Thursday, April 26, 2012

FOOD GUILT

I started to get hungry at about 5pm and couldn't decide what to eat because my fridge is starting to get a bit empty and I didn't want to spend a couple of hours figuring out what to make, prepping, cooking and then cleaning up.  So I went over to the mall thinking I would get something there.  I wandered around trying to figure out what to eat and started thinking about WHAT NOT TO EAT.  I live in an area that has an over abundant amount of Sushi and Korean and other Asian type of restaurants.  I started thinking about Sushi.  I love Sushi Pizza and love raw Tuna and Salmon but I started thinking about a couple of things.

1.  Tuna isn't a sustainable fish.
2.  Lots of fish has mercury in it and also sometimes a risk if eaten raw.

Even though I was craving a Sushi Pizza and some tuna tartare I decided to skip that because I need to limit that to eating it less often.

Then I went down the street to get something and passed The Burger's Priest and thought a burger might be good for dinner.  But then I had a couple of issues with that.

1.  I just saw on the news another case of Mad Cow Disease and thought that there is always a risk of eating meat that clears the system but shouldn't.
2.  Eating red meat is bad for the environment because it takes so much resources to process beef.
3.  Eating red meat adds risk for heart disease.
4.  Eating charred red meat can also be toxic as some people have said in the past.
5.  Eating a burger has fat, and is placed in a white bread processed bun and topped with high salt and high sugar laden condiments.

Skip that idea.

Then I thought about getting Chinese Food.  Had a look at the food in the food court and changed my mind because:

1.  Most of the things that looked good were breaded and deep fried.
2.  Chinese food sometimes contains MSG.
3.  Chinese food is high in sodium because of the Soya sauce and other sauces used sometimes.
4.  A lot of the food didn't look very fresh and was mostly high fat meats and bland or sauced up vegetables.

Skip that..

Then I thought about having Greek Food,  probably the best of the bunch but I wasn't in the mood for that and in thinking about it there are still a couple of issues but not as bad as some of the other things.

1.  Pita bread is made with processed white flour and doesn't have much nutrition.
2.  Feta cheese is high in sodium and can be high in fat but luckily not loaded on to salads too much.
3.  The salad they use is typically just iceberg lettuce so there aren't a whole lot of nutrients there.

Skipped that because I just wasn't feeling it.

So after an hour of wandering around and trying to figure out what to eat I was not at the point of "I need to eat something now" stage.  So I gave up on the What is the best thing to eat hunt and broke down and just got the typical:

FAST, EASY and CHEAP dinner.   but Oh did I ever have a lot of guilt eating it, but at the same time it tasted so good.

What did I eat?

 


Yup I gave in and at a Pepperoni Pizza from Pizza Pizza.   The only saving grace on my food guilt was that I at least did it as a charitable act.  This week if you order a medium pepperoni pizza from 
Pizza Pizza they donate money to charity.


I never get Pepperoni Pizza's and would probably have gotten more veggies and skipped the pepperoni but after eating it I can see why so many people order Pepperoni Pizza's.   Because they taste GOOD.

I still have food guilt because the pizza had white crust, more processed bad white stuff, and then there's the mozzarella cheese,  let's add some more fat to the pizza and then there is the Pepperoni.. the worst offender of the lot with most likely some sort of beef and most likely nitrates and who knows what else in it.   The only semi healthy thing on this pizza was the tomato sauce but if it came from a can then there is always the BPA in the can and whatever else they used in the processing of it.

FOOD GUILT..   It's really bad but I can see why so many people give up on their diets or are challenged when they try and become Vegans.

I love Food,  I love a variety of Food, and I love Food that is sometimes bad for me.   

Sometimes it's just a lot harder to find fresh, organic, local, healthy, unprocessed, un junked food when you are hungry.   So if you are like me,  you just crumble and give in to your screaming stomach and eat what it wants instead of what you brain knows you really should be eating.

Maybe there should be a Food Confessional where people could go to confess their Food Sins.   Oh Yeah.. that's what this Blog is for.     

Feel free to confess your Food Sins here in the comments section.

There is always tomorrow to do better.












Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day Soup

Vegetable Soup


It's hard not to waste food when you try to buy Organic Foods and cook for One so I decided to make a soup today in honour of Earth Day. I had greens and other vegetables that were on the verge of starting to go bad and I am getting tired of throwing out food that has gone bad so I decided to make a huge pot of soup to preserve the vegetables that I had on hand and divert them from going into the garbage instead.


  
My Earth Day Soup Contains:

Red Cabbage
Red Onions
Garlic
Celery
Potatoes
Collard Greens
Baby Spinach
Swiss Chard
Fresh Thyme
Bay leaves
Salt
Pepper
Saffron threads
Chili flakes
tomato paste
Red pepper and a splash of red wine vinegar



 This is what I had in my fridge that I thought would go together well and make a tasty soup. I had broccoli but decided to skip that. But you can use whatever you have on hand that you like. I am not going to bother to list quantities because the purpose of this soup is to use what you have so that you don't waste food. We throw away half of the food we buy each year. You know when your mother used to say "there are people starving in Africa", well unfortunately that's true. Because of global warming and the declining economy and the abuse of the farming lands on the planet we will all have to think about food security one day. For me it's a matter of economics and concious. I can't afford to throw away food and I feel bad throwing away food when I know that there are people that can't afford to eat healthy meals. Make some Earth Day Soup and pass it around if you can.

 Freeze it, share it, Eat it...but don't waste it.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Food packaging waste

For the documentary I am working on EcoLosers we visited a Waste Management Site in Halton. While I wasn't really shocked at the amount of garbage in the landfill, I actually thought it would be more but they seem to have a great system of diverting a lot of the trash out of the landfill. But one of the things that occurred to me was the amount of waste produced for food packaging. We saw a lot of Tim Horton's cups and after asking a question to our guide John I realized that some of the so called improvements to some fast food places weren't actually better for other things. The example being that Swiss Chalet now produces a container that separates the food into individual little sections in a huge plastic container and then the knife and fork are wrapped up in little plastic bags, extra things like desserts are packed in plastic or styrofoam containers and then the whole thing is put in a plastic bag. None of these things are recyclable. Swiss Chalet used to put their dinners in a foil container with a foil and paper lid. The foil containers are recyclable. Your food may be all nice and perfect when you get it home but the package will live on forever in a pile somewhere on earth. Some companies have attempted to use less packaging or packaging that is easier to recycle but there are still a lot out there that need improvement. The other food waste comes in just buying food from the grocery store, even if you are just buying fruits and vegetables there are the plastic containers berries come in that aren't recyclable, the rubber band that is on the asparagus, the wire ties, the plastic bags you have to put your bulk items or bundle of fruits and vegetables in. You now have the option of bringing your own grocery bags but if you forget like I do many times or can't be bothered then add the plastic bag that you have to pay 5 cents for that will be around longer than you will. What we realized from our site visit is that no matter how hard you try to be as green as possible there are still too many things in our convenience filled industrial world that will make it impossible to have zero waste. But we need to have some creative people find some new creative solutions. All the garbage that has been produced in the past that isn't biodegradable will be around forever and we can't change that, but we need to find solutions to new products and packaging so that we can reduce the amount of stuff we have to truck to these landfill sites, therefore reducing the amount of garbage we dump on our planet. This is a call to all the smart people out there that can come up with creative solutions that will work to solve these issues. I don't think the answer will be having everyone become their own farmers but maybe cities need to be built with zoning of a certain amount of community gardens or maybe certain packaging products need to be banned, or maybe packaging designers need to design packages that biodegrade 100%, or maybe we all need to get educated a lot more to figure out how to avoid producing the kind of garbage we can't get rid of. I don't have the answer but I have some ideas, but I know there are people out there who can make a difference. If it's you then you have to do your best to try and solve this problem. Nobody wants to see kids with nowhere to play because there are no green spaces left because they have all become landfill. Think it can't happen?.. Remember the garbage strike a couple of years ago when they put the garbage in a hockey rink and park? It can happen so let's all do our part to make a difference.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Redefining Hospital Food (TedxTO)




