Beyond Sushi

Posted on Updated on

One of the many wonderful things about NYC is the food—this is a town that caters to practically any kind of diet you can think of. It’s especially friendly to vegetarians and vegans. The other night, I had the pleasure of dining with a few herbivore friends at Beyond Sushi (which I think I maybe first heard about on Valerie’s blog?).

This place is the creation of Hell’s Kitchen, finalist, Chef Guy Vaknin, who saw a need for delicious, vegan sushi, and began creating gorgeous fruit and vegetable sushi. Each piece comes wrapped in either black forbidden rice or a customized six-grain rice blend. Tofu, veggie purées, and delicious sauces like toasted Cayenne, Carrot Ginger, Shiitake Teriyaki, Mango Chili, or White Miso take the place of high-sodium soy sauce (though you can still find it on the table). There are also delicious noodle soup bowls as well as appetizers and desserts.

There are only three small tables in the East 14th Street location, but we managed to score a spot by the window. Every single thing we ordered was delicious. My friends shared some sushi (and were kind of enough to share—I can totally vouch for the “Crunch N’ Munch” roll) and coconut curry noodles, while I went with a mushroom-tastic soba noodle bowl with white miso sauce. beyond sushi mushroom noodles

F-ing awesome. Did I ever mention that mushrooms are one of my favorite foods ever? If I lived closer, I would probably eat here all the time. I already can’t wait to go back. For those of you who prefer to stick to the west side, there’s also a location called The Green Roll in Chelsea Market. I’m looking for an excuse to visit soon. You should too.

Have you ever had vegetarian sushi? Do you like mushrooms? 

Disaster Soup with Kale & Mushrooms

Posted on Updated on

I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am that’s Friday!

This has felt like the longest week ever. Part of it is that I’m just “not a research person” and can’t handle sitting behind a desk all day next to a space heater. Part of it was the weather. Oh, and part of it was being the first person “ever” to blow a fuse in the bionutrition lab trying to plug in said space heater, thus rendering the entire computer system dead! Clearly, I am awesome. And by “awesome,” I mean, “a disaster in the lab setting.”

Needless to say, in addition to a lot of therapeutic apartment-cleaning, I was in need of some serious comfort food—aka soup. This creation (loosely inspired by this recipe) came together really quickly and allowed me to use up a bunch of stuff I had in the fridge and cupboard.IMG_1417


  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups mushrooms, sliced (I used baby bellas)
  • 1 bunch of kale, chopped
  • 4 cups water or broth
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can gigante beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, minced or dried
  • salt & pepper
  • turkey bacon (optional, but good if you have a some leftover to get rid of)
  • pecorino cheese, for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add garlic, mushrooms and rosemary.  Cook stirring occasionally until the mushrooms have cooked down but not become soggy (~5 minutes).
  2. Deglaze the pan with wine, stirring to get any bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add tomatoes, beans and broth. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so.
  3. Add kale and simmer for 5 or so more minutes.
  4. Garnish with crumbled turkey bacon and pecorino cheese. Serve with crusty bread.

Do you have any favorite cold-weather foods?

Mushroom-Hunting Adages

Posted on

I’ve been reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma the past week-and-a-half. I was just reading a chapter about his mushroom-hunting experience in California and felt compelled to share this paragraph, found in the middle of page 383:

Ben and Anthony had a slew of these mushroom-hunting adages and I collected them over the course of the day. “Seeing is boleting” means you never see any mushrooms until someone else has demonstrated their presence by finding one. “Mushroom frustration” is what you feel when everyone around you is seeing them and you’re still blind—until, that is, you find your first, thereby breaking you “mushroom virginity.” Then there’s the “cluster fuck,” when your eyes are on and other hunters crowd you, hoping your good fortune will rub off. Cluster fucking, I was given to understand, was bad manners. And then there was the “screen-saver”—the fact that after several hours interrogating the ground for little brown dunce caps, their images will be burned on your retinas. “You’ll see, when you get into bed tonight,” Ben said, “you’ll shut your eyes and there they’ll be again—wall-to-wall morels.”