Seasonal Veggie of the Week: Bok Choy

Welcome to Week 3 of our Seasonal Fruit/Veggie of the Week series. We hope that you’ve been enjoying these recipes so far! This week’s seasonal veggie of the week is Bok Choy, a hearty vegetable that starts coming into season in Ontario in June.

Bok choy is a type of cabbage originally native to China. Other names used include “Chinese cabbage”, “Chinese savoy”, pak choy, pok choi, bai cai, xiao bai cai, Shakushina, cai thia, and cai trang con. Written evidence dates its cultivation back to at least the 15th century, but archaeological evidence suggests it may have an over 6000-year history. This would make it one of Asia’s oldest cultivated vegetables. Bok choy is high in vitamins C and A, and so has also been used as a medicinal plant to treat coughing, fever and stomach illness.

Bok choy grows well in colder climates and can be grown here in Canada. Chinese immigrants first brought the vegetable to North America in the 1800s, and bok choy has been grown in Ontario for at least 40 years.

For those new to using bok choy, try out this classic beef stir fry recipe:


Easy Classic Chinese Beef Stir Fry


Serves: 2

Time: 23 minutes


  • 3 tsp cornstarch/corn flour
  • 2 tbsp + 1/3 cup water, separated
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (Use ordinary all-purpose soy sauce such as Kikkoman)
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry (or substitute with chicken broth)
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil (optional)
  • Dash of black pepper
Stir Fry:
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 garlic clove , crushed
  • 7 oz / 200 g beef , thinly sliced (Cut against the grain, this ensures tenderness)
  • 1/2 small onion , sliced (yellow, brown or white)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 small carrot , halved lengthwise and sliced thinly on the diagonal
  • 3 baby bok choy, quartered lengthwise (or equivalent large bok choy)
  • 2 stems scallion/shallots , cut into 1.5″/3cm pieces
To Serve
  • Steamed white rice
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro / coriander (optional)


  1. Combine the cornstarch and 2 tbsp of water in a small bowl, mix until smooth.
  2. Mix in remaining Sauce ingredients except for the 1/3 cup water.
  3. Place the beef and 2 tbsp of sauce in a bowl and mix gently. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  4. Add 1/3 cup water into the remaining sauce. Set aside.
  5. Heat oil in wok over high heat. Add garlic and cook for 15 seconds.
  6. Add onion and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Add the beef and cook until it changes colour from red to light brown but not cooked through.
  8. Add bell pepper and carrots and stir fry for 30 seconds.
  9. Add sauce and cook for 30 seconds.
  10. Add bok choy and scallions/shallots and cook for a further 1 minute until the sauce is thickened.
  11. Remove from heat immediately.
  12. Serve with rice, garnished with sesame seeds and cilantro, if using.



Seasonal Fruit/Veggie of the Week: Rhubarb (#2)

Welcome to recipe #2 of Rhubarb Week! If you’re unfamiliar with how to use rhubarb, the classic way of using it is in a rhubarb pie. Below you’ll find a recipe for a classic rhubarb crisp.

While using rhubarb in your cooking, remember that the stalks are mildly poisonous so make sure only to consume the stalks when cooked. The leaves and roots themselves must always be removed and never consumed as they are quite toxic.


Classic Rhubarb Crisp



Rhubarb Layer:
– 4 cups of rhubarb cut into 1/2″ pieces
– 1 cup sugar
– 1/3 cup flour
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon

– 1/2 cup butter, melted
– 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
– 1 cup flour
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix rhubarb, sugar, 1/3 cup flour and 1/2 tsp cinnamon in an 8? x 8? glass baking dish
  3. Mix butter, oats, 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and 1/2 tsp cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  4. Sprinkle topping over rhubarb mixture.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes – 35 minutes.



Seasonal Fruit/Veggie of the Week: Rhubarb

Hi folks, welcome to Week 2 of our Seasonal Fruit/Veggie of the Week series. This week’s in-season local produce is Rhubarb. It is one of the first fruits and vegetables available for harvest in Ontario in the spring, and so is considered a seasonal treat like asparagus.

Rhubarb is a vegetable native to China that was originally cultivated for medicinal purposes in ancient times. It was used as a purgative for digestive issues. While the plant was also known for its medicinal properties in Greece and the Middle East, it did not become more widely known in Europe until the 14th century when it was imported from China through the Silk Road. It was first brought to North America by European colonizers in the 18th century.

Today, rhubarb is primarily used in desserts and baking. Now that the weather is heating up again, you may want to try this recipe for a refreshing rhubarb lemonade


Sparkling Rhubarb Lemonade



  • 1 1/2 cup chopped rhubarb
  • 1 1/2  cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 ( 6 ounce ) can frozen pink lemonade
  • 2 fresh lemons
  • 16 -20 ounces lemon-lime soda


  • Bring the rhubarb, sugar and water to a boil.  Simmer 5-10 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture and discard the solids.
  • Add the frozen lemonade and the juice from one fresh lemon; chill until cold.
  • When ready to serve add the soda.  (You can add more water/soda depending on how tart/sweet you like it.)
  • Slice the remaining lemon for serving.  Pour lemonade over ice and add lemon slices.



Seasonal Veggie of the Week: Asparagus (#2)

Welcome to recipe #2 of Asparagus Week! We have good news for you today, because some Ontario asparagus has just come available to us here at the St. James Campus Good Food Market! That means you’ll be able to find some fresh asparagus at our market next Thursday June 7.

If you do plan to bring home some fresh asparagus, keep in mind it will generally only last 5-7 days in the fridge.

To keep your asparagus fresh for as long as possible, try the following:

  • Cut 1 inch off the ends
  • Stand spears in a glass container with about 1-2 inches of water
  • Use a plastic bag to loosely cover the asparagus
  • Store in refrigerator
  • Change water if you notice it becoming clouded


Roasted Asparagus and Mushroom Carbonara:

Roast Asparagus and Mushroom Carbonara

Roasted asparagus and mushrooms in a creamy and cheesy egg sauce with plenty of fresh cracked black pepper.

Serves 4

Time: 50 minutes


  • 1 lbs asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 8 oz mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz fettucine (or pasta of choice)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup parmesan
  • Plenty of fresh cracked black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped

Optional: 4 oz bacon cut into 1-inch pieces or 4 oz pancetta, diced


Toss the asparagus and mushrooms in oil, salt and pepper, place on baking sheet in a single layer and roast in a preheated 400F/200C oven until they start to caramelize, about 20-30 minutes, mixing half way through.

  1. Start cooking the pasta as directed on the package.
  2. If using meat option, cook the bacon in a pan, pour off all but a tablespoon of the grease from the pan, add the garlic, cook for 30 second and turn off the heat.
  3. Mix the egg, cheese, pepper and salt and parsley in a bowl.
  4. Drain the cooked pasta reserving some of the water.
  5. Mix the pasta, egg mixture, asparagus and mushrooms into the pan with the bacon (if using meat option), adding reserved pasta water as needed.

Note: To speed things up, about 20 minutes into roasting the asparagus and mushrooms, get your pot of water for the pasta on the stove and start bringing it to a boil.


Seasonal Veggie of the Week: Asparagus

Hey folks,

Starting this week, we’ll be running a new Seasonal Fruit/Veggie of the Week edition. Every week, we’ll be choosing one local Ontario fruit or vegetable in season during that particular month. We’ll be posting information and recipes for that veggie three times per week.  This week’s local veggie is asparagus! Hope you enjoy!

Asparagus, also known as Asparagus officinalis, garden asparagus or sparrow grass, is a flowering perennial plant native to the East Mediterranean (Greece, Asia Minor, the Middle East and Egypt). It was considered a particularly sacred plant in ancient Greece and was used for several medicinal purposes related to digestion including as a diuretic and for urethral pain. By the 16th century, it had become popular among the western European nobility and was grown almost exclusively for them.

Asparagus was first introduced to North America by European colonisers in the 18th century and grows best in wet or coastal regions. In Ontario, asparagus comes in season in May and June. It can easily be roasted, steamed or grilled as a part of a delicious spring meal!

The ends of asparagus are woody and need to be trimmed off before cooking. The woody ends can be snapped off using your fingers and will naturally break right where the woody end begins. To save time, you can always snap one and then use it as a guide to trim the rest of the bunch.

Simple Oven-Roasted Asparagus:


This recipe can be used as an appetizer or as a part of a main course. Goes well with chicken, steak, fish or mock meat equivalents.

