Chocolate Fudge Sauce

It’s hot outside! Let’s make a super easy chocolate fudge sauce that transforms simple summer desserts. It is perfect on ice cream desserts, to garnish ice cream sandwishes, as a chocolate fondue, on cream puffs,… We made this recipe often growing up. We hope this recipe brings you many beautiful memories – as it did for us 🙂 

Cooking Video

Recipe

Chocolate Sauce dessert

Hot Chocolate Fudge Sauce

This hot chocolate fudge sauce is perfect to top ice cream and to use as chocolate fondue.

  • Prep Time 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time 8 Minutes
  • Total Time 13 Minutes
  • Makes 3/4 cup

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Step #1: In a pot on low heat, melt the butter. Add the cocoa powder and combine. Add the sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, water and salt. Combine.
  2. Step #2: Bring to a light boil - stirring constantly. Cook on medium low heat 6 minutes uncovered and without whisking.
Environmental impact

Many Canadians are considering reducing their beef consumtion due to a variety of reason including: environmental impact and animal wellfair. 

click HERE for the recipe. 

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BBQ season

bison seabuckthorn mango olea

It is BBQ season! The May 13 2021 suvey from Angus Reid in collaboration with the agri-food analytics lab at Dalhousie University shows 92% of Canadians eat beef and 65% eat beef on a weekly basis.

In this blog we discuss 3 delicious and easy grilling toppings for beef & bison

  1. sea buckthorn mango salsa
  2. gremolata
  3. chimichurri
seabuckthorn mango olea

Sea buckthorn mango salsa

This salsa is easy, features many Saskatchewan products and the flavour combination will make you feel like a chef! Sea buckthorn is a berry harvested in Saskatchewan that has a tropical, slightly sour and tart flavour. 

  • Prep Time 5 Minutes
  • Serves 4 People

Ingredients

  • sea buckthorn puree 2 tbsp
  • honey 1 tbsp
  • vegetable oil 2 tbsp
  • smoked chaabani oil (e.g. Olea brand) 1 tbsp
  • garlic powder 1/2 tsp
  • diced mango 1
  • minced chives 2 tbsp
  • sliced basil 2 tbsp
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Step #1: In a bowl add the sea buckthorn puree, honey, grapeseed oil, smoked chaabani oil and garlic powder. Combine
  2. Step #2: Add the mango, chives and basil to the wet ingredients. Combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine. Serve on gilled beef or bison steak.

Notes

Smoked chaabani oil can be substituted with chipotle oil.

Smoked dried chaabani oil can be purchased on Olea’s website here.

Solberry sea buckthorn puree can be purchased on their website here. 

gremolata

gremolata

Gremolata, a zesty Italian herb sauce that brightens steaks, fish and chicken. 

  • Prep Time 5 Minutes
  • Serves 4 People

Ingredients

  • chopped parsley 1 cup
  • minced garlic 2 cloves
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • lemon juice 2 tsp
  • olive oil 1/2 cup
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Step #1: In a bowl combine all the ingredients.
  2. Step #2: Season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine. Serve on gilled beef or bison steak.
gremolata

gremolata

Gremolata, a zesty Italian herb sauce that brightens steaks, fish and chicken. 

  • Prep Time 5 Minutes
  • Serves 4 People

Ingredients

  • chopped parsley 1 cup
  • minced garlic 2 cloves
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • lemon juice 2 tsp
  • olive oil 1/2 cup
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Step #1: In a bowl combine all the ingredients.
  2. Step #2: Season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine. Serve on gilled beef or bison steak.
chimichurri

chimichurri

chimichurri is an Argentinean sauce similar to pesto. It is popular throughout South America. This version uses fresh parsley, oregano, garlic, oil and vinegar and a little bit of chili pepper.

  • Prep Time 5 Minutes
  • Serves 4 People

Ingredients

  • fresh chopped parsley 1 cup
  • fresh oregano 2 tsp
  • minced garlic 3 cloves
  • red wine vinegar 2 tbsp
  • olive oil 1/2 cup
  • dried chili 1/2 tsp
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Step #1: In a bowl combine all the ingredients.
  2. Step #2: Season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine. Serve.
Environmental impact

Many Canadians are considering reducing their beef consumtion due to a variety of reason including: environmental impact and animal wellfair. 

click HERE for the recipe. 

