Kim Carlson
Vegetarian Restaurants in Central Munich: Where to Find Healthy Meatless Food in the Bavarian Capital
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |

Most Munich guidebooks tout the meat-intensive cuisine that is part of traditional Bavarian cooking. But that doesn't mean that vegetarian visitors to this world-class city don't have plenty of good eat-out options too. The restaurants below are all in central Munich, located near popular tourist attractions, and offer a range of prices and dining styles.

Prinz Myshkin

The "prince" among veggie restaurants in Munich, Prinz Myshkin is Munich's most upscale and centrally-located eatery. It offers wonderful, creative vegan and vegetarian food in a lovely setting just a few blocks from Marienplatz.

Perennially popular are the sushi, pizza and pasta selections. Where the restaurant really shines, however, is in it signature dishes, such as Tofu Stroganoff, in a red wine cream sauce, or Involtini, a sensational mixture of tofu, mushrooms and roasted nuts rolled in chard leaves and served either with an herb cream sauce or a vegan teriyaki sauce. They also offer an impressive range of desserts.

Open daily for lunch and dinner. Main course prices range from 9 to 17 Euros (US$12 to 22).


Walking distance from both Marienplatz and the Deutsches Museum, Vegelangelo specializes in meatless twists on traditional Bavarian food as well as international cuisine. There is an emphasis on vegan dishes.

For a meat-free taste of Southern German food, try the Linselneintopf, a lentil stew served with soy wieners, or the Knoedel (bread dumplings) with sauerkraut. The pasta dishes are also delicious and inventive.

Address: Thomas-Wimmer-Ring 16

Open for lunch and dinner (except Sundays and Mondays). Main course prices range from 5 to 19 Euros (US$6.50 to 25) and there is a daily price-fixed lunch special.

Lecker Bissen

Visitors to Munich's Kunstareal (art gallery district) in the neighborhood of Maxvorstadt might want to try Lecker Bissen (translates from German as "yummy bites"). This is a small, simple cafe specializing in salads, soups and vegetable pies.

The selection changes daily, depending on the whim of the chef/owner and sometimes includes a fish dish; otherwise, the menu is vegetarian. Most impressive are the 8 to 10 creative salads, which can be ordered as sides or served in an assortment as a main course.

Address: Theresienstrasse 27

Open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Most dishes cost between 3.50 and 6 Euros (US$4.50 and 8).


A good place for a quick lunch around the Viktualienmarkt (one of Munich's top sights) is Sababa, a Lebanese take-out restaurant at the south edge of the market. While not a pure vegetarian restaurant--they serve poultry too--the majority of the menu is meat-free.

The highlight here is felafel (chick-pea fritters), served either sandwich style in pita bread or as a platter with side salads and bread. There are a few tables for those who want to eat on-site.

Address: Westenriederstrasse 9

Open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm. Main courses range from 3.50 to 7 Euros (US $4.50 to 9).


Located in the heart of the Schwabing district, Cafe Ignaz has been around for more than 26 years, and …

July 4th Barbeque Tips: 7 Simple Tips for a Successful Fourth of July BBQ
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |
Family, friends and fireworks all are a part of fun summer memories. This year, the Star Spangled holiday falls on a Friday, making it a long weekend for most people. Don’t wait until the last minute to plan for a great BBQ. Here are a few simple tips you need for a successful and fun get together:
  1. People. Invite friends, neighbors, co-workers and family early before other plans evolve for them. Create your own invitations to mail or eliminate the need for paper and postage by using other on-line sites to create a fun e-vite.
  2. BBQ Tools. A wire brush and scraper to clean the grill, oven mitts, skewers if you plan on making shish kabobs, and disposable pans to make clean up easier are just some of the essential tools you may need for BBQ success. When cooking meat, you will also need a meat thermometer to ensure it has been cooked thoroughly.
  3. Safety. Grills are hot and grilling tools can be sharp. If there are children around, be sure to take the necessary precautions to keep them from running near the grilling area.
  4. Food. It wouldn’t be a BBQ if you didn’t have the all-American menu: burgers, hot dogs, chicken, watermelon, potato salad and pasta salad. You can find a variety of recipes online for side dishes or salads that will enhance your menu. Be sure to offer a variety of cold drinks – alcoholic and non-alcoholic – and end the BBQ with something for your guests' sweet teeth.
  5. Pest Control. Where there is food, there are usually bugs if you are eating outdoors. Ants, flies, and bees can all be attracted to your meal, while mosquitoes can be the worst of the uninvited guests. There are several natural repellents that you can use such as citronella, marigolds and garlic; as well as store bought repellents. Be well armed to keep these pests away from your guests.
  6. Activities. Keep the fun and games simple and relaxed, such as croquet, badminton, and bocce ball. If there are kids in attendance, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and a sprinkler for them to run through are always a hit.
  7. Fireworks. Since setting off your own fireworks is probably not legal and of course very dangerous, check your local listings for fireworks displays in your area. Local newspapers and news channels usually carry a complete listing for your reference.
Add a few American flags to adorn your patio or deck and you are ready to have a sparkling 4th of July BBQ!…
UnschoolingParenting Food for Thought
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |
If you spend your whole life learning, why do so many think a child MUST learn something by a certain age during the constraints of their time in public school?

