Thursday, April 28, 2011

April Favorites from Around the Web

Once I started my blog, I naturally started to read more blogs as part of my learning process.  To top that off, once I made up my mind to join Foodbuzz, I met a whole slew of new bloggers and got to see what they were cooking up as well.  It seems that I have dozens of recipes bookmarked from all these great sites.  So many great dishes and so little time... 

Perhaps it would be easier if I didn't live by myself, since when I make a recipe it lasts for several meals for me...  Here are some of the recipes I tried out this month!  Hope you will try them out as well, I'll share any additional tips that I have as well.   

First up is Tori Soboro Donburi, from Nami at Just One Cookbook.  I had decided to make this for my boyfriend as a nice bento lunch, since he had to go into work on a Saturday.  I knew for sure he would love it, plus I had all the ingredients at home already.  But I wasn't too sure how much I would like it cause 1. I have a weird thing about eating loose ground meat and 2. I wondered if it would be too sweet for my taste.

I worried for nothing because this dish was so yummy.  I didn't mind the loose meat at all since each bit was packed with rice and the ginger in the chicken seasoning complemented the sweetness in the sauce perfectly.  I had sprinkled some furikake on as well and the bites of salty sweet with the sweet tamago was excellent as well.  The best thing about this dish is that it's so quick and easy and it comes together so nicely.  Check out Just One Cookbook for more great Japanese recipes.   

The next recipe I tried this month was Bananakies (Banana Chocolate Oat Cookies), this recipe was perfect since it used a up a lot of half packages of things I already had in my kitchen.  (Don't you loooove when that happens?)  It didn't hurt that each cookie is only 45 calories and only 6.3g of carbs.  When I took these out of the oven I was worried they weren't cook through since they maintained the shape of my cookie scoop and didn't spread out.  One bite told me that I didn't need to worry at all.  I want to try these cookies with some added protein powder or maybe some peanut butter.  Definitely making these again- its a great way to use up those bananas that look a little past their prime.

Savory Chicken Spinach and Cheese Crepe
I had also been eyeing Suzanna's from Firefly Blog's Crepe recipes.  I debated back and forth, they looked so decadent but I was trying to be good about my healthy eating.  The answer finally came to me, I would make a half recipe and I would use them to make both savory and sweet crepes!  My first crepe was a total fail since I used too much batter.  But by the second one I got the hang of it!  For my savory crepe I filled it with some grilled chicken, spinach and a Laughing Cow Cheese wedge and paired it with a nice salad.  The perfect light lunch for a spring day! 

Not going to lie, I also made a sweet crepe.  For this I filled it with sliced Strawberries, Bananas lightly drizzled with Nutella.  Thanks Suzanna for the easy recipe!  Crepes were intimidating to me and now I know they are do-able.  One step closer to my goal of making that crazy crepe layer cake by the end of the year. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Omurice (Ketchup Rice)

At the high school I went to in Hawaii, most people brought home lunch.  I'm not really sure why, in fact I don't think I ever ate a hot lunch from the Cafeteria during my entire stay there.  (Though I did eat a lot of pizza and chicken fingers from the Snack Bar...)  My best friend always had the best lunches.  Her mom had moved to Hawaii from Japan and so every day my best friend and her brother had the best bento lunches!  I always looked over in envy and wanted to switch my turkey sandwich and chips for her lunch.  My best friend must have told her mom, since every once in a while she would pack a bento for me too! 

One of my best friends favorites, that I often stole a bite of, was Ketchup rice, or Omurice.  This dish is basically a spin on fried rice and combines it in an omelet.  According to Wikipedia, the traditional Omurice is made with a chicken ketchup rice, but this recipe is the way I remember my best friends mom making it. 
Ketchup Rice
from my best friends mom

2 cups day old rice
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. ketchup
6 slices Canadian bacon/bacon/ham (approximately 100g)
Tabasco (optional)
4 eggs
1 tbsp. milk

