My Nantucket n’ JetBlue Foodie Experience

Last month, I visited the fabulous spot of Nantucket, home to the best seafood and adorable cottages.  But, aside from my actual mini-vacation, I must tell you about my JFK Airport Jet Blue Terminal experience…it nearly blew me away.  Ya see, as a gluten and dairy intolerant gal, I cannot travel anywhere without ‘food’ on me for those ‘just in case’ moments when everywhere you turn, there is gluten and dairy…and I surely can’t live off of iceberg lettuce, so I opt to carry snacks, food and major meals on me at all times…yes, even on my way to work in the mornings, hehe…I’m a silly one, but it sure works.


Anyway, I arrived at the Jet Blue terminal at JFK Airport and was SHOCKED to see normal food; Fage, Boar’s Head, Odwalla, Luna Bars and a huge, fresh, beautiful salad bar that honestly looked identical to a Whole Foods Market salad bar…I seriously thought I was seeing things…I could hardly believe my eyes…it was honestly, AMAZING.  So, what did I do?


What any other foodie would do..I snapped some photos and had a party by myself in the Jet Blue cafe, hehe…

A delicious salad bar..

Dylan’s Candy Bar…great dark chocolate…

Fage yogurts…Stonyfield yogurts…amazing juices…

Fresh Fruit…and it really was fresh, no bruises or bumps…pure delicious fruit.

So, the moral of my lil Jet Blue- Nantucket getaway: Even if you suffer from food allergies or food intolerances, more and more airports, food stores and restaurants are catering to us (the odd balls)…

How exciting is this? Now, the next time I travel to JFK to the JetBlue terminal, I don’t have to cart a bag of my food through security, I can simply stroll on up and order myself a delicious, nutritious, gluten-free, dairy-free meal that actually tastes good n’ fresh!

Isn’t this great news? Have you ever been to the JFK JetBlue terminal to see this fabulous food assortment?  Do you bring snacks and food with you when you travel?

And…speaking of ‘Travelin’ …

I’m heading down to Atlanta for the Atlanta Gluten Free Vendor Fair on behalf of Rudi’s Organic…I’ll be hosting the Rudi’s Organic booth so come on by and say hello for a gluten-free Rudi’s treat!

Enjoy your weekend!

In The News This Week…

Top 10 Snack Trends

Grocery Shoppers Stick To Their Lists

Whole Foods Market Posts Seafood Environmental Ratings

Teaching Doctors About Nutrition

Gluten-Free Gone Big Time

Carrot Vending Machines

Mark Bittman’s New Foodie Book

Kraft Launches Greek Yogurt

Going Vegan

Haru Sushi Tasting

I recently had the pleasure of dining at my favorite sushi restaurant, Haru, where I dine at least twice a week.  Haru is the most amazing Japanese restaurant…they have numerous locations in Manhattan, as well as locations in Boston and Philadelphia.

I started off with my usual basket of freshly steamed veggies.  The bamboo basket arrived full of carrots, broccoli, bok choy and eggplant.  It was the perfect way to start off my meal.

For my main course, I ordered 4 Sushi Rolls: 2 Yellowtail, 1 White Tuna and 1 Super White Tuna.

Incredible is honestly an understatement; these rolls were unbeatable.

Haru does such a beautiful job with their presentation; both of my platters were delicately arranged with daikon radish shavings, carrot and cucumber.  Of course, I pretty much licked the plates clean.

Above is the Haru Spider Monkey roll, one of the most popular rolls over at Haru, which consists of soft shell crab tempura, king crab and eel topped with yuzu tobiko and served with ponzu sauce.  Can we say ‘Yum?’

The fish at Haru is always incredibly fresh and perfectly chilled, which makes me happy because when I want sushi…I want flavor and chilled fish…  Haru is my go-to Sushi spot as all of my family and friends know by now … I am always more than satisfied with my service and my meal.

So, what makes Haru stand out from every other Japanese and Sushi restaurant? It’s impeccable taste, service and dedication to providing its customers with the best, every time.

This is the fabulous Red Hot Mama Roll…let’s just say I was pretty much speechless..

The taste? Exceptional…The presentation? Simply Elegant.

Being both Gluten and Dairy intolerant, eating out can be a challenge for me and for many individuals like myself.  Haru makes it easy to order and is always aware and cautious of their customer’s needs and allergies.


So, now I’m hungry…and honestly, off to Haru again tnite for some delicious, fresh gluten-free, dairy-free dinner!

Have you ever been to Haru? If so, what did you think? Are you a sushi fan?

‘Taste of The Nation’ Manhattan

Thanks to POM Wonderful, I attended last nights Share our Strength‘s Taste of the Nation event here in Manhattan. The evening was a tasting from 50 of the best NYC restaurants serving everything from swanky cocktails and pork belly to red velvet Belgium waffles and a vast array of wines.


