Salads and juice bars, tea without cookies, things without cheese, resolutions abound?
I do love a giant everything goes (hello leftovers) salad, but I don’t buy into the January buzz of cutting out all the things you love as some form of food punishment, only to feel like you’ve somehow failed when you order nachos or cake.
So instead, let’s think about the season’s change from fall to winter, and the recipes and dishes that inspire us to cook more, explore our regional ingredients and keep the food conversation in a positive light. Check out West Coast Seeds online for planting guides for winter or start planning a food garden for spring.
Resolving to remove words such as shame, guilt and indulgence from our vocabulary when we’re talking about whole ingredients and local food is a commitment worth making.
We have enough things in our lives to agonize over, so called guilt about cookies should not be one of them.
I’ve seen companies using these words to describe things their products don’t make you feel, and I really disagree with this message. It tells us we should feel guilt for choosing an alternative to their products.
Yes, eat just about everything in moderation, if you have health issues, eat for that, consume less meat, work to understand and control portion size, but most of all eat whole, natural food. Support yourself and others in moving away from or believing the messages that we should feel badly about dessert or carbs.
There’s no perfect time to make any changes to habits or lifestyle, you start when you start, and if you’re committed, get back to it if you find yourself having gotten off track. One of the most important things for me is cutting back on meat. We can debate this and learn from people far better researched and educated than me, but my choice to reduce meat consumption comes from a combination of environmental and compassionate reasons.
So this month I’m sharing some of my favourite vegetarian or vegetable forward places in the city, and cookbooks for you to take inspiration from at home.
Nourish Kitchen & Cafe in James Bay, together with their original location, now called Charlotte & The Quail in Saanich, have a beautiful story to tell, and a deep commitment to the local food chain.
Brunch with cashew hollandaise on bennys is a must. Nourish is a great resource if you or a friend are looking to understand vegetarian or vegan cooking, but not quite ready or wanting to completely give up meat or dairy. Rebar is a longtime Victoria favourite, they offer a full service restaurant, a pastry case of desserts, fresh pressed juices, and you can buy their cookbook.
The Rebar chocolate cake is heavenly. Be Love on Blanshard makes a green curry bowl that is my favourite in Victoria so far. Try something from their wine list filled with organic producers while you wait for your meal to arrive. Ingredients Cafe & Community on Store Street is filled with vegetarian and vegan products, ready-made food, and they offer workshops. Cafe Bliss now has two locations, serving up fresh juices, smoothies, raw foods and more. The Hot and Cold Cafe in Cook St. Village has a great vegetarian menu, served up in a warm cozy space. Try the vegan yellow curry rice bowl.
So if you’re cutting anything out in 2017, let’s cut guilt and shame out of our relationship with food.