March 11th, 2013 - Jill Ettinger
The widely popular Meatless Monday campaign just got a boost from the nation’s second largest school district. Los Angeles’ school cafeterias are officially going meat-free on Mondays.
Read More:650,000 Meatless Monday Meals Being Served in Los Angeles Schools
November 12th, 2012 - Jill Ettinger
Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously last week to adopt a resolution that urges the city’s 5 million plus residents to give Meatless Mondays a try.
Read More:Put Down that Burger, LA: City Council Votes in Favor of Meatless Mondays
October 25th, 2012 - Jill Ettinger
Los Angeles City Council members unanimously voted yesterday to approve a resolution that officially supports Proposition 37—the November ballot initiative that would require the labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients sold within the state.
Read More:Los Angeles Wants GMOs Labeled, City Council ‘Unanimously’ Supports Prop 37
May 27th, 2012 - Jill Ettinger
The highly anticipated decision by the city of Los Angeles on whether or not to ban the single use plastic bag from retail stores and restaurants was announced last Wednesday, with an overwhelming 13 to 1 vote in favor of the ban, making Los Angeles the nation’s largest city to prohibit plastic bags and the state’s 48th city overall, joining San Francisco, San Jose and Long Beach.
Read More:Banned! Los Angeles Nation’s Largest City to Prohibit Plastic Bags
July 31st, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
So, I was feeling really jealous after writing about the Van Leeuwen trucks that deliver organic ice cream to New York City’s not-so-huddled masses.
I wanted to find a Southern California clone—and I hit the jackpot.
Coolhaus has upped the ante here in Los Angeles, with a made-to-order ice cream sandwich buffet on wheels. And according to co-owner Natasha Case, her chilly treats are handmade with organic and all-natural ingredients, whenever possible.
As for available flavors, the choices range from the expected (vanilla bean, strawberry, Meyer lemon) to the eclectic: mascarpone balsamic fig, carrot cake, brown butter with candied bacon and even foie gras. Special flavors change seasonally, as with this week’s strawberry jalapeño, root beer and peach cobbler with bourbon.
Here’s the best part: Once you pick your ice cream, you can select the handmade cookies in which it’s sandwiched—from chocolate and snickerdoodle to chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin. (Brioche is also available.)
To find the truck on any given day, follow Coolhaus on Facebook or Twitter.
Read More:Los Angeles Has Its Own Artisanal Ice Cream Truck
July 18th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Craving a Poached Pear Salad (Insalata di Pere), featuring mixed greens, blue cheese, candied walnuts, Chianti-poached pears and balsamic dressing?
You can follow it up with an entrée of Butternut Squash Ravioli (Tortellacci di Zucca), composed of fresh butternut squash and ricotta ravioli, a brown butter-sage cream sauce, freshly ground black pepper and shaved Parmigiano cheese.
How about ending your meal with a pistachio-encrusted Homemade Italian Cannoli, filled with ricotta cheese and chocolate chips, and dusted with powdered sugar?
If you’re in Los Angeles, you’re in luck. These are some of my favorite picks at Firenze Osteria, where Top Chef Season 5 contestant Fabio Viviani (above) serves as executive chef/owner. He also runs Café Firenze Italian Restaurant and Martini Bar in nearby Moorpark, where you can enjoy one of 18 “signature,” “luxury” and “dessert” martinis, including Pear Tinis, Blueberry Martinis, Key Lime Pie Martinis and Cosmopolitans. (The Poached Pear Salad, Butternut Squash Ravioli and Homemade Italian Cannoli are also on the menu.)
Viviani, who trained in his native Italy, recently coauthored the Café Firenze Cookbook, and even a cursory look through its pages will prove the man loves his olive oil. Chalk it up to the kitchen staple’s versatility, flavor and health benefits. Rich in polyphenols (antioxidants) that help fight against cancer, heart-healthy olive oil can be swapped for high-fat butter. Just substitute 3/4 teaspoon olive oil for every 1 teaspoon butter, which will cut the fat in recipes by 25%.
Here are some of Viviani’s favorite ways to use olive oil:
- Serve a simple appetizer of fresh bread with extra-virgin olive oil. Pour the oil into a shallow bowl for dipping, and season with cracked pepper or fresh herbs.
