February 20, 2018

Garrett Hoelscher Advises Whole Food is Best

Garrett Hoelscher

Garrett Hoelscher

Stick with non-processed foods and feel better. Breads, cereals, and crackers, says Garrett Hoelscher, should be limited or removed from the human diet. Here, the fitness enthusiast and financial analyst explains how whole foods are better for the body.

Interviewing Experts: Good morning, Garrett Hoelscher, and thank you for speaking with us today.

Garrett Hoelscher: My pleasure.

Interviewing Experts: You believe that whole foods are superior to processed foods. Can you explain why?

Garrett Hoelscher: Sure. During the refining process, many of the basic nutrients are removed from the original food product. Also, processed foods may contain additives that we humans just don’t need and that our digestive systems often cannot process.

Interviewing Experts: Can you give us an example?

Garrett Hoelscher: Salt and sugar are two of the main culprits here. 75% of our salt intake tends to come from boxed, cured, and prepackaged food. Sugar is added to just about every cereal on the market. Too much sugar can add to a person’s risk of diabetes and obesity. Also, many preservatives are difficult to near impossible to digest, and often the chemicals used to provide color cause allergic reactions, especially in children.

Interviewing Experts: That’s a very troubling piece of information.

Garrett Hoelscher: Yes, it is. Considering that Americans especially are accustomed to buying food for convenience and many foods that are marketed as healthy are actually bad for your digestive system.

Interviewing Experts: Can you give us an example?

Garrett Hoelscher: One story in the news recently points to a mom who fed her daughter the hazelnut spread Nutella based on the product’s insinuation that it was part of a healthy diet. Long story short, it’s not and is more or less a candy bar in a jar. This just illustrates how consumers are misled by advertising and are always looking for a way to cut corners.

Interviewing Experts: So, what kinds of foods should we be eating?

Garrett Hoelscher: Lean protein, like chicken and fish, raw nuts, fruit  and vegetables.

Interviewing Experts: What about carbohydrates and starches; should those items be avoided?

Garrett Hoelscher: Carbohydrates found in whole foods, like bananas and potatoes, are much better for you than white bread or boxed pasta. Carbs shouldn’t make up a large percentage of diet, although low glycemic carbs are not off limits.

Interviewing Experts: Before we go – what is your advice on how much one should eat?

Garrett Hoelscher: Keep in mind that there is an equation of “energy in = energy out” that will keep you from gaining weight. Regardless of what foods you eat, the best rule of thumb is to take in as much or less than you expend in energy. Ben Franklin once said, “One should eat to live, not live to eat.” Today’s society seems to have reversed that way of thinking. Eat right and exercise for a healthy life – it’s that simple.

Interviewing Experts: Well, we are out of time for today but look forward to speaking with you again in the near future.

Garrett Hoelscher: I appreciate the opportunity. Thank you for spotlighting this health epidemic in the United States. We need more media to get on board.

Chef Ben Vaughn Brings his Talents to the Farm Table

Chef Ben Vaughn is a James Beard-nominated chef who has graced Memphis with his culinary skills for years. Recently, Chef Ben Vaughn opened a second restaurant in Midtown Memphis, called Au Fond Farmtable. Au fond is a French term, explains Chef Ben Vaughn, that is pronounced like the English “Oh faun” with the “n” left off. This idiomatic phrase means “essentially” or “at bottom.”

What Chef Ben Vaughn wants to bring to his Midtown niche is the relaxed and rustic feel of agricultural life. In addition, Chef Ben Vaughn pairs that informal atmosphere with the same delightful and carefully prepared menu that his patrons have come to expect. Unlike Chef Ben Vaughn’s dinner-only restaurant, Grace, Au Fond Farmtable focuses on brunch and lunch offerings. But Chef Ben Vaughn assures his customers that Au Fond Farmtable is not always idle in the evenings. On Monday nights only, at Au Fond Farmtable, Chef Ben Vaughn presents a family style dinner. What’s more, says Chef Ben Vaughn, family dinner Mondays have no corkage fee, so patrons are invited to bring their own wine and enjoy.

Chef Ben Vaughn’s Au Fond Farmtable is in a large airy storefront for shopping, dining, or relaxing with friends and coffee. For Chef Ben Vaughn, Au Fond Farmtable must bring forward all of the best things about a relaxed cafe atmosphere while still providing more culinary range than any cafe. In addition to Au Fond Farmtable’s affordable gourmet menu featuring $6 – $10 food items and an inviting atmosphere, Chef Ben Vaughn has prepared a retail nook in this new establishment. Here, says Chef Ben Vaughn, patrons can purchase some of the finest locally produced artisan foods in west Tennessee. Au Fond Farmtable’s retail counter, Chef Ben Vaughn stocks fine cheeses, fresh baked bread, and a wide variety of imported treats that are sure to bring shoppers back for more.

