Feel Good Foods CEO, Vanessa Phillips, and her husband, Chef Tryg Siverson, created Feel Good Foods when Vanessa was dealing with feelings of food deprivation after a Celiac disease diagnosis forced her to give up gluten and many of her favorite foods. Missing Chinese favorites like egg rolls and dumplings more than anything, Vanessa launched Feel Good Foods in 2011, all made with no preservatives, MSG, or artificial ingredients. Recently, Feel Good Foods has been featured on MSNBC’s Your Business and NY Business Journal, with upcoming features in Forbes and CNBC. We really like the Vegetable Dumplings!
Consumers are continuing to embrace healthier diets and vegan and vegetarian lifestyles are growing in popularity.
Check out the new Gardein Meatless Pepperoni Pizza Pockets: The pockets are vegan, Kosher, cholesterol free and contain fewer calories, less sodium and 42% less fat than conventional pizza pockets. They are delicious. Enjoy!
May is National Strawberry Month! noosa yoghurt’s strawberry rhubarb flavor is a great way to enjoy strawberry fruit!
noosa is a unique combination of sweet and tart taste plus a thick, velvety texture. It’s made in small batches on a family farm in Colorado with wholesome ingredients: all natural whole milk, fresh fruit purees- made using the ripest juiciest fruits- and infused with a touch of wildflower honey. Enjoy!
Did you know Indian Springs Calistoga is California’s oldest continuously operated pool and spa facility? You must stay for the night or weekend and explore the gardens. Write a note and place it on the Gratitude Tree, and have a massage and mud bath at the Spa. Soak in the historic, Olympic-sized mineral pool built in 1913 that is fed by the mineralized water from their geysers.
Sam’s Social Club, the property’s full-service restaurant featuring simple and carefully crafted food, just celebrated its one-year anniversary. Have the Vegetarian Cauliflower Steak, 2012 Coquerel Calistoga Napa Vally, 2013 Frank Family Vineyards Napa Valley Zinfandel, and all the Desserts (Ice Cream Sundae and Churros :)
From Indian Springs, you can borrow a bike and ride to Tedeschi Family Winery. It's appointment only so make sure you make an appointment in advance.
Here are some photos from our Gratitude Gourmet stay. If you're looking for a leisurely getaway from the San Francisco Bay area, check out Indian Springs and Tedeschi Family Winery!
EcoFarm Awards: Stewards of Sustainable Agriculture and Advocate of Social Justice
This year, the Stewards of Sustainable Agriculture Award, also known as the “Sustie" was awarded to Frank and Karen Morton, Susan Clark, and Ken Kimes and Sandra Ward. The Advocate of Social Justice Award or the "Justie" was awarded to The Homeless Garden Project and accepted by Executive Director Darrie Ganzhorn.
Frank and Karen Morton
Frank and Karen Morton were salad growers for fine chefs for nearly two decades, beginning in 1983. During this period Frank used their commercial salad production as a wide ranging breeding program to create new varieties suited to organic conditions, and the tastes of chefs. The Mortons started Wild Garden Seed in 1994 to release new varieties bred within their organic system, on the premise that these genetics will perform better for organic farmers. After 2 decades in the seed business, the Morton's supply most of the seed companies that serve organic growers. They have recently pledged 133 of their seed lines to the Open Source Seed Initiative to ensure that their seed will remain free for breeders and farmers to grow and use into the future.
Susan R. Clark is the Director of Programs for Gaia Fund, a family foundation with grantmaking focused on Sustainable Agriculture, Effective Democracy, and Jewish Life and Culture in San Francisco. Clark is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, has an M.A. in Urban Studies from Occidental College, was a Coro Foundation Fellow in Public Affairs, and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Venezuela. She directed community programs for Lone Mountain College, was the Executive Director of Columbia Foundation for 35 years, and the Mortimer Fleishhacker Foundation for five years, and served on the board of directors of the Council on Foundations and Northern California Grantmakers. She is a member of the board of directors of the Arkay Foundation (www.arkay.org) and serves on the advisory board for Upstream (www.upstreampolicy.org), which promotes a closed-loop materials economy.
