• 24Sep

    By Chef Michael Kiss of Whole Foods Market in Arlington.

    Rustic local ginger gold apple pie with raisins and pecans. Happy harvest season!

    Is it true an apple a day can keep the doctor away? Good nutrition is always a prescription for good health. But it IS true that an apple a day make a chef come out and play.

    I am an apple fan. I would even consider myself a superfan. I have many fond memories of picking apples with my family and of a bushel basket of apples that sat under the chopping block in our kitchen. That was the apple stash for the autumn and beginning of winter. So many quick snacks as well as pies and treats came out of that basket. It was always such a sad event when we had to switch to grocery store plain (red delicious) apples after the last apple was taken from the basket.

    Well, we can still find plenty of orchards and farmers markets to find fresh amazing apples, but gone are the days of grocery store plain apples. Here at Whole Foods Market we take pride in offering the best local apples we can find.

    Apple Facts I:
    • The crabapple is the only apple native to North America.
    • Apples come in all shades of reds, greens, and yellows.
    • Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie.
    • Apple blossom is the state flower of Michigan.
    • 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States.
    • 7,500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world.
    • 100 varieties of apples are grown commercially in the United States.
    • Apples are grown in all 50 states.
    • Apples are fat, sodium, and cholesterol free.
    • A medium apple is about 80 calories.
    • Apples are a great source of the fiber pectin. One apple has five grams of fiber.

    Gingered Curry Apple Salad
    3 tart apples cored and sliced. Keep in water with a little lemon juice in it.
    ½ red onion sliced
    2 stalks of celery sliced on a bias
    ¼ C of raisins (red or white)
    ½ tsp of mustard seed
    3 Tbs. cider vinegar
    1 tsp. oil
    ¼ tsp curry powder
    1 tsp. sugar
    Season with salt and pepper
    Combine ingredients and let stand 1 hour before serving.

    Apple Facts II:
    • Apples are a member of the rose family.
    • Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 boxes that weigh 42 pounds each.
    • The largest apple picked weighed three pounds.
    • Europeans eat about 46 pounds of apples annually.
    • The average size of a United States orchard is 50 acres.
    • Many growers use dwarf apple trees.
    • Charred apples have been found in prehistoric dwellings in Switzerland.
    • Most apple blossoms are pink when they open but gradually fade to white.
    • Some apple trees will grow over 40 feet high and live over 100 years.
    • Most apples can be grown farther north than most other fruits, because they blossom late in spring, minimizing frost damage.
    • It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.

    Basic Gastrique
    This is a basic recipe for a classic French autumn sauce traditionally for game. It is a versatile sauce and is excellent for fish and vegetables as well. The basic recipe to remember is a balanced sweet and sour element mixed with the richness of reduced stock. Fruit vinegars add great interest to the flavor and often have sweet/tart elements in their flavor.

    Apple Gastrique
    1 box of chicken or beef stock, simmered and reduced by 75%

    ½ C. cider vinegar
    ½ C. sugar
    1 apple diced
    Mix vinegar and sugar and reduce by half. Add in the stock reduction. Taste and adjust seasoning.

    If too sweet add vinegar. If too tart add sugar. If too bright add stock, if too muddled add vinegar /sugar mixture.
    Next while still hot add the diced apple and let simmer for 1 minute to soften the apples.
    For added richness whole butter can be whipped in, but I prefer to keep it lighter and omit the butter.

    The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but it shouldn’t be as thick as gravy.

    Apple Tips:
    • Apples store better at room temperature
    • A little lemon juice in some water will help keep apples from browning. Don’t leave them in water too long as it may make the apples soft.
    • Cook your apples before you make a pie and they will keep the pie crust full. No pie caves!

    Enjoy life and eat well!


  • 03Aug

    From Chef Michael Kiss of the Whole Foods in Arlington. This is from Tonight’s (7pm) free class.

    Healthy lifestyle isn’t always fun and granola, sometimes we get little hankerings for something familiar and kinda bad. Don’t we love hamburgers? We also like the feeling of empowerment when we stay true to what our bodies want and go for the veggie burger, even though what is inside the box isn’t very appealing. Mystery veg isn’t any better than mystery meat, that’s all I am saying.

    Well, today is the day we say NO to the frostbitten hockey puck of bland flavorless pseudo-food patty and say YES to a big beautiful healthy burger that we made with all natural whole foods. It will be a day that when we sit down next to those omnivores, they will look at our buns in envy.

    Anatomy of a basic veggie burger
    The truth is there isn’t a lot to a veggie burger as far as the basic binding medium. The art of the whole thing is to fill up the binder with lots interesting flavors and textures so the burger has highlights and appeal. Without the veggie fillers the binder alone would be like a dense pasty savory cookie. So go crazy with the veg folks, and remember that is where you can really fine tune your nutrition too.

    Basic veggie burger
    Makes 10 to 12 burger patties
    1 Can black beans drained
    1 Can diced tomatoes
    1 C. chopped carrot
    1 clove garlic
    ½ C. chopped onion
    1 ½ C. chopped fresh vegetables or frozen is fine too
    2 C. Instant oatmeal
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Pre heat oven to 400 f.
    In a food processor puree the beans, tomatoes, and carrots garlic and onions with a few pulses. Next mix in by hand the oats and vegetables, season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes then form into patties and bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool and freeze in zip lock bags for later

    So this is the basic burger, and this alone is way better than morning-boca-gaden-crud, but basic isn’t how we roll foodies, hamburger roll…

    Let’s get funky and have something crazy good for dinner.

