Tag Archives: New York City

Maoz Vegetarian; Turn to the Chain for the Best Falafel on the UWS

You would think that the UWS neighborhood, home to a large Jewish community, would have lots of great, local falafel joints. But I have yet to find better chickpea fritters than at Maoz Vegetarian— the international veggie falafel chain, located on 70th and Amsterdam. For just $4.95 you can get a falafel sandwich with your choice of tasty toppings and sauces from their– the best part— do-it-yourself salad bar. Their falafel has the perfect balance of cilantro and parseley and is fried to perfection in heart-friendly canola oil. For more flavor– dress your sandwich with the classics, tabouli salad, hummus and tahini sauce, and add some spicy hot green chili dressing for heat. Stay tuned for a Creative Delites do-it-all-yourself falafel sandwich recipe!


Dine on Delicious Dosas at Hampton Chutney Co. West Side

There are a number of terrific Indian restaurants in NYC, but when I’m in the mood for a light, healthy, inexpensive Indian snack– I always head to Hampton Chutney West Side (464 Amsterdam Ave.) for their addictive dosas and fresh chutneys. I also love that the restaurant posts their nutritional info– only 189 calories and 3 grams of fat per dosa.

I recommend the spiced potato masala dosa ($7.95) with the mango chutney.  If you’re not a fan of spicy Indian food, there are plenty of other nontraditional fillings, including roasted tomato, arugula, with jack cheese and grilled portobello mushroom, spinach and roasted onions, with goat cheese.

The dosas taste like delicate, flaky sourdough crepes. The dough is made with rice-and-lentil flour and baked until crisp.

Paper-thin and quite long– about the length of a large sub

Tasty vegetarian, spiced potato and onion filling

Freshly made mango chutney

Dark Chocolate Is a Beautiful Thing

As far as I know, there is no healthy substitute for chocolate (carob is good, but wouldn’t stand a chance in a taste test with chocolate). So I go for sheer enjoyment and look for the best quality that I can afford. I discovered that when I buy quality chocolate, I treasure it more, and actually eat less. With so many specialty markets and health food stores on NYC’s UWS, I never have a problem finding the “perfect” piece. A good rule of thumb for chocolate (for any food product) is to always read the label so you know exactly what you are getting. Make sure the chocolate contains real ingredients– no fillers, has a high cocoa content, 70 percent or greater, tastes rich, and has a low sugar content. Tonight I was craving something sweet and tart, so I went for a dark chocolate bar with tiny pieces of dried raspberries and another one loaded with chopped walnuts. A delightful way to bring in the new year!

UWS Restaurant Ozen Offers Asian-Style Everything

Japanese food is naturally healthy if you stick to the tofu, vegetables, seaweed and fish. If you go for the specialty sushi rolls with battered deep-fried fish, crunchy tempura toppings, and mayo — well, delicious, but not so healthy. I like the Asian Fusion Restaurant Ozen (760 Amsterdam Avenue at 97th Street) because their sushi comes in both forms, and if you are not in the mood for sushi, there’s also a vast selection of Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese dishes.

These are my favorite healthy choices that you can find (or ask for) at most Japanese Restaurants:

Steamed Vegetable Dumplings. ($4.95)

These are your standard steamed dumplings, Asian style. Spinach moon-shaped dumplings filled with bean threads and vegetables, served with a simple soy dipping sauce.

Naruto Roll Cucumber Wrapped ($9.95)

No rice. The centerpiece is the tuna and sliced avocado, wrapped in thinly sliced cucumber, garnished with pickled ginger. The cucumber makes for good-looking sushi rolls– if you are thinking possible party dish.

New Food Stuffs Tried At Whole Foods Market, #87 Butternut Squash Ravioli

With so many different kinds of freshly made raviolis in the market, why spend hours making the dough and the filling from scratch? I’d rather spend my time eating the pasta. And there are so many varieties– everything from pumpkin to three cheese raviolis. One of the things I like about ravioli with butternut squash filling is that it’s simple, sweet, nutritious, and flavorful enough that it doesn’t need sauce. See the verdict for this variety of stuffed pasta from WFM. The rating goes 1 to 10 (10 being the best).

