I like to think of myself as an aspirational healthy eater. I'll never be one of those people who only eats whole grain low fat non-artificial non-GMO etc. etc. food. But, I'm definitely inspired by health enthusiasts and unique diets. It takes a lot of time and energy to think about avoiding things like M&Ms, chocolate chip cookies, grilled cheese, and all the other guilty pleasures of the food world.
Working in the city has made healthy eating a challenge. Sure, there's a trendy salad place on every corner, but I'm not looking to spend $15 every time I want a bowl of lettuce (and, let's be real, we all know there are calories hiding in the salad dressing!!!) When my friends Jessa and Orli requested we meet up for dinner after work one evening, I set out to find a restaurant that was healthy, trendy, and, of course, "insta-worthy."
We decided on Blossom, an upscale organic vegan restaurant in Chelsea. I was pretty excited to step out of my comfort zone and go vegan for the evening. To me, being vegan is always something that has seemed impossible. Seriously, the thought of giving up ice cream, omelets, cheese, or chocolate gives me nightmares. But, for whatever reason, Blossom's menu excited me, and so I was ready to try something new!
I ordered the cashew cream ravioli, which is made of smoked tempeh, spinach, pine nuts, and cremini mushrooms. I've been looking to try tempeh, a fermented soy bean food, ever since I took a class on fungi this past semester (this class is also the source of my current obsession with mushrooms!!). I would almost never order ravioli because I'm not a huge fan of the dish, but this ravioli was so unbelievably delicious. Seriously, I could not believe it was cheese and pasta-free. The flavor was so rich and the cashew cream sauce was just thick enough that it added the perfect amount of nutty flavor without being overwhelming. Blossom completely exceeded my expectations.
Jessa ordered a quinoa bowl, which was mixed with black beans, sweet corn, diced bell peppers, watercress, toasted pumpkin seeds, guacamole, and tahini dressing. Orli ordered raw zucchini rolatini with basil, cashew cheese filling, chive oil, sesame sunflower sprouts, and avocado.
The diversity on this menu was unbelievable. There's a vegan spin on classic dishes for all types of eaters. I think what I loved most about this place was that, while vegan dishes aren't typically thought of as flavorful or fun, Blossom does a great job of dispelling this notion with its colorful and delicious menu. Additionally, the ambiance was fantastic. The restaurant is on a quiet side street and is dimly lit. What better way to unwind after a day at the office?
I'm hoping to make my way back to Blossom soon. While I could never commit to veganism full-time, it's certainly fun to try once in a while!
Are you a NYC-based vegan? Please send me other restaurant recommendations!!