Monday, June 29, 2009

Wild Ginger

It was a weekend of outer borough adventures for me, and in between cruising from Rockaway Beach to shopping at the Fairway in Red Hook, a girl's gotta fuel up! With absolutely nothing in the Rockaways other than delis and Kennedy Fried Chicken (or was is it an equally unpalatable Crown Fried Chicken?), I figured a stop in restaurant central Carroll Gardens was necessary! My eye was immediately drawn to the "vegan cafe" portion of the "Wild Ginger" sign on Smith Street, and thought it would be a welcome change from the typical beach food that I've recently encountered.

Wild Ginger offers up a variety of pan-Asian mock meat dishes, which primarily utilize seitan and soy. The menu offers vegan versions of classic takeout favorites, like spring rolls & lettuce wraps, sweet & sour soup, seitan & broccoli, pad thai, and vegan bi bim bop with chickpeas and kimchi. We rolled in around 6pm- relatively early, with a sparse crowd reflecting that. Though initially put off by a construction guy on a ladder at the front of the restaurant, we were given a spacious wooden booth to ourselves towards the back of the restaurant- if we weren't bombarded by flash thunderstorms that day, I'd have surely asked for a table in their quaint outdoor patio space.

I ordered Wild Ginger's version of orange beef, made with seitan, and my honey ordered the basil soy protein with vegetables. Our side salads quickly emerged from the kitchen, and their sweet and spicy carrot ginger dressing was delightful. I wish I could say the same about my orange seitan- it was a bit tough and covered with all too much bland orange sauce. It wasn't particularly spicy, a trademark of orange sauce, nor was it particularly orange-y. If it weren't for a very slight citrus aftertaste, I'd have thought my server brought out the wrong dish. The basil soy protein entree, however, had a slight heat, possibly from ginger rather than chiles, and each bite was full of fresh Thai basil. The soy protein was perfectly chewy and the vegetables were slightly crisp and not overcooked- what a difference a dish makes!

Unlike my fave mock-meat joint, Red Bamboo, pan-Asian is where the variety stops at Wild Ginger, and it sure doesn't cook up deliciously supple seitan and soy dishes like Red Bamboo. But then again, just like your neighborhood takeout place, some dishes will be hits, and others will be misses. Wild Ginger is worth trying if you're in the neighborhood, but I wouldn't make an outer borough adventure of it.

Wild Ginger, 112 Smith Street between Dean & Pacific Streets, Brooklyn, 718-858-3880

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Asian Veggie Slaw with Peanut Noodles

I've never liked the nasty mess known as coleslaw. It has a permanent association with sobering up at a diner at 4am- you know the nasty mess I speak of. Even when you're falling on the floor drunk and a heaping plate of disco fries still isn't enough, you don't touch the coleslaw with a ten foot pole because it must have been sitting in the kitchen all day and continually recycled on every diner's plate. Who wants to eat that? Not me!

I'm devoting my next several recipes to new takes on summer BBQ staples. In this one, I cleaned up the nasty mayo-filled coleslaw mess and gave it a more clean, Asian influence that is vegan as well! I'm including red cabbage in the recipe below... I realized at the last minute that I didn't actually have cabbage in my refrigerator, and it would have added not only a nice crunch, but a pop of color to the Asian slaw too. With a little bit of spice and some crispness from the rice vinegar, I decided to balance out these non-traditional coleslaw flavors with some peanut noodles. Let this version of coleslaw become the new staple at your next backyard party!

The Whats:

* 1/2 a large daikon radish, peeled
* 1 large carrot, peeled
* 1 medium cucumber
* 1/4 of a medium red onion, thinly sliced
* 1 cup of shredded red cabbage
* 3 tbsp. rice vinegar
* 1 tbsp. soy sauce
* 1 tbsp. lime juice
* 1 tsp. sriracha sauce

For the noodles:
* half a package of thin, glass noodles (feel free to use your favorite noodles!)
* 3 tbsp. soy sauce
* 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
* 1 tsp. lime juice
* 1 tbsp. sesame oil
* 2 tbsp. chunky peanut butter

The Hows:

1) Using a julienne peeler, julienne the daikon, carrot, and cucumber and place into a medium mixing bowl. Add the onion and the shredded red cabbage to the mix.

