As owner of Pure Food and Wine restaurant, Sarma has built a raw, organic, and healthy veggie paradise in her own corner of a charming neighborhood just east of Union Square in NYC. She trail blazed e-commerce with the founding of Oneluckyduck.com, selling ingredients and products that are hard to find, and additionally offering some of the delicious goods that come from the Pure Food and Wine kitchen. Oneluckyduck.com also promotes top grade appliances and beauty products that are organic and beneficial. I can assure you they are likely tried and tested by Sarma herself.
On top of being a business owner of a restaurant and e-commerce site, she has published two books (Raw Food Real World, William Morrow Cookbooks, and Living Raw Food, HarperCollins) filled with delicious recipes, including some of the coveted juice concoctions from the juice and takeaway joint, with two locations in NYC.
Recently she has expanded operations to Brooklyn, and health nuts and curious minds alike are waiting to see what’s next. Hmm, Pure Food and Wine L.A.? Stars would flock to this glamorous destination! Sarma: The West Coast is in dire need of the Pure Food and Wine gastronomic glory.*
OK enough of the flattery, you can read some of Sarma’s words of wisdom below.
Five ingredients you can’t live without, and why.
- Coconut oil. The really good cold-pressed kind. We use it in our desserts, it’s insanely good for you, and I use it as lotion, makeup remover, and for a million other things too. Plus my dog and cat love it too.
- Salt. Good Himalayan crystal salt. I’m a salt fiend. I put it on everything, even desserts. And a tiny little pinch in the blender when I make a fruit shake. It makes everything better, and it’s not bad like regular table salt.
- Macadamia oil. I put it on salads or any vegetables. Or Pumpkinseed oil. Can those be tied? They have so much flavor, and pair particularly well with lime and lemon, respectively. Speaking of lemons and limes…
- Lemons and limes. Everything’s better with a little citrus.
- Finally, cilantro. It’s my favorite, and it’s really good for you. There’s a Pineapple Cilantro Shake in my second book I’m craving now.
You once said, “The more I learn about food, nutrition, and the environment, the better choices I make.” What are some recent choices you have made in regards to your health, outlook, or the environment?
I haven’t made any recent big changes… lately it’s just all the small things that add up. I might get lazy about recycling or composting, but after reading something I’ll be more likely to take the extra time to save something instead of throwing it away. And I’ll be better about always having an extra duck tote bag on me when I’m shopping for anything.
We recently started selling reusable produce bags, and I love them. Because even when you bring your own shopping bag to the greenmarket, you still need a bag to put those sugar snap peas in.
As far as bigger changes, I’ve become more aware of specifically how raising animals for food has such a devastating effect on the planet and global warming. And how we might be able to educate people. There are so many reasons to stop doing what we do, and yet we don’t. Hopefully it will change.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to make small, daily changes to improve their health and be kind to the planet?
See above. It depends on where someone’s starting, but small changes are usually easier for most people than a drastic overhaul (though the latter can often be more rewarding—to see and feel a big noticeable shift).
Drinking more juice is key, and eating more salads and fresh food. It starts to get addicting in a good way. So that when you don’t have it, you crave it and miss it. Then you just keep shifting more and more to plants and juice, and off you go.
What do you think about Starbucks entering the fresh juice trend with their new Evolution Fresh juice bars?
It’s easy to be cynical about big chains getting into the natural foods business, but I think it’s all good. Even if it’s not perfect (I think they flash or pressure pasteurize it, and not sure if it’s all organic?), it’s a huge step in the right direction, so I’m all for all of it.
One Lucky Duck’s website is always expanding their selection of high-quality, healthy, organic products; what’s ahead for One Lucky Duck in 2013?
Good question. We’ll keep doing what we do, and growing, and adding new products and desserts in particular. I have a few things up my sleeve but I’ll keep them there for now. I’d love to write a third book too, but we’ll see.
*For the record: Sarma has not indicated anything about a Pure Food and Wine restaurant on the West Coast. I’m just a San Francisco (for now) based blogger who craves some high quality, fresh, creative, inventive, nutritious Pure Food and Wine from time to time. For now, I’ll stick to Sarma’s cookbooks!