Pirate’s Booty Mac & Cheese, Astoria

Pirate's Booty Mac & Cheese with chimi butter

It turns out that yesterday was “National Mac & Cheese Day,” so I missed the [pirate] boat by just a bit on this post. Pirate’s Booty (makers of the beloved baked rice and corn puffs) now makes macaroni & cheese! The brand’s products are all “free from fryers and ingredients you can’t pronounce, Arrr.”

Pirate’s Booty Mac & Cheese products are all made with organic pasta, no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, and available in four varieties:

  1. Shells & Cheese Aged White Cheddar (shell-shaped pasta)
  2. Mac & Cheese Aged White Cheddar (traditional elbow pasta)
  3. Mac & Cheese Mild Cheddar (traditional elbow pasta)
  4. Anchors & Cheese Aged White Cheddar (pirate-themed shaped pasta)

Pirate's Booty Mac & Cheese with chimi butter

Above are the anchors, which I made with ChimiButter (instead of the recommended milk and butter) and peas. The ChimiButter is made with some spices, which elevated this boxed mac & cheese and really made it special! I could have eaten the whole box like this.

The mild cheddar, elbow-pasta (in the first picture above) tasted nothing like Kraft, even though it looks similar, and that’s a good thing. Kraft has an artificial, almost plastic taste, and a strange aftertaste (to me, at least!) but this Pirate’s Booty version tasted more real and authentic to cheddar cheese, even though the “cheese” comes in a powder form in the box.

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The anchor pasta was adorable and would be such a cute meal for kids, especially at a pirate-themed party! It’s difficult for me to explain, but perhaps since this wasn’t the usual shape for pasta associated with mac & cheese, it was really satisfying to eat.

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Hattie’s Chicken Shack, Saratoga Springs

Hattie's Chicken Shack kid's meal

Since it’s right off the freeway exit (15) coming into Saratoga Springs from NYC, Kiyo and I have unintentionally made it a tradition to stop for food at Hattie’s Chicken Shack before we make it into town proper. A smaller, almost “fast food” outpost of Hattie’s™ historic restaurant downtown, which has been in operation since 1938, this “shack” serves the famous Southern fried chicken the restaurant became known for.

Hattie's Kids Meal

They also serve wonderful sides (such as the above cabbage and carrot coleslaw), but you obviously have to order the fried chicken (they also make a gluten-free version, which is awesome!). I like to order the “chicken littles,” a kid’s meal that is only $5.50. The all white meat chicken fingers are served with Buttermilk ranch dressing and it’s absolutely delicious. It’s also a huge portion. If you’re looking to indulge but with real, good food, this place is a must-visit.

Hattie’s Chicken Shack

Location: 3057 Route 50 (Wilton Plaza), Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Phone: (518) 226-0000

Hattie's Chicken Shack on Urbanspoon

The “What I Ate Wednesday” That Never Was [Part III]

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Breakfast: overnight oats are just so delicious if you keep them interesting with lots of different add-ins. Here I used almond milk, a banana, unsweetened coconut flakes and dried (sweetened) cranberries.

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Breakfast: I am a HUGE fan of leftovers, and can even happily eat them for breakfast, like I did with this leftover Indian food and a coconut lentil curry I made at home. My curry was made with just onion, carrots, parsnips and bamboo shoots, simmered in coconut milk and curry powder (along with a couple other spices like cumin and turmeric). I cooked the lentils in my rice cooker with some vegetable stock and mixed that in later. The Indian takeout was saag panner (cheese cooked in a spinach mixture) and chicken tikka masala, a rich and creamy tomato sauce. Over leftover basmati rice, this was a super filling and flavorful breakfast that kept me full until late in the afternoon.

MP Taverna lunch WIAW

Lunch: My friend Jess (a Registered Dietitian who I actually met through WordPress!) and I went to yoga one day and then ate lunch at MP Taverna. It was delicious! I had “Grandma’s” Greek meatballs (served with lemon, pita and tzatziki) and the “MP salad,” a winning combination of lettuce, cucumber, tomato, kalamata olives, onion, feta, and peppers. I had to take half of this home, and it was great for lunch again the next day.

WIAW Shake Shack hot dog

Lunch: I found myself near Shake Shack in the late afternoon one day and since I hadn’t had lunch yet, I decided to try their famous Chicago dog (did you know that Shake Shack started as a hot-dog-cart?). It was good but a bit hard to eat with all the toppings, which made the bottom of the bun a bit soggy. I liked it but their burgers are just so good, I found myself wishing I’d ordered a burger instead.

