Kimpton Celebrates with Sweetgreen Fro-Yo

Tasty frozen confections and Green Seal certification. We’ll toast to that!

And you can too when Kimpton hotels celebrate their DC city-wide Green Seal Certification with free Sweetgreen frozen yogurt giveaways at all 11 hotels on May 13th and 14th.

All of the hotels have been awarded Green Seal certification at the Silver Level, which is part of Kimpton’s goal to soon become the first lifestyle boutique hotel company in the U.S. to attain 100 percent Green Seal certification at the Silver Level for its 50 hotels.

Fro-yo loving Washingtonians are invited to stop by one of the area hotels to enjoy a free cone of Sweetgreen frozen yogurt, which will be dispensed at a Sweetflow Mobile–-an environmentally-conscious frozen yogurt truck engineered to run without a generator.

The first 50 people on site when the truck makes its stop will receive a complimentary frozen yogurt cone with the choice of one of Sweetgreen’s signature toppings, including strawberries, granola, or organic chocolate chips.

Visitors can also get the “inside scoop” from Kimpton employees on the company’s more than 80 green products and practices, and enter to win a free overnight getaway at the hotel.

For more information on the Sweetflow Mobile’s exact times and locations, locals can visit the individual Facebook page of each hotel, including:

Washington DC:
Hotel George: 15 E Street, NW:
Hotel Rouge: 1315 16th Street, NW:
Hotel Helix: 1430 Rhode Island Ave, NW:
Topaz Hotel: 1733 N Street, NW:
Hotel Madera: 1310 New Hampshire Ave, NW.
Hotel Monaco Washington DC: 700 F Street, NW
Hotel Palomar Washington DC:2121 P Street, NW;

Lorien Hotel & Spa: 1600 King Street, Alexandria, VA.
Morrison House: 116 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA.
Hotel Monaco Alexandria: 480 King Street, Alexandria, VA.
Hotel Palomar Arlington at Waterview: 1121 N. 19th Street, Arlington, VA.

Green Seal certification is an important third-party validation of Kimpton’s more than 80 environmentally responsible operational practices under the company’s EarthCare program, and allows Kimpton to more effectively measure its nationwide reductions in waste, energy, and water consumption.

Eating Greener: Tips and a Recipe from Aviva Goldfarb

Eating green is not just about consuming more spinach, peas, and lettuce.  In her latest book, SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue; Earth-Friendly, Kid-Pleasing Dinners for Busy Families, renowned meal-planning expert Aviva Goldfarb takes her signature meal planning strategies a step further by advising families on how to also reduce their personal environmental impact through smart dinner-time choices.

Here are some quick tips from the book that everyone can follow to make dinnertime greener:

Eat seasonally. Eating fruits and vegetables that are in season not only tastes better and is smarter for the pocketbook, but it eliminates the carbon emissions caused by shipping foods thousands of miles.  One of the most cost effective and environmentally friendly options is to support your local farmer’s market or Community Supported Agriculture program.

Eat organic – but only when it matters.  We know that organic produce is better for your body and the earth, but since organic products can sometimes cost 50 to 100 percent more, families need to understand when it’s most important to choose organic.  Refer to the Environmental Working Group’s list of the produce highest in pesticides.  These items are worth the extra expense of buying organic to avoid ingesting those potentially harmful chemicals.

Eat more veggies and sustainable seafood. Incorporating more non-meat proteins such as beans, tofu, and eggs into recipes and eating sustainable seafood not only helps families do their part to preserve the planet’s resources, but it also is economical and healthy.

Eliminate food waste. According to the New York Times, a family of four will throw out an average of 24 pounds of fruits and vegetables per month, or by another estimate, 15 percent of their groceries.  By planning a weekly menu, creating and sticking to a grocery list and making only one supermarket trip per week, families will greatly reduce food waste and spoilage.

Grow a garden. Even if it is only a small planter, take the time to plant a small garden.  It is a sustainable source of food, is a fun activity for all ages and will save money on produce.

Reduce supermarket trips. Aim to shop at the supermarket only once per week.  Less trips means less fuel burned, less money wasted and more precious time to enjoy with family

Buy in bulk. Buying in bulk reduces the amount of plastic packaging.  Avoid buying individual “snack packs” and package the goods instead in reusable containers. Buy meat and cheese and freeze into individual or family serving sizes.  And like many environmental strategies, buying in bulk is a great way to reduce the weekly grocery bill.

