Juice House In Rishikesh 

April 10, 2016 § Leave a comment


One of my favorite juice places in all of India has to be the popular Juice House in Ram Jhula, Rishikesh. The city is situated on the foothills of the Himalayas and along the Ganges river. It is a place of pilgrimage and a very holy and peaceful place.

The juice stall is a popular travellers’ hangout and is always full. Usually you need to squeeze into a shared booth and it can take 20 minutes to get served but it’s worth the wait. The mango lassi as featured above is full of mangos and has fresh pomegranates on top with shredded coconut $2. They have many fresh fruit and veggie juice combos along with smoothies including some which have avocado.

Their other popular menu item is their fruit salad and the one shown above is a replica that I made at home. I usually get the vegan version which comes with muesli, bananas, watermelon, papaya, mangos, pineapple, coconut, pomegranate, soy milk, date syrup and mint $2.80.

The date syrup was difficult to find so I decided to make my own. I soaked a cup of dates in warm water for a couple hours. Then I puréed the dates and water in a Vitamix blender. Squeezed out the date pulp and put the liquid into a saucepan and brought to a boil. I cooked the liquid until it thickened, allowed it to cool and poured it over the fruit. It was so heavenly that I ate it everyday for over a week.

 Sunset in Rishikesh

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Tibetan Kitchen – Vegetable Momo Soup

February 28, 2016 § Leave a comment

  

I am on holiday in south India in the state of Kerala which is known for its beautiful beaches. Varkala beach is situated on a cliff and 3 bodies of water merge there making the sea very tumultuous. At midday it gets unbearably hot and I retreat to the Tibetan Kitchen  on the cliff top to rest in the shade where there’s a full breeze. 

 

I usually get this Momo soup for lunch as its a light meal. It comes many veggies including carrots, spinach and celery in the soup and the broth is light and simple. The monos are handmade by the Nepali cooks and have shredded carrots, cabbage, ginger and garlic inside. Tibetan food has so much soul which is why I keep going back. 

Fire Creek Coffee – Sedona, Arizona

March 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

fire creek coffee

This local coffee shop features small batch on site roasted coffee that comes from small family farms. The coffee shop had a nice energy and I felt like I was at someone’s home. They had an open kitchen concept and could see into the baking area through a glass window. In the back corner, you can also see them roast their coffee.

I got a small americano and cinnamon streusel that tasted like a donut. I asked for the americano with less water than usual as I like them stronger. The americano was full and bold even though it was slightly watery for my palate. The muffin was very tasty and still warm inside. It was a really nice place to go for a coffee to start the day.

Fire Creek Coffee is located 6500 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ. Visit their site for their menu www.firecreekcoffee.com.

fire creek coffee

South Indian Comfort Food

December 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

idli chai puttu

The hugging saint “Amma” was visiting San Francisco from South India so I travelled to her ashram in San Ramon to attend her retreat. Amma is a humanitarian and has an international charity called Embracing the World that focuses on ending poverty by educating people in India and implementing creative solutions to change the world.

In India she has built universities, hospitals and orphanages to name a few. She gives out free meals and scholarships to those who would not be able to afford education. She has spoken many times at the UN and is an inspiration as she came from a small fishing village.

I enjoy being in her presence and so I took the opportunity to see her in California. I always look forward to the food as it is made with love and warms the soul. One morning when I entered the cafe, I was so happy to find some of my favourite south Indian breakfasts. The idlis tastes just like the ones in India and the sambar sauce complimented it perfectly.

I kind of pigged out and also got a scoop puttu which is made with ground rice and has savoury spices with veggies. I was so in heaven and I washed it all down with a cup of chai.

I had a great time at the retreat and the space for solitude and reflection was what I needed. Back at home I feel more connected and relaxed and eager to research recipes on South Indian breakfasts. If you would like to know more about Embracing the World, visit their website at www.embracingtheworld.org for more info on Amma, visit www.amma.org.

