Friday, December 14, 2007

Holiday Treats


The Healthy Voyager is off for the rest of the month and will return with new and exciting cities in mid January. Until then, I wish you and your family a very happy and safe holiday season and a bright and shiny new year!!

My gift to you this season is a few delicious holiday recipes from my kitchen to yours!!

Happy Holidays and a Happier New Year!!!

xoxo

The Healthy Voyager

VEGAN HOT COCOA

Using Goodbaker Chocolate Ganache Frosting & Fudge Mix

To make one mug of cocoa, you will need:

*one package Goodbaker Chocolate Ganache Frosting & Fudge Mix
*8 ounces of soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, etc

Measure 3 Tablespoons of Goodbaker Chocolate Ganache Frosting & Fudge Mix into a microwave-safe mug

Add a splash of your chosen liquid, and mix until you have a chocolatey paste. Then add the rest of the liquid, and microwave until hot, stirring every 30 seconds.

Can also be made on the stove in a saucepan.

variations:

*add a few drops of flavor extract, like peppermint, coffee, coconut, or to taste.
*add flavored liqueur to taste

VEGAN PECAN PIE

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Have ready a 9" unbaked single pie crust (see my low-fat pastry below)

Whisk together:
1 c. brown rice syrup
1 c. Sucanat or brown sugar
1/3 c. melted Earth Balance
1/4 c. water beaten with 2 T. EnerG egg replacer til no lumps show
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 generous cup of pecan halves

Pour this into the prepared crust. Sprinkle with pecan halves. Bake about 45 minutes, or til set (will still be a bit jiggly, though-- it'll get more solid after it cools).

Cool on a rack, then refrigerate til serving time.

VEGAN GINGERBREAD COOKIES

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
3/4 cup unsalted soy butter, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1/4 cup rice syrup
Ener-G for 1 egg (or any egg replacer enough for 1 egg), prepared as per package directions

Sift flour, baking soda, salt and spices together. Place margarine and sugar in a large bowl. Mix well until smooth. Add molasses, rice syrup, and Ener-G. Mix well. Add flour mixture. Mix well. Take dough out of bowl and shape it into a large disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Roll out dough to 1/8" thickness. Cut cookies out. Place cookies on the cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Cool on sheet for several minutes than transfer to wire rack. When cooled, may be iced if desired.

*Note: If you can't wait until the next day, chill at least an hour or more. Can also be baked in a pan, in one piece.

VEGAN SUGAR COOKIES

4 cups sifted flour
1 cup soy butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ener-G Egg for 3 eggs (or any egg replacer enough for 3 eggs), beaten well
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix & sift flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In separate large mixing bowl, cream margarine. Add sugar and cream well. Add Ener-G Egg and blend well. Add vanilla and stir in flour mixture. Beat well. Cover with waxed paper and refrigerate for 1/2 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll on floured board to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies and add any optional decorations. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 10 minutes or until browned lightly. Makes approximately 3 dozen.


HAPPY HEALTHY-DAYS!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Flying Sans Rudolph ; )

Flying during the holidays is never as fun, efficient or exciting as Santa's once a year sleigh ride. However, here are some tips to help make your airport experiences much more merry, healthy and bright this season!

  • Eat before you leave the house!! You should always leave with a full tummy or you will be tempted to nosh on whatever is convenient.
  • Know before you go!! Know which airports you will be flying in and out of, laying over, etc. Most airports have websites that show what dining establishments can be found in each terminal. For instance, I know that the Delta terminal at LAX has a Starbucks (for my soy latte) and a CPK express where I can grab a salad or soup for the flight. Most international hubs have chain restaurants or familiar fast food counters that you can order up a healthy meal for your in flight pleasure. From a veggie salad or sandwich at Quiznos to a black Bean Burger at Chili's To Go, there are ways to not give in to bags of pretzels and pounds of danishes to keep you from passing out on your flight ; ) The World Travel Guide site is a great site that can lead you to each city's airport web site.
  • Stay Hydrated!! Seeing as how we cannot bring our own food or beverages from home anymore, the first purchase one should make upon entering the appropriate gate is a big bottle of water. Above all else, staying hydrated during air travel is key to cutting down on fatigue and helps fight off the munchies!
  • Sleep well the night before travel! That's the toughest with the anticipation and stress that comes with flying during the holidays but it can be done. And if not, invest in a flight pillow, eye mask, earplugs or noise reducing headphones and a blanket. Bring all the comforts of home with you to make your air Z catching easier.
  • Plan ahead! Know where you are going directly after you pick up your bags at your destination. Home, hotel, family's house, wherever - map out what is close by in case you need to pick up a snack or a full blown meal so you don't keel over and start your vacation on a bad foot ; )
No matter what, air travel is a pain but hopefully the spirit of the season and these tips will help you get to and from your holiday destinations with a smile on your face!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Chowin' in The Big Easy


New Orleans has always been a city with great food, rich history and lots to do. The city is back on it's feet again since Katrina and if you are going to spend some time in the Chocolate City, bring your appetite!!

Our first night we wandered around the French Quarter in search of some southern delights. We found it at The Gumbo Shop. This quaint eatery has been around for some time and specializes in southern cajun cooking. What did I eat then you ask? Only a delicious veganized special ; ) They had a vegetarian special that changes nightly on the menu. It came with salad and a tasty side (I had this crazy yummy corn dish) with the main dish being a rice an beans stew with some cajun kick. It was fantastic and I highly recommend The Gumbo Shop for veggies and omnivores alike. Great food and sweet southern hospitality!!

After a chilly night of walking around and fending off crazy dreams in my head of ghosts and unworldly spirits (our cute French Quarter hotel used to be a confederate hospital - a little tidbit my man forgot to mention), I was hungry! I wanted hearty and hearty I got at Slim Goodies Diner. It's a good 5-10 minutes outside of downtown but in the super cute Garden District. They had something for everyone including the hungry vegan. I had the Garden Slammer - a pile of hash browns, veggie bacon and veggie chili with lots of yummy veggies mixed in. My hon had pancakes ; ) Check out their creative menu and info at Slim Goodies!!

One thing that is hard to find is something quick and healthy off of Bourbon Street. It's jam packed with bars, strip clubs and pizza joints but that's about it. I hunted and I found The Royal Blend on Royal. Just a block away from the madness, I got a tasty veggie sandwich that was made completely fresh. They have a cute courtyard, coffee, soups, salads and pastries and is a great place to get a quick and healthy bite while hangin' out near Bourbon. Royal Blend is at 621 Rue Royal, New Orleans (French Quarter) (504)523-2716.

So amidst the booze and beignets, New Orleans has a good amount of healthiness to go around ; )

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!


I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday and that you continue to have a healthy and happy holiday weekend. Start burning off all of those crazy calories at all the holiday sales!! See you next week from New Orleans!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Give Thanks for Your Health

Sitting in front of a ridonculously scrumptious piece of Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake is definitley something to be thankful for. Here are some of the Healthy Voyager's tips to stay healthy and sane on this super duper food based holiday!
  • The week of Thanksgiving, try not to flake out on your work out routine. If you will be traveling, make sure you pack your sneaks and go f or a brisk walk every day just to keep your juices flowing. Every step counts!!
  • Try to eat breakfast the morning of Thanksgiving so that you are full throughout the day and you don't gorge that night.
  • Drink water all day ; )
  • Don't sit after your dinner! I know we like to sit around and shoot the breeze with family and/or friends but this is terrible for you. Suggest a nice walk around the neighborhood and start planning your holiday shopping strategy.
  • Be smart with left overs! Instead of a heavy sandwich, make a salad with your leftovers. It's a carb heavy holiday and this is only the beginning of holiday piginess! Try your darndest to make smart choices.
  • Cook up some of these great dishes that will keep your mouth, tummy and your hips and thanking you throughout the holiday season to go your your non-bird dish or to just have healthier alternatives at a bird centered meal:
Mushroom Gravy

INGREDIENTS
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 T vegetable oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 T whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup water or vegetable stock
1 T soy sauce
1/2 t molasses
1/4 t each: savory and thyme
Dash of pepper

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes over low heat. Stir in flour; cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add water or stock, soy sauce, and molasses. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with herbs and pepper. For a richer flavor, replace part of the oil with vegan margarine.

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Beans
2 quarts water
1 tablespoon table salt (Alanna says it's essential)
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces

Bring the water to boil in a large pot. While it's heating, cut up the beans. Add the salt and beans to the boiling water. Cover and cook for 6 minutes. Drain beans in a colander, and then spray for a minute with cold water to stop the cooking. Let them drain in the colander, shaking every now and then to get off all the water.