Au Fond Farmtable
Cooper-Young next to Grace Restaurant
938 South Cooper Street
Memphis, TN, 38104
901.274.8513

Chef Ben Vaughn Presents a Brief History of Risotto – Chef Ben Vaughn

Chef Ben Vaughn Presents a Brief History of Risotto

No one is really sure how rice arrived in Italy. Chef Ben Vaughn has done some research and says that rice was likely introduced to the Italian nation in the 14th century, probably from Spain. There are of course other theories, notes Chef Ben Vaughn, including China’s Silk Road trade. One thing that most everyone can agree on, Chef Ben Vaughn adds, is that shortly after rice made it to Italy it became a popular staple of Italian food.

Agriculturally, reports Chef Ben Vaughn, Italy has excellent land for cultivating rice. The lay of the land, the availability of water, and the Mediterranean humidity make rice grow very well there. Chef Ben Vaughn says that the most prevalent example of rice in Italian food is risotto. Chef Ben Vaughn identifies 4 major components to authentic risotto.

The first is soffritto.  Soffritto, explains Chef Ben Vaughn, is the flavor base of risotto. Soffritto varies by region and cook, but is usually a mix of vegetables, onion, oil, and butter. Chef Ben Vaughn says the soffritto must be sautéed in the same skillet that the rice will later be cooked.

Chef Ben Vaughn instructs that after soffritto comes the broth.  There are many broth options, says Chef Ben Vaughn, including meat broth, vegetable broth and fish broth.  Each broth adds its own unique character to the dish.  Some people use canned broth to save time, but Chef Ben Vaughn always prefers to make his own broth.

Component three of risotto is the choice of flavoring ingredient. This is Chef Ben Vaughn’s favorite part of making risotto. There is a lot of freedom here, but Chef Ben Vaughn prefers sticking to tradition. He says to choose vegetables, meat, or truffles to give your risotto a rich, hearty flavor. And if you can, says Chef Ben Vaughn, use saffron. Saffron is a very unique and traditional flavoring for risotto.

The last and most famous component, continues Chef Ben Vaughn, is the Italian rice. Italian rice, says Chef Ben Vaughn, is unique from other kinds of rice in that it is made up of large grains that contain a lot of starch. Chef Ben Vaughn further explains that Italian rice is ideal for risotto because it can absorb lots of flavorful liquid while cooking but still stay firm.

Now that you’ve had a risotto lesson, Chef Ben Vaughn encourages you to go out there and experiment with your own risotto recipes. You are sure to be delighted by the results. And if success doesn’t come on the first try, you’ve got another excuse to practice in the kitchen. Happy cooking!

Save a Fortune on Food

The most flexible area of any household budget is in the area of food purchasing. Saving money on grocery costs will free up a significant amount of money and is the quickest way to balancing the budget, or beginning to fund a savings account.

The easiest way to save money is to eliminate the luxury of eating out. Period. If that’s not possible, then treat yourself to a dinner out once a month. Make it a special occasion for your family. Everyone will appreciate a meal in a restaurant much more when it’s not taken for granted. Treat it as a “quality time out”. Don’t forget to search for coupons for local restaurants in order to get the best deal possible.

At home, work to minimize the use of high cost convenience foods. – Make it from scratch yourself for a fraction of the cost. We get so used to convenience foods that we forget how much better it tastes when we make it from scratch. There are substitute recipes available on the internet for everything from baking mixes to shake and bake and salad dressing. It just takes a little extra time. Go ahead and pay yourself for doing the cooking – you’ll still come out ahead.

Take time to search the newspapers and do research for coupons on the internet. Plan menus around the weekly sales flyers from grocery stores. Taking a little extra time in planning menus will help you save more, eat better and reduce the food budget!

Try to include meatless meals once or twice each week. Beans and rice are a nutritious, low-cost example. Egg dishes are a nice change in routine for dinner. Another idea to incorporate might be a vegetable stir-fry or vegetarian casserole.

Avoid pre-packaged mixes for cakes, breads, muffins, pastry, pizza dough, pancake, and waffles. Bake these from scratch for not much more effort and a lot less money!

Coupons are widely available in your newspaper, magazines and local flyers, and with a little time each week you can begin to accumulate a coupon file that will save a significant amount on your grocery bill over time.
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