Happy Chinese New Year! It's the year of the rabbit and this promises to be a year of gentle ease, prosperity and peace. During the new year celebrations, always make sure you get your share of lucky foods! The easiest way is to surround your home with tangerines & clementines. They symbolize luck & good fortune. And they can brighten up any decor- we've been keeping bowls of clementines around to cheer up the winter blahs & getting added yummy vitamin c as well. They are just the perfect dose of happy!
Another new year's tradition is getting the hong bao, which are red envelopes with money inside, given by older relatives- kids really make out like bandits here....
There are lots of lucky foods to eat. Since my family's new years's celebration was delayed, we had a quiet dinner at home with noodles (longevity), shitake (seizing opportunities), pumpkin (abundance, prosperity) & greens (close family ties).
We made sure to have mochi red bean cake for dessert- sweets & rice cake (safety, good fortune, sweeten the year).
For Chinese New Year, we don't really make resolutions- just celebration, but because I'm also American- I saw it as another chance to incorporate new changes...like giving up coffee. Coffee is super acidic to the system (I've been reading Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet & loving it!) which is not a good thing. We should strive for a more alkaline diet. So when I heard about Teeccino, an herbal coffee alternative, I had to try it. Chicory, dates, almonds, figs, barley and other yummy things....I got Teecino Hazelnut & I absolutely love it. It brews just like coffee, now don't expect it to taste like coffee because it doesn't, but I really enjoy it and it's good for you- the chicory contains inulin which is a prebiotic that helps to supports probiotics & healthy digestive system .
We also got a Vitamix- it's like the Cadillac of blenders. I love it & it's a wonderful way to get a ton of raw greens in via monster green smoothies. Blends everything super smooth in a minute or less- here's a whole thing of organic kale, organic frozen peaches, coconut meat & 2 dates (one of which I forgot to pit, but wasn't a problem for super blender!)- I was really concerned with the noise level but I've gotten used to it & the most importantly, the cats don't mind at all!
Yes, all these green smoothies & no coffee thing doesn't mean no to fun nights out- my friend, Elizabeth invited me to a book signing & reception for Jane Velez-Mitchell's Addiction Nation at fancy schmancy, A Voce at the Time Warner Center. Alas, the party was way overpacked & over booked- we stayed for a glass of champagne & had to go in search of some grub. We decided on V-Note. I had been here once before & wasn't completely impressed, but wanted to give it another shot. Bottom-line: it was decent vegan food, but am not rushing back here anytime soon with so many other options in NYC.
Here's the ceasar salad with soy chicken- the ceasar was yummy, the soy chicken not so much...
Elizabeth's "not crab" cakes were good- but it was really all about the sauce- (here we are trying to get a shot of her fabulous swarovski ring, but flash wasn't working out so well)
And this hideous monstrosity- was actually not bad. This dish really need to be worked on presentation wise, it came as giant piece of ravioli with globs of sauce covering the whole dish until I cut into it. This was a mushroom, lentil, walnut ravioli with cashew cream, spinach, capers. The pasta was too doughy & the inside of the ravioli wasn't really flavorful, but if you had a bite with the cream spinach & caper- then it was good. But honestly, this dish looks like crap.
Here's the chocolate ganache- which I thought would have some cake to it, but really more like a chocolate, peanut butter fudge with a scoop of vanilla vegan ice cream.
My tofu cheesecake was okay, the texture a little smoother than I prefer and the flavor was okay, but wouldn't cry if I couldn't have it ever again...
The setting at V-Note is nice but honestly, the food is just okay. The good thing was that they were fully booked for Friday night, but I really wish they would get their act together since they are part of Blossom & totally capable of serving amazing vegan food. Am sure they get plenty of omnis being on the Upper East Side, they have a great opportunity to show how delicious vegan food can be, please V-Note, get it together!
Wishing you all a very happy, healthy, peace-filled & prosperous Year of the Rabbit and another year closer to a more compassionate world for all sentient beings.