Sauce

10 ounces mushrooms (I used a combination of regular button mushrooms and shiitake)
3 cloves garlic, minced
generous pinch cayenne pepper (had to add it for the New Orleanians)
Salt to taste
Fresh pepper to taste
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup vegetable broth (I used Imagine's No-Chicken)
1 tablespoon dry sherry (Alanna's brilliant addition)
3/4 cup soy creamer (or try full-fat unsweetened soymilk)

Trim and discard the mushroom stems and chop the mushrooms into pieces. Spray a non-stick pan with canola oil and heat it. Add the mushrooms, garlic, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are very soft and exude their juices. Whisk the flour into the vegetable broth and add to the mushrooms along with the sherry. Simmer, stirring, until mixture thickens. Add the soy creamer and simmer until thick, about 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings and stir in the beans.

Topping

1 1/2 slices whole grain bread
1 tablespoon Earth Balance margarine (the best tasting margarine in the world and no trans-fat)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 3-ounce can of French fried onions

Put the bread, margarine, salt, and pepper into a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Pour into a bowl and add the onions. Stir to combine.

To assemble:
Put the green beans into an oiled casserole dish and top with the onion mixture. Bake at 425 F for about 15 minutes. If you are not serving this right away, refrigerate the topping separately. Bring to room temperature before sprinkling the topping on the casserole and baking for about 20 minutes or until hot throughout.

(from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen)

CRANBERRY FRUIT CONFETTI

This unique fruit combination is one of the sugarplums of the autumn season. It's so rich in colors and flavors, you can serve it often as a meal accompaniment throughout the holidays.


2 C. (480 ml) whole fresh cranberries
2 large sweet apples, cored and chopped
2 C. (480 ml) black raisins
30 dates, pitted and chopped
2 large Fuyu persimmons, diced
1 C. (237 ml) pecans, toasted and chopped
2/3 C. (158 ml) toasted pine nuts


Leaving the peels on, wash apples thoroughly, and pulse-chop in food processor until finely minced. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Add remaining ingredients to the bowl with the cranberries and toss to distribute evenly. This fruit dish can be made several hours ahead. Serves 8 - 10 as a side dish.
Note: If you decide make this dish a day ahead, don't add the cranberries until just a few hours before serving. They have a tendency to lose some of their delightful tang.


CREAMED LEMONY BROCCOLI

Because it's so easy to prepare, this broccoli recipe is ideal when serving a special Thanksgiving meal with its multitude of traditional dishes.


2 broccoli crowns, bottoms trimmed, florette portion cut into 8ths
3/4 C. (177 ml) water
3 to 4 T. lemon juice
1/4 C. (59 ml) + 2 T. water
1/2 to 3/4 t. salt or to taste
1 to 2 T. extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Garnish

1 slice lemon
Parsley sprig

Put prepared broccoli into a 4-quart (4 liter) saucepan. Add 3/4 C. (177 ml) water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat down to low, and steam 4 to 5 minutes or until broccoli is just tender.
Transfer broccoli to the food processor. Add lemon juice, water, salt, and olive oil and process until pureed but still textured. Adjust seasoning to taste. Remove to an attractive serving bowl and garnish with a twisted slice of lemon and a sprig of parsley. Serves 4 to 5.
Note: For a low fat version, eliminate the extra virgin olive, and add extra water if mixture is too thick.


CARROT AND PARSNIP RAGOUT

When you want a brilliant accent of color, you can count on this appealing combo of root vegetables. It's the ideal marriage--both partners are endowed with natural sweetness.

4 large carrots, sliced
4 large parsnips, sliced
1 1/2 C. (355 ml) water
Salt to taste
Dash of nutmeg


Combine carrots, parsnips, and water in a 3-quart (3 liter) saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat down and steam until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked carrots and parsnips to a food processor. Add 1/2 to 1 C. (118 to 237 ml) water, salt to taste, and a dash of nutmeg. Process to a smooth puree, adding more water if needed. Serves 6.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

7 potatoes
1/3 cup vegetable broth
2/3 cup water
2 cups chopped onions
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/3 cup soymilk
5 pressed garlic cloves
1 tablespoon dairy-free margarine
2 teaspoons of rosemary
Salt
Pepper

Boil potatoes and onions in a large saucepan for 15-20 minutes covered with water and vegetable broth, or until potatoes soft.

Drain potatoes and onions. Mash.

Add soymilk, nutritional yeast, pressed garlic, butter, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Mix together.

Makes 6 1 cup servings.


Maple-Pecan Pumpkin Pie

Recipe by: Susan Voisin

With or without the pecan topping, this decadent-tasting pumpkin pie is sure to be a crowd pleaser during the holidays...or anytime you get a craving for a treat! (NOTE: The pecan topping, obviously, adds fat. You can make a truly fat-free pie by using a fat-free crust and skipping the topping.)

Ener-G Egg Replacer for 2 eggs, prepared (1 tbsp. Ener-G plus 1/4 cup water)
1 (16 oz) can pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp pecan extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup soymilk
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 fatfree or regular pie crust
Maple Pecans, optional (recipe below)

Prepare pie shell. Preheat oven to 350 F.

In large bowl or blender, beat egg replacer lightly. Beat in remaining ingredients, except for Maple Pecans, blending well to combine. Pour into pie crust.

Put pan onto a baking sheet (in case of drips). Bake for 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack.

OPTIONAL: For added decadence, after it's cool, top the pie with Maple Pecans:

Maple Pecans

Makes 1 cup

4 ounces pecan halves (about 1 cup)
2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 tbsp. sugar

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F

Spread the pecans in a roasting pan and bake until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes.

Pour the maple syrup over the nuts and toss to coat well. Bake, stirring occasionally, until the nuts have absorbed most of the syrup, about 7-10 minutes.

Pour the nuts into a bowl. Toss with a spoon, gradually adding the sugar, until the nuts are coated with the sugar. Cool slightly and break apart any nuts that are sticking together. Pour onto a baking sheet and cool completely before placing on pie.

Makes one 9" pie.

Enjoy your time off as well as some of these great tips and recipes!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Fillin' Up in Philadelphia

In the words of Borat, "Wa wow Wee Wa!!" That's how I felt when I ate my way through Philadelphia! Sure, the history, the Rocky steps and beautiful architecture are the main reasons to visit the City of Brotherly Love, but don't discount the killer cuisine!!

Who goes to Philly and doesn't eat a famous Philly Cheesesteak? Veggies!! But not anymore as I found a place in the Reading Terminal Market downtown with Vegan Philly Cheesesteaks and they were off the freakin' hook!! So much so that I bought some to go for my lunch the next day. I also had a delicious cream of broccoli and salivated over the rest of the menu. The place is called the Basic 4 Vegetarian Snack Bar but it's so much more then that. Besides the crazy vegan cheesesteak, they have some southern style stuff like vegan sweet potato pie and vegan corned beef!! Unique sandwiches, pizzas and deserts, this place is all you need!! The Reading Terminal Market is in downtown Philly not to far from Independence Hall at 51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107 - (215)440-0991.

Now this next place is hands down one of the best vegan restaurants I have EVER eaten at. Even my carnivorous honey said that if I wasn't sitting across from him, he would have been convinced he was eating meat!! And he devoured the dessert as well!! He is the worst vegan food critic and Horizons knocked his socks off and blew my mind! I had a beyond terrific mushroom trio dish that incorprated all kind of mushrooms in enchiladas, skewers and other yummalicious stuff. My boy had a grilled seitan on mashed potatoes and it was out of this world. The flavors were so well paired and the portions were perfect. But dessert was so ridiculous I had to pinch myself. A phenomenal pumpkin cheesecake with a caramel apple!! I belive theier menu changes seasonally and it is unlike any vegan restaurant menu I've seen with the same old, tired dishes. Horizons has a carribean flair and just such a great vibe. It's near the trendy South Street shopping district so not only is the food hip but so is the location. Have a drink in the downstairs lounge or gorge yourself with goodness up stairs. Find out more at Horizons.

Now if you're looking for super cool-ocity, try Morimoto. If you are a food network junkie like I am, you will know this eateries namesake as one of the world renowned Iron Chefs. Mr. Morimoto opened up a super trendy sushi restaurant in Philly and it's definitely worth a visit. It's super chic and quite yummy as they have some great tofu dishes, salads and veggie sushi ; ) Check out their stylish site for more info at Morimoto.

Lastly, if you are on the go, try the vegan "roach coach" called Viva Las Vegans. It's a vegan lunch truck that offers up quick sandwiches and shakes. They normally park just outside of downtown at 33rd street so make sure you take a trip over that way. More info can be found at Viva Las Vegans .

