Understandable excitement accompanied our August 5th news that Sweetie's Pie Diner (1822 Spring Garden St.), an all-vegetarian, all-pie eatery, would be opening October 1.ï¿½ Now Stephanie Thaw and partner Kathy Tench are in the thick of menu development:ï¿½ sweet and savory pies (think tarts, bread puddings, phyllo turnovers), soups and salads.
Organic and locally sourced dairy and eggs, as well as local produce, will fill out Thaw's shopping list.ï¿½ The duo will run Sweetie's as a BYOB, practically requiring you to pick upï¿½ a warming, 8 percent ABV Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale to pair with the root vegetable and mushroom potpie and a scoop-topped apple pie slice.
Kale, Porcini mushroom, and pumpkin gnocchi soup
Sweet potato corn chowder
Three Sisters Salad; Vegan Israeli cous cous, sweet potatoes, kidney beans, corn, in a lime cilantro dressing
Root Vegetable & Mushroom Potpie; carrots, turnips, Yukon gold potatoes, leeks, and red field peppers in a vegetable gravy topped with herbed biscuits
Portobello Mushroom Tart; served with of fresh field greens, mushrooms, ricotta, roasted peppers in a cream cheese pastry
Wild Mushroom Turnovers with Salad of Fresh Field Greens; Wild mushrooms, chestnuts and cranberries wrapped in phyllo dough
Spinach and Feta Turnovers with Salad of Fresh Field Greens Fresh baby spinach, sheepï¿½s milk feta wrapped in phyllo dough. Served with a side of field greens and house vinaigrette.
Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding; bread pudding with shitake, portabella, and crimini mushrooms. Served with salad of Fresh Field Greens
|Photo l Michael T. Regan|
|Vegans take Manhattan.|
On November 3, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby of Horizons (611 S. 7th St.) will become the first vegan chefs to work the hallowed line at the James Beard House in New York City.ï¿½ The pair has fired off their tentative menu to JBH, which you can check out in all its cruelty-free glory after the jump.
Appetizers will be passed around at a 7 p.m. cocktail reception; the sit-down portion of the meal, complete with wine pairings for each of the five courses, begins at 8 p.m. Prices have not yet been posted for the event.ï¿½ï¿½ Call the Beard House at 212.627.2308 or 800.36BEARD for reservations.
Horizons' James Beard House Dinner (tentative menu)
Oyster mushroom fritters, aguardiente creamed spinach
Black olive blinis, truffle cream, golden beet relish and seaweed caviar
Edamame puree on crispy sushi rice, gochujang, daikon and nori dust
Grilled seitan, crispy tortilla, whipped avocado, cilantro and green olive relish
Amuse:ï¿½ Smoked eggplant parfait, preserved lemon aioli and piquillo peppers
Portobello Carpaccio, crispy capers, rosemary mustard, spaghetti squash latke
Saffron Cauliflower Bisque, confit fennel crostini, oloroso sherry crema
Caramelized Celery Root Ravioli, charred Brussels sprouts, smoked royal trumpet mushrooms, sage and grain mustard emulsion
Peppercorn Seared Tofu, creamed leeks and truffled parsnip puree, salt-roasted golden beet with hazelnuts and apple cider vinegar reduction
Heirloom Pumpkin Cheesecake, chestnut candy and pinot noir jam
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
|Slices of summer|
Sticking your entire face in a sticky wedge of icy-cool watermelon and competing with siblings to spit seeds the farthest is the essence of childhood in summer. Now that you have your own kitchen and a sharp knife to play with, you can enjoy all of the juicy flavor of watermelon with none of the mess and subsequent hosing-down.
Watermelon is rich in phyto-nutrients ï¿½ naturally occurring compounds that trigger healthy reactions in the body ï¿½ including lycopene, beta-carotene and citrulline. Dr. Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A&Mï¿½s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center, has studied watermelon extensively. His research indicates that enzymes in the body convert citrulline into the amino acid arginine, which has a relaxing effect on blood vessels ï¿½ the same effect as drugs like Viagra.
