Food, Healthy Lifestyle, Restless Retiree, Retirement lifestyle

Spring Shopping at the Farmers’ Market and a Few Grab ‘n Go Ideas from Granville Island

Recently, I went to one of our local farmers’ markets and at an organic vegetable stand I selected some rhubarb, a shallot, some spinach and Jerusalem Chokes.  I had no experience with the knobby, brown chokes but another shopper assured me that they are a tasty root vegetable you can boil in water.  At the lone bakery booth I bought a loaf of  bread for a pricey $7 that turned out to be burnt along the bottom crust. A defect I missed when purchasing.

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That night I sautéed spinach to go along with the lightly boiled chokes and some barbequed chicken.

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The next day I tried to salvage the bread by cutting off the burnt crusts and incorporating the remaining cut-up bread into an egg bake but I discovered that soggy bread isn’t very appealing. It tasted better the next day after it had a chance to firm up a bit.  The rhubarb purchase was more successful, after I cooked it on the stove top with a splash of maple syrup it made a tart and tasty topping for ice-cream and yogurt. It also worked well in smoothies in my new Ninja blender.

This was my first trip to a farmers’ market this spring and I’m planning to go weekly during the summer months to all of the markets operating in and around Vancouver.

A Few Grab ‘n Go Ideas from Granville Island

Here are a few items I regularly prepare for lunch or dinner that I pick up at Granville Island, a ten minute walk from my condo.

This first option is fresh pasta stuffed with various vegetables and cheese. With some prepared pesto and a bunch of spinach wilted into the cooked pasta it makes a great meal for lunch, or dinner. Tip: remember to reserve a bit of the starchy cooking water to loosen up your sauce and help it stick to the pasta.

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Toss in some tomato to add colour and more nutrition and finish it off with fresh herbs and a dusting of grated Parmesan.

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Another favourite take-away is a small ‘pizza’ (they call it focaccia) from Terra Breads, very yummy, this one’s potato. I rarely order take-out pizza as this satisfies any craving I may have for a doughy, salty treat.  Heat it up at a low temperature in the oven (never microwave bread items) for a delicious snack or add a soup or salad to make a meal.

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Another favourite is candied salmon that I buy at the fish monger in the market. I like to crumble it up and add to a salad, stir fry or pasta dish. It’s expensive but it packs in a lot of flavour for only a small amount.

I like to flavour my stir fries with fresh lemon, salt, pepper and some crushed garlic and olive oil.

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Here’s the finished salmon & vegetable stir-fry rounded off with brown rice & barley.

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I’m lucky to live in a neighbourhood with so many food shopping options! I’ll share more soon!

 

 

 

 

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Food, Healthy Lifestyle, Restless Retiree, Retirement lifestyle

What’s for Supper?

 

Supper, or dinner, is probably my least favourite meal of the day. Usually I’ve spoiled my appetite and I have to force myself to eat something nourishing otherwise it’s an evening of snacks – not good!

I eat fish at least once a week and tonight it’s cod and trust me, I really need to have an appetite to enjoy a chunk of fish when the cookie jar is calling me.  For example, I made these oatmeal cookies on Monday and they’re all gone now!

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On Tuesday, I stopped in at Granville Island after a bike trip on the newly redesigned False Creek Seawall South. They’ve done a great job separating the bike and pedestrian paths. It’s a beautiful stretch along the creek between Science World and Granville Island, but there are sterile patches without any trees as the old Cherry Trees were deemed too fragile & got the chop!

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I picked up a pound of cod at my go-to fish monger, Seafood City. I forgot that Tuesday is cruise ship day, but the crowds weren’t too bad. It’s awkward when your local grocery store is also the #2 tourist destination in the city (Stanley Park rates #1). I smeared the cod with Oyster Sauce, it can stand up to the cod’s texture and natural flavour. Bake it in a hot oven & it’s done in thirteen minutes.

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I thought some fresh veg would go nicely with some couscous as I’m potato’ed and breaded out. No leafy greens on hand, just cuke, red pepper, green onion and parsley mixed with a lemon, sour creme, yogurt, mayo and olive oil dressing.

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Meanwhile the couscous steams in boiled water. Pretty easy, I prefer whole wheat couscous but it’s not always available.

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Mix it up with the veg and it’s ready to meet the cod!

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Add some organic steamed carrots and it makes a satisfying dinner ready in under 30 minutes!

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I did break down & have a pre-dinner snack: an appetizer of focaccia bread, heated up in the oven it’s pretty yummy!

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Enjoy, see you next time!

 

 

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