We live in a country that offers a bounty of local foods like apples, corn, potatoes, squash, and root vegetables. However, much of Canada’s climate creates perfect growing conditions for only a few months of the year. So how do we eat local all year round?
Beyond the produce aisle, look for dairy products including milk, yogurt, and artisanal cheeses available from local producers and fresh goods from area bakeries and meat from freerange poultry to domestic beef to exotic game. Our waters teem with omega-3 rich fish such as mackerel, salmon, tuna, herring and trout. There are many coffee and tea providers and vineyards and breweries that offer beverages to create a perfect pairing with your meal.
Choosing to eat local supports your community, promotes your family’s health and is eco friendly. However, it may not be practical to get all of your food from local sources. Like any healthy behavior, the secret ingredient is balance.
Big Local Bounty Stew
»» 3 Tbsp olive oil
»» 8 pearl onions or small shallots, peeled
»» 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
»» 2-3 bay leaves, chopped very finely
»» 1 red finger hot pepper, seeded and chopped finely
»» ½ Tbsp paprika
»» 1 lb potatoes cut in 1 inch cubes
»» 3 carrots, peeled and sliced in ½ inch rounds
»» 3 turnips, peeled and chopped in ½ inch cubes
»» 1 rutabaga, peeled and chopped in 1 inch cubes
»» 1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and chopped in 1 inch cubes
»» 3 tomatoes, chopped coarsely
»» 2 tsp sugar
»» 2 cups dry red wine
»» 1 cup water
»» Salt and freshly ground black pepper
»» Sour cream or yogurt, to garnish
6 servings | Prep 2 hrs 20 mins
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Heat the oil in an oven-and-flameproof casserole dish or dutch oven.
Sauté the onions or shallots for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaves, hot pepper, and paprika, and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the vegetables and apple, stir to coat them with the oil and spices, and cook for a few minutes. Add the sugar, wine, water, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and transfer to the oven.
Bake for 1 hour. Reduce the heat to 275°F (160°C), and bake for 1 hour longer. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt. Enjoy with local crusty bread.