Serves 2


  • 1lbs bunch of asparagus (20-30 spears)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt


  • Wash asparagus and trim stalks
  • Coat bottom of baking pan with olive oil
  • Lay spears of asparagus across baking pan
  • Lightly sprinkle salt
  • Put in oven at 325-350F
  • Flip asparagus spears half way through cooking time
  • Let roast for 30 minutes or until soft and slightly crispy
  • Remove from oven and serve

Fruit of the Week: Lemon pt. 3

Selection and Storage:

– When selecting lemons, choose those that are firm, plump and feel heavier
– Avoid selecting lemons that feel soft and spongy, and those that have bruised soft spots on the skin
– Store the lemon in a plastic or paper bag inside the fridge and it should keep for 1-2 weeks
– Lemons sealed in plastic ziploc bags and stored in the fridge can keep for even longer
– Lemons can also be stored outside of the fridge if you intend to use them between 2-5 days after purchasing them

Preparation and Serving:
– Wash lemons in cold water before using, particularly if you are using the skins for zest
– Lemons can be sliced in order to be used as garnish
– Otherwise the lemon can be cut in half in order to squeeze for juice, either by hand or with small juicer
– The skin can also be used for zest, and lemon can be zest by using a hand-held peeler or grater
– But when zesting a lemon make sure not to cut into the underlying white skin beneath the yellow as this part is very bitter.
– Lemons can be used for many different purposes including: in salads, soups, on pasta, meat, on vegetables that have been baked, steamed or raw, rice, for lemonade and much more!









Parmesan Lemon Zucchini
Makes 4 servings

– 3 tablespoons butter
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 4 zucchinis, thinly sliced to 1/2-inch thick rounds
– 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
– Zest of 1 lemon
– Salt and black pepper, to taste
– 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
– 2 tablespoons lemon juice, or more, to taste

1. Melt butter in a large frying pan or skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic to the skillet, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Working in batches, add zucchini, thyme and lemon zest. Cook, flipping once, until golden, about 1-2 minutes on each side; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
3. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan and lemon juice.

Note: Ingredients for today’s recipe can be found at the St. James campus Good Food Market (200 King Street East, main lobby every Thursday 11:45 am – 3:00 pm)! Lemon ($0.40 each or 3 for $1.00), Garlic ($0.50), Zucchini ($0.50)

(Recipe adapted from

Fruit of the Week: Lemon pt. 2


– One of the major health benefits of lemons is their high Vitamin C content

– One lemon can contain between 36% and 50% of daily Vitamin C requirements, depending on the size of the fruit

– Lemon juice is among the juices containing the highest amount of antioxidants

– Lemons contain up to 8% citric acid, which helps digestion and can assist in dissolving kidney stones and gallstones







Avgolemono (Greek Lemon and Egg Soup)

– 4 cups chicken broth (if prefer can also use vegetable broth)
– 1/3 cup uncooked white rice
– 2 eggs
– Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
– 1/2 cup cold water
– 1 cup warm broth (from the cooking soup)

1. Bring broth and rice to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the rice is very tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Separate 2 eggs (whites in one bowl and yolks in another). Whisk the egg whites till creamy and fluffy. Add the egg yolks to the egg whites and mix them until creamy.
3. Slowly add the lemon juice to the eggs .
4. Mix half of a cup cold water and half of a cup warm broth/soup together in a medium/large bowl (making one cup of lukewarm water/broth so the eggs do not curdle)
5. Slowly add the lemon/egg mixture to the water/soup mixture. Stir slowly till blended. Then add another half cup of broth. Stir slowly till blended.
6. Slowly pour the mixture into the rice soup and stir till blended.

*If you like you can add a little dill, parsley, pepper to taste or green onions for extra flavour

Note: Ingredients for today’s recipe can be found at the St. James campus Good Food Market (200 King Street East, main lobby every Thursday 11:45am – 3:00pm)! Lemon ($0.40 each or 3 for $1.00), Green onion ($0.50 per bunch)

(Recipe adapted from

Fruit of the Week: Lemon

– A lemon is a small citrus fruit about 5-8 centimetres in diametre
– Lemon trees are classified as evergreens and originate from southern China/northern India
– Lemon trees typically grow to stand between 10 and 12 feet tall and grow best in tropical environments
– One study on the lemon’s genetic origins demonstrated that it was likely originally a hybrid between the citron (larger citrus fruit) and the bitter orange
– Most citrus fruits, the lemon included, originate as natural hybrids from one or more of four original citrus fruits: citron, mandarin, papeda and pummelo
– Because of its low pH balance, lemon juice is also antibacterial
– China and India are the world’s top lemon producers









