Happy Canada’s Agriculture Day!

Photo Credit: Agriculture More than Ever

Photo Credit: Agriculture More than Ever

No matter how much the world changes, people will always strive to put food on their kitchen tables. Agricultural production has come a long way over the years, as automated machinery and new technology allow Canadian farmers to sustainably feed a growing world population. However, it is also through their hard work and determination that Canadians get to enjoy a wide variety of locally-grown fruits, vegetables, crops, dairy and meats.

So today, on Canada's Agriculture Day 2017, Eat Alberta would like to "celebrate the food we love" by taking a moment to say, "Thank you," to all of the incredible farmers in Alberta and in Canada.

If you are interested in learning more about Canada's Agriculture Day, check Agriculture More Than Ever's website. Or, learn more about some of the agricultural groups in Alberta through clicking on the links below.

Alberta Barley
Alberta Beef Producers
Alberta Beekeepers Commission
Alberta Canola
Alberta Chicken Producers
Alberta Elk Commission
Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association
Alberta Goat Breeders Association
Alberta Lamb Producers
Alberta Milk
Alberta Pork
Alberta Pulse Growers
Alberta Sugar Beet Growers
Alberta Turkey Producers
Alberta Wheat Commission
Bison Producers of Alberta
Egg Farmers of Alberta
Potato Growers of Alberta

Early Chinese Settlement in Alberta and how Chinese Restaurants Helped Establish Community

Early Chinese Settlement in Alberta and how Chinese Restaurants Helped Establish Community

Almost everyone’s had it. Western Chinese food – lemon chicken, ginger beef, green onion cakes and chop suey, to name a few. Almost every small town rural Alberta has a Chinese restaurant. Growing up in Alberta, you or your family must have grown up at least going to a Chinese restaurant for dinner or ordering take out on a somewhat regular basis.

This month, in lead up to our event on April 23, 2017, we would like to go back to basics and learn what has made the Alberta food community to what it is now. So there’s no better time to introduce how the establishment of Chinese restaurants in the Alberta prairies came to be, than now. Chinese New Year – the Year of the Rooster to be exact – is just around the corner on Saturday, January 28, 2017. Let’s celebrate by taking a mini-history lesson.

Join the Eat Alberta Team!

Want to join the Eat Alberta Organizing Committee?

We're looking for dedicated volunteers to join our team!

Are you interested in promoting food skills? Do you want to contribute to the sustainability of our local food system? Would you like to work with others who share your passion for our regional ingredients and the producers behind them?

If you answered yes to any of the questions, a position on the Eat Alberta organizing committee might be right for you!

Eat Alberta is a non-for-profit organization, run entirely by volunteers, based in Edmonton that focuses on helping Albertans learn about food through a mix of small events, classes, multimedia content, and our annual flagship Conference event.

Currently we are seeking new members to contribute in the following areas:

  • programming coordinator
  • sponsorship coordinator
  • treasurer
  • communications coordinator

If you are interested in joining the Eat Alberta team please e-mail Mona at team@eatalberta.ca by November 1st, 2016 with which role initially appeals to you, why you are interested in being a part of Eat Alberta and previous volunteer experience. We will follow up with interview meeting times, tentatively interviews will be held November 7th.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us!

We look forward to meeting you!

Amanda, Jens, Meaghan, Mona, and Nathan
Eat Alberta Board of Directors and Organizing Committee

Fall Favourite Recipes

Chilly nights and changing leaves, celebrate fall with our round-up of delicious fall recipes. From a pumpkin smoothie, to squash risotto and grape tarts there is a recipe to please everyone!

Make the most of the fall harvest with one of these recipes from local Alberta bloggers.

We want to start each day this fall with Sprout Natural Nutrition Pumpkin Ginger Chia Smoothie.

Rethink the one pot dinner with a VEG-alicious Spaghetti Squash Bake from The Inspired Home 

Have a picky eater in your house? This vegetable soup will please even the fussiest! Smokey Cauliflower Soup with Gruyere Croutons from Un Assaggio of Food, Wine & Marriage.

Roasted vegetables could be the best things about Fall! Roasted Maple Nutmeg Parsnips and Carrots from Chews and Brews.

The flavor of the roasted squash, and caramelized roasted garlic and herbs, make for a lovely fall meal. Delicata Squash Risotto from Sugarlovesspices.

End your day, or start your day, with these delicious coronation grape meringue tarts from Nutmeg Disrupted

Happy Thanksgiving!

And in case you missed our announcement yesterday, Eat Alberta Conference is returning in 2017... Read all about here.

