Category Archives: Alberta at Noon

Cooking with a #Wok – 3 of my favourite #ChineseFood #recipes for my February @AlbertaAtNoon column

This post will share three of my favourite Chinese recipes and a primer on how to cook with my favourite kitchen tool – my wok. Continue reading

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#HotPot for #ChineseNewYear – #recipes for my February @AlbertaatNoon column


I had the good fortune to travel throughout China in 2007 and enjoy authentic Hot Pot in Lijiang in Hunan Province. There are a couple of fun places I like to go for Chinese Hot Pot in Calgary’s Chinatown listed here. To be honest, though, my favourite way to enjoy the Hot Pot dining experience is at home with friends. This post will give you tips and recipes so you can do the same. Continue reading

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My Favourite #Chinese cookbooks, kitchen tools and pantry staples


The ever-so-versatile wok – street food in China – photo credit – Karen Anderson

This week I’m getting ready for Chinese New Year (#CNY2016) which happens on February 8, 2016. I’ve talked about the #CNY2016 festivities happening around Alberta and this post is for people who are interested in doing some Chinese cooking. You’ll find a list of cookbooks to get you up and running, my three most important Chinese kitchen tools and a long list of my favourite Chinese and Asian ingredients.

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Notes on #ChineseFood and #ChineseCulture – Background info for my February @AlbertaatNoon column


Food in Chinese culture is part necessity, part art and a lot of enjoyment. 

China has always had a large population to feed and Chinese cuisine is filled with imaginative ways to preserve food during years of abundant harvests to prepare for the lean years that might follow.  I once attended a talk by Anthony Bourdain and when asked if he could only eat one cuisine what would it be? he replied, “I would choose Chinese food because the Chinese know more ways to preserve, cook and present food than any other culture”. So what is Chinese food anyway? This post will answer that question and explore the vital link between food and Chinese culture. Continue reading

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A little history of #ChineseCanadians and #Calgary ‘s #Chinatown plus 6 #CalgaryChinatownRestaurants to enjoy


The Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre – photo credit – Karen Anderson

Calgary is home to Canada’s fourth largest Chinatown after Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. It celebrated its 100th year in 2010. The Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre ( 197 First Street, SW, 403-262-5071) is the beating heart of the neighbourhood. It cost 10 million dollars to construct in 1992 and is credited with keeping the historic area alive when it was threatened by Bow Trail extension through downtown in the 80’s.

This post will share what you can find if you explore the cultural centre as well as more about the history and current state of affairs of this not well known part of Calgary. There’s also a list of six restaurants that are definitely worth a visit. Continue reading

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#ChineseNewYear Festivities for 2016 in #Calgary and #Edmonton

year of the monkey

2016 – Year of the Monkey as depicted by Canada Post

The Lunar New Year doesn’t happen until February 8 but the festivities that it brings for Alberta’s Asian communities (Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Japanese in particular) have already begun in both Calgary and Edmonton. Traditionally, the events were all held on two weekends but this year, according to a Calgary Herald article by Taylor Lambert, they’re being spread out over four weekends to allow more people to participate and to enjoy the Chinese culture for the 150 years plus part of Alberta’s history that it is.

I’ll be writing more about the food traditions that go with Chinese New Year for my Alberta at Noon column this week but until then, here’s a listing of upcoming events. This is The Year of the Monkey and monkeys are curious and playful so be like a monkey and go on out and join in the fun.

Chinese New Year Events in Edmonton can be found here.

Chinese New Year Events in Calgary can be found here and here.

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January Detox Naturally – take care of your liver and feed your body

Juice, Juice and more Juice – photo – Karen Anderson

A brief scan of headlines under New Year’s Diets for 2016 revealed the following diet fads: the master cleanse lemonade diet, all kale and chewing gum, no sugar at all – no carbs ever, the bulletproof coffee diet (a coffee filled with butter and MCT oil – synthesized medium chain triglycerides), super elixirs, super trim pills, veganism, paleo diets  and “all juice –  all the time”. We’ll also see kelp replace kale as the new superfood, people soaking in epsom salts to “remineralize” and an increase in matcha green tea drinks and bone broths instead of fruit and vegetable juicing according to the always trendy Harper’s Bazaar.

A recent article entitled “A Healthy Diet’s Main Ingredient: Best Guesses” in The New York Times cautions away from these “one true path” regimens because ultimately our bodies are as complex as they are individual. Some researchers feel it could take another 200 years before we truly understand the human body well enough to prescribe diets and they will most likely be highly individualized when we do.

I’ll talk about how the trend for Designer Juice Cleanse companies is currently growing by 4 – 8 per cent annually and some of the pros and cons of juicing on Alberta at Noon today. I’ve posted on the very January tendency to want to “detox” here.   Turns out we don’t need to detox because our brilliant liver does that for us on a continual basis.

This post will discuss specific ways you can support your liver and feed your body with guidelines from Canada’s Food Guide, The Canadian Liver Association, The British Liver Trust and some sound thoughts from Dr. Mark Swain, Head of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Calgary.

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