You know the story: Stingy villagers are tricked into sharing ingredients with a stranger (or a tramp or a monk or a wily pilgrim, depending in which country the traditional tale is told) who says he’s making “stone soup” that just needs a bit of this or that to be perfectly delicious. Soon everyone is adding to the soup. In the end the pot is full, and they all feast on it (minus the stone, of course).
In Kingston, Gwenn Sorensen and Steve Lewis have been cooking for the locals for ten years at Stone Soup Food Company. Little trickery is involved, however, unless unobtrusively getting people to eat wholesome home-cooked foods – thereby being nourished into good health and well-being without them even realizing it – is what’s up the couple’s culinary sleeves.
Situated amidst a string of eateries old and new, the Midtown establishment is known for its down-to-Earth delicious soups, salads, sandwiches, mac-and-cheese (some say it’s the best around), roasted and grilled veggies, fish and meat specials and quiches. Oh, and the sweet stuff, all done in-house and dangerously irresistible. What’s more, CIA-trained Steve and his partner, Gwenn, cater like crazy. They’ve managed events for multitudes, including the manufacturing of decorated cakes that just beg to be cut into and devoured. Like I said: dangerous.
On their so-called day off, after prepping and delivering food to one event and waiting to send a couple of those cakes out the door, they sat and told me their story. “We are in the middle of the workingpersons’ district, with the school, the hospital employees and so on, who tend to want to eat out a lot but are also very budget-conscious. When we first opened, people didn’t appreciate the fact that we make everything from scratch. So they balked when we charged $2.95 for a cup of soup. People weren’t used to real foods. We had to watch our price point, and we didn’t make much money.”
But they made it through, she says, and never lost faith. “You’ve gotta keep going, and here we are. I’ve always cooked – for about 40 years now. Steve was a chef for years, and then went to work for Sysco Food Company as a chef/consultant. Now we have six employees. We’re steady; I wouldn’t say business is booming, but it’s steady. The resurgence of new places gives us competition. But we do all right with the catering.”
He says, “Our walk-in trade we really appreciate, but that extra catering trade is how we get paid. Our walk-in trade is how we pay everybody else.” Sorensen and Lewis do a lot of luncheon and wedding catering, with regular clientele such as Temple Emmanuel (“We do their Passover every year”) and Chamber of Commerce mixers and local church events. “The Methodist Church uptown asked us to do a convention for people who came in from all over the country; they wanted us to do gluten-free macaroni and cheese, one soup, some wraps and dessert platters for 350 people. I said, ‘Sure, why not?’”
These clients discovered Stone Soup when a group of regulars who’ve been playing water polo at the Y for the best part of 20 years recommended them. “During the nice weather, they sit outside and eat breakfast after their thing at the Y.” Like other longtime businesses in town, they support worthy causes and donate their services when they can.
The crowded kitchen is well-organized to produce this constant flow of fresh food. In one area, Sorensen bakes. Her shadow cake, alternating layers of chocolate and vanilla cake with chocolate mousse and vanilla crème in between, is famous. One refrigerator holds these rich temptations. One wall out front is covered in autographed photos of famous people who have played at UPAC.
Lewis says, “Only a couple have actually been in this place. We go there to feed them when they’re on location to do their show. We enjoy pleasing people. I wouldn’t say we’re ‘cutting-edge.’ We’re not gluing things together with scallop enzymes. But we make honest, good food, as natural as we can, and still make it be affordable. We start with real food, whole food. Do we use canned black beans and tomatoes? Sure we do. But we have a walk-in full of vegetables and real meats.”
“I’ve always said that great chefs are illusionists,” says Lewis. “We are able to take relatively understandable stuff and not only make it taste great, but assemble it in the way that increases its value.”
“Your desire for it, the eye appeal and texture,” Sorensen chimes in. “Everything has its own design – not only the flavor profile, but the design. I think both of us try to do that.”
He says, “She’s more the artist. I cook quite a bit of food here, but she can orchestrate it from there.”
At Stone Soup, there’s something for everybody: vegan, meat and potatoes, whatever. “I would like people to know that we are as complicated or as simple as they are looking for and everything in between. We try to cover that whole range of dietary restrictions,” says Sorensen. “For our desserts, we use only local dairy products and real, unsalted butter and Belgian chocolate and fresh strawberries and raspberries. Our eggs are sourced locally. We walk the middle line. People trust us.”
Lewis wraps it up: “I want people to know that it’s a privilege to serve the public and garner that trust. We work every day to hit that mark. We realize that fewer Americans cook on a regular basis. There’s a certain pity to that, but we want to fill in, whether they’re taking it home or coming here for lunch with a friend. It’s a real privilege to do that.”
