Oakland’s Renewal Mill Takes Reuse To Another Level

Renewal Mill's brownie mix does both a body and a planet good.
Renewal Mill’s brownie mix does both a body and a planet good.

See those deep dark, fudgy brownies above that are just calling your name?

Not only are they gluten-free and vegan, but they have a couple of very unexpected and intriguing ingredients in them:

Namely, spent vanilla beans leftover from making vanilla extract, and spent non-GMO, organic okara, the byproduct of soymilk production from premier tofu-maker Hodo Foods of Oakland, no less.

Renewal Mill, based in Oakland and helmed by an all-woman team, is on the noble mission to take food waste from large food manufacturers and convert it into new, delicious, and nutritious uses. Recently, I had a chance to try samples of a few of its products.

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Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late, Part 4

Can you blame me for ordering one of very pasta on the menu at Pasta Armellino? Not when they all look and taste this good!
Can you blame me for ordering one of very pasta on the menu at Pasta Armellino? Not when they all look and taste this good!

Pasta Armellino, Saratoga and Cupertino

Two years ago, the original Pasta Armellino opened to great anticipation in downtown Saratoga. After all, who wouldn’t be excited about the Michelin-starred chef of the Plumed Horse (right across the street) plying his skills on hand-made pastas at moderate prices?

That casual eatery has done so well that last month, a second Pasta Armellino appeared on the scene at Main Street Cupertino, albeit much more quietly. Then again, it’s not easy for a new business to muster blustery fanfare during a pandemic.

The new Pasta Armellino in the Main Street Cupertino complex.
The new Pasta Armellino in the Main Street Cupertino complex.

Yet if you are a pasta lover like I am, you should be rejoicing mightily. Because these are supple, toothsome pasta dishes that will surely leave you giddy from the first forkful.

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Summery Creamy Corn Pasta & A Discount Code For A Great Farm Box Delivery

Fresh corn is used two ways in this delicious pasta dish.
Fresh corn is used two ways in this delicious pasta dish.

A tangle of pasta. Dolloped with fresh corn kernels, basil leaves, and soft cheese. All lavished with a naturally sweet corn sauce that’s creamy yet not heavy in the least.

If that dish doesn’t say summer, what does?

And if that doesn’t get your mouth watering, what will?

When the folks behind the Bay Area’s Farm Box company delivered one of their stellar produce boxes over the weekend, it’s no surprise that’s the dish I was inspired to make first.

What this coming weekend's Farm Box contains.
What this coming weekend’s Farm Box contains.

Farm Box is a weekly curated farmers market box that customers can get delivered to their door or pick up at the Ferry Plaza farmers market on Saturdays or the Menlo Park farmers market on Sundays. The company was co-founded by Andreas Winsberg, son of David Winsberg, who owns Happy Quail Farms in East Palo Alto, a premier grower of peppers, including the beloved pimentos de Padron.

Each week, Andreas and his team put together a different Farm Box, made up of peak-produce from small local farmers who sell regularly at the Ferry Building and Menlo Park farmers markets.

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A Peachy Keen Peach Tart

A lovely peach tart that's a cinch to make.
A lovely peach tart that’s a cinch to make.

With its fanciful spiral of glossy, syrupy, tender fruit, this peach tart looks impressive yet is fairly effortless to make.

In fact, it’s so easy that it’s ideal to bake on a whim, for those times when unexpected company shows up at your house.

You know, in those good ol’ days, pre-pandemic.

Sigh.

Until life gets back to normal, though, you definitely deserve this wonderful “Peach Tart.” Just because it’s prime peach season. Just because it’s been an unfathomable year. Just because you can.

The recipe is from Food52 Baking: 60 Sensational Treats You Can Pull Off in a Snap” (Ten Speed Press, 2015).

You don’t even need a mixer to whip it up — just a couple bowls, a fork, a spoon, and your own elbow grease.

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Sigona’s Launches Home Delivery Produce Boxes

The mango and nectarine in my Sigona's Home Delivery produce box inspired me to make this.
The mango and nectarine in my Sigona’s Home Delivery produce box inspired me to make this.

Everyone’s favorite family-owned fresh produce market on the Peninsula has started offering home delivery of its stellar fruits and veggies.

It’s a new service by Sigona, spurred by the decline of its office delivery program due to shelter-in-place.

Sigona’s Farmers Market has brick-and-mortar locations in Redwood City and the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, which offer more extensive offerings through curbside pick-up or Instacart delivery.

But the separate Sigona’s Home Deliveries sure is convenient if you happen to live within its delivery zone. That encompasses: Millbrae, Hillsborough, Burlingame, San Mateo, Foster City, Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood Shores, Emerald Hills, Redwood City, Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Cupertino.

The home delivery boxes range in size, suited to feeding anywhere from 1 to 4 people. Choose boxes that highlight fruits only, veggies only, berries only, dried fruits and nuts, or a combination of fruits and veggies. You can even add on a seasonal berry pie ($17.99) from Pietisserie, Upper Crust Bakery or Gizdich Ranch.

Test driving the new Sigona Home Delivery Fruit & Veggie Box.
Test driving the new Sigona Home Delivery Fruit & Veggie Box.
The contents of last week's box.
The contents of last week’s box.

Delivery is free for orders over $75; for orders under $75, there is a delivery fee of $3. Deliveries are made on Wednesdays and Fridays, and orders must be finalized three days ahead of time.

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