Raw Kale SaladRecipes for HealthWe throw around a lot of the same jargon each Wednesday evening on Great Taste.  There's constant references to "kitchen empowerment"-as we urge the listeners to use their cooktops to fix fresh food.  We banter back and forth about CSA's, GMO's, organic, traceability, bio-dynamic, locavores, globavores, Slow Food, polyphenols, and a host of other food-savvy terms and topics.  What it comes down to is espousing a philosophy of healthy cooking and eating centered around using fresh, local foods. 

Brandon Neil, Danielle George, Steve McLaskeyOver 3,400 organic farmers, educators, producers, and journalists attended the 25th MOSES (Midwest Organic Farming and Sustainable Education Service) Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin, February 27-March 1, 2014.  Steve McLaskey, Directory of the MUM Sustainable Living CSA and Brandon Neil, a graduate of the Sustainable Living Program at MUM and farmer attended the conference.  They joined me in the studio along with Danielle George, who has a background in organic farming.

In addition to discussing some of the conference highlights, we dug into several of the critical issues facing us as residents and consumers on Planet Earth.  I hope you find the conversation inspiring.  I left the studio even more optimistic about the changes taking place in our food culture. 

We would love to hear what you, our listeners, think.  Please send your comments on this show and any other Great Taste programs to

  • Wed
    Mar 05
    7:00 pm -
    8:00 pm
  • Fri
    Mar 07
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am

Tacopacalypse's Sam Auen on Great Taste this Week!

Sam AuenChef/owner Sam Auen is not a conventional character, and Tacopacalypse is not a conventional "Mexcican" restaurant. If you are looking for "Mexican" food replete with tons of beans, cheese, and bad salsa, the good news is plenty of those spots abound in almost any USA town.  If you are drawn to good food loaded with creativity and fun, then there are only two places in Iowa where it comes in the form of tacos and burritos laden with asian influences-the original Tacopacalypse now located in Des Moines' East Village, and the new branch in Fairfield at The Orpheum.

During our hour-long conversation Sam and I hip-hopped our way in and around many topics including how his approach to food developed, his daily schedule, upcoming projects, music, and cycling.  Listen close and you'll hear the soul of a person who is an outspoken straight shooter with a huge heart. 

Eat at Chocolate, Lose Weight is a game-changing look at the world’s most surprising (and luscious) health food: chocolate.

Based on new groundbreaking research and the amazing results of his clients, who have lost more than 100 pounds, nutritionist and neuroscientist Dr. Will Clower dispels the myth that chocolate is just a "junk food" by revealing how this succulent food contains healthy antioxidants that can actually help you lose weight.

All you have to do is take the Chocolate Challenge: an 8-week plan that reveals which type of chocolate is the healthiest and exactly how you should be eating it to maximize all of its surprising health benefits, including:

  • Weight loss of up to 20 pounds in 8 weeks
  • Reduced food cravings and appetite
  • Prevention and reversal of diabetes
  • Improved dental health
  • Significant improvement in blood pressure
  • Enhanced energy levels (up to 50%!)
  • Increased skin moisture and UV protection
  • And more!

With Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight, Dr. Clower is finally bringing his incredibly successful—and delicious—plan to chocolate lovers everywhere!

  • Wed
    Feb 02
    7:00 pm -
    8:00 pm
  • Fri
    Feb 04
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am

Satisfying Soups to Blunt the Winter Chill on the next GREAT TASTE

Enjoying the winter weather?  Need a little something that will satisfy and fortify while the winds blow?  There's nothing that hits the flavor spot better in the throes of a deep freeze than a hearty soup.  We've serving up two different soups in the studio this week and another over the phone.

Love SoupI have to digress because all this talk of soup reminds me of a funny soup story.  I was at an excellent Italian spot in New York, Pepolino, a number of years ago.  A friend at the table, Stan, was talking about how he only ate soup if it was steaming hot.  When the waiter took our orders Stan made certain to tell him that the soup had to be HOT.  I took a good look at that cup of soup when it was brought to the table.  The steam was pouring off of it.  Stan sent it back saying it wasn't hot enough.  I'm not certain what they did to it in the kitchen to get it any hotter, but the second try satisfied.  That might have been one of those "you had to have been there" stories, but, trust me, it was hilarious.

