Thursday, August 25, 2011

Best NYC Breakfast Spots - Part 1

As a girl who can't wait for breakfast - when we decided to leave NYC, do you know what went to the top of my "bucket list"?  Restaurants.  Specifically ones that serve breakfast.  And... especially ones on my beloved Upper West Side.

Since I met alot of NYC-ers at HLS this past weekend, I thought a recap of my favorite breakfast spots in NYC was in order - so here they are (in no particular order :)....

1)  Peacefood Cafe
     460 Amsterdam Avenue
     New York, NY 10024
     (212) 362-2266

     Peacefood is my slice of heaven.  It is beautifully decorated and so relaxing.... I could sit in here all day.  My sister and I come here every week for breakfast.  You should to!  It is an all vegan cafe that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  They are well known for their outstanding pastries, baked goods, and desserts.  I have never had vegan pastries as good as Peacefood.  Period.

For breakfast - I like to order their CINNAMON ROLL!!!!!  Just make sure you come on the WEEKEND - since they are only baked then!  Otherwise I go with their muffin or gluten-free muffin of the day.  Today they were offering a raspberry and fig spelt muffin ---

Or a german chocolate cookie gluten free muffin ---

It tasted like CAKE!

As far as beverages go - I love the mocha breakfast smoothie which contains coffee, banana, cocoa powder, agave, and soymilk.  While my sister prefers the Iced Bull Dog - which is a vegan Frappuccino.

Downsides : they open at 10 am -- a little late for my taste.  Stick to their basked goods - there breakfast specials are nothing special (tofu scramble, granola, porridge).

2)  French Roast
     230 Broadway
     New York, NY 10024  
     (212) 799-1533

They are open 24 hours!  Milos and I recently went at 7 am and had the place to ourselves for a while before people started showing up.

This is a French bistro - so I like to go with the cafe au lait.  There is something about drinking coffee out of a bowl that makes me feel like I am in Paris!

Today I went with the almond croissant - but if you are hungry  - go with the croque madame.  The croque madame is the first thing you learn to order in French 101 - and your good reason!  It is delicious!  Toasted bread, ham, Gruyere cheese, bechamel sauce, and all grilled to perfection, with Dijon mustard on the side.  Oui, s'il vous plait!

 French Roast makes a wonderful option for those looking to dine al fresco as they have plenty of outdoor seating and get nice sunshine in the morning!

Look for the rest of my list coming soon!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Near East Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Quinoa Bowls with Chicken and Goat Cheese (AKA: swag = awesome)

Hey Everyone!

As many of you know, I am moving across the country next week! (AHHHHH!  So much to do!)  You know what that means?

I received this Near East (a Quaker brand) quinoa/brown rice blend from their booth at the Healthy Living Summit.  

When I was trying to throw dinner together last night with the remnants of our fridge - this package caught my eye as it could be the perfect thing to tie a lot of leftover ingredients together.  

I found a pre-cooked chicken breast in the freezer.... perfect, that is a great start!

When looking in the crisper drawer I found a few leftover green onions.... I love green onions in everything!

Then came the cheese drawer....yay! Two sprinkles of goat cheese left!  

Then came the final sweep of the back of the fridge (that scary place where all of the random ingredients end up..... woohoo! I found a handful of sun dried tomatoes.  

After cooking the Near East quinoa blend - which is super simple and fool-proof.  I added all of my mix-ins except the goat cheese, which I saved as a garnish for the top!  You know what it also wonderful about the Near East quinoa blend - besides serving as a delicious backdrop - it made TWO perfect servings.  Which is perfect for Milos and me!  

Milos inhaled his quinoa bowl in between packing up the electronics and his clothes.  The flavor of the spice packet you add to the quinoa was just the right amount of flavor and I really enjoyed the mix of different grains vs. straight brown rice or quinoa.  

I will definitely be making this again when we get settled in CA!

Near East Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Quinoa Bowls with Chicken and Goat Cheese
Servings: 2
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 25 min

1 box Near East Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Quinoa Blend, prepared according to package directions
1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes 
2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled

 Prepare Near East Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Quinoa according to package directions.  When the quinoa finishes cooking, stir in your mixins: chicken, green onion, and sundried tomatoes.  Divide among two bowls and sprinkle each bowl with 1 tablespoon goat cheese.  

