Sunday, July 10, 2016

Going NUTS for snacks

Quite often, I have conversations like the following:

randomPerson1: so you can't eat [a long list of foods] and it must be hard to prepare all of the food you bring... and.. can you have potatoes?

kiwi WITH THE SKIN, plum, and pepper
me: It is not so hard to wash and cut fruit and throw nuts into a bag. Yes, I can have potatoes but I despise them.

randomPerson1: but you can have potato chips!!! Why don't you just bring some potato chips everyday- it is so convenient to buy them and they are a real snack!

me: I remember saying that I despise potato chips. And who says it is a real snack? Just because everyone else eats them it doesn't mean it is healthy for you or tastes better than my awesome container of kiwi (with the skin because yes, you can eat the skin). Real snacks should be real food.

So yes, I usually get interrogated, and then the person comes up with a bunch of unhealthy stuff that there is no point in eating because they are just full of stuff that you don't want to put into your body... the reason to have a snack is to keep you full of energy between meals. A lot of the time I don't even have "meals" but have snacks every hour or two throughout the day. But these snacks are something along the lines of fruit, veggies, nuts, or hardboiled eggs... sometimes dark chocolate covered almonds because I need my cocoa fix. Also found RXBAR, which is a simple food bar that is substantial, with clean ingredients and no added garbage.

Today after going to an Bikram yoga class [35th day in a row], I felt inspired to change up my nut choices and bought sprouted almonds instead of regular (not sprouted almonds)! This is exciting because I had no idea what sprouted meant, which really meant that this was way out of my comfort zone ;) 
I found out that sprouted nuts allow you to easily digest the minerals in the nuts, which is a plus.
RXBARs and SPROUTED almonds!!!

hardboiled egg in Central Park
On my morning walk across central park from the upper east to upper west side, where I am an instructor counselor at an engineering/math/science summer program, I usually have a bag of frozen fruit and nuts. One day I was too low on nuts so stopped by the tennis center cafe conveniently located in the park along the way, and I found that they sell hard boiled eggs, which saved my morning! They have a good source of choline, which boosts brain function. When I was in high school, my mom used to encourage me to eat a hardboiled egg, cucumber, and pepper in the morning before a test because an Israeli newspaper wrote an article (aimed for students) about this healthy combination. I still try to eat this because it's like a test everyday when I have a group of 1st-3rd grade, curious, intelligent, and imaginative future engineers (and one future time warp specialist). And I must have enough energy because we build something like robots that could draw, model dams, or program a video game in the morning, and do math scavenger hunts, play capture the flag, or have intense water balloon fights in the afternoons. It is a lot of fun. 
filling up water balloons like it's my job... oh wait...

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Bluefin Tuna Incident: resolved (a year later!)

It's been about 2 years since I've blogged- I've recently received emails about blog, which reminded me that I have a lot to add!

A lot has happened in the last two years: I traveled to different parts Central America for exploring (with great people), went to Israel twice to visit friends and family, ran a marathon, celebrated my 21st birthday (which is a funny story for another day), got a job, graduated college, found out that spelt is really wheat- so DON'T EAT SPELT IF YOU HAVE A WHEAT ALLERGY UNLESS YOU ENJOY BEING SICK ALL THE TIME!!!! The last thing though is really a key takeaway and solved many problems.

I don't want to write a novel, so in the next few posts I will slowly elaborate about my current adventures until I start my job (and I will instantaneously become a responsible adult).

1 year ago, I decided that I would revive the blog. One of my favorite meals is a salad with raw fish (Japanese inspired), which is simply made like this:

1. Wash and chop a head of romaine lettuce for salad base
2. Dice 1/4-1/2 of an avocado and add to lettuce
3. Slice about 1/8-1/4 lb. of sushi grade tuna and salmon (add more if you are hungry)
4. For some more flavor I add wasabi, but not such a large amount that you are crying

This is the greatest salad ever if you like raw fish, and if I was stuck on an island that had a menu with one item, this would definitely be it!

