00 (Double Zero)

A friend from the 4th Street Food Coop kept begging me to go to this restaurant right at the corner of E 4th Street, 00 (double zero). 00 does vegan and has option of gluten free pizza dough which is still hard to find. My friend is a foodie and a very good cook. So, I trusted him and finally I went taking 4 friends with me. The result is a mix bag. As you can see above, dishes look fantastic and staff were friendly and helpful. We ordered 3 gluten-free pizza, zucchini lasagna, tiramisu, and cheese cake accompanied by a bottle of white wine. Sadly we all agreed that the wine was most memorable among them all. I liked eggplant pizza best. Zucchini lasagna was nice and refreshing. Tiramisu was good, but it should not called tiramisu, cacao layered cake might be more appropriate. I know all vegan tiramisu get tough scrutiny due to the expectation of richness, sweetness and smoothness coming from the tiramisu cream made with real mascarpone.  Cacao layered cake might not be an exciting title, but if I knew that was what I ordered, I wouldn’t be disappointed. Cheesecake was not cream cheesy enough either. It should have been called almond coconut cream cake or something. The price tag was rather high, too. $40+/person and we all left the restaurant thinking about what else to eat for the night when we get home. It is a cute nice place, but my purse cannot allow me to go back there anytime soon. I was looking for a place where I can go every week.

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2017 New Year’s Meal

2017nymealHappy New Year dear vegan community!!

I haven’t posted anything since my birthday in September. I’ve been busy cooking and baking for the last 5 months. In fact, I was so busy cooking and baking, and learning restaurant business, that I couldn’t find any moment to post until now. This is an abbreviated version of a traditional Japanese first New Year’s meal. I had this at noon on the New Year’s Day, yet it was the first meal of 2017. I love love Japanese black beans simmered with tamari and sugar. They are so good and sweet. They are my favorite dessert.

Toasted rice cake in miso soup with lotus root, carrot, Japanese sweet potato, shimeji mushrooms and scallions
Quick pickled lotus root and carrots
Japanese black beans simmered with tamari and sugar

 

Green Peas with Romaine Lettuce and Mint

Greenpeas

I love sweetness of fresh green peas. They seem to be too good to be pureed to become a soup. This is a quick green side dish. I saw the recipe accompanying pork chop and mushed potato on the New York Times long long time ago.  For here, of course, the recipe is modified to be vegan. I also added mushrooms for more flavor, but they are optional. This is very good.

Ingredients (makes enough side dish for 4-5 people):
1 lb shelled green peas (fresh or frozen)
1/2 head romaine lettuce
1/4 cup packed thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup  thinly sliced mushrooms (any kind, optional)
1 Tbs  earth balance
1/2-1  tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 cup vegetable broth or water

Instruction:

  1. Thaw green peas if you are using frozen. This is not necessary, but helps to shorten the cooking time. Chop romaine lettuce in 1/2″ strip. Thinly slice mushrooms. Chop yellow onion. Thinly slice mint leaves.
  2. Heat a large skillet/frying pan medium hi. Melt earth balance.
  3. Sautée onion and mushroom for 5 minutes or until they become tender.
  4. Add green peas, mint, romaine, thyme, salt and pepper. Sautée until romaine welts for about 1 minute.
  5. Pour vegetable broth or water. Let it simmer for 2 minutes or until everything becomes soft.

Millet with Roasted Broccoli

Millet-Broccoli

My first trial to cook and eat millet as millet. I always used millet as an ingredient for my gluten free flour mix, but never as millet by itself. Millet makes gluten flour more grainy and crumbly, so that I was little suspicious to eat millet as millet. This recipe adapted from Thug Kitchen Cook Book that I received as a birthday gift, is a mind changer. Every sentence in this book has fxxk in it, which is tiresome to read, but many recipes are good. Who would have thought a peasant grain, millet, can be this tasty.

Ingredients: 
1 cup millet
2 cups water
1 head broccoli
1 tsp olive oil
a pinch of salt
1 cup or more Roasted Carrot Garlic Dressing (recipe is on my blog)

  1. Roast broccoli. Cut up florets small, about 3/4″. Peel the tough skins of the stem. Cut up the peeled stem 1/2″ cubes. Toss with 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread out on a baking sheet. Roast at 375 ºF for 15-20 minutes until they become slightly charred.
  2. Cook millet. Put millet in a medium sauce pan, and put it on medium heat. Stir it around for 2 minutes until it becomes fragrant. Add 2 cups water. Heat it up until it boils. Reduce the heat to simmer. Cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 15minutes. Turn off the heat and leave it for 10 minutes.
  3. Assemble. Put roasted broccoli and cooked millet in a big bowl, pour roasted carrot garlic dressing and mix. Add more dressing, if you desire. Yum!

Red Velvet Smoothie (a.k.a. Beet Smoothie)

BeetSmoothieI never liked beet in smoothies although I love beets. After a few trials of errors, I settled on this concoction. A velvety smooth, rich reddish purple drink for breakfast. The key was to use cooked beets.

Ingredients: 
1 medium red beet (I cooked whole beets with skins in a pressure cooker for 8 minutes)
2 cups packed kale leaves
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
3/4 cup apple cider
1 Tbsp grated ginger
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Put everything in a vita mix, and blend until smooth.