{food} Sunday Dinner with Family

Growing up I always had a friend whose Sunday nights were reserved for dinner at her Grandma’s. I always liked the idea. I guess I just like rituals. So recently Bobby and I have a new ritual with our New York family – our aunt and uncle (this is the aunt I bake gingerbread with) have been having us over for dinner each week and we are loving it! Other family members always drop by as well throughout the night.

This week’s menu was a roasted red snapper, served chilled with homemade cocktail sauce (ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice), lemon wedges, and fresh parsley.

We also had curry rice, a salad, and bread.

For dessert we had an array of little chocolate pasties. They were similar, each filled with chocolate mousse and other various delicious things. There was also vanilla ice cream. The pastries are from a little shop somewhere in the East 90’s. I forget the name but can ask next time.

This past weekend was one of just two weekends I’ll have off during my yoga teacher training and I tried to enjoy it to the fullest. The only other weekend off is Thanksgiving and I have to go down to Miami to be in a wedding anyway. Then this week I jumped back into taking classes (we have to fulfill a certain number during the course of the training). And I have another exciting thing to share but I want to wait until it’s official.

Hope you all are having a lovely week so far. Sometimes I wish fall would last forever.

OZU Macrobiotic Restaurant Review (New York)

I promised this a while ago, and here it finally is…

Ozu (Macrobiotic) Restaurant Review

Ozu is a small Japanese restaurant on the upper west side. I found it because my friend Mel works nearby and we wanted to find a place close to her work for our weekly lunch date (we have since moved to dinner dates; we just work too far apart for lunch to pan out as planned). Ozu is macrobiotic, but not really advertised as such. Traditional Japanese food is typically macrobiotic by default. Here is another inside view (small and cozy, but nice):

We went for lunch one day back in September and I got the lunch special – a macro plate with a side salad. Possibly the best macro plate I’ve had – a close tie with Good Health’s. This macro plate was: chickpeas, seaweed, carrots, yams, kabocha, and brown rice.

The salad was fabulous too, and came with a slightly tangy dressing.

Mel got a noodly pad thai dish…

A Second Trip to Ozu!

I didn’t grab a picture of the noodly dish at the time, but I brought Bobby and another friend back just a few days later and they both got the “Thai Noodles” on my recommendation. The dish had thick rice noodles stir fried in peanut sauce, with broccoli, string beans, carrots, kale, and collards topped with raw bean sprouts and walnuts. They added salmon as well.

I am pretty sure they were very satisfied. I got this vegetarian macrobiotic (and vegan actually) fried rice. I don’t know how I finished it all, but I did.

We also split the “Carrot Pancake” appetizer, which apparently I forgot to photograph. It was a pan-fried pancake of wheat flour, cabbage, carrots, kale, ginger, kabocha squash, coconut milk and carrot dressing. Served with soy dipping sauce. Reminded me a lot of my okonomiyaki (Japanese frittata thing) – I love my okonomiyaki recipe; must make it again soon.

Macrobiotic food is just about the only type of food I can always finish without feeling guilty and/or sick. Macrobiotic eating has really really helped me overcome any and all kinds of food phobias that I used to have; I would say that macrobiotics has actually been the major factor in helping me learn to eat intuitively. (Part of macriobiotics is remembering that it’s not about the food, and that to be macrobiotic you sometimes should not be macrobiotic… if that makes sense.)

Would anyone be interested in hearing more about macrobiotics?

I have touched on it before, and I did a macrobiotic experiment a while ago (macrobiotic wrap-up posts here – scroll to bottom of page), but I’m sure there is more to discuss. Do you have any specific questions about macrobiotics? Want any macrobiotic recipes? Leave comments and let me know!

P.S. I did do Meatless Monday yesterday and I also didn’t have any added sugar (as far as I know), both for Healthy Monday.

How to Cook Sardines

Tonight’s dinner was simple and quick. I cooked up some sardines (I got my fish in Chinatown) in butter and served them alongside some veggies, roots, and miso-tahini dressing. Macrobiotic? For me it is! It’s really all about balance.

Maggie’s Simple Sardines

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • 3 whole sardines
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Prep the sardines – cut off the heads and gut them. I promise, this is really easy! Run a slit down the belly and just pull out the gross stuff. Rinse them in water and try to wipe off the loose scales.
  2. Heat the butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Saute the sardines on each side for 2-3 minutes. You can put a cover over them and cook for another couple of minutes if you’re not sure they’re cooked through.
  3. Eat! You don’t have to worry too much about the little bones – those ones are digestible. Just don’t eat the backbone and the bigger rib-like bones.

My veggies included kabocha, purple sweet potato, spinach, burdock, and daikon. The miso-tahini dressing on top is delicious.

My boss ordered lunch for us today from New York Burger Company and I got the “Tropical Grilled Chicken” salad. It was a garden salad topped with grilled chicken, perfectly ripe avocado, fresh mangoes, dried cranberries, and a few stray chickpeas. I used the yogurt-dill dressing and it was absolutely divine. I don’t think I could have asked for a more perfect salad… not to mention the sweet potato fries that rocked my socks.

Happy almost Tuesday!

