Sunday, 19 December 2010


"Until lions have their own historian, tales of the hunt will always reflect the hunter." 
                                                         African proverb

Thursday, 18 November 2010

fresh fall soup

the cool rainy vancouver weather always inspires soul warming food for me.  last night i threw together a delicious fall soup by pulling together a few simple ingredients i had on hand.  it was one of those moments when i didn't decide to make soup, i just found myself in the flow of it.  my food always seems to taste best when there is that ease & organic flow to it.

this is a super seasonal & local creation.  i am especially in love with celeriac right now.  it has a texture of potato and a light celery flavour.  delicious!  the potato like texture is great for me, as i love potatoes!  it must be in my maritime blood.  i am trying to limit inflammatory causing foods as party of my healing process, as i recover from injuries sustained in a car accident.  limiting the night shade family (potatoes, tomato, egg plant, peppers) is especially helpful. 

:: fresh fall soup ::

organic olive oil
sapo bravo organic onions & garlic
glorious organics carrots & celeriac
glen valley organic cabbage
backyard collards
nova scotia dulse
organic barley
maison coté tuscan herbs & cowboy salt & black pepper
city farmer bay leaf
homemade soup stock
tomato water

i make my soup stock by saving my vegetable trimmings as i cook.  i have my stock bag of trimmings in the freezer that i add to with each meal i cook.  when the bag is full, i throw the trimmings into my slow cooker, add filtered water & pretty much ignore it for ~12 hours.  if my timing is on, i will use it straight away in a soup or stew.  if not, i'll freeze the stock to have on hand for those inspired spontaneous cooking moments.  the flavour of the stock varies with each batch, but it always has onion, garlic, carrots as the base, and sometimes mushrooms, celery, herb stems, etc...

the tomato water added a slight acid note to the soup.  delicious.  i had rehydrated some of my organic dried tomatoes i dried summer '09, and i saved the water.  i also had some tomato sauce from a community canning project i was involved with this year, the jamboree canning collective.  the sauce was a bit thinner that i wanted for a what i was using it for, so i stained it off a bit, and added that tomato water to the soup as well.  not necessary, but it rounded the flavour out well, and created a use for something that may have been tossed out otherwise.  the tomato water did add a tiny bit of night shade to the soup, but that is just the way it goes sometimes.

some of the soup was frozen, for a ready to go nourishing meal when i need it.  i always try to do a bit of extra cooking on the days when i am not receiving a treatment.  that ensures that i will have good, tasty & nutritious food on the days i come home spent from a treatment. 

i did manage to get a quick photo before i ate the last of the soup for lunch today.  the photo really doesn't do it justice.  think i'll be making this one again soon though.  i have another celeriac just waiting to be used...

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

a day of wise words

today i have come across several quotes, from random sources, that gave me pause for thought :: enjoy!

"Always be mindful of the kindness and not the faults of others." ~Buddha
"We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are."Anais Nin
I caught the happy virus last night
When I was out singing beneath the stars.
It is remarkably contagious --
So kiss me. ~Hafiz
"want what you have and give want you want"
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free. - Jim Morrison

Monday, 15 November 2010

opening the soul

"That which oppresses me, is it my soul trying to come out in the open, or the soul of the world knocking at my heart for entrance?"  Rabindranath Tagore

Sunday, 14 November 2010

joyful spititual growth

"What if your drive to experience pleasure isn't a barrier to your spiritual growth? Consider trying out the hypothesis that cultivating joy can make you a more ethical and compassionate person. Imagine that feeling good has something important to teach you on a regular basis."  Rob Brezsny

Saturday, 13 November 2010

trying to believe

We are not here to make believe... we are here to believe we can make it. - Guru Singh

Thursday, 11 November 2010

oh, to be alive!

"Because you are alive, everything is possible." 

                                                              Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

the cost of local food

chris bodnar of glen valley organic farm in abbotsford, bc explains the true cost of local small scale sustainable food production. [chris' original blog post is reprinted in today - resist temptation to run to mkt looking for watermelon...!].  you'll never look at a watermelon in the same way...

Melon season arrived on the farm today and melons make me think of money. Prices, more specifically. And I've been thinking about prices and money a lot this week, after a CBC radio host commented on the cost of local, organic food . . . but more on that in a moment. I'm also thinking about watermelons.

Is the Local Food Movement Elitist?

article by Sharon Astyk

Local food is elitist! This trumpets from one paper or another, revealing that despite the growing preoccupation with good food, ultimately, it is just another white soccer Mom phenomenon. Working class people (who strangely, the paper and the author rarely seem to care about otherwise) can't afford an organic chicken or a gallon of organic milk! Ordinary people don't have time to make soup. Regular folk don't care about that stuff - that's for brie-sniffing folks, just the next rich people's food fad.

