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Plant-Based Eating in New England

Sharon Palmer

I spent a wonderful week in New England, making my way through Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont before I made it to   FNCE   in Boston, the grand food and nutrition conference of the year. I was just in time for all of the fall foliage (it really was incredible), and got to sample local, seasonal plant-powered foods at their best. Read on to take a peek at my plant-powered adventures in New England.

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Marblehead, Massachusetts 

When we got off the plane in Boston, we rented a car and headed out to Marblehead, which is along the Atlantic Ocean just about 45 minutes out of the city. I fell in love with this charming village—it is one of our country’s oldest, most well preserved towns. There are so many pre-revolutionary homes, completely in tact. Before the revolution, wealthy sea merchants lived here in this desirable port—with great access on the Eastern Coast. They built the most beautiful homes, which you can visit today.

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The Landing, Marblehead, Massachusetts 

We stopped for a quick bite at this little cozy, old-fashioned restaurant on the water. While most of the restaurants are seafood-based in New England, more and more of them are offering plant-based options, such as this tofu stir-fry with noodles.

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Marblehead, Massachusetts 

We stayed two nights at Marblehead in the Harbor Light Inn, and spent a full day walking the historic paths around the city—isn’t it just beautiful?

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Marblehead, Massachusetts 

I am absolutely in love with the door fronts and steps in New England during the fall, which are festooned with lovely pots filled with mums, squashes, and even a neat row of pumpkins over the door archway!

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Marblehead, Massachusetts 

No little cubby goes to waste in this adorable town. Why not make the most of a little street corner by filling it with herbs, squash, pumpkins, mums and a black cat?

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Shubie’sMarblehead, Massachusetts 

We stepped into this utterly charming market, which had cool, kitchen gadgets, healthy prepared foods, and a variety of local, artisanal foods. Tons of plant-based options in this cute little market!

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Marblehead, Massachusetts 

I wanted to clean up on this cute garden shop—if only I could take it home in my suitcase!

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5 CornersMarblehead, Massachusetts 

We enjoyed a really nice dinner in this local restaurant, which featured a variety of local plant-centric dishes, such as these roasted Brussels sprouts in chili oil!

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Salem, Massachusetts 

We ventured into nearby Salem, which is all about witches this time of year. We even went to a corny witch trial historical reenactment. Just loved this display of fall produce and flowers, though.

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Live AliveSalem, Massachusetts 

I stumbled upon this really cool, plant-based haven, which has a few locations in other parts of the state, too. Check out this fun chalkboard to get the feel of Live Alive, which is all about a healthy, organic nirvana.

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Spiced Tumeric Latte, Live AliveSalem, Massachusetts 

I know turmeric plant milks are trending, so I had to try their golden spiced turmeric latte, which is REALLY spicy—but so good!

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Menu, Live AliveSalem, Massachusetts 

So many fun options, such as wraps, salads, and simple entrees featuring plants.

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Kennebunkport, Maine

The next day, we headed out to Kennebunkport, Maine, which is only an hour from Marblehead. Such a beautiful drive! We headed along the seashore and stumbled across Porpoise Cove, which had a handful of restaurants—check out this cute display of vintage buoys!

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Bush Compound, Kennebunkport, Maine

Of course, we had to get out and take pics of the Bush compound, which is located on this little peninsula—so pretty!

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Kennebunkport, Maine

Adorable little piers and villages dot the seashore of Maine.

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Portsmouth, New Hampshire

After our lunch in Maine, we set out for Portsmouth, about 45 minutes away. I have to say the prettiest fall trees were spotted on our drive through New Hampshire, such as this beauty.

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Strawberry BankePortsmouth, New Hampshire

We walked through this historic area, which has one of the most impressive collections of old homes in New England.

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Green ElephantPortsmouth, New Hampshire

I was thrilled to stumble across this fabulous vegetarian restaurant in Portsmouth, which was just packed (way to go vegheads in New Hampshire!). We started with these yummy vegetable dumplings.

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Green ElephantPortsmouth, New Hampshire

There were just too many wonderful options on the menu, which primarily featured dishes with an Asian flair. I settled on this tempeh coconut curry with brown rice! So yummy!

