November 25th, 2009 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
Organic Soup Kitchen in Santa Barbara, California, is not your average soup kitchen.
Anthony Carroccio, president and founder, doesn’t serve up ordinary slop. Instead, 60% of the produce he cooks with is organic.
So this Thanksgiving, not only will he be feeding hundreds of homeless, but Anthony hopes to raise awareness about the importance of local food too.
Anthony expects as many as 500 people will stop by on Thanksgiving for rosemary roasted turkey, quinoa walnut stuffing, honey cranberry sauce, yams, salad, vegetables and pumpkin pie.
Organic Soup Kitchen opened its doors five months ago, and gets most of its produce from local organic farms, and receives donations for other foods like turkeys and organic pies. They even buy biodegradable plates and utensils.
A crew of 100 volunteers will help serve the feast on Thanksgiving Day, and they’re always looking for more volunteers and donations.
Anthony hopes to setup a mobile soup kitchen very soon.
Via The Daily Sound.
Image credit: Organic Soup Kitchen
Read More:California Soup Kitchen Serves Up Organic Thanksgiving
February 9th, 2007 - Barbara Feiner
Beyond its physical beauty, this salad offers interesting textural and flavor combinations.
A perfect addition to a Valentine dinner, it is also special enough to make a festive first course for any celebratory meal. All of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store.
Makes 4 servings
Canola oil spray
4 medium beets
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon pomegranate concentrate or juice, divided
1 cup dried cherries
1 bag mixed salad greens, preferably including red cabbage
1 medium red onion, peeled and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Segments of 2 pink grapefruits, with pith and seeds removed
1/4 cup tangerine juice
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon raspberry or balsamic vinegar
Pinch of sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray bottom of a baking pan with canola oil spray. Add beets and lightly coat with the spray. Add 1/4 cup water and 1/2 cup pomegranate concentrate. Cover pan with foil; roast beets until knife easily pierces center, about 50 minutes. Remove beets from pan and cool. Peel beets wearing rubber or plastic gloves to protect hands. Slice beets thinly. (Beets can be cooked, peeled in advance, stored and refrigerated until ready to serve.)
At serving time, soak cherries in hot water to cover. Drain when soft and set aside. Meanwhile, divide mixed greens among four salad plates so pieces of red cabbage are visible on top. Sprinkle onions on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
On top of the greens, alternate grapefruit segments with beets in a pinwheel or daisy design. Sprinkle beets with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cherries over salad.
In a cup, mix together the tangerine juice, remaining fruit concentrate, oil and vinegar. Add sugar if mixture is too tart. Drizzle dressing over each salad and serve.
Recipe and photo courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research
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Read More:Valentine Salad
December 27th, 2005 - Barbara Feiner
Christmas may be over, but Hanukkah continues this week. One of the most popular dishes during the eight-day holiday is brisket—a cut of beef, sold as a small roast, that is usually braised in the oven because it requires the addition of water to ensure tenderness.
If you’re trying to cut down on your meat intake or you’re a vegetarian, you can substitute organic portabella mushrooms. Steven Raichlen, author of “How to Grill,” brushes them with butter and coats them with a Southwestern-style dry rub. He then sears them on the grill (or under the broiler), thickly slices them and serves them with barbecue sauce. As with beef brisket, the meaty mushrooms are very tasty when served on soft rolls.
Hot & Spicy Portabella “Brisket”
Adapted from “How to Grill”
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic or onion powder
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
4 large portabella caps (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
- Preheat grill or broiler.
- Prepare barbecue rub: In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, celery seed and red pepper.
- Brush mushrooms with melted butter. Rub half a teaspoon of the barbecue rub on both sides of each portabella.
- Grill mushrooms, turning once, until they are browned and tender, about 10 minutes.
- To serve, slice portabellas on an angle and serve with your favorite barbecue sauce, if desired. Place the remaining barbecue rub in a recloseable plastic bag; refrigerate and save for other uses.
Makes 4 portions (about 1/2 cup barbecue rub)
Read More:Hot & Spicy Organic Portabella “Brisket”
December 23rd, 2005 - Barbara Feiner
A century ago, Americans didn’t have to worry about going organic. It was de rigueur, with no processed, genetically modified or chemically laced foods to cause concern. Everything on the menu was natural.
So, how does your organic holiday table measure up against a typical farmstead menu from 1900?
“At Christmas, meats were often pulled from the smoker because hunting for fresh game was more difficult in the snow and cold,” says George Gross, director of Delaware Valley College’s Roth Living Farm Museum in North Wales, Pennsylvania. “Or one of the youngest children might be asked to kill a goose or one of the farm’s chickens that had stopped laying eggs.”
You wouldn’t find ham or pork on the menu, as they were “daily breakfast staples and were not considered fancy,” Gross says.
All kitchen preparations fell to the women. (Has anything changed in your home?) Wives and daughters would clean and dress their holiday deer or rabbit, while boiling and feathering a Christmas chicken or goose. (Feathers were saved for pillows.) Meats were roasted on an open hearth or the oven of a wood stove. Stovetop cooking featured vegetables from the family root cellar: turnips, parsnips, squash and potatoes, most of which were mashed with fresh butter and cream from family cows. Fresh bread was baked earlier in the day.
Desserts were simple, usually a tart made from canned fruit preserved earlier and pie crust rolled and baked that day. As for beverages, families started preparing homemade root beer several weeks before Christmas.
“Folks believed that root beer was an excellent drink for them, thinking the roots killed bacteria in the drinking water, thus making it safer to drink than water,” Gross says. “They hadn’t realized that it was the boiling process that was doing the trick. Had they wanted to drink safer water, they only needed to boil it.”
