Chocolate Chip Cookies for One – totally perfect for my sweet tooth. I don’t like making a whole batch because I am the only one who likes sweet things in this house. I might try them with oatmeal instead of flour; I haven’t had oatmeal in ages and I miss it.
Corn Chowder a la Sophia – I think I want to make all of Sophia’s recipes, but this one is really calling to me. I actually rarely make anything interesting anymore so maybe I will challenge myself this week to make some new recipes.
I just found the Hip Chick’s Guide to Macrobiotics at the thrift shop for $1.99. Of course I picked it up. I had actually been talking about this book earlier this week with a girl I just met. I started it today on the boat; it’s a lot better than I had expected.
Last night Bobby and I went to NJ for my sister’s high school graduation. It was great! I’m so proud of her. Afterwards we went out to Uno’s where I wolfed down a Cobb Salad. My dad came back with us to the city because he has a super-fun pension conference here today.
Some yogis like to do 108 sun salutations at each change of the season (spring to summer, summer to fall, etc…). There are many answers to the question, “Why 108?” and one of them is that there are supposedly 108 names for Buddha. HuffPo has some more.
I’ll share another French moment. This IS a food blog after all. (I got the best comment ever yesterday.)
Coca-cola. (Bobby’s. Real sugar coke! I still don’t like it.)
Since I am generally a healthy eater I have no qualms about indulging in buttery, chocolatey, French baked goods when I’m on vacation. They’re not as sweet as they are in here in the states, and they are tiny. The “gargantuan” croissants were the size of our regular ones. Even the bottles of Coke are smaller.
In France, most food ads come with this message (or a similar memo) at the bottom:
It means, “For your health, avoid eating food that is too fatty, too sweet, too salty.” Manger-bouger means, “eat, move.” I certainly didn’t see many overweight people in France – though I am not sure it’s because of this campaign. I did see a lot of smokers and wine and coffee drinkers. So while they may have a good thing going in terms of food and portion control, I think they are a little bit behind the times when it comes to other areas of health. (No, coffee and wine are not bad, in moderation. There is never an excuse for smoking.)
Do you think we should have mandatory messages on food ads and packaging? What would the messages say?
The most recent restaurant Cobb I had was at Yo In Yo Out. It’s a cute little French place on the upper upper east side (100th Street) that boasts an awesome menu and some truly delicious cappuccinos to boot. Their salad is Cobb Salad “A Ma Lacon” – it has a marinated chicken salad, bacon, eggs, blue cheese, tomatoes, and cucumber over organic mesclun with a balsamic vinaigrette drizzle. I had them hold the balsamic (I’m not a fan; shocker I know!) and sub out the blue cheese and add avocado instead. The dressing is their house dressing and it’s made with olive oil, red wine, raspberries, and some other stuff. It was light and fresh but still a little creamy.
UPDATE: Yo In Yo Out has since closed.
I also recently had a vegetarian Cobb salad at Curly’s Vegetarian Lunch. You know – I keep trying to enjoy this restaurant, but it’s just not that great. The salad tried but just didn’t cut it. The vegan ranch dressing was a small tragedy.
Here is how I make my own Cobb variation at home: cook up several slices of bacon, then fry some mushrooms and onions in the bacon fat with some garlic powder. To the salad (romaine lettuce base), add the bacon, sauteed veggies, half of an avocado, tomatoes, and top with some sesame seeds. For dressing I used Bolthouse Farms Classic Ranch (sent free for me to review).
For dessert I took the rest of the avocado and mashed it with peanut butter, NuNaturals Erythritol Crystals*, and topped it with some more sesame seeds. I call this “dessert guacamole”.
Last night I met up with a good friend from college. I gave him three options and we ended up at Crêpes du Nord down by the World Trade Center. Crêpes du Nord is a French Scandanavian Crêperie and Winebar – the French part is the crêpe and the Scandinavian parts are the “super fresh” ingredients.
One review said, “Expect vibrant implosions of herbs and delicate wisps of flavor, joining together for a cohesive marriage of zest and texture.” I don’t think the crêpes were quite that descriptive, but they were definitely out-of-this-world delicious! They were also incredibly reasonably priced, and it was a great atmosphere for chatting.
I got the Vegetarian Ratatouille Crêpe ($8) – a savory crêpe made with organic buckwheat flour and wheat flour. It was stuffed with ratatouille vegetables (squash, mushrooms, herbs, spinach, etc…) and the most amazing ricotta. I adore ricotta. (I even eat it for dessert.) The crêpe was topped with ricotta as well. I told myself I wouldn’t eat it all but then I did.