That's what I am talking about!!!   I worked at Sunnybrook Hospital for 14 years and each year I worked there I saw the food get progressively worse.  More fast food, less nutrition.   Even for people working there or visiting the hospital.   I once sent an email to the person in charge of food services and her reply was that there were healthy options.  Her healthy options were a bowl of bananas, oranges and apples and some random bland salads.  The so called vegetables were from frozen processed vegetables with a huge amount of sodium.  So much that I would regularly buy lunch and take a bite and all I would taste was salt and would then end up throwing the whole thing out because I either knew they wouldn't accept that it was horrible or because I didn't have the time to take it back.    When my mother was in the hospital she routinely refused the food and ended up dying because she refused to eat after being in and out of hospitals for the last month of her life.

You need proper nutrition to be healthy so I never understood why hospital administration and government didn't get the connection between feeding patients foods that would speed their healing, therefore leaving their hospital beds sooner and returned less often.

I believe the lack of proper care, nutrition and cleanliness contributed to my mother's death but there isn't much I can do about it now and couldn't do much about it at the time because you sign releases so that you give up your right to do anything about it.

People have accepted that you are going to get bad food when you are in the hospital and they either don't eat or they have family members bring them food.  I would always try and bring food when I could.  But that's not the answer if the food they do serve is just wasted.  They spend a lot of money to purchase, store, sort, assemble trays, wheel the trays around the hospital, collect the trays and then dispose of the un eaten food.  If the politicians want to cut the waste this is a good thing to look at to change.

Look for solutions in places like poor communities where they have community gardens and they have food education programs or breakfast programs.

In a hospital what would it cost to have a rooftop garden or purchase in season products from local farmers and serve fresh carrots or fresh strawberries.  

Wouldn't you prefer a bowl of made from whole ingredient chicken soup instead of something that came out of a can.

Think of the power all the hospitals in Toronto would have on the Eco system of Toronto.  
What if they received WHOLE local Food and went back to the old system of having chefs prepare the food for the patients fresh everyday.   Instead of buying tons of packaged products they have to store on site for months at a time.     What if they flipped the model and spent less energy storing food and getting fresh food supplies everyday and spending the time preparing the food instead of disposing the un eaten food products and the packaging.

Think of how much energy would be saved in the large truck transport it takes to ship all the cheap packaged foods from who knows where they come from.     If the hospital staff are preparing whole foods they could put the food scraps into a composter that could help grow real plants in the hospital that would clean the air in the hospitals.  What if they spent less money on trucking the garbage away to the dumps?  

What if they grew some food on site in green house roof top gardens?  No shipping required.   No packaging required.

If so many individual families are trying to change back to this model why can't a large government funded organization follow suit?

I spent a year and a half visiting my mother in a long term care facility where there were lovely staff trying to get their patients to eat the horrible food they were forced to dish out.  If I was old and frail the last thing I would want is to be forced to eat some dried up bland mushy overcooked looking thing.   It occured to me that what if they were equipped with Juicers and were provided fresh fruits and vegetables that they could just juice up on the spot to provide instant full vitamin nutrition based on the likes and needs of the patients?

Why have we accepted the poor form of healthcare when it comes to food nutrition?   Why has it become acceptable?   Who is paying for this?  WE ALL ARE!

Please make it STOP and make food a priority for the aging population that will over run our hospitals in the near future.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ruby Watchco - weird name -great place

A friend of mine who hates to shop for gifts decided to give me the perfect gift this past christmas. She gave me a gift certificate for Ruby WatchCo. It took a while to finally redeem it but last night we ventured out to Leslieville in Toronto to enjoy a great night of Chef Lynn Crawford's select menu design.



This was the menu from last night but the menu changes daily and the menus for the week are available on the monday for the whole week. So if you book in advance and don't know what the menu will be then you have to put your dinner in Chef Lynn Crawford's capable and extremely talented hands. It is a prix fixe menu every night so you never know what it's going to be like. It's great for a food adventurer type of person that will say surprise me and give me some great food. The dishes just kept coming. The price is $49 and of course drinks, tax and tip are extra. You won't walk out of this restaurant hungry though as the portions are generous enough to satisfy you and fill you up. My favourite things that I had last night were the super tender and smoky flavoured veal chop cooked to perfection. The buttery flaky melt in your mouth biscuits and the creamy, smooth and delicious cafe creme caramel with cherries on top. My friend ate 2 desserts since one of our other dinner companions couldn't eat dairy. She said she could have eaten 2 more of them.





