Faux Gras Banh Mi

December 20th, 2010

Holy Mack. We discovered a new taste sensation! Faux Gras Banh Mi Sanwiches are officially, the bomb. We got a vegan Banh Mi Sanwich from a place near the Holiday Market called Saigon. The bread was crusty. The carrots and daikon where tangy. The cilantro was refreshing -  but something was definitely missing. Back at the Regal Vegan pop-up show an idea spread over us. FAUX GRAS. Hello. In Vietnam, a traditional Banh Mi often includes nasty duck liver. Today, I think we officially bested the competition by spreading our vegan paté all over this sandwich. This was the most satisfying discovery of my day, other than the fact that construction has finished on our street.

I’ll be posting a recipe soon to show you how to make your very own.

With much love,
Ella

Happy Holidays

December 17th, 2010


Dear Friends,

Hester Holiday Market: December 17th - 23rdIt’s cold out there – which is why I’m delighted to announce something to truly warm your heart: Hester Holiday Market. Between crafts, gifts and artisinal food, you couldn’t be in better company. I’ll be sharing my table with good friend and slamming kimchi artist SkimKim . We’ll be having a blast – hope to see you there anytime from Dec 17th (TODAY!) to Dec 23rd, 11am to 8pm.

What’ll be good? Well, we’re launching new products, selling Pizzette, our own version of pizza that’s naturally, gluten-free, healthy, and – BY GOD – delicious. Flavors include: Basicliaux and Tomato Concasse, Curried Cashew Cheese with Cilantro Chutney, Faux Gras with Pear & Jalapeno Chutney. Be prepared to get addicted. That’s all I’m saying.

We’re still doing tons of events – you may have seen us at the In Good Company Party, at Greendrinks, at the Vegan Cooking for Dummies booklaunch party, or at Get Your Dance On- which we’re doing again this Saturday night. It’s a great party with soulful people, live drumming, the didge and saunas. Did I mention dancing? And Faux Gras?

Regal Vegan's Faux Gras and Live DrummingCome January, we’ll be back to cooking classes, health coaching, and catering all your affairs, large and small. Please let me know how I can make your life better, tastier, healthier. How about a healthy cooking class to start your year off with the right angle?

I can’t end this communication with you, without mentioning some prose that has really inspired me lately. It’s about how everything is perfect right now – all the chaos, the stress, the great things, the friends, the parties, even the traffic. So perfect. Meant to get you where you need to be. I’m sharing a small piece of it, below. Hope it inspires you as it does me.

If you would like to know more joy, seek that place inside yourself where joy comes from.

The world around us is perfect. Do you see it?

With love, respect, and other nutrients,
Ella

Back to blogging and bizness

October 11th, 2010

Dear friends,

It’s taken me a little while to get back on the horse with blogging, but it’s happening. What with tweeting and facebooking and actually meeting you guys in person, I kinda forgot about the whole other world out here on the interweb. Not everything is Mark Zuckerberg-spawned after all.

So, it’s been busy here at the Regal Vegan – lots and lots of Faux Gras is going out to the people, and it seems to be getting a rave reception. If you have q’s or comments, raves or reviews – please let us know! I’ve been experimenting with some new dishes, and was proud to be one of the guest chefs at the last First Sinner’s Club dinner. Special shout-outs to chefs Noel and Joe of soon-to-be restaurant the Carmine Club. I think we’re going to get some fabulous vegan options on that menu! We also took part in supporting the Eco-Fashion folks at the NOW showcase (photo below courtesy of NOW), the great gals at Our Hen House, my lovely extended family up at the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary for their ThanksLiving event, and did a Gluten-Free Guest Chef night at Union Square’s Whole Foods.

We’ve got lots of exciting things coming up too – namely, the final weekend at the Edible Garden at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens this Sunday! We’ll be doling out lots of yummy Faux Gras and our special Fall Pear & Jalapeño Chutney. We’ll also bring our favorite standby, the Fennel Confit and will be serving on lovely crostini for your tasting pleasure. We hope to canoodle a bit with celeb chef Mario Batali and Todd English who will be in attendance at this crazy cool event.

What else? This week we’ll be doing a tasting at Lifethyme Natural Market on 6th ave and 8th street on Wednesday from 4-7pm. Then Perelandra in Brooklyn Heights hosts us this Thursday – from noon-3pm.

We are super excited to be a sponsor of Integral Yoga’s Day for Health – with free craniosacral massage screenings, meditations, samples and snacks – it’s whole day holistic.

We’ll also be supporting the NY Coalition for Healthy School Food this Thursday, get your tickets soon! The time is nigh. And give a big heads up to healthy school in food. Do you even remember what we used to eat?

Oh, and last but not least, we’ll be offering up our samples this Saturday night at Get Your Dance On. Dancing and Faux Gras? Absolutely. Because food that fills you up, gives you clean energy, and tastes delicious is the perfect thing to pair with your groove.

Phew! It’s a busy week. Can’t wait to see all you lovely people. Please drop a line or come see us at one of our many events.

