Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ALLocal Dinner at Evoo

Rhubarb Martini!
On Monday, I attended the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Boston's 10th ALLocal Dinner at Evoo in Kendall Square. I'm so glad I ditched my yoga plans at the last minute to go eat some delicious local food and meet some amazing people doing great things in Boston's local food community! Here's a recap of the evening!

I started with a Rhubarb Martini! It was so amazing that I thought I'd be doing myself (and the farmers at Verrill Farm and the insane mixologist who invented this cocktail) a disservice if I didn't have another...

We mingled with local foodies and met some new neighbors! Then we sat down to dinner, which started with Honey Wheat bread in personal terra cotta pots! The wheat flour
was from Four Star Farms and the honey was from Carlisle Honey.
Honey Wheat Bread in a Terra Cotta Pot! 
Amuse Bouche was a Clam Civeche. I'd never tried Clam Civeche and barely knew what Civeche was, so I decided to give it a try. If you also are unclear about what exactly civeche is, it is typically made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices such as lemon or lime and spiced with chilli peppers. I occasionally eat local sustainable seafood, so I asked to try this dish even though I signed up for the event as a vegetarian. I also tried the vegetarian Amuse Bouche, which was a fiddlehead fern topped with other tasty stuff! 
Fiddleheads or Clam Civeche? I couldn't decide!
First Course was a Spring Garlic Soup with Goat Cheese Crema. The Goat Cheese was from VB&C and the Green Garlic was from Kimball Farm.

Spring Garlic Soup with Goat Cheese Crema
The Second Course was Burratini with Tomato, Arugula, and Zucchini and it was so delicious that I devoured it immediately and completely forgot to take a picture. The amazing marscapone stuffed mozzarella came from Somerville based Fiore di Nonno. The tomatoes came from The Food Project, the arugula came from Drumlin Farm, and the Zucchini was from Kimball Farm.

The Main Course was grilled Fennel and Zucchini with shaved Asparagus and Pea Greens over Polenta. The fennel was from Grateful Farm. The zucchini was from Kimball Farm. The asparagus was from Verrill Farm. The pea greens were from Eva's Garden, and the corn meal was from Four Star Farm.
Grilled Veggies Over Polenta! 

Dessert was to die for. The Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Maple Sugar Topping and Sour Cream Ice Cream was unlike anything I've ever eaten.
I Need to Learn How to Make Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp!
Throughout dinner, we heard from various supporters of local and sustainable business, including two impressive high school students from The Food Project, Kat Kazda from the Sustainable Business Leader Program, Nicola Williams of the Boston Local Food Festival, and Peter McCarthy, the Chef/Owner of Evoo.
Kat Kazda, one of several speakers, shares the mission of the SPLP
This was my first ever SBN ALLocal Dinner, but I can assure you that it won't be my last! The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Boston sponsors an ALLocal Dinner Party at Sel De La Terre in Back Bay on July 11. Here are the full details so you can mark your calendar and come! 
Location:        Sel De La Terre, Back Bay, 774 Boylston Street, Boston  
Date:               Monday, July 11, 2011  
Time:              6:00-7:00 Networking & Cocktail Reception
                       7:00-9:00 Dinner
Menu:             A 4 course meal with a choice of lamb or vegetarian entree (vegan entree upon request)
Guests:           We encourage you to share this invitation with friends and family!
Price:              $55 for food and food gratuity (beverage and beverage gratuity separate)
Transportation:   MBTA Green Line: Copley Station; MBTA Orange Line: Back Bay Station. Bus Routes: 191039170CT15755502503504555  Street Parking is available
Funds Benefit:    Boston Local Food Program
Registration:       These events sell out quickly! Register now by clicking here!

The Menu!

This post was shared on:
Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Farm Aid Documentary Ingredients and Dinner at Veggie Planet

Last week, I attended a Farm Aid screening of Ingredients at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square. The documentary was all about knowing your farmer and eating seasonally. It was followed by a stimulating panel discussion headed by Farm Aid's Executive Director Carolyn Mugar. Chef Peter Davis of Henrietta's Table made a great case for sourcing locally farmed produce and locally raised meat. His argument for it was simply that it tastes better (imagine that)! Farmer Ellery Kimball of Blue Heron Organic Farm told us about her realization that women could be farmers and went on and on about how much she loves what she does, even when it means waking up at 5:00 am to save the arugula from high temperatures. And Tim Griffin of the Tufts Friedman School's Agriculture Food and Environment program talked about the policy implications of local vs large scale agriculture. His message? We need balance because local doesn't always work to the scale it needs to in order to feed everyone (at least not yet). I'm glad I took the time to go to the Farm Aid fundraiser and encourage everyone to learn more about Farm Aid's mission to support family farmers here

After the documentary, James and I headed over to Veggie Planet for dinner, where I got this delicious rice and bean dish:
Mexican "Pizza" on Brown Rice instead of Pizza Crust
Veggie Planet is one of my favorite places to grab a quick, affordable vegetarian lunch or dinner. Sure, rice and beans topped with cheese and salsa isn't necessarily the healthiest meal or the most local/sustainable dish out there, but it CAN be. I ate about half of that dinner and saved the other half for lunch. It was filling and delicious and it was vegetarian and full of protein and vitamins! 

I love this quote from Veggie Planet's website:
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." —Albert Einstein

This post was shared on:
Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The New USDA Food Plate Replaces the Food Pyramid

The USDA recently revealed a new "Food Plate" diagram to replace the ineffectiv­e and counterint­uitive food pyramids that have reeked havoc on nutrition education for the past 2 decades. I like that the tool has shifted away from using images of specific food items like bread and meat and moved to less than a 1/4 of the plate taken up by "protein." As someone who doesn't eat meat, the most common question I get is "where do you get your protein?" Maybe this image will start resonating­. You don't need meat in your diet to get your daily dose of amino acids! They're in grains, beans, dairy, and even in fruits and vegetables­! GASP! 

What do you think of the new plate?


Wondering what to fill that protein section of the plate with? Here's a list of plant sources of protein from the USDA's website:

Beans and peas:
black beans
black-eyed peas
chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
kidney beans
lima beans (mature)
navy beans
pinto beans
soy beans
split peas

Processed soy products:
tofu (bean curd made from soybeans)
white beans
bean burgers
veggie burgers
texturized vegetable protein (TVP)

Nuts and seeds*
hazelnuts (filberts)
mixed nuts
peanut butter
pumpkin seeds
sesame seeds
sunflower seeds

This post was shared on:
Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday