Flip Burger @ Bloomingdales 59th Street NYC

5 Feb

It was the first snow storm of 2014… We wanted to get out of the house, but did not want to manage the snow and cold outside. I suggested: “Let’s just take the subway and it can take us right underneath the belly of one of my favorite department stores in NYC – Bloomingdale’s. Deal??“ They all agreed…

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The day BEFORE the storm… but the same cast of characters.

When we arrived it was already 3PM and we were HUNGRY!!! Who can shop while hungry?? I sure can’t. So we looked at the store directory but there were many options to choose from. Let’s just go checking them out floor by floor as we encounter them and we’ll decide what works best, OK?

Flip was the first option available… right up the stairs from the level where the 4-5-6 subway leaves you. When we discovered it was a burger joint, Tere and my mom were discouraged as, more often than not, burgers means meat burgers only. But we were in NYC after all and I said to myself… “Madelyn, read thru all the burger options before dismissing this restaurant”. And there they were!!!! VARIOUS, not just one, various vegetarian options!!!!

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I wish I had taken a picture of the menu for you… I was sure I was going to find it online, but unfortunately that is not the case. The menu presented a veggie burger and a Portobello Mushroom burger option, my favorite. We sat down and ordered… You could have your pic of bread, burger, and toppings. The vegetarian options come with 2 toppings included beyond the lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle. My burger was a Portobello mushroom burger on a whole wheat/multigrain roll with goat cheese and avocados. YUM!!!

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They also have fries to accompany your burger… we went for the thin crispy fries and the sweet potato fries. They were both superb… But I should warn you, those thin fries don’t seem to ever end. The more you eat, the more they seem to be in your plate. I ate and ate and we still brought the leftovers back home with us.

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Even though Flip @ Bloomingdale’s is not a vegetarian place… in true NYC fashion they have meat-free options for us vegetarian gals. Who wants to go shopping on an empty stomach?? Not me for sure… and the next time I visit Bloomie’s, I know I’ll have a craving for a burger.

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My kind of Super Bowl

2 Feb

You already know I am not a fan of football… I may be a fan of football players, but only if they’re cute. ;)

But given that today is the grandest day for football fans, I would like to offer you all non-football fans just like me a different kind of BOWL.  A bowl you can cozy up to and will warm up your day.  I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do.

Baby Spinach Pasta

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Roasted Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Pasta

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Eggplant and Goat Cheese Bake

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Orzotto with Spinach and Mushrooms

Orzotto with Mushrooms and Spinach

Veggie Tortilla Soup

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Potato Leek Soup

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Carob Oatmeal with Cranberries

Carob Oatmeal with Cranberries

KarmaFree Cooking’s 2nd Cooking Class – February 1, 2014

29 Jan

We had so much fun during our 1st ever KarmaFree Cooking class…. that we’re doing it all over again.  

Our second class is all about LOVE…  Loving yourself first thru food.  These are recipes perfect to make just for yourself, to make for someone special or even for a crowd.  Please join us this coming Saturday, February 1 at the Centro Cultural Yoga Devanand in Caparra Terrace, Puerto Rico.

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I am building the menu as I type…  so please bear with me and trust it’ll be a delicious and easy to make menu.

The course will be given in SPANISH.  But if someone interested has limited Spanish knowledge, please let us know and we could make arrangements for those interested.

This is a practical course, you will get your hands dirty and cook alongside me and Angie.  Please bring an apron, pen and paper to take notes.  You’ll leave with a copy of the recipes so you can replicate them with confidence at home.

When: Saturday, February 1, 2014

Time:  9:30AM to 12noon

Where: Centro Cultural Yoga Devanand, Caparra Terrace, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Contribution: $35

Limited seating for up to 15 students…  so please click on the link and reserve your space today.  You can call 787-273-0236 for more information.  Or email me at karmafreecooking{at}yahoo{dot}com.

Te esperamos…

KarmaFree Cooking 1st Cooking Class Recap

28 Jan

You asked for it… and we heard you.

Last December we held our first KarmaFree Cooking class at the Centro Cultural Yoga Devanand kitchens.  A delicious vegetarian Puerto Rican Xmas menu designed to help the students discover and taste for themselves that traditional Xmas fare can be made vegetarian without losing any authenticity.

