Eatwell Farm

This is our box for the week from Eatwell Farm.  We've got apples, oranges, lemons, strawberries, lemon balm, parsley, sugar snap peas, green garlic, spring onions, spinach, carrots, mixed greens.

We're on the 12 week program (13th week is free) w/ a half dozen eggs, which comes to about $29 a box.  Considering we get our box next door, the fruits and vegetables are organic AND they're picked the week of delivery, it's a no brainer value — and ridiculous from a freshness standpoint.

You also get things you might not normally buy at the store like romanesco, daikon, rainbow chard, jerusalem artichokes, rutabagas, and watermelon radish.  And you learn to eat seasonally, which makes you realize we actually do have seasons in Northern California.

There are a few drawbacks.  It's not always easy to eat everything in a week, and you do have to cook.  You might get weeks of weeks of something you might not like for example red cabbage or kale.  You might not have enough of something to finish a recipe — need one more eggplant or one more onion, so you'll have to supplement that at the store.  You'll also never get bananas (obviously) and probably some other "non-standard" vegetable.

Sign up with Eatwell if you're in the Bay Area or I'd encourage signing up for another Community Support Agriculture (CSA) program like Eatwell Farm.  A lot of them are popping up all over California and the rest of the United States.

* Hard to say whether or not CSA is scalable, I'm sure less than 1% of the country subscribes to a CSA.  But it would be great to see because in practice we feel healthier and feel better knowing where our  food comes from and the knowing the people who farm it.

Acai bowls

I've been making these Acai bowls for breakfast or lunch and they're delicious.  First had these at Lanikai Juice in Kailua and then had them again when I was in Los Angeles at a couple places.

Really simple to make, just need to buy or order the frozen Acai pulp, I get mine from Berkeley Bowl but can also get from Amazon.com.  The fuzion is good but I like the original blend.

To make it, just two of the smoothie packets, some soy milk (or apple juice but I like soy milk) in the blender and blend away.  Put it in a bowl, add fruit like: blueberries, raspberries, bananas, strawberries, and then add some granola.  I've seen some with a little bit of yogurt too but maybe too much.  I like Cafe Fanny's granola but also Blue Bottle's granola.  It takes at most five minutes to put it all together, which is great too.

This bowl is maybe 300+ calories but if it's breakfast or lunch it's not bad.  I like eating it post workout too — just tastes good and looks pretty too.

some good drinks from Oakland

Oakland has some pretty good drinks.  A few that I really like:

Haven't really tried Numi tea, another Oakland company.  We want to but just haven't pulled the trigger we have so much tea in the house.  I get tea from Teance in Berkeley, their ba bao chao and pu-erh teas and we also get tea from Republic of Tea, Ginseng peppermint and several other kinds.  We've got a lot of tea.  We'll try Numi eventually.

 

power & emergency dessert

Power Dessert – Tofu w/ Chia Seeds and Maple Syrup

In a cup, add the following:

  • 3 tablespoons of chia seeds (after soaked in water for 10 minutes)
  • 2/3 cup of silken tofu (I like Hodo Soy's from Berkeley Bowl)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of maple syrup (real maple syrup not pancake syrup)

That's it.  I've been eating this a lot lately, instead of ice cream and other desserts.

Emergency Dessert – Castella

My other go to dessert is Castella or Kasutera, a simple slight honey flavored sponge cake brought to Japan from Portugal.  They have these in the freezer section of Berkeley Bowl.  I like to keep it in the freezer and I like it as an emergency dessert for myself (as in if we've got nothing else) or in case we have guests over.  It's good with tea, coffee, morning, afternoon, late evening.

chia seeds

Chia seeds

I finally finished the Born to Run book that everyone I workout with seems to cite so I figured I'd get in on the references.  One of the things I thought was interesting was the chia seed talk as well as pinole — which seems to be toasted cornmeal with sugar and cinnamon.  So chia seeds are supposed to be good for you and doesn't taste like anything.  These two I guess are the super foods for the super athlete Tarahumara Indians.  Thought I'd give it a shot.

