Community Gardening Recipes

Tomatoes

 

As the end of summer approaches in British Columbia, our tomatoes are beginning to ripen. This means the time is upon us for caprese salads, pasta sauces, fresh salsas, and pizza sauce. It is easy to know when to pick tomatoes, simply wait until they turn the colour they are supposed to (usually red, sometimes yellow or green) and pick them before they split. They can be picked after they split too, but it is ideal to pick them before that happens. A split tomato is one that has had its skin opened by its insides; it simply means the tomato is overripe.

If you planted tomatoes earlier this spring, and have a surplus, one great use for them is roasting. Mama Friesen has a fantastic roasted tomato recipe, and it is found below. Roasted tomatoes add lots of flavour to soups, sauces, and basically any tomato-based dish. They can also be saved for the winter by freezing.

Roasted Tomatoes:

7-10 Roma Tomatoes

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

2 cloves Russian Garlic

3 tablespoons Fresh Herbs

Line a baking pan with sides with foil. You want a baking pan with sides because there will be lots of juices and it can make a mess. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the foil-lined baking pan.

Slice your tomatoes. Put the sliced tomatoes on the foil and roll around in the oil until they are covered. Crack some fresh pepper and some sea salt onto the tomatoes. Snip some fresh herbs – any combination of herbs will do but basil and oregano are the best. Again, feel free to use any fresh herbs you desire. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of fresh herbs onto the tomatoes. Mince your garlic and sprinkle on top of the tomatoes. Add a little more olive oil on the top.

Roast in the oven for 2 hours at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. At the 1-hour mark, pull the tomatoes and check them out. Stir the tomatoes around so that the ones on the outside of the pan get to the inside, and the ones on the inside of the pan get to the outside. Put back in the oven. Wait until you see that they are starting to crisp and blacken around the edges.

 

If you did not grow your own tomatoes this year but still want to find farm fresh tomatoes, there are a number of farms around the lower mainland that have you covered. Taves Family Farm in Abbotsford has heirloom tomatoes. Coft Produce in Mission has tomatoes. Cropthorne Farm in Delta has heirloom tomatoes. Olera Organic Farm, also in Abbotsford, grows over 40 varieties of tomatoes. Silverhill Orchard in Mission has heirloom tomatoes.

As is well known, there are many varieties of tomatoes, and some are best used for certain things. Small, sweet cherry tomatoes, for example, are best used in salads. Roma tomatoes are excellent for pasta sauce. Beefsteak tomatoes make great toppings for sandwiches and hamburgers. Heirloom tomatoes, with their different colours, add nice colour variation to all sorts of salads. Heirlooms can be used as their own salad too, or in a tomato tower. All you need for a tomato tower is heirloom tomatoes, all in different colours, some small basil leaves, some nice cheese – perhaps an aged, smoked cheddar – and some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Slice the tomatoes and the cheese, then stack it together going tomato slice – cheese slice – basil leaf until you have a tower, about six layers. Drizzle a little olive oil and vinegar on top and you have a tomato tower.

 

Taves Family Farm – www.tavesfamilyfarms.com

Croft Produce – 29750 Dewdney Trunk Road, Mission BC (604-308-2065)

Cropthorne Farm – www.cropthornefarm.com

Olera Organic Farm – 356 Defehr Road, Abbotsford BC (604-856-7572)

Silverhill Orchard – www.silverhillorchard.com

12

Community

When it comes to the health and sustainability community, there’s no shortage of awesome people to rely on for support, information and innovation. What was once a movement is now the norm, and there are new and exciting initiatives developing every day. One such is a company that we’re incredibly excited about, Vital Supply Co.

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An initiative founded by Reuben Major, Braden Matthews and Mack Davis, three individuals with a combined 30 years of culinary experience, Vital is an innovative take on food delivery that places as much emphasis on health and integrity as it does on flavour. Their food is locally sourced, dairy & gluten free, with no sugar added, and each meal is balanced with key nutritional components that are curated to refuel and reenergize with maximum benefits. On top of that, they source all of their meats from Two Rivers Meats, an MGF favourite!

 

A remarkable and unique aspect of Vital’s service is the technique they use to cook their food. All food is prepared using the Sous-Vide method, which relies on precise temperature control to lock in both flavour and nutrients.  

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With menu options like Flank Steak with Chimichurri and Seasonal Vegetables, Purple Carrot and Brussels Sprout Salad with Chicken, and Coconut and Oat Banana Pecan Pancakes (did we mention they do breakfast, too?!), there’s truly an item for everyone.

 

Ideal for offices, gyms and fitness studios that are tired of the lack of healthy lunch options, Vital is a saving grace. The website allows for easy ordering, and the kicker is, they deliver it right to your fridge (which they also provide).

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Definitely check out their site, and reach out to any of the passionate founders who are happy to explain the Vital mission. We did, and we’re pretty happy about it!

Nice Vice

Community

We have a new vice, and it’s guilt-free! Sound too good to be true? Think again. The folks over at Nice Vice have developed a local, dairy-free, vegan, sustainably packaged… ICE CREAM. You heard us, your favourite summer treat is back in action and better than ever.

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