Category Archives: Asian

Newman’s Own Lite Low-Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing

So Sunday, as usual, there was some big football game or whatever, and obviously I was the only person in Murray Hill not at Brother Jimmy’s eating wings and yelling about the latest unfair foul or something. Instead, I was home alone, moping about my football dilemma, which is that I sort of have a mild interest in football and wanted to be out day-drinking and watching with other people, yet I’m actually not at all interested in football and mostly just wanted to be by myself and watch that Lifetime movie about those middle-school girls who all got pregnant together.

As the pregnant 12-year-olds began to grace my TV screen, I decided that, to celebrate not being pregnant, I would a) open a bottle of wine, and b) make myself a salad. Okay so the salad’s not really an exciting point, but what was exciting about it–and honestly, this is the only thing that induces me ever to make my own salad–was the salad dressing. Introduced to me by a dear college friend, Newman’s Own Lite Low-Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing is the first dressing I have felt is worth making my own salad for lunch. This is a pretty big deal.

If THIS Newman were the Newman on Seinfeld, I bet Jerry would have loved him.

I mean, you kind of have to be into the tangy, Asian-inspired, “sesame ginger” kind of taste, but let’s be honest, we’re not talking about the most sophisticated flavoring here–you’ll probably like it. It’s the best part of my salad, which I guess isn’t really saying much since I’m always basically too lazy to put anything in a salad besides lettuce, and on a good day, some turkey. But still–this dressing doesn’t taste like it only has 35 calories per two tablespoons, and you can put on as much of it as you want and not worry about defeating the purpose of eating a salad.

I promise, with this dressing you will actually look FORWARD to your salads, not dread their tastelessness!

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Blue Diamond Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds

I keep almost no food in my fridge. I hate to admit it, but I never, ever cook (except for one half-assed attempt to make fish in September), so there’s really no reason for me to have anything other than a few bottles of seltzer (basically the only thing I drink), an old clove of garlic that my mom gave me in hopes that owning garlic might lead me to some culinary epiphany, and a super-size bottle of soy sauce. You might think the soy sauce has no place in an apartment so devoid of things one might put soy sauce on, but the truth is, soy sauce makes literally everything taste better and there’s nothing on earth that I wouldn’t put it on. I love soy sauce so much it actually haunts my dreams.

Once I had this very old cucumber, which I had accidentally left sitting in my kitchen in the bottom of a grocery bag for about 3 days. When I found it, I was about to throw it out and then I had the brilliant idea to douse it in soy sauce. When I tried it I couldn’t even tell that the cucumber had spent the past 3 days rotting on my floor!

Ok, my cucumber wasn't this old. But I bet soy sauce could even help this!

I’d be happy if everything I ever ate for the rest of my life was completely saturated in soy sauce– really, I would. So that’s why I was just ecstatic when I discovered Blue Diamond Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds. 

I’m not a huge almond fan– they’re plain and sometimes the brown part gets stuck in my teeth. But cover almonds in a little wasabi and soy sauce and you have a delicious treat! Blue Diamond almonds have just the right about of wasabi. They’re not too hot, but you definitely can taste it. And the soy sauce, oh, I don’t even need to say anything about the soy sauce. SO. GOOD. There are 170 calories in 28 nuts, and I’m not sure of the exact science, but I know that nutritionists always recommend eating them because they keep you full. Or maybe because they have good fats. Or maybe both. Either way, these almonds are so good you won’t even think of looking at the nutrition label.

Enjoy!

I LOVE YOU

Japanese String Cheese

Two amazing things happened to me during my junior year of college. First, I hopped on a flight at JFK, flew 17 hours direct to Hong Kong, and developed an infatuation with the entire Asian continent, which is evident through the decor in my apartment (some of my friends say it’s decorated like a Chinese restaurant…) Second, on that same trip, while wandering through a Chinese supermarket, I discovered Sakeru Cheese; Asia’s answer to Polly-O String Cheese.

The expiration date on this cheese is in 2017. That's a bit unsettling.

I was hesitant when I first saw the red and black package. It looked more like something that Hot Wheels cars should be packaged in than artificial cheese. Luckily, the only two English words on the package were “string cheese”, so I figured it couldn’t be too different from the Twisterella string cheese I enjoy in the US. Man was I wrong! Somewhere on that package it must’ve said “pepper” or “chili” or “spicy cheese” because this was the spiciest cheese I’ve ever had in my life. It is almost as if the cheese is just a vehicle in which to pack as many Japanese peppercorns as possible.

I realize that not everyone lives around the corner from Sunrise Mart, and without access to some sort of Asian grocery store, procuring Sakeru String Cheese may be difficult, but I have good news: not only is Polly-O String Cheese less greasy and not infused with tabasco sauce, but it’s lower in calories, too! If I’m reading my Japanese nutrition label right (and it’s very possible that I’m not), Sakeru cheese has 100 calories per stick and Polly-O only has 60.

