Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

8 Foods I Couldn’t Live Without

Ages ago, MDA did a post with almost the same title. ^^ (He did 10 foods.)

So, being the copycat that I am, here are my 8 foods! (They change all the time, but really, these ones are here to stay for good.)

1. Kabocha Squash (you knew that was coming)

Kabocha, also known as Japanese Pumpkin, has been a favorite of mine for several years now. I even turned orange at one point because I was eating so much of it. It’s high in beta carotene and vitamins C, B1, and B2. For more on kabocha, read my kabocha FAQ.

2. Bacon

Bacon is the food that always keeps me from being a vegetarian. At the moment I am assuredly not a veg-head, but I’ve flirted with vegetarianism, veganism, and macrobiotics in the past. And then I remember bacon, and it’s all over. One important thing to note about bacon though, is that you have to eat the kind without nitrates and nitrites, and preferably organic/hormone-free/antibiotic-free. The nitrates and nitrites especially can contribute to stomach cancer later on in life (something I am genetically predisposed to).

3. Broccoli / Brussels Sprouts (it’s a tie)

Apples and Brussels Sprouts

Apples with Brussels Sprouts

I love cruciferous veggies! They’ve been linked to cancer and heart disease prevention and they’re filled with vitamins and nutrients. Plus, they taste really, really good. When Bobby and I first started dating I turned him onto Brussels sprouts. After hating them his whole life, it turns out that he just didn’t like the mushy kind. When I cook them now I steam or saute them so the inside is barely cooked – no mush.

4. Sunflower Seeds (and sunflower seed butter)

Ahh, sunflower seeds. Growing up I would eat these at my dad’s softball games so they always conjure up that image for me – sitting on the bleachers, reading, but staying alert enough to avoid stray foul balls. Sunflower seed butter is a more recent discovery of mine, but it ranks up there as well. (Aside: I would have put peanuts up here until a week ago, but after keeping a food log for a week – doctor’s orders – it looks like some of my stomach issues come from eating peanut butter alllll the time. Oops.)

5. Apples

Maggie picks and eats an apple

My favorite fruit. Should have in moderation because I break out from eating too much fruit (or sugar in general). However, bad at moderation = lots of apples (wah, skin).

6. Dark, dark chocolate.

My favorite dessert. Also should have in moderation because I break out from eating too much chocolate (unless it’s 99% dark – which probably just means I break out from the sugar in it). Lots of antioxidants, lots of deliciousness. You know what’s really good? Bacon chocolate.

7. Eggs


I also like them fried, hard-boiled, and in a salad.

8. Butter!

Of course I need something to cook all of the above in. Love butter! Hooray for healthy fats.


I am now off to a yoga class.

What are your top 8 foods?

HEAB’s Butterfied Oaties

I have been meaning to make these for a while now, so when Heather linked to them the other day I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer. All I have to say is – I will never procrastinate with making butterfied oaties (or butterfied anything) again. When they first came out of the oven I was a little bit worried that I had messed them up – they were very crumbly and didn’t stay together – but it didn’t affect the taste at all, and I just put everything (whole oaties + the crumbled ones) in the fridge and they firmed right up.

I made a few changes based on what ingredients I had on hand, so here is my modified version.

Asian-ish Butterfied Oaties

Based on HEAB’s Butterfied Oaties.


  • 1 + 1/3 cups toasted oats (I toasted them in a pan on the stove – just heat the pan and stir them around for 5 minutes)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 stick of softened butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup hydrated raisins (soak raisins in hot water for 5 minutes, then drain)
  • 1/4 of a chocolate bar, chopped up (check out the chocolate I used below – raspberry rooibos tea flavored dark!)
  • 1.5 teaspoons NuNaturals cocoa bean extract (sub out for vanilla if you don’t have it)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons sesame seeds (secret special ingredient!)


