Friday, December 12, 2008

Veggie Cheap Eat: Creations Cafe

Creations cafe, located on 400 Main St in Wakefield, is a small cafe that serves healthy and affordable lunch options in a casual relaxed setting. With wraps, smoothies, salads, soups there are plenty of great eats for vegetarians. I went to Creations Cafe for lunch yesterday and ordered their Main Street salad ($4.95) made with romaine lettuce, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and feta cheese. Instead of the usual Greek dressing, (generally made with anchovies), the salad was served with a garlic balsamic vinaigrette. To my surprise the portion size of the salad was quite large and the large wooden bowl the salad was served in was a nice touch.

Other vegetarian options include a garlic hummus wrap, miso noodle soup bowl and an eggplant balsamic panini. Customers at Creations cafe can also enjoy free wireless Internet. Service is very friendly and the owner always greets you with a smile. The place is quite cozy with just 5 or 6 tables, but you will generally not have a problem finding a seat. Definitely worth checking out if you are looking for a healthy affordable lunch in the Wakefield area.

Creations Car Park on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Veggie Deal at Vee Vee's

Vee Vee's in Jamaica Plain is offering a great vegetarian deal. On Sundays and Tuesdays they are offering an appetizer and an entree for $19. Their menu features vegetarian entrees such as buttersquash enchiladas served with salsa verde, black beans, jack cheese, and ricotta dumplings with herbed spaghetti squash, tomato sauce and shaved fennel.

Here is the information from their website:

Sunday & Tuesday Night Prix Fixe:

$19 vegetarian or $24 non-vegetarian

Select any appetizer from our regular menu*, then choose your entree. The price is determined by your entree selection.

Special prix fixe for dining in only.

*lobster sausage appetizer an additional $4

Monday, December 1, 2008

Upstairs on the Square

It is great to see so many upscale restaurants in Boston offering vegetarian options. Gone are the days where dining at high end establishments meant steamed vegetables and lettuce for vegetarians. Restaurants all over Boston are offering vegetarian tasting menus that cater to the vegetarian palate.

I was delighted when Upstairs on the Square invited me to try their Vegetarian Tasting menu. The tasting menu consisted of five and seven courses at first I thought the meal would be heavy and overwhelming, but instead it was light and delicious. The vegetarian tasting menu is served in the Soiree room and consists of a 5 ($55) or 7($70) course meal with additional wine parings for $32, $45.

The ambiance of Upstairs on the Square is a delightful experience all on its own. As a guest at Upstairs on the Square your eyes will feast on the pink colored walls,the mirrored glass ceilings, and the beautiful bay windows that overlook Harvard Square. As many patrons will say, you really do feel like you are dining in Alice in Wonderland.

The evening started with a glass of 2007 Kung Fu Girl Riesling, a cool crisp white wine that evoked mild sweet flavors of apple, pear and lime. This was one of the best Rieslings I have ever had. The first course was the Roasted Baby Beets served with a strong, but delicious, horseradish panna cotta and drizzled in passion fruit sauce. The passion fruit sauce was simple but added a nice sweet citrus flavor to the dish.

The Potage of Jerusalem Artichokes, a smooth creamy soup topped with crunchy sorrel and chive oil. This was my favorite course and I was amazed that this dish was thickened without cream but with the base of a sunflower. Embedded in the soup were tiny fried black trumpet mushrooms which added to its texture. The Ravioli of Pierre Robert Cheese was draped in lovage butter and finely chopped green apples. It was tasty but a bit too pungent and salty for my liking.

Following the Warm Artichokes and Haricots Verts, was the Harvest Vegetables and Tiny Ricotta Gnocchi. Instead of the usual cream sauce, the Gnocchi was served in a flavorful cardamom wine broth with shitake mushrooms and mint.

The meal ended with a decadent dessert which had adorable presentation and was a miniature tasting all on its own. The dessert consisted of a small cup of almond hot chocolate, topped with marshmallow fluff, a tiny chocolate almond cake and two pieces of dark almond chocolate.

The service at Upstairs on the Square was exemplary and our waitress went over every dish in detail. Overall Upstairs on the Square was a luxurious experience and the vegetable tasting menu was perfect, not too heavy but enough to make you want to come back for more.

Upstairs on the Square on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mushroom Mutter

This North Indian dish is one of my favorite dishes to make, especially in the cold months, the spices and flavors just warm you up. It is easy to make, healthy and it tastes great. I use non-fat yogurt as a thickening agent but you can also use cream. This dish can also be made vegan with the omission of yogurt or the cream. Here is my mother's recipe, enjoy!


1 8 oz package of chopped white mushrooms
¾ 14.5 oz can of stewed tomatoes
2 cups frozen peas
2 tsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of chili powder
1 tsp of Garam Masala
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tsp of shredded ginger
1 tsp of sugar
3 tbsp of yogurt
3 tbsp of olive oil
¾ cup of water

Heat the olive oil in the pan. Then add the onions & garlic and sauté them until the onions are golden brown. Add the tomatoes and 3/4 cup of water and stir all the ingredients.
Add the coriander, turmeric, chili, and garam masala to the dish and mix all the ingredients well. Add the peas, mushrooms, shredded ginger, and sugar to the dish.
Whisk yogurt in a bowl until it is of a smooth consistency, and then add it to the dish. Cover the pan and reduce heat, and simmer until the peas are soft and tender. Garnish with parsley or coriander. Serve with roti, “Indian bread” rice or bread.

