Tuesday's Hot Bar! 1/31/2012

SOUPS: Broccoli & Cheddar soup, Chicken ‘Noodle’ Soup, Tomato Bisque

RAW FOODS: Living Cole Slaw, Raw Kale Salad, Pickled Zucchini Salad

VEGAN FOOS: Mujadara, Lentils with Kale, Toasted Farro, Black Beans, Whole Grain Five Blend, Misir Wat, Tikel Gomen, Jalapeno Pimento Corn, English Peas, Bedlijan, Steamed Broccoli, Marinated Sesame Tofu,

VEGETARIAN: Rosemary Garlic Mashers, Spoonbread

MEAT: Jambalya, Coriander Chicken Shiitake, Coffee and Cocoa Rubbed St. Louis Ribs, Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo, Coq Au Vin Blanc, Coriander Roasted Pork

*Hotbar is subject to change throughout the day without notice.

Monday's Hot Bar 01/30/12

SOUPS: broccoli & cheddar soup, chicken vegetable soup, tomato bisque, vegan soups

RAW FOODS: living cole slaw, raw kale salad, pickled zucchini salad

VEGAN FOOS: black beans, basmati rice, 5 grain whole blend, ginger squash, gomen, pimento jalapeno corn, tikel gomen, bedelijan, ater kik alicha, misir wat, english peas with caramelized onions, local Hunan BBQ tofu, vegan lentils with kale, mujadara, roasted farro with white beans and garlic

VEGETARIAN: rosemary and garlic mashed potatoes, roasted yellow tomato and blue cheese pasta

MEAT: roasted cod with Manhattan clam chowder broth, 5 spice local roasted chicken, cajun pork loin, cider braised chicken

*Hotbar is subject to change throughout the day without notice.

Saturday Hot Bar 1/28/12

MEATS: Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Ranchero Casserole, Cider-Braised Chicken, Salami Ziti, Trout w/ Lemon Asparagus Cream Sauce, Pork Loin, w/ Spicy Cajun Sauce, Green Curry Chicken, Roasted Corn & Poblano Chicken

VEGAN: Mixed Steamed Vegetables, Roasted Cauliflower w/ Tomatoes, Steamed Broccoli, Black Beans, Whole Five Grain Blend, Ancho Lime Pinto Beans, Yucatan Roasted Veggies, Toasted Farro w/ White Beans Kale & Roasted Garlic, Local Coconut Curry Tofu, Local Tofu Asian Stir Fry, Sausage Seitan w/ Peppers & Onions

RAW (vegan): Living Coleslaw, Italian Pickled Zucchini Salad, Living Kale Salad

VEGETARIAN: Chipotle & Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Almodine

SOUPS: Chickpea Stew (vegan), Chicken “Noodle” Soup, Beer & Cheese Soup (vegetarian)

SALAD BAR PREPARED SELECTIONS: Grilled Marinated Chicken, Homestyle Tuna Salad, Homestyle Chicken Salad, Chickpea Salad (vegan), Yedinich Salata (vegan), Homestyle Dilled Potato Salad (vegan), Forbidden Rice Salad (vegan), Greek Wheatberry Salad (vegetarian), Artichoke Salad (vegan), Nappa Coleslaw (vegan), Citrus Cous Cous (vegan), Azifa Salad (vegan), Organic Mushrooms (vegan), Oven Fried Tofu (vegan)

*Hot Bar items subject to change throughout day without notice.

Ellwood's Local Love Valentines Day Giveaway!

This Valentines Day, we’ve gotten together with some of our favorite local vendors from our Nourish Department to give you the chance to win a truly unique and locally-made prize bag, filled with all things local that we love.

To be eligible for the prize you must answer the following question and email your answer to lpinckney@ellwoodthompsons.com before Tuesday, February 7,2012. The question is: Where did the phrase “Virginia is for Lovers” come from?

A winner will be selected via a random drawing on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 and be announced via email and on our Facebook page.

This unique, local prize pack includes the following:

An iPod/iPhone pouch from The Revolution. Bath fizzles from BCakes, Valentines Soap from Richmond Soap Studio. An 8oz tin candle from Naked Soy, and some Frankenrose love refresher oil from House of Lukaya!

Friday's Hot Bar 01/27/12

SOUPS: chickpea stew, brunswick stew, turkey chili

RAW FOODS: living cole slaw, pickled zucchini salad, raw kale salad

VEGAN FOODS: taco shells, wheat tortillas, vegan TVP, Spanish rice, refried beans, black beans, guacamole, pico del gallo, vegan cheese, green leaf lettuce, vegan sour cream, fajita veggies, ancho lime pinto beans, Yucatan veggies, steamed broccoli, gluten-free veggie lasagna, toasted farro with white beans and kale, tamarind rice, buffalo vegan bites

MEAT: shredded chicken, seasoned ground turkey, sarsaparilla braised pork, farm-raised blackened talapia, Jamaican jerk chicken, ranchero casserole, roasted corn and poblano polenta

*Hotbar is subject to change throughout the day without notice.

Bell's Hopslam is Here

If this picture means anything to you, then a big smile should be on your face and your taste buds starting to tingle. It’s that time of year again, an even almost bigger than Christmas and the Daytona 500. The day that Bell’s Hopslam arrives in the store.

Once again, we have a very limited amount of this one of a kind ale. Bell’s starts off with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell’s Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell’s repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.

Come get it by request only.