I can think of a few hundred refutations of this claim, of course. There are all of my readers who are low income and struggling and still eat real food. There are the people who buy from me, mostly neighbors, mostly not affluent *at all* - they just want good food. There's us - we qualify for food stamps in our state most years. We don't need them - we are awash in good food, but we sure as heck aren't affluent. There's the composition of the farmer's market in my town and in the nearby cities - and of the coop and other local food resources. There's Red Hook Farm in Brooklyn and the local food movement in urban Detroit, and every other inner city food movement. There's the way local food infrastructure has burgeoned in a thousand low income rural areas, where the exchange of food is part of what keeps people alive. There are the immigrant community gardens and the fact that plenty of poor parents cook every night. There's plenty of evidence to the contrary.

Monday, 8 November 2010

2011 foodie wall calendar

hot off the press....

my 2011 wall calendar is now available for purchase. a tasty delight for the eyes :: full of my local foodie photography. it is available online @ etsy & i will have copies @ the upcoming vancouver farmers market holiday market (dec 11 @ croatian cultural centre)

 perfect for your favourite foodie! 

also available for purchase online ::

new items are being added regularly...!

how do you define success?

november to remember - day 8 :: feeling successful, in the John Robbins context

"It is by loving the people that you love with your whole heart that you become who you really are."  John Robbins

clip from John Robbins recent talk in Kelowna, BC:

Sunday, 7 November 2010

november to remember

this is going to be a november to remember.  i am going to make it a november to remember. 

this past year has been full of unique opportunities & lessons.  my life was turned on its head when i was rear ended in a car accident in the fall of 2009.  at first, i thought i'd be able to shake it off in a couple of days.  turns out, not so much.  i have been deeply humbled by this experience of recovery.

i know that i am very lucky.  my injuries could have been much worse.  i am so very lucky to be part of a beautiful community that has rallied behind me and supported me in so many ways.  i am so very grateful for the friends who've cooked for me, washed dishes, cleaned my home, changed the kitty litter, walked my dog, helped me laugh, lifted & carried & reached, driven me to appointments, market & beyond, and been so very patient with my nervous nelly passenger ways, gardened for me so i could taste the freshness of life when i needed it most.   i am incredibly grateful for everyone who has helped me with my fundraising events, to my dear farmer friends for offering me beautiful organic foods to nourish me.  i am thankful to my dear friends for listening to me, never taking my wonky memory personally, for understanding it all.  i am so very grateful for the love.

i have so much love & respect for the amazing team of healers i am working with.  for the healing touch, the great care, for listening to me, for always helping me to be gentle with myself, for holding the space for my healing.  and, of course, for the endless conversations with ICBC.

i am grateful to the universe for always offering the lessons i need to learn.  i strive to receive them.

and so my healing process continues.  days filled with massage, physio, kinesiology and finding that balance of challenging myself without over doing it.  it is an illusive balance for me, but i continue to try & find it.

an important part of the healing process has been my creative process.  remembering that life is a creative process puts everything in a different light.  it brings joy to my heart.  everything - from the rain glistening on a crisp fresh apple, to a postage stamp on a letter, to chalk drawing with wee friends, to music drifting & filling, to transforming ugly memories simply by giving them a voice, to the sound of laughter, to the socks i wear, to the garden decomposing under the fall rain - it is all a creative process.

as i move through the layers of my healing process & recovery, i explore & envision what health & vitality looks like for me.  and work at created it.  i will share some of my thoughts & inspirations here.  food will always be a deep source of inspiration for me, i am a foodie to the bone, after all.  but, you will find more of a personal perspective on food these days, interwoven with my artwork & crafty & quirky ways.

and so it continues, ever evolving. 

