A Sustainable Kitchen brings people together to learn, share, innovate and discuss sustainable strategies for everyday life. Welcome to the table!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

If Everyone Lived Like Me, We'd Need 5 Planet Earths

I'm taking an online course offered at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 12,000 others along with me have just finished week one of Introduction to the U.S. Food System. Did you know that through Coursera you can take classes for free that are taught by the world's leading minds at Universities all over the world?  

A tool I want to share with you is this ecologic footprint calculator. Choose your country and answer questions about your diet, driving habits, and household to find out how many planet Earths we would need if all 7 Billion people on the planet had your lifestyle. You might be surprised ! I drive a Prius, shop locally and organically but we'd still need 5 planets to sustain us if everyone had my habits. Time to make some changes !

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What happens when 
A Sustainable Kitchen 
brings together Chef Ray Garcia of FIG Restaurant, Sea Food For The Future and Edible Westside?

It's California Spiny Lobster Time!

Chef Ray Garcia (photo by Rebecca Reams, thanks to Edible Westside)

On Saturday February 2, join us for a celebration of an under appreciated California native, local and sustainably caught Spiny Lobster. This delicious native does not have claws, but makes up for it in sweetness and texture.
Sea Food For The Future's Kim Thompson will be there to explain the importance of this California Native, to the environment, sustainability, the local economy and the fishermen who catch them. 
Watch and learn as Chef Ray Garcia demonstrates his recipe for Spiny Lobster that graces the cover of the current issue of Edible Westside.

When: Saturday, February 2, 2013, 11am-1pm

Where: The Test Kitchen, Surfas Restaurant Supply and      
            Gourmet Food
            8777 W. Washington Blvd.
            Culver City, CA

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Theodore Payne's 10th Annual Native Garden Tour April 6th & 7th

Do not miss the 10 year anniversary event ! Visit 35 gardens over two days and celebrate the gardens of the past, present, and future.

Garden in Altadena. Photo © Saxon Holt/PhotoBotanic
The Theodore Payne Native Plant Garden Tour is a unique adventure: a two-day self-guided journey through 35 or more of the Los Angeles region’s most beautiful and inspiring home landscapes. At each location, you’ll meet garden owners, designers, knowledgeable docents and fellow gardeners.
Planning Your Tour
The gardens are divided into two groups—one group open Saturday, April 6, and a second group open Sunday, April 7, 2013. Tour hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.
Saturday gardens are located inland, with destinations in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys and around downtown L.A., along with one high-elevation garden in Acton (near the Antelope Valley). Sunday gardens are primarily on the Westside, with locations from Santa Monica to the South Bay, with two stops in Oxford Square (near West Adams).
See the complete list of gardens for an overview of features, including slopes, edibles, recycled hardscape materials, child-friendly design, and more.
How to Attend
Tour tickets are $10 per person for members, and $15 per person for non-members. Tickets are available in our online store, by phone at (818) 768-1802, or at our Sun Valley headquarters.
Each ticket includes admission for a single visitor to all gardens across both days, and a printed color guide with addresses and driving directions. The tour is self-guided so you can make your own itinerary and go at your own pace. Guides will be sent to ticketholders via postal mail beginning late March 2013.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Curried Cauliflower & Scallops Recipe

Here's a quick, easy, and sustainable seafood recipe that's sure to please. 

Serves 2
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

1 lb sea scallops
1 large shallot sliced
1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp curry powder
2 Tbs grapeseed oil
1/2 cup dry white wine

Heat 1 Tbs of oil and add your cauliflower. Saute until lightly browned, about 7 minutes adding the tumeric. Set aside.
Heat remaining oil until almost smoking and add your scallops, searing about 2 minutes per side. Set aside.
Swirl your butter around the pan and add the shallots, it should begin to brown and smell really delicious. Add 1/2 cup of wine and bring to a boil and then return the cauliflower to the mixture and add the curry powder. Cover the pan and continue cooking for about 7 minutes. Add the scallops and heat for about 1 minute. 
Enjoy !

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

100 Megawatts ! LA is going solar

From the L.A. Times 

DWP will buy excess solar energy

Customers will be paid for power produced on their own equipment.

January 12, 2013|Catherine Saillant
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers for the first time will be able to sell back excess solar energy created on rooftops and parking lots under a new program approved Friday by the city utility's board of commissioners.
Described as the largest urban rooftop solar program of its kind in the nation, the so-called feed-in-tariff program would pay customers 17 cents per kilowatt hour for energy produced on their own equipment. The DWP has already accepted more than a dozen applicants and will be taking dozens more as it accepts contracts for up to 100 megawatts of solar power through 2016.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

ask/A.S.K. What is this mysterious veggie?