2) In a small, separate bowl, combine rice vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice, and sriracha sauce and whisk together. Pour sauce over the vegetables and toss until veggies are well coated. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.

3) Bring a medium saucepan filled with water to a boil. Add rice noodles and cook for about 5 minutes, or until noodles have softened. Drain noodles in a colander and rinse with cold water for 2 minutes. Set aside.

4) In the same saucepan over low heat, add soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, lime juice, and peanut butter. Stir together until mixture is hot and peanut butter has melted down. Turn off burner. Add the rice noodles and toss until noodles are well coated with the peanut sauce. If desired, add a teaspooon of sriracha. Plate half a cup of rice noodles and top with veggie slaw.

Serve warm, or keep noodles and slaw in the fridge for half an hour and serve chilled.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Read: How the Food Makers Captured Our Brains

After an interesting convo this past weekend on how horribly addictive refined sugar is (the percentage of obsese Americans is certainly proof), I read this interview on the New York Times Health blog today with Dr. David Kessler, former head of the Food & Drug Administration, who puts a more psychological spin on why Americans eat the cavity-inducing, heart attack-watiting-to-happen foods. His latest book, "The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite" may not be your typical beach reading, but it might be an eye opener for some- detailing how giant food companies continually study consumer behavior and desire in order to create an irresistible product... an unhealthy one, more often than not.

I've said it before, I'll say it again... Big Food needs to go down. Read more about the book here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Grilled Veggie Terrine

It's officially summer! Though the rain might keep you indoors temporarily, it's time to break out the BBQ grill- or buddy up to someone who has one. Meat eaters may have a stake (or a steak perhaps) in grilling, but it's time for vegetarians to reclaim their rightful place at the BBQ!

If you're going to make any grilled vegetable dish, this colorful terrine will certainly leave an impression on your guests and, hopefully, have them nixing that extra hot dog for veggies instead! Feel free to cheat like I did and pick up roasted peppers and marinated artichokes from your grocery store's deli section- you'll certainly save time, but be sure to blot the excess oil or marinade so that your terrine isn't too watery/oily. I'll also post some revamped summer BBQ sides (both vegan!) that will round out a perfect veggie barbeque... keep checking back!

The Whats:

* 8 or 9 slices of eggplant (1 eggplant should do the trick)
* 8 slices zucchini or yellow squash (1 large zucchini will also do the trick)
* 2 large red or yellow bell peppers, sliced in half
* 3 marinated artichoke hearts
* 3/4 cup sundried tomatoes
* 2 handfuls of arugula or spinach
* 1 cup fresh ricotta
* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 2 tbsp. white wine
* 1 tsp garlic powder
* 1/2 tsp. black pepper
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* several basil leaves, finely chopped, or you can substitute 2 tsp. dried basil

The Hows:

1) Whisk together olive oil, white wine, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and basil. Place eggplant, zucchini, and peppers in a gallon size ziplock bag; add the olive oil mixture. Seal bag, and shake until veggies are coated.

2) Heat the BBQ grill; cover with non-stick foil. Place veggies over the grill and cook for about three to five minutes on each side, or until you start to see slight grill marks and veggies have softened. Remove from grill, and allow veggies to cool.

3) Line a 9" x 5" loaf dish with plastic wrap, leaving extra wrap hanging over the sides of the loaf dish. Press half of the grilled eggplant slices at the bottom of the dish, overlapping pieces if needed to fit the loaf dish. Press 2 of the pepper halves on top of the eggplant, followed by half the zucchini slices. Spread the ricotta evenly over the zucchini slices. Press arugula or spinach into the ricotta. Break apart artichoke hearts and spread evenly over the greens. Top with sundried tomatoes, followed by remaining slices of zucchini, pepper halves, and eggplant. Tightly wrap the tops and sides of the plastic wrap around the terrine.

