New York City is such a vibrant happening place that you can’t help but feel great when you step off the plane into this exciting whirlwind of life going on. When I visited back in January I knew that finding terrific healthy food would be mandatory to maintain my energy with an alkaline diet while traveling and with the incredible offerings in NYC I had no doubt I would find what I craved. I intentionally stayed close to two perfect businesses that offered exactly ‘what the doc ordered’! Doing so saved me hauling my juicer (which I’ve been know to drag on airplanes explaining to x-ray technicians what the hey was in my carry on) since I could easily pick up my fresh morning juice and/or smoothie along with an array of raw breakfast nibblies. Can I tell you… I was in heaven, floating on a cloud, with a rainbow over my head! And for dinner, let me tell you… I was seen at the restaurant more than once–eek, 3x’s in only 4 days!! Have you done this before? …been traveling and your restaurant meal was so friggin’ good, you don’t know when or if you’ll ever return so you have it again, and maybe again? Uh Huh… I know it’s crazy when you are overcome like this, it happens, but guess what? This time I was dining on the healthiest food on the planet, no kidding! No guilt from an indulgent, gourmet meal eaten far too many times! Wanna know where I was? Read on and I’ll share my favourite spots.
I’ve been a bit of a fanatic with books since I chose an alkaline lifestyle 2 1/2 years ago and friends know this, so they also contribute to my ever growing library of books on health and raw, vegan or vegetarian cook books. Two of my favourite books are authored by Sarma Melngailis, Raw Food Real World & Living Raw Food and I often pour over the gorgeous healthy food and recipes for inspiration or as a reminder of how tasty and fabulous healthy food can be. I’ve also bought many a book that has few or none photos but it’s the designer in me that is sooo attracted to aesthetics that makes me fall for gorgeous books. And wouldn’t you know, Sarma also owns two amazing places to find this yummy food in NYC where I was headed. So naturally I thought, while I’m there, I should help spread the word about my favourite places to eat. All I had to do was ask Sarma for an interview and she so kindly obliged! and we had lunch! at her restaurant called Pure Food and Wine and that was after I’d already had my juice at her adjacent One Lucky Duck juice bar. Sooooo glad my hotel was near cuz it was faaahreeeezing outside-we had had threats of another record December snow storm over the city that thank goodness hardly materialized or I’d have been stuck for a few extra days-but at least I know I would have eaten well! (how can you tell I’m a fair weather Pacific Northwest gal!)
Today I have a recipe to share with you created by Sarma from her Living Raw Book that I tinkered with a bit. And…. you will get a chance to know Sarma a little better and her story from Wall Street to Raw Food Restauranteur & Author.
I’ll start with the tasty recipe and you can scroll down anytime for our chat over lunch.
Sesame Mixed Vegetable Noodles
I chose to tweek the recipe a wee bit cuz I typically don’t eat miso (fermented soy beans) because they are fermented. Dr. Young, author of the pH Miracle suggests that yeast, fungus and mold are the roots of disease so when ever possible I choose not to eat them. It means that now and again I can still enjoy a glass of white wine that too is fermented but THAT can be my zigging and zagging! I substituted braggs liquid aminos (not fermented or heated and Gluten-Free) and some toasted sesame oil (I know it’s not raw but it’s optional). I also used a couple different veggies and added a wee bit of slivered mango.
Go easy with combining sweet fruits and veggies as small amounts will not really disrupt your digestion but if you over do it, you’ll pay for a poor food combination. Fruits digest quicker than any other food, veggies being 2nd fastest so it’s tricky for your system to handle over doses of unmatched foods.
Sarma suggests that you can really get creative with this recipe and use what you can find that looks fresh and local at the market as the sauce pairs nicely with most any veggies. The tasty dressing keeps well so any extra is ready for a quick meal with the simplest being just a pile of zucchini noodles.
When I arrived at Pure Food and Wine I was greeted by the friendly staff and seated at a Sarma’s favourite table. Outside it was verrry chilly but inside the restaurant, warm reds, deep browns and twinkling candles instantly made me feel welcome and cozy. Only moments later Sarma arrived, looking fresh, vibrant and excited to meet me. After peeking at the extensive menu we both decided on a salad, an eeeenormous bowl of greens upon greens that was just delicious, topped with raw cracker croutons. But somehow I wondered if I should have blended my greens as it was tricky chewing those tasty greens AND talking up a storm! But I got thru it and was thoroughly energized by both the salad and Sarma’s energy as she shared the answers to my curiosities that I hope you will also find intriguing and enjoyable to read. So here we go!
How did you wind up choosing such a healthy raw food lifestyle?
If you had to explain the raw food lifestyle to someone who had never heard of it how would you define it?
Why do you continue to maintain a raw food diet?
Is raw food a new trend or is this something that has been around for a while?
Did you gradually go raw or was it cold turkey?
How committed are you to your lifestyle? Do you eat 100% raw?
Do you take supplements?
Can you share your top 3 or 4 health benefits of a raw diet?
How did the businesses begin & what’s your role?
Can you name a few of your favourite raw meals?
Do you cook at home much when you could easily eat at work?
Is there anything that you would do differently if you could turn the clocks back a little?
What’s your favourite thing about owning your own restaurant?
Can you tell us a little about writing your cookbooks-did you enjoy the process?
What would you say is the most rewarding part of your business, sharing your passion?
So there you have it, a nice chat with a super gal that is making a difference in peoples lives by inspiring healthy food offerings, either elegantly prepared for you or recipes that you can make in your own kitchen. It was an absolute pleasure meeting Sarma and working with her on this post. I look forward to another occasion to be in New York so I can dine on her delicious food. Thank you Sarma! And if you made it to the bottom of this lengthy post, I thank you for hanging in there:)
I’m headed off to an exciting Food Blog Forum in Orlando, Florida this weekend (sooo excited to be inspired by some incredible bloggers and meet fellow blogging students). Then I am off to London, England, to meet Holly Becker of Decor8 and join in the celebration of her first Book Launch at Liberty of London for her very first book, Decorate. Can’t wait to get my signed copy of her book and peek inside at the gorgeous inspiration she has gathered from all around the world. But don’t worry… I’ll have a post or two for you to read while I’m away!
Hope the sun shines on you and that spring really truly arrives while I’m gone! (it’s been in hiding for some time now in our neck of the woods)
psst. If you are game to read just a little more Durango Mom did and interview with me just on Monday! You can get the scoop on me now!
bowl & glass with buildings, checker edged plate, all from Fishs Eddy , NYC
fabric and cutlery from my own collection