With the modes of easy transportation in today's world, why do so many people in mainstream believe a homeschooled child does not get any socialization?

When people are pulling their kids out of public schools by the droves, what does this say?

Why are children raised in the same manner as someone's dog with exaggerated praises of Good Boy! or dislike of Bad Girl! Punishments and rewards for the "tricks" you want them to perform? Think about it, children are treated as you would treat a dog! Not all of course but there seems to be a trend there.

We live in a land of freedom yet children are and most likely always are a slave and servant within the household until reaching the age of 18 within many households.

If learning is natural and part of human nature, then why do so many feel it needs to be forced?

Where were we before all the "labels" for learning disabilities?

Why is it, the focus is on a child's negative behaviors rather than celebrating them for their individual being in their entirety?

If public schools are failing so miserably, then why are those who decide on alternative paths so criticized?

Where or who would your child be, if you simply got out of their way?

What would need to happen for public schools to thrive and be a success?

Is a child an invited guest in your home? A burden? A blessing?

When parents of public school children ask " How can you be with your child 24/7 and not go insane?" My adult daughter's reply is ........." How can you a public school parent with children in after school programs and activities and your work schedule afford to MISS so much time with them?"

Why is so much emphasis put on a child going to college or getting a job with the thought a homeschooled child will be unable to do so? There are other choices one can make in life as well and IF they decide on college and corporate jobs, they will be able to do those too!

Just a few thoughts to chew on this morning! Have an Amazing Day!…

Catering Equipment
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |
Catering equipment is a must if you want to succeed in the catering business. Whether it's cans of fuel for warming sauces and soups, or utensils for serving salads and cutting cakes, it's a smart move to have a tool for every potential catering challenge. Many people believe catering equipment consists of a few serving trays and plastic cups. A good selection of catering equipment includes much more than those serving staples. If you want your catering company to leave a professional impression on your clients, you need aprons, uniforms, chef coats, and crystal stemware as well. If you're catering a picnic or other casual event, you can set the formality aside with checkered tablecloths and aprons printed with "Kiss the Cook." Equip Your Company with Catering Equipment If you want to get all of your catering equipment from one source, a restaurant supply company is a great place to start. Many restaurant supplies can do double duty as catering supplies. Unless you're a full service catering company, you probably won't have a need for those super-sized ice machines and walk-in refrigerators and freezers. Many catering events take place in locations where there are no utensils or dishes available. That is why it's a good idea for you to have a constant supply of catering equipment on hand. If you have the equipment for any potential situation, your clients will know that your catering company will work for virtually any occasion.…
Restaurant Survival Guide for Parents
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |

So how do mom and dad accomplish a successful night out to eat with the kids? It’s not that hard, with a little key preparation beforehand.


Steps to Set the Family up for Success When Dining Out

To have a great evening out with young kids at a restaurant, parents can try the following ideas:

  • Make sure the kids sit down beforehand and explain what is expected of them at the restaurant. It may sound silly to grownups, but for children who have never been to a restaurant, it is important for mom and dad to go over what will happen and what is expected, including how the children should behave.
  • Choose a family friendly place. This way if the kids do get a little loud, it will not be so noticeable like it would be at an expensive five-star restaurant, where there most likely will not be any other children around.
  • Timing is key. Try to go around the kids' usually meal time. If the kids are used to eating dinner at 5:30pm and mom and dad make reservations for 7:00pm it’s going to spell disaster! The kids are going to be hungry and cranky way before the food arrives.
  • Pack a bag of tricks. A few key items to play with while the kids wait for the food to come could mean the difference between disaster and a successful outing. Keep the items small and try to have them do double duty.

Some Great Toys to Keep Kids Busy at a Restaurant

Kids have short attention spans and can't sit still for long. Many won't wait patiently for their meals. Parents can keep them busy with some fun activities.

  • Crayola Click-em On Markers– These are great for this purpose. Not only can they be used as markers to draw on the back of a placemat, kids can click them together and create all kinds of shapes. Make a game out of it and have the kids see who can create the tallest tower or the most unique structure.
  • Crayola Color Wonder Watercolors –No water is required for these really cool water color markers. Kids can create a design on the back of their placemat or bring along a printable from one of their favorite shows for them to color.
  • Mad Libs– For older children Mad Libs is great fun. They can take turns writing in the words and reading the stories to each other. For younger kids Mad Libs makes a dry erase book that lets them complete the silly faces. It’s great fun for little ones and they get to erase and do it all over again!