Eat Alberta 2017 Announcement

In the flurry of farmer’s markets, weekends at the lake, festivals, and of course BBQs - summer in Alberta certainly flew by!  While the Eat Alberta team has been busy enjoying the bounty of vegetables and fruit these past few months, since our relaunch the team has been busy planning and preparing fresh new initiatives to ensure they are ready to harvest!

Over summer we have filmed with some truly special Alberta food lovers to bring you the story behind the food. The first video of our new series will be launching this October.

Check out website and social media for a launch date in the upcoming weeks.

We have also been working with our fantastic partner, NAIT Culinary Arts, to start planning the 2017 Conference. We have just one question for you - are you a fan of brunch? A lover of eggs? A bacon connoisseur? We are. We think brunch is awesome, and thought you might too. Which is why when we were picking a date and time for Eat Alberta 2017, the team threw caution to the brisk Alberta wind and selected… Drumroll, pleaseApril 23, 2017. 

There will be a few changes to the Conference this year. First being April 23 is a Sunday, because we thought what is even better than learning and connecting with passionate Alberta chefs and producers? Learning and connecting with food loving Albertans after a delicious Sunday brunch prepared by the talented folks at NAIT.

Excited?

We are definitely excited! We hope you are too! Stay tuned for more announcements throughout the coming months.

Call for Submissions: Fall Favourites Recipe Round Up

Eat Alberta - Fall Favourites Recipe Roundup

Fall has arrived in Alberta! The air is crisp, the sky is blue, and the leaves are crunchy under foot... Yes it is Fall, and the local markets are brimming with the bounty of a successful growing season.

We have been eating pumpkin, apples and squash galore, and sure you have been too! So Alberta food bloggers and lovers we want to know what are your favourite Fall recipes that brings your family and friends together around the dinner table? A family recipe for pumpkin pie, roasted brussels sprouts, a cozy vegetable soup for chilly days or comforting stew? We want you to share with our food loving community your best Fall recipes!

The Fall Favourites recipe roundup was developed to help promote your local food producers and to share your favourite Fall recipes. This is the place to showcase the wonderful foods available across Alberta.

Submission guidelines:

  • The post can be old or brand new
  • Please include a link to local producer, if available or applicable.
  • You may submit one post.
  • You must be an Alberta Resident to participate
  • Must include a link back to the Eat Alberta website.

Submission Details:

Send a link to your postyour first and last name (we will only publish your first name), your blog name and link to your blog. Please include ONE image 640px wide, to Meaghan (team@eatalberta.ca) by 5pm MT, Wednesday October 5, 2016 with the subject line: Fall Recipe Submission.  

Please note:        

We may use the image you submit to promote the roundup on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  

The recipe roundups will be published October 7, 2015 just in time for Thanksgiving weekend.

We’re looking forward to seeing what you all submit!

 

To The Market We Go!

Today, we welcome Eat Alberta volunteer and local food advocate, Loretta Friedrich, as a guest author to the Eat Alberta Blog. Loretta will be sharing her tips for making the most of shopping at local farmer's markets and a recipe to help you prepare a nutritious and affordable family dinner at home. 

When you visit a farmer’s market you may find breads and sweets, handmade clothing, prepared foods, small furniture, crafts, and even food trucks, but most people certainly expect fresh produce and family farm meats. In the warmer months, you will find numerous outdoor markets, open from mid-May to end of September, held on any given day of the week. Farmer’s markets attract all age groups, but what exactly is at the heart of their enormous appeal?

1. Knowing your farmer or producer

This is probably one of the biggest draws for me personally, to connect one-on-one with those who provide food, learn about their story, and understand how they prepare their foods.

2. Neighborhood / Community

Farmer’s markets are communities within communities: support your neighborhood farmer’s market and you’re supporting both the farmer and the neighborhood that it is in.

3. Support Alberta

Farmer’s markets are about more than just selling and buying. They’re about keeping the local economy humming – we support them and they support us. The money stays in Alberta.

4. Smaller Carbon Foot Print

The product hasn’t traveled thousands of miles to come to our door. Farmer’s markets are better for the environment, which is better for all of us inhabitants of the earth!

5. Fresh Product

By far one of the main reasons why many people go to a farmer’s market is for the fresh product. When you see dirt still clinging to a carrot or potato, or smell fruit or herbs in the air, you know the produce has just been harvested. It is also quite likely that the eggs are only hours old and the sausages were made just the day before.