Stone Soup Food Company, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., 470 Broadway, Kingston; (845) 340-0470, www.stonesoupfoodcompany.com.
Humami Conscious Nutrition Innovative Healthy Food Project in Yucatán – The Yucatan Times
Humami is a Mexican company created by women who believe that conscious feeding is more than preparing healthy food.
For us, conscious feeding concerns the relationship with food in all its aspects: where and how we obtain it, time of preparation, care in ingredient combination, the attitude we adopt when eating, etc. Food is one of the main pillars of our life, our culture and our idiosyncrasy. Around food we weave our social ties and, therefore, keep a close relationship with politics, economy and health.
Humami has a clear objective: to feed the people of the Yucatan “properly”. That means to know the origin of the food we consume, in order to have the guarantee that it is free of toxic agrochemicals, which are detrimental to its nutritional value and, furthermore, significantly harmful to people’s health. And, on the other hand, we also look for food that is not part of the ecological and social exploitation, because every aspect influences the final quality of the product.
The Humami initiative started 5 years ago and, soon, we realized that the options were, generally, very limited and too expensive. So we went to the countryside, to meet the farmers and producers, and we discovered an exciting universe.
We started weaving networks with a group of small producers, which are respectful of the ecosystem and the biorhythms of nature, which aspire to a different relationship with Earth and the people: a greater balance, a better sustainability, that also means dignified human labor conditions as well as an equal and fair price policy.
As time went by, Humami evolved, traveling throughout Mexico, we found more organizations and cooperatives with which we started collaborating and sharing the ethical, social and ecological value that we place on food.
In modern societies we have become accustomed to obtain everything fast, 24/7, all year round; and, as a consequence, now we have food poisoned with agrochemicals and artificial fertilizers, and worst of all, our “modern” food doesn’t have any nutrients.
Fruits and vegetables that can be found in every supermarket, anytime of the year, simply lack nutrients. Maybe we are not conscious, but as consumers we have enormous power of influence over the production systems. And responsible consumption entails responsible production, more adjusted to our real needs, concerned about the local economy, sensitive to ancestral practices, ecological conservation and social equality.
Besides, producers would receive a fair price for their products and their work, without haggling, exploitation, or middle men making a huge profit out of the farmer’s hard work. Most importantly, consumers could have the guarantee that they are obtaining healthy, nutritious and fresh food.
Humami is ultimately the dream of two women who believe that healthy eating is an act of love towards ourselves and towards everything that surrounds us. That is Humami: to care for others, to care for our Earth and to care for the food we eat.
Because we know that, undoubtedly, a good food will always contribute to improve our physical, mental and spiritual well-being, all the food products we distribute are chosen for its high quality and have different types of certifications: Organic, Kosher, Dana A.C., among others, like our Olive Oil that is endorsed by the Council of Native Peoples of Mexico City.
All our food products are ecological, fertilized with natural compost free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
These are some of the bulk foods we have available:
- Superfoods: chia, cocoa, quinoa, flaxseed, ramón flour, turmeric and ginger
- Grains and cereals: Brown rice, black beans, pink beans, chickpeas, beans, ibes , lentil, soy.
- Seeds and nuts: Almond, peanut, sesame, walnut, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, mix of nuts and seeds.
- Dressings: extra virgin olive oil cold pressed, tahini.
- Other delicacies: chocolate, cinnamon, oats, amaranth, melipona honey, raisins, whole-grain sugar, salt grain, pepper.
- Fruits & vegetables: tubers, rhizomes, aromatic herbs and more.
To contact Humami or to place an order go to https://www.facebook.com/humamialimentos/
They deliver Monday thru Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
* Vegetables orders on Mondays
Healthy eating habits for diabetic patients – Times of Oman
Healthy eating plays a key role in making our life energetic and healthy. Especially in case of diabetic patients, balanced diet is a necessary part for maintaining blood glucose level. By preparing a properly planned diabetic diet, this chronic disease can be well managed. Inclusion of food intake with rich protein concentration is preferred than food with rich carbohydrate concentration.
Healthy eating does not emphasise on consuming a large quantity of food. Acquiring the needed quantity of food is the core principle behind healthy eating. Desserts, candy, and other sugar beverages are some of the restricted food intakes for a diabetic patient.
Over inclusion of high caloric food items increases blood sugar level and retards the metabolic rate of the body. So try to take sugar free food items other than sugary products. Preplanned diabetic diet helps to a great extend in maintaining a healthier life. Keep note of diabetic diet for each day or for a week in advance for good result. Try to avoid the regular intake of fast food from restaurants.
Make sure to include a good proportion of vegetables like beans and fruits in diet which will promote a balanced blood glucose level. Fresh vegetable juice can be preferred over fruit juice due to its low sugar concentration. Studies say that it is better to prefer whole grain products in diet than processed grain products.
