Monday, September 12, 2016

Are you in the Los Angeles area? Then come support Italy!




Appetizers will be served @ 5:30pm
4-course meal
Wine included
Tickets available at chefjoannas.com

If you cannot attend the dinner and would like to donate, please visit:

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Visiting Cheese Museum Gruyères, Switzerland


After all the vegan talk, I have to be honest and tell you that I do eat cheese. I work as a chef in a Wine & Cheese store!!  All the cheeses are flown from France and Spain, and I have been really enjoying pairing cheese and wine, and educating customers on all the different cheeses of France. My favorite cheese so far- Petit Basque.

I can't help but discover that the best diet, and for most things in life, the key is moderation. This is why I have adapted a balanced diet of dairy, meat, seafood, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. For me at least, my body feels best when I eat a balanced diet. Of course, it is vitally important to eat a diet heavy in vegetables and fruits to balance out the proteins. It is a life-learning process, to figure out what the best diet is for you, and I try to enjoy it as much as I can. And I try to help others enjoy it, too.

Recently, I had the great opportunity to visit Switzerland. Besides my indulges in the French patisseries, I had the chance to visit the Gruyères cheese museum- The Swiss Cheese. I love all those museum-y things, so I found it fun and eye-opening. I discovered these dairy cows are treated well with a buffet of different herbs and spice plants to snack from, which give creamy, alpine nuances to their cheese. I gained a greater appreciation for cheese overall, and the artisan at work.

Below is a picture of the sample given at the museum, three cheeses all aged for a different number of months. As they mature, the flavors concentrate more, and the nuttiness is more pronounced. The younger are mild and creamy with more floral attributes. Great experience!


Cheese sample and audio tour guide head set





From inside the museum, a snowy day

Storing the aged cheese


The small train stop that leaves every hour, no sooner!



Cheese and toast in the mountains. Not my favorite but had to try the local cuisine

Monday, April 13, 2015

Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition











































Without the education of switching to a Vegetarian or Vegan diet, it may do more harm than good. Here are some resources on getting the proper vitamins in your diet on a vegetarian or vegan diet. The most important vitamins are B12, D, and sometimes Iron & Calcium.

B12 is vital for vegans and can be found in fortified soy, rice, or non-dairy milk, fortified breakfast cereals, tofu and prepared meatless meats, or in a supplement. You often can find iron and calcium in fortified non-dairy milks and cereals as well. 







Saturday, April 11, 2015

Droughts, Deforestation, Health Concerns: The answer- Shift to a Vegetarian or Vegan diet

A recent view of the local news on the California drought brought this to my attention. Eating a plate of vegetables and grains requires much less water than a plate of steak. Below are some charts and info on just how much water and feed is required to make one hamburger.

Notice that in order to feed a cow, a farmer needs water to grow the grain to feed the cow, the water to hydrate the cow, and use machinery to transport the food to the cow. All this requires much more water and energy than growing fields of farro or lentils. All plants need is sun and lots of water, but no more than a cow needs. If we eat such a vegetable diet, we could save a lot of energy, and use grazing grounds for growing more grains and beans. Surely, we would have more food to feed the world.

Many experts agree that if we continue with our demand for meat, the US being the second-ranking in the world, we will run out of food resources to feed ourselves. Not to mention our health will suffer, as well as pollution from animal waste in the air and our rivers. Luckily, the meat trend is slowing down, probably because so many peoples' health is suffering. I hope we awaken to the demand we are putting on this earth, the senseless eating that has become a custom in the US, and have a conscious thought about eating.

It seems an obvious choice to go pescetarian (fish & vegetables only), vegetarian, or vegan. Still, we have so many concerns about the vegetarian diet. For instance, the increasing demand for dairy and eggs, (because of the switching from meats to dairy or eggs) puts stress on the farmers. Unfortunately, many male chickens are killed for they don't produce eggs, and many calves are taken directly away from their dairy mothers at birth so we can obtain their milk. For this reason, even if we do include dairy in our diet, let us focus on low quantities and responsibly farmed sources. A diet of fish also has its downfalls for we are farming fish now, too. Yet, I feel I need fish in my diet so I stick to small fish like mackerel, sardines, snapper, and stay away from top predators such as Tuna, Yellowtail, Mahi Mahi, and Swordfish because they probably contain high levels of mercury or other pollutants. In this way, I hope to do my part while I am here on this earth. God bless your choice.   

What It Takes To Make A Quarter-Pound Hamburger

Burger resources



Just look how much we ate in 1909 and then in 2012. No wonder many of our grandparents are healthy. Certainly my 88-year-old grandma is one.


U.S. total meat consumption, in billion pounds


U.S. total meat consumption, in billion pounds
 

U.S. meat consumption per person, in pounds

U.S. meat consumption per person, in pounds
 
 
 
"Though meat consumption in the U.S. has dropped off slightly in recent years, at 270.7 pounds per person a year, we still eat more meat per person here than in almost any other country on the planet. Only the Luxumbourgers eat more meat than we do."
 
 
 
 
Meat Consumption, 2007

 
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Vegan Salad and Zucchini Stir Fry

This lunch meal is a Golden Harvest Salad and Zucchini Stir fry.

The salad is baby kale with apples, shredded carrots, walnuts, raisins, and sliced celery. It's dressed with a simple apple cider vin with agave.



The zucchini stir fry is with red onion, mushrooms, and garbanzo beans. It's dressed with some ginger drawing and serve with brown rice and peas. Even my non-vegan parents enjoyed it!


Monday, April 6, 2015

Vegan Green Curry




From Malibu Farm cookbook 

Green curry, snap peas, red bell pepper, mushroom, red onion over red rice

Serve with red rice and black lentils