Doggone Good It's easy to say yes to Yeah Dawg's vegan hot dogs

The mystery meat nature of most hot dogs skeeve us out.

And fakey substances that pose as the real thing? We’ll take a pass, thank you very much. But then Marina Benedetto’s vegan Yeah Dawg!!! came along and blew all of our pre-conceived notions awa.

Benedetto’s Brooklyn-based company specializes in soy-, gluten- and chemical-free organic hot dogs that are made without any weird fillers or casings.

First, Benedetto roasts root vegetables—including potatoes, beets, sweet potatoes and carrots—and mixes them into a base of chickpea and white-rice flours. Then she rolls each dog by hand, perking up their flavor with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, garlic, onion, parsley and cilantro.


Want to be inspired? Listen to Marina Benedetto talk about how and why she started Yeah Dawg!!!


The dogs can’t compare in price to the pinkish oblong franks at your corner bodega, but then these dogs are a triumph of a bounty of ingredients with both real chew and great texture.

Find fully-loaded Dawgs ($8 to $10, with toppings like ruby red sauerkraut, pineapple pickles, coconut bacon, cashew mayo and more) Pine Box Rock Shop pop-up, or order a pack from Good Eggs ($15 for four) and try them out with your favorite combination at home.


Follow Yeah Dawg!!! on Twitter to find out where they are popping up next!

Cool Cukes Stay cool, calm and collected with this summer recipe


When it comes to the Greenmarket, we are like the Postal Service: Neither snow, nor rain nor heat, nor gloom of night, stays us from making our weekly appointed rounds until we are laden with local goods.

But we love the market most during these hazy summer days, when the market’s tents can barely contain the baskets of ripe and bright produce.

A newly released cookbook, The New Greenmarket Cookbook: Recipes and Tips from Today’s Finest Chefs—and the Stories behind the Farms That Inspire Them ($20) is here just in time to make good use of all of those peak-season fruits and vegetables.

Author Gabrielle Langholtz (who knows a thing or two about all things local as the editor of Edible Manhattan magazine) had notable Greenmarket lovers—including Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan, Daniel Boulud and Eric Ripert—contribute a bevy of recipes to the collection.

Whip these up for your next summer dinner party

Organized by the four seasons, the recipes follow the natural cycle of a year at the market, making it easy to flip the book open and find a recipe using things that are being stocked at the market right this very minute.

We’re smitten with the ever-growing number of cucumbers available at the market right now: thin-skinned Korean cucumbers, round Lemon cucumbers and runty Kirby cucumbers.

As fun as all the shapes and sizes of cucumbers are to look at, they are even better for you: At around 95 percent water, they are wonderfully hydrating and can help reduce inflammation, while being high in potassium and antioxidants like B-carotene.

Try using a selection of cucumbers in this recipe for a fantastically refreshing cucumber soup from chef Kenneth Wis of Brooklyn’s steadfastly farm-to-table Diner and Marlow & Sons.

Cucumber Soupby Kenneth Wiss, Diner and Marlow & Sons

Serves 4 to 6

6 to 7 cucumbers, about 3 1⁄2 pounds

1⁄3 cup lime juice, from about 3 limes

1⁄2 cup olive oil, divided

1⁄4 cup loosely packed dill leaves

1⁄4 cup loosely packed tarragon leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1⁄2 cup loosely packed basil leaves

1⁄2 cup loosely packed mint leaves

Some Garnishes We’ve Loved:

Toasted almonds

Fresh blackberries


Crème fraîche

Fresh herbs

1. Peel the cucumbers and halve lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape the seeds from half of the cucumbers, so the soup is not too bitter. Slice the cucumbers thinly and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

2. Toss with the lime juice, 1⁄4 cup of olive oil, dill, tarragon, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1⁄2 teaspoon of black pepper. Dress the cucumbers like a salad that you would eat raw and let sit for one hour. The seasoning will marinate the cucumbers, and they will begin to break down and release liquid.

3. Transfer the mixture and its liquid to a blender (in batches if needed) and add the basil and mint. Blend at high speed, stopping to scrape down as needed. Puree for at least one minute, until perfectly smooth.

4. Reduce the blender speed to medium-low and slowly drizzle in the remaining 1⁄4 cup of olive oil.

5. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and lime juice and serve chilled.