So not only is watermelon fun to eat, it could make the after-watermelon hosing off more fun than it was when you were seven.
To butcher a melon, lay a kitchen towel down on the counter, and place your cutting board on it to limit drips.ï¿½ Stand the watermelon up and slice it in half down its length. It's fine if one half is bigger than the other. Then place one half, cut side down, on the board, and slice it one-half to 1 inch thick. Lay each slice flat and cut the white rind away. Discard the rind, or remove the skin and make watermelon rind pickles ï¿½ try Fork owner Ellen Yin's recipe, here at Philly Mag.
Cube the flesh of the melon and chill in the fridge. To serve, toss with freshly torn or chiffonade basil; sprinkle with good sea salt, like Maldon.
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
Shoutout to the very sweet Rachel Klein of Miss Rachel's Pantry, who was kind enough to treat us to this delicious vegan lunch today. We destroyed a tofu chicken salad sandwich topped with smoked tempeh (tastes like ... sausage!), a hearty potato corn chowder and some lovely berries dressed in a lime sauce.
Vegan chefs ï¿½ helping Team Meal Ticket not die of massive coronaries since 2008.
A bit of info on Rachel, who we spoke to back in November for a piece on vegan travel tips: Based out of South Philly, she does catering, meal delivery and personal cheffing. More info on her services here; you should also check out her blog.
Hands down, my go-to potluck salad is my massaged kale salad. The basic canvas is kale massaged with olive oil and salt to break it down, and I vary the ingredients to the season. This time of year, I like it with blackberries, pumpkin seeds and some shaved pecorino or crumbled goat cheese.
Dumb as I am, I didn't notice Hannah's hyperlink to her blog and recipe.ï¿½ I went out to pick up a big bunch of kale, two pints of blackberries and some pumpkin seeds to make an uninformed copy of Hannah's massage-relaxed kale salad.ï¿½ Massage some kale, after the jump.
|Give the kale a nice massage, then let it relax for an hour.|
Hannah's Massaged Kale Salad, interpreted by Felicia
Yields: One huge salad, enough to feed 8
Go Get This:
One big bunch kale, thoroughly washed and dried
Two to three glugs extra-virgin olive oil (evoo)
2 tsps. Maldon sea salt
Two pints blackberries, rinsed and drained
Big handful pumpkin seeds
1/4-1/3 lb. chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino-Romano
Now Do This:
Once the kale is dried, strip the leaves away from the tough central stem.ï¿½ The stems have an earthy, intensely vegetal flavor similar to broccoli; you can steam and eat the stems if you wish, but they don't work in this raw salad.ï¿½ Tear or chop the leaves into fork-manageable pieces and pile in a large bowl.
Pour two generous glugs of evoo and the sea salt over the kale.ï¿½ Remove rings and watch and roll up your sleeves.ï¿½ With both hands, massage the oil and salt into the kaleï¿½ until it begins to wilt and break down a bit. Add more oil if neccessary.
Taste kale for seasoning; add more salt if desired.ï¿½ Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the kale relax for an hour or so (this step can be skipped if there is not sufficient time).
When ready to serve, toss kale again with hands to redistribute evoo.ï¿½ï¿½ Add blackberries and pumpkin seeds to kale; then, with a vegetable peeler, shave thin strips of the Pecorino or Parmigiano to the top of the salad, as much as you want.
|Mrs. Pleasant's flickr|
|Raw mango "cobbler"|
Certain humans are too prolific to be limited to a single profession. Lawyers morph into bakers (see Kate Carrara of the Buttercream Cupcake Truck); a psychiatrist turns from the couch to the batch freezer (John Reitano of Capogiro Gelato).ï¿½ Emily Amarnick, proprietor of Mrs. Pleasant Vintage in the Piazza at Schmidt's, is a super-slashie.ï¿½ Artist, vegan cook and shop owner, Amarnick treats her various endeavors as one lifetime calling.
From her blogspot profile:
Emily has been into vintage clothing and eating well for as long as she can remember. She's always been fascinated by the story each piece tells, as well as the art that goes into preparing food.
