Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Canada Day Breakfast Poutine

When someone asks what kinds of foods are Canadian, there are generally a few things that come to mind. Poutine & maple syrup or maybe butter tarts, nanaimo bars or perogies if you really sit down & think about it. Every year however, you see backyard barbeques & picnic tables donning variations of this:

From here.

Is it really Canadian? No, not really. But it's festive, I'll give them that much!

While the Spunky Coconut's Spunky Holiday roundup is centered around July 4th, I'm going to go with a more Canadian themed recipe. Ya know, since Canada Day is also this weekend & we do live in Canada after all! 53% of people polled by the Globe & Mail last year voted that our national dish is (drumroll please...) Poutine!

Now maybe you're looking at that picture & thinking to yourself "I wonder if she knows that her breakfast poutine isn't very red & white? It's more on the brown side...". Actually, I'm aware. There aren't very many things in nature that are truly white. On top of that cooking turns things colors sometimes, and I certainly wasn't prepared to eat that white onion raw. Generally speaking "foods" that are white are that way because they've been stripped of their nutrients. Think white rice, bread etc. Not always, but it's a good rule of thumb

Some will argue that a true poutine needs gravy, but I think it's over rated. Not gravy- it's certainly not over rated. The requirement for gravy on poutine is over rated. My favorite poutine is (second to the butter chicken poutine at NewYork Fries) is the Italian poutine at a pizza chain in Edmonton called Royal Pizza. Unlike most poutine's out there, it features pizza sauce rather than gravy- it's amazing!

Canada Day Breakfast Poutine
Inspired by this.

1 batch (white) rosemary-roasted cubed potatoes
"Canadian bacon", cubed small. Or just normal bacon!
Sauteed (white) mushrooms & (white) onions
Crumbled goats feta or cheese curds of your choice
Poached chicken or duck egg
Roasted red peppers
Hollandaise sauce (this recipe has yet to fail me!)

Preheat oven to 425F & make rosemary-roasted cubed potatoes. This is by far my favorite breakfast potato recipe (and so far, my fave from the Cook with Jamie book).

If you have a helper in the kitchen (tell them you're making poutine! For breakfast!) ask them to start the Hollandaise sauce as it requires constant stirring. Use your stand mixer for the first part if you've got one!

In a cast iron pan (preferably) saute bacon with mushrooms & onions.

There are a million tutorials online on how to poach an egg should you be standing under the "challenged" banner in this department. We bought a set of these a few years ago, and the work amazing don't get me wrong. I just happen to love the texture of poached eggs simply dropped into boiling water (with a few drops of vinegar). I swear under my breath when I'm scrubbing the pot afterwards, but I live for poached eggs & toast.

Layer the sauteed bacon & veggies ontop of the rosemary hashbrowns in a bowl. Top it with cheese, a poached egg, festive roasted red peppers and a generous spoonful of hollandaise. Sprinkle with paprika & fresh ground black pepper.

Disclaimer: I want to be VERY clear that this is NOT health food. That's right, poutine isn't healthy! Who knew... Yes I'm a nutritionist and advocate a healthy lifestyle, but this dish contains twice the amount of fat and most of the calories that I should be ingesting for my entire day. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Week's Worth of Plastic: Week 17

Yet again this week we started out on a 2 day mini camping trip. Each & every time we go out to pitch the tent we're coming back with less & less garbage & I'm extremely proud of our accomplishments! On our way back in from the campground, we always stop at an amazing butcher's shop & get a few things. Mostly because it's on the other side of town from us so we don't bother going usually, but we come right past it on our way home. This time we bought a little more than usual, so our meat consumption this week is higher than the norm which means we've got a bit more trash to report. If we can remember where we've stashed our extra containers in the mess of camping gear they will be used in future instead of the deli wrapping paper.


