Next month, when you open the freezer door at Whole Foods, next to your favorite Amy’s burrito you’ll spot offerings from New York City’s vegan landmark—Candle Cafe .
The famous Upper East Side vegan hot spot and its sexier, upscale sister restaurant, Candle 79, are launching a line of frozen foods this June (exact dates vary by store) based on dishes served at both New York City locations.
The line, which includes Macaroni & Vegan Cheese, Seitan Piccata with Lemon Caper Sauce, Ginger Miso Stir-Fry, and Tofu Spinach Ravioli, will be sold exclusively at Whole Foods stores nationwide (for about $5.99).
Why did the eatery decide to venture off the usual fresh-is-best path into the freezer section? “We wanted to make high-quality vegan food consisting of organic ingredients more accessible and convenient to a much larger audience,” says Mark Doskow, head of Candle’s business development.
Given the success of Fresh Direct’s Smart & Simples entrees in vending machines, there seems to be a large appetite for healthy food on the go.
So how healthy are they? Calorie counts range from 200–320 and all pack a decent serving of protein. Although some carb counts are pretty high at 48g per dish, there was nothing on the ingredient list that freaked us out.
While we’re sticking to the fresh-is-better mantra, we don’t all have food dehydrators and juicers or time to shop for seitan and cook from Alicia Silverstone’s cookbook. Candle just gave us another option with these farm-to-freezer meals. —Lisa Elaine Held