What I Ate Wednesday

I had to keep track of what I ate for a day for something, so I figured – why not take pictures and post a What I Ate Wednesday?

Breakfast:

breakfast

This is 1 scrambled egg with some swiss (Jarlsberg) and sauteed onions. I also had a slice of whole grain toast with butter, a pear (some of it is unpictured – I was snacking as I prepped the plate), some sliced tomato (from Maria’s garden in NJ – Maria is my Grammie’s caretaker), sauteed onions, and sauerkraut (homemade by Maria).

It was really delicious. I have been eating a lot of sauerkraut lately because Maria gave me a big container of it.

I also had an unpictured 1/2 cup of coffee with coconut creamer.

Lunch:

lunch

This was from a place called Essen. They have a hot/cold bar so I got a little bit of everything – salad, fish, chicken, cauliflower, and a piece of a turkey wrap.

Unpictured lunch dessert: iced coffee with cream + 1 mini reeses cup.

Afternoon snack: the picture came out terribly, so I will just explain – I had some veggie sides from an organic store a few blocks from my office. A couple squashes (kabocha and acorn) and a small scoop of curry stew.

Dinner: was with Bobby and a friend at Bareburger. (The friend recently got a job at my company and he wanted to take us out.) I got the “California” burger with a farmers quinoa veggie burger. It came in a lettuce wrap with avocado, cheddar, watercress, and tomato (hold the onions). We all shared the rings & fries side with assorted ketchups. (These are not my pictures; I didn’t really want to bust out the camera in public.)

veggie-burger

(source)

rings-fries

(source)

Dessert: was a couple small peaches from my Grammie’s peach tree. Another NJ find.

By the time we got home it was late and B and I both crashed into bed. Another productive Wednesday 🙂

What is your favorite kind of burger?

Mine is anything with avocado / bacon / cheese!

Bhakti Immersion Retreat 2013

I have really been MIA lately. One reason: I was on a yoga retreat for 4 days the weekend before last. We did the same retreat last August and loved it so of course we signed up as soon as registration opened this year.

I took no pictures because we left our phones in our cabin the whole time – completely technology-free weekend. It was wonderful!

Here is one picture via Instagram (Bobby and I are in there, not sure if you can see…)

bhakti-immersion-2013

Source: http://instagram.com/raghunathyogi

Bobby is in a black sweatshirt behind the girl with the yellow scarf. I’m to his right in a grey sweatshirt behind the girl with a red plaid scarf. We went with another couple who are into yoga just as much as we are – Bobby’s coworker and his girlfriend. We all loved it!

This was definitely not your typical yoga retreat – it could be very spiritual, but also very much “take what you want and leave the rest” at the same time. I would say about half the people there were there for the spiritual part and half for the yoga. It was a great mix of very kind and warm people.

Incredible teachers:

All 3 yoga teachers were amazing – each offering something different but valuable. I listened to a couple talks by the two swamis, who were both inspiring and wise. We learned to play the harmonium with Gaura Vani, who was so talented. Bobby and I took 2 workshops in “Marma Therapy” (ayurvedic massage) with the ayurvedic practitioners. Marma and yoga were definitely the highlights of the retreat for me.

pumpkin-hollow-salad

Buffet line + salad bar! (Source)

At the retreat we were treated to 3 vegetarian buffet meals a day. Most of the food was grown on the grounds of the retreat center (Pumpkin Hollow Farm in Craryville, NY – about 2 hours north of the city). It was delicious and Bobby and I totally overate the entire time. But neither one of us came back even a pound heavier, so we must have been burning it off with the 2x a day yoga sessions.

Here is a video from last year’s retreat.

Another reason I have been MIA – I have been working on a new project! I’ll share soon.

What have you been up to lately? Have you ever done a yoga retreat?

Foraged Chanterelles (Mushrooms)

Over the weekend my sister and mom came up to NYC to visit me.

Julia (sister) brought me some chanterelles that my brother, Rob, and his girlfriend had foraged.

I didn’t take a picture before, but here is the after…

chanterelles

Simply roasted for 12 minutes at 450F. Drizzled with olive oil and some sea salt before roasting.