4) Place a kitchen towel over the wrapped terrine and place weights over the top- you can use pie weights or, as I did, small cans. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or until terrine is thoroughly chilled and firm. To serve, remove weights and kitchen towel and pull wrapped terrine from the loaf dish. Unwrap terrine and invert onto a serving dish. Use a sharp knife to cut terrine into slices.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Baked Fava Beans with Fresh Ricotta

Proof that yet again, you can do amazing things with random cans of beans in your kitchen. I love the heartiness of fava beans- their nutty taste can really boost a vegetarian meal! They're also a popular spring bean, so be sure to check for fresh ones at your local farmer's market. Instead of making a salad, as fava beans are regularly prepared throughout the Mediterranean, I was inspired by NYT columnist Mark Bittman's comprehensive tome, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (which, if you don't already own it, is worth adding to your vegetarian cookbook collection), in which he bakes fava beans with mozzarella. Though this recipe is largely his, I made just a few changes- like using fresh salt free ricotta, or myzithra, from Titan Foods in Astoria- and it was so yummy and perfect for one of these rainy nights we've been having that I had to post this. Buon appetito!

The Whats:

* 2 cans fava beans, drained and rinsed
* 3 tbsp. olive oil, plus 1/4 cup for drizzling
* 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (I used one with some basil already in it!)
* 1 clove garlic, crushed
* a palmful of torn parsley leaves
* salt & pepper to taste
* 1 cup fresh ricotta
* 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
* 1/2 cup pecorino romano

The Hows:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2) In a medium bowl, mix together the fava beans, two tablespoons of the olive oil, some salt & pepper, and a few of the torn parsley leaves. Cover and set aside.

3) To make the tomato sauce: heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook for one minute. Add the can of crushed tomatoes, half the parsley leaves, and salt & pepper if desired. Allow sauce to cook for 20 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly.

4) Pour entire batch of the tomato sauce at the bottom of a large 13"x9" baking dish. Layer fava beans over the tomato sauce. Spoon dollops of ricotta over the fava beans, then sprinkle with breadcrumbs and grated cheese. Garnish with onions, additional parsley, basil, or whatever you like. Drizzle 1/4 cup olive oil over the beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until topping is crisp and sauce bubbles at the edges of the baking dish. Serve hot.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Look at the New York Food Film Festival

The third annual New York Food Film Festival screened films at the LIC Water Taxi Beach last night, which is what I'll call "no excuse" proximity to me. Even though I rolled in a little late (films were scheduled to start at 8:30pm), the screenings started late anyway, and to my surprise, only a small crowd of filmgoers were in attendance. Did people not realize the NYFFF was free?? I mean, isn't it that much more incentive to go to an event in NYC?

Either way, NYFFF not only entertained, but fed us as well. Three of the short films screened last night- Mutton: The Movie, Sacred Food, and New Jersey's Red October- doled out, respectively, free mutton & coleslaw, wild rice with almonds, and packets of Craisins to the audience. NYFFF volunteers also handed out reusable lunch bags at the end of the night, filled with various coupons and a box of Peeps, in honor of another film that was not shown this Tuesday. Compared to other festivals I've been to, this one's on the right *digestive* track!

The films were a mixed bag- I found myself surprisingly entertained by the Mutton movie, which follows a story of mutton BBQs in Kentucky, and slightly bored the Red October film that presented an inside look into cranberry growing, but not in a particularly interesting way. Some films- like The Sandwich Thief and Food Cops- were not particularly well done, but made for a few laughs anyway. Sacred Food, a short about how rice is considered a gift of the Creator by Ojibwe Native Americans in Northern Minnesota, was more somber and beautifully shot.

With a variety of other shorts in competition, this festival is worth attending, especially in a great location like the Water Taxi Beach. Closing night (also free!) is this Friday at 7:30pm, back at Water Taxi LIC- go check it out and get your munchies on!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Asparagus with Lime Butter

Asparagus is pretty amazing the way it is, so the last thing you'd want to do is overwhelm it with a too-potent flavor. I thought it might be fun to add a little zing with another perfect summery flavor- lime! The freshly squeezed lime and some soy butter will keep each other in check- the butter will never feel too heavy or fattening, and the lime won't be too acidic or overpower the asparagus. An even better idea- try marinating the asparagus in the lime butter, and then put those stalks on the grill!