Philadelphia is a city with tons of history at it's core from Valley Forge, Independence Hall and even the creepy Eastern State Penitentiary but it's also home to some crazy good eats!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

October on the Jersey Shore

Fall on the east coast is just about one of the prettiest things you will ever see. Changing leaves, crisp air and small town hospitality is a great way to set off the holiday season. We spent some time on the Jersey Shore last week and surprisingly, Cape May had plenty to offer this insatiable vegan appetite!

Our first lunch out was at Lucky Bones. I was delighted that they had so many wonderful option like veggie burgers, huge salads and yummy soups. I had a zesty bowl of black bean soup and a delish beet salad. Lucky Bones is right at the entrance to adorable Cape May at 1200 Route 109 # 109, Cape May, NJ 08204 -(609) 884-2663.

After a full day of Victorian home sight seeing, we had dinner at the Jackson Mountain Cafe in Cape May's street mall. They too had veggie burgers and big salads and had no problem adding a veggie patty to my ginormous bowl of greens ; ) Their address is 400 Washington Blvd, Cape May, NJ 08204 - (609) 884-5648.


Attached to Cape May's Congress Hall hotel you will find the Blue Pig Tavern. Yes, you can expect to see lots of meat on the menu but they were super veg friendly. From oatmeal and smoothies for breakfast to a vegi-mushroom burger for lunch or dinner, The Blue Pig at Congress Hall is a perfect stop for anyone who is ghost hunting Cape May with you!

One last place in town that had a great little menu was the Bella Vida Garden Cafe. They advertise vegan, veg and gluten free meals and serve up some tasty stuff like the Grilled Veggie Stuffed Portobello Mushroom (sans cheese) and the Hallelujah Salad. Check them out at Bella Vida .

So if you happen to be hangin' on the Jersey Shore, make sure you go to the tip of it and visit Cape May. See some awesome ghost tours and architecture and eat up!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Healthy Halloween!!!


Happy Halloween!!!!!!! I know that Halloween means candy and binge drinking at crazy parties but you can still have a Boo-rific time with these healthy tips!

*Serve or bring healthier types of candy like:
* Make, bake and/or serve healthier party food like:
  • Witch Fingers - Organic pretzel Rods dipped in Organic Chocolate and tipped with a Raspberry Licorice nail
  • Eyeballs - Peeled red, seedless grapes
  • Organic Chocolate dipped apples rolled in nuts
  • Newman O's Organic Oreos
  • Salsa & Organic Tortilla Chips
  • Veggie Crudite with Hummus
  • Newman's Own Organic Popcorn sprinkled with cinnamon sugar
  • Spooky Decorated Perfect Vegan Sugar Cookies
* Make, serve or request healthy drinks:
  • Non-Alcoholic Pumpkintini: 1 heaping tablespoon canned pumpkin
    1 1/2 ounces soy creamer or soy heavy cream
    2 ounces soy milk
    1 ounce Fee’s Spice Cordial Syrup
    2 graham crackers
    lime wedge

    Use a food processor to grind the graham cracker into fine crumbs, and put them on a small plate. Rub the lime wedge along the rim of a cocktail glass, then dip it into the crumbs to coat the rim. Set glass aside.

    Use a bar spoon to stir the canned pumpkin and creamer or heavy cream, in the bottom of a shaker. Stir in the soy milk and Fee’s syrup. Add ice. Shake vigorously (at least 30 times). Strain into the graham cracker rimmed cocktail glass.
    *De-Virginize: Add 1 ounce brandy (This recipe compliments of The Liquid Muse)
  • The Howler : 1oz. Organic Vodka
    1oz. Apple Juice
    1/2oz. Lemon Juice
    Add a splash of grenadine, shake and stir
  • Vampire: 1 part organic vodka, chilled
    1 part Chambord
1 part Hansens Natural Ginger Ale
Garnish with wax teeth or blood orange slice
  • Spiked Cider: 7 oz. Hot Apple Cider with 1 oz. Organic Rum
  • Non-Alcoholic Witches Brew: 1 cup organic lemon aid
    ¼ cup orange juice
    Juice of half a lime or 1 tablespoon of lime juice
    2 cups apple juice or non alcoholic apple cider
    1 tablespoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon non alcoholic rum flavor
In any case, have a happy, healthy and safe All Hallow's Eve!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

3rd Time is a Charm!


As I wrap up my New York posts, I can assure you I will have more to report on the next time around as there is just not enough time to eat everywhere you'd like to eat in this Metropolis.

A really fun place to take everyone is Dos Caminos. As you may have noticed, Mexican restaurants are a great place to make everyone happy from the biggest carnivores to the most devout veggies. Dos has an incredible menu and a super happening vibe. I fell over with one bite of the Mushroom Empanadas (I got them without cheese) and their hearty Mexican Chopped Salad. I never miss out on the guac either. Info on both locations can be found at Dos Caminos.

OMG, I LOVE Blossom! Another organic and vegan delight, let me cut to the chase. French toast for breakfast, a BLT for lunch that is bananas, Seitan Scallopini and Chocolate Ganache for dinner & desert - you can die happy after a full day at Blossom!

A really good chain in NYC is Zen Palate. It really is a great place and with 5 locations, going on 6 (3 in NY, 1 in NJ, a new one opening up in LA and Zen Burger in NYC), I must not be the only one who thinks so. Obviously it is an Asian menu but they've got a twist like their Peking Style ZenDuck Wrap or their Vegi Lasagna to accompany the usual Asian fare. It is all very tasty and with all their locations, Zen Palate is becoming very accessible!

Finally, one of my favorite things to do is go to the Friday Night Dinner at the Natural Gourmet Cookery Institute. This is a world renowned culinary school for natural and organic food. The students whip up a terrific 4 course vegetarian meal in their "restaurant" and it is open to the public upon making prior reservation. It is a fun evening, a great way to support these budding chefs and an even better way to stuff your healthy face for the flat rate of $34! Pop in to The Natural Gourmet Institute.

That's a wrap on ol' New York but you better believe I'll be back for more!! (Artwork by my man Dan ; ) )

Friday, October 12, 2007

2 York ; )


As I roll through town (almost literally), I've happened upon even more absurdly good eateries. And off we go!!

This place needs no introduction as Angelica Kitchen is a staple for any veggie that lives in or visits the city. One of the first restaurants to bring vegan dining to the masses, Angelica still holds on to their roots. They have great relationships with the farmers that supply them with their organic ingredients and the taste shows. Their menu changes with the seasons to keep it fresh and delicious. I'm a huge fan of their warm Tempeh Ruben sandwich (meat eaters devour this one) and their choose your ingredients Dragon Bowl. It's so clean, fresh organic and healthy but none of the taste is sacrificed. Find out more at Angelica Kitchen.

If you want an out of body experience, try Gobo. It's named that because once you've eaten their your brain is much because you've had a gastronomical climax and you can no longer speak a comprehensive language ; ) But really, it's that good. With 2 locations (west village and the upper east side) you just can't miss a meal there. The extensive Asian menu is super creative and chock full of things like Avocado Tartare with Wasabi Lime Sauce, Yam and Yucca fries, Butternut Squash Risotto and more. All their info is online at Gobo.

I can't rave enough about Counter. For dinner or brunch, this organic veggie food & wine hotspot is sure to please. They do serve eggs at brunch so you can bring all your skeptical friends to this hip locale. Getting hungry just thinking about it, I highly recommend you start with some Potato Almond Gnocchi and Wild Mushroom Ravioli. Move into the next course with the Wheat Penne and Pine Nut Pesto then finish off with a Gooey Pecan Hot Fudge Sundae. Find out more at Counter.

For a nice meal that everyone will be satisfied with, Blue Fin on Broadway in Times Square is a nice change. For seafooders and non veggies, this is a good spot and it's not to shabby for us rabbits ; ) They had good sized salads that can be easily veganized and a pretty hearty selection on breakfast items like soy smoothies, steel cut oatmeal and healthy portions of delicious oatmeal. Blue Fin
is a great change of pace.

See you next week with more on the unofficial capital of the world!!

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Big Apple!!


Could a big apple be more health friendly? Despite the big greasy pizzas and every corner hot dog vendors, NYC is a hub for some of the best healthy food in the world. Of course we all know that some of the top chefs and restaurants can be found here so there is no shortage of fantastic places to satisfy your green tooth ; )

Seeing as how there are a million restaurants per block in Manhattan alone, I'll be breaking this doozie of a foodie paradise up into 3 posts and I probably would need more then that. This particular posting I will be mentioning some pretty unique and chic restaurants as well as a few yummy veggie locales.

