Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Flavours



My parents and I both have upcoming travel plans so we decided to get together for a "Bon Voyage Dinner". I decided to pick up a little bubbly to toast our travels, so I opted for Barefoot's Pinot Grigio sparkling. Almost in spite of their affordability, Barefoot wines are actually good! I often go for the Merlot -- it's great with a cheese plate.



After snacking on veggies and a homemade yogurt dip (garlic, fresh thyme, lemon juice), we headed out to the patio for dinner.

I must confess, I ripped this recipe from the pages of Bon Appetit magazine -- it was in a recent feature on Gwyneth Paltrow. Taking a few liberties from Gwynnie's recipe, I pan fried some cod and topped it with a mango, avocado and grape tomato salsa. A little squeeze of lime and we felt like we were already in more tropical climes.



To accompany our fish dish, I opted for the increasingly popular watermelon salad. Diced watermelon, cucumber, grape tomatoes, feta, basil, balsamic, olive oil and lime juice made up this summery salad.



To wash it all down I decided on another budget-friendly yet appropriate wine: the Gazela Vinho Verde from Portugal. A light white with a bit of effervescence, it is the perfect wine to accompany a fresh seafood dish.

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Stay tuned for features on my generous event sponsors for Cultivate: A Mini Film Fest, and more information leading up to the event!

Click HERE for event info and to RSVP :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Forks Over Knives: The Workshop @ Credible Edibles







Having recently seen the film, Forks Over Knives, I was re-inspired to eat even more of a plant-based diet. When I heard that Judi Varga-Toth of Credible Edibles was holding a Forks Over Knives Workshop, I signed up immediately! I had never been to Credible Edibles before and I couldn't believe it took me this long to get there. Once I arrived with my apron and take-home container in hand, I was warmly welcomed by Judi and quickly introduced to the other participants. As soon as I saw the Michael Pollan quote painted above the counter, I knew I'd like this place.







Judi is no stranger to a healthy diet or an environmentally sound way of eating. As the bio on Credible Edibles' website states,"Judi's passion has been to make a difference in everything she does. Her research led her to the profound discovery that the very same things that support good health in people also supports a healthy environment."

After introducing ourselves and learning the basics of eating a more plant-based diet, we kickstarted our palates with some Tex-Mex Chili Bites: kidney beans, homemade salsa and soy cheese in a baked whole wheat tortilla wrap. They were quite tasty!



After snacking on the chili bites, some homemade hummus and veggies and other snacks, we got started in the kitchen. The small group of us donned our aprons and got to work (play) making 5 recipes that we would later enjoy in their pure vegan deliciousness. We made:

Italian Pasta Salad with Baked Tofu and Beans









Quinoa Salad with Edamame and Dried Cranberries



Creamy Cauliflower and Red Pepper Soup





Chocolate Coffee Cake



and

Cosmic Cookies





I also learned about some tasty snacks and seasonings such as seaweed and gomashio:











Amid conversations about Bulk Barn treasures, protein sources, Daiya cheese, disease prevention and chocolate for breakfast, we ate our hearty, delicious meal and left with full bellies, open minds and new contacts.

Judi provided us with all of the recipes from the workshop, as well as a list of links and other resources to look up. She also handed out an "Essential Pantry List" that I am finding to be extremely helpful, although I was encouraged to notice that I already had many of these food items in stock.

So, I'm on my way, and perhaps a few more visits to Credible Edibles will further enhance my vegetarian and vegan repetoire of recipes. To find out more yourself, keep up with Credible Edibles on Twitter @creded or "Like" Credible Edibles on Facebook and stay tuned for future Forks Over Knives Workshops. You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

After the Harvest Newsletter





After the Harvest has a newsletter! I finally decided to brave the MailChimp software and create an e-newsletter.

This newsletter will keep you updated on:

  • Upcoming Events and Projects
  • Featured recipes
  • In Season: Recent blog posts
  • Food Folk: Interesting people in the world of food and drink
  • Vintages: Oldies but goodies -- blog posts from the archives
  • ATH Photo Gallery: Snapshots from the blog

If you'd like to sign up, simply click the "Contact Me" link on the left hand sidebar, email me your name and email address, and I'll add you! I'm still trying to figure out how people will be able to add themselves. I'm not a "post every day" kinda gal, so these newsletters will be pretty sporadic, and you won't have to worry about your inbox getting innundated.

For anyone who signs up in the next week or so, I'll send you the 1st newsletter that just went out the other day to friends and family, and it'll get you all caught up.

One big piece of news in this newsletter is my upcoming event in September, Cultivate: A Mini Film Fest. Check out all the info on the Projects Page and I hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading and have a great summer,

~Heather

Monday, July 4, 2011

Just Food Barn Raising





Last month I participated in the Just Food Barn Raising which celebrated the launch of the Community Food and Agriculture Hub as well as providing information about the Food for All project and the Community Garden Project in Ottawa. It was an honour to speak on behalf of my food policy team, and it was extremely inspiring to hear everyone speak about their passion for local, sustainable, healthy, accessible food!



Here is what I shared with the crowd:

Hi everyone, my name is Heather Heagney and I write a food blog called After the Harvest. I got involved with the Food Action Plan because, let’s face it: I’m a “food blogger”, and I love anything to do with food. Seriously though, my love for food certainly involves amazing flavours, but the issues surrounding food are my true passion.

Issues like: Where is my food coming from? Who’s growing it and raising it, and how is it being produced? Why is it that in some neighbourhoods there are 5 or 6 fast food outlets and not one grocery store selling fresh produce? How can we ensure that everyone in our community has access to healthy, affordable food? These are questions I think about a lot, and getting involved in the Food Action Plan seemed like a great way to start trying to answer them.

The policy-writing team I worked with focused on Community Food Access.

As a team, we came up with ideas such as:
  • healthy corner stores that would help eliminate areas with poor access to food;
  • changes in urban planning and zoning to better support a local food economy; and...
  • the creation of a pilot project which would make fresh, local food available for sale on OC Transpo property.
I truly enjoyed working with my team on this project, and it was inspiring to know that there were so many of us in little pockets around the city, passionately discussing and working on new food policies for Ottawa.

Access to food is a basic human right and I think we can all agree that food is an extremely important part of our lives. It is my hope that as a community we can continue to work together to make positive change in our food system and to create better access to food for all.

Thank you.






The whole experience was really amazing. I was lucky enough to make a speech on behalf of my blog for the first time ever, I planted a pepper seedling at the new Just Food offices, and I was inspired by a community of local, sustainable food activists! Can't wait to see what's new in Just Food's world in the months and years to come.