June 2015–Urban Health Newsletter

Isreal Family Table

Upcoming Urban Health Pop-Up Event ~ Israel Family Table

As part of our monthly Pop-Up Kitchen event series, we are pleased to present the Israel Family Table in June where we will have Guest Chef Ayelet Idan, together with our own Chef Andy, who will be cooking some delicious vegetarian Israeli foods and sharing the stories behind her dishes at the same time.

4 June Thursday, 7:30pm – 10:30pm @ Opendoor Cafe + Courtyard

G/F, 120 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, HK

Early bird: Ended

General ticketing: HK$400 (May 20 onwards)

Discount: $50 fan discoung

Ticketing URL: EventBrite

Introducing Guest Chef Ayelet Idan

Chef Ayelet was born and raised in Israel, where she was greatly influenced by her grandparents’ cooking and her home country cuisines. She is also inspired by fresh ingredients in traditional Israeli cooking and has a passion for spreading the flavours of Israel.

Introducing Guest Performer Van Chan

Talented local singer-songwriter, Van Chan is the lead vocalist of the Hong Kong local band “Nowhere Boys”. Formed in 2014, Nowhere Boys is a group of independent musicians collaborating with each other in search of a new soft rock sound. Look out on our Facebook page for sneak previews of Van Chan’s performances with the Nowhere Boys.

Menu

Messabaha

A rustic warm cooked hummus with piquant sauce.
Slow roasted pepper, onion, tomato and vine leaves stuffed with fragrant rice, herbs and cinnamon.

Sinya

Cauliflower and tomatoes baked in Tahini Hyssop sauce

Malabi

Sweet pudding in pomegranate & rose syrup

Bitter

Sweet black coffee sented with cardamom

** 2 suprise Israel & Asia fusion dishes by Chef Andy developing with Chef Ayelet.
** All dishes are vegetarian and gluten free
** Venue offers Happy Hour price for all wine and craft beer all night

Raw Vegan Diet Blog Entry Contribution by Anonymous

My Experience: From Vegetarian to Raw Vegan

I’ve been a vegetarian since 1989. Mom was the first in the family to become one, before Dad and I followed suit. Other family members worried that I might be malnourished during my adolescence, but other than being a little skinnier than usual, I was totally fine and I have been for more than 20 years now.

Then three years ago, I travelled to Switzerland and happened to meet some people from an organization of vegans. One of them tried to explain to me why he cut dairy products and eggs out of his life. He showed me around the farms where lactating cows were reared and explained how cruelly these animals were being treated.

cows-526771_640In order to obtain the milk we drink, farmers need to keep the lactating cow constantly pregnant. A cow’s or any other animal’s milk is meant for nurturing their own young, but here I was, seeing how these cows were subject to a big pump coming round several times a day to pump milk out of their breasts. Imagine if this were happening to you! Mastitis is also common. I realized I couldn’t say I have compassion for animals if I continued supporting their exploitation. So I turned vegan. After a month, I could feel the positive effects from the absence of eggs and milk – my tummy had shrunk and I had dropped a couple of sizes.

In 2013, I developed mild eczema on my fingers and toes. It wasn’t serious, but it could sometimes be so itchy that it drove me crazy, especially after showering. This was probably brought on by the stresses of my work. In addition, I experienced deprivation of sleep and loss of appetite. Despite the good salary, I quit and started searching for something I really wanted to do.

During this time, I met some raw vegans online and through them, discovered a raw vegan restaurant, Greenwoods, in Hong Kong. My first visit to the restaurant had a profound impact on me and I decided to become a raw vegan. I also cut garlic and onion out of my food.

This was the 10th of March. It has been two months now, and I am still in the transitional phase; I had five cooked meals over these two months. I am experiencing how the diet is transforming me bit by bit. I have more energy and a lot more desire to go out. I picked up a tennis racquet, and I haven’t played tennis in 7 years. I do more meditation, running and yoga. I perspire a lot, but my sweat is odorless. It seems that my desire for wanting anything is extensively lower. I am a lot calmer, more peaceful, and dare I say, more connected with the nature.

In terms of physiological changes: I used to have irregular periods and mild pain. After switching to raw, I skipped a period in March. Then, when it came again in April, there was no pain. My eczema was also reduced by about 90 percent. It seems that animals love me more too. I read somewhere that animals are sensitive to such things. Perhaps they can feel the different energy I emit these days. I love it when strangers’ pet dogs hug and lick me vigorously.

