Tag Archives: Vegetarian-friendly

The Best Of Vegan With Kim-Julie Hansen

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan by Edward Gebel Thumbnail

From a meat-eater to being one of the most renowned Vegan experts in the world, Kim-Julie Hansen shared with us how she started Best of Vegan, as well as her Vegan Reset blog and most recently launched a fantastic 28-Day Vegan Plan book!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan by Edward Gebel
Photo Credit: Edward Gebel

Tell me a bit about you! Where you’re from, what you studied, where you’ve worked, how you ended up in NYC…

I’m Kim-Julie, I’m 32 years old and originally from Brussels, Belgium, although that’s only partially true. I was actually born in West Berlin (two years before the Berlin Wall fell) and have lived in many places throughout my life.

I studied modern languages and comparative literature (BA and MA) in Brussels and I’ve worked all over the world in tourism and hospitality before starting my own business.

Five years ago I came to New York for an event and stayed with a friend for 5 days. On the fifth day, I knew that I needed to move here.

Luckily, my online business’s audience was located mostly in the US, so I got my Visa thanks to that (and the advice and support of amazing friends who had undergone the process before me!).

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Creamy Mushroom Penne
Creamy Mushroom Pasta – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

You have countless different platforms and social channels. I’d love if you could share a bit about each of them!

My two main platforms are Best of Vegan and Vegan Reset.

Best of Vegan is a digital culinary publication focused on crowd-sourced and crowd-pleasing recipes for every occasion and showcasing the best the vegan culinary scene has to offer.

Vegan Reset is my health conscious blog within Best of Vegan. It’s where I share meal prep and plant-based lifestyle tips, as well as my own quick and easy recipes. It’s also the name of my book and online program.

In addition to those, I also share the things that inspire me on my personal page and blog, @KimJulieHansen and I have two additional vegan Instagram accounts: @VeganChallenge based on the free 7-day vegan challenges I host and @IDontWantSalad, an ode to vegan comfort food, which I created to show that vegans can eat much more than just salad.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Green Smoothies
Green Smoothies – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

How was your journey into the Vegan lifestyle?

Unexpected, overnight and life changing. I was the furthest thing from a vegan you could possibly imagine.

I loved meat, dairy and eggs and had them every day. Then, in 2011, I read two books that made me change my eating and lifestyle habits instantly: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and Slaughterhouse by Gail A. Eisnitz.

It was a strictly ethical decision for me at first and I didn’t even know that veganism could be healthy. I ended up researching and trying to find out everything I could for months.

That’s how I ended up learning more about whole foods and cooking with unprocessed ingredients, incorporating more fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. I had never liked any of these foods, so no one was more surprised than me.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Muffins
Blueberry Muffins – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

What are some myths about Vegan cuisine that people believe?

That it’s bland, boring, not nutritionally adequate, hard to adapt to and impractical.

I believed all of that too before going vegan myself, so as you can imagine, I wasn’t thrilled to give up so much of what I enjoyed, but I soon found out that you can actually veganize practically anything.

Latte? Make it a soy or oat latte. Sushi? Make it a sweet potato or avocado roll. Pizza? Add some vegan cheese and pepperoni. It obviously doesn’t taste exactly the same, but it’s close enough and, given the ethical implications, definitely worth the sacrifice.

What I at first feared would be restrictive ended up opening the doors to a whole new world for me. I enjoy cooking and eating out so much more now. Vegan cuisine is also neither boring nor deficient. You can get all the same nutrients from plants and whenever they’re harder to get, you can take a vegan supplement for convenience.

I do want to note that vegan foods and products aren’t readily available to everyone equally, so I think that as someone who does have access to the lifestyle, it’s important to simultaneously educate and motivate those who are in the same position while also actively working on making access easier for those who do not without ever judging them.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Salad
Smoky Tempeh & Vegan Cheese Salad – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

What are your favorite NYC Vegan spots? Sorry for this tough question, Kim… 🙂

There are far too many to list!

