Three Flawless Fish Substitutes for Vegans

For many vegans new to the cruelty-free lifestyle, the toughest part about making the switch can be summed up in a single word: seafood. This common protein source often holds significant cultural value, leaving many new vegans worrying that they may miss out on scrumptious meals like sushi, seafood chowders, or fried shrimp po-boys. Never fear! With these flawless fish substitutes for vegans, you won’t have to sacrifice your favorite meals. 

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3 Best Vegan Kid Snacks

With the right time and knowledge, maintaining a vegan diet as an adult can be a breeze; for kids, this specific dietary preference may be more challenging. With their fast metabolisms and buzz of energy, kids vary between picky eating and always craving their next meal. Between class parties, time spent on the road, and the near-constant desire to eat, you’ll definitely want to keep your pantry stocked with these vegan kid snacks.

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Top Vegan Mac and Cheese Cooking Tips

Being vegan doesn’t have to mean giving up your childhood favorites. If you have the knowledge, you can continue to eat the comfort food you love with just a few tweaks! Luckily, Willow is here to bring all the expertise of mouthwatering vegan cooking to your kitchen. 

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Oven Roasted Cauliflower – Recipe from Willow NYC

Willow in NYC prides itself on timeless, flavorful vegan dishes anyone can enjoy. Of every dish on our menu, doubtlessly one of the most charming in its simplicity, is our oven roasted cauliflower with lemon and tahini.

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding – Recipe from Willow NYC

Throughout the great City of New York, Willow sets itself apart with delicious, nutritious vegan foods that even non-vegans will savor. Every meal at our restaurant, from appetizer to dessert, offers a wide range of nutritional benefits in perfectly sized proportions.  Our vanilla chia seed pudding is no exception to that rule.

Best Penne Puttanesca – Recipe from Willow in NYC

While here at Willow we like to call this our best penne puttanesca recipe, other chefs may have different names for it, including “healthiest pasta ever”.

5 Healthy Vegan Meal Prep Ideas

With school starting back and work returning to the office, you may find yourself once again faced with the perpetual challenge of knowing the right thing to eat every day. When you’re vegan, you also have certain restrictions that can limit your daily choices, especially if you don’t bring your own meals.

That’s why meal prep can be one of the most beneficial parts of your routine. We are here to offer five healthy vegan meal prep ideas that will make you look forward to lunch.

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Why Meal Prep?

When you’re following a vegan diet and lifestyle, planning and preparing your meals in advance comes down to more than just making day-to-day meals easier: it can also help you meet your required nutrients.

Veganism introduces an elevated risk for malnutrition in regard to certain vitamins and minerals, Planning your next meals in advance will help to ensure you reach your daily nutritional needs. Meal prep makes this easier by allowing you to plan and prepare several days’ worth of meals at once – saving you time in the kitchen throughout the week.

5 Healthy Vegan Meal Prep Ideas and Recipes

Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

Topping quinoa with your choice of roasted vegetables is a great choice if you’re looking for something lighter without sacrificing texture, flavor, or nutrients. This can be a quick meal that is easily prepared in advance and packaged to eat later in the week.

In fact, by cooking a larger serving of quinoa and vegetables, you can store several meals out of this recipe.

It’s also versatile. Top with your favorite vegetables roasted in your oil and herbs of choice and serve on a bed of quinoa. You can even swap quinoa for rice if you prefer. 

By getting creative with the vegetables you choose to incorporate, and shopping for local in-season produce, you’ll be able to create a healthy meal that stores easily and tastes just as good on day two. 

Prepare Grains in Advance

We understand that sometimes certain foods just aren’t as good when prepared in advance. Certain vegetables or fruits can brown faster once they’re prepared, such as apples or avocados, and it can make a meal you spent time planning and preparing unpleasant.

However, even if you decide to wait until the day before or the day of to prepare parts of your meal, cooking your grains in advance can be a quick and easy way to succeed at meal prep. 

Some grains, such as rice, can even be better after a few days stored. In fact, certain recipes call for day-old rice, allowing you to experiment with your meals and explore your nutrition by incorporating new recipes into your weekly vegan meal prep. 

Vegetarian Chili

This family-favorite comfort food goes beyond weekly meal prep by being freezer friendly, allowing you to stretch out a single meal for weeks, if not months. This is also a high-volume meal, meaning it will fill you up with smaller portions.

And the best part? You can make it with nearly any vegetable.

The base is founded on beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste with your common kitchen seasoning (salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, and, of course, chili powder). From there, you can also add in zucchini, bell pepper, celery, corn, or any other vegetables you’d like.