Like the Corona you could likely serve this with, some things are just better with lime.

The Whats:
* 1 bunch fresh asparagus
* 1/4 cup soy butter
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 tbsp. lime juice
* 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
* several parsley leaves, torn (you can also use a bit of cilantro if you prefer!)

The Hows:

1) Wash the asparagus, and snap off the woody ends. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Tie asparagus together with string, and add to the pot. Cook for 2 to 5 minutes, until the asparagus has softened and can easily be cut with a knife. Drain. Run asparagus under cold water for a minute to shock.

2) Meanwhile, heat butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and parsley and cook over low heat for a minute. Stir in lime juice and sugar; cook until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.

3) Add the asparagus to the butter pan, and toss with lime butter. Serve warm, drizzling any extra lime butter over the asparagus.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


If you're gonna play with the big boys, you better bring your A-game. And I can say that of Ignazio's, the new Brooklyn pizzeria that just opened around the corner from the legendary Grimaldi's. That's pretty ballsy in my book, so while spending a Saturday afternoon in Dumbo, I figured I'd get court-side seats to the action!

Though nothing will ever top Grimaldi's- or my favorite BK pizzeria, Spumoni Gardens, for that matter- I'll give Ignazio's seven slices out of eight. My friends and I ordered a large Sicilian pie (my favorite!), and though it took awhile for us to get our pie, it was so worth the wait. A piping hot pie made my favorite way- with a light layer of fresh mozzarella on top of the dough, then covered with tomato sauce and basil. Ignazio's made their Sicilian with enough sliced mozzarella to make it gooey, and their sauce was sweet, but not overly sweet. Instead of being baked with basil leaves, the pie is topped with basil just before it is served- no wilted leaves, the basil just pops with the sweet sauce. And quite possibly the most important test of a good pie, the crust was wonderfully crisp, even in the last-to-be-devoured center slices of the pie.

I've seen mixed reviews on this place, but my experience was heaven-sent. If the line at Grimaldi's gets too long, you won't be missing out on much if you go to Ignazio's. The A-game pizza's been served- game on!

Ignazio's, 4 Water Street, Brooklyn- 718-522-2100

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Provencal Pasta with Lentils and Capers

Blame this latest inspiration on my having a ratatouille crepe this week, but I decided to add some French flair to my own fave comfort food dish- pasta! With French puy lentils (this variety best holds its shape as it cooks) and typical Medi-Franco flavors, this hearty pasta packs in some protein as well as a lot of taste! If you need to save time, you can use canned lentils, but because I wanted the lentils to cook with the herbs I added, I soaked and cooked dried lentils- which, of all the beans you could be using, don't take very long to cook. Now if only my computer could type the cedilla c, this post would be complete! Bon appetit!

The Whats:

* 1 cup dried green puy lentils
* leaves of 1/2 sprig of rosemary
* 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
* 1/2 lemon
* 3 tbsp. herbs de provence seasoning
* 4 tbsp. olive oil
* 4 tbsp. white wine
* salt & pepper
* 1 box whole wheat pasta, preferably spaghetti or linguine
* 1 small jar (3 oz.) capers, drained

The Hows:

1) In a large saucepan, soak one cup of dried green lentils in 4 cups of hot (but not boiling) water. Allow lentils to soak for one hour.

2) Drain water from saucepan. Rinse lentils and drain. Cover lentils with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cook lentils for 15 to 20 minutes, until water is mostly absorbed. Add 3/4 cup to 1 cup veggie broth and several rosemary sprigs, adding until you achieve your desired flavor. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes or until veggie broth is absorbed and lentils are soft. Add 1 tbsp each of olive oil, white wine, and herbs de provence. Stir until combined.

3) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add whole wheat linguine to the pot, and cook until al dente, about 12 to 15 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Drain pasta.