I bought some chia seeds from Amazon.  They're not expensive and I've been taking 3 tablespoons, 3 times a day of chia seeds.  You're supposed to put the chia seeds in water first to expand.  And then the seeds soak up the water and forms a jelly looking barrier around the seed.

Anyhow, I just add more water or pineapple juice (or any juice) to the seeds and drink it up.  I've also added it to soft tofu (taho) with maple syrup.

The health benefits are supposed to be pretty good, lowers blood pressure, helps with diet, high levels of omega-3.  We'll see how it goes.  So far so good, energy is up and food cravings have been down.  In a month or two, will see if it actually helps with the diet and blood pressure bit.

burgers and cupcakes

True Burger

We ate at  True Burger, in Oakland, last weekend and have to say that True Burger is now my new burger place — post workout reward, post Tahoe/road trip meal.  It's a small restaurant and they do burgers, fries, milkshakes, and that's about it and they do it really well.

In comparison to In N' Out, True Burger's burgers have much better flavor, better bun, slightly larger, and less greasy.  In N' Out's fries aren't very good, True Burger fries are crispy and tasty.  The milk shakes are tastier too, it's vanilla or chocolate or with fill-ins like vanilla with strawberry, peanut butter, coffee, etc.  You could say that True Burger is looking to create reference, by the book best versions of the American burger, fries, and milk shake and they do a ridiculously great job.  Here's a much better review but essentially, no more trips to In N' Out.

red velvet cup cake, from Cupkates Bakery

Cupkates Bakery

The other "best thing I've eaten" moment was a week or so ago when I was gifted with a Key Lime pie cupcake from Cupkates Bakery.  If you see the Cupkates cupcake truck, wave them down and buy the $3 Key Lime pie cupcake.  It's just crazy good.  I guess they drive around Oakland and San Francisco. 

Key Lime Pie $3/ea
A graham cracker crust, key lime cake, curd filled, and topped with meringue frosting. Available with or without toasted coconut.

a cool pop-up

pop-up general store (OPEN TODAY 6/30/2010 at 5pm – 7pm at Grace Street Catering) is part of this interesting food movement that's happening in the Bay Area along with Jon's Street Eats, Eatwell Farm, any Bay Area farmer's market — where there's this mix of food reverence, technology, and a bit of grunge.

Anyway, here's pop-up general's store description:

is a group of professional cooks {nearly all of us current or former Chez Panisse cooks} making the foods we love to eat. We Pop-Up every two or three weeks so that you can get your hands on some.

pop-up general store is effectively in Ghost town.  Whatever.  Will check it out.  One of our favorite restaurants that closed, Cafe Jojo's in Oakland (which had the best steak frites), is now doing catering and offering products through the store so it's pretty cool to see them back in action.

Nocciolata

We're over at the Berkeley Bowl and I'm about to go grab some Nutella.  Nutella has a low glycemic index and therefore ok to eat?  That's what I told myself anyway.

Next to Nutella on the shelf is Nocciolata and instead of grabbing Nutella, I grabbed it instead.  Glad I did because Nocciolata is ridiculously delicious, tons better than Nutella — game over.  It's available on Amazon and it's worth seeking out.

Anyway, make sure you're on a workout program before you buy a jar.

2010 Michelin restaurants – SF/Bay Area

To try eventually…

Three Stars
The French Laundry

Two Stars
Coi
Cyrus
Manresa
Meadowood

One Star
Acquerello
Ame
Aqua
Auberge du Soleil
Aziza
Bouchon
Boulevard
Chez Panisse
Chez TJ
Commis
Ritz Carlton Dining Room
étoile
Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant
Fifth Floor
Fleur de Lys
Gary Danko
La Folie
La Toque
Luce
Madrona Manor
Masa's
Michael Mina
Murray Circle
One Market
Plumed Horse
Quince
Range
Redd
Santé
Solbar
Terra
Trevese
The Village Pub
Ubuntu