Winter Salad – Eating in Season

 

A beautiful salad I wish I could’ve chowed down on!

 

Another recipe from my Earl Grey School teaching series in Calgary. Keeping it simple and fun allowed the kids to have a blast putting this one together.

Ingredient by ingredient they identified in season veggies

These ingredients were a great segway into teaching about carbon footprints, our impact on the earth and what it truly means to be a locavore.

The kids love participating ~ even when it’s just emptying out a baggie into a bowl. Hands on is key & food is the way to their hearts and minds.

Another  vegan (nearly raw) recipe requiring no cooking – perfect for you to pick up and make at home with your family.

I was SO impressed by what the kids knew about the items that we discussed. One girl even knew (without using the exact terminology) that broccoli and kale belonged to the same family ~ brassicas ~ faith in some of humanity restored….look at all those hands up in the air!

 

The smart board here is showing my chart that addresses carbon footprint impacts in the food production industry.

With the use of technology we were able to forego our usual paper handouts (which I hope were making it home for parents to have a look at all the continued resources) and put up a lot of great information for the class to have a look through and comment on.

These kids will definitely be thinking more “Earth first” after going through how they themselves can help reduce carbon emissions by the choices they make as little humans – they seemed to come away feeling quite empowered. If you’re looking for the lesson plan I used to accompany this recipe – contact me!

Ingredients:

– 3 cups raw, washed broccoli florets

– 2 cups blanched yams, cubed

– 2 cups frozen or fresh peas

– 1 cup green onion diced

– 3 cups chopped kale (any variety)

– 4 tbsp lemon juice

– 2 tsp grated ginger

– 1 tsp Himalayan salt

Method: 

Combine all ingredients in large bowl, stir and serve. You can also store in the

I think this one works best if you settle it in the refrigerator for a few hours to let all the flavours combine.

Top this recipe with sesame seeds or toasted pumpkin seeds as I have omitted these due to allergies.

Great as a side dish, this recipe serves 8-10 sides.

Are you worth, your salt? – A recipe and a lesson…Lesscipe?

Spicy, sexy, salty.

Having a young child around is part of where I find my blog topics on food. This weekend Anastacia and I were preparing a meal together and I placed on our dinner table some sriracha salt. A wonderful mix of chilies, citrus zest and Himalayan sea salt – stick around for my recipe.

She began eating her meal and watched as I finished the preparation of my salad with this lovely salt. Timidly she asked if she could try some. “Of course you can!” I exclaimed, “salt is absolutely wonderful and this one is fabulous in the flavour department”. She looked up through sheepish eyes and admitted that at her moms house it is a banned substance because it’s “bad for you”.

Why salt has become the enemy for some folks floors me. With the information age we are far better off to do our own research than to buy into the latest fad food omission of the moment. Like fats, one day it’s great for you and the next it’s not.

Lets settle this with a bit of my opinion shall we?

In and around the time that low fat, low carb and low calorie diets were making their way on the scene (read: microwaveable lazy man food and the like) scientists and snake oil salesmen alike were ramping up to tear down salt.

Like any decade, there are food fashion “do’s” and “don’ts” and a host of crazed food police supporters touting the benefits of the diet of the day.

I don’t support the anti-salt campaign.

History

Salt used to be such a hot commodity that the Romans used it as a paycheque for some. The word salary is even derived from the word Sal, Salarium = Salt Money-fancy that!

Salt is mined in a lot of places. Here in Canada one of the largest mines in the world is located in Ontario. Globally, you can find salt mines in Poland, Germany, England, Morocco, Italy, Ireland, Pakistan and the USA.

This LINK shows traditional and newer mining sites. Check it out. Here’s a great shot of an amazing salt Mosque from the Wiki link:

Beautiful Salt Creations

Beautiful Salt Creations

Salt types

Before I get into the pros and cons of salt it’s a good idea for you to know about the types of salt that are available to you.

Himalayan Pink Salt – mined in the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan, 300kms from the HImalayas.

Sea Salt – produced from the evaporation of sea water.

Watch a video on how to make your own sea salt here: MAKE YOUR OWN SEA SALT

Kosher Salt – mined underground or from the sea and compressed to make larger granules

Celtic Salt – harvested from the sea of NW France and also known as grey salt there are no additives and its colour comes from clays found in the salt fields

Table Salt – mined above or below ground, processed and stripped of it’s beneficial minerals, talc and silica additives to name a few. Find a listing of all the chemical agents here.

Weeding out the enemy

Have you heard of the term Full or High Spectrum Salt? This term refers to salts that have been refined but NOT stripped of their valuable mineral content which makes salt extremely important.

