Tag Archives: Lula’s for Lunch

Eco Info Part 6 of 6! – Carbon Footprint

OK, so these aren’t “carbon” footprints, but they might as well be, because they’re human, and we produce carbon.  In the foodservice industry, an establishment’s carbon footprint is impacted by its use of greenhouse gases, which are emitted by generated waste, water consumption, and transportation.  Restaurants (and caterers!) can minimize their carbon footprints by reevaluating their energy consumption, using sustainable packaging, and reducing waste.

Gordon (the the fabulous hubby) makes fun of me because I reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as I can.  I guess it did start out as a memory imprint from my mother, who, being raised in the great depression, learned from HER mother to waste nothing.  Little did I know it would become so necessary for the survival of the human race!  If you’d like more “eco info” – common terms explained, peruse the back issues of Lula’s blog from the last couple of months.  And I’m here for questions too!  So go ahead and leave your footprints in the sand…they wash away and you’re having no harmful impact!!  With love, ALWAYS, with love, Lula!

Covid 19 and our Food Supply

If you’ve been wondering about why/how your grocery store is operating and behaving right now…or if you’ve been wondering about how safe your food is, or how safe a restaurant’s food is, OR, if you’ve been wondering about when or if your money OR your food supply will dry up and how you will handle it, you can educate yourself a bit here .

And…to take your mind off of the sobering information in the article, please enjoy these pretty pictures of a July 4th Grillout!

Eco Info Part 5 of 6! – BPA

With “the  covid” front and center I’ve been publishing newsletters with menus for the week instead of the “tips and tidbits” from the kitchen I so love to share – so I’m getting back to that – Part 5 of Eco Info!!  BPA stands for Bisphenol-A, which is in ALOT of plastic.  BPA has harmful effects on humans, and containers with BPA that have been exposed to heat can leach toxic plasticizers into foods and beverages.

The production of BPA can also leach chemicals into soil and water, contaminating the crops we grow and the food we eat.  SOOooooo…make SURE any plastic you buy or any food IN plastic that you buy is marked BPA FREE.  Even a water bottle sitting in your car on a warm day can leach BPA into the water.  Another good reason to quit buying disposable bottled water. 🙂  Just my two cents worth!!  Lula LOVES you and doesn’t want you to get sick!!  If you missed installments 1-4 of ECO INFO, click HERE!

Eco Info Part 4 of 6! – Compostable

Compostable materials disintegrate into natural elements in a compost environment, and make OUTSTANDING soil mixer for your garden.   Commercial composting facilities use ideal amounts of sunlight, temperature, and moisture to create an environment that rapidly breaks down materials.   My dad and mom were the original composters.  We had a huge area behind our “cottage” in the back yard, with  3 walls, and daddy would stir it around every few days (I’m talking a mound so big kids couldn’t climb it).  On our kitchen counter, on a paper towel, were ALWAYS eggshells, banana peels etc to get dumped every day in that compost heap.  Then daddy would take the finished compost and use it in our huge garden, where we had fresh vegetables growing 9 months out of the year.

When I was about 30 or so, I found a cute ceramic countertop compost “bin” for their kitchen and it was a Christmas present.  Probably the best thing I ever got them – they loved it.  No more uglies on the counter!  When they came down in price I bought stainless ones for practically the whole family.  Above is a picture of Lula’s Catering ‘s Compost Bin.

Always check the materials your composting facility accepts before sending your waste.  Go green by requesting a composting bin from your local facility – some places provide them for free!

Eco Info Part 3 – Biodegradable

Clean and Green…biodegradable refers to the ability of a material to be naturally broken down by living organisms.  Biodegradable products release significantly less amounts of greenhouse gases because the materials break down into non-toxic elements without causing a negative impact on the environment.  The process of manufacturing biodegradable packaging helps increase energy conservation and reduce waste.

DID YOU KNOW… that there are biodegradable plastics made from all-natural plant materials?  These can include corn oil, orange peels, starch, and plants.  Traditional plastic is made with chemical fillers that can be harmful to the environment when released, when the plastic is melted down.  The orange peels in the picture above can be used to create biodegradable plastics, AND are both biodegradable themselves as well as compostable.  We will discuss the difference in the next post.  Lula’s Catering CARES!

Coronavirus and Covid-19 – Wash Your Hands!

In light of what’s “going around” and some silliness I’m seeing on social media, I thought I’d skip this week’s “sustainability” blog and re-print from the CDC, WHO, and FDA experts.  Yes, Corona has been around forever, but Covid is the strain that we have no vaccine for.  Below is some gross info and a “wash your hands” primer that we all can benefit from reading:

Foodborne illness is a serious threat to the nation’s public health and many people put themselves at risk for illness by not adequately washing their hands, or by washing their poultry. Many people continue to wash their poultry because that’s what they grew up doing or seeing in their homes. But this is dangerous and can spread bacteria around the kitchen. Juices from raw poultry can transfer bacteria onto kitchen surfaces, utensils, and other food. Once bacteria lands on a surface it can remain active for up to 36 hours, unless the surface is sanitized.