The best quality of Japanese string cheese is that it’s a good talking point. I’ve never heard of Polly-O fueling any conversations, but the last (and only) time I was eating a Japanese string cheese in a foreign airport, a very handsome man approached me. He asked me to watch his bags while he went to the bathroom, but I’m sure it was the exotic cheese I was holding that drew him to me.

 

Apparently it's called Twist-Ums, not Twisterella.

Shirataki Noodles

I know that everyone is blogging about Thanksgiving overload this week, and I really thought about coming up with something new and original for today’s post…but I can’t.  I thought that by today, a full week after Thanksgiving (and the first day of December!), the dreadful feeling that overcomes me every time I think of stuffing would have subsided, and in an effort to redeem myself, I tried to cut back on carbs for a few days.

I could've written this book...if Susan Blech didn't get to it first.

I’m not one to cut carbs– I was basically raised on baguettes and pretzels and the fact that I haven’t had a Chips Ahoy cookie (they’re my favorite…clearly I set the bar low) in days is LITERALLY driving me crazy. Last night my dinner consisted of six sad scallops plopped on some wet-looking arugula. It was pathetic.

I’m still not ready to embrace carbs with my typical enthusiasm (what I mean is I’m not going to stick my entire head into a bag of three-cheese pretzel crisps), but I can’t look at one more baby carrot. This brings me to Shirataki Noodles.

Shirataki Noodles are very strange, and very appealing. They are zero-calorie noodles. I don’t need to say anything more.  You can eat an entire bowl– and prepare them anyway you’d normally prepare pasta– and the only calories are in whatever sauce you use! The strange thing is the lack of calories. The website claims that “Shirataki comes from the root of a plant called Amorphophallus Konjac grown in various parts of Asia”, which sounds like it may be natural. But I’m skeptical of any noodle product with no calories, and Asian Amorphophallus Konjac means nothing to me; that could be arsenic for all I know.

A few months ago I saw an ad for a product called NoOodle. I immediately went to their site and purchased a case of 25. I got the case shipped to the office so I could share my NoOodles with my co-workers. NoOodles are just a brand of Shirataki noodles, and like all Shirataki noodles, NoOodles come in a plastic bag filled with liquid, and don’t need to be cooked. You have to drain the noodles and rinse them off before you eat them. The smell of the liquid that comes out of that bag is almost enough to send you running for Barilla linguine, but I persevered. I considered washing the NoOodles off with soap, but a very thorough rinsing got rid of the odor. We topped the NoOodles with soy sauce and while it was certainly not lo mein, it felt enough like I was actually eating carbs.

I wholeheartedly recommend that everyone buy NoOdles, but make sure you buy this mask before you open a bag.

 

Creepy/amazing

 

 

 

College Students Need to Snack, Too!

We agreed right away when our friends at Honest College asked us to write a guest blog…

As recent college grads, our memories of spending hours upon hours in the library are still frighteningly fresh in our minds. We can almost smell the books. But what we remember most about those dreadful evenings, weekends, weeknights (we spent a lot of time studying!) in the library is how the only way to alleviate the pain of homework is by snacking….click here to read more!

Annie Chun’s Seaweed

Oh Annie, you make delicious seaweed.

Oh Annie, you make delicious seaweed.

MONDAY

Good Morning NYC! Welcome back to work! Mondays are always rough. Most of us are still recovering from the weekend, thinking about how we should’ve worked out more and imbibed less (well, that’s what I’m thinking about). I had barely started my Monday-morning ritual of sorting through my Outlook mailbox when I was hit with a familiar wave of hunger. It wasn’t actual hunger– it never is at 10:30am– but an elusive sensation that masks itself as hunger and lingers with me each day from 9-5. It’s very strange, but eat I must!

I’m spoiled by having Whole Foods right below my office, and when my options are (a) send follow-up emails to all the people attending the office benefit next week or (b) go down to Whole Foods to peruse the aisles for some SkinnySnack, I always pick option B…and BOY DID I LUCK OUT TODAY! Whole Foods had my favorite snack in stock: Annie Chun’s Seaweed Snacks. They come in two flavors—sesame and wasabi. I opted for wasabi, because more flavor in my snack= less boredom in my day. I’m the only one in the office who likes Annie’s seaweed, and though my co-workers’ disdain is beyond my comprehension, at least I don’t have to share. Each pack comes with about 15-20 thin sheets of seaweed. The seaweed is coated with a thin, powder-like layer of wasabi dust. Wasabi dust is not a technical term, that’s just what it is. The seaweed sheets are perfectly seasoned with said dust, and the crunchiness of each piece really brings the whole thing together. But the best part about Annie’s Seaweed is that there are only 30 calories in ten sheets!! SkinnyWorkers, this is your Monday snack!

This is it!!! My seaweed!

This is it! The seaweed that saves me from my boredom!!