Waiting and sitting still can be really hard for younger kids. By doing some preparation before-hand mom and dad can make a meal out a successful event. Younger children do better when they know what to expect, so be sure to go over expectations well before leaving the house.

In addition, make sure to have a bag …

Recipe: Berry Dumplings
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |
I've always been a huge fan of berries. Who isn't? Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, oh my! Well, I have the perfect dish to give you a berry fix and satisfy your sweet tooth all in one. Berry dumplings with ice cream!

What you will need: 2 cups of berries (I like to use a mixture of blackberries and blueberries), 2 cups of water, 1 cup of flour, 1 and 1/3 cups of sugar, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1 stick of butter, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, milk and salt as needed, ice cream.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon with one tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of salt. Cut the butter into these ingredients. Add milk little by little and stir until the dough is firm and doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl. Set this aside. Pour and stir the water, berries, and the sugar into a large pot. Heat this mixture until boiling. Use a tablespoon (a teaspoon if you want smaller dumplings) and drop the dough pieces into the boiling pot one by one. Put a lid on the pot, reduce the heat, and let it cook covered for 20 minutes.

Unless you want a quick ice cream soup, give your dumplings some time to cool down before pouring them over your ice cream. Once you have it prepared though, dig in! It is oh-so yummy!…

Delicious Recipes for Spring
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |
Fresh asparagus is one of the finest vegetable bounties of the spring season. Sure, you can get greenhouse asparagus year round. But nothing compares to that first bite of in-season asparagus - and these recipes will help you take advantage of the wonderful flavor in an entrée, a side dish or as a vegetable accompaniment.

Asparagus Stuffed Chicken


4 boneless chicken breast fillets (approx. 4 oz. each)

6 stalks fresh asparagus

¼ cup diced sweet onion

4 oz. goat cheese

1 tsp. black pepper

For marinade:

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup olive oil

1 tsp chopped fresh basil

Slice thickness of chicken breasts ¾ of the way through. Blend marinade ingredients together, place in Ziploc bag along with chicken breasts, shake till well coated. Marinate for 1-2 hours, shaking occasionally to evenly coat. Meanwhile, blanch asparagus and dice. Blend diced asparagus with goat cheese, diced onions and black pepper. Stuff each breast with cheese/asparagus mixture. Grill or broil for 15-20 minutes (until internal temp of chicken reaches 165 degrees). Serves 4.

Black Pepper Pasta with Asparagus


3 cups Penne Rigate pasta

10 stalks fresh asparagus, chopped into 1" pieces

1 tbsp. black pepper

¼ cup olive oil (preferably extra virgin)

3 fresh roma tomatoes, diced

¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

2 tsp. chopped fresh basil

Blanch asparagus and set aside (do not rinse in cold water). Prepare pasta as directed on package, stirring black pepper into water before adding the pasta. Drain pasta, do not rinse, return to pan. Stir in tomatoes, olive oil and basil. Top with shredded parmesan before serving. Serves 4.

Variation: To turn into an entrée, add 6-8 oz. of thinly sliced grilled chicken or steak.

Asparagus with Lemon Butter


Approx. 1 lb. fresh asparagus, break stalks in half

1 lg. clove garlic, thinly sliced

1 tsp black pepper

3 tbsp. butter, softened

3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Blend lemon juice with butter until as smooth as possible. Blanch asparagus, drain. Saute asparagus and garlic in lemon butter until well coated (2-3 minutes), season with black pepper. Serves 4.…

