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The New Meat



A hip New York chef calls them “sexy.” Food writers say they’re “hot.” No, they are not talking about succulent patés or sinful chocolate soufflés. They are talking about vegetables. Yes, sweet little veggies.

Pulling itself off the list of side dishes and taking a seat underneath the Entrée heading, vegetables are becoming the new meat. One reason for the shift? Consumer awareness has spiked on what’s in our food and how it’s produced. Issues such as the health and environmental hazards of mass-produced meat have noshers looking to the nutritional perks of plants. “Vegivores”—one term for these ethically minded, health-conscious, not-quite-vegetarians—have yet to overtake traditional meat-eaters in these parts, but these exurban epicures are helping to redefine our menus and our diets—at home and at area restaurants.

Leslie Williams, a partner at The Perennial Chef in Bedford Hills grows all the vegetables for the business’s two retail stores—the other is in Ridgefield—which sell restaurant-quality prepared food to take out. Williams observes that aesthetics are a big part of a veggie’s appeal. “Michael Pollan says to eat a lot of greens, eat better food, and eat less of it,” she says of the author of In Defense of Food. “Adjusting to eating smaller quantities means finding food with better quality and taste, which may be attracting people to the vegetable part of the healthy-food movement,” she says. Take lettuce: “In a typical grocery store, you find maybe five kinds of head lettuce, and they all can be jumped on a few times and be just fine, because they are shipped long distances. But the ones that travel well, do you really want to eat those?” says Williams, who grows a host of tasty, vitamin-packed greens with names like claytonia, minutina, and broadleaf cress.

Web Bonus! "Watch Michael Pollan discuss his book, In Defense of Food."

“Foods have to be fun and taste good,” argues Mark Wilkins, of the Whole Foods’ Health Starts Here program, which educates customers about how to choose and cook healthy foods. Though any food can be faddish—kale is now au courant, for instance—Wilkins views the growing yen for vegetables as the beginning of a long-term lifestyle change in which people slow down to cook and savor food together. Like Williams, he sees variety as a key component of the aesthetic experience. “You can’t live by kale alone,” quips Wilkins, whose new favorite vegetable is imo, a sweet, pale-yellow Japanese yam. Many Whole Foods stores, including the new one in Fairfield, have a salad bar with dishes featuring unusual vegetables and grains—freekeh, anyone?—aiming to tempt customers into new territory with flavor and eye-catching presentations.

In Litchfield, James O’Shea, co-owner of the subtly chic West Street Grill, notes an emotional element in the trend: “Farmer’s markets have gotten people very excited,” says O’Shea, a lifelong vegetarian. “Picking up vegetables directly from the source is new and thrilling for most people, whether at a farmer’s market or at a CSA farm,” referring to community-supported agriculture. Vegetables play a complementary but significant role at the West Street Grill, where Chef James Cosgriff pairs them with meat, poultry, and fish dishes, and features meatless entrées such as faro (wheat) risotto and pasta with basil, tomatoes, garlic, sea salt, and parmesan.

Analiese Paik, creator of the online Fairfield Green Food Guide, also envisions a boom in farmers’ markets as both an outcome and a driver of the vegivore trend. “People are finding vegetables new to them, like garlic scapes, and the farmer can tell them what they are and how to cook them, so you’re not afraid,” Paik explains. “Then someone standing next to you says, ‘Oh, I make garlic-scape pesto—here’s what you do.’”

Web Bonus! Watch Analiese Paik discuss her new cookbook "Connecticut Farmer and Feast".

Even the likes of the adventurous Paik, however, occasionally meets a vegetable that stumps her. “Once I brought home a North Georgia candy-roaster squash the size of a baseball bat. I had no idea how to cook it, but it looked so intriguing. My Korean relatives were visiting, and they are used to some really strange vegetables, but they just looked at this thing and said, ‘What are you going to do with that?’ I said, ‘Well, first, I’m going to get a really big knife.’”

Inspired? Click here for a delicious Kale Waldorf Salad recipe!

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January 2019

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

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In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Hartford Boat Show (HBS50) features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, deck and pontoon boats, sport and...

Cost: $12 in advance online, $14 at the door, $10 Senior/Military one day pass

Where:
Expo Center at Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville, CT  06382
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Sponsor: Connecticut Marine Trades Association
Telephone: 860-767-2645
Contact Name: Kathleen Burns
Website »

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The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and how he influenced the civil rights movement. Watch short films about King's life and create your own craft with colorful papers and ribbons...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Sponsor: People's United Bank
Telephone: 203-259-1598
Contact Name: Visitor Services Manager

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The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Join the area’s leading investment and financial professionals at the CFA Society Hartford’s Annual Forecast Dinner. The group’s premier networking event of the year will be...

Cost: Individual Member seats are $90 before 1/8, $110 for non-members

Where:
Connecticut Convention Center
100 Columbus Blvd.
Hartford, CT  06103
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Sponsor: CFA Society Hartford
Telephone: 860-604-1411
Contact Name: Rebecca Taylor
Website »

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Join us to explore adventures in stories about Alice in Wonderland, animals, and games!

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »

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The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Join us for the reception on the opening evening of the exhibition, Ghosts: French Holocaust Children, on Wednesday, January 23rd, from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Walsh Gallery at the Quick Center for...

Cost: 0

Where:
Walsh Gallery
200 Barlow Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Website »

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The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

Join us for a conversation between collector Jeffrey Horvitz and Alvin L. Clark, Jr., (Curator, The Horvitz Collection and The J.E. Horvitz Consultative Curator, Department of Drawings, Division...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield University Art Museum
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Website »

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A French Affair: Drawings and Paintings from The Horvitz Collection will be on view in the Bellarmine Hall Galleries from January 25 - March 29, 2019; an Opening Reception will take place on...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield University Art Museum
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Thursday, Jan. 24 Author Talk: Stephanie Land - Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother's Will to Survive, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Maid is showing up on almost every best of, must read, don't miss list of...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Contact Name: Wilton Library
Website »

More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Members and guests are invited to join us for the Election of Trustees, followed by an artist talk by eight photographers with work in the current exhibit. Visit our website at...

Cost: 0

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
Waveny Park
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »

More information

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The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Born from humble beginnings in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport, CT The Alpaca Gnomes cut their teeth in the neighborhood bar scene by playing marathon shows filled with originals and a wide...

Cost: $15.00 - $20.00

Where:
Wall Street Theater
71 Wall Street
Norwalk, CT  06850
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Sponsor: Jeanne Moore
Telephone: (203) 831-5004
Contact Name: Jeanne Moore
Website »

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Are you a lifelong with a passion for sharing history? Find out about becoming a Museum Docent! Docents are trained volunteer educators who present guided tours and other education programs to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »

More information

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The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Saturday, Jan. 26 Mini Golf Family Day in the Stacks at Wilton Library, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wilton Library will hold its 2nd mini golf fundraising event. There will be food (each paid admission will...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Contact Name: Wilton Library
Website »

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  Touchon transforms verbal language into handsome geometric compilations, to reveal the beauty and musicality of language characterized by warmly colored shapes, interlocking irregular grids and...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
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Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

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