The plant in question was grown in the Central Coast and purchased at the Altadena Farmers Market in an effort to try new things.

It goes by many names: Yu Choy, Yu Choy Sum, Cantonese Pak Choy, Cai Xin, Tsoi Sim, Yiu Tsai, Tsai Hsin, Yintsai Sim, Edible rape, Hon Tsai Tai (Hontsaitai), Red Choy Sum and essentially it is a flowering Chinese cabbage and can be steamed, boiled, or sauteed.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Seafood Watch App

Ever get brain freeze at the fish counter? 
Which is more sustainable? Fresh or frozen? Farmed or wild-caught?

To make it simple, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's free app available for Apple and Google can help answer your questions whether you are at the store or at one of your favorite restaurants.


  • Provides free, up-to-date recommendations at your fingertips with detailed seafood information
  • Uses your phone’s GPS to load the right regional guide for your location
  • Enables you to search for seafood quickly and easily by common market name
  • Allows you to sort seafood by "Best Choice," "Good Alternative" or "Avoid" rankings
  • Sushi guide lists fish by Japanese name as well as common market name
  • Provides alternatives to seafood on the “Avoid” list
  • New Project FishMap feature lets you contribute to the app by adding the names of restaurants and stores where you've found ocean-friendly seafood and locate businesses where others have found sustainable seafood
  • Highlights the list of “Super Green” seafood that’s good for you and the oceans

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Join Us on Feb 2nd for the Spiny Lobster Cooking Demo With Rising Star Sustainability Chef Ray Garcia

SFF Partnership Highlights California Spiny Lobster
Andrew Reitsma
from Contributing Editor, Kim Thompson


JANUARY 2, 2013
This February Seafood for the Future (SFF) is collaborating with Chef Ray Garcia, executive chef at FIG Restaurant at the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica, as well as A Sustainable Kitchen and Edible Westside to highlight local and responsibly harvested California spiny lobster.
Chef Ray Garcia
Chef Ray Garcia
People associate lobster with the image of the bright red crustacean with giant claws and a side of melted butter. Over the course of the summer, coastal communities all over Southern California celebrate these American or “Maine” lobsters from New England in a series of festivals. Meanwhile, the clawless spiny lobster native to California is less well known.
California’s spiny lobster fishery is a well-managed trap fishery with minimal bycatch and strict limits on how many fishermen can catch the clawless crustaceans. The California Department of Fish and Game is in the process of creating a Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan to further the sustainability of this local fishery. The majority of spiny lobsters harvested are shipped overseas.
On February 2 Garcia will perform a cooking demonstration at Surfas Culinary District in Culver City. He will highlight the mild and sweet flavors along with a freshness that can only come from lobsters caught in the Pacific adjacent to our coastline. Garcia will also feature a spiny lobster dish at FIG Restaurant Santa Monica in February. Check the FIG Restaurant website for details.
Garcia is committed to using fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients. In addition to responsible, local seafood, Garcia works with local California growers such as McGrath Family Farms and Weiser Family Farms. He even grows some of his own herbs and peppers in the FIG garden. Under his leadership, FIG’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond food to other aspects of the operation, including recycling and composting and turning fryer oil into soap. Garcia was recently awarded the Rising Star Award in the Sustainability category by StarChefs.com.
Learn more about the California spiny lobster fishery and recreate Chef Ray Garcia’s recipe in the winter issue of Edible Westside.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Oh, the Places You'll Go

We're back from a restful break and ready to kick off 2013 with useful tips for sustainable living, shopping, and cooking. 

One of the most wonderful things about living in Altadena is the Rose Parade. The magical floats each covered in thousands of flowers are a treasured tradition and draw visitors from around the nation and globe. This year's theme "Oh, the Places You'll Go" inspired by Dr. Seuss got me thinking about that other tradition at this time of year... the dreaded New Year's Resolutions. We make them, we break them. We give up things we really enjoy with the intent of making healthy changes.

Drink less. Eat Healthy Food. Get Fit. Lose Weight. Quit smoking.
Get a better education. Get a better job. Manage debt. Manage stress. Save money.
Take a trip. Volunteer.
These are the common ones.

I'm taking a different approach this year and taking a cue from Kaiser Permanente's float and focusing on the healthy things I can do. 

Resolution 1. Shop farmers markets for organic, local produce. 
Resolution 2. Prepare healthy meals using lean proteins and veggies.
Resolution 3. Share !