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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Eating In + Eating Out: Victor's Healthy Kitchen on YouTube; Fattal's, Lotus Cafe



-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

After I gave up meat and poultry more than 5 years ago, I had to come up with recipes for fish, eggs and pasta for the nights my wife prepared a chicken, pork, beef, lamb or goat dish.

I've described the preparation of these meatless dishes in my blogs, The Sasson Report and Do You Really Know What You're Eating?

Now, I've started to post videos on a YouTube channel called Victor's Healthy Kitchen, showing how easy it is to assemble meatless meals at home.

I cook in large quantities, using leftovers to cut down on meal-preparation times in the next several days, but all of my recipes can be adjusted for one or two people.



I am also posting videos from the stores where I shop, including Costco Wholesale, Whole Foods Market, ShopRite, Trader Joe's, H Mart and H&Y Marketplace.



I am trying to buy as much organic or non-GMO food as I can to cut down on the pesticides, chemicals and harmful antibiotics that we ingest.






My visits to the Whole Foods Market in Paramus have increased to take advantage of lower prices for organics, fish and shrimp after the merger with Amazon, and Costco seems to be adding organics every day.

ShopRite also has christened a new line of organic and non-organic food, as well as antibiotic-free poultry, called Wholesome Pantry.

On Monday, on the way home from doing an errand in Bernardsville, we stopped in Paterson to shop at Fattal's, and pick up takeout from Aleppo Restaurant, at Main and Thomas streets (falafel, muhammara, salad and bread).

During our one dinner out last week, we saw the first women servers at Lotus Cafe in Hackensack in the nearly 30 years I've been going to the Chinese restaurant.


Spinach & Cheese Pies are among the savory baked goods offered at Fattal's, a bakery, grocery, butcher shop and cafe that also sells gold jewelry at 975 Main St., Paterson, in the Middle Eastern Shopping District called South Paterson.
At Fattal's, I picked up a half-gallon of Merve Ayran Yogurt Drink flavored with mint ($5.49).
Al Shark-brand Moroccan Sardines in tomato sauce, in red boxes, are 99 cents each, compared to skinless-and-boneless sardines in soya oil for $1.69 a can.
Some of the offerings in Fattal's small cafe, below.
On the way home from Fattal's and Aleppo Restaurant on Monday afternoon, we stopped at the Aldi Supermarket on Main Street in Hackensack to take advantage of a sale on a 1-pound package of triple-washed Organic Spring Mix ($3.49), a great salad with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
See Victor's Healthy Kitchen for a video on how to prepare organic sunny side up eggs and smoked wild salmon, which I served over leftover organic whole wheat spaghetti with sardines and anchovies.
Homemade Tuna and Sardine Salad with diced onion, sweet peppers and celery dressed in Dijon mustard, lemon juice and cumin, plus a non-fat Greek yogurt sauce with cucumber, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil called tzatziki.
We had dinner last Saturday night at Lotus Cafe in the Home Depot Shopping Center, 450 Hackensack Ave., Hackensack (201-488-7070). Our whole butterflied Striped Bass with Scallion & Ginger was enough for two with leftovers, but took 20 minutes to steam ($28.95).
A seasonal item, Sauteed Chinese Star Squash ($11.95), above, and brown rice, below, completed our delicious meal.
This hot chili pepper paste is available on request.