July 2014 - Julie Green and Keen
Even when you think you know it all…there are always new things to learn and innovative ways to be creative with your food.  I have been a vegetarian for more than five years and still feel like I keep learning new ways to cook and incorporate different ingredients into recipes.  Everyone at the restaurant is so knowledgeable and happy to share ideas and experiences to all that want to listen.  Working at a vegetarian restaurant has catapulted my learning into something even more than I thought possible.  It is definitely what makes working there so great!  


My brilliant chef has not only been my herb garden instigator, but also been my personal cookbook the past couple months.  He is always suggesting new ways to make dishes and how to add a little “pizazz” to an old recipe.  Somehow he can concoct a fresh recipe out of ingredients you would never thought about putting together.  His enthusiasm for vegetarian cuisine is great for our restaurant’s morale, the patrons who come here, and most importantly their taste buds.
As the manager, I have to learned to wear many hats; public relations, human resources, customer service, contracting food and so many more. I have also learned about sourcing food and what to look out for when purchasing goods.  Our restaurant always strives to yield fresh and original blends of ingredients in every dish.  I enjoy purchasing from local farmers that do not process their products.  By buying straight from the farmers you can be assured they have not be cross contaminated any of the products with meat; which is extremely important in our restaurant.  We purchase a few ingredients from a restaurant distributor, but we always make sure that it has been certified as vegetarian by the American Vegetarian Association.
Farmers Market- Meeting with local farmers

The knowledge I have obtained about foods and herbs from working in the restaurant is abundant.  I have a better understanding of ingredients and how they work in to create an unforgettable favor.  I have learned even more about how different types of foods yield important nutrients that are important in a vegetarian diet. Don’t worry I will post be posting my experiences with you, my friends, and family.
Oh, the things I have learned…J I never expected to learn how to order ingredients for a restaurant or working directly with patrons to create new dishes that appeal to them.  I am proud of how far I’ve come and what still lies in front of me.  I hope I never stop learning! 

Go Green and Keep Staying Keen!

Julie

Learning never ends

by on 7/18/2014
Even when you think you know it all…there are always new things to learn and innovative ways to be creative with your food.  I have been a ...
To be or not to be…To grow to not to grow, that is the question; I may not be Shakespeare but I am contemplating a very important question.  Should I plant an herb garden at home?  My fabulous chef at the restaurant was kind enough to bring me some of his fresh basil and cilantro from his garden and got my herb garden bug acting up again.  There is just something different when you use fresh herbs from the garden or ones from the store.
I always try using fresh ingredients and herbs whenever I can.  I have tried growing herbs at home before but most of them have never really turned out to much.  I would love to say I have a green thumb…but I don’t…not yet at least!   Last year, I bought a couple different types of herb seeds from the store and put some effort into planting them.  Four little sprouts came up and the other seeds must have disappeared into the soil. I really want to try it my herb garden again soon!



I notice a much more distinct and potent taste from fresh herbs.  When I use herbs from a garden in my food, it just tastes better…simple as that!  You are eating a natural product that you created from a simple seed. I love buying local and I know I could go to the farmers market to get my herb fix, but having your own garden at your cooking disposal is so much nicer.
There are so many pros of growing your own herb garden, it’s hard not start growing one.  I have to be doing something wrong when planting the seeds or I just have a brown thumb…the opposite of a green thumb.  I really want to try growing one again, so I did a little research and on almost every site I visited it said how easy it is to grow one.  Maybe if I think positive thoughts and sprinkle a little veggie love on them when I plant them, they will grow.
When I decide to grow my herb garden, what herbs should I plant? And how can I help each one of them grow?  Basil, chives, dill, mint, oregano…? Sunlight, shade, water, little water, inside or outside…?   There are so many options for growing it makes it even harder to decide.  I know that having my own herb garden would be so convenient and make my food even more delicious, I just need to get them to grow.
I clearly have a lot of questions about growing an herb garden.  This is something that I will probably end up doing, so I just want to make sure I understand it all so I don’t get disappointed again.



Advice about herb gardens are more than welcome!  I will keep you updated on any good advice I receive, so maybe you can have a successful garden too!

Go Green and Help Me Stay Keen,

Julie

To Grow, or Not to Grow

by on 7/08/2014
To be or not to be…To grow to not to grow, that is the question; I may not be Shakespeare but I am contemplating a very important question. ...