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Mother’s day brunch

This year, mother’s day may be celebrated differently than usually in many families. Brunch is a delicious and joyful way to start mother’s day. Even if we don’t live with our mother we can still prepare her a delicious brunch. 

Make your mother smile this mother’s day with a delicious home made brunch. 

Because mother’s day is synonymous with spring days the recipes we recommend are filled with spring colours! Think of the soft green of aspargus, the bright pink of radishes or the sunny yellow of eggs. 

We recommend 5 different menus to enjoy at home or to deliver to your mother:

  1. Sweet Menu 
  2. Healthy Menu 
  3. Casserole 
  4. Salad
  5. Pizza
Sweet Menu 

Pancakes
Makes 10-12 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. In a bowl add the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Combine.
  2. In a separate bowl add the egg, milk, melted butter and vanilla. Whisk.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. 
  4. Drop 1/4 cup of the batter on a hot oiled pan. Cook the pancake until filled with bubbles and the under-surface is golden brown. Turn and brown the other side. Serve as hot as possible with whipped cream and berry sauce. 

Whipped cream
click HERE for the recipe. 

Saskatoon berry sauce

  • 4 cups saskatoon berries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  1. In a pot on medium heat, add the berries, water and sugar. Bring to a light boil. Let simmer, stiring regularly, for 15 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl combine the orange juice and cornstarch.
  3. Add the cornstarch mix to the berries. Combine and let simmer 5 minutes. Serve on pancakes or ice cream.

Strawberry sauce
click HERE for the recipe. 

Healthy Menu 

 This breakfast bowl is filled with layers of flavours: fresh fruits, chia pudding, quinoa, maple syrup, cinamon. It is the perfect easy breakfast packed in 1 bowl. This antioxidant rich bowl will power you through the day. You can even make it the night before to fully enjoy mother’s day morning.  

click HERE for the recipe. 

Casserole 

This green egg and ham casserole is the perfect springtime breakfast. This easy recipe fits in a 13×9″ pan. 

click HERE for the recipe. 

Salad

Nicoise salad is often paired with seafood and celebrates fresh seasonal produce. It is a delicious way to celebrate Mother’s day and enjoy fresh spring vegetables. 

click HERE for the recipe. 

Pizza

This delicious breakfast pizza is comforting and filled with flavours. This pizza features artichokes, proscuitto, tomatoes, eggs, parmesan and flavoured oil. 

click HERE for the recipe. 

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Reduce food cost & food waste with soup

Food prices are going UP in 2021! The forecasted increase is the HIGHEST in dollar EVER projected by the Canada Food Price Report. 

This empty fridge soup is an easy way to reduce your food costs and your food waste.

In this blog we discuss

  • Empty fridge soup recipe
  • Soup preparation tips
  • Crouton recipe
  • Food price forecast
  • Food waste
Canada's food price forecast

Canada’s Food Price Report, published by Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph predicts the highest increase in dollars of the report’s history.  An increase of 695$ for a total of 13,907$ is the anticipated food cost of a family with 2 adults and 2 children – This amount DOES NOT include ANY food service. 

Food waste

The average household waste 309 lbs/year of food – worth on average 1,100$!

The comestible waste throughout the food chain is estimated at 11.2 million tons.  To better understand how much food that represents we need to break it down. 11.2 million tons of food is enough to feed ALL Canadian for 4.9 months!

What can we do?

As a starter, main course, side dish or as a sauce, soups can transform yesterday’s leftovers and less appetizing vegetables into tasty new dishes. It’s one of the fastest, easiest, and most delicious ways to use up the foods in your fridge and pantry!

 

Empty Fridge Soup
Ingredients
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 tbsp Butter or vegetable oil
  • 5 cups of mixed vegetables or 1 single vegetable cut into slices or quarters (e.g. carrots, turnip, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, leek)
  • 5 cups of liquid of your choice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Preparation
  1. In a saucepan, soften the onion in the butter. Add the vegetables and broth. Bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  2. Optional – In a blender, reduce the soup to a smooth puree. Salt and pepper.
Optional ingredients
Optional soup ingredients

Add these ingredients with the vegetables and broth. 

