Thursday, January 15, 2015

A New home for A New Day Vegan

No, we didn't move away but this blog did!  You can now find it on my website!  Check it out!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Guest Blogger Cookbook Review Coming Up!

I was sent a review copy of The Best Green Smoothies on the Planet by Tracy Russell.  This book will be available on December 16, 2014 and it's full of fun recipes to amp up your nutrition in a healthy, delicious and vegan way.

When I got the cookbook, I considered trying the recipes by myself but then remembered Miss M., my 14 year old daughter loves smoothies and will be able to give me a unique insight into which ones may be favorites of other kids like her. Mothers everywhere are looking for ways to get more greens into their kids' diets.

For instance, last week I made this delicious Pina Colada smoothie from one of my favorite websites.  We both loved it!  Two days later I got a text from her asking me to have one waiting for her for when she gets off the bus.  

You want a cup of spinach waiting
for you when you get home?
Sure thing!

So, for the next couple of weeks, we will be testing smoothie recipes and at the end of it Miss M. will be A New Day Vegan's guest blogger giving a review of the recipes she's tried.  All this comes during the time that I'm eagerly anticipating the delivery of my new (refurbished) Vitamix.  

The Universe works in wonderful ways!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Business Spotlight - Water Street Brewing Company

First, an explanation:  There are no vegan or vegetarian restaurants within a 60 mile radius of our home so when I do a local Business Spotlight I choose places that are kind, welcoming and accommodating to vegans.  With that said, let's go on to today's Business Spotlight!

I have been coming to this locally owned brewpub since before I was vegan. As a vegetarian, I was thrilled to find many options to choose from and the beers they make are fantastic!  They have a type of counter service where you place your order at the bar and a server brings it to you at a table.  

The bar stretches across good part of the restaurant with about a dozen tables scattered around the front of the room.  The shiny beer tanks, where the magic happens, sit across from the bar.  The ambiance is cozy, casual and welcoming. There's plenty of space here for a large group.  Their website mentions just one of the reasons it's one of my favorite places.

"We invite you to experience our space, our beer, our people. Oh, and no TVs."

No TVs!  Yes!

My most recent visit was with Dr. D. on a cold and rainy Saturday in November.  As soon as we walked in we were warmly greeted by Dan who was working behind the bar. 

"How are you?"
"Cold," I grumbled.
"Then you need to try our scotch ale!  That'll warm you up!"

I asked for a sample and he was right!  It was a delicious ale called Bonnie Knees. The blackboard on the wall details not only the beers that are currently available but the International Bitterness Units (IBU) and Alcohol By Volume (ABV) numbers so you know what to expect.  Their beer selection changes with what the brewer decides to concoct and flights of beer are available to allow you to try many at once.  I'm an IPA girl so I opted for a pint of their current IPA on tap called Head First and Dr. D. ordered their Hefeweizen.  

A selection of wines is also available if beer isn't your thing and they haven't forgotten our four-legged buddies either!  You can buy Barley Bites (not vegan) made from brewing grain by the bag .

Water Street Brewing

(Sunday only) Two handmade pretzels with a side of spicy mustard for dipping.

Fresh, warm and delicious. Want vegan? Just ask.
(ed. note: they used the V word!)

After our beers arrived, Dan came to take our lunch order.  I had stashed a new jar of Just Mayo in my purse and asked if the cook could use it on my lunch.  Dan checked with the kitchen and was told they weren't able to allow it in the kitchen but I was welcome to use it on my food at our table.  That was fine with me although I'd really love more restaurants to carry this delicious plant-based mayo for their vegan customers.

Just Mayo and a hoppy IPA!

I ordered my favorite meal, Tempeh Spiedies which are served in a wrap.  For those of you who aren't familiar with spiedies, they're a local favorite here in the Greater Binghamton area and are usually made with meat which has been marinated and cooked on a grill on a skewer.  The tempeh spiedies at Water Street Brewing taste incredibly similar to chicken spiedies and are delicious!
They are usually served with barbecue sauce, tomato, onion and lettuce but I asked them to hold the sauce so I could put my Just Mayo on it.  Dr. D. ordered a black bean burger which we confirmed was indeed, vegan.  Many veggie burgers in restaurants contain eggs and/or cheese making them suitable for vegetarians but not vegans.  Dan even went the extra mile and asked if we'd prefer the vegan chickpea salad instead of the usual coleslaw as a side.

