I am not a dietitian, I am a Research and Development Chef with a Nutritional Concentration. This site is based on opinions I've formed through my research and experience working for manufactured food processors.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

You are invited!

Next Wed., Nov. 2nd at the Experimental Station in Hyde Park, Chef Dana Cox founder of the Honest Meal Project is hosting a farm-to-table dinner soiree.  Nosh with other locavores on appetizers and a 3-course farm-to-table meal with Midwestern wines. Entertainment includes poetry and art inspired by the season!! It's all about celebrating fall and the FARMER :-)

To learn more about the Honest Meal Project click here .

Here's the link for tickets:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's Raining Vitamin A!

Can you guess what processed food this nutrition label belongs to?

Yes, the sodium level is redic but look at the vitamin and mineral percentages! As it turns out, this is the label to a package of Braunschweiger. Braunschweiger is a type of German liverwurst made from pork livers (and a few other things). Technically a sausage, liverwurst is sometimes sliced and eaten on sandwiches or mixed with cream cheese and seasonings and served like Pâté . Liver and other offal have been touted as some of the most nutrient dense sources of Vitamin A on the planet! Unfortunately, a lot of people are grossed out by organ meat...including myself. Braunschweiger on the other hand is delicious, I mean we fight over it at Mom's Christmas Eve buffet delicious. This year I am going to attempt to make it from scratch (minus a large amount of the sodium). In the mean time, if you have a recipe worth sharing please post it in the comments.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Food for thought...French Farmer's Markets

For those of you not in the know, I've been overseas in India and France for the last five months performing a culinary internship. I seized the opportunity to visit local farmer's markets, and food stands along the way. The restaurant I worked for hand purchased produce and other goods several days a week from the market. The quality of ingredients used in preparing our cuisine was phenomenal. We purchase items in season at their peak ripeness. If one of our usual fruits or vegetables didn't look good on a particular day, we didn't buy it. This is the norm for many of the upscale restaurants in l’Hexagone.

The majority of people that live in these areas also purchased from these markets. Not only could one buy produce, but cured meats, cheeses, eggs, meat, fish, jams, bake goods, and many other artisan products were also abundantly available. I can appreciate that here in Chicago, our local farmers markets carry many of these same products. However, what I find is that many of us do not buy exclusively from these local purveyors.

It is my belief that as the demand for goods at the market increases, the long forgotten culture of buying local will be restored. Along with the demand, more variety will blossom. Why should the Europeans reap all of the benefits of primo produce and to die for cheese and charcuterie? It's SO not fair.

Therefore, I would like to propose a challenge. Create your usual grocery list. For one month, one year, or for the rest of your life, make the farmers market the first stop for all of your grocery needs. Buy everything available on your list. Whatever is remaining, purchase at the grocery store of your choice. Imagine the possibilities!