Roots Juice Bar: Restaurant Discovery

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Roots Juice Bar, 6 third street, Dover NH

Rushing around doing errands one morning, I realized I hadn’t made time for breakfast and I hadn’t even had my first cup of coffee. I had haphazardly planned to stop for a leisurely cup of coffee at the opposite side of town, but I had forgotten my plan after I finished my errands in that area. I was downtown Dover when I was reminded by my complaining stomach how hungry I was, When I saw a restaurant sign of a place I had always thought about stopping at but never seemed to have the time to explore.

It was a restaurant called Roots Juice Bar, a vegan restaurant offering  fresh juices and smoothies, house brewed kombucha, assorted coffees and teas, breakfast, lunch and nibbles. All offerings were vegan. So I decided right then, this would be a good place to take a moment and catch my breath before continuing on with my busy day.

I parked on the street, finding a parking spot only half a block away. When I opened the door and walked inside, I was greeted by a cozy looking and pristinely clean restaurant with a few tables and a nice comfy decor.20170228_125042 The cashier/ordering counter looked inviting and friendly, as was the pleasant looking associate waiting to take my order.The time was 2pm  and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get breakfast; but she assured me they provide breakfast menu items anytime during the day. The restaurant hours are 8am to 4pm, monday through saturday. The kitchen area and food prep area were in full view, directly behind the cashier counter.

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Roots Juice Bar, 6 third street, Dover NH

I ordered a Breakfast Bowl, which was made with quinoa, strawberry, raspberry, cranberries, almond butter, cashew cream, fresh mint and chia seeds, priced at $8.00 a bowl. I ordered a cup of organic coffee with coconut whip, for $3.00. I could see them preparing my order, and it came out and was served to me within a reasonable amount of time. Everyone was friendly and accommodating.

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Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Berries and Mint

The breakfast bowl was delicious and refreshing, and exactly what I needed on that day. The quinoa was warmed and the berries over the top were cold, and the juxtaposition of the two temperatures was very pleasant. The different textures of quinoa and berries, rounded together with the creamy almond butter and then a pop of flavor as the mint asserted its herbaceous zing, was also very, very pleasant. Very definitely, I found this to be a flavorful surprise.

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Fresh French Pressed Coffee

When my coffee was delivered to me, I was once again, pleasantly surprised. I was expecting a solo cup of coffee, which might have been sitting in a coffee urn for longer than I might imagine, but lo and behold, the server bought out a french press. She had poured me a cup of the fresh, hot coffee and added the coconut whip. Left in the french press, was enough coffee to pour another generous half cup, at least. I was very pleased. The coffee was fresh, hot and delicious.

I was glad I stopped in and broke up my day to finally try a place, I had often seen but hadn’t yet found the time to explore. I will definitely go back and I would wholeheartedly recommend anyone in the area, who is looking for a friendly and healthful place to enjoy a tasty breakfast, lunch or snack, give Roots Juice Bar a try!

Thank you for visiting me today, at Vegan Mami’s good food kitchen. Remember to feed yourself and your loved ones good whole foods that are tasty and attractive. And remember to take the time to treat yourself, and give yourself some rejuvenating time, so you can share more of yourself with those that matter to you the most!

What, No Turkey!?!

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Roasted Pumpkin with Stuffing

Welcome to Mami’s Good Food Kitchen!Pull up a chair and have a cup of tea, while we have a little chat.

Thanksgiving is coming up and I’m sure you’ve seen all the advertisements suggesting you order your turkey early, or the advertisements telling you of the best places to go to get the best prices on your Thanksgiving centerpiece. Or maybe you’ve endured the countless requests to donate turkeys, or money for turkeys for people who are having trouble making ends meet or even putting food on the table. All presented with the unspoken and underlying belief that Thanksgiving is all about the Turkey. And it has been all about the turkey, since the first pilgrims celebrated the Harvest Festival in 1621. Or should I say, it has become all about the Turkey. People stress themselves out looking for the perfect turkey to cook in their oven in the most perfect way. Buying such a huge bird that it could easily feed many more than  actually expected for dinner. I know, I know, it’s about the leftovers.

