Category Archives: GLV Gourmet Tastes

Loblaws CityMarket In-Store Dietitian Consultations

Keep Cardiovascular Health Top Of Mind And Stay Healthy With Loblaws CityMarket

I’ve been a little more liberal with my food choices since I completed my weight loss challenge, but I’m still keeping healthy eating a priority.  Recently I met up with Brittany Thomas, one of the in-store dietitians available at local Loblaws CityMarket. I live right by the Arbutus store, so it’s super convenient for us to pop in there for groceries, and this time for some additional shopping advice.

The dietitians offer one-on-one consultations tailored to your health needs, can provide heart-healthy recipes, do cooking demos, and can assist you with food choices to help you eat healthy, maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Most of us know that lifestyle changes and improved nutrition can help with prevention of cardiovascular disease, but sometimes we need a little bit of help with strategies. I know I do.

For my consultation, we decided to best use the time to review new items in store that would help me eat well at home, a sort of what’s on trend tour of Loblaws CityMarket.Loblaws CityMarket

First up Skyr (pronounced “skeer”),  my new go to yogurt! It has even more protein than Greek yogurt. It’s thick and creamy, high in protein, fat-free and lactose-free. I’ve been mixing up berries and a sprinkle of granola for breakfast, made into a tzatziki for a dip for chicken souvlakia and using it to top fruit for a healthy dessert.

Loblaws CityMarket

Next up we ventured to the bread aisle for a look at breads that are made with the edition of legumes, way more nutrition in each slice.

Loblaws CityMarket

In the frozen section there’s kale, all prepped and ready for your smoothies, I often buy fresh and it gets old before I remember to use it. Plus, lots of berries for dessert, muffins and smoothies too.

Loblaws CityMarket

Back in the dairy section the Happy Planet grass-fed milk is available. Grass-fed products have a healthier ratio of 3:1 (omega 6: omega 3), as well as lower levels of saturated fatty acids, and total fat in general.  AND they taste so much better.

Loblaws CityMarket

Quick cooking grains are ready in 10 minutes.Loblaws CityMarket

The local section is a great place to find innovative local products. This hot sauce adds flavour without calories, fat or sugar.

You can email Brittany Thomas at brittany.thomas@loblaws.ca to book a free appointment and for more information on food that help to support good cardiovascular and general health. When you book your consultation, mention that you heard about the dietitian services on Good Life Vancouver.

**Loblaws provided a gift card so I could healthy-shop in exchange for this post. Thanks!

Expand Your Ingredient Repertoire With The Taste Box

The Taste Box Monthly Subscription Box

A few months ago I received a The Taste Box filled with some wonderful honey, and fragrant Saigon Cinnamon, Vanilla Bean and Baking Spice and I’ve cooked up a few tasty things since then. The Taste Box is curated by Jenni Hallihan and Matt Walkera, super foodies that want to elevate your homemade food by sending you a monthly box of great ingredients and some tips and recipes. Each month you’ll receive a curated box with 3-5 gourmet ingredients that are a little beyond the usual.

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They asked me to pass on the deal that you’ll receive 50% off your first Taste Box when they become a member.  You can cancel or skip a box anytime.

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The June Box theme is “Fire Up The Grill” Barbecuing is also about trying new things and this collection of sauces and rubs is sure to inspire your creativity and elevate any cookout. Recieve 50% off the first Box

 

 

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DOES YOUR DAD LOVE TO COOK?
This year, give him a culinary experience he won’t soon forget! 3 month & 12 month Memberships Available At A Special Father’s Day Price. Buy here.

Valentine’s Day Sweets Round Up

Valentine’s Day Treats Around Vancouver

There’s a few sweets about town that I can’t help but wish I could indulge in, but I’m going to save my calories for dinner, as we’ve got a chef coming in to cook for us and the men looks superb! These items are definitely calling me though.

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Grounds For Coffee – Heart Shaped Cinnamon Buns

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Beta 5 Chocolate – Cream Puffs

Temper Chocolate

Temper Chocolate – Chocolate Hearts

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Thomas Haas – Cookie and Chocolate Box

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Ganache Patisserie – Cakes

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TWG Tea – Mon Amore Tea and Macarons

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Notte’s Bon Ton Bakery – Chocolate Hearts

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AND here’s a healthy choice for those who are watching what they eat this Valentine’s Day Zazubean -Nudie – Extra Dark Chocolate with Coconut Sugar instead of cane sugar.

