Tag Archives: organic

Ayoub’s (or all is good again in Sandy Hill)

Almost 5 years ago we moved to Ottawa. I came about 8 weeks ahead of my good man to find housing and get us settled.

After a brief search and viewing only 3 apartments, I quickly chose a great space in Sandy Hill. I moved myself in with the kitchen table and a futon that posed as a bed until my furniture arrived 2 weeks later.

Within walking distance to my downtown office, the Byward Market and Rideau Centre, I thought I was in the perfect place. I came to discover so many more wonderful things about living here, including great neighbours, a pub we fell in love with, and Ayoub’s.

Ayoub’s seemed to be the heart and soul of the neighbourhood. A busy family market that sold fresh fruits and vegetables along with organic product, a deli counter and items made in their little catering kitchen at the back of the store. The best hummus, zatar and tabouleh to be found but what stole my heart, and sold me the instant I saw it was my absolute favourite yogurt (yes it was that simple)!

The first time I visited Ayoub’s I ended up with about $60 worth of groceries and much to my dismay realized I left my wallet at home. The first thing they did was try to send me away with my groceries and my promise to return and pay. I was stunned, could not believe they were saying that to me, they didn’t even know me. I had lived in the neighbourhood for less than a week. I took the groceries, went home and returned to pay right away. I have been a devoted Ayoub’s fan ever since.

One morning in our second year here, I was walking to catch the bus and saw plumes of smoke coming from Somerset East. When I reached the corner my heart literally sank, Ayoub’s was on fire and it looked really bad. It was bad. Our lovely neighbourhood was heart-broken and a wonderful family was devastated and had lost their business. I can’t imagine what the last 3 year’s has been like for them.

Let’s fast track. 3 long years later and with much anticipation the southwest corner of Somerset East and Blackburn is alive and thriving once again. Ayoub’s is now open (a little celebration last Sunday was just what we all needed) and all is good again in Sandy Hill. Welcome back good people, it’s wonderful to see your beautiful smiling faces once again. xoxo

One Sweet Kitchen

I had been planning for awhile to meet with Amanda Lunan of Auntie Loo’s Treats a fabulous vegan bakery in Ottawa, I had read plenty about her already. So I finally managed to find my way to her 507 Bronson kitchen and as I expected, it was a sweet, delightful excursion.

Writing about someone can be such a personal thing depending on your experience with that person. I can say without a doubt that this wonderful baker applies much love, and passion to her craft, and you can taste it. Dairy-free products (and some gluten-free), good wholesome ingredients (largely organic) allow for something for everyone. This is like walking into an old school bakery, with a twist. Can you imagine the feeling of a child who is unable to have a treat like a pink frosted cupcake because of food allergies walking into this bakery knowing that she can pick what she wants?

During our meeting I enjoyed a lovely piece of her banana- butterscotch cake a dense, delicious banana cake with a sweet thick butterscotch icing reminiscent of something from your grandma’s kitchen. On grandmother’s, Amanda’s inspiration comes from her own grandmother’s kitchen and everything magic that happened there. She adapts a lot of old recipes to suit her cooking style and she is gifted at it.

Auntie Loo’s also specializes in wedding cakes (yes, an amazing cake decorator named Kate) and specialty cakes. Treats from the bakery can also be found at Herb and Spice (both Bank and Wellington locations), Market Organics, Rainbow Natural Foods and several other locations. I would suggest getting down there to pick up cinnamon buns or warm scones Saturday morning, which we did this past Saturday.

Auntie Loo’s is open Tuesday to Friday 3pm-6:30pm and Saturdays from 8am -2pm. When you have time check out Amanda’s blog.

Organic Weekend

PlumThis past holiday weekend we had one visitor, one visitor who has no expectations, likes to lounge like us and is truly a foodie.

I tried to cook organic all weekend, and managed to a large extent. Once again my Ottawa Organics order was fabulous and all of my add ons were great including the bread from Bread and Sons Bakery.

I made Spaghetti Carbonara one night, a hearty Beef Stew the next (the meat in both recipes was not organic), and I baked a Julie Powell plum cake recipe for dessert. I served organic farm fresh eggs and Treehugger orange juice in the mornings and made a Thai Coconut Carrot soup for lunch our last day together.

I love my organic order, for the three of us to eat all weekend it cost about $120.00 ($98.00 of that organic). It just makes me feel better knowing the food we buy isn’t covered in poison, it tastes fabulous and most of it was grown by local farmers.

Is it realistic to eat this way all the time? It would be nice, but isn’t always possible. We will try our best to do what we can.

Ottawa Organics

Just have to put a big shout out there for Ottawa Organics and the basket we received today.

I started having a basket of organic fruits and vegetables delivered every two weeks several weeks ago, and it was probably the best idea I have had in a long time.

Recent research out of the UK says there is little difference in dietary value compared to non-organic produce. Well I do know one thing, there is certainly a difference in taste (perhaps because it hasn’t been pre-washed in pesticides?). I don’t even know how you begin to compare. As far as costs, we find using a service that specializes in organics is much cheaper than buying organic at the grocery store.

So let me tell you about the finds in my order this week (all grown in Ontario or Quebec with the exception of the Washington apples):

  • carrots
  • Delicious apples
  • apricots
  • 1 canteloupe
  • yellow beans
  • potatoes
  • lettuce
  • cilantro
  • white onions
  • 1 hothouse tomato

You can also add other items to your order (including things like milk and yes, my favourite Cocoa Camino products).

To find out more about Ottawa Organics visit there website: http://www.ottawaorganics.com/ (the staff are especially accommodating).

Yum!