Pomegranates are nature’s jewels

Pomegranates—Fall’s beauty

 

Pomegranates are in season! Regarded as one of the most beautiful fruits, it is unlike any other—especially when you crack it open.  The shiny red “jewels” called arils are packed with tons of antioxidants. They help the body fight inflammation.

But did you know pomegranates, which means apple with many seeds, is one of the ancient fruits that bores much myth to its name?

In ancient Greek mythology, Persephone ate four seeds of a pomegranate before leaving the underworld, and therefore she was doomed to return. This myth ties itself to the coming of spring and winter.

The pomegranate tree can live up to 200 years.  Not to mention the fruit contains so many seeds bursting with flavor and endless possibilities just like in life.

“Just imagine,” she said. “If every seed grew, there’d be no room in the world for anything but pomegranate trees.” ― David Almond, Skellig

In fact many parts of the world it is known to harbor good luck.

I’m not sure if that holds true but when it comes to eating good honest food, you can never go wrong.  So be sure to enjoy a pomegranate while they are still in season.

And as always, we look forward to seeing you at the corner of Kentucky and Race Avenue at Denver’s Wash Park restaurant. Be sure to note our new winter hours below.

 

 

 

Pumpkin facts . . . Oh My Gourd! 🎃

Did you know? 🎃

“There are three things I’ve learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.” —Linus from Charlie Brown.

It’s the start of fall, and if you hear the word pumpkin it is usually followed by  spice latte. But before this fall drink of choice cast its spell on every coffee drinker, the word pumpkin comes with a long line of interesting facts and fables. Pumpkin facts: its roots are from the Greek word pepon—meaning large melon.

For starters, pumpkins carry a lot of weight when it comes to Vitamin A. In fact it also contains potassium. So you might consider nibbling on something with pumpkin in it over that yellow fruit that takes all the potassium credit.

Pumpkins are at their best when they are in soups, pies and breads. But did you know they were also used to remove freckles? “Oh my gourd!” I didn’t know that either.

Better yet, back in the Wild West days they cured snake bits. “Yikes!”

According to those who follow stats, the largest pumpkin ever grown was 1,140 pounds. And to top it all off, pumpkins are 90 percent water. Holy gourd that is one fact that will impress anyone this fall.

Or as Charlie Brown would say: Oh brother!

 

Happy fall everyone. We look forward to seeing you at Denver local and organic restaurant Fooducopia located at the corner of Kentucky Avenue and Race in Denver’s Wash Park neighborhood.

Denvers best restaurant
Wash Park restaurant Fooducopia

 

 

If your table could talk…what would it say?

Denver best healthy restaurant
Fooducopia Restaurant

Gather around healthy

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t met. —W. B. Yeats

Some of the fondest memories happen around a dinner table. To connect with each other through food and conversation is one of life’s most underrated endeavors. In fact, Fooducopia, one of Denver’s best healthy restaurants, champions the long-term benefits of shared meals.

“We believe enjoying a nice dinner is a powerful way for people to connect to people,” said owner Tim Lymberopoulos. “Gathering around a dinner table, where everyone is engaged in meaningful conversation benefits everyone.”

Executive Chef Richard Glover’s menu for dinner is the perfect way to engage in all sorts of conversation. And if your lucky he might even join you for a conversation starter. Chef Richard’s menu prompts your senses and brings delight to the company of those around you.

Executive Chef Richard Glover with dinner guests enjoying their meal.

So the real question is: if your table could talk, what would it say?

Are you the storyteller who has everyone in stitches when you tell an animated story? Perhaps you are the person who incessantly interrupts—as if you are on autopilot. Don’t worry we won’t tell. Or are you the listener who truly understands why we have two ears and one mouth.

Whoever you are, the reminder here is to make reservations at Fooducopia and gather your friends to meet at Denver’s best healthy restaurant.

So be sure to make a reservation here.

