I was a nurse for over 20 years. I was a Masters-prepared Nurse Practitioner for 10 of those years. I left that profession because, though I loved working with people, I wanted find ways to help people stay healthy instead of caring for them once they’d become very ill. I saw that the further we got from food as a society the sicker we were getting. I thought writing about food and starting up food tours would be fun ways to engage and connect people with the source of food and all the health and joy it can bring to our lives.
I’m very pleased that after 11 years in my new career I have the opportunity to go full circle and to write for Alberta Health Services’ health magazine (applemag.ca) on the topic of healthy food. It’s a dream come true to write for a magazine whose credo is “Be healthy. Be Well. Be informed.”
In my regular “Food Sight” column I’ll be writing about a different great ingredient each issue. For the food issue I also got to write about five ways to build a healthy plate. Here are the first two pieces. Grab a carrot to munch on and have a read.
||click on the photo to expand to the article >
|A carrot close-up
||Look inside >
|Build a healthy plate
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
Cool and creamy gelato from Pulcinella Ristorante – photo credit – Karen Anderson
I’ll be on CBC Radio’s Alberta at Noon tomorrow (July 28, 2016 – 99.1 FM) between 1230 and 1 p.m. talking about quintessential summer foods. What’s your must-have summer food? If you’re anything like me, it changes by the week because there’s something new to savour with each seven day growing unit in our brief Northern summer.
I hope this post of fun food photos and events (including Food Day Canada this weekend) inspires you to hit the giant tasting trail that is Alberta or to search for your own favourites wherever you savour it all. Continue reading
Getting to know pulses – photo credit – Karen Anderson
My last CBC radio Alberta at Noon column was all about pulses (peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas). You can check the podcast out here. I’m out at the 10:25 mark in the show.
The United Nations declared 2016 The International Year of Pulses (IYP) because pulses are good for people, for soil and for the world. You can get involved in IYP by taking a pledge to eat pulses at least once a week for 10 weeks.
I decided to do this and once I started to pay attention I realized that I’ve already been eating peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas more than weekly for some time. It’s actually a lot easier than you might think.
I hope you’ll give the pulse pledge a try and to encourage you, this post shares two of my favourite pulse recipes – Mixed Vegetable Bhajias (pakoras) made with chickpea flour and Bharazi – pigeon peas in coconut cream. Both recipes are from the cookbook I co-authored with my beloved mentor Noorbanu Nimji called A Spicy Touch – Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen. I’m thrilled to tell you that our beautiful 320 page cookbook just won an IPPY Silver Medal the Independent Publishers Book Awards based out of the United States and representing the English-speaking world.
There are a dozens of recipes in the book that include pulses or flour made from pulses. I hope you’ll enjoy the two I share here. Continue reading
Best Bran Muffins
Best Bran Muffins – photo credit – Karen Anderson
This is a recipe I’ve been testing for years. I’ve varied many aspects and have tried butter, coconut oil, agave nectar, cane sugar, no spicing, spicing, different flours and fruits but I’ve finally decided that this is my best bran muffin. I hope you enjoy the recipe that follows. A cup of tea and a good muffin in the morning is a great way to savour it all. Continue reading