Servers 2-4 people
This recipe is featured on The Leather District Gourmet , written by Jacqueline Church. Jacqueline was a panelist at a recent Povo Blogger's event that I had attended and she invited me to submit a recipe on her blog. Check out her website and every Tuesday she has a meat free post.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Veggie Cheap Eat:Bamboo


In and around Boston, it can be difficult at times to find upscale Chinese restaurants that cater to vegetarians. Located next to Flatbread in Bedford Ma, Bamboo serves Chinese food and sushi in a sleek modern setting and offers plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. With bamboo shoots, dimmed lighting and quilted wall hangings, the ambiance of Bamboo is quite elegant.

My two favorite dishes at Bamboo are the Eggplant in garlic sauce ($9.50) and the Singapore Rice noodles ($8.95).The Singapore rice noodles is a delicious curried noodle dish made with onions and green and red peppers. The eggplant in garlic sauce is good, but pretty standard. Since Bamboo also serves Sushi, you can order an avocado roll or a miso soup as an appetizer. The portions are plentiful, and the prices for vegetarian entrees are under $10, making it a great veggie cheap eat. They offer an eclectic drink menu and their lychee martini is a must. Service is friendly and they were patient with all of my vegetarian questions.

Bamboo has three other locations; Westford, Dedham and the Mandarin in Reading. They also have a daily lunch buffet and a dinner buffet on Sunday nights. Definitely a good place for a veggie cheap eat if you are in the area.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Vegetarian Happy Hour at Tantric in Boston

Tantric in Boston has a Happy Hour menu at their bar that offers several vegetarian and vegan appetizers for only $2.99 with a $2.50 minimum beverage purchase. This is great because most happy hour menus do not cater to vegetarians. Non vegetarian appetizers are also available. Below is the menu from their website.

Aloo Kulcha - Potato Filled Fresh Baked Bread

Chili Cheese Naan - Pepper Jack Cheese Stuffed Bread

Gobi Manchurian Indo - Chinese style cauliflower florets sauteed with onions & green pepper, in a sweet and sour chili paste

Bhel Poori - A Mumbai favorite of Rice crisps, crunchy gram-flour vermicelli, onions, tomatoes & cilantro, drizzled with sweet and sour tamarind sauce and coriander mint chutney.

Pakoras - Vegetable fritters served with tamarind and mint chutneys

Available in the Bar Only Sunday – Friday 3:30-6:00PM and Monday – Thursday 8:30PM –9:45PM, Friday & Saturday 10 – midnight 2.50 Beverage Minimum Per Person Required

On Tuesday Nights, Tantric is offering free Henna Tattoos from 7-9:30 with any $10 purchase.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

On Saturday I went to the 2008 Boston Vegetarian Food Festival at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. There were over 100 exhibitors featuring, natural foods, restaurants, and other non-food products that support a healthy way of life.

Thousands of people attended the festival. Despite the crowds, I thoroughly enjoyed sampling different food products and learning about vegetarian offerings in the Boston area.

Here are some of my favorite vendors:

Super Seedz:

What an interesting concept? Super Seedz are shelled, flavored pumpkin seeds and are available in four different flavors, somewhat spicy, sea salt, original curry and sugar & cinnamon. The food producer, Kathy Rosenschein said that pumpkin seeds contain an essential vitamin B12 that is found mostly in meat. It's a great option for a low carb snack.

Buddha Hut:

Bhudda Hut is a vegan Asian restaurant located in Worcester Ma on Chandler st. They were selling Asian food from their restaurant at the fair. I ordered the noodles and the vegetarian fried rice, both were surprisingly really good. I will definitely have to stop by Buddha Hut for more yummy food and the best part is that I do not have to worry about fish sauce. The owner mentioned an opening of another restaurant in the Boston in the near future.

Good Neighbor Hommus

I sampled quite a few different brands of hummus at the fair, but Good Neighbor’s hommus brand was the best. It is made with organic ingredients and comes in unique flavors, my favorite being, Sweet Red Pepper Hommus. Their black bean dip was equally delicious.

The Boston Vegetarian Food Festival was a fun event and is worth checking out next year, admission and parking is free so there is not much to lose.

Monday, November 3, 2008


If you have never been to the downtown in Lexington MA its worth checking out. There are a lot of nice restaurants and shops where you can avoid the parking hassles in Boston. With its classy New England feel, dining in downtown Lexington Ma is perfect for a night out. Kushboo located on Massachusetts Ave in Lexington serves Indian food in an elegant setting. There is also a nice outdoor patio available in the summer time.