    How do you think of variations and themes?
    Sometimes I have an idea and just wait for the right ingredient to fall in place, sometimes I find an exciting ingredient and try to work it into a recipe. And once in a while, when the mood is right and the stars are aligned and all is well in the world I make up a funny name and make the food reflect the name…tonight is one of those nights.

    So for tonight’s variation:
    The Rhinestone Ninja
    I added shitake mushrooms and edamame for the vegetable and seasoned with gomasio, ginger and soy sauce
    I changed the onions to scallions (see flexibility-an onion is an onion)

    That’s just the burger, but what about the toppings?
    To fill out the Rhinestone Ninja, let’s have fun with the toppings. Foodies the topping enhance the burger but also it is an opportunity to expand the nutrition of the meal by getting in some extra vegetables in creative ways. Way better than lumping out the mustard and ketchup.

    Gitano slaw
    For 4 burgers
    1 C. shredded carrot
    1 C. shredded daikon radish
    1 tsp poppy seeds
    2 Tbs. seasoned rice wine vinegar
    ¼ tsp toasted sesame oil
    ½ tsp honey
    Mix all ingredients together and let stand for a few minutes

    Cowboy karate chop sauce
    For 4 burgers
    3 Tbs. veganaise
    1 tsp or more to taste siracha hot sauce
    ½ tsp lime juice

    Whole sprigs of cilantro to finish the burgers

    Foodies, I want you to make some amazing veggie burgers this week, Have fun get the family and friends involved. Having a healthy lifestyle is a journey, enjoying a meal with people we love is a destination.

    Eat well!

  • 29Jul

    In my Inbox:

    Michael just sent us this. 🙂



    August 3rd – Veggie Burger Bonanza. Do you relish the thought of learning how to make your own veggie burgers? Join Chef Michael Kiss in this fun and informative class on how to put the flavor back in the bun. No moo, No cluck, and definitely no duck, just wholesome plant oriented burgers that are way better than anything from a frozen box. Vegetarian class.

    August 10th –  29 ½ Minute Meals. It’s a busy life folks, and sometimes we feel hopeless to maintain a healthy lifestyle for us and our families. If you can find 29 ½ minutes Chef Michael Kiss will show you how you can eat healthy and delicious food that most importantly is fast to prepare. This week’s dinner in a flash; Peanut Tamari Tofu wraps with Thai hummus. Stop for a moment and chew! Vegetarian class.

    August 17th **NEW SERIES** Hungry for Knowledge. In this new series, each month, Chef Michael Kiss will review and discuss one of the many dietary lifestyle books we have here at Whole Foods Market. In this non-bias exploration of all things food we will cook some of the recipes from the book as well as offer a 5% discount off the purchase price of the book of the evening. Our first book we will explore is “The Engine 2 Diet” by Rip Esselstyn. Rip is an Austin TX, firefighter that has developed a plant strong approach to healthy lifestyle. Vegetarian class.

    August 24th – Melons 101. Summer isn’t summer without a big ol’ wedge of watermelon, the juice dribbling down your chin and the fun spitting the seed further than your friends. In this informative class Chef Michael Kiss will show you the right way to pick the best of the season but we will also prepare a few dishes that might surprise you when you taste them. Sweet and savory dishes that all include melon in the ingredient list; this will definitely be a class with a rind. Ur,um… I mean appeal.

    August 31st – How to cook like a chef-Gazpacho Mania. This summer one of the hottest trends in cooling down is gazpacho. There are so many variation and new ones being invented by talented chefs every day. Join Chef Michael Kiss as we investigate what makes a classic gazpacho as well as learning how to get funky with nuvou gazpacho variations. Get excited for the flavor flamenco dance on your tongue. O’le! Vegetarian class.

    Classes begin at 7:00 PM. All Whole Foods Market Cooking Classes are free of charge. seating is limited to first come, no registration required. veggie burgers ready to go in the oven! I feeling healthy today![ad][ad]

  • 29Apr

    Here are some more free cooking events with Chef Michael Kiss.



    Class starts at 7:00 PM and generally last 30 to 50 minutes.  All Whole Foods Market cooking classes are absolutely free, No Registration is required and seating is limited to first come.

    May 11th Whole Grains Salads 101
    Vegetarian class
    We all know that we need to incorporate more whole grains into our diets, although in practice it can be overwhelming and frustrating. Let Chef Michael Kiss show you how to take those healthy grains and make them amazing. With the warm weather we will be showcasing light and flavorful salads, great for patio dinners and side dishes at picnics, and don’t forget about summer entertaining!

    May 18th 29 ½ minute meals
    Omnivore class

    Baja Salmon with stewed avocado and tomato and sunshine quinoa
    Our fast paced life makes it hard to eat well… or does it? Let Chef Michael Kiss show the secrets to a worthwhile healthy meal that can be made in a flash! No pre-chopped ingredients, no magic ovens, no camera tricks. This is REAL live cooking and you can do it too in 29 ½ minutes or less!

    May 25th Cook Like a Chef
    Vegetarian class

    Ever wonder how a chef looks at food, how they pick it, combine it, make it taste amazing? This week Chef Michael Kiss is going to break apart the concept of Pesto. This classic Italian staple with is definitely one of his favorites. Have you ever thought of changing the ingredients? Is it still pesto or something different? Join us and you start looking at food like a Chef too!

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