Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bringing the new faces of agriculture to your home...

Everdale’s New Farmer Calendar for all of 2010 is now available on-line !

Enjoy tips and tricks of the farming trade, a page on companion planting and more to get you through the winter, with a new farmer profile for each month. These calendars make unique and useful holiday presents while supporting the next generation of farmers.

To see sample pages and order the calendar, go to:

This calendar has been published by Everdale’s Farmers Growing Farmers (FGF) program.
All proceeds go towards supporting new farmers.
For more information see or please contact the FGF team at

Farmers Growing Farmers
South West Ontario FarmON Alliance Partner
Everdale Farm

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Creamy Swiss Chard Pasta Recipe

1 lb swiss chard
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup fat free sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 cup 2% low-fat milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
8 ounces fettuccine pasta, cooked according to package
salt and pepper

1. Wash swiss chard, cut into small pieces.
2. Heat oil in large 2 quart saucepan over medium high heat, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Add swiss chard, garlic and onion; cooking 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add tomatoes, sour cream, milk, parmesan cheese, cooked fettuccine, salt and pepper to taste; stir well.
5. Serve warm.

Green Earth Organics Holiday Closure

In order to provide our staff with some holiday time, GEO will be closed December 24 through January 1 and will reopen as usual Monday January 2.
Regardless of your delivery day, if you have a delivery scheduled for the week of December 19, we ask that all holds, cancels, substitutions or additions to your order be made no later than Monday December 19 by 9am.

What this means for your delivery schedule;
If you have a delivery scheduled the week of December 19

If you are on a 2 week delivery schedule and your last delivery is scheduled for the week of December 19, your next delivery will be the week of January 2.
If you are on a 2 week delivery schedule and your last delivery was the week of December 12, your next delivery will be the week of January 9.

PRE-AUTHORIZED PAYMENTS (BANK DEBITS) will take place Wednesday December 21, rather then Thursday December 22.

We wish you all a safe and happy holidays and all the best in the New Year!
GEO Staff

Monday, December 7, 2009

Book Your Thanksgiving Turkey Now!

Fresh Whole Organic Turkeys Now Available for delivery the week of October 4. Please reserve yours now by phone or email by Monday Morning. They are available in sizes ranging 16lb to 25+lbs for $5/lb.
416-285-5300 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              416-285-5300      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Also available Smoked Ham $14.5/lb
Lam (leg or rack) from $11.19/lb

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Health Canada Recall on Filsigners Apple Cider

Reference Number: 5237
Date of Recall: 11/6/2009
Recall Classification: 2
Distribution : Ontario
Extent of the Product Distribution : Retail and Hotel/Restaurant/Institutional
Product List
Brand Name Common Name Size UPC Other Codes Reason for Recall:
FILSINGER'S ORGANIC FOODS ORGANIC SWEET APPLE CIDER 1 liter 0 63930 10338 8 H16293 Chemical - Toxin - Patulin
FILSINGER'S ORGANIC FOODS ORGANIC SWEET APPLE CIDER 1.89 liter None / Aucun H16293 Chemical - Toxin - Patulin
FILSINGER'S ORGANIC FOODS ORGANIC SWEET APPLE CIDER 4 liter None / Aucun H16293 Chemical - Toxin - Patulin

If you require additional information about an individual recall, please contact us.

The ones we have are not recalled.

If you have cider from us with these codes, please return them to us for a full refund.


Creamed Peas and Celery

Creamed Peas and Celery
4 cups Snap Peas. , shelled
2 cups Celery. , washed, cut in pieces
pinch of Nutmeg. , salt and pepper to taste
1 cup thick white sauce
* (To make White Sauce: scald 1 pint of milk. Melt 1,2 or 3 tablespoons of butter, depending on desired consistency, in a saucepan. Add half a teaspoon of salt, and 1,2,or 4 tablespoons of flour, depending on desired consistency, and let cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Add the milk little by little, stirring gently until it boils. Let it boil for 3 minutes.)
1. Creamed Recipe, Boil peas in salted water for about 20 minutes.
2. Drain off water.
3. While peas are boiling, boil celery in salted water in another saucepan for about 15 minutes.
4. Drain off water.
5. During this time make the white sauce.
6. Add celery, peas and seasonings to the sauce.
7. Let simmer for 2 minutes.
8. Then serve.

Christmas shopping do's & don'ts

1. Brand matters-Shop at good quality stores. Christmas is a time to buy gifts for others, so you don’t want to buy cheap goods that will last only a few months. Look for durable items that will remind your recipient of your love throughout the coming year. In a lot of cases, try to choose something you would enjoy receiving.
2. Stay safe-If you’re buying online; be sure that the website has SSL technology. You can click on the blue bar for details on the security. You definitely want your credit card information to stay secure. Further, if you don’t receive your purchased item, you can contest the charge.
3. Make a list-One way to save money this Christmas would be to prepare a list well in advance. Don’t head out to the store only with your credit card in hand. Impulse shopping can keep you up at night worrying about bills!
4. Special wrapping-Christmas gifts are more than just gifts. They reflect the sentiments of the giver. So save a little money to wrap up your gift in a special way. You can even add a customized note to each family member.
5. Discounts-They can be found at almost every store. Make best use of them! Keep your eyes open for a good bargain. However, don’t compromise on quality!

Next : Christmas Shopping don’ts …
1. Avoid weekends-(Or shop on line!) If you want to avoid bumping shoulders with every other shopper then go shopping on a weekday – preferably in the morning. Salespeople are a lot friendlier when they don’t have a crowd to handle.
2. Don’t limit your choice-So you’ve made a list of items to be bought, but you can’t find one or two. What do you do? Plan for this in advance by writing a back up gift option on your list. This will save you a lot of time especially if you’re shopping for a large number of people.
3. Don’t lose receipts-Save all the receipts from your Christmas shopping expedition. You may need it later, when your gift turns out to be faulty or has a missing part. Your gift recipient will be glad you can get a replacement.
4. Don’t wrap right away-Check your item thoroughly before you thrown on the fancy wrapping paper. Also remember to remove the price tag and other purchase particulars.
5. Don’t wait-Christmas shopping doesn’t need to be restricted to December. Shop when something catches your fancy. You can store it away for Christmas day!

And most important Do: share your tips with others!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Green Earth Organics has a New Home

We are happy to announce that we have moved to a larger office/warehouse space and that we are sharing it with Green Cricket. Our new address is
311 Evans Ave
Etobicoke Ontario
M8K 1Y6
We also would like to apologize for any dust or hiccups in the past week, though we tried to make it as seamless as possible, a few things did arise and we thank you for your patience.
GEO would like to give a warm welcome to sharing our day with Susan, Melissa, Darryl and the rest of the Green Cricket team.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

H1N1 Swine flu cure by Homeopathy

For all those interested in an alternative
to vaccination for H1N1, or for natural, safe
and effective treatment for the flu, here's info from
the source, The British Institute of Homeopathy. Thank you to all of our Natural/homeopathic Doctors who send us information! and

Classic homeopathy is a healing methodology that is based on the wisdom of treating a specific individual and their specific symptoms (including body, mind, emotions, and environment), as opposed to the allopathic model which bases treatment on agreed upon disease symptoms and averages.

Homeopathy Flu Therapy Is Not Affected by Viral Mutations

Homeopathy does not depend on one drug or feature particular drugs for curing any type of flu. Homeopathy is a non allopathic healing method that was once the mainstream medicine of the 19th century. Because different remedies and combinations and strengths are prescribed according to exact symptomatic readings, homeopaths can successfully adapt treatments to handle viral mutations. Homeopathy was enjoyed by many until certain moneyed interests almost pushed it out of existence. Now there is somewhat of a resurgence of its use.

It is also important to note that homeopathy is primarily an energetic and vibrational medicine. Simplistically speaking, homeopathic remedies are created by diluting a physical substance into a distilled water and alcohol and creating a vibrational or energetic substance by shaking it rapidly with machinery. This is how a nosode is created. Therefore, even a toxic physical substance prepared in a nosode will not retain any toxicity that will be transferred into the body.

And the nosode is taken orally, thereby not bypassing the initial stage of the immune system. Inoculations do bypass this important first phase of the immune system by ignoring the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat and going directly into the bloodstream. Homeopathic remedies are applied by a counterintuitive method. A homeopathic doctor is skilled in matching the individual`s current symptom picture with exact remedies that produce those exact same symptoms. This is actual immunization. Keep in mind when an individual`s symptoms change, new homeopathic remedies are prescribed to replace the previous homeopathic recommendations. This process continues until there are no more symptoms.

However, when there is an epidemic or pandemic disease, a homeopathic doctor can use the `common` symptoms widely reported by the public as an individual body and prescribe homeopathic remedies accordingly.