Candy Calderon: Holistic Health Coach and Creator of Ñami by Candy

Candy comes from a business background and worked for several years with international corporations traveling the world developing their business, but always felt in her heart that health & wellness were her true calling. After her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, she took it upon herself to learn everything needed to help her heal faster and naturally. That’s when she learned about the benefits and healing qualities of a plant-based diet, eventually switching to that lifestyle and her journey as a holistic health coach began. She now coaches people on how to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle; she’s an avid plant-based nutrition advocate and educator, chef, plus a yoga & meditation lover. She’s passionate about transmitting her message to everyone in need, but especially to her Latin community both Spanish and English speaking.

You can find her:

· FB:

· Instagram: @candy_nami

· Twitter: @namibycandy

· Email:

Click "Read More" to see one of Candy's favorite recipes.  

  • Wed
    Jan 04
    7:00 pm -
    8:00 pm
  • Fri
    Jan 06
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am

Kombucha-Starting 2012 Off with a Healthy Alternative to Soda?

This week Fairfield’s own Shaktea Kombucha, run by the Dowd family, was awarded a $250,000 grant as part of Chase and Google’s Mission Main Street grant program. Though this interview is from a couple of years ago, it’s the appropriate show to run on Great Taste along with our congratulations to the Dowds and best wishes for their upcoming expansion.

"Kombucha flavored soda alternatives pose threat to Coca-Cola and Pepsi."  Well, I think this story is only in an early phase of development, but if you sometimes have a craving for a bubbly beverage that goes well with popcorn, look no further than Shaktea Kombucha.  For the most part, I have my soda (or pop depending on where you grew up) attachment licked, but I have to admit that last year I went on a Mexican Coke binge for several weeks.  A number of pounds later (that exact number will remain confidential), and well-caffeinated, I broke off the relationship. Now, with Shaktea in my life I have no need to rekindle it.

Shaktea Kombucha

It might even be good for you?  That's way crazy.  All I know is kombucha is a fermented tea with roots in Russia, China, and Japan.  The local product is a delicious drink that comes in five flavors, has USDA Organic Certification, and contains naturally occurring pro-biotic enzymes.  The rest of the story we'll leave to the Dowd family, local brewers, who have refined their process over a 10-year period.  Deb (Mom), Jack and Meghan (brother and sister) will share the story of how their micro Kombucha brewery began and has evolved.

Tea LeavesOne of our greatest pleasures in life is starting off several days each week with a cup of black tea from India, Ceylon or Africa.  Rachel adds a touch of milk and a little sugar to our cups.  We stir, smell, taste, sigh, and sip.  It’s a magical experience. 

A great espresso is just that, but it’s not tea.  The only other liquid that brings me a simillar type of pleasurable experience is when I am lucky enough to enjoy a special glass of wine.  Fascinating.  A realization just clicked inside that I connect both tea and wine with romance, which means they are  intimately intertwined with peak experiences Rachel and I have enjoyed together-quiet, leisurely breakfasts at home, a tea shop in Paris, afternoon tea at the Four Seasons, a dinner in a corner booth at Vetri, dinner with friends in Rome, and many other entrancing moments.



It's the Indian Hills Culinary crew along with musician Tom Allen tonight for 60 minutes of delicious radio.  Join us for a menu of holiday fare-turkey and turkey dressing, roasted potatoes, cabbage rolls, Christmas mice(?), and maybe an apple tart.

LISTEN on the KRUU STREAM: Wednesday at 7PM

Friday at 7AM


It's perfect listening on KRUU's Great Taste for holiday party ideas as Chef Julia Punj prepared oysters-raw with a riff on traditional cocktail sauce, baked motoyaki style, and pan-fried with a salsa verde. 

LIVEJulia Punj AT HY-VEE-Club Room, 7:00 pm

Our most unusual show/food combination ever! 

Chef Julia Punj will demo how to open oysters, and also prepare pan fried oysters with salsa verde, butter baked oysters, and oysters motoyaki style.  Oysters for a holiday party menu sounds great, right?  So what’s so unusDanielle Georgeual?  Well, that brings us to the other part of the show.

Click on READ MORE below.

Danielle George shows us how to make a simple and fun yule log.  Brandon Neil is going to make his fabulous sour cream old-fashioned donuts.  Now you understand?  Pretty strange, but I’m looking forward to it.

I’m counting on Tom Allen to ease the transition from seafood to rich desserts with fun music and his droll sense of humor.

See you in the Hy-Vee Club Room at 7:00 pm on Wednesday!