I love using the app “Vegan NYC” to discover new spots, but my all time favorites are Seasoned Vegan, Avant Garden, Adelina’s, Little Choc Apothecary, Bar Velo, Jungle Cafe and Délice & Sarrasin.

I’m probably forgetting half the list…!

How about your top Vegan brands that are really disrupting the industry, in New York?

I love brands that emphasize quality and/or community and are based right out of New York. Some of them include Egunsi Foods, Raaka Chocolate and Foreal Foods.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Yogurt
Vegan Breakfast Idea: granola, fresh fruit & plant-based yogurt with toppings – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

Ah! And you have a gorgeous life changing book and I was lucky enough to follow closely it coming to life! So tell our readers what it’s all about and what they can expect.

Thank you for the kind words!

My book, Vegan Reset (called The 28-Day Vegan Plan in the U.K.), is a practical guide, a cookbook and a 28-day meal plan. It’s an introduction to ethical veganism, plant-based living and a holistic approach to health.

It’s not a diet in the sense that the goal is feeling good physically and mentally, not weight loss.

While it teaches you how to incorporate more fresh produce and unprocessed foods, there are no strict guidelines and you can adapt everything as you see fit. The main motivation is ethical rather than dietary.

Do you have any super cool upcoming project you can share? Anything exclusive no one knows yet!? Lol!

I may or may not be planning my second book! 🙂

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Rice Pudding
Cinnamon Rice Pudding – Photo Credit: Best of Vegan LLC

More about her Book!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kim Julie Hansen Best of Vegan Book Vegan Reset
©Behind the Scenes NYC

Vegan Reset: The 28-Day Plan to Kickstart Your Healthy Lifestyle is a 28-day plan for new vegans or anyone looking to get their diet back on track, from the wildly popular creator of Best of Vegan!

No matter what diet you practice, a reset is a way to jump-start or refocus healthy habits and get your body to a state of optimum health. Here, NYC-based blogger and Instagrammer Kim-Julie Hansen of Best of Vegan offers a practical and easy-to-follow program, laid out day by day with meal plans, prep, shopping lists, recipes, and personal tips and inspiration.

If you want to become a vegan and don’t know where to start, this is the ultimate guide. But it’s also invaluable for anyone (vegan or not) looking to kick-start healthier habits, whether to lose weight, become fitter, or simply cultivate a more balanced lifestyle.

Kim-Julie introduces you to the benefits of a reset; guides you through the 28-day meal plan; and finishes with additional recipes to carry you beyond the reset—all brought to life with her gorgeous photography throughout. With its emphasis on satisfying plant-based foods and its achievable 28-day plan, this program is a great way to meet your goals of health and well-being.

Buy book here!


Thank you Kim, my dear friend, for sharing your amazing story with everyone and congratulations on all that you have built during these amazing years in New York City!

I’ve had the opportunity of seeing it from close and I couldn’t be more proud of you!

Plus, I can’t wait to see more of your work and continue trying out all of your food (yes, please continue inviting me over for dinner, lol!) and following your tips!

And finally, if you want to uncover more Vegan spots in New York, be sure to explore our website!


Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC, Best of Vegan LLC and portraits by Edward Gebel
*Last Update on April/2020.*

Thompson Brooke: A New England Tapas RestoBar

Dining Thompson Brooke Brooklyn Oysters

Thompson Brooke, a New England tapas RestoBar in the heart of Williamsburg, is a must-try! We love tapas, so be sure to go with a big group and try a bit of everything in the menu!

Dining Thompson Brooke Brooklyn Full Table

As one of the trendiest neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Williamsburg is always offering a diverse food culture in its streets. So, it’s not a surprise that Brooke Costello, well-known food expert and catering business owner chef, decided to open his new restaurant Thompson Brooke on Grand Street, in the heart of Williamsburg.

Inspired by Brooke’s grandfather name, Thompson Brooke is a cozy and lovely RestoBar that welcomes you with the perfect music, scents and a great staff ready to serve you their delicious creations.

It offers a unique variety of traditional New England dishes with a modern twist: New England Tapas. If you are not familiar with the concept of Tapas, it comes from the Spanish cuisine. It’s basically small sharable portions of any kind of food – cold or hot.

