Monthly Archives: May 2012

Food Fun: Food Jewelry

Macaron jewelry

Chocolate Croissant Ear Rings

Doughnut Earings

Grilled Cheese Earings

Lemon Meringue Pie Ear Rings

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Coconut Ice Cream Recipe: Food comics

I am talking a comic drawing class this summer, so I am practicing with some comic recipes and food related humor. Here is my first food comic.

This recipe can be just vanilla by omitting the chocolate and you can use mint or other extracts for other flavors like chocolate chip mint ice cream.

Enjoy

Juicers: A Farmer and Farmers Market’s Best Friend

Ann Arbor Food

Organic Juice

My little brother has been on a health kick for a few years now. He has lost weight and he has started juicing. Above is a picture he sent of his latest juice concoction.

I have a juicer that I bought for my sugar beet project, but I have as of yet, taken it out for a test drive.

The problem with juicing is the clean up and you really need to put the scraps in the compost right away or you will get flies. With that said the fresh juice is worth it.

My brother makes juice from the standards like carrot, and apple, but he also ventures into the green zone. The juice above probably has some kale, broccoli, or where ever green leaves he found out the farmers market. You name it and he will put it in his juicer.

What hit me when he talked about his juicing is how much vegetables he goes through. Without all of that pesky chewing and fiber, a juice drinker like my brother can drink through pounds of vegetables a day.

My brother joked about when he goes to the farmers market and he asks how much kale the farmer has.

“I’ll take it all,” he’ll  says to a shocked farmer.

Usually he buys them out and actually would buy more to satisfy his juice fix.

When I grew micro greens, I would have juicers ask me about them. I actually discouraged them because they are usually eaten as a garnish and they work best eaten fresh and raw. A bag of my greens or a tray for that matter would not make a lot of juice.

But who was I to say. I walked home with bags of greens at the end the farmers market that a juicer would have loved.

I say bring on the juicers to farmers markets. Let them buy up local veggies by the create full and juice to their health.

It is a win-win for the farmer and juicer.

Calling all Farmer’s Market Managers: “Start offering Juicing Demos at your Markets.”

Sava Restaurant Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor Food

Cappellini Marlon (pasta w/lobster, shrimp in saffron cream sauce

This is my second time going to Sava in Ann Arbor. They have a mixed menu of pub food, standards like steak and fish, pasta and Italian, and Mexican.

That seems all over the map, but everything I have had there has been good.

Ann Arbor Food

Fish and Chips (Icelandic cod beer battered)

Ann Arbor Food Sava Restaurant

Marlin special

Ann Arbor Food Sava Restaurant

Filet Mignon Steak with potato and asparagus

Ann Arbor Food Sava Restaurant

Enchiladas

Ann Arbor Food Sava Restaurant

Chocolate Lava Cake with Ice Cream

Ann Arbor Food Sava Restaurant

Creme Brulee

Weight Loss By the Numbers: Constant Vigilance

OK. Some may have been following my weekly weigh-in. I have since stopped going to weight watchers, but I am now following a healthy eating program with some of the elements from the program.

I read this article, which may shed some light on the issue of Obesity in America.

A Conversation With Carson Chow
A Mathematical Challenge to Obesity, New York Times

Huge variations in your daily food intake will not cause variations in weight, as long as your average food intake over a year is about the same. This is because a person’s body will respond slowly to the food intake.

So if this true, the real idea is not freaking out about daily food intake, but averaging it out over time. This means changing habits more then a daily counter, which I had a problem with on Weight Watchers.

Hidden foods like trips to the vending machine or high calorie coffee drinks add up with the accounting being tallied at the end of the year.

The real problem is that once we lose the weight, we want to go back to eating about how we normally ate, but it takes time to adjust to the new way of eating. This is why most, like myself gain even after losing.

Did you ever solve the question posed to you when you were first hired — what caused the obesity epidemic?

We think so. And it’s something very simple, very obvious, something that few want to hear: The epidemic was caused by the overproduction of food in the United States.

If you are on a weight loss program is seems obvious that there is a lot of food out there that should be avoided or eaten moderation at best. These are the high point packaged/fast foods on Weight Watcher for example. Veggies and Fruit by contracts score NO POINTS on the new Weight Watchers program if that give you an idea.

Beginning in the 1970s, there was a change in national agricultural policy. Instead of the government paying farmers not to engage in full production, as was the practice, they were encouraged to grow as much food as they could. At the same time, technological changes and the “green revolution” made our farms much more productive. The price of food plummeted, while the number of calories available to the average American grew by about 1,000 a day.

Well, what do people do when there is extra food around? They eat it! This, of course, is a tremendously controversial idea. However, the model shows that increase in food more than explains the increase in weight.

Those extra 1000 calories are out there. There is a vending machine in every building on my college campus and during holidays the break rooms and even classrooms usually have free candy for the taking. And every college club does bake sale fund raisers and visiting groups who table in the student center offers free candy.

So it is just me? I am not offered a drink, a cigarette or drugs, but free or cheap baked goods and candy are every where. I can try to avoid eating it, but I cannot avoid it. With that said, billions are spent trying to tempt me to lower my and the rest of our resolve.

You said earlier that nobody wants to hear your message. Why?

