Posts tagged food
Posts tagged food
Most satisfying packed-lunch ever: Broiled pesto tomatoes and the healthiest quinoa-veggie recipe ever (seriously, check out the ingredients below)
Overall: Okay, I don’t have enough free time to blog and edit my photos like I used to. I find that worrying about having the prettiest post slows me down too much and I end up never posting!
Now back to the food…These were both awesome dishes! Ben and I made them for dinner and I took the leftovers for lunch. I love carrot juice and was ecstatic to find a quinoa recipe that uses it! It infuses the grain with Vitamin A and other antioxidants. It’s very filling so you can mix it with spring salad for a lighter lunch packed with vegetables.
Oh and the tomatoes…so good. And they broil so fast! Homemade pesto smells and tastes fresher. With a little bit of salt, they make a beautiful and delicious side dish. Tomatoes are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and potassium. Parsley is packed with Vitamin K.
Definitely give both these recipes a try soon! You can make a batch of quinoa and buy salad for a week’s worth of lunches.
P.S. I got new glasses!
Gingerbread and Pear Pancakes…vegan and fluffy
Ben and I have been making breakfasts together lately. Variations of pancakes are easy vegan recipes! So far, we’ve made banana walnut, gingerbread with pear compote, and chocolate chip pancakes.
What inspired this creation: Zazie’s gingerbread pancakes…pretty magnificent right?
Ben made “compote” from microwaving frozen fruit…so classy. Overall, these pancakes are excellent! Wholesome Chow is a convenient, low sugar mix. They are filling, made from whole grains, and warms your morning tummy with cinnamon spice. The cooked pears make the disk more delectable and special =). Basically, add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or pumpkin pie spice generously to your usual pancake mix.
Do you have any other vegan breakfast ideas that omnivores like too?
P.S. I’m going camping in Sequoia National Park & Kings Canyon tomorrow!
I drink carrot juice every morning! It’s especially refreshing after a hot session of Bikram yoga. Carrot juice is great for your skin (but not too much like 3 glasses a day will make your skin orange). After indulging in Jamba Juice’s fresh pressed orange-carrot juice for a couple months, I decided to be more frugal. I buy big cartons of Odwalla’s carrot juice and orange juice. I mix 8 ounces of carrot juice with 4 ounces of orange juice. I like Odwalla because both juices are fresh squeezed and not from concentrate. For some ideas, I’ve tasted Odwalla’s organic blends of carrot and fruit. All are really good and the beet-carrot-ginger is especially healthy and hardcore veggie.
I am completely back-logged on blogging. I’ve underestimated the time my hospital administration internship takes, the time having fun takes, and the time settling into a new place takes! I have 4 more weeks of summer!
Anyhow, back on June 20-something, my friends and I hosted a dinner. It served as away to celebrate being done with first year and to say “bye” to Dylan, who went to Tanzania for summer research.
Our menu consisted of:
All home-made and prepared by me, Ben, Dylan, and Avery!
Some of the best bonding moments I’ve had with friends this year has been around cooking food! Every dish was a hit…you just can’t beat homemade guacamole. The kale salad was well-loved for the second time in a row!
What have you cooked lately? Do you think making dinner is a good date idea or hang-out with friends?
Just trying Jamba Juice’s new kale, beet, carrot, apple, ginger fresh-squeezed juice! It’s a nasty color, but tastes pretty good. It definitely is more of a vegetable juice than a fruity one. Worth a try or make a similar one at home! (if I get another one, I’ll watch to see how much of each ingredient they use!)
Theory: skin is decent even by the end of med school year 1 because of daily carrot juice =) loveee it.
Jamba Juice has new fresh-pressed juices! I’ve tried #4: beets, carrots, kale, apple, ginger which is the healthiest option. it has the most vegetables and the least sugar. I enjoyed the slightly sweet taste with a spicy tinge. The beets, carrots and apple balance out the bitter kale, and the ginger adds the kick!
However, I’m still a devote fan of their fresh-squeezed orange-carrot juice which is cheaper and still a super healthy option.
Price: 12 ounce = 4.59, 16 ounce = 6.09! >.<
P.S. Jamba juice employees love the apple ginger lemon.
Have you tried any? What did you think?!
Ways I’m staying happy after breaking-up with my boyfriend…
I’m just finishing up my first year of medical school! Recently, we studied Depression and how exercise and diet are natural treatments.
When you’re feeling sad, depressed, stressed-out, unmotivated or lonely, it’s so easy to not care about your health. You don’t want to work-out. You don’t care about what you eat. Thinking about whatever is pulling you down takes up so much of energy and time that you’re constantly getting busier and more overwhelmed. I’m speaking from my own recent experience.
