What I Ate Wednesday: Astoria & New York

WIAW green smoothie

Have I ever mentioned that WIAW is hosted by Peas and Crayons? It is worth checking out, and if you haven’t already, you can also see what a bunch of other bloggers ate for a day!

Last Thursday I was endlessly hungry. I attribute this partially to the fact that I worked out pretty hard all week: on Sunday evening I went to a grueling but invigorating yoga session that focused a lot on strengthening and core conditioning. On Monday (my last WIAW documented that day) I jogged five miles. Tuesday I took a break from working out to grab wine and cheese with some work friends. Then Wednesday after work, my friend / coworker / fellow blogger Jenna and I went to our first-ever CYC class, and it was so hard! It was 50 minutes of pedal-pumping, ab crunching, and weight lifting. The next day my legs felt ok but my arms were so sore; and when I had to walk up a bunch of subway stairs, I did start to feel a little soreness in my legs as well. While at CYC, it came up that Jenna plans to do a half marathon in Brooklyn in April, and couldn’t find anyone to do it with. What a perfect coincidence! On January 1, I decided my one New Years’ resolution (and I never make them) was to run a half marathon (proof here) but I couldn’t find anyone to do it with me. I even asked friends in other cities, offering to come to them, but no one wanted to have to train for it. So, I’m excited to say I will be joining Jenna in April and am now officially in training :)

Breakfast: smoothie for one (Kiyo was up and out of the apartment before me):

  • 1 cup water
  • .5 frozen banana
  • 1 celery rib
  • .25 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 thin slice fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp. vegan protein / fiber powder
  • 1 tsp. chyawanprash
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • topped with 1 tsp. chia seeds

Not pictured: one large cup of coffee with half a tsp. honey and .25 cup almond milk

NYC slush

The weather last Thursday was unbearable; this is a shot of the pedestrian cross walk at 59th St. and Madison Avenue on my way in to work. We should have had a snow day! I’ve noticed that cold weather also tends to make me hungrier…

skinny butternut squash mac & cheese

Lunch: By noon my stomach was literally growling, so I heated up my “skinny butternut squash mac & cheese” that I’d made for dinner after CYC (I got the recipe from Nutritionella). It was filling although low in calories (roughly 350, which for a large serving of three-cheese mac & cheese really isn’t too bad).

dark chocolate macadamias

Snack #1: Our office was gifted dark-chocolate macadamia nuts (yes, from Hawaii!) by a client, so of course I had to have some (two, to be exact).

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What I Ate Wednesday: Astoria & New York

WIAW smoothie

Breakfast: smoothie! This one included mixed organic frozen berries, fresh parsley, fresh celery, unsweetened cranberry juice (not from concentrate), water, a mix of vegan protein and fiber powder, chia seeds, honey and chyawanprash. Not pictured: coffee with milk (no more Coffee Mate!) and stevia, at work.

beet chickpea zucchini rice lunch

Lunch: I was hungry early! This lunch satisfied: black rice with zucchini (sautéed in olive oil and Greek spices), topped with roasted onions, beets and chickpeas, a tiny bit of quinoa, and a lemon-tahini-parsley dressing. SO GOOD! (On top is how it looked before I mixed it all up)

WIAW snacks at work

Snacks: later in the afternoon I had one ants-on-a-log, and half a container of cottage cheese. I also drank a lemon seltzer and later, a cup of Egyptian licorice tea.

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What I Ate Wednesday: Astoria & New York

mixed berry smoothie

I woke up early for work yesterday (I took Monday off so I had a lot to catch up on!) and started the morning with a simple smoothie for one:

  • .5 cup unsweetened cranberry juice (not from concentrate)
  • .5 cup water
  • .5 cup mixed frozen berries
  • .5 scoop vegan protein powder
  • 1 tsp. organic honey
  • Roughly 1 tsp fresh ginger root

At work I drank a cup and a half of coffee with stevia and vanilla coffee mate (I have to stop drinking that! It has too many additives but coffee gives me a jolt that tea just can’t seem to deliver). About mid-morning I ate a molasses cookie; I made a whole batch on my day off. I ran out of sugar while making them so I used about half sugar, half organic honey, and they turned out delicious (I forgot to take pictures of the coffee and the cookie).

roasted cauliflower and chickpeas

Work was so busy that I didn’t get to eat lunch until 4 o’clock! Sadly I had to eat at my desk but luckily, I had a super healthy, satisfying, home-cooked meal. I made this recipe: roasted cauliflower with sriracha-roasted chick peas and pickled mustard seeds. Except I loaded it all onto a pile of quinoa and also, I accidentally doubled the sugar in the pickled mustard seed recipe, so it turned into candied mustard seed! I know it sounds a little odd but it was probably the best cooking mistake I’ve ever made. The mustard seeds are soft and cooked down, and the spice from the seeds pairs well with the sugar (it also cooked with vinegar, so that helped balance it out a bit).