From The New Greenmarket Cookbook by Gabrielle Langholtz. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014

Jerked Around Jonty Jacobs gives jerky the comeback it deserves


If you think beef jerky is just processed rubbish suited only for long-haul truckers and desperately hungry gas station stops, Monique Daniels is here to change your mind. The founder of Jonty Jacobs (and a South Africa native) was aghast at the taste, quality and texture of the cured beef products that she found in the US when she moved to New York in 2010. So she made do without. But then memories of the delicious, all-natural childhood snacks of biltong (thin dried beef slices) and droewors (dried beef sausage) crept up on her when she became pregnant. She told us, “Funnily enough, it was my pregnancy cravings for biltong that put me over the edge. I started the company when I was in my first trimester.” Just last week, Daniels and her husband, Camran St. Luce, threw open the doors to a West Village emporium where you can taste-test their entire line of various cuts and styles.

At the grand opening of the Jonty Jacobs store

All of Jonty Jacobs’ products utilize traditional South African curing methods and a recipe that includes vinegar, salt, brown sugar and cardamom—with absolutely no gluten, chemicals, additives or preservatives like sodium nitrates. We recommend choosing the leaner grass-fed variety of droewors and biltong ($10 for 4 oz.) made from premium meat sourced from a Georgia farm. This is a tasty snack with benefits: This jerky requires no refrigeration and it comes in at whopping 54 percent pure protein (hello low-carb and Paleo diet followers!), making it the ideal thing to throw in your bag and tote around for a blast of good protein and quality fat in emergency hunger situations. Just let that hunger lead you to the storefront emblazoned with the South African flag.

Jonty Jacobs
114 Christopher St.

Clean Habits: Nick Anderer How Maialino's chef keeps it clean


It’s hard out there for a chef. (To stay fit and healthy, that is).As the executive chef of MaialinoNick Anderer is surrounded by swaths of food every day—everything from the restaurant’s morning oatmeal to dinner’s braised local suckling pig. However, Anderer is also one of the fittest guys we know.

With that in mind, we asked him to spill his tried-and-true secrets to staying healthy with us. His Clean Habits will come in handy come August, when Anderer will add more to his already-full plate when he opens Marta, a thin-crust pizzeria that emphases local ingredients.

What’s a typical day of eating like for you?
I eat a lot of small meals and bites throughout the day, either via recipe testing, quality control or just straight snacking. Rarely do I sit down to a full plate of food on a workday. I don’t follow any strict diet, but as a meat-lover, I try to balance my meat consumption with a healthy dose of raw fruits and veggies. And I also try not to eat anything after 10 pm and to limit my carb intake during the second half of the day.


He even cycles for charity! (photo Credit: Jordan A. Mermell)

How do you stay balanced and healthy while working in the restaurant industry? 
You need a lot of restraint from the temptations of constant pecking. And you need to find time to stay active outside of work. With a job that requires you to be on your feet all day, I’ve been focusing more and more on keeping my core as strong as possible so that my lower back is supported—in the chef world, that’s usually the first part of your body that gives out. 

Has your healthy lifestyle rubbed off on the menu at Maialino or the upcoming Marta?
Definitely. We are always talking about more healthy ways to serve Italian food. We stopped toasting our almonds in butter or oil, and are instead leaving them raw and unseasoned. With really good Sicilian almonds, not only are they healthier raw, but they actually taste better. We’ve added extra fish options to the menu and are sure to keep them predominantly carb-free, utilizing as much raw vegetables as possible and dressing with light vinaigrettes as opposed to heavier sauces or purees. At breakfast, we’ve focused on serving more healthy grains, even adding a house-made, whole-grain cereal to the menu.

How do you stay fit?
I try to do something active with my body at least five times a week, going heavy on cardio and peppering in light doses of strength training and stretching/ lengthening. I probably SoulCycle at least twice a week, and when it’s nice out, I opt for long runs along the East River. And every so often I do one-on-one Pilates sessions, which focus much more on balance and muscle lengthening than on traditional ab work.


Move! With free outdoor fitness classes

Make it Pop Once you try Innocent Ice Pops, you won't stop


We wish we had come up with the genius idea of freezing green juice on a stick.

Since we didn’t: Sophie Milrom of Innocent Ice Pops, we salute you.

Innocent Ice Pops was born from a serious case of the study munchies. “I was preparing for the bar exam and found myself searching for the perfect snack to eat while I studied,” Milrom says. (This crafty 26-year-old entrepreneur is a lawyer, too). At the grocery store, fresh juices proved to be too costly and every package of icy confections Milrom picked up was loaded with sugar. And so brilliance was born.