Just Another Macrobiotic Sunday + Cumin/Tahini/Miso Porgy Recipe

Last night I made a porgy for dinner. I also made a half of a salmon neck. Here is the porgy recipe… I would say it’s macrobiotic. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong though. Maybe it has too many spices.

First, this is a porgy. I get mine in Chinatown.


Cumin-Tahini-Miso Grilled Porgy Recipe

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • 1 medium porgy
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1/2 tablespoon miso
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Make the marinade. Mix together the tahini, miso, vinegar, cumin, chili, and pepper. If it’s still very thick you can add a splash of water.
  2. Prepare the porgy – cut off the fins, the tail, and cut out the gills. I usually have my fishmonger do this, but if he didn’t, it’s actually simple. Use scissors to cut off the fins and tail, and use a small knife to cut out the gills (they are red looking). Rinse the fish and pat it dry.
  3. Cut 3 slits (all the way to the bone) on each side of the porgy and coat it (inside and out) with the marinade. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, turning it once in the middle so that both sides get to sit in the marinade.
  4. Preheat your broiler. Broil on each side for ~8 minutes. When you put it on the pan and when you flip it make sure to brush on some more marinade. I try to use it all up.
  5. Serve with a grain (white rice pictured here).

You could easily use my Tahini-Miso dressing recipe in this marinade!

I also served a salmon neck – recipe coming soon (so simple). I had most of the salmon and a little bit of the porgy; I wanted Bobby to have most of the porgy because I already knew it would be a great recipe. It was so tender and so perfect. If it weren’t for the bones, I think it would convert a non-fish person.

I forgot to mention that I first learned about porgies in my cooking class with Auntie Jo last week (still have to post about this…). The recipe we did that night was also grilled/broiled, but very different from this aside from the cumin. I honestly think mine is better 😀

Onto my daily rambles

This morning I went to a macrobiotic talk at Souen in Soho. I did not eat there afterwards because I was meeting up with friends for brunch (at The Mudspot on 9th Street and 2nd Ave – it was really good! The coffee was fantastic). I am so glad I went to this talk (speaker – John Kozinski). He told a new story of macrobiotics that I hadn’t really heard before. I had always focused so much on the macrobiotic diet specifically, but he expanded to talk about balance in life overall.

Some things I learned…

  • The only foods you should really “eliminate” from your diet are the ones advertised on TV (from Michael Pollan’s book).
  • Even meat is okay, if you balance it out. It should be naturally raised, organic, etc…
  • Fish is great. So are beans. Try to have 1 cup of beans at lunch and dinner, or a serving of fish (fish 3-6 times a week). Some good fish are cod, scrod, sardines, small salmon, flounder, and red snapper. Ocean fish are better than lake fish, which tend to have PCBs.
  • Most supplements are totally pointless.
  • Eat seasonally. Eat natural foods. Eat whole foods.

Oh so many more… I’ll try to keep giving little tips I got from the session.

After the session I met up with my friend, her boyfriend, and Bobby. After brunch Bobby and I headed down to Chinatown again for some cheap veggies and fish. We came back, and now we have a friend over. My dinner was a very macrobiotic meal – steamed kabocha, broccoli, purple sweet potato, burdock, daikon, and lotus root. I put some miso-tahini dressing on top, and finished off the rest of my cornbread from yesterday.

For some reason I’m really feeling the macrobiotic thing. Especially after today, when John emphasized fitting it to your own needs and way of life.

I like rambling. But now I have to go do a bit of work. I’m trying to cut back on my hours, but there are some things that need to get done! Hope y’all had a good weekend.

Macrobiotic Souen Meals

I am on a Souen kick (macrobiotic, vegan and vegetarian – but has fish restaurant) and I cannot get enough. For brunch Bobby and I went to Souen in Union Square. I got the Brunch A ($8.50, the best deal ever) again:

  • Kenchin-Tofu Drop Soup  – tofu, shiitake, burdock, carrot and watercress in kombu kuzu broth
  • Corn Bread (you can also get Spelt Bread or Sour Dough)
  • Steamed Vegetables (carrot, daikon, kabocha squash and greens)

Bobby got the Scrambled Tofu with Salmon ($10.50) – Served with brown rice, bread and yam and mesclun salad. You can also get this with Tempeh Bacon for $2 less, but we are not really fans of tempeh. Here is my phone picture:

I shared my soup, took most of my cornbread home, and ate Bobby’s yams. I also had a lot of their miso tahini dressing, which I posted a recipe for the other day.

When we got home we needed to relax, so we went across the street to a spa called Enliven. We got a Couples Massage – 60 minutes for each of us and we were next to each other (screen between us). It was really nice. The spa is very Traditional Chinese Medicine-y and I know they also offer acupuncture and other cool services. They have good reviews on Yelp.

For dinner I made a salmon head/neck that I got in Chinatown (I just boiled it with veggies and dill and miso). I also made a Porgy that I learned to cook at last week’s cooking class (which reminds me that I still need to post about that). And kabocha.

Tomorrow’s plans? I am going to try to get down to Souen in Soho at 10am for a talk with John Kozinski, who is apparently some famous macrobiotic dude. Then Bobby and I have a brunch double date with a friend. I think we’ll go to The Mudspot. (Anyone been there?)

What did/will you do this weekend?