1.  Dice the onion, green bell pepper and Canadian bacon into even sized pieces. 

2.  Heat skillet and pour 1 Tbsp. olive oil into pan.  Cook the Canadian bacon, onion and green bell pepper until onion and bell pepper soften.  Season with salt and pepper. 
3.  Add in the 2 Tbsp. of ketchup and mix well.  Pour rice into the skillet and mix well until rice is evenly coated with the ketchup mixture.  *If you like it spicy add in a couple dashes of Tabasco*  

4.  Cook until mixture is evenly heated and remove from heat.  *You can eat the ketchup rice just like this or you can wrap it in an omelet*

1.  Crack eggs into a bowl and add in milk.  Quickly beat the eggs with a fork.  *I typically use 1.5 -2 eggs per omelet*

2.  Preheat a small skillet and spray with cooking spray.  Pour egg mixture into hot pan and quickly push eggs around in the pan for 30 seconds.

3.  Run chopsticks around the perimeter of the pan and swirl egg mixture to spread evenly throughout the pan.  Repeat as many times as necessary.  Once egg is 90% set, spoon the ketchup rice down the middle of the omelet. 
4.  Flip one side of the omelet over the ketchup rice and roll the omelet onto the plate.  With a paper towel quickly shape the omelet (tuck edges under so it is nicely rolled around the ketchup rice). 

5.  Drizzle with ketchup or Siracha!

Technorati Tags: ,,

Friday, April 22, 2011

Protein Acai Bowl

Acai Bowls are one of my most favorite breakfast treats or afternoon snacks.  If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know I am obsessed with Acai Bowls.  By now I'm sure you have heard of Acai and it's wonderful health benefits.  This fruit which hails from Brazil, has gained a lot of popularity in the past several years.  During one of my trips home to Hawaii it seemed that the Acai Bowl had swept the island and this delicious treat was available everywhere.  One bite and I fell in love!  To the simple eye it might look like a simple parfait, but somehow it's so much more than that. 

One of my favorite places to get an Acai Bowl when I am home is at Blue Hawaii in Ala Moana Shopping Center.  I have yet to find an Acai Bowl as delicious as any that I've had in Hawaii, in a pinch I will go to Robeks or Jamba Juice to quench my Acai cravings.  That was until I discovered these Acai packets at Whole Foods and could make my own!  I've been playing around with adding Protein Powder into the mix and I love the results.  This is a breakfast that will keep you full till lunch. 
Acai Bowl at Blue Hawaii
Protein Acai Bowl

1/2 of an Acai Smoothie Pack
6 oz Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze (Or any other liquid you want to substitue)
1 scoop Banana/Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
1 cup frozen berries (I used strawberry and blueberry mix)
1 Tbsp Flaxseeds
Fresh Fruit (Sliced Banana, Strawberries, blueberries, etc)

1.  Run Acai smoothie pack under water for a couple of seconds.  Snap frozen pack in half, cut open and place half into blender. 

2.  Fill blender with almond milk, protein powder and berries and blend until a smooth consistency.  *You can add more liquid if you would like to turn this into a smoothie*

This pic has sliced banana's but I actually like it better without when adding Protein Powder
3.  Pour mixture into a bowl.  Top with a couple handfuls of granola, sliced bananas and berries.  *At this point if you wanted to add in additional nutrients like green tea powder, spriulina, noni juice, flaxseeds, etc layer it on to the Acai mixture* 
4.  Drizzle honey over entire mixture.  *The better the honey you have, the more awesome it tastes!  In Hawaii one of my favorite places uses locally grown Lehua Honey which kicks it up a notch*
The combinations for this are endless.  Yesterday I added some spinach into my Acai mixture and squeezed some lime over the mixture to give it some added freshness and tang.  Hope you give this a try, Acai Bowls are the new parfait!!  I really hope this gets more popular in LA, cause I would love to find a place like Blue Hawaii up here, for when I'm out and about.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pumpkin Coconut Crunch Granola

Warm weather fun is just around the corner...  One of my favorite breakfasts on the go is yogurt and granola!  There are tons of granola recipes all over the web.  But one day I stumbled upon the recipe from A Couple Cooks, and they had broken granola down to a mathematical formula.  This was perfect!  It would allow me to create MY favorite mix of elements than trying to combine various recipes.  I had wanted to re-create my seasonal favorite Trader Joe's pumpkin granola but add a few touches to it as well.

