The 300 foods I ate in 2017 MangiaTV Challenge

We are into the third week of the New Year and if you are like most people your New Year’s Resolutions have been made and are now a broken distant memory to be resurrected in 49 weeks. I have always preferred the slight edge revolution of making tiny changes that compound over time to make a difference in my life.

The MangiaTV 300 challenge is a little bigger than that when you look at the total (300 different foods), but taken over a year in smaller weekly goals, it is attainable. Humans of past regularly ate 1000 different things in an average year. We now on average consume only 30 different foods. Everything I have read and heard over the past years is that food diversity (eating the rainbow) is one key factor to feeling and being healthy.

Did you know there are over 20,000 edible plants on this blue dot in the matrix? If you seek out just a handful a week to try you can easily reach the 300 mark. For this experiment I am even using different varieties of the same food to count toward the total. The Google machine tells me there are 7500 different varieties of apple alone and 2500 of them grown here in the USA. Along with varieties add in all the different herbs and spices available and this experiment just might be the tastiest thing you have ever done in your life.

Of course trying these things with friends and family will add the other key component to health and happiness, community, and everybody is going to be healthier and happier in the process. So do yourself a favor…and cook someone a meal…they have never had before.

If you want help keeping track we have made a Google template for your use.

July 2016 Events at the Food Cart Garden in Sisters Oregon

Find the Mangia TV Tuscan Chuckwagon at the Food Cart Garden at Eurosports in Sisters Oregon this summer! The Nugget Newspaper recently wrote a great article about this great spot for community gatherings in summer, you can read it here. Check out the flyer below for event schedule in July 2016,

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including Belly Dancing, Quilt Show Weekend and Shakespeare in the Park!

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Food Cart Garden in Sisters, Oregon

Find Mangia TV’s very own Bob Heffernan at the Food Cart Garden in Sisters, Oregon this summer! NuggetNews.com recently interviewed all the food carts and wrote a great article about it, we are including it below:

Food carts serve hungry folks in Sisters
By Sue Stafford

Tucked away on Hood Avenue behind Eurosports are three unique food carts all new to Sisters – New Public Café, Rock-n-Troll Seafood, and Tuscan Chuck Wagon.

Clustered around an open space of sunny lawn, filled with tables and chairs for patrons, are carts representing much more than purveyors of food. They encompass dreams and philosophies of their owners.

New Public Café

Anna Poutous hails originally from Houston, Texas where her Greek grandfather owned the original New Public Café. Poutous put aside her profession as an environmental consultant and left her boyfriend in San Diego to pursue her dream of sharing her passion for preparing healthy food.

Responding to a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis in her 20s, and hesitant to take the usual side-effect-producing medications, Poutous changed her eating habits, eliminating gluten, becoming a vegetarian in 2000 and then a vegan in 2002. Using all organic produce and products, and many raw foods, Poutous lovingly creates delicious homemade food that is good for you. She is the living proof. Her blood-work now reveals no rheumatoid factor and she is symptom-free.

Her bountiful Bachelor Bowl salad (in honor of the mountain) is chock full of sprouted brown rice, romaine lettuce, shredded beets and carrots, cherry tomatoes, avocado, sprouted pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and honey turmeric humus, all dressed with homemade vegan dijon tahini.

“The Bachelor Bowl is $10. It has a lot of love in it and it’s worth every penny,” assures Poutous.

New Public Café opened on Memorial Day weekend so that her father, who was a big supporter of her dreams (offering his Harley to secure her loan), would be able to see pictures of the opening. He was dealing with cancer in Texas so after the opening she returned to Houston to spend time with him before he passed away.

She just returned to Sisters last week and is now in the process of building her menu and preparing for Quilt Show week. She will be offering cold-pressed juices with optional turmeric or ginger shots (good for countering inflammation), green smoothies, homemade granola and oatmeal, fried-egg sandwiches, salad bowls, tempeh Reubens, homemade almond milk cold-brew drinks, and the pièce de résistance – handmade raw cacao almond truffles (raw cacao, almonds, dates, coconut nectar rolled in hemp seeds, cacao nibs and coconut flakes). She does use dairy and eggs in some dishes.

New Public Café opens at 7:30 a.m. and is currently open Wednesday-Sunday, with plans to be open Monday and possibly Tuesday. Poutous hopes to remain open year-round, offering hot soups and comfort food in the colder months. Her basic philosophy comes from her dad – provide outstanding customer service.