Barb's Beef Stew Recipe
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |
When I was growing up, my mother would make a "quick" beef stew in a pressure cooker. I never quite got the hang of using one, myself. I prefer to let the meat simmer on the stove for at least two hours so that it is tender. This is especially true with lean stew meat. Smaller pieces don't take as long to cook, but still require adequate time so as not to be too tough. This recipe for beef stew is one I developed over the course of my adult life. It's pretty basic, but is a favorite any time I have house guests on a cold night. The beef stew recipe below can be adapted to a slow cooker by searing the meat in a skillet first, then transferring all the ingredients except the potatoes to the crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours. Allow 30 minutes at the end to separately peel, cut and boil the potatoes in water with some salt and pepper, then add to the stew before serving. Ingredients: 1 lb of lean stew meat 1 tablespoon cooking oil 2 tablespoons all purpose flour about 6 cups water 1 medium onion 5 or 6 carrots 3 or 4 russet potatoes - peeled 1 16 oz can stewed tomatoes 3 medium bay leaves salt to taste pepper to taste worcestershire sauce to taste Pour oil into a large stock pot or dutch oven on stove and set to medium high heat. Add meat. Every few minutes turn the meat so that all surfaces get browned. Add flour and stir around on the bottom of pot so that it absorbs the oil and juices from the meat. It will be a little gummy. Season with a little salt and pepper. Add bay leaves. Add water to cover and stir to liberate anything stuck to the bottom of the pot. Bring the water up to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cover the pot, and set timer for 1 hour. Periodically, check to make sure the water is not boiling over, or boiling all away. After the beef has simmered for 1 hour, cut up carrots, onion, potatoes and tomatoes into about one inch pieces. Add all the vegetables to the stew pot. Add more water to cover and re-season. Potatoes take up a lot of salt. Throw in a splash of worcestershire sauce for taste and color. Allow the stew to simmer for another 30 minutes, until the carrots and potatoes are fork tender. Check the seasoning. Remove the bay leaves. Serve in large bowls with slices of fresh cornbread or hot French bread. Makes about 6 servings.…
Chef Profiles: Chris Shaften, Farm Restaurant, Calgary
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |
Sustainable and Seasonal In terms of his food philosophy, Shaften says, "The main point that we like to make with our food at Farm is about sustainability and, of course, using as much local product as possible and reducing carbon emissions through that. Seasonality of course is a result of using sustainable products." Shaften adds,"I believe in getting back to nature with food and really connecting people to what real food is and trying to educate through the medium of food and show people that you can still eat in a responsible way and enjoy it. You don't have to sacrifice flavour or quality."   Alberta hasn't been known as a haven for producers of artisanal products but Shaften says that a change is happening,"In Southern Alberta it's a little more difficult than in major growing regions in Canada like the Okanagan or the Niagara region. but there's a number of local, artisanal producers that have popped up in Southern Alberta and we're really excited about that. I think its changing in such a way that in ten years we're going to have products that are comparable to anywhere else in Canada." Shaften says he is excited by his suppliers who show passion and excitement for their product. He says, "When one of the suppliers like Gerrit from Driview Farms shows up with a piece of his lamb he's excited and passionate because he knows that all the work he puts into that lamb comes through. He gets excited by it and I'm excited to use his product. He always wants to know what we're doing with it and that kind of connection, that care and that passion from the ground up is phenomenal. You can never make good food without good products and if the supplier's not as excited about selling me their product as I am to use it, there's something missing." He goes on to say that many of his producers are small, family-run operations in Alberta. Shaften adds, " When they come down, they'll come down personally and deliver whatever it is they produce and they're thrilled not only to be making it but in having a restaurant like Farm preparing it and showcasing it in a really respectful way." Refined Comfort Food Shaften explains how he goes about thinking of what to feature on the menu. He says, "At Farm we don't do really classic comfort food, it's comfort food but refined a little bit. A lot of times I'll start by just going through things I really, really enjoy eating at home. I'll talk to some of the staff and ask them about their favourite childhood dish and take some of those memories and feelings and but them into the food." But along with the food at Farm, Shaften says he was drawn there by the way the company does business. He points out," It's based on respect. Whether its the owner talking to a new dish washer on their first day and shaking…
Steps I Took to Replace My Fast Food Habit with a Healthier, More Nutritional Diet
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |

This is the series of steps I took to get past wanting fast food, but I imagine you can find other ways that work as well as other steps to take with these. Kicking the habit of eating fast food didn't start with addressing my diet; but instead with picking healthier habits to push myself out of it.

Take Away Bit by Bit

You've heard those jokes with the obese person pulling up to the drive-thru, ordering a pile of fast food, and then ending the order with a diet soda. I started by replacing my soda habit with nutritional drinks: milk, water, and fruit juices. Sodas and fast food go hand-in-hand.


Once I stopped feeling highs and lows from caffeine and sugar rushes, I needed a new habit buff my energy. I took up exercising first thing in the morning. 30 minutes of cardio followed by 30-45 minutes of weight lifting to start my day triggered an excellent endorphin rush that woke me up made me hungry, and fast food wasn't enough for my diet.

Pay Attention to What Makes Your Body Feel Better

I discovered that a lot of food - especially fast food - was often made with high fructose corn syrup. When I formed a habit of working out, my body just did not crave nutritionally bereft foods anymore. I needed something in my diet that would power me. Once you start putting lean muscle on your frame, that muscle burns energy all on its own. Your body will slowly reject fast food because of the lack of nutrition.

Eat More Nutritional Instead of Less Unhealthy

I didn't cut back on how much I ate, either. In fact, I eat more and more often now. Even if you end up going for those "pre-made diet meals", you will still notice a difference in how you feel.

Set Positive Habit-forming Goals
At the very least, set a goal of how long you will go before having some fast food. Habits can form in 21-28 days on average. Swear off fast food for a month. By the end of that month, chances are you will find yourself feeling too good to want to go back to your old diet.…

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