It took a full day—sometimes longer—to clean, boil and store the assorted roots used for this holiday drink, followed by two weeks of fermenting.
Women would break out their best dinnerware, flatware and glassware, lighting candles for illumination—not atmosphere. And with no refrigeration, meals were carefully planned for only one supper, with no holiday leftovers to enjoy the next day.
If you have a chance to visit Pennsylvania, be sure to stop by the Roth Museum, where Gross tends its 140 acres, a dairy cow, two dairy goats, six sheep and three horses. Depending on the season, you can view sheep-shearing, milking, plowing and planting demonstrations, and antique equipment displays, as well as participate in hands-on activities. Click here for a list of seasonal events.
As for this weekend, enjoy your much-more-modern Christmas dinner!
Read More:A Christmas Blast from the Past
December 21st, 2005 - Barbara Feiner
’Tis the season for pumpkin pies, gingerbread men and decadently rich desserts. Fortunately, there are ways to slenderize your holiday baking so you can maintain a healthful diet that meets your organic lifestyle needs.
Start by substituting organic applesauce or other organic fruit-based products for butter, margarine or oil in your favorite holiday breads and baked goods.
“Substituting fruits for butter works well in most quick breads, muffins and some cakes,” says Jyl Steinback, a personal trainer who has been dubbed “America’s Healthiest Mom” and author of several books, including “Fill Up to Slim Down” and “Supermarket Gourmet.”
“It usually doesn’t work as well in cookies,” she tells Organic Authority. “I have good success substituting the full amount of butter or margarine with the fruit. You can also try substituting fat-free yogurt, fat-free creamers or skim milk, in certain cases. There is no absolute proportion, as recipes will differ, so it truly depends on the individual recipe.”
So, what basic guidelines should you follow?
“If the recipe is too ‘liquidy,’ add a little more flour,” Steinback instructs. “If it is too thick, add a little more fruit or liquid. Try applesauce, crushed pineapple or canned pumpkin in several of your favorite quick bread or muffin recipes. Cake recipes are a little more fussy, but I have had success substituting applesauce for the oil in packaged mixes.”
And while we’re on the subject, if you’re not exactly Julia Child or you’re pressed for time, there are several organic cake mixes available at your local natural or whole foods store. Check out the Dr. Oetker line, which includes vanilla, chocolate and marble cake mixes, as well as icing, cookie and muffin mixes.
Read More:Healthy Holiday Baking
December 3rd, 2005 - Barbara Feiner
Yesterday, I discussed the transformation of a once-dreaded holiday appetizer: the cheese ball. But you can make a truly inspired organic starter if you try some of the new approaches suggested by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board:
- Wrap your cheese ball in style. Use a higher-end nut, such as roasted pine nuts or hazelnuts.
- Wrap Brie in puff pastry, brush with egg wash, and bake for a sophisticated appetizer (“Brie en croute”).
- Go ethnic. As Emeril Lagasse would say, “Kick it up a notch.” Combine a flavored organic Monterey Jack cheese (such as pepper jack) with salsa, and roll it in toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Serve with organic corn chips.
One important note: This isn’t the time to roll out your fanciest homemade breads. Keep it simple (translation: relatively bland), and let the cheese ball be the star of the show. Perfect accompaniments include baguettes, nut breads and water crackers.
For best results, always bring your cheese to room temperature before blending it with other ingredients. Then, refrigerate the cheese ball until it’s firm. Before serving, bring it back to room temperature for easy spreading and enhanced flavor.
Read More:Organic Cheese Balls: The Sequel
December 2nd, 2005 - Barbara Feiner
Delicious Asiago cheese
It’s confession time: I’ve always had a morbid fear of cheese balls. Those prepackaged, way-too-orange dairy orbs that retailers roll out during the holiday season are seldom organic, and every ingredient is highly processed. Ugh.
I’m happy to report that culinary therapy has cured me of my disorder. Cheese balls, you see, are now considered a hip holiday appetizer—as long as they’re homemade with healthful organic ingredients.
The best news of all? They’re incredibly easy to prepare. Just mix, shape and refrigerate, advise experts from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
Here’s a great recipe for your holiday table. Note: Because you follow an organic lifestyle, Organic Authority recommends using certified organic ingredients, when available, in all recipes to minimize your risk of exposure to pesticides, chemicals and preservatives.
Savory Italian-Style Cheese Ball With Asiago and Fontina
Makes 25–30 servings
3/4 cup pine nuts
8 ounces (2 cups) Asiago cheese, shredded
2 ounces (1/2 cup) Fontina cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
4 ounces cream cheese, cut in chunks and at room temperature
2 tablespoons prepared, refrigerated basil pesto
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1/4 cup marinated sun-dried tomatoes, diced and dried well
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 5 minutes or until golden. (Check after 3 minutes and stir.) Pour onto waxed paper and cool.
- Place Asiago, Fontina, Parmesan and cream cheese in bowl of food processor. Process until well blended. Add pesto (drain first if the pesto is runny). Pulse to incorporate. If the mixture is too stiff, add half-and-half to desired consistency. Remove mixture to a bowl, and stir or work in tomatoes with hands.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour. Shape into ball. Roll ball in pine nuts, pushing nuts into ball, if necessary.
- Garnish with fresh basil and slivers of sun-dried tomatoes, if desired.
- Serve with crusty bread, Italian breadsticks or crostini crackers.
Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.
Read More:Don’t Dread the Holiday Cheese Ball!