  • Parmesan rind – remove before blending. It will add umami to the soup
  • Potato, mashed potatoes, rice, grains. Add about 1 cup. It will thicken the soup.
Soup liquid ideas

You can include a combinations of liquid.

  • water
  • vegetables broth
  • chicken/beef broth
  • cream (1/2 cup)
  • coconut milk (1/2 cup)
  • orange or apple juice (up to 1 cup)
Fine herbs &/or spices by vegetable type

Add these ingredients with the vegetables and broth.

  • Orange vegetables
    • Cumin (1 tsp) ginger (1 tsp)
    • Ginger (1 tsp), turmeric (1/2 tsp), pepper (1/8 tsp), cinnamon (1/2 tsp), nutmeg (1/4 tsp)
    • Curry (1 tsp), turmeric (1 tsp), pepper (1/8 tsp), 1 lemon (zest and juice add after the coup is cooked)
  • Varied vegetables
    • Bay leaf (1), thyme (1/2 tsp)
    • Oregano (1 tsp), basil (1 tsp)
    • Provence herbs (2 tsp)
    • Italian herbs (2 tsp)
  • Green vegetables
    • Dill (to taste), Greek yogurt (to taste)
    • pesto (2 to 3 tbsp)
Garnishes

Use to decorate the soup.

  • Croutons – see recipe below
  • Herbs
  • Parmesan 
  • Meat (crispy bacon, leftover chicken,…)
  • Cream / Greek yogurt
  • Lemon or orange zest
  • Pesto
Soup preparation tips

1. To make the soup pretty, use vegetables of the same color. When you mix all the leftover vegetables for a soup, the soup can be a little brown. From today, your soups will be vibrant with different color combinations. 

  • Orange produce
    • sweet potato, carrots, squash, pumpkin, bell peppers,…
  • Green produce
    • Broccoli, spinach, lettuce, fennel, leeks, …
  • Neutral produce
    • potatoes, cauliflowers, parsnips, rutabaga, apples,…
    • Neutral produce can be added to any colour soup or can be used to make a very lightly coloured soup. 

2. To control the thickness of your soup, you can remove about 1 cup of the broth before blending and add it back as desired.

 

Croutons recipe

Since we are making an “empty fridge soup” might as well double up on the waste reduction and make croutons with leftover or dried bread.  Home made croutons taste nothing like store bought ones. They are filled with layers of flavours. Get ready to fall in love with croutons!

Ingredients
  • Leftover bread – about 4 cups
  • Oil – 1 tbsp 
    • e.g. cameline, olive, grapeseed oil, avocado
  • Dried herbs of choice – 1 tbsp 
    • e.g: Italian spices, provence, basil, oregano.
  • Salt & pepper
Preparation

Preparation

  • Heat the oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parment paper or a silicon cooking mat.
  • Cut the bread in 1/2 to 1 inch cubes. Place the bread cubes on the lined baking sheet.
  • Drizzle the bread with oil, herbs, salt & pepper. 
  • Combine with your hands and place in a single layer.
  • Bake 15 minutes. Let cool.
Why homemade croutons?
  • Home made croutons cost lest than half the price of store bought ones and taste a lot better.
  • The ingredient list is simple and high quality.
  • Reduce food waste by using bread that may have ended up in the garbage. 
Canada's food price forecast

Canada’s Food Price Report, published by Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph predicts the highest increase in dollars of the report’s history. 

The 2021 food price forecast is as follows:

Credit: https://cdn.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/sites/agri-food/Food%20Price%20Report%202021%20-%20EN%20(December%208).pdf

The 2021 report forecasts that overall food prices will increase 3 to 5%.

An increase of 695$ for a total of 13,907$ is the anticipated food cost of a family with these members:

  • a man (age 31–50)
  • a woman (age 31– 50)
  • a boy (age 14–18)
  • a girl (age 9–13)

This amount does not includes any food service expenses. 

Food Waste
Household food waste

The average household waste 309 lbs/year of food – worth on average 1,100$!

Food chain total waste

In Canada, 58% of the food produced is wasted throughout the food chain – a total of 35,5 million tons. This includes non comestible foods like eggshells and bones.  The comestible waste throughout the entire food chain is estimated at 11,2 million tons. 