Chef Lynn is the Host of the Food Network show "Pitchin In". On the show she travels to farms and anywhere food makers are to pitch in and learn how to harvest the foods she cooks. She trades her services and cooks a meal for the hosting farmers and food processors. She knows a thing or two about food and where the best food comes from and when to get it. But what really makes chef Lynn great is her passion, stamina and creativity. She has an infectious laugh on the show but she's all business when she is in the kitchen cooking away. She takes her food seriously but not herself. She is warm and funny and her food matches her personality. We sat at a table close to the kitchen and it was apparent to me how hard Chef Lynn works. It's not an easy job to handle the pressures of a busy kitchen. The restaurant was packed all night and with the prix fixe there were many plates to juggle. Her and her team juggled them all masterfully. The restaurant is run like a well oiled machine with a great flow. Our lovely hostess did her best to accomodate one of our friends dietary restrictions. Ruby Watch Co. has a strange name but the restaurant deserves any and all accolades it gets. It delivers a great meal and great ambiance for the money. I would highly recommend going there for dinner but bring your appetite and your curiosity for food. You will leave full and satisfied.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Real food at the Green Living Show

I attended the Green Living Show this past weekend in Toronto for a couple of reasons.

1. I was there to film footage for my EcoLosers documentary and have another show called Green Heroes film us for an episode of their show for next season.

2. To check out green products and see some speakers. We only got to see former Mayor David Miller though because we were busy filming.

3. As always my stomach dictates things I do and we sampled all of the food at the show so I could also research things for this blog at the same time.

I like to multi task as you can see.

We had a lot of great free samples like a Quinoa salad from Whole foods, freshly squeezed orange juice from Organic Garage, a great greek coconut yoghurt and one of my favourites, cappuccino ice creams from Mapleton Organics.

We were at the show from 11 am until about 8:30 at night and we were dragging around a 2 1/2 year old who decided it was time for us to take a food break at about 5:30 so we headed over to the Farm Fresh Fare section to try some great dishes from local chefs.

The kid we were dragging around is the son of the EcoLosers family and he is a very fussy eater but he loves bread and cheese as you can tell from this picture of a grilled cheese sandwich that was as big as his head. This was one of the best things I tried as well. One of my favourite cheeses Tallegio on sourdough bread with a great chutney inside. Kid approved even as you can see.


It had my name on it as you can see. It was delicious and inspired me to add chutney's to my Tallegio grilled cheese from now on.


What I really loved about the show was seeing great local Canadian product, chefs, and foods and other products that were also just great products.

Some of the other foods we sampled were, organic chicken, pickles, dips, spreads, soups, and all sorts of great foods. We were stuffed by the time we left the show.

It's a great show to go to because it showcases local Organic foods and gives you a chance to try them in one place while you are also learning about ways to do better things for the environment. I even picked up some great deals on some Green Beaver products like non toxic toothpaste and shampoo and body wash, all with a nice natural minty scent.

There are things you can do and choose to make better decisions for your body and the environment... you just need to go to shows like the Green Living Show or great stores like Organic Garage, Whole Foods and the Big Carrot to find more of them in one place.

Here's a great experiment you can do that was at the show last year. You will enjoy this one. Get 2 tubs of Organic Vanilla ice cream 1 from any regular product you would find in a large grocery store and 1 that is Organic. I would suggest Mapleton's and try a scoop of each one and see if you can taste the difference. Then take a scoop or a tablespoonful of each one and put them on a plate beside each other and see how they melt and how long it takes. And the last thing is read the ingredient list on each and then decide where you want to put your money towards after this experiment.

If i could do a taste test to show you on this blog post I would...but you will have to try this one yourself.