My boyfriend and I broke up 2 weeks ago, and doing most of the things from this picture helped me stay happy, calm, and productive. I just had an exam in med school, and I couldn’t have studied well for it if I didn’t keep exercising, eating well, and making time for reflection. I also couldn’t have been a good team member, pleasant friend, or an attentive listener.
It’s tempting consume comfort food, but it’s so counterproductive too. When I feel tempted to eat something unhealthy like ice cream, cookies, or pastries, I just ask myself, “Is this going to make me feel better afterwards?.” If you already feel worse, is eating that loaf cake going to make you feel better or worse about your decisions? Most of those tempting snacks only taste good for a moment on the tongue. Then it’s gone, and you’re left feeling like you did something else wrong. So, eat and cook something that will make you feel proud and confident. For the past two weeks, I’ve been regularly snacking on oatmeal, carrot juice, oranges, salads, and dark chocolate pieces.
Exercise is so key to keeping your mood up. It’s okay to not have specific fitness goals when you’re sad. Just get out there and run as slow as you want. It’ll give you time to relax and release some feel-good hormones. Also, one of my mentors in med school suggested that I do high-impact cardiovascular exercise and practice meditation to relieve some anxiety because it’s been proven to reduce feelings of stress. I also found that when I felt overwhelmed, I just wanted to focus on simple and quiet exercises like Pilates and yoga. However, when I spent most of the day studying and not interacting with many people, I really enjoy going to cardio-kick boxing classes (BodyCombat) for a boost of excitement!
Reflection. I’ve made a few really good friends this year. Talking to them and making an effort to be social has really helped me during these last two weeks. Studying with friends around has been very motivating, spending memorial day weekend with friends has been wonderful. Even going to see Star Trek with Kent and Aaron was a great time and helped get my mind off our break-up.
You can do it! Just get yourself out there and start the ball rolling by choosing something healthy.
I could use some tips right now. What has helped you pull through a break-up?
I did a juice cleanse!
Running a fitness blog has its perks like getting samples of healthy foods! Recently, I’ve tried a one-day raw, organic juice cleanse from Urban Remedy, a small business from San Rafael, CA. Although I love making green smoothies (my favorite combines avocado, grapes, pears, broccoli, and spinach), I’ve never thought about undertaking a liquid cleanse. But, hey, if a trendy brand wants to give me a full-day’s supply of meals and snacks, I may as well try it. If worse comes to worst, I’ll just supplement with solid food. I decided on Urban Remedy’s Signature Cleanse for a single day. This consisted of six individually packaged juices which are suggested to be spaced two hours apart. Urban Remedy prefers cleansing with just their juices, but suggests eating raw vegetables and drinking water if you feel hungry. How did it go? Would I do it again? Keep on reading to find out!
Why did I do it?
I was curious. It sounded like a challenge. Also, I wanted to form an opinion about the popular trend backed by personal experience. A lot of my readers ask about cleanses and I’d feel more empowered to talk about the subject if I had some experience. Also, the juices sounded delicious!
Did I have any doubts?
Yes! I was scared that I’d get hungry and have trouble focusing. I oftentimes get “hangry,” meaning hungry and angry. I thought I might lose my patience, fail to exercise, or binge on solid food after the cleanse. I also didn’t want to haul around jars of perishable juice all day.
What did I drink?
All six drinks were tasty and fresh.
These are pressed drinks with no added sugar. Stevia is a natural calorie-free sweetener. All six totaled to about 1100 calories, which is under the lowest calorie recommendation for people aiming to lose weight (1200 for women, 1400 for a man). Honestly, a single day cleanse will not hurt you. Heck, it may even help some of us de-bloat after a week of eating salty Panda Express and Carmelina’s. However, it’s not enough nutrition for a healthy, sustainable diet. I would think twice about committing to a cleanse for longer than 3 days.
As for the juices themselves, they were all good, but my favorites were the “After Party” and the “Relax.” The root vegetable and ginger combination created a spicy-sweet taste. The “Relax” was a smooth cashew milk similar to a richer and nuttier Horchata. It’s also the only drink with a significant amount of protein.
How did I feel?
Because I drank the juices every 2 hours, I rarely felt hungry. Sometimes, I didn’t even finish my current drink before it was time to have my next one. Each drink is 12 oz so you’re drinking a lot of liquid which stretches your stomach and makes you feel full.