Innocent Ice Pops (we paid $5.99 for a box of 3 at Garden of Eden) are available in four flavors that will be familiar to anyone who has ever buzzed by a juice bar: There’s Green Juice (kale, banana, pineapple), Sweet Beets (carrot, beet, apple), Kale Daddy (kale, spinach, apple, pineapple, lemon, ginger, cayenne) and TropiCarrot (pineapple, mango, carrot).


We even love their packaging
(cute in a good way, right?)

Innocent’s long list of nutritional adjectives includes: sugar free, fat free, gluten free, vegan, dairy free, no artificial sweeteners and no added coloring.

With ginger and cayenne featured in a loud and proud way, we’ll be reaching for the kicky Kale Daddy on the most sweltering of days. Sweet Beets is our pick for when we want to quash a sugar craving.

And with impeccable timing—in anticipation of summer’s lethal mixture of sticky subway rides and blistering pavement—Innocent Ice Pops are now available all over Manhattan.

That is, if you can beat us to the freezer case.

Buy some guilt free treats

DIY with non-toxic popsicle molds

The New New The New Amsterdam Market is back and better than ever


After this year’s brutal winter, we feel we should be doing something extra, extra special to welcome the arrival of the Summer Solstice this Saturday, June 21.

And since New York’s Finest probably wouldn’t take too kindly to us lighting a bonfire (as the Finns do) in the middle of Manhattan, we’ve settled on the next best thing: attending the New Amsterdam Market (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at the South Street Seaport.

There is no better place to understand the shear bounty and to give thanks for the exquisite deliciousness of the New York-area foodshed than at this market. In addition to farmers, the New Amsterdam Market celebrates “purveyors, manufacturers, distributors and other small businesses who fall outside of the traditional farmers market model but nonetheless hold the same values and ideals” says founder Robert LaValva.

Heirloom fruit handpicked by Maggie nescuir


More than a dozen new vendors and programs debut this summer, like fruiterer (it’s a real thing: a retailer of fruit) Maggie Nescuir, who is offering a “fruit-share program” of rare and heirloom varieties in the CSA model (email if you’d like to join). Or buzz by her table this weekend to browse the first strawberry crop of the season with over a dozen varieties, each one unique in flavor and size.

Newbies Sather and Ruby Duke of Raven & Boar will feature foraged foods along with traditional Italian cured meats made exclusively from their heritage whey-fed pigs. Brooklyn’s She Wolf Bakery will make their market debut with sourdough bread made entirely from organic grains and a natural culture that uses absolutely no commercial yeast. 

Finally, bouquets featuring seasonal fruits, herbs and vegetables from Pretty Streets Botanical are a sweet-smelling way to bring the season inside.

To market, to market!


Attend the upcoming nightmarket event

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Under the sea Seaweed meets butter; and falls in love


It’s simple math, really: combine the vegetable with one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals of any on the planet (seaweed) with one of the most delicious items in the universe (butter) and you’ve got something extremely tasty.

Chefs all over New York have been quick to embrace the savory umami wallop that seaweed lends to creamy butter. Not only does seaweed amp up the flavor of butter (preferably high-quality, grass-fed), it also is a wonderful match for butter’s many health benefits. Butter from grass-fed cows is rich in fat-soluble vitamins and beneficial fatty acids, while seaweed is rich in iron, calcium and fiber as well as iodine, a crucial metabolism regulator.


Piora serves up the perfect duo
photo credit:Nicole Franzen

Inspired by his time in Korea, chef Chris Cipollone serves whipped butter loaded with laver at Piora in the West Village ($6). At Brooklyn’s new French Louie, the local-food loving chef Ryan Angulo whips unsalted butter together with dulse seaweed that he sources from Rhode Island. The butter is then refrigerated, and served in slabs with the omega 3-packed smoked sardines and rye toast ($10).

Uniting seaweed and butter in happy harmony is easy to recreate in your home kitchen by making a simple compound butter. In a food processor or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine a stick of room-temperature grass-fed butter with six sheets of seaweed snacks. Process until whipped and fluffy, then serve with anything within reach. We particularly love pairing this powerhouse butter with a pile of sliced radishes or slices of whole-grain toast for an easy assemble-it-yourself appetizer.