The dinner menu consist of 8 traditional dishes including Sam’s Lobster Roll, Beer Batter Fish & Chips, Smoked Clams Mac’N’Cheese or Buddy Cianci style calamari, if you are into seafood. And still, Grand St. Burger if you prefer a 5oz beef patty or Safe Harbor Dog, Shaker Squad Salad and Yankee Whaler if you prefer vegetarian/vegan alternatives.

Among the sides, you can enjoy Cumin Maple Roasted Rainbow Carrots, French Fries, a cup of Vegan Chili and Yankee Queso for dipping.

Based on Brooke’s recommendation, we started our dinner with the Buddy Cianci style calamari – squid, pickled chilis, bread crumbs, spicy mayonnaise and a Yankee Whaler – baked russet potato boats with yankee queso, bacon, sour cream, scallions and pickled chile.

Dining Thompson Brooke Brooklyn Oysters

We then tried one of the specials of the night: fresh Oysters.

Every week they have Wednesday Oysters’ Night where you can enjoy as many oysters as you wish, for only $1.

And, if you are a book lover, don’t miss “Pour Writers”. On special days, local writers visit Thompson Brooke not only to share insights of their books and publications, but to charm you with their bartender skills and specially prepare you their best cocktails. Pretty awesome, right?

In addition, we ordered a delicious Shaker Squash Salad with butternut squash, celery root, dried cherry, toasted squash seeds, pickled mustard seeds and maple vinaigrette; and one of their top dishes, the Smoked Clams Mac’N’Cheese. If I had to describe the flavor, imagine the best New England Clam Chowder you ever had, add cheese and macaroni pasta. Perfection!

Obviously, we needed some drinks to pair with this marvelous feast. Thompson Brooke offers a variety of drinks including local beers, selected wines from Italy, France, Spain and California. And still, hard drinks and soft drinks if you prefer a non-alcoholic beverage.

We tried one of their soft drinks called Lizzie’s Shrub Bucket – plum tarragon shrub & soda, a Sixpoint Crisp Pilsner locally brewed in NYC and a Mainsheet Mule. All a 100% recommended.

Dining Thompson Brooke Brooklyn Toasts

To finish our meal, we tried the 3 desserts.

Hester’s Banana Cream – torched banana, vanilla wafers and heavy cream; Maple French Toast Doughnut – cinnamon glaze and roasted apples and Little Nibbler’s Chocolate Pudding – peanut bourbon fudge and candied peanuts. You should try them all, since it’s hard to recommend which one is best.

If you are more of a “Brunch Person”, during the weekends they offer a special menu of dishes and drinks.

Thompson Brooke also has the space for private events like engagement parties that can be accompanied with the food from their original menu or by Red Table Catering services, also owned by Brooke Costello. And still, contact our experts for any corporate event you’re working on!

Prices are very reasonable, especially if you come with a group of friends giving you the chance to try the entire menu.

If you enjoyed everything we said about Thompson Brooke, this New England tapas RestoBar, be sure to make your reservation!

Supporting the Local Community with a Discount for YOU!
“The Grand Street Savings Card” is a free card that aims to support small local business and gives you access to discounts and deals in stores and restaurants located in Grand Street. You can get it at Grand St. BID Office on 246 Graham Avenue, at events or request it by mail, by filling this form.
In the case of Thompson Brooke, if you have a card you get 10% off food on Wednesday and Thursday.

Hours:
Tuesday – Thursday: 5:30pm – 11pm
Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm – 12am
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 10am – 3pm
*Regular Sunday supper hours coming soon

Location: 631 Grand Street, Brooklyn

www.thompsonbrooke.com


Text Credit: Written by our contributor Magdalena Concha
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Thompson Brooke

*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

5 Healthy Food Spots In NYC To Eat Well Or Splurge

Dining 5 NYC Restaurants Gabriela Pugliesi BareBurger

We shared a few NYC restaurant tips exclusively for the Brazilian fitness blogger, Gabriela Pugliesi. Take a look at 5 healthy food spots in NYC where you can go to eat well or even, break your diet.