King of Thai Noodle House – San Francisco

December 5, 2013 § 2 Comments

thom kha soup

I spent a day sight seeing in San Francisco and my stomach suddenly roared for a nourishing meal. I was in Union Square surrounded by tourists and the sound of cable cars rolling up and down the hill near Market Street. I looked around and after a block or two, I caught a sign on a side street that advertised Thai food. They usually have vegetarian options so I walked in.

The 50 seat restaurant was nearly full and I was seated at a long bar facing the wall. The restaurant was not decorated and the purple walls showed beige where the paint had come off.

Within a minute of being seated, I was asked for my order. I had not looked at the menu long and noticed that the lady beside me was eating a nice soup. The waitress showed me the vegetarian soups and I ordered one with coconut milk and noodles.

The Tom Kha Tofu soup was so hot that I burnt my mouth on the first spoon. The flavour was sweet and sour with a delicious coconut flavour. The soup had mushrooms, asian greens, baby corn and tofu. It so delicious and I continued to take sips even though it was steaming. The noodles were broad and slippery and I eventually had to ask for a fork to get them in my mouth. The portion was massive and I ate almost all of the broth and left a pile of mushrooms behind.

For such a simple restaurant, the service was quick and friendly and the soup was outstanding. The King of Thai Noodle House in Union Square is located at 184 O’Farrell Street in San Francisco.

san francisco

Burma Superstar Restaurant San Francisco

December 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

tea leaf salad

Burma Superstar is a popular restaurant in San Francisco with multiple locations in the Bay area. My friends took me there for dinner and we ordered the tea leaf salad, a veggie noodle dish, and coconut rice with the okra tofu.

Burmese food is inspired by the various countries that it shares its borders with, that’s India, China, Laos and Thailand. The tea leaf salad was very lightly dressed with lemon juice and oil and had tea leaves that was imported from Burma. It was quite an usual flavour and the nuts and seeds balance the astringent quality of the tea.

burma superstar

The noodles were taught, the way that I like them, and the sauce went quite nicely and the broccoli. The curry was delicious and okra is one of my favourite asian vegetables. The coconut rice was a bit sweet and went nicely with the spiciness of the curry.

white sangriaTheir cocktail menu was impressive and I tried the white sangria that came with a lychee as a garnish. It was a refreshing and light drink which is what I wanted. Burma Superstar does not take reservations so arrive early. Visit their website for more information on their menu, locations and hours. www.burmasuperstar.com.

Chicago Diner – Meat Free Since ’83

December 4, 2013 § 2 Comments

chai

One of my favourite meals in Chicago was at the Chicago Diner. It is amazing restaurant that puts  a vegetarian twist on comfort foods and their menu includes seitan buffalo wings, a tofu “fish” filet and heavenly vegan desserts.  I think I starred at the menu for about 20 minutes as I could not decide what to order and everything sounded so good.

chicago diner

I decided on the vegan faux fish fillet as the one thing that I miss being vegetarian is fish and chips. The sandwich came on a very thin bun with tartar sauce and panko encrusted tofu. I ordered it with a side of kale but the other tempting option was waffle fries which I opted out of.

I cut the sandwich in half and took a bite. The crunchy panko tofu  with the vegan tartar sauce made a close impression to it’s original. It was a nice treat to eat a resemblance of fish after over 20 years of abstinence. The meal was very filling and I had half a sandwich leftover.

vegan dessert

My friend had saved room for dessert and I took a couple bites of this decadent vegan caramel crunch torte with vegan whipped cream. It was so rich and delicious, I enjoyed every bite.

The meal was so delicious and satisfying that I swore to go back there everyday for all of my meals. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it back and the next time that I visit Chicago it’s the first place that I will visit.

The service was great, food was amazing and the price was very fair. The Rishi chai was $3.50, golden fillet sandwich 10.99 and the dessert $5.99. The Chicago Diner has two locations one on Halsted Street and one in Logan Square. Visit their website for more info www.veggiedinercom.

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