For me a good granola is one that has lots of crispy crunchies.  In fact the Trader Joe's one that I love has large corn puffs mixed in with the oats.  The second element that I like is really chewy raisins or other fruit.  Some recipes like to add those in after baking, but I like them to shrivel in the oven more and bake in extra goodness.  I also tried to add in some Flax Seeds, since they are a great source of Omega 3's as well as provide you with a lot of antioxidants. 

Pumpkin Coconut Crunch Granola
loosely adapted from A Couple Cooks

2 cups Corn Pops
4 cups Oats
1 1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup flaxseeds
1 cup shredded coconut
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin butter
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup dried fruit (raisin, craisins, dried raspberries, etc)

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  In a large bowl mix all of the dried ingredients except the coconut and mix till evenly dispersed. 
2.  In a separate bowl mix vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt, honey and pumpkin butter.  Spoon wet mixture over dry ingredients and mix until evenly coated. 
3.  Spread onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes till golden brown.  Stir mixture every 15 minutes, lowering oven temperature if the mixture is browning too quickly.  Add the coconut in during the last 15 minutes. 
4.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Store in air tight container.

Sometimes I munch on this plain with some Almond milk, but I love it with yogurt or on an Acai Bowl!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies

These are the cookies that I made for the Bakesale for Japan fundraiser last month.  My friend MC and I had each donated 100 cookies each and I donated some Chi Chi Dango as well!  The bakesale was an awesome event to participate in and I'm so happy that I had the chance to contribute.  I believe the Los Angeles locations raised over $15,000 and nation wide somewhere around $125,000.  MC and I of course also picked up several of the great looking baked goods for ourselves and our boyfriends.  Plus didn't you know that baked goods that are bought for a good cause have No Calories? 

Done!  At 1am the night before the bakesale...
Anyways for the bakesale I had decided to make a cookie that my mom is well known for, Macadamia Nut Shortbread cookies.  I liked this recipe since it makes a lot of cookies, and since it was a refrigerator cookie dough, so I could bake them at my convenience. 

Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies 
from my mom

6 sticks butter (my mom sometimes does half margarine and half butter)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 T. vanilla
5 and 3/4 cups flour
1 and 1/2 cups chopped macadamia nuts

1.  In a bowl cream together butter and sugar.  *Be sure to use butter that is room temperature, or be sure to cream butter really well.  If not you may end up with a cookie that spreads too much or has holes in it!*
2.  Slowly mix in vanilla, flour and macadamia nuts, making sure nuts and flour are well mixed.

3.  Divide dough and form into 4-5 logs and wrap logs in wax paper or saran wrap.  Refrigerate for 2-3 hours (or overnight).  *Chilling for a shorter time will cause the cookies to spread out and not maintain its shape*

4.  Once ready, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Slice off 1/4 inch thick slices.  *Your knife should cut easily through the dough and create solid discs.  If it does not refrigerate longer*
5.  Bake 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until edges are a light golden brown. 

These cookies are great.  I've played around with them and added in matcha powder, mini chocolate chips and even drizzled chocolate over the tops.  Ooh it probably would be awesome dipped halfway in caramel and then in chocolate.  Mmm pure decadence.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dark Chocolate Caramel Glazed Cake Donuts

I'm a busy girl.  Between working, dancing, working out, cooking, doing the blog and hanging out with friends I'm not ashamed to say that I will often use cake mix from a box when I am in a rush.  As much as we all love cakes made from scratch sometimes we just don't have the time.  The secret to making the box cake mix work for you is a simple concept, Add Ins.  Anything from a flavored extract, spices, nuts, chocolate chips or fruit can transform your boring cake mix into something delish. 