With love, respect and other nutrients,

Ella

Last Week of Dinner Delivery

March 18th, 2010

Dear Friends,

Take CareWith Spring right around the corner, it seems the perfect time to say goodbye to the old and bring in the new. For nearly 3 years, The Regal Vegan has been delivering healthy meals to your home, and I have been so honored to have the opportunity. Thank you for taking this culinary journey with me.

As most of you know by now, I have launched “Faux Gras” in stores and it has allowed me to honor the Regal Vegan mission of bringing food made with love, respect and other nutrients to more people. With this product launch comes also the opportunity to bring even more Regal Vegan foods to stores near you. This has also brought the difficult realization that our boutique dinner delivery service would have to cease. At least for now.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the food you love is gone. Oh, I’m still cooking up a storm! In fact, I am pleased to announce the new Regal Vegan personal chefing services, by appoinment only. Your home, your personal dietary needs, your week of meals, your favorites!

I’ll also be doing cooking classes, health coaching, and as always, I am available for catering all your affairs, large and small.

I hope you enjoy this week of dinners. They are filled with an extra dose of love, and gratitude.

With love, respect, and other nutrients,

I love Umami

February 22nd, 2010

Dear Friends,

Flavor needs not fall into any one genre of cooking. In fact, it needs to be infused wholeheartedly and distinctly into every genre. I remember a friend from the Midwest telling me that growing up, his mom would take a chicken out of the package and put it in the oven, straight from the package. No seasoning, no attention, just in the oven. This bothered me on many levels, and haunts me to this day. Meanwhile, in my house, my mom was busy putting every spice in the house, on every item of food in the house – so we had am overkill yet nondescript flavor to everything. Too little vs. too much.

It makes me wish I could go back in time and tell our mothers that the most important aspect of flavor is the balance between the 5 tastes (salty, sweet, sour, bitter, umami) and the textures. Sometimes also the temperature. A concept that would have been difficult to explain, and difficult to attain. But we here in NY don’t suffer the limitations of the Midwest. We have been exposed to new flavors/preparations and spices and the stores where we can find them. From Turkish spices like Aleppo pepper, to Asian aromatics like lemongrass, Italian standards like capers to French treatments like confit – we have it all in NY.

This week, as you taste your food, try to remember how lucky we are to have a passion for food, a sophisticated enough palate to differentiate between flavors, and the means to enjoy it all. After all, isn’t variety the spice of life?

With love, respect, and other nutrients,

Ella

Love Food

February 15th, 2010

Dear Friends,

In honor of Valentine’s day, i thought I would talk a little about love. If you go back and think about why you love, who you love, it’s often about the way they make you feel. It’s the same thing with food. If you love ice cream, then you feel good when you eat it. But we all know the ideal relationships are those where you feel love back, and continue to feel it even in their absence. I suspect ice cream is just too cold to feel love.

But what about blueberries? Pomegranates? Do they love you? I would venture to say that once they are picked, fruits no longer have the capacity to feel or react, however, the nutrition profile of fruits and vegetables is such that the love goes on long after the food has been digested. Food becomes you – your tissues, your blood, your cells even your thoughts. The relationship lasts long after the food has been digested. The anti-oxidants continue to fight free radicals, the energy is boosted for significant periods of time, and the other benefits are the kind that shape your eyesight, your immune system, and your overall well-being.

So, the next time you go for food you love, make sure it loves you too.

With love, respect, and other nutrients,

El”love”a

Soul Food

February 8th, 2010

Dear Friends,

Think for a moment of a food from your past, one that makes you feel great after you eat it for no specific reason. Maybe it is macaroni and cheese, slow-simmered tomato sauce, ice cream cones or potato pancakes. Eating comfort foods (every now and then) can be incredibly healing, even though your rational brain might not consider it highly nutritious.

Food has the power to impact us on a level deeper than just our physical well-being. What we eat can reconnect us to precious memories, like childhood playtimes, first dates, holidays, our grandmother’s cooking or our country of ancestry. Our bodies remember foods from the past on an emotional and cellular level. Eating this food connects us to our roots and has youthening and nurturing effects that go far beyond the food’s biochemical make-up.

Acknowledging what different foods mean to us is an important part of cultivating a good relationship with food. This month when we celebrate lovers and relationships, it’s important to notice that we each have a relationship with food—and that this relationship is often far from loving. Many of us restrict food, attempting to control our weight. We often abuse food, substituting it for emotional well-being. Others ignore food, swallowing it whole before we’ve even tasted it.

What would your life be like if you treated food and your body as you would treat your beloved – with gentleness, playfulness, communication, honesty, respect and love? The next time you eat your soul food, do so with awareness and without guilt, and enjoy all the healing and nourishment it brings you.

With love, respect, and other nutrients,

Ella

GMOhhh my G-D!