Chris got the signature crêpe, the Crêpe du Nord ($10) – it was the some whole wheat crêpe batter but it was filled with scrambled egg and “dill crême” (?); topped with smoked salmon.
My sister came into town last night. She has off today, so we are headed up to Providence to visit Brown (she is a senior in high school). We’re taking the Peter Pan bus (just $29.95 RT from NYC to Providence). I miss Julia! She was my maid of honor. She is also a vegetarian (going on 10 years probably – she hasn’t eaten meat since she was about 7).
Last night when she arrived it was pouring rain. We decided to have a simple dinner at the Whole Foods hot/cold bar and we followed it up with The Lite Choice. Always a favorite. When we got home we enjoyed some digestive tea (from Coco!) sweetened with NuNaturals stevia (Julia loved it – she will probably be buying it herself).
We got girly and painted our nails. I got a new Essie color: silver. I almost always paint my nails a dark shimmery brown/red so this was a big change.
There were grapes.
And we watched an episode of Taboo, a show on National Geographic about weird things in different cultures (on Netflix streaming).
And then Julia conked out. She’s been working like crazy – the (amazingly smart) girl is taking 5 AP classes, she works at an organic farm, she volunteers, she’s in clubs, and she has a very busy social life.
Last night I got dinner with Laura, one of my oldest friends (from middle school). She was in town with her boyfriend just for the day and we managed to get together to have dinner. So glad we got a chance to reconnect. We were going to go to Souen, but I decided last minute to take them to Good Health Cafe, which is closer and a little bit less scary for non-macrobiotic people. We talked and talked, and before we knew it it was time for them to grab a taxi to catch the train back to New Jersey.
One thing that Laura mentioned during dinner was the fact that my blog is not so much a recipe blog anymore! I hadn’t realized it, but yes, it’s true – I don’t really cook as elaborately now, but I do make things. So it is time for me to share a macrobiotic re-creation that I’ve been having for lunches recently. It’s called a macro plate, and it is vegan and macrobiotic. I get it all the time when we eat out at macrobiotic restaurants.
My Macro Plate Tips (skip down for recipe):
This is very easy to throw together – you do not have to make everything at once; you can prep each ingredient in advance and just toss them together when you need a quick meal.
Roasting the squash – you don’t necessarily have to roast it, but I do. You could also steam it. For roasting I like a certain seasoning (oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds – see below), but the way you roast (or steam, etc…) the squash is completely up to you.
Beans – sub in any kind of beans you like. I use canned beans because it’s quick, but you could make them from scratch as well.
Greens – again, you can use any kind of greens. I use pre-chopped ones from Trader Joe’s because it’s very easy that way.
Extras – other typical macro plate ingredients are: hijiki seaweed, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and steamed carrots or daikon. Add as desired!
Maggie’s Macro Plate
Ingredients (serves 1)
1/3 cup dry brown rice
3-4 cups raw chopped greens (collards, kale, spinach, etc…)
1/2 cup black beans
2 cups uncooked winter squash (acorn, butternut, kabocha, etc… – this is acorn)
for roasting squash: sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame seeds (all optional except the oil)
Roast the squash: I first mix it with a few glugs of sesame oil, then sprinkle some soy sauce and rice vinegar over it and mix again. Top with some sesame seeds and cook at 375 for 1 hour (or at 450 for about 40 minutes). You can roast or steam the squash with whatever oil/flavorings you desire.
Cook the rice: I cook 1 cup of rice at a time in my rice cooker. It comes out perfectly fluffy. Then I just scoop out about a third of it for my meal.
Steam the greens: if you are lazy like me you can sprinkle them with water and microwave for a minute or so.
Prep the beans: rinse and reheat as desired (I actually like mine cold/room temp so I don’t reheat).
Prep the plate: brown rice, beans, greens, squash, and any other extras (see above for idea under “tips”). Serve with dressing. I like to mix it all up and eat it together.
So that is the “macro plate” that I’m alwaystalkingabout. I haven’t experimented with different dressings, but I keep meaning to. This plate is supposedly a “perfectly balanced” meal – protein, carbs, and fat, all in the right proportions.
Now here are some other macro plates that I have enjoyed…
Souen’s macro plate (also called the “balanced plate” or the “planet platter”) – kabocha, broccoli, kale, carrots, seaweed, beans, brown rice, and sometimes daikon:
Good Health’s macro plate – steamed squash, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and kale; brown rice; black beans; hijiki seaweed; and tofu:
Ozu’s macro plate (review to come; kudos to reader Maria for guessing this!) – chickpeas, brown rice, carrots, yams, kabocha, and hijiki seaweed:
I love macro plates and macrobiotic meals
What is your favorite meal? Have you ever had a macro plate? Will you make this one?