After allowing it to cook on the stove until the beans are tender, you can serve it with your choice of toppings, from vegan cheese and sour cream to crushed crackers. 

Utilize Leftovers

Whether you cooked the night before or treated yourself to vegan takeout, storing and preparing your leftovers can be one of the best ways to fill a gap in your weekly menu. It also helps reduce waste while while also saving money. 

If you don’t have access to an area to cook your meal during the day, there are also of plenty options, such as salads or certain vegan pastas, that taste just as well cold. 

Heat-Free “Raw” Tacos

This meal is just one example of the variety of dishes you can serve cold. 

The basis for this recipe is cooked lentils topped with seasoning as your taco “meat”. While this step involves cooking, the rest is served raw, and even this is designed to be served cold or at room temperature, making it the perfect meal prep meal. 

While you can wrap this in tortillas, you can also utilize vegetables for a healthier meal. Our top choices are lettuce wraps or stuffed bell peppers.

Lastly, you can either go ahead and top your tacos with your choice of vegan cheeses and sour cream, salsa, or avocado. Another idea is to package them on the side to add on top whenever it is time for you eat. 

Make Healthy Vegan Meal Prep Easy with Willow Bistro

Willow is a vegan restaurant giving classic bistro comfort food an upscale twist while using 100% vegan ingredients. You can enjoy a great vegan lunch at our restaurant or enjoy lunch in your office or home with our pickup and delivery services. Wherever you decide to spend your lunch break, we look forward to serving you high-quality vegan cuisine. 

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4 Vegan Athlete Diet Tips

One of the biggest misconceptions about going vegan is that you’ll have to sacrifice your form and athleticism. However, you’ll be glad to know that’s just not true. In fact, there are several top athletes and bodybuilders who live completely vegan.

Although being a vegan athlete means getting a little creative with your diet, here at Willow, we’re prepared to offer more than innovative vegan dishes—we want to give you the advice you need to succeed as a vegan athlete. Read on to learn the top 4 vegan athlete diet tips.

Willow Vegan Bistro serves nutritious vegan dishes with innovative preparations. Visit us today for dine-in, delivery, or takeout!

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What to Know About Nutrition as a Vegan Athlete

For all athletes, whether you’re vegan or not, there are several important points to remember when it comes to your diet.

First, hydration should always be the top priority. Whether you’re at home or working out, staying hydrated is one of the best ways to ensure your success. While eating the right foods can dictate your performance, your base health and wellbeing can be significantly impacted by your water intake (or lack thereof).

It’s also important that you take the time to plan out your meals. Knowing what and when you need to eat can help make sure that you’re reaching your daily nutritional goals.

Top 4 Diet Tips for Vegan Athletes

Here are the top four diet tips for vegan athletes:

Know What You’re Getting – And What You’re Not

One of the biggest concerns for vegan athletes is whether or not they’ll be able to get enough protein on a plant-based diet.

Surprisingly, though, there are actually many fruits and vegetables that act as a source of protein for vegans. In fact, with such a wide variety of cuisine falling into the vegan category, there are few important nutrients that you won’t be able to fit into your diet.

However, it’s important to know what nutrients you aren’t getting, and whether or not you should consider supplements. One vitamin you won’t be able to find in a vegan diet is B12. B12 works to keep your cells healthy while also preventing conditions such as anemia, and it’s mostly found in animal-based products such as meat and dairy. As a result, supplements for B12 are encouraged for all vegans, whether they’re athletes or not.

Know Your Proteins

As we mentioned above, protein isn’t scarce in a vegan diet. From dishes such as seitan to legumes and even leafy greens, there’s no shortage of protein available for vegan athletes. However, as an athlete, it’s important to know what these vegan protein sources are.

View our blog, 7 Best Sources of Vegan Protein for more information!

If you’re worried about a bland or boring diet, don’t fear. When it comes to protein, your options are nearly endless and can branch away from the usual vegetables. In fact, here at Willow, we offer a variety of meatless “meat” options, serving everything from cheeseburgers to lasagna.

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Eat Colorfully

There’s an old saying that the more colorful your plate is, the more nutrients you’re getting. When it comes to eating a vegan diet, there’s more truth to that than you might think.

Fruits and vegetables come in a wide variety of colors, from blues and reds to greens. Each one offers its own nutritional benefits, with certain colors hinting at different benefits, such as dark green acting as a great source of folate.

As a result, one of the best ways to keep your body in top form while eating a vegan diet is to fit as many different colors on your plate as possible each meal. This ensures that you’re receiving a variety of vitamins and nutrients necessary in a healthy diet.