I was very excited to post again and was about to start writing, but then, in the book that I was reading (The Rosie Project, Graeme Samson), there is an event called "the bluefin tuna incident." Before I explain this, the book is from the perspective of Don, a smart, socially awkward, genetics professor who is unaware that he has Asperger's. Anyways, he is super organized, has a standardized meal system, has a bathroom-office (for maximum efficiency), and other unique, funny habits. Obviously, I found this great read by judging books by their covers, because that is what I do. In the book, "the bluefin tuna incident" occurs when Don is at a restaurant with colleagues, and he orders a bluefin tuna dish to share, which makes him seem insensitive because bluefin tuna are an endangered species. He tries using logic to make the other understand his decision, but fails to read social cues in order to navigate through the situation.

As I read, it made me question my own habits and sustainability philosophy. That's when I realized that I was about to blog about a salad that contained endangered bluefin tuna! So terrible! Then I felt bad and decided that it was a sign not to blog... Little did I know that it was not actually bluefin tuna...

Today, as I bought the tuna for my salad, I realized that they didn't even sell bluefin tuna at that grocery store, and it is very difficult to find for obvious reasons, which made me think: sweet! time to blog!

For info on The Rosie Project:

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Eat your sea vegetables!

Since it's been a while since my last post, some highlights of my summer whirlwind: 

-Randomly did field visits to hospital in Brooklyn Heights for my internship
-Wrong direction of 7 train brought me to Queens (instead of Port Authority to the bus home)
-Drenched by crazy rain uptown after ballet and jumped through the rivers along the street curbs
-Bought a ticket to go away to Israel and visit friends and family
-Rode the Cyclone (87 yr old wooden roller coaster) in Coney Island.
-Enjoyed a raspberry rhubarb ice pop in Chelsea Market with friends
-Saw my brother from Cali and finished my internship
-Cancelled ticket to Israel (too messy with the war)
-Sick with some sort of flu for a week…..

And this morning I went to ballet class, so I'm back to being a normal person and feeling better. I thank my sea vegetables (started eating them yesterday and then started getting better). Many times they're overlooked when people talk about greens, but just because they're from the ocean and a little slimier than typical leafy greens, no reason to stay away from them…..

I was started reading "The Joy Luck Club" yesterday morning after walking to the library (and judging books by their covers), and they were talking about oriental food, which inspired me to incorporate some sea vegetables with my lunch. After researching seaweed for some hours yesterday (day six at home, what else was I supposed to do with my time?!?), I was able to classify it as Wakame seaweed. It's got lots of Omega-3 fatty acid, niacin, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iodine, and even some protein.

Wakame Salad:

Ingredients: 1 serving wakame (about 3 oz), tsp sesame seeds, tsp sesame oil, tsp rice vinegar

1. Pour the wakame into a bowl of cold water and let sit for 30 minutes (I bought a 10 oz bag of fresh salted wakame so it was extra important to let it sit and get the salt out)

2. Rinse with water again and then put in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds

3. Pour it all in a pasta strainer and press out the water

4. Add tsp sesame seeds, tsp sesame oil, and tsp rice vinegar and mix it up

Friday, June 27, 2014

Surreal Broccoli Salad

The first thing that came to mind when I ate this dish: This is not broccoli.
And what I imagined... here, I'm sharing it with you:

…My altered version of Magritte's The Treachery of Images. I remember learning about this piece in my high school art class while learning about surrealism. The painting really was meant to initiate questioning of what seems real and what is real...but that's only what my 14 year old self understood so maybe there's more to it..
The Treachery of Images
I've actually been too busy interning/dancing/exploring to cook- but in luck that my mom made this for dinner!

ANYWAYS, it looks like broccoli, but tastes TOTALLY NOT LIKE BROCCOLI! It's a reminder that different combinations bring out different flavors that are worth trying. Combining the broccoli with pineapple and mushrooms transforms it! And tossing it all into a salad is perfect.