1. Stickers on fruit
2. Bag for week's trash (not shown)
3. Butchers paper x 2 (not shown)
4. Bag of frozen veggies (not shown)
5. RealFruit gummies bag
6. 2 Tortilla chip bags
7. Refillable (glass bottle) pump of moisturizer (finally bit the dust)
8. Inner bag from box of salt (new salt has no bag- yay!)
9. Pasta bag
10. Cheese wrapping
11. 2 Deli meat bags
12. Plastic label off of glass jar
13. 3 Bread bags & tags
14. Bacon packaging
15. Package from ribs (not shown)
16. Coleslaw dressing jar
17. Fudge wrapper
18. Broken ziptie
19. Seal from glass milk jug
20. Seal from bottle
21. Seal from glass jar of peanut butter

And would you look at that! I like the looks of a short list like this.... On another note, I picked these up at our local health food store. I'm pumped for my existing sponge to continue falling apart! P.S. That's cardboard packaging with no plastic! Yes!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bitlets For You This Past Week: June 20-26, 2011

Organic doesn't necessarily equal no pesticides. Here's how it works.

10 do's & don'ts of greening your pantry.

Sadly, this happens all the time...

Should you need a laugh.... Learn how to boil water!

Things you probably didn't know about where vegans get their protein.

Top 10 unhealthiest fast food meals. Who knew Subway was that bad?

Why GMO's aren't solving world hunger. They're NOT a good idea. Go organic to keep them out of your grocery basket.

Everything you've ever wanted to know about the Paleo Diet (in pictures!)

The only reason I'd ever go to Vegas. Oh yeah, and this too!

I love coming across stuff like this randomly!

15 meal ideas to take on a plane.

What you can expect when trying vegan for the first time.

Gluten Free naan bread recipe. That's all you really need to know, isn't it?

And this is the newspaper article mentioned in the recipe above. A professor in India has written an article published in an Indian medical journal talking about why celiac disease is increasing in prevalence like it is. Very interesting!

I feel like I'm the only one who hasn't heard of these guys. Maybe I'm not?

10 great ways to reduce food waste in our kitchen.

Things you should know: Aspartame has a new name. And they're calling it "natural"...

An interesting raw food experience from someone (who was) very uninitiated.

Top 10 signs of a bad cook. SO funny, and yet so very true!

Quality over quantity.... wins every time!

1 in 12 kids have food allergies but it wasn't always like that... Oh yeah, and it's getting worse.

Eat less & live longer?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Camping Food: Root Vegetable & Turkey Campfire Packets

It's that time of year again. People have pulled their trailers and their tents out of storage and are eager to spend some time in the great outdoors. Every family generally has their own set of food that they take camping. Sometimes it's food that you don't bother with any other time of year, sometimes it's a car full of treats and sometimes it's the same old food you eat at home.

For some, a camping trip can be the only vacation some people take during the summer. It should be fun and full of lots of tasty food. Everything tastes better cooked over an open fire, no?

Root Vegetable & Turkey Campfire Packets

1 russet potato, cubed
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled & mashed
3 carrots, chopped
1 turkey/chicken thigh(s)/breast, cubed
1/4 cup olive oil
oregano, thyme, parsley, rosemary, salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients to coat & double wrap in foil (at home).

Cook over campfire, turning halfway until potatoes are soft.

There's lots of room for variation with something like this, but ours was fantastic!

I love having bacon & eggs for breakfast when we're camping. We tend to have a big breakfast, snack in the afternoon when we need to, & then have a big dinner.

Corn on the cob is an excellent wasteless in-season camping food. Soak in water for an hour (otherwise the husks will catch fire), then grill over the fire, turning occasionally. This can be done on the bbq as well. I LOVE mixing up some miso corn cob rub at home before we go & slathering it onto hot corn on the cob!

If I have space in the cooler, I like to ball up a watermelon so it's ready to eat. Lots of fresh fruit & veggies like apples, celery sticks (ants on a log!), berries, snap peas, pineapple, oranges, cherries, grapes, carrots, stone fruit like peaches & plums or anything else you can find at the farmers market! I might recommend checking this out. Oh, and this too!