As an Indian, I am a bit biased when it comes to Indian cuisine as nothing tastes better to me than homemade Indian food. I find Indian dishes at restaurants to be too heavy and oily but in comparison to most Indian restaurants the food at Kushboo was tasty. I went with a few friends to Kushboo and between the four of us we ordered, Doaba Samosas ($4.25) for appetizers, Saag Paneer ($10.95), Navratan Korma ($10.25) , and the Tindi Bindi ($11.25).

The Doaba Samosas, filled with potatoes and vegetables were quite good. I liked the fact that they were not as oily as samosas at most Indian restaurants. The Saag Paneer was excellent, it was not too heavy and it was filled with flavor. Navratan Korma was okay, it would have tasted better if it had less cream. The Tindi Bindi was well made but it needed a few more spices to make it more flavorful.

For dessert we shared the Safforon Pistachio, $4.25, and the Doaba Exotic Kulfi Ice Cream, $3.25. The safforon ice cream was very good and the Kulfi ice cream was tasty but was too frozen to eat.

Overall I enjoyed my time at Kusboo, with good food and an elegant ambiance its worth checking out if you are in the area.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Curried Black Bean and Corn

Here is my recipe for curried Black Bean and Corn Dish. As a kid my mom used to make this dish with just corn and I loved it. Beans are healthy and filled with protein so I thought, why not add some black beans to this dish? Its yummy, healthy and easy to make.


1 can of black bean
1 can of corn
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2tsp Garam Masala Powder
1tsp Chili Powder
2tsp Cumin Powder
2tsp Coriander Powder
1 cup water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp of grated ginger
1 Tbsp of lemon juice

Salt to taste

Saute onions and garlic in pan with olive oil until onions are a golden brown. Add tomato sauce and water and stir. Add garam masala, chili powder, coriander powder, and ginger to the pot. Add corn and beans to gravy and then stir the ingredients in the pot. Cover and reduce heat and let it simmer for five minutes. Add lemon juice to dish and stir . Serve with roti, bread or rice.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Veggie Cheap Eat:Cafe Algiers

Looking to escape with a cup of coffee and a good book, Café Algiers is the perfect place. It is a sit down restaurant located on Brattle Street in Harvard Square and serves Middle Eastern food in a charming relaxed setting. The eclectic ambiance, with yellow and red walls, high ceilings and ethnic wall hangings is why patrons can’t get enough of this place. The restaurant is not upscale and even though the tables are wobbly and close together it ironically adds to the character of the restaurant. It is one of the few restaurants in the Boston area where you can spend hours relaxing with a cup of coffee or have an intimate conversation with someone, without the staff disturbing you. There is also a nice outdoor patio, perfect for the warm months.

Café Algiers has a few different healthy vegetarian/vegan offerings for $10 and under. I had the soup of the day, a vegetarian lentil soup ($4.95) and the Tabbouli salad ($9.95). The lentil soup is thick and simple, a great source of protein for us vegetarians, but it lacked salt and maybe was a bit too bland for my liking. The Tabbouli salad also needed a bit of salt and lemon juice to give it more flavor.

They offer a wide selection of hot beverages including a mint coffee and tea which are both very popular. I ended the evening with a hot chocolate which was delicious but I was disappointed that they only made it with whole milk. The only con is that the service is slow and I had to wait a while after being seated to place an order.

Café Algiers is a great place to relax and unwind with its cozy and charming ambiance. The food is good, not excellent, but it is healthy and inexpensive and they offer a unique selection of coffees and desserts.

Café Algiers on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Inexpensive Asian Vegan Cooking Class

Whole Foods in Swampscott MA is having a one hour Asian vegan cooking class. It sounds interesting and is inexpensive.

Monday, October 27th

Asian Cooking Class with Carl Savoia
7:00-8:00 p.m. $15 per person (pre-registration is required at Customer Service)

Learn how to make authentic Asian dishes such as miso soup incorporating sea vegetables, along with asian salad, adzuki with squash, brown rice, savory root vegetables, and more! Cooking Class is held in the cafe at the front of the store. Space is limited... sign up today!

331 Paradise Rd
Swampscott, MA 01907
(781) 592-6080

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

Vegetarians and non vegetarians, mark your calendars for the 13th annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival The event is on November 1st at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont Street in Boston MA. Admisson and parking is free. The event takes place form 10am to 6pm.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

World Vegetarian Day

October 1st is World Vegetarian Day and starts the kick off of Vegetarian Awareness Month! Here are 14 reasons to be a vegetarian according to the The Vegetarian Alliance

1.With proper exercise and a vegetarian diet your body will naturally regulate it’s weight (as long as you do not have any circumstances preventing this…thyroid problems.)

2.You will feel lighter and more energetic.

3.Vegetarians are 40% less likely to get certain cancers related to meat-eating (colon and prostate cancer, for example).

4.The risk of heart disease and strokes drops about 50%.

5. Mucus that forms in the throat and nasal passages is reduced or eliminated with the elimination of dairy products.

6.Lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

7.Vegetarians have been found to have stronger immune systems.

8.Lower risk of osteoporosis, Alzheimer's and asthma.

9.Life expectancy is 6 to 10 years longer than that of a meat-eater.

10. Reduce the demand for factory farming and the horrible animal cruelty that is associated with mass producing meat and dairy.

