Posts Tagged ‘kabocha’

Crazy Seaweed Kabocha Eggy Salad and Peanut Vinaigrette Recipes

The other day I had this salad for dinner – it was fantastic. I have actually had many variations on the theme as of late but this one was especially pretty so I snapped a picture. Try it – you won’t regret it.

Crazy Seaweed Kabocha Eggy Salad

I just thew these ingredients in a bowl:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Hard boiled egg
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • Steamed kabocha squash
  • Hijiki mixed with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a few pinches of sugar
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Diced onions
  • Brown rice (hidden under the veggies) (couscous would be yummy too) (don’t leave this out!)

Peanut Butter Vinaigrette Dressing

And topped it with this dressing (just mix together with a fork):

  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • A few drops of stevia, or sugar

Mm mmm kabocha!

***

What’s your favorite kind of seaweed?

Mine is hijiki, hands down.

P.S. Free yoga here :)

Complex Versus Simple Carbohydrates

I got this question at work the other day (we’re a fairly healthy-minded bunch):

What are complex carbs vs simple carbs?

This question seems complex, but the answer is quite simple. Simple carbs and complex carbs end up in the same place of the nutrition facts label, but they are most certainly different.

Are all carbs bad?

Clearly not all carbohydrates are bad. We need carbs to live – glucose (what carbs break down to in your body) is what your body uses for energy. That’s why when you eat a candy bar you get hyper for a little while – your body just got a big dose of easy-to-use energy because the carbs were partially processed before they got to your stomach. Simple carbs and complex carbs both turn into sugar in the body; the process just happens faster for simple carbs.

McDonald's Soft Serve Vanilla Ice Cream Cone

I’m pretty sensitive to sugar (too many sweet treats = too many pimples). In addition to my skin sensitivity to sugar, I also seem to have either a mental or physical reaction to eating it – once I start it’s hard to stop! If I have a McD’s cone as a snack I also want one for dessert that night, for a snack the next day, and forever more. So I try to avoid sugar to avoid sugar cravings and bad acne. When it comes down to complex versus simple carbohydrates, complex is what I choose, especially complex carbs from veggies.

Which carbs are bad for us?

Most scientists agree that the faster carbs (simple, or white carbs; meaning they convert to sugar quickly) are the worst type of carbohydrate. This is mainly because they spike blood sugar, which has a number of negative long-term effects including a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. These carbs include (and thus I try* to avoid…):

  • Processed carbs like white bread, white flour, sugar, high fructose corn syrup (also regular corn syrup)*
  • Processed carbs like candy, cookies, most baked goods*
  • Fake sweeteners (not technically carbs because they have no calories – but they give me a stomachache, a headache, and it’s probably not good to eat frankenfood chemicals)
I love muffins!

I love muffins!

*I still eat these things, but in moderation when I want them. Artisan bread with smooth creamy butter? On occasion, yes please!

Which carbs are good in moderation?

There is definitely a middle ground when it comes to complex versus simple carbs, and that middle ground is whole grain-y things (for me). They’re not the easiest foods to digest (see IBS), but they certainly are delicious. These guys include:

  • Unprocessed grains like rice (white or brown).* (I grew up hating rice but now I LOVE it. I usually have it several times a week. It’s especially good with ghee, aka clarified butter.)
  • Oatmeal (steel cut, regular – preferably not instant).
  • Winter squash (these are my favorite foods, but it’s easy to get a stomachache if you eat too much of them; squash also has lots of beta-carotene – but beware the orange glow).

I love having rice with veggies, like in bi-bim-bap (pictured above – veggies, egg, beef over rice). In fact, I just like mixing foods together in general. Mix-it-up bowls are possibly the greatest invention ever.

Which carbs are good for us?

Most vegetable carbohydrates are good for our bodies. Some of my favorite carbs are…

  • Root veggies like carrots, parsnips, winter squash (kabocha, acorn, spaghetti, butternut, etc…)
  • Non-root veggies like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, peppers, yadda yadda yadda… Veggies are a diet staple.
  • Fruits (but not too much). Fruit makes me break out as well in large (more than 1 a day) quantities. Some lower-sugar fruits that I really like are: papaya, blueberries, berries in general, cranberry juice (without sugar) and spritzer, lime/lemon juice and spritzer, melons (cantaloupe, honeydew).

***

Do you eat a lot of carbs? Do you avoid any? Which are your favorites?

When it comes down to complex carbs vs simple carbs, it’s probably better to choose the complex ones. But remember to include healthy fats (including saturated fat – it’s good for the brain) and protein. Out of the simple carbs, sugar is probably the worst. At least that is what works for me!