Maybe its because I’ve always been such a rebel. Always fighting against tradition or always fighting against what I’m expected or supposed to do. Or maybe its because I think outside of the box, but in anycase, I’m going to share with you what is important for me on Thanksgiving and why I say,”forget the turkey- It’s still Thanksgiving!”

Let the turkey live! I choose not to eat animals because I believe the animal protein is harder for my body to digest, and I believe as long as there are other means to get our protein, we shouldn’t be needing to kill animals to be healthy and fed. So, what does Thanksgiving mean to me? It is a festival or celebration about life and the abundance in our lives. A time to come together with others with love and gratefulness. It’s about being kind and counting our many blessings. A time for examining the past year and remembering and cherishing memories made this year and in years past. And Thanksgiving is about sharing. Sharing with those in need and sharing with those we love. Sharing things we are all grateful for, and for sharing a meal that nourishes our souls and bodies and celebrates our abundance.

For my centerpiece this year, I will have a roasted pumpkin filled with stuffing. Slow roasted and toasty with the crunchy part of the stuffing some people love to munch on and the soft stuffing which has cooked into a savory soft bread pudding texture inside of the pumpkin. The bonus is the pumpkin flesh that becomes soft and melty and compliments the stuffing and the flavor of the Bell’s Stuffing Seasoning.

To begin, I prepare my ingredients.

  • 1 carrot, chopped fine
  • 3 baby onions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins (or black raisins, or cranberries)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Now it’s time to cut open and clean out that pumpkin! You can do it!

Now for the rest of the ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tsp Bell’s Seasoning (mixture of Rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, marjoram)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 3 cups of dried cubed stuffing (could make your own if you don’t want packaged)

and for the stock:

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp  no-chicken stock powder
  • 2 Tbsp Earth Balance (can be omitted if following a no fat diet)
  • 2 cups water

Next step is to water saute the onions, carrots and celery. When they have softened, you can add in the seasonings (Bell’s Seasoning, thyme, garlic powder and white pepper). While you are sauteing the veggies, put 2 cups water into small saucepan and place on stove. Turn to high and heat water, when it reaches a boil, whisk in the non-chicken stock powder, and the Earth Balance, if you are using it.

The next step is to add the bread crumbs to the saute pan with the veggies and seasoning. Stir until all is combined. Then take the saucepan holding the stock mixture and pour about 3/4 of stock mixture into bread cube mixture. Mix all together and add more stock if you like your stuffing moister.20161111_164022

And finally, you can spoon the stuffing into the emptied pumpkin, filling it all the way, and even mounding it, to ensure the crunchy bits that will form on the top. Also wrap the lid in aluminum foil, so it doesn’t burn while the rest of the pumpkin is baking. Any leftover stuffing you can spoon into a loaf pan (I used a glass one here), and bake it with the pumpkin, spreading it thin if you like it crunchy, or putting it in a smaller ovenproof container if you want it softer.

Bake in a preheated oven, 375 degrees fahrenheit, for approximately 50 to 60 minutes. Keep checking in the oven when you reach 50 minutes, the pumpkin will tell you when it’s done, it will be soft when poked with a fork, and the stuffing should look crunchy and browned, but not too dark…20161111_20155820161111_180436

Maybe mine came out a little too brown. I’ll remember, next time.

But it was good. Very good. I served it with mashed potatoes and gravy, and a big, green salad. I could imagine for Thanksgiving dinner, I would add more of the usual fixings, like green beans, or broccoli or cranberry sauce…you can add whatever else you would like on your menu.

Another change one could make, would be to change the squash out. The Pumpkin was good, but Buttercup Squash or Red Kuri Squash, or Kabocha, which are all squashes in the Hubbard Squash family,  would also work very well in this recipe for taste and for appearance. They are also pretty winter squashes and their taste is deeper and sweeter, with a silky texture. I always like to say, recipes are not rules, but merely guidelines and you should make things the way you know you will like them.

Thank you for visiting me today, at Vegan Mamis Good Food Kitchen. I hope you enjoyed today’s recipe and our talk about what Thanksgiving means to me. Let me know what you are Thankful for this year, and how you will celebrate this beautiful holiday. Take care and remember to feed yourself and your loved ones real food, good food, made with love, to keep everyone healthy and fed!