Posted by: Suzanne Jolly | June 28, 2012
We wrote about kale two years ago in our newsletter, but it’s so good that we’ve brought it back again. In fact, even as I write this, I’m eating a kale salad! Kale is bountiful right now in local gardens and farmer’s markets, so there’s no excuse not to get your hands on this inexpensive vegetable that’s great for your body.
This month we’ve decided to share one of the most popular recipe’s from UBC’s Feast Bowl program (see below) which is run by the Institute for Aboriginal Health and the First Nations House of Learning (thanks to Hannah Lewis for sharing this with us!) The Feast Bowl also happens to have received Healthy Workplace Program Funding (HWIP) in the past as well. The salad is delicious and healthy but it’s also a perfect lunch option for work!
Emerald City Salad
- 1 bunch (6-8 stalks) of kale
- 1/4 cup of dried cherries or other fruit
- Handful of roasted almonds, sliced (or other seeds or nuts)
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon of crumbed feta cheese (optional)
Wash the kale and remove the tick centre stem. Slice the leaves into long, thin pieces. Place the kale in a bowl and toss with lemon juice. Let sit for 30 minutes (this allows the kale leaves to soften), then add the remaining ingredients, toss and enjoy!
This recipe is originally from Prudent Foodie: Eating Well for Less.
Filed under: Food, July 2012, Physical Health | Tags: emerald salad, feast bowl, Food of the Month, Kale, Vegetables
Posted by: Suzanne Jolly | February 29, 2012
These little fungi are great for soaking up the flavour of marinades and adding some additional nutrition to your meal.
While mushrooms often are included as an addition to meals, one of my favourite mushroom meals actually allows this huge mushroom to be the focal point of the meal: portobello mushroom burgers. I love portobello burgers because they were really my first introduction to “meatless meals,” and their delicious, juicy flavour helped to push away my inner (meat-loving) cynic to eventually come to realize that vegetarian meals are really a delicious option for my breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The Mayo Clinic offers a variety of fresh ideas for healthy cooking, including a great portobello mushroom burger.
Filed under: Food, Issue, March 2012 | Tags: food, Food of the Month, mushrooms, Nutrition
Posted by: Suzanne Jolly | December 2, 2011
Usually I try to highlight a locally grown food for the Food of the Month column. However, there are many of us (myself included) who aren’t able to limit their diets to locally available foods, so this month I am breaking from tradition to acknowledge a healthy fruit (albeit not growing locally) which is readily available this time of year: the mandarin orange. Available at grocers’ around town in small boxes, these little orange bundles of vitamin C make it easy to quickly boost our fruit intake. They are great for quick snacking – you don’t even have to find a place to wash them!
I love my family’s tradition of including mandarin oranges in holiday stockings. I also love the box of mandarin oranges on my counter, beckoning me to grab one as I run out the door.
Mandarin oranges are high in vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and fiber. Eating two oranges a day will help most people meet their daily vitamin C requirements.
If you have a box of mandarin oranges and you need to incorporate more of them into your meals to avoid spoilage, consider including oranges in your meals. Here are a few recipes to try:
Filed under: December 2011, Food | Tags: Food of the Month, Recipes
Posted by: Suzanne Jolly | November 1, 2011
Growing up, I knew that I needed to eat carrots to improve my eyesight. Much to my grown-up surprise, my family was not lying the consumption of carrots benefiting eye health is actually shown in evidenced-based research. In fact, I have discovered that carrots have more health benefits to offer than simply better eye health. From your eyes to your waist, this little orange root vegetable helps you in a number of ways. Carrots also fortunately are a key ingredient in one of my favourite soups: carrot ginger.
However, I did not choose to eat a lot of carrots as a child (or as an adult for that matter), due to the health benefit. Carrots are high in sugar so they are nicely sweet. Anyone who is trying to follow a low-carb diet or has diabetes, should consider carrots’ sugar content. In comparison against other foods available in the grocery store, carrots stack up pretty well on the health front; check out this interesting photo to see the comparison.
A quick additional note on carrots: although a great way to grab a quick snack, baby carrots are peeled. Peeling a carrot reduces its nutritional value.
I am amazed at the adoration of carrots around the world. Instead of giving you just one carrot recipe, this month I suggest that you feel free to browse the many options at Best Carrot Recipe.com.
If you want to learn more about carrots, there is even a carrot museum! World Carrot Museum.
If you just want to keep life a little less complicated, warm yourself and your family with this curry ginger carrot recipe.
Filed under: Food, November 2011 | Tags: Carrots, Food of the Month, Recipes
Posted by: Suzanne Jolly | October 1, 2011
My friend Amy makes the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had. Since she lives in Vermont and I now live in BC, it is no surprise that I miss her…but around this time of year, I have to admit that I miss her pie more than anything! (Sorry, Amy, but it really is that good!) Before I moved to BC, leaving behind her beloved pie contribution to my Thanksgivings, I asked her to tell me her secret. She shocked me with her answer: her pumpkin pie was more butternut squash than pumpkin! I never got more than that single detail from her, otherwise I might share the recipe.