Weekend Link Love – 01.08.2011

Workout Love

  • I just did Crunch: Fat Burning Dance Party. Jennifer Galardi is one of my favorites! She has a great body – lean and toned – which is motivating, and she’s really energetic. Her routines are fun and the time flies. This video was 40 minutes long and it’s free if you have Netflix streaming.
  • I am about to do Yoga for Buns #1. This is podcast #9 from the Yogadownload podcast. Only… 40 more to go. I have done a lot of them in the last few years but I thought it would be fun to go from the beginning and do them all in order. I don’t remember if I have done this one before. It sounds painful. (20 minutes)
  • More of my Netflix favorites can be found here. And yoga faves are here.

Food Love

Other stuff I love.

Happy Weekend :) What are your plans?

Happy New Year! 2010 in Review

Happy New Year to all.

I will be back to normal posting soon. In the meantime, here is an overview of wonderful things that have happened this past year…

Last year’s resolutions.

I wanted to learn a new language (didn’t do this), go to Hawaii (yes!), I cultivated patience, I ate more fried rice, ate less meat, I didn’t drink more Kombucha, I did drink less diet soda (overall), and I ended the year on a yoga streak (though I’m not sure I did much yoga throughout the whole year).

The Warrior Challenge (intenSati).

This was a month-long challenge to do 3+ classes a week of intenSati at one of New York’s poshest gyms. I had fun, and learned a lot.

Good conversations with good friends about behavioral change.

jan 30 2010 001

And also about drinking tea (yum) and eating kabocha.

Eating Fats.

The great fat experiment went well overall. I learned a lot about what my body needs. One thing to note is that it needs (a lot of) animal fats, so I will try to include more this year.

Trying acupuncture.

This was for stress and hormone stuff. Unfortunately at the time I wasn’t ready to commit to everything that I needed to do for acupuncture to work properly, so I quit after two sessions. I may give this another shot sometime though.

How Much Protein Do I Really Need?

This post was written as a response to anyone who doubts that vegetarians (or even vegans) can get enough protein on an animal-free diet. I don’t know the answer to this – I know that I need animal protein, but maybe not everyone does. My opinion on protein has changed (for the better) since I wrote the post. I’m now more into a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb lifestyle.

Random favorites.

Including macrobiotic meals and fast food. I try not to limit myself too much.

Trailmaking and Wedding Planning.

Bobby and I went to NJ for the weekend and helped my dad build a trail. Lots of fun – hoping to do more things like that this year.

IBS Management.

I came up with a plan for my IBS – my IBS Management Plan. I didn’t stick to it as much as I would have liked. This year one of my resolutions is to get it under control as much as possible! Recent changes in my eating (eating more fats, fewer grains, more protein) have helped a lot.

Job changes – from full-time to part-time… (And back to full-time again, later in the year.)

Which meant more time to blog, more time to take a class (linguistics), and more time for my favorites like papaya salad and fresh cherries.

Discovery: eating mindfully.

Which later on led to…

And then, oh yeah…

I GOT MARRIED!

We were married in a Quaker meeting house and the reception was in my parents’ (beautiful) side yard. Here is my other wedding recap. (Guest posts listed there – had lots of good ones!)

Then we…

Went to Hawaii!

We had two glorious weeks on the beaches of Maui. Oh how I want to go back.

Walking talk (about how it is awesome).

How to Get Glowing Skin (very popular post).

I turned 24.

Had to have a kabocha scone for dessert on my birthday.

Project Food Blog.

(Didn’t get very far.)

The Hunger Diaries happened.

It died down pretty fast 😉

My Macro Plate Recipe.

Finally revealed it.

College-visiting with my sister.

(She got into her first choice! Not Brown, which is where we went that weekend.)

Highlights of the Fear and/or Sanity Weekend.

We took a weekend trip down to DC – so fun. Love the short hair.

And again… happy new year!

Recipe: Maggie’s Macro Plate

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)
  • ~1/4 cup of my miso-tahini dressing (click for recipe) (about 2-3 times the amount the recipe makes – just double or triple as desired)

Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Steam the greens: if you are lazy like me you can sprinkle them with water and microwave for a minute or so.
  4. Prep the beans: rinse and reheat as desired (I actually like mine cold/room temp so I don’t reheat).
  5. Make the dressing. It is so simple and delicious!
  6. 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 always talking about. 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?

I’m not too old… {Birthday Post}

Today is my birthday. I have lived 24 years. A year ago I was living in Sunnyvale, California, making juices and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. I don’t make juice anymore, but I’m still working on that second part. I have gained several things in the last year, including but not limited to: a husbandamazing friendships, new job experiences, a love of New York, and weight. That last one – I’m not so bothered by anymore. I am what I am, and that’s ok!

Another year older, another year wider wiser. Sometimes I feel like I am growing up too fast. Are we grown-ups already? Buying groceries, cooking dinner, paying bills, and worrying? We don’t stay out late partying (at least I don’t), and I don’t have any enough days where I just do nothing (nothing meaning read, play, and do other fun kid-like things).

