What I ate:

  • Breakfast – 3 small whole wheat choco chip pancakes, with a banana and a bit of maple syrup.
  • Lunch – Chicken samosa, 1 cup chicken noodle soupr
  • Snack – 3 chocomint Girl Guide cookies
  • Dinner – Honey mustard chicken, cheesey egg noodles, steamed broccoli.
  • Snack – 2 icy chocolates

What I did: 30 Day Shred Level 1. Worked 8:30-5. Post office on way home from work. Email, homework, TV.

What was the weather like: Sunnnnnny and cool.


What I ate:

  • Breakfast – 3 small whole wheat chocolate chip pancakes. Banana.
  • Lunch – Turkey, cheddar, lettuce, honey mustard sandwich. Pear. Handful of baby carrots.
  • Snack – Kit Kat. 2 peppermint yogurt pretzels.
  • Dinner – 2 mini turkey burgers (turkey, cheddar, rosemary) with a bit of avocado and lettuce on whole grain buns. Tater tots with ketchup.

What I did: Worked 8:30-5. Stopped at the clinic, pharmacy, and grocery store on the way home. Email, etc. Watched TV.

What was the weather like: Foggy in the AM, sunny in the afternoon.


What I ate:

  • Breakfast – apricot toast with butter, linzer square (raspberry jam and shortbread, essentially)
  • Lunch – 1/2 plate of chicken strips and fries with honey mustard and ketchup and a root beer, on the ferry.
  • Snack – handful of peppermint yogurt pretzels
  • Dinner – 4 small whole wheat chocolate chip pancakes

What I did: Packed my things at my parents, read some magazines, got a ride out to the ferry. Read a magazine and wrote a bit on the ferry. Grocery shopping and errands. Checked email, etc. Made dinner. Watched TV. Blogged.

What was the weather like: Foggy and cool in Victoria. Foggy first half of ferry ride, then sunny. Cloudy in Vancouver.


In this process of learning to understand and work with food better, I want to learn more about the how and where and when of food. Where and how are the things I eat grown? How are the animals whose meat, eggs, and other products I eat raised? When are different fruits and vegetables in season in my area? If I want to eat something out of season locally, where else would it come from?

I live in Vancouver, BC, a large city surrounded by ocean and suburbs in the Metro Vancouver area, and scattered with the occasional community garden. We have only one farm in Vancouver-proper, the UBC Farm, and it’s in danger of closing in the near future as UBC tries to develop every square foot it can into condos and townhouses. If you drive out of town, just past the suburbs, you start to come across farms, large and small, organic and industrial. If you keep going, into the Okanagan and other regions of BC, orchards and farms become even more common.

What’s in season really depends on what region you’re looking at. For the purposes of my posts on seasonal items, I’ll mostly be drawing from 100-mile diet resources and other locavore-type sites.  Part of this is to speak only for my own experiences – I can’t vouch for what’s in season in London or Phoenix or Puerto Vallarta! More personally, though, I want to learn more about what I can do to support local farmers, producers, processors and distributors and the local economy, and to reduce my negative impact on my community. If I focus on what’s in season here, I can do that, and hopefully, find ways to adapt what we eat to match our local variations!

Here’s what the 100-mile diet suggests as in-season for BC in March:

  • Apples
  • Cucumbers (hot house)
  • Hazelnuts
  • Leeks
  • Peppers (hot house)
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes (hot house)

So, of the 40 items this resource sheet tracks, that’s not a whole lot, especially if you choose to avoid hot house-grown veggies! I eat a lot of apples, though I’m not very creative with them – mostly eating slices plain or with cheese! We eat at least one cucumber a week, and hazelnuts on occasion. I’m not sure if I’ve EVER had a leek, though they always intrigue me at the grocery store! Peppers and tomatoes… yuck. I’m trying to acquire a taste for them, but it’s hard work. Potatoes aren’t used much in our house, but I’m not sure why – they’d be a good change of pace from rice, pasta or other starches.

But what about the other staples of my and our diet(s)? Bananas! Carrots! Broccoli (mmmmm broccoli)! Oranges! Strawberries! They’re either never grown in BC (bananas, for example), or out of season in March (carrots, for one).

This is going to be harder than I thought! But, the more I read and research, the more I’m convinced that I want to work seasonality and local resources into our diet. From the impacts on the environment to the changes in nutritional value during long transport and storage, I think the effort, sacrifices and education might just be worth it.

Whether we take on a challenge like a 100-mile diet or Fresh Mouth-month remains to be seen. I think if we were to do it, we would start during a month with more plentiful resources in BC – June through October have many more options than November – May.  For now, I will read and learn and try new things, and we’ll just see what happens!


A week or two ago I tried another new recipe, Rachael Ray’s Peanut Orange and Carrot Salad, and promptly forgot to write about it.  I wanted to try something that would keep well in the fridge for a few days and go well in lunches.

I had it on the side with dinner (tacos, I think?) the night I made it and then packed it as the focus of lunch one day and a side the other. It kept very well, though the peanut butter stiffened the sauce back up a little by the third day. I’ll certainly make this again – it would be a great side for a picnic or barbeque, and would likely make a great stuffing for vegetarian wraps or pitas. Next time, though, I would play with the ratio of ingredients a little. It was too peanuty and not orange-y enough for me! The ginger probably needs to be grated more finely next time, or put through the food processor, because the chunks made its flavour both over- and underwhelming. All in all, though, it’s worth playing with, because it was bright and flavourful!


One of the things I love about coming home for a visit is the chance to cook with my mum. She’s a wonderful cook, making hearty, healthy meals full of love. She isn’t afraid to try a new ingredient, technique or combination of flavours, and is always collecting recipes.  She’ll accommodate anyone’s needs, and is always open to including others in our family dinners.

You’d think that I would be a great cook, having always watched her make meals for us. Some of our best chats have come while she’s been cooking, and I’ve sat at our kitchen island, chopping or measuring ingredients for her.

Not so much. I can cook decently, I suppose – I’ve only given myself food poisoning once (a bad smoothie a year and a half ago), and never had a complaint from Adam. But I can’t cook like my mum – not even close! She has such knowledge of how to move around kitchen gadgets, how to combine flavours, and make a meal that will feel good in body and soul.

But as I continue to come home, time and time again, and we choose recipes for meals together, and I do what I can to help, I learn slowly. We’ll try something new with something tried and true – tonight’s dinner was a much-used recipe for potstickers, with a side of Kalyn’s roasted broccoli.  The potstickers were tasty, as always, and the broccoli was a delightful surprise, rich and sweet and savoury and warm. A whole new way of cooking and tasting broccoli!

Tonight I was lucky and had a huge success with the broccoli. I know I’ll have more successes (and failures!) both at home with Adam and at home with my parents. I’ll keep trying and learning on my own, but nothing will compare to learning by watching and working with my mum. I just hope that one day, I can provide for my family as well as she has and does for our family.


Cheese!

16Feb08

Cheese is truly one of my favourite foods. The options are endless – there’s a cheese for every meal, occasion, and mood.

Recently, a girl friend of mine hosted a girls night in – a Wii and Wiine and Chiise party! The rules were that we each had to come with a block of cheese, a bottle of wine, dressed nicely, and ready to play Wii.

It was a truly great night – we all got drunk, laughed harder than I have in ages, and just generally revelled in each others’ company.

And the cheese.. oh the cheese.

Everything from standard stinky blue cheese (top left plate, lower cheese) and cheese with Guinness (top left plate, upper cheese) to applewood smoked cheddar (bottom right plate, top left cheese) and Wensleydale with apricots (bottom right plate, bottom left cheese).

Deeelish!