Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving


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Follow Friday: Holiday donations

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This holiday season, if you’re like me, you have people on your list who are nearly impossible to shop for. Giving a donation to a worthy organization in their name is a great way to give back and honour them. Of course, there are plenty of food drives and opportunities to help people with immediate needs, but if you want to go beyond that and attempt to have more of a lasting impact with your donation, here are a few food-related organizations you might want to consider donating to:

Community Food Centres Canada has locations throughout the country and grew out of The Stop in Toronto. The Stop began as a food bank but became so much more. Now community food centres offer food literacy education; opportunities to grow and cook food with fellow community members. Many have markets and serve as hubs for community members to come together over food. This holiday season you can make a donation in a loved one’s name to your local centre, or to the organization in general through their “My Food Hero” campaign.

The World Food Programme is a donation-based organization working to fight hunger and promote food security around the world. You can learn more about donating to them, or others ways you can help here.

Food Secure Canada is devoted to bringing a national food policy to our country. Their goals are: “zero hunger, healthy and safe food, sustainable food systems.” In addition, they provide education opportunities for anyone who’s interested through webinars and conferences. You can support their work here.

On a local level, you might consider donating your time or money to a community garden, community oven, community kitchen, food security network, or a poverty roundtable.

I’m sure that there are loads more worthy organizations, these are just a few that came to mind. Feel free to add more in the comments.


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Follow Friday: @goodness_nb1

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Looking for that last minute gift for a friend or family member? Or just want to try out some new recipes yourself? May I suggest getting a copy (or two, or more) of Chris and Peter Neal’s new cookbook goodness

This book is full of both innovative and time-tested recipes from chefs, farmers, activists, and entrepreneurs across Canada. Best of all, half of all profits from the sale of the cookbook will go right back into supporting food security for all as donations to Community Food Centres Canada. It’s a no-brainer!

While I haven’t had a chance to try out many of the recipes from my copy yet (full disclosure: I pre-ordered my own copy from Amazon and have not been asked to write this review and will not be receiving anything in way of compensation, aside from the enjoyment of delicious meals I prepare myself based on the recipes within) the ones I have tried were quick and easy and very tasty.

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The first recipe I made was the Smoky Chakchouka contributed by Kim Fox, Director of programming and innovation at the NDG Food Depot in Montréal, Québec. This was a quick, inexpensive, healthy supper that would also be great for breakfast or lunch. I whipped up some of Chives amazing buttermilk biscuits to have with it. I didn’t have any chipotle peppers in adobo sauce so I just squirted in some sriracha sauce which added just a little spice.

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The next recipe I tried was Ashrafi Ahmed’s Rainbow Veggie Curry. I didn’t have the panchoforan spice that the recipe called for so I just ground up some cumin, mustard seed, and fennel with my mortar and pestle (close enough). I also halved the recipe (and omitted the chayote squash because I don’t even have a clue what that is) and it still made a huge quantity. I served it in crepes for supper and then turned the leftovers into a frittata with just a sprinkling of old cheddar over top – yum!

While a number of recipes, at least those I’ve been eyeing, seem to call for spices that I’ll probably never otherwise use I think that substitutions and omissions can easily be made if you don’t want to end-up with a plethora of under-utilized spice blends in your pantry. Aside from that, it’s a beautiful cookbook with lots of enticing recipes and it’s helping a good cause. What more could you ask for?