***Thanks to Stepfanie Romine for her presentation of recipe writing at this year's HLS.  I am definitely using all of your tips!

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Love Bloggers

I have been lucky enough in my life to find two social groups that I completely fit in with:  Occupational Therapists and Healthy Living Bloggers.

Kath, Ashley, and I 

This weekend I got to the chance to meet alot of the bloggers that I follow on a daily basis at the 2011 Healthy Living Summit - it was so nice to find out that they are exactly like how they portray themselves on their blogs.  I also got to meet a whole bunch of new bloggers and can not wait to start visiting their blogs regularly!

Here are some of the highlights:

1)  Healthy Living Bloggers love to get up early and go running!  I ran with the 6 am crowd and competed a new PDR: 4.4 miles!  Thanks to Stephanie at Food and Fitness 4 Real  for keeping me at a good pace and not letting me stop!

Stephanie and Me 

 2)  All of the great tasting and healthy food!  I was extremely impressed by the Great Harvest bread on the sandwiches and don't know if I can go back to my Orowheat sandwich break again!  When we move back to CA - the closest Great Harvest will be in Pasadena - so it will have to be a once in a while treat!

3)  My sister came to sight see on Sunday.  I owe her for listening to me talk about blogging related things the entire time!  Here she is with a vegan Philly cheese steak - yes it had neither steak nor cheese, but was pretty darn tasty!

 4)  Experiencing all of Philadelphia's wonderful sites - including the "Rocky Steps" (actually the Philly art museum) and the LOVE sign!  I loved all of the historical sites as well such as the Liberty Bell and Constitution Hall.

5) Meeting all the bloggers I follow - such as Tina from Carrots n Cake !  I also had a blast getting pumpkin beer and gelato with Kath from Kath Eats Real Food, Ashley from Healthy Happier Bear, and Meghann from Meals and Miles 

This was a weekend I will never forget!  It has inspired me to become more active in this wonderful community of bloggers and to blog MORE!  You don't know how many times I write posts in my head but either don't have the pictures taken or become too busy to actually sit down and write!  I hope to change that!  Look for my posts in about a week regarding our cross-country driving adventure!

Love, Allison

Friday, August 19, 2011

HLS Begins!

AHHHH!!!  I am actually at the Healthy Living Summit!!!  I have had an amazing day filled with good food, adventure, and new friends!  I need to go to sleep since I am going to try to run at 6 am!  But here are some highlights.....

Much needed iced tea after sightseeing!

SWAG!!!  Free samples are my best friend!

Reading Terminal Market

Blogging (with a really dirty screen!  Yikes!) while drinking yummy local coffee and a warm cookie.  

HLS Cocktail Party!!  It was so great to meet other bloggers like me!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Waldorf Chicken Salad Sandwiches

When it is HOT and STEAMY in NYC.......

You need a meal that does not require HEAT of any kind....

You need my version of the best sandwich in Orange County - Waldorf Chicken Salad Sandwiches inspired from....

This sandwich is a winner for many reasons:
1)  It is possible to make without turning on the oven/stove
2)  Its semi-homemade (my favorite type of cooking)

Waldorf Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Chop 1 package of Trader Joe's Roasted Chicken Breast
Add in sliced celery, grapes, and chopped walnuts in your desired proportions
Add Miracle Whip to moisten
Don't forget some salt and pepper!
Slice croissants and pile on the chicken salad - Enjoy :)

I usually make this with a whole rotisserie chicken but today I found this new (to me) packaged chicken breasts at Trader Joes ...

The package was cheaper than a rotisserie chicken and was alot less prep work, plus no stove/oven involved!    The chicken was really tasty too!

This recipe is perfect for customizing  - add more of less of any of the mix-ins - for example add more grapes and less nuts.  This also tastes good with chopped apple.  

Hope you give them a try......

Now for the perfect no-bake dessert - 

Banana Pudding from the famous Magnolia Bakery!  This makes battling NYC heat and humidity totally worth it :)

Love, Allison 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My first RACE!!!!

Hey Everyone!!!

The last few weeks have been CRAZY!!  I turned 27.....

