Posts tagged ‘local food in Calgary’

Modern day porridge

When we moved to Vancouver, I dragged along a variety of products from Highwood Crossing in Alberta. They make awesome organic flours, canola oil and breakfast foods that I doubt are available here. I’ve written before about how much I love their granola and I’m also a big fan of their steel cut oats.

I always admired my grandfather’s unbreakable routine of beginning each day with a steaming bowl of porridge topped with brown sugar and milk. Is there anything more comforting than that? This is my modern-day version – steel cut oats topped with fresh fruit, soy milk, maple syrup, sunflower seeds and ground flax.

Steel cut oats
1 cup of steel cut oats
3 cups water
pinch of salt

Add oats to boiling salted water. Cook for 15-20 minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Add toppings of your choice and enjoy for breakfast, lunch or whenever the mood strikes.

January 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm Leave a comment

One perfect breakfast

Beautiful Sylvan Star gouda, one of my very favourite cheeses, is pictured here as part of what I consider to be a perfect breakfast. A piece of fruit, a wedge of cheese, and a healthy muffin, toast, or a homemade granola bar filled with fruits, nuts and whole grains. There are other perfect breakfasts (here and here and here), but this is a good one and a quick one for when you’re running out the door to work or don’t want to waste a minute getting to the projects or relaxation you’ve been longing for all week.

January 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm 1 comment

Stuffed acorn squash

I am slowly turning on to acorn squash. I’ve always loved the way it looks, and the sheer simplicity of it. But it’s so rich that sometimes I find myself sated after the first few bites. I decided to try making it stuffed instead of the usual baked version with maple syrup glaze. It was delicious, a snap to make and perfect for a chilly winter evening. Below is a recipe for 4 people. (more…)

December 1, 2009 at 8:11 pm 2 comments

Sunchoke soup

It’s soup season again, always a reassuring time of year. Today I made sunchoke soup with some carrots and potatoes, all grown within our 100 mile range. It was a very simple thing to do.

Peel 1 cup sunchokes and coarsely chop. Peel 2 cups potatoes and coarsely chop. Add to a pot of boiling water along with 2 cups coarsely chopped carrots. Let the water boil down as everything softens and add in 1/2 cup finely diced onion for the final 10 minutes of cooking. Drain off some of the cooking water into a measuring cup and then puree the vegetable mixture in batches, adding in a bit of the reserved cooking water to get the texture and thickness you like. Add it all back into the pot, season with salt and pepper, heat through and serve with some cheese and crackers.

A bottle of pinot noir is also a tasty addition if you have it handy.

November 16, 2009 at 9:27 pm Leave a comment

Welcome to fall

sunflower head with ribbon

Calgary’s fall has been less than idyllic so far. We spent 10 days vacationing on Vancouver Island in mid-September, and when we came back the weather was hot and balmy, as if it was still summer. A few days after that it turned cold with the first frosts of the season. Since then, we’ve experienced chilly rains and more than a few days of snow, most recently paired with blustering winds and temperatures dipping to -10C.

Aside from braving the cold for a few brief moments today to hang this beautiful sunflower head from Eagle Creek Flowers for our backyard birds to snack on, I’ve felt mostly deprived of the usual joys of experiencing the fall season outdoors. At its best, fall is one of my favourite seasons. It is soothing and peaceful to watch the plant life in our garden reach its full life cycle and prepare to rest for the winter months. And while I miss the warmth of the summer months, enjoying more time nesting in our cozy house is a welcome shift as the seasons change.

We’re spending this weekend, Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, visiting Lake Louise for a couple of days and after that we’ll enjoy a family dinner to celebrate the holiday. With luck we might also squeeze in the Harvest Country Drive, which is happening between Calgary and Red Deer – a seasonal, farm-friendly activity in our region that I’ve never experienced. My hope is that the whole weekend will provide a thorough dose of fall and some much-needed time outdoors, walking, taking photographs and experiencing nature before the long winter settles in.

October 9, 2009 at 1:33 pm 1 comment

Caprese salad

caprese salad

Caprese (ka-pree-see) salad, aka the delightful combination of fresh tomatoes, basil and buffalo mozzarella. The latter is pricey (about $10 for a chunk that will serve 4 people), but worth it, especially in the summer when basil and tomatoes are at their most delicious. The salad pictured above was made with tomatoes and mozza from our local farmer’s market, and basil grown on our back deck.

Not sure this is even worth calling a recipe – here’s how to make: Place a few tomato slices on a plate. A combination of different coloured tomatoes is nice, as are the funky shapes and colours of some heirloom tomatoes. Use a serrated knife to gently saw off a few slices from a round of buffalo mozzarella and place the cheese on top of the tomatoes. Scatter some fresh basil leaves on top. Drizzle each plate with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and dust with freshly ground pepper. Eat!

Dead simple to make, but incredibly tasty.

August 18, 2009 at 3:51 pm 3 comments

25lb of tomatoes!

farmer's market haul

Caselot season has begun at the farmer’s market. Big beautiful boxes of tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, apricots, blueberries and raspberries were all on display when we made our weekly shopping trip. As part of our quest to be more conscious about the transportation footprint of our food, I am making a point of stocking up while local produce is abundant. Already I have a couple of pounds of spinach from our very own garden and half a case of blueberries packaged and stored in our freezer. Next up is tomatoes! We purchased a 25lb case of pesticide-free BC roma tomatoes at the market today.  This is obviously a huge amount of tomatoes, as you can see from the photo. It’s a long winter, though, and I make a lot of tomato-based dishes like lasagna, pizza sauce and chili, especially in the winter. I’m sure we’ll have no trouble eating our way through them.

Up until now, I’ve relied on crushed canned tomatoes, organic and delicious, but shipped in from California. Plus, that infamous chemical BPA is found in the top of tin can liners, so I’ve mostly given up buying food in cans. So the case of tomatoes is good – we’ll be eating local and doing away with tinned food almost altogether.

My plan for our case of tomatoes is to eat some this week in salads and salsa, to make a huge vat of the tomato sauce recipe from the Rebar cookbook to freeze, and then to chop and freeze the rest. There’s a character in The Stone Diaries, one of my favourite Carol Shields novels, who accidentally poisons her mother-in-law to death with some improperly canned runner beans (botulism). So although I’ve thought about learning how to can food several times, freezing seems safest. I’m quite fond of my mother-in-law and just can’t shake that story out of my head!

Wish me luck with the tomato preparations over the next few days. Have already sliced a finger with my lovely (but sharp!) tomato knife making caprese salad for this evening’s dinner. Hopefully I’ll fare better with the remaining 24.5lb.

August 15, 2009 at 6:56 pm 1 comment

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