Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Helping You Eat Healthier Restaurant/Farm Review #10

Helping You Eat Healthier

                         Review #10

Welcome to our tenth review of restaurants and farm markets in our healthy eating series. We chose a farm that uses all natural and sustainable practices to produce vegetables, herbs, flowers, compost and more. They are passionate about sustainable, clean, nutritious, and delicious local food and the positive impact it has on the health of people and the environment.



New Earth Farm

If you are looking for a farm that grows and provides all-natural, chemical free produce and products, make sure to check out New Earth Farm. New Earth Farm is a 21 acre sustainable, working, all-natural and educational farm in Virginia Beach. They put a focus on building soil through composting, input of biological material, utilizing cover crops, crop rotation, natural mulches and more. They are also working on becoming a carbon sequestering farm through the making and use of bio-char. New Earth Farm has also won the 2012 Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's local and regional Clean Water Farm Award for their safe and sustainable practices and biological treatment of the land as well as the City of Virginia Beach Public Schools "Partner in Education" award in 2014.

New Earth Farm sells their products on the farm, through their CSA, at local retail stores, local restaurants, and local farmers markets. Their all-natural Virginia Beach grown products can be found at Whole Foods Market, Virginia Garden Organic Grocery, The Heritage Market, Old Beach Farmers Market at Croc's, West Side Produce and Provisions, Five Points Farmers Market, and many other locations throughout Hampton Roads. Some local restaurants that you can find their products at are Fruitive, Terrapin, Taste Unlimited, Baladi, Hashi Food Truck and more.

A big part of New Earth Farm is to support and help educate people about healthy, responsible and sustainable food. They are passionate about sustainable, clean, nutritious, and delicious local food and the positive impact it has on the health of people and the environment. They have a learning garden where they host classes, camps, activities, and other friendly events for anyone interested in farming, gardening, organic and sustainable methods, healthy farm-to-table cooking and much more!

So be sure to check out New Earth Farms for some great all-natural, chemical free produce and products at 1885 Indian River Road in Virginia Beach. New Earth Farms is open every Saturday from 10:00am-5:00pm for fresh produce sales to the public and Monday through Saturday from 10:00am-5:00pm for wholesale and garden supply sales. But just keep in mind that they are closed for the winter! Their website says that they are going through big changes and will reopen in spring 2017!

For more information about New Earth Farm visit their website at https://newearthfarm.org/ 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Helping You Eat Healthier Restaurant/Farm Review #9

Helping You Eat Healthier

                         Review #9

Welcome to our ninth review of restaurants and farm markets in our healthy eating series. This is a 100% plant based and certified organic restaurant, all supplied from the best local farmers and organic suppliers. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to talk to Sarah, a Fruitive team member. She has told me all the great things about this restaurant to help me write this review. 




If you are looking for a 100% plant based and certified organic restaurant, Fruitive is the place for you! They are the first restaurant in Southeast Virginia to receive a 3-star certification by the Green Restaurant Association. Fruitive is all dairy free and they have gluten free items as well. Their pantry only consists of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices; all from the best local farmers and organic suppliers. These suppliers consist of New Earth Farm, Mark Shean, Mattawoman Creek Farm, Dave and Dee's Homegrown Mushrooms, Heinz Farm and The Juicebox Camper.

Fruitive offers something for every customer, from smoothies (also known as "liquid meals") to full meals. The type of items that they offer are salads, wraps, sandwiches, smoothies "liquid meals", juices, super berry bowls, some breakfast items, granola, kale chips, vegan cheesecake (when available) and more. Fruitive keeps their signature items year round but will offer seasonal items throughout the year. For example, when the weather is cold and you're craving something warm but also want the goodness of a raw and nutrient-dense dish, you will love a salad steamer (part salad-part soup). When the weather is warm and you want to enjoy something sweet and refreshing, you can sit on their outdoor furniture and eat a delicious Berry Basil Salad. Some suggested favorite items on the menu would be the Collard Wrap, the Tuscan Kale Grilled Wrap, the Southwest Grilled Wrap, the Cacao Pow Smoothie, the Wellness Warrior and the Kalevolution Juice.

Be Sure to check out Fruitive for a great nutrient-dense meal! Their closest location is at 1624 Laskin Road in Virginia Beach, open Monday through Saturday from 7:00am-7:00pm and closed on Sundays. Their second location is located in Washington D.C. and if you live closer to Norfolk, you are lucky since they will be opening another Fruitive there in March 2017!