The only time I felt uncomfortable was after my first juice of the day. I drank the “Brainiac” during lecture and there couldn’t be a worse name for it. This is a 90 calorie vegetable juice with only some vitamins and natural sugars. I was pretty hungry, missed my hearty bowl of oatmeal, and had a hard time concentrating. I suggest that Urban Remedy pack their breakfast drink with more protein and fiber.
However, by the time I was at juice #6, I was full and satisfied! My 1-day cleanse was rather fun because I had something new to try every couple hours.
What were the effects?
The next day, I lost 2 lbs (of water weight) which I gained back after a day of normal eating. My jaw was more relaxed because I hadn’t chewed anything for a day. I have jaw pain from TMJ. I actually woke up the next day pretty energized and motivated to eat healthy, simple, and fresh foods. My initial worries did not become reality. I felt satiated for the most part, so I didn’t gorge on solid food or turn “hangry”. Overall, I went through a typical day in medical school fine, and even had energy to do a short run.
Would I do it again?
Well, Urban Remedy is expensive. A one day supply of juices is $60.00 plus shipping. So I definitely will not buy this for myself. However, I would consider doing something similar if I ever get into an unhealthy eating rut or need to quickly get rid of bloating after days of consuming salty foods. Also, I think eating more soups and liquid foods would help me manage my TMJ better. I’m glad I did it and survived to tell the tale.
Have you ever done a juice cleanse? Did it change you in any way (effects, mindset, habits)? Let me know!
Green Roots Pizza!
Highlights: Vegan, veggie-filled, whole-wheat, delicate flavors, mix of fresh and baked goodness
Kai and I finally made a vegan pizza together! We’ve been wanting to make one for a couple months now and got to it once his oven was fixed and I had a free-ish weekend. We just thought of vegetables that sounded delicious and a base that could work to hold the ingredients together. This is what we used:
Overall, I loved this pizza. It had such a good array of vegetables with flavors that did not overwhelm the subtle tastes of the beets, parsnips, avocado, and arugula. The onions added savory flavor. Also, the parsnips and olive oil made a good base to hold the ingredients to the dough. It kept the dough soft in the middle as well. This pizza is easy and fun to do with someone else! I was stretching the pizza dough (first time ever!) and Kai was working on the vegetables. Although he did question whether I make the process more efficient or if I should help out more…Anyhow! We’re think of ways to add plant-based protein to our pizza. Any ideas? Would garbanzo beans go well? We made a little date out of cooking dinner. We went to Whole Foods and I tried not to get too distracted by all the new food trends (like Kombucha and chia drinks!). Then, we worked on making the pizza. While waiting, he watched Star Trek while I was sketching his profile on my iPad. We ate together and I was just so satisfied with the healthy meal we made! Just wished we had more protein…
Try making a vegan pizza this weekend and tell me how it goes!
P.S. Vegan pizza sold at hipster bakeries like Arizmendi Bakery near my school, is so actually really unhealthy. They use refined white flour on the dough, bake the pizza until all the vegetables are wilted, and use a TON of oil. The slice literally drips of olive oil which is how they get it to taste good. You also won’t find a rich and colorful array of vegetables by eating out!
Beans and Berries have the highest amounts of antioxidants per serving!
What are antioxidants? They are vitamins and minerals that protect cells from harmful molecules called radicals. There’s evidence that antioxidants fight against aging, and cancer when consumed in moderate amounts.
This is the reason I eat beans every day! After learning about these foods, I’m going to eat more red kidney beans instead of garbanzo beans which are both provided at my medical school’s cafeteria. I also have so many dried azuki beans in my pantry. They make a delicious and healthy red bean pudding! Also, when going out for Mexican food, we can choose pinto beans over refried beans and black beans. Prunes are a better choice than raisins and add just the right amount of sweetness to breakfast grains.
Source: USDA, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry June 9, 2004
Butternut Squash Zosui Soup!
-vegan, veggie-filled, healthy comfort food
My weekly routine includes searching up recipes for butternut squash because diced and cubed organic butternut squash is too tempting to pass while grocery shopping. I admit, sometimes I buy a bunch and don’t end up cooking it. Also, after having Japanese hot pot the other weekend, I fell in love with Zosui soup! It’s the rice soup broth soup served at the end of your meal.
Honestly, I should be studying, preparing for small group tomorrow, and reading papers for my summer research project…but this was SO GOOD I had to take a break to share =) Okay…so I’ve taken a 2 hour break so far to cook, clean, photograph, and blog (and listen to Les Miserables soundtrack which I’m not liking so far…). So when I’m studying at home, I’m sitting most of the time. I find that getting up and cooking for an hour is a great break which allows you to stand, move, get creative, and be productive!
