Monthly Archives: May 2010

10 inch or 13 inch pizza?

With over 12 different flatbreads to choose from, deciding which pizza to order is never an easy ordeal. Next step – 10” or 13”?Generally, we recommend a 10” for one, and a 13” to share. This simplified recommendation doesn’t truly answer the sizing debate but two guests, Keo and Stan, shed some light on this difficult choice while dining at the Vancouver RMF.

Curious to know whether the price increase over the 10” was worth the extra money, Keo and Stan calculated the exact area increase of a 13” pizza from a 10” – answering the very question that boggles customers when faced with how much pizza to order.

With only a borrowed pen and a scrap piece of paper, Keo and Stan calculated that a 13” pizza is a 69% increase in area to a 10”, with a price increase of 63%. What does this mean? It is in fact better value to “upsize” to a large pizza to take full advantage of value for money. Also, a 13” flatbread has less crust and more of the good stuff – yummy, all natural toppings. Better yet, a half-and-half can only be ordered on a 13” pizza which offers guests the chance to enjoy a couple of different flavours. And, if you’re just not hungry enough to finish one off, left over pizza is never wasted and can be taken home in a biodegradable pizza box made from potatoes!

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Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

Green Ideas: Rocky Mountain Flatbread Diners Share Ideas to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint

Celebrating Earth DayApril 2010 – At Rocky Mountain Flatbread we have been collecting ideas from our diners of how to reduce our carbon footprint while living and working in Vancouver. It turned out to be a very resourceful activity and gave me many inspirational ideas on further simple actions I can personally take with my family as well as in our restaurant and I am hoping it may give others inspirational ideas too.

Join one billion people in 190 countries in taking further actions in your daily life to build a healthy, prosperous, clean energy economy now and in the future. Happy Earth Day Everyone!

Here is the list of diners’ ideas to inspire you:

Ideas for the House

  • You can recycle all plastics at multiple locations on the 3rd Saturday of the month. www.pacificmobiledepot.com
  • For the average four bedroom family home, if you use a low flow shower head you can pay back the investment for the shower head in as little as 2 months from the savings on water and electricity.
  • Switch from GOOGLE to BLACKLE (a black screen uses less energy.) blackle.com is powered by Google.
  • Reuse old envelopes for sorting and filing documents at home.
  • When shaving, turn off the water. Put enough water in the basin first to clean the razor.
  • Give clothing, household items no longer used to the Salvation Army on 4th and Cypress.
  • Install programmable thermostats in your home. Cutting power, bills and consumption by 55%.
  • Use cloth diapers, wash yourself and line dry. (when it’s not raining.)Plastic diapers take 1000 years to biodegrade in our land fills!
  • Have “no tech” or “low tech” days when you use no car, no phone and no computer.
  • Do all sunbathing at Wreck Beach – less laundry!
  • Hug a tree daily!!
  • Use face clothes instead of wipes for children’s meal messes.
  • Hang your laundry to dry! Dryers use far too much energy.
  • Unplugging all appliances when you go to bed and leave condo. You can save up to 10% on your energy bill.
  • Reuse your water bottles/ drink bottles.

Ideas for Shopping

  • Stop buying stuff.
  • Walk to Rocky Mountain Flatbread for local organic delicious dinner. Eat local!
  • Buy as local as possible – especially food.
  • Buy organic food only and support local farmers.
  • Use less plastic made products.
  • Be conscious of packaging your food from the grocery store comes in. Use cloth produce bags.
  • Use handmade fabric grocery bags that are washable, so you can reuse over and over and over.

Ideas for the Garden

  • Get a worm composter for your home apartment and or workplace.For info: visit City Farmer, 2150 Maple.
  • Fertilize your garden with crushed egg shells and coffee grinds.
  • Grow your own veggies!
  • For folks with no space but a balcony, start a wormery! Simple plastic storage box from Canadian Tire – order worms on-line and off you go.
  • Put tea leaves on your plants – particularly Rooibos on indoor plants.
  • Rain water collection for watering plants. (www.watertiger.net)
  • Join a CSA (Community supported agriculture): You will get the best, local produce; support organic food (which is 80% of carbon footprint of food) and save money!
  • Use garden stalks for mulch under your raspberries.

Ideas for Work

  • Stagger work schedules so that there’s time to walk kids to school most days.
  • Take a Staycation every year. Keep the money within the province. Save on air miles and diesel fumes.
  • Walk from the West End to Rocky Mountain Flatbread on 1st Avenue for the best pizza!
  • Stop idling.
  • Take public transit
  • Close major streets downtown to cars on weekends – Robson and Georgia – have people take transit or a bike.
  • Commute via bicycle! Celebrate living in a city where it’s warm enough to bike year around!
  • Live where you work and play so you can just walk and or take public transit.
  • Carpool to work.