To better understand how much food that 11,2 million tons represents we need to break it down. Here are the maths:

  • How much food is that per Canadian?
    • 11,2 millions tons of food/ 37.6 million canadians = 0.3 tons/Canadian
    • 1 ton = 2000 lbs
    • 0.3 tons = 600 lbs
  • How long does it take to eat this amount of food?
    • The average person eats 4 pounds a day.
    • 600/4 = 150 days of food
    • 150 days = 4.9 months

This 11,2 million tons of food is enough food to feed each Canadian for 4.9 months!

Global food waste
  •  

Food waste is an important global issue globally. Here are some numbers to better understand the impact of food waste:

  • 1/3 of the food produced in the world is lost or thrown away, equivalent to around 1.3 billion tonnes per year
  • Food produced but not consumed unnecessarily occupies nearly 1.4 billion hectares of land, which is the size of Canada and India combined.
  • Producing all this lost or discarded food requires about 1/4 of all the water used in agriculture each year.

sources:

Sources
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Jam

JAM! What better way to bottle up the Summer’s rays of sunshine than with delicious jams? When the days get shorter, darker and we begin to miss the summer days, we reach in the pantry and take a jar of jam. It always brings us back to the joys of summer. 

Reduce food waste with jams. Yes, you read that right! Jams are a delicious way to use bruised fruits. Often fruits that are a little older are sweeter and actually make better jams. 

In this blog you will learn how to make:

  • Easiest Strawberry Jam
  • Plum Preserves
  • Apricot Preserves
  • Saskatoon and Blueberry Jam

Strawberry Jam

strawberryjam2

Easiest Strawberry Jam

This Strawberry jam is done in 30 minutes with 3 ingredients in 3 easy steps. It doesn’t get any better than this!

This recipe makes 3 cups of jam and can easily be multiplied. You can make this jam with ANY berry. As long as you respect the sugar to berry ratio, your jam will be perfect every time.
  • Total Time 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 pound, 4 cups whole Strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. In a pan, combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice. Bring to a boil uncovered on medium heat. Place a plate in the freezer to test when the jam is ready (step 2).
  2. Let boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Test if the jam is ready by placing a few drops on jam on the cold plate and drawing your finger through it. If the jam stays parted it is ready. If you would like small pieces of fruit you can mash the fruit using a potato masher.
  3. Carefully place the jam in clean jars. The jam will keep in the fridge for a week.

Notes

OPTIONAL: If you would like to keep your jam at room temperature you will need to can it. To do so, ensure your jars and lids have been sterilized (you can wash them in the dishwasher on sterilize mode). Bring a large pot of water to a boil and ensure there would be at least 2 inches of water over the jars. Fill the sterilized jars up to 1 inch from the top. Carefully place the lid and thighten  loosely. Place a dish towel at the bottom of the pot to provide a cushion between to bottom of the pot and the glass jars. Place the jars in the boiling water for 5 minutes (1 cup jars). Place the jars of jam on the counter to let them cool. You will hear the lid sceal and they will make a "pop" sound. If after a few hours, you didnt hear the sound, lightly press on the button on top of the lid, if it stays down the jars are scealed. 

Plum Jam

plum jam

Plum Preserve

Let’s take jam up a notch and move from the breakfast comfort of Strawberry jam to the dinner party. This plum preserve is lightly spiced with star anise. Plum preserve is amazing to serve with a cheese board. We love eating it with French bread, brie, and pear slices.

This recipe makes 4 cups of jam and can easily be multiplied.
  • Total Time 80 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 pounds, 5 cups diced plums
  • 3 star anise

Instructions

  1. In a pan, combine the plums, sugar and star anise. Let sit for an hour or until the fruit becomes syrupy with the sugar. Bring to a boil uncovered on medium heat. Place a plate in the freezer to test when the preserve is ready (step 2).
  2. Let boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Test if the preserve is ready by placing a few drops on jam on the cold plate and drawing your finger through it. If the preserves stays parted it is ready.
  3. Carefully place the preserve in clean jars. The preserve will keep in the fridge for a week.