365 Everyday Value Organic Butternut Squash Ravioli
Verdict: 8

Appearance: simple square pockets stuffed with a light yellow butternut squash filling
Texture: soft, creamy filling, actually quite similar to ricotta cheese
Flavor: Delicious, with its hint of sweetness from the butternut squash filling, and flavorful enough that it doesn’t need sauce. Available in other varieties, such as three cheese.
Cost: $3.39 for an 8-ounce package (about 20 raviolis)
Health: Uses all organic ingredients. Better source of fiber and nutrients than most pastas since it uses whole wheat flour and a vegetable filling. Virtually fat-free with only .5 grams of fat for 1/2 of the 8- ounce package.
Recommendation: Top simply with grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan and extra virgin olive oil. The sweetness of the squash plays off the savory, nutty cheese nicely. You really don’t want a heavy sauce to interfere with the delicate filling.

Resolution Stats: 19 new food stuffs tried, 86 more to go
Final Verdict: Easy to prepare and makes you feel like you’re cooking. Delicious way to to enjoy the health benefits and sweet taste of butternut squash. Finally, an excellent choice if you don’t like cheese, but you love pasta.

NYC Chefs Share Their Healthy Recipes: Hugo Trinquier, Nanoosh

Nanoosh Mediterranean Hummus Bar

When at home, Chef Hugo Trinquier says that he tries to eat healthy, but confesses that he really enjoys eating junk food. When at the restaurant Nanoosh Hummus Bar, he prepares only healthy food and uses mostly organic ingredients, even down to the walnuts and raisins. Hugo explains his strong commitment to sustainability: “Obviously there are health reasons, although some studies show that organic food doesn’t bring significantly more nutrients to the body. In any case, I believe that it brings less negatives things such as preservatives and chemicals. The second reason is taste– the quality of organic produce. A good tomato can be eaten as is. Whereas, a bad tomato will have no taste, and will need lot of oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Then, you taste only the dressing. The tomato is then just here for color and texture. I use the example of tomato because it is a daily and difficult fight these days to find good tomato.” Hugo shared two of Nanoosh’s healthiest and tastiest recipes with Creative Delites, so you can delight in his organic cooking at home.

Quinoa Salad: organic quinoa, red peppers, red onions, organic walnut, dried cranberries, organic raisins


1 box of organic quinoa
1 red pepper
1 red onion
1/2 cup organic walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup organic raisins
XV olive oil
Lemon juice

Chef’s Note: The proportion of each ingredient depends on your taste. You can always add more or less (all variations work)

1. Cook the quinoa according to instruction on the box
2. Chill the quinoa in refrigerator
3. Dice the red onion and pepper
4. Chop the cilantro and walnuts
5. Mix all ingredients together (including the raisins and cranberries)
6. Add lemon juice, olive oil and salt at the end until you get to your favorite taste

Hummus Wrap: hummus, tahini, organic greens and Mediterranean salad


(Chef’s Note: If you are making your own tahini sauce, it’s a mix of raw tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic and salt)
1 wrap
1 hand full of organic greens
2 to 3 tablespoons of hummus
1 tablespoon of tahini sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons of a mix of diced tomato and cucumber
1 teaspoon diced onion
a bit of extra virgin olive oil

1. Lay the wrap down
2. Spread the hummus
3. Add the mixed greens
4. Then add the tomato, cucumber, and onion on top of mixed greens
5. Add the tahini sauce
6. Drizzle with the olive oil
7. Roll the wrap

Peacefood Cafe — Great Vegan Food Whether You Eat Meat or Not

Right to the food. Peacefood Cafe (460 Amsterdam Avenue at 82nd Street) serves up creative vegan fare that tastes great and is good for you. Found here: homemade everything, from soups and salads to panini sandwiches and pizzas, as well as classic vegan staples, like fried seitan and baked tempeh. Peacefood also offers fun finger food like chickpea fries and vegetable tempura. Wide variety of smoothies and baked goods, too! Tonight I tried one of their toasted sandwiches ($9) with spelt rye bread, slathered with roasted pumpkin, caramelized onions, ground walnuts, vegan goat cheese, sweetened jicama, and greens. Enjoyed — tasty, hearty and healthy. My only complaint– a bit pricy.

Starter: chickpea fries ($7)
Main: tempeh avocado sandwich ($9) or the roasted pumpkin sandwich ($9)
Dessert: mini-chocolate fudge brownies ($1.25)