June recipe of the month: Mediterranean barbecue meal

If you liked our earlier posts about Mediterranean food and grilling, you’re going to love this one. Artizone co-founder and COO Lior Lavy shares a Mediterranean meal perfect for your next barbecue. Here’s what Lior likes to serve, in his own words:

Porterhouse: My favorite cut. You have the strip for the taste and the fillet for the tenderness. Bring to room temperature, massage with olive oil and then sprinkle with grey salt and crushed black pepper.

Lamb chops: Gives you a little something while you wait for the steaks. Bring to room temperature and season with sea salt and crushed black pepper—a lot.

Asparagus: Snip the ends, then assemble in a grill pan and drizzle with olive oil, crushed garlic and peeled butter. Yes, I did say peeled butter; use vegetable peeler to shave one—or more than one—slice of butter and put it on top of each asparagus spear. Put on the grill when hot and remove when the asparagus is a dark, shiny green (butter will melt).

Arabic Salad 

In a large bowl, mix four diced tomatoes; four diced cucumbers; ¼ bunch of parsley, chopped; one finely chopped onion; two crushed garlic cloves; juice of one lemon; 2 heavy Tbsp olive oil; salt and pepper to taste.

Onions and Mushrooms

You’ll need one large onion, peeled and sliced into thin rounds, and 16 ounces of white button mushrooms. Break the legs off the mushrooms, then massage with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat a dry frying pan and throw in the mushrooms. Let them simmer for about a minute and flip—and then flip some more. While the mushrooms cook, drizzle the onion with olive oil, salt and pepper, then throw in with the mushrooms. Flip until onion is transparent and tender. You’re going to thank me for this one.

Tahini Sauce

pepper_cilantro_garlic_useThis is the fuel for the entire thing. Serve it with the steak, on the salad and with the onions and mushrooms.

For the “refined” style: Cut the leaves of 1/2 bunch of parsley, slice one red or green jalepeno pepper really thin, and cut four garlic cloves into quarters. Put in a saucepan, add 1 cup water and 1 Tbsp salt. Bring to a boil, let simmer for 2-3 minutes and then remove from heat. Strain; reserve water. In a blender/food processor, add the juice of two lemons, cooked parsley, chili pepper and garlic. Blend to a paste. Add two or three ice cubes to cool the mixture.


In a mixing bowl, combine an entire container of tahini with the paste and start mixing. Add the water from the saucepan slowly. The rule of thumb should be 1 unit of tahini and 3/4 units of paste mixture. Taste and fix. More salt? A bit more lemon juice? A bit more garlic? These never hurt anyone. Chop 3 Tbsp of mint and sprinkle on top. Don’t eat all of it; you’re going to keep 1/2 cup for the eggplant… coming right up.

For the raw version: Mince the parsley, garlic and chili, skip the boiled water and add tap water instead. I prefer the refined one.


Just put it on the grill. When done—it will “fall into itself”—remove, cut lengthwise, drizzle some tahini sauce (I told you you’ll need to keep some!) and serve.

For the meat:


Kick up the heat on the grill as hot as you can get it! I’m talking really hot—750° F is ideal.

Cook the lambchops one minute on each side. Burn it a bit and enjoy.

For the porterhouse (assuming one-inch steaks), cook one minute on each side, then one minute again on each side. Peel one layer of butter, put on each steak and allow to melt. Pour 1 tsp cognac on the steaks. You’ll get a bit of a flame, so no kids involved in the picture—and be careful! For an aromatic addition, top the steak with a rosemary bundle while it’s cooking on the grill.

Remove steaks from grill and allow them to rest for a moment (you won’t be able to wait that much longer). With a sharp knife, remove meat from the bone and slice. I prefer quarter-inch slices, but you can go thinner than that and have just as much fun… or maybe more!

The perfect plate will consist of: One or two asparagus sticks, a spoonful of salad with tahini sauce on top, a spoonful of onions and mushrooms (yes, with more tahini), and a nice assortment of porterhouse slices (get both sides of the bone, please).

Don’t forget a fresh baguette and olive oil for the table. Every meal needs bread and olive oil.

And now you’re asking yourself where the eggplant and the lamb chops went. I’m asking the same thing.


— Lior

**Add all of these ingredients to your cart with just one click!

Posted in Chicago, Community, Food Products, Grocery, How-to & Tips, Meat & Seafood, Produce, Recipes, Specialty Items | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

June artisan of the month: Emporium Pies

EmporiumPieWe’re celebrating Pie Month all June here at Artizone, but for Mary Sparks and Megan Wilkes, every month is pie month. The duo behind Emporium Pies has built a steady following by slinging pie after exquisitely crafted pie, each one made by hand.