As a two month old raw vegan, I am still battling the temptation of cooked food. I let myself eat it whenever I want, though. It is interesting to notice how my body adapts to change.

One night, about a month after starting on my raw diet, I had a massive craving for noodles, so I went out to have some Singaporean spicy noodles. noodles. Feeling really thirsty because of the MSG two hours later, I downed a lot of water. It wasn’t long before my stomach started to hurt and I ended up throwing up.

I am not against cooked food, but so far the raw seems to be working really well for me. I am finding that I lose my temper much less easily, my bowel movements are much smoother, and I get so much more energy from doing yoga.

That’s a short blurb of my story so far. My journey has helped me find a way to maintain my equilibrium and be a psychologically balanced being. I hope you find something here that helps you do the same!

[Recipe] Chilcano ~ The Perfect Peruvian Cooler

Summer is upon us and it’s the perfect time for us to keep an eye out for something to keep the heat at bay. Our dear friend, Chef Seema Bhatia of Prana Yum, has added her own twist to this healthy summer drink that cools us down from the inside out, and we would like to thank her for sharing the recipe.

The Chilcano is a Peruvian summer cooler, mostly made with Pisco. It has the perfect balance of sweet and sour and this recipe has a healthy zing to it. The traditional recipe calls for ginger ale which is replaced here with a no-sugar club soda. It is then sweetened it with all the enzymatic goodness of raw honey and ginger juice is added for flavor and its anti-inflammatory benefits.

Ingredients

1 TSP of rose petal tea
1-pinch Latin American red peppercorns
¼ – ½ Cup hot water
½ Kaffir lime
1 TBSP ginger juice
Raw honey to taste
A tiny drizzle of Angostura bitters (optional but tastes great)
Club soda just enough to top up the glass
Heaps of ice
A few rose tea buds to garnish along with a sprig of mint and a lime wedge

Directions

  1. Seep the rose buds and red peppercorns in water for 45 minutes, middle and strain.
  2. Get a long glass. Add the equivalent of ¼ cup rose pepper infusion to the glass along with the ginger juice.
  3. Add the lime juice, bitters and honey and stir.
    Top over some ice and pour over the club soda and give it another good stir.
  4. Garnish it with mint and a lime wedge and the drink is ready to be served

Recommendation

Instead of using regular ice, make a bigger batch of the drink, cool it to room temp before making Chilcano ice cubes. This way, you won’t dilute your drink even if you want it served iced!

[Shop of the Month] South Stream Seafoods

Meet the Man Behind South Stream

SS_bradleywhite4You may have heard of South Stream Seafoods. Some of you may have even shopped there before. It’s been featured in various media as one of the best online stores with a good selection of imported organic frozen fruits and vegetables, frozen and chilled organic meats, sausages, poultry (including turkeys) and even a stand alone gluten-free section on the product menu.

In this month’s edition of our Shop-of-the-month feature, we had an exclusive interview with Bradley White, the man behind South Stream. As always, we’ve got you, our reader, some special discounts as well. Read on!


South Stream logoUH: Tell us about the founders and the story of South Stream’s origins – how did it all begin?

Brad: South Stream in it’s earliest stages was nothing like it is today. We started 25 years ago when Paul Bouler (American), Mark Mowday (Australian) and myself (a Canadian) embarked on what has become a long and winding road. I had previously spent 10 years in the hospitality business while Paul and Mark brought experience from other unrelated fields. We were foremost, friends who thought that working for ourselves had be better than answering to others.

We quickly learned that working for yourself meant being the first people in the office and being the last to leave. Although we no longer answered to an employer we ultimately answered to our customers.

The first few years were a struggle as we found ourselves undercapitalized. Money was always tight as each new hotel customer sucked up a tremendous amount of cash with the credit terms we had to give. Things were tough and when presented with the opportunity to open the first Planet Hollywood restaurant in Asia, I jumped at the chance. I took a two year hiatus to work at Planet while Mark, Paul and now Dave Willott (now the Sai Kung Snake Man) soldiered on with South Stream.

Tragedy struck in 1995 when a landslip in Aberdeen came down in the middle of the night. Paul and his girlfriend Sonali were killed. The office and everything we owned were buried. It was devastating on every level imaginable.