Last night after work I headed home and found my brother waiting in the cafe under my apartment. I like being with family; I’m glad that I get to see him a couple times a month. I miss the rest of my family and Bobby’s family too. Luckily we will be hosting Bobby’s parents later this month, which we are both excited for. We want to take them out to all of our favorite places. These are my siblings now (left to right: sis, bro, me, bobby, sis-in-law):
The cafe downstairs was having $1 off salad day yesterday so that is what I had for the first course of my dinner. I said “tofu” but the guy heard “tuna“, so that was my main ingredient. I should accidentally order tuna more often; this was delicious. It also had: egg whites, portobello mushrooms, mandarin oranges, olives, grapes, apples, broccoli, sprouts, roasted peppers, regular peppers, beets, tomatoes, and I can’t even remember what else. It has unlimited toppings so I get pretty much everything. I get the chipotle ranch dressing on the side (but I use the whole thing).
Mind Over Money
I ate my salad while watching a Nova documentary called Mind Over Money. If you are an economist (Coco) or if you just enjoy learning, check it out. It talks about the debate between behavioral and traditional (more rational) economics, and basically says that humans don’t act rationally when it comes to money – we are irrational and very much influenced by our emotions. It talks about the (in)efficiency of markets, why the crash in 2008 might have happened (and why economists didn’t predict it), the housing bubble, the tulip bubble of the 1600s, decision making, and more. I really enjoyed it. I double majored in econ and math so this was right up my alley.
We have Netflix and I watched the documentary streaming on my computer (we can watch Netflix streaming on the TV too using Bobby’s XBox). We don’t get cable and I don’t watch TV aside from Netflix documentaries anymore. And Hoarders.
Flowers for Sanity
I read somewhere that keeping flowers in the house helps keep you happy and healthy. I like them because they are a little bit of nature right in my Manhattan apartment. These are from Trader Joe’s and they were just $3.99. Good deals make me happy too
Dessert Snack Time
I never have “just a salad” for dinner and tonight was no exception. I don’t usually like nut butter, but I was in a nutty mood last night so I spread a large Trader Joe’s blueberry muffin with probably too much peanut butter and savored it. I don’t have a picture though. It wasn’t that pretty but it sure was toothsome, sapid, and titillating. There are some good vocab words for you!
I went to a gym class and I ran into Missy! We chatted and then did class together. I have been to better Zumba classes though – the instructor last night was very repetitive and too fast.
Interesting timing that I wrote this post today, in light of Marie Clare‘s “The Hunger Diaries“. Maybe I will write my reaction to the article sometime this week. I am retitling this post:
The Non-Hunger Diaries
A while ago I got a question from a reader about what my daily exercise and food routines look like. My initial response has changed somewhat since I replied via email (about 3 months ago) so I thought I might post it here because it’s a question I get a lot! I was going to post both workouts and food in the same post but it got long, so today is just going to be my food. I’ve been chatting about the gym a lot lately anyway so it’s time for a change.
This is me (sorry for the awful lighting and the weird angle – it was last night, I only have 1 full length mirror in the house, and my overhead light went out and I haven’t gotten around to putting a new one in). Note the book problem in the background – I have 2 more of those shelves completely full and we are running out of room. (Katie, I still have to mail your book!) I guess this is what happens when you don’t like or watch TV.
You can kind of see my new hair cut. I am wearing my standard uniform of yoga pants and a tank top. It was good to hear that you guys agree with me – you should do what YOU want to with your hair (and everything else) – not what other people tell you. I like having my hair short because I flip my head over, blow dry for 3 minutes, and I’m done. I don’t even need a brush or any products. I have a very simple beauty routine. The only makeup I wear is concealer mixed with oil-free lotion. I rarely wear anything else like mascara or blush. I do always wear jewelry outside of the house – earrings and my wedding and engagement rings. I can be ready in 8 minutes, including my shower. I am not a girly girl and yes I do wear yoga pants to parties. At least I wear cute shoes.
A Chillax Diet Routine
My diet philosophy is: be very chill. I don’t want to be vague though, so I will give examples (not exhaustive, but these are my staples). Something to note – unlike most bloggers, I eat out a lot. I eat out for about 80% of my meals.