Understand Sweat and Salt

Naturally, a plant-based diet is lower in sodium than one that includes animal products such as meats or dairy. While lower sodium levels are important in staying healthy, you don’t want to eliminate salt completely.

When it comes to proper nerve and muscle health, salt is one of the most important factors. As a result, for top performance, maintaining a healthy level of sodium during workouts is a step you won’t want to miss.

With already lower levels of sodium in your diet, though, it can be difficult to maintain the right levels of salt when you’re constantly sweating. Thus, one of our top diet tips for vegan athletes is to find healthy ways to incorporate extra sodium during your workout routine. Our suggestion? Pair your water intake with the occasional sports drink while working out to restore any sodium or electrolytes lost through sweat.

Visit Willow Today

We hope these 4 vegan athlete diet tips assist you! Remember, veganism and athleticism don’t have to be opposites. At Willow, we provide a wide variety of nutritious vegan cuisine that you’ll absolutely love. Join us for dinner out at our restaurant at 199 8th Avenue in NYC or indulge in pickup or delivery. However you decided to receive your plate of high-quality vegan cuisine, we look forward to serving you an outstanding meal!

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How to Find Vegan Restaurants Near You

Eating a vegan diet has its challenges, and knowing where you can eat is one of them. Now that plant-based eating is becoming more mainstream, vegan restaurants are starting to pop up all over the United States. But if you’re new to eating a vegan diet, locating those vegan hotspots can be difficult or overwhelming, especially when you’re traveling in a city that’s not familiar to you. From apps to social media, here’s how to find vegan restaurants near you.

Willow Vegan Bistro serves delicious vegan dishes with innovative preparations. Visit us today for dine-in, delivery, or takeout!

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HappyCow is by far the most popular and comprehensive vegan restaurant locator. What started out as a resource for travelers has turned into a must-have mobile app for every vegan and vegetarian.

The HappyCow app, which costs $4, makes it easy to find vegan restaurants near you thanks to an interactive map based on your location. You can also filter results based on the type of restaurant (vegan or vegetarian friendly) as well as a variety of other categories to find just what you’re looking for.

Similar to Yelp, users can leave reviews and post photos of their meals. Plus, HappyCow isn’t just for US restaurants, either—you can also use it in over 180 countries. If you don’t want to pay for the app, you can also access the same features on the website, which is free and offers a variety of other vegan resources as well.

VegOut Magazine

VegOut is a premier vegan food and lifestyle magazine. The publication is very dialed in to the local vegan dining scene in the following locations:

  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • Detroit
  • Los Angeles
  • Portland
  • New York
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle

Each city has its own Instagram account where they promote local vegan eateries by sharing drool-worthy photos of must-order dishes. Even if you don’t live in one of the main cities they cover, VegOut constantly publishes vegan restaurant news and dining tips for other U.S. cities, such as Baltimore, Boston, Washington DC, and more. They also like to share nationwide vegan dining news and tips, such as how to order a vegan-friendly Beyond Meat burger at Burger King or how Fatburger is adding vegan milkshakes to their menu.


Instagram is more than just a social media network that allows you to share photos and stories with your friends and followers. It’s also a way to discover other people and brands—and that includes restaurants. There’s a very large vegan community on Instagram, and they love to share photos of their meat-free meals to exemplify how delicious plant-based food can be.

If you’ve ever posted a photo on Instagram, it gives you an option to add a location, which is usually populated with places that are nearby. These locations are also searchable! If you want to find a vegan restaurant near you on Instagram, use the search feature and go to “Places.” Once there, type in the word “vegan” and it will show you results of vegan restaurants that are close by in your city. You can also click on the results to check out the photos diners have posted of their delicious vegan eats.

Another way to use Instagram to find vegan restaurants near you is by searching hashtags. Many cities have hashtags like #veganlosangeles or #vegannyc that will pull up posts from users.


When in doubt, just Google it! A simple search of “Vegan restaurants near me” or “vegan restaurants in [city name]” on your phone or computer should pull up results of vegan-friendly restaurants nearby.

What About Fast-Food & Restaurant Chains?

Depending on where you live or where you’re visiting, it may not be possible to dine at an all-vegan restaurant. Here’s the good news: non-vegan restaurants, including many popular fast-food restaurants and large restaurant chains, are starting to offer more options for their herbivore customers. While you may need to ask a few questions about how the food is prepared or make small modifications, this is especially helpful in cities where the vegan population hasn’t taken root—yet.