We rallied only to be knocked back by the first Asian financial crisis in 1997. We rallied again, only to be hit by the second financial crisis and then carried on merrily until SARS. SARS was horrendous. Nobody ate in restaurants, nobody stayed in hotels, and nobody flew on the airlines we serviced. We were literally weeks away from shutting down.

From adversity comes opportunity and we were lucky enough to realize that although nobody was eating in the places we normally sold to, they were still eating. Instead of selling top quality seafood to the JW Marriott and Grand Hyatt we’d offer the same great food for home delivery.

From humble beginnings, the home delivery business grew and grew quickly. At times, growth exceeded our capacity to keep up and we had to put potential new customers on a waiting list.

As people started making more use of the Internet we set up our first online store in 2006. By automating more of order taking process we were able to take people off the waiting list and things have continued to expand from there. We expanded into beef, lamb, poultry, dairy, baked goods, fruit, veg, eco-friendly cleaning and personal care products and more.

When did South Stream start carrying gluten-free products and why? What drove you to this decision? 

One of the best parts of starting the home delivery business was the direct interaction with our customers. Instead of dealing with fussy chefs, we were dealing with people who were genuinely appreciative of the food and service we were providing. A recurring theme was how much better they and their families’ lives had become since they started buying from us.

We are always happy to source food that makes our customers happy. Sometimes it can be a specialty item, sometimes it is home comfort food. Regardless, it was usually something where the quantities were so small nobody else would bother to find it, buy it and fly it to Hong Kong. For us it didn’t matter if we made money on these things as long as it was making a customer happy and it was our way of saying thank you.

While the availability of gluten-free products is widespread now, 10 years ago there was almost none. Not only in Hong Kong but in other places as well.  We started getting requests from mothers of children with celiac disease to help them find products that their children could eat. For us this was just an extension of finding comfort foods for our customers.

As I regularly attended natural and organic trade shows I started to see gluten-free products appearing and selectively started importing those with the most impact: gluten-free breads for kids’ sandwiches, gluten-free cereals so they could eat coco pops just like the other kids in the family. We started bringing in gluten-free sausages, cookies and whatever else that made our customers’ lives easier.

As gluten-free eating has started to trend with people not suffering from celiac disease as well, we’ve continued to expand the range of products we carry.

What’s South Stream’s roadmap like for the next 3 – 5 years?  Where are you heading? Anything exciting you would like to share with our readers?

We’ve been long associated with giving a ‘peace of mind’ to families concerned about where their meals are coming from.  I don’t see any of that changing in the next 3- 5 years…. or ever as long as we’re associated with the company.

We’ll continue to strive to source the best products with the best ‘provenance’ possible. Product from sustainable sources, the cleanest environments, small scale family farming, products from humanely raised livestock, organic vegetable production and things produced by people with a similar passion for food. Some of the most passionate are the gluten-free bakers we buy from folks like Bakeworks of New Zealand.

I guess in a way you can call us food nerds. What gets me excited is biting into a ripe plum that tastes like it just came off the tree – such are the things I had the pleasure of growing up with in Canada. My Mom comes from large farming family and I was blessed to be able to experience summers on farms. I saw firsthand animals raised in what now is called organic production but at the time were time-honored, traditional ways of family farming. What we find exciting is the ability to introduce these same kinds of products to people who didn’t have that opportunity

What are your top 3 best sellers?

Beef Tenderloin

tenderloin

Beef tenderloin (100% Australian Grass Fed, 100% Grass Fed NZ Angus and Australian certified Organic). Our suppliers are always amazed at what percentage of our beef orders are tenderloin. People in Hong Kong eat well!

Wild or Sustainably-farmed Fish

bluecod

‘For Babies’ portions of wild catch or sustainably farmed fish. We source these from exceptionally clean waters of New Zealand and Australia and they come packaged in small 100 gm packs.

NZ Lamb Racks

lrack

These New Zealand Lamb Racks put the Ohhhhh in orgasmic. Little meaty lollipops of melt-in-your-mouth lamb.

Offer for our readers!

SS_Chicken_Tarragon_Wine

From now til the end of May, South Stream will be offering our readers a 10% discount on their wide range of Franks Gluten Free Sausages from New Zealand. There are half a dozen different varieties including Bratwurst, Italian, Cumberland, Veal, Chicken & Tarragon and Pork Chipolattas.

Order now at south-stream-seafoods.com
Enter Urban Health into the Instructions Box when checking out.

Post Series: Newsletter

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