What is Canadian food? If you think “poutine”, “bacon” or “butter tarts” you’re kind of on track but there is so much more to our food (culture) than that. From coast to coast, Canada's geography provides terrain for some of the world's most diverse agriculture and in Homegrown, editor, Professional Home Economist (PHEc) Mairlyn Smith proves that Canada can be the key ingredient in any meal. Making a stew? Include Saskatchewan-farmed lentils. How about a pie? There are BC blueberries for that! Even for pancakes, you can find Albertan barley flour (and serve it with Quebec maple syrup, of course!).
Homegrown contains over 175 recipes collected from members and students of the Ontario Home Economics Association and celebrates the food we grow, produce and manufacture here in Canada. In Homegrown, Mairlyn and the community of PHEcs pay tribute to the farmers and people who make what's on our daily table a reality. There’s a ton of information about Canadian foods and why the "Made in Canada" label represents a mark of excellence. Homegrown truly showcases the best of Canada.
The book is roughly divided into chapters according to ingredient or dish-types. You’ll find recipes for: quickbreads and breads, egg dishes, cheese dishes, whole grains, soups, vegetables, salads, legumes and pulses, pork and lamb, fish and seafood, poultry, beef and fruit. Each recipe is labeled according to its seasonality (many are “multi-seasonal”) and many of the recipes include information about ingredients (how to choose them correctly and what to look for) and PHec tips in the sidebar. Each recipe in Homegrown includes nutritional information as well as a carb counter if that is something you need to refer to.
At the end of the book there is a helpful section, which includes menu ideas for special occasions according to the seasons and there’s also a glossary of some of the ingredients used throughout the book with guides for shopping/ choosing these ingredients correctly and tips for recipe success.
There’s also a good section on sources of a lot more information about the foods we grow and produce in Canada with websites where you can go to find out even more (through the book these are listed as well).
The Recipes (and other information)
I’m a huge fan of cookbooks that include a lot of information about the ingredients and on this level, Homegrown certainly does not disappoint. I was impressed with the rundown of all the Canadian grains/ flours, which included information on where to buy them and how to use them (some of them you can even grind yourself!). There’s lots of useful information included in the book even beyond the sidebars and recipes themselves – for example, before the pancake recipes, there’s a “Pancake Primer” which gives tips and tricks for perfect pancakes.
You’ll also find information about:
- Grades of maple syrup;
- How to give your pantry a makeover;
- Egg basics;
- Tips for entertaining with cheese;
- Ideas for making a great grilled cheese sandwich;
- Whole grains 101;
- Why soup is good for you (and a tribute to its flexibility within a menu);
- Introductions to classic Canadian ingredients such as lentils, back bacon and mushrooms;
- What a typical serving size of various foods looks like;
- How to waste less and enjoy more fresh produce;
- Tips for shopping at the farmers’ market;
- Cooking pulses and legumes from scratch (i.e. dry);
- Correctly cooking various (cuts of) meats and poultry;
- Food safety;
- Treats and how often we should indulge
…and so much more!
This is a book that every Canadian should own and read from cover to cover. Not just to get some great recipe ideas but also to get a better understanding and develop a deeper appreciation for what “Canadian food” really is. Diverse. Delicious. And, thanks to this book, do-able for everyone!
Whole Wheat Seed Bread (Multi-seasonal) - Jan Main, PHEc
(reprinted with permission)
“This wholesome loaf is a perfect accompaniment to soups and salads, not to
mention freshly made preserves in the summer.” —Jan
3 cups (750 L) lukewarm water (approx. 100°F/38°C)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) traditional active yeast
2 tsp (10 mL) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (75 mL) liquid honey
1/4 cup (60 mL) canola oil
1 cup (250 mL) natural bran or wheat germ (see note)
1 cup (250 mL) quick oats
3/4 cup (175 mL) sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp (15 mL) iodized salt (see note)
6 cups (1.5 L) whole wheat flour (approx.)
Additional oats or seeds to pat onto surface
1. Lightly oil two 9- × 5-inch (2 L) loaf pans or line with wet parchment paper, well wrung out (see p. 388). Set aside.
2. Rinse a very large mixing bowl with hot water to warm it up, then add the lukewarm water.
3. Sprinkle yeast and sugar over the water. Let stand about 10 minutes or until yeast becomes frothy.
4. Whisk in honey, oil, bran (or wheat germ), oats, sunflower seeds and salt (do not omit!). Using a wooden spoon, beat in flour 1 cup(250 mL) at a time, making sure you beat until the batter is smooth before adding more flour. When all the flour has been added, beat vigorously until well blended. Dough will be heavy and moist.
5. Divide dough in half and pat into the prepared pans. Sprinkle unbaked loaves with additional quick oats and sunflower seeds, pressing into the surface of each loaf. Cover loaves with a clean tea towel and let stand in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until risen. Note: this is a heavy bread so it won’t rise as high as a regular yeast bread.
6. About 5 minutes before the dough has risen, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake loaves for 40 to 45 minutes or until a deep golden brown. Loaves should produce a hollow sound when tapped.
7. Cool loaves on racks for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely before storing.
Makes two 9-inch (2 L) loaves, 16 slices per loaf
One serving = 1 slice
Per serving: 147 Calories, 3.4 g Total Fat, 0.6 g Saturated Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 297 mg Sodium, 24g Carbohydrate, 3.4 g Fibre, 6.8 g Sugars, 6 g Added Sugars, 7.4 g Protein, Carbohydrate Choices: 1 1/2
Ingredient Note : Iodized Salt—Salt has an important function in yeast development, so don’t omit it! Natural Bran/Wheat Germ— To make this a whole grain bread use 1/2 cup (125 mL) wheat germ and 1/2 cup (125 mL) natural bran.
Bread may be served warm from the oven but needs to be cut into thick slices. It slices more easily if cooled.
WIN A COPY OF Homegrown!
Thanks to @whitecapbooks we have one copy of Homegrown to giveaway to a Canadian reader!
To enter, add a comment below telling us your all-time favourite Canadian-inspired recipe.
For a second entry, tweet the following message:
I entered to win a copy of @mairlynsmith #Homegrown from @RecipeGeekMag + @whitecapbooks Details: http://bit.ly/1UG3vd7
Then come back to let us know you did in a second comment!
Contest will run from Wednesday April 6th to Wednesday April 27th, 2016
Mardi Michels is a full-time French teacher to elementary school-aged boys and the author of eat. live. travel. write - a blog focusing on culinary adventures near and far. She has lived and worked as a teacher in Australia, Hong Kong, England, France and now calls Toronto home. She has spent nearly every summer over the past decade in France, honing her cooking and baking skills, touring different wine producing regions and in 2014 she and her husband purchased an historic home in South West France which they operate as a vacation rental property. As part of her job, she runs a cooking class twice a week for 7-14 year-old boys, Les Petits Chefs and Cooking Basics. Mardi is a Food Revolution Ambassador for Canada, a contributor to JamieOliver.Com and in her spare time teaches cooking and baking classes around Toronto.
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