Happy Birthday to America and Me!

My parents were in a town for a week and then Marko (Milos's bro) was in town for 4 days! It was soooo much fun having them in town!  I ended the amazing past two weeks with my first running race ever!

People who know me, probably never thought I would run a race in my life!  Running never interested me and I pretty much hated it! But, life is all about changing and growing - that what makes living so exciting.  So little by little (inspired by Milos and my fellow healthy living bloggers) I started running!  I still feel like I am going to DIE while I am running, but I feel INCREDIBLE afterward.  
Today I ran the longest I have ever run!  4 MILES!

Here is me pre-race!   I ate the typical "Carrots n Cake" pre-race breakfast of peanut butter toast with banana.  I have experimented with different pre-run foods and I have discovered that my body NEEDS peanut butter!  Which is convenient since I am pretty much obsessed with it!  

Here I am waiting at the very back of the race!  I was in the SLOWEST corral, but thats OK - because I rocked the race anyway!

Yes I am a nerd and stick out like a sore thumb!
I FINISHED !!!  WITHOUT WALKING!  I know 4 miles is not a big deal to most runners but I this was a BIG DEAL for me!  Plus the hills in Central Park are KILLER.  The love of my life was at the finish line with both of his arms up in victory for me and made me almost start to cry!  It was wonderful!


I finished officially in 44:20 !!  And you get FREE FOOD when you finish!  That was enough to make me sign up for another race!! Haha!  But I gave my food to the nice homeless man who lives near our apartment - he needs it more than me.  

Have a great weekend!  Mine is already off to a wonderful start!

Love, Allison

Friday, June 24, 2011

New Amsterdam Market


I'm currently blogging in Starbucks with (what has become a weekly habit) a Lite Mocha Cocnut Frappucino, however this time I got it with soymilk to mix it up and couldn't taste it at all!  Score!

Unfortunately the "New Amsterdam Market" is not on Amsterdam - that would be really convenient --  yet bad for my wallet!

The market takes place at the South Street Seaport in Manhattan every Sunday during the Summer form 11am -4pm.  

When we arrived at the market I immediately noticed the Green Mountain Coffee tent set up giving free samples of their pod coffee for the Keurig coffeemaker.  I LOVE free food/drinks!

The market was a little hidden in all of the hustle and bustle of the weekend - but we eventually found it!  On the way we ran into Chris Paul!  Kendall could obviously play for the NBA if she wanted to :)

This was my kind of market, light on the fruits and veggies and heavy on the unique hand-crafted foods!

We of course got Kombucha Brooklyn on tap -- in the seasonal cherry flavor!  I love their Kombucha because it is sweet and not vinegary!

I also purchased some unique Finnish rye bread, raw cheddar cheese (Kinsman from Cellars at Jasper Hill), a cucumber, and gourmet bean burgers from Vermont Bean Crafters.  

I turned my ingredients into a yummy open faced sandwich for dinner -- this was copied from the samples that the rye bread man were handing out :)

I would definitely recommend a trip to the New Amsterdam Market for any foodie who lives or is travelling to the NYC area.  It was a wonderful afternoon -- next time I will make sure to get lunch from one of the stands!  

P.S. They also had Blue Bottle coffee from SF!  Which is one of my fav coffee places ever!  

Love, Allison 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Scoutie Strawberry

Scout is one of the most beautiful dogs I have ever met.....
She let Kendall and me join her for a picnic on the most beautiful Saturday in Central Park

We lunched, chatted, and played cards.  Just what I needed to recharge my batteries after a busy week of work!

Scout let me take pictures with her...

While she spent her time trying to dig up worms to eat....

Look at those dirty feet! 

It was so easy to make the filling from scratch using the amazing organic strawberries we have been buying from Trader Joe's.  These bars are made with whole wheat flour, chia seeds, and healthy fats...... tell yourself that when you keep trying to "make the line even".  I am in love :)  Make these now!

They were so good that when I came back to check on them, a large chunk was mysteriously missing from the pan..... Hmmm..... I wonder who would have done that?  cough, cough, Losh, cough  :)

I would blame Scout but she lacks the opposable thumbs to use a knife    :)

Love, Allison