In addition to presiding over an array of men's and women's vintage apparel, Amarnick sells her ever-changing healthful vegan and raw fare in her shop.ï¿½ If time is of the essence, she also prepares and delivers a week's worth of vegan and raw meals to customers' doors.ï¿½ Her sample menu for the last week of July included creamy avocado soup, an "everything but the kitchen sink salad", veggie bahn mi, a Middle Eastern sampler of tabbouleh, hummus, babaganouj and dill-cucumber salad and finishes off with raw mango cobbler and raw freezer fudge.
Learn the Pleasant way tomorrow at 2 p.m., when Amarnick will share her methods for mango guacamole, nectarine salsa and dill white bean spread at Foster's Homewares' free Saturday cooking demonstration.
Mrs. Pleasant at Foster's Homewares, 399 Market St., 215-671-0588, shopfosters.com
Vegans often find themselves out of the loop come barbecue season, when carnivores are too busy filling their faces with charred flesh to pay any mind to the grazers and their sad, soggy plates of macaroni salad. That's just not right, says the folks on The Vegan Bus ï¿½ that's why they're making a trip from Northampton, Massachusetts to Clark Park this Fourth of July.
The Vegan Bus is a two-year-old program founded by Derek Goodwin and a rotating collective of activists, performers and speakers, all of whom use art and entertainment to expose a compassionate vegan lifestyle to a national audience. They're managing all this while puttering around the country in a school bus powered by waste vegetable oil.
All money that the group raises at its events is used to expand the org, and though they don't officially have non-profit status just yet, theyï¿½re heading in that direction. "We're actually in the process of becoming a valid organization right now," says Goodwin, "and Philly will host our first big event in helping to get us to that non-profit status."
At the day-long event, the crew will be hanging at West Philly's Clark Park ï¿½ we're invited to bring a picnic blanket, delicious vegetarian grub and a hula hoop or two. The Bus will be handing out samples of burgers, dogs and other fare courtesy of vegetarian company LightLife. The Bus has teamed up with Public Eye Philly and its Kids Club in putting on this event, so much of the stuff theyï¿½re planning will be family-friendly ï¿½ performance activities, art projects, etc.
After the BBQ, the Bus will be heading to Chinatown's New Harmony Vegetarian Restaurant to party with dim sum and drinks alongside Vegan Drinks Philly, a social networking organization dedicated to promoting veganism. Twenty bucks will get you in to the restaurant for dinner, and you can BYO whatever youï¿½d like. (RSVP required; flyer after the jump.) Do the Bus peeps have any special plans for this evening portion of their Independence Day escapade? ï¿½Weï¿½ll have the bus on display for anyone interested in taking a look inside, but weï¿½re mostly excited to just chill out with you Philly people," says Goodwin.
|Click to enlarge
Dudes from the band Thursday attack a
The cakes, bombs and confections of Vegan Treats are available in more than 100 cafï¿½s and restaurants ranging from New York City to D.C. and Virginia; most are consumed by regular folk whose animal ethics extend to dessert. But among the rank-and-file are star-powered vegans who flock to baker Danielle Konya's shop in Bethlehem to stock up on their cruelty-free favorites.
Scope the boldface names with sweet, vegan teeth: Alicia Silverstone, Daryl Hannah, Joan Jett, Rory Freedman, presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, The Beastie Boys, Moby, AFI, Bayside, Kathleen Hannah (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre) and H20.
Derek Grant of Alkaline Trio gets so down with Vegan Treats that he composed an ode to devouring cakes/jingle for Danielle. Hear it on AltPress.com here.
And visit Danielle's sick new Web site, vegantreats.com.
