vegansaurus!

12/11/2013

Spreads NY brings vegan flavors to the Park Avenue lunch crowd!  »

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So I started a new job a few weeks ago. One morning I went to Spreads, a little sandwich place right across the street from my new office (30th and Park), and low and behold! A vegan earl grey donut! I said to myself, “is this real life?” And it was! I bought one of course. 

It was tasty! It tasted less like a donut and more like lemony pound cake. Luckily, I love pound cake. It’s also gluten free, which I know some of you will like. 

Obvi I had to tell the vegan world about my new discovery and I tweeted a pic on our Twitter account. Next thing I know, Spreads emailed me inviting me to come try all of their vegan goodies! I obliged, because I’m a sweetie. image

Above is the coconut bacon and avocado sandwich. It’s a show stopper! It was our favorite item we tried. It’s rich though, I could only eat half. But the salty and sweet coconut bacon goes lovely with the avocado. It also has vegan mayo they make themselves—yum!

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This is the split pea soup we tried. Two thumbs up! But I love split pea soup. I feel like it’s finally on the rebound since the Exorcist debacle. This had a hint of dill, which was interesting. 

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Finally, we got to try one of their juices! I’m not a big juice person but I actually found this refreshing. Strong cucumber flavor. Kind of tasted like gazpacho? Maybe I’m being cray. 

We also met the owner—what a dream! SO passionate about food. And I love that the one vegan sandwich on their menu is a wacky coconut bacon sandwich instead of just like a veggie burger or generic veggie wrap like we’re usually offered. No, Spreads went all out! Of course I want everywhere to have a million vegan sandwiches but if you’re only going to have one, it’s really cool when it’s something exciting like this. OMG and did I forget they make the coconut bacon themselves? They smoke it with organic apple wood or something—totes intense! 

If you are in the area looking for a yummy lunch, this is the place for you! Matter of fact, call me and we’ll split one! You’ll have to get your own donut though. I need a whole one! I’m no fool. 

10/22/2008

Recipe: lemon curd!  »

I love citrus desserts. More precisely, I love citrus flavors in both sweet and savory dishes, just more in sweet ones. Thus I am happy to share today this recipe for vegan lemon curd, tastiest of spreads, tart and sweet, gooey and delicious.

Laura had given me a great deal of Meyer lemons from the tree in her common backyard, and they needed using before they went bad. Why lemon curd? Because it requires a lot of lemons, which I had, and because the previous batch of lemon curd I’d made had been not at all what it should have, and I had something to prove.

This recipe—passed along to me from Friend of Vegansaurus Melisser—makes two cups; I doubled it, and will note the changes I made. Remember that I was using Meyer lemons, which are sweeter and milder than standard lemons.

Ingredients
1 cup fresh lemon juice [about 4 to 5 lemons per cup. Zest before you juice!]
½ cup water
1½ cups white sugar [doubled, I only needed about 2 cups]
4 Tbsp. cornstarch
⅛ tsp. salt
Zest of 2 lemons [the finer the better! Zest an extra lemon!]
⅓ cup plain, full-fat nondairy milk or creamer [I used a 50-50 mixture]
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance

Instructions
Using a food processor/blender, combine lemon juice, water, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. When the mixture is smooth, pour it into a saucepan and add lemon zest. Turn the heat under the saucepan to medium, and whisk until the mixture comes to a full boil, about 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to boil for one minute undisturbed; the mixture should have noticeably thickened and started to turn clear. Remove from heat.

Add milk or creamer and Earth Balance. Whisk until everything is fully combined. Allow the lemon curd to thicken and cool in the saucepan until it reaches room temperature, then pour it into the lidded containers in which it will live, and refrigerate; I used recycled glass jars.

Ridiculously easy! Especially if you can wrangle someone else into zesting and/or juicing the lemons for you. Plus, you can read (play iPhone games) while whisking. Besides, you already have most if not all of the ingredients at home, excepting perhaps the copious amount of lemons. Never fear, soon it will be citrus “season” (as though there are certain times of year that we can and cannot have different fruits and vegetables anymore, what a silly joke) and we will be awash in four-for-$1 lemons. Also limes. Perhaps a foray into lime curd is in order.

I had the curd on sourdough waffles the next morning. Then in the evening, I made this génoise cake and used the curd for the filling. It was not as magnificent as it looks, but it was still quite delicious. Lemon curd, such a versatile spread! you know you love it.

[photo by Joel]

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