One of my favorite places in the city is Candle Cafe. The Original spot is on 3rd and 75th and they've opened up a more fine dining version of the cafe, Candle 79, on 79th near Lexington. Both locations are a MUST and I urge you to go as soon as you get in to town. They have phenomenal juices and baked goods if you just need a quick morning boost, ridiculous sandwiches and salads like Tuscan Seitan Parmesan Sandwich and the Chili Rubbed Seitan Salad, and for dinner bring a large appetite for the Porcini Crusted Tofu and a nice helping of chocolate peanut butter cake. I could go on and on and on about my beloved Candle but why don't you go on and salivate while you check out their menus at Candle Cafe.

For a swinging and hip NY night out, check out Buddha Bar. There is no shortage of good food and good spirits here for you or anyone you may be out partying with. Their veggie and cucumber rolls maki rolls are yum-o and their Thai veggie curry will knock your socks off. Look them up and have a night out with the beautiful Manhattanites at Buddha Bar.

For a surprisingly cool dining experience, try Florencia 13. An upscale Mexican restaurant named after the infamous gang. Yep, that's what I said. Not sure if the owners are ex gang bangers or still running around with the bad boys but this place is bangin' all on it's own. The decor is awesome with portraits of these dudes all over but it works. And the menu is slammin'! Every item is an homage to a SoCal City like my delicious Malibu burrito (greens, avocado, tomatoes, rice & beans) and my Mullholland Drive Avocado Salad. They even have a brunch that is off the chain!! Check out this craziness at Florencia 13.

Another unassuming Mexican hot spot is La Esquina (The Corner). A taco stand on the surface, a kick ass brasserie & tequila bar down below. The food is great and the atmosphere is pretty cool. Grab a quick taco up top or chillax with your friends downstairs at the restaurant and have some rockin' avocado soup. Although you have to be on the list, have ressies or purchase tickets. It's worth the trouble though, look them up on La Esquina.

That's not all people!! I'm takin' some more bites out of this apple and sending the news your way again next week!!!

(Awesome sketch by my better half while havin' a nice afternoon in Central Park)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Loverboy in the Desert


Yeah, that's what I said, Loverboy! I know, what rock did they crawl out from under? I don't know but they were pretty great after all of these years! Being that they were doing the county fair and free park show circuit, we had to drive out to Palm Desert to see their old butts rock out. But it was well worth it!! A quick trip to the desert is always a fun treat for the soul and the tummy!

One place that needs no intro is Native Foods. They have locations in LA, Palm Springs and Palm Desert. It's a vegan paradise for fast food. From great pizzas, salads and scrumptious deserts, Native Foods will not disappoint. Check out their creative and mouthwatering menu at Native Foods.

It is an absolute must when you are in Palm Springs to have a meal at La Casuelas. Voted one of America's top 50 Hispanic Restaurants, there is no doubt why. They have a huge menu and almost any entree can be vegie or veganized. The black bean pizza or tostada is awesome as is there veggie enchiladas sans cheese. Their fiesta guacamole goes great with a big ol' margarita too!! See the yummy dishes at La Casuelas.

If you are in the mood for something deli like and quick, stop at Cafe Totonaca located in the Nature's Rx market . They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and everything is super tasty. their morning scrambles are delish as are their soy strip fajitas any time of the day!

If you want a little exotic flair from the east, definitely try Thai Smile (760- 320-5503,651 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262). They are not vegetarian but they have great veggie options and it is super tasty.

And lastly, if you need a quick pick me up, Cafe Zertz (250 South Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262, 760-416-0980) is the ticket!! It's super cute and they brew up a mean cup of soy latte and serve up some good veggie sandwiches.

No need to starve out in the desert when you have all of these great choices in the oases that are Palm Springs and Palm Desert!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Yummy Yosemite


What can I say about Yosemite that you don't already know but WOW!! It really is breathtaking and I wish we had had more time but I'm sure we will be back soon ; ) From the short time we spent there, I still squeezed in time for a meal and did some research for next timehttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.photo.gif!

We dropped into Curry Village to grab some souvenirs and in the gift shop they had scrumptious vegan cookies!! They also have a food courtish type commissary that had Mexican food, pizzas and a bunch of other lunch treats. I had a veggie tostada salad that was enormous and the guacamole was pretty damn good! Yosemite Village, like Curry Village, is inside the park, also has snacks and great selection of soups and salads.

If you want to live the high life at Yosemite instead of roughin' it outdoors with them there bears, definitely try a night or 2 at the Ahwahnee Hotel. Their main dining room has a gourmet menu that doesn't forget about those who chow on greens. They have soups that are veggie based, tasty salads and scrumptious entrees like pasta carbonara. They are great about labeling what is available veggie style!

At the Yosemite Lodge, their Mountain Room Restaurant is a vegan and organic haven. From vegan soups to quinoa based entrees, this is a nature lovers paradise and a must if you visit the park.

Just outside the park is the Wawona Hotel and dining room that also happens to be very veggie friendly. Fresh soups, salads and an assortment of veggie alternatives are always in season at this Victorian beaut of a lodge.

So if you are camping, be sure to bring lots of healthy goodies to sustain yourself during your explorations and lock them up good so the fuzzy wuzzy bears don't get to them first! But if they do, there is a nice size market in the park where you can re-stock. But even if you are roughing it, be sure to take a break and pop into one of Yosemites fine dining halls and eat up!!! Nature never tasted so good!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

"Goodbye God, I'm Going to Bodie!!"


That's a direct quote from a little girl whose family was moving to the infamous and wicked mining town in the 1880's. Now a genuine ghost town, Bodie, CA, is quite a step back into our nation's nutty past. On our way back from Black Rock City (Burning Man), we stopped into this town frozen in time before we passed through Yosemite.

Bodie has a great story and is worth the 8,000 ft mountain drive to get there. There are no inhabitants or services beyond the gift shop in Bodie so we stopped for dinner and slumber about 45 minutes past there in Lee Vining at Mono Lake. Lee Vining is a town of 300 people so you would think there wouldn't be a healthy morsel in sight. Wrong!! It was so easy and the people couldn't have been nicer.

Our first meal was at Bodie Mike's BBQ and I pigged out. They had a great veggie mexi burger (salsa in the veggie patty with guac on top!!) as well as a delicious soup and salad bar. I also saw that they had teriyaki veggie kabobs!They are at Hwy 395, Lee Vining, CA 93541, (760) 647-6432.

After a good night's rest, I popped into the Latte Da cafe (a few doors down from Bodie Mike's) where they served up organic soy lattes ; ) I broke fast with my travel buddies at Nicely's, directly next door to Bodie Mike's, where I got a big bowl of yummy oatmeal and fresh oj.

If you happen to pop into Lee Vining for some lake activities or before you head over the Tioga Pass into Yosemite, you can stock up at their local market with fresh produce and a ton of vegan, veggie and other healthy products like Amy's frozen goodies, tofurky and Odwalla juices. The selection was incredible and I highly recommend you poke in if you are thinking of heading into Bodie or Yosemite. Or if you miss the turn for Mammoth!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Passin' Time in Pasadena


Home of the Rose Bowl and some beautiful architecture, Pasadena is one of the prettiest areas in Los Angeles. It is swarming with people every day as their Old Town section is perfect for a nice walk, shopping and unique restaurants.

One of the first places I ate at as a vegan 8 years ago was Orean. It is like a vegan dairy queen with ice cream, shakes and wicked vegan junk food. I love their tacos and burgers!! They are at 817 N Lake Ave,(626) 794-0861.

Among the many chain restaurants in old town like Cheesecake Factory, Louise's Trattoria and so on, there is one that I adore and that is Le Pain Quotidien. In the recent years they have sprung up across LA but it's so damn good ; ) Their soups are almost always vegan, their salads fresh and their tartines delectable. My choice is always the black bean hummus tartine. Look them up at Le Pain Quotidien.

Despite the commercial, mainstream shops and restaurants, there are still many unique places such as this terrific Brazillian spot, Chiara, 43 E Colorado Blvd,(626) 564-8696. I was able to munch on some plantains and rice and share some of their hummus that was actually very good. I had a little to much of their caipirinas as they went down super smooth!

Just outside of Pasadena, you can find one of the best veggie places around, Fatty's. Fatty's, despite the name, is veggie fine dining in the heart of Eagle Rock. It really is amazing and I urge you to try their ravioli, moussaca or strudel. You must stay for dessert and have their Fudgey!! All info for them is online at Fatty's Cafe & wine bar.