Our VIP Tickets were unbelievable; I arrived at 7 PM sharp and started the maze through beautifully decorated tables filled with flowers, decorations and of course, delicious samplings of food and spirits.


My date was my beautiful, Aunt Valerie whom I had a fabulous time with. ..we nibbled and sipped our way through the evening and received beautiful gift bags filled with fun foodie trinkets and treats.

I stumbled across some of my favorite Manhattan dining hot spots such as Eleven Madison Park, Rouge Tomate andGramercy Tavern.

How adorable are these cute little shrimp skewers wrapped in spinach?

And the NYC Pretzels…

These adorable Chinese noodles…

And of course, mini cupcakes for dessert…

Thank you, again to POM Wonderful for these amazing VIP Taste of the Nation tickets…I had a wonderful evening.

Are you attending the Taste of the Nation in your city?

Northern Spy Food Co. Restaurant and Market, NYC

I recently had the pleasure to sit down with Christophe, one of the proud (and incredibly talented) owners of Northern Spy Food Co. here in Manhattan.


  • How did you come up with the idea for Northern Spy Food Co.?

While in my first semester of graduate school at NYU, I decided that I wanted to work on opening a small, local/sustainable focused restaurant and prepared foods store in which I would operate as the business and operations manager rather than chef. I set about finding partners who would fill the chef and front-of-house roles. 18 months later, here we are.

  • Tell me about your typical day at Northern Spy Food Co.

Bookkeeping (entering sales, bills, payroll, looking at bottom line), trouble-shooting service and space issues, fixing a couple of things that are broken, discussing the menu with Nathan (chef), managing staff issues, and long-range planning.

  • What is your favorite menu item at Northern Spy Food Co.?

The poached squid with mussels, navy beans, cabbage, and vegetables. It’s Nathan version of a kind of Italian cooking style that I love. Tastes deliciously of the ocean, has a variety of textures and flavors, is very nutritious, totally satisfying.

  • What is your favorite meal to cook?

If you mean which meal of the day, by far it’s dinner. If you mean a specific dish, these days I tend to make lots of layered soups with some kind of greens, some kind of legume, and a little bit of meat or poultry. Finished typically with a great big gob of olive oil and a mound of grated reggiano. I usually cook in quantities sufficient to last several days.

  • What is your favorite New York City restaurant?

I actually eat out irregularly since I’m at Northern Spy so much. When I do, I try to step out beyond the usual comfort zone to expose myself to new flavors. I love Sri Pra Phai in Queens, Tanoreen in Bay Ridge, and Zenkichi in Williamsburg. You can have truly revelatory experiences at all of those places.

  • What is one kitchen tool that you couldn’t live without?

My Japanese vegetable knife. It’s what everyone should own instead of the over-priced, underwhelming “santuko” knives that every company hawks. It has a very slim blade, sharpens easily in seconds with a steel, cuts vegetables like a laser, cost me $35, and has lasted 8 years so far.

  • How would you describe your cooking technique?

Methodical and ad-hoc at the same time. I have certain practices that I always use for certain ingredients (soaking beans and grains, blanching greens, etc.) but at the same time it’s pretty loosey-goosey in my kitchen. Better actually that Nathan’s the chef over here.

  • What do you see in the future for Northern Spy Food Co.?

Success and sustainability at the current location is the first, most important goal. After that, developing the brand further in a second location, perhaps in Brooklyn, either continuing the current format or opening something more like the original prepared food and catering idea, or maybe just a small lunch counter, who knows…

  • Describe your kitchen at home.

Extremely spacious for a city apartment. I have loads of counter and storage space, obscene amounts, really. It’s a joy to work in.

  • Do you consider yourself to be more of a cook or a baker at home?

I’m more of a cook although I really love baking and am pretty good at it. I occasionally make my own bread, and mess around with cookies, cakes, quiches, etc. when I have time.

  • What is your best kitchen advice?

For the home cook: buy a few truly essential cookbooks to cover the basics (all-time best lists abound on the net) and ignore the rest, you’ll almost never use them. Next, buy a scale that works in ounces and grams, it’s the only professional way to bake. Last, invest in the aforementioned Japanese knife, two basic all-clad pans, and some other essentials (colander, strainer, peeler, etc.) and you’re off to the races.

For the restaurant cook: skip culinary school and just go learn from a series of mentors in restaurant kitchens. School is fine for learning, but relative to the real-world pay-scale for cooks, I don’t think that it’s worth the expense. In fact, there’s an argument for it being quite a racket that preys on kids who aren’t college-bound, leaving them heavily in debt and not especially skilled.

  • What inspires your menu and market at Northern Spy Food Co.?