11.Reduce greenhouse gases and other pollutants – Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of the worlds greenhouse gas emissions and 64% of ammonia emissions which contribute to acid rain.

12.Farmed animals produce about 130 times as much excrement as the entire human population of the United States. This contributes to water pollution, air contamination and the destroying of top soil.

13.Animal production is highly inefficient. Animals raised for food use up 70% of the grain, 80% of the agricultural land and nearly 50% of the country’s water supply in the United States alone.

14.The average vegetarian save about 95 animal lives a year.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Filled with beans, salsa and veggies, burritos make for a great inexpensive vegetarian meal. Strolling around Davis Square, I was in search of a quick snack to tie me over before dinner. I decided to check out Chipotle in Davis Square for a bite. To my surprise, for a chain restaurant Chipotle was actually quite tasty. As a vegetarian, the nice thing about getting a burrito at a chain restaurant is that you know for sure if the rice and beans are vegetarian. Since I was looking for a snack, I ordered a soft taco for ($2) for a quick bite. Although Chipotle may not be authentic, I love their salsa choices and the sautéed vegetables were filled with flavor. The cheese was freshly shredded unlike the cheese slices other burrito places use. In my soft taco, I had the the corn salsa, (medium spice) and the fresh salsa, (mild spice), the combination of the two is delicious. The rice is vegetarian, made with cilantro and lime. Similar to most places, they offer black or pinto beans. The service at the Chipotle in Davis Square was friendly and they have an outdoor patio which is nice during the summertime. The fillings were overflowing in the soft taco, so if you are looking to roll up your soft taco than ask for less toppings, but I always say the more veggies, the better. Definitely a good place for a cheap veggie bite.

Chipotle Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 22, 2008


Hmmm a warm crepe filled with nutella, bananas and toasted walnuts, what more could one ask for? I was strolling around Davis Square looking for a quick snack that was not too expensive and decided to go to Mr. Crepe for a bite. I love their savory crepes as they have quite a few vegetarian crepes to choose from. They have a great cheese selection and their crepes, unlike the crepes from other places, are not overflowing with cheese. Today I was in the mood for something sweet and I ordered a dessert crepe with nutella, bananas and toasted walnuts ($6). The crepe was large and crispy but too thick and chewy for what I was expecting in a dessert crepe. The fillings were delicious, you really can’t go wrong with nutella and bananas and the toasted walnuts were a nice touch.

The service is hit or miss, depending on the day or time. On weekends, during brunch, the place is very busy and you may need to wait for a table as service can be a bit slow. When you first walk inside, it is a bit confusing as you have to order your crepe at the register and then they bring the crepe out to you. The place can be a bit loud so if you are looking for a quiet meal than this may not be the place for you. The prices are average for vegetarian crepes but a bit pricey for crepes with meat. The ambiance is hip and casual and in the warm months, the outdoor seating is nice with a view of Davis Square.

Overall I like Mr. Crepe because they offer a wide range of vegetarian crepes and I like the view overlooking Davis Square. The sweet crepes are standard but make for a nice dessert.

Mr. Crepe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ufood Grill

The other night I went to the Red Sox game leaving a little hungry. I love Fenway Park but other than greasy pizza and popcorn there are not too many vegetarian friendly options. I was in the mood for a real meal. I was heading towards my car when I stumbled upon a place called the Ufood Grill on Brookline Ave in Boston. Formerly KnowFAT, this place changed to Ufood Grill a few weeks ago. The bright colors at Ufood Grill give this place a happy feel. I loved the fact that they have free Wi Fi which is great for anyone looking to have a bite and get online. The menu is quite interesting and there are many vegetarian options ranging from soups, salads and rice bowls. Their food is fresh and healthy as their menu mentions that they steam and grill but never fry there food.

I ordered their “tofusion”, a dish made with organic tofu, steamed veggies topped with a sweet spicy ginger soy sauce. This dish maybe healthy but I missed the taste of stir fried veggies being cooked in the sauce with the rice. This dish tasted like steamed veggies on top of brown rice with a sweet and spicy sauce on the top. It was something I could easily make at home in a few a minutes. I prefer my veggies being sautéed rather than steamed.

For dessert I had the original tart soft serve frozen yogurt. The first few bites, as the name suggests, tasted quite tart. The server said that it was made with plain yogurt; hence it was not the usual sweet vanilla frozen yogurt that I was used to. However the more bites I had, the better it tasted. This dessert is an acquired taste and is a healthy option to traditional frozen yogurt. The menu states that the yogurt has live active cultures and there is only 90 calories in a 4oz serving. Although I prefer vanilla frozen yogurt I could see myself getting used to this healthy treat.

The service at Ufood Grill was very friendly and they are more than willing to explain any of the dishes to you. I do not think I would order the “tofusion” again but I may try their other vegetarian options such as the Hearty Three Bean Chili. Ufood Grill is a healthy alternative to traditional fast food but I think I like stir fries too much to be a regular here

Ufood Grill on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 5, 2008


Have you ever been to a restaurant and enjoyed it so much that you could not wait to go back? I went to Yoma in Allston about a month ago and loved my meal and finally went back yesterday and it was just as good as I had remembered. Yoma is a Burmese restaurant and is the only restaurant that I have been to that has a separate vegetarian menu. In addition to having a vegetarian menu, all of their vegetarian dishes are cooked on a separate pan. Needless to say I was ecstatic when the owner had mentioned this to me.

