Posts Tagged ‘kabocha’

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?

{Macrobiotic March} What is a Macro Plate?

A Macro Plate is the quintessential macrobiotic meal.

ozu-macro-plate

It’s a perfectly balanced plate of macrobiotic foods. My favorite macro plate consists of…

10 macro plate souen extra kabocha

  • Brown rice
  • Beans or tofu
  • Seaweed (hijiki is probably the most common)
  • Steamed greens (kale, collards, chard)
  • Steamed broccoli
  • 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?

semi-macro-plate

This was…

  • Sauteed greens
  • Brown rice (hiding)
  • Avocado
  • Kabocha squash
  • Fried egg + ground sesame on top (it had a runny yolk – it’s not popped in the picture though)
  • 2 umeboshi plums (top right)
  • Tahini drizzzzzled on top

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.

P.S. I updated my Macrobiotics page – just in time for Macro March to end 😉

{Macrobiotic March} Some Macrobiotic Meals (at home and out!)

Those of you who have been following my blog since the beginning may have noticed the shift from eating at home often (probably 5 nights a week) to eating out… a lot. The shift happened slowly over time as I transitioned from my first job in CA, to freelancing in CA (part time), to working full time again when we moved to NYC, to working more and more! I’m not complaining about work. My career is going better than I could have ever dreamed. I love my job and I love my coworkers. I am challenged every day with real problems that I can solve.

BUT – with working so much, I just don’t make the time to cook at home. While I am sure I could make the time, it’s not a priority for me right now.

So I try to find healthy options for eating out.

Keeping with the theme of Macrobiotic March, here are some of my favorite macro meals I have eaten (out) lately. And one macro meal that I made.

A few weeks ago I got lunch with an internet friend (we go back years now) at a vegetarian restaurant in midtown called Zen Palate. The lunch and the company were great. This is what I ordered:

zen-palate-lunch-special

The dish is called Shredded Melody. It’s shredded soy protein stir-fried with celery, carrots, zucchini and pine nuts in a light garlic sauce. It came with a brown and red rice mix and 2 spring rolls. I ate most at the restuarant and had the leftovers at my desk a few hours later.

Another night, after dinner at Souen, Bobby and I shared the Cocoa Creamy Parfait: cocoa mousse with vanilla soy cream and granola.

macrobiotic-cocoa-pudding-mousse-souen

Really delicious. I do prefer their scones though…

Another night I got takeout from Souen because I was in a rush. I had this meal after a vigorous yoga class at Pure:

macro-plate-takeout-souen

Takeout Macro Plate: an ideal blance of steamed greens (collards usually), vegetables (carrots, broccoli), brown rice, beans (chickpeas here – my favorite), and hijiki seaweed.

I also got this dessert the same night…

macrobiotic-scone-souen-cranberry-orange

A Macrobiotic Scone – the cranberry orange version.

Sometimes I do cook at home. One night I made this healthy fried rice variation:

macrobiotic-fried-rice-kabocha-brussels

Homemade macrobiotic fried rice with Trader Joe’s Healthy 8 Veggie Mix, Brussels sprouts, sesame seeds, and some teriyaki sauce. Steamed kabocha on the side, and yes I had seconds. I think this was another post-yoga meal.

Another night Bobby and I went to Hu Kitchen, a new paleo restaurant near his office. Hu Kitchen is on 5th Ave between 13th and 14th streets (right near Souen). Hu says, ‘For us, getting back to eating like humans means eating foods we would find in nature or foods minimally processed using only basic, mechanical methods.

hu-kitchen-farmers-plate-cauliflower-butternut-squash-greens

I got The Herbivore: 3 veggie sides of the day. I picked creamed cauliflower with coconut milk, roasted butternut squash, and sauteed greens. That little brown thing you see is grain-free bread. All of it – absolutely amazing. I could have licked the plate. It’s a little pricey – this dish was $10 and it was not that big. We ended up getting a paleo dessert, too (chocolate chia pudding) but the picture didn’t come out well. It looked like ass so you will just have to trust me that it tasted delicious.

SO – that’s what I have been eating lately. I actually have some more macro meals but I will save them for another time. I have to get to work!

Couple other things I wanted to mention:

  • I have accidentally been pescetarian this month except for 1 meal (a pasta dish this weekend).
  • I have had diet soda only 2 times this month. (!) One day that I had it, later on I found myself at the cafe downstairs buying a cookie – the only time I was craving sugar in a few weeks. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I think diet soda makes you crave sweets.
  • Bobby and I are planning on doing vegetarian April! (Vegetarian = pescetarian for us.)
  • Elise @ Hungry Hungry Hippie had a macrobiotic-inspired meal the other day. MMM kale.
  • Heather made those yummy cookies I linked to last week.

Have you had any delicious macrobiotic meals lately? Are you a diet soda person? Do you eat meat and/or fish, or are you vegetarian or vegan?

Friday Five: My Favorite Macrobiotic Blogs

I haven’t done a Friday Five in a while, but it’s definitely time for one.

When I embarked on Macrobiotic March, one of the first things I did was look for new macrobiotic blogs. Here are my current (new) favorites.