The menu is definitely Nathan’s so I can’t speak too much for him. Basically, we are guided by seasons and locale, and some sense of sustainability in the choices we make. Therefore we have lots of grains, vegetables, meat from smaller animals (chicken, pork), legumes, eggs, and sustainable seafood. The market is really just focused on featuring the great artisanal foods being produced in Brooklyn and the greater Northeastern region. The local food movement in this area is filled with incredibly creative and skilled entrepreneurs, and we’re trying to provide an outlet for their work.  So you’ll see a lot of the same products in our store as you’ll find at the Brooklyn Flea.

  • Did you always have a passion for food growing up as a child and throughout your adolescence?

I was actually a pretty picky eater until my adolescence, then something switched and I started getting into exotic flavors, lots of Asian things. My passion for food really developed after three seasons working on an organic vegetable farm. That was the real beginning for me.

  • What is always in your pantry?

Olive oil, nuts, grains and legumes of all sorts, eggs, reggiano, anchovies, garlic, and the full complement of spices. With those on hand I can buy five ingredients at the greenmarket or local Key Foods and build a feast.

  • Desert island cookbook?

Considering that I’m on a desert island, I’d probably hope to have something on hand about foraging wild plants and catching fish. I can’t think of any cookbook on my shelf that would be more useful than that. I’ve always imagined myself going through a survivalist hunter/gatherer phase, so this would be the perfect opportunity.

Thank you, Northern Spy Food Co. for a wonderful (and delicious) interview.

Punjabi Spiced Organic-Farmed Scottish Salmon


In Honor of Tartan Day on April the 6th…

I am excited to post this delicious salmon recipe from Tony Singh, Chef and Owner of Oloroso and Tony’s Table in Scotland.
Tony is one of Scotland’s leading culinary entrepreneurs changing the perception of Scottish cuisine from porridge and Haggis to fresh, innovative foods prepared to perfection. An Edinburgh native, Tony Singh has established himself as a leading force on the Scottish restaurant scene as co-founder and head chef of Oloroso – a celebrated city restaurant devoted to first-class food and wine in the heart of Scotland’s dynamic capital city.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Chopped Tinned Tomatoes
  • 4 6oz Salmon Fillets
  • 1 1/4 cup Diced Leeks
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 Chillies, finely chopped
  • 5 tbsp. Ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Carom Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp. Salt

Tomato Garnish


  • 2 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup Red Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Yellow Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Thyme
  • 2  Bay Leaves
  • 1/4 cup  Tarragon left whole
  • 6 tbsp. Olive oil
  • Sugar to taste


Serve with Basmati rice

Method

  • For the Punjabi-Spiced Scottish Salmon, first set aside carom and leeks. Place all the other ingredients into a bowl and marinate the Scottish Salmon in this (over night is good but 2 hours is fine).
  • Deep fry diced leeks in a fryer at 320 degrees; season with salt and put aside.
  • For the tomato garnish, rub olive oil on an ovenproof tray then sprinkle with salt, pepper, sugar and chopped garlic. Place the tomatoes and then the herbs, and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar. Cook in low oven for 1 to 2 hours until tomatoes are warm.
  • To cook the salmon, heat oil (about 1 tbsp) in a pan until it smokes then remove from heat and cool for 1 minute.
  • Add carom to flavor oil, let this cool for 1 minute, then pan fry salmon in this oil with all the marinade until just under cooked.

Place on warm plates, each with a portion of Basmati rice in the middle with the tomatoes around the outside of the rice, the fish on top of that. Then pile up some deep fried leeks on top and spoon round the marinade from the pan.

And now for my lucky NuNaturals Stevia Giveaway Winners…
Congrats to:

Melinda, Jessie, Yasmin and Heather

Enjoy your NuNaturals Stevia, ladies! Be sure to let me know what tasty treats you make with the stevia!


Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery, NYC and My Secret Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

I recently had the pleasure to sit down with Tully, the proud owner of the fabulous Tu-Lu’s Bakery here in Manhattan.  Like me, Tully is gluten-intolerant, as well.  Tully graduated from Le Courdon Bleu school in Texas and enjoys creating her own mix of gluten free baked goods. I love Tully’s treats because she offers a vast array of gluten-free and vegan treats that are incredibly tasty.

Me and Tully at Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery, NYC

How did you come up with the idea for Tu-Lu’s Bakery?

I had been cooking professionally for about 4 years at catering companies in NYC. I left my job and enrolled in NYU’s Food Studies masters program. While taking a food entrepreneur class, I came up with my business plan to start a wholesale gluten-free company. After being 3 months in business, I quickly decided that I wanted to open a retail shop to sell my baked goods fresh and be able to interact with my customers.