You get tremendous value with outstanding quality through:

Taste – We want food that tastes good, not just looks good. After all, isn’t that why we buy food? A lot of merchants will offer tastings; ask to taste a sample from a vendor.

Nutrition – An automatic benefit to eating quality food is that it is very nutritious. That fresh vine-ripe tomato is happily assimilated in your body, which uses every nutrient.

Fresh also means you get the best “field to fork” experience at your dining room table. You know the saying, “you get what you pay for.” It’s not all about the price! When you shop, consider taste and nutrition, not just how much things costs. Get the most bang for your buck!

Preparing for Market Day

  • Online preparation – A lot of markets have their own website that features “market sheets” to let you know who and what is available on market day. 
  • Have cash on hand – Most vendors only accept cash, so make sure your wallet is filled with plenty of money.
  • Don’t overbuy - To lessen the impact on your pocket book only buy what you know you will eat. No food waste!
  • Bring bags – Help mother earth as well as the vendor by bringing your own bags.
  • Give yourself time – This is especially important if you’ve never been to a particular market. Consider factoring in time to make two loops around the market, the first being to scope out what’s there, and the next round to purchase.
  • Experiment with new foods – Try new product, don’t just grab the same bread, produce or meat. Try new flavors. Go for the in-season produce.
  • Buy frozen food last – It probably goes without saying, but visit the vendors who offer the frozen product you want to buy, last. You don’t want your meat thawing out while you’re walking around the market. Ask to have it bagged in separate wrap to avoid cross-contamination, especially with fresh produce.
  • Softer food on top – Common sense kicks in: put the delicate produce (softer fruits, lettuce, and herbs) and fresh eggs on top of other harder produce, in your bag, or carry them separately.

Farmer’s market meals

Markets are the perfect place to purchase what will become your meal. Consider buying one or two vegetables as the focus, then seek out complementing foods; fresh in-season produce, herbs, honey, or grass-fed animal products are best.

To build a meal, play with whole foods, vibrant colours, herbs, texture, hot and cold. This keeps the meal interesting, affordable, and delicious. You may be pleasantly surprised how simple preparation with basic foods cuts down on assembly time too! When you love what you see and taste it becomes easier to digest, and this increases nutrient absorption as well. Sounds like a great way to reap every benefit from a market purchase!

Savory Tomato Chicken Asparagus
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 local hormone-free, grass-fed chicken breasts, chopped into pieces
  • 2 large local tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large bunch local asparagus (or green beans), cut in pieces
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped local shallots
  • 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. local raw honey
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh garden savory
  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
  • Cooked mashed local potatoes

Directions

  1. In a pan cook chicken just until pink is gone. Set aside.
  2. In another large pan heat 1 tbsp. EVOO over low / medium heat and add asparagus. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add chicken to asparagus, remainder of EVOO and the rest of ingredients except savory.
  3. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes until all pink is gone from the chicken.
  4. Off heat add savory and stir to combine. Serve hot over mashed potatoes.

Guest Post:

Loretta Friedrich, C.H.N., is a health advocate, local supporter, community leader, speaker, author, program creator / director of Your Food Story, and award-winning business owner of Sprout Natural Nutritional Consulting. She enjoys walking, getting vegetable stains on her hands, and smelling dirt!

Connect with Loretta on social media - Twitter: @SproutNatural Instagram:@loretta_sproutnatural LinkedIn: Loretta Friedrich Facebook: Sprout Natural

Call for Submission: Eat Alberta Local Food Recipe Roundup

Call for Submission: Eat Alberta Local Food Recipe Roundup

Call out for local recipes. This recipe roundup was developed to help promote local Albertan food producers and to share recipes using their products. This is the opportunity to showcase the wonderful foods available across Alberta!

Exciting Changes Ahead for Eat Alberta

Since Eat Alberta’s inaugural event in April 2011 our mission has been to encourage and inspire Albertans to connect with each other, to learn about and enjoy the bounty of Alberta food.

Much like the evolving Alberta food culture and community, Eat Alberta is excited to announce that our organization is also evolving with the goal to share our passion for eating local with more Albertans than ever before.


What does 2016 hold for Eat Alberta?
Over the next few months we will be unveiling two significant changes for the organization. First, Eat Alberta will be launching a new visual identity. We are pleased to share that over the past few months we have been working with DDB Canada to create a new visual identity for Eat Alberta and we can not wait to share our new look with all of you!

Secondly in an effort to connect with more local food enthusiasts this year, we plan to celebrate all that Alberta has to offer by hosting smaller events throughout 2016. The Eat Alberta Series will be a collection of everything you have come to know, appreciate and love from our one-day workshop conference. The events will be supported by expanded online content, which will be released throughout the year to help you cook, taste and enjoy the best of Alberta’s bounty.