Maggie’s Favorite Macrobiotic Blogs

1. Macrobiotic Magic in the Kitchen. This is mostly a recipe blog, and with recipes like Winter Stew and Pumpkin with a Maple Miso Sauce, who could resist? Well – who can resist pumpkin ever? (Certainly not me.)

2. No Dairy No Sugar. This is a simple, pretty blog with lots of ideas for macrobiotic meals. I want to try her Quinoa Amaranth Veggie Mix.

3. She Cooks Macro. This blog is beautiful and truly professional. I wish I had found it in time to join the Chewathon! (I have been neglecting my chewing, again.)

4. The MacroChef. This blog is run by a natural foods chef who is (I think) based in the Bay Area (my old home). I really want to try his Gingery Peanut Butter Cookies or his Coleslaw Makeover.

5. Food Everyday, Everyday Food! This blog has so many beautiful pictures of inspiring macrobiotic meals. Check out these 4 days of macrobiotic meals. The dishes are so vibrant!

5 Macrobiotic Blog Runners Up (because there were too many to pick just 5)

1. The Macro Veg. This is a runner up because it’s infrequently updated. But I have to post it because there is a recipe for Kabocha Stuffed Stew.

2. Macro Mom. Another infrequently updated blog, but really nice. I want to try the Seaweed Nut Crunch.

3. The Blissful Chef. This blog is actually really lovely, but the recipes are way more complicated than I like to do. She has a lot of really delicious looking (but seemingly kind of labor intensive) foods like Orange and Rose Blossom Cake. (She’s also not strictly macro – there is stevia in some recipes – more of a macro-leaning vegan.)

4. Snackrobiotic. I am such a snacker, how can I leave this one out! I want to try the Carrot Daikon Drink.

5. The Dainty Pig. Last but certainly not least, Jess is a Macro March participant! Check out her Macro Mondays. The only reason she is not in my top five is because she is not a new find 😉

In other news, did everyone hear that Google Reader will close on July 1, 2013? Reading that announcement (via Hacker News, my favorite news source) must have been the saddest thing I read in… well, in at least the last few days. 😉 I have no idea what RSS reader I’m going to switch to. I wake up to Google Reader, I read it when I’m on lunch/break at work, I check in again at night – and it’s the absolute best way to organize my feeds that I have found so far. I never dreamed it would shut down. Even if I do find a good substitute, that just means yet another system to have to log into. I like keeping everything in Google to minimize the number of usernames and passwords I have to remember. Sigh.

Any feed reader suggestions?

What are your favorite macrobiotic blogs?

Sister Visits & Souen Suppers

My sister came to visit me this weekend.

I had to work yesterday, but after work we all convened downtown (me, Julia, and Bobby) near Bobby’s office to get something for dinner. Bobby suggested Souen, and who am I to disagree! Julia also enjoys Souen though she says it’s a little bland sometimes 😉

So let’s see, what did we get…

Julia ordered the cornbread with a side of miso-tahini spread. (But we all shared it.)

feb282010007.jpg

I got Squash Tofu – my absolute favorite dish at Souen. (My other favorite is the macro plate.) Squash Tofu is a sauteed mix of fresh vegetables – broccoli, napa cabbage, onions, soft/medium tofu, carrots, kabocha squash, and probably more that I am forgetting. The sauce is of the miso/tahini variety (a common theme at Souen).

squash-tofu-souen-instagram

Souen’s Squash Tofu (with a side of brown rice)

Julia opted for the Inspired Vegetable Curry – a delicious mix of broccoli, carrots, squash (kabocha), cauliflower, mushrooms, and more + a savory Indian spice-inspired sauce.

inspired-vegetable-curry-souen-instagram

Souen’s Inspired Vegetable Curry (with a side of brown rice)

And last but certainly not least, Bobby got Souen’s Stir-Fried Noodles with soba noodles as his entree. Tons of veggies including lotus root and snap peas, topped with some seaweed flakes. It’s in a mushroomy-gingery sauce.

soba-noodle-stir-fry-souen

Souen’s Stir-Fried Noodles

After dinner I got a macrobiotic scone. Here a recipe for macrobiotic scones that I have been meaning to resurrect – it’s from 2009. And I found this Eden Foods recipe for Cranberry Walnut macro scones too.

Do you like macrobiotic food? Which dish would you pick at Souen? Do you like math?

ZWOW!

Zuzana is back. I used to do her workouts when she was on Bodyrock but they got a new girl (who is not as classy as Zuzka).

She has been back for a few weeks but I only just got around to doing one of her workouts tonight. This workout was:

  • Split squat jumps (in lunge position, jump up and down X times on one leg; then switch to other side)
  • Single leg lunges with back foot on a chair (X times on one leg; then switch to the other side)
  • Superman pushups (do a pushup, but come down to the floor and do a superman, then another pushup, floor, superman, etc…)
  • Skaters

It was a pyramid scheme where you go through the rounds and do 5 reps, then 10, then 15, then 10, and finally 5 again. I just did it along with Zuzana and if I finished ahead of her I did jumping jacks. This workout took me about 18.5 minutes.