Sometimes I even feel like I am too old for Facebook, but I think that’s just because I’m sick of Facebook. (I can’t wait to see The Social Network – I think my office is all seeing it together – we have a love/hate relationship with Facebook).

But.

I am not too old! (And neither are you.)

I’m not too old to get giddy when my husband (who is also my best friend) takes me out for an early birthday dinner at Souen (this was Monday). I got Vegetable Curry with Brown Rice.

Bobby got Mabo Tofu with Brown Rice.

And we split a Vegan Kabocha Squash and Chocolate Chip Scone (this is like Maggie in dessert form – all of my favorites: kabocha, chocolate, scone).

That dessert put me in a wonderful mood, and Bobby even agreed that it was awesome. I gave him the smaller half (yes Dad, I know it’s not a half if it’s smaller!). And here are some more related dessert favorites:

I am not too old to break a habit OR to make a new one.

I am proving to myself that I can make new habits, and I am also working on breaking old ones. Yoga daily? You bet! Nighttime snacking? So gone.

I am not too old to act like a kid, or even eat like one.

I eat what I want, and sometimes it’s what I liked when I was little. Sometimes it’s not. I didn’t know about kabocha until I was 22, and I have to make up for all those lost years.

I am not too old to be spontaneous.

Like 2 weekends ago!

I can keep going…

I am not too old to make new friends.

I am not too old to still be young.

I am not too old to try new things.

I am not too old to have big dreams.

I am not too old at all, in fact!

What are you not too old for?

Homemade Ketchup Fun & Nature’s Pride Bread

I’m a big ketchup fan. Especially when it’s homemade. I first made my own ketchup last spring (with Sagan’s recipe). But I haven’t made it since before I moved to New York (back in November) and I definitely miss it. I am tired of the HFCS-filled stuff that I eat in restaurants! Anyway, I am getting off topic. I used my homemade ketchup recipe this weekend (the only difference was that I added a few teaspoons of sugar this time) to make a yummy ketchup dip. (Click here for recipe!)

Okay I used way more than pictured. I used it first for omelettes. My omelette was 5 egg whites with a fresh chopped tomato and sauteed greens (in peanut oil) that my dad gave me this weekend. (We were down in NJ doing wedding plans Friday-Saturday.) I cooked the omelette in olive oil. Bobby’s omelette was 3 eggs with tomato and no greens (but lots of ketchup) cooked in olive oil. (Not pictured.)

Omelettes are so good.

The other thing I used the ketchup for was Bobby’s hot dog. As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a bunch of Nature’s Pride rolls. So excited for these! I cooked up a nitrate/nitrite-free turkey dog for him and spread the roll with ketchup and mustard.

He loved it. I have been having these rolls for breakfast but I’ll share that later.

In other news, I’m still keeping up with my tv-exercise routine. I did this Kendell Hogan routine this morning. It’s a 30-minute dance routine from Exercise TV and it’s free! I used to do this one a lot back when we were in California. So fun. I highly recommend it.

Work has been busy and I can’t wait to plop down tonight with my book (finally going to finish Lipstick Jungle) and maybe a Bones episode (or 2 or 3). I also have a kabocha roasting in the oven. Sometimes it’s really nice to just *not* do anything productive at all. Anyone agree with me? What’s your favorite totally lazy thing to do?

3 Wishes That Will Never Come True, and 4 That Already Are…

Here are 3 wishes of mine that will never come true no matter how much I want them to:
  1. Uncomfortable but insanely cute shoes make you burn infinitely more calories. (Nope, not true yet. I’ve tried.)
  2. Avoiding wedding planning will make everything magically fall into place on its own. (So far this hasn’t worked…)
  3. Staying up late adds hours to the day and you can still get 7-8 hours of sleep a night when you go to bed at 3am. (I cannot get this to come true no matter how many times I try.)

But here are 4 facts that I don’t even have to wish for, because they are magically true already. These are almost too good to be true.

  1. Avocado tastes sinfully delicious, but instead of being sinful it gives me boundless energy and good skin. This is the avocado shrimp sandwich from Souen in Soho (where I saw Dr. Cuddy). My mom got this on Saturday when she came in for brunch (which was almost too late to be brunch – it was close to 3pm).
  2. Macrobiotic meals are happiness. Like this macro plate with extra kabocha minus the rice. (Kale, kabocha, hijiki, beans, broccoli, carrot.)
  3. Smoothies with coconut milk kefir are good for your skin. Coconut fat is my very favorite fat for improved skin. It gets rid of my acne (my skin is *clear*), makes my tummy happy, and tastes delicious. Eating them in a jar makes them even better for you. (Okay, that’s not true, but it is a cool presentation. I drink everything from jars.)
  4. Healthy eating will make you and your spouse both live very long happy lives together. It makes me so happy to see Bobby eating food like Souen‘s Broccoli Tofu with brown rice, which is basically a macrobiotic vegan tofu scramble. I am so looking forward to the rest of our lives together.