If you want to really get the difference try doing a blind taste test...the senses don't lie.
feel free to post a comment if you try this experiment.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Toronto Pearson Airport gets a fresh taste from local chefs

Toronto Pearson cooks up innovative dining program, welcoming premiere local chefs to the airport

This is some great news for all the people that travel through Toronto's Pearson Airport.  Being stuck in airports is like being stuck in jail sometimes with delays and not being able to leave and being forced into eating the really bad food in the airports.  Well Toronto is finally going to bring things in to the 21st century by getting some high powered local chefs together to finally bring some good food to our airport.   I can hear all the business travellers saying "It's about time".  

With a Global city like Toronto full of Foodies and travelling foodies, this makes perfect sense and it's a wonder that nobody thought of this when the new terminal was being built.

Maybe we can become the Best Airport to get stuck in the World after this gets up and running.  

Let's make Toronto a  World Class Food City...even if Air Canada can be crappy sometimes our food doesn't have to be.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Passover the Seder

Last night.. friday was the 1st night of Passover, when Jewish families have a Seder usually over the first 2 nights of Passover.

In case you don't know what passover is this is how Chabad.org explains it:

The eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan. It commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. And, by following the rituals of Passover, we have the ability to relive and experience the true freedom that our ancestors gained. ( chabad.org)

I have a very small family with only one immediate family member alive still so I only have cousins left so the Holidays aren't a big deal for me generally. I am not religious at all and my family members aren't very religious either.

We had what I call a #SpeedSeder which means we skipped the religious traditions and just had dinner with most of the usual foods that are eaten at Passover. My cousin's wife cooked a beautiful meal this year.

We enjoyed Brisket which is cooked low and slow in the oven and accompanying it was roast potatoes, asparagus and zucchini. We started the meal with traditional chopped liver, gefilte fish, beets and matzoh ball soup. It's a pretty filling meal but it was all very tasty. We finished it off with some fruit and a chocolate cake for dessert.



For me I don't think you have to perform all the traditional lengthy prayers and rituals to acknowledge what has come before to allow you to be who you are now. I think just having a meal having the traditional foods keeps the memory alive. I never understood all the prayers and what they were for and all about anyway so I think a lot of it gets lost on the current generation anyway.



I think you should be free to keep or exclude any traditions that work or don't work for you.

The traditional Seder plate and foods include the following:


1) "Zeroa" - a roasted chicken bone with most of the meat removed. This will represent the Passover offering. It will not be eaten.
2) "Beitzah" - a hard-boiled egg, representing the festival offering.
3) "Maror" - grated horseradish (just the horseradish -- not the red stuff that has vinegar and beets added) and/or romaine lettuce, for use as the "bitter herbs".
4) "Charoset" - a paste made of apples, pears, nuts and wine. We'll be dipping the bitter herbs in this
5) "Karpas" - a bit of vegetable, such an onion or potato.
6) "Chazeret" -- more bitter herbs, for use in the matzah-maror sandwich.
We'll also need a wine cup or goblet for each participant, and plenty of wine (four cups each).

And a dish of salt water (in which to dip the Karpas).

I made the CHAROSET at home which was something my mother made once in a while which has wine in it but my mother never had the wine on hand so she used Brandy instead which I think makes it taste a whole lot more elevated and with a french feel. My mother was raised in Belgium, hence the Brandy/Cognac liberties.


In the Charoset I put a peeled apple, some walnuts, dates, the brandy and a tablespoon of honey. I also put in a few figs to give it some extra flavour. It's the easiest thing to make because all you do is food process the whole thing until it's a chunky paste. I suppose you would have fine chopped it making it the original way. It's really tasty when spread on a piece of matzoh. I will post the picture here............ once I pick up some matzoh's. I never realized how healthy it actually was but I think I will be eating some of it for breakfast this week.

Even if you don't celebrate Passover I encourage you to try some of the traditional Passover foods and get inspired to make them your own.