Zucchini Crepes

Season Recipe With Doug Hawrish

Zucchini Crepe Recipe

A simple fast and delicious recipe you can try with the kids at home.  Can’t get much better than that!  Try it and let us know what you think – we would love to hear suggestions of other seasonal veggies you think we could use.

Ingredients:

3 cups of grated zucchini, course
1 egg
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
Melted butter
Grated parmesan cheese

Directions:
Combine grated zucchini, egg, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Sift flour and baking powder over zucchini and mix thoroughly. Drop by large spoonfuls onto a lightly oiled frying pan or griddle and cook until brown on both sides. Serve with melted butter and parmesan cheese or your favourite condiment.  Delicious!

Connecting Kids With Their Food

Green Tips With Suzanne Fielden and Julia O’Loughlin: Connecting Kids With Their Food

There are lots of fun ways to connect kids with food – Here are a few of our best ideas!

Growing Food with Kids

  • Pick your own strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and more at one of our many farms in Ladner, Richmond or the Fraser Valley. Visit www.pickyourown.org.
  • Grow your own food. It’s easy and a great way to get kids to appreciate the cycle of growing food. Snap peas, tomatoes, salad, herbs, potatoes, and strawberries can all be grown in pots or small spaces in your garden. Visit www.gardenwiseonline.ca for lots of useful tips. And pick up a free copy of West Coast Seeds magazine (from your closest garden center) for all the knowledge of what to plant when.
  • Take your family on a community garden tour in Vancouver. There are now over 40 official community gardens in Vancouver – local people having fun growing their own food. Visit www.vancouver.ca.
  • Visit UBC student run working farm to buy your fresh veggies, visit or enroll your child in one of their summer camps, Farm Wonders, ages 6 – 11 years. www.landfoodubc.ca.
  • Compost you greens and show your kids how to create “black gold” for your pots and garden. You can get into worm composting or old-fashioned composting. Visit www.cityfarmer.ca.

Food Shopping with Kids

  • Shop at your local farmers market and your kids can “meet their maker.” – www.eatlocal.ca.
  • Buy a local food box or join a CSA so your kids can get acquainted with the foods and thei seasons. Visit www.organicsathome.ca or www.cityfarmer.org
  • Play games while shopping – look for hidden MSG ingredients (autolyzed yeast and hydrolyzed proteins), high sugar content (45grams is the daily allowance), salt content (24,00 mg is the daily allowance) on packages, and transfat content.

Cooking and Eating with Kids

  • Enroll your kids in cooking classes to get them excited about food preparation and to expand their curiosity about flavours, flavour combinations and new foods. Imagine your kids cooking you dinner for a change!  Summer cooking camps with Julia are being held at Rocky Mountain Flatbread July 6, 7, 8 and August 3, 4, 5.
  • Create healthy baked goods with your kids at home. Switch refined grains to whole grains and simple sugars to complex, alternative sweeteners. Do blind taste tests to see which alternative sweeteners you like best. Try realmaple syrup, brown rice syrup or turbinado sugar.
  • Experiment with health snacks – you may be surprised by what your kids respond to. Hummus, artichoke dip and guacamole with veggie sticks or apple slices with pumpkin seed butter are some surprisingly kid friendly options.
  • Choice is key when it comes to involving your child in eating healthy foods. Offer your child their own cupboard or fridge drawer and fill it with parent-approved foods and snack that your child can choose from when hungry – raw nuts or trail mix, healthy granola bars, fruit, veggie sticks with dip, whole grain baked goods or crackers, seed or nut butters are all healthy, kid-friendly options.

Organic Greens With Spot Prawns

Seasonal Recipes With Field Chef Doug Hawrish

Local Spot Prawns are in season! And they melt in you mouth – just like lobster!

I have created a simple and delicious green salad with a honey herb vinaigrette topped with you know what!   Enjoy some of the best of our local delights here in Vancouver.

Organic Greens With Charred Spot Prawns

Honey Herb Vinaigrette

Whisk together in a small bowl:

– 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
– 1 tbsp lemon zest
– 1 tbsp white wine vinegar/ champagne
– 1 tbsp local honey or to taste
– ½ teaspoon course grain mustard or to taste

Add in a slow steady stream whisking constantly 8 TBSP extra virgin olive oil.

Taste and adjust seasoning.  Add a pinch of finely chopped parsley/ cilantro.

Toss with fresh local greens (Mizunia, Rocket, Red Leaf etc…) Divide salad on four plates.

Charred Spot Prawns

– 1 lb spot prawns peeled
– 1 tbsp paprika
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 2 tbsp fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
– 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Place prawns in a bowl.  Add paprika, toss and coat evenly.  Place large frying pan (preferably cast iron) on medium high heat.  Add prawns and stir-fry for four minutes.  Remove from heat, place prawns in a bowl.  Toss with lemon zest and parsley.

Arrange prawns evenly among 4 plates, sprinkle with more parsley if desired.

