The New York Diet

‘Apologetic Vegan’ Moby Would Eat Kale and Tacos on Death Row

Moby in his kitchen.
Moby in his kitchen. Photo: Melissa Hom

“I had a long period of being very annoying,” Moby admits about his years of vegan proselytizing. “But it didn’t really help.” Instead, the musician changed tactics: “I try as hard as possible to be a nondidactic, almost apologetic vegan.” In that vein, he (along with friend Miyun Park) is the co-editor of the essay collection Gristle — “It’s really not a vegetarian book; it’s not a vegan book,” he says. “It’s simply a book showing the consequences and ramifications of factory farming.” Moby’s just come back from a year and a half of touring, during which time he “ate a huge amount of vegan junk food,” so now he’s trying to eat as healthily as possible. Find out just how much hummus that translates to in this week’s New York Diet.

Friday, May 21
For breakfast, I made what I would arguably maintain is the world’s most obscenely healthy smoothie: almond milk, spinach, kale, cacao nibs, spirulina, bananas, strawberries, and blueberries. I use homemade almond milk, which is really easy to make — just take almonds and water and put it in a blender for 45 seconds, and then strain out the chunks of almond.

For lunch, I made a big pot of organic Silver Needle white tea. There’s this great bread that some hippie friends of mine introduced me to a while ago called Ezekiel 4:9; the recipe ostensibly comes from [the Bible]. I have no idea about that, but it’s good bread. I made a sandwich using that bread, with organic hummus, organic cucumbers, and organic tomatoes.

A friend of mine started this amazing company called Gnosis Chocolate: It’s this organic, raw agave-sweetened chocolate, and it’s stupidly expensive but it’s so good. I had some of that during the day.

For dinner I went to Angelica Kitchen, which made me realize what a clichéd vegan I am. I’m trying hard not to eat too much at night, so I had a bowl of their chili and a glass of carrot-apple-parsley-ginger juice.

Saturday, May 22
Some friends and I went to brunch at Caravan of Dreams. They have these seitan taquitos, which are tiny little mini-tacos with seitan, pineapple, guacamole, and salsa. They’re spectacular. It comes with a side of sautéed kale and garlic.

For dinner I went to Souen. I like going there because they actually have fish for normal people, so I can bring my normal friends to dinner and not have to impose my weird veganism on them. They have this amazing vegan sushi — I had an avocado-and-cucumber sushi roll, some cabbage salad, and brown rice.

Sunday, May 23
I had brunch at Caravan of Dreams again. I branched out and had a mushroom ravioli that was really good. It also came with that awesome sautéed kale with garlic — if I was on death row, that kale and the tacos I had later in the week would be my last meal.

I went to Wild Ginger for dinner. Normally I’d get all the decadent vegan junk food they have, but I’m trying to be healthy. I got brown rice, miso soup, and a salad. Boring and monastic.

Monday, May 24
I had the exact same super-healthy smoothie for breakfast, and the same big pot of Silver Needle tea.

Lunch was at Earthmatters, a health-food store on Ludlow Street, with some friends. They have this lemony, vinegary kale salad with scallions, red onions, and sprouts, and it’s just amazing. I had that and a bottle of water.

For dinner I went back to Souen and had vegan Pad Thai with soba noodles. I think I even got a little crazy and had dessert. There are two types of vegan desserts: old-school hippie vegan desserts which are generally kind of uninspiring, and then there’s the Babycakes school of vegan desserts, which are phenomenal. But because I’m trying to be healthier, I got an old-school one, which was marinated apples and some sort of granola crunch. It was fine, but only because I’m trying to eat a little more simply.

Tuesday, May 24
Same smoothie. Same tea.

I sat on my roof for lunch and had that Ezekiel 4:9 bread with raw almond butter and banana slices. It was really nice. I finally fixed up my roof so it has trees and plants, and it’s where I live in the summer.

A friend was having a dinner party that night. Dinner parties for me are tricky because I always feel guilty being the token vegan — my normal friends make normal food for themselves, and have to think specially about what I eat. I try to either eat beforehand, or try to figure out what I can eat from what they serve. Occasionally, if I’m going to a fancy friend’s house and they’ve hired a chef for the night, I don’t feel as guilty, and that was the case here. The chef made me a quinoa with sautéed vegetables, and it was great. I find that some of the best vegan cooking I’ve ever had is done by chefs who are not vegan cooks. I’ve had amazing meals in meat-centered restaurants where the chef sees it as a challenge to make something outside of their normal repertoire.

Wednesday, May 25
I woke up really, really early because I had to fly to Los Angeles. I had the exact same smoothie I’ve had every other day.

This might sound like Boy Scout preparedness or it might sound really sad, but whenever I fly I bring my own food. This time I brought a bunch of hummus, cucumber, and tomato sandwiches, and I also went to Whole Foods and got this quinoa, cranberry, scallion, and red-pepper salad that’s really nice.

One of my favorite things in the world is coconut juice from a freshly cut coconut, so when I got to L.A. I went to this natural foods store Erewhon and got a big coconut. For dinner, I went to Real Food Daily. They have this dish called “Taco the Town” — it’s a bad pun, but it’s fantastic food. It’s marinated seitan, black beans, and sort of a Spanish brown rice, guacamole, and pico de gallo. I had them with tortillas instead of as tacos. They’re phenomenal.

‘Apologetic Vegan’ Moby Would Eat Kale and Tacos on Death Row