Archive for August, 2010

Quick Bites for the Week Ending 2010-08-27

Friday, August 27th, 2010
  • Quinoa For Breakfast: As we’ve discussed before, quinoa has excellent nutritional value: its protein content is ve… #
  • Quick Bites for the Week Ending 2010-08-20: Good backgrounder on Fair Trade. No invisible hand here… #

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Quinoa For Breakfast

Friday, August 20th, 2010

As we’ve discussed before, quinoa has excellent nutritional value: its protein content is very high and contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for human consumption. It’s arguably the best complete protein source among plant foods. On top of this, it’s also a good source of dietary fiber and gluten-free making it easy to digest.

If you go out on the internet looking for how to incorporate quinoa into your diet, recipes abound. The perennial favourite approach is to incorporate quinoa into a salad and other savory side dishes. But why stop there? We also think quinoa is an excellent candidate for breakfast and sweets. It can be as simple as adding plain yogurt, apples, and a sprinkle of coconut sugar to a bowl of quinoa:

Quinoa Breakfast

Another delicious alternative is quinoa with blueberries and bananas drizzled with home made blueberry syrup (we got the recipe for the syrup from the excellent Simple Bites blog, but instead of refined sugar, try using coconut sugar instead):

Blueberry Sauce on Quinoa, Bananas and Blueberries!

If you head over to Sweet On Veg, you’ll find another fantastic take on the blueberry + quinoa theme: Blueberry Maple Quinoa.

Another promising way to incorporate quinoa into sweets is to use puffed quinoa. This unique product is somewhat like puffed wheat, but each individual unit is smaller offering a more interesting texture. It has a very pleasing toasted taste and would work well in health bars, desserts and breakfast cereals.

Quick Bites for the Week Ending 2010-08-20

Friday, August 20th, 2010

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We Will Sell No Wine Before Its Time

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Do you remember Orsen Welles plugging Paul Masson’s finest? It’s been a few years (decades!), but as any wine drinker knows, a lot of wine is sold before its time. As the Wine Economist explains:

Immature wine is sort of like the flat-pack furniture they sell at Ikea — all the pieces are there, it is up to the consumer to take them home and complete assembly. Wine buyers are supposed to take immature but age-worthy wine home, stash it under the stairs or in a climate-controlled wine storage appliance, and remember to bring it out when the time is right.

Our question to you is, when laying down that age-worthy wine, why stop at a “climate-controlled wine storage appliance” when you can have a whole climate controlled wine cellar? And that brings us to today’s feature: Genuwine Cellars.

Founded in 1995 by Robb Denomme and Lance Kingma, alumni of the prestigious International Sommeliers Guild, Genuwine Cellars designs and builds truly amazing custom wine cellars. The product lines are extensive with a variety of price-points to meet absolutely any budget: they offer two fully modular product lines, two fully customizable product lines and a product line they call the Architectural Series where the sky is the limit in terms of design possibilities. Each of the product lines achieves a different goal and aesthetic value, so there is something for every taste. Just look at these pictures:

We also like the fundamentals the company is built on, which they aptly describe as the Art & Science of Cellaring. A company built on a passion for great wine,  these guys are into wine cellars! And Canadian no less. Hopefully they won’t have any trouble coming to Toronto to install one in our place! We really encourage you to look into Genuwine Cellars if you are thinking of putting a wine cellar in your home.

We’re always on the look out for unique Canadian products, personalities and companies in the food and beverage industry. If you’d like to suggest a product, company or person that fits this criteria, we’d love to hear about them. And while you’re at it, subscribe to Ingredient Hotline and follow us on twitter and/or facebook. It’s only fitting that we sign off with Orsen:

Could You, Would You On A Train?

Monday, August 16th, 2010

It’s the 50th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham and that’s a special anniversary for this book considering that Dr. Seuss only used 50 words to write the book! Believe it or not, but the book actually came into being when Bennett Cerf, Dr. Seuss’s publisher, wagered $50 that Seuss could not write a book using only fifty different words. The book became the fourth best selling english children’s book of all time. It’s also an especially fitting book for us, being based the idea of trying something new: like yaconquinoa and chia!

Here’s ABC News on Green Eggs and Ham turning 50:

Dr. Seuss’ ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ Turns 50

We’d also like to give a shout out to our friend Jim who pointed us to this story!

I do so like
green eggs and ham!
Thank you!
Thank you,

Quick Bites for the Week Ending 2010-08-13

Friday, August 13th, 2010

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2 Great Resources for Taking Pictures of Food

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010


While we’ve taken pictures of the ingredients we sell for marketing purposes, we also like to take some snapshots of dishes at restaurants and of our own culinary creations. Since we got involved with Rick Bayless’ twitter contest, we looked into the whole subject of food photography because Rick is judging the pictures of the food, not the food itself! He even went out of his way to give some picture taking tips, suggesting that “a flash is food photography’s greatest enemy”. Well, we don’t really agree with that completely – a direct flash is probably food photography’s greatest enemy. If all you’ve got is the flash affixed to your camera, then yes, turn it off and take your picture by a source of natural light like a window or doorway.  Otherwise, the use of indirect lighting can add amazing effects to your food photos.

Besides that tip, here’s a couple of the resources we’ve used in our quest for the optimal food shot:

Food photo submission sites: both TasteSpotting and FoodGawker are great sites where you can look at literally thousands of food images submitted by admirers on the web. Believe it or not, these sites are known as food porn sites! Well, I don’t know if we’re crazy about that term being applied to food, but if you want to take better pictures of food, there will definitely be lots of inspiration, if not examples you can emulate to be found on these sites.

Digital Photography School: this site, started by blogging star Darren Rowe, aims to provide “simple tips to help digital camera owners get the most out of their cameras”. They’ve got a few articles on photographing food, including the following:

Of course, you can also surf Flickr, and the greater web for tonnes of examples and articles on food photography. By the way, the picture attached to this post was our submission for the Fiesta at Ricks Twitter Contest Week 4. We didn’t win! Denied! It was still great fun, and I’ve got to tell you, the ribs were absolutely delicious. At least we got an amazing meal out of the deal!

Here’s one more tip: subscribe to Ingredient Hotline and stay informed on unique, natural ingredients. Be sure to follow us on twitter and facebook.

Quick Bites for the Week Ending 2010-08-06

Friday, August 6th, 2010

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Mexico – 140 Characters at a Time

Friday, August 6th, 2010


Rick Bayless, the famous chef at the Mexican restaurant Frontera Grill in Chicago, and the man behind the television show Mexico – One Plate at a Time (available on PBS), has got a pretty interesting Twitter contest going on right now. Every week, Rick tweets a recipe no more than 140 characters in length and you prepare it and send in a picture of your rendition. Rick reviews the pictures and selects ten winners each week. The winners receive an autographed copy of this new cookbook Fiesta at Rick’s: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends

We’re huge fans of his television show. We wanted to try out his new restaurant XOCO when we were in Chicago for this year’s IFT, but alas it is closed on Sundays and Mondays! Anyhow, on week three of the contest we decided to give it a shot. The recipe was for a scallop ceviche:

8oz slicd raw scallops+1c grapefrt j:45 min.Drain;blend 2/3c juice,1-2 chipotles,4 rstd grlc,2T br sgr.Mix w scal, red on,trop fruit,jicama

That certainly left a lot to the imagination! We’ve attached a picture to this post of our masterpiece as well as a shot of the ingredients. Sadly, we didn’t win, but it was a lot of fun trying out a new dish and getting involved in the contest. If you’re a fan of Rick, or authentic Mexican cuisine, you might want to try joining the contest this week yourself! Make sure you let us know how you did.

Ceviche Ingredients