Saturday, 23 October 2010

october saturday in east van

i spent a lovely fall day in the heart of east van.  i met friends at my favourite café - continental caffé - for an yerba mate latté.  then off to the last trout lake farmers market for the season.  my kitchen is now full of organic tasty delights!
  • walter harvey's biodynamic aubergine for baba ganoush, red sensation pears & honey crisp apples to be eaten with joy, while wiping the juices from my chin (cawston, bc)
  • helmers biodynamic larouge red potatoes for potato salad (pemberton, bc)
  • wild products' pine mushrooms for pasta delight (forest floor, bc)
  • ann friesen's organic multi coloured carrots (abbotsford, bc).  the carrots will be used in everything, but first up, they will be in miso noodles for sunday morning breakfast, and then i`ll be making some salad rolls with brown rice vermicelli, green onions, cucumber, cilantro, and ann`s carrots
  • celyddon farm's organic english cucumber for the spring rolls & salad
it was a nice visit with my pals askia & jeremy, who picked a few market treats for themselves and doubled as my sherpas, making my market trip possible.

i then had a visit with some friends with backyard chickens.  by dog, blue, and one of the polish hens, blanche, have a bit of a love affair going.  it is sweet to see them excited to see each other, nose to nose through the coop.  i could spend all day chatting with the girls.

chicken fun!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


"The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers." ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, 18 October 2010

fresh fall veggie pâté

fresh fall veggie pâté

organic sunflower seeds (soaked for optimal nutrition & digestion)
organic nutritional yeast (norway, iowa - purchased in east van, bc)
organic helmers potatoes (pemberton, bc)
organic sapo bravo onions (lytton, bc)
organic root down carrots (pemberton, bc)
backyard garlic (east van, bc)
backyard oregano (east van, bc)
organic nuts to you tahini (paris, ontario - purchased in east van, bc)
organic amano tamari (richmond, bc)
maison coté unrefined sea salt & pepper (vancouver, bc)
organic monkey in the garden 12 chili pepper blend (spences bridge, bc)
organic coconut oil (purchased in east van, bc))

*this version was specifically made gluten free for a gathering.  organic flour can also be added, giving the pâté a more loaf like texture.   without the flour, it has a very spreadable texture.

great served on a crispbread with olives!

plant based diet ~ for the health of it

Bill Clinton recently turned to a plant based diet - for his health.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

happy world food day!

sending much love & gratitude to all of the farmers & stewards of the land, to each person who has planted a seed, tended the land, nurtured the soil, whispered to the plants, to each person with soil under the nails.  thank you for the hard work, dedication and love you put into nurturing & nourishing us.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

last farmers market date of the 2010 season

   Saturday, October 16                             
9am - 2pm 
Trout Lake Farmers Market
North parking lot - between Templeton & Lakewood south of the 13th Avenue Alley 
Vancouver, BC

this is my last farmers market date for the 2010 season & world food day

*hot of the press* 2011 calendars
each month a local fresh foodie delight
i will also have my foodie photos:
* framed in original handcrafted frames made from east van reclaimed wood
* photocards
* postcards
* magnets

the community letter writing project will also be on the go. pop round & type a few words on an old school manual typewriter & say hi!


*if you can't make it to market, feel free to contact me directly if interested in any pieces.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

farm fresh

farm fresh meal tonight :: seasonal zucchini tomato delight

fraser common farm organic zucchini (i think a heritage italian variety)
sapo bravo organic onion & garlic
backyard basil
jamboree canning collective marinara tomatoes
maison coté cowboy salt & kitsilano pepper
nutritional yeast

layer zucchini, tomatoes, onion, garlic & basil.  and s&p to taste.  cover & bake covered 40 minutes @ 350°.  top with sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a creamy nutty taste & a little hit of b vitamins.

side salad of fraser common farm organic seasonal greens with a splash of apple cider vinegar.  inspired by the vinegar @ the alibi room in vancouver, i've made an organic apple cider vinegar with organic garlic and backyard red chili peppers.  a quick & tasty salad dressing.  a gentle mix with the zucchini tomato delight & the fall greens wilt slightly, to be all the gentler on the ileocecal valve.  coarser fibre can be scratchy to the ileocecal valve, causing irritation & potential digestive woes.

a sprinkle of organic hemp seeds for essential fatty acids (EFA's), protein, iron, and a fresh nutty texture.  yum!

Monday, 13 September 2010

making it last

'tis the preservation season!  i eye beautiful mounds of fresh fruit & veg @ the farmers markets with thoughts of how to preserve the beauty & the bounty.  i was lucky to grow up in a canning environment.  childhood summers were spent in the strawberry patches of rural nova scotia, picking flat upon flat of local strawberries to transform into strawberry jam.  through my mind's eye, i can still see the strawberry stains on my fingers & feel the warm sun on my face.  i can still taste the jams, rhubarb relish, chow chow and home made mustard. 

i have carried that traditional knowledge with me, and expanded my knowledge of food preservation over the years.  you can often find my food dehydrator going full tilt, drying the italian plums from the back yard, organic tomatoes from farmer friends, cherries, pears, and more.  my fermentation cupboard grows with every season, offering up delightfully tangy treats full of probiotic & digestive benefits.

but what if you did not experience the passing of the traditional knowledge of food preservation?  have no fear, there are endless resources available.  the vancouver farmers markets can now be added to your list of resources.  they are running a series of food preservation workshops, hosted by local experts.  check out the website for who, what, when & where details.

happy preserving!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Reducing your impact

Researcher Pamela Martin offers these tips for reducing the overall environmental impact of your diet.