Today’s post today is a delicious one!

There is nothing better than talking about travel and food, right!?! So, if you’re coming to New York City, we’ve shared 5 great restaurants with the Brazilian Fitness Blogger, Gabriela Pugliesi, that should be added to your To-Go list!

Some are very healthy, and some are great places just to go when you feel like breaking your diet for the day!


A macrobiotic organic restaurant: Souen

Many will read “macrobiotic” and be immediately intimidated by the words. Don’t be!

In a nutshell, macrobiotic cooking is simply a term for identifying a food that is rich in whole grains, very healthy, that teaches us to be aware of what we eat. Why? The food we eat will become part of us – yes, it has ancient Japanese teachings behind this cuisine too! Plus, they do not use industrialized products. Moreover, there is still an explanation of macrobiotic food related to Ying-Yang, but we’ll not get into this now.

Well,  this cuisine is made up of whole grains, vegetables, sea vegetables, beans, fish and soups.

Whoever liked the brief description above, will love the Souen. With on location in the East Village – the restaurant was founded in 1971 and offers some of the city’s best natural organic and vegan foods.

It’s hard to say what to try, since anyone who enjoys healthy food will probably come back a few times to order different dishes. But, some of our suggestions are: the dishes with Seitan (wheat protein), the wheat noodles are delicious, the salmon and the cod are divine too. You can still add to your order a salad and other side dishes.

Ah! Be sure to order the gluten free desserts! It will certainly be a different experience.

http://souen.net


Chic Vegan Spot: Pure Food & Wine

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Erica Graff
UNFORTUNATELY THIS RESTAURANT PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

Located at 54 Irving Place, Pure Food & Wine celebrated this year, 10 years!

Considered the 1st high-end vegan restaurant in New York, the menu is entirely based on vegetables. They do not use processed ingredients and nothing is heated above 118 degrees – thus it is possible to preserve the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in the ingredients.

This restaurant is a great option for the lovers of healthy, vegan food, and also great for those who can’t eat gluten or lactose – neither of which are used on the menu.

In addition to the great take-out menu and an amazing presentation of the dishes, the ambience is super stylish with an outside area – certainly difficult to find in New York.

The waiters are very friendly and you certainly won’t stay for only 1 drink.


Farm to table: Market Table

Launched in 2007 and a huge success to date, Market Table is a restaurant with a farm-to-table menu.

Located on 54 Carmine Street, in the West Village, the restaurant is small, cozy, with impeccable service, giant windows and brick walls with that rustic feeling, serving healthy food. Their menu changes according to the season, so you’ll be sure to always have something new to try.

The kitchen is open, which gives the chef the pleasure of seeing the customer’s expression at their first bite! Certainly a thrill!

Dishes are simple, yet tasty and delicious. In the summer you can expect a menu with burrata, salads, seafood, vegetables and vegetables. In the winter, the food is a bit more full-bodied, like the pork rib dishes, but New York’s cold days call for these dishes too, right?

It’s a great place to go for dinner, or just go for a quick lunch. The wine list is very good too!

www.markettablenyc.com


More than a restaurant, a lifestyle: M.O.B. – Maimonide of Brooklyn

Dining 5 NYC Restaurants Gabriela Pugliesi Maimonide of Brooklyn by Raven Crow Studio
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Raven + Crow Studio
UNFORTUNATELY THIS STORE PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

Brooklyn has got a new vegetarian restaurant called M.O.B. – Maimonide of Brooklyn. M.O.B. it’s not only a restaurant, but the story of this project is pretty cool too!

Before we speak of this place, we’ll quickly explain the name. Moses Maimonides, from which came the name “Maimonide”, was a Jewish physician, philosopher and religious man, born in Cordoba in 1135. One of his great studies was to understand the health benefits of various combinations of fruits, vegetables and seasonings.

The French restaurateur, Cyril Aouizerate, Founder of M.O.B., studied for many years the philosophies of Maimonides and the HipHop movement, until he decided finally open a store at 525 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

Cyril joined forces with Michelin-starred chefs, Alain Senderens and Jerome Banctel, and American chef Neal Harden to create the menu.

