Episode 121 “What is Dine Around Comox Valley?”

February 22, 2017

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Did you get your passport?

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Dine Around began an event for local restaurants to showcase some great local products with value conscious pricing during a traditionally slower time of year for the hospitality industry. It has now grown to encompass pubs, bistros, hotels, vineyards, distillers, resorts and more. It’s bordering a sort of ‘diners festival’. There’s seminars and classes, pub tours, wine tours, special accommodation packages and of course, dining! Tonight we have 3 members that sit on the Dine Around Comox Valley board, to tell all of you about the great food and amazing experiences that await you for Dine Around 2017. Chef Ronald St. Pierre, Trish St. Pierre, and Sandra Viney (who happen to be the owners of Locals Restaurant and Atlas Cafe, respectively), are a wealth of information for this, the 8th annual Dine Around Comox Valley!

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For more info on the event Check out Comox Valley Dine Around

Episode 119 ” What to eat with the Family?”

February 9, 2017

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With Family Day appoaching, Jonathan and Darren discuss some dinner ideas to have with the family.

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Quinoa and corn salad with toasted pumpkin seeds (for 4)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes), plus 1 lime cut into wedges
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
coarse salt
2 3/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 ears corn, kernels cut from the cob
1  bell pepper, diced after ribs and seeds removed
3 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 large jalapeno, diced after ribs and seeds removed (or kept in if you prefer more heat)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 ripe firm avocado
1 head red-leaf lettuce, leaves separated
1. Whisk together lime juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic, oil and 1/4 tsp salt.
2. Bring water to a boil in small saucepan. Add quinoa, return to a boil. Stir once, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until quinoa is tender, but still chewy, and has absorbed all liquid – about 15 minutes. Turn off heat, fluff quinoa with a fork. Place raw corn kernels on top of quinoa, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir corn into quinoa and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
3. Add red pepper, green onion, jalapeno and cilantro to quinoa mixture, along with 1/2 cup dressing. Toss until combined. Season with salt.
4. Cut avocado in half lengthwise; remove pit. Peel and thinly slice.
5. Line a large serving platter with lettuce leaves. Mound quinoa salad in center. Arrange avocado and lime on the side. Serve immediately.
Edamame and butternut squash succotash (for 6)
1 small butternut squash (500g), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and and cut into 1cm cubes. (roughly three cups)
2 ounces green beans, sliced on a bias roughly 2 -3 cm long
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup corn kernels (or 1 ear fresh corn, kernels removed)
1 cup shelled edamame beans
1 tsp coarsely chopped fresh thyme
Coarse salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1. Fill a pot with 5cm water. Set a steamer basket (or colander) in pot; bring to a boil. Place squash in basket and steam just until tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife – about 7 min. Transfer to a plate. Add green beans to basket; steam until crisp-tender – about 3 min. Transfer to plate.
2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly golden – about 3 min. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add corn and edamame; cook, stirring occasionally, until brightly colored and crisp-tender – about 3 min.
3. Add thyme, along with steamed squash and green beans; cook until heated through – about 3 min., stirring to combine. Add 1 tsp salt (or to taste) and season with pepper; stir to combine. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Episode 118 “Winter Foraging? Is it possible?”

January 30, 2017

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While preparing to tape the next episode of the podcast, Darren and Jon got to talking about Winter Foraging – and what exactly that would be or look like. Thankfully, Blayne had answers. The conversation wandered more into ‘Winter Eats’ than ‘Winter Foraging’, but that’s to be expected. Many thanks to Blayne for always being so informative!

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Episode 117 “How important are donations to the Food bank?”

January 23, 2017

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Jeff Hampton, president of the Comox Valley Food bank joins us to share an incredible story of the origins of our local food bank, and the lengths and depths he and his people have gone to feed the needy. It’s truly harrowing and pulls at the heartstrings. Did you know that in the early days, as volunteers they would cut down trees and sell the firewood – then use the money to buy food to give to the needy and poor? Incredible humble beginnings set the stage for this noble and necessary organization. Listen in to hear the full story.

Check out and Support @Comox Valley Food Bank

Episode 116 “Where do you buy locally produced food in the Comox Valley?”

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Listen Now @Where do you buy locally produced food in the Comox Valley?

You can buy direct from the producer, you can go to the farmer’s market, or there’s local shops, etc. Those are all great if you live here, and know when and where to find them. But Dawn Postnikoff from Westcoast Gourmet is providing an online option. Great for locals, but importantly, Tourists. Fans. Out-of-towners. Dawn is pulling it all together and making it available to everyone! Hear her story of hows and whos and whys of taking Comox Valley Food to the world stage!

Check Out @ Westcoast Gourmet Provisions

A little background on Dawn

“As a teenager, while visiting my Grandparents every year in Nanoose Bay, I was in awe of the little farm stands selling produce, eggs, and fresh flowers.  I imagined at a very young age, having the luxury of living by the ocean and supporting myself by making homemade pasta and selling it at the local markets. I was very young.

Fast forward 30 years, and while I still love the idea of local products sold at farm gates and markets, I have also been on the other side.  As a tourist I have gone out of my way to find the best cinnamon buns and banana bread in Hawaii. I have visited markets and vineyards across the world from Finland to Italy and Spain, Hong Kong, Australia, South Africa and of course North America. I know that tourists will spend more than locals, will try interesting new flavours just for the sake of it, and will go out of their way to have “out of the ordinary” products and experiences when they are away from home.

The original idea for West coast Gourmet Provisions came from a need to “scratch my own itch”, when as a visitor to Vancouver Island, it wasn’t always easy to find fresh produce or seafood, locally roasted coffee, unique specialty foods, or the best local vendors. Not in a timely manner at least.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a box of local food products delivered to my vacation home or hotel room when I arrived, so that I could sit and stare at the ocean while enjoying award winning cheeses, smoked salmon, wine, and craft brews.

While on vacation, travellers are more interested now than ever in cooking some of their own meals, not relying 100% on restaurant food, providing healthy options for their families, and learning about the local culture and products available in the region that they are visiting.

The end goal for Westcoast Gourmet is to offer more than an online market for specialty products, and to really share our love of Vancouver Island – it’s people, places, products, and experiences. Our focus is on food and beverage experiences, or culinary tourism, helping to promote and grow local businesses while allowing visitors to get a sense of what makes the Island so special.  We are curators and connectors, and our focus is not only in provisioning visitors with local products, but in helping plan, provide, and prepare for local experiences.”

Thanks for talking with us Dawn we hope to have you back again soon.

Episode 115 “Holiday Dishes and Christmas Dinner”

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With the holiday season upon us, Darren and Jonathan spend some time discussing the joys of Christmas dinner and some of their favourite meal ideas.

The Two discuss the wonders of Family and great meals shared around there dinner table. From turkey dinner to christmas sweater the the two talk about their favourite past present and future meals to come.