  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Mix ingredients together to combine, then put in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Make balls (I used a coffee scoop, about 2 tablespoons, to measure – then I mooshed them into a ball with my hands) out of the dough and put them on a baking tray.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool. Put in tupperware and put in the fridge so they solidify more.

Just a few notes:

  • I added a little bit more oats than the original recipe called for because my dough was really liquidy.
  • When they came out of the oven they were very crumbly, almost like granola. I just let them sit awhile, and then after I refrigerated them they were pretty solid. Still granola-y in shape (some had broken) but much firmer.
  • You could definitely cut down on the honey – they were pretty sweet.
  • Raisins optional – I added them because Bobby’s favorite cookies are oatmeal raisin.
  • Sesame seeds not optional! These were the best part.

We finished them all in one day (!). They are scrumptious. They are now a new favorite of Bobby’s :) (and mine).


Have you made these oaties yet??

Katie says: Chopstick Covered Katie

Hi everyone! I am still doing blog maintenance and stuff, so you get to hear from one of the sweetest ladies in blogland. And she totally understands my chopstick obsession. Take it away, Katie!

(And HI to reader Lauren who I met last night!! Thanks for saying hi.)


Hi chocolate chips!

My name is Katie, and I write a blog called Chocolate-Covered Katie.

The recipes on my blog are for “healthy” (yet still delicious) versions of traditionally “bad-for-you” foods.

Such as the above healthy choco-Banana sundae

Basically, I eat in accordance with the Chocolate-Covered Diet philosophy, and I’ve never been happier :) .

But today, I’m not going to talk about chocolate. (*Gasp*) Nope, the lovely Maggie (Isn’t she gorgeous?!) has asked me to talk about something else: chopsticks! She and I share an interest in eating with chopsticks, because we both have a connection to Japan (mine being that I lived there for four years, and hers being that Bobby is half Japanese). I actually learned to eat with chopsticks before a fork. So even though I now can use a fork, I still prefer chopsticks, not only for conventional Asian dishes, but also for…

Decadent high-protein chocolate cake

Slurpy mushroom spaghetti

Bluebberry Breakfast Pizzert in a bowl

And even…

The breakfast feast: Chocolate chip cookie dough oatmeal

Ok, scratch that last one.

Some things are better eaten with a spoon!

In honor of Maggie and Bobby, I challenge you—this week—to try eating something unconventional with chopsticks!

Be creative and have fun! Are you up  for it?? I know these guys are. :)

And remember:

Life is better when it’s chocolate-covered!


Thanks again Katie :) And happy early birthday! September is the best birthday month (mine is September too – maybe we are the same age!). I hope you enjoy some cake with chopsticks (healthy cake of course). I definitely will.

Do you know how to eat with chopsticks? What is your favorite thing to eat with them?

I think my favorite thing is… a stir-fry. Predictable, but delicious. (Here’s another.)

P.S. If you are ever interested in doing a guest post for Say Yes to Salad, please contact me and let me know your idea! I am always accepting submissions :)

Vietnamese Food Favorites

Two huge things happened this week.

One: I finally got over the flu.

Two: I have more time to blog again. Maybe daily. And maybe even comment on all of your beautiful blogs.

Anyway, I’ll explain more later. Here are my eats for the day (this first picture is from last summer’s juice days):

Breakfast was a green juice with lemon and ginger from The Health Nuts. Yes, this juice is $5.99 (a large), but that’s actually cheap when you consider the fact that The Blueprint Cleanse is about $75 per day (6 juices – one of which is simply water, lemon juice, agave, and cayenne pepper).

After breakfast I did a killer kickbox workout from Netflix (you can work out when you’re sick as long as the cold is just in your head – this made me feel better). It’s called 10 Minute Solution – Kickbox Bootcamp. The workout was good, but I didn’t like the instructor that much.

After I did this one I did a few minutes of Crunch: Super Slimdown which I really liked. I’ll definitely finish it tomorrow. It’s a combination of yoga and pilates (so far). This instructor, Ellen Barret, had a gorgeous figure.