So whether you live across town or across the country, if you find yourself in Pasadena, there is no shortage of yumminess ; )

Friday, August 31, 2007

S-deux-dio City ; )

So I couldn't leave out the rest of my top places to chow in my old neighborhood. And might I add that it just keeps getting better and better. The nightlife, shopping and dining is becoming more and more hip and bringing the valley some good street cred ; )

All around town, I've been seeing these vegan thai places pop up. 2 of my faves are in Studio City. Vegan plate, 11943 Ventura Blvd(818) 506-9015 and Vegan Express, 3217 Cahuenga Blvd W,(323) 851-8837, have similar menus but are equally good. Plate has lots of combo dinners and sandwiches as does Express but they have breakfast all day ; ) The cowgirl breakfast with tofu scramble, faux chicken and pancakes will fill you up all day. And at Vegan Plate, I love their chicken wrap and chicken satay.

Tapas are super cool and trendy and Ole hits that spot. They have flamenco dancers a good music most nights as well as some tasty sangria. They have veganizable dish that will fill you up as will their yummy wine! 13251 Ventura Blvd,(818) 986-3190.

I know this is a chain but it's oh so good to us greenies! Panera has the bomb vegetarian soups like black bean, garden vegetable and southwest stew. Their salads and sandwiches can be veganized and their iced green tea is extra zingy!! Look for their Studio City location online at Panera.

Lastly, for nightlife, definitely Firefly. This bar and restaurant has a neat atmosphere that is library meets Moroccan patio chic.If you need to munch they have wonderful salads and the occasional garlic fry won't kill you. But the drinks are reasonable and the vibe is rockin' Firefly is at 11720 Ventura Blvd,(818) 762-1833.


Luckily, I'm only a 15 minute drive away from all my old faves ; )

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ode to Studio City

Ahh, the view from my daily hike at Wilacre Park that overlooked my old hood ; ) Studio City is a great little area in Los Angeles and jam packed with healthy and yummy places. This valley town is right at the base of the hill and offers shi-shi shopping and dining but with the feel of a small community. Some of my most favorite eateries are in Studio City so if you live in town or are visiting, it's just a stone's throw away from Hollywood, Universal Studios and just off the 101 freeway.

My first fave is Kung Pao Bistro. When I'd have a hankerin' for Chinese take out, this was the only way to go as they have a a fully vegan menu in addition to their traditional fare. Their veggie chicken drumsticks would make a carnivore salivate as do their veggie beef and broccoli and veggie orange chicken. They have all kinds of veggie stuff like shrimp, skewers, dumplings and more as well as plenty of real meat for your non veggie pals. They have 3 locations however, the one is Studio City is at 11838 Ventura Blvd, (818) 766-8686 .

My next addiction is Leonor's vegetarian Mexican. Yumm-alicious! They make the bomb vegan pizzas, enchiladas, empanadas and so on. Their guac could use a little salt but other then that it's really cheap and they give you a boat load. They have great sandwiches as well as again, non-veggies will enjoy this place as well. They have 2 locations, in Studio city you can find them at 12445 Moorpark St Ste C, (818) 762-0660.

Mexicali & Casa Vega are valley staples for killer mexican food and nightlife. Both places are always busy and full of hotties for those of you singles trollin' for love ; ) Mexicali has fantastic salads as well as awesome veggie burritos, enchiladas and more. If you are in town to star gaze, this is a prime place for it too. Be sure to come by on Monday's for their all night happy hour where the whole menu is 30% off - 12161 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604 (818) 985-1744. Vega has my favorite spinach enchiladas (I order with no cheese) and the most ridiculous vegetarian mexican pizza!! And of course, huge Margs ; ) Casa Vega is at 13301 Ventura Blvd, (818) 788-4868.

For brunch, lunch and dinner, Hugo's is the place. It's quite busy so expect a wait but it's totally worth it. Vegans and non-vegans can enjoy great meals from pancakes to pizzas to yummy entrees. They also specialize in great teas and juices and opened a taco stand across the road that is so good you'll want to run around the block screaming ; ) Hugo's valley location is at 12851 Riverside Dr, (818) 761-8985 and the Hugo's Taco Stand is at 4749 Coldwater Canyon Ave, (818) 762-7771.

And for those every now and again treats, Studio Yogurt and Humphrey Yogart are an absolute must. Trying to satisfy your sweet tooth and stay healthy is very difficult but either of these places can hook you up. Studio Yogurt always has a dairy free yogurt selection and each day is a new and unique flavor. You can choose any toppings you want from fresh fruit to sprinkles and carob chips. Humphrey's is just as delish with soy yogurt options that you can mix in any toppings and they also have wicked vegan milk shakes!! The mystic union is to die for - chocolate and peanut butter!!! Studio Yogurt is at 12050 Ventura Blvd Ste 105, (818) 508-7811 while Humphrey's is just up the road in Sherman Oaks at 4574 Van Nuys Blvd, (818) 906-2490.

There are still some of my Studio City haunts left to mention so check them out next week!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Glorious Glendale ; )



So, this is no travel for me but it may be for non LA folk ; ) We just moved from "The Valley" to Glendale so exploring our new place of residence has been somewhat of a trip ; ) It's still LA but a cute city in itself. It's got a great downtown area with a grip of high rises that give some small towns across the U.S. a run for their money. There is some awesome shopping, theatre, galleries, the historical Brand park and library as well as http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.photo.gifsome good eats!!

Driving through our picturesque little neighborhood, I found this quaint commercial area right in the middle of the residential hood. It looks like a gingerbread village with cute shops and a small market. This small market happened to be a gem! The Village Market is a natural grocery store and cafe. They have a deli that makes RIDICULOUSLY good vegan sandwiches!! It is a must if you are popping into LA or live here and want to jump on over to Glen-dizzle for some yumminess on bread! Their info can be found at The Village Market Place .

Another gem that I found is right on the border of Glendale and Burbank and it brings me back to my hometown of Miami. Mambos is the closest thing to real Cuban food you can find in LA which means it kicks some serious butt!! Not only is the Cuban food super authentic, they have a vegetarian section on the menu to boot!! They have the staples: black beans, rice, plantains, yuca and awesome bread; but they also have veggie tamales and a veggie version of the Cuban favorite, picadillo. It really is the bomb!! Mambos is at 1701 Victory Blvd, Glendale, CA 91201, (818) 545-8613.

Keeping in the vein of delish Cuban food, there is Porto's Bakery. They have 2 locations, 1 in Glendale and 1 in Burbank. When I saw there was one in biking distance from my "casa" I almost lost it! They have the bomb mariquitas which are thinly sliced plantain chips with garlic, lemon and olive oil dressing. They are finger licking good! As are their veggie sandwiches and variety of fresh made juices. Check out Porto's and go to their about us page for address and info.

I'm off to unpack some more stuff but keep an eye out for the next installment of The Healthy Voyager!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Summer Lovin'


If you haven't noticed, summertime is wedding time. One of my many hats is that of a wedding planner so I definitely get my fill come fall be it from working them or going to them ; ) And it is very difficult to stay healthy at such events but have no fear as the healthy, voyaging, event planner is here to help ; )

The trip is exhausting enough as flights or road trips are an excuse to eat fast and convenient. Then you get to the hotel and eat a nice, expensive, in room meal that is most likely greasy and eaten at an ungodly hour. Fast forward to wedding day where you spent all morning getting ready so all you had was coffee and maybe a starchy bagel. You arrive at the glorious event famished so you gorge on hors d'oeuvres and alcoholic beverages. You pick at your lame and tasteless chicken or fish or for us veggies, cold pasta, and you feel like a cow come the bouquet toss. Sound familiar?

Here are a few tips to keep your trip to, at and from the festivities enjoyable and guilt free:
* Pack enough protein bars for the flight/ride, wedding day and trip home. Cliff bars and Luna bars are yummy and Vegan!!
* If you are stuck at an airport, there is always a food court that has some kind of place to get a sandwich or a salad that you can order your way. Smoke may come out of the fast food person's ears but just ask and they will do it with proper instruction. I know it's easy to run to Mcd's but take an extra few minutes to scour your terminal. A lot of ports have "Chili's to gos" now and you can great a salad there or my personal fave, a black bean burger with all the fixin's (sans cheese). If you are running late, don't!!! Plan ahead, eat breakfast and get there on time!!
*At the hotel, try to resist temptation and instead of ordering room service, find the local grocery store, get a cheap cooler and stock up with veggies, fruit and sandwich stuff for dinner and breakfast!
*On wedding day, eat breakfast and don't forget to pack your protein bar. Drink lots of water so you feel full and don't cram a million spring rolls in your mouth at the cocktail hour. Make sure you have told the bride and groom what your diet needs are so the caterers have no surprises the day of. Or else your dinner will be worse then dog scraps since they didn't account for you. Again, plan ahead!!
* Try not to eat all of the bread at the table before dinner starts. If you're starving, then you must have forgotten your bar or snack!! I give you permission to devour your salad and be mindful of your portion size at dinner ; )
* If you're not vegan and neither is the happy couple, eat cake! And if you are vegan, reward yourself by boozin' it up!! For Pete's sake, you're at a wedding!!

