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Entries in Organic (37)


Chef Jon Vaast Joins Sugar & Olives in Norwalk: Now Serving Dinner

There's a new chef in the kitchen at Sugar & Olives in Norwalk. You may recognize the name from his years cooking over at Dressing Room in Westport. It's Chef Jon Vaast, and Jennifer Balin, owner of Sugar & Olives, explains her new hire as "An Organic collaboration between two like minded people." Johnny and Balin have been strong advocates for the local and sustainable food movement, and simply put, want to create a menu with delicious food sourced from within an arms reach of the shop. Every ingredient at Sugar & Olives is seasonal, and comes from a farm near the restaurant. Balin says "whenever possible, she selects ingredients that are also Organic." 

With Chef Vaast at the helm, Sugar & Olives is excited to announce that in addition to their daily weekday service, and one of the best brunches in Fairfield County, they have begun dinner service Thursday through Saturday.

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Green & Tonic Opens in Greenwich: Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free 

Green & Tonic Opens Second Location In Greenwich with foods that find their power in both taste and healing.

As a California native who has spent the last 17 years living in Connecticut, I know health food in its many forms. I also know junk food disguised as health food. I’ve eaten my share of overpriced twigs and sprouts on tiny plates, overcooked veggies flavored with too much salt and oil, “natural” juices loaded with sugar and calories, and ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. In other words, you can’t fool me, baby. But when I walked into Green & Tonic after it opened its second location in Greenwich, my doubts quickly vanished. This place walks the walk on healthy food. Oh, and it tastes good too.

Co-owner Jeffrey Pandolfino, a Johnson & Wales graduate with vast experience in the restaurant business, who ran his own operation for many years and also spent time at Pret A Manger, was motivated to serve healthy, organic food for another reason – he knew the healing power of food.

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Update: The Mission to Save King’s Kitchen In Southport

Independence Day – the one day a year when this nation of immigrants pays homage to our founding fathers by flocking to beaches; burger and beer in hand. Unfortunately, the three King brothers, owners of King’s Kitchen - known for serving Southport sustainable beachside fare - spent this July 4th battling to save their business.

Last summer, King’s Kitchen made their debut on the Southport shore, serving locally grown and sourced beach food. The menu features about five items and changes daily – items ranging from lobster rolls and quesadilla with a fennel and caper Russian remoulade, to ox hollow grass-fed burgers and short rib tacos. The brothers also offer an assortment of chips, and a variety of organic juices, including refreshing watermelon lemonade. 

Signs reading “Save the Shack!” cover the cabin that once served as King’s Kitchen headquarters for all food preparation, cooking, and serving. This blue-gray building, located at 1505 Pequot Avenue in Fairfield, was built in 1946. It is both a “historic landmark” and “childhood memory”, according to Hunter King, one of the King’s brothers and partners. 

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Mike’s Organic Delivery Brings Local, Organic Food to Your Door

Mike Geller likes that he can tell his customers stories about how the food he delivers is grown and about the farmers who grow it.  Conversely, he states, “There are no stories to tell with big agricultural suppliers. No one wants to know about thousands of chickens crowded in a small space with no room to move and no access to the outdoors.” 

Mike started Mike’s Organic Delivery in June 2010 with a mission to reconnect people in Fairfield and Westchester Counties to where, how, and when their food is grown. After careful research, he selected 12 farms from the Hudson River Valley, Westchester County and Western Connecticut to become the suppliers for his nascent farm to home delivery service.  The farms all use practices many of us look for when supermarket label gazing: organic, sustainable, free range, pesticide-free, no added hormones, no steroids, and no antibiotics.  While we may find some of these methods on supermarket labels, Mike guarantees that his produce is picked no more than 36 and usually less than 24 hours before it reaches your door.  That is not likely the case with the produce we cart home from the grocery store.

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8 To The Bar Snack Bars: Raising the "Bar" in CT

Finally, A healthy nutty snack that is doesn’t taste overpoweringly of high fructose corn syrup! I’m talking about the new 8 To The Bar snack bar that a pair of Connecticut cousins have recently brought to Fairfield county markets.

Made of a medley of eight different organic nuts, oats, dried fruit, honey and coconut, the bar has a great taste and texture. I particularly love the sour cherries that give the snack a tanginess, which, married with the sesame and coconut and the crunchiness of the nuts, translates to a taste that is deliciously more-ish.

The bar hits the mark for post exercise recharging. I tried my first bar after a five-mile run and found it both satisfying and energizing (not to mention delicious) – a fact that local fitness studios have cottoned on to. The bars are now available at Joyride, Kaia Yoga and the Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport.