She has been honored by the Organic Farming Research Foundation and Natural Resources Defense Council (Forces of Nature Award) for her early advocacy, and long-term philanthropic leadership, to promote sustainable food and farming systems as solutions to environmental and social challenges of food production.
Ken Kimes and Sandra Ward
Ken Kimes and Sandra Ward, husband and wife, and co-owners of Greensward/New Natives established their greenhouse growing microgreens and sprouts shortly after they arrived in Santa Cruz, Ca. in 1980. They received their organic certification from CCOF in 1982. Their farming career spans 35 years. Their greens are distributed in the Bay Area to the wholesale market, along with direct delivery to retail stores and 8 farmers markets year round. They employ 12 full time and 5 part-time employees.
In addition to managing their farm full time, Kimes and Ward are both outspoken activists who dedicated more than thirty years to the sustainable agriculture movement. Including helping to establish CCOF, Santa Cruz Community Farmers Market, and standing up for organically grown seed.
The Homeless Garden Project
The Homeless Garden Project, celebrating 25 years last year, provides transitional employment, job training and support services to people who are homeless. In complement, the project operates a thriving and vibrant community education and volunteer program that served nearly 2500 people last year. HGP's programs take place in their 3.5 acre organic farm and related enterprises.Workforce development research shows that real work experience works better than stand alone training in preparing people to transition into jobs. This is what the Homeless Garden Project does. Trainees are paid for their work, it is real work, the work of operating our farm, CSA, Farm Stand and Value-added Enterprise. They can stay in the program for up to one year and the overarching goal--a bold and daring goal--is that trainees leave the program with jobs and housing. Last year, 92% of the graduating class obtained a job and housing. Another way HGP's produce is used is through their program known as Feed Two Birds. In partnership with their donor community, trainees, staff and volunteers grew, harvested and distributed organic produce to an estimated 1400 low income people via 8 nonprofit partners such as Santa Cruz AIDS Project and the River Street Shelter each week during our 23 week harvest season. The project's programs exist at the intersection of urban agriculture and food-justice movements, transitional jobs and job training, homeless services and therapeutic horticulture. There is a synergy among these purposes and ideals in daily practice at the farm.
IMUSA Quesadilla Maker creates crispy, cheesy, delicious quesadillas in minutes! Fill your tortillas with your favorite ingredients such as vegetables, peppers & spices! It will toast the tortillas to a golden brown, and segment the quesadilla into perfect triangles! The Quesadilla Maker features non-stick cooking plates, an excess drip tray, locking lid, as well as ready and heat indicator lights. Enjoy!
Orly's London Blend provides a 1:1 Flour Replacement thats gluten free, corn free and vegan that includes sourghum and quinoa flours. Check out the Orly Chocolate Pecan Cookie Recipe below that you can also make vegan with simple substitutes like earth balance for butter.
Recipe Makes 30 cookies
10.5 tbsp (150 grams) butter
Just under 1 cup (170 grams) white granulated sugar
1.5 cups (220 grams) tightly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 tsp vanilla (12g)
2 1/3 cups (350 grams) Blends by Orly London Blend
½ tsp salt
3 ½ tsp baking powder (12g)
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup (150 grams) dark chocolate chips
¾ cup (75 grams) chopped pecans
Heat: Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a flat cookie tray with parchment paper.
Mix: In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium-high speed for 3 minutes until lightened in color. Add eggs + vanilla and mix for 2 minutes or until fully incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together Blends by Orly London Blend, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix all ingredients together on med-high speed for 3 minutes, or until fully incorporated. Add chocolate chips and pecans and mix for 30 seconds or until dispersed within the dough
Bake: Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to batch cookies onto a tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 12 minutes or until cookies are golden brown. For extra crispy cookies, bake for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Simple Mills, has released a new line of almond flour crackers. Each variety – including Fine Ground Sea Salt, Rosemary & Sea Salt, Sun-dried Tomato & Basil, and Farmhouse Cheddar – is Non-GMO Project Verified, certified gluten-free, and made with whole food ingredients with no artificial flavors or fillers.
All Simple Mills recipes are developed by founder and CEO Katlin Smith, who has earned multiple awards for her business model and strict focus on simple, whole foods products.