The beneficial magical ingredients in GOOD salt are:

  • Calcium
  • Chloride
  • Iron – oxygen moving helper
  • Zinc
  • Iodine – healthy thyroid & body temp regulator
  • Sodium – regulates blood PH & stomach
  • Potassium
  • Manganese – bone development, metabolizing

Salt is also a natural electrolyte that helps to retain water in our bodies. Water retention is hugely important as it stimulates the thirst function and keeps our blood pressure stable.

Salt prevents muscle cramps and stimulates the adrenal glands. The latter leading us to better sleep patterns.

Salt creates hydrochloric acid in the body which helps us to digest food in the stomach. If you are sodium deficient, you can suffer from muscle cramps, nausea, dizziness and could even place yourself in a coma.

Why can’t some people eat salt?

People with high blood pressure cannot or shouldn’t consume salt. Why you ask? Well, the kidneys regulate sodium in the body, if they are over burdened with this process the body will nearly self destruct which leads to hardened arteries, heart attack or stroke.

It is uber important to know if you have blood pressure issues and if so – ditch the table salt immediately. Ditch it anyway.

Foods to avoid – BAD SALT

Processed foods high in sodium from table salt. This is the worst type of food you can put into your body. Not only is it made in a factory with old ingredients that are irradiated and dead, these meals are bad for our environment due to the type of production used to create them – I know I couldn’t sleep at night knowing my poor taste in food was damaging our fragile eco-system.

The avoid list:

  • Potato Chips
  • Pop
  • Pre-made microwave meals / kids pre-made luncheon meals
  • Fast Food – Fries/Burgers/Chicken mysteries
  • Packed Pizzas/Pastas/Pizza Pops etc…
  • Raisin Bran
  • Pre-made sauces Asian/Italian
  • Meat jerky, pre-cut/sliced meats of any kind
  • Conventional mix or pre-made pancakes / waffles / muffins
  • Traditional ketchup, pickles
  • Cheese slices, cottage cheese
  • Several types of pre-made veggie burgers (check the lable)
  • Several types of breads/buns/bagles that are pre-made
  • Clamato/tomato/vegetable juices – juice your own!!
  • Canned mushrooms, soups, veggies packed in salt
  • Pre-made salad dressings – make your own!!
  • “Just add water” dishes like rice/paella/pastas/noodles
  • Boxed desserts like cakes/pudding

I think the general lesson here is – learn to cook. I mean REALLY cook. For the love of all things healthy.

As with all things we consume, salt should be of the simplest and purest form as well as used in a somewhat civilized manner. When you’re looking to cook with salt ensure that you’re only using it as a “finisher” in dishes and not as part of an over-salted recipe.

If you will note in all of my recipes I rarely use salt for anything but “to taste”, or to use directly before consuming.

If you feel like a hero taking good salt off the table – you’re wrong. Check your kitchen, scrap the garbage and start eating good salt now. You owe your body and the bodies of the people who are in your care.

Sriracha Sea Salt Recipe

IMG_0534-1

Ingredients:

3 tbsp dried hot chilis

5 tbsp Himalayan Salt

1.5 tbsp Lemon zest

2 tbsp Dried diced garlic

Method:

Combine all ingredients and place into grinder.

If you do not have a grinder, place in a salt pig/vessel and sprinkle on salads, soups, pastas and meats.

The big “O”

Leading an informed lifestyle can be torturous. Not only do you come upon a tonne of information that both shocks and appals you but, conflicting stories and opinions can start you into a tailspin of confusion about what ethical and heart-based decisions you can make.

Fear not, the quick answer to this is to not beat yourself up about it. You can only do so much, and caring about slow food, farm to table and small-time community initiatives (CSA’s, Farmers Markets, Eating in season…) are a great place to start.

Organics are tricky because, like most things, once the “big boys” get ahold of terms like green, local, organic etc…they start to bastardize their intended meaning…leaving us all, well, throwing our hands up in the air.

While I try not to beat myself over the head with info, I definitely like to keep a personal mandate of NOT supporting big business, especially big agribusiness and big pharma.

I found the chart below exceptionally helpful when trying to weed out “bad” organics from my very saintly regular grocery shops. Hope you find it helpful too!

Infographic Organics 

 

Recipe for Disappointment – wildcrafting

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This winter I was contacted by a magazine for an interview on wild foraging in the Canadian Rockies. Needless to say, I was thrilled to be able to put together my thoughts on wildcrafting and put forth some ideas on sustainable foraging for the local mountain curious & cultured to peruse through.

I completed a 1 hour interview where ideas on how to, where to and what to forage for in this micro-climate of Alberta were discussed. I shared a great recipe (which is here for you in the photo) and knew that my web info, picture and 500 word or less article would appear in the summer issue of this mountain culture magazine.

I searched and search and subscribed to the magazine to ensure that I would get a copy to keep for myself. To no avail. When I finally attended a concert in Banff this past weekend, I managed to scoop one up at a local outdoors store.

