These little berries are definitely getting more and more traction lately and I am loving it. So, what exactly are they? The tart little guys – comparable in taste to a gooseberry – are defined as a ‘superfruit’ being high in a variety of vitamins and antioxidants making an orange seem, well, kind of lame. What’s that orange? Vitamin C is all you’ve got?
The trees these berries grow on can strive in cold weather and poor soil conditions, so you’ll find them all over the Canadian Prairies. The roots of this particular type of tree are also very strong, which made them ideal for creating shelterbelts on farmland across Saskatchewan. Growing up in Saskatoon, I would often see these trees and had I known back then how interesting the berries were, I might have fallen in love with them a little sooner.
I’ve decided to take part in a monthly series with an array of food bloggers across Canada called The Canadian Food Experience Project, led by the lovely Valerie Lugonja of A Canadian Foodie. The whole idea behind this monthly series is to highlight the fantastic things that make our country’s culinary scene what it is. Something to be proud of.
I always forget how ridiculously easy mussels are to make. They cook in hardly any time at all. They’re great in pastas, sans-shell in soups, even chilled with some seafood sauce, but, best of all? They’re cheap! A couple Sundays ago, I wanted a quick and easy dinner, so thought mussels would be the way to go. This vodka tomato sauce would also be pretty stellar on some spaghetti with some homemade meatballs. Just saying…
If you’re not a booze hound like me, feel free to leave the vodka out. It just adds a nice little kick to the sauce.
I travel a lot, but I’ve never away from home for over five weeks before. Traveling is always a fantastic experience, but after awhile, I think most of us start to miss home. The unpacking, repacking and moving around can get a little tiresome. Sometimes, I just want to be able to wear my sweatpants and whip up something in my kitchen.
Luckily, this past week, we spent the last few days of our adventure down under were in Rotorua, an inland town in New Zealand that’s fairly low key. Here, we were lucky enough to stay with a friend and although it was not my house, we did treat her kitchen like it was mine! Ha, ha, ha.
Amoung the different dishes we cooked up, one of them was this tasty riff on a tabouli salad. Since spring is almost here, this salad with grilled vegetables and the tangy chimichurri sauce (which you could also use to put on any grilled meat, so awesome!) is bright and light. Totally appropriate for a warm, sunny day.
I have gained a few pounds while eating traveling too, so this may just become a staple in my diet for the next couple months! Anyway…
Even on the coldest days, a salad can be perfectly satisfying. I’m in California now, set to head off to Australia this Sunday and I have not quite obtained that amazing beach body I was looking to arrive down under with. Oh well, such is life! In a last ditch effort to get slim and trim for the warm weather, I’m sticking with salads for the rest of the week. Well…maybe not ALL week, but I shall try my best. Hm…maybe this is why my beach body never materialized…
I am love with mushrooms lately. Roasted, sauteed, whatever the way, they’re god damn delicious! There are some restaurants around Calgary, like Model Milk and Ox and Angela, who are serving up their tasty takes on mushroom toast. I had a craving for some creamy, mushroom goodness, but wasn’t in the mood to leave my house, so tried to come up with a variation myself.
This recipe is not quite as tastebud-exclaiming as the stellar dishes you’d find at Ox or Model Milk, but my home version hit the spot on a cold, winter day just fine. The egg yolks added at the very end, give it a carbonara-like richness, which is what really brings this one home, I think!
1/2 yellow onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 13.5 oz can Scarpone’s Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 cup water
1 TBSP tomato paste
2 TSP cane sugar
1 TSP lemon juice
2 TBSP greek yogurt
salt and pepper
1/2 yellow onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 cups kale (stems removed, finely chopped)
1 lb ground pork
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 TBSP fresh rosemary (chopped)
2 TSP soy sauce
2 TSP worcestershire sauce
1 TSP cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
1 TBSP grapeseed oil (for browning meatballs)
When it’s cold outside, I want comfort god damn it! Italian fare always hits the spot for me on an inappropriately chilly winter evening (although, as I’m typing this I am aware that it is getting nicer out now…) and that’s where this meatball and tomato sauce dish comes in. Give me a plate of this deliciousness and nice, big glass of red wine and I am A-OK with whatever snowy weather comes my way!
The fire roasted tomatoes I used in this recipe can be found fairly easily around Calgary. Calgary Co-op regularly stocked them, as does the Cookbook Co. Cooks and a few other specialty food markets. Trust me, these canned tomatoes are the bomb and make all the difference in this recipe Try them out once and I promise you will never go back to another canned variety. I, myself, am definitely smitten!
Starting off with the tomato sauce, cook down the onions and garlic on medium-high heat in a medium pan with some olive oil. Once onions soften, about 5 minutes, add the vinegar to the pan and let cook for another 5 minutes. Now, pour in the canned tomatoes, paste, water, sugar and lemon juice. Once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce to medium heat and let simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, place the contents of the pan into a food processor with the yogurt and puree until smooth. Return to pan, season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm until ready to serve.
**This simple tomato sauce is great in a simple pasta and also makes a great base for homemade pizzas!
- The Canadian Food Experience Project: Seabuckthorn Berry and Shallot Vinaigrette
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week Twelve
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week 11 (and a contest!)
- Sweet And Spicy Udon Noodles
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week 10
- Appetizers & Co.
- Ask Dan
- Calgary & Area
- Monday Night Supper Club
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Something Sweet
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home
- United States