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:
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.
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:
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…
A Macrobiotic Scone – the cranberry orange version.
Sometimes I do cook at home. One night I made this healthy fried rice variation:
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.‘
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.)
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.)
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.
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 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.)
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).
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.
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.
I was very excited for this book because Keri’s 3 taglines for this book are:
Eat more, not less!
Catch some zzz’s!
And have more sex (you heard me!)
Sounds like a plan anyone in their right mind would want to follow and enjoy following – nothing like the typical restrictive diet.
Keri catapults you right into her plan. She intros a quickstart “Eight Foods Cleanse” early on – page 27 to be exact. I figured if I am going to give this book a proper review (to come…) I should at least try out the cleanse. To be honest, I haven’t ever really followed a proper “diet” plan. I generally just try to eat less/move more. I’m really interested to see if I feel any different at the end of this “cleanse”. In the past I’ve tried doing the “raw/juicing” thing, “macrobiotic“, etc…
Cleanse… yes, that word with bad connotations. Keri’s 8 Foods Cleanse is not really a cleanse in the usual sense of the word – no long days of sipping juices with your stomach rumbling – this cleanse is simply eating a few simple, wholesome foods for just 4 short days.
I am jumping right in today, though I did make a few mods based on what I had in my kitchen this morning (yes this was a last minute decision). I’ll go shopping tonight for the proper ingredients! Here’s what my day will look like:
Breakfast is 1 egg and 2 egg whites with black pepper and ground black sesame (those spices are my own touch on this). I’m also having a cup of organic coffee with unsweetened almond milk and this chocolate stevia (Thanks Ron!). (Keri’s plan doesn’t include coffee… I am easing my way into this, so I’m gonna have it for now.)
No morning snack – I have breakfast ~10am so there is no time for a snack before lunch.
Lunch – a salad of romaine, seaweed, tomato, apple (leftovers) + 1/2 cup chickpeas + 1 hard boiled egg + 2 teaspoons EVOO. (Yum!)
Snack: 1 Ronnybrook plain whole milk yogurt with cinnamon. (This is what I have in the fridge – this is off plan.)
Dinner: TBD – Salmon & greens I believe, and I need to go get an avocado.
This cleanse may be a little low in calories, but it’s only 4 days – and after a few months of indulging (during renovations we didn’t have a kitchen – and even if you’re careful, eating out for every single meal can get really old really fast). I think I can follow it for 4 days and then start adding in more of Keri’s favorite Empowering Foods.
I’ll be back later with my take on the rest of Keri’s Diet Rules – one of them is “Clean Out Your Closet” – so you know I am gonna love it.
First, happy Friday! I know I’m excited for the weekend. Work has been crazy as usual so it will be nice to get a rest. I have a Guster concert tonight that I’m really psyched about and tomorrow I am going to my hometown in NJ for my bridesmaid’s baby shower (it’s a boy!). On Sunday Bobby and I are going to a family dinner here in NYC and I’m also hoping to find a way to get in at least two yoga classes this weekend (haven’t been in over a week). But anyway, onto the topic for today…
1. It’s filling. The protein + fiber in quinoa will satisfy your hunger and keep you full longer.
2. It’s packed with protein. One cup of cooked quinoa has just over 8 grams of protein (source). Divide your body weight (in pounds) by 2 and that is approximately how many grams of protein you should aim for. For women, between 50-75 grams is probably plenty.
3. It’s delicious. I will never say no to a big bowl of quinoa.
4. You’ll stay slim eating quinoa. What helps me lean out when I’ve been over-indulging? Filling grains like quinoa. I can’t get full on veggies alone and quinoa stops my cravings on the spot.
5. Quinoa is a great alternative to other typical grains. Bored of rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat bread? Cook up a batch of quinoa for a chewy, hearty, delicious side dish.
6. It’s versatile – have it for breakfast! Mix quinoa, Greek (or regular) yogurt, some peanut butter, and slice a banana on top. OR try using quinoa flakes to make a healthy breakfast cookie.
8. It’s versatile – have it for dinner! Make burritos filled with chili meat (cook chopped onions + turkey + pack of chili spice + can of tomatoes), quinoa, lettuce, cheddar cheese, and avocados.
9. Quinoa is vitamin-rich. I like to get my vitamins from whole-food sources, not a pill. Quinoa has iron, manganese, riboflavin (B2), magnesium, lysene, and more. You can ditch the daily vitamins if you just eat real foods.
10. It’s a prebiotic – good for the digestive system (feeds good bacteria). Your belly will thank you. For those of us with IBS, it’s so important to eat foods that nourish the stomach and intestines. And even if you don’t have IBS, it’s still good to nourish yourself.
So… what are you waiting for? Go get some quinoa! I recently discovered the tri-color quinoa at Trader Joe’s and it is awesome.