Tell me about your typical day at Tu-Lu’s Bakery.

I think people have the misconception that my day is spent in the bakery. I actually spend most of my time in the office! Placing orders, emailing, dealing with payroll, paying bills, etc. take up most of my time. The best moments are playing with new recipes and talking to customers.

What is your favorite gluten-free dessert?

A Chocolate soufflé.

What is your favorite gluten-free meal to cook?

Parmesan polenta with roasted chicken and oyster mushrooms.

What is your favorite New York City restaurant?

It’s so hard to choose one! From fancy to casual, my picks are Eleven Madison Park, Little Owl, and Caracas Arepa Bar.

What is one kitchen tool that you couldn’t live without?

A microplane.

What do you see in the future for Tu-Lu’s Bakery?

I would love to expand the online ordering to include many of our other treats and perhaps cupcakes.

Describe your kitchen at home.

TINY! It’s crammed with all sort of cooking ingredients and gadgets. I’m thankful I have a dishwasher though.

Even though you are a famous baker, do you consider yourself to be more of a cook or a baker at home?

Well…I wouldn’t call myself famous! I am definitely a cook. I did not go to culinary school to specialize in pastry, but when I went gluten-free all I wanted was baked goods. That’s how it all started.

What is your best kitchen advice?

Prep all your ingredients (chopping, grating, etc.) before you being so you complete the recipe quickly and correctly.

What inspires your baking?

I try to think of what people miss eating the most. We just came up with a delicious peppermint chocolate cookie that resemble another cookie whose name I won’t mention. I hope that people will be thrilled to find treats in my bakery that they used to love!

Did you always have a passion for food growing up as a child and throughout your adolescence?

Growing up I loved being in the kitchen with my mom and taking cooking lessons. I’ve always read cookbooks like novels.

What is always in your pantry?

Olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, agave, sliced almonds, dried cherries, polenta, brown rice pasta…and so much more. Remember? I have a small kitchen that is about to burst!

Desert island cookbook?

Any of the Barefoot Contessa books. I love the simplicity of her cooking.


The next time you find yourself in the East Village of Manhattan, stop into Tu-Lu’s Bakery and taste Tully’s delicious baked goods…my favorite are the chocolate chip cookies and dark chocolate brownies..they’re quite delish and by far the best freshly baked gluten-free treats I’ve come across here in Manhattan.

And, to go along with the ‘Gluten-Free Bakery’ theme of today’s post, I thought I’d share my secret Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookie recipe with all of you…Enjoy!

The Healthy Apple’s Secret Gluten Free Peanut Butter Nibbles

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp. ground flax seeds
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Optional: Pinch of Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. organic smooth peanut butter

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat egg, sugar, baking soda, almond extract, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon on medium-low speed with an electric mixer.
  • Slowly add in peanut butter.
  • Spoon teaspoon sized amounts onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack for cooling.
  • Enjoy!

Organic Avenue Event Review: Raw Food Demo


Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a raw food prep demo, lecture and book signing with Rod Rotondi, raw food chef, thought leader, and entrepreneur.  This event took place downtown at Organic Avenue’s, The Space of Love on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Organic Avenue serves a delicious live organic vegan experience through an assortment of fresh juices, smoothies, salads, soups, dips, entrees and salads.

Rod is a world traveler, culinary eclectic, and founder of Leaf Organics, along with social activism and award-winning cuisine he is working to, “change the world one bite at a time.”  His signature cuisine wows celebrities, like Woody Harrelson, Mariel Hemingway and Jenny McCarthy, who frequent his Los Angeles Leaf Organics restaurants.


Rod presented topics such as, “how to make a salad into a meal,” and how to transition to a healthier diet that can work in today’s hectic lifestyle. He demonstrated the incremental steps to develop a healthier relationship with food and deliver his promise to keep it simple and easy; after all he is known for making Raw Food for Real People.

Thank you to Organic Avenue for this educational and inspiring evening at the beautiful Space of Love location. For those of you who are not familiar with Organic Avenue, it surely is worth the trip to their locations in Manhattan, as well as their website.  The juices, salads, soups, chocolate, smoothies, dips, entrees and ‘mylks’ looked delish and I am surely going to return soon to taste each of these beautifully crafted raw meals.

I truly enjoyed listening to Ray’s approach to eating raw and learned a few pointers, myself.  Although I personally could not thrive on a raw food diet, many people have found success with this style of eating. I must admit, I love my cooked foods as much as my raw, and could never pass up a warm buckwheat noodle soup with sauteed vegetables and tofu as I had this evening.  I do, however, love my vegetables and I enjoy eating kale, collards, Swiss Chard, snap peas, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, daikon radish, nuts and seeds in their raw form.

How about you? Have you ever tried eating raw?  How did you feel?