February 1st, 2010

Dear Friends,

As your resident good food advocate, I should tell you that already, in the first three weeks of 2010, there have been six U.S. recalls of tainted meats and this week and Russia banned U.S. imports of chicken out of concern about the disinfecting chemicals. While alarming, this doesn’t even begin to address the problem that is lurking at large in our food supply.

Infertility. Allergies. Toxins. New diseases. Immune Dysfunction. Stunted growth. Antibiotic resistance. These are just some of the side effects linked to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). If you only look at the influx of fertility clinics post-baby boomers you may realize that something is off. Didn’t women have to try not to get pregnant? Fertility rates in the US declined sharply between the 1950s to today. So, while GM foods stir up their share of controversy, it appears to be much more dire than the debate even allows.

The company that brings us 90% of the GM seed in the U.S. is the Monsanto Corporation – which not only pushes this altered seed on struggling farmers, but is responsible for bringing the world DDT (pesticide), Agent Orange (humanicide?), bovine growth hormone and aspartame. Quite a toxic resume, n’est pas? The really bad news is that Monsanto has its employees, past, present, and future in Top Brass positions within the FDA. Hmmm.

What many people don’t know about GM foods, and especially vegans, is that much of this Frankenstein food is created by mixing the genes of plants with those of animals. So you could be biting into a tomato that is made with fish genes. And I promise you, the fish were not party to this experiment. What’s worse, the mice and rats used to test the “safety” of this food often avoid GM foods! And when they are force fed them, they develop cancers, ulcers, and a whole slew of other disorders.

There are many reasons to buy organic, and one of them is definitely taste, for me. I have done the taste-testing, and by and large organic produce tastes much, much better. (As in – there is still taste.) But avoiding massive collateral damage is another good reason, as in, avoiding GMO’s. Organic food cannot contain GMO’s. Check your labels, please. Contact our representatives, tell them labeling GM foods should be mandatory! The top 4 genetically modified foods in the world are corn, soybeans, canola and cotton. And as corn is in nearly everything these days, checking labels is more important than ever.

As always, I strive to bring you the freshest, healthiest food available. I encourage you to do the same for yourself, your family, and the planet.

With love, respect, and other nutrients,
Ella

The ones in between

January 25th, 2010

Dear Friends,

Every week, I wax poetic about some way that you can help yourself feel better, perhaps get inspired to eat better or to incorporate some new healthy practice into your already beautiful life. This week, I am recommending something that I am desperate to do as well.

There has been a bit of an energetic shift for me, working harder at getting healthy foods to more people – i.e. getting my “Faux Gras” into the marketplace (mind you, we are in many new stores! Read on) and doing a few workshops in the coming months. What I need to do is something so simple, so free and yet so conscious, everything else needs to be put aside to incorporate it.

It’s called, simply, raising your awareness. If you can bring your awareness – your most basic attention – to your mood, your food, your breath, your actions, your appetite, your love, your thoughts, your thoughts behind those thoughts, and the thoughts in between those – you will be transformed. As Deepak Chopra says, bring your awareness to the thoughts in between the thoughts. That is where your connection to all the knowledge that exists in the whole world lies. When you allow yourself to listen, you are creating yourself anew.

And if in those thoughts, behind all the things you think you are thinking of, you remember, you hear a voice inquiring – to take good care of your body this week – I am here.

With love, respect, and other nutrients,

Ella

Let them eat protein

January 18th, 2010

Dear Friends,

People often ask me how I get my protein. I think lots of vegetarians get this kind of question. And people are actually concerned. For those of you that know me, you know I am a healthy girl with no signs of protein deficiency. So, no worries. I actually get my protein from a multitude of sources, and you can too.

There is some debate on how much protein we actually need during the course of a day. Reports range from 25-70 grams a day, depending on sex, age, and athletic performance, and we do need to get all 9 amino acids – which means we need complex carbs. An average 5’5″ woman needs only 25-45 grams a day. In a developed society it is almost impossible to be protein deficient. And protein is not one of those “more is better” kind of nutrients. High-protein diets actually contribute to osteoporoisis and kidney failure, not to mention weight gain, lethargy, halitosis, body odor and constipation. Meanwhile, low-protein diets can leave you feeling spacey, anemic, tired or too thin.

Everyone needs to honor their own desires for protein, though it is definitely easy to get enough as a vegan or vegetarian. Check out the following guide to see how easy it is to stack up your proteins.

1 cup of oatmeal 7 grams
1 cup of tempeh 41 grams
3 oz of seitan 31 grams
5 oz tofu 11 grams
1 cup of lentils 18 grams
1 cup of black beans 15 grams
1 cup of quinoa 9 grams
2 tbs peanut buttter 8 grams
1/4 cup of almonds 8 grams
1 cup of brown rice 5 grams
1 cup of cooked broccoli 4 grams
1 cup of cooked peas 9 grams
1/4 cup of cashews 5 grams

You can see how easy it is, as long as you are having a balanced diet. At Regal Vegan, we make sure you’re getting a good serving of healthy, plant-based proteins with every meal. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

With love, respect, and other nutrients,

Ella