Notes

OPTIONAL: If you would like to keep your preserves at room temperature you will need to can it. To do so, ensure your jars and lids have been sterilized (you can wash them in the dishwasher on sterilize mode). Bring a large pot of water to a boil and ensure there would be at least 2 inches of water over the jars. Fill the sterilized jars up to 1 inch from the top. Carefully place the lid and thighten  loosely. Place a dish towel at the bottom of the pot to provide a cushion between to bottom of the pot and the glass jars. Place the jars in the boiling water for 5 minutes (1 cup jars). Place the jars of preserve on the counter to let them cool. You will hear the lid sceal and they will make a "pop" sound. If after a few hours, you didnt hear the sound, lightly press on the button on top of the lid, if it stays down the jars are scealed. 

Apricot Preserves

Apricot jam

Apricot Preserves

This apricot preserves is based on an old French recipes and represents the best of French country cuisine – delicious and simple.

Makes 3 cups. This recipe can easily be multiplied to make a larger quantity.
  • Total Time 60 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar OR honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 pound, 3 cups diced apricot (save 1 pit)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp almonds

Instructions

  1. Open 1 apricot pit and remove the almond like nut in it. Chop it coarsly. Chop coarsly the almonds. In a pan, combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice. Bring to a boil uncovered on medium heat. Place a plate in the freezer to test when the jam is ready (step 3).
  2. In a pot, add the sugar OR honey and water. bring to a boil uncovered on medium heat. Add the apricots, lemon juice, choped apricot pit and almonds.
  3. Let boil for about 30 minutes. Test if the preserve is ready by placing a few drops on jam on the cold plate and drawing your finger through it. If the jam stays parted it is ready.
  4. Carefully place the preserve in clean jars. The jam will keep in the fridge for a week.

Notes

OPTIONAL: If you would like to keep your preserves at room temperature you will need to can it. To do so, ensure your jars and lids have been sterilized (you can wash them in the dishwasher on sterilize mode). Bring a large pot of water to a boil and ensure there would be at least 2 inches of water over the jars. Fill the sterilized jars up to 1 inch from the top. Carefully place the lid and thighten  loosely. Place a dish towel at the bottom of the pot to provide a cushion between to bottom of the pot and the glass jars. Place the jars in the boiling water for 5 minutes (1 cup jars). Place the jars of preserves on the counter to let them cool. You will hear the lid sceal and they will make a "pop" sound. If after a few hours, you didnt hear the sound, lightly press on the button on top of the lid, if it stays down the jars are scealed. 

Saskatoon and Blueberry Jam

blueberry jam

Saskatoon and Blueberry Jam

This Saskatoon and Blueberry jam is done in 30 minutes with 3 ingredients in 3 easy steps. It doesn’t get any better than this! This recipe makes 3 cups of jam and can easily be multiplied. You can make this jam with ANY berry. As long as you respect the sugar to berry ratio, your jam will be perfect every time.
  • Total Time 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 pound, 2 cups Saskatoon berries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 pound, 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. In a pan, combine the berries, sugar, lemon juice. Bring to a boil uncovered on medium heat. Place a plate in the freezer to test when the jam is ready (step 2).
  2. Let boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Test if the jam is ready by placing a few drops on jam on the cold plate and drawing your finger through it. If the jam stays parted it is ready. If you would like small pieces of fruit you can mash the fruit using a potato masher.
  3. Carefully place the jam in clean jars. The jam will keep in the fridge for a week.

Notes

OPTIONAL: If you would like to keep your jam at room temperature you will need to can it. To do so, ensure your jars and lids have been sterilized (you can wash them in the dishwasher on sterilize mode). Bring a large pot of water to a boil and ensure there would be at least 2 inches of water over the jars. Fill the sterilized jars up to 1 inch from the top. Carefully place the lid and thighten  loosely. Place a dish towel at the bottom of the pot to provide a cushion between to bottom of the pot and the glass jars. Place the jars in the boiling water for 5 minutes (1 cup jars). Place the jars of jam on the counter to let them cool. You will hear the lid sceal and they will make a "pop" sound. If after a few hours, you didnt hear the sound, lightly press on the button on top of the lid, if it stays down the jars are scealed. 