roasted cauliflower & chick peas with quinoa

This is my lunch all mixed up; I also drizzled a little tahini on it (instead of the recommended Greek yogurt) and it was so good! I am definitely making this again.

lentil cakes

I didn’t leave work until 7:30 PM and made dinner shortly after getting home. Kiyo and I made lentil cakes from a recipe in the book Eat Ink this weekend (full book review and recipe to come next week). We pan-fried some up and ate them with coriander aioli (we cheated a bit on this and mixed mayonnaise with lemon juice and spices, instead of making the mayo from scratch. We’ve tried that before and have never been successful). Made with red wine, bacon, onion, shallots and carrots, these patties are AMAZING. You’ll definitely want to check back for the recipe.

molasses cookie & milk

Confession: I had another cookie after dinner! But in my defense, that is a mini mug so the cookie isn’t quite as big as it looks. This time I had it with low-fat milk, which was just the perfect combination. How can I resist when there are about 25 of them lying around? Between the honey in my smoothie, the candied mustard seeds, stevia in my coffee and two cookies, I definitely went a bit overboard on the sugar yesterday. However, I was happy to get in a good variety of vegetables, protein and whole grains, so that was good. I’m taking an online nutrition class so I’m definitely more aware of my eating habits since starting that. Maybe next week I’ll post a more comprehensive food log, using a food tracker.

I wanted to go for a run last night but sadly a) I can’t find my Bose sport ear buds! So sad! and b) it’s super snowy and cold and slushy out right now in NYC, which makes me really want to stay inside.

Total estimated calories: 1800

What did you eat today? 

Dinner at Junoon, New York

dinner at Junoon New York

Tonight Kiyo is taking me out for a belated birthday dinner (the restaurant is a surprise!) so I thought I would share another fancy New York dinner we’ve enjoyed together. We had heard great things about the Indian restaurant Junoon in Chelsea, so when we saw a deal for it on Groupon we bought it right away.


Unfortunately, I believe this was now over a year ago so I can’t quite remember the details; however, I do remember that it is a huge place, and would be great to bring a large group for a nice dinner. The decor is very dramatic and Indian-inspired, of course, with modern flare. The lighting is very low and accentuated with candles. We sat on a low couch and cushions and enjoyed our meal on a coffee table, which was fun and unique. Even though the place was obviously refined, the setting gave it a more relaxed vibe and it wasn’t stuffy at all.


Two things I remember that I absolutely loved were this cauliflower appetizer and the pickled onions (in the top picture). The cauliflower was so smoked and meaty it didn’t even seem vegetarian. The sauce was spicy and tangy and I would love to eat this again.


The food came out thoughtfully plated and expertly prepared, and was very traditional in terms of flavor and actual dishes, while a bit more modern in execution and presentation.

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The County General, Toronto

Cocktails at the County General Toronto

As I said in my 2013 recap post, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. However, about a week into this new year I did end up making one: stop spending so much money! I know that sounds detrimental to the blog and all you dear devoted readers, but don’t worry, I visited enough restaurants and markets in 2013 to sustain the blog with ample posts until I finally crack and decide my life can’t go on without a visit to another wonderful restaurant.

Buns at County General Toronto

During our Thanksgiving trip to Toronto, Kiyo and I grabbed dinner one night at The County General, a trendy little place that was dark and warm and jolly, perfect for the frigid Fall evening. We were famished after a day of walking nonstop, so we immediately ordered some “bites:” Kiyo had the pork bun (pork belly, teriyaki, radish, pickled Serrano) and I had the “Little Big Mac:” pork belly, dressing, lettuce and a slice of American cheese. These look big because of the camera angle but they were slider-size. The super-soft buns and fatty meat were great to instantly quell our hunger. Pork belly is a little too fatty for me though, so I had to cut some off the meat to finish the sandwich.

Country General Toronto

We also ordered the heirloom beet and radish salad because those are two of my favorite vegetables and I thought we needed to balance out all the sandwiches. It was made with Namprik (spicy Thai chili sauce), ricotta and chives. Although it had maybe just a bit more ricotta than necessary, this was a fantastic salad. The flavor and texture combinations were superb and it was simultaneously light and filling.

photo 4

To finish it all off, we shared one of their most popular main items: the fried chicken thigh sandwich, with buttermilk chicken, avocado chutney, coriander and pickled red onion on a milk bun. The fries were great and the ketchup was homemade, which I usually like, but this version was too much like pasta sauce for my taste (Kiyo enjoyed it though).

County General Bar Toronto

With delicious and unique cocktails (pricey, but when you’re drinking a trendy alcoholic beverage, it always is), a friendly staff, and hearty comfort food with a twist, this is definitely a place I would return. They just underwent some renovations Monday-yesterday, but should be up and running again. I’m not sure what they changed, exactly, so if anyone visits please report back!

The County General

Open: Monday – Friday 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Address: 936 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G9, Canada Phone:+1 416-531-4447

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