5 Earth-Friendly Reasons to Eat I Heart Keenwah
1. I Heart Keenwah sources quinoa exclusively from the Salar de Uyuni on the altiplano of southern Bolivia. Why? Because the farmers of Bolivia follow farming traditions that are completely organic.
2. Quinoa makes an excellent addition to your Meatless Monday meals — did you know practicing Meatless Monday can save about 104,000 gallons of water each year?
3. Global food demand will grow 70% or more by 2050, along with a significant need for protein — an essential nutrient for human health. Plant-based proteins like quinoa could actually feed the world!
4. I Heart Keenwah products are Non-GMO Verified, which means they are committed to working with seed breeders and farmers who do not use genetically modified organisms.
5. Production of animal protein is responsible for over 18% of all greenhouse gas. Quinoa, on the other hand, is a complete plant protein containing all 9 essential amino acids and can be easily substituted for animal protein.
Check out I Heart Keenwah’s sweet Clusters, savory Puffs or NEW Dark Chocolate Puffs.
Straight from the Big Island of Hawaii are Royal Hawaiian Orchards Fruit & Macadamia Nut Crunches, that combine the rich, buttery taste of roasted macadamias with almonds, fruits and berries. Snack on delicious flavors like Mango Pineapple, Kona Coffee Banana, and Mauka Blueberry Pomegranate before your workout too. These Hawaiian snacks are also Non-GMO Project Verified, OU Kosher, and free of gluten and wheat without anything artificial.
Numi Organic Tea works diligently to reduce their impact on the earth by being committed to sustainable agriculture, use of non-GMO materials and eco-responsible packaging. Gratitude Gourmet has been a great fan of this company and teas for many years. The Jasmine and Gunpowder Green Teas are some of our favorites.
Numi Organic Tea’s award-winning sustainable packaging uses the most innovative materials available to minimize impact on the environment. We use recyclable, cardboard outer packaging made of 85% post-consumer waste and printed with soy-based inks. We do not use plastic shrink wrap, and we use natural, biodegradable filter-paper tea bags rather than nylon or GMO-origin tea sachets. Most elements of our packaging can be recycled or composted!
Annually, Numi’s practices save 9,037 trees, reduce water usage by 4,052,562 gallons and cut down on net greenhouse emissions by 817,335.
Check out these great Mother's Day Gifts!
Mother's Day Delight -- This Mother's Day, show Mom she's special with this stunning combination of irresistible treats. Inside two separate boxes, Mom will find arrangements of incredible snacks, both healthy and indulgent. Boasting exquisite, slow-melting truffles, extra-fancy dried fruits, and a variety of premium nuts, this elegant gift is sure to impress any mom. $79.99 at GourmetGiftBaskets.com.
Mother's Day Gardening Gift Basket -- This is the perfect gift basket for the Mom with at least one green thumb. This basket has several essential gardening tools, as well as delicious gourmet treats to help her power through all of that hard work planting and weeding. From sweet, crisp cookies, to almond cashew clusters, to pretzels with a tangy raspberry honey mustard dip, your favorite gardener will have both a tasty and functional gift that she'll remember every time she tends to her plants. $69.99 at GourmetGiftBaskets.com.
Check out these NEW Recipe Books!
1. THE QUICK SIX FIX by Stuart O’Keeffe (March 2016) https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062419750/the-quick-six-fix
Stuart O’Keeffe grew up in Ireland cooking alongside his mother and learning how to make fresh home-cooked meals made with more love than labor. By working efficiently, keeping the kitchen space clean and cooking with minimal yet flavorful ingredients, Stuart believes that anyone can make great meals fast—with just six key ingredients. A professional and celebrity chef, Stuart brings his philosophy to everyone’s kitchen in his first cookbook and includes helpful tips and reminders along the way. In THE QUICK SIX FIX, Stuart begins with the pantry essentials and tools readers will need to whip up a range of tasty dishes at a moment’s notice. Teaching readers how to make smart shortcuts, like pairing key store-bought items with homemade ingredients, Stuart demonstrates how to cut kitchen time, save money, and get out of the kitchen in thirty minutes or less.
