The bounty of summer – photo credit – Karen Anderson
It happens. You go away for a few days in August and come back to a zucchini patch that has hatched green baby belugas. Apples cover the lawn like a spilled bag of marbles under your backyard tree. The kitchen table is covered with the peaches that you just had to stop at that roadside stand for. The bounty of summer is upon us and for most of us, it’s more than we can use.
Contrary to what we’re often told, there isn’t so much of a food shortage in the world but rather, food is not equally distributed and a full 40 per cent of food is wasted. It never has the chance to make it onto the tables of the hungry and there are a lot of hungry people. The U.N. says 800 million people suffer from chronic hunger and 2 billion – a third of the world – suffer from hidden hunger.
Several Alberta organizations are working to do something about food inequity. This post will reveal who they are and how you can support them. As for those zucchini posing as big green baseball bats? Consider this post Zucchini 101 where I’ll reveal my Top 10 things to do with the wild child of the garden. Continue reading
Since 2010 I’ve purchased a subscription to Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery. This year I signed up again and I can take my share in spot prawns, ling cod, halibut, albacore tuna and many forms and kinds of salmon: candied, canned, smoked, lox, whole or fillets – pink or sockeye.
From one father and son operation Skipper Otto’s has grown their fleet of fishermen and boats committed to sustainable fisheries. Now they want to build their own processing facility to manage costs and support their fisheries while delivering the best quality fish straight to you.
They deliver to across the Prairies weekly in the season and ordering is easy. Memberships start at 100 dollars.
Click here to learn more then sign up now because today is the last day to sign up for this season! Don’t flounder around. This could be the best catch of your life!
Polenta Lasagna – photo credit – Karen Anderson
This month on CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon I’ll be talking about the importance of cooking skills for children. I believe cooking is a basic life skill that determines how healthy an individual and in turn a family will be.
A lack of ability to cook from scratch leads to a life dependent on processed foods. Processed foods are more likely to contain excess salt, sugar and food additives and a diet filled with processed foods is more likely to cause obesity.
Harvard University says the health consequences of obesity include heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, asthma, some cancers, susceptibility to depression due to discrimination and the emotional impact of that. Thirty per cent of youth are now obese.
We are three generations since the norm was a stay at home homemaker and cook for each family. Many parents (let alone their children) lack cooking skills beyond reheating, microwaving and combining packaged foods. Women in the 1960s were told cooking was a chore and they needed to be emancipated from the kitchen. Women did go out to work but instead of “freedom” they now work outside the home and still do the majority of household work as well. Equal partnerships are slow to evolve. Reframing cooking as a family activity and a creative way to nurture, care and ensure health for ourselves and our children could go a long way to correcting our society’s obesity epidemic.
I developed the Polenta lasagna recipe in this post to act as a cooking skills bridge from reliance on highly processed packaged food to cooking with healthier choices. The result is a fun assembly of quality ingredients with delicious results. Older children can make it on their own. Parents and younger children can make this together. Continue reading
Fresh pakoras – photo credit – Karen Anderson
Shopping for Indian ingredients in Canada can be challenging even in today’s world of global markets and overnight air freight. In India, an array of vegetables and fruits are picked fresh and brought to market daily. The distance between Canada and India means we don’t have that level of freshness but nonetheless, I still have some favourite grocers where I can find the authentic ingredients I crave.
I’ll share the grocers that make up my “little India” in Calgary as well as some of my favourite Indian restaurants. Once you start shopping for, making and eating great Indian food, you might even be curious enough to travel to this magical place yourself. Food was the key that opened the door to this ancient culture for me. Maybe it will be for you too. Continue reading
Thanks to my friend Suzie Szmolyan Morrow for sharing this video with me so I can share it with you.
When I look at what Lentil Hunter chef Michael Smith finds on the table in Gujarat, I see the vivid food of my mentor Noorbanu Nimji and the recipes in our cookbook – A Spicy Touch – Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen. When Noorbanu’s family emigrated from Gujurat to East Africa they took all those wonderful recipes with them. Noorbanu, in turn, brought them to Canada and she’s been teaching Canadians how to make them since 1974.
Since becoming her co-cookbook author, I’ve definitely become a serious pulse eater. When I travel in India each year, I eat pulses everyday and come home craving them. They really are easy, delicious and nutritious.
Give them a try and you’ll increase your health, support farming in Canada and increase the sustainability of the planet. This #IYP – International Year of the Pulse and all the recipes and stories that come with it sure are a great way to savour it all.
Great Alberta cookbook to help you increase your pulse intake – photo – Karen Anderson
from #pulsepledge dot com
There are some great recipes for cooking with pulses – peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas. Maybe you already have some; maybe you’re looking for inspiration. If you take the pulse pledge you can download a cookbook called Pulses – The Heart of Every Meal or you can buy an inspiring cookbook like Spilling the Beans by local authors Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan. It’s one of my favourites.
Beans are what 66 per cent of Canadians eat when they eat a pulse. Chickpeas are next with 53 per cent of us having eaten them in the last six months and lentils are lowest with only four out of 10 people having tried them.
I chose a few recipes from Pulses – The Heart of Every Meal to test and I’ll share them here. Two quick tips – if you are using canned pulses – rinse them thoroughly before using to remove sodium and never add salt when cooking pulses from their dried state as it makes them tough. Continue reading
If you don’t know what a pulse is, you are not alone. A 2010 study of 1100 Canadian households (sponsored by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and conducted by Ipsos Reid) concluded that most Canadians are unsure of what a pulse is. Take 20 seconds to watch the video above. It will tell you – very artistically – what a pulse is.
Pulses are beans, dry peas, lentils and chickpeas which are the edible seeds of pod-bearing legumes. They are a great ingredient for cooks. Pulses grow so well in Canada that we are the world’s largest producer and exporter of peas and lentils and they contribute over $3 billion annually to our economy.
This post will delve deeper into why the United Nations declared 2016 as the International Year of the Pulse and why they believe pulses are at the heart of health for people, land and our planet. It will also examine the pulse industry in Alberta and how you can participate in the International Year of the Pulse by taking a pledge to eat more pulses. Continue reading