Saturday, October 22, 2011

indigo a no no!

this morning, me, emilee and brandi met at indigo food cafe for brunch. we have been talking about meeting there for weeks, with some other friends and finally decided this was the time. emilee had to rush to work after so we planned to go right at cafe opening at 10am.

when we got there this morning, we discovered it's only the website that believes they open at 10. 10:30 is the real time! so we killed time in choices nearby and decided we would order smoothies as soon as we got in.

we were let in a few minutes early which was super nice. there was one lady working and she was opening up as we were let in.

meals during opening hours are not recommended at this place. i felt super bad for the lady working as it was busy getting the 3 of us food (and collecting our payment at the end) and had anyone else come to dine in, it would have been impossible. we weren't able to order everything we wanted off the menu as some things arrive at the restaurant later in the morning (ie the collard greens) and some things hadn't been made yet (ie more almond mylk).

i'm curious as to why cashews and agave are used so much (though i guess this is common in raw food) and i wonder how much stuff there is organic as only a few ingredients on the menu were prefaced with "organic". my corn flax (yah, i usually don't eat corn either) enchilada tasted different from last time - heavier on the spices so not as fresh veggie flavour dense- tasting. and the green smoothie was average.

i will try it again - but maybe mid-day. it's a cute spot and the food is really nicely presented and i know the intentions are good...

Friday, October 21, 2011

ready and compost-able... worms. and bins. and workshops.

last saturday, i went to a worm composting workshop put on by city farmer. the last one of 2011!

on the way there, i was wondering WHAT i was doing going to something like this. and i guess i talked myself out of committing to a worm compost bin before i even got there. so although i am not currently worm composting and have discovered that there is a good chance there will be food scrap drop off in the west end after the west end farmers market ends october 22nd, i felt the workshop was still worthwhile and i learned a lot!

first, i hadn't previously considered anything about the composting beyond possible smell and fruit flies and WORMS. there is nature stuff happening when you compost and you need to think of how you handle it just like you would a garden. it's not a earth-friendly garbage bin. you add to the bin once a week and you start off with just 1 litre of your raw produce scraps! you probably can get 3 litres per week at most - which you need to work up to! you pour your food scraps under the straw and newspaper bits in one corner. the next time you contribute, you add in the next corner and so on so that the worms constantly have a new food source to work through. it's pretty neat.

but i started wondering how i could justify the work involved when it was mentioned how you have to keep your compost pretty alkaline. so 1/2 a lemon is kinda what you get to include in your 1 litre per week. and keep things mostly green to be safe to start. and i like greens and consume a fair bit every day but i think in our food scrap bucket typically you see a lot of fruit ends and banana peels. probably not going to be in the compost bin too much. coffee grounds are allowed (if applicable to your lifestyle) but kept to a minimum. eggshells are encouraged for calcium (so the instructor even said to get some eggshells from a friend!) but not the residue of the egg. but it seems that cooked food and meat and egg stuff are really only to stay out of your compost because they could attract rodents and such! not because it's totally gross to eat animal products. so ok, having a bin indoors means you could put whatever food scraps in there you want but you have to really limit the total amount. and i don't know if i can justify having a big bin in my apartment (or storage) that keeps one litre of food scraps out of the garbage disposal. as romantic a notion it is. wow, i didn't realize i was such a jerk to the earth! i am putting no effort into this, am i!?

anyways, after 6 months of committing to worms and a bin, i would have the worm casings to use 1/2 and 1/2 with soil for indoor and outdoor plants. and i have a bunch of indoor plants but i don't know if i could distribute all of my compost matter. and that's after separating all your worms from the compost soil. and you get compost 'tea' too dripping out of the bin which you need to collect regularly (once a week?) and can use 1 part for every 10 parts water as a super nutrient-dense fertilizer.

i think i really need a backyard or at least balcony, but ideally a garden over anything else, in order to make worm composting most sensible. i love our apartment but it's of limited size and there isn't a balcony, backyard, back porch or deck, parking garage or anywhere they would suggest, or i could consider, keeping a worm compost bin.

but someday i hope i can do it! it's right up there with having my own garden plot. sigh! some day! until then... going to hope for a food scrap drop-off place once a week. then i can keep ALL plant products out of the garbage disposal! ^_^ and no worms or bin or smell or fruit flies? pretty good deal to me...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

raw burritos!

my friend vanessa and i made lunch the other day. it was so much fun!
i made a salsa with tomatoes, red pepper, cilantro, lime and chili and guacamole with avocado (duh), lime and some spices. vanessa made the "meat" with mushrooms, sprouts, walnut butter, sprouted chickpea miso, seeds (i think sunflower?), some Braggs and spices (including chili and cumin).
we left the collards whole (i usually cut the stem off) and instead wrapped up our goods and twisted off the stem to eat on its own! so sweet and fresh and crunchy! 
 gorgeous, right?
p.s. if you want a concrete recipe to follow, this looks like a good one!

gratuitous produce photos...

after a successful farmers market saturday shop...
 i love being able to eat local! i hope that canada figures out a better way to support and sustain itself, food-wise. we need to support our local, organic growers! is it true that less than 2% of crops grown in canada are organic? gah!!!

 i love it when i see hearts in my food. paul found one on a potato the other day! i love that he noticed ^_^
 and... isn't this the most beautiful teacher apple? i wish i had waited to take a bite until after i decided to take a photo. so perfect! and again, grown here! we are so lucky!!!

have, ok, oh, avocado...

remember in the summer when avocados were just not working? what sucks is they are never in season in vancouver... i would love to find a way to grow them. but ANYWAYS... i have been able to buy ripe ones again and not deal with stringiness and brown offness or way under-ripe hardness... and i love using them for everything!
...including smoothies lately!
i've been mixing spatone liquid iron in with fruit for a smoothie every morning (to continue to boost my iron which was found to be dangerously low in december but within range currently! ^_^) and one morning i didn't have anything to blend really but apples. but i had frozen blueberries and an avocado... so a creamy blueberry smoothie was what i did up. YES!!!
 and the other day, i had one frozen banana and an avocado and a pear. i added some vanilla and ginger. paul tried some and wasn't blown away by it but i enjoyed it.
i still haven't made a chocolate avocado mousse! i was going to try the other day but i waited too long to use the avocado i had left. so sad!!!
which reminds me... my mom was recently in uganda and she says the avocados are the size of grapefruits - they are massive! and when you go to the market, they ask you when you are planning to use your fruit and then give you something that will be ripe by then or that is ready to use for that day. i love it! i feel like i'm pretty good about planning out when i will use things and i tend to buy produce at least a couple times a week (especially right now with wednesday and saturday farmers markets, though the main street one ends this wednesday! sob!), but it's a great concept. i think the north american way of shopping/meal preparing is more of a stock up on "staples" (non-perishable, processed, total-disconnect-from-nature food) and fresh produce is an afterthought that goes bad in the fridge.
we'll get there.