Welcome to my crazy world of real food cooking ...

Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. -- Michael Pollan

I wish I could take credit for that because I think it sums up how we should eat. Simply -- eat stuff that really is food, instead of stuff that is food like substance. The supermarket is almost entirely food-like-substances, and, my friends, you should probably never ever eat them.

Fortunately, there is a world of deliciousness out there, and it can all be had in a way that not only doesn't harm your health, but in a way that benefits you hugely.

I think it's important to eat stuff that satisfies you, that keeps your blood sugar stable, and that gives you stuff your body really needs to run optimally.

But baby, it's gotta taste good.

I really like getting experimental in the kitchen. I love cooking, I love layering flavours, and I love coming up with really super yummy food. I have very strong opinions about what constitutes food, and there are a lot of things I won't touch in the kitchen. Bottom line? Pretty much everything I make is ridiculously good for you even if it tastes decadent. Although there are occasional big fat cheats ... but even those stick to real food, my friends.

For food that is usual gluten free, usually free of cane sugar, usually super low on the glycemic index, full of protein, fiber, flavour, and excellent energy, join me and Alice down the rabbit hole.

Every recipe on this blog is my own original effort and idea, so please pass 'em on, giving credit where credit is due.

Many thanks, and come back often. I'm really glad you are here!


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Organic Produce at My Door

Through the commercial magic of Groupon, I have had the opportunity to try three different organic home deliver companies for 1/2 price. The full cost of each is about the same, with a just a couple of dollars difference.

The first company permitted no compromise on the contents of the box. It was a surprise when it arrived at my door, and there was no room for customizing my order. I liked the idea of a box full of things I wouldn't usually choose to buy. It intrigued my sense of culinary adventure, piqued my imagination, and tickled my curiosity. In theory, that is. In practice, it just gave me a box full of stuff I didn't really like or want, and nothing in the fridge that my boys would eat. Sad, sad, sad. The produce was generally pretty nice, with some of it achieving 'beautiful' status. But over all, the constraints made it feel ... like a waste.

The second company permitted limited substitutions, which allowed me to get some stuff I wanted, but still forced me to get some stuff I wouldn't normally choose. Instead of encouraging culinary adventure, this brought on culinary frustration as I tried to figure out interesting ways of preparing things that nobody but I would eat. Additionally, they consistently managed to have trouble weighing their produce. With them, a pound was never a pound. Sometimes a pound of carrots would be about 2/3 of a pound, and a pound of beets would be 3/4 of a pound. I started weighing the produce when it arrived, like some kind of rigid, controlling oligarchical kitchen dictator. I didn't like feeling like some freaking control freak checking up on people because I couldn't trust them to do their job correctly. But when it all looks skimpy, what's a gal to do? In addition to being short, it was often mushy, bruised, rotty, or in some way past its prime. They managed to forget part of my order, and then replaced it later on with the wrong thing. Not a lot of attention to detail, and not beautiful produce. On the plus side, they were unerringly cheerful, and seemed determined to 'fix' the problem. Unfortunately, they just seemed like they were in over their heads.

Finally, Goldilocks, it was just right. The third and final company we tried allowed unlimited substitutions for their organic produce bin. They assigned a dollar value for each item, and you could just make up your box to total the amount allotted for it. I got to try things I've never tried but was very excited about, such as wild leeks and fresh fava beans. Both were fabulous. And when it galled me to be offered fruit I didn't want at a high price, I simply swapped it for something I really really needed, like black radishes or extra collard greens. It was fabulous to get a huge box packed full of stuff I wanted! I don't want lettuce, and instead got only greens for cooking. Hurrah! A big box full of stuff I wanted! (I had to say it again, because it's so simple, really, yet so wonderful. ) Additionally, I have to tell you that the produce was all beautiful. All fresh, all delicious, no mushy, rotty, best-before-date-gone-by items in the batch. Broccoli so fresh it tasted almost like raw sweet summer peas. Black radishes with nary a soft spot on them. Greens so fresh I had to slap 'em to keep their hands to themselves. Joke.

Maybe I am a picky produce purchaser. I don't expect organic produce to be blemish free and perfect looking. A nibbled leaf here or there is part of the package. However, wilty food that is already on the verge of rotting when it arrives at my door, so that if I don't use it all within 2 days it's good only for the garbage bin, just doesn't seem right to me.

Finally, I found the customer service for this last company to be friendly and efficient, and they do offer a satisfaction guarantee for any item in your box. If it doesn't live up to your expectations, they will either offer a replacement or a refund on that item. However, everything exceeded my expectations. So, I guess that means my expectations, while high, were not unrealistic, and definitely not unreachable.

And the winner of this organic delivery wrestling match?

Front Door Organics

They also offer a reasonably well stocked organic grocery store to shop from online to be included with your order. The box and the additional items are helpful for people who are too busy to go to the grocery store and still want healthy organic food and produce, or who are so sick of going shopping that they want to gouge their own eyes out.


I'm not going to post the names of the other two companies because I don't want this to be a wall of shame. Additionally, they were pretty nice and meant well, and I would feel rather libelous (even writing the truth) if I were to name them in this blog. It's enough to say that Front Door Organics stepped up to the plate, hit it out of the park, scored a touch down, and various other positive-sounding sports analogies. Third time is a charm. I won't be looking any further for organic home delivery produce.


Lesley H said...

We have used Front Door Organics for our produce and groceries for the past ten years ( how many companies do you stay that long with?) and feel they are a 5 star service that has grown progressively and wisely over the years. They have responded to customer requests, always have high quality fresh produce, and if you aren't happy or happen to get a bruised cantelope or other fruit/veg they will credit you, no questions. As an added bonus, they supply us with news and links to the veg and organic farmer world with up to date, but not overly newsy tidbits. I love to know what farmer grew my potatoes, and where my eggs come from! REcipes come with each box too. The owners are two sharp and socially conscious hardworking entrepreneurs, women who started something from a passion for vegetarian food and socially conscious working principles and grew it into a necessity for many Toronto families.

stacey said...

Thank you for the background information, and for adding to the story, Lesley. Very cool :) Your 10 years experience certainly gives you more insight, and a bigger picture than my 2 box trial. That being said, after my experience with them, I'm not at all surprised by the things you have mentioned.

Thanks for reading and commenting on my post!

Anonymous said...

THX for sharing