Monday, March 2, 2015

Chinese New Year food delivery, taking comfort in sweet potatoes

On Sunday night, as snow fell, we belatedly celebrated the Year of the Sheep, which began Feb. 19, with delivery from Lotus Cafe in Hackensack, including a special Chinese New Year Dinner of fresh fish and snow pea leaves.


Another snowstorm put a damper on our Sunday night plans to celebrate the Chinese New Year at Lotus Cafe in Hackensack.

Luckily, we live within the restaurant's delivery zone, and I picked up the phone and placed our order.

We ordered one Year of the Sheep Special (hold the lamb), a four-course meal for $29.95, and supplemented that with three other dishes.

A second helping of Lotus Cafe fish and vegetables, without brown rice, included snow pea leaves, Chinese broccoli and crunchy snow peas and water chestnuts.

Our Chinese New Year Special, a fixed-priced four-course meal, included a Lobster Spring Roll and Chinese mustard.

Fish, vegetables, brown rice

For the Chinese New Year Special, I chose Hot and Sour Seafood Soup and Flounder with Snow Pea Leaves.

Other entree choices were filet mignon, duck either of two ways or jumbo shrimp.

For an appetizer, we got a Lobster Spring Roll and Grilled Chicken Skewers. Dessert was ice cream.

We also ordered Beef with Mustard Greens and Chili Pepper ($14.95), Prawns with crunchy Snow Peas ($16.95) and Chinese Broccoli with fresh garlic ($9.95).

All of the food was delicious, and I washed it down with the bottle of Yuengling Original Black & Tan beer I was planning to take to the Hackensack Avenue BYO.

And we have leftovers for breakfast and dinner today.

Lotus Cafe, 450 Hackensack Ave., Hackensack, in the Home Depot Shopping Center; 201-488-7070. BYO.

I boiled three large sweet potatoes from Costco Wholesale in Hackensack (a 6.5-pound bag was $5.79), and fistfuls of peeled Christopher Ranch Monviso Garlic (a 3-pound bag was $6.39) to mash with extra-virgin olive oil and a multitude of seasoning, including sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, red-pepper flakes and curry powder.

Sweet potatoes are less starchy

Sweet potatoes, baked or mashed, are a cornerstone of the no-bread, no pizza, no meat diet I've been following for five years.

They're less starchy than yams or conventional potatoes, and widely available at ShopRite, Trader Joe's and Costco Wholesale.

The first two offer both conventional and organic sweet potatoes, and Trader Joe's has the best deals.

I often eat sweet potatoes for breakfast to supplement prepared food from Korean supermarkets and homemade dishes.

A baked sweet potato accented with Mexican-style salsa is a filling side dish at breakfast. The whole egg omelet is stuffed with reduced-fat Swiss cheese and grated Pecorino Romano, a sheep's milk cheese from Italy.

Another bread substitute is a steaming portion of organic whole-wheat linguine dressed in bottled Victoria Marinara with skinless-and-boneless sardines, part of a satisfying homemade dinner of pasta, salad and red wine.

Earthbound Organic Spring Mix and Sunset-brand Romana Tomatoes dressed in organic extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Comfort food from the Jamaican kitchen includes fried sweet plantains and boiled green banana as foils for the hot peppers in a breakfast of ackee (a bland fruit) and salted Alaskan pollock.

Plating leftovers from the Korean, Jamaican, Chinese and American kitchens for breakfast (clockwise from the top), stewed tofu from H Mart in Little Ferry, homemade ackee and salt fish; crunchy snow peas and water chestnuts from Lotus Cafe; and sweet potatoes and garlic mashed with extra-virgin olive oil. Other breakfasts have included Korean mung-bean pancakes and batter-dipped squid, both from H&Y Marketplace in Ridgefield.


  1. Have you tried Lan Sheng in Wallington?

    1. No. Have you? Was it reviewed in the paper?

    2. I see from Google it's a branch of an NYC restaurant that got 1 Michelin star.


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