Recipe by: Field Chef, Doug Hawrish

Good Quality Soil

Growing Food With Sharon Hanna:

Taking a trip out to West Creek Farms in search of good, high quality organic soil

Last spring I wanted to take my Gaia ‘Growing Food In the City’ program class somewhere to see how soil was “made.” There seemed to be a real problem finding a source of organic soil for people to grow food—even amongst all kinds of people involved in programs all over the Lower Mainland. It struck me as odd that you can buy 50 million different kinds of useless things every time you turn around, but sourcing good soil seemed a mystery, even for professionals.

Years back when I worked with Odessa Bromley at her nursery in Southlands, we used a beautiful, high-quality gritty potting mix to pot up the field-grown perennials. Turns out it had come from West Creek—that’s all I knew, so I gave the place a call.

West Creek Farms in Fort Langley

So I took my class out to Fort Langley to check out West Creek Farms, which involved a beautiful drive out in the country on a sunny Sunday in May. About 30 of us showed up for a tour, led by Frederick Munn, co-owner of the company.

Those of us in love with soil and soil amendments were led swooning around the huge area, smelling the mile-high piles of bark mulch being aerated with pipes—like aged tobacco or fine Cabernet—as well as big cargo containers of organic rice hulls and other stuff in various stages of mellowing.

The experiment: Which soil mix for what veggie

West Creek Farms

Frederick and I struck up a soil-based friendship and began a conversation about trialing various soil mixes to see which grew what veggie best. For example, I’ve always had a hard time growing beets at home—so we’re going to try beets in all the mixes to see which one yields the best.

Truck driver Rob King, a jack of all trades, whipped up six raised beds, 4 feet by 12 feet. We thought we’d try three “organic” and three “conventional” types of soil mixes, and garlic seed was planted in mid-October.

Operations manager Tommy Floyd got too way enthusiastic—carried away even—and arranged to do 18 more beds for 24 in total! So there’s lots of room for growing food this year. Looks like West Creek will have a demonstration garden ready for viewing sometime this summer… Right, Frederick?

The aisles between, I said to Frederick, were way too wide: “such a waste in all that full sun.” So “we” have decided to plant lots of pumpkins and squash in those wide swaths, allowing them to run all over the place and using the lasagna garden method of building up an instant garden. It will be no problem getting the organic material for all the layers.

Frederick attended the workshop I had the pleasure of leading for landscapers last Friday, put on by the BCLNA. Not having been a grower of food up until this point, Frederick has a steep learning curve ahead of him but I think he’s up to it.

“I am very excited to launch this project as it provides an opportunity to use our experiences, skills and creativity and at the same time gain additional knowledge about soils,” he says. “Working with Sharon has been a rewarding experience and I look forward to making a contribution to the further development of organics!”

‘Frederick’s Organic Concoction’ soil mix recipe

Here’s the recipe for “Frederick’s Organic Concoction,” one of the three being trialed:

“…A blend of mushroom, duck and other composts. Includes kelp, fish meal, worm castings, red wiggler worms (actual worms) and more.”

Stay tuned—I hope to do a few more postings about how this pans out…

For more from Sharon, check out her blog postings at HotBeds.

Growing Leeks

Growing Food With Sharon Hanna

Start leeks now using these easy-to-follow instructions:

Now through early May is a peachy time to start leeks from seed. Sow thinly in seedling containers or pots—and by thinly, I mean no more than 12–16 seeds in a 4-inch pot or 4-by-6-inch plastic cell pack. Use seed-starter mix; do not use soil from your own garden.

Try to sow seeds evenly spaced. This is never easy, but the more space between seeds, the longer they’ll be able to stay in the pots and the larger they can grow. Barely water (as usual), and give them bottom heat, which all members of the onion family love, especially at first. (They prefer cooler temperatures after, but warm at the beginning—another similarity to human infants ☺)

Expect your leeks to take a while to germinate. When they do emerge, they come out as cute little bent over grassy seedlings which finally unfold and grow straight up, with the seed stuck to the end. Bringing them indoors and outdoors—out if the weather is warm, inside to your kitchen in the evenings—will make them grow faster.

Leeks are heavy feeders. If you have a pinch of alfalfa meal, kelp meal, etc. add some of that, or water with liquid kelp or fish once they get larger. Transplant to LARGE containers (they won’t work in small ones, in my experience anyway) or to good rich soil in at least half a day of sun.

Refer to the West Coast Seeds catalogue or the Internet for transplanting instructions.

Leeks do great things for the soil—making it “friable,” which is another word for well-worked and luscious with lots of air spaces to hold oxygen, which is good for plant roots. They’ll also grow in less than perfect areas such as ones with part sun. They will not grow in heavy shade or in the dark.

Give leeks a try this year. Many will overwinter on the coast. For fall and winter use, start more in early June.
Sharon

Read more at Gardenwise Online.