Makes a few portions 
Ingredients: 2 cups romaine lettuce, 2 heads chopped broccoli, 16 oz diced pineapple, 22 oz baby bella mushrooms, paprika, salt, tbsp olive oil, rosemary

1. Preheat oven to 390F

2. Add mushrooms and diced pineapple along with the juice of the pineapple to a large cooking tin

3. Add the salt, paprika, olive oil, and rosemary to the tin and mix

4. Put in the oven

5. After 15 minutes add in the broccoli

6. After another 15 minutes, (total of 30 so far) take the tray out of the oven and let cool

7. Add to a salad of romaine lettuce with some balsamic vinegar, or just eat it by itself!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Salat Michal

I'm having a great time interning in the city, and contrary to what people think, that being in the city everyday can drain you of energy, I feel that it actually fuels me! It's so exciting to find new adventures each day and to be surrounded with a bunch of people who are rushing to take on their next ventures. Not to mention, I always look forward to going to ballet class(es) after work on the upper east side, and the commute is always interesting. Running in a green flowy dress through the subway station is my favorite.....

Plus, on the way to class I found THE BEST gate to central park:

...then I got really excited about it and drew it.....and I hope to eventually live near it!

This is definitely going to be a really memorable summer, and even though I'm missing Israel (where I usually spend some of summer), there are ways for me to incorporate my Israeli habits into my American repertoire: like eating this salad at any time of the day (even breakfast, which is totally normal in Israel)!

Ingredients: 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce, diced bell pepper, juice of half a lemon, tbsp green olives, diced cucumber, hard boiled egg, tsp olive oil, dash of salt and pepper, tsp zaatar

1. Add 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce, diced bell pepper, tbsp green olives, diced cucumber, and hard boiled egg to a large salad bowl

2. Dress with juice of half a lemon, tsp olive oil, dash of salt and pepper, and a tsp zaatar

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pelletier's Salad

One person who would definitely appreciate this salad is Pierre-Joseph Pelletier (back when he was alive, of course), the French chemist who isolated chlorophyll. Making a salad high in chlorophyll content is not usually the intention that people normally have when cooking….but recently I was inspired after a daring, bold city experience:

My friend Caraline and I went to take ballet classes and saw an interesting place called "Organic Avenue," so we went in. Tiny shot-sized bottles of different colored liquids (looked like one of my chemistry labs actually) lined the shelves of their fridge area. It took us a pretty long time to choose which to try. It was like when I was younger and my mom would allow my brother and I to each choose 4 pieces of candy from the candy store (one gummy bear equalled one piece, so the bag was maybe .00126% full when we went to weigh it…), and we were so indecisive. But this was a healthier candy store. We decided to be brave and take a shot of chlorophyll after class… Tasted very strange, but for all of the benefits (including a green mouth), it was worth it: blood cleanser and producer, maintains pH balance, protects against cancer, antioxidant rich, oxygenates cells, and so much more… I made this chlorophyll-rich salad! (And red bell peppers used to be green, so that counts!)

Ingredients: 1 diced bell pepper, 1/2 cup dark red kidney beans, 1 cup romaine lettuce or mixed greens, 1 cup spinach, handful basil, juice of 1 lime, tsp sesame seeds

1. Add cup of lettuce and spinach to large salad bowl and top with diced bell pepper, kidney beans, and basil

2. Add tsp sesame seeds and lime juice to dress it

Monday, May 26, 2014

Lemon Mint Quinoa

Since today is a holiday, I finally have a moment to blog! It's been a busy and exciting week for me, and it will continue to be busy and exciting for me for the rest of summer. Evenings still include ballet, and on Monday I started my summer internship at an engineering firm in NYC. I'm learning a lot and adventure around the area during my lunch break. While I walk, I eat my lunch, and had a thought-provoking encounter. I was making my way through Bryant Park eating this from a little container when the leader of some yoga or tai-chi group approached me and told me to sit down and eat and that walking with food was bad. After doing my research, I've found that especially in places including Japan, Brazil, Quebec, Italy, it is bad etiquette to eat while walking, or even in a place not designated for consuming food. Japan seems to be the most displeased by this, so if you are headed there, take note! Anyways, since I'm in New York, I think I will continue exploring/walking/eating simultaneously...

For 1 serving:
Ingredients: 1/4 cup dry quinoa, 1/2 cup water, dash of marjoram, small handful fresh mint leaves, 1/4 lemon, dash of salt and pepper, 1/2 diced bell pepper

1. Rinse quinoa with water and then put in saucepan with 1/2 cup water

2. add the herbs (marjoram, mint leaves, salt, pepper) and diced bell pepper to the saucepan

3. Cook on medium to high heat until the quinoa absorbs all of the water (should take 15 minutes)