But the good news does not end here. The food at Yoma is actually very tasty. Burmese food is cross between, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese food, in my opinion it is most similar to Tibetan food. For an appetizer I had the OhnNoteKhotSwe, ($6.75) a coconut milk tofu soup with wheat flour noodles, shredded shallots, scallions and crispy fried rice noodles on top. This dish tasted like a mild yellow curry soup with thick noodles, it was delicious! For an appetizer this dish is enough for two people.

For a main entrée, I had the AaThotSone ($8.95), a noodle dish with three different types of noodles. The dish is made with vermicelli, somen and wheat flour noodles with shredded cabbage, fried tofu, steam bean sprout, potato, grounded peanut, roasted chili flakes, scallions and crispy noodles on top. This dish is very tasty as I have never had anything quite like it. The noodles are soft and tender, but it is mixed with grounded peanuts and crispy rice noodles that give it a nice crunchy taste. The potatoes and cucumbers add a nice touch, something I have never seen before in a noodle dish. Even though I asked the dish to be made mild to medium it was still a bit spicy for my liking. The sweet palm juice candy that they bring out with your bill is yum! It reminded me of sugar cane juice that I used to have as a kid when I visited India.

The only con of my meal, unlike my last visit, is the dish was actually a bit cold. I had to ask the server to warm it up which she gladly did. My friend dined with me said she has been coming to Yoma for a while and she thought the portion sizes had gotten a lot bigger.

The ambiance is simple it is a quite cozy restaurant with a casual feel. Yoma’s strength may not be its ambiance but its food. Yoma is a great place to get takeout if you live in the area. The service is very friendly and depending on the server, they will gladly explain any dish to you. I will keep going back to Yoma for their unique tasty food at inexpensive prices.

Yoma (Burmese) on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tuscan Chickpea Soup

Last night I was in the mood for something, light, healthy and tasty. I decided to make a Tuscan Chickpea soup since it is easy to make and I had all the ingredients in the house. It takes less than 30 minutes to make this healthy vegetarian soup and it tastes delicious!

1 15 Oz can chickpeas
1 bay leaf
4 cups water
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Serves: 2-4

Saute chopped onions , garlic and bay leaf in olive oil until the onions turn a light brown. Saute the onions first before the garlic, since the onions take longer to cook. Add the 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. While the water is boiling, puree 1/4 of the can of chickpeas, ( with a few drops of water ) in a blender until the chickpeas are smooth. Add the pureed chickpeas, the remaining chickpeas, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the boiling water. Once soup is boiling reduce heat and let it sit for five minutes. Add salt & pepper and sprinkle cheese on top.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Upstairs on the Square Vegan & Vegetarian Events

Restaurant week may be over but there are still some good places in the city to get a great vegetarian 3,4,5 course meal. Upstairs on the Square in Cambridge is having a special Vegan & Vegetarian dinner.

The vegan dinner is on August 26th at 6:30pm. It is a four course Vegan meal for $45 and $65 with wine.

On Sept 3rd they are offering a vegetarian four course dinner with organic wines for $50.

Every night the restaurant offers a five course vegetarian meal for $55 as well as a seven course meal for $70.

Check out the website for more information:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New England Soup Factory

No matter what time of the year it is, nothing can cheer me up like a bowl of soup. I am a huge fan of soups and needless to say I was very excited when I stumbled upon the New England Soup Factory in Salem MA. They have two other locations, one in Brookline and the other in Needham MA. The menu mentions they carry 150 different types of soups, and the choices of soups are continuously changing.

I went to there for lunch and on that particular day they had three different types of vegetarian soups, each with a distinct flavor. The service was very friendly and I was able to sample all three of the soups.

The first soup I tried was the Black Bean and Yellow Rice with Habanera but found it too spicy for my liking. The Roasted Peach and Ginger soup was a yummy cold and sweet soup that tasted like a peach yogurt smoothie however I could find no taste of the ginger. Out of the three soups, the one I liked best was the Spinach & Zucchini Bisque, a warm cream based soup with shredded spinach. Besides soups, there are quite a few good vegetarian/vegan options on the menu. I ended up ordering the sesame noodles ($3.25), a side dish made with vegetables and ginger in a sesame soy blend. I really enjoyed the taste of this dish but quite contrary to my experience with the Peach Ginger Soup I found the ginger in this dish a bit overpowering.

Depending on the day, the selections of soups could be hit or miss but it looks like they try to offer something for everyone. The ambiance is casual and simple but I did not have a problem finding a seat to have lunch. If you are in the area, the New England Soup Factory is worth checking out for a healthy affordable lunch.