Enjoy!!!!!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Even a Voyager Needs a Break!!


Due to our big move to our new home, I was not able to get out and seek a new and yummy locale to stuff my vegan face!! So take this week to catch up on past posts while I unpack and settle in so I can leave again on another trip!! See you next Friday from a new city!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

SoCal Wine Country



"I'm not drinking any Merlot!!" - Paul Giamatti, Sideways

Contrary to the ravings of Mr. Giamatti, I dig Merlot and tasted lots of it in Solvang and Los Olivos!!

If you happen to pop into Santa Barbara Wine Country, you must follow up your day of wine tasting at Los Olivos Cafe. It is most famous for it's appearance in the movie Sideways, but it is also well known for it's delicious California/Mediterranean cuisine. They offer up some wonderful dishes that feature flavors from the surrounding farms and vineyards. I was blown away at the variety of choices I had from delicious salads, appetizers, sandwiches and entrees for greenies like me! Their hummus and olive tapenade was to die for and my primavera gnocchi was beyond delicious. And of course, you MUST have wine with dinner!!

We popped into Solvang, the neighboring Danish replica village and had some good eats as well! For the meaties, they will love any of the Danish spots as they serve up some of Denmarks most popluar dishes like Frikadeller and it's popular spirit, Aquavit. My friend's had a great time chowing on the Danish goods and I didn't miss out on the fun as I was able to get salads and veggie sandwiches at all of the places we stopped into. You musn't miss the Danish bakeries either!!

Solvang, Los Olivos and Buellton are the 3 vineyard towns in Santa Barbara wine country and each has their own special charms. Some of the vineyards offer horseback tours of the wineries and others have bed & breakfasts on the grounds. It's a great little weekend getaway for delicious food, wine and fun!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Don't Forget Ft. Lauderdale!!


I love Miami but I think I might love Ft. Lauderdale just a little more. The vibe is slow paced and the lifestyle is cool and relaxing. Very Florida, very beachy!! And not mention it is home to one of my most favorite places to dine!!

So I will start with that one! Sublime really is Sublime!! It is one of the best vegetarian restaurants around and will not scare meat eaters. They have an imaginative menu that includes sushi, Italian, and american/asian fusion comfort foods as well as some of the best desserts I've ever had. If they have it, you must try their Tiramisu - it's out of this world! I can't recommend this place enough!!

Now another one of my South Florida addictions is Sara's (3944 N 46th Ave, Hollywood, 33021 - at Stirling Rd between 441 and 95). Technically it's in Hollywood but that's about a 5 minute drive from the heart of Ft. Lauderdale. Since becoming vegan 8 years ago, I never missed meat or cheese but I do miss Cuban sandwiches ; ( But that all changed the first time I went to Sara's. They make the sickest, vegan version of a cuban sandwich!! So much so I make my mother smuggle them to me by the dozen when she comes to visit me out west!! Besides that, they have delicious salads, pizzas, and sandwiches. They are 100% Kosher so veggies have a great time here. In fact, I've gotten a bunch of my non veggie friends and family hooked on this place. You shouldn't miss it!!

Las Olas is a beautiful area near downtown Ft. Lauderdale and one of the most hoppin' places on the strip is Cafe Europa (726 E Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, 33301) (954) 763-6600. They've got great pastries and coffees but you shouldn't miss a meal there. They have a heavy European menu (go figure) and I lean towards their Italian goods. I get a cheeseless veggie pizza every time I go and it is 100% tastiness!!

Ft. Lauderdale is packed with waterfront bars, grills and restaurants and it's not hard to find a healthy yet delicious meal. Some of the best seafood around is found here as well as amazing juice bars and spots to get ginormous salads. Healthy goes hand in hand with this beach city so no worries in Ft. Lauderdale!!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Miami Twice


Yep, Miami has to much going on to leave for 1 posting!! In this follow up post, I will cover some more veggie-ish places all over Miami as well as a few more on our beloved beach ; )

Near my old alma mater, U of Miami, you will find Beehive (5750 Bird Rd, Miami 33146 - at SW 40 St and Red Rd/SW 57 Ave)305-663-1300. Here you can munch on veggie empanadas, Jamaican patties as well as homemade soups and sandwiches. It's a great little juice bar that packs a king size punch!

Off the beaten path, you can convene at the tasty Garden of Eating (136 NW 62nd St, Miami 33150 - at Martin Luther King Blvd) 305-754-8050. Their island influenced juice bar and buffet are pretty good but you can't leave without a taste of their cakes and pies!!

On the beach, try The Cafe at Books & Books (933 Lincoln Road; 305-695-8898) for yucca and leek hash browns and tomato-cucumber gazpacho. The nearby Bayside Grill at The Standard (40 Island Avenue; 305-673-1717) is another great choice. Dine waterfront on the fritto misto — chickpea fries and crispy baby artichokes — or a selection from the greens and grains section (quinoa and dried fruit, yum).

Just over the bridge, The Lost and Found Saloon (185 Northwest 36th Street; 305-576-1008) offers meatless dishes like the posse club burrito with tofu and spinach and the pinon-and-pepita-crusted tofu. Or, grab some latin soul food at Canela Cafe (5132 Biscayne Boulevard; 305-756-3930), where you can nibble on tapas like the tostones rellenos (crispy plantain cups filled with asparagus, sofrito, and goat cheese) as well as their awesome veggie paella.

You'll be sure to enjoy these south florida pit stops as much as your carnivorous cohorts will!! Isn’t the wheatgrass always greener?

Friday, July 6, 2007

Bienvenidos a Miami!!


Being a Miami native, I can absolutely agree with why people from all walks of life are so enamored with this tropical paradise. The weather is hot and so are the people, the scenery is beautiful and the food is delicious. The taste of all of the Caribbean cultures that come together in Miami make for a delectable town to chow in!

I could spend days writing about the killer places to eat well in Miami but I will keep it short so that it's easily digestible, haha!! (I kill me!) I will have to do a few Miami blogs to cover it!

There is no denying that if you are visiting Miami, you have to stop by Coconut Grove and South Beach's Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive. Both parts of town are chock full of incredible restaurants and al fresco eateries that cover every style of cooking there is. From ridiculously good Italian to the "you can only get it in Miami" Latin fare, your taste buds are in for a gastronomical climax! There are plenty of places to get amazing salads, fresh seafood and vegan/vege or just figure friendly cuisine. In fact, you have no choice if you want to prance around the beaches amongst all the bathing beauties!!

One great place that is good for veggies as well as non-veggies is on Lincoln Road called Sushi Samba. This super modern cafe offers a delicious menu that fuses Japanese, Peruvian and Brazilian flavors so there isn't a soul who won't leave happy. I had their yummy miso soup and one of the best and most imaginative vegetarian sushi rolls I've ever had. You can find them at 600 Lincoln Road - (305) 673-5337.

Another perfect spot for the healthy and non-healthy travelers on Lincoln Road is Nexxt Cafe. This place has perfected and gourmet-ized comfort foods. No one would be disappointed with their menu as it is enormous. If you're looking for a light lunch or a hearty dinner, Nexxt is sure to please! They are right up the block from Samba at 700 Lincoln Road - 305.532.6643.

Another one of my favorite areas in Miami is Coconut Grove. And eating on the water is one of the best things South Florida has to offer. Monty's in Coconut Grove is the quintessential Miami bar grill. Everything is always fresh and the bamboo hut atmosphere is very relaxing and island like. They are famous for their weekday happy hour where you can get seafood and drinks half off. Seafood lovers will go buck wild and veggies like me will adore their salad bar and yummy pina coladas!! Monty's is a must and you can find them at 2550 South Bayshore Drive, Miami Florida 33133 - (305)672-1148.

More to come next week!!!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Healthy Big Bear Fare



Definitely a place for some killer outdoor recreation, Big Bear also has some surprisingly good places to eat and keep fit!

Most people who visit Big Bear know that it gets pretty chilly in the evenings and crazy cold in the winter. That means people need sustenance! There is no shortage of hearty cuisine here but they don't neglect to fill up our leafy eatin' friends just fine ; ) Check out B's Backyard BBQ and Cafe Mambo in our webisode below.

B's Backyard BBQ and Beach Bar is located at 350 Alden Rd in Big Bear Lake
Phone: (909) 866-5400
It really is a perfect place to bring your hungry friends and you won't have any problems finding some healthy choices.

