The Meaning of a Meal
A meal has many purposes such as to eat, to socialize or gather, or as a part of something more. We sit or stand while putting the ingredients into our hungry stomachs as we make our own meaning out of meal time.
Consuming nutrients is the main purpose of eating, to energize the body. Taking advantage of three meals a day allows us to consume an array of foods and nutrients that sustain our bodies. Sometimes there are leftovers from dinner and you eat the same lasagna for three days. This may be delicious, however it isn't ideal considering the variety of nutrients humans require. Another approach is to snack throughout the day, making our meal times not as significant. This is okay due to the fact that we are expending energy all day as well, but it does take away from the meaningfulness of "meal time".
It is when traditions, events, meetings and more are involved that bring us around the table to share conversations, and moments with each other. We meet for breakfast to catch up with friends, we see each other for lunch to discuss business and dinner time creates comfort and traditions within families and friends.
Meals teach us about patience, traditions, open-mindedness and gratitude. How you eat is almost as important as what you eat. It is similar to the saying about how the journey is as important as the destination. Your belly will be full by the end, but it is the specific "meal" that will get you there.
Meals are about the food, the company and the moment.
The meaning of a meal is up for interpretation, but we all share the need to eat and the chance to enjoy it alone or with others. We eat at restaurants, at home, at mom's house, in front of the television or on the go. Your next meal is another moment to enjoy what it means to you.
"Canadian" seems to be a confusing category of food to define. This was brought to my attention last night at Taste Canada's Food Writing Awards and Reception. What was also brought to my attention was the appreciation towards it.
From the guests that attended, writers in the food writing community, to the chefs, influential personalities, and students, so many nationalities and cultures were there representing Canadian Cuisine.
Bacon, Maple Syrup, Salmon and Poutine probably come to mind when someone suggests "Canadian" for dinner, but in reality, over time Canadian Cuisine has been influenced by so many cultures.
"Canadian cuisine dates back 18,000 years -- the age of the oldest salmon fossil found in Kamloops, British Columbia. About 10,000 years ago, Canadian cuisine consisted of what could be hunted, gathered and grown."
Anita Stewart described on CBC's Homestretch
She also notes that immigration has had a significant influence on Canadian Foods. The result is a cultural integration called "fusion" cooking that is communicated through a multicultural array of cook books and blogs to teach and share recipes creating a strong and diverse food community.
Native to Canada: beans, corn and squash were able to survive Canadian winters.
Apples and potatoes were brought over to also withstand Canadian winters.
Immigration brought with it new ingredients, recipes and cooking techniques.
We learn to appreciate our heritage through many means. The variety of approaches to food preparation showcases Canada in a delicious, peaceful and appreciative way. The more Canadian culture we build the more beautiful the ingredients become.
Taste Canada Winner of Regional/Cultural Cookbook:
The SoBo Cookbook: Recipes from the Tofino Restaurant at the End of the Canadian Road
Lisa Ahier and Andrew Morrison
Appetite by Random House, Vancouver
You have tried your first smoothie and you obviously love it. You have tasted it's refreshing flavours and have felt it's quench, and nutrition What's next?
I am so glad you asked, here is where is gets fun.
1) Either pick up some orange juice, freshly squeezed juice or invest in some organic fruit juice from the grocery store or farmer's market. A good brand is Kiju or Ceres, they are usually on sale so get a couple for backup. Mango is great but feel free to experiment.
2) Spinach is a versatile green to use, but you can switch it out for parsley or kale. These aren't the only option, but a few good go-to ingredients. Click here for Green Substitutes
3) Bananas are fantastic to add to any smoothie due to the sweetness and texture.
Tip: Peel a bunch and keep them in the freezer in a ziplock bag.
4) I always use carrots...because why not.
5) Time to get creative. Interchange between fruits. You can do this with strawberries, blueberries, peaches, mango, pineapple etc.
Tip 1: You can either buy frozen fruit or you can buy fruit like strawberries, wash and cut the tops off to freeze.
Tip 2: If you are freezing a fruit that you had to peel and cut with a lot of juice, such as mango or peach, store them in smaller portions because they are difficult to separate when frozen.
There are so many options with a lot of recipes to try from books, magazines and online.
But don't worry you have plenty of time to try each one, find your favourites and feel the healthy benefits!
Eggs are a pretty controversial topic. Should we eat them? Should we not eat them? How many a day are healthy? Are there alternatives? Lots of questions arise.
In baking you will find many uses for eggs, the most common being the bind that holds the ingredients together. It is also used to provide body, (it "fluffs" your mixtures up) and adds flavour.
In baking it is essential to create balance between your eggs and flour, which will provide structure and strength for what you are creating. This happens partly because eggs stiffen up when heated due to its protein coagulating.
There are many different grades of eggs and options to choose from.
"Omega-3" eggs are created by feeding chickens a diet of flax seeds which comes in the form of ALAs alpha-linolenic acid plant-based type of omega-3s.
Surprise Fact: White and Brown eggs have the exact same nutritional value!
Eggs are graded by shining a light onto the eggs that allows the inspector to view inside the egg to see if the yolk is well centered, as well as the condition of the shell. Grade A eggs have a clean, uncracked shell, a firm yellow yoke, and less air cells. Grade B have an uncracked shell that might have be rough, the yolk is more watery and less uniform.
Current research shows that Eggs are an all around complete food. Meaning their high in protein, and have important vitamins (A, D, B12 - half of your daily requirement & E) and minerals which help to maintain bones, teeth, eyes and skin. About half of an egg’s protein is in the yolk, with a whole egg yielding 5 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein.
Whether you are vegan, allergic or just don’t like eggs, there are alternatives:
Breakfast: Tofu scrambled. Keep in mind tofu can be as delicious as you want to make it. Tofu absorbs the flavours you cook with so be mindful when adding spices.
Baking: Applesauce or bananas
*if a recipe calls for three or more eggs it is important to choose a replacer that will perform the same function (binding or leavening).
No egg variety, organic or otherwise is free from the threat of salmonella. This bacteria is passed down from hen to egg. Washing your eggs will not leave you free and clear as the bacteria is generally within the egg itself. *It is important to cook your eggs thoroughly*
One study according to The Globe and Mail found participants who ate at least an egg a day were 42% more likely to develop type-2 diabetes versus those that did not eat eggs or ate less than one egg a week.
A Harvard study that followed thousands of doctors oven 20 years, even found that eating an egg a day can significantly shorten your lifespan. Which might make you rethink your scrambled eggs in the morning.
You are definitely given a choice these days. Eggs aren't our only breakfast option, however they do remain a traditional morning comfort food. There is an abundant amount of research proving and disproving theories about eggs. Factually they are a good source of protein, but as we already know, moderation is key.
Written by Nicole Whitely and Amy Trachter