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Donut
I had wanted to create a quicky way to create some baked donuts.  One of my favorite cake mix flavors is Dark Chocolate.  I've used this in the past to create a spicy chocolate cupcake with salted caramel frosting and it was a hit.  I basically altered the liquid porportions so that I could create a rich dense donut and added some nutmeg in to give it that chocolate donut taste. 

Chocolate Cake Donuts with Caramel Glaze

1 box Dark Chocolate Cake Mix
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4 eggs
1/2-3/4 cups Kraft caramel bits
1/3 cup milk

Yields approximately 18 large donuts (I used the mini donut pan and the large one and got 12 large and 12 mini)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl mix cake mix, milk, oil, nutmeg and eggs until well combined.  *The result will be a super thick batter*

2.  Lightly butter and flour your Donut pan.  Pour batter into a ziploc bag, snip off the end and pipe batter into the donut pan.  Fill them up about half way since they will plump up in the oven.  *I was over zealous with the mini pan and got mutant mini donuts*

3.  Place pan in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.  Test for doneness and flip donuts out on cooling rack. 

1.  Place caramel bits into a bowl with 1/3 cup milk and microwave for 20 second intervals, stirring until caramel is melted.  *The thicker you want the caramel, the less milk you should add in.  Keep in mind that the caramel sets into the donut as it sits.  You can add in the milk as you microwave the caramel to have better control of the thickness.*

Take donuts and dip one side down in the caramel and add any additional toppings.  For this batch I did several; coconut, chopped peanuts, salt and mini chocolate chips. 

Try this ASAP!  These donuts are so cute and they are healthier than their fried versions and to me tasted just as good the Old Fashion donut from Krispy Kreme. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Macadamia Nut Lilikoi Ice Box Pie

Lilikoi, or passion fruit is one of the flavors that I closely associate with growing up in Hawaii.  It's the perfect tangy, sweet and fruity flavor.  The last time I was home I stocked up on locally made lilikoi butters and jellies so I could enjoy them up on the mainland.  I decided to make an old school Hawaii desert, a no bake ice box pie!  This desert comes together in a snap and may even convert the passion fruit hater into a passion fruit lover. 

Macadamia Nut Lilikoi Ice Box Pie
1 cup macadamia nuts, measured then chopped
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese (I used low fat)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 (14 oz) container of Cool Whip (or two 8oz containers)
1/2 cup - 3/4 cup lilikoi butter
1/2 cup lilikoi jelly

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 pan.   In a bowl combine flour, butter, sugar, chopped macadamia nuts and a pinch of salt until crumbly.  *Make sure you crumble to small pieces or you will have holes in your crust as the butter melts!*
2.  Press mixture into pan and bake for 20 minutes. 

3.  Let cool.  Mix jelly in a bowl to make it spreadable.  Spread a thin layer of lilikoi jam over the crust. 

1.  In a bowl combine softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla.  Beat or mix until well combined. 
2.  Fold in 8 oz of Cool Whip into the mixture.  Spread the mixture over the cooled jam covered crust.  Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator to set.

1.  Spread a thin layer of Lilikoi butter of the cream cheese mixture.  *The lilikoi butter I bought was rich in taste and had a strong lilikoi taste so I didn't layer it on too thick, if yours is not as strong, feel free to make a thicker layer.*

2.  Cover the lilikoi butter with a layer of Cool Whip with chopped mac nuts.

Sorry I didn't take a picture of it sliced, but it comes together really nice.  I took this over to my friends house for a lunch gathering and we all ate several pieces!

Friday, April 8, 2011

AB&J Grilled Cheese

Did you know that April is Grilled Cheese month?!  Grilled cheese is actually probably one of my most favorite foods in the world.  You know that question, "If you could eat only one things for the rest of your life what would it be?"  Every time I will answer grilled cheese.  In honor of that I thought I would try to recreate one of the best Grilled Cheese sandwiches I had when I was visiting Chicago at Hopleaf.  This sandwich uses Morbier cheese which is a yummy semi soft cows cheese that has a thin layer of ash running through the middle of it.  It's a rich and creamy cheese that pairs so well in this sandwich. 