New England Soup Factory on Urbanspoon

Bella Luna Bloggers Lounge

On Tuesday night I was invited to my first ever bloggers event at Bella Luna Restaurant in Jamaica Plain. The premise of the event was to introduce Bella Luna’s new chef Jacob Zachow to the blogger community in and around Boston. Apart from the great time at the event, it was nice putting faces to the blogs I usually visit. I had the opportunity to meet the authors of Cave Cibum, Enough Cowbell, and BostonFab. The restaurant is cute and hip inside, a bit small, but there is a beautiful garden patio behind the restaurant. We did not get a chance to head to the Milky Way bowling alley downstairs but I enjoy candlepin bowling and will have to check it out at a later date.

The food at Bella Luna was delicious and they had a couple of good vegetarian dishes worth trying. First off, The Portobello Black Bean burger was yummy and I definatley found my self reaching for seconds. The second vegetarian item was the flat bread pizza with artichokes and feta. It was nice light pizza with medditeranean flavors. I could not get enough of the minature key lime pies.

I had a great time and this event and I look forward to going back in the near future!

Bella Luna on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Blue Room

Restaurant week runs from August 10th-15th and August 17th to August 22nd. There are over 150 restaurants that participate in restaurant week and a three course dinner is $33.08 and a three course lunch is $20.08. I have tried restaurant week in the past and I have generally had to call the restaurant in advance and ask them to prepare a vegetarian dish. This time I browsed through all the menus, most of them did not have a vegetarian offering but I took a look at Blue Room's menu and they had one vegetarian entree ( that did not consist of pasta) so I decided to check it out.

The ambiance of Blue Room is cozy,rustic and has a nice outdoor patio that is great in the summer time. We tried to get a spot outside but there was a bit of a wait and we were trying to catch a movie. Instead we were seated at a secluded table for two which is good alternative depending on what you're looking for out of the experience. Service was great overall , friendly and prompt. Our server even worked with us to rush our food so we could make it on time for the movie.

The food at Blue Room from a vegetarian's perspective was okay but I will have to say my friend who is a carnivore really enjoyed his meal. For an appetizer I ordered the Chilled Watermelon & English Cucumber Soup. The soup was sweet and refreshing due to the watermelon base with fresh cucumbers in it. For an entree I ordered the Roasted Bay End Farm Eggplant with cous cous, yogurt and chickpeas. The dish was healthy and light but I had to ask my server for more yogurt because it was too dry. For dessert I had the Espresso Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce. It tasted like an eclair with espresso ice cream in the middle. It was average, nothing to blog home about.

Overall I thought the food at Blue Room was okay and with so many restaurants to try I am not sure if I would be back for dinner but I have heard great things about their brunch. From a nonvegetarian perspective, my fiance seemed to enjoy his meal.

Blue Room on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 18, 2008


I had the most amazing vegetable burrito at Wrapture located in downtown Beverly Massachusetts. Wrapture serves wraps, soups, salads, and stir frys in a cute hip environment.

When ordering a wrap at Wrapture you can choose between four different types of organic tortillas, spinach, sundried tomato, wheat, and plain. I ordered a burrito on a whole wheat wrap with roasted vegetables. You have an option of white or brown rice ( most burrito places that I have been to do not offer this.). Everything at Wrapture is fresh and the food is made to order. The vegetables, beans, cheese, rice are cooked together, giving it a fresh, flavorful taste. The cheese comes out melted and the vegetables are blended well with the salsa. I really liked the choice of vegetables in this burrito. Many burrito places add too much squash and zucchini to vegetarian burritos and less of other vegetables, at Wrapture they added broccoli which gave it a nice crunchy taste.

The only con of this restaurant is that it is more of a take out restaurant with few bar stools and a couple of tables outside. I am not sure if the restaurant has air conditioning as it was quite warm inside. The prices are a little steep for lunch, with wraps averaging at $7 and stir fry's with tofu at $9.

Wrapture has many vegan/vegetarian friendly options and is one of the few places in the North Shore where you can get a falafel. Wrapture is a good place to come for lunch for a quick place to grab a bite.

Wrapture on Urbanspoon

284 Cabot St
Beverly MA

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Relaxing Day in Portsmouth NH

Popovers On The Square

I love summers in New England for many reasons: the warm weather, outdoor patios, beautiful beaches and the best part, short summer day trips. If you have never been to Portsmouth NH, now is the best time to go and with its close proximity to Boston you do not even have to pay for a hotel. I spent the day in Portsmouth NH yesterday and had an amazing time. I hadn’t been to Portsmouth in a while, I forgot just how beautiful this place really is.

My day in Portsmouth started when my fiancé and I went to Popovers on the Square for coffee. Popovers has been opened for about two years now and serves coffees, teas, soups, salads, sandwiches, desserts (lots of it), wines, beers, and cocktails in a sophisticated café like setting.

The best part of Popovers is the outdoor patio and I was surprised that it wasn’t too crowded for a summer Saturday afternoon. Popover is located right on the cobble streets of Market Square, making it a great place to relax over a cup of coffee and enjoy the views of the surrounding boutiques. Alcohol however is prohibited outside on the patio.