Yum yum.

This roasting method (evoo + sea salt, roast for 10-14 mins @ 450F depending on the mushroom) is my go-to recipe for all kinds of mushrooms.

Here are some mushrooms from another night (maitake on the upper left and beech -I think- on the right; these are organic and from a Japanese grocery store on 59th street).

japanese maitake mushrooms beech

Always delicious.

What’s your favorite way to have mushrooms? What’s your favorite mushroom?

I think my favorite kind of mushroom is maitake, prepared this way.

July Shenanigans & Recipes…

This summer has been one of the best.

Bobby and I have been cooking up a storm…

moscow-mule

^^A moscow mule (a drink my dad introduced me to).^^

This was mine, but I gave it to Bobby – after one sip I didn’t want anymore! It’s delicious but I wasn’t in a drinking mood. {HERE} is the recipe I posted 5 years ago when my dad first told me about it. It’s a mix of ginger beer, vodka, lime, and mint. Sometimes we do half seltzer / half ginger beer. Gingerale also works.

tempeh-onion-goop

^^Sweet and Savory Tempeh with Onions^^

I started off following Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe for Tempe Manis (Sweet Tempeh) but changed it… a lot. As you guys know, I’m not really into sweets that much, so I cut out just about all the sugar, and instead caramelized some onions to give it sweetness. I will hopefully remember what I did so I can post my version of the recipe later. So delicious.

kale-mustard-green-salad-seaweed-avocado-goop

^^Kale & Seaweed Salad with Avocado – Except with Mustard Greens because I mistakenly grabbed the wrong bunch of greens!^^

Another Gwyneth Paltrow recipe. Which she actually got from Cafe Gratitude (in LA I think?). {HERE} is her recipe. I changed it a bit – I only used one avocado, I didn’t add the cucumbers (all of a sudden I am hating cucumbers, weird!), and I accidentally bought mustard greens instead of kale. I’ve remade it with kale and I actually prefer it with mustard greens. They don’t come out bitter.

dinner-veggies-kabocha-rice-beans-cucumber-mushrooms

^^Random plate^^

This plate has a veggie stir-fry that was *amazing* – it has fake chicken from Trader Joe’s, but aside from that I don’t know what’s in it because Bobby (a budding cook, apparently) made it. I’ve also been *loving* white rice. Having it almost daily, in large amounts. My appetite has been interesting the last month or so. In this pic there is also kabocha (simply steamed, though I have another kabocha recipe I’ve been meaning to share), Rachel Ray’s sesame green beans, a cucumber salad (before I started hating cucumbers), and roasted mushrooms – I think these were oyster mushrooms.

Lastly…

natto

^^Natto^^

This is a fermented soybean product that is eaten a lot in Japan. It has an interesting (funky) smell and it’s slimy/stringy like okra (only more so). It’s definitely an acquired taste, but I have learned to love it. In fact, Bobby made a batch of homemade natto this week, which is aging in the fridge right now. It should be ready this weekend.

Aside from lots of good eats, other wonderful things have happened recently.

I got to meet my close friend’s baby:

maggie-and-eden

She is so sweet. So cuddly and adorable.

And Bo the cat is a weirdo 😉

bo-weirdo

I can’t believe I caught that picture! I was reorganizing the area next to my washer/dryer and was taking these shelves downstairs, but Bo decided to hang out in the shelf and I got him mid-yawn.

What have you been up to the past couple of weeks?

Week-End Link Love… [July 18 2013]

I was going through my draft posts and came across a link love that I never put up. Thought I would share now, because though these articles may be a year old, they are still interesting and relevant. Since we are at the end of the week it’s kind of still “week end” link love.

***

The Case Against Kids. About a year ago (when I compiled these links) was around the time when I fully changed my mind about having kids (to YES, definitely). If you’d asked me a few years before, I was very much anti-kid (at least for me). Now – I hope to have one or two soon. Still a good read.

Why do zoo apes get heart disease? It could be diet, lifestyle, or stress. Interesting read.

