26 September 2011

Go Bento - my new lunch delivery service!

Not Pictured: Aduki Beans and Melon
I'm in the middle of piloting a bento lunch delivery service called Go Bento that features healthy, local, vegetarian meals delivered to the desks of hungry office workers all over the city and Brooklyn. This will be week 2. So far, so good!

Here's the menu for this week:
Sauteed Local Eggplant and Broccoli with Sesame, Tamari, and Sambal

Aduki Beans simmered with Ginger

Carrot and Zucchini Salad with Toasted Sunflower Seeds and Cilantro

Brown Rice with Hijiki

Local Melon

This bento is vegan and gluten-free and uses organic and local ingredients.

Order by Tuesday at Noon for Wednesday Lunch Delivery! http://tinyurl.com/bentopilot

15 September 2011

hold on to your muesli!

Though I'm sure many of us are trying to hold on to what's left of summer (I'm personally holding on for dear life), it's hard not to start thinking about the autumn and winter ahead. So for those of you who still have the museli recipe I posted back in March bookmarked but haven't made it yet, I wanted to give you a little nudge and show you how yummy it looks once it's all cooked up.

And even if you aren't into hot cereals, or it's not going to be cool where you are for a good while (hello, Texas!), you can make the no-cook version anytime by mixing the muesli up with almond milk (or other milk of your choosing) or yogurt.

Do yourself a favor and make a big batch of this-- it lasts for months and come that first really cold morning, you'll be glad you have it around.

07 September 2011

the chocolate factory: a tour of mast bros.

One of the perks of my recent stint as a restaurant chef was being neighbors with Mast Brothers Chocolate. Located in the same building, we shared a common hallway where all of our respective staffs would tread to and from offices, kitchens, and tempering rooms. After working in a world where I was primarily working alone, or my main camaraderie came in the fom of  few minutes of chatting with nannies and housekeepers, it was fun to get to know the faces, names, and good vibes behind a local artisan chocolate company I have supported (even if only in spirit) since it was just the two brothers producing luscious bean-to-bar chocolate out of their apartment.  (And meeting the two brothers was akin to meeting celebrities for me, though be proud, I totally kept my cool).

We set up a tour of the chocolate factory for the kitchen staff and any front of house staff who wanted in. So a few of us got to take a peek behind closed doors at Mast Bros. and see where all the magic happens. We saw how the process works from roasting, winnowing, grinding, tempering, and molding-- ending of course in a tasting of several of their beautifully paper-wrapped luscious, not-too-sweet, organic dark chocolate bars. My favorites are the Venezuela Grand Cru 74% (made from a very special cacao bean!), Serrano Pepper (a great heat without being overpowering), and Pecan & Maple (a good mix of my Texas upbringing and Northeastern living).

Even though I am admittedly not a huge chocolate person (gasp!), I always love seeing how things are produced, and I was thrilled to get a view of their relatively small operations before they expand into a huge space a few doors down in the coming months. And let me tell you, these guys are having a blast while they're making this chocolate-- whooping sounds of joy and loud fun music could be heard in the hall almost every day, they have parties in the shop at least once a month, and they have friendly chocolate-related competitions among the staff every month or so. That's my kind of place. And hey, chocolate or otherwise, food always tastes better if you know who grew it, made it, and cared about it from start to finish.

31 August 2011

probars follow up

They sent me these as a thank you for the shout out.

This was fun because I got to try a bunch of new flavors-- but my favorites are still Art's Original, and Superfood Slam, I also now add Whole Berry Blast to that list. Apple Cinnamon Crunch and Cran Lemon Twister are pretty good too.

I love those ProBar people.

25 August 2011

shrink wrapped vegetables

This is a common practice at delis and bodgeas across New York. I see it all the time and I try to laugh while I reason out the logic. I just do not understand*.

In the end I do laugh about it, even though it breaks my heart a little.

*No, I "get it"-- it's "sanitary" and maybe someone feels this keeps these items "fresh", but I don't understand why this is a common practice. It's just so wrong.

23 August 2011

today's lunch bento

Local romaine and purslane salad with dill, black beans, sungold cherry tomatoes, kirby cucumber, toasted pecans, hemp seeds, and Andrew's bee pollen.

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