Environmental Incentives and Programs in L.A. County Sustainable Works Green Living Workshops The city of Santa Monica and Santa Monica College offer Sustainable Works’ environmental education programs free to Santa Monica residents and for a $50 fee to everyone else. The Green Living Workshops consist of six one-and-a-half hour sessions, each focusing on a different topic, e.g. recycling, water efficiency, reducing energy usage, making better consumer choices, etc. In addition to educating attendees about how to reduce their environmental impact, the workshops offer money-saving tips and gift bags including eco tools like compact fluorescent bulbs and reusable shopping bags. Composting Sales and Workshop in Griffith Park The city of Los Angeles offers free backyard composting workshops at its Griffith Park Composting Education facility. The city also subsidizes the cost of composting bins so they can be purchased at the bargain price of $20 (smaller worm bins are available for $5). Visit the Sanitation Department of Public Works website to find a full schedule of bin sales events and workshops. Smart Gardening Workshops LA County’s free Smart Gardening Workshops are held at locations all over the greater Los Angeles area. Beginning workshops focus on composting, grasscycling and water-wise garden maintenance, while Advanced Workshops dive deeper into landscape design, native planting, irrigation systems, soil maintenance and organic pest control.
SLO Walking Tour (Approximate Round-Trip Distance: 2 miles): -Exit the Amtrak station via Santa Rosa St. After five blocks, you’ll come to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Kundert Medical Building on the corner of Santa Rosa and Pacific St. -Continue for two blocks on Santa Rosa, and then turn left on Higuera St. Every Thursday night from 6 to 9pm, the San Luis Obispo farmers’ market takes over the five blocks of Higuera between Osos St. and Nipomo St. Food vendors hawk barbecue, hand pies, vegan fare and more, while street performers keep the throngs of people entertained. Oh, and there’s produce too. -Turn right on Chorro St. and you’ll come to the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa on your left. After exploring the mission’s buildings and enjoying the pretty grounds of Mission Plaza, follow one of the pathways down to the San Luis Creek walkway (located right next to the plaza). -Follow the creek path southwest toward Broad St. You’ll find the History Center of SLO and SLO Museum of Art at street level on the corner of Broad and Monterey St. If you’re traveling with tykes, you’ll want to follow the creek path one more block to its end at the corner Monterey and Nipomo St., site of the thoroughly entertaining (if you’re under 10) SLO Children’s Museum ($8 adults and children, free for kids 2 years and under). -From the Children’s Museum, head southeast on Nipomo back to Higuera St., turn left and window shop for the next few blocks along one of downtown’s main drags. -Turn right on Morro St. and you’ll come to the Granada Hotel and Bistro, a recently opened luxury boutique hotel in a historic 1920s building at 1126 Morro. -If you’ve booked a room at the Granada, your walk is over. If you’re staying at Le Petit Soleil, turn around and head back the way you came on Morro St., cross Higuera, and then turn right on Monterey St. Le Petit Soleil is located about six blocks up the road at 1473 Monterey St. -If you’d like to return to the railroad station, continue along Morro St. for a few more blocks to Buchon St. and turn left. Make a right on Santa Rosa St. to continue back to your starting point.
Weeknight Dinner: Pork Scaloppini KCET’s own Cook’s Country has a recipe that’s simple enough for any weeknight dinner — which is really something coming from these professional perfectionists! Pair the protein with egg noodles or rice pilaf, and enjoy.
Ionized Water Is A Scam Ionized water, for those not in the know, is supposedly healthier and tastier than normal water. Why? Because the liquid’s hydrogen atoms are split off and rearranged in a specific way in order to make it a healthier and tastier product than normal water. Or something like that. How the so-called ionization process allegedly works is by taking your normal tap water and running it through the ionizer. (Which can be purchased for as low as $1,000, and as expensive as roughly three times that price.) When you do, the machine’s electrodes perform a process called electrolysis, in which negatively- and positively-charged electrodes either take or send electrons to the various molecules of water inside of the machine. What you’re left with is a water that’s more alkaline than normal tap water.
Meatless Monday: Almond French Toast We’re big fans of breakfast for dinner. Not only is it always tasty, but it’s also an easy way to go meatless. This luxurious French toast from America’s Test Kitchen is a substantial main dish — pair it with scrambled eggs or fruit or even a salad, and don’t forget to wear pajamas!
Unlike the other big spring holiday in the US, Easter, Passover isn’t really known for its sugary delights. But kosher desserts do exist, and these happy little bites of meringue, with dots of chocolate and, if you like, peppermint, are a particular highlight. Have a sweet Passover!
Meatless Monday: Orange Glazed Chickpeas with Sesame Grilled Zucchini Back when “Meatless Mondays” were officially invented during WWI, the powers that be only considered beef, pork, and lamb and mutton to be meat. For a number of varied and modern reasons, we count poultry and fish, too. So for our new Meatless Monday recipe series, we’re looking to non-animal sources of protein, and this recipe for chickpeas and veggies fit the bill perfectly. This recipe comes courtesy ofThe Diva Dish — enjoy!
Let’s Talk Gluten-Free For A Moment …A new survey shows that 30 percent of folks are trying to avoid gluten in their diets. That means they’re spending time — and, as you’ll see, plenty of money — steering clear from wheat, rye, and barley, thusly meaning they’re staying away from pastas, cereals, and (gasp!) even most beers. Gluten has become the “trans fat” or “high levels of sodium” or “high fructose corn syrup” of the 2010s. But the disconnect is that unlike those scientifically-proven “evil” ingredients listed above, gluten is, for most of us, not that bad for our bodies. Celiac disease, the ailment that causes a person’s body to react violently after ingesting gluten, affects only two million Americans. That’s a ratio of 1 in every 133 people in the country. A slightly higher percentage of people than that have gluten allergies or general gluten intolerance. But that’s still quite a ways away from the 30% of people that feel gluten is something that cannot exist in their diet, that it is ruining their health. So what may be the most surprising part of this dieting trend is that, well, it actually seems to work.
Guest Recipe: Braised Chicken with Sherry Vinegar We found this recipe by Alexandra Stafford at Alexandra’s Kitchen, and were impressed by it on many levels: for one, it just looks absolutely delicious — vinegar is an excellent braising liquid for meats. It also makes great use of pantry ingredients, which is handy if you don’t feel like shopping. And finally, she’s included a tutorial for breaking down chickens — see it here if you need a primer. Serve it with noodles or rice or boiled potatoes, or just bread: anything that will serve as a sauce vehicle. Enjoy!