I had some delicious bread from Eataly, some farmers’ market eggs to use up, and some leftover organic milk from when I made yogurt last week. (Note to self: must make yogurt again!)
I actually made this same recipe a few days ago, and it was so good that it merited a repeat.
The Simplest Easiest French Toast
Stale bread (or not stale, but this is great for using up stale bread)
1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
Mix the milk and eggs together. Soak the bread in the mixture for at least 5 minutes on each side.
Heat the butter or ghee in a pan. With heat on low, cook the soaked bread (poor any extra mixture that didn’t soak in right on top of the slices).
Cook for 6-8 minutes per side. I like to keep a lid on the pan for the first half (3-4 minutes) of each side.
Enjoy with butter and syrup!
Note that you could add some cinnamon (either into the egg mixture or just sprinkled on as it’s cooking), but my husband hates cinnamon and I wanted him to eat this, so I left it out.
I can usually have a little more than a third of this recipe for breakfast – about 2.5 or 3 pieces. The next day when I only have 1 or 1.5 slices left (because Bobby also had a third or more), I will have it along with a yogurt.
What is your favorite breakfast?
I love French toast, waffles, pancakes. I won’t ever eat them in a restaurant because the restaurant can’t make them like my dad can. In a restaurant I will get an omelette or an egg platter – pretty hard to mess up eggs (though it has happened).
Every Sunday morning I go to the farmers’ market. There is one right on the corner of my block. Today I got delicious fresh bread from Bread Alone (Whole Wheat Catskill Bread) and eggs from my favorite organic stand.
In my fridge I have a jar of homemade dill pickles from Maria.
Of course I had to make egg salad.
We each ended up having 2x what you see here. (Bobby’s is the one with sriracha, mine is the regular.)
Simple Egg Salad Sandwiches
5 small-medium eggs (if you have bigger eggs, 4 will suffice)
3-4 tablespoons mayo (don’t skimp – this is what makes it good)
2 teaspoons mustard
1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle
< 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon salt (you don’t need much; the pickles have salt)
pepper to taste
1 teaspoon rice vinegar (optional – if you want more tang)
To hard-boil the eggs: put eggs in a pan in water with ~1 inch of water above them. Turn the heat to high. Once boiling, let it boil for one minute. Remove from heat and let them sit in the hot water for ~15 minutes. Then dunk in ice-cold water for 3-5 minutes. (This makes it easier to take the shell off.) Crack the shell and remove it.
Chop the eggs in small pieces. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Serve on top of fresh bread.
Do you like egg salad? What do you put in your favorite version?
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?
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.
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.)
It’s a perfectly balanced plate of macrobiotic foods. My favorite macro plate consists of…
Beans or tofu
Seaweed (hijiki is probably the most common)
Steamed greens (kale, collards, chard)
Steamed carrot or sweet potato
KABOCHA or other squash
Dipping sauce (I like tahini-based ones)
What does perfectly balanced mean exactly? This goes back to the concept of yin and yang that I touched on earlier this month. Foods (and everything, really) can have yin qualities (expansive, cooling, moist) or yang qualities (contractive, warming, dry). We should try to avoid things that are way off on either side of the spectrum. Let’s go through the list of foods in a macro plate…
Brown rice –> this whole grain has almost equal parts yin and yang.
Beans, tofu, and tempeh –> these foods are also in the middle of the yin to yang spectrum.
Sea vegetables –> in the middle of the spectrum.
Leafy green vegetables (greens) and round vegetables (I guess broccoli?) –> in the middle.
Root vegetables –> in the middle of the spectrum.
Kabocha / squash –> Do these count as ’round’ veggies? They are also in the midde.
Tahini dipping sauce –> nuts are in the middle, but miso (salty – which I like in dipping sauce as well) starts to veer to the yang side of the spectrum.
