Lunch at Work v.5 – Rice Salad Bowl

6 06 2011

How has your week started off? Soggy if you’re in Calgary. I was going to blog againĀ about the miracle lettuce yesterday. I took a picture of the little greens yesterday morning and was convinced they hadn’t grown since the first picture was taken almost two weeks ago. Well after a day in the sun low and behold I swear the miracle lettuce grew (and everything else around me). So, I’ll give it another soggy week and see what happens. I sowed some lettuce seeds right beside it though so I have a control group and something to compare. šŸ™‚

Lots going on in the food world these days. An important debate we must pay attention to is the conservative governments work to end the Wheat Board in Canada. Listen to a podcast on CBC about it here. There are two very different sides to this story and although it didn’t make much press prior to the federal election, it sure is now. I continue to research this issue – it and the GMO challenges companies like Monsanto create makes for the business of food something to stay alert to. See my last post on the geopolitics of food.

Recently I heard a great story on CBC Calgary on how to truly buy community supported and wild sourced salmon. Karen Anderson, a CBC regular and city ‘food finder’, brings us Skipper Otto’s Wild BC Salmon in this podcast. I know I don’t talk meat on this blog often, but renewable, local sourced foods are important, especially if you eat meat (for articles about this read Mark BittmanĀ in the NYTimesĀ here). I will think about signing up with the Skipper. You can follow the fishing season on his blog.

Well, I couldn’t just give away a recipe without directing you to a few bigger issues, so there you have it and now here’s a recipe for work. I am a bit notorious when it comes to eating this. I hadn’t blogged about it because it seemed lame, but I am sharing it because it is healthy, lasts a week, packs well and in a pinch fills the belly and keeps you satisfied. I have said that I am a mono-dieter at times, this is a good example of a lunch I don’t think much about and when I am busy, comes in very handy, over and over again. Use your imagination on this one, the options are endless (hence why I eat it so regularly).

Rice Salad Bowl

  • 4 cups Cooked Brown Rice of your choice (or half quinoa or grain of your choice; try soaking the rice for a day, makes the cooking time way quicker)
  • 1 can Organic Beans of your choice (garbanzo, black, pinto, butter, kidney, etc, etc)
  • 1/2 cup Carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup Celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup Red or Green Bell Peppers, diced
  • Add any kind of veggies you like, fennel, broccoli, radishes, sprouts, cauliflower, cucumber, mushrooms, cooked yams, zucchini, etc, etc.
  • Season with something simple like Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Salt and Pepper or chop up Parsley, Basil, Cilantro, what ever you have. Add your favourite salad dressing, but keep it natural.
I mix the rice, veggies and spices/herbs together in a big bowl and refrigerate that. I scoop it into my lunch container each night and add the dressing. It packs well so no need to refrigerate. I sometimes saute or steam some of the veggies first and then mix things up. Recently I sautĆ©ed almond meal (from making almond butter) with some veggies and added it to the rice.Ā Make it your own, whatever you like. If you keep the dressing simple you are adding a very clean, healthy and whole food meal to your day that fills you up and feels good.
Eat well, Be well

Cilantro all Summer

4 07 2010

Some people really don’t like cilantro, we love it. Not related, but our favourite restaurant in Calgary is Cilantro’s, how cute. Anyhow, cilantro grows up so fast, especially if you buy the little plants like I do to create two big baskets of herbs each year. I get mine from Planet Organic and they have done well the last few years. However, I usually use bits of cilantro as it grows then it goes to seed by mid-July. It’s a bummer cause once it’s seeded it’s done. You can dry the seeds, which is coriander, but this year I opted to see if I can use the cilantro in all it’s glory.