The one-day Eat Alberta Conference remains our flagship activity. To our loyal volunteers, presenters and past attendees we thank you for your continued support. We look forward to once again hosting our workshop conference in 2017.


How do you find out more?
Details of the Eat Alberta Series and the developing online resources will be released throughout 2016. To stay in the loop with our announcements and content releases, please follow our social media channels, newsletter and website blog. 

Join Eat Alberta 2016 Organizing Committee

We're looking for a dedicated volunteer to join our team as the treasurer!

Are you interested in promoting food skills? Do you want to contribute to the sustainability of our local food system? Would you like to work with others who share your passion for our regional ingredients and the producers behind them?

If you answered yes to any of the questions, a position on the Eat Alberta organizing committee might be right for you!

Eat Alberta is an annual, one day, workshop-style conference with a mix of hands on learning, food tastings, demonstrations and presentations that focuses on local and regional Alberta foods. Participants learn how to use and source local ingredients from leaders of our food community, and in the process, begin to develop relationships with other participants and with those that produce our food.

Eat Alberta is a registered non-profit corporation that began in 2011, and is run entirely by volunteers. This year we are looking to add someone who can be our treasurer! This role will include the following activities:

 

  • General financial oversight;
  • Financial planning and budgeting;
  • Regular reporting on the organizations financial position;
  • Banking, book keeping, and record keeping; and
  • secure event insurance

Qualifications/Skills/Interests

  • Excellent verbal communication skills;
  • Previous experience as a treasurer or with non-profits;
  • Team player with a good sense of humour and a positive attitude; and
  • a love for local food!

If this role interests you, we would like to meet you!

E-mail Charmaine at team@eatalberta.ca by October 30th, 2015 with your name and a paragraph about why you are interested in being a part of Eat Alberta. We will follow up with the exact date, time, and location of the interview for qualified candidates. 

We look forward to meeting you!

Amanda, Charmaine, Jens, Nathan, Mona, and Meaghan
Eat Alberta 2016 Board of Directors and Organizing Committee

Track of the Day: Vulcan

Today we are heading south to Vulcan County. Vulcan County is on the western edge of the Canadian Badlands region of southern Alberta, surrounded by endless acres of wheat, canola and barley. As you travel from one end to the other of this southern Alberta county, the landscape will change from flatlands to rolling hills, to refreshing valleys, deep blue lakes, mature trees and prairie grass.

For many years Vulcan had more grain elevators than any other location west of Winnipeg. The nine elevators known as "Nine in a Line", each with annexes, stood proud in the Vulcan skyline for over 50 years.  Aside from the production of wheat, barely, and other products which are shipped to nearly 70 countries worldwide, Vulcan also capitalizes on its' famous name and is the Star Trek Capital of Canada! Welcoming Trekkies from around the world.

Much like county it is named for Eat Alberta's Vulcan track will take you on an out of this world journey! 

Session 1: Egg Cookery

Allan Suddaby claims the egg is the single most powerful and versatile ingredient in the kitchen. Participants will learn how to get great local eggs, and best practices for scrambling, frying, poaching, hard-cooking, and devilling those eggs. There will also be discussion and demonstration of egg sauces like mayonnaise, egg foams like meringue, and custards like creme brûlée. 

Session 2: Cooking With Wild Rose 

Debra Krause and Molly MacDougall will be teaching you the whens and hows for foraging wild rose petals and hips, how to prep them for use in the kitchen, and some recipes you can make! Of course, there will be some wild rose goodies to sample as well!

Session 3: Ramen Egg and Miso Broth

Wendy Mah will be teaching you how to prepare the perfect egg for your Miso Ramen. Not only will you learn the steps on how to prepare the perfect egg, you will also discover how to infuse flavours into your own personalized Ramen egg. Now that you are armed with the delicious garnish to any Ramen, why stop there? What makes a great Miso broth? Wendy will explore that too!

Session 4: Traditional Cooked Jam

Carol Cooper will teach you how to make your own traditional cooked jam and with the guidance of Fruits of Sherbrooke turn it into your own personal recipe. Sherbrooke makes their own products with 'rescued' urban fruit that is not being used by homeowners. In this class you will learn the jam making process and most importantly learn to play with flavours to make it totally your own. It is a fun and interactive class where there is a lot of creativity and tasting!

Tickets for Vulcan track are available from YEG Live.