Is Sugar Toxic? Probably, yes! Did you know the average American consumes 130 pounds of sugar per year? This is an interview between Sanjay Gupta (a doctor who is a public health advocate) and Robert Lustig (an anti-sugar doctor who is famous with the paleo/primal/low-carb crowd).

Ova Ova. A really innovative (woman-founded) start-up that helps you (women) track your ovulation and fertility naturally (temperature, etc) via something called the Fertility Awareness Method. FAM can be used to get pregnant or to not get pregnant, ha.

Learning to Walk: How America Can Start Walking Again. Re: the lack of walking / public transportation here in the states.

Recipe: Paleo Singapore Street Noodles. Looks delish!

Homemade Deodorant. A simple recipe: baking soda, cornstarch or arrowroot, coconut oil, Tea Tree Oil (optional). I currently use Soapwalla’s deodorant (which recently raised in price from $12 to $14! and I thought it was expensive before). Love Soapwalla, but it’s very pricey. I may try this next time I run out (very soon).

***

That’s all I have! Have you read anything good online lately?

Tarafu Ku Manma Hijiki – Hijiki and Roe {Macrobiotics}

Today I want to spotlight on one of my favorite styles of eating – macrobiotics. (Remember Macrobiotic March?)

When Bobby and I were in Japan, Bobby’s mom bought us this package of hijiki and roe:

otyashizuoka komochihijiki - hijiki and roe japanese food

(I think you can buy it online, {HERE}.)

If I am not mistaken (I could very well be), it is called “tarafu ku manma hijiki”, but it might also be called “otyashizuoka komochihijiki”, or たらふくまんま. (Yeah, I really don’t know if I’m right on this – any Japanese speakers care to help me out?)

It comes in a sealed plastic bag inside of a pretty paper one.

hijiki-roe-japanese-food

(You may also be able to buy it {HERE}.)

Here are various flavors of tarafu ku:

tarafuku-flavors

{source}

By the way, {THIS} is the google search I used to find more about tarafu ku manma hijiki.

And here it is at our house:

tarafu ku manma hijiki roe

After we got back from Japan (this was back in October), we got into the habit of eating a Japanese breakfast every morning. We had this side dish simply, just over white rice. It lasted a few days because we wanted to spread it out – it was delicious!

This dish is certainly macrobiotic. It combines seaweed (hijiki), which is a macrobiotic superfood, along with roe, which counts as seafood, and thus is an “occasional” food by the macrobiotic style of eating. Occasional is defined by you – that could mean a few times a week or a few times a month. Tarafu ku manma hijiki is slightly sweet though I am not sure what the sweetener is. In general, those following a macrobiotic diet shy away from anything sweet, so ideally you could make this yourself at home and use a macrobiotic-approved sweetener (brown rice syrup) or omit it entirely.

Have you ever seen this dish? Would you try it?

I have not been able to find this in any stores here in NYC. I suppose I need to keep looking, or attempt to make my own! (If I do I will share the recipe.)

The End is Near! {Google Reader Replacements}

So… Google Reader will no longer be available after July 1st, 2013.

gr-closed

{image source}

I have experimented with a whole bunch of Google Reader alternatives, and these are my favorites. I’m still kind of undecided as to which I will end up sticking with, but I wanted to let you guys know my findings. There are a lot of Google Reader alternatives and most of them are pretty crappy – but not these! I will list 2 alternatives that I did not like at the end of this post.

Best Google Reader Replacements / Alternatives

Digg Reader.
I only just started using Digg’s reader this week, but so far it is actually my favorite. They have an iPad and iPhone app as well, which is key for me.  The Digg Reader layout is simple – similar to Google Reader, but  cleaner and easier to navigate. There is no bugginess with dragging and dropping feeds between folders which used to drive me crazy with GR.

digg-reader-screenshot-google-reader-alternative

(Hi Biz!)

The only thing Digg Reader is missing so far for me is the ability to only view unread – however, it is in their feature list and should be released soon. I’m okay with waiting because I really like the rest of their interface.

How to import – login with Google and they will import your feeds for you.

The Old Reader.