Food Revolution Day, May 19



I will be a Food Revolution Ambassador on May 19th and am working on Hosting an Event that I will let you know about the details once it's all organized.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Jiro Dreams of Sushi - This guy takes his Sushi seriously

Jiro Dreams of Sushi (Official Movie Site) - Directed by David Gelb - Now in Theatres - Trailer, Pictures & More

I went to see Jiro Dreams of Sushi today at the Tiff Bell Lightbox in Toronto.   This is a serious foodie movie for sure.

Jiro is an 85 year old man who has been making sushi for 75 years and still thinks he can keep improving.  He is a serious task master when it comes to Sushi making his 2 sons dedicate their lives to Sushi too.  He would rather make Sushi than take a vacation that's how passionate he is about Sushi.

This film show Sushi making in Slow Motion so you can see how delicate it is to make it.  It also takes a look at the sustainability of Tuna and the fish that isn't available anymore because of over fishing for profits.

They have serious respect for the Art of Sushi making and for the selection of the fish and the preparation of the Sushi.

If you  love Sushi you will want to go and have some after the screening.   If you love the art of cooking and food you will also love this film.   If you don't like to see fish being killed or are not a fish fan then don't go because you won't like it.   Fair warning.

Don't go hungry though.

Wheat Belly - Why we are getting fatter



I heard about this book Wheat Belly a while ago and decided to download the audio book and have a listen.  I have heard that Wheat isn't what Wheat used to be years ago but a look at the parallel between when the change started and the start of the obesity increase runs parallel.  

Recently I went to see Dr. Poon who specializes in medical weight loss for patients with diabetes and other diseases.  We interviewed him about the effects of obesity for the documentary Eco Losers that I am working on. He has a book called "The Metabolic Diet"  One of the things he said was that he tells his patients to get rid of all sugar and that includes the sugar from carbohydrates and things like pasta, bread etc.  He encourages eating all forms of lean protein, even red meat.   Obese people have bodies that can't control their insulin levels that spike because of the sugar rushes.



In the Wheat Belly book he calls it Bagel Butt or what some people call muffin top.   I know that I am carb addicted because if I don't have some sort of carb I start craving it like a drug addiction.  He says all you have to do is look at your middle and if it's big it's likely been caused by wheat consumption and metabolic syndrome caused by insulin levels that are out of whack.

I have been researching many things for the new documentary and this is one of those things that the light bulb went off on.    The people that live in the poorest communities are generally the fattest.  That's because they rely on cheap wheat grain products for survival.  Pastas, bread, junk food etc.  Cheap and fast and loaded with things that are making us fatter and fatter.

I have been noticing that I have been feeling really lethargic and wake up with brain fog, stuffed up and feeling creaky.  I am going to try and reduce the amount of wheat based products I consume and see how long it takes to make a difference in how I feel.  I notice that when I eat a huge carb load before I go to bed I sleep poorly and wake up feeling worse than when I went to bed.   HMMM... coincidence?  I think not.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Toronto has the World's Best Food Market - St. Lawrence Market



I went to St. Lawrence Market today for lunch and to pick up a few things and everywhere I went I saw cameras because it was voted the best market in the world which I didn't know until I got home and saw it on the news.

I stopped by Buster's Cove for a spicy Halibut Fish Sandwich and couldn't believe the lineup today.  Everyone must have been in the mood for fish today.



Today was Fish Day for me.  I was told once that a lot of the fish deliveries were on Wednesday so I believe a lot of people also know this fact so maybe instead of Fish Friday it should be changed to Fishy Wednesday.    My Fish Day started with the Halibut Fish Sandwich and then continued to my Seared Scallops dinner.

I have been trying to expand my culinary skills and tastes by cooking things that I didn't have growing up.   So today I picked up some fresh Scallops at the St. Lawrence Market to make for my dinner.  I also paired it with sauteed Mustard Greens which I have never cooked before.  I think I have only made Scallops once or twice before and still working on the taste of it.  It's not my fish of preference.  I love Tuna, Salmon and Shrimp.  I picked up some shrimp also and that will be for tomorrow's meal.

I tried to just cook the Scallops and Mustard Greens simply.   I seared the Scallops in a hot cast iron pan with oil and then added garlic butter and some tarragon herbs and then added a squeeze of lemon once it was cooked.   I sauteed the mustard greens in the garlic butter sauce that was left from the Scallops and then added a splash of Sherry vinegar and Salt and Pepper.