This sandwich is so simple, yet puts together an awesome combination of salty, sweet and savory.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

AB&J Grilled Cheese
inspired by Hopleaf

2 slices wheat sourdough bread
Almond butter with sea salt
Fig jam
Morbier Cheese
Light Mayonnaise

1.  Heat skillet on medium high heat.  Spread a light layer of mayonnaise on one side of both sides of bread. 
2.  Grab one slice of bread and on the side without mayonnaise, spread a layer of fig jam and then spread a layer of almond butter over the jam.
3.  Slice your Morbier cheese and layer over the almond butter and fig jam.  Place the second slice of bread on top mayo side up and place in skilliet. 
4.  Cook until each side turns golden brown and crispy. 

Happy Grilled Cheese Month!  Hope you enjoy.  I've also started a twitter account so you can follow me here as well as on Facebook

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Momofuku, Made Skinny

I finally got to go to the Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York.  I had seen the pictures, read other bloggers reviews and heard my own friends talk about everything from the pork buns to the cookies and crack pie.  On one of her last visits to LA, A had trekked down to Momofuku and bought a bunch of the cookies for us to try.  *Love her!*  Pre-blogging days I had even made the copycat Marshmallow Cornflake cookie. 

Once we got seated we quickly ordered a couple orders of the Pork Buns.  It was love in a bun!
Hello lover...
We also tried the grilled rice cake, David Chang's take on a classic Korean dish.

For our mains a couple of us ordered the Momofuku Ramen and A ordered the Ginger Scallion noodles.  Of course I sampled some hers as well.  During dinner A shared that the recipe was super easy to make!

Yes, more pork belly
Of course I made the Ginger Scallion Noodles as soon as I came home!  I made some slight changes (which I've italicized). 

Ginger Scallion Sauce
from Momofuku

Makes about 3 cups

Mix together the ingredients below.  Taste and check for salt, adding more if needed. Let the sauce sit for 20 minutes so that flavors absorb.

2½ cups thinly sliced scallions (greens and whites; from 1 to 2 large bunches) Japanese Garlic Scallions
½ cup finely minced peeled fresh ginger
¼ cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
1½ teaspoons soy sauce,
¾ teaspoon sherry vinegar Rice Wine Vinegar
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste

As you are letting the sauce set, you can prep your noodles and quickly pickle some cucumbers.

Pickled Cucumbers
1 Japanese Cucumber
1 Tbsp Salt
2 Tbsp Sugar

Thinly slice cucumbers and sprinkle salt and sugar and mix well so that they are evenly coated.  Let sit for 20 minutes and taste.  If it is too sweet you can give them a quick rinse. 

For the noodles, you can use any type of noodle!  I decided to try it two different ways,  First with some fresh Yakisoba noodles and a lighter option with Pasta Slims Shirataki noodles! 
Prepare noodles as directed on the package.  To serve, spoon 3 large spoonfuls of the Ginger Scallion sauce over each serving of the noodles and mix well.  I added some additional soy sauce and a sprinkling of salt and Schichimi.  Add any additional toppings like veggies, chicken, boiled egg that you have on hand. 

And the lighter version on the spinach Pasta Slims, which clocks in under 100 calories per serving with all the toppings. 

The verdict?  The ginger scallion sauce is great over both noodles.  The sauce is powerful enough to pair well with the Pasta Slims.  If you have extra sauce you can also use this flavorful sauce on so many things.  Over hot rice, over eggs and my favorite over chicken!  It's very similar to the Chinese style Cold Ginger Chicken, I put it over some left over Rotisserie chicken that I had and it was so yummy.  My co-workers were even curious, since it looked delish!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Flavors of New York!

Last weekend I had the chance to go to New York and visit my friend A and her fiance!  It was a weekend full of laughs, walking (lots of walking for this LA girl), shopping for wedding dresses and of course some eating and drinking!  I put on my Reebok Easy Tones and was ready to explore the city!  
This wasn't my first trip to NY, so we didn't feel the need to do all the touristy stuff.  Being a bit of a foodie we did have a list of places to check out though.  Here are a few of my favs!  (Excuse the pics, I'm still getting used to the iphone!)