Both of these videos are free with Netflix streaming. We have an XBox hooked up to the television so I can stream them right to the tv. We don’t even get cable anymore because Netflix is easier and cheaper. (And cheaper than a gym membership.)

Lunch was a salad ordered out from Cafe Metro: romaine base, smoked tofu, egg whites, avocado, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumber, grapes, mandarin orange, mushrooms, onions, roasted peppers, sliced beets, and sprouts. I got it chopped with dressing on the side – Chipotle Ranch. It also came with a whole wheat bun, which I had a little later.

Lunch dessert – these chocolate powerberry things from Trader Joe’s. Just a handful. Or two.

For dinner we went out to Thai Son in Chinatown, which is actually Vietnamese. I got the papaya salad – green papaya, shrimp, peanuts, and the Vietnamese dressing with fish sauce. I had some of Bobby’s beef pho as well. This is my ultimate favorite meal.

Dessert – Chinatown cherries. Two pounds for $3. Now they are gone.

My brother is coming into the city tomorrow to get lunch so that should be fun. I also scheduled a facial now that I’m over the flu.

If you had to eat one meal forever, what would it be? Mine would be papaya salad. I don’t even think this would be a hardship for me.

Moving in Manhattan – Kinda Rough!

I had a horrible couch-moving experience (bad bad Craigslist), but I do want to say thank you to Rob the Mover as well as the lifesaving New York Couch Doctor for making my horrible awful day not quite so bad after all.

I was pretty stressed all day because of the couch drama, but I did make this yummy dish for Bobby because he was actually the one who had to deal with most of the awfulness.

  • rice
  • coconut oil, garlic powder, teriyaki sauce
  • shrimp, red peppers, scallions

So simple. He loved it. While he ate this I ate chocolate. Kinda wish I’d just made more of this because the bite I did have was delicious.

Today I got a smoothie for lunch at Jamba Juice. My tum has been really bloaty lately. I got the Berry Fulfilling, which does have Splenda, so I may get something else next time. It was yummy. It has a dairy base and then raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries (I think).

I thought it would help my stomach since smoothies should be easy to digest, but it didn’t do much – I was still bloated. And now I’m really hungry. I did have an apple with the smoothie so maybe that’s what did my tummy in.

I did manage to get in my exercise by walking home (2 miles) and walking at lunchtime to meet Bobby (<1 mile). I try to get in 2 miles of walking every day but it doesn’t always happen.

Do you ever feel like you should act a certain way or eat a certain thing because of other blogs? I know I used to, but now I pretty much do my own thing. I think it’s better this way.

Movin’ On Up…

… To the East Side. To a deluxe apartment in the sky-y-y-.

I have had that song stuck in my head for the last hour for some reason. I already live on the east side, but I am making some improvements to our place. Tonight we got rid of our old couch and tomorrow morning we get a new couch and a great oversized arm chair. Keeping my fingers crossed that they fit up the stairs!

Out with the old…

In with the new…

Morning breakfast was this week’s special (again) – a waffle from my dad. I have one left. Toppings were cream cheese and agave nectar. It was good, but not as good as the macademia nut butter I had last weekend.

Lunch was another favorite – Cafe Metro has $6 unlimited salads if you order online this month, so two of my coworkers and I opted for yummy salads. Avocado, chicken, and other goodies? I approve. My one coworker and I walked to pick up the orders – probably a mile total (there and back).

The rest of my day was busy, but otherwise uneventful (aside from getting rid of the couch). I walked home for exercise (2 more miles) and made a standard dinner, finishing off the meal with some maca chocolate and kabocha. Predictable.

Not predictable – a cookie from Bobby! It was an amazingly gooey chocolate chip cookie from City Bakery. Oh my, heaven in baked good form. It had huge chunks of chocolate. Definitely a good splurge.