The Art of Making Bread – Overnight

We are taking you on a journey to discover Saskatchewan through your kitchen. The art of making bread has been passed from generation to generation in our family and we are proud to share this beautiful satisfying art with you.

Rosemary olive bread - baked

Olive Rosemary Bread

Olive and rosemary are a delicious pairing of flavours. This bread can be made with ingredients sourced from farmers and producers of Saskatchewan. This recipe is a delicious side for the Minestrone Soup on the ZestyKits menu next week.
  • Prep Time 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time 45-50 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp liquid honey
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh or dry rosemary
  • 3/4 cup pitted black olives
  • 1 3/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Disolve the honey into the water.
  2. Combine all ingredients (water last) in a large bowl. We love using a wooden spoon. Ensure there is no dry flour left. Cover with a tea towel and let rise from 8 to 18 hours.
  3. Once you are ready to bake the bread, turn on the oven to 450F. Place a 3 qt or larger dutch oven in the oven to heat up. While the oven is heating, place the risen dough on floured parchment paper and shape the dough into a ball. Garnish the top of the bread as desired. We used rosemary and finishing salt.
  4. Carefully remove the hot dutch oven from the oven. Lift the bread with the parchment paper and place the dough and parchment paper in the dutch oven. Cover and bake 30 minutes covered. Remove the lid and continue to bake for approximately 15 minutes.
  5. Bon appetit!

Notes

It is very important to heat up the dutch oven before adding the bread. This will create a contrast in temperature that will make your crust crispy. You can make this recipe using ingredients sourced from Saskatchewan farmers and producers. We used flour from R&J milling, rosemary from splendor garden, yeast from Local & Fresh, local honey and  black olives from the Italian Star Deli.

Flat Out Delicious

What is Flat Out Delicious?

Flat Out Delicious is a valuable travel book that takes us on a journey to meet Saskatchewan’s farmers and producers. This book captures the stories and values of Saskatchewan’s resilient and inspiring farmers and producers. Through their stories and beautiful photography, we are taken behind the scenes, into the fields, kitchens and backstores of each food artisan. This book reveals the breadth and depth of Saskatchewan food landmarks. Each story is an opportunity to fall in love with our local culinary artisans.   

Through this book we discover Saskatchewan’s varied personalities and culinary experience. These 167 stories cumulate into this beautiful expression of Saskatchewan’s nickname: Les grenier du monde, the world’s attic. From grain fields that expand as far as the eye can see to northern boreal forest, Saskatchewan is home to one of Canada’s most unique food systems. Saskatchewan’s farmers and producers have been rising quietly for decades; Flat Out Delicious is a tribute to their legacy. 

Picture by our beautiful cousin and friend Myriam @the.farm.folk 
Our little cousin, Asher, and Zina are enjoying the sun after a long rain.

Why we love Flat Out Delicious

We received our book less than 10 days ago and are flat out in love with it! We expected a lot from this book and have received way more than we could have hoped for. 

The main reasons we have such a strong connection with Flat Out Delicious are:

  • It aligns with our roots
  • It tells the story of ZestyKits’ stars 
  • It bring awareness to the value of eating local 
  • It is truly a labour of love

Aligns with ZestyKits’ Roots

Picture by our dear friend and cousin Myriam @the.farm.folk 
Havilah playing in her “bean house”. It’s the little memories that will last a lifetime. 

Growing up with a French background, our parents raised us with artisanally produced simple ingredients. We lived across the road from an artisanal vegetable and fruit farm which we visited regularly to buy seasonal produce. Our parents promoted the importance of knowing where our food comes from, to eat the best quality ingredients produced as close to home as possible. They helped us understand that our wealth is our health while money comes and goes. Even though we grew up with limited resources, our parents always supported artisanal farmers and producers. They raised us with a deep respect for food and understanding of the impact it has on our personal health and on our community’s health. 

Picture by our dear friend and cousin Myriam @the.farm.folk 
Our mother and Myriam’s mother both had this bread knife since before we were born. This bread knife reminds us of the smell of warm breads our mothers made.