The main course, called the M.O.B., of course, is kind of tart with vegetables, fruits and spices, and is served on a tray and is shaped liked the Brooklyn Bridge. Must haves on the menu are: burgers, hot dogs, mac&cheese. Plus, the desserts are to die for.

The place still offers a complimentary Comic Books, created by Cyril himself. You’ll find children puzzles, M.O.B.’s story, texts and poems and a comic book where the protagonist is a boy that discovers that his power comes from a pill he takes, made of vegetables and fruits. Very cute!

In addition, every detail of the place was carefully thought about and the result was amazing.

Cyril hired the duo of punk architects, Kristian Gavoille and Valerie Garcia.

The tables are giant and communal, with several drawers, where you find chalk for children, cutlery, etc. One of the walls has a giant United States flag and on the other wall, hunting trophies with a short description of what was “hunted”, such as: “Miss. Banana, June 2008-August 2008, died for banana bread”, or “Mr. Avocado, 2009-2010, died for guacamole” and even “Mr. Potato, May 2009 – July 2009, died for french fries”!

They also have a great bar and a gift shop. Anyway, it’s surely a unique experience in Brooklyn!

Who says eating healthy can not be fun ?!


For the Burger-holics: BareBurger

Dining 5 NYC Restaurants Gabriela Pugliesi BareBurger

Do you ever crave and just enjoying breaking your diet with a juicy hamburger or cheeseburger? Most likely, yes! But, can you eat it free of guilt?

BareBurger has countless different locations and is an organic & all-natural restaurant serving burgers, snacks and shakes.

The menu has their famous burgers, delicious salads, other types of sandwiches, some snacks and incredible shakes. The cool thing is that, unlike some places where only the meat is organic, Bare Burger works with all organic products from eggs, dairy, cheese, etc.

Plus, their organic options range from chicken, turkey and lamb to exotic meats like bison, elk and ostrich.

These exotic meats are considered leaner and have more protein than traditional meats. Just be careful if you have cholesterol issues.

To accompany any of the dishes, you can still choose a wine or a beer. Also organic!

http://bareburger.com


If you enjoyed this post, you might want to read about a post about wellness and trendy lifestyle in NYC that we also wrote for Gabi Pugliesi.


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Erica Graff and Raven + Crow Studio
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

The Tippler: Hidden Down Under The Chelsea Market

Nightlife Bars The Tippler Chelsea Market Entrance

Yes, yes, yes! We simply love these little spots in the city that live underneath New York City’s ground. People pass by and have absolutely NO clue it’s there. The Tippler is a bar, hidden under the Chelsea Market in the Meatpacking District, that you’ll love!

Nightlife Bars The Tippler Chelsea Market Entrance
Photo Credit: mdisc

One of our dear friends and contributors, Dani Cutait, went to The Tippler yesterday and fell in love with it!

If you’re not familiar with New York and the Meatpacking District, this may be a tricky place to find. But, it’s not a problem. It’s can actually be fun! When you arrive close to the entrance, there is only a bright sign saying “Open” that guides you into the place.

The décor is made out of “reclaimed water tower wood and train rails from the nearby high line, repurposed antique fixtures, vintage library decor”. All with a distinctive speakeasy vibe.

Their menu serves locally made products, craft cocktails, plus a huge variety of artisanal spirits, beers and wines. They are also vegetarian-friendly and have a few great options.

In addition, for private events, you can reserve semi-private spaces for groups of 20 -100 guests. Private events can be arranged for a total of 250 guests.

How can we ask for more, right!?!?

Lastly, the Tippler does not take reservations, so try to arrive early, or just beware that you might have to wait in line

We are sure you will enjoy these spots. Even though they are in a busy neighborhood, we always manage to find some of these hidden little taverns and bars for you! Enjoy!

Hours:
Sunday – Thursday: 4pm – 1am
Friday – Saturday: 4pm – 3am

Location: 425 West 15th Street

www.thetippler.com


Photo Credit: mdisc
*Last Update on March/2020.*

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