1) I got back from my trip to India on Sunday morning. Amazing trip. I was in Hyderabad for work for ~8 days (it’s a city in the south of India – in the state of Andhra Pradesh). JFK–>DEL the previous Saturday (after a 5 hour delay at JFK due to plane malfunctions – thanks Air India – a 14 hour flight total), did sightseeing on Sunday in Delhi, and then took a short 2 hour flight DEL–>HYD. Worked with an incredible team all week long, and then began the journey back to JFK this past Saturday. Two unexpected things about this trip to India: 1) I didn’t get to do any yoga aside from sun salutations in my hotel room and 2) there are way fewer vegetarians than I expected. I was just about full VEG for the whole trip. (I think I had a chicken sandwich in the airport on the first day.)
(A sign at Golconda Fort, in Hyderabad – ha! I thought it was funny.)
2)Home renovations are still in progress. I am still very excited about them, but at this point I am getting very anxious to get my kitchen and bathroom back. Showering at the gym is getting old, fast. It’s been over a month now! I think we started on 11/14.
3) More travel plans this week. Bobby and I are going to visit his family in Miami and we leave on Thursday. Construction will continue while we are gone – and hopefully be nearing completion by the time we return. ::Fingers crossed:: Cats are headed to New Jersey.
4) I have only gotten to 4 yoga classes this month so far. But then again, I have only been home for ~8 days of the month so far, so this is actually a good record: one class every other day. Hoping to get to one more before we go to Miami (Wednesday morning?), and 2 more after we return. Bobby has been going with me because he joined my same yoga studio. ::Happy dance::
5) After Miami, we are going to NJ the following weekend to visit my family. Hectic hectic month!
6) I am obsessed with candles. I recently bought this avocado mint candle and this frosted maple candle from Anthropologie (not only do they have beautiful clothes, but they have wonderfully aromatic candles). I also have 3 from this line (also at Anthro).
(^^avocado & mint^^)
(^^whipped cream & pear^^)
7) My favorite breakfast as of late has been a sugarless berry scone from Butterfield Bakery (unsweetened – not with fake sugar). These things are gigantic but somehow I manage to finish them. On the days I don’t get a scone I get either a fresh croissant (also from Butterfield) or a whole wheat bagel with butter from the deli around the corner.
8) My heart goes out to the families affected by the terrible school shooting in Connecticut.
I think that is all I have for now. I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season so far. Wish I could spend more of it in New York – NYC at Christmastime is one of my favorite things.
4 cups chopped [purple] cabbage (1/2 a large head)
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 cups whole milk (you could use skim – it wouldn’t be as rich)
1 cup water + 1 serving bouillon (powder or paste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
pinch of allspice
3 Tablespoons parmesan cheese + extra
Heat the butter in a large saute pan or pot. Toss in the scallions and garlic powder; cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the broccoli, cabbage, and basil. Saute for about 8 minutes.
Add the milk, water, boullion, pepper, allspice, and cheese. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer for ~20 minutes (covered).
Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree with your Vitamix or other blender.
Garnish with more parmesan. Add salt+pepper, to taste.
I actually based this on a vegan recipe – but mine is most certainly not vegan! I am hoping to do a soup round-up sometime soon, so if you want me to feature one of your soup recipes just drop a comment below.
What is your favorite kind of soup?
I have two: clam chowder and corn and chicken chowder.
The Hidden Truths About Calories – This article delves into the complicated science of calorie calculation. Though many of us were already suspicious of calorie counts on labels, this article proves that those counts can be wildly inaccurate. The way you prepare a food, the way the food was grown, how processed the food is, AND your various aspects about your body composition – these are four factors that contribute to how many calories your body will actually take away from a food. For example, the more processed a food is, the less “work” (energy) your body expends while digesting it, and thus the more calories your body gets to keep. If you have longer intestines than your spouse, you will get more calories from a food (or vice versa). It’s a really good read, and not that long either.
5 Ways to Make Going Vegan Easy – I am not a vegan, but I like these ideas. The ideas include drinking green juice, eating quinoa, using almond milk, eating more greens and fruits, and giving up one animal a month. Click through to read more.
6 Things I Do to Be Consistently Happy – written by a person who does startups. The ideas include 1) waking up early, 2) exercising, 3) disengaging, 4) helping others, and 5) learning new things regularly. Click through to read the last one, and to hear his thoughts on the ones I just listed.
All You Need to Know to Compost in Your Apartment – to be honest, I have not started composting yet. There is a compost station at the farmers’ market Sundays (it’s less than half a block from my apartment) so I can drop it off there if/when I do start.
1-2 ears of raw corn (1/2 in blender, 1/2 in straight)
lots of basil – 1+ cups
1-2 banana peppers
1 small cucumber (optional)
salt and pepper
vinegar (rice or apple cider) or lemon juice
You will need a blender or food processor. Chop the tomatoes, basil, peppers, and cucumber roughly and then roughly blend/process them in your blender/processor. If you like a very smooth puree, blend more; if you like it chunky, blend less.
I like to add the corn after blending the rest because I like the kernels whole. It’s also good to blend it in.
Add salt and pepper, sugar, and vinegar/lemon juice to taste. This is what makes the flavors come out so add these to your preference.