PREVIOUSLY: Vegan Sweetheart: Baker Danielle Konya [17mar09]
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
Really, there are dozens of things you can do with the infinitely variable preparation of corn salad. Just grill the ears in their husks for a few minutes (to keep things crispy) and then shuck under cold running water. Stand the ears up vertically in a mixing bowl, and slice off the kernels with a sharp knife using a smooth downward motion. If you ever had braces and corn on the cob was verboten, you remember this action.ï¿½ Once the kernels are off the cobs, mix in whatever is living in the fridge and suits your fancy. Chop everything into a quarter-inch dice for ease of eating with a big 'ol spoon. Examples:
- Roasted or raw red peppers, red onions and basil; toss with a sprinkle of red wine vinaigrette
- Raw fennel and fennel tops, grilled red and Vidalia onions, mint and a few radishes; juice of one grapefruit (pictured above)
- Diced jalapenos or serranos for heat, cilantro, tomato and Mexican tarragon
- Asparagus rounds, sweet peas, arugula, more radishes, flat-leaf parsley and the juice of two oranges
And so on and so forth! The crew at Greensgrow Farm in Kenzo makes a soon-to-be-famous corn salad that features some lovely local dried blueberries; you can incorporate anything you want. Then it's time to work that corn salad into a plethora of warm-weather dishes.
- Bury a veggie or carnivore fajita or taco in the cool salad
- Heap the warm salad on grilled or broiled fish
- Fortify a pile of mixed greens ï¿½ arugula, butter lettuces, friseï¿½, spinach ï¿½ with your mix
- Sautï¿½ the corn mixture and make a quiche or frittata for breakfast
- Pump up a cornbread or corn muffin mix with the real stuff
With fresh, local ears so cheap ï¿½ $2 for six just yesterday at Acme ï¿½ you must scoop up this quintessential summer taste.
|Radishes are rich in vitamin C, folate, riboflavin, fiber and vitamin B6.|
Emmy Award-winning host of Christina Cooks and nutrition expert Christina Pirello's latest book, This Crazy Vegan Life (Penguin Group, 2008), is packed with more than 100 recipes based on fresh plant ingredients, offering a road map for those eliminating or reducing meat, fish and dairy in their diet.
The bounty of Pennsylvania and New Jersey's farmland is pouring into the city right now, making it even easier to fill your plate with locally grown, nutrient-dense and seriously sexy produce. Pirello celebrates this most wonderful time of the year and complements her book with a seasonal guide to shopping farmers' markets, shared after the jump.
Get to your favorite market now for bright organic strawberries, healthful chives, sweet peas and just-picked spinach ï¿½ peep Pat Rapa's May 6 cover story The Freshmakers for a completely handy 2009 Philly farmer's market guide.
Click through for Pirello's spring-early summer picks for wild flavor and good health.
Christina Pirelloï¿½s Farmersï¿½ Market Shopping List
This is a special time of year, one that is even more near and dear to my heart than Christmas: the season of farmersï¿½ markets. ï¿½We are especially lucky in this region of the country, where we are surrounded by some of the most lush and abundant farm land in the nation.
So why should you be shopping at a farm market? A better question is, why wouldnï¿½t you?
I know what youï¿½re thinking: ï¿½In these economic times, can we afford to be elitist and run off to the oh-so-trendy outdoor market for designer veggies?ï¿½ In these economic times, you canï¿½t afford not to buy local. ï¿½One of the biggest misconceptions about farm markets is that they are unaffordable and only for foodies. And while you will see latte-sipping chic urban types strolling around eating freshly baked croissants, most of what you will experience at the market are local farmers and shoppers looking to create synergy between the city experience of food and the rural production of it.
Farm markets offer the best bang for your buck on many levels. With truly fresh produce (like, picked this morning fresh) at truly affordable prices, the local outdoor market gives you the chance to experience food on another level. Since itï¿½s so fresh, the flavors are off the charts and the nutrients are at their most dense. Perhaps best of all, you get to connect with the person responsible for growing your food. You create relationships when you shop regularly at a farm market, building a sense of community.
But if nutrients are all you care about, well, the market is still for you. Check out these incredible powerhouses of nutrition, all available at your local farmersï¿½ market right now!
With 134 calories in a whole cup of peas, these seasonal beauties are delicious examples of why we eat veggies. A great source of calcium (43% of your daily requirements!), potassium, magnesium and phosphorus, fresh peas contribute fiber to our diets, folic acid for strong blood and immune-boosting vitamins A, C and K for all you antioxidant lovers out there.
