Health, Hedonism & All the Delicious Things In Between
Category Archives: The Balanced Diet
The poke bowl obsession hit me pretty early into my LA trip. While usually all I can think about are tacos and SugarFish when I’m on the West Coast, a little shop in Santa Monica won my heart and stomach, and would not let me go until I had tried every single one of their condiments. Alright, so that last part was self-imposed and was by no means a result of the pushy staff at Sweetfin Poke, though they were all fabulous people who showed no judgment when I ordered my salmon poke bowl with three out of five sauces on the side. For those of you whom I lost at tacos, here’s the deal. Poke is a Hawaiian specialty that’s a combination of diced raw fish and various Japanese-influenced seasonings. Really, it’s not all that different from a tartare. In bowl … Continue reading
I used to have a serious chicken tikka masala addiction. But it’s one of those dishes that once I learned the recipe (i.e. how much heavy cream went into that luscious tomato sauce) I couldn’t quite carry on life as usual, ignoring the likely cause of all those post tikka tummy aches. So I’ve taken to making my own bastardized version at home. The tweaks are easy, healthy, and would probably make your Indian grandmother wag her Sari in disapproval. But the end result hits all the notes a spicy comfort food should with half the effort and agony.
As I mentioned in my newsletter, a case of the stomach flu left me in a very unromantic state this weekend. Which meant poor Charlie was left no choice but to stay indoors eating this leftover healthy mac and cheese while I sipped bone broth and whimpered from the cold tiles of the bathroom floor. But despite this blip that left me off solid foods for a few days, what I’ve been craving lately is cheese. Warm. Gooey. Glorious cheese. Healthy? No. But necessary in frost-bitten February? In the words of the fictional Fargo-natives that Charlie and I binged on this weekend: you betcha.
One of the most enjoyable memories I have from writing my first cookbook was the research that went into the “Dating and Food” section. I interviewed a bunch of my guy friends to find out what they’d cooked for their dates in the past, and, if nothing, what they might cook for them in the future as a Utopian romantic meal. Their responses? Seared tuna, crusted salmon, and salads. Basically, your stereotypical white girl food. At the time, I was an omnivore. So my love of carbs and bacon, coupled with the feminist instincts of a self-righteous twenty-three-year-old, left me with only one conclusion: men are idiots.
One of the fun things about teaching is that it often reintroduces me to my own long-forgotten creations. And if it hadn’t been for my class at the Institute of Culinary Education in September, the inspiration for this Thai pumpkin curry recipe would have never meandered into my stomach. A few weeks ago I had the OMG honor of meeting Gretchen Rubin, one of my personal wellness heroes and the original gangster of happiness who inspired my project. When I got home from her talk, I paged back through her latest book about finding better ways to arm wrestle our habits into submission.
I know that it’s a beyond cliché thing to say the second week of September, but seriously, where the eff did the summer go? As many of you know, summer to me is the precious time I get to spend on Martha’s Vineyard. I got two good chunks in July and August, including Labor Day weekend. But somehow I managed to miss a lot of my greatest hit traditions. There was no Minemsha sunset. No bike ride to Art Cliff Diner. And most indicative of the comings and goings of the seasons, no Portuguese kale soup.
Though I eat vegan a lot of the time, thanks to my experiment with VB6 back in March, until recently, the world of meat substitutes was largely foreign to me. During rare and coveted pilgrimages to Whole Foods in college, I used to buy boxes of microwavable soy nuggets, which would mysteriously vanish from my side of the freezer after my housemates had a particularly wild night, much to my lunchtime h-anger the next day. But as a flexitarian who sometimes indulges in the real thing, a dish like vegan tuna salad never held much appeal. Partly because of my recent work with Gardein, a plant-based frozen foods company whose products taste wonderfully and scarily like actual carnivorous favorites (i.e. much better than those long forgotten soy nuggets), I’ve begun experimenting a little more with vegan alternatives. So when I … Continue reading
As I mentioned a few weeks ago in the newsletter, Charlie and I are officially shacking up for a few months. The cohabitation experiment will continue beyond that (assuming we don’t kill each other!), but in a much bigger space than my 400 square foot studio. Moving in general is one of the more stressful activities that life throws at us, even when the destination is full of excitement. And even when said move just means dehoarding your cabinets and closet to make room for another human’s wardrobe.