•Eat less meat — especially grain-fed red meat — which is one of the most energy-intensive foods in the world.

•Eat local, seasonal and sustainable produce, as it requires the fewest energy inputs and leaves the lightest footprint on the environment.

•Sign up for regular deliveries of seasonal produce from a nearby farm.

•Use an efficient refrigerator and stove, as household preparation and storage can account for 28 percent of your "food footprint."

Take green transportation to the market or buy a week's worth of groceries in one car trip.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

beyond crunching the numbers

check out this thought provoking TED talk by artist chris jordan.  crunching the numbers to look at opportunities & inspiration for creating change - inside & out.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

food delight of the day

walter harvey's heritage tomatoes from market with backyard garlic & basil, maison coté unrefined salt & pepper and a whisper of olive oil.  oh my!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

getting to know your food - GATES FOUNDATION INVESTS IN MONSANTO

we often talk about knowing where our food comes from - the importance of connecting with those growing & producing our food.  it is also important to understand the ownership & who is controlling our food.  check out the link for more information on the bill & melinda gates foundation $23.1 million investment in monsanto.

trout lake farmers market

i will vending at the trout lake farmers market this saturday, august 28 9am - 2pm (see events page for full details).  i will have my foodie photography (framed photos in local reclaimed wood, postcards, photocards & magnets).  i will also have my community letter writing project on the go.  pop round, say hi, add a few lines to a group written letter, and rediscover the fine art of letter writing!

Monday, 23 August 2010

quick & easy summer dinner

quick & easy summer dinner

organic fraser valley patty pan squash, tomatoes, onion, backyard basil, oregano & garlic, unrefined salt & pepper
slice & layer in a casserole dish.  cover & pop into over preheated to 350.  bake for 30 minutes, remove cover and bake for another 10 minutes.  top with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and serve with salad.  side of brown rice goes nicely as well.

Monday, 9 August 2010

philosophy of living

"I have done my best: that is about all the philosophy of living one needs." ~Lin-yutang

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

big sugar

Big Sugar explores the dark history and modern power of the world’s reigning sugar cartels.
Using dramatic reenactments, it reveals how sugar was at the heart of slavery in the West Indies in the 18th century, while showing how present-day consumers are slaves to a sugar-based diet.
Going undercover, Big Sugar witnesses the appalling working conditions on plantations in the Dominican Republic, where Haitian cane cutters live like slaves.
Workers who live on Central Romano, a Fanjul-owned plantation, go hungry while working 12-hour days to earn $2 (US).

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

the true cost of food

wondering about the benefits of eating locally & the *true* cost of food? check out this animated short by the sierra club

Monday, 2 August 2010

fava bean crisis averted

mondays are a highlight of the week for me.  it is the day i receive my csa (community supported agriculture) box from the farm.  fraser common farm in aldergrove, bc to be exact.  i've been with the csa for several years now, and love it.  each week my refrigerator & soul is filled with farm fresh nourishment.  i eat locally & seasonally, support some of my favourite local farmers, and know exactly where my food is coming from.

i was excited by the fresh fava beans that arrived this week.  i immediately shelled them & put them on to cook.  they don't take long to cook, i like them still quite firm.  so, when i was distracted by a whole shelf of books falling from their usual perch on one of my bookcases, they overcooked.  tragedy!

removing the beans from their skins, i found they were far softer than i would normally cook them to.  but they were still tasty.  hmmm... i simply mashed them in a bowl with fresh lemon juice, unrefinded sea salt and some fresh garlic from the farm.  presto - a tasty fava bean dip.  delicious!

Monday, 26 July 2010

the great sunscreen question

summer is in full swing & it is great to feel the sun again. with red hair & a pale complexion, i do have to be quite mindful of my sun exposure. i love the feel of the sun, but do burn easily. what's a gal to do? as a kid, i was slathered in sunscreen. today, more and more research is pointing to the potential d...angers with sunscreen. hormone disruptors, reduced vitamin d exposure, free radicals and random spf claims all make us stop and question the sunscreen industry. today, i keep covered & cool with loose cotton covers, hats, balance my sun exposure with shade and keep well hydrated. i do keep some sunscreen handy for times of longer exposure. i use alba sunscreen, which is on the environmental working group's top sunscreen list. check out the link for the full list, and more information on this hot topic.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” 
~William S. Burroughs

Thursday, 15 July 2010

interested in green roofs & living walls?