Lo juice with aloe

Snack: I’ve been drinking a quarter cup (about 2 fluid oz.) of aloe juice daily. Here I had it with water and pomegranate juice made by LO Fruit Beverage. These beverages are Kosher, vegan, gluten-free (duh) and low on the glycemic index; one 10-oz serving of LO has roughly the same amount of calories (35 – 45), carbs (8 – 11 grams), and sugars (7 – 10 grams) as found in one whole fruit. The flavor is surprisingly strong considering that it’s basically watered down juice, and I actually prefer this watered down version than regular juice, which I find is often sickeningly sweet, even when it doesn’t contain added sugars. It has a unique aftertaste that reminds me of kombucha, or another sparkling beverage, although it’s not sparkling. I’ve tried out a couple other flavors so far and am enjoying them as a juice substitute.

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What I Ate Wednesday: Astoria & New York

WIAW breakfasts & snacks

On Monday this week I had a long, but good day. Most of it I spent packing; which means I guess this is a good time to let you all know that in exactly a week, I’m leaving NYC and heading to Connecticut, to live with my friend Maggie for a month and complete yoga teacher training in Rhode Island! After that, I’m not coming back to New York, which is even bigger news, but I’ll dive into that in more detail another day. Right now, I’m just so excited and ready to leave, and of course really busy trying to wrap up a bunch of stuff before I go.

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Breakfast: I made a small but filling smoothie with half a cup of vanilla almond milk, half a frozen banana and a heaping tablespoon of Amoretti’s Graham Cracker Cookie Spread, which I just discovered and is so good! These flavors combined perfectly and the texture made it more like a milkshake. This was like dessert for breakfast, but only about 300 calories and 15 grams of sugar (women should have no more than 25 grams per day).

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Snack #1: Before running out for my 75-minute vinyasa yoga class, I snacked on a handful of cherries.

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Lunch: After yoga I was starving, so I ate a quarter of a large Florida avocado (about half of what’s pictured) with balsamic vinegar, a tiny little bit of olive oil, and some spices (cumin, garlic salt, black pepper). This was my first time trying Florida avocado, and I have to say, they’re not as good as the Hass variety. These have less fat, so they’re more watery and less flavorful. Maybe I would use them for a low-calorie guacamole, but otherwise I’m sticking to the Hass next time.

I also heated up some whole wheat pasta leftovers. I’d cooked down an onion and butternut squash in ChimiButter, an herbed butter made with 100% Organic rBGH-Free Butter and Samba Flavor’s Chimichurri blend of herbs and spices. Using this super flavorful butter basically allows you to skip the part where you have to choose spices that go together, because the spices are already in the butter. I’ve used it on a bunch of different things; a full post on this to come! I added shredded mozzarella and cheddar to the buttery onions and squash, and then threw in the pasta. Topped with parmesan cheese, it was delicious.

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Snack #2: After some more packing I took a break for dandelion root tea and unsweetened hibiscus iced tea with lemon, that I’d brewed at home.

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What I Ate Wednesday: Astoria

grandma's seven layer bar

iced coffee at home

Breakfast: Kiyo and I brought back an entire bag of goodies after our trip to Minneapolis, including Grandma’s seven-layer bars. They’re meant as a dessert (made with graham cracker crumbs, condensed milk, walnuts, shredded coconut and butterscotch and chocolate chips) but I had one for breakfast last week, accompanied by a cup of iced coffee with almond milk. Yum!

yoga in Public Myth leggings

Aloha green juice

Snack: I followed my one-hour vinyasa yoga class with an Aloha green juice packet, mixed with some Ultima electrolyte replenisher.

Museum of the Moving Image selfie on my run

cheese roll with olives WIAW

Lunch: I went for a quick run and it was so hot out that I was literally dripping sweat, even just after 1.5 miles! (The selfie is taken outside the really cool Museum of the Moving Image.) Afterwards I heated up a cheese roll that Kiyo and I made with my cousin at Grandma’s house (we carried a whole bag of them back, frozen). I ate it with two garlic-stuffed olives and it was delicious, the first savory items I ate all day so I was really ready for something not-sweet by that point.

banana NYC

frosted mini wheats

Snack: I had to go babysit and was a little hungry again, so I ate a banana on the way. When I got there I had five pieces of Frosted Mini-Wheats.

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