Friday, September 15, 2017

Seasonal Eating

Why Eat What's in Season?

Flavor
Produce that have been allowed to fully ripen in the sun taste amazing! Freshly picked produce has the optimal flavor – crispy, fragrant, juicy and colorful. Those summer heirloom tomatoes make all other tomatoes seem inferior. You can eat it like an apple; raw, warm from the sun and straight from the vine.
 Nutrition
Plants get their nourishment from the sun and soil. Seasonally fresh produce is picked when they’re ripe and fully developed. The plant has had more sun exposure, which means it will have higher levels of antioxidants! 
Economy
Simply supply and demand. When there’s abundance of a product, such as watermelons in the summer, the prices go down. Seasonal food is much cheaper to produce for the farmers who would rather sell their products for a lower price, than not at all. Cash in on the seasonal bounty.
Environment
Seasonal produce can grow without too much added human assistance i.e. pesticides and genetically modification. We know how these toxic compounds can contaminate the water and soil and also our health. Seasonal food is more likely to be locally produced as well, which reduces the load on our environment due to transport, or “food mileage”.
Home Cooking
Eating seasonally also forces you to cook more -- and there really is nothing better you could do for your health. When you start to take back control of what you put in to your body, which oil you choose to cook with, how much sugar you add to your food etc, you are consciously making better choices for your health. Cooking is also a great activity to do with your kids, family and friends. And, what better way to show your love?
Support of Your Seasonal Needs
The natural cycle of produce is perfectly designed to support our health.
Apples grow in the fall and they are the perfect transition food, helping the body get rid of excess heat and cool down before winter. In the spring the abundance of leafy greens help us alkalize, detox and loose some extra pounds after a long winter of heavier foods. In the summer we need to cool down and stay hydrated by eating more fruits, berries, cucumber, watermelon etc. Building a lifestyle around seasonal food facilitates the body’s natural healing process.

Organic/Free of Pesticides
Food grown outside of their season or natural environment need a lot more human assistance in forms of pesticides, waxes, chemicals and preservatives to grow and look appealing to us consumers. By choosing local and seasonal food, you are also more likely to get a cleaner product! 

What's in Season?


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Have a Berry Great Day!


Ripe for the summer. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries are ready to harvest and eat! Not only are berries refreshing during these hot summer months, but they also come with many health benefits. 





Berries have the greatest antioxidant content per serving compared to any other food except spicesConsuming foods rich in antioxidants may be good for your nervous system, blood vessels, heart health and may also help to lower your risk of infections and some forms of cancer. 





Women who eat about two servings of strawberries or one serving of blueberries a week experienced less mental decline over time than peers who went without eating berries. Berries help support cognitive thinking, and development



Chef's Choice:

Executive Chef Andrew Benson recommends making a fruit compote. Fruit Compote is dessert made of whole or pieces of fruit in sugar syrup. You can make fruit compote from any choice of berries and use as a healthy alternative to syrup. It's quick, easy and delicious!


Ingredients:
3 cups mixed berries (3/4 lb) such as raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries
  1. 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  2. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice



  4. Directions:
    1. Melt butter in a skillet over moderate heat. Stir in brown sugar and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved. Add berries and cook, tossing gently (try to keep most of them from breaking up), until berries are warm and juices begin to be released, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
    2. Once it's cool, store your compote in a tightly sealed jar and keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.







Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tempeh



Tempeh originated in Indonesia, and it is made with whole soybeans that are cooked, slightly fermented, and then shaped into a compact cake. 



Vegetarians and vegans love its nutrition and versatility, and now tempeh is attracting meat-eaters who want a healthy source of protein. Tempeh’s fermentation process and its use of the whole soybean gives it a higher content of protein vitamins and minerals. It has a firm texture and an earthy flavor, which becomes more noticeable as it ages. 

Because of its nutritional value, tempeh is used worldwide in vegetarian cuisine. Its ability to take on many flavors and textures makes it a great substitute for meat productstempeh is known to reduce cholesterol, increase bone density, reduce menopausal symptoms and promote muscle recovery. In addition to these amazing benefits, tempeh has the same protein quality as meat and contains high levels of vitamins B5, B6, B3 and B2.


Tempeh is extremely versatile 

Cube and toss into a stir-fry
Marinate and grill


Substitute for ground beef

 Slice and layer in sandwiches













Have fun experimenting with tempeh!

Monday, July 10, 2017

How to Use a Thermometer



There are several types of meat thermometers. You'll find the two most basic styles, the bimetallic and bulb thermometers, at most grocery stores. These are inexpensive options which are easy to find, but they can take much longer to give a temperature read-out and aren't as accurate as other options. Also, their glass parts can easily break.
Bimetallic Thermometer

Bulb Thermometer







Digital instant-read thermometers provide much more accurate results. There are two main types in this category:

A digital instant-read thermometer gives you an (almost) instant readout, and it's easy to use.
A digital probe thermometer, which connects the probe that you insert into the meat with a separate device that contains a temperature readout and customizable alarm settings, is great for roasting or smoking larger cuts of meat for long hours.


CALIBRATE YOUR THERMOMETER

To quickly test if your thermometer is accurate, dip the tip into a bowl of ice water. It should read 32°F or 0°C, the temperature that water freezes at. Many digital thermometers have a reset button or re-calibrate button, so if the temperature is off, you can likely fix it—just follow the manufacturer's instructions.

PLACE THE THERMOMETER CORRECTLY

For the most accurate reading, place the thermometer into the thickest portion of meat, avoiding fat and bone. You're looking to find the lowest internal temperature—that's the most accurate temperature for the core of the meat. Most thermometers require you to insert the probe at least 1/2 inch into the meat, but if the meat is thicker than an inch, you'll probably want to go deeper than that to reach the very center.
The temperature should keep dropping as the probe goes into the deepest part of the meat—if you see the temperature starting to rise again, you've gone too far.

CHECK THE MEAT TEMPERATURE EARLY AND OFTEN

For a larger roast, start checking your meat about 30 minutes before you expect it to be done; for thinner, smaller cuts, start testing the meat 5 to 10 minutes ahead of time. To hit the right doneness, aim for the meat temperature given in your recipe, as well as food-safety charts.
It's important to remember that meat will continue cooking after it's removed from the heat—this is called carryover cooking. It's not much of a factor with smaller cuts of meat, like chicken pieces, steaks, and chops, but large, thick roasts of beef, lamb, veal, pork loin, or even large turkey breasts should be removed from the heat when they reach 5 degrees less than their desired doneness temperature. Give these larger cuts 5 to 10 minutes of resting time, and the temperature will rise up to perfect doneness and the juices will have plenty of time to redistribute into the meat.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New Menu Item: Korean Bulgogi Tacos

Bulgogi is a grilled dish made of thin, marinated slices of beef or pork, grilled on a barbecue or on a stove-top griddle. It is also often stir-fried in a pan in home cooking. Sirloin, rib eye or briskets are the frequently used cuts of beef for the dish.




We recreated this dish with beef, turkey, and tofu for healthier alternatives. Although you can change the protein, it wouldn't be Bulgogi without the marinade. 


Bulgogi Marinade

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons sesame oil 
8 cloves garlic, minced 
1/2 cup soy sauce 
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 scallions (green onions), minced

Directions:
Heat sesame oil in a small saucepan. Add garlic and cook for 1 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, except green onions, and let the sauce cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until sugar has dissolved completely. Add green onions, promptly remove from heat and let the mix cool completely before using
as a marinade.