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!