Norma's @Le Parker Meridian
Known for their $1000 omelet (caviar makes it so lush), A and I headed over there for brunch.  I always tend to go for savory and A tends to drift towards the sweet.  On the menu for us that morning was the Arepa for me and the waffle for A.  Totally yum and to make it even sweeter A had a Groupon for us to use!  Also a bit of trivia, this is where Nate and Juliet meet for breakfast in Gossip Girl!

Arepa:  Sweet masa with chorizo sausage, topped with an egg and some salsa.
Yummy Belgian style waffle with berries and fresh cream and orange liquor
Next on the list was Shake Shack, our friend K met up with us for this one.  As we were standing in line in the probably 40 degree weather, K turned to me and said, "I might even like Shake Shack better than In and Out..."  WHAT?!  That statement definitely piqued my interest and anticipation. 

Perfect crinkle cut fries and a cheese burger that pops into your head every couple days..

K might be right...  Shake Shack has definitely made an impression on me, so much so that I am taking my mom there when we go in May!  Unfortunately I didn't get to try their frozen custard, since A and K gave up deserts for Lent.  And even though we walked 5 miles that day, I didn't want indulge TOOO much.  Hopefully my mom will split one with me in May!

The next day we did some wedding dress shopping for A and as luck would have it we ended up in the part of town near the Protein Bakery!  I had been seeing these baked goods appear on blogs recently and it was recently featured in O magazine.  The guys there are so nice and helpful, I wish I had taken a picture with them!  I bought a bunch to bring back for the Brazilian and the trainer, since both of them love their sweets but like to have healthy treats.  All three of us LOVED the cookies and bars!  My favorite was the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Cherry cookie.  These would make an awesome gift for your health conscious friends with a sweet tooth! 
Healthier snack alternative made with Whey Protein!
Just down the street was the Limelight Marketplace, a cute collection of little shops and eateries!  Tucked inside was Grimaldi's Pizza, one NY's famous pizza places!  Also an excellent place for A and I to grab a quick lunch to share.  I wish we had more time, there was a cute wine bar upstairs at Limelight that we had wanted to check out as well. 

We did get a chance to get some drinks in at Reunion, a fun surf bar that is known for their house infused rums.  We let our bartender do the selecting and shared a fun tasting.  The winner of the night- the cinnamon raisin rum!  Also delish- the Seggae Punch and the Dark and Stormy!

 One of the places I had wanted to try was the gastropub Spotted Pig, I had heard it mentioned a lot, especially for their Gnudi!  We actually decided to check it out for brunch since that menu looked delish as well!
The wait was over an hour so we walked around the area to work up our appetite.  FYI- Magnolia Bakery is just down the street, though we didn't visit it that morning.  When we were finally called it was a savory sweet combo again. 
Dutch Baby with Bacon for A
Poached eggs and suckling pig hash for me

We of course also went to Momofuku, but I'll have more about that in another post... Sadly the "meat cone" alluded me this trip, but here are some other great places we checked out were:
  • Lani Kai - Awesome tropical drinks, nice atmosphere and the menu looked good too.  Try the Ginger Basil drink or Shiso leaf martini!
  • Lily O'Briens- Try their hot chocolate!  They even have a "Skinny Lily" which uses non fat milk and sugar free chocolate!
  • Elsewhere- You MUST try their fingerling potatoes with BACON butter! Their whole menu is actually yummy and they have a good wine selection.  We were able to get a Torrontes, one of my favorites from Argentina!
Salt Baked Potatoes with Bacon Butter and Anchovy Aioli
  • Jacques Torres- He is known for his chocolates and Chocolate Chip Cookies!  I bought a box of the cookie mix to see what the hype is about...
  • Garret's Popcorn- Yes, this is a Chicago thing- but did you know they were in NY too? 
Super fun weekend, great catching up with A and K!  Wish I could go out there more often to explore the city, but my jeans are probably thanking me that I don't.  After I got back from NY I was craving some big fresh salads to get myself back on track after a weekend of indulgence!