Green Roofs & Living Walls Tour
Wed. July 21, 6 to 8pm

On this walking tour we explore a number of unusually wonderful gardens. The SPEC rooftop vegetable garden was planted with the help of a nearby school; the veggies share the roof with solar panels. Next we’ll see the living wall at the new Greens Organic & Natural Market and talk to designer, Geneviève Noël of Mubi. Then landscape architect Randy Sharpe will give us the low down on green roofs right from his own backyard. He has a green roof on his garage. Finally, we’ll visit with Assefa Kebede from the Nyala Restaurant in his spectacular front yard garden, full of fruit trees, herbs, vegetables and bee hives. The roof is just about the only place he’s not growing something! Part of the Exploring Food Systems Summer Series with host Spring Gillard. $35. Register at <>.

Spring Gillard
Garden Heart Productions
Ph 604.714.1394/Fx 604.714.1396

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

fish farming

wondering what's what with fish farming?  here is an article by pal christopher pollon

and here is information on SeaChoice to help you make seafood decisions.  the vancouver farmers markets have several great sea food vendors - check them out.


Sunday, 16 May 2010

"If we throw mother nature out the window, she comes back in the door with a pitchfork"
-Masanobu Fukuoka-

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Are you willing to push hard to get better, improve your attitude, grow your devotion to the truth, fuel your commitment to beauty, refine your emotions, hone your dreams, face your shadow, cure your ignorance, & soften your heart -- even as you pledge to always accept yourself for exactly who you are with all your so-called imperfections, never demeaning the present by comparing it to
an idealized past or future?

Rob Brezsny

Thursday, 22 April 2010

happy earth day!

let's show a little love to this big blue planet that we call home

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

2010 market season

i am looking forward to the upcoming market season! i will have my foodie photography at market this season - hope to see you there.

2010 farmers markets dates:

East Van Farmers Market - Saturday 9am - 2pm
trout lake - north parking lot of John Hendry Park
between Templeton & Lakewood south of the 13th Avenue Alley

dates: May 29, August 28, September 11, October 16 (*World Food Day*)

Kitsilano Farmers Market - Sunday 10am - 2pm
Kitsilano Community Centre - 2690 Larch Street @ 10th Avenue

dates: September 19, October 24

farm fresh photos

bring the market home with you with market photos. products include:
  • foodie photos framed in original handcrafted frames made from locally reclaimed wood
  • foodie photocards
  • foodie postcards
  • foodie magnets
*can't make it to market? feel free to contact me directly - chickpeanutrition[at]gmail[dot]com

Monday, 12 April 2010

stone soup festival

come check out this great community event. i will be there with my foodie photography - photos of local food framed in handcrafted one-of-a-kind frames made from local reclaimed wood, postcards, cards, magnets.

15th Annual Stone Soup Festival

A celebration of food, art, environment and community. Included will be food vendors, a film festival, local artists, community groups, talks and workshops, entertainment, Latin American Mother's Day Celebration, children's activities, free soup and more!

When: Saturday, May 8th, 12-5pm.
Where: Britannia Community Centre - 1661 Napier St @ Commercial Dr
More Info: tel: (604)718-5800

Monday, 5 April 2010

support the east van farmers mkt @ vancouver parks board meeting

come out if you can to show support for the east van market - they really do need friendly faces & supporters at this meeting:

Board of Parks and Recreation
Planning & Environment Committee Meeting

Thursday, April 08, 2010

6:30 pm
2099 Beach Avenue

help keep the east van farmers market @ trout lake

the east van farmers market needs your support! it must relocate from its home of 13 years (the main trout lake community centre parking lot) due to the planned tear down & rebuilding of the community centre. the proposed move to the north parking lot is being meet with mixed reviews. if you love local farmers, producers & artisans, please take a moment to sign the online petition. there is a public meeting at the parks board on april 8th.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

sunday morning breakfast

after a leisurely soy mate latté with friends @ my favourite local café....

veggie samosa with fresh banana chutney (thanks lisa & tim - i have the *best* neighbours) and organic salad greens, cucumber & snow peas with tahini dressing and hemp hearts. mmmm....

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Friday, 8 January 2010

dance in the rain

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass...
it's about learning to dance in the rain.

-Unknown -

love like that

"Even after all this time
The sun never says to the Earth,
"You owe me."

Look what happens
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.
- Hafiz

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