So what you have all been waiting for…the recipe! It’s adapted from http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/butternut-squash-edamame-zosui-with-ginger-150-green-onion-relish/ but I changed some ingredients and used a deep pan instead of a pressure cooker!
Ingredients (4-6 servings):
Zosui (soup part)
Tips: When buying diced butternut squash, look for a package with bright orange pieces. Oftentimes the pre-cut squash are not that ripe and lack flavor. Grapeseed oil is used because it can withstand high heat. If you don’t have it, use canola oil.
I can’t decide if I want this for dinner or breakfast this week…
Okay everyone, please enjoy this recipe and I hope you make it soon!
So I’ve become food obsessed like everyone else in San Francisco…not really because I love food so much, but I’m fascinated with the effort, love, and dedication people have for the food and restaurant that they’ve created.
On Friday, K and I watched Argo at the Kabuki theater (great movie, learned a lot, Ben Affleck is so talented) and ended up having dinner at one of the last open restaurants in Japantown…I don’t even remember it’s name. It was casual…although I spied a Michelin Recommended certificate. I had soba noodles with mountain vegetables (spinach, carrots, and the standard works) and green tea.
Saturday. I had Farley’s housemade granola with soy milk, and half-caf coffee. Really good granola…dried unsweetened cranberries, not clumped together, not too sweet, generous portions of almonds and pecans, toasted to goldeny perfection. (I must admit, I had a bowl of oatmeal just before this…wasn’t planning on getting food!)
Saturday dinner: So I got K to come over (apparently he grumbled to himself unbeknownst to me) after I finished some studying, and I was searching up restaurants open late. We were too late for the “semi-late” ones, but there was this highly-rated and yelp-popular Korean restaurant open until 2 am further down the muni line. What intrigued me about this place was that people were saying it was in someone’s remodeled garage, and the pictures looked sketchy. I wanted to check out the grungy Korean garage joint! But alas, Toyose, was just a shady exterior which opens up to a pretty cute, regular restaurant. I wanted to see cement floors, fold-up chairs, and random family members walking around. I ate a little bit of Japchae yam noodles and kimchi appetizers. This was around 11 pm…K said it was actually pretty bad and is probably only popular with the drunk crowd at 2am…Probably true.
Sunday morning was a win though! We went to Outerlands for brunch (didn’t have to wait long!) which is such a cute, cozy place. My friend calls it “hipster meets comfort food” which is totally on-point. We sipped on lemon ginger apple cider and barley tea. The cider was sooo yummy! (At first, they mistakenly gave me the bourbon spiked cider…) Although I only slept 6ish hours last night, I knew I wanted some of their famed sugary cider so I worked up the energy to do a morning beach/slight incline run! Then we had granola, persimmon, and yogurt. I don’t really eat yogurt anymore. But this is winning combination right here: persimmon + fresh chopped mint leaves + drizzle of honey (I’ll try it with maple syrup on my own). My entree was the avocado winter citrus salad which was delectable! Tri-colored grapefruit and mandarin wedges, blanched almonds, and ripe avocado topped a bed of sharp greens. It was an interesting combination of flavors. I tried some of K’s dutch pancake with spiced apple which was really satisfying too. Yumm… =)
Oh and I had the best muffin of my life today by Peiru, baker of Sweet Aha Bake Shop. She makes SUCH good muffins! All of her goods are vegan and she doesn’t use any fake vegan substitutes. I had her lemon poppy seed muffin last week…omgodz the taste of real lemon was so good. Today, I tried her ginger cinnamon muffin which I fell in love with.
The end of the weekend. Exam week up next…
Oh and I made kale, white bean, butternut squash ragout & overnight oats tonight too. But I used purple kale and it’s too bitter… =/.
(My first restaurant review! It’ll be printed in Synapse this week! How do I become a legit food critic???)
Nabe- New Hot Pot Restaurant on 9th Avenue
Since Nabe’s opening in January, I’ve walked up and down 9th Avenue scoping for this new nabemono hot pot restaurant. After a couple weeks, Synapse finally decided to take closer look. It’s easy to miss because steam from the cooking pots clouds the glass windows while shielding its patrons from the cold night. We went on a chilly Sunday evening, bleak enough to make the Muni look tempting to the most avid of walkers, and stepped into Nabe’s warm interior thinking only of savory noodles and vegetables.