Stock up on organic roasted seaweed

The Sweetest Thing Our bakery guide has your next craving covered


You know that old adage, “There’s someone for everyone”? And while we can’t comment on your future soulmate prospects, we can say emphatically that whoever you are—and whatever your diet—there is a bakery for you in Manhattan. You could say finding sweet satisfaction is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

1. For Power Paleos: Hu Kitchen

The founders behind this Union Square real food mecca don’t mince words when it comes to their philosophy, “We think sugar in any form isn’t great for you…but we also love sweets, so our approach is to be smart about how we use sweeteners.” A commitment to zero corn syrup, cane sugar and artificial sweeteners is why we stock up on seriously good raw cacao and unrefined organic coconut sugar chocolate bars ($6), raw nut brownies ($4.50) or even sweet kale crunch ($7; try it, you’ll like it) whenever we swing through.


2. For Gluten Avoiders: Jennifer’s Way Bakery 
Vertical-middleThe fact that actress Jennifer Esposito owns this East Village bakery isn’t even the sweetest thing about it—it’s that Esposito (a diagnosed celiac) is militant about banishing gluten while maintaining quality. Stop in for pear-cardamom mini muffins ($2) and coconut-dusted donuts ($3) that are not only free of gluten, but also dairy, soy, egg, corn and refined sugar. Nationwide shipping is in the works, so stay tuned for your out-of-town gluten-free buddies.

3. For the Very Vegan: Vegan Divas 

As the wife of master French pastry chef François Payard, Fernanda Capobianco knows from good pastry. Her flagship bakery on the Upper East Side kicks animal products to the curb and employs organic spelt flour, maple syrup, cold pressed coconut oil and apple cider vinegar in the kitchen.
For baked good emergencies, oatmeal raisin cookies with chili powder ($3) and chocolate-covered “donettes” (mini donuts; $3) are available for same-day delivery throughout the five boroughs.

Hu Kitchen • 78 Fifth Ave.

Jennifer’s Way Bakery • 263 E. 10th St.

Vegan Divas • 1437 First Ave.

Behind the Wheel Drive Change is poised to change the food scene forever


When it comes to food trucks, we feel like we’ve seen (and eaten) it all.

But the farm-driven food with a big helping of social justice that we found at the new Snowday truck? Even we had to admit; we’d never seen that on the menu before.

Jordyn Lexton and her social enterprise venture, Drive Change, are behind Snowday. The trucksayingtruck’s mission is to not only serve delicious “farm-to-truck” food, but also to hire, train and empower formerly-incarcerated youth, allowing them to live crime-free futures full of opportunity.

In three years spent teaching at Rikers Island’s East River Academy high, Lexton says that, “Even in a devastating environment, a sense of self-esteem and pride came through in the one culinary arts class that was offered.” She went on to glean wisdom from the likes of the Kimchi Taco Truck and a Union Square Hospitality Group training course, before launching Drive Change.
thetruckNow Drive Change’s first truck, Snowday, is rolling around town serving a menu based around pure New York State maple syrup, and one very sweet back story. We’re particularly ga-ga for the quinoa salad with a maple-Dijon dressing ($6) and the grilled cheese made with local sharp cheddar, sourdough bread and a swoop of maple syrup ($6).

Time to hit the streets. See what’s on their menu here.

A non-dairy yogurt that doesn’t suck! We're going loco for Anita's coconut yogurt


Two long years.

That’s how long it took Anita Shepherd to perfect Anita’s Creamline Coconut Yogurt ($10 for 16 ounces).

It involved two years of testing various cultures, trying out different kinds of coconut milk and tweaking the recipe. And reach pure coconut-y goodness she did—all without the thickeners, sweeteners and preservatives that make other non-dairy yogurts inferior.

Shepherd, a self-taught vegan chef and baker, hits a tasty trifecta with her product: It tastes good, it has a thick consistency and the tangy anita-personalacidity of a true yogurt. That’s because Anita’s is pure organic coconut milk and organic coconut water, along with a healthy dose of the probiotic bacterias, L. acidophilus and S. thermophiles.

“Vegans are only a small percentage of those who love [my yogurt],” says Shepherd. There are people with food allergies, followers of the Paleo diet, people who are adventurous cooks and people who are fans of fermented foods…”

Personally, we like to eat it plain out of the pretty brown-and-blue container, stirred into pasta sauces for richness and as a topping for nachos or baked potatoes. We’ve already earmarked our next container to use in mac ‘n’ cheese, like Shepherd does.

Over the next couple months, Shepherd will launch individual-sized containers of yogurt spiked with raw fruits. We’re predicting they will be this year’s hottest (and most delicious) summer accessory.