Homeopathy and Mexican H1N1 Flu

Homeopathy had an amazingly high cure rate in the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic in the USA. Just recently, during the 2009 Mexican Flu outbreak, a small group of Mexico City homeopathic doctors have revealed that homeopathy is up to the task again. This is good news considering that many over the counter and prescribed pharmaceutical flu remedies not only hazard negative side effects, but they may also not really cure current flu strains.

According to doctors the symptoms of the 1918 flu and the so called `H1N1 swine flu` of 2009 are very similar. It`s interesting to note both pandemics started in the spring, in the month of April, and not in the official flu season which is autumn. Two additional symptoms, one of which is an emotional aspect that is part of homeopathy diagnosis, are noted by this study: "fear of death" and a "high fever" at the onset of the infection.

The basic purpose of the Mexican Homeopaths` study was to identify common symptoms of the 2009 swine flu in order to outline a specific homeopathic based prevention and treatment model that could be used by homeopathic doctors around the world.

Homeopathy preventive H1N1 medicine :


Oscilococcinium 30' and `Influenzium 200' for swine flu prevention as well as to improve the immune system among the general public towards the flu. "The homeopathy medicine 'Gelsemium 30' has been proved effective clinically in the treatment of swine flu in France a decade back and has been reported in the British journal of Clinical Medicine.

"In homeopathy there are no specific medicines for a particular nosological picture (for which the most common symptoms are taken into account). But in epidemics, due to the common causative agent, susceptibility of the population in this particular moment, and the repetition of symptoms, a group of the most useful remedies can be deduced. The remedies determined in this way are called the Genius Epidemicus. They consist of a group of medicines with symptoms most similar to those presented by most patients suffering this flu."

"For homeopathic treatment is it necessary to take into account the degree of reaction of the patient and the symptoms with which the disease manifests itself. We considered this and the symptoms observed during the last epidemic (1918) to find the similar remedy."

Homepathic remedies listed by the Mexican Doctors which they successfully employed against the 2009 Mexican Flu are as follow :

Aconitum napellus, Actea racemosa, Allium cepa, Ammonium phosphoricum, Antimonium tartaricum, Arnica montana, Arsenicum album, Baptisia tinctoria, Belladonna atropa, Bryonia alba, Camphora, Carbo vegetabilis, Carbolic acid, Causticum, Chamomilla, China officinalis, Drosera rotundifolia, Eupatorium perfoliatum, Euphrasia, Ferrum phosphoricum, Gelsemium sempervirens, Glonoinum, Hepatica triloba, Hyosciamus niger, Influenzinum (corresponding to the epidemic), Ipecauanha, Lachesis trigonocephalus, Lycopodium clavatum, Dooooosh vivus, Natrum sulphuricum, Nux vomica, Opium, Phosphorus, Phytolacca decandra, Pulsatilla, Pyrogenium, Rhus toxicodendron, Sticta pulmonaria, Sepia officinalis, Sulphur.

Nosodes, Influenzinum (corresponding to the epidemic), Pyrogenium, Anthracinum.

Homeopathy and the 1918 Flu

WW I was the first time that USA military personnel were ordered to receive vaccinations. There was and is a strong suspicion that mandated vaccinations used on troops actually created the initial infections for this pandemic. It`s recorded that many died after being vaccinated, while most who did not receive vaccinations survived.

Those factors did not affect or alter what homeopaths managed to put together during this pandemic. Understanding symptoms which have been closely scrutinized and categorized are the determining factors for administering classic homeopathic remedies, including the follow up remedies for complete recovery as symptoms change.

Undisclosed to the public at large, despite the strange and unusually virulent flu strain resulting in the "White Plague", the cure rate of homeopathy during the 1918 so called Spanish Flu has been reported as 98%

Monday, October 19, 2009

Garbanzo Salad with Pomegranate Seed

Serves 6
1 teaspoon ground Cumin
1/3 cup lime or Lemon juice
1 tablespoon Sugart
1/2 chopped fresh Avocado
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup Pomegranate seeds
2 cans (15 oz. each) Garbanzos, rinsed and drained
1 cup peeled, diced (1/2-in. cubes) Zucchini
1/2 cup chopped mild onion
Salt and pepper
1. In a 6- to 8-inch frying pan over low heat, stir cumin until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape cumin into a large bowl and add lime juice, sugar, chopped cilantro, and cayenne.
2. Add pomegranate seeds, garbanzos, cucumber, and onion to bowl. Mix and add salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gaiam admits aluminum bottles leach BPA at nearly 20 times SIGG’s levels

By Jeremiah | October 07, 2009 | 10 comments / Join the conversation!
Gaiam admits aluminum bottles leach BPA at nearly 20 times SIGG’s levels
A week after Z Recommends published an exclusive report that provided extensive evidence that Gaiam water bottles previously marketed as "BPA-free" were likely to contain the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol-A, the company has quietly added information to its retail website which admits to independent lab test results showing leaching levels at 23.8 parts per billion. These findings are more than ten times the detection limit SIGG said revealed no leaching from their own bottles and over 18 times more than the leaching levels found in independent testing of SIGG bottles shared with ZRecs by an anonymous source.

SIGG's revelation of the use of BPA in their aluminum water bottles after years of obfuscation sent the company into a PR tailspin, despite their claims of no leaching, and their readiness with a new BPA-free alternative. In the case of Gaiam, the company itself has admitted to leaching at nearly twenty times that detected in SIGG bottles, in bottles currently being sold, after explicitly marketing them as BPA-free as recently as Spring 2009, claims Gaiam customer service representatives repeated to ZRecs less than a month ago.

Notes added to Gaiam's aluminum water bottle listings read, in part:

Single-use plastic water bottles and reusable plastic bottles made of certain types of hard polycarbonate plastic have been shown to leach toxins including BPA into the water inside the bottle under normal use and care conditions. ...

We also asked our water bottle manufacturer to comprehensively test our aluminum bottles for BPA, using industry-standard test methods. No detectable levels of BPA were found in the gasket, the cap or the coating material in testing under normal use and care conditions.

We also took additional steps to help ensure your safety via independent laboratory tests that go well beyond FDA requirements. An independent lab subjected our aluminum water bottles to continuous extreme heat - nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit - in an environmental chamber for three days while the bottles were filled with water. Under these extreme conditions, a trace amount of BPA (23.8 parts per billion) was detected in the water inside the bottle. This test was performed under conditions outside the normal use and care conditions we recommend on our product packaging and shopping website. For example, we explain that the bottle should not be washed in a dishwasher or filled with any hot liquids.

(You can find the above statement, and a few other notes, added to listings like the one for the "Gold Medallion" water bottle design, the contents of which we documented with screen captures in our September 30 report.)

The third paragraph in the above excerpt, as well as the phrase "in testing under normal use and care conditions" peppered throughout, are the most significant additions to the text. As for the "extreme conditions" of Gaiam's testing, SIGG's independent lab testing also measured leaching in temperatures of "nearly 200 degrees" (90 degrees Celsius) over a three-day period, and this is no coincidence - testing at 90 degrees Celsius for a three-day window is a standard testing procedure commonly seen in BPA testing, and was likely part of a standard block of tests offered by the testing lab to Gaiam, as it is to other clients by reputable testing labs throughout the world, to provide a relative measure of potential BPA exposure. The relationship between these conditions and the occasional heat exposure any water bottle is likely to see - hand-washing in hot water, being left in a hot car or in the sun, or being dented or otherwise having its epoxy coating scratched or damaged - is unclear, as is Gaiam's position on whether these likely exposures fall under the proscribed "normal use and care" intended to protect the user from the endocrine-disrupting chemical Gaiam previously claimed was not present in its bottles.

Gaiam's admission - made without a press release, letter from the CEO, blog post, or tweet - should be of the greatest concern to pregnant women, many of whom assume Gaiam water bottles are a safe alternative to polycarbonate plastic during pregnancy. We don't often cite specific studies on the health effects from BPA exposure, as theories about specific health effects are still evolving. But the news that comes out in study after study is never good, and its greatest impact for adult users is likely to be in the fetal development of children whose lives may be permanently affected by in utero exposure. Here's some information from one recent study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and conducted by the Yale University School of Medicine, as described in a report by Science Daily:

BPA has estrogen-like properties and in pregnant animals has been linked to female infertility.

"The big mystery is how does exposure to this estrogen-like substance during a brief period in pregnancy lead to a change in uterine function," said study co-author Hugh Taylor, MD, professor and chief of the reproductive endocrinology section at Yale University School of Medicine.

To find the answer to that question, Taylor and his co-workers at Yale injected pregnant mice with a low dose of BPA on pregnancy days 9 to 16. After the mice gave birth, the scientists analyzed the uterus of female offspring and extracted DNA.

They found that BPA exposure during pregnancy had a lasting effect on one of the genes that is responsible for uterine development and subsequent fertility in both mice and humans. Furthermore, these changes in the offspring's uterine DNA resulted in a permanent increase in estrogen sensitivity. ... The permanent DNA changes in the BPA-exposed offspring were not apparent in the offspring of mice that did not receive BPA injection (the controls). This finding demonstrates that the fetus is sensitive to BPA in mice and likely also in humans, Taylor said.

"We don't know what a safe level of BPA is, so pregnant women should avoid BPA exposure," Taylor said. "There is nothing to lose by avoiding items made with BPA—and maybe a lot to gain."

Why their admission of BPA leaching in bottles they claimed less than a year ago were "BPA-free" merits only a rewrite of their product descriptions and a mildly cautionary "comparison chart" [Update: They have now produced a standalone page compiling this information] is a question we'll leave to consumers and eager class-action lawyers to probe for themselves. But we have a few of our own, which we'll submit to Gaiam's public relations team and publish with a call for a company statement on Gaiam's plans.

Gaiam refused to cooperate with us for our initial story, and has to date declined to issue any public statement about our claims of BPA in their aluminum water bottles, or the company's previous marketing of these bottles as BPA-free.

Updated to add: Another oddity brought up to us by readers and competitors is that Gaiam's "comparison chart" has broadly classified aluminum water bottles as leaching BPA. It is now well-known that SIGG now produces an aluminum water bottle that appears to be BPA-free, and ZRecs has examined testing reports and materials certifications of bottles by LakenUSA that show that that company's own transition to a BPA-free liner for bottles its parent company produces for the U.S. market is complete. We've written about our disappointment with SIGG's new bottle, based both on the high number of bottles sent to market with the liner misapplied and, in our sister site The Tranquil Parent's BPA-Free Water Bottle Showdown, the functionality of their redesigned sport top. We'll discuss the case of LakenUSA, a company that made the transition to BPA-free bottles alongside SIGG but traveled a quite different path to get there, next week.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Canadian Food Delivery Service Brings Organic

Thank you to Allison Smith for this great review!
Whilst on my search for my next great green feature, I came across a Canadian business that specializes in searching out the best local and organic food in your area and then delivering it straight to your doorstep. Green Earth Organics operates out of and delivers to both Toronto and Vancouver (and is expanding to Muskoka and Ontario cottage country soon). They provide a unique service for the green-minded diner.
Green Earth Organic's website is efficient and easy to use, allowing the customer to choose from three different sized produce baskets that range in price from $37.00 -$60.00. I ordered the Family Harvest Box ($47.00) that was recommended for two people, and found the quantity to be more than enough for my boyfriend and I, as well as a friend or two who stopped by during mealtime. Although the most predominant things on their site are fresh fruit and vegetables, Green Earth Organics also offers a variety of organic dairy products, cleaning supplies and snacks that you can add to your order.
While the prices can seem a little steep, the delivery service makes up for it in convenience and quality. My harvest box was delivered within the one hour period I specified - which was perfect, I'm a busy woman! - and was filled to the brim with beautiful, incredibly fresh fruit and vegetables.
The harvest boxes are filled with a standard order of seasonal produce, but allow for up to three substitutions per order. For example, I am not a huge fennel fan, so I swapped it for some cremini mushrooms. They offered organic bananas, but I was hoping for something local so I swapped them for some organic Ontario red chard. Yum!
Organic vegetables are thought to be healthier for human consumption because no pesticides are used during their production. Studies also suggest that organic vegetables develop more polyphenols - chemical substances found in plants that act as antioxidents - because they have to work harder to fight off pests. Conventionally farmed plants let pesticides do the work for them, and don't have to grow as strong.
As famous food writer Michael Pollan says in his book In Defense Of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
Green Earth Organics makes this manifesto achievable and convenient.
By Allison Smith

Creamy Potato-Leek Soup

Makes a perfect cozy fall supper.
Serves 4-6
1 tablespoon extra-virgin Olive Oil.
2 Leeks. , white and light green parts washed and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
2 cups chopped yellow Onion.
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt.
3 cloves Garlic. , minced
2 large Potato. (about 1 pound), peeled and cubed into 1/2-inch cubes
4 cups Vegetable Stock.
2-3 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves

1. Heat a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat and add the oil.
2. Add the leeks, onion, and sea salt and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onion begins to turn translucent.
3. Add the garlic and stir well. Cook for 1 minute more.
4. Add the potatoes and vegetable stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook 20 minutes.
5. Remove the soup from the heat and use an immersion/stick blender to blend the soup in the pot or ladle the soup into a blender, 1 cup at a time. Blend the soup with the fresh rosemary leaves until smooth and free of chunks. Pour smooth soup into a heat-proof bowl and continue until all of the soup has been blended.
6. Transfer the blended soup back to the original soup pot and warm over low heat until heated through. Serve hot.

Serves 4 - 6.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I made my first Turkey last year, (we hosted dinner for our friends Saturday and went to our family's on Sunday). Most of the direction was given to me over the telephone by my mom and grandmother. Billy took all the guts out, (as I would say did the dirty work!). I also did not have a baster and had to lift and pour each time. Also, I opted not to stuff the turkey with the stuffing, but a peeled lemon which turned out nice. The bouquet garni really made the bird (using 1/2 for the turkey and half for the stuffing). It turned out well and maybe a bit small since there was nothing left but bones. This year we look forward to going to our family's only for Thanksgiving since our kitchen is undergoing renovations. Hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving this year!!!

You will need:
-apples (for the body)
-coloured toothpicks 
-coloured mini-marshmallows added to 5 or 6 toothpicks and stick them in one end of the apple, like a fan, to make a feathered tail. 
-gumdrops (for the head and a toothpick for the neck)
Use 3 yellow toothpicks for legs (in a triangular position so your turkey can stand up)

A Counting Rhyme

5 little turkeys by the old barn door,1 runs away, and now there are 4.     
4 little turkeys by the sycamore tree,1 runs away, and now there are 3.
3 little turkeys gobbling as they do,1 runs away, and now there are 2.
2 little turkeys strutting in the sun,1 runs away, and  now there is 1.
1 lonely turkey run, runs away,for soon it will be Thanksgiving Day!

Crispy Herb and Apple Stuffing

I made my first Turkey last year, (we hosted dinner for our friends Saturday and went to our family's on Sunday). Most of the direction was given to me over the telephone by my mom and grandmother. Billy took all the guts out, (as I would say did the dirty work!). I also did not have a baster and had to lift and pour each time. Also, I opted not to stuff the turkey with the stuffing, but a peeled lemon which turned out nice. The bouquet garni really made the bird (using 1/2 for the turkey and half for the stuffing). It turned out well and maybe a bit small since there was nothing left but bones. This year we look forward to going to our family's only for Thanksgiving since our kitchen is undergoing renovations. Hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving this year!!!

Serves 8 to 10
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted Butter
3 cups chopped Onions (about 1 pound)
2 cups chopped Celery (4 to 5 stalks)
1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme from your Bouquet Garni
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage Bouquet Garni
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary Bouquet Garni
12 cups (generous) 1-inch cubes day-old Rustic Ruecht Boule with crust (about 1 1/4 pounds)
2 chopped apples
2 large Eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons fine Sea Salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground Black Pepper
1 cup (or more) Vegetable Broth
Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and celery. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Add all herbs; sauté 1 minute longer. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer to bowl, cover, and chill.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Divide bread between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake until bread is crusty but not hard, reversing sheets after 5 minutes, 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer to very large bowl and cool. Butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Stir vegetable mixture and apples into bread. Whisk eggs, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend; whisk in 1 cup broth. Add egg mixture to stuffing, tossing to combine evenly and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if dry. Transfer stuffing to prepared dish. Bake stuffing uncovered until cooked through and brown and crusty on top, 50 to 60 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tangy Braised Cabbage

Serves 4
4 tablespoons Butter
1 large Onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 large tart apple, peeled, cored, finely diced
1/2 head of cabbage, coarsely chopped or shredded, about 8 cups
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup apricot preserves or apple jelly
salt, to taste

In a large saucepan or electric skillet, or Dutch oven, heat butter over low heat; add onion and apple; sauté for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until soft. Add cabbage, pepper, and vinegar; and preserves or jelly; toss to blend well. Cover tightly and simmer slowly over low heat for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until cabbage is very soft and tender. Add salt to taste.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Stuffed Buttercup Squash

Serves 4.
1 Buttercupp Squash or any other squash
1 tsp. Black Pepper
1 med. Onion
Dried Red Pepper Flakes
2 Eggs, beaten
2 tbsp. Butter
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/4c raw Pumpkin Seeds
1 clove Garlic
1 Tomato
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 c. grated Colby cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Bake, cut side down, for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, saute in butter, onion, garlic, and dried peppers. Pumpkin seeds. Mix together eggs, cheeses, wheat germ, and pepper. Stuff squash with mixture and bake an additional 20 minutes or until done.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ontario Organic Turkeys

Green Earth Organics is proud to announce the sale of Ontario Organic Turkeys for this Thanksgiving. They come in sizes from 15lbs to 20lbs and are $6.50/lb. The Turkeys must be pre-ordered and are very limited. We will be confirming the order on a first come first serve basis; so please reserve your turkey as soon as you can. They will be delivered the week of October 6th through 9th. If you are not scheduled for a regular delivery that week, we are still happy to deliver your turkey and anything else you might need for your thanksgiving dinner. For the harvest bins that week we are planning for fresh cranberries, as well as the Dolway Gardens’ Bouquet Garnet(all the fresh herbs you need to season your turkey). Brick Street Breads' also makes excellent crispy stuffing.
Please email orders to or place it over the phone 416-285-5300
You should arrange to be home at the time of delivery to avoid any runaway birds, and we are happy to work with you on requested times.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Grilled Tofu Satay with Peaches and Bok Choy

Serves 4
6 tablespoons Smooth Peanut Butter, stirred to combine
1/3 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 to 3 teaspoons hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)*
9 tablespoons peach nectar, divided
3 Peaches or nectarines, each cut into 6 wedges
1 pack of Frim tofu cubed
6 heads of Baby Bok Choy, halved lengthwise
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Whisk first 5 ingredients and 5 tablespoons nectar until smooth; season sauce with pepper.
Arrange peaches, tofu, and bok choy on grill. Brush with 4 tablespoons nectar; brush lightly with 1/4 cup sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until peaches are slightly charred, shrimp are just opaque in center, and bok choy halves are just tender, about 2 minutes per side for peaches and 3 minutes per side for shrimp and bok choy.
Mound tofu, bok choy, and peaches on platter. Drizzle with some sauce. Serve with remaining sauce.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Ah yes, the smell of fall is in the air! And with the fall comes a return to routines and comfort… especially when it deals with food! Cooler temperatures, warmer clothes and falling leaves send us scurrying into the kitchen for some good ol’ fashioned “comfort eating”. But in this day and age of many dishes being deemed BAD for you—how do you get satisfaction AND stay healthy at the same time? Have no fear! ORGANIC BAKING is here!

For this week’s article, I am going to focus on one of the most treasured of all fruits: THE BANANA. Grown in sunny climates, the taste takes you back to warmer weather, sunshine on your face and the innoncence of childhood. (As a child I swear I LIVED off of bananas!)

As well as being tasty, bananas are one of the most versatile of all fruits. They can be found in breakfast offerings, main courses, deserts and of course drinks! Today we are going to incorporate them into a COMFORT food: LOAVES!

Banana loaf is one of the easiest and tastiest loaves to make. People of all ages LOVE them! A warm slice of banana bread topped with a dab of organic butter will satisfy the comfort food craving AND leave your house smelling GREAT! Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Here’s what you need:
• 2-1/4 cups Flour
• 1-1/2 cups granulated Sugar
• 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon Salt
• 1/2 cup chopped Walnuts (optional)
• 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) Butter, melted and cooled
• 3 large Eggs
• 6 Tablespoons sour cream, heaping
• 4 overripe Fair Trade Bananas
• 2 tsps. vanilla
• .
• Topping:
• 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• Hot water
• Topping Variation:
• 1/2 C. flour
• 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
• 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/4 C. butter, softened
• Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour two 8X4 OR three 7X3 loaf pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper; set aside.

• In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and chopped nuts, if using; set aside.

• In medium bowl, mix together butter, eggs, sour cream, bananas, and vanilla with a wooden spoon. Using a rubber spatula, lightly fold banana mixture into flour mixture until just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. Pour batter into prepared pans.

• In small bowl, mix together 3 Tablespoons sugar and cinnamon for topping. Add JUST ENOUGH hot water to make of “drizzly” consistency. Drizzle over tops of batter. If making topping variation, mix all of the ingredients together with a fork until crumbly and sprinkle over tops of batter.

• Bake 1 hr. (about 45-50 mins. for smaller loaves) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans and carefully remove parchment paper from bottoms of the loaves. Place loaves on wire rack and cool completely.

NOTE: Loaves can be frozen—just ensure they thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating them!

(many thanx to BESTCOOKER for her recipe!)

Happy HEALTHY baking!
Until next time,

Karen xo

Monday, August 31, 2009

Garlic Scape Pesto

1/2 cup Garlic Scapes, finely chopped
4 T fresh Lemon juice
1/2 cup Olive Oil
3 cups grated parmesan cheese
Salt to taste

Put garlic scapes and lemon juice in bowl of food processor with steel blade, and process until scapes are very finely chopped. With food processor running, add oil through the feed tube and process 2-3 minutes. Remove lid, add half of parmesan cheese and process 2 minutes, then add the rest of cheese and salt and process 2-3 minutes more.

Serve tossed with hot pasta. This would also be good on fish, as a topping for bread, or as a seasoning for cooked rice.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Healthy Lunches

Good nutrition is essential for your child to have a great day at school. Packing a sack lunch is one way to ensure that your child will have a nutritious mid-day meal, and even a healthy snack or two. The right lunch bag and accessories will allow you to pack a variety of healthy foods that are still tasty enough to please even the pickiest eaters.
Lunch Bag Tech
Brown paper bags may be convenient and inexpensive, but they rip easily and don’t help keep cold foods cold or hot foods hot. They are fine for a peanut butter sandwich and an apple, but not for much else.
Metal or plastic lunch boxes with insulated beverage containers are one step up from the brown bag because they are sturdier. Your child can take a hot or cold beverage with his lunch, but it is still difficult to control the temperature of the foods -- so food choices are still limited.
Insulated lunch bags are the best choice for school lunches. Some insulated lunch bags are equipped with freezer packs; you can also buy freezer packs separately. There are bags with two or more compartments, so foods and beverages can be kept separate. Insulated lunch bags can be very fashionable as well. Some look more like a trendy purse or tote bag, and there are plenty of novelty bags to please any boy or girl.
The insulated bag and freezer packs will keep your child’s lunch cold and, therefore, safe and fresh. Of course, your child may get tired of cold foods every day, so you also need insulated food jars for hot foods. Pick up a few plastic containers in smaller sizes and sandwich bags, too, and you'll be prepared to offer your child a variety of hot and cold healthy foods.
Healthy Lunch Bag Ideas
Sandwiches are a popular choice for a school lunch. Remember that meats, dairy products, and eggs are perishable, so be sure to use a freezer pack to keep them cold. Choose whole grain bread, wraps, or pitas. If your child resists whole grain breads, use bread that is made with some whole grain but still has the flavour and texture of white bread. Each sandwich should have a healthy protein source and healthy toppings. Some suggestions:
• Tuna sandwich wrap with light mayonnaise, lettuce and tomatoes
• Egg salad sandwich on whole grain bread
• Peanut butter, cashew, or almond butter with a 100 percent fruit spread on whole grain bread (a healthier PB&J)
• Sliced turkey, lean roast beef, or chicken from the deli--or left over from last night's dinner--with light mayonnaise, mustard, and a slice of cheese
What should you send along with the sandwich? A piece of fresh fruit is healthy but can get a bit boring after a while. Skip the greasy chips and choose from these healthier ideas, just remember to keep perishables cold:
• Send a salad in a small plastic container. Keep the dressing on the side in a separate smaller container.
• Cheese sticks go well with sandwiches and are a good source of calcium.
• Whole grain snack crackers add a nice crunch and lots of healthy fibre.
• Make a fruit salad with grapes, melons chunks, and blueberries.
• Dried fruit, like raisins, dried cranberries or banana chips
• Nuts like almonds, cashews, or walnuts
• Pack a cold pasta salad, cole slaw, or potato salad.
• Baby carrots with a small container of vegetable dip
• Crunchy raw green beans with a small container of ranch or French onion dip
• flavoured low-fat yogurt
Think Beyond the Sandwich
With insulated food jars, you can send hot foods to school, too, like leftovers from that delicious meal you made last night. Make sure the foods are heated up to at least 140 degrees before you load them into the insulated jars. Here are some hot food ideas:
• Beef and vegetable stew with a hard roll
• Chicken noodle soup and whole grain crackers
• Lasagna with a salad and bread
• Chicken casserole with carrots and vegetable dip.
• Chilli with whole grain crackers or bread
• Left over stir-fry or sautéed vegetables
With the right lunch gear, your child can enjoy a delicious and healthy lunch every day. Add a small cookie or tiny piece of candy for dessert along with juice, milk, or water for a complete healthy and fun meal.
Source: "Keeping Bag Lunches Safe." United States Department of Agriculture. September 27, 2006.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Green Cricket Special Offer 15% off

A few weeks ago I placed my first order with Like us, they are an online delivery company; however they offer everything we don’t, from home decor to toys. All their products are in some way, environmentally friendly. Just to give you an idea, here is how they work their ‘Green Rating System’
"Green Cricket assesses every product offered on our site against our own quality criteria, and provides full transparency of “what’s green” about each. Our Green Rating System uses a range of environmental factors that span the product lifecycle. We have grouped this System into five main criteria to evenly assess each product. Part of this evaluation includes the extent to which these products have obtained third-party certifications from government or standards organizations. We have chosen only those products that, based on this assessment, are consistent with our commitment to bringing the best in green products to you."
When I placed the order I got to choose when I wanted it delivered, as well as the delivery time; although I wanted it as soon as possible, the time of day made no difference. I ordered 4 sets of the (white) Organic Cotton Wash Cloth, Bath Towel, and Hand Towel. Yes, I know it’s a lot but I actually don’t own any organic cotton towels, so I was trying to replace some of the non-organic towels. The order came in an early Friday morning, Billy and I were both excited to open it because it wasn’t just a boring postal box, it was a cute little white box marked with the Green Cricket Logo.

I also tried to order their stainless steel ice cube trays ()but they were out of stock at the time. I’m pretty sure my grandmother has the same ones from decades ago; it’s a rectangle block, with a crank to break the ice. It looks like lots of fun. I will try again for the ice cube trays.
Their website allows you to put together an order and let it sit if you are not quite ready to have it delivered, it is also very easy to add or remove items from your shopping basket as you look through their site.
Green Cricket is offering all Green Earth Organic members a special discount. Enter GREENEARTH09 at check out to receive the discount. Please let me know what you order and how you like it on our blog!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Feast of Fields

Join us September 13 for the 20th Anniversary - Feast of Fields
Chefs, Vintners & Organic Producers Serving up an authentic organic food experience
Feast has received a tremendous show of support for our 20th anniversary celebration. From 100 exhibitors we have 40 chefs; 10 micro-breweries; 11 wineries and many, many more. View list on our website.

Chef Michael Smith

Chef Suman Roy
Photo credit: Vitality Magazine
“I look forward to being a part of this year’s Feast of Fields. In fact I had so much fun last year meeting passionate organic producers and chefs that I’m bringing Becky and Rachel with me. Because the best food is not just local, it’s created by your friends. And they just might get a tip or two to help them on their farm. My farm!"
Food Network at Home host Chef Michael Smith
“Feast of Fields is a unique way for people to discover organic food production by literally going directly to the source,” says Daniel Gilbert, Chair of Organic Advocate, the group responsible for organizing this event.
Noted Chef-owner of Daniel’s of Nobleton also notes, “Guests can use all their senses to truly experience food as never before while getting unique access to the people that actually grow their food and prepare their meals.”
“This colourful festival was founded as a way to bring chefs and farmers together to promote organic agriculture and sustainability. It has become one of Canada's leading foodie events, and it's a great way to get out of the city to get up close and personal with your food. Every year it features numerous food stations manned by a who's who of local chefs, brewers, winemakers, bakers, farmers and assorted culinary superheroes.” M. Smith 2008 Globe & Mail
All the food is created to be eaten by hand, eliminating paper plates and other disposable items. In the past, chefs have ingeniously served their fare wrapped in lettuce leaves, nestled in vegetable cups, layered on croquettes, mounded on cornbread and even set on cedar planks and pieces of salad. As a guest, you will be given a linen napkin and wine glass to use throughout the afternoon.
Patrons of Feast receive a carry bag with a ‘keepsake’ cook book of recipes prepared for the day and a selection of our best recipes from the past.
A special gift: Harrowsmith Country Life magazine is donating a one year subscription (per family) to ticket - guests of Feast.
Feast has raised over $50,000 for organic agricultural industry.

If you have already purchased your ticket, we thank you and will see you there. If you haven't, please view our PDF flyer or visit our website for information on this years event.

Tickets can be purchased through the Feast of Fields website or by phone: 905 859 3609

Photo credit: J. Glaser
Organic Advocates – Feast of Fields

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fresh Peach Cobbler


4 cups of fresh Peaches, sliced.
1 ¼ cups of Flour.
1 cup of Sugar.
½ cup of brown sugar.
½ cup of Butter.
1 tablespoon of Lemon juice.
1 teaspoon of Lemon peel.
½ teaspoon of Cinnamon.
¼ teaspoon of Salt.
Preparation Instructions:

Combine 1 cup of flour, ½ of cup sugar, the salt and the cinnamon.

Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Combine the sliced peaches, lemon juice, lemon peel, ½ cup of sugar and ¼ cup of flour; then spoon into greased nine-inch square dish.

Sprinkle the flour mixture over top of the peaches.

Cover and bake at 400°F (200°C) for 15 minutes. Then remove the cover and bake for another 40 minutes.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Plum Sherbert with Orange Juice and Plum Wine

Serves 6
5 firm but ripe plums, halved, pitted, cut into large chunks
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup water

1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons Japanese plum wine*
2 teaspoons grated Orange peel
1 teaspoon fresh Lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Large pinch of salt
1 cup Whipping Cream

Additional Japanese plum wine

Combine plums, sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until plums are tender and liquid is syrupy, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.

Transfer plum mixture to processor and puree until almost smooth. Mix in orange juice, corn syrup, plum wine, orange peel, lemon juice, vanilla extract and pinch of salt. Add cream and process just until well blended. Transfer mixture to ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer mixture to covered container and freeze until firm, about 3 hours. (Sherbet can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep frozen.) Scoop sherbet into bowls. Drizzle additional plum wine over sherbet and serve.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

sponsored by Green Cricket
In partnership with
Green Earth Organics
Join Our Consumer Feedback Sessions
Receive a healthy lunch/breakfast & free product giveaway!
Our Discussion will cover the following:
• Your experience of online shopping,
• The ease of finding products,
• The importance of using environmentally
friendly products,
• The importance of price,
• The importance of integrity of the green claim,
• Your frequency of shopping online.
To find out more & to register, contact
Heather Ellenor at:
There are three groups available for you to choose from, each with a maximum of 12 people.
Focus Group #1
July 31st
Lunch provided

Focus Group #2
August 5th
Lunch provided

Focus Group #3
August 6th
Breakfast provided

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rethinking Birth- A New Approach to Natural Birth

We all want to have a healthier lifestyle, and we all want a healthier environment. We switch our usual cleaning products for cleaner, greener ones; we check our food labels and switch our beauty products to include organic ingredients only. We are working harder than ever to reduce our energy consumption and cut down on greenhouse gases. So why, after making all this effort to live a greener, healthier lifestyle, do we throw it all out the window when it comes to birth?

A typical healthy woman will take huge strides to ensure the health of her own and her baby’s body throughout pregnancy, only to reach the birthing room and give up all control to endure a battery of unnecessary augmentations and interventions. These are not only physically and emotionally draining, but hard on the environment as well. Lets consider a new approach, a better concept that facilitates a better birthing. Lets call it “Organic Birth”

We all understand the concept of organic food and clothing. Crops are grown and nurtured then harvested and processed without the use of herbicides and pesticides, making sure to respect and preserve the plant and the earth that nurtures it. An Organic Birth follows the same principals, a birth not altered by synthetics or unnecessary interventions. A birth where we make sure to respect and preserve the well being of the baby and the mother that nurtures them.

So what kind of steps can you take to help ensure that you have as organic a birth as possible?

#1. Eat healthy organic food.
Keeping unnecessary synthetics out of your diet can greatly impact the health of your baby and yourself.

#2. Get Active!
Gentle exercise like prenatal yoga, swimming and walking all help to prepare the body for the upcoming birth.

#3. Practice positive affirmations.
Make a list of all the positive affirmations regarding birth and make sure to meditate on them every day. A good example of a powerful, positive affirmation would be: “I am healthy and strong, and I trust in my body’s ability to birth”.

#4. Hire a midwife.
If you are considering hiring a midwife, make sure to contact them very early in your pregnancy. Midwives are in high demand, thanks to their level of obstetric care that in some cases far outweighs the level of care found in hospitals. Choosing a midwife also allows you more flexibility in your birth options.

#5. Hire a Doula.
Doulas are professionally trained in all areas of birth and immediate postpartum. They provide physical and emotional support separate from the clinical care provided by doctors, nurses or midwives. They are there strictly to ensure you are fully supported before, during and after the birth and can assist you in making a birth plan, relaxation and other comfort measures for labor and much more.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can plan for a healthy organic birth, please feel free to contact me.

Caitlin Taffs
Labor Doula (C.A.P.P.A)
HynoBirthing Support Doula
Postpartum Extended Care
416. 655.4888
416. 698.5888

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Grilled Zucchini with Fresh Oregano

The perfect accompaniment to grilled fish, chicken or meat.
Serves 4
3 large Zucchini cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Oregano or 2 teaspoons dried, crumbled
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or pinch of dried, crumbled

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or preheat broiler. Brush zucchini with olive oil. Sprinkle both sides of zucchini with oregano, garlic and rosemary. Season zucchini slices generously with salt and pepper. Grill or broil until zucchini is tender, about 4 minutes per side.

Monday, July 6, 2009

New National Organic Standard

As of June 30, 2009, the Organic Products Regulations require mandatory certification to the revised National Organic Standard for agricultural products represented as organic in international and inter-provincial trade, or that bear the federal organic agricultural product legend (or federal logo).
Ottawa, June 24, 2009 — The Government of Canada today revealed the new organic logo that will give organics producers access to more markets and make sure Canadian families can find more certified organic food products in their grocery stores.

"This organic logo allows consumers to make informed, confident choices," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "At the same time, the new regulations will allow Canadian organic farmers to have their products recognized in this emerging market."

Canada's Organic Products Regulations (OPR), which come into force on June 30, 2009, set out rigorous standards for the certification of products as organic by accredited certification bodies. Products that meet the production requirements and contain at least 95 per cent organic content may be labelled as "organic" and feature the new Biologique Canada Organic Logo.

These new regulations apply to domestic and imported products. Regardless of origin, all products seeking organic certification must meet Canada's standards. To this end, an equivalency arrangement was recently reached with the United States to allow Canadian and American products to be certified as organic in either country. This agreement gives Canadian consumers more organic choices and organic farmers increased trade opportunities.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will work closely with the organic industry to help with the implementation of the new regulations.

For more information on Canada's organic products regulations and standards, please visit the CFIA website at:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Quinoa & Kale Salad

Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side

1 Cup uncooked Quinoa
3 Stalks of Black Kale
1/2 English Cucumber
1/2 Cup Cashews
1 Avocado
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp juice from a fresh Lemon
1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
Salad dressing to taste*

In a small point combine one cup quinoa with 2 cups of salted water and bring to a boil. Cover, and lower heat, simmering for about 15 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed.

While the quinoa cooks, remove the stems from the kale. Discard and chop the leaves finely, adding them to a large bowl.

Add the cashews and sesame seeds to the kale, and cucumbers. Add the avocado last (as you don’t want it to brown). Halve it, remove peel and pit, and chop into small pieces. Add to the salad along with the vinegar and lemon juice. Once the quinoa has cooked, stir it with a fork and transfer to the fridge to cool.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tomato, Cucumber, and Feta Salad

Serves 2
1 teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Sugar
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups sliced Ontario Campari Tomatoes
1 Ontario English Cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup crumbled Herbed Feta Cheese
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil or dill
In a bowl whisk together the vinegar, the sugar, the oil, and salt and pepper to taste, add the tomatoes, the cucumber, the Feta, and the basil, and toss the salad well.
New! Look for photos and reviews of our recipes on Twitter!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Roasted Baby Leeks and Asparagus

Serves 2-4 as a side
1 bunch Ontario Baby Leeks.
.5lb asparagus.
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon Olive Oil, Cretan.
1 tsp of tarragon or (2 tablespoons of fresh)
fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Trim the ends off the leeks and stand them upside down in a tall jug of water to let the dirt soak out of the leaves. Break the ends of the asparagus off. Combine leeks and asparagus in a shallow roasting pan. Add remaining ingredients and toss them around a bit so it is coated evenly. Roast in oven for 40-45 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!

Do you Twitter?

Green Earth Organics in Toronto now has its own Twitter: (GreenEarthTO). I'll be updating it periodically with whatever I think our members might find interesting.

Twitter describes itself as "... a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?"

The result is an easy way to send short updates, links, and information to people who are interested in what you are doing.

Some of the things you may find on our Twitter:

- Links to organic or earth-friendly news.

- Information about any delivery delays.

- Photos of tested recipes and ideas for using some of the fruits and vegetables in your bin.

- Information about new products before they come into stock.

- Product specials and sales.

If there's something else you think of that would be great to include, please let me know. You can reply on Twitter, call me in the office (416-285-5300), email me (, or comment on a post on our Blogger blog.

I look forward to Twittering with you!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tarragon Shallot Egg Salad Sandwiches

Picnic season is upon us. Jules, my 2 year old son just went on his first one this weekend. These sandwiches were a hit and even turned Billy (who does not like egg salad)for them. Hope you enjoy!
Makes 6 Sandwiches
8 large Eggs (hard boiled, cooled)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Finely sliced shallots
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
For Assembly:
12 thinly sliced pieces small whole wheat multigrain sandwich loaf
pea shoots
Peel eggs and finely chop. Stir together remaining salad ingredients with a fork. Make sandwiches with bread and pea shoots.

Where do all Those Delicious Local Herbs, Spinach and Rhubarb Come From? Dolway Organic Garden

In 1991, John Wilson and Christine Scheer got married, quit their jobs, and bicycled around the world. When they got home a year later, they moved to the farm and began the process of converting it into an organic farm. Over the years John has grown the farming enterprise and now farms 25 acres of certified organic vegetables.

John is the full-time farmer, while Christine runs a cooking school off of the farm and writes newspaper and magazine columns with a focus on local produce.

The farm was bought in 1927 by Flora Wilson,John’s great grandmother. Flora named the farm ‘Dolway Farm’ after her late husband, Dr. John Dolway Wilson.
The farm is in the picturesque Thames River Valley. It is on the south facing slope with 7 fields on 3 terraces. The isolation from surrounding farm land is enhanced by the extensive wood lot that surrounds each field. This isolation is great for ensuring that disease and insect infestations are minimized. Careful crop rotation is also used to ensure healthy crops.

John now grows an extensive variety of vegetables and herbs that are sold across southwestern Ontario. While spinach, rhubarb, spring mix and basil are always popular, tomatillos, zucchini, patty pan squash, and cilantro run close seconds. Cheers to the folks that have discovered our edamame, and hurray for all the lucky customers that get our beautiful fingerling potatoes. John adds new products every year to keep everybody on their toes, and this year we are looking at new varieties of cauliflower, even more potatoes, celeriac, and perhaps some heirloom tomatoes.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Special equipment needed: A food processor
1 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
2 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Makes 1 cup.
Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices

GEO & Organic Lifestyle

Green Earth Organics is doing a special 2 week promotion with Organic Lifestyle, please keep your eye out for a special discount card in your bin this week or last. This store shares many of the same values as us!
At Organic Lifestyle, like you, we believe organic represents quality over quantity, as it uses more considered production techniques and avoids the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides and toxic dyes. This is particularly relevant when you consider cotton is usually a heavily sprayed crop.

We directly source from organizations that work with farmers to International certifying authorities to validate that the products are certified to the highest organic standards. We don't stop there - We look for environmentally friendly manufacturing procedures such as Oeko-tex and ensure the use of low impact dyes.

What this means for you:
We read the labels so you don't have to
Less harmful chemical exposure
Softer and longer lasting products
Please use the promotion code 'greenearth1' to receive 10% off first purchase online

Monday, May 11, 2009

Slugs in the Garden

There are a few ways of deterring slugs from eating away at our gardens. Rather than using the slug killers on the market that contain products that do not enhance life in the soil nor promote healthy plants or food crops, you could try the following alternatives:

Leaving a half empty bottle or can of beer in your garden will have slugs climbing in it, and after a taste they will not be able to climb back out.

I have also been successful with eggshells scattered around plants like Hostas and leafy greens in my veggie garden. The eggshells will need to be rinsed or they will attract critters. After cleaning them, crush them and apply at the base of plants. The process is most effective when the shells are reapplied on a regular basis.

Another process that is quite effective, although gruesome, is to come out after dark with a pair of scissors and a flashlight as they are lurking in your garden in search of food and snip them.

Living Canvas is providing sustainable human powered gardening practices, and pesticides alternative, keeping you and your neighborhood at peace naturally. Living Canvas believes in enriching the soil which in turn feeds the plants.

Every year we add soil amender to your flower beds and lawn. This process provides nutrition plants require for a healthy growing season. All the organic matter when breaking down continues to nourish and equalizes the soil PH. Liming is no longer required for lawns. The organic matter in the soil also enhances moisture retention which reduces water consumption. We also support earth friendly, biological pest control methods for the benefit of your health as well as the health of your entire yard ecosystem.

Less Nutrition in Modern (Conventional) Veggies

"If you're still not buying the whole "organic-is-better" argument, this study might convince you otherwise. As Davis points out, more than three billion people around the world suffer from malnourishment and yet, ironically, efforts to increase food production have actually produced food that is less nourishing. Fruits seem to be less affected by genetic and environmental dilution, but one can't help but wonder how nutritionally bankrupt veggies can be avoided."FROM The Skimmer, Time magazine


Serves 2

1/2 pound fresh fiddleheads
1 Tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 wild leeks
2 Tbsp chopped chives
2 tablespoons white wine

Steam fiddleheads just until tender. Meanwhile, heat butter in a heavy frying pan and sauté garlic and leeks until softened.
Blend in wine.
Add steamed fiddleheads, turning to coat them well in the sauce. Serve at once.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Country Rhubarb Cake

This variation on the classic Irish apple cake has a top and bottom crust made from a biscuitlike dough. You can cut this cake into wedges or dish it out with a spoon like a cobbler.