Stuart believes that fewer ingredients afford higher quality. With an inventive menu and meal-planning sections filled with wholesome shareable dishes--plenty of vegetarian options too—plus more than seventy-five full color photos.
2. Ronaldo Linares, is author of CHEF RONALDO'S SABORES DE CUBA Diabetes-Friendly Traditional and Nuevo Cubano Cuisine. http://www.shopdiabetes.org/1902-Chef-Ronaldos-Sabores-de-Cuba.aspx He is a Cuban/Colombian/ American, salsa-dancing, Cross Fit training, former US Marine, classically trained chef and restaurateur living his dream. Born in Colombia during the turbulent Cartel wars of the 1980s, cooking has been the main ingredient in Ronaldo’s journey from young immigrant to rebellious teen to successful chef and media personality. Ronaldo has showcased his Cuban-inspired, passion-infused culinary style on Food Network’s Chopped, BBC America’s cross-country chef competition Chef Race, and appearances on Better TV and Telemundo. When not in the kitchen, Ronaldo is active in the community, speaking to schools, youth groups and corporations about his life's journey and healthy living.
Chef Ronaldo Linares combines fresh ingredients with big flavors to make Cuban classics delicious and diabetes-friendly. The book is bilingual, with English on one side and Spanish on the other, and features 100 dynamic, healthy, and flavorful recipes, infused with Chef Ronaldo’s personal cooking style. Classic and “Nuevo Cubano” treats include:
Endangered Species Chocolate (ESC) is returning Bug Bites, and announcing their newest flavor dubbed “Eagle bar” - Dark Chocolate with Caramel and Sea Salt.
Bug Bites are squares of natural milk and dark chocolate and ESC has partnered with past 10% GiveBack partner The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation to introduce a new set of educational, interactive insect trading cards that spotlight fifteen key at-risk insects. New, smarter packaging integrates the card into the chocolate’s outer wrapper, increasing production efficiency and eliminating 400 pounds of material use annually.
“Bug Bites are a wonderful way to show people just how amazing insects truly are,” said Scott Hoffman Black, executive director of the Xerces Society. “Too often swatted away, these beautiful animals help keep our environment healthy and without them we would lose many foods, including chocolate.”
ESC’s debut bar, the Eagle bar features rich dark chocolate surrounding handcrafted, organic caramel with Pink Himalayan Sea Salt. As a Steward sponsor of The Peregrine Fund, ESC collaborated with the 501(c)(3) nonprofit to utilize the inside of the Eagle bar wrapper to tell the story of how Endangered Species Act protections have helped American Bald Eagle populations make a remarkable recovery.
To sweeten the deal, purchases of any of ESC’s products, including Bug Bites and the Eagle bar send financial support to help protect at-risk species – ESC donates 10 percent of net profits annually to partnering conservation organizations. The current 10% GiveBack partners are Rainforest Trust and Wildlife Conservation Network.
“Collaborating with wildlife partners like The Xerces Society and The Peregrine Fund on our product packaging ensures that we are giving our consumers factual stats on at-risk species,” said Curt VanderMeer, CEO of Endangered Species Chocolate. “This allows us yet another way to be stewards of conservation non-profits.”
Bug Bites and the Eagle bar are currently available on Amazon.com, and Whole Foods nationwide
What are your summer plans for 2016! Toast to new adventures this summer with Segura Viudas, sparkling wine from Spain!
Segura Viudas Brut Minis and Segura Viudas Gran Cuvée Reserva are great options to bring to the beach and watch the sun go down.
If you’re setting up camp for the night… An exquisite and aromatic Cava, Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad will impress your friends with its pewter-embellished bottle, and its smooth taste pairs well with any campfire treats you bring along. After a long hike, this bubbly is a great option!
Segura Viudas Brut Cava pairs excellently with spicier foods since the heat of the spice is not amplified by the heat of the alcohol. Your friends will be impressed by your cooking and Cava skills!
Segura Viudas Rosé Brut is the perfect complement to any outdoor affair and different cuisines. Pack your picnic basket with this versatile wine so start your summer off right!