Eating Right, Made Easy: Skinny Buddha offers chef-designed, nutrition-packed meals to grab and go

skinny buddha

Elyce Jacobson and Shaka Taffawa

Finding a place to eat that is completely vegan, organic and gluten-free in Westchester is an unexpected delight. And that’s exactly what Skinny Buddha is—times two.

Elyce Jacobson and Shaka Taffawa, co-owners of Skinny Buddha Organic Café in Scarsdale and Skinny Buddha Organic Kitchen in Mount Kisco, say they created the business to give more people access to flavorful, nourishing food made from the best ingredients. Both locations offer a broad variety of fresh, healthy items, from smoothies and açaí bowls to hot and cold beverages, soups, salads, wraps, entrees and baked goods.

“Our most popular items are our açaí bowls, our hummus wrap and our kale salad,” Jacobson says. “Right now, though, our vegan chili and soup of the day have been a hit, due to the colder weather.”

While many restaurants are shaving calories off their menu items, Skinny Buddha is about creating delicious meals that pack a nutritional punch. Jacobson, a vegan and certified holistic health counselor trained in Ayurvedic nutrition, graduated from Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School and received further training at the Natural Gourmet Cooking School.

Taffawa is a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist.

With Skinny Buddha, Jacobson and Taffawa have made it easy to eat well. Both locations are cozy, with limited seating, so they specialize in quick service, whether through made-to-order, pre-ordered or prepackaged meals.

“Customers can pop in and order off the menu, grab pre-packaged items from our fridges or choose from a large selection of baked goods,” Jacobson says. “They also have the option of pre-ordering on our app. They can place their orders days in advance or for pick up within a 10-to-30-minute window.”

The made-to-order menu includes items like smoothies, açaí bowls, burgers, avocado toast and bagels with vegan cream cheese. Soups of the day are also available.

Customers with specific health goals rely on Skinny Buddha’s soup cleanse and custom-prepared meals, as well as its smoothie-based Skinny Fast Plan.

“Our soup cleanse is Ayurvedic by design,” Jacobson says. “It offers six 16-ounce mason jars of soup per day. All of them are vegetable based. Some are puréed and creamy in texture, while some have chunks of vegetables to satisfy the chew factor.”

baked

Assorted organic, vegan, gluten-free
baked goods at Skinny Buddha

Skinny Buddha will prepare one to three custom meals a day for clients, working within a specific calorie range and making sure the meals are macro and micro nutrient balanced. With the Skinny Fast Plan, customers can choose two smoothies per day from the five signature smoothies on the menu, and they also get a snack. “They provide their own dinner or pick something up from us,” Jacobson says.

Skinny Buddha also produces vegan, organic meals for corporate events and business meetings and caters “smoothie bars” for private parties.

Whatever the food, the guarantee is that it’s nutritious and all natural.

“We work with a few different organic produce purveyors,” Jacobson says. “If we can’t get it organic, we won’t buy it.”

Right now there are just two Skinny Buddha locations, although that might change if popular demand has any sway.

“Our customers are always asking us to open locations where they live,” Taffawa says. “We’ve probably been asked to open up in a hundred different towns.”

Skinny Buddha Organic Café 6 Depot Plaza, Scarsdale, NY Monday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; 914.472.9646 MySkinnyBuddha.com

Skinny Buddha Organic Kitchen 159 Lexington Ave., Mount Kisco, NY Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; 914.358.1666; MySkinnyBuddha.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOUP’S HOT at Local Neighborhood Eateries

Pumpkin soup on served tableby Rinku Bhattacharya

Cold, snowy days bring with them the joys of celebrating home and hearth, indulging in warm and satisfying meals, and taking time to pause over a steaming bowl of soup. When done right, a good bowl of soup will warm the body and give you the much-needed nourishment to keep you healthy through the winter. In perusing local offerings, we found enough diverse and delicious soups to keep us nourished and happy. Neighborhood eateries are right up there when it comes to providing you a good bowl of soup, and often they are the next best thing to making the soup yourself.

Here is a short list of some of our favorite soup spots.

Bread Alone: Located in Rhinebeck, this European-style café offers more than just bread. It also brings to your table a good selection of breakfast offerings, salads and comforting soups that are perfectly complemented by their assorted breads (my personal favorite being the whole-wheat sourdough). The bakery is usually a common fixture in area farmers’ markets and is committed to working with locally procured ingredients.

45 E. Market St., Rhinebeck, NY; 845.876.3108

 

Ladle of Love: Located in Mount Kisco, this farm-to-table food shop has its roots in the simple, nourishing soups that proprietress Leslie Lampert initially made for two friends who were battling breast cancer, and later for Millwood, NY, firefighters working at Ground Zero after 9/11. Her menu offers a diverse selection of handcrafted soups and stews, ranging from her signature chicken and dumplings to hearty vegetarian offerings such as the Tuscan tomato, as well as salads and paninis for the “grab and go” customer. Café of Love, an award-winning farm-to-table bistro, is located above the food shop, while the newly launched Love On The Run delivers Ladle’s food to customers all over Westchester County. In keeping with its original mission, Ladle of Love continues to support local charities and community efforts each month.

11B South Moger Ave., Mount Kisco, NY; 914.242.9661

Skinny Buddha: Also located in Mount Kisco, the Skinny Buddha offers a fresh, clean approach to food and cooking, with healthy daily menus that offer organic soups that are usually vegan and gluten-free. The rest of their menu consists of salads that have optional add-ons for meat or sustainable seafood, such as their tantric tuna salad. The emphasis here is on a wholesome approach to eating and a natural lifestyle, with a mission to help people change the way they eat.

159 Lexington Ave., Mount Kisco, NY; 914.666.9646

 

Jolo’s Kitchen: Our fourth find for good and hearty soup is in New Rochelle. This family-owned business dishes up comforting vegan food straight from the heart. Whether you are in the mood for the hot soup of the day or want to try your luck at the raw cashew and vegetable bowl, this place is the spot for a delicious, plant-based bite. Their menu encompasses small plates, soups and entrées, all prepared with fresh and sustainable ingredients.

412 North Ave., New Rochelle, NY; 914.355.2527