Tofu, NYC, and chocolate cake

Tofu, NYC and chocolate cake – three things on my life’s top 10 list (well, tofu may not be quite up there, but then again it is so versatile).

With a week left before moving into my very first apartment (they grow up so fast ;) , I am getting a lot of cooking and baking in, because once I’m in my own place I won’t have parents to buy me all of the ingredients for my various kitchen escapades.

But before that, I forgot to talk about the awesome and super healthy Japanese restaurant I went to in the city a few weeks ago with my good friend, Esther! (I really can never get enough of the city, I just feel so alive there). She invited me to this internship party, and we decided to meet for dinner first in Soho. With a quick Google search, I found a mid-priced natural & organic place that looked to-die for. Aside from the food being completely unsalted, it was wonderful. I mean, give me a plate of brown rice, tofu and vegetables and you won’t hear me complaining.

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DSC_1969My dish, the macro plate, is described as “an ideal balance of steamed greens, vegetables, brown rice, beans and hijiki seaweed.”

DSC_1951Esther got the garlic greens and vegetables. The greatest thing about this place is its’ extremely extensive menu and the sheer amount of vegetarian options available. Props for all the fresh vegetables and lots of sushi (another favorite food as of late)!

A few shots of the city…

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DSC_1910Speaking of healthy food, quinoa is all the rage these days. Something I don’t have time for while at school is testing out new and exciting recipes, so I am making the most of my free time to do so before going back. Whilst browsing recipes to challenge my mom and my cooking abilities, I found a beet and quinoa salad that inspired me because of the color. It was bright pink! I never make a recipe that doesn’t come with a photo, and oftentimes the photo is what inspires me to make the recipe.

DSC_2891I thought mine came out pretty well! With a mixture of basil, orange slices and a maple syrup/balsamic reduction, this salad was definitely the most labor intensive salad recipe I have ever encountered, but SO worth it (it also makes a very large amount) (it’s also vegan) (and delicious). The recipe can be found here.

I have also been experimenting with some flourless baking recently, because I find flourless desserts to be exceptionally dense and fudgy, which is how I like my desserts! I am known to ever-so-slightly underbake cookies and brownies in the name of fudginess.

DSC_2186This flourless chocolate cake is to die for. And I know I say that about a lot of things, but this seriously was so amazing I made it again less than a week after I made it the first time. With a short and sweet ingredient list, you probably already have everything to make this cake in your pantry, and the end result is velvety deliciousness. In my house, this cake did not last 24 hours.

DSC_2206Even if you wouldn’t consider yourself a baker, I have faith in your ability to throw together this cake, which is sure to impress a crowd. Inspired by this cake, which I made for last Shabbat’s dessert, I made flourless chocolate peanut butter cookies for this Shabbat, which were equally impressive. I can’t tell you the amount of times my dad said how much he was enjoying them (and the amount of time it took for them to be gone…if I told you an hour would you believe me)? The cake recipe can be found here, the cookies are soon to come :) Instead of the glaze, I just finished it with powdered sugar.

Lastly for this long and dense post, I shall leave you with this beauty…

DSC_2239This is just a white cake (mix) with vanilla frosting that I made and decorated with one of the girls I babysit. Being the rockin’ babysitter that I am, I often bake with the girls and they really enjoy when I suggest ideas like, ‘how about we cover a cake in m&m’s!’

DSC_2266Yummmmm! Happy Sunday, thanks for reading, and a wonderful wonderful end of summer to all! :)