Artisanal food production is in our blood; from the dairy farm on which our mother was raised to the strawberry fields our great uncle harvested until his 96th birthday. Our parents artisanally raised bees and chicken for our family and dreamt of, one day, owning an artisanal farm. They value learning the stories of the farmers and producers behind each ingredient. Growing up some of our best memories include picking raspberries under the hot sun of June and apples with the cold breeze of September. We remember visiting artisanal farms including cheese, vegetables, berry, honey, goat, and ostrich farms. We fondly remember meeting the farmers, hearing their stories, meeting the animals, feeling the dirt between our toes, smelling the fresh air and tasting the delicious food. Food nourishes more than our bodies, it nourishes our soul, it nourishes our community. 

Picture by our dear friend and cousin Myriam @the.farm.folk 
“In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow.
In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention.
And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sittling still” – Pico Lyer

When we moved to Saskatchewan from Quebec, we learned to know farmers and producers that give this province the nickname of les grenier de monde, the worlds’ attic. It is through taking the time to truly feel and experience Saskatchewan over the past 20 years, that the land of living sky became part of our soul. 

Picture by our dear friend and cousin Myriam @the.farm.folk 
Our little cousin, Asher, planted the corn in the background himself.

We created ZestyKits to empower families to come back to the roots, to reconnect with food, to get to know their producers, to discover delicious food farmed and produced with love.

ZestyKits' Stars

Picture by our dear friend and cousin Myriam @the.farm.folk 
“You know you love your chicken when you watch them play in the yard more than you watch tv” – Myriam

Picture by our dear friend and cousin Myriam @the.farm.folk 
The ladies enjoying the mild weather in early March.

Jenn’s book tells the stories of many farmers and producers who are the stars behind every ZestyKits meal. We strongly encourage you to, not only read the book, but also use it as a travel guide – once physical distancing ends. Go visit the farmers and producers of Saskatchewan’s food, go meet the friendly faces behind the food you eat, go feel the dirt between your toes, go smell the fresh air. You will discover a new love and respect for food as well as the farmers and producers behind it. 

Value of Local Food

At ZestyKits we believe supporting local farmers is supporting health. If we are what we eat, understanding where our food comes from and valuing high-quality local food is a priority.  As Jenn eloquently said in Flat Out Delicious, we believe the key factor when it comes to personal health, sustainability and community economic health is the way our food is grown, raised and how far it travels. As Jenn does in Flat Out Delicious, we encourage you to be curious about the history of your food. Similarly to many important choices such as a trainer, hairdresser, house builder or insurance company; our daily food choices have a significant impact. Our daily food choices impact our personal health and our community health. We encourage you to think of food not as fuel for our bodies but as an investment in our health and our communities. These daily choices are building Saskatchewan’s vibrant future food system.

Picture by our dear friend and cousin Myriam @the.farm.folk 
Asher is having fun in the garden and smiling at his little sister who brings powdered doughnuts. Life is about the little pleasures. 

Labour of Love

Picture by our dear friend and cousin Myriam @the.farm.folk 
Havilah holding a spring chick on her heart. 

Between the lines of each artisan’s story, we can feel the author’s love for the community and her joy to share Saskatchewan’s food history. Through the lines of Flat Out Delicious we can feel the passion of the pioneers who create Saskatchewan’s food ecosystem. From thriving as multi-generational farmers, to producers who recently left corporate jobs to pursue their dream, Saskatchewan’s food ecosystem is broad, thriving and growing. Reading each story inspires pride for Saskatchewan and demonstrates how bright Saskatchewan food’s future is. 

Meet Jenn & Richard

Jenn Sharp

Having had the pleasure to get to know Jenn Sharp, we consider her a kindred spirit and a dear friend. Her passion and love for Saskatchewan’s farmers and producers is contagious and a joy to see. For five years, Jenn was a featured writer, columnist, and editor at the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. She currently writes the Flat Out Food column for the StarPhoenix and the Regina Leader-Post. Jenn is a regular contributor to CBC Saskatchewan and Eat North as well as has been featured in a variety of Canadian publications.