Orders for New Public Café can be texted to 541-419-8751. Poutous’s email is anna@newpubliccafe.com.

Rock-n-Troll

Right next door is Rock-n-Troll Seafood, owned by Ken and Marina Baxter, transplants from Elfin Cove, Alaska, where Ken spent 27 years running his own fishing boat and Marina worked on the gas dock among other jobs. They began wintering in Sisters several years ago before they decided to sell the boat and become full-time residents here. They wanted to spend more time together, which was different from when Ken was at sea six days a week.

They first began offering fresh flash-frozen fish from Alaska for retail sale. Currently, it is available at Melvin’s as well as at the food cart. Until they can secure a permanent retail location, they decided to try their hand at offering fresh fish dishes from their food cart. Their fish is flown in on Alaska Airlines from Sitka and purchased from the buyer to whom Ken sold his catches for years.

The cart opened on May 1 and they report that business has been up and down depending on the weather. They are currently open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday and plan to be open through late September or early October for the fall events. Although they have a year’s lease, the cart will close for the winter and be put in storage out of the weather. Their retail fish will continue to be available at Melvin’s.

“We hope they’ll be enticed (to give us a try),” said Ken.

The menu includes: fish-n-chips; king salmon burgers; halibut and other fish burgers; Captain Ken, Mediterranean, and salmon wraps; salmon skewers; fish tacos; and specials like seafood curry over rice. Fries are served with entrees and blueberry/pear or garden side salads are available. Prices range from $5.75 to $14.95.

They’ve worked hard to create ambiance with a fancy truck, purchased in Leavenworth, Washington, that fits Sisters. From their years of fishing, the Baxters understand the importance of keeping everything clean with bleach, testing their water, and avoiding any fish smell. The cart is inspected by the Deschutes County Health Department.

The Baxters have four grown children, several living in Alaska and the other recently opting for the warmer climes of Arizona. Ken occasionally goes up to Alaska to fish on others’ boats, but he is trying to totally phase out of that part of his life.

Tuscan Chuck Wagon

“I traded in my trading jacket for an apron,” is how Bob Heffernan describes his switch from being a 30-year commodities trader on the floor of the Chicago Exchange to a purveyor of home-cooked, nutritious food in his Tuscan Chuck Wagon in Sisters.

Food is just the outward manifestation of his deep-seated philosophy regarding the importance of families eating together.

“My goal is to go out of business because everybody’s cooking at home,” said Heffernan.

His love affair with food began with his Irish mother, who will be 91 this September, and is still going strong despite giving birth to 11 children. Their family sat down together every night for dinner, something Heffernan sees lacking in too many of today’s families.

As Heffernan was phasing out of online commodities trading five years ago, he was simultaneously ramping up a food-oriented business. He established his website, www.mangia.tv, where he broadcast Sizzle, a program about food, to inspire people to buy local and eat healthy, and to sit down with family and friends around a table. In one episode he interviewed his mom about food and family.

As distant as that seems from trading, Heffernan explained the connection.

“The trading floor was a melting pot of ethnicities. Contrary to the public perception of the crazy pace of trading, there was a lot of downtime for the 100 traders. Talk often turned to food. Because we were done at one in the afternoon, lots of us were Mr. Moms, fixing dinner for the family.”

That experience and his childhood memories led naturally to his focus on food. Through mangia.tv he became aware of barbecue competitions. In January 2012, he entered the Winter Rib Fest in Lake Villa, outside Chicago, which was a benefit for the local food bank.

He called his brother, who owns The Shrimp Walk restaurant in Highwood, Illinois, to see if he could use his brother’s shrimp rub on his ribs. He cut it 50/50 with brown sugar, and won first place. He continued entering and winning until he took third place in the Windy City BBQ Classic. He was onto something.

When he couldn’t find anyone to manufacture and package the rub, due to his small operation, he found The Lamb’s Farm, in Libertyville, Illinois, that offers housing and meaningful employment opportunities for people with disabilities. They are making and packing the rub for him.

Heffernan’s son came out to Western Oregon University to play rugby and one of Heffernan’s brothers is the head of all the rugby referees in the area. Wanting to see his son’s last rugby season, Heffernan came to Bend.

