Slow food (and Paleo) Guide to Calgary and Lake Louise

Posted on April 16th, 2014

This is a straightforward post to complement my longer spiels about my adventure to Skoki Lodge.


Oh Canada…

Both Calgary and Lake Louise are fantastic whole food destinations. So many of the places I checked out during my stay banged on about 100-mile-radius produce, pasture-finished meat and eating nose to tail etc. It was super refreshing. As a base for exploring the region, Calgary is great for 1-2 days and certainly some of the cafes and restaurants are worth checking out before heading off to nearby mountain adventures. I’ve included some Lake Louise information, too. Because it rocks the Rockies!

Just a quick note on Canadian service before we move on: It’s seriously the best in the world. Canadians are notoriously nice and they do hospitality with so much earnest care. Almost worth visiting just for this lovely touch.

River Café

This place is magical – a cosy, barn-like place with an open fire and a great bar area located on an island in a river that runs through the centre of town. Big windows look out onto the park (geese frolicking in the snow!) and you lose all sense that you’re in the middle of the city. I walked there from the Kensington Riverside Inn a little further up the river at sunset. I drank anamazing red from a list featuring lots of organics and ate…

Local pasture-finished Angus sirloin on an eggplant caponata with fiddleheads (fern buds that grow nearby at the start of spring) and cod served with cabbage rolls.

And… Read more

Slow Food (and Paleo) Guide to Seattle

Posted on April 9th, 2014

Seattle is a slow and whole foodie playground. Let me illustrate just how so with this example: the other night at Sitka and Spruce, a Capital Hill restaurant featuring local produce, I had one of my gut aches. When I have a gut ache I generally take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in some warm water before eating. It settles things. So I tried my luck with the cashmere sweater-wearing waiter and asked if the kitchen might have some ACJ, used for cooking purposes. “I believe we ferment our own…one moment.” He promptly arrived with a mug of the stuff, along with my glass of biodynamic Burgundy. For, while not flagged in neon lights on the menu, the entire wine list is organic, natural or biodynamic.

It would all be tediously “Portlandia”, except I was in Seattle, where this kind of eating is very unpretentious.

I love this Seattle shot... Granny on her iPhone at one of the most Portlandia joints in town (Sitke and Spruce)

I love this Seattle shot… Granny on her iPhone at one of the most Portlandia joints in town (Sitke and Spruce)

Which makes things fun for someone like me. Actually it was food that brought me to Seattle – the city is regarded as the second best restaurant destination outside Manhattan, has the second largest wine industry outside California and it’s a mecca for food bloggers. Like my mates Shauna at Glutenfreegirl, Aran at CannelleVanille and my new mate Mickey at Autoimmune-Paleo. All of us have autoimmune disease, all of us connected online, all of us wanted to meet. Ergo, a jaunt to Seattle.

In addition to a bunch of other amazing wholefood nuts I met while in town, as well as the Visit Seattle team, they helped me put together this Portlandia-without-the-pretence guide. Enjoy.

Paleo eats

* Out of the Box: A Paleo food van that pops up around the place. Fantastic fare, like pork belly with cauliflower rice…you know the kind of thing. The also do meal delivery…good for hotel room service!!

50 North (University District): A wonderful American restaurant with plenty of gluten-free options; a great place for dinner. The fish and chips are excellent [I usually opt for sweet potato fries instead of regular ones - Mickey]. The lamb burger and BBQ pulled pork sandwich (without the buns) are also tasty Paleo options.

* Sea Breeze Farm (at the U-district market Saturdays and Ballard market on Sunday, year round): Every week this farm brings their best freshly butchered meats, raw dairy, and prepared goods all raised on their sustainable family farm to the market. Buy some  Porchetta for a snack as you walk the market. [They sell the best pork belly I Read more

my sugar-free strawberry and vanilla kombucha recipe

Posted on April 8th, 2014

All this kombucha experimenting has become something of a hobby. This recipe I’m sharing today kinda brings much of the tweaks together – how to make a fructose-free kombucha (using rice malt syrup), and how to pimp things up a treat, using the right quantities of essences and fruits.

Strawberry Shortcake Kombucha, recipe below

Strawberry and Vanilla Kombucha, recipe below

This combo really does work amazingly well. The strawberries will lose their colour a little, but feel free to eat them – they’re lovely and fizzy and, of course, contain very little sweetness.

Strawberry and Vanilla Kombucha

  • 3 cups plain kombucha
  • 5-6 whole strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (not essence)

After removing the SCOBY from your plain kombucha, pour into a mason jar. Add the other ingredients, leaving 2cm room at the top, screw on the lid (this second ferment must be done sealed), and let sit at room temperature for 3-4 days depending on how warm your kitchen is. I like to keep the strawberries in there, but you can choose to strain after 1-2 days and then pour into a 750ml bottle (again, leaving 2-3cm of air at the top, and seal with a lid/cap) for the remaining 2 days before placing in the fridge.  Also, you may wish to use a plastic bottle for this so you can test how fizzy it’s getting with a gentle squeeze.

Any combos you’ve been playing with? Do share…