We look forward to seeing you and your table does too . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diet Coke had me at hello

pint

Diet Coke and I broke it off for good

 

“All bad habits start slowly and gradually and before you know you have the habit,

the habit has you.” – Zig Ziglar

 

I don’t remember which came first. Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke. But what I do remember is that I loathed the taste or thought of either of them when I was a young girl. Not to mention the poison that fills each can.

Growing up in the Midwest, I watched as my older sisters chugged their bottles of diet pop. I thought to myself as a young kid—”yuck! how can they drink that stuff.”

For me, I was all about the tall glass of lemonade. When I was a young girl I couldn’t get enough yellow or pink in my glass. I can’t even remember how many lemonade stands I had—but there were a lot. And I mean a lot. In fact, one stands out from the rest. My brother Mark with his street wits, which to this day never ceases to amaze me, somehow found a downed stop sign. He lifted it up and dragged it in front of our lemonade stand. Cars driving down our street obeyed the stop sign. Now mind you our house was in the middle of the street.  So no sooner did we have a line of cars stopped right in front of our poorly made lemonade stand.

It wasn’t until a police man finally came and grabbed the stop sign and threw it in the back of his squad car. Let’s just say that we didn’t make much money that day, but it filled us with so many memories. To this day it still produces a belly laugh in me that makes even the worst day seem happier.

So where and when did this bad habit form? It was in high school and it was my own doing—as our most bad habits. The whole high school anxiety of being a pretty, thin, girl seemed to take over.  I blocked out the thought of how unhealthy it was and turned to Diet Coke and said: “you had me at hello.” Lemonade was old news.

Setting the example to not drink the toxic stuff came from my dad. Dad could literally count on his fingers how many cans of pop he had per year. He never drank “the stuff” as he liked to call it—unless of course we were at Pizza Hut. That was the only time. I was always impressed but never followed that logical path.

My Diet Coke and I were steady in college. It kept me up during those late nights with its caffeine and fizz tingling the back of my tongue. But I do recall I started to feel jealous of my roommate who toted around a huge water bottle—long before the trend that it is now.

The Break Up

Fast forward twenty-five years later. I no longer have the bad habit. Diet Coke, which had me at hello the first time I drank it is no longer around me.  We broke up.

And I have my brother to thank. Earlier this year, we were having a healthy lunch—I of course with a big ole’ Diet Coke. He glanced at it and I just knew. He proceeded to say: “Can I ask you a question?” I already knew the answer. “I don’t know why I drink it!” I was caught and being held accountable. It felt extremely scary but also the timing was right.

Within a few minutes my tongue had professed that I was going to quit. Cold turkey. I said it out loud. The habit was no longer going to own me. Now rest assured I was not thinking all of this in that fleeting moment. I was also thinking, “crap. I don’t want to give it up. I hate iced tea.”

But I forged ahead and allowed him to take my super size and dump it out and eat the salad by itself. That was step one. And I’ve never looked back. Sure, I get tempted, but don’t we all? But at that moment the bad habit tripped over a moment of weakness and allowed confidence to supersede weakness.

To many this may sound frivolous or petty—but don’t we all have bad habits?  I think we all know the answer to that question as well. It further begs the question: why do we have that or this bad habit? I have come to realize that it’s the determination of the answer that has all of us struggling.

Looking back at that day I unfriended Diet Coke, I realize now how much it controlled me. I thank my calm inquisitive brother, who metaphorically pinned me to the ground and reminded me:  it’s time to end the relationship.

This chapter is new for me, as Diet Coke no longer has me at hello. And as Melody Carlson states: “It takes a good habit to replace a bad habit.”

With a slice of lemon or a hint of peach is how I enjoy my iced tea nowadays.