I also really like The Old Reader. Their interface is great, and has just about everything that GR had.

the-old-reader-screenshot-google-reader-alternative

Issues? 1) No iPhone or iPad apps, and I don’t think they plan on making these anytime soon. 2) Another issue I had was that when I was scrolling down to see all the unread posts in my list, they would automatically get marked as “read” if I scrolled over it – even if the post wasn’t actually opened. There is a setting that you can switch that disables this “feature” – but it’s kind of hidden. You have to uncheck the option “Scrolling through posts marks them as read” in the settings.

How to import – you can login with Google, but you have to download your GR file from Google Takeout and then upload it to import your feeds.

Yoleo Reader.

Yoleo is also quite good; actually I would like it the best out of the three here except for the fact that it doesn’t have an app yet. Same look and feel as GR / Digg / TheOldReader. Easy to navigate and read your feeds.

yoleo-reader-screenshot-google-reader-replacement

Issues? Again, no iPhone/iPad app. I really need to have an app because I like reading my feeds on the iPad Mini and my phone.

How to import – login with Google and they will import your feeds for you.

Overall, there is one main issue with all of these Google Reader replacements – they are slow to update feeds. If someone publishes a post it could be hours before it shows up in your unread list, whereas with Google Reader it was always almost instantaneous.

The 2 other readers I have tried that I didn’t like (and don’t understand the hype at all) are: Feedly and BlogLovin.

Feedly has Mac apps which is good, but I can’t stand the way they show your feeds.

1) In Feedly, It’s hard to tell what is current, what is unread, and what is read. This should be a simple binary switch – read or unread. If there are unread posts from a day ago they don’t show up because they only show you today’s posts.

2) I do not like the look and feel of Feedly’s interface.

3) Feedly would continually log me out and re-request permission to access/modify my GR data, which is not cool. If I allow it once, that should be it. This last point won’t be an issue after GR does its disappearing act, but it was enough to turn me off of Feedly.

As for BlogLovin – the only way to login is to make a new account or login with Facebook. 1) I don’t like to login to sites with Facebook and 2) I don’t like even more having to create a new account when I already have 13280829013 accounts at various sites online. Their interface is pretty simple, but for some reason I just wasn’t able to get into it.

What are you using for your Google Reader replacement? The google reader apocalypse is extremely f*ing nigh and everyone is scrambling to find a replacement.

 

Summer Solstice Surf & Turf

Last night Bobby and I celebrated the end of this week + the summer solstice with a delicious home-cooked surf & turf dinner. And I even made it to yoga beforehand (Friday Night Flow @ Pure Yoga).

surf-n-turf

I posted this on Instagram (@magpie707) last night. It’s a small piece of filet migon (right), scallops & shrimp, and a side of kale + shiitake mushrooms. The recipes were all super simple. They aren’t even recipes, really.

Filet Mignon:

  • olive oil
  • steak (this one was small – 3.5 ounces. it’s about 2cm thick.)
  • butter (optional)

Heat a nonstick pan until it’s screaming hot. Drizzle your steak with olive oil on both sides, and also put a little in the pan. Cook the steak ~3-4 minutes on each side (3 on each side is medium; 4 on each side is done – I did about 3.5 on each side). Done! Serve with a pat of butter on top (optional).

Shrimp & Scallops:

  • big scallops (I did 5)
  • big, cleaned shrimp (6)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Heat a nonstick pan until it’s screaming hot. Season the shrimp and scallops with salt and pepper and put some olive oil in the pan. Cook the shrimp & scallops about 2.5 minutes on each side. Done!

Kale & Shiitake Mushrooms Asian Style:

  • olive oil and a little bit of sesame oil
  • salt
  • garlic powder
  • sesame seeds
  • 1 head of red kale
  • 1 box of shiitake mushrooms
  • balsamic vinegar (I used a cherry infused one)

Wash and dry the kale. Chop the mushrooms and kale. Heat a wok to high heat and add the olive oil (1-2 tablespoons) and sesame oil (2-3 teaspoons). Add the mushrooms and kale. Add garlic powder, salt and sesame seeds. Cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes, then turn it to medium and cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until the kale is tender (stirring occasionally). Add a few splashes of balsamic vinegar. Stir it around and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add more salt, if it needs it.