He discovered Sisters and decided that by having a food cart, he would be able to meet people and let them sample his barbecue rub. He views his food cart as a lifestyle portal to good food and wellness. He has opportunities to interact with the public and exchange stories about food and life.

The menu currently consists of two types of street tacos (chicken and shrimp), as well as cajun shrimp skewers, pulled pork and pot roast sliders, and caprese, plus two types of flat bread, which are baked in his pellet-driven pizza oven, crafted by Heffernan. Other than sandblasting and welding done by locals, he made it himself and has plans for possibility manufacturing the ovens for sale.

Tuscan Chuck Wagon opened the second weekend in May and is currently open Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., with Tuesday possibly being added for the summer. His email is bob@mangia.tv.

Dog Town Hot Dogs

Dog Town Hot Dogs serves hot dogs and sausages, including Guiness beer brats, kielbasa and double-smoked German sausage.

Hours are the same as the other carts: Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Beverages – 30-plus craft beers, wines, and juices – are available inside the bike shop.

The Food Cart Garden at Eurosports also hosts free events. Wednesday trivia night is from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m.; Thirsty Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m. feature happy-hour specials and every Friday free music is from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 1 is a special event with Beatles cover band Juju Eyeball playing from 5 to 8 p.m.mangia tv tuscan chuckwagon in sisters oregon

Valentine’s Day Dinner Magic

Last year I Vamped about teasing all the senses for a memorable Valentine’s night. I think I hit it squarely on the head with that and this year I want to kick up the sense of ‘Taste’ with a killer reverse seared Surf and Turf main entrée. Let’s start though with a refresher on teasing some of the other senses:

Sight: Visual stimulation is very key…That is why Victoria’s Secret is no secret at all! To elevate this part of the sensory profile dim the lights, light a fire, or lots and lots of candles. Have the flowers on display and wrap the Chocolates.

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Super Bowl 50 Party Must Haves

Super Bowl 50 Party Must Haves
I love football…and the Super Bowl. It’s like the best Holliday party without all the bullshit of the Hollidays. At MangiaTV we have talked before about making your Super Bowl partywell… super. Here is our list of MUSTS:

Big screen HD TV: The HD part nowadays is somewhat moot, but the bigger the better. We also would recommend a projection system for a bigger than life display!
Huge Selection of Drinks: This party deserves a ‘bar’ that is over and above the call of duty. Screw you Coors light display… Get the good stuff.

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Kermit, You Are Wrong

You know Kermit the frog was known to say, “It’s not easy being green”. Well, at MangiaTV we say, “Kermit, you are wrong”. We are talking about being more environmentally conscious of course.

We have, as a country, done a fairly good job in our recycling efforts over the last 30 years. In fact the curb side container of recycling here in Bend is about three times the size as the trash can. What we are still really bad at is food waste and recycling. In this country 33 million tons of food waste ends up in our landfills. We need to get better at this and like most things if we change our habits we will change the outcome. Here are some habits to get into to help in this regard.

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Ham I Am

Ham I am

We talked about roast beast last week and that spurred the debate in the house on Christmas dinner.  “What is the best meat for Christmas dinner and why is it Ham” was part of cooking Vamp 9 and I thought that with this lofty accolade ‘Ham’ deserves a Vamp unto itself.

How about some ham facts? Pigs, it is thought, were domesticated in China nearly 5000 years ago, and 1500 years ago in Europe.  Columbus had eight pigs aboard, but De Soto’s 13 are believed to be the start of North America’s pork industry.

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Roast Beast

I have learned recently that I have been doing roast beast wrong for a long time. I always thought ‘low and slow’ was meant for bbq and pot roast. Now I know that the perfect prime rib should be done following similar principles. There is actual science behind some other things like a piece of meat seared after it is cooked actually retains more moisture than a piece seared before. There is lots of science going on here that is way over my pay grade, but I have continued to listen up when I hear new information and have a few tips.

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Stocking Stuffers for Cooks

Stuff

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these…in your cooks stocking

When it comes to Christmas gifts I have evolved my thinking and give more thought to the stocking stuffers. Part of this evolved out of difficult economic times, but it also gave me purpose to make the gifts I could afford ones that would surely be useful.

For the cook in your life we have come up with some ones that will help and bring an appreciative smile to their face.

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