Know Where Your Food Comes From

Grazed Right Farm - picture from Grazedright.com
Grazed Right Farm – picture from Grazedright.com

 

On Sunday August 9, 2015, my husband and I spent a lovely afternoon, along with about 20 others, on the Campbell ranch.  Located 30 minutes southwest of Calgary, the ranch is the home of Grazed Right http://grazedright.com/, Ben and Stephanie Campbell’s fledgling grass fed, humanely and ethically raised, hormone and antibiotic free, beef (Angus beef, to be precise).

We’ve had the pleasure of enjoying their beef and it is delicious, lower in saturated fat, higher in the “good fats” and very lean and tasty.  We can’t wait for our fall, 2015 order.

Ben and Stephanie hosted an appreciation BBQ for their customers serving beef on a bun (you weren’t expecting me to say fish were you ;)) and assorted side dishes.  After the BBQ, held in their field, the BBQ took  on the atmosphere of an Old tyme Sunday picnic, with people playing Frisbee, kids riding Ben’s horse, etc.

(I left my camera at home and my phone in  the car so no pictures of the day, I’m afraid).

Afterwards, we all went on a “walkabout” around parts of the ranch, and Ben spoke eloquently and passionately of his love for his family’s ranch –  Ben is a 3rd generation Campbell rancher — and his commitment to raising quality cattle in an ethical, humane, responsible, sustainable (and delicious!) manner.

Despite the near 30 C heat, and a very persistent wasp, it was a wonderful afternoon reconnecting with the land, hearing about sustainable farming practices, and really knowing where my food comes from, something that occasionally gets forgotten by this City Slicker.

 

If you live in the Calgary area, contact Ben at grazedright@gmail.com to place your order.

Steak and Pepper Stir Fry

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This was “planned overs” for supper last night.

2 peppers, thinly sliced

2 medium size steaks (I used steaks we’d had left over from a BBQ the night before), thinly sliced and trimmed of fat. You could also use uncooked steak, thinly sliced, and cook at the same time as the peppers until done).

1/4 c. Organicville Teriyaki Sauce

1/8 c. orange juice

 

 

Saute peppers over medium heat.  I used a large frying pan sprayed with cooking spray, added 1/4 c. of water, and covered it so the peppers softened.  Add steak, teriyaki sauce and juice. Cook, covered, about 10 minutes. Serve with cooked rice, in a wrap, or even in a lettuce wrap.  Makes about 4 servings.

 

Easy Summer Salmon

BBQ Salmon Steak
BBQ Salmon Steak (Photo credit: Fil.Al)

 

Take one large piece of salmon that has been filleted and deboned. Spread an equal amount of cream cheese and jalapeno jelly down the middle. Bake in oven at 350 for 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork and loses its bright pink color.  Can also be BBQ’d.

Grilled Asparagus

 

English: Asparagus bundled
English: Asparagus bundled (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

It’s asparagus season.  Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables — if fresh, young, and prepared properly.  Old asparagus that’s tough and woody or that awful, mushy, asparagus-from- a- can is very unpleasant and nearly inedible.    We’re able to purchase local asparagus (a crop not normally grown in Alberta) from the farmer’s market.  Edgar Farms has perfected growing asparagus  — a cool climate vegetable — along with other great vegetables. For more information, visit their website:  http://www.edgarfarms.com/

 

1 bundle asparagus

 

1/4 c. oil

 

2 – 3 T. good quality balsamic vinegar (if your balsamic vinegar is quite reduced, thin it by adding an equal amount of water)

 

1 – 2 T. spice blend

 

 

 

Wash asparagus and trim ends.  Place in a container. Mix oil, vinegar and spices together  and pour over asparagus.  Marinate for an hour or two, turning the asparagus at least one to ensure as many of the pieces are covered in marinade.

 

Grill on your indoor grill on mid-max for 4 – 6 minutes. Barbecue on medium until a bit brown but still tender-crisp.

 

 

 

 

Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Sauce

DSCN0354

 

Economical, easy, and no high fructose corn syrup like so many commercial BBQ sauces have.  Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe.

1 small onion, diced

1/4 c. brown sugar

1 small can tomato paste

1/2 tomato paste can water

3 T. molasses

4 T. vinegar

1 T. chipotle chili powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 T. mustard

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. curry powder

Brown onion in a little bit of oil in a medium size sauce pan on medium heat.  Add rest of ingredients and turn heat down so that the sauce is simmering.  Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or so. Sauce thickens nicely on its’ own without the addition of any thickeners such as flour or cornstarch.

 

 

 

Barbecued Peaches

Take a peach and cut it in half. Remove pits. Place cut side down on the BBQ on medium heat until it begins to carmelise (about 3 – 4 minutes). Turn over and cook for another 1 – 2 minutes.  Remove from BBQ to a plate or bowl. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the center and drizzle with Grand Marnier, if desired.

Grilled Nectarines

I love the summer’s bounty. We have been enjoying this lately.

4 nectarines, sliced
2 T. each brown sugar, honey and grand marnier liqueur

Divide the nectarines between two pieces of tin foil. Add 1 T. each of the sugar, honey and liqueur to each piece of foil. Add a splash of vanilla to each packet. Fold up the foil. Grill on the BBQ on medium for 10 – 15 minutes, until the nectarines are soft. This can also be done in the oven at 375.  Serve in bowls with a scoop of yogurt or vanilla ice cream.  Serves four. *This would also work well with bananas, peaches or other stone fruit.

Cajun Rub

1-1/8 cups sweet paprika
1/4 cup cayenne pepper
1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons thyme leaves
2 tablespoons oregano
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon celery seed
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

Combine in a jar or spice containers with tight-fitting lids.  If desired, grind in blender or food processor to produce a more powdery consistency. Great on fish, chicken, pasta,  baked potatoes, popcorn. Makes about 2 cups.

BBQ Sliders

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 large egg

1 c. crushed saltine crackers (I used the ones with unsalted tops)

1 package onion soup mix

Mix together, form into small, thin patties.  BBQ on medium for 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Makes 12 patties.   The onion soup mix adds so much flavor. I just wish there was a low-sodium onion soup mix as I am sodium sensitive.  Serve with baked oven fries and the usual accoutrements for burgers.

Maple Glazed Salmon

1/4 c. maple syrup

1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon or stone-ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped gingerroot, if desired
1 1/4-pound salmon fillet
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

Mix all ingredients except salmon and green onions.

Cut salmon fillet into 4 serving pieces. Place fish in shallow glass or plastic dish. Drizzle marinade over fish reserving about 1/4-cup marinade to serve over cooked fish.

Refrigerate about 30 minutes.

Cooking – Oven Method: Heat oven to 400°. Remove fish from marinade; set aside marinade. Place fish in baking dish. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, basting occasionally with marinade, until fish flakes easily with fork.

Variation – BBQ Method

Grilled Maple-Glazed Salmon: Instead of baking, place on grill rack, cover and grill fish 5 to 6 inches from medium coals 4 minutes. Turn fish; brush with marinade; cover and grill about 4 minutes longer or until fish is opaque and flakes easily with fork.

To serve, drizzle reserved 1/4-cup marinade over fish; top with green onions.

Adapted from Green Mountain Spa