Overall, a very balanced plate. If you were wondering, fish is a moderate food, though other meats (poultry, red meat, and eggs) are yang. Dairy is on the yin side.
I made a semi-macro plate just last night. I say semi because it had a fried egg on it and as I noted above, eggs are yang. Eggs are even more yang than poultry because they compress all the energy of a chicken into one small egg. That makes sense, right?
Brown rice (hiding)
Fried egg + ground sesame on top (it had a runny yolk – it’s not popped in the picture though)
Tonight I had a macro-ish meal from the nearby Chinese takeout place. It was just scallops and veggies in a very light white sauce over white rice.
Even when I’m not trying, my dinners end up kind of macrobiotic-ish these days.
SO – Macrobiotic March is wrapping up. I have covered a lot of topics but are there any other questions at all that you guys have about macrobiotics that I haven’t answered yet? Even if I don’t know the answer I’d be happy to research it and give my thoughts.
But don’t worry – just because Macro March is almost over doesn’t mean I won’t be doing macrobiotic posts. I loved posting this month and I will definitely continue to talk about my macro finds.
A few weeks ago when my in-laws were visiting we ended up out in Flushing. Flushing (a town in the eastern part of Queens) has a huge Korean and Chinese population. We stopped into H-Mart (a Korean grocery store) just before heading back to the city and I ended up with quite a large haul. Queens prices < Manhattan prices.
One thing I picked up (it was on sale and I was curious) was ‘fern bracken’.
When I got home I discovered that ‘fern bracken’ is actually just another term for fiddlehead ferns. Fiddleheads always pop up at the farmers’ market around April. It’s good to know I can get them year round at H-Mart if I need to. If you’re familiar with Korean food, these bracken ferns / fiddleheads show up in Bi Bim Bap as well – they are the brown pieces of veggie.
Fiddleheads are high in antioxidants, and are a source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. As most vegetables, they are high in fiber. They also happen to have vitamin A, niacin, vitamin C, riboflavin, phosphorus, and even iron.
1 bag of boiled bracken fern (750 grams or 1.65 pounds). I know they sell bracken fern in a dried form, but I have not tried this recipe with the dried fiddleheads.
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or more, to taste)
1 tablespoon of ground black sesame (toasted pre-grinding). Feel free to substitute regular sesame seeds, and the grinding is optional.
Drain the bracken ferns and thoroughly wash them.
Chop the fern pieces into 1-2 inch pieces. Add the garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and make sure all the pieces are coated in the sauce.
Heat a wok on high heat. You do not need to add any oil, since there is oil in the ferns already. Saute on high heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently (I like to use chopsticks for stirring).
Add about 3-4 tablespoons of water to the cooking ferns, turn the heat down to medium, mix again, and cover the wok. Let the ferns cook for 10 more minutes to get nice and tender.
At the end, there may be a little bit of water left – you can either continue cooking to let it boil off (uncovered again, and high heat), you can leave it in, or you can dump it out. It’s ok for this dish to have a little bit of water.
Turn off the heat under the ferns. Grind your black sesame.
Serve the fiddlehead / bracken ferns topped with sesame; mix before serving.
Have you had fiddlehead ferns? What’s your favorite way to prepare them?
I am in Japan! Bobby and I left NYC last Tuesday afternoon and arrived in Japan Wednesday night. We were on the plane for 16 hours and we crossed the dateline, hence the entire day+ difference. The flight is only ~13 hours, but there was a problem with the plane’s toilets and we ended up sitting on the plane while they fixed them.
I can’t remember exactly what I ate that Wednesday but it included this:
A surprisingly good airplane dinner of beef and veggie stir-fry, shrimp cocktail, a little salad, and bread. The meal came with “buttery spread” which is really margarine-like. I am not sure why people are still eating margarine. It should go the way of large sugary sodas in NYC. Dessert was a small cinnamon brownie.