We both ordered the Frozen Cappuccino which was delicious. It is a sweet, refreshing frozen drink similar to a frappe at Starbucks, but maybe a bit more rich and thick. It was a perfect summer treat. We came here after lunch so we were too full to try any of the desserts or lunch items but I noticed they had a couple different vegetarian items such as the Portobello & Mozzarella Panini, Roasted Vegetable Wrap, and the House Salad in a Popover all for ($8.95). I can’t wait to come back and try their lunch menu!

Popovers on the Square
8 Congress St
Porstmouth NH

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Cafe Pamplona

Cafe Pamplona

It was Saturday night and my date and I went out to Cambridge for dinner. In our efforts to try to save some money we went to one of our inexpensive veggie-friendly favorites, Wagamama (previously reviewed) in Cambridge MA for dinner. After sharing a chocolate cake for dessert, we decided to go for a walk around the city. While strolling around Cambridge, we stumbled upon a cute outdoor cafe, with yellow umbrellas. My date asked me if I wanted to stop for a coffee and since it was a nice warm summer night in July I thought, why not?

The cafe is called Cafe Pamplona, it’s cozy, & quaint outdoor patio gives you the feel that you are dinning on a side street in Europe. The service is friendly and they are in no rush to see you leave. Cafe Pamplona is the perfect date spot but it is also a great place to come alone and read a book. They serve sandwiches, soups, desserts, teas, and a wide range of coffees. I warmed up with cappuccino & my date had the iced espresso. The cappuccino was good, the iced espresso is nice, but it was a bit bitter for my liking.

The only real con of this place is that they do not have a bathroom and I am not sure if I would come in the cold months. The inside of the cafe is quite small and the ceilings are low. But in the warm months this place is a gem.

The menu has a few different vegetarian options for lunch including, a Guava Cheese Sandwhich, Grilled Cheese, and Red & White Gazpacho soup. I look forward to coming back and trying their lunch menu.

Cafe Pamplona is located on 12 bow street in Cambridge MA and is open on Monday through Thursday, 11:00am till 12:00am and Friday through Saturday 11:00am till 12:00am and Sunday from 2am till 12am.

Cafe Pamplona on Urbanspoon

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Gingerbread Construction Company

Gingerbread Construction Company
52 Main St
Wakefield, MA

This morning I was strolling around Lake Quannapowitt, and I stopped at the Gingerbread Construction Company to have their signature muffin, the Gingerbread($1.85) . This is one of their most popular muffins and it is filled with a cream cheese icing in the middle. One bite of this muffin and you can taste it’s cinnamon sweetness. The only problem with these muffins is that once you have one, you will keep going back for more (trust me I know)! There are over 20 different types of muffins and they also carry gingerbread houses, cookies, muffin loaves, and coffee.

The actual store only has a couple of tables, but there are many benches along Lake Quannapowitt making it a perfect picnic spot during the summertime. There is also another location in Winchester MA.

Service is friendly but they do not carry calorie information, not that I really want to know :-).

Gingerbread Construction Co on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 28, 2008


379 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 523-8481
Cuisine: Italian
Vegetarian Options: Vegetarian Selective
Price: $15 - $35
Total Carrots:

My friends and I decided to head out to the North End for dinner. We did not have any reservations but we wanted a good and inexpensive meal. We passed by Strega and it seemed cheaper price-wise (for the vegetarian dishes) than the surrounding restaurants and had a few vegetarian options so we decided to check it out. I’d noticed Strega advertises a lot (good restaurants are usually recommended by word of mouth) and because of this I have always been a bit skeptical about the quality of food at this establishment but to my surprise we actually had a decent meal and a fun time.

The ambiance of Strega is fun, lively, colorful and maybe even a bit flashy. The restaurant is loud so if you are looking for a quiet romantic evening than this might not be the place for you. The place is small and the tables are fairly close together but you just can’t help but smile at the singers who come to your table and try to serenade you. I thought the live music was a nice touch and I have not been to many restaurants in the area that offer this.

The service was okay, it was prompt, but when we asked the waiter a few questions about vegetarian options, he did not seem to understand us.

I ordered the Casarecci Di Marina (15.95), a baked pasta dish with sun dried tomatoes, eggplant and fresh mozzarella in a light tomato sauce. The dish was good but very simple and the only thing wrong with it was the cheese. It was a bit hard and instead of being baked in the dish it was placed on the side. The pasta however tasted fresh and the sauce was sweet and flavorful.

Overall Strega is a good choice if you are looking for a relatively inexpensive meal in the North End and want a festive and fun dining experience. The food here is good, not excellent, but the live music adds to the ambiance.

Strega on Urbanspoon

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Purple Onion

The Purple Onion
44 Inn St
Newburyport MA
Cuisine: Cafe
Vegetarian Options: Vegetarian Friendly
Price: $7-$11

Looking for a nice summer day trip not too far from Boston? Check out the Purple Onion, a small hole in the wall café, located in scenic town of Newburyport MA. This inexpensive café offers many vegetarian dishes that are different than your standard sandwich and salad affair. Outdoor seating is available, making it a great place to sit back and relax in the summertime. I ordered the black bean and lime rice bowl ($6.95) a dish made with black beans, white rice, sautéed onions, tomatoes, lime juice, and topped with sour cream, guacamole and a touch of hot sauce. This dish was unique but it had too many tomatoes and onions and it was a bit spicy for my liking. Although I did not love my dish I would go back to try the other vegetarian dishes and to enjoy the beautiful views in Newburyport MA.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cucumber Raita

Growing up in an Indian family, Raita has always been a favorite of mine especially in the summertime. Raita is great as a snack or a side dish that complements the spicy flavors of curry dishes. I have been cooking Indian food since I was 14 ( thanks to my mom). Here is my recipe for Cucumber raita. Enjoy!