4) As pasta drains in colander, mix the remaining olive oil and white wine with the pasta cooking water. Pour about half of the mix into the pasta pot. Add half the cooked lentils and gently stir in the liquid- lentils should not be clumped together. Add half the cooked pasta from the colander; add more liquid, then lentils, then remaining pasta. Add remaining herbs de provence, juice from half the lemon, salt and pepper, and capers and toss pasta until coated and lentils and capers are distributed.

Top with piave vecchio and serve hot. Serves 4 to 5.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cafe Henri

Perhaps I was feeling nostalgic because just a year ago I was living it up in the beautiful City of Lights, but the idea of French food seemed tre fantastique last night. Though French food isn't known for being particularly veg friendly, it wasn't going to stop me from visiting LIC fave, Cafe Henri, on 50th Avenue. Known for their variety of crepes, and apparently the best brunch in this part of Queens, I was certain there would be at least a couple vegetarian options.

And sure, there are a couple veggie options- some salads, a hard boiled egg sandwich, a cheese plate, and a ratatouille crepe and a goat cheese-mushroom crepe. Vegans, you're up le sheet's creek without a paddle. And vegetarians, be warned, there's a "no substitutions" disclaimer on the menu by the sandwiches, so if you're like me and disdain the idea of hard boiled eggs on bread, you're stuck too if you want a sandwich. Cafe Henri has a tiny kitchen, but still, I can't see how a restaurant could be so inflexible.

En avant! We split a cheese plate to start- some type of pungent blue, a creamy and mild brie, some rather average thin slices of gruyere, and a chunk of unsalted mozzarella, along with some grapes, mint, tiny diced tomatoes, and chopped walnuts. I thought it was strange that our waitress didn't tell us what cheeses we were served and that it wasn't listed on the menu. Hmm. With a so-so variety of cheese, I guess I can imagine why.

The ratatouille crepe I ordered more than made up for everything else. Both the crepe and the ratatouille were hearty and perfectly satisfying- this must be the French answer to American comfort food like mac & cheese. Cafe Henri's ratatouille is less sweet, and more herbal- the flavor of the parsley and thyme really came through- and the crepe was just slightly crisp at the edges. With the crepe and a side salad, I was surprisingly full before the end of dinner, and unfortunately, did not sample some of the lovely sounding dessert offerings, like a classic chocolate souffle.

If I compare the food at Cafe Henri to a quaint cafe outside the Lourve, then the decor is more like funky St. Germain in style. Bright blue door and window frames with funky orange-gold-ish brushed walls, and more traditional looking bistro tables and chairs, I can see how one could easily lose a few hours sipping a glass of sancerre, and watching the, um, scenery of 50th Avenue. Either way, for a little taste of Paris, I'll visit Cafe Henri again for their famed brunch. French toast anyone?

Cafe Henri, 10-10 50th Avenue, between Vernon & Jackson Aves, LIC, 718-383-9315

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Snack Stash

Nutritionists will tell you that you should snack healthy and in modest proportions to keep your energy levels up during the day and to prevent overeating during meals. I like to snack because

* if work gets too insane and I can't get lunch, I won't go ballistic on my co-workers from the hunger crankies (don't laugh, you KNOW that you get cranky when you don't eat too!)

* if I'm playing soccer or swimming after work, that salad or sandwich I ate at 1pm isn't going to keep me going for my various athletic endeavors.

Keeping a snack stash at my desk has become a necessity. Why am I blogging about this today, you might ask? Because it's after 2pm, I haven't eaten lunch yet, and I finished my last granola bar, so it's about time to do some snack shopping... that is, if I can escape from the office! Until then, I'm making a list of my fave snacks that I will sometimes keep at my desk- all tasty, nutritious, and low in calories. Maybe you'll get some ideas for what to keep at your desk, and feel free to comment on what healthy goodies you might keep at your desk!

Kashi TLC Chewy Granola Bars- Cherry Dark Chocolate- 4 grams fiber, 5 grams protein, and at 120 calories a pop, these will satisfy your hunger and your sweet tooth!

Arrowhead Mills Instant Maple/Apple Spice Oatmeal- comes in at about 100 calories per pack, and I find it all the more satisfying because it's hot and full of whole grains! Bring in some fruit to top off your oatmeal.