With that in mind, let us celebrate the succulent squash. You could even carve a squash for your Halloween jack-o-lantern, but I recommend eating it instead!
According to our friends over at the Land and Food Systems SEEDS project, Cropedia, squash is dense in nutrients such as vitamin A, C, manganese, potassium and folate. These nutrients are related to cancer prevention and the prevention of birth defects.
As October’s cold rainy weather marks the start of “the season of soup” I hope you find comfort in these squash soup recipes from some of UBC’s soup gurus:
Steve Golob, this month’s Health Hero,has a delicious healthy soup recipe featuring squash.
The student volunteer-run food collective on campus, UBC Sprouts, have shared a recipe for Curried Winter Squash Soup with Apples, Chickpeas and Fresh Cilantro on Cropedia.
Filed under: Food, October 2011 | Tags: Food of the Month, Recipes, UBC Farm
Posted by: Suzanne Jolly | September 1, 2011
Over a year ago, my colleague was eating her lunch and it smelled amazing. She showed me her Tupperware container and I remarked, “Oh, I love garlic mashed potatoes!” It turned out that she was not eating mashed potatoes; she had “fauxtatoes”: cauliflower disguised as mashed potatoes. From that day forward, I began a new love for cauliflower.
Growing up, I only ever encountered this vegetable in its raw form, cut into small pieces and served with ranch dressing (the version you get in a vegetable and dip trays from the grocery store when you did not have time to make something decent for an office potluck). I also encountered cauliflower in a bland, steamed version, as part of a group of carrots and peas from the freezer aisle in the grocery store.
Cauliflower, fortunately, can be cooked in a number of ways, bringing me lots of Vitamin C and A as well as a smile. The garlic mashed potato version of cauliflower is my favourite form of cauliflower, thus far, so let me pay it forward: a legacy from my lovely former colleagues Thea and Jolene (who are now in New Zealand and Australia, respectively).
Here’s to this oddly beautiful, nutrient-packed flower vegetable that is growing locally right now. Visit your local farmer’s market or grocery store, to pick up some cauliflower as it lies there quietly waiting for you to take it home, wash it and disguise it into your next family meal!
Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
- 1 head of cauliflower, broken up into small pieces
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 head of garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste (I prefer sea salt)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Drizzle a little olive oil over the garlic head, wrap it in aluminum foil, then put it in the oven for an hour. Cut it in half and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Add the cauliflower and cook until it is very tender (approximately 10 minutes)
- Drain the cauliflower, then add the oil, salt and pepper and cauliflower in the pot.
- Squeeze the softened garlic cloves from the head of garlic.
- Mash it all together and enjoy!
I also love the look of this recipe for roasted cauliflower with garlic and mint, which I am hoping to try this weekend!
If you have a great cauliflower recipe of your own, please share it in the comments section and you will be entered to win in our monthly draw for a $20 gift card to UBC Food Services!
Filed under: September 2011 | Tags: Food of the Month, Recipes
Posted by: Suzanne Jolly | August 1, 2011
Tomatoes are a versatile fruit
Tomatoes go well with any meal, or at least they seem to in my kitchen. Whether it be in salads, soup, pasta, or sandwiches, tomatoes are a key part of my diet. This month, instead of highlighting a vegetable that I never eat (as I often do), I thought I would share my favourite recipes, with a focus on one of my favourite fruits. While I await some sunshine so that my tomato plants might actually bear fruit, local markets are carrying lots of tomatoes. Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C and a primary source of lycopene (an antioxidant) (for more information visit: http://cropedia.landfood.ubc.ca/wiki/Tomatoes), which is great for me right now since I have a cold!
Tomato and Avocado Salad For One
It’s simple but it’s my favourite for a solo snack on a warm summer’s day with some pita bread.
- Dice three tomatoes, one avocado and toss with a pinch of sea salt.
Garlic Tomato Pasta Sauce for A Few
Sometimes recipes are even better when you know the story behind their discovery:for New Year’s Day dinner in 2006 during a snowstorm in Whistler, my Italian fighter pilot friend decided to share his mother’s recipe. Before that meal, I think I thought tomato sauce came from cans!
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium high in a large sauce pan.
- Finely dice a medium white onion, and sauté it in the oil.
- Add three cloves of diced garlic, or more if you love garlic.(For tips on how to do this really well: I just found a great guide about cooking onions and garlic.
- Add in 10 medium diced tomatoes. Sauté until desired thickness.
- Add a small can of chopped black olives. (Optional)
- Add salt and pepper to taste. (I always prefer sea salt)
- Pour it over your favourite (preferably whole wheat) pasta, and voila!
Variations to the recipe: you can add basil, cayenne, B.C. spot prawns, diced red pepper, or flaked tuna to transform this recipe into a wide variety of great dinners/lunches.
Spicy Tomato Basil Soup For Many
Since we are still suffering through rainy weather, I thought I would share this soup as it warms me from the inside out.
- In a pot, sauté three finely chopped shallots and a few cloves of diced fresh garlic in two tablespoons of olive oil.
- Dice 12 tomatoes and add them to the pot (if I am in a huge hurry, I will use a combination of canned and fresh tomatoes). If using fresh tomatoes, add a cup of water. Bring to a boil. Add in a few shakes of cayenne pepper.
- Wash and tear a handful of fresh basil leaves. Tearing, as opposed to cutting the leaves, allows for more flavour to be released.
- Cover the pot and allow the soup to simmer for a few minutes. Serve with a basil leaf as garnish (and if you eat dairy (unlike me), then you could add a dollop of low fat sour cream). Freeze the rest for the next time you need to a good warm up!
If you have a great tomato recipe of your own, please share it in the comments section and you will be entered to win in our monthly draw for a $20 gift card to UBC Food Services!
Filed under: August 2011, Food | Tags: Food of the Month, Recipes, Tomatoes
Posted by: Suzanne Jolly | July 1, 2011
Rainbow Chard, one type of chard available in grocery stores
This year is the first time that I have had my own garden. Given that I am rather poor at watering plants, I have something to be grateful for such a wet start to summer: my garden is actually producing! My Mom planted the garden for me, as she has some mad gardening skills. One of the things she planted, chard, is growing like crazy. I want to point out that I have never seen chard in her garden, in her kitchen, or on my plate. Why my Mom thought to plant chard in my garden is beyond me. It might have been her way to force me to eat this suspiciously healthy-looking plant. In case you have not yet realized (and likely much to your surprise), I am not blessed with a great love of vegetables. I have not yet grown out of my childhood (childish?) assumption that vegetables taste worse than dirt. I am, fortunately, consistently proved wrong.
Yes, you heard it here first: I am now willing to admit that vegetables taste a whole lot better than I assumed! Chard (also known as swiss chard, silverbeet or mangold as well as a host of other names) is actually quite tasty! It reminds me of last year’s July Food of the Month, kale, in that it has some great health components. It is a good source of potassium, vitamins C and A, and fibre.
Since I had never cooked chard, I cajoled a friend into cooking his favourite recipe for me, and allowing me to share it with you. It is amazing- I ate it like I would normally eat candy. If you have a great chard recipe of your own, please share it in the comments section and you will be entered to win in our monthly draw for a $20 gift card to UBC Food Services.
Latham’s Lovely Chard and Kale Combo
- Turn on the stove to medium heat, heat up two tablespoons of olive oil.
- Crush or mince a few cloves of garlic in a large pan.
- Add 1/2 chopped red onion.
- Sautee until the onion is transparent.
- Wash the chard and kale. Rip up the chard and kale leaves, removing the ribs. Use most (if not all) of the bunch of each that you would buy at the farmer’s market or the grocery store, since it shrinks when you cook it.
- Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the chard and kale wilt.
- Before you remove it from the heat, splash on a quarter cup of balsamic vinegar and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Garnish with sesame seeds (optional).
One possible variation: you can use garlic scapes instead of fresh garlic, which will reduce the strength of the garlic flavor.
Filed under: Food, July 2011 | Tags: Chard, Food of the Month, Kale, Recipes
Posted by: Suzanne Jolly | June 1, 2011
Recently, I was on the UBC Farm blog and I saw a photograph of beautiful green asparagus growing out of the soil. Asparagus season has arrived in the Lower Mainland! I did not grow up eating this strange looking vegetable, but I grew to love it during many summer evenings barbequing when I lived in Vermont.
I also love the quantity in which asparagus is sold at Farmers’ markets and grocery stores. It is a perfect amount to grill on the barbeque, with a bit of leftovers to toss on a salad the next day. Asparagus is a source of dietary fiber, which offers important health benefits as well as aiding digestion.
My favourite recipe for preparing asparagus is really easy. I like to grill it up for a side dish over wild rice, served with grilled salmon (a nice maple balsamic glaze is my favourite!). It is an easy, healthy meal that will impress your dinner guests! I use the extra grilled asparagus in a favourite salad for lunch the next day, so I’m also going to include that recipe below as well.
It’s important to note that fresh asparagus doesn’t keep well in the refrigerator. Go out of your way to find it as freshly picked as possible. Try your local farmer’s market!
Rinse the asparagus in cold water. Break off the asparagus ends by holding each spear and bending it until it snaps. That is how you can know that you’re eating the fresh part of the asparagus – the ends can be bitter and tough.
Put the asparagus onto a plate and spray it with olive oil, then sprinkle with some sea salt and black pepper.
Place the asparagus onto a hot grill. Rotate every minute or so, until the asparagus is just starting to brown. Place it onto your plate, angled nicely over wild rice and grilled salmon (learn more about arranging a plate, as it will add to your enjoyment of healthy meals!).
Grilled Asparagus Spinach Salad
Take washed spinach, add leftover grilled asparagus, a handful of apple slices, some walnuts or tamari almonds and sunflower or pumpkin seeds and put it into a bowl. Whisk together a few spoonfuls of maple syrup with a spoonful of olive oil and a few spoonfuls of balsamic dressing and your salad is done! If you have leftover grilled salmon, add that for some protein. For a different salad and dressing option, check out a recipe I blogged earlier this year in “A Case of the Lunchies.”
Filed under: Food, June 2011 | Tags: Food of the Month, Recipes, Salad, UBC Farm