Posts Tagged ‘local food’

Exploring Ontario’s Greenbelt with Green Moms Collective

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Our Ontario Farm

This time of year is busy for us. After a whole summer at the farm we are back to our weekly routine of traveling back and forth from jobs and school in Toronto to frantically harvesting at the farm 3 days a week.  It’s busy, but satisfying and we are enjoying the best of our urban and farming lives.  As we travel from Toronto to Prince Edward County along the 401 and highway 2 we are fortunate to drive through Ontario’s Greenbelt

Established in 2005, Ontario’s Greenbelt protects environmentally sensitive and from development. Our greenbelt is made up of 1.8 million acres of protected lands, including 5,500 family farms and over 100 farmers markets (including our little local market pictured here).

Fairmount Farmer's market

As the Ontario harvest starts rolling in full force, I hope you’ll join me in exploring Ontario’s Green Belt with Green Moms Collective, Greenbelt Foundation and the Toronto Star.  This autumn there will be weekly articles in the Saturday Star and 6 weekly twitter chats that you can rsvp here for a chance to win some #ONgreenbelt themed prizes.

Ontario Apples

September 17th: #ONGreenbelt 101

September 24th: The Foodbelt: Local Grown Food in the Greenbelt
October 1st: The Funbelt: Natural Areas in the Greenbelt
October 8th: Watershed – Rivers and Waterways in the Greenbelt
October 15th: Ecology of the Greenbelt – Rural Vitality, Air, Nature, Wildlife
October 22nd: Future of the Greenbelt – Planning and Economics


Disclosure: As a part of the #ONGreenbelt blogger team, I receive compensation to participate in this campaign. I am happy to participate in campaigns that meet my ethical guidelines and are of interest to my readers.

Fiddlehead Quiche with Cottage Cheese

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Fiddlehead Quiche

Spring is in it’s final stretch and the local produce is really starting to roll in. Seasonal favourites like fiddleheads and asparagus are both available, along with colder weather leftovers like chard and leeks.

kids planting seedlings

We usually make our quiche without crust but since progress is in the gluten free pastry department has been made this quiche has both a crust and cottage cheese added for extra protein. You need the extra protein to help with digging holes to plant a few hundred tomatoes.

Fiddlehead Quiche

Start by rolling out the gluten free pastry between two sheets of parchment. Instructions and recipe are here:

Preheat your oven to 350c

cottage cheese quiche

Whisk together:

1 cup Gay Lea 2% Cottage Cheese

1/2 cup whole milk

6 eggs

cottage cheese quiche

Next we’ll add our veggies; For this quiche I used Fiddleheads that were well washed and boiled first as according to Health Canada’s recommendations.


2 cups fiddleheads

1 bunch of asparagus with ends snapped off

2 cups chopped swiss chard

1 leek

and a handful of ramps or chives.


Ask your husband to line the whole asparagus spears in the pan.

Fiddlehead Quiche

Soak the rest of the chopped veggies in your egg and cottage cheese mixture before pouring over the asparagus.

Top with a whole bunch of peppered goat cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes.

asparagus quiche

Cottage cheese gives the quiche a richer and springier texture.  The higher protein makes for a great dinner and the thicker mixture makes spring’s produce look as good as it tastes.

Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Fiddlehead Quiche with Cottage Cheese

Fiddlehead Quiche with Cottage Cheese


  • Gluten Free Pie Crust
  • 1 cup Gay Lea 2% Cottage Cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups fiddleheads
  • 1 bunch of asparagus with ends snapped off
  • 2 cups chopped swiss chard
  • 1 leek
  • and a handful of ramps or chives.


  1. Start by rolling out the gluten free pastry between two sheets of parchment. Instructions and recipe are here:
  2. Preheat your oven to 350c
  3. Whisk together:
  4. 1 cup Gay Lea 2% Cottage Cheese
  5. 1/2 cup whole milk
  6. 6 eggs
  7. 2 cups fiddleheads
  8. 1 bunch of asparagus with ends snapped off
  9. 2 cups chopped swiss chard
  10. 1 leek
  11. and a handful of ramps or chives.
  12. Line the whole asparagus spears in the pan.
  13. Soak the rest of the chopped veggies in your egg and cottage cheese mixture before pouring over the asparagus.
  14. Top with a whole bunch of peppered goat cheese.
  15. Bake for 45 minutes.
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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.