One quote that I love and live by is “eat well, laugh often, love much” and two weeks ago I did just that. I had the pleasure of attending the Canola Connect Culinary Workshop Series that was held at Kitchen 24 and it was an experience like no other. The minute I arrived I was asked a very important question…how do you love our heart? After giving it some thought I came up with “surrounded by family, friends and delish food!”. Think about it, there’s nothing better for me than being with the ones I love and sharing a meal with them. I’m sure most would agree.
There’s something about getting together with great people to share a great meal and so, when I entered into the main kitchen and was greeted by Chef Rodney Bowers who was prepping our amazing dinner I was like, ok this is gonna be good! I saw salmon off to one side, chicken to another and a long table filled with colourful veggies and empty jars waiting to be filled. I was intrigued and dying to get started. As many of you know, I’m no master chef myself and the meals I cook at home are pretty simple so I was excited to get some tips from Chef Rodney. Now to be honest, before attending this event my knowledge on canola oil was very limited. Sure you know the basics but why canola oil and what are all these health benefits I keep hearing about.
So why canola you ask? Well where do I start? Maybe with the fact that it has the lowest amounts of saturated fats which also happens to be half that of olive oil. Or maybe it’s because it’s a great source of vitamins K and E and also packed with Omega 3 fats which are also known as an anti-inflammatory which help protect you from heart attacks and strokes. Or maybe it’s because it’s Canadian and is grown by over 43,000 family farmers on our Canadian Prairies which means local and who doesn’t love to support local.
At the event, I also had the pleasure of meeting Jeannette who is a farmer, a wife, and a mother from Alberta. Jeannette told us her story of how she got into farming and it was truly inspiring. Like many mompreneur stories a lot of ups and downs were involved but like many of us she never gave up. Giving up when you have little ones and have to make ends meet is not an option, you make it work…some how, some way, you make it work. Then Jeannette said something that got me thinking, she said “As a farming family we take care and pride in the food we produce. As a mother, what we produce on our farm is what I feed my own family. Not only do I want what’s healthy and safe to be on our dinner table but to be on Canadian families tables too!”. Canola is Canadian and how many other women like her are out there…A LOT! If I’m all about supporting fellow mompreneurs, local businesses and buying local then why hasn’t Canola been on my list. Well let me tell you it is now and especially after Chef Rodney Bowers shared some of his fave recipes with us that include some great and good old Canadian canola oil.
Since I’m on the topic of recipes here’s one that we got to make with Chef Rodney, it was quick, easy and amazing…so amazing that I have to share with all of you.
Chef Rodney Bowers’ Canola Salad Dressing:
* 1/2 cup canola oil
* 3 tbsp lemon juice
* 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
* 1 tbsp fresh chopped chives
* 1tbsp chopped taragon
* 2 tsp Dijon mustard
* 1 clove garlic, finely minced
* Salt and pepper to taste
Throw it all together and you my friends are good to go! If you want to have some fun with it you can do what we did, remember that table with all the great and colourful veggies I mentioned earlier next to empty jars? Well, you can create a fun and delish salad in a jar and use this dressing to go with it. Side note, the salads in a jar we all made ended up being a contest and I’m super stoked and pretty proud to say that mine was the winning salad!
The night ended off sharing a meal together with an incredible crew of people and some who I can now call friends. This is exactly what I was talking about when I said “eat well, laugh often, love much”! Here’s to cooking with canola oil while sharing some laughs and enjoying it with the ones we love and all while supporting our amazing Canadian canola farmers and their families.
Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Canola Eat Well. As always the opinions expressed are my own.