Inside, the décor is simple, smart, and cool. It seats 32 people with a long communal table and separate tables on the sides. Along the slate-colored walls are display cases for finished bottles of high-end sake. Although Nabe adopted a modern design, its small size, focus on DIY hot pots, and steamy interior make it an intimate spot for a casual catch-up session with a friend, or a fun date night. Couples and small groups of friends occupied the separate tables, while a large family birthday party reserved the extended center table.
The juxtaposition of comfort food and sleek design make Nabe a unique destination. Our party of four all ordered different nabemono sets, but because I follow a vegan diet, I can only describe the flavors of the Kinoko Nabe entrée. Each set comes with meat/seafood/tofu, broth, noodles, vegetables, dipping sauce, and rice soup (regular size is $19, large for $24). In the Kinoko Nabe, the broth is brimming with several varieties of mushrooms, bok choy, spinach, tofu, carrots, and to my joyous surprise…kabocha squash. One type of mushroom maintained its tough, chewy texture no matter how long I cooked it. The Miso broth is not overly salty, but added flavor to the fresh produce. Our table also ordered the Kimchi + Kurobuta Pork Belly, Shabu Shabu (Washygyu beef/Kurobuta pork), and the seasonal Kamonanban (duck breast). For omnivores, I would recommend the Shabu Shabu because it of its variety: two dipping sauces as well as the most impressive plate of vegetables and tofu. As if ramen, udon, and soba noodles weren’t enough, our waitress came to prepare our Zosui rice soup using Japanese style rice and our remaining broth. After simmering the rice, she added green onions, egg (optional), and nori seaweed toppings to the soup and served each of us a hearty bowl. At first I was discouraged from trying my rice soup, but my fellow diner, Carly, gave me the courage by saying, “There’s always room for rice!” It was worth the extra cardio-workout during the preceding week.
Although Nabe is new, it’s already gaining popularity! Here are some of my tips for a good time:
Lately, I’ve been keeping a food log on Paper, an iPad app. It’s fun because I can doodle, and I can just write out what I ate instead of type/search/find the closest substitute on an online tracker. Doodling is fun too because sometimes I draw out how I feel or make light of eating not-so-stellar that day. My calorie counts are guess-estimates from general knowledge of how many calories…and eyeballing how big my servings are. (If you’re looking to change your weight, I’d be more meticulous/scientific than this!)
Made With Paper
Kale and Avocado Salad from Saveur.com
-vegan, filling, simple, and amazing
Last Friday, my friends hosted a pot-luck birthday dinner. Even though I love cooking, pot-lucks make me nervous! I tend to eat simple, clean foods, which those with a gentle palate would appreciate. I thought about just bringing drinks, veggie plate with hummus, or something else healthy and store bought. But my classmate and K convinced me to bring something homemade! I’m always scared no one’s going to eat what I bring, or no one’s going to like it…
Friday was pretty busy for me with class, meeting an out-of-town friend, catching up with lectures, grocery shopping, and finding earrings to wear for formal the next day. SO, I needed something simple with few ingredients.
K came over after work and he helped me make this! I highly recommend this recipe copied from http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Kale-and-Avocado-Salad
1⁄2 cup fresh orange juice
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, smashed and chopped into a paste
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled
2 tbsp. raw hemp seeds (optional)
1 bunch kale (about 3⁄4 lb.), stemmed and finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Whisk together juices, soy sauce, and garlic in a bowl. Slowly whisk in oil; set dressing aside.
2. Cut 2 avocados into 1⁄2” cubes and thinly slice the remaining avocado. Put cubed avocados, half of the hemp seeds, and kale into a serving bowl. Toss kale mixture with dressing and season generously with salt and pepper. Divide salad between plates and garnish with sliced avocado and remaining hemp seeds.
SERVES 4 – 6
IT’S SO YUMMY. At first I didn’t think the orange juice and soy sauce combination would taste that great. But K said that it would balance out the bitter taste of the kale…which it totally did! It was fun “cooking” (making a salad) to Daft Punk with him. I would call it a bonding moment. Anyways…Next time I make it, I’ll use clementines, oranges, or mangoes instead of Orange Juice!
BTW, we got to the pot-luck dinner late and most people had moved on to dessert and drinks…so hardly anyone ate my salad =/. But the birthday girl had it next morning and she said was good! I was happy to take home the entire second platter =).
Please try this recipe out! I’m going to make it again soon and photograph it all pretty. We made it at night so the lighting is bad to take pictures, and then the next morning the avocado browned and didn’t look that beautiful.
Hope you like this recipe! Now I’m going to the gym!