Plant Based Meetup Dinner on May 18

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Jeanne Schumacher

Plant Based–Westchester, a pod group for the grassroots movement inspired by the movie Plant Pure Nation, is having a Meetup dinner on May 18, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Eda’s Garden, located at 1871 Commerce Drive in Yorktown Heights. Jeanne Schumacher founded the group three years ago, to inspire people to change their health destiny by adopting a whole-foods, plant-based lifestyle and reducing the toxins in their life. “We’ve done potlucks, movies, cooking demos and lectures on plant-based living,” she says. “I’m passionate about making a difference in the lives of others by teaching them practical ways to improve their health.”

Chef John from Eda’s Garden will prepare a salt-, sugar- and oil-free meal for the evening: a falafel slider, a veggie slider, a jackfruit slider and a drop cookie for $12. However, people can order whatever they want, Schumacher says. “The falafel is so good, the banana crepe is beyond amazing, and everything is organic.” Participants should bring a plant-based dessert to share (visit StarchQueens.net for recipe ideas).

Banana crepe at Eda's“After dinner, Chef John will do a cooking demo on how to make a slider,” Schumacher says. “After the cooking event, we will talk and share recipes and positive health changes that we’ve seen. It is a wonderful get-together.”

For more info, email JeanneSchumacher@gmail.com. Space is limited. To reserve a spot, call the restaurant at 914.352.6280.

 

 

 

 

Healthy MedMex Restaurant Opens in Scarsdale

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Shrimp Tacos at PopoJito

A new, 30-seat restaurant in Scarscale is offering gluten-free, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with a Mexican sensibility. PopoJito, located at 47 Christie Place across from the Scarsdale train station, is the latest culinary venture of Chef Constantine Kalandranis. He also owns 8 North Broadway in Nyack and 273 Kitchen in Harrison. Like those other restaurants, PopoJito offers creative, fresh fare featuring locally-sourced proteins, seasonal vegetables and classic flavor elements like smooth tahini and bright citrus.

Healthy with a Twist
What makes PopoJito different is its Mexican-inspired dish structuring, using freshly made corn-based tacos and tortillas to encase an array of grilled, cured or roasted proteins, along with chunks of lemony vegetable salads.

Every dish on the menu is designed to be both delicious and healthy. There are no gluten-based products used in the restaurant, and the menu is paleo-friendly. They are also fully organic, incorporating locally sourced ingredients that contain no GMOs, antibiotics, refined sugar or trans fats.

The food at PopoJito’s can be enjoyed either on the go or in the good-vibes-only restaurant. For visitors who choose to dine in, the space has a casual, welcoming atmosphere that invites them to relax and linger over their food. For those diners, PopoJito’s offers a tequila bar along with wine and beer.

Melding Meals
The name PopoJito merges the Greek word for “wow” (popo) and the Spanish word for “beautiful” (jito).

“It’s delicious and practical to meld elements of Mediterranean classics with Mexican sensibility to create super-tasty, healthy and portable dishes like grilled octopus with lemony tomato and cucumber drizzled with tahini and wrapped in a freshly made warm tortilla,” Kalandranis says. “Our customers in Westchester want great-tasting food that is straightforward, satisfying and easy. We’ve designed PopoJito’s essence around convenient and sophisticated food that is commuter-friendly.”

Kalandranis trained at the Culinary Institute of America, where he learned about cooking techniques, service and professionalism. Before opening his own restaurants in Westchester, he worked at esteemed dining establishments including Gotham Bar & Grill, Brasserie Perrier, Veritas, L’impero, The Tasting Room and Anthos, which received a Michelin Star. He also cooked for President Barack Obama at the White House.

After falling in love with the Hudson Valley during college, Kalandranis returned to the area to open 8 North Broadway. In 2015, he opened 273 Kitchen as well as 251 Lex in Mount Kisco.

PopoJito is open Monday through Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Contact the restaurant at 914.713.8946. For more info or to see a menu, visit PopoJito.com.

 

 

Something for Everyone: “Clean” Food Becomes Comfort Food at Eda’s Garden

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When Adil Mustafaraj opened Eda’s Garden, a new café-style restaurant in Yorktown, he refused to limit himself to a certain type of menu. He and his wife had found inspiration from many restaurants they’d visited over the years—vegan, farm-to-table, kid-friendly, organic, diet-specific—and he wanted to borrow from all of them to deliver comfort food in a casual setting.

He knew he’d found the person to bring his vision to life when Jonathan Gonzales answered his ad for executive chef. It was a Sunday afternoon, and Gonzales came in and quickly mixed up five salad dressings and then a full three-course meal for Mustafaraj and some friends.

Mustafaraj was impressed with Gonzales’s skills in the kitchen, and Gonzales was excited by Mustafaraj’s vision. The menu ideas started flowing.

They decided to make most items plant-based, so that customers who are vegan or can’t eat animal proteins can enjoy them. Any animal products used would be of the highest quality possible, such as free-range organic chicken, wild sockeye salmon, local eggs and organic whole milk.

“We want to make everyone feels welcome and taken care of,” Gonzales says.