I plucked up the magazine and lined up for breakfast, frantically thumbing the pages to reach “my” article. What I saw made my heart sink. I was SO excited to see my face and words on the page. Instead, I saw what you’re looking at. A full page for my recipe and a small tag with virtually nothing about me inserted in it.

I wont go overboard and say I was devastated, but I was kind of beside myself with confusion on how the article seemed to have gotten cut…and why I wasn’t advised. Hmpf.

Most publications I have been featured in would have handled this differently, I felt……embarrassed that I had be so stoked and felt like I amounted to NOTHING. Later on in the weekend Jeff went on to say that he was proud of me that I got into a magazine at all, and that I should be happy.

I have to agree with him. I do. Sometimes the old performer in me just wants that moment in the sun. When the lights aren’t as bright as I’d hoped, they might as well be off!

Not very grateful, not very positive. Time to work on that, right?

Enjoy the recipe. Get out and be wild -even if no one is looking.

xo
S

The dirty dozen

After attending the Monsanto protest with my family this past Saturday, I inevitably had to make a trip to the grocery store to stock up – while my gardening is on hold for deck renovations.

I found, that even I was forgetting about what is most important to buy organic, and what can be skipped….mainly because I usually buy all organic or nothing.

So, to help those out who are on a budget or for those who just want to know, I put up a little blog on the dirty dozen.

What you’re trying to avoid after GMO’s is high pesticide residue. Some stores sell fruit & veg washes – those are chemicals too!!

Natural Fruit and Veg wash is the way to go – RECIPE: 

– Fill sink with water
– add 1 cup of vinegar & stir
– add fruit & veg
– soak for 1 hour
– rinse & store

The EWG (Environmental Working Group) has a great site where you can download apps etc…for quick reference while you’re on the go.

EWG Link – Click Here

Get read, be aware, question everything you put on and in your body!!

**************************************************************

Some other ways to prevent exposure to toxic chemicals is by auditing your makeup cupboard. Here is some info from David Suzuki.org:

Check out this link for a printable carry along while shopping: SHOPPERS GUIDE

1. BHA and BHT

Used mainly in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer (BHA). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.

2. Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number

In addition to coal tar dyes, natural and inorganic pigments used in cosmetics are also assigned Colour Index numbers (in the 75000 and 77000 series, respectively).
Look for p-phenylenediamine hair dyes and in other products colours listed as “CI” followed by five digits.1 The U.S. colour name may also be listed (e.g. “FD&C Blue No. 1” or “Blue 1”). Potential to cause cancer and may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain. 

3. DEA-related ingredients

Used in creamy and foaming products, such as moisturizers and shampoos. Can react to form nitrosamines, which may cause cancer. Harmful to fish and other wildlife. Look also for related chemicalsMEA and TEA. 

4. Dibutyl phthalate

Used as a plasticizer in some nail care products. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant. Harmful to fish and other wildlife. 

5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives

Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. Used in a variety of cosmetics. Slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer. 

6. Parabens

Used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disrupters and may interfere with male reproductive functions. 

7. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)

Any mixture of fragrance ingredients used in a variety of cosmetics — even in some products marketed as “unscented.” Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma. Some linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. Some harmful to fish and other wildlife.

8. PEG compounds

Used in many cosmetic cream bases. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Also for related chemical propylene glycol and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., polyethylene glycol). 

9. Petrolatum

Used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers. A petroleum product that can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer. 

10. Siloxanes

Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Harmful to fish and other wildlife. 

11. Sodium laureth sulfate

Used in foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble bath. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Look also for related chemical sodium lauryl sulfate and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate).

12. Triclosan

Used in antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and antiperspirants. Suspected endocrine disrupter and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.

May 25th – March Against Monsanto

I decided to write this blog as a way to pass on a lot of information in one concentrated venue, rather than a million Facebook shares. Tomorrow, May 25th I will be marching against Monsanto in Calgary, Alberta, with my family.

Why march against Monsanto? Who is/are Monsanto?

Well, there are a million good reasons…the most important to me? Food Security. There is no need for us to engineer food in a lab, there is no need to genetically modify food to look, taste or smell better than it does….there is also no reason to engineer seeds to terminate after one successful germination, so that farmers cannot even save their own, heirloom seeds.

THERE IS NO NEED FOR ANY ONE PERSON, OR ANY ONE THING, TO RULE THE WORLD – that means you too Beyonce.

What is a GMO? 

Click HERE . Remember all that hullabaloo over Dolly, the cloned sheep? Do you remember how or if you felt about that? Well….imagine eating a clone, in everything.

Great articles on how GMO’s effect stock, people and the global economy:

Organic Consumers Association

Does a company that made AGENT ORANGE deserve our trust?


What was Agent Orange?