GNU Flavor & Fiber Bars- these pack a serious fiber punch to the gut. In a good way. 12 grams of fiber, only 140 calories, and flavors that actually taste good (try Cinnamon Raisin or Orange Cranberry), these will keep you going for the rest of your day.

Fruits & Veggies- this should be obvious. If you don't have a refrigerator at work, you can easily stash apples, bananas, plums, grapes, and tangerines at your desk. If you do have access to a fridge, you can stash berries, peaches, assorted citrus fruits, carrots, bell peppers, and cucumbers, along with some hummus for dipping!

Annie's Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies- though I'm putting these at the bottom of the list (because we all know that if we want a crunchy snack, we should probably pick crunchy vegetables), but these are infinitely better than some crunchy crap in a vending machine AND you can pronounce everything on the ingredients list- one of my several tests as to whether I should be consuming something or not.

Happy snacking! :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Adding Another Event... free!

Because you pretty much can't argue with free shizz, especially when it involves whipping your ass into shape, check out Vital Juice's first "Recessionista Pop-Up Wellness Retreat" in Union Square Park during the weekend of June 18th through 20th . You need to be a Vital Juice subscriber... but since I mentioned it on my blog awhile ago, shouldn't you have signed up already? :) I might have to try the Masala Bhangra or the Street Fighter workshops!

Vital Juice's Retreat Fitness Schedule Workouts provided by Crunch

Thursday, June 18
11am – 11:45am Lyrical Vinyasa
This fusion class blends the flow of Vinyasa Yoga with the intensity of lyrical dance to give you a unique, challenging workout.
12pm – 12:45pm Beach Body
The countdown to summer starts here. Get a full body workout in the class that will have your body beach ready just in time to hit the sand.
1pm – 1:45pm Million Dollar Knockout
Fight Club isn’t just for men anymore. This class uses traditional boxing principles and training targeted specifically for and taught by women.
4pm – 4:45pm Retro-Robics
It's a blast from the past! Work up a sweat with a touch of nostalgia in this heart-pumping, traditional aerobics class. This time around, legwarmers are optional!
5pm – 5:45pm Street Fighter
Float like a butterfly and sting like a street fighter in this fluid motion martial arts class. Discover new strength and agility moves inspired by martial arts, dance and basic gymnastics.

Friday, June 19
11am – 11:45am Belly, Butt and Thighs Bootcamp
Based on the popular DVD, focus on your lower half in this belly-busting, booty shaping class.
12pm – 12:45pm Yoga Body Sculpt
Based on Crunch’s latest video, this strength-building Vinyasa flow class focuses on sculpting your buns and thighs while flattening your belly and strengthening your core.
1pm – 1:45pm Movieography – The 90’s
Prepare yourself for a massive dose of 90’s-style nostalgia. This class will teach you choreography inspired by some of the most dance-tastic movies of that decade: Pulp Fiction, Clueless, Pretty Woman, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and more! Grunge-style flannel optional.
4pm – 4:45pm 10-Spot Pilates
In this class, 10 specific Pilates exercises are paired with 10 body parts for 10 times the lengthening and strengthening. You’ll hit calves, shoulders and everything in between for a workout that’s way effective.
5pm – 5:45pm Ballroom Blitz
Sashay the floor like Fred & Ginger in this new heart-pumping, cardio class that combines classic ballroom formulas like swing, mergengue and foxtrot, No partner necessary.
6pm – 6:45pm Strip Bar
Welcome to the happy hour of sexy, hot cardio. This class takes Striptease to the next level with the body bar as your prop. Oh yeah, we’ll make you sweat.

