First of all, everyone, happy 4th of July! If you’re celebrating, I wish you a wonderful day. I’m in Provincetown, MA, with my boyfriend and his family, and look forward to catching you up on my travels soon. In the meantime, I wanted to recap my book launch party this past week in D.C., which was hosted by JRINK Juicery and catered by Elizabeth’s Gone Raw. I’m so lucky to have partnered with these two incredible local institutions to celebrate my book publication, and I’m so grateful to them for the food and drink we all enjoyed.
You may recall my review of JRINK Juicery from November. This wonderful local brand has bought cold pressed, high quality juices to the D.C. metro area. When I reviewed JRINK, they were still a delivery only service, but the company now has a storefront near Dupont Circle. They also have a ton of new flavors, including “clean me up II” (apple, lemon, ginger, and turmeric), “cheer me up” (a chocolate hazelnut milk), and “fuel me up II” (spinach, cucumber, apple, broccoli, parsley, and ginger), which is now my personal favorite of all the JRINK juices.
JRINK juice bar is on the second floor at 1323 Connecticut Avenue NW (same spot as Epic Yoga). It’s a very pretty, calming space, and it’s actually a great spot to work or have a bite–as well as to pick up a fresh juice! I’m so fortunate to have hosted my book party there. Here I am with Shizu, one of JRINK’s two dynamic co-founders:
Cocktails were a mixture of JRINK juice and some tasty spirits. They were concocted by our bartender, Eddie, who was by far the star of the party. He came up with some incredible mixtures! (I should ask him for all of the recipes, so that I can share them with you.)
The cocktails were matched only by the party’s stellar food. This was all the work of Elizabeth’s Gone Raw, D.C.’s dedicated raw food eatery (you can read my review of EGR here). EGR serves superb, upscale raw food in a beautiful setting. You can visit for a full tasting menu on Friday evenings, or for a cocktail menu on Thursdays. I had a fantastic meal there when I went for dinner, and I was equally impressed with the hors d’oeuvres that Elizabeth’s (awesome) executive chef, Jonathan Seningen, created for the party. These included
- raw strawberry risotto with green papaya and strawberry cashew parmesan
- crab cakes with royal trumpet mushrooms and Old Bay aioli
- stuffed squash blossoms with fermented cashew ricotta
- dolmades with raw tzatziki (my favorite!)
- cucumber camomile gazpacho with green grapes, parsnips, and celery
- raw mushroom mole
- cauliflower couscous with yuzu cappuccino
Here’s a picture of the gorgeous mole:
There were also eggplant bacon wrapped dates (much prettier than the version I make at home!)
Here’s a sample menu from the EGR restaurant:
The room was full of family and friends, many of whom aren’t particularly interested in raw food, but everyone was raving about the appetizers. I was so incredibly impressed with the party food, and I’m now inspired to re-create some of the small plates at home. We’ll see how well I do.
As the evening went on, I got to catch up with friends, including the lovely Hilary Phelps, who writes Genuine Joy:
We also had some sweet gift bags, featuring some of my favorite local brands. They included:
Roasted chickpeas from 2 Armadillos:
These are so spectacularly good, and I’m kind of in love with Two Armadillos as a company. They not only make the incredible roasted chickpeas you see above, but they also do a ton of work in public education and with underserved communities. Plus, the company was co-founded by a hungry medical student who was on the hunt for healthy alternatives to vending machine food. Pretty cool.
Peanut butter cookies from Joy Bliss Raw
Another fabulous D.C. brand, Joy Bliss Raw is a Bethesda-based raw dessert company. The chef, Thu, creates chocolates, truffles, and cookies that are all raw, vegan, organic, and gluten free. The chocolates are particularly exquisite:
Flavors include Turkish coffee, chai chocolate, coconut, and chocolate caramel. For the party, Thu contributed her signature peanut butter cookies, which are crispy and delicious (and dotted with chia seeds!):
Nouri Bar Fliers
I’ve written about Nouri before; this wonderful local brand. Nouri was founded by Jared and Veneka, DC locals with a passion for healthy, simple, plant based food and a strong sense of social justice. The bars are organic, raw, vegan, and crafted only with nuts and dried fruit. They’re made locally in the DC area, and for every bar you purchase, Nouri provides a meal to a child in school in a third world country (think Toms for snack bars). They do so by working with local food growers and farmers.
A pass for a free class at Epic Yoga
One of the most beautiful yoga spaces in D.C.. Check out my review here!
Champagne vinaigrette from Dress it Up Dressing
A local gem. Dress it Up Dressing is a company founded by Sophia Maroon, who bottles (by hand, in small batches) her longtime family vinaigrette recipe. More on this brand soon!
Protein powder and snack bars from 22 Days Nutrition
One of my favorite plant-based brands, 22 Days provides consistently high quality plant protein and bars. You can read my full review of the company here (and stay tuned, as I hope to partner with them more often for nutrition initiatives this coming year!).
I had such a great time celebrating the book, and feel lucky that I was able to showcase some of these great, vegan companies while I was at it.
Speaking of the book, a few more wonderful reviews have popped up this week! First, the lovely Gina (Fitnessista) reviewed the book and shared my recipe for raw blueberry cheesecake:
Dreena Burton, culinary superstar and one of my favorite cookbook authors, gave the book a lovely review, and shared my recipe for raw blueberry ginger ice cream:
Nicole Axworthy, who is the voice behind the gorgeous blog A Dash of Compassion, responded to the book so thoughtfully, and shared my recipe for raw or cooked ratatouille:
And finally, vegan superstar Richa Hingle (Vegan Richa) also gave my raw blueberry cheesecake two thumbs up. She’s sharing the recipe and hosting a giveaway, so check it out!
And that’s what’s new around here right now. At the risk of being pushy/annoying/etc., you can purchase the book from one of these sellers:
I wish you all a lovely holiday weekend; see you for Weekend Reading!