Plant-based pantry portion of a healthy home

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A handful of innovators are changing the way plant-based foods are produced

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After cooking for about 20 years for fine bistro, private catering and personal chef service, the career of the classic trained Canadian chef de Cuisine Susan Hoy must have seemed like a very sharp shift. ..

Burned out in the stressful food industry, Hui decides to retrain for another area. Quoting love for gardens, vegetation and hiking, you can get your hands dirty with fresh soil and feel the connection between healthy soil and human health. Based in Calgary, Hoy will be an agricultural expert who is an expert in soil, vegetation and water.

But by 2015, Hoy had returned to the kitchen and focused on the relationship between nutrition and health. By 2019, she and her partner Cheryl Anderson ran Flora Foods, one of the few innovators in plant-based diets. This is changing the way food is produced, cooked and brought into the home.

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The route back to the kitchen began when Hui was standing with the farmers and could not convince them to put in legumes to stabilize the eroded soil. “I’ve found that teaching people how to use all these great pulses at home can have a greater impact than discussing them in the field,” she says.

“Looking in the rear-view mirror, everything is lined up,” says Hoy, an evolution of Flora Foods, who makes about 400 plant-based meals delivered every Monday to homes in and around Calgary. There are also some pick-up points. Food is cooked in the ghost kitchen shortly before delivery and packed in reusable glass containers.

COVID-19 has spurred exponential growth in the business and will soon open a retail space for food and a dedicated location containing house brand specialties such as plant-based fish and Worcestershire sauce.

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The menu rotates every 12 weeks and there are 6 dishes each week. “It opens up a lot of choices for people and gives my chef fresh and creative space,” said Hui, adding that crowd favorites like meatloaf appear twice a season.

Hui’s approach to plant-based is encouraging, not evangelical. “No one needs to bark at them,” says Hui. Rather, she says she wants to keep her door open, whether she wants to cut spending for health or ethical reasons, or just a curious and adventurous person.

For more information on plant-based dishes, please visit www.aroundthehouse.ca.

Making home-based cooking movements like plant-based meals easier and tastier is one of the attractions of Breville’s new Jules Oven / Air Fryer.

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Designed in collaboration with the online cooking resource Chef Steps, the smartly connected countertop unit features Breville’s high-quality heating technology. These are the six elements that are perfect for a variety of cooking techniques. They include a super-convection setting that combines high heat and high efficiency circulation for crispy air frying and dehydration. Tip: For a simple pasta dinner, I successfully used the dehydration function of tired cherry tomatoes.

Other useful features include an LED screen showing the racks used for 13 presets, from toast to roast, a central rack that pops out automatically when the door opens, and a very short preheating time.

The app has a digital library with recipes and content with video guides to help both beginners and seasoned home chefs. The autopilot setting adjusts the temperature during cooking, so the chef does little to do. I tried it on a steak and got perfect results. More information in Breville.

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A new beverage called Sapsucker sipsapsucker.com with a small but tasty plant-based change. Get this: It is made of a by-product of the process that maple trees use to draw water through their roots and trunks. It acts like a natural filter while collecting the nutrients stored in the tree.

Sustainably harvested from trees in Ontario and Quebec, this plant has a slightly natural foam and fruit flavor, is a great alternative to soft drinks and alcohol, and is a delicious hydration method.

Vicky Sanderson is the editor of Around the House (www.aroundthehouse.ca). Check her out on her Instagram @ athwithvicky, Twitter her ATHwithVickyand, facebook.com / ATHVicky.

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Plant-based pantry portion of a healthy home

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