1 Cucumber, peeled, grated or diced into small pieces
1 tsp Coriander power
1 tsp Chili powder ( as desired)
1/2 tsp of grated Ginger (Optional)
1 tsp Cumin powder
2 cups Nonfat Plain Yogurt
1 tsp Sugar
Salt & Pepper to taste
1tbsp fresh coriander/cilantro leaves (Garnish)

Serves : 4-6

Beat or blend two cups of yogurt and add water for desired smooth consistency. Mix all the ingredients together and add salt, pepper and sugar. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve chilled.

Hints: If you can find roasted cumin powder this makes this dish even better. My mom makes this at home by roasting cumin seeds in the toaster oven or a pan and then blends the seeds to create a powder. Gives this dish a bit of a smoky taste. You can also add tomatoes and onions to this dish as well as a spoon of mint green chutney if you have some.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


1 Huntington Ave
Boston Ma 02116
Cuisine: Italian
Vegetarian Options: Vegetarian Selective
Price: $25-$50

Total Carrots:

Sorellina, located on Huntington Ave in Boston, serves Italian-Mediterranean food in a trendy setting. I went to Sorellina for a work meeting and had a delightful experience. The décor of Sorellina is old Italy meets contemporary America - the restaurant screams sophistication. The mural at the back of the restaurant adds a sense of mystery to the dinning experience.

As an upscale restaurant, I was surprised to see a few good vegetarian options on the menu. The waitress worked with me to create a meal that was overall exquisite. For an appetizer I opted for the Mushroom brodo soup for $14, a mushroom broth based soup with spring vegetables that can be made vegetarian upon request without the prosciutto. The soup was okay as it had a tad too much oil, making it too greasy for my liking. It reminded me of a soup that you could buy packaged in a supermarket. The Insalata, for $15, was a mixed green salad with goat cheese and walnuts was pretty standard.

Now the pasta at Sorellina is where this restaurant separates itself from the rest. Instead of getting one pasta dish, I ordered two different half orders of pasta, each for $17. The fettuccine mixed with mushrooms, black truffle butter and parmesan cheese was simple yet fresh and tasty. The Ravioli stuffed with a smooth blend of mint and sweet pea, bathed in a light tangy cream sauce with almonds was outstanding. This dish is normally made with crab meat but it can be made vegetarian upon request. I was amazed with this dish; the stuffling of the ravioli reminded me of a mild sweet version of the Indian mint green chutney.

I had a great time at Sorellina and although the restaurant is expensive I would be back for a special occasion or nice night out on the town.

Sorellina on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 23, 2008


266 Newbury St. Boston MA
Cuisine: Spanish Tapas
Vegetarian Options: Vegetarian Friendly
Price: $7-$10 per tapa

Total Carrots:


Tapeo’s, a two story restaurant located on trendy Newbury Street, offers tapas in a rustic Spanish tavern like setting. The downstairs, is cozy and intimate with pots and pans on its brick walls. The upstairs of Tapeo’s is vibrant and lively and has a nice view overlooking Newbury Street. During the summertime, the outdoor seating at Tapeo’s is the place to be. There are only a handful of vegetarian friendly restaurants on Newbury St and Tapeo’s offers several tasty vegetarian tapas.


As a vegetarian, I love tapas and depending what you order, it can be a healthy low carb meal (a difficult find for a vegetarian). For mother’s day, I took my parents to Tapeo’s for dinner. Both my parents are vegetarian and between the three of us, we had six vegetarian tapas and one dessert. Generally I would recommend 2-3 tapas a person but we were looking for a light dinner. The vegetarian tapas are very similar to its sister restaurant Dali, but what is great about Tapeo’s is they do accept reservations and you generally do not have to wait long for a table. The garlic soup, my favorite, was off season and was thus not available. We instead opted for the asparagus soup, a thick creamy soup, which was too bland and needed a bit of spice. The sautéed artichoke hearts and portobello mushrooms were simple but filled with flavor. I really enjoyed there Queso Con Miel, a fried goat cheese mixed in a sweet onion and honey sauce. We were glad we saved room for dessert, the tarta de chocolates, was a rich chocolate delight.

Service was great for the most part. Our waitress did forget to bring us our bread at the start of the meal but she was very friendly and helpful with the menu. However she did seem a bit rushed with the bill.

We had a fun time at Tapeo’s and I will continue to return for great food and a chance to dine on Newbury street.

Pros: Great food, Reservations accepted, Outdoor seating available during warm months, Several Vegetarian Tapas

Cons: Street Parking, Tapas can be expensive

Tapéo on Urbanspoon