Saturday, June 20
10am – 10:45am Virgin Yoga
This is the perfect class for newbies as well as experienced yogis who want a refresher in the basics.
11am – 11:45am Gymstick™ Pilates
Use the Gymstick™ to bring your body’s alignment to perfection as you do standing and floor core movements. The Gymstick™ helps create Pilates movements that are usually done on the reformer and the Cadillac.
12pm – 12:45am Masala Bhangra
The traditional Indian dance workout set to hip-hop, disco, salsa, techno, house and rap music.
1pm – 1:45pm MMA - Mixed Martial Arts
This class brings the hardcore training technique of mixed martial artists into the group fitness studio for one intense workout. You’ll learn boxing, kickboxing and Muay Thai moves just like the pros use. Additionally, extra cardio work will be added to boost fat burning, resulting in a leaner, meaner you.
2pm – 2:45pm Hula Hoop Pilates
Swivel your way to a leaner tummy with this nostalgic approach to Pilates. The class incorporates traditional Pilates movements and techniques with the addition of core routines using hoops, bands, foam tubing and 7-inch fitness balls.
3pm – 3:45pm Latin Rhythms
Salsa, Mambo, or Cha-Cha, these are just a few of the dance moves that you'll learn and use in this "sizzling" south of the border workout. The combinations are "hot" and the rhythms are "Strictly Latin!"

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June Events in NYC

I'm doing my best to post things earlier in the month! As promised, here's a listing of veg-friendly food events throughout the city.

Thursday, June 4th

Food Inc.- 7:30pm at the Times Center, 242 W. 41st St. You know you love a premiere- Food Inc. is another expose on corporate control in the American food industry. With Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Alice Waters on hand, this will definitely be one of the more thought provoking events on the veggie calendar.

Saturday, June 6th

Worldwide Day of Protest Against Horse Drawn Carriages rally- 12pm at Columbus Circle. Join fellow animal activists and Councilmember Tony Avella in a rally against the inhuman horse-drawn carriage trade.

Tuesday, June 9th

GreenDrinks NYC Meetup- from 6 to 10pm at Solar One, 2420 FDR Drive. $25 at the door. Networking for people in the business of real green, and complimentary cocktails, food, and music.

Thursday, June 11th

"Craig Claiborne and the Invention of Food Journalism"- 6pm at the Theresa Lang Community and Student Center at The New School, 55 W. 13th St. A panel discussion on the New York Times' very first food columnist and pioneer in food journalism as we know it.

June 13th through 19th

NYC Food Film Festival- at the Water Taxi Beach, check the website for screenings. Aside from the fact that all the screenings are free, the third annual NYCFFF sweetens/sours/earthifies/etc. the deal with a food tastings, like a buttermilk tasting on 6/13 and a mushroom tasting menu on 6/14 , after the night's screenings.

Sunday, June 14th

Curry Takedown- 1pm at Loki Lounge, 305 Fifth Ave in BK. $10 at door. The dude that brings you the annual Chili Takedown has thankfully expanded the throwdown repertoire and is bringing you a curry version of this popular cooking contest. There's bound to be veggie options here. And you know you love the dirtiness of a takedown.

Wednesday, June 17th

The Elegant Vegan Table- 6pm to 9pm at Whole Foods Bowery Culinary Center, 95 East Houston St. $55. Now this sounds fun with the best veg catchphrase: "why label great food?" A hands-on cooking demo of delicious vegan fare that could certainly make a red carpet debut on the fanciest dinner party table!

June 20th through June 28th

Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale- Too good to be true? Check the website for participating places near you and how you can get involved!

Thursday, June 25th

Vegan Drinks- 7 to 9pm at Angels & Kings, 500 E. 11th Street. Hang out and get crunk with your fellow NYC vegans!

Tuesday, June 30th

Summer 2009 Restaurant Week- well, it doesn't officially start till July, but for a chance to score some choice tables, participating restaurants begin taking reservations on June 30th.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Back to the Barter System

I saw a brilliant post on today about a new website,, that allows home gardeners in your community to swap excess vegetables they might grow. Just punch in your zipcode and see what's available!

It's times like these that I wish I had a garden! I do remember my mother growing tomatoes and basil in our backyard growing up, and by midsummer, I wanted to crawl underneath the table when tomatoes were yet again served upon it... and for an Italian girl, that's an insane amount of tomatoes, and I sure wished there'd been a little more variety in our garden. (though now I miss those days of just walking into the backyard and picking what veggies I wanted for dinner!)For all the extra veggies that might sprout up in your home garden, this sounds like a great way to swap not only produce, but recipes as well!