What's Tasty at Sigona's Farmers Market

July 18, 2012

snackLets Provides Next-Generation Snacking

Filed under: Coupons, Feature Articles — Tags: , , , , — Sigona's @ 12:59 pm

snackLets Provides Next-Generation Snacking

By Andy Coffaro

An Interview with snackLets co-founders Laura Woo and Gina Song

snackLets

Laura Woo and Gina Song, co-founders of snackLets

Americans have long turned snacking into an art form. Let’s be honest here. If snacking were an Olympic sport, we’d be the favorites to bring home gold in London this summer.

The problem, of course, is the poor snacking choices we typically make. From processed cookies to greasy chips, there’s a reason why 36% of Americans are obese. Thank goodness we have Gina Song and Laura Woo, co-founders of snackLets, working tirelessly to create one of the most nutritious and best-tasting snacks you’ll ever devour. To achieve this, they naturally started with … kale?

“Both Laura and I are super passionate about food,” said co-founder Gina Song from their headquarters in Menlo Park. “Whether it’s preparing it, eating it or even watching the Food Network for hours, we’ve always gravitated toward food.”

These lifelong friends that have known each other since their middle schools days in Korea had a mutual friend in Los Angeles making amazing vegan kale chips they adored. Although Laura was in finance at the time and Gina was running her own doggie daycare business, they decided to perfect their own kale-licious recipe and go into business together.

Although only in business since early 2012, snackLets constantly receives praise and compliments from customers that devour their three flavors of kale chips (BBQ Giddy Up!, Double O Cheesy and Spicy Chili-lata). Considering the entire Sigona’s marketing team spent half of a meeting last month scarfing down these delicious bite-sized nuggets of nutrition, it’s not difficult to understand how they’ve come so far in such a short amount of time.

They’re Sneaky Good

American adults aren’t the only ones struggling with obesity. Recent research has childhood obesity rates soaring as high as 20%. snackLets is doing their part to chip away at this frightening stat.

“I have a two year-old boy and he hates any food the color green,” said Laura. “But these have been a huge hit because they taste so good. He eats them by the bag.”

snackLets BBQ kale chipsLaura continued, “The kale chips are also really good for him because he’s allergic to milk. Because these are 100% vegan, his favorite flavor is still the cheese.”

For all the parents out there, snackLets Kale Chips are a great way to feel good about your child’s snacking habits. Kale is a superfood loaded with vitamin K, A and C – not to mention fiber. The masterminds at snackLets use a dehydrator to cook the kale at an extremely low temperature to ensure the nutrients don’t burn off. By adding their top-secret spices – and a dash of TLC – you’re presented with an unbelievably tasty snack that’s incredibly good for you. Heck, you can even sprinkle them on your salad for that extra crunch!

Looking Down the Road

When I asked our fearless entrepreneurs if they have any new flavors or products in the works, they said that while they do have a few new snacks hidden up their sleeves, they’re incredibly focused right now on their three flavors of kale chips.

“We do have a lot of fun things in the pipeline, but we want to grow carefully and be smart about it,” said Laura toward the end of our conversation.

For now, the local outfit is focused on provided Bay Area residents with one of the most unique, healthy and flavor-packed snacks on the market. Come snag a bag the next time you’re in the store. We’re positive you’ll love ‘em. (They’re free between July 19-26 when you spend $30 or more in the store.)

And feel free to contact Gina or Laura with any questions and comments. As Gina said, “The great feedback is what keeps us going.”

June 29, 2010

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s: Summer BBQ featuring Grass-Fed Beef from Marin Sun Farms

Filed under: RECIPES — Tags: , , , — Sigona's @ 9:25 pm

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s: Summer BBQ featuring Grass-Fed Beef from Marin Sun Farms

Last year we welcomed back beef to our Redwood City store. As our regular customers know, it wasn’t just any ol’ beef; we partnered with Marin Sun Farms in Marin County to bring you the healthiest, all natural, 100% grass-fed beef at an unbelievable price.

We get our grass-fed beef from Marin Sun Farms in Point Reyes Station, CA.

The best part? This beef comes to us from just 80 miles away. Marin Sun Farms’ grass-fed beef is a nutrient-rich whole food that is raised sustainably and with integrity. They are a small family farm so we have a limited supply of tri-tip, but there are plenty of other cuts and quality ground beef. If you haven’t tried it yet, what better time to give it a try than this holiday weekend!?

DID YOU KNOW…

  • Grass-fed beef has three times as much of the healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as beta-carotene and CLA, another “good” fat. It also has 42% less saturated fat.
  • Cattle on a grass only diet make for beef with a rich and robust flavor not found in conventional, confinement raised, grain-fed beef
  • Grass-fed beef contains fewer Omega-6 fatty acids, which are believed to be linked to heart disease

COOKING TIPS

Cooking grass-fed beef is a little different than cooking other beef raised on a different diet. For example, the beef has less fat so it cooks quickly. AmericanGrassFedBeef.com lists several tips on their site, but below are some to get you started. Make sure to check out their other tips here.