Track of the Day: Mountain View

Mountain View County is a rural municipality located between Calgary and Red Deer. Nestled against the picturesque foothills of the Canadian Rockies, Mountain View County is a mix of magnificent vistas, and some of the finest agricultural land in all of Canada.

Much like the county it is named for the Mountain View track is a mix Alberta's finest bounty. From learning to cook with rose hips, to preparing and cooking offal, the sessions in this track will expose to you to the best of Alberta food and take you on a wild ride!

Session 1: Cooking With Wild Rose.

Debra Krause and Molly MacDougall will be teaching you the whens and hows for foraging wild rose petals and hips, how to prep them for use in the kitchen, and some recipes you can make! Of course, there will be some wild rose goodies to sample as well!

Session 2: Offal Doesn't Taste Awful.

Elyse Chatterton will show you how to give a little love to these under appreciated animal parts. She will discuss how to select it, trim, and prepare it, and she will be cooking some fabulous Offal Tapas. Time for you to see if this old school ingredient deserves a place on your dinner table. If you'd like a preview of this class Elyse has a great introduction on her blog Life Without Lemons.

Session 3: Cooking From Your Root Cellar.

Kathryn Joel returns this year to teach Eat Alberta participants about using seasonal vegetables in early spring. This time of year in Alberta is the time to draw on the Root Cellar and the Greenhouse when it comes to eating local, so Kathryn will be using a selection from both in this class on eating local in early May. Expect a mezze selection of appetizers from the roots available at Old Strathcona, including Carrots, Beets, Sunchokes - and a smattering of produce from our local greenhouses too. 

Session 4: Cheese Education and Tasting.

Addie Raghavan will guide you through a journey of aromas, flavours, and textures from cheeses that are young and fresh to those that are nutty and old. He will lead you through the science of cheese making, while talking about the cultural influences of cheeses from around the world. As the class winds down, the focus will shift towards Alberta cheeses and understanding the essence of terroir. You will leave the class equipped with ideas of how to prepare a cheese board, how to pair cheese and beer, and innovative ideas of employing cheese in the kitchen. 

If you want to join in this wild Alberta adventure, tickets for the Mountain View track are available from yeglive.ca 

 

Eat Alberta 2015 Conference Ticket Sale Announcement

Eat Alberta is pleased to announce we will be hosting our fifth hands-on food conference on May 2, 2015 in Edmonton, Alberta at NAIT (Main Campus). 

Tickets for Eat Alberta 2015 will go on sale March 31st at 10:00 am. Tickets can be purchased from YEG Live. There are a limited number of tickets, be sure to buy early to avoid disappointment!

As May 2nd draws closer we will be sharing details with you on what to expect the day of and introducing to you the session presenters.

First up we would like to announce our keynote speaker this year - Takota Coen of Grass Roots Family Farm. Takota will be sharing his unique insight into how permaculture design can save the family farm. He will provide practical examples of how family farms everywhere can use the principles and design methodologies of permaculture to strengthen our local food systems, restore the environment, and ensure profitability. It will be a motivating and insightful start to the conference!

Following the morning keynote, you will be spoiled for choice with a fantastic line up of sessions hosted by local producers, chefs and food advocates. The full listing of sessions is available on our website, which, as fellow food lovers, we hope will excite you! There is truly something for everyone, from pie making to ramen, and cheese education to wild food, we have a diverse and unique collection of sessions that capture the spirit of Alberta’s food community.

We look forward to seeing you at Eat Alberta 2015 conference this year! If you have any questions about the event, please feel free to leave a comment below or via our social media accounts.

Welcome!

Hello Alberta Food Lovers!

Welcome to Eat Alberta's new website and blog!

Eat Alberta is a not-for-profit organization, managed and run by food loving Albertans just like you.  We organize a one-day workshop-style conference with a mix of hands on learning, food tastings, and demonstrations or presentations that focus on local and regional Alberta foods hosted each Spring in Edmonton. 

Year round we aim to connect Alberta food lovers with producers, local chefs and local food advocates to highlight the best that our province has to offer. Eat Alberta is evolving and growing each year, so stay tuned we may be coming to a community near you soon! 

Our blog will feature: details and highlights of our annual conference, including announcements and presenter profiles; recipes to help you prepare and cook with Alberta produce, meats and grains; and the profiles of local food producers, chefs, and educators. Simply put our blog will feature the best of Alberta food!

Check back often or sign up for our newsletter so you never miss a post!

Thank you for supporting local food and visiting our new blog! We hope to share our passion for local food with you.

Cheers,

Team Eat Alberta