Our lunch was delicious and the fries were just right!  Fries are a rare treat for me lately so when I splurge it had better be good.  These did not disappoint!  Dan chatted with us after our meal telling us he was a member of Triple Cities Runners Club and had many vegetarian friends.  It was so nice to have a server who was sensitive and agreeable to our requests.  Water Street Brewing offers many other vegan and vegetarian options as well such as hummus, salads and soups.  They're able to accommodate those on a gluten-free diet too.

I highly recommend Water Street Brewing Company for vegans as well as vegetarians and omnivores.  There's something to please everyone here!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Business Spotlight - Baked! By Camille

Anyone who knows Camille Ciotoli knows she's been the premier baker in the Greater Binghamton area for years.  What you may not know is that she does fantastic vegan and gluten free cakes.

We had a small luncheon after our wedding on June 27th and had Baked! By Camille do a vegan cake for us.  It was simple, just white cake with white frosting.  Our guests are still talking about how wonderful it was.
Our pretty little cake for The Best Day Ever in June.
My brother and his wife are vegan and gluten free so when we celebrated their marriage two years ago, we called on Camille to make the dessert.  Again, she came through with a delicious cake all of us could enjoy.

When Dr. D. and I got married in June, we didn't have a traditional reception so we decided to have a party later with all our friends and family.  It was important to us that we have a traditional wedding cake for our party.

I sat down with Camille in September to discuss making this cake for our post-wedding party.  No matter what curve I threw at her, she said it was possible. 

Purple accents on the cake?  No problem. 

Part chocolate, part white?  No problem.  

When you're vegan, you expect to encounter problems when asking for special orders but Camille felt perfectly capable of providing us with exactly what we wanted.  

We had our party on November 1st (World Vegan Day) and once again, she came through!  We had almost 100 people there and went home with only couple of slices left over (which Willow the Wonder Dog found and consumed).  Everyone raved about it!  It really was fabulous!

Our vegan wedding cake!
I highly recommend Baked! By Camille and will continue to call on her whenever we need a special dessert.  Check out her new place at 1405 Watson Blvd. in Endwell and tell her I sent you!

Mirthful Monday!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Three-Bean Salad

This is my all-time favorite recipe for three-bean salad!  My sister Joann gave me the recipe years ago and I've made it for many potlucks over the years.  It's a great way to use up the abundant green bean harvest this time of year!

Three-Bean Salad

1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzos, drained and rinsed
1 small red onion, finely sliced
1 cup fresh green beans

1 tsp. minced garlic or to taste
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 Cup olive oil

Steam the green beans for 5 minutes and combine with beans.

Combine the garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil and pour over beans.  

Serve chilled.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Restaurant Review - Strong Hearts Cafe, Syracuse, NY

Although I live only an hour away from Syracuse, I just finally got up to Strong Hearts Cafe.  Situated on a one-way street in the heart of Syracuse, the cafe is easily found and has ample parking.

The cafe is not only 100% vegan but also environmentally conscious and community focused.  They use local produce and compost all their food waste as well as their compostable food packaging.  Best of all, the food is delicious!

I treated myself to a vegan reuben and was not disappointed.  It was grilled to perfection and topped generously with sauerkraut and Russian dressing.  I was given a choice of potato chips or greens on the side (I chose chips because I'm not that righteous).

I couldn't wait to take the picture before
biting into this scrumptious sandwich!

If you're a fan of milkshakes, Strong Hearts can deliver!  I counted 44 different kinds of shakes on their menu all named after famous movers and shakers.  Try the Medgar Evers shake made with peanut butter and strawberries or the Farm Sanctuary shake made with caramel cookie dough.  All vegan!

The soups and muffins served change daily and they're even open for breakfast!  Check them out and let me know what you think!  I know I'll be back for more!