Reuse and recycle. Recycling and reusing is about more than just recycling newspapers and plastic bottles.  Keep a stock of reusable canvas or nylon bags in the car at all times.  Reuse extra plastic or paper shopping bags for other tasks.  Pack lunches in reusable containers.  Rinse and reuse or recycle aluminum foil, along with other cans, bottles and plastic containers.

Compost. Composting is one of the easiest things the average family can do to reduce their footprint and help the environment naturally.  Turning everyday organic waste (like grass clippings, raked leaves, veggie peelings, and fruit rinds) into rich soil not only reduces the amount of garbage picked up curbside by fossil fuel-operated trucks (then dumped into landfills), but also creates 100-percent natural, organic fertilizer.


Mango and Black Bean Salad

(From The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue; Earth-Friendly, Kid-Pleasing Dinners for Busy Families)

Prep + Cook = 20 minutes + 20 minutes – 24 hours to chill (optional)

6 servings

Serve with sliced avocados sprinkled with fresh lime juice and lightly salted.

3/4-1 cup quick-cooking brown rice (about 2 cups prepared)
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed, or 1 ¼ cup cooked black beans
1 – 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen mango, cut in 1/2-inch chunks
1/4 sweet yellow onion, such as Vidalia, finely diced (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup scallions, green parts only, or chives, finely chopped
1 lime, juice only (2 – 3 Tbsp.)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste
6 large Boston or butter lettuce leaves (optional)
6 whole wheat tortillas for serving (optional)

Cook the rice according to the package directions.  Remove it from the heat immediately when it is done cooking.  (If you want to serve the Mango and Black Bean salad immediately rather than allowing it to chill for a while, put the rice in the freezer for 5 minutes to cool it.)

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the beans, mango, onions, scallions, lime juice, and cilantro.  Combine the rice with the ingredients in the large bowl, season it with the salt, and toss it gently.  Chill it for at least 10 minutes (an hour or more is ideal) and up to 24 hours.

Serve the salad on its own or wrapped in large lettuce leaves or warm tortillas, or both, topped with the sliced avocado, if desired.

Scramble flavor booster:  Stir in fresh cilantro and serve the salad with spicy salsa.

Tip:  If you don’t like raw onions, sauté the onions first until they are lightly browned.  If you have picky eaters, put some of the beans and rice aside before combining all the ingredients and let them have simple black bean and rice burritos with mango on the side.

Side dish suggestion: Peel and slice 2 – 4 avocados and sprinkle them with 1 – 4 tsp. fresh lime juice (about 1 tsp. per avocado) and 1/8 – 1/2 tsp. salt (about 1/8 tsp. per avocado) (or mash the avocados, lime juice and salt to make guacamole.)

3 New FRESHFARM Market Locations

Finding local products and produce just got more convenient for DC-area residents. FRESHFARM Markets is opening three new markets: Crystal City, VA; Bethesda, MD; and at the U.S. Department of Health & Human  Services (HHS) in Southwest DC.

The Crystal City FRESHFARM Market will  open on Tuesday May 18 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, the Bethesda FRESHFARM  Market will open on Saturday, June 19 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and the HHS FRESHFARM Market will open on Wednesday June 2 from 2:30 PM to 6:30 PM.  All of the markets will be open weekly through the end of October.

“FRESHFARM Markets is delighted to bring more  farmers and artisan producers to neighborhoods in our greater metro DC  area,” said Bernadine Prince, co-director of FRESHFARM Markets.  “This is a win-win for consumers who want to eat seasonally and locally and for our farmers who bring the freshest farm-raised foods to our producer-only farmers’ markets.”

The new markets will showcase the best seasonal products that local farms in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Pasture-raised meats, eggs, artisan cheeses, yogurt, fresh fruits and vegetables, breads  and baked goods, fresh flowers and plants will be available.

Each week the markets will also host chef demonstrations using products from the market. The demos will illustrate the health benefits of eating fresh, locally grown foods and will inform shoppers on how to make simple recipes using seasonal ingredients.


Crystal City FRESHFARM  Market
Dates: Tuesdays,  May 18 – October 26
Time: 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Crystal Drive between 18th and 20th  Streets
Opening Day Chef at Market: TBD

Foggy Bottom FRESHFARM Market
Dates: Wednesdays,  April 7 – November 24
Time: 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Location: I Street, NW between New Hampshire  Avenue and 24th Street, NW
Opening Day Chef at Market: Steve Badt,  Miriam’s Kitchen, 4:00 PM

Health & Human Services FRESHFARM  Market
Dates: Wednesdays, June 2 – October  27
Time: 2:30 PM –  6:30 PM
Location: 200 Independence Avenue, SW
Opening Day Chef at Market: TBD