Just take a ride with Smooth Operator, a French silk chocolate pie with a delightfully salty pretzel crust. Or make an appointment with a slice of Dr. Love, a seasonal red velvet chess pie with a cream cheese swirl. These are just two of the decadent selections from Emporium’s intentionally short menu that can be ordered for delivery through Artizone.

“We focus on creating a small menu of incredible seasonal pies rather than an expansive menu,” says Wilkes. “Our pies are all made by hand from scratch, using our own recipes and all-natural ingredients. We do not use preservatives, corn syrup or hydrogenated oils.”

The shop came about after Wilkes and Sparks were introduced by a mutual friend. Wilkes wanted to put her business background to work, while Sparks yearned for a creative outlet for her baking skills. The decision to start Emporium Pies came easy, and the shop now boasts locations in downtown McKinney and the trendy Bishop Arts District in Dallas.

“Food brings people together, and pie is a food that has a very special connection with many people,” Wilkes says. “Pie is tied to memories of holiday parties with family or baking with Grandma. What better way to bring people together than a pie shop?”

DrunkenNut_EmporiumPiesWhile every pie on the menu is special, The Drunken Nut is the one Wilkes loves most. It’s a bourbon pecan pie in a shortbread cookie crust—but unlike most pecan pies, this one is made without corn syrup. Wilkes says it’s “the perfect mix of a classic Texas pie with a modern twist,” and her customers seem to agree—it’s Emporium’s most popular pie to date.

“Our customers like that our pies are always fresh and that we use our own imaginative recipes,” Wilkes says. “They’re made by hand, with love, and we think our customers can taste that in the pies.”

Posted in Bakery, Community, Dallas, Emporium Pie Shop, Food Products | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

There’s Always Room for Pie!

by Emily Hein, RDN, LD

Yes, you read that right. There’s ALWAYS room for pie!

We all have our foods that we’ve deemed “bad” foods—we should never eat them because if we did—the day is ruined. You might as well eat the whole pie, because the diet starts tomorrow. The problem with this phrase, is that it causes the feeling of deprivation.


What would happen if you gave yourself permission to eat a slice of pie when you crave it? Giving yourself permission decreases your desire for the foods you crave. The more off-limits a food is, the more we desire it. That’s one of our human traits: we always want what we can’t have. Or in this case, what we think we can’t have!

Giving yourself permission takes the punishment out of the equation. You are truly savoring your treat, instead of thinking negative thoughts such as “I shouldn’t be eating this”, or “I’m never going to lose weight”. Savoring leads to satisfaction, which leads to no more binges. No diets that start tomorrow. There’s always room for pie in a healthy diet.

June is pie month here at artizone Dallas! Make your own peach pies with Texas fresh peaches and fresh, pasture-raised eggs. Or try Emporium Bakery’s pies that are made with all-natural ingredients, such as their Cherry Bomb Pie or Trifecta chocolate pecan. Savor and enjoy your special treat!

My name is Emily Hein, and I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist here in Dallas, Texas! I am happy to announce that I am now offering my services through artizone.

Healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. At Zen & Spice Nutrition, my goal is to help you develop a healthy relationship with real, whole foods. Ditch the diets and rediscover the pleasure of eating!

  • Meal Planning: Save time and let the expert plan your meals– along with a customized grocery list!
  • Private Cooking Lessons: Find or rekindle your love for cooking! Spend two hours with me learning basic cooking essentials, or how to cook recipes that match your dietary needs.
  • Nutrition Coaching: Make peace with food and free yourself from chronic dieting. It’s time to reach your health goals!
  • Nutrition Presentations: Learning good nutrition at work is one of the best ways to lower health costs. Proper nutrition is essential to improving employee’s health and your company’s bottom line. I can provide interactive nutrition information that your employees can use in their everyday lives.

Head over to my new shop for more details! I’m looking forward to working with you!

Posted in Nutrition & Wellness, Registered Dietitian Articles, Zen and Spice | 1 Comment

Look and Feel Your Best this Summer by Eating Clean

by Emily Hein, RDN, LD

The phrase “clean eating” has been rising in popularity these days. It’s such a vague phrase, so what does it really mean?