This antioxidant-rich tender green is an amazing source of vitamins A, C and E, as well as calcium, iron and protein (Yes, protein!). With only 7 calories per 30 grams of baby spinach, this is green you can binge on until your heartï¿½s content. Satisfying and nutritious, baby spinach will keep you sated and never land on your hips.
Just a garnish, you say? Not so fast. With just one calorie in each tablespoon, chives are dense with essential nutrients and can do so much more than just make a dish look lovely. A rich source of niacin and thiamine, which help to regulate metabolism, this delicate herb can aid in the battle of the bulge ï¿½ so pile them on. Oh, and the vitamins (A, K, C, B6), as well as calcium, iron and folate, make them all the more beautiful ï¿½ you, too!
Not just the colorful bits in a salad, radishes offer great nutrition. With 16 calories in a cup, radishes are jam-packed with nutrients like vitamin C and folate, both essential to strong red blood. Great sources of fiber and riboflavin, radishes help to regulate digestion, particularly of fatsï¿½ Meanwhile, vitamin B6 levels off your nervous system making you (and everyone around you) less stressed and happier.
Baby Bok Choy
Part of the cabbage family, these sweet and tender beauties are not only delicious, but are one of the greatest anti-inflammatory foods on the planet. And since they contain the cancer-fighting compounds common to other cruciferous veggies, as well as beta carotene and calcium, can you think of a reason not to add them to your veggie repertoire?
With a harvest season that can seem like just minutes, when you see local strawberries at a farm market, grab them ï¿½ especially if they are not sprayed or are organic! Their sweet-tart flavor is just one bit of their allure. With only 49 calories in a cup, these vitamin C-rich berries give us all the immune-boosting power we need, in a delicious way. A great source of fiber, magnesium and potassium, strawberries go a long way towards helping us feel balanced. And once you have tried locally grown, youï¿½ll understand: they are worlds away from the flat-tasting, out of season, ripened-under-grow-lights versions you find at the supermarket.
I know, I knowï¿½seriously, turnips? Yup. A member of the cruciferous family, turnips are cancer-fighting powerhouses with a mild flavor that lends itself to roasting or braising, not to mention boiling, perhaps to add to a potato salad. This time of year, you can get turnips as Mother Nature intended, with their tops intact, and get the added benefit of the vitamin C in those bright green leaves. In natural medicine, turnips are used to help lower blood pressure and regulate blood sugar, as well as cardiovascular disease. ï¿½Are you still rolling your eyes?
The epitome of summer, lettuce is more than the delicate leaves that serve as the base of your salad. ï¿½Low in calories (try eight per cup) and high in fiber, folate, vitamins C and K and lutein for eye health, romaine lettuce aids in digestion and is said to aid in prevention of heart disease, stroke and even cataracts ï¿½ helping you see your salad in a whole new light.
Local, Whole Grain Breads
There is nothing like freshly baked artisan bread, and most farm markets include a local baker. Look for the loaves that are dark in color and made from whole grain flours, nuts and seeds. ï¿½High in digestible iron, bread is more than just fun to eat. Whole grain breads provide fiber, antioxidants, protein, essential amino acids and other nutrients. And since these were baked by a local artisanal baker, you wonï¿½t find anything in your bread that you canï¿½t pronounce (and certainly wouldnï¿½t want to eat!).
Collected from a wide variety of flowers, honey is an ingredient that has more than yummy flavor going for it. Being a bit lower in calories than white sugar and not turning to fat in the body in the same way, honey is not as damaging to your waistline as other sweeteners. Used as a digestive aid and to relieve respiratory irritations, honey also has antibacterial properties. It reduces the amount of acid in the mouth, aiding in oral health. It even has antiseptic qualities, making it a great way to treat minor burns and scratches. A rich source of iron, honey is used in many cultures to treat anemia. Finally, because it comes from flowers, it can be effective in calming allergy symptoms. ï¿½And you thought it was just delicious!
ï¿½ Hey, who says you canï¿½t eat your way to health?
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