There were a few other surprisingly OK airplane meals, and then we were in Japan. We found Bobby’s mom in the airport, and then hit up a Starbucks. Did you know that Starbucks has a “short” size? They do – but it’s not listed on US menus. If you ask for it though, apparently you can get it (I believe only for hot drinks; I haven’t tried yet because I didn’t know until this trip). The tall is so large – I don’t usually want to drink that much coffee/frappuccino/whatever.
After 1.5 hours on a train and subway we were at Bobby’s aunt’s house in a suburb of Tokyo/Yokohama. A veritable feast was laid out for us of amazing Japanese food. Most of the daily eats in Japan are macrobiotic. I wish I could remember each dish. Some where – rice (they eat white here; brown is rare), a stew with konyakku/lotus/daikon, hijiki salad, and more. And kabocha is also ubiquitous here.
And finally – shower and bed. I find that the best showers come after long days of traveling. This was possibly the best shower of my life.
Here are some more pictures from the trip so far:
Me enjoying a Japanese grocery store.
A double yolk egg. Did I mention that egg yolks are this really intense shade of orange here?
Not from the trip… but I miss these guys.My friend is taking care of them.
Signing off for now. Have you ever been to Japan? What about another Asian country? I have not – this is my first time. I have traveled to Europe and Canada and that is about it.
Cook’s note: you can serve this with ketchup, salsa, guacamole, hummus, or any other sauce you like. You can also make these into individual frittatas using muffin tins (cook for just ~20 minutes instead); serve on a muffin or bagel as a breakfast sandwich. For an appetizer use mini muffin tins (~15 minutes).
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.
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).
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.)
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.
Mark’s Grok Walk Workout looks awesome. Definitely fits into my current exercise routine.
Week 5 of Biz’s 101 Days of Summer Challenge is over. Check out the comments on her post to see how we all did.
Salad Girl Updates
Today… I rewrote this post on Reducing Sugar. It was originally just “10 healthy tips” for cooking and baking, but upon reading it I discovered that I used to demonize butter and fats and think that we should all be eating carby, fat-free diets. So I rewrote it. Do check it out if you get a chance.
I watched 3 really interesting videos in the last 3 days. The first was a documentary on Hulu called Fat Head. Here’s the summary:
Have you seen the news stories about the obesity epidemic? Did you see Super Size Me? Then guess what? … You’ve been fed a load of bologna.
Comedian (and former health writer) Tom Naughton replies to the blame-McDonald’s crowd by losing weight on a fat-laden fast-food diet while demonstrating that nearly everything we’ve been told about obesity and healthy eating is wrong. Along with some delicious parody of Super Size Me, Naughton serves up plenty of no-bologna facts that will stun most viewers, such as: The obesity “epidemic” has been wildly exaggerated by the CDC. People the government classifies as “overweight” have longer lifespans than people classified as “normal weight.” Having low cholesterol is unhealthy. Lowfat diets can lead to depression and type II diabetes. Saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease — but sugars, starches and processed vegetable oils do.
The last video I watched was called Sugar: The Bitter Truth. It became somewhat of an internet sensation back in 2009 but I guess I missed it. It’s a 1.5 hour lecture on why fructose is a toxin. (I’m sold.) The lecturer is a doctor by the name of Robert H. Lustig.
If you have some time (each video is over an hour) I highly recommend them. The gist of all of them is that the obesity epidemic is caused, not by fat/saturated fat/meat, but by too much sugar and too many carbohydrates. My take on them:
The first link (Fat Head) “proves” that a high-fat diet is good for you. Um, duh. Tom Naughton’s high-fat diet consists of a lot of meat; I am still kind of undecided on the meat issue. Two more of his points are that 1) grains are doing a lot of damage (he does go into detail but I don’t want to right now) and 2) processed vegetable oils (corn oil, soybean oil, etc… – and not just he partially hydrogenated trans fat ones) are also killing us. Humans are not used to eating either of those things.