Recent USDA research conducted in a test kitchen revealed some startling results: 60 percent of the test kitchen participants contaminated the inner sink after washing or rinsing raw chicken. Participants also frequently placed raw vegetables and lettuce in the same sink, which ultimately led to cross-contamination.

Researchers also observed that 99 percent of participants either didn’t wash their hands or didn’t accomplish all steps of correct handwashing. Inadequate handwashing has been identified as a contributing factor to foodborne illness, especially when preparing raw meat and poultry. Hands can become vectors that move potential pathogens found in raw meat and poultry around the kitchen, which can contribute to foodborne illnesses.

I understand that old habits may die hard, but I encourage you to wash your hands, not your poultry. If you are brining or marinating your poultry and must rinse or wash it, be sure to thoroughly clean and then sanitize all kitchen surfaces to eliminate the risk of cross- contamination. Also remember that proper hand washing after handling raw meat, poultry and eggs can greatly reduce the risk of bacterial cross-contamination.

I realize it might seem ridiculous for me to explain how to properly wash your hands, but research shows that we all need reminders to achieve basic public health prevention. Here are the five handwashing steps that everyone needs to remember:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel.

Eco Info! – Part 1 of 6

OK, so, not a beautiful picture of my food.  BUT…I ran across great, concise information from a vendor of mine and I thought I would share!  Over the next 6 weeks I’m going to share some terms with you and explain them – regarding our “trash”.  And sometimes I’ll add my two cents worth.   We’re going to start with the term RECYCLABLE. 

Recycling is based on the premise of “reduce and re-use” – breaking down and reusing materials that would otherwise be thrown away.  Recycling utilizes existing materials to reduce energy usage, decrease pollution, and conserve natural resources such as wood and water.  Repurposing waste products in an effective way helps slowly decrease the landfill sizes and increases air quality.

MY TWO CENTS WORTH:

In  the picture above, which items are recyclable?  THE MILK CARTON.  That’s it in our area.  Since China stopped accepting our waste in 2018 , we no longer have effective recycling (we really didn’t then either since what they do affects the planet too!)  Check with your recycler to see what items are currently USABLE for recycling.  Yup, they’ll still take everything you’re dumping in your green bin, but they’re sorting it and throwing it in a landfill.  Oh, my heavy head.

A Brussels Sprouts Primer

Hurry, quick!  If you love Brussels Sprouts get them now before they leave the store.  In the US, fresh runs from about June to January.  But DID YOU KNOW…they get their name from where they were originally mass cultivate – Brussels Belgium?  They’ve been widely enjoyed since the 1500’s over there…but just in the 20th century did they gain in popularity in the US.  Mostly from California, you can get them frozen all year round, but fresh is best.

LOADED with good stuff our bodies need, BS (you know what that means right? and it’s so fitting since they can smell like a fart if you overcook them 🙂 ) are a super food.  Coming from the cruciferous veggie category, they contain the metals and micronutrients we need along with loads of Vitamins A, C, K, and B6, not to mention folic acid and fiber.

Lula’s BS recipes include but are not limited to Roasted (simple and our favorite),  Dijon Garlic, and a magnificent festive Fennel & Pomegranate Salad.  Relax…they won’t make YOU smell like a fart!

Citrus Juice

If you follow these two steps, you will almost double the volume of juice you get out of  lemons, limes, oranges, grapepfruit and the like.  First, pop them in the microwave.  One fruit for 15 seconds.  Each add’l fruit gets 5 more seconds.   Then, place them on the counter or cutting board and putting the force of your “elbow grease” behind them, roll them around a bit.  You’ll be amazed at the amount of juice you’ll get!  Lula uses citrus in a myriad of recipes…Pork Loin with Peach Mango Salsa,  and Salmon Piccata are two.  Go to www.lulasforlunch.com  and guess which menu items contain citrus…there are several on our Breakfasty/Brunchy menu alone!!! – Lula

Tomato Paste RULES!

Fresh fresh fresh…my )(*$)#&(.  Chefs have been using tomato paste (and making it – but YOU don’t do THAT please!) to enhance everything from seafood to beef dishes to sauces for millenia.  Tomato reduction contains umami!  We all have recipes in our collection that call for a teaspoon or a tablespoon of tomato paste.

What to DO with the other 4 ounces (or 10 depending on the can you get?  It comes in tubes now that will store in the fridge for forever, but you pay a premium.  Lula’s Catering ‘s method is – buy a can.  Put a piece of waxed paper or a pastry sheet on a cookie tray, dollop the whole can out in tablespoons on the paper, throw the sheet in the freezer for a few hours, pop it out, bag it up, and throw it in the freezer to have at the ready for the next YEAR.    You’re welcome! For weekly tips and tidbits to help you in the kitchen you can go HERE.