Food calendar: Free ice cream, chocolate and more

You know I love freebies, so check out these NY and nationwide events:

April 10
6:30–7:30 p.m. at Whole Foods Market Culinary Center, 95 E. Houston St. Between Bowery and Christie St., New York, NY 10002

Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking From the Spice Islands Of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore Demonstration & Book Signing

James Oseland, Editor-in-Chief Saveur Magazine, will take you on a culinary journey to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, the tropical archipelago that lies between Thailand and Australia. Native home of nutmeg, cloves ,galangal and turmeric and some of the most lavishly spiced dishes on the planet — these countries have lured spice seekers for millennia. For two decades, Oseland trekked through rice paddies, shopped in open-air markets, slurped noodles in food stalls, and became friends with the finest home cooks and street vendors! In this book, Oseland shares his passion for regional cuisine, the colorful people, majestic places, and unforgettable food!

April 11
7:00–9:00 p.m. at Whole Foods Market Culinary Center, 95 E. Houston St. Between Bowery and Christie St., New York, NY 10002

Chocolate 101 (Demonstration)

Chocolate is best enjoyed with all of your senses. Robert Hammond of Moonstruck Chocolates will show you how to make the delicious, natural chocolates that have won him worldwide renown. At the end of the class, you take home truffles made with your very own hands.

April 13
Last day to redeem this free scoop coupon at Baskin-Robbins. Valid only at participating locations in CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, and RI.

April 17
Ben & Jerry’s free cone day. Check the website for participating locations. Last year, I went to two places before I got my free scoop.

Back to Nature mail-in rebate – Back to Nature has a “Total Taste Promise;” if you don’t like their products, fill out this form and get a refund. I’ve tried their chocolate chip cookies and Oreo knock offs. I like how they’re vegan and there’s no weird ingredients. No high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats or artificial flavorings. Unfortunately, they use very coarse sugar, so the texture is off. Also, their cheese crackers are a pale comparison to Cheez-its. I wouldn’t buy their snacks again, but I think they’re worth the price of free. Their cereal is very good though. Offer expires 11/15/08.

Free appetizer or dessert at Zen Palate – Only valid at their new location at 104 John St. (Financial District in Manhattan). Zen Palate has deeply divided opinions, but I love their food. Coupon expires May 31.

Free Soyjoy nutrition bars (3) – I’m usually suspicious of protein bars, but at least these have whole soybean powder rather than soy protein isolate. Here’s Lagusta’s Luscious’ explanation of soy protein isolate:

The worst vegetarian protein source is soy protein isolate. Unfortunately, it’s an ingredient in many “foods.”

  • Soy protein isolate and anything containing it (fake cold cuts, processed soy ice cream, “breakfast links,” some veggie burgers, most soy cheese, soy based whipped toppings, and so much more — read labels!). A truly horrifying and omnipresent product that is just about as refined as a product can be and still be “edible.”
  • A soybean consists of proteins, carbs, and fat. In order to make get only the protein (the soy protein isolate) from the soybean, which is what’s in TVP, TSP, and other processed sources of soy protein:
  • First step: the fat is taken away using hexame solvents – very bad stuff, unless it’s been expeller pressed, which is better but still rather terrible.
  • Then the carbs are taken away by bathing them in acid solutions, base solutions, and alcohol.
  • What’s left is the protein. Practically no nutrients are left. It is an almost completely empty food. Used to make soy cheese, ice cream, etc. – all nontraditional, weird foods.
  • For TVP and TSP the isolate is spun at high heat into soy protein chunks and artificial color, flavor and synthetic nutrients are added, to make up for all the nutrients that were lost during the intense processing that it went through. Yum!
  • Soy protein isolate increases nitrates and carcinogens (the things that cause cancer) in your body, and it increases the need for vitamins A and D.

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3 Comments »

  1. Yvo said,

    Ooh, thanks!!!

    April 12, 2007 at 2:56 pm

  2. Joshua Dudley said,

    Nice meeting you at volunteer training last night. Lotta food suggestions you have here. I make a pretty mean chicken marsala myself.

    April 20, 2007 at 7:51 am

  3. Vanessa said,

    thanks Jessica – good to know about the soy protein.

    April 23, 2007 at 8:37 am

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