I think the food industry doesn’t want to know it. And ordinary people don’t particularly want to hear this, either. It’s so easy for someone to go out and eat 6,000 calories a day. There’s no magic bullet on this. You simply have to cut calories and be vigilant for the rest of your life.

The message is The “Lose 30 pounds in 30 years program.” (smiles) It reminds me of the Harry Potter character Mad Eye Moody’s tag line “Constant Vigilance!

Ann Arbor Wood Fire Pizza Cart

Nick Wilkinson A2 Pizza Pi Wood Fired Pizza

Nick Wilkinson, an Ann Arbor native started A2 Pizza Pi (as in the symbol for pi), a wood fired pizza food cart. You can find him manning the wood fire oven at Mark’s Carts.(directions)

This the second season for the Mark’s Carts and the first season for A2 pizza Pi.

A2 Pizza Pi Ann Arbor Wood Fire Pizza

Nick got help starting his business by running a successful Kickstarter.com fund raiser raising over $10,000. I contributed to his fundraiser, which include a pizza for my support.

Nick strives for locally sourced organic ingredients for his pizza including local flour, sausage, fresh herbs and veggies.

He features seven different pizza, but will customize.

A2 Pizza Pi Wood Fire Pizza Menu

The pizza I tried was a Margarita with the addition of sausage.

Wood Fire Sausage Pizza

The heat of the oven gets around 700-800 degrees, which makes for a thin crust pizza cooked in a little over a minute.

Nick At the Oven

An interested feature to his oven is that he uses wood, which has been infected by the Emerald Ash Borer. The wood can not be taken outside of the area and it can only be disposed of by burning.

Ash Wood with Emerald Ash Borer groves

Mark’s Carts
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Pizza
Price Range $ (0-10)
Hours
Tue – Sat: 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Specialties

Lunch
Dinner
Services

Walk-Ins Welcome
Good For Groups
Good For Kids
Take Out
Outdoor Seating
Parking
Street

Contact Info
Phone 1 (734) 834-9775

Eat Your Garden Veggies

Garden season is here again and that means veggies.

One of the good things, yet challenges with gardening is the amount of fresh veggies that seemed to all come in at once.

I have been thinking about this dilemma ever since I joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) and I found myself with a random section of veggies that I had to figure out what to do with.

I needed a way to get a variety of veggies into my meals before everything went bag (and to make room in the frig for the next CSA BOX)

Out of this came what I call: 

Gardeners Essential Veggie Recipes/Techniques.

I felt all gardens needed to know them to best use their veggies. The list is not complete, but here is a start.

Recipe will follow in later posts.

Cole Slaw

Veggies: (Cabbage, carrot, radish, onion, scallion, beets, turnip, apple etc…)

Cole Slaw is not just green cabbage and mayo. In fact, you don’t need to use mayo at all. I prefer an Asian slaw made with a soy vinaigrette. The great thing about a slaw is that it will keep for a few days and you can use a food processor to prep the veggies.

Curry

Veggies: Root veggies especially potato, squashes, green beans, peas, carrots, cauliflower, onion, peppers, broccoli, spinach and leafy greens, mushrooms

There are a number of types of curry like Indian and Thai. Serve over rice, with meat, seafood or in a soup

Pizza

Veggies: Tomato, onion, pesto herbs, broccoli, zucchini, peppers, eggplant, spinach, etc…

Pizza is one of those great way to sneak veggies into a meal for kids

quiche

Veggies: Spinach, dark leafy greens, broccoli (kale, collards, mustard greens, beet greens, chard), onion, tomato, root veggies, peppers, corn etc..

Quiche is a two-fer because it also allows you to use up all of those eggs on a CSA or if you have chickens. They also freeze well. They are a great way to use up all of those dark leafy greens you have especially late in the season when your kale is on the tougher side.

Roasted root vegetables

Veggies: Potatoes, Onion, garlic, carrot, celery root, sweet potato, radish, turnip, squashes, parsnip, parsley root, beets, rutabaga, pumpkin, corn

Roasted root veggies make great leftovers, so make a big batch. They can be a huge mix of veggies. I rarely use just one veggie anymore. This is my go to when the veggies start pouring in. And it works with a ton of meals like chicken, steak, fish, tofu, sausage etc.

Stir Fry

Veggies: broccoli. carrot, celery, peppers, onions, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, cauliflower, cabbages, eggplant etc..

Stir fry is similar to curries. It is served over rice or noodles. A huge number of veggies can work in one dish. The trick is timing when you put in the veggies, so they are done at the same time.

It can be all veggie or served with beef, fish, chicken or tofu and top with nuts and seeds for a more satisfying vegan meal.

Salad Dressing

Veggies: Fresh Raw veggies, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, in slaw, etc…

Lets face it. Most of our fresh veggies are going to be washed, cut and eaten raw, so having a list of some basic salad dressing and stocking the frig is an order of the season. A basic vinaigrette of good olive oil, vinegar (or citrus) salt, pepper, red pepper flake and fresh chopped herbs is my go to.

Mashed Veggies

Veggies: Root veggies

Mashed veggies are an alternative to roasting. The veggies are boiled until tender and mashed. You can selected a combination of veggies or just one. Add butter, salt and pepper and a touch of maple and honey and you are good to go.

Others:
Omelettes
Pot Pie
Soups