Celebrate Chinese New Year With The Year of The Rooster Chocolate Art Collections

 

Wild Sweets® By Dominique & Cindy Duby Releases Limited Edition ‘Year of the Rooster’ Chocolate Art Collections for 2017 Chinese New Year Celebration!

It’s superb to live in a city where we have so many reasons to celebrate, and many friends from diverse cultures to celebrate alongside of. I missed out on my usual Ukrainian Christmas Celebration this year, and am entirely short on perogies and cabbage rolls, but I will not miss out on Chinese New Year! I’ve already been fortunate enough to attend a dim sum celebration (more on that soon) and now I’m going to spoil a few friends with something sweeter, the chocolate collections from DC Duby.

Year of The Rooster Chocolate Art Collections

Quality chocolates, made with natural ingredients, are pretty much health food, don’t you think? It’s worth a little splurge on calories for these though as the 2017 Limited Edition Chocolate Art ‘Year of the Rooster’ Gift Collections are absolutely gorgeous and full of beautiful flavours. The first set, the ‘Year of the Rooster’ Chocolate Art Collection features a soft ganache made with different fruit-based liquid caramels. They are beautifully hand-painted with cocoa butter colours scheme in different artistic patterns. The Wild Sweets® ‘Year of the Rooster’ Collection is sold in gift boxes of 12-units and features the following assortment of flavours:

Year of The Rooster Chocolate Art Collections

  • Chestnut Vanilla Bean Caramel Ganache & Organic roasted chestnuts
  • Pomelo Fruit Caramel Ganache & Ginger Lemon Honey Nut Cream
  • Apricot Vanilla Bean Caramel Ganache & Cubed Sticky Rice Cake
  • Kumquat Orange Caramel Ganache & Citrus Honey Nut Cream

Year of The Rooster Chocolate Art Collections

The other collection is even more special (well I think so). The Wild Sweets® ‘Year of the Rooster’ Chocolate Art ‘Bouchée’ Series is reminiscent of a cake for its symbolism of ‘rising fortune’ and features 3 textural elements including; a ‘dough’ component in the form of a buttery French ‘Sablé Breton’ cookie, a baked caramel nut jam made with different nuts & seeds, and a soft ganache made with fruit-based liquid caramels. The Bouchées are enrobed in chocolate and decorated with a disc of almond paste ‘printed’ with a rooster head design and hand-painted with ‘sparkling’ cocoa butter colours. The Wild Sweets® ‘Year of the Rooster’ Bouchée Series is sold in gift box sleeves of 4-units and features the following assortment of flavours:

Year of The Rooster Chocolate Art Collections

  • Lychee Longan Caramel Ganache, Sablé cookie & Black Sesame Nut Jam
  • Mandarin Orange Caramel Ganache,  Sablé cookie & Coconut Nut Jam
  • Peach Persimmon Caramel Ganache, Sablé cookie & Almond Nut Jam
  • Mango Green Tea Caramel Ganache, Sablé cookie & Peanut Nut Jam

I am currently trying not to devour these before I meet up with my friends to share them. I advise you buy a set for yourself too.

The Wild Sweets® ‘Year of the Rooster’ is available on a Limited Release basis only from January 14 to February 04, 2017 or until supply last, which ever comes first. To guarantee supply, pre-orders can be made as of Monday January 02, 2017 for shipping throughout the contiguous USA / Canada and/or for pick up at our Chocolate Gallery Retail Store The Atelier. For more information and/or to place an order, please visit the links below.

2017 ‘Year of the Rooster’ Chocolate Art Gift Set – C$38.88 / Shop here

2017 ‘Year of the Rooster’ Chocolate Art Collection – C$24.88 / Shop here

2017 ‘Year of the Rooster’ Chocolate Art ‘Bouchée Series – C$15.88 / Shop here

About Wild Sweets®:

Dominique and Cindy Duby are world-acclaimed chocolate-makers, designer chocolatiers, celebrated authors, foodArt architects-photographers and owners of Wild Sweets® By Dominique and Cindy Duby.