I cut the cilantro back today. I heard that if you leave a few inches of cut cilantro stems before it goes to seed it might produce again, i’ll see about that, not convinced. Of course I cut the cilantro back and then decided to do more research online. I wanted to know drying and freezing methods. It’s a finicky herb and doesn’t preserve well at all, it looses it’s oomph of flavour and tends to go dark. Most blogs say ‘just buy fresh’. I agree, but on those days you are whipping up guacamole and you’re like ‘I wish I had some cilantro’ there had to be a way to do it well. Besides, I have dried cilantro, flavour is a bit dull, but it works in a bind.

Try I must. The best and most logical instruction I found was to chop the cilantro, stems and all, place in an ice cube tray, dash of lemon juice and a bit of water. Other options were to freeze in oil and lemon juice, water on it’s own or puree with onions and garlic and lime juice. I opted for the simplest since I wasn’t always sure what all I’d use it for. The lemon juice should help preserve the green colour.

Chopping the cilantro with the mezzaluna. If you don’t have one, get one, great for herbs, fast and less mess.

Chopped cilantro in the freezing tray. I used an egg tray since our fridge didn’t come with ice cube trays, it has an ice maker. šŸ™‚ Only put enough water to come to the surface of the cilantro. I added 1 tbsp of chopped cilantro to each round, 1 tbsp lemon juice split between the five rounds and a touch of water to each.

Frozen half-spheres of cilantro, throw them into a freezer bag until the time is right.

I also came across this recipe for Lime-Chipotle Sauce, I used it to marinade wild pacific halibut, served it with a salad and fresh guacamole. We followed our Sunday dinner up with fresh Saskatoon berry pie we bought from the Kingsland Farmers Market. Joseph promised us that his pie was all fruit and 50% less sugar, it weighed a kilo! KFM is Calgary’s fourth all year market, we couldn’t be happier. If you live near by, check it out but remember to support Planet for all other things organic….the big guys will be okay. šŸ˜‰

1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (If you buy a small can of chipotle chilies, use what you need and freeze. I have used the same can in 4 recipes already)
3 tablespoons brown mustard (or dijon)
1/2 cup lime juice (lime juice will cook fish, so don’t marinade for too long)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (optional, I left it out)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Season with salt and pepper

Blend in food processor. Use sauce as a marinade for grilled meats, poultry, and fish or serve with tortilla chips. Makes 1 1/2 cups. I used 1/2 cup on the fish and froze the other cup in two 1/2 cup measures. We grilled the fish in tinfoil.

Cilantro all summer long…

Eat Well, Be Well,


More on Food

26 04 2010

In my morning scan I came across an interesting interview with Michael Pollan of Food Inc in the Huffington Post. The set of photos are interesting and date back through the ages of food production and marketing. There is a lot more to come from this discussion on food and good on him. I hope that we start to hear more about salt and sugar in the near term, two very destructive and over produced additives in our food. He makes it clear that he is supporting whole sustainable food consumption, to go back to simpler ways of being. Think pre-industrial revolution.

As well I noticed a short photo guide on sustainable seafood. There is a printable guide and iPhone app which I love. I have often questioned what seafood is sustainable and which is not when I am shopping or out for dinner. This is a new area for me. Tony and I watch Nature of Things and last year they ran a show in which David Suzuki and his daughter went in search of sustainable seafood production in Canada. To their happy surprise there is a a lot of good stuff going on in this country including sustainable and progressive mussel farms on the East Coast.

Eat well, be well,


Shame on Us

26 02 2010

I had these links shared with me yesterday, I watched all the little movies and then checked out Chris Jordan’s photography, ‘Message from the Gyre’. It is about a project on Midway Atoll, an island and place that is suffering because of our over consumption. Like a canary in a coal mine, this should cause alarm. It did me. The pictures of the albatross have not left my mind.

Think about it. The big fish (and mammals and turtles and others) eat the smaller fish that eat the even smaller fish that eat the little fish that eat the even littler fish that eat the minnows that eat the smaller minnows that eat the plankton (and other fish eat plankton) that are confused for bits of plastic we unceremoniously throw out. Seriously.

Midway Journey

Chris Jordan Message from the Gyre

Be well, Natalie