Cafe Mambo is located at 40766 Village Drive, Big Bear Lake
Phone: (909) 878-2166
This Latin Fusion eatery is not only unique to the area but unique in taste!!!

One more place to hit up is Mandoline Bistro. Also in Big Bear Village, Mandoline has a jazz club and an upscale ambiance. They were great when I mentioned I was vegan as the chef whipped up a special gourmet plate just for me ; ) For a nice night in Big Bear, check them out for sure!! www.themandolinebistro.com

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sensational Santa Barbara


So, I had to take a quick day trip for business up to Santa Barbara. Rough, ain't it? I know, I know ; ) What a beautiful place to have a meeting, a spa treatment, an out of this world meal, a history lesson.... You catch my drift! Santa Barbara is choice!! (Yeah, I'm bringing that back)

Of course, I had to eat somewhere so I popped into Le Bon Cafe in Downtown. It's super close to the popular State Street and ridiculously good! I almost fell out of my seat when I took the first bite of my Plantain Sandwich. Yeah! No bread for you low and no carb people as well as gluten free'ers. It was jam packed with hummus, black beans and corn, avocado, and more. So Yummy!! I also had some of their fresh squeezed watermelon juice ; ) They've got a great selection of salads, sandwiches and juices and is mostly organic. I was so excited and I will definitely be back!! Look them up at www.leboncafe.net .

If you are in town for a long weekend, definitely stop in for dinner at Sojourner Cafe (it happens to be right next door to Le Bon). The menu is to die for! Incredibly vegan/vegetarian friendly, the dishes are phenomenal. It really is a leaf eaters paradise that won't scare away any carnivores as they also serve poultry and fish. Check out their imaginative menu at www.sojournercafe.com .

Finally, this little secret will make your stay even better. Spa Angels is a private studio spa as well as a "we come to you" treat. They have super innovative treatments, a serene studio with a private chef, pilates and yoga classes as well as their own signature line of holistic, natural products. Go to their studio or have them pop into your hotel, office or home by booking them at www.spaangels.us .

So much to do and see, so little time. Guess I will have to go back soon!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Pleasant Pensacola


If you ever find yourself in Pensacola, Florida, you will be pleasantly surprised. Not only by their white sandy beaches and their southern hospitality, but also by the variety for us green eaters ; )

For a light meal, I stopped at the End of the Line Cafe. It was a vegan coffee house and eatery that absolutely delighted me. They had some delicious sandwiches, salads and deserts. I had a phenomenal tomato and vegan mozzarella panini as well as a great chocolate mousse pie. It was very indie, arty coffee house and you will love all of the local artists contributions to the look of the place. It's a non profit co-op so you're eating smart and spending smart! Don't forget to pop in to one of their Monday movie nights!! You can check them out at The End of the Line Cafe .

For a special occasion, we visited Jackson's in downtown. Right in the historic Jackson Square and very near the hip Seville Quarter (Pensacola's mini version of the French Quarter just a few hours west), Jackson's is a beautiful fine dining establishment that went way out of their way to create an immaculate, vegan gourmet meal for me. I was blown away by the 5 course meal that just got better and better with every dish. And might I mention the exceptional wine pairing with every course!! With advance notice, Jackson's will accommodate any diet and they will hit it out of the park! Their information can be found at Jackson's Restaurant.

Lastly, but definitely not leastly, catch a cool local band, a bottle of beer and a vegan snack at Sluggo's. In more of a residential part of town, Sluggo's is a watering hole of choice for veggie conscious artists and musicians. Definitely worth checking out! Try the nachos or one if their killer sandwiches! Sluggos on Myspace

Take a nice Northwestern Florida vacation this summer and leave your worries about your taste buds and your tummy at home!!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Sunny San Diego



One of the most beautiful towns in California, San Diego really is a paradise for those who want to live a healthy lifestyle. Surfing, hiking, biking, this ocean side town just makes you feel good! We did some great stuff during our four days in town as well as having some pretty awesome meals.

After our drive down, day at Legoland and out hot air balloon ride, we were spent. But the next few days were filled with deliciousness! I will say that Legoland had some great options for healthy theme park goers. If you are taking the kids or are just poppin' in to see some nifty lego architecture, be sure you eat at the Fresh Market in Fun Town. I got a yummy rice bowl with freshly cooked teriyaki veggies. I also saw a great salad and soup bar in that food court. I was pretty impressed because you are always hard pressed to find something good for you at a theme park. See for yourself at Legoland!

Below in our featured San Diego webisode, we visit three wonderful places. Naked Cafe, which has locations in Point Loma and Solana Beach is a perfect place for a late breakfast, brunch or hearty lunch. It is beyond vegetarian friendly and the menu is just fantastic for anyone in your party. All their info can be found at The Naked Cafe.

For the serious guilt free sweet tooth, we visit Stephanie's Bakery in Ocean Beach. It's a cute bakery that has ridiculous cookies, cakes, strudels, and pizza! It's fully vegan and fully Yumm!! Just 2 blocks from the beach and with a pet friendly patio, you can't pass this place by if you ever head to the city north of the border! Stephanie's Bakery rocks!!!

Lastly, if you and your travel partners want a cool night out in the city and you still want to be cuisine conscious, Indigo Grill in Little Italy downtown is a must! Chef Deborah Scott is famous with a good reason. Her southwestern fusion menu is out of this world. They have superb dishes for health nuts that won't make you feel left out when you see your friend's masterpiece of a dish. Check them out at Indigo Grill.

Enjoy!!





Friday, June 1, 2007

The Mile High City


Denver, Colorado...Home of the Broncos and Rockies, the unsinkable Molly Brown's House, and some pretty good grub!!

In the video at the end of the post, we visited Watercourse Foods and chatted about it's other location, City O' City Pizza Bar and Coffee House. Both locations were excellent and really involve their loyal customers and the community in regards to the artwork and feel of both locations.

www.watercoursefoods.com

In addition to Watercourse, we visited the Vesta Dipping Grill in Lodo (the locals abbreviation for lower downtown). It was a perfect choice as I was the only veggie in the group but I was still able to enjoy a fantastic meal. They specialize in dishes that are to be dipped in a variety of sauces of your choosing and I got a rad grilled tofu with brown rice dealio. The trendy look of the restaurant and the cool bar really give the place a certain "je ne se quoi" and it is a definite must for everyone, healthy or not ; ) www.vestagrill.com

One more place to visit when you are in the mile high city is Mercury Cafe. They are an organic, "colorado cuisine" cafe that also boasts a bar and nightclub! They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and party on through the evening with no gastronomic guilt! www.mercurycafe.com


Friday, May 25, 2007

Viva Las Veggie!!


Ok so, I know it's hard to feel healthy in the city of sin, but it can be done!! As long as you steer clear of the buffets and all those sugary drinks, you can still keep your waistline in tact and not feel guilty every time you see some rail thin showgirl ; )

There are some great options on the strip but if you have a car and some time, there are even better ones in the residential areas. What? People don't LIVE on the strip? Yep!!

Off the strip:

Paymon's Mediterranean was killer. We had lunch there with some friends and there was something for everyone. I had an enormous veggie plate packed with hummus, tabouli, dolmas, rice and babaganoush. Everything was incredibly fresh and tasty. My main squeeze and our friends had a roasted chicken meal that also looked very fresh and prepared quite nicely. Apparently they have 2 locations - http://paymons.com/med_main.html

For the Raw Foodist, try the Go Raw Cafe. They have 2 locations really close to the strip. http://www.gorawcafe.com

Why not be a little sinful and check out Ronald's Donuts. They have all kinds of specialty toppings and fillers, including soy cream as well as vegan donuts!! 702-873-1032

Whole Foods has landed at Fort Apache, just minutes away from the strip as has Wild Oats on Lake Mead Blvd.

On the strip:

For the luxurious health nut, spoil yourself at the Canyon Ranch Spa at the Venetian. They have all kinds of organic plates as well as veggie and vegan options.

There is no harm in a chain restaurant like PF Chang's as they have lots of tofu dishes and brown rice. They can also steam any dish to keep away from the fatty fried stuff. I love the Cheesecake Factory for the monstrous salads (they veganize everything for me) as well as their veggie stir fry and home made veggie burger.

So no matter who you are with or where you go, there is no excuse to not keep healthy, kosher, vegan or just plain vain in Vegas!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

How I Love Mount Zion...


Let me count the ways!! Zion National Park is nothing short of breathtaking. The Virgin River running through it, the greenery and the majestic canyons were enough to make me want to pack up my city life and move to a ranch just outside the gates; ) The Zha Zha of Zion!