- Create a simple, yet flavorful, marinade of olive oil combined with either lemon juice or wine vinegar. Use it to flavor meats, poultry and fish.
- Give your favorite unsalted nuts a fine coating of extra-light olive oil. (You can toss them in a paper bag.) Add a sprinkle of salt.
Tune in tomorrow for one of Viviani’s special recipes: Roasted Tomato & Zucchini Salad.
Viviani photo courtesy of Bertolli
Read More:‘Top Chef’ Contestant Fabio Viviani Loves His Olive Oils
June 21st, 2010 - Scott Shaffer
If you’re interested in cool technologies that could help stop global warming, or just celebrity spotting, I’ve just a couple of events for you. Director and activist Josh Tickell is holding a major press conference in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday. Mayor Villaraigosa, the national press, and plenty of celebrities are all going to be there. Tickell is coordinating the event with the DVD release of his documentary, FUEL, which is a hopeful look at the new agriculture and energy technologies that could help answer the problems posed in An Inconvenient Truth.
If you’re interested in showing up to the L.A. event, check out the Facebook event page. After Los Angeles, Tickell and his team are heading to New Orleans, LA (in a vegetable-oil-fueled van, of course) to hold a screening of FUEL and talk to the people who have been hurt the most by our dependence on fossil fuels—the victims of the BP gulf oil spill. It’s guaranteed to be a historic event, with politicians, green NGOs, and celebrities teaming up to change the world.
So show your support for the clean energy movement and head over to Jackson Square in New Orleans on June 29th!
For more news about green movements, check out our Political Action and Environment categories.
Read More:March for Clean Energy in Los Angeles and New Orleans
March 3rd, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Green Zebras. Bloody Butchers. Big Boys. Polish Linguisas.
Organic gardeners will have a literal field day with these and other tomato varieties at Tomatomania, billed as the world’s largest tomato seedling sale. The event will tour select cities from March 20 to May 23.
If the tour misses your area, you may purchase several collections online—from heirlooms to paste tomatoes used in cooking—from Litchfield, CT-based White Flower Farms, which also sells organic tomato fertilizer. Shipping begins next month.
Tomatomania proprietor Scott Daigre, owner of PowerPlant Garden Design in Los Angeles, will sell his book, Tomatomania! How to Grow Tomatoes Successfully in Southern California, at the shows.
Daigre also teaches a Crazy for Tomatoes! class at California State University, Northridge. The course covers soil preparation, staking, fertilizing, saving seeds and getting the best production.
Read More:Grow Organic Tomatoes
October 6th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Toyota’s Solar Flowers exhibit has left San Francisco (see photo), arriving at its final tour stop in Glendale, Calif.
The oversized flower sculptures, on display at The Americana at Brand, are partially powered by solar panels on the backs of their petals and bases of their stems. Some of the flowers are up to 18 feet tall.
Five flowers provide seating for up to 10 people, access to free Wi-Fi service, and power to charge cell phones and laptops. Hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, now through Oct. 18.
The flowers are part of the 2010 Toyota Prius marketing campaign, whose theme is “Harmony Between Man, Nature and Machine.”
Glendale bus riders will find solar-ventilation bus shelters spread throughout the area, which feature rooftop solar panels that help run fans and circulate air. This experience is designed to demonstrate the Prius’ Solar-Powered Ventilation System, which uses a fan to draw outside air into the cabin to reduce cabin temperature when the car is parked in direct sunlight.
“It’s exciting to see how the public has really embraced both the displays and the vehicle,” says Tim Morrison, corporate manager of marketing communications for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.
Photo courtesy of:
Read More:Solar Flowers Bloom in L.A. County
September 12th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
The famed Solar Flowers exhibit, sponsored by Toyota’s Prius, has left New York City (see photo, above) and debuts in San Francisco today.
The floral sculptures, up to 18 feet tall, have been installed at the Yerba Buena Gardens, where visitors can harness the power of solar energy to charge computers and cell phones. Each flower seats up to 10 people, who may also access free Wi-Fi service.
The exhibit runs through Sept. 27. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The city’s bus riders will also receive a pleasant surprise: solar-powered ventilation in bus shelters throughout the downtown area.
The Solar Flowers will complete their tour next month in Los Angeles (Oct. 3–18).
Photo courtesy of Toyota
Read More:Solar Flowers Bloom in San Francisco