Some of our other stand-by's include:
-Baked beans
-Granola bars
-S'mores (As I mentioned here I'm working on from scratch s'mores- stay tuned!)
-Breakfast hash (I'd love to try this next time we go out!). If you're doing baked potatoes the night before in the fire, make extras for hashbrowns in the morning.
-This time of year, asparagus grilled over the fire is fantastic!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

PG Farmers Market

For the last three years (at least) we've gone to the farmers market on the weekend (more often than not) in all three of the cities we've called home in these past three years. When we lived in Edmonton, we frequented the 104st City Market from May through until Thanksgiving as it was only a few blocks walk from where we lived, and the Old Strathcona Farmers Market in the winter months. I do miss the asparagus from Edgar Farms, the amazing hummus from The Happy Camel & waiting in line for the market to open in front of Sundog Organic Farm on those crisp mornings. 

In Calgary we were loyal customers to retailers such as Missing Link SausageThe Cucumber Man, Sunworks Farm & especially Lund's Organic carrots. There's been a lot of politics in Calgary surrounding the farmers markets over the last few years, as the "old" Currie Barracks market was literally kicked out and the vendors split off into two separate markets. I'm looking forward to checking out the new digs when we visit in August.

Here in Prince George, a city only a sliver of the population of our former two in size, the farmers market is a bit different, but we love it just the same.

McGregor Mountain Farm taps birch trees locally to produce this unique birch syrup along with many other vegan, gluten free and raw food items.

Fresh herbs, green onions & fiddleheads from Sakhon Proulx.

We took one of these heirloom tomato plants home (along with zucchini & chard) 2 weekends ago & it's flowering like crazy!

The salsa from the Mojave Chili & Spice Co. is phenomenal! Made fresh & no sugar added. There's some in my fridge right now!

We always seem to have a stash of bison in our freezer from October Farm. They're well versed in gluten free requirements & 3 of their sausages are safe!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bitlets For You This Past Week: June 6-14, 2011

Do I ever have a bundle of goodies for you this week!

Have you ever had Spirulina before? Here's why you should.

This is the kind of thing that scares me...

This amond berry sorbet looks delish & super easy! For gluten free however, substitute the barley malt for another sweetener such as the maple syrup suggested or agave.

The real dangers of cheap food. High blood pressure at age three!?!?!?

She has the BEST attitude about cooking; it seems to be dissolving in today's culture sadly.

The deets on sugar.

Beans: To make or buy? The pros & cons.

Do you bother to read the nutritional information label on products at the grocery store before you put them in your cart, or are they too confusing to bother with?

Episode 2 of the Vegan Black Metal Chef is out!

The person inventing 50% of the global grocery market. An interesting read.

23 No cook recipes to keep the kitchen cool this summer!

The tricky name game that food processors play. Do you fall into their sneaky traps?

I'll be in heaven the day that every grocery store does this!

The cold hard truth about gluten free & weight loss. 

Growing your own food?  SO many benefits!

It seems that American's aren't interested in paying a premium for healthier foods. I suspect the obesity epidemic is nowhere near over...

What happens when you stop buying cookies & cereal for your kids?

The true cost of cheap tomatoes. Slavery is indeed alive & well.

Would you pay an extra penny per pound for tomatoes?

What's in season this month?

If you're anything like me, you've probably tried a ton of different gluten free pizza crusts. Here's a new one for the books though!

The truth about the pharmaceutical industry & why it continues to go downhill...

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Summer Foodie Must-Do List

When it comes right down to it, I'll admit: I love food. My life revolves around it. I schedule my day around making dinner, baking cookies or boiling a pot of stock all afternoon. Summer is by a huge margin my favorite time of year (not only because it's warm out!) because there's a huge variety of produce that's not been shipped up from Mexico. All year I eagerly await fiddleheads & asparagus to arrive in May, all sorts of berries, cherries & peaches throughout the summer months & the always plentiful apples in the fall.

Smoked salmon benny with hollandaise from scratch:)

This summer we've set out to eat up a storm, including the following:

1. U-pick berries
2. Can tomatoes (and maybe more!)
3. Make homemade ice cream
4. Cook an entire meal over campfire
5. Go on a picnic
6. Buy groceries at the farmers market as many times as I can
7. Make iced tea
8. Have 100% home made smores
9. Grow all kinds of fruit & veggies & herbs
10. Craft a fantastic mojito (with home grown mint of course!)

I'll be sure to keep you updated throughout the summer months as we come along with this!