Posts Tagged ‘souen’

{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…

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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?

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.)

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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).

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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.

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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?

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?

Saturday Secrets: Best Vegetarian Restaurants in New York

My first Saturday Secret is not a secret – it’s my fiance Bobby’s birthday. (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) We had so much fun last night, first going to Kenka and following it up at Falucka Lounge (that’s really what it’s called!). We were with a few of our good friends and it was really fun. We ate things like this (both pics from Yelp):

The first thing is okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake-frittata-egg-thing-with-lots-of-mayo. See my healthier okonomiyaki recipe from April of last year (2009).

The second thing is omu-rice, which is fried rice hiding underneath an omelette (with lots of mayo). Kenka is one of Bobby’s favorite Japanese places – it’s essentially Japanese bar food. And it’s absolutely delicious, I might add. Not the healthiest place I have been to, but certainly delicious.

My second Saturday Secret is that you have until Monday to enter this contest. (Now closed.)

My third Saturday Secret is actually many Saturday Secrets. Here is a list of vegetarian/vegan/veg-friendly places that I either have been to or want to go to in New York:

Now I am off to take Bobby to brunch at this place. He doesn’t know where we are going yet.

What’s your favorite vegetarian restaurant? (In any city!)

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!

Review: Slice Perfect Pizza in New York

If you haven’t checked it out already, Foodbuzz just launched a new Healthbuzz section. I’m one of the Contributing Health Editors, along with a few of my favorites – there are too many to list so go check them out yourself.

I mentioned yesterday that my sister came to visit me for the weekend. So…

Bobby and I have been meaning to go to this organic pizza placeSlice – on the upper east side for a while now. I’d heard of it through my Cornell listserve (the owners are fellow Cornellians) and apparently Bobby’s business partner is actually friends with them. We decided to take Julia there for her first night in the city (Friday).

Slice also offers gluten-free pies, and actually pies for people with all different allergies – dairy, wheat, gluten, nuts, casein, etc… Everything is made to order and fresh (no pre-made pizza that gets reheated). The slices come sliced into bite-size pieces – about 5 per slice, I think. Apparently they are the only pizzeria in the country that uses 100% organic mozzarella cheese.

We shared the bruschetta to start ($5.50 I think). I left my camera at home so these pictures are taken from Yelp. This picture shows the bruschetta on little crackers, but it was actually served with fresh toasted pita bread – which was delicious. I think the “pita” was actually the same dough they make their (thin-) crust pizza with.

Source.

Julia got the “intermediate” slice ($5). It was a honey whole wheat crust with marinara, arugula, and goat cheese. It was amazing. Their menu is set up like a school – appetizers are “additional learning”, drinks are “extracurriculars”, and so on.

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Bobby got 2 slices – one was “Taste of India” ($4.50) (honey whole wheat crust, channa masala, and part-skim mozzarella). You had to eat this with a fork it was so thick and chickpea-covered. I’m going to be honest and say I didn’t like this one at all… but I don’t like Indian food; maybe an Indian food lover would enjoy it. Bobby and Julia didn’t like it that much either.

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His other slice was called “the master” ($5.50), which was my favorite. I don’t have a picture. It was a thin-crust honey whole wheat pizza topped with marinara sauce, organic part-skim mozzarella, and crumbled free-range organic herbed chicken sausage. Oh my goodness, so delicious. It was light but meaty and the flavors were perfect.

I got this amazing salad, ($7) and I shared some of the pizzas and of course the bruschetta. (Greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, goat cheese.) I got this with the carrot ginger dressing – I dumped all 3 containers of dressing on the salad and wished they had given me more.

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Next time I think I will get “the intermediate” (Julia’s pick) and steal some of Bobby’s “the master” (the organic chicken sausage one).

Slice was great – organic and reasonably priced. We left feeling pretty full – could definitely do without the appetizer next time. We’ll probably be back one night this week.

I broke out my camera yesterday and took pictures of several things I ate. It was nice. It felt odd after keeping the camera away for so long. The pictures include yummy oatmeal that converted Bobby and Julia into oatmeal lovers. That makes me happy. Bobby has been a willing weekend oatmeal participant for the last few weeks, ever since he found out about steel cut oats.

Do you like pizza? What’s your favorite kind? I like vegan or vegetarian pies with lots of veggies.

P.S. I saw a celebrity at Souen at Saturday brunch. She was gorgeous and her role in one of my favorite TV shows does not do her any justice at all. The women is 44 but she looks about 25. I want to be her. If I’m a vegan too will I look like that? If I practice yoga daily will I look like that? Guess who!

Reviews Galore

I have gotten lots of swag recently and I have been neglecting to post about it all. All of the products I’m listing here I got for free and the companies did not pay me to review them.

First up… Slice of Life Gummy Vitamins for Adults. Slice of Life sent me 3 flavors to try – omega 3-6-9 fish free, coq10, and vitamin C. These vitamins technically have different flavors, but they all tasted the same (yummy) to me. Bobby is a big fan because this means that he can have gummy candy that is actually healthy. I’d definitely recommend these for kids as well as adults. Yum yum.

Then… Fruit Not Fat aka Galaxy Granola. I have to admit, I am not really a granola person. BUT. This granola is different. It’s light and not too sweet and it’s the perfect crunchy addition to oatmeal or yogurt or even as a topping for baked goods. Galaxy sent me 3 flavors to try…

They sent me Not Sweet Vanilla, Vanilla Almond, and Cranberry Orange. My favorite was Vanilla Almond because of the nuts, but the others were very good too.

I have always disliked that granolas are actually an unhealthy fatty/sugary food that happen to have a name that connotates health. Galaxy is changing the game now. Check out the Fruit Not Fat blog for great ideas and recipes.

My sister is visiting me this weekend. She got in on Friday after work and we have been running around the city and hanging out. I don’t have many pictures, but I’ll do what I can to post a foodie recap tomorrow morning. We’ve been to some old favorites (Souen) and some new finds.

What did you do this weekend?

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):

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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.)

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?