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Clean eating isn’t a defined diet– there are many ways to interpret “clean eating”. Clean eating isn’t an necessarily a diet for weight loss, although it can have those effects.  Clean eating isn’t about your food being dirty. It’s about avoiding the processed foods with a million ingredients.

Here’s a short and sweet definition:

Clean eating: eating the healthiest options in the food groups, like fresh vegetables, fruit, dairy, whole grains and lean proteins, and avoiding processed junk food and fast food.

So basically, healthy, fresh, well-rounded meals. You don’t have to be a vegetarian to eat clean, and you don’t have to cook fancy meals or go on a cleanse! The first step is to avoid processed foods, many of which are full of artificial colorings and flavorings, chemical preservatives, and additives that can negatively impact our health.

When we choose whole foods, primarily fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, we get the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients (plant compounds such as flavonoids and carotenoids), and fiber we need to feel our best.

Anything in the fresh produce section is basically a free-for-all. Load up on anything and everything that you like. Kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, oranges and berries are delicious, nutrition-packed options. When choosing meat or poultry, aim for grass-fed and pasture raised meats. Beef that has been grass-fed has less saturated fat and more heart healthy omega-3’s. Choose cage-free eggs and low-fat dairy products like milk, low-sodium cottage cheese, and light sour cream.

Check out the ingredient lists for everything with a label. Look at sodium, sugar, and how many ingredients the product has. Does it have a long list of ingredients with unrecognizable names? If foods have more than five items on their ingredient list, they’re probably not clean.

Do you eat clean? What are some of your favorite clean eating recipes?

Posted in Nutrition & Wellness, Registered Dietitian Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Build the perfect picnic with Artizone

Cooked Lunch BowlIt’s (almost) summertime, and the living is easy. In a few weeks, you’ll be looking for ways to beat the heat, and naturally, we’ll have plenty of ideas to help. But until then, it’s prime picnic time. Could there be anything better than a blanket spread out on the grass at your favorite park—or your backyard—and a basket filled to the brim with gourmet foods from your favorite Artizone artisans? We think not. Here are some ideas for planning the perfect picnic.

Snacks: Need a little nosh for when you reach your destination? You can’t beat crackers, cheese and fruit. If you live in Chicago, pick up a bag of Cheese Pretzel Chips from Gnarly Knots, some Boar’s Head aged gouda from Brookhaven Marketplace, and some fresh, seasonal organic fruit from June’s Artisan of the Month, Goodness Greeness. If you’re in Dallas, try the Assorted Rainforest Crackers from Butterfield Gourmet, the Herbed Goat Log from Mozzarella Company and some sweet strawberries from Apples to Zucchini.

Meals: Don’t waste precious sun-basking time preparing elaborate entrees. Instead, grab a few ready-made meals, heat as necessary and pack. In Chicago, it doesn’t get any easier than a healthful lunch bowl from Cooked. Each arrives in specially designed biodegradable packaging, so you don’t have to feel guilty about tossing those containers later. The vegetarians in your life, meanwhile, will delight in the Buffalo Tofu Wrap from Vegani Gourmet. In Dallas, you don’t want to miss the Blue Cheese-Stuffed Burger Patties with Balsamic Onions from Chef Stephanie. No grill? No problem. These burgers already are seared to perfection. For a lightened-up take on a favorite, try the Taco Salad with Sour Cream and Salsa from Nature’s Plate. It’s 100 percent vegan and 100 percent delicious.

strawberry_shortcake_1Desserts: The name of the game here is easy to pack, easy to eat. In Chicago, try the Chocolate Dipped Macaroons from Danny Macaroons  or the Pistachio 2-Chip cookies  from Wallish Wonders Unrivaled Cookies. In Dallas, try the Bourbon Date Squares from Patti’s Place or a classic chocolate chip cookie from Great One Cookie Company. If you’d rather whip up something homemade, try this recipe for light and delicious strawberry shortcake jars, courtesy of Dallas food blogger Joy Zhang.

Drinks: And to wash it all down, you need a nice, cool beverage. In Dallas, pick up a local craft beer, such as Deep Ellum Dallas Blonde, or Dry Soda’s Blood Orange soda, both available at Green Grocer. In Chicago, try Central Waters’ Glacial Trail IPA, available at Green Grocer Chicago, or the Bottle of Blueberry Kombucha from Arize Artisan Kombucha.

Beyond that, just grab a bottle of sunscreen, your favorite shades and a Frisbee and you’re good to go. Enjoy!

Posted in Chicago, Community, Dallas, Food Products, How-to & Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,