snack or a couple hours before a strenuous workout.
This creamy, banana goodness tastes great plain or topped with shredded coconut, mulberries and raw granola!
Enjoy! xx SS
Starting off the Seven Days of Soup series is one of my favorites- Pumpkin Pie in a Bowl! This recipe, taken from one of my favorite nutrition and health gurus, the famous Natalia Rose, is light and tasty but packed with nutrition and healthy enzymes. Its quick and easy too so its perfect for making a batch now and saving some for later!
I find it hard to eat clean and raw especially in the winter in New York but this soup serves up some Vitamin C and is easy on your digestive system giving you more energy throughout the day! This soup is supposed to be served raw ( room temperature) or until it is warm to the touch but not as hot as regular soup in order to preserve important nutrients.
Note: depending on how much avocado to carrot juice ratio you add while vary the consistency ( creamy or soupier), so if you want something less creamy opt for slightly less avocado. Happy cooking!
Pumpkin Pie In a Bowl (Vegan, Raw, GF)
Makes 4-5 cups (derived from Detox’s the World’s recipe)
32 ounces fresh carrot juice
1 cup raw sweet potato, peeled and cubed
3-4 Medjool dates
1/2 avocado, pitted
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Place all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy right away or store in an airtight container and enjoy within 36 hours.