For more information about Fruitive give them a call at 757-351-0559 or visit their website https://fruitive.com/

Monday, February 20, 2017

Helping You Eat Healthier Restaurant/Farm Review #8

Helping You Eat Healthier

                         Review #8

Welcome to our eighth review of restaurants and farm markets in our healthy eating series. We chose a Farmers Market that has offered fresh, local produce for over 30 years. They are open year-round and feature a variety of agriculturally inspired shops and other merchants that offer seasonal, fresh vegetables and fruits as well as fresh meats. They are a great resource to find food for healthy preparation and eating!



Virginia Beach Farmers Market

For over 30 years fresh, local produce has been available at the Virginia Beach Farmers Market. They are a year-round open air market featuring fresh local and regional produce, a butcher shop, a dairy store, an organic grocery, a specialty home & garden gifts, specialty backyard feeders, plants and more. There are about 14 different merchants; the merchants that you can find fresh, local food at are:

Country Butcher Shop- Here you can get fresh prime meat; beef, pork, chicken, fresh turkeys (holidays only) and Virginia ham. You can also get exotic meats like Kangaroo, Camel, Alligator, Ostrich, etc. 

Virginia Garden Organic Grocery- Here they carry an extensive selection of organic foods. They make the effort to obtain the highest quality, freshest local produce available. They also sell organic eggs, milk, cheese, chicken and meats. 

Creekmore's Place- They sell fresh fruits, vegetables, local honey, jams, relish, peanuts, chestnuts, walnuts and pecans in addition to other seasonal offerings.

Skipper Farms- Their variety of homegrown fruits and vegetables include everything from melt-in-your-mouth green beans and candy sweet cantaloupes, to the best tasting fresh tomatoes, sweet luscious strawberries, fresh picked corn on the cob, tree ripened juicy peaches and sweet crisp watermelons. 

Holland Produce- Here they sell tasty seasonal, fresh picked fruits and vegetables, fresh eggs and more. 

S&H Produce- They offer seasonal, fresh-picked fruits and vegetables and more. 

Other merchants include: Flutterby Soap Company, Kahiau Crafts, Lisa's Tinker Treasures, Gilly's Creamery, Chapman's Flowers, Kempsville Florist & Gifts, Seasons Best Bakery, Moosewood Creek Primitives and The Garden Box. You can check out all of these merchants at Virginia Beach Farmers Market website, or you can go visit them. They are located at 3640 Dam Neck Road on the corner of Dam Neck and Princess Anne Road across from the Landstown Shopping Center. Also, special events are held each month April through December, so be sure to check that out!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Helping You Eat Healthier Restaurant/Farm Review #7

Helping You Eat Healthier

                         Review #7

Welcome to our seventh review of restaurants and farm markets in our healthy eating series. We chose a restaurant whose menu is full of ingredients from local farms. Their food is so delicious that they were even featured on the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives". 



Leaping Lizard Cafe

If you are looking for a place with a fantastic menu full of items prepared daily using locally grown produce and fresh seafood, then Leaping Lizard Cafe is where you will want to go! Here you will find a menu with heavy emphasis on ingredients from local farms of tidal Virginia. They stock their own kitchen with local fruits, vegetables and seafood right from their own produce market. 

Some items that you may find on their menu are homemade soups, salads, sandwiches made from their own fresh-baked bread, wraps, fresh daily specials including local seafood and made-from-scratch desserts. Their daily specials are based on what is in season. Their specialties include homemade sweet potato biscuits with local Edwards Surry ham and peach jam, their famous chicken salad sandwich with peach chutney and their homemade soups. Since they make everything from scratch, they can accommodate any food allergies you may have. 

Whether you want to sit inside in their cozy and friendly atmosphere or sit outside on their outdoor patio, you will most certainly enjoy your meal! So be sure to check out Leaping Lizard Cafe, located at 4408 Shore Drive in Virginia Beach. They are open Monday from 11:00am-3:00pm, Tuesday through Friday from 11:00am-3:00pm then 5:00pm-8:30pm, Saturday from 9:00am-3:00pm then 5:00pm-8:30pm and Sunday from 9:00am-3:00pm. 