We arrived fairly late in the day so we decided to stay the night and tackle some hikes the following morning. We got so lucky by getting the last room at the cutest hotel ever, The Pioneer Motel. Not only was it convenient, it was hands down adorable. At the foot of the hill, we enjoyed a jacuzzi and a cabin style room with the whole kit and caboodle, mini kitchen, etc. The lobby boasted a gift and coffee shop that carried soy for my morning fix. Next door to the hotel was a great deli that made fresh sandwiches for hikers.

We had dinner at Pizza & Noodle, a great place in a converted church that shared space with a cool outdoor sport shop. They made me a cheeseless veggie lovers pizza and I noticed they had some nice pastas and big salads (good for people staying away from carbs or glutten).

During our day long adventure through Zion, we hiked into the cafe inside the Zion Lodge. I was afraid I'd be out of luck here as it was a very theme parky, order-from-our-limited-menu-at-the-counter scenario. But no! Zion surprises yet again! They had fresh salads, juices, veggie sandwiches and veggie burgers!!

Reluctantly, we had to leave that evening but made one more grub stop at the Bit & Spur. We each had a huge and delicious salad and the staff went out of their way to make sure my salad was vegan. A+

So a HUGE thumbs up for the beauty that is Zion and the small town of Springdale for making our stay awesome!!

(Art work by my one and only, Dan Hamilton. It's an on site watercolor sketch of Angel's Landing in Zion)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Passing Through Lake Powell


Pulling into Page was a bit confusing as the town seemed to have a bit of an identity crisis. Some businesses said we were in Page and some in Lake Powell. And some had both!! Either way, we were pleasantly surprised with what Page/Lake Powell had to offer a few drifters like us.

We were only going to spend the night on our way out of the Grand Canyon and into Zion but ended up finding some neat-o stuff. After having a yummy lunch at the Dam Bar and Grill (where I had a pretty good chinese chicken salad, sans chicken) and a soy latte at the neighboring coffee shop, we hopped over to the gift shop. Looking through the post cards we discovered that there were slot canyon tours 5 minutes from where we were so we headed right over.

Antelope Canyon is the most photographed slot canyon in Northern Arizona. It appears like a crack in the rocks from the top but once down below, the caverns are lit from above and are absolutely stunning.

On our way out of town we drove over the Glen Canyon Dam and had to stop for a quick photo op!

So if you visit Page to take a nice boat tour of Lake Powell or an adventure through some extraordinary slot canyons, I would suggest the Dam Bar & Grill. They were super nice and had no problem accommodating an herbivore ; ) I also saw the Mandarin Gourmet, a chinese restaurant that can make veggie and vegan meals upon request.

Friday, May 4, 2007

A is for Arizona!


A quick one day trip before we headed to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, we rolled into Sedona and it's neighboring ghost town, Jerome. One of the most beautiful and grounding spots in the country, Sedona is famous for its red rock formations and natural beauty. Known for its spiritual energy, fabulous spas and amazing landscape, you know you'll find some good and healthy eats in Sedona.

I popped into the Oaxaca Restaurant when we first got into town. A super cute Southwestern & Mexican place, they pride themselves on heart healthy food. A great option where everyone can enjoy a meal that not only reflects the taste of the region but the also the connection of mind and body that Sedona is well known for. Oaxaca has picturesque views, is family friendly and is open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Check out their yummy menu at http://www.oaxacarestaurant.com/index.html

On our way to Jerome, we drove by D'lish. We were stuffed from our morning meal but it looked super modern and I found out it was 100% vegan and organic, offering sandwiches, salads and other green treats. Definitely a place to go when I come back for a spa weekend!!

Now, Jerome was pretty neat. Not to far from lovely Sedona, Jerome is a living ghost town. Yep! An old mining community perched in the mountains overlooking the valley below, it began to die out after WWII as the demand for copper slowed. It is now a thriving artist community but has kept it's 1920s persona. Lots of old buildings and boarded up mine shafts, we spent a couple of hours walking around and strolled into the Grand Hotel where we decided to fill our tummies at The Asylum. Once the town's hospital, the hotel was renovated and is fully operational, complete with 30 rooms and guests from another dimension ; ) I had a really, really, really good veggie sandwich at the bar and I adored the ambiance. It had spectacular views and the staff was full of good Jerome fodder. Even in a ghost town, my belly was super satisfied.

I had a blissful day in these 2 Arizona gems and I hope you are able to visit some of these places someday soon!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Health Friendly Flagstaff


After walking over the Grand Canyon with nothing but glass between us and the canyon below, we headed off to Flagstaff, Arizona. We stayed here for a few nights and I loved the health friendly vibe.

A nice mountain town and the closest place to stay if you are heading towards the southern rim, and most frequently visited, portion of the Grand Canyon. Home to Northern Arizona University and somewhat of a ski town as they are a quick drive to the Arizona Snow Bowl, Flagstaff has alot of great options for the healthy food aficionado. Flagstaff has a great downtown area with some rather cute bars (yes, I am The Healthy Traveler, but I can still whoop it up!!)

I stumbled across Macy's Coffee House & Vegetarian Restuarant our first morning. My better half was none to excited as he is my polar opposite when it comes to dining. Although he was happy to indulge me as most of our trip I was making do at any stop we made. Just another obstacle that The Healthy Traveler has no problem conquering ; )

Macy's had a great indie, college vibe with the menu to match. Fresh Juices, soy lattes and delectable snack size meals were a great way to start our day. And health was the name of the game here at Macy's. Nothing was fried or processed and even though I saved no room for dessert, they looked great in all their organically sweet glory. www.macyscoffee.net

On our way out of town, I wanted to stock up on goodies for the road and I hit the jackpot. We passed right by New Frontiers Market as we pulled in to gas up next door. This was a small version of a Whole Foods but sacrificed none of the variety. In fact, I wanted to do cartwheels in the deli!! They offered all types of breads for their sandwiches, including wheat free spelt, as well as some killer sides like vegan potato salads, dolmas, quinoa and much more. I also had to throw a scrumptious slice of chocolate tofu cheesecake into my overloaded basket. Even my convenience food counterpart agreed it was convincingly yummy! I have to add that the service was impeccable and the staff incredibly sweet!

So yes, I was as happy as a kid at Chuck E Cheese in Flagstaff and when I return, I want to stop at these places I missed:

  • Amelia's Garden
  • Morning Glory
  • Mountain Oasis
  • New Jersey Pizza

All of which offer clear conscience cuisine for the omnivore and herbivore ; )

Friday, April 20, 2007

Get Your Kicks On Route 66!


Recently, my honey and I took a little excursion across the great southwest. We visited some great places during our loop around the Grand Canyon, some extremely healthy, some not so much. But the Healthy Voyager always makes do and always enjoys the journey! This week's highlight from our week long trip is Kingman, Arizona.

Kingman was our first stop on our way to the west rim of the Grand Canyon to check out the new SkyWalk (that's a whole different blog; ( ) . Kingman is a small town that offers up authentic old west landmarks along with the longest stretch of the original Route 66. During our short stint there, we made sure we stopped by the historic Hotel Brunswick and the White Cliff Wagon Trail Path.

The Brunswick was quite the step into the past as this 100 year old hotel still has the look and feel of how one would imagine it once did in its youth. Fully operational and renovated, the Brunswick boasts one of Kingman's finest restaurants and bars as well as, you guessed it, ghosts!! Don't be scared as I'm sure they won't affect your meal ; ) In fact, the Brunswick hosts weddings and banquets of all kinds and from what I saw, some pretty delicious sandwiches and salads. So maybe the "guests" might not feel so natural but the dining experience sure is. The Healthy Voyager suggests the Baby Spinach with Grilled Chicken Salad (the hotel proprietors have no problem accommodating their vegan guests either!)

After we popped in to the once booming brothel, we took a short drive over to the the White Cliff Wagon Trail Path. This trail leads you to pioneer tracks that over time have been preserved as deep grooves in the rock. It was incredible to see how they came through and the rough terrain these brave travelers endured to settle in the west. One of the neatest things I've ever seen, the wagon wheel tracks are an incredible piece of our nation's history.

For more information on Kingman tourism and the Hotel Brunswick, check out their websites ; )

Being that the town was on the smaller side, we ate at a Chili's and loaded up our cooler at a local grocery store. Chili's always has a something to offer those of us on special diets as you can order up some great salads as well as grilled veggies and chicken or seafood. The local market, Smith's, had a great produce department and a suprisingly good selection of veggie meats and snacks. I was extremely content!

So if you find yourself passing through or staying in Kingman, pop into any of the a fore mentioned spots and enjoy!!