Bobby is out getting dinner with our cousin, but I don’t really like to be out late on weeknights so I stayed in. I might even go to bed early. I’ve been so tired this week! An early night would be amazing. So that is where I’m headed.

How often do you splurge on something yummy?

I’m Not Perfect and it’s Okay (Great, Actually)

This morning I grabbed a quick and random breakfast. It was a waffle from this weekend (my dad’s waffles) and leftover cabbage with mustard from the corned beef I made last night. Both were taken right from the fridge and eating at room temperature. I smeared some almond butter on the waffle. I ate this at my desk.

I think it’s okay to admit that I eat weird, mis-matched meals like that. Because I’m a food blogger you might think that I am always eating the perfect bowl of oatmeal or perfectly plated dishes with lots of healthy things like wild fish and organic vegetables. But I’m not. I like to eat whatever I have on hand and I eat something because I enjoy it… not because it’s what I “should” be eating.

So lunch was a medley of things I had in my fridge. I steamed up some watercress, daikon, and burdock. I topped it with chopped corned beef, mustard, and whipped cream cheese. And it was great. I ate it out of a tupperware, cold. I might have had something else with this as well, but I don’t remember. I know I had an apple later on in the afternoon.

After work I wandered down to the West Village to look at an (ugly) couch. I met up with Kate and we tried to shop for vintage dresses. It didn’t work out. I got slightly depressed when I tried on some dresses (not vintage ones) and realized how my body has changed recently.

Went to Whole Foods for some maca chocolate, then headed home. I had more leftovers from the corned beef meal and I also had kabocha with whipped cream cheese.

Sometimes my eats go in phases for no reason other than I need/want to use something up. I don’t really want to use up my whipped cream cheese, but now that I have started eating it I can’t really stop because it’s so good. I’m eating the corned beef because it’s good, but also because I don’t want it to go bad. I’m eating all my random veggies because I buy huge quantities of them in Chinatown for cheap and I just like veggies. So there.

I’m trying to figure out what dessert will be (aside from the square of chocolate I munched while thinking of what to write about tonight). I would go out and get ice cream again, but it is gross outside. So I may have a non-traditional dessert of baby carrots and blue cheese (my snack from earlier).

Do you eat weird things? Or weird combinations?

Souen Macrobiotic Restaurant: The Best Lunch Ever

This morning after meeting (3rd week in a row!) Bobby and I went to Souen, a macrobiotic restaurant, for brunch. You might remember that I experimented with macrobiotics last year (actually it was just over a year ago this month) and I really enjoyed it. I cultivated my love of kabocha and I learned a lot about how the food we eat impacts the way we feel. Here are some resources:

So today I wanted to try going back to macrobiotics again. I opted for “Brunch A” ($8.50 – well worth it!! Huge portions for me):

  • Kenchin-Tofu Drop Soup: tofu, shiitake, burdock, carrot and watercress in kombu kuzu broth.
  • Corn Bread or Spelt Bread (I got corn bread, duh – with miso tahini dressing)
  • Steamed Vegetables (carrot, daikon, squash and greens)

Bobby got “Brunch B” ($11 – oddly enough this was less food than Brunch A):

  • Yuba: steamed tofu “skin” marinated in kombu-shiitake broth.
  • Mixed Grain of the Day (basmati wild rice)
  • Goma-Ae: steamed special greens with black sesame sauce.
  • Goma Tofu: soy free, creamy and nutty sesame “tofu”.
  • Stewed Vegetables: cooked carrot, gobo, yam cake and lotus root in tamari broth.