 Fore more information about Leaping Lizard Cafe give them a call at 757-460-5327 or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LeapingLizardCafe/


Monday, February 13, 2017

Helping You Eat Healthier Restaurant/Farm Review #6

Helping You Eat Healthier

                         Review #6

Welcome to our sixth review of restaurant and farm markets in our healthy eating series. We chose a farm that produces environmentally responsible "clean" and delicious food for your table. They are a great farm that meets all of our criteria. 


Full Quiver Farm

Full Quiver Farm is a small family operated farm that features fresh pastured poultry, pasture raised pork, grass-finished beef, natural eggs and Thanksgiving turkey. They are committed to the following old-world practices: They fertilize the old fashioned way, with compost and manure. They believe that animals raised outdoors on frequently rotated pasture create a healthy environment. Their animals are treated lovingly and humanely. They try as much as possible to provide a habitat that closely resembles the animal's natural environment. And, of course they use non-GMO feed. 

The authentic country brown eggs are pasture raised. The birds are in the sun daily and are fed non-GMO feed. They run about the pasture, eat grass, clover and grasshoppers. They are healthy and strong and lay eggs that display that same vitality in appearance, taste and happiness. They are protected from predators in an open-air shelter; this natural low-stressed environment produces a healthy low-fat bird with a tender taste you just can't beat. Their pigs are also happy and low-stressed, they are raised outdoors, pampered, allowed to root and dig and express their piggyness. Full Quiver Farm prefers the Angus and Hereford breeds of beef which have excellent quality meat. They are lean and flavorful since they are natural and grass fed. They spend their lives in green pasture eating a "salad bar" of pasture and grass, a cow's natural diet with no growth hormones or antibiotics. Full Quiver Farms also have naturally raised turkeys that sell out every year for Thanksgiving!

Be sure to check out Full Quiver Farms located at 2801 Manning Road in Suffolk, Virginia. A Way to get Full Quiver Farm products without having to drive all the way out to the their farm in Suffolk is to join the buying club. There is no membership fee, just a 6% delivery fee, which is much less than driving out to Suffolk! Place your order online, pay online and the products are delivered to a hostess of your choosing near you. Deliveries will mostly occur every month on a certain scheduled delivery date. 

For more information about Full Quiver Farm give them a call at 757-539-5324 or visit their website  http://www.fullquiverfarm.com/

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Helping You Eat Healthier Restaurant/Farm Review #5

Helping You Eat Healthier

                         Review #5

This is our fifth review of a healthy eating location. We chose a delicious Mediterranean restaurant that prepares each meal from the freshest and highest quality ingredients available. This restaurant has been voted "The best Restaurant for Healthy Eating" in the Tidewater area by readers of The Virginian-Pilot. It is a great example of healthy eating!


Azar's Cafe and Market

Azar's is a local restaurant specializing in Mediterranean cuisine with entrees highlighting only the freshest quality ingredients that has had customers returning for almost 25 years. From Spain to Italy, Greece to Turkey, Lebanon to Morocco, Azar's offers the lively sounds, vibrant images and colors of the Mediterranean. Azar's had built a solid name and reputation for unique, quality products and fresh foods. They have been voted "The Best Restaurant for Healthy Eating" in the Tidewater area by readers of The Virginian-Pilot. 

Azar's delicacies are original creations, many of which are based on old family recipes. Each is carefully prepared in their kitchen from the freshest and highest quality ingredients available. There are many gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan selections throughout the menu. Some recommended dishes on the menu are homemade hummus, tabouli salad, chicken vegetable soup, baked kibi, spanikopita, grape leaves, chicken tawook, lamb shank and their tzatziki dip. Their homemade hummus earned the "Virginia's Finest" trademark for meeting Quality Standards established by the industry and approved by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Azar's lunch and dinner menu offers fresh food that will excite any palate. If you are in a hurry and are looking for a healthy alternative to fast food, freshly prepared platters and sandwiches are available for carry out at their market. Their connected market offers an extensive product list such as olives and olive oils, herbs and spices, cheeses and wines, and Azar's own brand of dips and spreads which proudly carry the "Virginia's Finest" title. Go check out Azar's and discover the healthy benefits of this wonderful cuisine. The original location is at 108 Prescott Avenue in Virginia Beach and is open Monday from 11:30am-6:00pm, Tuesday through Thursday 11:00am-8:00pm, Friday and Saturday 11:00am-9:00pm and is closed on Sunday.

