Sunday, April 28, 2013

Whole Hog - Minus the Hog

Once upon a time, this was mostly a food blog. Then a terrible, horrible thing happened. My favourite local-food shop, Brambles, closed in October of 2010. When I look back I realize that my bloggish ramblings became less frequent for a long time after that.

Recently,  Angeline and Jim, formerly of Brambles, now owners of Whole Hog Farms, launched an organic fruit and vegetable subscription. I signed up as soon as the service was available in my area. Each week, for $25,  a bin of organic produce is delivered to my door.

When the service first started, Jim emailed a weekly list telling us what to expect in the bin. Often the contents didn't quite match the list. That may be why those emails have stopped. I don't mind. I'm quite liking the surprise. It's like I'm a contestant on Chopped or Iron Chef. I never know what to expect when I open the bin.

Last week's secret ingredients...

Once I unpacked everything I sat down with my cookbooks and planned meals for the week. I compiled my grocery list at the same time. 

The top cookbook is one my Mom made for me when I first moved out on my own.
Using the produce, the cookbooks pictured above, some kitchen staples and a few items from the grocery store I created the following meals. Items in bold are from the bin.
  • Curried tofu and mango salad on mixed greens. Green pepper, mango and greens.  Roasted sweet potatoes with cumin, coriander and curry powder. Both recipes were from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health
  • Veggie rice wraps. Loosely based on Meghan Telpner's recipe in Undiet. Mango, green pepper, carrots and greens. 
  • Pasta with zucchini and lemon. Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home. Zucchini! Duh! Tomato salad. Tomatoes. Again, duh!
  • Chicken - Pineapple. Mom's. Green pepper. Salad. Greens and tomato.
  • Shitake brown rice pilaf. Rebar Modern Food Cookbook Leeks. Steamed broccoli. (The broccoli came in this week's bin.)
Each of these recipes made dinner for two, and there were leftovers for lunch the next day. Oranges, bananas and remaining carrots were eaten as snacks.  

I realize now I could have made Mom's Chicken-Pineapple with oranges instead of pineapple to up the "Hog" content of the meal. Maybe next time, when I'm actually doing the cooking. Hubby was the Iron Chef for this one.

(Note: I'm quite certain this is not a Mom-original recipe, but I don't have any idea where it originated. Mom had been making it for years prior to including it in the cookbook above. As I've had the cookbook for more than 20 years, I'm hoping that there won't be any copyright issues. Should you know where this recipe first appeared, please let me know in the comments below so I can attribute the source. If it's your recipe, welcome! And thanks for years of tasty meals.)

Mom's Chicken-Pineapple

1. 2 or 3 chicken breasts cut in strips (Hubby used two chicken thighs)

2. Assemble: 
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced diagonally
  • 1 cup celery sliced diagonally
  • 1 green pepper cut in strips
  • 2 cups pineapple chunks, drained, reserve juice
3. Combine in Bowl:
  • Pineapple juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soya sauce
4. Over high heat, saute strips of chicken in oil. Sprinkle with salt. Cook until white.

5. Add onion, celery and green pepper and continue to stir-fry for about 2 minutes.

6. Add pineapple, then juice mixture. Stir and bring to a boil.

7. Reduce heat and cook until just clear. 

8. Serve over rice.


  1. Ah, I remember your Bramblin' days! That's fun that the former owners have some new food business ventures. Also, that is so kind of you to acknowledge the unknown origins of the pineapple chicken recipe. I am sure if someone happened upon your site and realized it was THEIR recipe, they'd be touched by your gratitude :-)

  2. I'm pleased you remember. I remember you were the one to coin the term "Bramblin'". I also remember that Ang and Jim loved it too!


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