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Golden Egg, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

After checking out of our hotel   Wentworth by the Sea,   we wanted to grab a bite before heading out to Vermont. This little quaint, country diner was right by the hotel. I couldn’t believe how veg-friendly the menu was! I had a dish of sautéed vegetables with veggie sausage, home fries, and soy milk with my coffee! Plus, the service was so friendly.

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Driving Through New Hampshire and Vermont

We stopped and took a quick picture in the countryside—photos cannot even display how beautiful this place is in the fall.

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Woodstock, Vermont

A two hour drive took us through New Hampshire on our way to Woodstock, Vermont. I can’t even tell you how lovely this drive was. I took photos, but it just doesn’t capture the miles of trees in every shade of yellow, orange, red, and green; charming little farms and barns, and colonial homes. We even spotted several covered bridges on our way to Woodstock, such as this one.

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Apple Season, Woodstock, Vermont

It was all about fresh, seasonal products in Vermont. Right now it’s apple season, and I tried all sorts of unusual varieties, such as these Liberty apples.

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Woodstock InnWoodstock, Vermont

We stayed at Woodstock Inn, which is an historic inn locate right in the quaint town center. Look at this lovely display of fall produce at the Inn. I just wanted to take it all home with me!

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Streets of Woodstock, Vermont

Walking around the town yields all sorts of views of shop windows festooned with squash, pumpkins, squash, and mums.

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Woodstock Inn, Woodstock, Vermont

This is a really special Inn, providing all sorts of fun activities, beautiful meals, and gorgeous views.

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Think Local, Woodstock, Vermont

Vermont has always been all about local, sustainable food, which is on display in this chalkboard in a local coffee shop.

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Farmers MarketWoodstock, Vermont

We visited the little year round, in door farmers market, which features local foods, as well as a small collection of market items. I couldn’t get enough of the wonderful apples in Vermont!

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Farmers MarketWoodstock, Vermont

Check out this collection of gorgeous squash and pumpkins at the farmers market. Nope, they would not fit in my suitcase!

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Farmers MarketWoodstock, Vermont

Cute, nubby carrots from a local farm!

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Vermont Hummus Company

There is even local, organic hummus in Vermont!

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Billings Farm MuseumWoodstock, Vermont

Before we headed out of Woodstock, we stopped at this really nice farm/museum, which had a collection of fall produce—aren’t these pumpkins and squash so cool?

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Billings Farm MuseumWoodstock, Vermont

Here is the heritage garden, with the last of the produce, including rutabaga, greens, and carrots.

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Billings Farm MuseumWoodstock, Vermont

This cute little sheep is named Josephine, and she was begging me big time to feed her leaves from a nearby tree.

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FNCE, Boston, Massachusetts

And with that, I was headed to FNCE in Boston, the “Superbowl of Food and Nutrition”! It was so fun to see my friends at   Meatless Monday   in the booth—they were giving away my book as part of the raffle.

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Pulse Breakfast FNCE, Boston, Massachusetts

It was so fun speaking on global strategies for featuring pulses on the menu at this breakfast, sponsored by Pulses.org. You know I’m a big fan of pulses, right?

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Loyal Nine, Cambridge, Massachusetts 

Since I wrote the   dining guide for Boston,  I had a chance to interview a lot of talented chefs, such as the chef at Loyal Nine. This was my favorite meal of the whole trip. Loyal nine is all about fresh, seasonal, local food, and had an entire section of the menu dedicated to plants. These are amazingly delicious fried soldier beans—a heritage bean that is cooked, and then fried and seasoned so that each one is a crunchy explosion in your mouth.

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Loyal Nine, Cambridge, Massachusetts 

I also enjoyed this stunning maple glazed squash, which was so rich and delicious.

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Loyal Nine, Cambridge, Massachusetts 

These fresh radishes were served with a fresh spring onion dip—so pretty!

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Loyal Nine, Cambridge, Massachusetts 

OK, I can’t even tell you how yummy and satisfying this dish was, which included spinach, steel cut oats, fairytale eggplant, and confit garlic.

And with that, my trip to New England was over, and I was on my way back home to LA, taking a little bit of the beauty of New England with me. Am I ever going to take my fall decorations up a notch!

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