Try to avoid fried and oily food products in diet. Over consumption of fried chicken and beef products creates accumulation of fatty acids in body. Try to choose boiled meat instead of consuming fried meat products.
Obesity reduces sugar metabolic rate of the body and increases the blood sugar level. Inclusion of fish in meals is preferred over beef since it consists of only less amount of fat. Consume food items with low saturated fats so as to reduce the cholesterol level in the body. Over intake of high caloric value diary products like ice creams and yoghurt welcomes diabetes in life.
Now let’s find answers for some questions like how much to eat and what to eat? Actually the answer for these questions depends on our meal plan. Meal plan helps in avoiding unhealthy food consumption.
Foods with rich fibre rich concentration is considered as an ideal food item for diabetic patients. Many doctors advice in including oats in diabetic diet which is a low fat food product. Avoid skipping of regular meals which may induce hypoglycemia or low blood sugar level. Consumption of rice, wheat and potato increases blood sugar level slowly where as consumption of table sugar induces a rapid rise in blood sugar level. This phenomenon can be expressed in terms of glycaemic index value.
Diabetic patients are advised to take food items with low glycaemic index than those with high glycaemic index. Groundnuts, soybeans, lentils and kidney beans are some of the examples of food items with low glycaemic index. If there is any doubt in planning your meal, never hesitate to consult a dietitian. Planning meals according to diabetic food pyramid is very important for a diabetic patient. Over consumption of junk foods like burgers and soft drinks make blood sugar level to go high. Healthy eating with healthier lifestyle keeps diabetes under control.
Health Take-Away: Simplifying the search for a heart-healthy diet – Berkshire Eagle
By Marcie Fredenburg
A quick Google search of “heart-healthy diet” instantly unleashes millions of results, a dizzying array of do’s and don’ts, multi-colored pyramids and sometimes conflicting advice on how to nourish your way to a healthier heart. It’s all at once encouraging and discouraging — plenty of detailed information, but way more than anyone could possibly digest and put into action on their own.
As a registered dietitian who confers every day with cardiovascular patients, I’ve seen that dazed and confused look in the eyes of many, and I’ve made it my mission to simplify the search for heart-healthy eating solutions. Eating right is the single most important thing you can do to stay heathy. Regular physical activity is a close, hand-in-hand second, but what you eat truly defines your health. Healthy food choices can reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke, as well as risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
How do you cut through the clutter to find the right diet for you? What follows is a handful of get-started suggestions for narrowing your search.
– Let fruits and vegetables dominate your plate.
Before you even land on a specific diet, get started with the basics. Fill half your plate with vegetables. Fill another quarter plate with whole grains and the last quarter with a lean protein, perhaps one that’s plant-based. Enjoy colorful fresh fruit for dessert. A closer internet search of the DASH and Mediterranean diets will give you more ideas on these plate portions.
– Minimize meats, feast on fish.
Shifting to heart-healthy proteins, especially fish, can help reduce risk factors of heart disease. If you eat poultry, it should be skinless. Red meats and pork should be lean, trimmed of fat and used sparingly. The American Heart Association encourages us to eat at least two servings a week of baked or grilled, preferably oily, fish like tuna and salmon, which are high in omega 3 acids.
– Go for grains that are whole.
Studies have shown that higher consumption of whole grains helps protect us against heart disease. Unlike refined or processed grains, such as white rice and flour, which remove fiber and other nutrients, whole grains include all the nutrient-packed parts of the original. Fiber is important for healthy bowel function and soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar.
– Beware the trio of sugar, salt and fat.
Those are three main ingredients processed food manufacturers (and even home cooks) use to make food taste tastier, even if it’s not always healthy. One of the tricks of the trade is to lower one ingredient — let’s say the fat content — call it “low-fat,” then increase the sugar and/or salt content to please the palate. On their own, and especially together, sugar, salt and trans fats can be bad for your health, triggering many of the risk factors associated with heart disease. Reduce your intake of processed and restaurant foods, which account for the bulk of those ingredients in our diets, and use them sparingly at home.
– Go for the healthy fats.
Avoid trans fats and limit saturated fats. As an alternative to red meat, choose plant-based proteins such as nuts, seeds and legumes. Choose olive oil instead of butter or coconut oil. Read ingredient list for trans-fat content and avoid foods with hydrogenated fat.
– Get professional nutrition counseling.
Making healthy choices is the first step for most people. Those with risk factors for heart disease (high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes) might benefit from nutrition counseling. It’s covered by most insurers.
Marcie Fredenburg, R.D., L.D.N., is a registered dietitian with the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center at Berkshire Medical Center.
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