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The menu included:

Rosemary Almonds

Can be enjoyed as an Appetizer or Salad Topper or even as a homemade gift.  It’s a true KarmaFree Cooking favorite.

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Raw Yuca Pastelón – all the flavors of a traditional pastel in an easier to make format

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Brown Rice and Pigeon Peas – a classic of Puerto Rican cuisine

Arroz con Gandules

Yautía Fritters – the flavors of  alcapurrias, but without the filling

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A not so typical Salad – including some non-traditional salad ingredients and a delicious Parsley Garlic Dressing

A New Salad

My version of Tembleque – the quick, easy and vegan dessert we all love

Tembleque My Way

We had a lovely time during our cooking class.  To be honest, this is the first time I have taught an official class.  I have shared my recipes with my friends many, many times, but never in a class setting.  I hope the students who participated enjoyed it as much as I did.

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I would like to thank everyone who attended.  Some were personal friends, some are friends I have gotten to know thru the blog, others have been KarmaFree Cooking fans for a while…  I kinda felt like a celebrity when they told me that.  Your support and interest gets me going.  And it was real nice to have Adriana from Great Food 360 with us and specially to have her take the most awesome pics ever.  I need to ask Santa for a new camera STAT.

But I also want to send a special shout-out to my friend Angie… she was my co-instructor in this class and she ROCKED!!!  She’s my friend, but she was also one of my first vegetarian cooking teachers.  She was the “owner” of the Brown Rice and Pigeon Peas and Raw Yuca Pastelón Recipes.  We always talk recipes and it was a delight to have her on the team.

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Also, a special thanks to my mom… she was the official picker-upper and was in charge of doing the dishes, helping us keep the space clean for the students to cook.  Goes to show you the value of having someone helping you keeping things tidy in the kitchen.

Please visit the links of the recipes in the class above… and stay tuned for our next class coming up on February 1st.  

Potato Spinach Gratin with Goat Cheese

27 Jan

After I came back from Peru, I decided to make some new potato recipes to celebrate my love for potatoes. Peru boasts to have over 1,000 potato varieties and had the chance to eat some of them. Something we noticed from the potatoes we had in Peru is the Peruvian potatoes seem to be denser and drier than potatoes in our neck of the woods.

We might not have such a wide variety, but we sure have available some tasty spuds – the russet being the most popular or ubiquitous of them all.

Ever since the trip I was brainstorming potato ideas and this one was a particular one I wanted to try… a combination of scalloped potatoes and creamed spinach. Two very rich traditionally considered side dishes, blended together to make one killer vegetarian main entrée.

Spinach Scalloped POtatoes

POTATO SPINACH GRATIN WITH GOAT CHEESE

1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ bag of baby spinach
1 cup heavy cream, divided
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tbs butter, to grease baking dish
2 large russet potatoes
4 oz fresh goat cheese
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. Butter the inside of a 8-by-6-by-2-inch (6-cup) baking dish.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions soften. Add the fresh baby spinach in batches of about 2 handfuls. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet for about a minute to help the spinach wilt and smother itself. Continue adding spinach in increments and smother it so it wilts. Season with salt and pepper after adding each batch of spinach.
  4. Add ½ cup of heavy cream and stir together with the onion and spinach mixture. Season with grated nutmeg and allow the cream to bubble and reduce to a creamy consistency. This will take about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool off a bit while you work with the potatoes.
  5. Wash the potatoes well and slice using a mandolin… please be careful and use the guard whenever you use a mandolin to slice anything. Place in a large bowl.
  6. Mix together the sliced potatoes with the creamed spinach, the ½ cup left of heavy cream, most of the crumbled goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Transfer the potato/spinach mixture to the buttered baking dish. It can be messy, but go in batches so you can accommodate the potatoes as flat as possible. Press down to smooth the potatoes and pour all the heavy cream left in the bowl. Place the remaining goat cheese crumbled over the top.

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8.  Bake for approximately 90 minutes, until the potatoes are very tender and the top is browned and bubbly.

9.  Allow to set for about 10-15 minutes before serving.

I make this in my toaster oven. It makes enough for 2 people or for me to eat twice. If you wish to double the recipe, use a 10 x 15 baking dish, same cooking time…

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