Buttery Lemon Parsley Noodles
Makes 6-8 servings

– 1 pound Pasta (according to preference, for example fettuccine, Linguine, Angel Hair)
– 4 Tablespoons Butter
– 1/4 cup Finely Minced Parsley
– 1 whole Lemon
– Salt and Pepper, to taste

1. Cook the noodles according to package instructions. (If using angel hair, stop just short of the al dente stage.) Drain and set aside.
2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Throw in the cooked pasta and cook it around in the butter for a couple of minutes so that a few of the noodles get a little bit of a pan-fried texture to them.
3. Zest the lemon. Squeeze in the juice, then add the zest of half the lemon.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste, then toss around and serve.

Note: Ingredients for today’s recipe can be found at the St. James campus Good Food Market (200 King Street East, main lobby every Thursday from 11:45 am to 3:00pm)! Lemon ($0.40 each or 3 for $1.00)

(Recipe taken from

Vegetable of the Week: Spinach pt. 2

– Spinach is an excellent source of Vitamin A with 56% of daily values contained in 1 Cup
– Spinach is also a great source of Vitamin K with 181% of daily values contained in 1 Cup
– Spinach also contains significant amounts of Vitamin C, Manganese, Magnesium, Folate and Iron







Creamy Avocado and Spinach Pasta
Makes 4 servings

– 10 oz. spaghetti or fettuccine
– 1 clove garlic
– 1 avocado
– 1 cup fresh spinach
– 1/2 cup pecans (optional)
– 1/4 cup basil
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice
– 3/4 to 1 cup pasta water
– Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
2. While pasta is cooking, add the rest of the ingredients to your blender and blend until it turns into a smooth sauce. Start with ¾ cup of pasta water and add more as needed to get the consistency you want.
3. Toss the pasta with the sauce in a bowl and serve immediately. This sauce is best served the day it is made, as it uses avocados which will turn a brownish colour.

Note: Ingredients for today’s recipe can be found at the Good Food Market at GBC St. James (200 King Street East, main lobby every Thursday 11:45 am to 3:00 pm)! Spinach ($1.25), Garlic ($0.50), Avocado ($0.75), Lemon ($0.40 each or 3 for $1.00)

(Recipe taken from

Vegetable of the Week: Spinach

– Spinach is an edible flowering plant native to ancient Persia
– Spinach is an annual plant, meaning that its life cycle lasts one year (versus a perennial plant that comes back again the next year)
– The spinach plant can grow up to 30 centimetres in height and is 3-4 millimetres in diameter
– In Ontario, locally grown spinach is available between the months of May and October.
– However, winters in Ontario are too harsh for spinach to be grown all year round, although this is a possibility in nations with more temperate winters.
– Between 2006 and 2011, spinach acreage within the Ontario Greenbelt increased by 30.6%
– But spinach crops still make up only a small percentage (1.3%) of dedicated vegetable crop acreage in the Greenbelt when compared with other crops like sweet corn (10.7%) or carrots (21.3%)
– China and the US are the two largest spinach producers in the world.










Sautéed Spinach, Mushrooms and Caramelised Onions
Makes 2-4 servings

– 3 onions, sliced
– 3 cups spinach
– 10 mushrooms sliced
– 3 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
– 1 tablespoon preferred oil (original recipe calls for coconut oil, however, olive oil or other preferred oils can also be used)
– 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
– Salt and black pepper to taste

1) Heat the oil and butter over a high heat in a pan or skillet.
2) Add the sliced onions and garlic, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking the onions for 20 more minutes, still stirring frequently.
3. Add the balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan.
4. Add the sliced mushrooms and season to taste with salt and pepper; cook until the mushrooms are tender but not mushy.
5. Add the spinach. Stir on low heat just until the spinach wilts, and serve.

Note: Ingredients for today’s recipe can be found at the Good Food Market at GBC (200 King Street East, main lobby every Thursday from 11:45am – 3:00pm)! Onions ($0.75 per bag or $0.10 per onion), Spinach ($1.25), Mushrooms ($1.75 per package, $0.25 per brown mushroom or $1.00 per portobello mushroom) and Garlic ($0.50 per head).

(Recipe adapted from: