sweet treats! and NYC

...in approximate order of healthiness.
Did you know that the plural of Mango can be either mangos or mangoes? I can't decide which I like better.

I have this problem with recipes that involve mango: I eat the fruit before it makes it into a recipe. BUT last week I had a delicious mango one night, then went to Whole Foods the next day and - organic mangos on sale for $1.50 each! That is a humungous bargain. I had to buy one, though I had been sated the previous day on fresh mango. Finally, an opportunity to use one in a recipe! I've always been a bit jealous of omni friends who order huge thick mango lassis when we go to Indian restaurants, so this was a necessary modification:
Super Easy Mango Lassi
Serves 2

1 Mango
1/2 cup soy yogurt*
1 cup soymilk*
1 Tbsp Agave**
1 pinch cardamom

Peel the mango, cut the fruit away from the seed, and chop the pieces. Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until it's smooth.

*-Or rice yogurt/milk, or almond milk, or whatever floats your mango boat. Do they have mango boats like they have banana boats? Oh man, the image of a boat full of mangos... Anyway, if you don't have non-diary yogurt, you can use more soymilk - it just won't be as thick.
**-Or sugar, or whatever sweetener you're into these days. OR, if you use a sweeter brand of non-dairy yogurt, you can omit the sweetener altogether.

A little less fresh, but still fairly healthy:
Banana Bars
I had a flatmate once who wanted to make brownies but realized we didn't have any chocolate, so she used bananas and we called them bananies. I adapted a recipe from sarah kramer's la dolce vegan.

And finally, for NEW YORK CITY sweets: I WENT TO BABYCAKES!
I bought spelt cupcakes, though there were gluten free options for each kind. Pictured, from left to right: Lemon, Red Velvet, and Chocolate. I swear, I didn't eat all these myself. In fact, I didn't eat any of them - I gave them to friends and made them let me try a piece of each. The chocolate was incredible, the lemon was reallllly good, and the red velvet was okay, but I didn't really know what it was supposed to taste like anyway. I'm not usually a big fan of frosting, but their frosting is creamy and smooth and sweet but not obnoxiously so. And I ate a lot of the frosting, as I DID buy myself a frosting-filled cookie sandwich:
Babycakes uses unrefined sweeteners: mostly agave, but some unrefined sugar, too. Check out their website for a list of the amazing breads and brownies and cookies. I had one of their biscuits, too, which was not sweet, but that was while I was at the bakery and I ate it before I could take a picture. It was delicious.

I'm afraid those are the only pictures I took of my food in NYC, but I DID eat out at the Candle Cafe ("organic and vegan? Oh, honey, that's us," my mom said wistfully when I told her about the trip). I'd heard mixed things, but I went there twice over the course of the weekend and LOVED it. I went there with my friends Janet & Angry Jenny, who are omnis. They loved their meals, too! The Mezze Plate was a great starter, and Paradise Casserole was really simple and hearty. The Chocolate Mousse Pie was one of the best desserts I've had. And that's really saying something, as I eat a lot of desserts... Janet ordered the homemate mocha (soy) ice cream, but they were out, so she got another kind - and then our waiter came back later with a free bowl of the mocha on the house, ebcause he'd found it and felt bad he'd lied to us!

I went back with other friends two days later and had the Pumpkin-Seed Crusted Tofu, which was very good, though the quinoa salad underneath it was kinda boring. Had the pie again, and my friend Greg tried the homemade pumpkin ice cream, which was awesome. I have to start making my own ice cream!

no, wait, no, the last thing I need is ice cream any time I want it.

I went with another friend to Red Bamboo. I wasn't a huge fan of this place, but it's vegan Soul Food, and soul food isn't a very nightshade-allergy-friendly cuisine. The menu is almost entirely meat analogs, which is another strike against them in my book. We split the soy chicken satay skewers, which were really rubbery. They had a good charcoal-grilled flavor, though, and came with a tasty peanut sauce. My friend had the eggplant parmesan and was not impressed. I had the soy salmon with a ginger teriyaki sauce that I never really tasted. The food was really heavy, so we were too full for dessert, which is apparently really good here - maybe that could've made up for an otherwise so-so meal.

I also went to Souen, a macrobiotic restaurant by Union Square. Also organic, and since its macrobiotic - nightshade free! I went with two co-workers, and though we all found the desserts here to be lacking much in terms of flavor, the entrees were worth the visit! I had the generously portioned Chickpea Croquettes with miso-curry sauce and roasted squash. I'm melting a little bit just thinking about it, and my co-workers had the carrot leek soup (in a HUGE bowl) and the stuffed pita. I'm definitely hitting this place again when I'm in NYC.

There are still so many places I didn't get to... I'll have to go back again soon!


vegan blog tracker said... Best Blogger Tips

Haha... "in approximate order of healthiness"... you weren't kidding! But dang, each and every one would is a great treat in and of itself.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I would take those banana bars over brownies any day!

Ruby Red Vegan said... Best Blogger Tips

I loved reading about your trip to New York! Trying new vegan restaurants is one of the greatest aspects of traveling. I've always wanted to try an exclusively vegan bakery! The chocolate cupcakes from Babycakes look so delicious, but I think I would've been like you and gone for the cookie sandwich! (I followed the link and looked at their menu... Those prices! $4.50 for a cookie sandwich?!)
I didn't know it was possible to make a brownie without chocolate or carob - but you proved otherwise! The "bananies" look awesome!

Ashasarala said... Best Blogger Tips

I really want to travel so I can try out new vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants. I'm so bored with the usual Boston crap. Everything sounds so yummy- especially the cupcakes. I really love red velvet, myself. I can't seem to find anyone else that does.

Bananies! How frickin' cool is that? Is it like banana bread?

By the way, I am SO glad the plural for 'mango' can be spelled with an 'e' and without because in my mango post I used it both ways. LoL

Vegan_Noodle said... Best Blogger Tips

LOve the idea of a mango lassi! Whenever I'm cutting up mango for a recipe I always seems to sneak about half of it into my mouth!!

Wow, those cupcakes.... I would've eaten the whole box! Glad you got to try Candle Cafe, nice to hear a good review. I need to get up to NYC sometime !! Thanks for sharing some details of your trip :-)

Rural Vegan said... Best Blogger Tips

It's probably a good thing that I don't live near Babycakes - I'd be 10,000 pounds! The cupcakes and cookie look delicious as usual, though I agree that Red Velvet is better for looking at than eating.

The Candle Cafe has gotten really mixed reviews lately, hasn't it? I have their cookbook and haven't found a single thing to make from it yet. Hmmph.

Cookiemouse said... Best Blogger Tips

I have the same problem with mangoes. They never got as far as being part of a recipe with me either.