I thought this was possibly the best lunch/brunch I have ever had. And there were flowers, soy sauce, and sesame seeds:

feb 28 2010 006

My soup came first. Bobby and I actually swapped soups because we each liked the other’s better.

feb 28 2010 008

The cornbread was really interesting (in a good way) – it was not very sweet at all and tasted healthy (again, in a good way). It came with miso tahini dressing (I finished this dressing and got more – so good). Two related recipes that I made before:

feb 28 2010 007

My veggies came last. The kabocha was ripe and perfectly steamed. The carrots and daikon were also perfectly steamed. Even the kale was delicious! (Sometimes I think it’s boring.)

feb 28 2010 010

Here was Bobby’s spread (clockwise from top left: spinach, rice, tofu skin thing, sesame tofu thing, and soup):

feb 28 2010 009

I thought that Bobby’s gomae (steamed spinach with sesame sauce – I have a recipe here) was really yummy. He thought it tasted a little bit like dirt, but I honestly thought it was great. I also thought his goma tofu (tofu made with sesame) was good, but he didn’t like the texture much. Next time he is getting fish. We’re going to bring his mom here when his family visits in March (!). I think she would appreciate it.

Brunch dessert was a piece of Macasure chocolate. I saw it at Whole Foods yesterday and picked it up. Really good! Bobby liked it too.


I’m gonna end with a mantra that I was contemplating this morning during my hour of silence:

May everyone be happy, well, and peaceful.

How was your weekend?

Blogger Love and Review: Peace Food Cafe (New York City)

Last week on Tuesday night I met up with one of my favorite bloggers… Dori! She took us to a great vegan place on the upper west side called Peace Food Cafe. It’s completely vegan and they also have a lot of raw options.

Unfortunately neither of us had working cameras so I don’t have a picture of us together… but I did manage to take (crappy) pictures of the food with Bobby’s Droid. Bobby and I split 2 dishes – the kabocha sandwich ($9) and the mushroom duxelle pizza ($9.95). Dori got the kabocha sandwich too.

08 kabocha sandwich

Did you really think I wouldn’t get the kabocha sandwich? It’s actually listed as roasted japanese pumpkin sandwich on the menu. It came with some kind of pickled veggie and sprouts. It was really good, but the bread was a little bit dense for my tastes. I loved the caramelized onions and mashed squash in the sandwich. The vegan cheese and walnuts didn’t sit too well in my stomach either.

09 pizza

The pizza was amazing. The mushrooms were so good – they almost tasted meaty. I wasn’t really a fan of the roasted veggies on top but Bobby happily ate them up for me.

We couldn’t skip dessert – we got a HUGE piece of chocolate peanut butter swirl cake and devoured it.

10 dessert

This was so rich but so delicious.

And now I have to be honest… while the meal was delicious, it was not very filling. Bobby stopped at Grey’s Papaya for a hot dog on the way home and I stopped at Whole Foods for some cornbread. And this is probably why all of my pants are too tight (well, not just this one time, but in general I have been eating a lot more than I usually do). Might be time to reign it in.

More blogger love – Bekah sent me a holiday care package! These almonds and granola are wonderful. She’s a talented girl.

dec 07 2009 004

Thanks, Bekah!

Today’s question gets us into the holiday spirit… What is your favorite holiday gift (either to give or receive)? When I was little I loved big gifts, but now I actually like things that are homemade and thoughtful. I’m pretty easy to please. A fresh batch of Christmas cookies or a knitted scarf both sound perfect to me.

How to Make Tortellini – Italy Day 4

Today we were supposed to go to Mestre, but the alarm didn’t go off, the blinds were closed, and we slept until 3.00p. Instead we shopped around Spinea, and Bobby got me a present: beautiful Italian boots.

For dinner I made tortellini:

How to Make Tortellini


  • 1 package of tortellini
  • 1/2 cup of pasta sauce
  • dash of olive oil
  • (optional – sauteed onions)


  1. Boil water for the tortellini.
  2. Heat pasta sauce in a saucepan with oil; stir. (If you want, you can saute onions in the pan before adding the sauce.)
  3. Drop tortellini in boiling water for about a minute.
  4. Drain tortellini and add them to the sauce; mix together and serve.

For dessert we had a “Kinder Sorpresa”, a little chocolate egg that comes with a toy inside.

Our toy is some sort of space creature that resembles a tadpole…

It can also stick to fabric.