Category Archives: Health/Nutrition

Farm Hill: A Meal Delivery Service Targeting the South Bay

The Classic Chicken entree from Farm Hill.

The Classic Chicken entree from Farm Hill.

 

Every time I turn around these days, a new startup is popping up to deliver either cooking kits or prepared meals to your home or office.

Almost all of them, though, zero in on San Francisco first, before spreading to other parts of the Bay Area.

Not so with Farm Hill.

The founders, Marc Manara and Mark Wittman, who got the idea for the business while students at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, started the service first in the South Bay. They wisely deduced that in urban centers like San Francisco, it’s fairly easy to walk out the door to find a tasty lunch close by. But in more suburban areas, going for lunch often means getting in the car to drive a few miles for sustenance.

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Scenes From the Inaugural BITE Silicon Valley

"Top Chef'' winner Brian Voltaggio hamming it up with his crew at BITE Silicon Valley. Gee, can you guess why his Los Angeles restaurants are called Ink and Ink.Sack?

“Top Chef” winner Michael Voltaggio hamming it up with his crew at BITE Silicon Valley. Gee, can you guess why his Los Angeles restaurants are called Ink and Ink.Sack?

 

If ever there was a place where food and technology intersect, it’s Silicon Valley.

So it was only apropos that the inaugural BITE Silicon Valley extravaganza be held this past weekend at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

The three-day affair brought together some of the country’s most famed chefs, cutting-edge food entrepreneurs, food scientists and food activists to not only talk about how technology has impacted food, but to offer delicious tastes of their work.

Food and technology -- not football -- were the focus of attention this past weekend.

Food and technology — not football — were the focus of attention this past weekend.

Event chair Jose Andres, renowned chef and founder of the ThinkFoodGroup, spoke passionately about how his humanitarian organization, World Central Kitchen, has worked in developing countries to bring about more efficient and safer cooking methods.

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Oatmeal Tête–À–Tête

Oatmeal for dinner -- a comfort dish even naysayers will love.

Oatmeal for dinner — a comfort dish even naysayers will love.

 

A typical day at my house:

(Rip, rustle, rustle, as I open a package that arrived in the mail, this one containing sample tins of Flahavan’s Irish Steel Cut Oatmeal.)

Me to my husband: “Oh, look, it’s oatmeal! You like oatmeal, right?”

My husband: (Snorts, shrugs.) “Eh, yeah.”

After all, he eats it for breakfast at least a couple times a week. But of course, I’m in the mood to do something different with it.

Me: “Guess what I’m going to do! I’m going to make savory oatmeal for dinner with it!”

My husband: “WHY?!?!?

Me: “You cook it like risotto. That sounds really good, doesn’t it?”

My husband: (Makes a face, shrugs, looks at me cross-eyed.) “If you must…”

Yup, that response is typical, too, whenever I want to cook up something a little different from the norm. But at least he’s a good sport about it, right? Well, sort of.

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A Tasty Visit to Planet Rice

Planet Rice Quinoa & Sprouted Rice Power Blend, raw on plate, and cooked in the bowl.

Planet Rice Quinoa & Sprouted Rice Power Blend, raw on plate, and cooked in the bowl.

 

Being Chinese-American, I grew up on white rice. And nothing but.

Black, brown, red and even bamboo-green rices were non-existent in my parents’ kitchen.

That’s why these other types intrigue me so much now. So when I had a chance to try samples of Planet Rice’s sprouted rices, I happily did so.

What is sprouted rice? Just what it sounds like: rice that has been soaked in water until the grains sprout ever so slightly.

The result is a softer texture. Not only that, but studies have shown that the sprouting increases the amount of fiber, B vitamins, and magnesium, as well as Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, an amino acid that can help lower anxiety and blood pressure, and afford deeper sleep and improved cardiovascular functions.

Who wouldn’t want more of that, right?

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Cutting Down on Salt? Kale Salad to the Rescue

A kale salad low in sodium, but big on flavor and texture. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

A kale salad low in sodium, but big on flavor and texture. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

 

When I was diagnosed with high blood pressure years ago, it wasn’t necessarily a surprise.

That’s because it runs in my family, unfortunately.

What was a revelation, though, was just how much sodium lurked in so many foods I’d enjoyed without a second thought.

Check the labels on things like instant oatmeal, blue cheese, and even Dijon mustard, and you’ll be astonished.

(Graphic courtesy of the American Heart Association)

(Graphic courtesy of the American Heart Association)

Nowadays, I always read labels. And I wisely use flavor boosters such as good vinegars, lemon juice, herbs, spices, and toasted unsalted nuts to give extra oomph to dishes that are moderate in sodium.

That’s why I love this kale salad. I know — can you stand another kale recipe? I think you will when it’s as simple to prepare and satisfying as this one.

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