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

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

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

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