Breakfasts: Greek yogurt, or some fruit, or bacon, or hard boiled eggs. If I’m feeling frisky I might have part of a healthy scone from Whole Foods or a buttered bagel. An omelette with greens (whole eggs, not the whites). On weekends we tend to have larger breakfasts and my favorites are actually just huge salads, or big omelettes. This is a far cry from what I used to eat – back at Cornell we’d go to Mate Factor in downtown Ithaca and I would get this great Belgian waffle with whipped cream (sometimes for dinner too). Bobby would get the salmon bagel.
Lunches: a big salad with lots of toppings (my favorite is a chopped unlimited topping salad from cafe metro: romaine, marinated tofu or tuna, grapes, mandarin oranges, tomatoes, cucumbers, whole egg, avocado, sprouts, beets, peppers, and more); leftover dinner. I often have an apple after lunch to clear my palette.
Dinners: whatever I’m missing out on and craving from the day (luckily for me my body tends to know what it needs). This could be another big salad or a big veggie stir-fry with some kind of protein and lots of fats (butter, coconut oil, peanut oil, olive oil, avocado). If I’m in a macro mood I might have a macro plate – brown rice, beans, hijiki seaweed, steamed greens, and steamed squash, doused in whatever dressing the plate comes with (it varies by the restaurant). I recreated my favorite dressing, the miso-tahini sauce recipe from Souen.
Healthy Snacks: fruit, veggies and dip, yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts, etc… I used to have a bad habit of mindlessly snacking too much after dinner but I’ve been working on it and I’m doing much better these days.
I have tried to track my calories and it just makes me crazy. I would guess that I eat anywhere from 1800-2000 calories a day, and it definitely varies all the time depending on time of month and my exercise levels. (I am 5’10” so I am not a teeny girl.) I have never ever had a day where I knew how many calories I ate. (I have nothing against calorie counting if it works for you – it just is not right for me, at all.) The fact that I eat out so much also makes it hard to calculate.
Just some notes – I am NOT vegetarian/vegan/macrobiotic/raw. If anything I’m paleo/primal. I eat meat because I feel that my body needs it. I love butter and cream cheese and Greek yogurt, but don’t eat much dairy besides those (I’m semi lactose intolerant but sometimes I do cave for McDonald’s $1 soft serve). I love fish. I don’t have any known food allergies, but I do have IBS. I love carbs but to be honest I don’t eat many grains these days. I don’t really worry about getting enough protein. I do make sure to eat a lot of fat, which is good for your brain and your skin. I don’t care for nut butter (gasp). My favorite foods are changing all the time, but I generally love squash, seaweed, bacon, and butter.
Hope this answers any questions! Do you eat like me? Have you found a way of eating that works for your body? Anything else you want to ask me? (If you have exercise Q’s I will try to answer them in Part 2.)
My gosh this turned into an epic post. I promise the exercise one is much shorter.
**Update: I have since quit the gym… I will stick to my walking and occasional yoga!**
Last night I joined a gym.
I know, I said it was expensive. I said it wasn’t worth it. But then someone that I talk to about my problems told me that maybe I should just try it, and see if it makes me happy. And Bobby agreed. So I popped over and signed up. And so far I am very happy! You see, I have this problem – I need to constantly have some kind of mental stimulation or else I get bored and irritable and do things I regret. I also need to have a reason to get out of my house aside from work and the occasional dinner date during the week.
Back to last night though – I did 2 classes. I was actually feeling sick yesterday (I even worked from home because I didn’t feel well in the morning) but by nighttime I’d started feeling better, and I hadn’t left the house and was feeling antsy – so I went over (it’s just a few blocks away).
Delicious Veggie Dinner
You know after a great refreshing workout like that that I had to nourish myself. I met Bobby up at Good Health Cafe (which I posted about yesterday too) and got the macro plate (beans, rice, tofu, seaweed, steamed veggies, with the most amazing ginger-carrot dipping sauce). It’s vegan and macrobiotic. This was huge.
It came with a salad, too. Bobby got some delectablepepper-seitan dish over rice. The sliced oyster mushrooms were the best part. Also vegan and macrobiotic.
We shared (meaning that I ate most of) dessert – blueberry apple pie. Vegan, but not macro – it had agave nectar in it which I don’t think counts as macrobiotic.
This was so good – not overly sweet, with perfectly buttery oaty crumbles. (It was vegan, so it clearly was not butter.)
Enter my giveaway! It’s a big gift certificate good for *anything* at CSN stores. There are a lot of ways to enter and you can probably buy just about anything with it