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.