• 23Feb

    I’ve never been but I think I would love to visit Morocco one day. Not just because of the cool hats but the spices and flavors and olives…
    The flavors in Moroccan cooking are so different than what our western taste buds are accustom. One client loves cinnamon and another likes to incorporate cinnamon into their diet for it’s blood sugar regulating properties. Cinnamon is used widely in Moroccan foods so thus began my journey into the land of mysterious spices.
    One of my most favorite dishes is the
    Roasted Organic Chicken with Moroccan Spices found in the January 2005 issue of  Bon Appetit. Wow this is a good one!  (Though those observant readers out there will note there is no cinnamon in this dish…so I digressed ;)! !
    Looking at the recipe you will see a spice called “ras-el-hanout” This is not a spice but a blend of many spices and it seems that every Moroccan family has their own secret blend. Some recipes call for over 30 different spices. Some ingredients are even purported to be aphrodisiacs and some of which I’m sure to not want to know about at all. Never fear, you can buy this spice – I got it online from Amazon.com. Do a google search and many vendors will pop up.
    In any case, I would not leave out this spice if you want to try this recipe. And I do encourage you to try it – the flavor is so full and rich. This is a definite winner and will be found on many of my clients menus in the coming weeks. 

    For convenience, try it with parts too instead of the whole chicken. I’m partial to dark meat so I just use legs and thighs. Great side dishes are whole wheat couscous or I had it tonight with brown rice and a sauce I made based on this recipe also found on Epicurious.com.
    For the sauce, I left out the chicken, added some cinnamon, ground coriander, paprika and ground cumin along with a cup of stewed tomatoes then finished the sauce with a touch of honey. Yea, I did say it was roughly based!
    And for you olive lovers out there – Berkeley Bowl has Kalamata stuffed Green Olives!
    That’s it for today. Bon Appetito 

  • 09Feb

    It’s Chinese New Year’s today. Yet another of my favorite holidays.  

    Today begins the year 4703, the year of the Rooster.  

    Typically you will see displays of oranges which symbolize wealth, tangerines to bring forth luck and plum blossoms which symbolize courage and hope.  

    Children and young adults receive lucky money in red envelopes. I’m still a young adult   

    And we have a big feast with our families. Each of the foods eaten during this traditional dinner has a special meaning to help set the tone for the coming year.  

    So, be good today as well as eat a healthy well balanced dinner. All to ensure a healthy, harmonious and properous year to come!  

    Happy New Year All!

  • 06Feb

    In this article from marketwatch.com entitled: “Fighting the fat on kids Food firms say healthy choices taking hold; ads under fire”
    There is a quote from the VP of Pepsico: “We are about real action,” Taaffe said. “Our aim is to lead the industry in our choices and programs that lead to a healthier lifestyle.”
    For instance, she said PepsiCo’s school strategy involves stocking elementary-school vending machines only with “Smart Spot” foods, the company’s name for healthy alternatives. In middle and high schools, 50 percent of snacks and drinks would be healthy, and 50 percent would be “fun for you” foods — junk food.
    “fun for you foods” – take the ‘junk’ out of junk food and put in the fun! Instantly the message is that ‘junk food’ is no longer junk but simply ‘fun’ – no longer bad for you…it’s fun