#ContestClosed Brockmann’s Chocolate Celebrates 30 Years Chocolate Giveaway

Brockmann’s Chocolate – Making Chocolate in Canada for 30 Years

Contest now closed! CONGRATS TO LIESA!

I’ve been working with Brockmann’s Chocolate to spread the chocolate love and to let you all know that they’re a local, family-run company that’s been making chocolate in Canada for the past 30 years. We have a giveaway for a chocolate basket as an extra bonus and it’s been hard not to eat all the chocolate so I had to wrap it up! (Enter at the bottom of this post.)

Brockmanns Chocolate

 

Brockmanns Chocolate

The truffle chocolates are available in bulk at Save On Foods and I’ve been stuffing them into little gift bags, adding to bigger gift baskets and giving away a chocolate here and there to those who’ve been nice! Perfect for the holidays.

Brockmanns Chocolate

My friend Karen keeps some wrapped up by the door in case she needs a quick gift for someone that stops in.

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The Brockmann family has been creating delicious chocolate recipes for over 80 years, and is now celebrating 30 of those years of chocolate making in Canada with the recent release of two brand new truffle flavours, salted caramel and dark sea salt truffles, just in time for the holidays.

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The tradition began in the 1930’s in Munich, Germany with Willy Brockmann, a master confectioner, and his son Norbert followed in his footsteps and brought Brockmann’s Chocolates to Canada in 1986.  The family run business now includes a third generation of chocolatiers is still guided by Willy’s faithful commitment to quality, using only the freshest, tastiest ingredients in everything they produce.

Brockmann’s Chocolates produces both their Truffini truffles and their Crunchetti snacking chocolate in Delta, BC, making their chocolate a brand in line with many’s commitment to buying local. Learn more at: www.brockmannchocolate.com

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Truffini

Premium dark, milk and white truffles available in gift boxes and foil wrapped bulk chocolates in 11 flavours that appeal to the choosiest chocolate fans. Pick your favourites from the bulk section of your local fine foods retailer.

Traditional Flavours: Cappuccino, Canadian Maple, Hazelnut Praline, Classic Milk, Lime Coconut, English Mint, Double Dark, Orange and Raspberry. Newest flavours this year: Salted Caramel and Dark Sea Salt truffles

Find Truffini at Save on Foods, Urban Fare, Fresh St Market, London Drugs, Safeway, IGA, Price Smart, Fairway Market, Thrifty Foods, and Nesters.

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Crunchetti

The Brockmann’s latest creation, ‘Crunchetti’ is a line of premium snacking chocolate. These crunchy, bite-size clusters are made in small batches with toasted almonds and blended with fine-quality chocolate.

Crunchetti flavours are available in Dark, Milk and White Chocolate with Cranberries – each one designed to be the perfect snacking chocolate for your daily indulgence Find them at Save on Foods, Urban Fare, Fresh St Market, Choices, IGA, Price Smart, Fairway Market, and Nesters.

THIS CHOCOLATE IS:

  • Made in BC
  • Natural ingredients
  • Preservative free
  • No artificial colours or flavours
  • Gluten free
  • Certified Kosher

#Brockmanns30yrs #BCBuyLocal
https://www.facebook.com/BrockmannsChoc
https://www.instagram.com/brockmannschoc/
https://twitter.com/brockmannschoc

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The Good Stuff – Ready-to-blend superfood smoothies delivered to your door

Start your day or finish it with a Superfood smoothie

I’ve recently been making smoothies, but they’re usually just a couple frozen bananas and berries, as the fresh veggies in my fridge usually expire before I manage to consume them all. Recently, though, I sampled the smoothies from The Good Stuff and I tell you, there’s been all sorts of other goodness in my cup.

The Good Stuff smoothies are packaged individually and can be picked up individually at UBC or in North Van, can be delivered in packs of 6-10 to your door, or in bundles of 20 where you choose from a family, weight loss, or athlete bundle. Prices vary depending on the amount you buy each time, but range from $4-$6.

The prepped smoothie-packs are the brainchild of two guys, Tonner and Mike, that went to University together and found they didn’t have the ingredients on hand to make a balanced smoothie; smartly done boys!

