Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday, to New York City and back again

I intended to do a What I Ate Wednesday post from New York City last week, but we were so busy during the days (and tired at night!) that I opted not to do it in the end. So, this What I Ate Wednesday, I have highlights from about a week and a half of eating. Eating healthy on a road trip can be a bit challenging, but I did okay for the most part.

We were up at 5 a.m. to get ready for our road trip. Rather than creating any mess in the kitchen at that tender hour, the family hit Tim Hortons on the way. I had a green tea and a PROBAR meal replacer that I had packed among our bounty of snacks.

We also packed a big cooler full of various drink selections, including this Sanpellegrino limonata that I enjoyed with Popcorners kettle chips.

Without a suitable lunch option on the horizon, I also snacked on Lundberg Farms seaweed rice chips. We later stopped at Subway to get veggie subs. See my last post to read about our first destination, Farm Sanctuary, and the Chinese food we enjoyed in Watkins Glen.

Once we made it to Manhattan, we quickly located a nearby Whole Foods so we could stock up on fruit, nuts and vegan salads and snacks. Shopping in New York was so different from shopping here. Our Whole Foods is huge and spacious. In Manhattan, the Whole Foods we visited was on the petite side and I sensed that many people were tense and in a hurry.

We brought our selections back to our hotel and enjoyed a variety of tasty options, including seitan, a faux chicken salad, pickles and tofu.

I put out a bunch of fruit to encourage us all to nibble on healthy snacks.

On a visit to Chelsea Market, we opted to take out food from a Thai restaurant. We were so hungry that I kind of rushed my order. I was focusing on getting vegetarian options, so I failed to notice that I ordered two rice dishes, rather than the noodles I wanted. But it was all delicious anyway.

There are a number of famous vegetarian restaurants in New York, and I have to say we failed miserably at getting to most of them. But there were two places I refused to miss. The first was The Cinnamon Snail food truck. I've been hearing lots of buzz about how great their food is. And it's all vegan! I checked their Facebook page right away to find out their locations for the week. Happily they were scheduled to be at a location quite near our hotel on our second day in New York.

Because of their popularity, we found there was a bit of a wait at lunchtime. My kids occupied the time by bickering and pushing each other. We kept the woman waiting behind us entertained anyway. It was worth the wait (and the arguing) though. After all, besides their tempting sandwich options, they have a whole selection of vegan donuts too! My husband snapped a picture of (a ridiculously happy) me with our order, above.

My son and I ordered Korean Barbeque Seitan sandwiches, which are served open faced on a grilled tortilla slathered with chili butter, kimchi and greens. My husband ordered the Seitan al Pastor (not pictured), a grilled baguette with beer battered jalapeƱo, grilled pineapple, arugula and chipotle mayonnaise. Both sandwiches were a bit hot (as in spicy) but not exceedingly so. Still, if you don't like heat, I would mention it when ordering. The sandwiches were delicious and very filling.

Of course not so filling that we didn't follow them up with some of The Cinnamon Snail's vegan donuts and squares. We each picked out a selection and then we shared them. I picked the coconut donut and that's what I ended up liking the most. My daughter's gluten-free peanut butter square was yummy too. The chocolate and peanut butter donut was quite decadent - perfect for splitting with somebody else!

The second place I just had to get to was Candle Cafe. They have two locations. I chose the Upper East Side because the menu seemed to be more casual/kid-friendly. I asked the waitress for a sandwich suggestion, and she said the Cajun Seitan Sandwich is very popular. It also comes with a side of fries, so that can't hurt.

The seitan in the sandwich is crusted, kind of like fried chicken, and it's incredibly tasty. It's topped with avocado, carmelized onions and steamed greens. It was served with ancho chili aioli on the side. It was so delicious I ate it all, dipping my fries and my sandwich in it. If I lived near Candle Cafe, I would constantly order this sandwich to split with my husband. It was that filling.

A nice surprise was that Candle Cafe has an actual kids' menu. My son chose the vegan mac 'n' cheese and quite liked it. He also had a very gingery ginger drink. He was a bit shocked at first, but he grew to like it.

The little gal had pasta and tomato sauce, which is about her speed. She's not too adventurous when it comes to food.

 I had to take a peek at the dessert menu, although I was far too full from the sandwich to order anything. If only I could go back now...

Another day, after an especially busy day of sightseeing, we decided to grab a quick pizza from the restaurant next to our hotel. The family had cheese on their pizza. I was so tired I didn't come up with any suggestions so the guy ended up just leaving a couple of the pieces with plain tomato sauce for me. Not too exciting.

Then it was off on our trip back home again, with more snacks on the way, like The Simply Bar cocoa raspberry protein bar and a President's Choice juice box that had been intended for the kids.

Once we got back home, all the travelling seemed to catch up with me, because I swear I slept for two days. My husband jumped in to do most of the cooking. It's been a bit cool here, so he made a vegetable rice soup one day.

He made me some pizza with Daiya vegan cheese another day, along with a cucumber/tomato salad.

Yesterday was my birthday and, after I slept in, my girl wanted to make me pancakes. I had stocked up on fruit the day before. (After all that sleep I was craving fruit.) I made a quick salad of berries and grapes while the little gal flipped pancakes.

Here are the pancakes. What a considerate girl!

While browsing through the grocery store a couple of days earlier, I had spotted a frozen Gardein vegan roast. I told my husband that's what I wanted for my birthday dinner. So he cooked it up along with some green beans, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.

Even the kids love this roast and the gravy that comes with it.

They also got me a cake from the local health food store, which fortunately carries Sweets from the Earth vegan cakes. It was chocolaty but not too much so. Very tasty.

Wow, that was a lot of food!

What's been on your menu lately?

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  1. That is a lot of food but it looks very tasty!

    I just tried the Lemonata for the first time, I liked it! I bought it at a strange place though, Dollarama!

    1. That is strange that they had it at Dollarama! My fave flavour is the aranciata.

  2. Oh wow, even down here I've heard all about those NYC places and trucks so I can totally understand the delighted-face at Cinnamon Snail! Everything looks fab, especially those donuts. Hope you had a fantastic birthday :)

    1. I believe we share a similar interest (obsession?) with food. ;) Thank you! I had a great birthday. Jo

  3. Okay, now I want to go out for dinner! These all look great, I don't know how you keep such good tabs in everything you eat.

  4. Oh those options! :) I really wish more cities had options like that for vegetarians/vegans