Posts Tagged ‘local food’

Recipe: Potato Salad with Yogurt, Dill, Curry & Mustard. Lots of Mustard.

Friday, August 5th, 2011

We’re busy preparing for Rebecca’s 2nd birthday party by making some of our favourite salads.  I am a strict mayonnaise hater and mustard lover so this is our family’s version of potato salad. 

It’s made with new Ontario potatoes, herbs from the garden and a hearty amount of yogurt and mustard.

2 pounds of potatoes
1 cup of organic yogurt
1/4 cup of chives 
1/3 cup of fresh dill
A few springs of fresh parsley
1 teaspoon of curry
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon of salt
ground pepper to taste

Boil your potatoes for 10 minutes.  Cut them each in half.

Mix your dressing, that’s all of the ingredients except the potatoes and parsley.  Add to your potatoes and cover them gently.  Garnish with the parsley and Volia! Who says you can’t make friends with salad?

In the past I’ve used blue potatoes and its just gorgeous, the yellow of the curry looks great with the blue spuds.  Somehow I don’t have a picture though.  This time we’re enjoying a basket of fresh Ontario potatoes that I bought on Wednesday and bet were still in the ground on Monday. They are heavenly.

Here are last year’s blue and purple potato harvest that were promptly turned into this salad for her 1st birthday. 

We’ll be posting a few more recipes from this weekend’s celebration, just as soon as I actually get a minute to finish making everything, since almost 2 year olds apparently stop napping?! Really.

Oh My Dulse! Eating Locally in Grand Manan New Brunswick

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Grand Manan is actually a pretty prosperous place despite its isolation, general rusticness and the collapse of the herring industry in the 1990′s.  The smoking sheds of Seal Cove are in disrepair and the sardine packing plants converted into bed & breakfasts and lobster trap storage and are now a UNESCO world heritage site.  These days lobster and shellfish, aquaculture or fish farming, and delicious nutritious dulse are it’s major exports to mainland.

Although it is an acquired taste, it’s a certainly taste worth acquiring. Rebecca has eaten at least a quarter pound of the stuff since we got here and I can’t be too far behind.  Our hosts at our little Creekside cottage left a bag for us in a great gift basket and she ate it in about 30 minutes and would not willingly share. So we quickly went out and bought a pound of the stuff straight from the source. If you’re ever in Grand Manan looking for dulse, just look for the hand lettered signs and you’ll know where to go.

Here in Grand Manan we always buy it from Roland’s Sea Vegetables as we love their road side stand and to see the drying in full force.  Check out their site for some fabulous dulse facts such as “A man should never eat more dulse than his wife”.  
At home we are able to find it in smaller quantities at the grocery store from Atlantic Mariculture who we just discovered we have family ties to and were happy to talk dulse this evening.

Dulse is a sea vegetable (sea weed if you like) that grows in the intertidal zones. It is hand harvested at low tide every two weeks to ensure it’s not overharvested. The dramatic tides of the Bay of Fundy make Dulse collection ideal and this little island produces most of the world’s supply. It’s the lovely red flat seaweed that look like fingers waving in the tides.

After it’s hand harvested from the frigid waters on the Bay of Fundy, it is carried into Dark Harbour (pictured above) in small boats and then dried on large nets on stone in the sun. It’s really lovely to see the nets of dulse being tended to and there seems to be a real art to it.

After it dries, it is shaken in this contraption to get the sand and shells out and then packaged up. 

It comes soft (chewy) or crispy (delicious).  We eat it like chips and I add it to fish chowder. Its saltiness leads to its use on fish and on salads too, especially caesar. This trip I have just started experimenting with toasting it, my great aunts use to do it on top of the wood stove, I just use a frying pan. 

Rebecca is part dulse as it was a major pregnancy craving of mine.  I think this is because of the high mineral content as it contains calcium potassium, magnesium, iron, iodine, manganese, copper, chromium, zinc, as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C and E. Apparently it also is high in protein which explains quite a bit as I seem to be protein starved.

Even though we bought a pound a few days ago, I think we’ll make one final stop for another pound or two before we leave.  Anybody in Toronto need some dulse?

Recipe: Asparagus and Arugula

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Pesto is one of our summer standbys, and anyone who had been to the cottage with us will know that we always like to keep some authentic italian pesto on hand for a quick and easy lunch. Ha!

I normally grow enough basil to make our basil pesto once a week, but what to do in the spring when things are starting to grow but the basil isn’t quite in pesto quantities yet?

My good friend Shana inspired me to use my evesthrough arugula for something besides salads. 

Inspired by her arugula pesto recipe posted over on folks gotta eat along with what is in season in my garden and at the farmers market, I combined our favourite pesto recipe with Shana’s and made this amazingly peppery pesto that stays perfectly green even after a few days in the fridge. 

Here I am with the clingy toddler picking garlic and arugula for dinner.

4 cups of washed arugula
4 young garlic shoots and scapes
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup of pine nuts
½ cup parmesan cheese 
½ cup of olive oil
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon of salt

Whizz it all up in the food processor or blender.  I do nuts and cheese first followed by greens and oil and then the salt and pepper. We also threw in some
chives because we have them in the garden and they’re perfect right now. 

Like arugula, this is pesto is perfect on a tomato sandwich. We served this batch up on some ravioli with the last of this year’s fiddleheads and some fabulous Organic Asparagus from Nightingale FarmsNightingale is quite the operation, with 1500 acres in Norfolk County which is where Ryan is from. 

Deliciously Green!

Check out this great video from OMFRA and Foodland Ontario on how Asparagus is harvested.  It is sort of mind blowing.

Recipe: Honey Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

Monday, June 13th, 2011

These are some of of favourite muffins and we eat quite a few of them. We have slowly been switching to organic foods in our panty so beside the salt and baking powder, the ingredients we use are all organic.  The nice thing is that it makes no difference to your baking whatsoever. 
This recipe will yield 2 dozen muffins. 12 to eat right away with spoonfuls of jam and 12 to eat for breakfast with your family.
dry ingredients:
3 cups of flour
1 cup of uncooked oatmeal
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup of sugar
4 teaspoons of double acting baking powder
wet  ingredients:
¾ cup of soft butter
½ cup of honey (coat measuring cup with a drop of oil to help with pouring)
1 ½ cups of milk
4 eggs

2 cups of blue berries.  Frozen ones work wonderfully.

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine your dry ingredients.

Mix your wet ingredients.

Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredient ¼ cup at a time until fully mixed.  Honey is pretty magical stuff and it acts as a preservative in baking helping your muffins last longer.  We’ve been using local honey from our farmers market, the latest delicious jar from Bees Universe in Innisfil Ontario.

Fold the blue berries in to the mixture by hand.  If using frozen, dust them in flour by adding a teaspoon or so to the berries and shaking them up in a Tupperware container.  This will prevent you from making blue muffins.

Spoon into well buttered muffin trays and bake for 20-25 minutes.


Rebecca’s Great Big Crunch 2011 #GBC2011

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Rebecca is really into apples so we were happy to be invited by Not Far From The Tree to participate in FoodShare‘s Great Big Crunch.  Both our great organizations that we are lucky to have in Toronto.
So take 12 seconds and watch Rebecca Crunch!