Picture by Richard Marjan

Richard Marjan

Photo credit: http://moore4mayor.ca/endorsements/richard-marjan-endorses-kelley-moore-for-mayor/

Richard Marjan’s photography throughout Flat Out Delicious speaks volume to his talent as a photographer. They say a picture is worth a thousand words; this is especially true of the photographs found in this book. Each photo beautifully represents the story of Saskatchewan’s food history, they take us on a journey with them. Richard is an award winning retired photojournalist for the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. His work appeared in Canadian Geographic, the New York Times, and the Globe and Mail.

@the.farm.folk

The beautiful photography in this blog is by @the.farm.folk

Myriam is our dear friend and cousin. She is raising two amazing children with her husband on their farm in Northern Saskatchewan. Our mothers were sisters and best friends. We grew up as sisters than more cousins and moved to Saskatchewan within a week of each other. It is such a joy for us to share her photography and a glimpse of her life with you. 

7 Easy Ways to Reduce Food Expenses

Food Price Spike in 2020

Canada’s Food Price Report  predicts food price spike in 2020!

7 Easy Ways to Reduce your Food Costs
1. Less restaurants

Restaurant food often comes with extra calories, too much fat, salt, aditives as well as a deficience in fiber and vitamins. As if that wasn’t enough to encourage you to cook more at home, eating out is very expensive and is becoming more expensive.  Menu prices in Canada rose 4.2% last year and are anticipated to increase up to 4% in 2020! Spending at restaurants has increased by more than $670 per household between 2010 and 2017.

ZestyKits meal plans make it easy and convenient to cook at home as well as reduce your overall food cost.

2. Eat more plant based meals

The cost of meat products are anticipated to increase by up to 6% in 2020! Canadians spend nearly 20% of our food budget on red meat and chicken. Learning to prepare delicious plant based meals will significantly reduce your food costs.

A good plant based recipe has as much protein as a meal with meat and is filling! You won’t miss the meat and with delicious whole grains and legumes, you will feel full for hours. Some of our favourite plant-based meals include:

  • Ratatouille pasta: Chickpea pasta tossed in a rich tomato sauce and oven roasted eggplant, red bell peppers, black olives and fresh basil
  • Mexi bowls: Black beans, diced avocado, romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, brown rice and shredded cheddar topped with fresh cilantro.

ZestyKits offers a Clean Food plan which includes 1 meal plant based to help you discover new delicious plant based recipe. If you are ready to eat fully plant-based we also offer a Plant-Based and Vegan plan.

3. Make a meal plan

Making a plan is very important when it comes to managing grocery costs. Going around the grocery aisles aimelessly often results in frustration and poor food choices. Without a plan, it is common to buy too much food that will end up rotting in your fridge.

We love to plan our weekly menu using ZestyKits’ weekly menu. We plan to prepare ZestyKits meal kits during our busiest days.

4. Eat home-made meals more often

Make more meals from scratch. Canada’s 2018 Dietary Guidelines recommend cooking more to support health. Not only does cooking provide a number of health benefits, it saves you a lot of money! Cooking from scratch requires a bit more time and the effort can be well woth it, both for your wallet and your waisline.

ZestyKits meal plans make it easy and convenient to cook at home and involve the kids in meal preparation, empowering you to easily make dinner time family time. 

5. Eat seasonal fruits & vegetables

Fruit and vegetables take up almost 24% of the average Canadian’s grocery list. To promote health, it is recommended to eat more vegetables. 

The secret to eating more vegetables and still manage cost is to buy more fruits and vegetables that are in season. Load up on local fruits and vegetables when they are in season and freeze them for later use. 

During the winter, fresh produces increase significantly in price. To reduce your grocery bill, load up on frozen produces, which have similar nutritional value and are alot more affordable. 

Not only does ZestyKits offer tons of seasonal products, we purchase ingredients grown or prepared right here… in the Canadian Prairies!

6. Reduce food waste

Purchase only what you need to decrease your food waste as well as your carbon footprint. Reducing food waste is easy when planning meals and using a locally sourced meal kit service like ZestyKits. 

7. Don't shop hungry

Hunger creates a desire to aquire. Research shows that shopping hungry results in spending increase of 64%. Shopping hungry increases spending even when not shopping for food. To reduce your risk of over spending, have a snack before shopping to stabilize your blood sugar.

Having 3 delicious ZestyKits meals delivered every week prevents last minute hungry grocery run – saving you time and money.

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