Penn Quarter FRESHFARM Market
Dates: Thursdays,  April 1 – December 23
Time: 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
8th Street, NW between D and E  Streets
Opening  Day Chef at Market: Bryan Moscatello, Zola Wine & Kitchen, 4:00 PM

FRESHFARM  Market, By the White House
Dates: Thursdays, May 6 – November  18
Time: 3:00 PM –  7:00 PM
Location: Vermont Avenue, NW between H and I Streets, NW
Opening Day Chef at Market: Jaleo/Think Food Group GIANT PAELLA, 4:30 PM

H Street  NE FRESHFARM Market
Dates: Saturdays, May 1 – October 30
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00  PM
Location: 625 H Street, NE (parking lot across from H Street Self Storage)
Opening Day Chef at Market: TBD

Silver Spring FRESHFARM Market
Dates: Saturdays,  April 3 – December 18
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: Ellsworth Drive between Fenton Street and Georgia Avenue
Opening Day Chef at Market: Pedro Matamoros, 8407 Kitchen & Bar, 11:00 AM
The April 3 market will be held in Gateway Plaza at the corner of Colesville and Georgia Avenue due to an event at the regular location.

St. Michaels FRESHFARM Market
Dates: Saturdays,  April 17 – October 9
Time: 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Location: Muskrat Park in the  harbor
Opening Day Chef at Market: TBD

Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market
Dates: Sundays,  April 4 – December 26
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 1500 block of 20th Street, NW between  Massachusetts Avenue and Q Street and in the adjacent PNC Bank parking lot.
Opening Day  Chef at Market: David Varley, Bourbon Steak, 11:00  AM

Annapolis  FRESHFARM Market
Dates: Sundays, May 2 – November 21
Time: 8:30 AM – 12:00  PM
Location: Donner  Parking Lot in downtown Annapolis
Opening Day Chef at Market: TBD

Winter Farmer’s Market Pizza

Guest post by Jenna Huntsberger of the Modern Domestic

Photo courtesy of Jenna Huntsberger

March can be difficult time at the farmers market if you’re a baker. You’re already sick of the apples and pears of winter, but it’s too soon for rhubarb season. After this particularly snowy winter, most of us are thinking wistfully of the peaches, cherries, and berries that flooded the markets this summer.

But bakers, take note, there’s more at the farmer’s market than just fresh produce — you can also use the excellent local cheeses in a number of sweet and savory baked goods. If you’re not too tired of apples just yet, you can use a local cheddar cheese in a cheddar pie crust, which is always a great option to spice up apple pie. You can use a local blue cheese in scones, biscuits, or a quickbread. Or, if you’re feeling like dinner, use a local cheese on your pizza, which is what I did.

This pizza recipe uses a feta cheese with tomato and basil from Keswick Creamery, a Pennsylvania farm that sells at the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market. All their cheese is made from raw Jersey milk, and their cows are exclusively grass-fed.

Unlike grocery store feta cheese, which can be dry and harsh, this is creamy and tangy, with just a hint of tomato and basil. Because I wanted the flavor of the cheese to stand out, this pizza is simple — topped with just the cheese, fresh basil, and a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Feel free to adapt this recipe to your tastes and whims. Pizza with very thinly sliced apples and Havarti would be lovely, as would a cheddar pizza topped with crumbled bacon. A good pizza crust is the perfect vehicle for whatever is in season, making it an excellent recipe to have on hand for the local shopper.

Farmer’s Market Pizza with Feta and Basil
Pizza dough recipe from The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum
Serves two

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour (4 ounces), preferably unbleached all-purpose or Italian-style
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 liquid cup water at room temperature (70 to 90 degrees)
4 tsp. olive oil
3 oz feta cheese with basil and tomato
Handful fresh basil leaves
Olive oil to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, instant yeast, and sugar. Whisk in the salt (this keeps the yeast from coming into direct contact with the salt, which would kill it).

2. Make a well in the center and pour in the water. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, gradually stir the flour into the water until all the flour is moistened and a dough just begins to form, about 20 seconds. It should come away from the bowl but still stick to it a little, and be a little rough-looking, not silky smooth. Do not overmix, as this will cause the dough to become stickier.

3. Pour the oil into a 2-cup measuring cup (to give the dough room to double in size) or a small bowl. With oiled fingers or an oiled spatula, place the dough in the oiled cup and turn it over to coat on all sides with the oil. Cover it tightly. If you want to use the dough soon, allow it to sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled. For the best flavor development, make the dough at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours ahead, and allow it to sit at room temperature for only 30 minutes or until slightly puffy. Then set the dough, still in the measuring cup, in the refrigerator. Remove it 1 hour before you want to put it in the oven.

4. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees 1 hour before baking. Put an oven shelf on the lowest level and place a baking stone on it before preheating.

5. With oiled fingers, lift the dough out of the measuring cup or bowl. Holding the dough in one hand, pour a little of the oil left in the cup or bowl onto the pizza pan, and spread it all over the pan with your fingers. Set the dough on the pan and press it down with your fingers to deflate it gently. Shape it into a smooth round by tucking under the edges. If there are any holes, knead it very lightly until smooth. Allow the dough to sit for 15 minutes, covered, to relax it.

6. Using your fingertips, press the dough from the center to the outer edge to stretch it into a 10-inch circle, leaving the outer ½ inch thicker than the rest to form a lip. If the dough resists stretching (as will happen if you have activated the gluten by overkneading it), cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for a few minutes longer before proceeding.

7. Brush the surface of the dough with any remaining olive oil. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to sit for 30 to 45 minutes, until it becomes light and slightly puffy with air.

8. Set the pizza pan directly on the hot stone and bake for 5 minutes.

9. Remove the pan from the oven and spread the cheese and fresh basil leaves over the dough. Lightly drizzle pizza with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Return the pan to the stone for 5-10 minutes or until the toppings have melted and the crust is golden; or, for an extra-crisp and browned bottom crust, using a pancake turner or baker’s peel, slide the pizza from the pan directly onto the stone. After 2 minutes, slip a small metal spatula under one edge of the pizza; if the bottom is golden, raise the pizza to a higher shelf.

10. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and cut with a pizza wheel, sharp knife, or scissors. Serve hot.

18th Annual Environmental Film Fest

© Tribe of Heart

From sustainable food culture to colony collapse disorder to school lunches, the vital connection between food and the environment is a major theme of the 18th annual Environmental Film Festival, March 16 through 28.

Film buffs and environmentally aware citizens will have the opportunity to see 155 documentary, feature, animated, archival, experimental, and children’s films that provide fresh, thought-provoking perspectives on the environmental issues facing our planet.

The festival takes place at 56 venues throughout the city, including museums, embassies, libraries, universities, and local theaters–and most of the screenings are free.

Local Highlights

The Green House: Design It. Build It. Live It., is a documentary that chronicles the building and design of the first carbon-neutral house in the Washington, D.C. area. A discussion with the filmmakers, builder, and designers featured in the film follows the screening on Wednesday, March 17, 7:00 p.m. at E Street Cinema.

Who Killed Crassostrea Virginica: The Fall and Rise of Chesapeake Bay Oysters documents the decline of a Chesapeake Bay oyster fishery devastated by the economy of traditional tidewater communities in Maryland and Virginia. This documentary re-evaluates the usual suspects – overfishing, pollution, disease, and mismanagement – in light of fresh findings from science labs, the bottom of the Bay, and long-forgotten historical archives. Sunday March 21, 1:30 at the Carnegie Institution for Science.

Lunch is a short documentary that takes a close look at the nation’s school-food programs through the meals offered by Balitmore’s public schools. The filmmaker not only highlights the links between food and academics and between the current food system and political decisions, but also focuses on initiatives aimed at giving our children healthier lunches in school. Monday March 22 at 7 p.m., American University, Center for Environmental Filmmaking & Earth Day Network.

Global Highlights

The Washington, D.C. premiere of GasLand, an award-winner from the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, will screen on the festival’s opening night with filmmaker Josh Fox in attendance. A special sneak preview of Turtle: The Incredible Journey traces the extraordinary lifetime journey of the loggerhead turtle as it navigates the globe. The D.C. premiere of Colony documents the crisis of colony collapse disorder within the beekeeping community.

What’s On Your Plate? focuses on food sources and Fresh on the growth of a sustainable food culture in America, while Seed Hunter spotlights the search for seed genes able to withstand global warming. Dirt! The Movie and Soil in Good Heart highlight the key role of topsoil in creating nourishing food.

The Music Tree, which explores the future of the threatened brazilwood tree, a vital in the manufacturing of fine violin bows since the age of Mozart, will receive the Festival’s first annual Polly Krakora Award for artistry in film at its Washington, D.C. premiere with Brazilian filmmaker Otavio Juliano.

The Environmental Film Festival has become the leading showcase for environmental films in the United States. There will be cinematic work from 31 countries and 66 Washington, D.C., United States and world premieres. Fifty-six filmmakers and 94 special guests will discuss their work at the festival.