Serves 6-8
35 min
For cake
1 lb fresh rhubarb stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (3 cups), or 3 cups frozen rhubarb, thawed after measuring
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup whole milk
2 large eggs (1 separated)

For whiskey cream
1 cup chilled heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon whiskey (preferably Irish)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Make cake:

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a 10-inch glass or ceramic pie plate or a 2 1/2-quart oval gratin dish and chill.

Toss rhubarb with brown sugar in a bowl until coated.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl until combined well. Blend in butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk together milk, whole egg, and yolk. Make a well in center of flour mixture and add milk mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon to gradually incorporate flour and form a soft, sticky dough.

Transfer half of dough to chilled pie plate and pat out over bottom and halfway up side with well-floured hands, then spoon rhubarb and any juices onto dough. Using a tablespoon, spoon remaining dough in small mounds evenly over top. Lightly beat egg white with a few drops of water, then lightly brush cake with egg wash. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar over top.

Bake cake until top crust is golden and rhubarb is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool, about 30 minutes.

Make whiskey cream:

Beat cream with confectioners sugar, whiskey, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer until it forms stiff peaks.

Serve cake warm or at room temperature with whiskey cream.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Introducing Sicilian Gold Certified Organic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

When Charles Fragapane inherited his family's land near Agrigento, Sicily, he set out to realize his vision of producing fine quality extra virgin olive. The decision was made to produce the olive oil using organic farming methods, so the land had to be cleared an left to purify naturally for a few years before new olive trees could be planted. Only trees grown in this way can be certified organic under the European Unions Organic Farming standard, and after three years the young trees were ready to produce their first harvest.Ê

The fruit from the young olive trees yielded oil with rich herbal and fruit aromatics and flavours, and a pleasantly bitter, peppery finish. It is often said that the purest olive oil is like liquid gold, and so Mr. Fagapane thought the name Sicilian Gold was a good choice for his new company.

Sicilian Gold olive oil is made with the specially selected blend of Biancollila, Nocellara del Belice, Coratina and Cerasuola olives.Ê To achieve the superior quality of olive oil, only unripe olives are used.Ê The unripe olives have a much lower water content than the ripe fruit, and as a result have a more distinctive, intense flavour. The low water content is also important for preventing oxidation of the olives and minimizing the acidity of the oil. Harvesting of the olives usually begins in October, the olives are picked by hand to prevent bruising, and then cold pressed within 24 hours of picking.Ê All this is critical to achieving a maximum acidity of 0.3% in the oil, the hallmark of fine Italian extra virgin olive oil.

The result of this meticulous production method is a pure, unfiltered extra virgin olive oil that is not only rich in flavours and aromas,Ê but also in the valuable nutrients that make olive oil so renowned for its health benefits.

Sicilian Gold tasting notes - bouquet of fresh grass; flavours of artichoke, tomato and green banana; strong peppery finish.

Sicilian Gold Olive Oil is certified organic through the European Unions Organic Farming organization. All of the Sicilian Gold bottles are labeled with the certification and bottling registration numbers in accordance with the EU Organic Farming EC Control System. Further information on the EU Organic Farming system can be found on their website at,Ê

Patti's Gluten Free Zuchinni Muffins

1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup potato flour
1/4 ground flax
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 grated banana + grated zucchini to equal 2 cups total

Stir wet ingredients all at once into dry ingredients. Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spicy-Sweet Valencia Tofu with Baby Bok Choy

Serves 4
6 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
1 package of tofu
1/3 cup fresh squeezed valencia orange juice
1/3 cup Asian sweet chili sauce
12 strips orange peel
1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
2 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger

Cover bottom of large skillet with 1/2 inch water. Add bok choy; drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover; cook over high heat until bok choy is tender, about 5 minutes. Arrange bok choy around edge of platter. Boil liquid in skillet until reduced to glaze, about 1 minute; pour over bok choy.

Mix tofu and next 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in same skillet over high heat. Add onions and ginger. Sauté 1 minute. Add tofu mixture. Toss until tofu is just cooked center, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer tofu to platter. Cook sauce until thickened, about 2 minutes. Spoon sauce over tofu.

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day is this Wednesday April 22! You can find us this Wednesday on Breakfast Television on City TV, as well this weekend we will be at the Green Living Show at the CNE. Please stop by and say hi. We will also be participating in Earth Day at Downsview Park on Sunday. As you know, spring is upon us, and with spring comes the beginning of all the fresh local produce. For the week of April 27, you will see the very first of it, which will be chives! There will be more to come in the following weeks.
Here are Earth Day Canada’s Top Ten Actions to Help the Environment:
1.Smart Shopping
* “Buy what you need, not what you want”
* Consider renting and borrowing things that are seldom needed
* Buy used items from garage sales and second-hand stores
2. Simple Savers
* Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulb
* Use aerators on faucets and shower heads
* Weather strip windows and doors
3. Transportation Alternatives
* Walk, cycle, car pool and use public transportation
* When driving, reduce idling and maintain correct tire pressure
* Consider car sharing programs or renting
4. Food Choices
* Choose local and organic foods that are in season, and support local food producers
* Eat less meat
5. Washing and Drying
* Wash full loads of clothes in cold water and hang to air dry
6. Heating and cooling
* In the summer, set your thermostat to 24°C or 25°C
* In the winter, set your thermostat to 19°C or 20°C
* Install ceiling fans and programmable thermostats
7. Close to Home
* Vacation, travel and work as close to home as possible
8. Bathroom Basics
* Take short showers instead of baths
* Close water taps while brushing your teeth
9. Careful Cleaning
* Choose natural, non-toxic cleaning products
* Make simple, natural cleaners with ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and water
10. Don’t Discard
* Donate, reuse and recycle items before throwing them into the trash
* Harmful materials like chemicals, batteries, electronics, etc. should be taken to local hazardous waste depots or recyclers

Here’s what you can expect at Downsview park, Sunday April 26
“This year Earth Day at Downsview Park also features environmentally-friendly exhibits, activities and entertainment – rain or shine – for the whole family! Corporate and community groups and members of the public are invited to Earth Day at Downsview Park to leave their legacy and help create a sustainable community for future generations by planting 2000 trees in Downsview Park’s Canada Forest.
This year’s Earth Day entertainment and activities include:
The Green Pavilion offers food, crafts and products by eco-friendly vendors and exhibitors.
The City of Toronto’s Environment Day is collecting all your used household items and make sure they get recycled or reused by folks who want and need them. Best of all, you’ll be keeping your junk out of the landfill, so everyone wins.
Interactive exhibits by Creepy Crawlers, the Canadian Raptor Conservatory, Reptilia and Toronto Conservation’s Watershed on Wheels – showcase fun ways to learn about nature and the environment.
The Kids Area features arts and crafts, origami, buskers, face painting, nature walks and more!
Our Main Stage salutes the best in up and coming enviro-focused musical entertainment by Mr. Something Something & the SoundCycle, and will feature educational animal shows by the Canadian Raptor Conservatory and Reptilia

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sautéed Collard Greens

serves 8

3 pound collard greens, leaves halved lengthwise and stems and center ribs discarded
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Stack several collard leaf halves and roll up tightly into a cigar shape. Cut crosswise into very thin slices (no wider than 1/8 inch). Roll and slice remaining leaves in same manner.
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté collards, tossing with tongs, just until bright green, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Collards can be thinly sliced 6 hours ahead and chilled in a sealed plastic bag.

April 17 : Earth alert - raising environmental consciousness @ University of Toronto

Climate change is with us. A decade ago it was conjecture, now the future is unfolding before our eyes. Now, more than ever, Mother Earth needs us to tread as lightly on her as possible. But, how do we change the deeply embedded lifestyles and habits? Join us for an insightful workshop and vegan feast with Devamrita Swami at the Multifaith centre, University of Toronto. Check event details and RSVP at .

April 18 : Beyond vegetarianism - a mouthful of spirituality @ 5 Shuter street
People tend to think that the way we eat is the way it always has been and the way it always will be. But food is in constant flux, traveling all over the world and taking root from one continent to the next. Come join hands with Toronto’s bustling Vegan community and make a wish for a change in Status Quo. Employ the power of sound vibration or Kirtan yoga. Vegan feast included. Check details and RSVP at

Hope to see you at some of these events.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Cilantro & Garlic Baked Tomatoes

Serves 2 as a side

1 tomato
1/4 cup packed fresh basil cilantro, washed well and spun dry
1 garlic clove
½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
fine sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Coarsely grated cheese for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Halve tomato lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a small spoon. Arrange tomatoes in one layer, cut sides up, on a non-stick or lightly oiled jelly-roll pan.
In a small food processor blend cilantro, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper until mixture forms a paste and spread about 1/2 teaspoon in each tomato half. Top with cheese if desired.
Bake tomatoes 30 to 40 minutes, or until tender and juicy but intact, and cool slightly before serving.

Save the CBC

Dear friends,
The government is forcing the CBC to drastically cut 800 staff and programming. We urgently need a massive public outcry to Save the CBC:
Sign the petition!

Canada’s media networks have all been slammed by the recession. But the government is reportedly considering bailouts for its friends at private companies CTV and CanWest, while forcing the CBC and Radio Canada to drastically cut 800 staff and programming.

Our CBC is a national treasure, and a pillar of public-interest journalism in a country whose media is owned by a few large firms. We won’t hear an outcry from their media outlets, and the CBC is too principled to use its megaphone to make the case for itself. We are the only voice the CBC has.

We urgently need a massive public outcry to Save the CBC, click below to sign the petition. The government is weak and falling in the polls and enough outrage can make the difference. Parliamentarians have promised to deliver the petition directly in the House of Commons, and we'll even fly a plane and banner over Parliament Hill with the message! Sign now, and forward this email to everyone who might care about this:

The number of signatures on the petition will be crucial to the effectiveness of the campaign, so let’s get everyone who cares about the CBC and Radio Canada to sign.

The CBC is facing a budget shortfall that amounts to just $6 per Canadian, but its request to the government for a bridging loan to cover this was denied. The deep cuts the CBC is making will damage the organization across the board, and they will not be the last. If we don’t stand up for the CBC now, it stands to die a death by a thousand cuts. Harper’s minority government is politically vulnerable and falling in the polls – public outrage could turn the government around on this, but it has to happen now. Let's move quickly.

Monday, March 30, 2009

About Mountain View Estates Coffee

If you have yet to try Mountain View Estates Coffee, now is the time. Their coffee is freshly roasted each week. It's fair trade certifies and shade grown.

"The Mountain View Estates Coffee Company is a gourmet coffee company that specializes in only the best coffees grown from around the world. Our coffees are carefully roasted to exact specifications yielding the best tasting coffee ever.

Choose from our extensive line of Fair Trade, organic coffees or our conventional roasts.

If you are looking for a coffee that everyone will talk about and leave a lasting impression we have the specialty roast you are searching for.

Mountain View is Liscenced with Trans Fair Canada and has one of the most extensive lines of Certified Fair Trade and Organic Coffees."

Learn more on Mountain View Estate's website:

Mountain View Estates Direct Fair Trade Organic Coffee is available from Green Earth Organics! Check out the Coffee & Tea category (2nd and 3rd page) on the website or call us in the office at 416-285-5300 for more information.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Leek and Camembert Tart

Makes 8 first-course servings
1 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
4 leeks (white and pale green parts only), sliced (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup whipping cream
4 ounces Camembert cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large egg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out each pastry sheet on lightly floured surface to 12-inch square. Stack squares and roll to 15-inch square. Using 14-inch pizza pan as guide, cut stacked dough into 14-inch round. Crimp edge of dough to form 1/4-inch rim. Transfer to pizza pan or baking sheet. Freeze 10 minutes.
Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and 1/4 cup water; cook until leeks are tender, about 15 minutes. Season leeks with salt; set aside to cool. Bring cream to simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; add Camembert and stir until melted. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes. Whisk in egg, cayenne, and nutmeg. Set custard aside.
Sprinkle Parmesan over crust. Spread leeks over. Drizzle custard over. Bake until bottom is golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Obamas to Plant Vegetable Garden at White House

Published: March 19, 2009
Source: New York Times
WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of the South Lawn on Friday to plant a vegetable garden, the first at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II. There will be no beets — the president does not like them — but arugula will make the cut.
Sam Kass, an assistant White House chef, left, and Dale Haney, the White House gardener, at the site of the new vegetable garden on the South Lawn.
While the organic garden will provide food for the first family’s meals and formal dinners, its most important role, Mrs. Obama said, will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at a time when obesity and diabetes have become a national concern.
“My hope,” the first lady said in an interview in her East Wing office, “is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”
Twenty-three fifth graders from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington will help her dig up the soil for the 1,100-square-foot plot, in a spot visible to passers-by on E Street. (It is just below the Obama girls’ swing set.)
Students from the school, which has had a garden since 2001, will also help plant, harvest and cook the vegetables, berries and herbs. Virtually the entire Obama family, including the president, will pull weeds, “whether they like it or not,” Mrs. Obama said with a laugh. “Now Grandma, my mom, I don’t know.” Her mother, she said, will probably sit back and say: “Isn’t that lovely. You missed a spot.”
Whether there would be a White House garden had become more than a matter of landscaping. The question had taken on political and environmental symbolism, with the Obamas lobbied for months by advocates who believe that growing more food locally, and organically, can lead to more healthful eating and reduce reliance on huge industrial farms that use more oil for transportation and chemicals for fertilizer.
Then, too, promoting healthful eating has become an important part of Mrs. Obama’s own agenda.
The first lady, who said that she had never had a vegetable garden, recalled that the idea for this one came from her experiences as a working mother trying to feed her daughters, Malia and Sasha, a good diet. Eating out three times a week, ordering a pizza, having a sandwich for dinner all took their toll in added weight on the girls, whose pediatrician told Mrs. Obama that she needed to be thinking about nutrition.
“He raised a flag for us,” she said, and within months the girls had lost weight.

Dan Barber, an owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, an organic restaurant in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., that grows many of its own ingredients, said: “The power of Michelle Obama and the garden can create a very powerful message about eating healthy and more delicious food. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it could translate into real change.”
While the Clintons grew some vegetables in pots on the White House roof, the Obamas’ garden will far transcend that, with 55 varieties of vegetables — from a wish list of the kitchen staff — grown from organic seedlings started at the Executive Mansion’s greenhouses.
The Obamas will feed their love of Mexican food with cilantro, tomatillos and hot peppers. Lettuces will include red romaine, green oak leaf, butterhead, red leaf and galactic. There will be spinach, chard, collards and black kale. For desserts, there will be a patch of berries. And herbs will include some more unusual varieties, like anise hyssop and Thai basil. A White House carpenter, Charlie Brandts, who is a beekeeper, will tend two hives for honey.
The total cost of seeds, mulch and so forth is $200, said Sam Kass, an assistant White House chef, who prepared healthful meals for the Obama family in Chicago and is an advocate of local food. Mr. Kass will oversee the garden.
The plots will be in raised beds fertilized with White House compost, crab meal from the Chesapeake Bay, lime and green sand. Ladybugs and praying mantises will help control harmful bugs.
Cristeta Comerford, the White House’s executive chef, said she was eager to plan menus around the garden, and Bill Yosses, the pastry chef, said he was looking forward to berry season.
The White House grounds crew and the kitchen staff will do most of the work, but other White House staff members have volunteered.
So have the fifth graders from Bancroft. “There’s nothing really cooler,” Mrs. Obama said, “than coming to the White House and harvesting some of the vegetables and being in the kitchen with Cris and Sam and Bill, and cutting and cooking and actually experiencing the joys of your work.”
For children, she said, food is all about taste, and fresh and local food tastes better.
“A real delicious heirloom tomato is one of the sweetest things that you’ll ever eat,” she said. “And my children know the difference, and that’s how I’ve been able to get them to try different things.
“I wanted to be able to bring what I learned to a broader base of people. And what better way to do it than to plant a vegetable garden in the South Lawn of the White House?”
For urban dwellers who have no backyards, the country’s one million community gardens can also play an important role, Mrs. Obama said.
But the first lady emphasized that she did not want people to feel guilty if they did not have the time for a garden: there are still many changes they can make.

“You can begin in your own cupboard,” she said, “by eliminating processed food, trying to cook a meal a little more often, trying to incorporate more fruits and vegetables.”

Friday, March 20, 2009

Balsamic Zucchini

Serves 6 as a side
4 lb medium zucchini, cut diagonally into 3/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup pine nuts (1 oz), toasted and finely chopped

Preheat broiler. Toss zucchini with oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Arrange zucchini in 1 layer in 2 shallow baking pans (1 inch deep). Broil 1 pan of zucchini 3 to 5 inches from heat, without turning, until browned in spots and beginning to soften, 4 to 6 minutes. Drizzle 2 tablespoons vinegar over broiled zucchini and shake pan a few times, then continue to broil until most of vinegar is evaporated, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over broiled zucchini and broil until cheese is melted, about 1 minute more. Cook remaining pan of zucchini in same manner. Cool to room temperature and serve sprinkled with pine nuts.