Here is me afterwards, sweaty face and all:

I definitely would like to build up some more tone, but I have stayed in shape from all the yoga. I can do pushups better than ever before.

And here is how I fueled up afterwards:

Roasted (no oil) kabocha and butternut squash. I stuck them in the oven at 475F right before I started the workout and they were ready 25 minutes later. I snapped the pic using this awesome app I just found called The Eatery. You take a picture of your food and other people judge whether it’s healthy or not.

So far for the week my other workouts have been…

  • Monday – off (as planned)
  • Tuesday – 3.75 miles running/incline walking (on treadmill)
  • Wednesday – 1.5 miles walking (on my lunch hour) + some additional walking after work (1 mile or so) = 2.5 miles total
  • Thursday (today) – 1ish mile walk at lunch, and the ZWOW I just finished.

What are your workouts of the week? Have you done a ZWOW yet?

Five Things Friday & Fantabulous Friday Five – 09.23.2011

Five Things Friday:

  1. It’s Fall. Officially. My favorite season. I even got up early this morning to do a post :)
  2. My yoga teacher training starts tonight. So excited.
  3. Hopefully going out to dinner with my husband tonight.
  4. Can’t wait to spend time with friends this weekend (after my training).
  5. I’m loving on kabocha this week. Got a few perfectly ripe ones. Also introduced a friend to it and she loves it too :)

Fantabulous Friday Five comes in 3 parts…

Five things I want to buy

  1. … I’m gonna say nothing. I really don’t want anything right now! Hate clutter. Instead I will do…

Five things I want to get rid of

  1. Old clothes and shoes I never wear
  2. Too many books
  3. Canned / boxed foods in my kitchen that I will never eat
  4. Kitchen appliances I never use (juicer, I’m looking at you)
  5. Old cords that don’t seem to match up to anything

Five places I’ve visited

  1. Hawaii (honeymoon; my favorite vacation)
  2. France (this past summer; also when I was 7 in November of 1993)
  3. Italy (January 2008 – graduation gift to self)
  4. Miami (where my in-laws live)
  5. LA (Guster/John Mayer cruise)

dec 30 2009 006

(Key Largo, south of Miami)

Five jobs I’ve held

  1. Video store clerk (high school)
  2. Call center rep at ETS (one summer in college)
  3. Sales associate at Gap (I think I spent all my earnings at my place of work)
  4. Research Assistant at the Federal Reserve in SF
  5. Software Engineer! (current)

What are yours?

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

Scrambled!

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?

Proteiny Healthy Pumpkin Pie? [Recipe]

A few months ago I was getting quite addicted to BodyRocking. It lasted a few weeks, and then I reverted to daily walks and yoga (as usual). I still subscribe to their feed though, and recently I bookmarked a pumpkin recipe to try. I changed it up based on what I had on hand and here is what I came up with.

Protein Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • stevia, to taste – this is hard to measure because each type of stevia is so different. Use your best judgement! Should be equivalent to 1/4 cup sugar.
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 medium eggs (these are smaller than normal eggs – I would use 3 Xtra large)
  • 1 packet protein powder (= 1 scoop = 30 grams; I used HempShake in Chocolate flavor)
  • butter for greasing a pan

Method

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Cook, covered, on low heat like a gigantic pancake in a buttered pan. Flip it after 5 minutes. Continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes.

This recipe was not actually meant to be cooked on the stove, and it came out ugly enough that I’m not going to gross you out with pictures. I promise though, it tasted really good. The reason for the stovetop baking is that apparently the oven in my new apartment sucks doesn’t work right. I had this for dessert last night and then for breakfast this morning.

If you want some other pumpkin recipes, here are a few of my favorites:

18 pumpkin pie

17-kabocha-garlic

What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe?

{food, yoga} Kabocha & Yoga Love, aka Labor Day Weekend

This weekend was a lot of fun, so here are a few highlights. The number one highlight, of course, included my favorite food:

That is Penang Curry with Beef on a Bed of Pumpkin. Would you believe that I saw other restaurant goers leaving the kabocha squash (“pumpkin”) as though it was a garnish? I wanted to 1) take it for myself or 2) tell them to try it out. I did neither, and Bobby laughed at me all the way home about my passion for kabocha. (The dish in back is Bobby’s Pineapple Fried Rice, also delicious.) I really liked the curry and I want to get it again (soon). The restaurant was called Yum Yum Too (Hell’s Kitchen). It’s a Thai restaurant, and we went here for lunch yesterday.

The second highlight was that I bought a 1-month pass for unlimited yoga at Yoga Vida this month. I’ve been every day since I got the pass.

(Psst – If any NYC bloggers want to go for yoga together just shoot me an email: maggie (at) thesaladgirl (dot) com.)

Lastly, here is a Mooncake. My coworker brought some in for us all in celebration of a Chinese holiday/season. I don’t remember exactly what she said they were for – anyone know? This Mooncake has a red bean filling which is one of my favorite flavors. She also brought ones filled with green bean. I started eating this and then thought it might be an interesting item to share.

How was your weekend? Do anything fun?

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