Love Your Roots

If you’re truly planning on eating locally year round, when it comes down to winter time, you have to face it – you’re going to be eating root vegetables. Whether you live in California or Virginia, the winter puts root vegetables in abundance and it’s up to us to eat them.

And we’re not just talking carrots and potatoes here (yes, we know potatoes are tubers), we’re talking parsnips, daikon radish, beets, fennel, turnips, rutabaga, etc. Mark Bittman, the NYTimes food columnist says, “Most contain starchy sugars, so they brown beautifully and become sweet after cooking. (Only carrots and beets are sweet raw.) All of this can be disclosed simply by substituting just about any root vegetable you like in your favorite potato recipe. The treatment won’t be identical (the more sugar, the quicker the browning), but it will be similar, and the results will almost always be startling and good.

So if you’re looking for some easier ways to truly enjoy the flavors of winter, click here for 6 delicious root hosting recipes from the New York Times.

Thursday's Hot Bar 01/26/12

SOUPS: tomato bisque, chicken “noodle” soup, tomato veggie soup, mushroom/farro soup, shiitake/lemongrass soup

RAW FOODS: living cole slaw, raw kale salad, pickled zucchini salad

VEGAN FOODS: buffalo vegan bites, vegetable curried rice, roasted root veggies with cous cous, toasted farro with white beans, kale and garlic, black beans, 5 grain blend, steamed broccoli, tamarind rice, pimento jalapeno corn, curried cabbage, green bean piperade, mujadara, roasted brussel sprouts, bell pepper basmati rice

VEGETARIAN: mashed cauliflower, chipotle-cheddar mashed potatoes, green  bean almondine

MEAT: cajun pork loin, coq au vin blanc cod, braised skit steak with wild mushrooms and carrots, farm raised blackened talapia, coconut curried chicken, salami ziti

*Hotbar is subject to change throughout the day without notice.

The Dish Of The Week Is: Farro!

If you’re like me you knew nothing about farro before reading this post.  It’s an old grain that is said to be one of the first domesticated plants and dates back to pre-Roman times. Farro is a really cool distant cousin of modern wheat and is very similar in texture and taste to spelt.  Farro has twice the fiber of wheat and the cyanogenic glucosides found in farro have been found to stimulate the immune system, lower cholesterol and help maintain blood sugar levels.  However, if you are a person that needs to be gluten free farro may not work for you.  The gluten molecules are weaker than modern wheat, making it more easily digested  but farro does contain gluten. We are featuring farro on our hot bar in the store this week.  If you are curious about it, stop by and try some of our dishes!

Here are also some cool ways to prepare Farro:

With Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper

Farro’s not hard to cook—most recipes call for soaking it overnight, in which case the cooking time is really no more than a few minutes. Being more of an in-the-moment cook, I just boil it straight from the bag (okay, I rinse it quickly before it goes into the boiling water) with a bit of salt for about 30 to 40 minutes ’til it’s tender. You can go to any degree of doneness you like; I prefer it a bit more on the firm side, so it’s got a bit of nice al dente chew left in the middle. When it’s done, just drain it and dress it up with really good olive oil, some sea salt, and whatever else you want, and serve it as you would pasta, rice, or beans. If you’re going green you can add a bunch of chopped kale or sliced thin collards to the cooking water so that they’re done when the farro is finished. If you have a chunk of bacon or a parmesan rind sitting around you can put those in the cooking water too. When the farro’s ready, just drain, dress, and go straight to soup bowl and spoon away.

Farro Salad with Mozzarella and Roasted Peppers

One salad technique I came across in my reading was to serve room temperature farro topped with bits of fresh mozzarella and chopped tomato. Given that we’re in the middle of winter, I’ve been using roasted red peppers instead of tomatoes to great effect. Finish it with a lot of good green olive oil (the Pasolivo from California has been high on my list) along with a bit of sea salt, a touch of Maras (Turkish) red pepper, and lots of freshly ground black pepper. This dish is actually good as well with the farro hot and the mozzarella at room temperature—the cheese will get slightly soft when you toss the two but won’t be fully melted down.

Roman Farro Soup

I’m very big on farro-based soups—they’re easy to do, I can put pretty much anything I’ve got at home into ’em, and they keep we warm and well-fed. Basically the old Roman recipes seem to be what most of the world might know now as “minestrone,” but they’re made with farro instead of beans or pasta. Sauté some chopped carrots, celery, tomato, garlic, and onion, along with a good bit pancetta, then simmer the lot of them in chicken (or other) broth (or water) with farro and plenty of olive oil. Chopped greens are always a good addition as well. Add pork or parmesan rind if you have one laying around to buck up the flavor even further. Finish with ground black pepper and chopped fresh parsley. Serve it with grated Pecorino Romano cheese and more olive oil at the table.

Wednesday's Hot Bar 01/25/12

SOUPS: shiitake & lemongrass soup, miso soup, tomato bisque, tomato vegetable, chicken”noodle” soup

RAW FOODS: cole slaw, raw kale salad, pickled zucchini salad

VEGAN FOODS: black beans, basmati rice, steamed broccoli, tamarind rice, pimento-jalapeno corn, gobhi matar, curried cabbage, chole saag, vegetable korma, aloo mutter, Spanish quinoa, vegan succotash, local coconut curried tofu

VEGETARIAN FOODS: whole wheat hamburger buns, kadhi-pakora, tandoori naan bread

MEAT: rainbow trout, braised chicken with olives and mushrooms, BBQ beef brisket, curried chicken, chicken samosas, chicken tikka masala

*Hotbar is subject to change throughout the day without  notice.