What are your 3 wishes? My real wish is that I could have infinite wishes and then I’d wish for whatever I wanted all the time.

P.S. Operation Wedding is updated!

A Filling Salad

I like to think I’m a pro at making salads. I posted 2 of my new yums yesterday – salads really can be wholesome and filling (not just greens and no oil!) and they can be for lunch or dinner.

They key is adding things like kabocha or squash or other root veggies (beets, sweet potatoes, etc…), healthy fats (avocados, olive oil, bacon, butter), and other extras. I am currently *not* vegetarian or vegan, so I definitely enjoy meaty add-ons like bacon, lunch meat, cheese, and eggs.

(I am a vegetarian/vegan enthusiast but that strict lifestyle is not for me!)

(Picture is not today’s salad, but quite similar. I thought I had uploaded the picture but I hadn’t!) Today my lunch salad consisted of:

  • base: massaged kale with avocado, lemon juice, bragg’s liquid aminos, and salt + chopped romaine
  • toppings: organic nitrate/nitrite-free turkey bologna, shredded cheddar, thinly sliced celery (mandoline)
  • dressing: annie’s light honey mustard

I addition to salads, I like bringing sauteed veggies (with more filling toppings) to work for lunch as well. I’m not usually a fan of processed foods, but some of the frozen options at Trader Joe’s have served me well for toppings.

This is:

  • base: purple cabbage and beets sauteed in organic butter + cilantro
  • toppings: half of a vegetarian frozen lasagna from Trader Joe’s

It was delicious and held me through the afternoon… with a few nuggets of dark chocolate that I had for lunch dessert.

When I do dinner salads (often) I abide by the same rules. A base of healthy greens, and I add on healthy fats and carbs (kabocha, squash, root veggies) and maybe some extras (organic meat).

What’s your favorite lunch to bring to work/school/on a plane/wherever? What are your salad tips?

Another Perfect (Souen) Sunday

We just got back from another great brunch at Souen. If you are a new reader, Souen is a macrobiotic restaurant – my favorite location is the one by Union Square.

Bobby’s family (mom, dad, sister) are in town this week (up from Miami) and they are staying a few blocks away. This morning we took them to Souen for brunch. I was nervous about it, because Souen can definitely be an acquired taste… I love it, but not all do. Fortunately brunch was a success. I think. Bobby’s sister, Tina, got these great chickpea croquettes (three deep-fried pieces of chick pea croquette with curry carrot sauce, served with yam and mesclun salad) that Bobby got a few weeks ago:

His mom got “Brunch C“, which is similar to this

But has broiled fish of the day instead of tofu skin. It also has the mixed grain of the day, stewed vegetables, gomae (steamed greens with a black sesame sauce), goma tofu (sesame tofu).

Bobby’s dad opted for a starter of broccoli soup, which apparently was not as good as Bobby’s mom’s broccoli soup. He did really enjoy his udon pad thai though (sauteed with onion, carrot, mung bean sprout, scallion, shiitake, broccoli, kale and baked tofu in all natural house-made peanut sauce with lime):

Source.

Bobby got the stir-fried soba noodles (with onion, carrot, mung bean sprout, scallion, cabbage, shiitake, snow pea, greens and broccoli in miso ginger sesame sauce). Can’t find a picture, but it was great. I helped him a bit.

And I got the vegetable curry (chunky broccoli, cauliflower, kale, carrot, squash, mushroom and onion in homemade mild curry, turmeric and ginger root sauce):

I got kabocha instead of brown rice, which is what it usually comes with.

I don’t think they realized it was all vegan aside from the fish in Brunch C. Hehehe. (Now they do! They read the blog. Hi mom, hi dad!)

For “exercise” today, Bobby and I walked down to Souen from our apartment (~45 blocks = 2+ miles). Yesterday we had an off day and did not do much walking – maybe just 1 or 2 miles total.

AND I finally got my yoga groove back this morning. I did a 20 minute yogadownload routine – Power Yoga #5. I missed yoga. I’m going to try to start doing it for 20 minutes a day because I want to be toned for the wedding (July).

Our dinner last night was at a French restaurant called Bistro du Nord (Madison and 93rd). It was alright. I actually was quite pleased up until dessert – too sweet!

Stay tuned for a protein post tomorrow. I’m writing it now. It should be good.

How was your weekend? (And if you have any protein questions you want me to answer hit me up in the comments and I’ll try to incorporate answers in my post tomorrow.)

1 2 3 4