NYC is always inspiring! I get hyper just thinking about all of the options… the fashion, the shops, the green spaces, art galleries, the farmers markets, restaurants, the food trucks, the museums. There are so many things to do and see, you can suffer from sensory overload for sure. On my most recent visit last week the places that inspired me most for my own lifestyle and lifestyle aspirations were the Union Square Farmers Market and the Westville restaurant in Chelsea (one of 4 NYC locations: http://www.westvillenyc.com).
My friend and I were roaming the neighborhood and just happened upon the inviting location, filled to capacity long after the traditional lunch hour had passed. It was one of those intimate neighborhood places, a small and inviting space filled with the chatter of friends, that always draws me in to a place. It’s not a vegetarian restaurant as all sorts of good things grace their menu but it sure seemed to be a specialty if one was to judge from the platters of veggies and large salads on everyone’s table.
I could easily be a vegetarian. I already eat way more veggies than most, but I don’t think I am as inventive as I know I could be with my recipes. I’m the person who loves when veggies and salads are prepared for me…I know, it doesn’t make sense.
Four years ago while attending my yoga teacher training at Lalita, a retreat in Acebo, Spain (western Spain close to Portugal), I lived on a vegetarian diet for 3 weeks. I loved it! Till this day I love to eat tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and some crusty bread for breakfast as that was our daily breakfast meal. I vowed and tried to continue the diet when I returned home, but my repertoire of recipes and well… laziness I guess… kept me from exploring what I know to be are amazing vegetarian meal options.
So as we sat down to lunch at Westville to eat our delicious Moroccan carrots, beets with goat cheese, quinoa salad and carrot/lentil salad with some great bread my interest was renewed. So I rushed off to the Cowtown Farmers Market in Fort Worth upon my return. (I still can’t believe I live in a place they nickname Cowtown…another story for another day), and bought some baby eggplant, baby zucchini, fresh bread from the Artisan Baking Co. (www.artisan-baking-company.com) and started my now weeklong journey into the preparation of vegetarian dishes that closely mimic my Westville experience..zucchini tarts, roasted eggplant with pine nuts, my own version of the Moroccan carrots with lemon, cumin, honey and mint! I so wish we had a Westville here in “Cowtown” but until then I am hoping to keep up the momentum inspired by my trip.
Fun, delicious, healthy, easy! I even ordered a new version of the “Moosewood Cookbook” one of my first sources of good vegetarian meals from the 1970’s on ebay. Now where are my earth shoes?…Don’t make fun, you know you had a pair!