All told, this meal cost about $31 from the grocery store. (Filet mignon = $7, scallops = $14, shrimp = $3.50, organic kale = $2.50, organic mushrooms = $4.) A little pricey for 2 people, but much cheaper than it would be at a restaurant! I’m not including the cost of the pantry items I already had (olive oil, salt, etc…).

Bobby had the steak (I had a bite) and we split the rest, but I got an extra scallop. He was a very happy husband 🙂

Do you like surf & turf? What’s the most expensive meal you cook at home?

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day!

father-daughter-dance-2

Best Dad Ever.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads: past, present, future.

<3

JP Morgan Corporate Challenge: Race Recap

On Wednesday night I ran in JP Morgan’s Corporate Challenge. It’s a 3.5 mile race in Central Park.

NYCCourseMap

Wednesday night was also Bobby’s birthday and his band (The Balls) had a show in Brooklyn.

The race started at the 72nd Street Transverse, wound up above and around the reservoir to about 104th street, and then came down on the east side. I finished the race in 35:51.

race-time

I have to be honest, when other people write “race recaps” I usually end up skimming them. So I will not be offended if you skim this.

In the beginning there were a lot of people and we were getting shuffled around (7pm). I was in the blue group, which was the slowest of the faster groups (the first waves to go). We had all submitted time estimates in advance, which is how we got grouped – red was the fastest, then yellow, then green, then blue. Orange and white (white is walking) were separate from us and started once red/yellow/green/blue had all gone.

maggie-race

We shuffled towards the starting line for almost 15 minutes after the 7pm starting time passed, and when I passed the starting line I began to jog (around 7:14pm). The first mile was my fastest. I think I kept about an 8.5-minute pace. There were only a few uphills and a couple of fortuitous downhills. At the water station after mile 1 I drank a cup and poured some water on my head.

Mile two was a little slower, probably a 9.5-minute mile. This mile started getting hilly and I realized that my training runs had been slower than I was running now. I didn’t stop though, and ran past the 2-mile mark.

Mile 3. There was no water in sight after the mile 2 mark and my chest was begging me for a break, so I started walking. I didn’t walk for long, maybe 30 seconds, but it was enough for me to get some energy back and continue. I took a slow jog up to the next water station, and drank some more. After that I felt great but then we hit some hills. I had to walk I think 2 more times and my time probably ended up being over 12 minutes for this mile.

Last half mile. I was jogging slowly at this point, but I knew I was close so I kept going. I walked once for about 15 seconds. When I got close to the finish line I picked up the pace, saw Bobby on the sideline, and ran past him for a high five. I sprinted after that, maybe 100 yards, and crossed the finish! I felt like I was going to puke but I didn’t. 😀

Lessons learned:

  1. I love racing! There is something so exciting and fun about running in such a large group of people.
  2. I am slower than I thought, but I think I can improve. I didn’t train for this except for a couple 2-3 mile runs over the last two months. On those runs I didn’t check my time and I did not run on hills.
  3. Running can be really fun. It’s also challenging.
  4. Water stations are great.

After the race I met up with Bobby and we booked it to Brooklyn for his show. He was supposed to go on at 8:45 and we made it just before 8:40 with just enough time to set up his keys. After the show we had a fantastic dinner at this place: The Anchored Inn. There are so many good cheap places to eat in Brooklyn. Sometimes it makes me wonder why I still live in Manhattan and pay $15 for a salad…

I got a delicious large $9 salad: radish, cucumber, avocado, queso fresco, pumpkin seed, pickled onion, chile vinaigrette. Bobby got the bacon wrapped hot dog. We split roasted Brussels sprouts: brussels with pickled apple, serrano, horsey sauce.

Yesterday I was a bit sore but nothing terrible. Last night I ended up going out with coworkers + Bobby and didn’t sleep well afterwards so I was up early today. This morning I went for a nice slow walk over to Central Park where I saw this weird pink fluffy tree (what is it?):

pink-fluffy-tree-central-park

Have you ever raced before?

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