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Kids Review: Greenleaf Organic Bakery & Café in Wilton 

This article first ran on Sunday Diners, a kid's guide to the best diners and breakfast joints in Fairfield County, Connecticut and beyond. Written by 4th Grader Alex (with a bit of help from his dad). 

Usually, at this time of the year, many people make resolutions to eat healthier or not eat junk food all of the time.  One of the ways that you can do this is by eating more organic foods which are healthier for you.  Today, we went to Greenleaf Organic Bakery and Café, in Wilton, where everything is organic, fresh and TASTY!

The first thing I noticed when I walked in were the displays of amazing pastries, croissants, cupcakes, tarts and the BIGGEST chocolate chip cookies I have ever seen.  The second thing you notice, is how good it smells! The walls are decorated with photos of food and fruit, and it is a good place for kids and adults too.

I looked at the menu before we left the house and already knew what I wanted — The Fruit Explosion  - Fresh organic cream, layered with organic strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, yogurt, granola, all topped off with chocolate hazelnut spread.  It was beyond good and… healthy at the same time.  It was also BIG!  Do you know what else was BIG? The Organic Hot Chocolate – which is made with real melted organic chocolate and whipped cream – it was GIANT!  Bigger than our cereal bowls at home – now that’s BIG!

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Flour City Pasta: Organic Artisinal Pasta at Your Local Farmers' Market

Farfalle, Fettuccine, Orecchiette, Penne, Fusilli, Orzo…..the list goes on, and my heart beats a little faster each time I hear one of these magical words.  That’s what pasta is really, a little bit of magic. It has the power to transport you to your first bite of mac and cheese in your Grandma’s kitchen, to Sunday night baked spaghetti, to home.  Although I am not Italian, pasta has always been a part of my life and my weakness.  This long-lasting relationship began when I was in a high chair, with bowties and butter and has since spiraled to squid ink fettuccine topped with sautéed scallops served in a warm Gorgonzola cream sauce as a college student today. In between, there has been shrimp alfredo, orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sweet sausage, vegetable lasagna, and the classic Bolognese. As I grow, so does this list.

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Brunch @ Sugar & Olives in Norwalk

The weekend morning meal. This sacred cow for many, consists of copious amounts of coffee, newsprint (for you digital hold-outs), and a healthy combination of carbs and protein. In addition to providing fuel for the errand-filled, kid-chaffeuring day ahead, brunch can also be one of the most frequently debated destinations of your weekend.

Since they began serving brunch just a month ago, Sugar & Olives in Norwalk has easily moved to the top of my brunch list. House-made ingredients, a green certification and a happy space make Sugar & Olives the type of place you can drop-in with your friends, a gaggle of kids or simply fly solo and enjoy this most important of weekend meals.

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Dinners at the Farm Opening Weekend


Last Thursday marked the opening weekend of Dinners at the Farm's 2011 season. This year, Jonothan Rapp of River Tavern Restaurant and his team of top notch chefs will park their big red truck at two farms; Barberry Hill Farm in Madison, CT and White Gate Farm in Old Lyme. Dinners at the Farm started in 2007, long before "farm to table" fare became mainstream, and they continue to delight guests with exceptional menus, farm tours, and insight into the life of a farmer in CT.  View the Photo Gallery here.

"Dinners at the Farm is a series of benefit dinners celebrating Connecticut's local farms, food and community as a way to generate awareness of the importance and vitality of our local farming community and the delicious, wholesome and abundant food it provides us. Recreating a sense of connection to farming, cooking and eating is what Dinners at the Farm is all about." --Dinners at the Farm

A portion of every dinner goes to the non-for-profit community benefiting organizations such as Connecticut Farmland Trust, Slow Food Connecticut, CitySeed, Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries, and Working Lands Alliance.

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Savor Pizza: Norwalk's Healthier Pizza (& Gluten-Free)

Pizza is easy to love.  Who doesn’t relish gooey mounds of cheese over even the most basic sauces and crusts? But for diners concerned with their health,  it is no secret that most pizza is loaded with fat and sodium.  For those with gluten allergies or intolerance,  pizza parlor pizza is off limits.

SAVOR PIZZA in Norwalk is a dream come true for pizza lovers with gluten sensitivities and diners who are mindful of eating lower fat, less salt and organic ingredients. For those with gluten intolerance, it may become your go-to spot for take out pizza, the meal you thought you would never be able to eat again.

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