Agent Orange was a herbicide developed for military use. Chemically, the product was a 50/50 mix of two herbicides, 2,4,-D (2,4, dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) and 2,4,5-T (2,4,5 trichlorophenoxyacetic acid). These herbicides were both developed as weed killers in the 1940′s, and were effective against broad leaf plants and several crops.

Why was it being used?
Herbicides were developed to be deployed in enemy areas to defoliate dense jungles that provided cover for the North Vietnamese Army. More than 5 million acres of jungle and forest were destroyed when troops deployed Agent Orange. Approximately 20 million gallons of herbicides were used in Vietnam between 1962 and 1971.

As well as DDT, a powerful insecticide, with questionable results:

“…A group of or all the following: Acute gastro-enteritis occurs, with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea usually associated with extreme tenesmus. Coryza, cough and persistent sore throat are common, often followed by a persistent or recurrent feeling of constriction or of a ‘lump’ in the throat; occasionally the sensation of constriction extends substernally and to the back and may be associated with severe pain in either arm. In some cases the hyoid bone becomes acutely painful to pressure for a few days. Pain in the joints, generalized muscle weakness and exhausting fatigue are usual; the latter are often so severe in the acute stage as to be described by some patients as ‘paralysis.’ Pain and stiffness in the back of the neck is a frequent complaint. Sometimes the initial attack is ushered in by vertigo and syncope. Intractable headache and giddiness are not uncommon. Occasionally herpes zoster appears. Paresthesias of various kinds occur in most of the cases; areas of skin become exquisitely hypersensitive1 and after a few days this hyperesthesia disappears only to recur elsewhere, or irregular numbness, tingling sensation is, pruritus or formication may occur. Erratic fibrillary twitching of voluntary muscles is common. Usually there is diminution of vibratory sense in the extremities.”

You might use their inventions in your yard – RoundUp anyone? 
What is roundup? Well by definition: Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide used to kill weeds, especially annual broadleaf weeds and grasses known to compete with commercial crops grown around the globe.

What’s the big deal? Well, aside from there not being enough testing to assure it’s safety for human exposure, large retail disbursement of “Round Up Ready” seed like corn, soy, wheat and cotton have been created and sold to farmers worldwide. Under the guise of pest resistance, Monsanto has been able to nearly single handedly corner the worlds seed market.

Suicides by cotton farmers of India –

Seed Saving Bans in North America – Percy Schmieser, Canadian Farmer VS Monsanto:


What about our Farmers?

Many farmers have begun to use Roundup Ready crops.  Farmers are now being encouraged to use multiple herbicides by Monsanto due to the resistance crops are showing. It is unclear how this will impact the use of Roundup Ready crops, as these crops are only resistant to Roundup.

Farmers have found themselves stuck between Monsanto and a hard place. It has become increasingly difficult for farmers to grow non-genetically engineered crops, as contamination has become a big issue. 

Additionally, it is very difficult for a farmer to advertise that their products are organic, and as such using home-grown seeds might not be able to be as profitable as using genetically engineered seeds. In one case, a farmer used to growing his own canola was sued by Monsanto when his canola seeds became contaminated by their Roundup Ready genes.

Food is family, love, togetherness, hope, life, creativity, soul, memory, passion, curiosity.

Food is an experience. Not a task or a trifling feed bag to strap on. Society has lost all attachment to pleasure in most things. And the most delicious, exotic and beautiful of all – their food source.

Linger in the garden, in the shopping aisles and at the stove top. Make food beautiful again.

Barack Obama has passed – and has not been opposed – the new Monsanto Protection Act. There is no doubt that the pig-headed and right wing Satan Stephen Harper will follow suit. Have we all forgotten about the shame of Kyoto????

Video here:

Who else supports Monsanto? 

Bill Gates – ARTICLE 
Barack Obama – ARTICLE 
Disneyland

Read more here: Monsanto Boycott . com

Do your part, wherever you are in the world – even just for one day. March for your health, march for your freedom from oppression, march against Monsanto.

Vote every day. Buy and eat organic as often as you can. Grow your own food – everywhere! Stop giving your hard earned money to companies that are killing you. Ask questions, spread the word.

Power, love and wisdom.

Sasha

Sources: 

Wikipedia
Whale.to
Millions Against Monsanto
World Truth TV
Youth Leader Magazine
Google
MIT Web
RT

Thank you McDonalds & F.U.

Not only do you poison us with your toxic “food”, but you put forth an army of troglodites who litter your disgusting filth everywhere. I hereby dedicate to you McDonalds, this page of photos – an ode to you and your evil.

** I would like to note that on my travels I have started noticing that Tim Hortons is quickly catching up to McDonalds in the litter department. They brand their coffee lids, and it makes it much easier to spot. How shameful.

Following March 1 posting: