April 26, 2013 |
I was chopping vegetables for dinner recently when my 14-year-old daughter, Grace, disappeared with the stem end of the bok choy. She returned five minutes later with paper, a stamping ink pad, and the pilfered vegetable. "Look, Mom," she said, and held up a stunner: The bok choy head, refuse to me, had stamped a beautiful blooming rose onto the paper. It was then that I discovered what some crafters have long known - the beauties of stamping with food. Part of the pleasure derives from the experimentation, and part from the element of surprise when an ordinary vegetable produces a beautiful image.
April 25, 2013 |
Who's your favorite expert on cooking vegetables? For many, it has long been Deborah Madison, of The Greens Cookbook , Local Flavors , the landmark Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone , and more. As a gardener, former farmer's market manager, and chef (with cooking chops honed at Chez Panisse and Greens), Madison knows her produce and what to do with it. In her latest book, Vegetable Literacy (Ten Speed Press; $40), she aims to bring us closer to her level of knowledge by helping us think about the subject in a new way. It's a must-have book for anyone interested in plant-based cooking.
April 25, 2013 |
The 24-foot trailer, tugged by a burly Ford F-350 pickup, pulls to a stop. Side doors fling open to reveal enormous drawers - pullout garden beds containing planters of leafy vegetables and a small kitchen counter. The Farm Explorer, as this farm on wheels is called, is a project commissioned by Greener Partners, a local nonprofit whose mission includes sustainable farming and farm-based education. In areas where people can't get to the farm, Greener Partners wants to bring the farm to people, especially children.
April 18, 2013 |
Nothing is more frustrating than finding the perfect cucumber or head of lettuce at the farmers' market, paying top dollar for it, and then tossing it out a week later when it has gone moldy or slimy in the refrigerator. No doubt, one reason so many of us eat too many convenience foods and too few fruits and vegetables is that it can be hard to get our busy schedules in sync with the produce we bring home. Food scientists, however, have discovered a remarkably effective way to extend the life of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables by days or even a week.
April 18, 2013 |
This is the sixth in a series on healthy cooking classes at St. Martin De Porres School in North Philadelphia. Maliyah Gregg was first to arrive and was hoping for a private lesson: "If I'm the only one, do I get to do everything myself?" she asked. Moments later the rest of the troops showed up and her face fell. Not only did Hope Wescott, Jayla Reeves, and Kayla Reid come, but also Chamya Davis, 11, a new student. Mariah Bey did not. She was absent last week too, and it turns out her family moved out of the area because of an emergency.
April 11, 2013
DID YOU know you could save anywhere from $500 to $1,000 a year by growing your own vegetables? They will be fresher and tastier than store-bought, too. And you don't need a huge plot of land; many varieties can be grown in containers. My lovely mother-in-law, who has a green thumb and a wonderful vegetable garden of her own, has agreed to school me on the fine art of home-growing fruits and vegetables. Here are the five I plan to start with: 1. CUCUMBERS A good source of B vitamins.
March 29, 2013 |
Mariah Bey was the first to arrive in the kitchen for our third cooking lesson. "Hellooooo," she crooned, throwing her arms wide open to announce herself. "What are we cooking today?" "Omelets," I said. "And you get to decide what to put in. I have lots of choices: mushrooms, peppers, greens, cheese, tomatoes. And we're also going to dye eggs for Easter. " "We're going to dye eggs!" she cried, her eyes filling with excitement. "This is the best cooking class ever!" I've been cooking once a week with fifth- and sixth-grade girls from St. Martin de Porres school in North Philadelphia, with the goal of improving not only their culinary skills but also their nutrition with easy meals they can make themselves.
December 28, 2012 |
Sometimes the best-laid plans are last-minute plans. Before all the comings and goings of this holiday week are done, extend one last invitation to friends and family. An impromptu gathering at your home is by definition informal, and relieves you of the obligation to have every detail covered. With even a semi-stocked larder, you can invite folks on New Year's Eve to join you for brunch on New Year's Day. The loose time frame of an open-house invitation lets people drop in, or settle in. Spanning either lunch or dinner, the food to offer will shift accordingly.
December 20, 2012
Company description: "Herb infused savory waffle, red bell peppers, red onions, zucchini, portobello mushrooms, yellow squash, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, Dijon mustard. " Chain: Max Brenner. Calories: Because it has fewer than 15 locations, the chain isn't required to provide nutrition information. Location: 15th Street, just south of Walnut. Order time: About 10 minutes. Price: $14.95. Review: The fun, colorful, aromatic restaurant/chocolate store is a great dessert spot, and a new boss has tweaked the menu to add some lighter bites that leave room for sweet treats at the end. New on the menu this fall are a quintet of quirky waffle sandwiches, and although the Chain Gang would never in a bazillion years think to order a veggie sandwich in a restaurant that sells a Peanut Butter and Banana Chocolate Crepe ($12.95)
December 6, 2012
1 PARSNIPS This close cousin to carrots has a sweet, nutty flavor and a more nutritious punch, lots of vitamin K and 7 grams of fiber to boot. 2 DATES They may look ugly, but dates, especially Medjools, are one of the sweetest, most satisfying fruits. They contain calcium, sulfur, iron, potassium and magnesium. 3 STAR FRUIT A tropical, juicy fruit packed with vitamin C and a slimming 30 calories a serving. Give this good source of fiber a try as a garnish in your next fruit salad.