Roadtrip: Kelowna and Vernon

1 08 2011

Enjoying the summer? We have had a busy agenda so far. This past week we made it out to the Okanagan in BC for our second annual trip to stay and visit friends in both Kelowna and Vernon. Can you call something twice done annual? Sure. This year we stayed at the Palliser Lodge in Golden, BC on the way out so our drive wasn’t as long and we didn’t have to leave early in the morning from Calgary. It was lovely, quiet and just what the doctor ordered. I was fighting a summer cold, but I warded it off with Vitamin C, Echinacea and homeopathic Coryzalia (besides my pillow and lots of rest). I was not risking a cold for wine tasting and buying. 😉

Our first stop was, well, uh, um, a winery. I changed into a summery frock in the Orchard Mall parking lot and we headed to Summerhill Winery for a light lunch and glass of wine before meeting up with our friends. Priorities eh, kidding, it was a scheduling opportunity. At Summerhill we had a build-it-yourself cheese platter. The one thing that I was in love with were the Truffled Wild Mushrooms. How easy would this be to make. Saute various wild mushrooms (chanterelle, morels, porcini etc) in some light olive oil and a bit of truffle oil. Yum. I’m gonna remember this one to try one day. We picked up wine after lunch and headed to Cedar Creek, their Merlot is a favourite of ours. It was all business, we know what we want, taste the newest press, choose, buy.

Cheese, Fresh Bread and Truffled Mushrooms

On the way home from BC we always pick up fruit. This is where my rants about organic versus local get stirred up in my head. We bought as much organic as we could, but it is not as prevalent and usually only found at the farmers markets that we missed. You can get pesticide free fruit, not necessarily certified organic, this is a good alternative though. It is expensive for farmers to certify when they can’t control the farms around them spraying. Anyhow, we did our best and picked up a box of apricots for grandma (she likes to make jam), a box of peaches (Tony’s favourite), a small box of cherries (they had a late harvest this year and we ate half of the box on the way home) and a big box of blueberries. What to do with all this fruit? Eat some fresh, bake some and freeze the rest!

I am not a jam maker, per se. I like to make fresh jams without sugar and they don’t preserve for long, so I make small batches of freezer jams and use frozen fruit through the winter to make new batches and other things. I bought the blueberries mostly for my green smoothies. Green Smoothie = fruit + green leafy vegetables, i.e. spinach, kale, swiss chard, beet greens etc. It’s the first thing I eat every morning. 1.5 cups of fruit to 3 cups of veg. Blend it up well with 2 cups of water. Good for the body, mind and soul (and digestive track :)). Drink this before a healthy breakfast, good to go.

Banana, Blueberries with Spinach and Swiss Chard from my garden

Freezing fruit for winter is easy. I like to wash it all off with a veggie wash. I fill the sink, immerse the fruit for a few minutes and then rinse. Let it dry a bit. Place berries on a cookie tray to dry, use a dish towel or paper towel if you’d like. Cut fruit like peaches into slices and place on tray. Freezing like this doesn’t take long. When frozen throw fruit into a freezer bag, pressing as much air out as possible. If you have an airtight bagging system, use that of course. I don’t, but might invest in one. Enjoy fruit all winter long.

What is your favourite summer fruit or fruit recipe?

Eat well, Be well,

Nat

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Lunch at Work v.1

17 07 2010

At work, not sure what to eat? I have said before that buying lunch while working is more of a treat then a necessity, at least that is how I approach it. I am not a fan of buying lunch every day especially if the choices are less than desirable and unhealthy. I do my best to pack food to work where ever I go. I eat a lot in the day and not so much at night, and this helps with sleep, digestion and getting up to practice.

I got a comment (thanks Heather) for ideas for packing lunch to work. For this I am going to start a blog series called Lunch at Work, with new versions as they come to mind. I eat a fairly ‘mono-diet’ so it might be awhile before the next one. The recipe i’ll share today can be changed so many ways so experiment! I started a new contract assignment two weeks ago and between friends in town, yoga workshops, Stampede and adjusting everything else I was doing and adding in an additional 8 hours of work a day, lunch preparations were tough, but I made it through. Here’s the low down on surviving a crazy two weeks and an idea for lunch.

Breakfast: This stayed consistent, green smoothie packed with me. 1 banana, 1 pear+1/2 cup of ice or 3/4 cup frozen berries, 2-3 cups of raw spinach or kale. Blend together until smooth, go.

Second breakfast (lately, sometimes eaten at lunch): 1/2 cup sprouted oat groats or kamut, cooked with a bit of cinnamon. 2 tbsp toasted nuts, drizzle of agave syrup. See previous post Kamut for Breakfast. I make two portions at a time, ready in the fridge, eaten cold, no need to stop and make oatmeal.

Lunch: The best thing I brought to lunch was a rice salad. I did buy lunch a couple of times. The deli/cafe at my client is really good. They have lots of healthy selections and soup options.

Rice Salad: Cook 1 cup of whole grain, brown or mixed rice. I love this one from Planet Organic bulk, it takes about 45 min to cook. You can keep the cooked rice in the fridge and make a fresh salad each night, or even add with some dinner left overs. It’s important to eat whole grains through the day, it is long-lasting energy and high in fibre = better metabolism.

To 1/2 cup of cooked rice I added 1/3 cup mixed beans (canned or pick up your favourite mixed bean salad from a deli, planet has a few good ones), diced veggies like carrots, red/yellow pepper, cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, cilantro and sprouts. I had a few olives left over so I added those one day. Another day I added cubed goat gouda I had in the fridge. Toasted pine nuts left from a bean dish I made tasted yummy. For dressing, make it simple, olive oil and apple cider vinegar, fresh cracked pepper. Eat cold on the go.

Afternoon: Always, always, an apple. I love apples and I can’t wait to start buying delicious organic apples from BC this summer. As well I pack a ‘power cookie’. I make dozens at a time and keep in the freezer and in a jar on the counter. That recipe another time.

Eat well, be well,

Nat