Weight Loss Smoothie Bundle

There are six main flavours with a variety of different ingredients and inspirations. The Diesel Monster is a muscle builder, the Easy Greens a cleanse, the Kitsilano Sunrise antioxidant booster, the Madagascar a stress buster, the Thunderbird a performance fuel and the Wise Ninja an anti-inflammatory. You’ll have to try them all once to find a favourite, I’m fond of the Kitsilano Sunrise, fittingly, it’s a combination of Carrot, Banana, Chard, Spinach, Brazil Nuts, Maple Syrup, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Black Pepper.

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The ingredients come in recyclable paper cups that you can fill with water, juice, almond milk, kefir, coconut milk or liquid of your choice, blend up and serve. They’re so easy and so very nutritious. I’ll be ordering more this week.phpthumb generated thumbnail

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*The Good Stuff provided smoothie packs for this review.

Mixing Caesars Walter’s Way – Walter Caesar Mix

National Caesar Day is May 19th Pick Up Some Stoli and Get a Bonus of Walter Caesar Mix Until June 3!

When the urge strikes you to whip up Canada’s official cocktail, leave the MSG, corn syrup and artificial colour on the shelf and reach instead for the all-natural craft Caeser mix by Walter.

Walter’s made in Canada with top notch vine-ripened tomatoes, spices, grated horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire and real clam juice. Select from the Well Spiced version, for those who like a kick in their glass or Mildly Spice for those with more delicate palates.

A Walter Craft Caesar ‘expert’ will be on site at the BCLDB on
Saturday, May 14 from 2 to 6 pm at BC Liquor Store, 39th & Cambie demonstrating how to make the perfect Caesar, using Stolichnaya Premium Original Vodka.

stoli a vs the 02

 

May 19 The special day pays homage to the cocktail that was first made by Walter Chell in the late 60s at the Calgary Inn. Join in the celebration, Stolichnaya Premium Original Vodka and Walter Craft Caesar Mix have teamed up on a gift-with-purchase available at 50 BC Liquor stores throughout the month of May, until June 3rd. With every purchase of a 750 mL bottle of Stolichnaya Premium Original – THE vodka of summer – consumers will receive a complimentary 945 mL bottle of Walter Craft Caesar Mix.

Available at Choices, Meinhardt’s, Whole Foods, Edible Canada and beyond and also served in BC’s finest restaurants. Find here.

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At Good Life Vancouver’s headquarters, aka home, we like to throw in some smoked salmon or bacon vodka and serve it up with a corresponding smoked salmon or candied bacon garnish and some pickled asparagus.

What will or won’t be in your glass this summer? Go natural with Walter!

Skipper Otto’s Cortes Island Oysters #UglytoAwesome

Taking Skipper Otto’s Cortes Island Oysters from Ugly to Awesome

If you are an oyster lover, you know oysters come in all sizes and shapes. Some are best slurped fresh, right out of the shell, some dressed up with a bit of mignonette, and some of the bigger ones are better in stews or baked. Recently we were offered a sample of Skipper Otto’s Cortes Island oysters, a gnarly bunch of creatures that aren’t exactly supermarket shelf pretty as they cling to each other and are wildly misshapen. However ugly these may be deemed, they are absolutely delicious, and at $9 a dozen, an amazing deal. Fantastic recipe and looks delicious! If people are interested in CSF, memberships start at just $100 and get you $100 worth of Ocean Wise, fisherman-direct, fair trade seafood anytime throughout the year at a variety of pick-up dates and locations. Join by May 31st at www.skipperotto.ca

Skipper Ottos

They can be picked up down in Granville Island at Fisherman’s Wharf and around Vancouver. Check the schedule here.

Skipper Ottos

Skipper Otto's

We decided to make a version of Oysters Rockefeller with ours, but as they were a bit clingy we started them off on the barbecue so they’d pop open and be easier to deal with. We then transferred them to a shell and topped with the spinach mixture and cheese and baked in the oven indoors.

Sasquatch Stout

The result? Deliciously beautiful oysters! A bit of bread and perhaps a salad and you’ve got a meal. Don’t forget the craft beer!