For more information about Azar's Cafe and Market give them a call at 757-486-7778 or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Azars-221700877366/.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Helping You Eat Healthier Restaurant/Farm Review #4

Helping You Eat Healthier

                         Review #4

Welcome to the fourth review of a restaurant or farm in our healthy eating series. If you missed the first three posts that outline the criteria for healthy eating, they can be seen by just scrolling back a couple of posts. For our fourth review we chose a farm that is a great resource for 100% certified organic produce!



Mattawoman Creek Farms

Mattawoman Creek Farms is a 44-acre USDA certified organic vegetable, herb and fruit farm. Their farm has been 100% certified organic since they began farming in 2005. They grow over 60 different crops a year offering a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs, which are all grown using organic and sustainable farming methods.

They periodically have on-farm events where they conduct farm tours and sell their organic produce and plants. This occurs about 2-3 times a year; you can look for these events on their website. Occasionally, they will offer their organic produce for sale through their online store. A great thing is that they sell their organic seedlings starting mid April to the end of May, so you can farm your own produce. Mattawoman Creek Farms will often sell their organic produce at Whole Foods Market in Newport News and Virginia Beach, Westside Produce and Provisions, and they also attend both Old Beach Farmers Market and Cape Charles Farmers Market at the Museum on a regular basis. Throughout the year, some of their organic produce can be found at restaurants such as Captain Groovy's Grill and Raw Bar, Chartreuse Bistro, The Shanty, Simple Eats, Taste, Terrapin Restaurant, Croc's and The Cutting Edge Cafe. 

Mattawoman Creek Farm grows and sells their produce all year long. A way to receive their produce throughout the year would be to join their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. A CSA program is where consumers support a local farm by subscribing and paying a seasonal fee in exchange for receiving fresh local produce. Mattawoman Creek Farm subscribers can pick up their portion of the harvest at one of several pick up points. There are three pickup locations in Virginia Beach, one in Norfolk, one in Chesapeake and four on the Eastern Shore. 

Mattawoman Creek Farm's main focus is and has always been human health and the environment's health. Their growing methods promote healthy soil and marshlands, and support the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. Mattawoman Creek Farm proudly displays the USDA organic symbol because they meet all of the organic standards for all their crops. Their compliance with these standards is independently certified by Quality Assurance International (QAI). Visit their website at https://www.mattawomancreekfarms.com/ for more information.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Helping You Eat Healthier Restaurant/Farm Review #3

Helping You Eat Healthier

                         Review #3

Welcome to the third review of a restaurant or farm in our healthy eating series. If you missed the first two posts that outline the criteria for healthy eating they can be seen by just scrolling back a couple of posts. For our third review we chose a restaurant that is one of my favorite places to go eat. It is a great example of healthy eating!



Simple Eats

If you’re looking for a great restaurant with a menu full of local, fresh “farm to table” dishes, locally roasted coffee and various local beers and wines from Virginia, then Simple Eats is the place for you! They get all their organic greens from local farms; in the summer you can also purchase the produce from these local farms at Simple Eats. They also get their seafood from local fishermen in the summer, but in the colder seasons the seafood comes from Carolina.

Everyone loves a restaurant that changes their menu often; at Simple Eats their menu changes every couple weeks depending on what is available throughout the year. The types of items you will find on their menu are salads, fresh fruits and vegetables, sandwiches, seafood, and “Blunch” (Breakfast & Lunch). They have a rotating seasonal menu to keep them in line with the seasonal produce and availability. Two favorite items that change seasonally are the seasonal salads and flatbreads. But there are also some signature items that are served all year round; the most popular one being the Schmidty Sandwich. Worried that you can’t have this delicious sandwich because you are gluten-free? Lucky for you Simple Eats has gluten-free bread! They are very accommodating if you want anything gluten-free, just let them know and they will help. Not only do they have a lot of gluten-free options, but they have many dairy-free and vegetarian options as well. In addition to a local food menu, they will also provide you with a “keeping it local” cocktail menu featuring Virginia Brewed Beers and Virginia Distilled Products.

Whether you would like to eat indoors in their friendly, homey atmosphere or outdoors on the patio, you will absolutely want to come back for more! So be sure to check out Simple Eats! They are located at 3152 Shore Drive in Virginia Beach and are open Sunday through Wednesday from 8:00am-3:00pm and Thursday through Saturday from 8:00am-9:00pm. Winter hours may vary, so be sure to give them a call at 757-962-3676 or visit their website http://simpleeatsvb.com/ before you go.


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