Farm-to-Table/Midwestern Edition

Dining Out


Here in Kansas City, Missouri, Visitkc.com we are known for doing a few things well. Besides our penchant for BBQ, renowned Jazz and a Royal Baseball Team, our magnificent Fine Arts Museum houses one of the largest Asian Art collections in the West.

Just to name a few.

Depending on who you talk with, the Farm-to-Table, or Farm-to-Fork movement as it is also known, began in different places for different reasons.

“It’s amazing what you can get accomplished if you do not care who gets the credit” – Harry S Truman 

In the historic River Market Area of our city, there is a restaurant:


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The Farmhouse 

Eating Cleaner & Cleaner Everyday

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Besides supporting local & regional businesses, a practice I am a very strong advocate for, the Farm to Table movement is helping promote fresher, cleaner, and more organic victuals. It’s one thing to clean up our refrigerators and cooking habits, but eating out can be a challenge. No longer seen as a fad or trend, businesses are jumping on the wagon to promote the message.

Something I truly admire.

Soup & Salad

At the time of my visit it was the very height of summer. Record high temperatures call for cold soup…..

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Gazpacho

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..and probably the best Cobb Salad I have ever had. No pre-cubed cheese and wilted romaine on this plate. Rather Bleu cheese crumbles, pickled red onion, and Green Goddess Dressing. Indeed, this was an inventive take on an old standard.

My mom, raised in the area, made gazpacho for us while growing up on the Eastern Seaboard. I asked our server if it was the “chunky style.” He informed me and my guest, visiting from San Francisco, that yes it was and it was the owners recipe sure to not disappoint.

It did not disappoint and gave my moms some serious competition. Nothing beats mom’s.

With a team that makes you feel welcome from the moment you walk in the door, this local gem serves it up just how it should be.

In case one might wonder where they procure their ingredients the farms are listed on the back of the menu.

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Do some research. I did. Many of these farms are surrounding Kansas City and are fantastic.

For more info on what their dishing up go to: TheFarmhousekc.com

For Cheese lovers like myself go to:

Skyviewfarm.net

For questions and the skinny on how to eat cleaner and cleaner everyday email: jwilliamstrains@gmail.com  

 

WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER

RECIPES


Chicken


I eat a lot of chicken. No, I will probably never go vegan. I enjoy chicken too much.

easy peasy 

Whenever I need to pull a never fail, works like a charm, sumthin’, sumthin’ out of my culinary hat, this is one of them.

All you need are a few basic things.

Lemon Pepper Chicken

  • Olive Oil – good quality
  • Lemons – several large ones
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper – cracked
  • Garlic – you decide how much, peeled cloves
  • Chicken Breasts – bone in

Personally, I can’t go very long without this in my spice rack.


Chicken


As the world’s most traded spice, clearly I’m not the only one. I use this on just about everything, but get what brand works for you.

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“Instead of going out to dinner, buy good food. Cooking at home shows such affection” – Ina Garten

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Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Wash each breast well, dry them, and trim some of the skin.

Step 1

Season chicken well with salt & cracked black pepper. In a glass baking dish drizzle olive oil in the bottom and arrange garlic cloves. Bake for 10 minutes. (After this, your neighbors from upstairs will start texting you wanting to know if they can come down for dinner.)

Step 2

Take baking dish out, add the chicken, skin side down, squeeze the juice of two, (2) lemons over and return to oven for 10 minutes.

Step 3

Turn chicken, arrange on top of the garlic cloves, and season with more lemon juice,  and pepper. Grate lemon peel over top.

Bake for an additional 30- 35 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Baste from time to time. Show some affection.

Be sure to drizzle a little of the pan juices over top of each while they are resting as well.

Chicken

Clean, natural, and high in protein. Healthy too, all the things you could ever want on a plate.

 

Eat Like An Ancient Greek

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Ancient Diet

“Now if you want an onion, just consider what great expense it takes to make it good; You must have cheese and honey, and sesame…to dress it up with; for by itself the onion is bitter and unpleasant to taste.” 

Much can be told by the type of food one eats. Interestingly enough, onions were fed to Olympian athletes in large quantities. Believing they helped to cleanse their bodies, the ancient greeks in the gymnasiums treated them a sort of detox.

Previously worshipped by the Egyptians as a symbol of eternity, the greeks also took to them for strength and soldiers rubbed them on their skin.

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MODERATION

The ancient Greeks had a saying that summed up their overall atittude in life.

Meden Agan

“Nothing too much”.  It was inscribed on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Delphi, a sacred site a little over a hundered miles northwest of the Capital Athens, was considered the center of the world. If anyone practiced what they preached, surely it was here.

2500 years ago before the supersize, this society ate straight from the land and sea. With fish, fruit, and copious amounts of olive oil, evidence shows they ate smaller meals throughout the day. Dinner being the most important. If you were of means, animal proteins were typically saved for special occasions. Although diluted wine was served at breakfast, wine was not meant for excess consumption.

“Though in reality old wine is not only more pleasant, but also better for health;…and being thinner it itself  more digestable;” – 3rd Century BCE poet Alexis

Studies are still out as to the true benefits of red wine, specifically for the heart, but dare we say it surely better than soft drinks? And in moderation, isn’t a fine, aged Cabernet oh so delicious?

Onions, now widely thought of to be an incredibly healthy food are high in antioxidents, or powerful free radical fighting agents.

More on onions

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Every day we try and “clean up” our diets more. And rightfully so – too many foods today contain additives, preservatives, and large amounts of ingredients we cannot pronounce. While it can be very confusing keeping up with the newest “discoveries,” two guiding principles remain clear and very easy to understand;

  • Moderation

 

  • Fresh

The American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, Revised & Updated 3rd Edition, states: “Cutting back on fat or switching to healthier fats doesn’t need to be a huge change. Even small changes add up.”

Foodporn

Suggesting more seafood consumption, fruits, veggies, beans and whole grains as well – one can imagine perhaps, a late Athenian afternoon with warm breezes off the Agean Sea blowing over a table of terra cotta pots full of freshly picked olives and hardboiled eggs. With honey to dip your cheese in, and lemon to squeeze over lightly seasoned fish. Finishing with a dessert of perfectly ripened and juicy figs – wouldn’t it be nice to not have to think twice about the content of our meals.

And just enjoy.

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