Spinachy Oysters

2 garlic cloves
2 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup panko crumbs

1 pound (about) rock salt
24 fresh oysters, shucked, shells reserved
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Barbecue oysters until they start to pop open and then bring into the kitchen to finish in the oven.

Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 450°F. Finely chop garlic in processor. Add spinach and green onions to garlic. Process, using on/off turns, until mixture is finely chopped. Transfer mixture to medium bowl.
Combine butter, breadcrumbs and process until well blended. Return spinach mixture to processor. Process, using on/off turns, just until mixtures are blended. Season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle rock salt over large baking sheet to depth of 1/2 inch. Arrange oysters in half shells atop rock salt. Top each oyster with 1 tablespoon spinach mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake until spinach mixture browns on top, about 8 minutes.

Happy Mornings with Happy Planet’s Nut Smoothies

Happy Planet’s Nut Smoothies Make Mornings Sweet

I’ve just returned from California and had the most spectacular time with plenty of amazing food and wine, and now it’s time to getting back into my home routine.  When I travel breakfast can be anything from just a cup of coffee, a muffin on the go, or a full sit down meal with the works (yesterday I even had shrimp and grits), but now that I’m back home I have to get back to my routine as I am focusing on my increasing the nutritional value in my meals and need to drop some pounds before summer.

I’ve recently discovered the new Happy Planet Nut Smoothies, which are made with all-natural almonds and cashews. My friend Elsa has been making her own cashew milk, and I do want to give that a try, but I’m currently in a bit of a rush in the kitchen, and Happy Planet has given me an easy and quick solution.

There are four flavours;
Vanilla Chai – Creamy, nutty goodness infused with chai and smoothed off with vanilla
Salted Caramel – rich creamy caramel with a hint of sea salt
Chocolate – Dutch cocoa
Coffee – Made with cold-brewed coffee and gives a little caffeine kick

Happy Planet’s Nut Smoothies are all dairy and soy free and available in 325mL and 900mL. We’ve got the larger formats as they keep for a couple months. I don’t eat a lot of sweets, and these milks are on the sweet side, so I’ve found that I like them best whipped up with some ice cubes in my Vitamix, or added to my coffee. Michael has been drinking them straight up and adding to cereal, and most will find they enjoy the sweet flavour. I’ve even subbed in for milk in some of my baking and had an extra excellent version of my usual banana bread as a result.

On the nutritional side these these milks are full of good fat (monounsaturated), that’s shown to lower cholesterol in blood, have a ton of the antioxidant vitamin E and are full of potassium and low in sodium which helps to keep blood pressure in check.

They’re also made in BC and are all-natural with no preservatives.

Urban Planet Cocktail

I’ve also discovered a new cocktail and used 1/4 cup salted caramel and 1/4 cup chocolate and shaken with an ounce of vodka over ice. Perfect after dinner drink!

*sponsored by Happy Planet

Happy Planet Happy Soups To Go

Happy Planet Grab And Go Single-Serving Soup

We’ve often thrown a bag of Happy Planet Soup into our grocery bag for those times when we don’t have time to cook from scratch. Squash and cashew with coconut, tumeric and cinnamon is a favourite and we’ll usually grill up some cheese bread to complete our meal and pop open a beer or two as well.

Now it’s even easier to sup on soup even if you’re solo, or perahaps if your partners in the mood for one soup and you another, as Happy Planet has just released the Grab & Go single serving soups. They are super fresh,  delicious, healthy and filling! I work from home and sometimes can’t get out for lunch so I can now make a healthy meal that’s ready in three minutes; Michael has been taking a soup or two to work.

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There’s no messing up the kitchen as you can eat right from the bowl and then simply recycle. The soups are available in West African Squash & Cashew Soup (our favourite), Portuguese Kale & White Bean, French Lentil, Thai Coconut (close 2nd in our books) and Tuscan Tomato Soup. The soups are also gluten-free should that be an issure and made with fresh, premium, natural and certified organic ingredients; some are dairy free, vegetarian, and vegan options are available.

Grab a few the next time you are at the grocery store as they keep for several weeks and voila, healthy, tasty meals in minutes.

Brought to you by Happy Planet and GLV approved.