  • Your biggest culprit for tough grass fed beef is overcooking. This beef is made for rare to medium rare cooking. If you like well done beef, then cook your grass fed beef at very low temperatures in a sauce to add moisture.
  • It’s best to tenderize grass-fed beef before cooking. To do so, rub with a light salt rub and let the meat come to room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking.
  • As grass-fed beef has high protein and low fat levels, the beef will usually requires 30% less cooking time and will continue to cook when removed from heat. For this reason, remove the beef from your heat source 10 degrees before it reaches the desired temperature.
  • Bring your grass fed meat to room temperature before cooking . . . do not cook it cold straight from a refrigerator.
  • Use a thermometer to test for doneness and watch the thermometer carefully. Since grass fed beef cooks so quickly, your beef can go from perfectly cooked to overcooked in less than a minute.
  • Let the beef sit covered and in a warm place for 8 to 10 minutes after removing from heat to let the juices redistribute.
  • When grilling, sear the meat quickly over a high heat on each side to seal in its natural juices and then reduce the heat to a medium or low to finish the cooking process.  Also, baste to add moisture throughout the grilling process.  Don’t forget grass fed beef requires 30% less cooking time so watch your thermometer and don’t leave your steaks unattended.
  • Always cut against the grain when slicing beef. How? Follow these steps:
    • Study the meat to determine which way the grain runs. Look closely for small lines that are running in the same direction. This is the grain.
    • Cut or slice the meat in a line perpendicular to the long grains, holding the knife at about a 45 degree angle to the steak.

RECIPES

Sigona’s Spicy Chipotle Beef Rub

Chipotles – made by smoking ripe red jalapeños until completely dry – add a great spicy-smoky Tex-Mex flavor to the beef, intensifying the fabulous grilled taste. Following are rub measurements for one 3 lb. Tri-Tip Roast or a large steak.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ tsp. chipotle chili powder (or 1 ½ tsp. chipotle chili flakes, ground into smaller grains)
  • 1 ½ tsp. sea salt (Red Sea Salt works, too!)
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper

Directions: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl to blend. Pour the blend over the beef and rub to cover all sides evenly. Wrap the steak in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, letting the flavors meld and flavor the beef. Let beef sit out at room temperature for about 20 minutes (while the grill heats) before cooking. Add beef to grill, over direct heat, and cook to your liking.

Tangy Balsamic-Cumin Beef Marinade

This is a fantastic marinade for any cut of beef.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbl. Organic Agave Nectar (or Beekman & Beekman honey, any variety)
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • A pinch red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup Sigona’s traditional 6-12 year age balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions: In a blender, add the olive oil, honey, cumin, red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar and salt & pepper and puree until smooth & creamy. Add the cilantro and mix until blended.

Place beef in a large Ziploc bag and add marinade. Seal bag and refrigerate to marinate for at least 3 hours. Flip bag every hour. Heat gas grill to medium high heat or if using, charcoal, wait until the coals are ash-colored.

Grill beef over direct heat for a few minutes, turning once. Then move to an indirect heat source at a low temperature to finish cooking. When done, remove from grill and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then slice against the train and serve.


Garlic & Herb Grass-fed Steak Marinade

This marinade is good for any cut of grass-fed beef. Following are measurements for two steaks.

Ingredients:

  • 2 grass-fed steaks, such as Rib-Eyes
  • 3 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TBL fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • Coarse salt and pepper

Directions: Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and then pour over steaks in a rimmed baking dish. Let marinate, covered, for 1-2 days before cooking. Flip steaks over every few hours.

When time to grill, shake off excess marinade and grill, using cooking tips listed above, to reach desired doneness.

Smokey Blue Cheese-Stuffed Burgers

Serves 3-4 people.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound grass-fed beef
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten (you can use the white only if desired)
  • Blue cheese (We recommend Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue. It’s perfect for burgers)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼-  ½ tsp black pepper
  • Topping suggestions: Arugula, Dijon mustard, dill pickles, fried egg, bacon beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes, avocado, horseradish, ketchup, red onion slices.

Directions: In a mixing bowl, use your hands to combine the beef with egg, salt and pepper. Divide into 6 or 8 equal portions and flatten them out into patties.

Place a TBL spoon or so of blue cheese on half of the patties. Place the remaining patties on top and press edges together to create a seal.

To cook, you can either grill (I prefer grilled) or sauté them in a pan. If grilling, pre-heat grill over medium heat. When heated, grill burgers about 4-6 minutes a side or until they’ve reached desired doneness.

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