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foodie find: maca magic

maca root powder.  it's one of those exotic items in the superfood aisle that has caught my eye for a while but i've been too intimidated to buy it - mostly because it seems to be a bit pricey (especially if i decide i don't like it!).  well, this holiday weekend i was strolling the aisles of one of my favorite nyc, local grocery stores and decided to take the plunge.  i purchased my first pound of raw, organic maca root powder.  then when i got home, i took to the interwebs to see what i could find out.

 here's a laundry list of all of its superpowers:

  • maca root contains 31 differet minerals and 60 different phytonutrients
    (forget the multi-vitamin in the a.m.)
  • maca root creates hormonal balance in the body's endocrine system, which includes the thyroid, pituitary and adrenal glands - it's really amazing that it is able to control these hormonal levels without any hormones of its own!
    (amazing, yes! another way to skip the pharmaceuticals if you need help stabilizing these glands)
  • maca root boosts fertility in both men and women, thanks to the alkaloids that it contains
    (noted. this will be shared in many random convos with my pals 'working' on the baby thing)
  • maca root is an adaptogen, helping the body to resist disease and stress
    (yes, please and thanks, i can never have enough help in the stress-fighting department)
  • maca root provides sustainable energy, unlike caffeine, it is known to aid in stamina and mental clarity without any highs or lows

my personal observations about maca root:

  • it is pale yellow in color
  • it has a mild nutty flavor with a hint of butterscotch
  • it blends well and easily in smoothies 

here's what to do with it (use 1-2 tablespoons):

  • add it to smoothies
  • substitute in a little bit of maca root powder in place of flour when baking
  • add it to your hot chocolate (maca root combines really well with fats like those in cacao)

if you live in nyc, or another city with lots of health food store options, just look in the superfoods section.  you should find maca root powder next to the chia seeds and cacao powder.  otherwise, check out, this powder is the same one i picked up at the store for about $14/lb. 

all in all, $14 isn't so bad for a powder with so many dang magical powers, thank you mother nature.



foodie find: super simple summer salad snack

between the humidity and the heat, i keep my cool (and mainstain my sanity) by steering clear of the stove/oven.  besides i feel better if i keep my food light during these august days.  here's a simple salad that only requires 4 ingredients (ok, and s&p if you like).  make a lot of it, stick it in the fridge and you'll have salad snacks!


mini persian cucumbers - they are smaller and usually come in packs of 6 at trader joe's.  i like their smallness so that you don't loose all of the cucumber 'meat' when you slice 'em like can happen with bigger cucumbers. plus, their diameter is bite-size as is.

watermelon - really any watermelon will do.  this was actually a leftover from a visit with the family and it is a sugarbaby watermelon from a local new jersey farm (hey, we don't grow watermelons in manhattan - or at least i don't).

fresh lime juice - this one is pretty self-explanatory.  roll it around a few times between your counter and the palm of your hand to get it primed for squeezing (aka juicier).

jicama (sounds like Hic-Ka-ma, not jamaica) - this root vegetable looks like a giant potato, but you actually eat it raw.  the texture is a cross between a cucumber and an apple and its flavor is light and watery.  its good trust me.  all you need to do is peel it like a carrot and then slice it up.

and now for the super simple recipe:

what you'll need:

  • 2 cups sliced cucumbers
  • 2 cups cubed watermelon
  • 2 cups cubed jicama
  • 1/2 lime
  • salt & pepper (if you wish)

what to do:

  • cut up the cucumbers, watermelon and jicama into bite-size pieces (all roughly the same size)
  • place them in a large bowl
  • squeeze lime over them
  • add salt & pepper if you'd like - just a sprinkle
  • massage (gently toss) the salad with your hands
  • enjoy!

i like to make a lot at once so i can have these snack size portions waiting for me in my fridge. and they are light enough to eat before yoga if hunger strikes - but also thirst-quenching post yoga.

this post was inspired by the very fancy food pics and delicious recipes my sis shares on her blog (especially the fork shot).  check her out over at


foodie penpals: the june 2012 reveal

this month is officially my third month of foodie penpals (check out april and may)! and this time my special delivery was sent to me from minnesota!  sharon, who writes the blog 'adventures in ordinary,' sent me some yummy local goodies, including maple syrup and blue corn flour.  while i've never tried blue corn flour for pancakes, sharon's suggestion in her note has inspired me and hopefully once this heat wave ends and I can actually think about turning on the stove, i'll give it a go! 

she also sent me some wild black rice, which i am excited and a little initimidated by because my cooking weakness is rice - i know that sounds kind of pathetic, but it's the truth - so if anyone out there (sharon included!) has as handy tips on cooking rice - successfully - please share them with me in the comments!




my foodie penpal recipient (the one i sent goodies to this month) is elizabeth (follow her on twitter @Elizanewidomy). she  lives in the south, but asked for some local street 'treats' from nyc like a hot dog or pretzel.  since i didn't think those would make the trip, i got her some locally made condiments including this super cool - and scoopable, spiced ketchup made in nyc (no corn syrup included, just some good ol' suga):

and brooklyn-made relish, a local company that i first taste-tested at the brooklyn flea a couple of years ago (and now they're in whole foods!):

to become a foodie penpals, head over to the



free app - food diary for conscious eating

as a devoted fan of evernote for several years, i was elated to find out about some fun new apps that the evernote team has rolled out - including evernote food.  (for those of you who don't know about evernote, you should(!) it's a great notebooking system that allows you to sync between your computer, your phone and tablet, so you have all of your notes, all of the time). 

evernote food, is a great journaling system for keeping track of what you eat and where you eat it.  it is super phone friendly, helps you locate eateries with its search function and allows you to take multiple pics for each meal, which you can then share with your friends (if you choose) in your social media world, or send them an email. 

so if you're looking to eat more consciously and have considered a food diary before, think about making your food diary electronic - it's like instagram with a healthy cause. otherwise it's just plan fun to snap pics of pretty food and journal about them.  you choose.

besides, that app is f.r.e.e. so it's worth a try.



foodie penpals - the may 2012 reveal

after my first foodie penpal adventure in april, i gave it another go for may!  i received a box of tasty treats from sarah with lots of dried snacks, including chile coated mango strips (sweet and spicy!), plus some spanish and asian inspired trail mixes and some kashi cookies (they didn't last long in my apt...) and a dried black bean soup that i have have yet to taste.