It was pretty good but I think Scallops are still low on my fish list but the mustard greens were pretty tasty and both things took only a couple of minutes to cook so really great for a weeknight meal when you don't want to spend a lot of time prepping and cooking dinner.

This is what it looked like:



Now as far as the St. Lawrence Market being the Best Market in the World I have to say that they do have a great variety of things that you won't see anywhere else in one place in the city.  With the addition of the weekend farmer's market you get great fresh selection.

My shopping list today included:

A rectangular tart pan
2 spice bottles
a ring mold
a vinegar bottle

Shrimp
Scallops

Rum Balls from future bakery

Organic Lemons, 
Organic Potatoes
Organic Limes

and my Fish lunch.

I could have kept going but my hands were already full.   

A lot of chefs in the city go to the Market to get inspired or to pick up ingredients that are hard to find.  A lot of George Brown College students go there because it's close to the school and they can get whatever their hearts desire to create.    Bread, cheese, Fish, meat, produce, desserts, and even Caviar, foie gras and kitchen tools.    FRESH, FRESH, FRESH.   That's why people keep going.  

The St.Lawrence Market is an institution in the city.  I remember my parents going there when I was young and picking up things like Mussels and great cheeses.

I wish I lived closer to it so that I could shop there more often.     I have been in the area in the past couple of weeks so I have been able to pop in and pick up a few things.

It has a great vibe in there and feels like the kind of place that food markets should return to.

My favourite Markets are:

St. Lawrence Market
The Big Carrot
Organic Garage
Whole Foods 
Kensington Market

I like markets that you can explore and find new things that you have never seen before or markets that are of the highest quality of food.    Sometimes you do get what you pay for.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Toronto needs Food Trucks




I watch the Food Network show Street Eats and on the last episode I saw they said that Toronto was one of 3 cities that didn't have Food Trucks. They kind of said how sad that was and felt sorry for us. I watch that show all the time and think how cool is it that people that can't afford to start up a restaurant because there food is fast and cheap and needs to be served fresh most of the time. My friends will tell you that we waited in a lineup at a Food Truck event for an hour to get a grilled cheese. There is a want and need for food trucks in this city. The advantage a food truck has over a larger stand alone bricks and morter business is that it can provide food to the customer right off the grill or the fryer or whatever method they are using in the truck to prepare the food. Also as apposed to a big fast food chain they can provide fresh local food because they don't have to stock thousands of pounds of food. They can literally shop at a farmers market and set up a truck nearby and start serving food hours later. How many restaurants can do that? Food trucks also have the ability to change their menus to suit food trends and their customers wants. If a burrito hot dog is popular they can serve it and if it's not then they take it off the menu the next day. They have the flexibility to cater to what people are looking for and adjust quickly.

I love the variety that you can get from a food truck. I have seen shows on Street Eats that are fusions of mexican Japanese or Cajun or Caribbean food mixed with french. Creativity goes. I would like to see Toronto take advantage of our diverse cultures and see what we can do and show off to the tourists that visit the city that you can get any kind of food you desire anywhere you go in this city.

Send a letter to your Councillor and tell them you want more food trucks. We have a few food trucks but they are getting forced out of business by the city by laws. Those city by laws need to be changed to keep up with the times and our culture.

I know a woman who has a hot dog cart who would love to expand her cart to serve other items but the city won't allow it. Why can we get toxic street meat and cancer causing and heart attack inducing fries on our streets but we can't get a food truck that can serve up a chicken burrito? It makes no sense to me and I would like to see this change in our city. I have nothing against the option to have a hot dog and fries but would like to see other options available for those people that want quick, cheap and tasty options that are a lot better for your health.

Our Mayor was up 3 pounds in his diet challenge and says he is too busy to do his weigh ins. Maybe if he had some healthy quick food truck options around the city when he is out and about he would make better choices and be down 3 pounds instead of up. Just sayin...

Make a change...tell them you want Food Trucks in TO.

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