Tag Archives: Callaloo

Food Inspiration Moments of 2012

Here are some of my favourite moments of food inspiration in 2012 in no particular order:

Callaloo: A great tasting, super nutritious green veggie that I enjoyed and  learned about on the South Coast of Jamaica this year. There was nothing better than being shown where and what the plant looks like growing wild.

Sea Asparagus Pesto: Another highly nutritious, delicious and naturally salty veggie made into a unique delicious pesto product that I discovered in Hawaii.

Blue Hawaii Acai Bowl: This antioxidant packed sorbet like treat topped with granola and fruit was delicious in addition to the energetic boost it provided. I nicknamed the acai bowl ‘superjuice’, as I felt superjuiced after I ate it.



Galerie au Chocolat, Fire: The heat really builds up from the chili in this chocolate. I amused myself just a little by having various friends sample the chocolate and watching their reaction to the heat.

Minisyrup: This unsweetened flavouring was a surprise discovery that led to further inspiration in the idea of adding flavour to club soda and water to create your own beverage. Adding flavour to water is common practice in the UK. I was reminded of Ribena (available at Sobeys), a sweet, blackcurrant concentrate syrup in production since 1938 that I enjoyed as a child. What’s old is new and water flavouring will reach new heights here.


Beer and Cheese: Who knew? However, someone seated beside me at the Gabardine had a plate of beer battered cheese and I had to order it as well. Very tasty. www.thegabardine.com

I was convinced to sample Spearhead Hawaiian Style Pale along with some cheese at the LCBO and found the crisp, slightly fruity beer to be a great complement to the cheese. Very tasty and very smooth combination.


Jiro Dreams of Sushi: A most inspirational and beautiful film about one man’s passion in his work, his creation of sushi.

Societe Orignal Churned Seashore Honey: This honey is the best ever with its fluffy texture that tastes of caramel, marshmallows and a hint of flowers all at once.


Salted Caramel Icecream: I had amazing salted caramel icecream at BiRite Creamery in San Francisco. XocoCava (1560 Yonge Street) has an outstanding salted caramel hazelnut icecream. One young hipster told me she is so over salted caramel…and I still love it.



Ps. The best salted caramel macaron is at Petite Thuet www.petitethuet.com

Vinamit Chips: These are the most amazing fruit and vegetable chips that are made through dehydration and are sold at T&T. My brother introduced them to me and I am hooked. Mixing together one bag of the mixed fruit and jackfruit chips are the perfect combination.

All things Austrian: Are up and coming as spotted by the eagle eyes of the man behind Making Life Good…thank you JK.

Happy Christmas!


Food Inspiration: Kensington Market Tour

Kensington Market is one of my favourite spots to shop for food in Toronto. There is no other area where I can find so many unique foods that I love. I make a trip there whenever I can spare a couple hours to wander around, check out the ever changing new eateries and gather up my growing list of favourite items. Here’s my tour:

Caribbean Corner (171 Baldwin Avenue) -I stop in here for fresh callaloo they get flown in from Jamaica, caribbean hot sauce, and/or jerk sauce, among all things caribbean.

Essence of Life (50 Kensington Avenue)-is the stop for any health food or supplement you can think of with great selection and prices.

Salamanca(204 Baldwin Avenue)-I have been buying nuts and other dry goods here for over 10 years.

La Tortilleria (198 Augusta Avenue)-makes fresh tortillas daily, with organic blue available on the weekends only.

Jumbo Empanadas (245 Augusta Avenue)-I have been stopping here for a bite of lunch for over 10 years. Their homemade salsa is unbelievable. The chicken empanada with the salsa and Chilean salad are absolutely delicious.

Perola’s (247 Augusta Avenue)-This is a shop I just started frequenting this summer, as I developed serious taco obsession when I missed out on eating at Rick Bayless’ Torta in the Chicago airport. Tacos seem to be the trend of the moment as well. This shop has all the authentic fixings you could want.

Wanda’s Pie in the Sky (287 Augusta Avenue)-Sometimes I stop here first. Amazing dessert is required. This shop is even more fun here than it was when it was located in Yorkville. I love the dulche de leche coconut macaroons (gluten free) and the small fruit pies (which I cut into 4 pieces and share, maybe).

Seven Lives (69 Kensington Avenue)-My top pick for tacos in Toronto. There can be a bit of a wait, but service is quick and the tacos are incredibly flavourful and inventive.


Recipe: Sauteed Callaloo

I developed a love for callaloo while I was in Jamaica. It has to be one of the tastiest green veggies around and it is so easy to eat a good volume of it. I have found it here in Toronto at Caribbean Corner in Kensington Market, so look for it at a Caribbean grocer near you.

There is some technique to handling this plant once you have it in your hands. Separate the leaves and the stems throughout. Use a paring knife to remove the fibrous outer coating from the stems.

Sauteed Callalloo

1 bunch of callaloo, stems and leaves separated

1 clove garlic, slivered

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to your taste

Cut the stems and leaves of callaloo into small pieces. See below for a visual:

In a large pan, heat olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Add cut callaloo, saute for 2-3 minutes or until leaves start to wilt. Cover pan and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper or any other seasoning to your taste. Enjoy!



Veggie Inspiration: Callaloo

Callaloo was a most delicious green veggie I tried while I was in Jamaica in March. I was told it was like spinach, but a bit milder. I first had it in a mixed vegetable curry, which I quite enjoyed. I had it again for breakfast in a dish of poached eggs and steamed callaloo.

Callaloo provides vitamin C, folic acid, iron and calcium. I found it to be delicious just steamed, so I highly recommend it as a green veggie to have regularly-it tastes good! Having more greens is a tried and true strategy for better health and fat loss. This concept gets much easier when there is a green that is this tasty.

A Jakes employee showed me callaloo growing wild by the side of the road. This is unlikely here in Canada, but be sure to try callaloo if you have the opportunity to do so in the Caribbean. Or at a West Indian restaurant in Toronto. Or try to buy some at a specialty market-I will do so and report back.

June 16, 2012

I got my hands on some callaloo at a Caribbean store in Kensington market. It was imported from Jamaica, but it was definitely a fresh cut plant. I cooked it with the help of a good friend yesterday and it was delicious!