A New Perspective

I love restaurants.  Unfortunately, my college-sized wallet does not.  Also, I’m not very good at budgeting when it comes to food.  I love trying new products, and often impulse-buy new-to-me health food items.  This doesn’t leave me much room for spending on restaurants and coffee shops and such.

At home we go out to eat a lot.  But I can’t spend that kind of money on myself here.  Every once in a while, though, I indulge.

Tonight was one of those nights, and I did not regret it.  The other day, my dad sent me a link this article.  The article highlights Souen, an asian (mostly vegan) macrobiotic chain of restaurants in Manhattan.  I have eaten there many times before, but I forgot about the place until now!  I used the opportunity to get together with a friend of mine who I don’t see often, and dragged him to Souen with me.

I wish I had taken a picture of the place itself, it’s really cool looking.  But it was really cold and wet and rainy, so I just wanted my warm food.

After taking a rather long time to decide what to eat, we finally got to it.  We started with the special appetizer – brussels sprouts in peanut sauce.

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This was the perfect, light appetizer.  The sprouts were very fresh and not overcooked or undercooked, and the sauce was not too overpowering like peanut sauces so often are.  Served hot, with a few toasted walnuts.

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kale, spinach, wakame, black beans, kabocha, broccoli, carrot and brown rice, with a choice of dressings - I got tahini dill

For dinner, I ordered the macro plate.  [[click here to read more about macrobiotics from Souen’s site]] I literally squealed when I saw the ratio of greens to other stuff on this plate.  One thing that now bothers me about restaurants is when the menu says the dish has all different veggies, then you get one bite of each.  If I order veggies, I want my veggies! But Souen does really well in this department.  Also, there was a piece of kabocha. Instant win.

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beautiful, colorful bowl of yum!

My friend chose the chef’s special ramen.  He keeps kosher, so he has never had ramen before as it’s usually cooked in fish stock or has pork or shellfish.  At a macrobiotic restaurant? All veggies.  I had a small taste, and the spice was amazing.

I was too full from my giant dinner plate, but my friend wanted to try one of the desserts.

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He went with the green tea mousse (dairy, egg, and soy-free).  The flavor was there, it tasted like they used real matcha powder.  But the texture was definitely not very mousse-like.  It seemed like it was made from agar-agar, and was kind of slimy.

You win some, you lose some – overall it was an excellent meal.

Yes, I’m getting to the meaning behind this post’s title.  Ever since I started getting more into nutrition and super foods, I have a completely new perspective when it comes to dining at restaurants.  I’m unsatisfied with a meal with ingredients that do not taste fresh.  I’m unsatisfied with a meal that doesn’t have enough green.  I’m unsatisfied with a meal that doesn’t have enough protein.  These are not to be taken as disordered thoughts – I have always loved my vegetables.  This is just to say that I have found the best way for me to curb cravings, avoid overeating, and feeling sick or bloated after meals.  Eat a balance.  After eating this way for a while now, I am often unsatisfied by a meal that does not have a good balance.

This meal filled me up, but was light and balanced.  It just physically feels good to eat clean.

Have you ever tried macrobiotic food? Are you a fan?

What is your ideal restaurant meal?

What foods give you energy and that awesome ‘clean-ness’ feel in?

So Much to Say!

I should have posted yesterday, I have so many queued photos and things to write about! I’ll try to limit this post to this week’s new finds 🙂

foodie/cool-new-place-discovery: Which Wich is beyond awesome!

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Which Wich is a sandwich shop in the mall where I work.  Until this week, I had no idea that they had awesome vegetarian (vegan too!) options, you can get the contents of your sandwich on a bed of lettuce, and it’s fully customizable.

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This was my salad ‘wich from Wednesday.  I chose the black bean patty, added avocado (for an extra dollar…), and got some hummus, mushrooms, cucumbers, tomatoes, deli mustard and a few other things.

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Yesterday’s salad.  I actually had one today too that looked very similar to this.  Very much the same as yesterday minus the avocado, and I added peperoncinis,  pickles, and some oregano.  I had to stop myself from eating the entire thing in one sitting because it was huge.  All of this food for barely $6 – with my employee discount which I only just found out about today.

foodie re-discovery: Everything chia.  This isn’t really a discovery so much as an obsession-du-jour, but I’ve tried a few new ways to enjoy these little guys.

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A cup of chia seed gel, which I used to make this glorious banana-chia smoothie.

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It gave the smoothie a great texture and a bit of added thickness that makes smoothies-in-bowls much more enjoyable.

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Peppermint-vanilla chia pudding, inspired by Averie’s recipe.  I added one scoop of sun warrior vanilla and a little more almond milk.  I didn’t sweeten with anything, but next time I would probably add a few drops of vanilla stevia.

techie-discovery: [[disclaimer: I was in NO WAY paid to do this review, and am not endorsed by the company.  This is the first of my tech reviews!]] Reeder for Mac OSX.  The is probably the best $10 I have ever spent on an app, but it is seriously worth it!

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If you (like me!) have a Mac and use google reader for blog surfing, this has cut down on the amount of time I spend navigating the native google reader web interface.  It syncs everything perfectly and effortlessly.  It has a built-in browser, and can also interact with things like Instapaper and Readability (I don’t use these).  I’m not going to go too much into the tech specs on here but feel free to email me if you want to ask me any more questions.

Basically, I’ve jumped on the app-train – but apps really do make so many things easier.

…recipe teasers!

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two scaled up recipes from two awesome bloggers, posts to come in the next few days!

How was your week?

Learn anything new?

Discovering anything really cool?