THE BLOG

5 Delicious and Easy Salad Dressings to Know

Under the heat of summer the last thing you want to do is turn on the stove or oven. If you’re like us, the summer weather plus the abundance of fresh vegetables and herbs will have you eating plenty of salads. One way to add variety to your salads is to switch up your dressings.

chicken salad

Photo: Jules

Making salad dressing is so simple. You know exactly what you’re putting into it and can customize it to what you like and have in your pantry. Plus, you can make however much you need for a week. No more wasting half a bottle of store bought dressing that you never really liked in the first place. READ MORE [»]

A Day Volunteering at the Richmond Food Bank

Last week, members of our team spent a couple hours at the Richmond Food Bank to lend a helping hand. We’ve donated to the food bank and this was a great opportunity for our team members to see where our donations go.

Fine Choice Foods Volunteers at the Richmond Food Bank

We were welcomed at their main warehouse on Cedarbridge way where they collect and distribute donations. We were given some background on their operations and a short tour of their facilities.

Since 1983, the Richmond Food Bank serves over 1500 people a week through their various programs. Regularly they give out 30 000 pounds of food a week. That’s a lot of support for our community! Through it all, the Richmond Food Bank receives no governmental support so their whole operation is funding through generous donations and volunteer hours. READ MORE [»]

Behind the Scenes: Product Development

On Friday May 16th, we welcomed the winner of our contest, The Battle of the Culinary Students – the Gyoza Wars, to our plant.  Christa Yeung was the teenage gourmand who captured the attention of the Fine Choice Foods and Choices Markets teams with her Spicy Pork and Cilantro Gyoza flavor. We started the day together with a plant tour and then sent her off working with our R&D technologists.

Christa with Jeremy, one of our R&D Technologists.

Christa with Jeremy, one of our R&D Technologists.

Christa arrived, brimming with enthusiasm, and with a basic recipe which was used as a starting point for our new gyoza flavour. First up was chopping up all the ingredients that made up the filling. In her video, Christa highlighted the use of water chestnuts and Sriracha. The use of vegetables was minimal in the original recipe however we suggested the use of more vegetables to give a more desirable texture to the gyoza. As a result,we added a variety of fresh vegetables like green onions, ginger, garlic and a variety of spices to liven up the flavor profile. READ MORE [»]

Winner Announced for Battle of the Culinary Students – the Gyoza Wars

Fine Choice Foods and Choices Market are pleased to announce that we have selected a winner for Battle of the Culinary Students – the Gyoza Wars.

Congratulations to Christa Yeung from R.C. Palmer Secondary School in Richmond, BC. We had a number of great ideas submitted from students across the Lower Mainland and finally narrowed it down to Christa’s idea of Spicy Cilantro and Pork Gyoza.

As a part of her prize, Christa will be visiting us on May 16 to work with our R&D specialists to develop her flavour profile.

Look for these gyozas in your local Choices Market in the summer!

 

Grow Your Own Asian Herb Garden

As the days are getting longer and warmer, many are starting up their gardens for the year. Consider adding a few herbs commonly found in Asian cooking to your garden to try new flavours and ways of cooking. There is nothing better than harvesting your own herbs and enjoying them fresh with your meal.

Cilantro

Garden fresh cilantro

A herb commonly found in many gardens, Cilantro is also known as coriander leaf and Chinese parsley.

Cuisines: Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Mexican, Indian
Can be found in dishes like: Cilantro Pesto Shrimp Tostadas, Cilantro Beef Stew, Cilantro Peanut Soba Noodles

How to grow it:
Cilantro should be grown in the spring or fall when the weather is cool. It requires sun, but not a lot of heat. Cilantro is best grown from seeds as it grows quickly and doesn’t like being transplanted. When it starts to flower, remove the flowers to keep the cilantro thriving.

How to use it:
Cilantro loses its flavor quickly when it is dried or cooked. It is best used fresh and immediately after harvest. Add cilantro to your favorite dishes just before serving. If you want to preserve it, try freezing it in ice cube trays with water. READ MORE [»]

Natural Beauty Solutions Found in Your Kitchen Pantry

Keeping with our theme of reducing waste and preventing foods from being thrown out, today we present to you health and beauty regimes found right in your kitchen pantry. For pennies, you can make yourself feel refreshed and rejuvenated. No more paying for expensive facial scrubs and exfoliants, you can find everything you need in your kitchen pantry.

Avocados for hair and face masks

Avocado facial

You’ve seen everyone put cucumber slices on their eyes, but what about an avocado? An overripe avocado that can’t be eaten is perfect for using in your beauty care. The oils in the avocado make it great for dry skin. You can use it to make a face mask by mash or puree the avocado and apply it to your face. Let it sit for 10 – 15 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water. You can also place slices under your eye to reduce puffy eyes. READ MORE [»]

Shelf Life of Foods Found in Your Refrigerator

Spring is here! The fresh scent of flowers blooming, the sun slowly coming out and the days are getting longer and warmer. And with spring comes spring cleaning. While you’re emptying the closet, and wiping down the house, don’t forget to clean out your pantry, and most importantly your refrigerator.

Foods tend to enter, but never leave. Bottle after bottle of condiments hidden in the dark corners of the refrigerator, miscellaneous foods in jars. This is the perfect time of the year to give your refrigerator a good scrub and emptying.

To help you with your spring cleaning we’ve put together a guide on knowing what to keep and what to toss when it comes to the foods found in your kitchen. With the help of the printed dates on the package, your eyes and nose, your kitchen fridge will be organized in no time. READ MORE [»]

Memories of Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year! Today we are welcoming the year of the horse. All around the world, people are celebrating the start of a new lunar year.  Chinese new year is a time to  return home, to come together as family, and to share food. Accordingly, we’ve asked a few of our team members to share their Chinese New Year traditions and memories.

Asther

Before Chinese New Year, preparations for family visits and gatherings begin. Clothing for this special occasion must be very neat requiring a new and colorful outfit and new shoes.  In a traditional Chinese family, usually the younger siblings will visit the elder ones. For the visit, a number of special foods are prepared for guests.

Chinese New Year candy tray READ MORE [»]

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Soups

Winter makes us here at Fine Choice Foods HQ want to pull out the slow cooker and make some comforting and warm soup. Today we present to you delicious meatless soup options that you can make in your slow cooker. In a couple of hours with little work you have yourself a great meal.  Put everything into your slow cooker in the morning and when you get home from work, you’ll be greeted with a warm and bubbly bowl of soup.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup from Amuse Your Bouche

Slow-cooker-loaded-baked-potato-soup-2

All the flavor of a baked potato but in soup form. Top this soup off with your favorite baked potato toppings: sour cream, chives, cheese, or corn. Anything goes. READ MORE [»]