Kari Winter

Wok & Roll

I love Chinese food, and for most of my life it was especially important to find the best Chinese restaurant wherever I lived. But then I got brave and started trying different Chinese recipes myself. I figured out that I’d need to use local Asian stores to find ingredients to help make the food more authentic (Mikyin’s Asian Market in Carrboro and Silver Wok in Chapel Hill are both good). Once I started getting the knack for finding ingredients and following directions on technique, I fell in love with cooking Chinese food. Never in a million years did I think I...

Read More

Beans, Beans, Good For The Heart

Beans, beans, good for the heart. Don’t snicker – it turns out to be true. It’s a great health choice to add more beans to your daily food intake. The isoflavones in beans reduce the risk of heart disease and a diet rich in beans helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, which has been shown to reduce the risk of many cancers. Eating beans may even ease the symptoms of menopause and improve bone health. And of course beans are rich in protein and high in fiber. Should we go ahead and talk about the elephant in the room? Some people avoid beans because, lets face it, no one is thrilled with having gas (or being in a room with someone who does), and beans have a pretty strong reputation when it comes to this problem. Yeah, it isn’t much fun when it happens. The good news is that the more often you eat beans, the more used to them your body gets and (I promise!) the less of a problem this becomes. Chewing your meal thoroughly will help break everything down before it gets to your gut, so your stomach and intestines don’t need to do all the work. Products like Beano can help too. If it helps you feel better, or if you just want a fun fact, it turns out that Beethoven had some serious digestive...

Read More

Rocky Run Farm

There is a lot of talk these days about farm-to-fork eating. In our area many people take it seriously and generally do a good job of eating thoughtfully; using fresh, local ingredients. Isaiah Allen personifies this way of living. He is currently Chef de Cuisine at Il Palio (my last column told the romantic story of how he’d come to make the wonderful Tagliatelle al Tartufo there) and will soon be Executive Chef of the Eddy Pub in Saxapahaw. And, of course, he also owns Rocky Run Farm with his wife Whitney, and the line between all of those jobs blurs in wonderful and interesting ways. About three or four years ago Isaiah and Whitney decided they wanted to try growing their own food, even though they had no previous experience. They were trying to eat better and had been watching documentaries like Food, Inc. while learning about pollution and commodity farming. They became more and more captivated with the ideas they were hearing and wanted to do something to make a difference. They started by setting up a small garden in their front yard, growing tomatoes and basil. After cooking with their produce food, they realized that they had an itch for farming and wanted to do more of it. Through talking to people, they found out that Whitney’s uncle had some family land. Eventually they expanded onto...

Read More