April 19, 2013
TV COOKING shows, am I right? They're everywhere, with red meat literal and metaphoric. Front-burner flare-ups and meltdowns, knife-edge competitions, violent outbursts, fireworks, car chases - you name it. Their "green" counterparts tend to be nonviolent, collaborative, animal-free, veggie-rich and . . . well, not exactly everywhere. And they don't have car chases. Which, on second thought, neither do the mainstream ones. Point is, however they might have languished in obscurity, plant-based shows are stepping into the limelight.
April 5, 2013
BETTER LATE than never, spring has sprung (or at least it's starting to). Let's turn off the furnace, open the door, put the top down and go explore the world around us. If we get hungry, no prob - there are plentiful plant-based offerings all around Philly. In fact, as it warms up, we'll take a quick spin around Philly and through the suburbs, touching base with some of our less Center City-centric friends to see what's up in their neighborhoods. Starting in Jersey (sun rises in the east, right?
March 22, 2013
IF ROB KATZ tells you that his mother is "a creative genius," that "everything she touches turns to magic," you might chalk it up to his being a devoted son. But when his mother is Bobbi Katz, creator of Bobbi's Best Hummus, you realize that he's just sharing facts. The company's line of hummus and vegan-friendly spreads is exceptionally good, and I'm not just saying that because I was swayed by the subliminal message on the containers: "Your Favorite Hummus. " Or am I? What else, other than the incredible taste, explains the loyalty this product inspires?
February 21, 2013 |
"OH, MY GOD, I couldn't live without cheese!" Ever heard those words, or maybe uttered them yourself? I sure have. Back when I, a longtime vegetarian, decided to go vegan, the prospect of life without cheese yawned as a desolate, ascetic slog of eternity without such rich, gooey gustatory pleasure. What a martyr to cross the line into that bleak, barren world! A couple of dairy-free months later, I was already puzzling at such grandiosity. Cheese? Really? I didn't know then how casomorphins, a dairy component that's concentrated in cheese, act as opioids - that is, they confer a mild but habit-forming euphoria.
February 8, 2013
I SAW AN ad the other day pushing bacon as an ideal Valentine's Day gift, and I had to laugh. It's like saying, "Here, sweetheart, I want you to die sooner!" OK, I know this holiday is not about eating "right. " It's about something bigger, and that something is love. Love and chocolate. Dark chocolate is the treat that loves you back. Healthwise, you can have your chocolate cake and eat it, too, especially if you mix it with - don't laugh - fruits and veggies. It's not a new idea.
December 28, 2012
I MAY NOT BE the first to notice this, but, geez, what a year, huh? I mean for veg dining in Philly, of course. Long a pioneer in this area (hey, without us there would have been no American Vegetarian Society back in 1850), our town is really moving into the big leagues. This year saw the opening of four noteworthy plant-based businesses, each carving a slightly different niche in a different neighborhood. HipCityVeg has taken Rittenhouse Square by storm (superstorm?) with its mix of burgers, salads and green smoothies.
December 28, 2012 |
Food marketers can toil in the trenches for years before cinching the kind of deal that basically fell into Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby's laps. The food/housewares giant Williams-Sonoma has three sauces branded with the name Vedge, the couple's upscale vegan restaurant in Center City. They are to go on sale this week ($14.95) at more than 150 stores in the United States and the Middle East, and starting Jan. 17 on its website. The arrangement began simply. In the spring, a Williams-Sonoma executive visiting Philadelphia had a good meal at Vedge and called, said Shannon Gomes, a Williams-Sonoma spokeswoman.
December 14, 2012
THERE'S A saying about not giving a man a fish for one meal but instead teaching him to fish, so he eats for . . . well, as long as there are still fish to catch. As V for Veg eschews the gifting of animals (not really ours to gift), here's a better idea: Help your gift recipients learn to cook healthy and flavorful animal-free meals. Our 2012 holiday-gift tip is to pick a special person or two, get them a lovely cookbook - AND make one of the recipes, delivered along with the book (the dollar store has cute holiday tins)
December 6, 2012 |
Growing up in West Chester, in a family of Italian cooks, Christine Sheller appreciated the love that went into the meals she and her siblings ate, even if she sometimes rolled her eyes at the endless foodfest in the kitchen. "Saturday at 5 a.m., you'd be lying in bed and the smell of garlic would be wafting upstairs. It did not appeal," she recalls with a smile. These days, Sheller, 39, a graphic designer living in Philadelphia's Blue Bell Hill neighborhood, has embraced her family's culinary legacy - with one significant change.
November 30, 2012
IF YOU STARTED November as a junk-food junkie, it was kind of a rough month. Papa John's threatened a 14-cent-per-pizza hike. A Denny's franchise (soon contradicted by the parent company) promised a similar 5 percent surcharge. And Hostess, in a fight over union benefits, pulled the plug entirely. All just after President Obama's re-election. Geez, does first lady Michelle Obama's healthier-foods crusade really wield so much clout? If only. Whether economic outcry or postelection posturing, these blips won't budge the monolith of U.S. junk food.