 

 

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Local organic restaurant Fooducopia celebrates Farmyard CSA

Local organic restaurant features Farmyard CSA local produce

Farmyardaa

Local Organic restaurant Fooducopia in Denver’s Wash Park celebrates Farmyard CSA’s harvest of heirloom tomatoes for its September Centerpiece Menu. This month, Fooducopia partners with Farmyard CSA, an urban farming adventure,  to provide diners a glimpse into the very essence of what it means to grow, harvest and taste produce that is literally grown a hop, skip and a jump from their table. We’re talking about an heirloom tomato whose seeds haven’t been modified by man —only by nature.

debbie
Debbie Dalrymple, farmer/owner of Farmyard CSA

As a local organic restaurant, Fooducopia’s Executive Chef Richard Glover and the culinary team know the passion and exceptional tastes found in Farmyard CSA produce. And first and foremost they see first hand the dedication Debbie Dalrymple, farmer/owner of Farmyard CSA, puts forth to growing the best and healthiest produce.

I recently caught up with Dalrymple to find out how she converted one small yard back in 2007 into what is today 25 yards with 40 CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares.

When and where were you first prompted to pursue Farmyard CSA?

Farmyard CSA sort of grew out of nowhere.  It was inspired after a long absence from my home in Wash Park yielded a healthy crop of very tall weeds in my own yard.  Knowing that there was no way I was ever going to water a lawn, I converted the entire thing into a vegetable garden.  After doing this I thought that other people might like doing that as well.  I didn’t so much plan on doing the work for them — just being the inspiration.  But one thing led to another and before you knew it my friend and I had started turning other people’s yards into gardens.  And we were doing all the work, consolidating the veggies and sharing them with both yard owners and our newly-gathered group of CSA members.  All of this happened in the fall of 2007 and our first crop was grown in 2008.  We had 5 yards and 20 CSA members.  Since then Farmyard has grown to as large as 25 yards with 40 CSA shares. 

 

Fooducopia prides itself on being a Wash Park local organic restaurant. What can diners expect to experience when they dine on this month’s Centerpiece Menu featuring Farmyard CSA produce?

tomatoesFirst, dinners should expect that Chef Richard will work his magic with whatever we put in his hands.  And we can assure you that what we are putting in his hands this month is a beautiful assortment of tomatoes of many different heirloom varieties.  Some of the tomatoes are green when ripe so when you see a green one on your plate don’t expect a tart, unripe tomato.  You will also enjoy comparing the various flavors of the different colored tomatoes.

Fooducopia is located at the corner of Race and Kentucky, is there a yard that is a hop, skip or a jump from the restaurant?

Our closest garden to Fooducopia is just south of Arizona on Gaylord street.  This garden has been in our group for 8 years now.  We have grown chard, kale, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and more in this yard over the past 8 years!

 Local food is slowly becoming watered down and overused. How do you navigate the waters to stay true to localized food?

In addition to growing all of our food ourselves, we also start all of our plants locally. We also save many of our seeds so that we can grow the same variety in future years without having to purchase seeds.  Seeds aren’t that expensive but when we use the seeds that we have grown we not only save some money but our seeds become locally acclimatized and are better able to thrive in our climate.  We also ask a lot of question about the source of anything that we have to source externally.  Know your farmer.

 When you are not in a yard farming, what do you find yourself doing?

In addition to being a farmer, I am also an avid cyclist.  I have ridden my bike thousands of miles all over Colorado.  I’ve ridden about 85-90% of the passes in Colorado that are over 9000 feet.  Unfortunately, farming and cycling are both best in the same season and times of day.  Frequently I have to make a choice between the two.

Be sure to come check out this month’s Centerpiece Menu that will make you appreciate how local food is grown, harvested and tastes all in the comfort of walking distance!

Fooducopia is now accepting reservations here for dinner for its Centerpiece Menu. $69 per couple or $39 per person.

asdAppetizer

     •Grilled shrimp cocktail stuffed heirloom tomato and local micro mustard greens

Salad

    Caprese salad- heirlooms, house made goat ricotta, balsamic reduction and basil micro greens

Entrée

Grilled local steak of the day with Greek style tomato salad and Mini Moos goat milk feta

Dessert

     •Cinnamon and brown sugar sweet tomato turnover and whipped cream

$22 per person Wine pairing available. (Includes 4 wines)

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