Review: Sacred Chow Vegan Brunch (New York)

We’re back in New York (from our Miami trip)! More on that later though. The other day Bobby and I ended up going Sacred Chow, a vegan restaurant downtown.

Sacred Chow is organic, fair trade, sustainable, kosher, and vegan. And relatively inexpensive for what it offers. I cannot wait to go back. It’s located near NYU on Sullivan Street (between West 3rd and Bleecker). It’s right near Quantum Leap, Peanut Butter & Co., and probably a bunch of other cool places.

I was a salad girl and got the Tapa Salad ($12), which is their standard humongous salad (seasonal greens, shredded beets, shredded carrots, cucumbers) and a choice of any tapas dish. I got the honey mustard dressing, but it was just okay. I didn’t use much and instead used the dip that came with my side dish.

For my tapas side I chose the sauteed shiitake mushrooms, which were tender, juicy, and meaty. They came with a wonderful gluten-free South Indian Dip. I used all of it (for dipping and for my salad). So good.

Bobby got the Breakfast Sandwich ($12.75), which is a soy biscuit filled with tofu scramble (which spills out – there is so much) and tempeh bacon (actually yummy, even though I normally hate tempeh). It came with the largest side salad I have ever seen. The salad was a smaller version of mine.

Sure enough, after finishing (!) this, Bobby says, “Wow, I’m full.” Yes sweetie, that is what happens when you eat a salad. They honestly are filling. And not in that unpleasant too-many-carbs-filling way; salads fill you up in a comforting veggie-full way.

The scramble was the best scramble either of us had ever had, so we will definitely be going back. We also couldn’t get enough of my mushrooms. Next time I think we’ll get a few tapas (grilled western tofu, bbq seitan, root vegetable latkes, marinated raw kale) or maybe go for some of the other brunch selections (biscuits and gravy, omega-3 waffle).

Useful links:

Unfortunately we are currently laid up with the flu, so we are missing my coworker’s wedding. I’m getting better, but Bobby is now hitting the worst of it and is probably contagious. I’m sure it’ll be a beautiful wedding and they are so sweet. They’re honeymooning in Hawaii (just like us).

What’s your favorite vacation spot?

Phone blogging! Review: Wai Cafe by Union Square

I am blogging from the tarmac at JFK right now. I took blackberry pictures of our meal the other night so now is the perfect time to review Wai Cafe, a cute little restaurant a few blocks away from Union Square (East Village, 1st Ave between 12th and 13th). Wai Cafe is cheap, healthy-eater friendly, and very cute.

I ordered a cobb salad (hold the blue cheese) with a delicious carrot dressing. It had all the usual suspects (egg, chicken, turkey bacon, half of an avocado, tomatoes) and was honestly the best cobb salad that I can remember having. It was around $7 (the lunch one is even less – around $4) which is shockingly cheap for New York. Fresh and satisfying.

Before the salad Bobby and I split gazpacho (a favorite – we almost always order it to share when it’s on a menu). I think this was $3. It wasn’t the most gourmet gazpacho I’ve had, but it certainly was worth $3! It was smooth but still had lots of yummy chunks.

I forget what Bobby got – something with chicken, rice, and vegetables – but I do remember being impressed that it came with brown rice and lots of veggies. He says it was Lemon Chicken (just looked over my shoulder) and that it was good. It also came with a salad and a glass of wine for a dollar.

We’ll definitely be back. Can’t wait to try more of their healthy options! I may have to get that Cobb Salad again though – it was just that good.

Do you order the same thing when you go out? Or do you switch things up?

Experiment: My IBS Management Plan

This title sounds like the title to some kind of report I might write for work. Or school. I hope it goes as well as some of my papers did for school 😉 I used to do fairly decently in my classes.

The problem: I’ve been eating well recently (meaning not much late-night eating, minimal overeating, not too many salads, etc…), but my stomach is really bothering me. It’s been worse than usual ever since I moved to New York back in November. I was diagnosed with IBS ages ago, but never took it seriously – so I’m doing some research.

The solution: use diet to treat and manage my IBS. I’m reading Heather Van Vorous’s book, The First Year: Irritable Bowel Syndrome . While it’s not my first year, it’s the first time I’m actually going to try to treat it. The book has rave reviews on Amazon and I picked it up at Borders this weekend with my 33% off coupon.

Overview:

People with IBS have very sensitive digestive systems. The slightest things can set us off. Here are the basic things that I *must* follow if I want relief.

  • Don’t let myself get too hungry
  • Never eat anything but soluble fiber on an empty stomach (more on this below)
  • Follow a low-fat diet, high in soluble fiber, being careful with insoluble fiber, and avoiding my IBS triggers (like whipped cream and frozen yogurt)
  • Keep stress levels low (includes doing yoga and getting enough sleep)
  • Drink herbal tea (peppermint, ginger, chamomile)
  • Soluble fiber supplements

Let’s talk about soluble fiber. Soluble fiber foods are things like white bread (not wonder bread!), sourdough, white rice, pasta, oatmeal, potatoes (white and sweet), squash (yay! kabocha squash), turnips, carrots, beets, applesauce (or peeled apples), papayas, and avocados. These are supposed to be the basis of an IBS-er’s diet. Eat these before anything else and your stomach will thank you. They should make up more than half of each meal.

As for insoluble fiber, you should only eat this after eating the soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber would be things like whole wheat breads, bran, popcorn, berries, oranges, greens, peppers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower… you get the idea – non-starchy veggies, basically. And these should preferably be cooked before eating for easier digestion.

Fats – be careful. Avoid them in large quantities. Stay away from fried things, dairy, red meat. I already stay away from most of these things; the fats I eat a lot of are butter and nut butters (and whipped cream, which really really makes my stomach hurt).

Let’s look at today’s lunch as a good example of an IBS-friendly meal. I went to Burger Heaven with Bobby and I got a baked potato with sauteed veggies (broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and cauliflower). I started off with the potato. It looked pretty much like this, but more humongous:

I had some plain, then added a little butter, ketchup, and pepper. After I let that settle into my stomach, I ate the veggies, which were delicious. I didn’t stuff myself (I took part of the potato home, but ate it almost as soon as we got back). I had the soluble fiber first, then the insoluble broccoli et al. I am pretty sure broccoli is another trigger for my stomach acting up.

I will *definitely* keep y’all updated on this.

I’m feeling hopeful. I want my stomach to feel great while we’re in Miami visiting the family 🙂 I am so tired of missing things because of my tum!!

What are your plans for Memorial Day weekend? (We have a wedding to go to – my coworker’s.)