Hence a broad variety of food and drinks, from homemade soups made fresh daily (veggie chili, “cream” of potato made with coconut milk, broccoli “cheddar” made with cashew, several bean soups); to organic smoothies (the Green Monster is made of kale, mango, dates, spirulina and almond milk); to fresh organic juices (like the Road Runner, which is pineapple, spinach, kale, pear and cayenne pepper); to hot teas (chamomile, earl grey, green, chai, hibiscus) and cold tea blends (chai master, berry burst, lean green).

Then there’s Eda’s Garden’s very own footlong: the XL Falafel Wrap. “That’s a big seller,” Mustafaraj says. “It’s homemade, gluten-free, baked chickpea falafel pieces in a 100 percent lentil wrap, with hummus.”

In keeping with its inclusive mission, the restaurant is also developing a kids’ menu. So far it has four items: Mac ’N’ Cheese, Little Dippers, Kids’ Parfait and Mediterranean Snack Pack. It even has Taco Tuesday (three tacos for $12).

While Gonzales is constantly introducing new menu items, he’s also paying particular attention to diet-specific needs, keeping everything gluten-free and keeping oil to a minimum.

“You can love what you eat and still have it be healthy,” he says. Mustafaraj nods. “Our food is delicious because we love what we do—and cook with love and care.” Food is available for eat-in or takeout, and catering and delivery are available with a minimum $30 order.

Eda’s Garden, located at 1871 Commerce St., Yorktown Heights, NY, is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more info, call the restaurant at 914.352.6280 or visit EdasGarden.com or Facebook.com/EdasGarden.

 

Fable Farm in Westchester Launches Barnraiser Campaign

fableFable, a small farm in Ossining, has launched a Barnraiser campaign to raise $15,000 to expand its sustainable operations. The farm grows and sells produce for farmers’ markets, the New York Presbyterian/Hudson  Valley Hospital, Turco’s in Yorktown Heights, and its Farmstand.
Located off Route 134 near the Taconic State Parkway, Fable grows crops year-round in a hydroponic greenhouse. Among its specialties are herbs, leafy greens, tomatoes, squash, garlic and eggs. The goal of the Barnraiser campaign is to help make healthy, sustainable farming the norm by pioneering the next generation of responsibly grown food and humanely raised chickens. By raising $15,000, Fable could double field production, install a cold storage room, construct beehives and lengthen the chicken field to accommodate 300 free-range chickens for fresh organic eggs.
The Barnraiser campaign ends December 9, 2016 at 9 p.m. Donators can pledge any amount, although “rewards” are listed at specified levels. If Fable does not reach its $15,000 goal, it will not receive any of the funds and donators will not be charged. Find the campaign at Barnraiser.us/projects/help-us-grow-the-farm.

For more info, visit FableFoods.com.

Couples Cooking Class and Thanksgiving Veggies at Hilltop Hanover Farm

Hilltop Hanover FarmOn Friday, November 18, 2013, Hilltop Hanover Farm continues its “Couples Cooking” series with Karen Symington Muendell, chef and owner at Serves You Right, Culinary. Couples can attend to learn how to cook several healthy and delicious restaurant-quality dishes from scratch.

A graduate of The French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center) and founder of the Yorktown Farmers’ Market, Muendell’s specialty is farm-to-table cooking with a Creole flair. The event begins at 7 p.m., the fee is $75 per couple and participants can bring a bottle of wine to accompany their homemade meal. The class is limited to 12 couples, and online registration is required at BrownPaperTickets.com/event/484780.

Those thinking ahead to Thanksgiving may also wish to order a Vegetable Box from Hilltop Hanover Farm. The boxes feature seasonal favorites grown with organic methods and a small book of recipes for side dishes to serve four people. The vegetables, presented in Hilltop Hanover totes, will be ready for pick-up on the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving. Items may include Brussels sprouts, squash, potatoes, carrots, braising greens, salad mixes, herbs, cabbage, turnip, fennel and more. To order a box, complete the application found at HilltopHanoverFarm.org or visit the farm office.

Hilltop Hanover Farm is located at 1271 Hanover St. in Yorktown Heights, NY. For more information, call 914.962.2368 or visit HilltopHanoverFarm.org.

 

Detoxing and Liquid Fasts Made Delicious at Jojo’s Kitchen in New Rochelle, NY

JolosJolo’s Kitchen in New Rochelle, NY, is known for its tasty vegan food with the flavor of the Caribbean. The restaurant also offers delicious detox meals and fast programs. Jojo’s basic 3-day liquid fasts begin at $35 per day and include: an initial half-hour consultation, breakfast blends, lunch juice, raw soup, a wheatgrass shot, a gallon of alkaline water and herbal teas for each day. Semi-liquid fasts are also offered and vary according to the meals prepared. Jojo’s also serves liquid breakfast meals, which are a combination of nuts, fruit, coconut, and almond or cashew milk. Liquid lunches include wheatgrass and usually alternate between green juices and carrot, beet and ginger juice. Dinner consists of a raw soup. The majority of the ingredients used in the detox and fasting meals are organic, and alkaline water in used in the food preparation.

Jolo’s Kitchen is located at 412 North Ave., New Rochelle, NY. For more information, call 914.355.2527 or visit JolosKitchen.com, Facebook.com/JolosKitchenRestaurant, or JolosKitchen.blogspot.com.