Now – I like meat, and I would eat it, but I am morally opposed to the way meat is produced in our country, and I can’t bring myself to eat it anymore. If meat were truly ethically raised? I’m still unsure nowadays. I’m getting off topic, but my takeaway from this one – fat is good. Eat more of it. Eat veggies too, though. It may be possible to have a semi-healthful fast food diet, but it’s probably better to just be more primal.
Mmm… bacon and eggs and butter.
Personal side notes:
My “Bring on the Fat” post from last year (one year ago – to the day). Sadly I didn’t keep up with this as much as I’d have liked. Now that I’m a veggie I need to get my animal fat from butter, ghee, eggs (with yolk), and dairy (goat’s and sheep’s milk yogurts are my faves; regular ol’ organic whole cow’s milk for my coffee). Since I went veggie I have been eating too many carbs and not enough fats.
The Great Fat Animal Experiment. This was from a year and 3 days ago; it was an intro to my passion for animal fat. I still do love animal fat; again, I’m just going to try to get it from non-meat sources.
Way back in July 2009 (4 days before I got engaged… can’t believe I am married now!) was one of the first times I started trying to eat more fat. I didn’t really follow through, at least not to the extent that I should have. I have come a long way since then.
Big Fat Lies
The second link (Big Fat Lies) discusses the matter of why people are getting fat; is it simply that we eat too much and sit on our asses? Gary Taubes seems to think that it’s because we have too much insulin (I’m leaning towards agreeing with him, but I think the reason we have too much insulin is because we… eat too much). He basically says that we aren’t getting fat because we’re eating more; we’re eating more because we’re getting fat. He debunks Ancel Keys’ Lipid Hypothesis/Seven Countries Study which states that:
Saturated fat increases cholesterol. (If A then B.)
High cholesterol associated with heart disease. (B associated with C.)
Saturated fat must cause heart disease! (If A then C.)
What a load of bologna! Ugh, too much to say about this horrible study, will post about this later (if I don’t remind me). I tend to agree with Taubes’ conclusions, but I think that there are a lot of people out there who do simply “eat too much” for probably mental reasons. It’s not just hormones that are making us fat. We have issues that also make us eat too much which starts the vicious cycle of greedy fat cells –> eat more –> greedier fat cells –> eat even more –> also be lazy because we’re too fat.
Sugar: The Bitter Truth
The last link, Sugar: The Bitter Truth, Robert H. Lustig discusses how fructose is metabolized in the body. It turns out that fructose is very similar to ethanol, which is a toxin. He also debunks the Seven Countries Study (though for different reasons than Taubes does). He’s not a low-carb advocate (unlike the other two); he thinks we just have to eat the right carbs, which does not include sugar at all. His diet prescriptions for his patients (mostly kids) are (this is around the 1:10 mark):
Only beverages should be water and milk
Eat carbs with fiber (ex: fruit is fructose but has fiber built in)
Wait 20 minutes for second portions
If you’re gonna stare at a screen (tv/video games) you have to do equal amounts of activity (playing outside)
His prescriptions are probably easier and more reasonable to follow than what Taubes thinks we should do (low-carb, lots of meat); they’re also probably more sustainable (we can’t all live on steak due to overpopulation). I’m still on the fence about carbs though. I love ’em, but they make me feel like shit. Maybe I’m just more sensitive than some people; my husband could probably live on just carbs and get along fine. (Though he did lose 10 pounds in the last month from being vegetarian – 10 pounds he did not need to lose and he is worried about. He’s practically as skinny as I am.)
What are your thoughts? On grains? On carbs? On sugar? On fructose? On saturated fats? On animal fats? On “healthy” fats? On a low-fat diet? On a low-carb diet? On Tom Naughton/Gary Taubes/Robert Lustig?
Or, if you wanna stop with the heavy topics…
What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?
Bobby got us reservations as a restaurant we haven’t been to yet but that I hear great things about.