So how do you order a vegan meal at one of these non-vegan fast-food restaurants or restaurant chains? Most of the larger companies will have allergen information posted on their websites, but that can also get exhausting and overwhelming. Luckily, PETA has put together a comprehensive guide on how to order vegan meals at fast-food restaurants and chain restaurants, such as Del Taco, Denny’s, Cheesecake Factory, and more.

Visit Willow in NYC!

We hope you now know how to find vegan restaurants near you. If you’d like to try some delicious vegan cuisine in NYC, stop by Willow today! Our restaurant at 199 8th Avenue serves vegan comfort food with innovative preparations. You can also place pickup or delivery orders online. We look forward to serving you an outstanding meal!

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What Happens to Your Body When You Go Vegan?

There are plenty of reasons why someone may want to transition to a vegan diet. But have you ever wondered what exactly happens to your body when you go vegan? From weight loss to glowing skin, explore some of the benefits you can expect when you stop eating animal products and bulk up on plants.

Willow serves delicious vegan dishes with innovative preparations. Visit us today for dine-in, delivery, or takeout!

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More Energy

One of the more noticeable and immediate changes people experience when they start eating a vegan diet is how much more energy they have. Animal products can be extremely taxing on the digestive system and take longer to make their way through the gastrointestinal tract, which causes sluggishness and constipation. Plant-based foods, on the other hand, are high in fiber and require less energy to pass through the digestive system. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are also loaded with nutrients and have energizing properties.

Better Digestion and Gut Health

Going vegan is like an extreme makeover for your gut, and it doesn’t take long for this change to happen. The fiber in plant-based foods feeds good bacteria, which is essential for a healthy gut and better overall health. Fiber will also improve your bowel movements, keeping you regular and preventing constipation. While it’s true that a lot of new vegans may experience an increase in gas and bloating, this is usually only temporary since the body is not used to a high intake of fiber. You can reduce this unwanted side effect easily by chewing your food more, drinking extra water, and cooking your vegetables.

Weight Loss

More and more people are drawn to a vegan diet because it easily allows you to lose weight. Compared to animal protein and dairy products, plant-based foods are lower in calories, especially when in their natural, unprocessed state. Fruits and vegetables also have higher water and fiber content, which leaves you feeling full without consuming a lot of calories. Of course, there are other benefits to losing weight as well. When you lower your body mass index (BMI), you also reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Blood Sugar Control

Some people may be surprised to hear that even though a vegan diet contains a lot of starchy vegetables, it can actually benefit those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Not only can it help manage and reverse symptoms, but it can also prevent the development of type 2 diabetes altogether. Since a vegan diet is high in fiber, it can help regulate blood sugar levels. Many plant-based foods are also low on the glycemic index, so they won’t spike your blood sugar.

Lower Cholesterol Levels

Switching to a vegan diet can dramatically reduce your cholesterol levels, especially the bad cholesterol that can lead to heart disease. While meat and dairy products all contain dietary cholesterol and are high in saturated fat, fruits and vegetables contain zero cholesterol and are low in saturated fat. The high fiber content in plant-based foods can help lower your cholesterol levels as well. In fact, many people who switch to a vegan diet are able to reduce the amount of cholesterol-lowering drugs they take or come off of them completely.

Less Inflammation

Short-term inflammation is normal and necessary to heal and prevent illness. However, too much inflammation or chronic inflammation can lead to many chronic diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more.

It turns out that your diet can play a major role in the amount of inflammation in the body. Meat, cheese, and other animal products are all highly inflammatory foods. A vegan diet, on the other hand, is naturally anti-inflammatory because plant-based foods are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

Better Mood

From less stress and anxiety to a happier disposition, vegan food is the definition of “good mood food.” Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds are rich in nutrients that can support your mental well-being.

Healthier Skin

Want to know the secret to healthier-looking skin? A vegan diet! One of the beautiful side effects of eating plants is glowing skin. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins A, C, and E and contain powerful antioxidants that can help you glow from the inside out—literally.

By eliminating dairy from your diet, you’re more likely to notice clearer skin. That’s because dairy contains hormones that trigger breakouts. When dairy is combined with other highly processed foods and refined sugars that are common in the standard American diet, you create a recipe for acne to form.

Visit Willow in NYC!

As you can see, a lot of positive changes happen to your body when you go vegan! If you’d like to try some delicious vegan cuisine in NYC, stop by Willow today. Our restaurant at 199 8th Avenue serves vegan comfort food with upscale plating. You can also place pickup or delivery orders online. We look forward to serving you an outstanding meal!

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