Kimchi Queso Dip

This is a great use of kimchi, especially your older kimchi that you want to use up when it’s time to make a new batch.  Serve with tortilla chips or other dippers for a quick, easy and delicious snack.

Kimchi Queso Dip
Save RecipeSave Recipe
Recipe Image


  • • 1 cup cashews, soaked 2 hours, drained
  • • 1 cup almond milk, or similar
  • • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • • 1 cup kimchi
  • • 1 ½ Tbsp potato starch
  • • salt and pepper to taste
  • • green onions and cilantro to garnish
recipe by STIR Cooking School


Blend cashews, almond milk, nutritional yeast, kimchi and potato starch in a blender until smooth.

Pour into a pot on low heat. Heat just until warmed and begins to thicken.

Adjust seasoning. Place in bowl to serve. Top with green onions and cilantro.

Serve with tortilla chips or another favourite dipper.


Kimchi Workshop

October 19 at Pomme Natural Market.

Learn how to make your own batch of this fermented Korean side dish.

Join us for this demonstration of the complete kimchi process. We will talk about the health benefits of fermented foods as well as giving you some culinary inspiration on how to use kimchi in your kitchen. Recipes and samples provided. This class is gluten-free and vegan. 10% off storewide.

Ticket includes a 2 litre mason jar in which to ferment as well as Korean chili flakes for your first batch.

Kimchi Workshop at Pomme

Canada’s Food Guide Gets a New Look…finally!

Let’s face it, that dairy, grain and meat heavy Canada’s Food Guide is overdue for a re-vamp! We will see the new-guide early in the new year, in the meantime here is a sneak preview of some of the exciting new changes you can expect .


-Proteins will be lumped together making it easier to incorporate a variety of choices daily ie, meat, dairy and plant-based choices are in the same category.

-Processed foods and beverages will be discouraged, especially refined carbohydrates like those found in pre-made baking, snack foods, convenience meals and take out. Sweetened beverages like pop, energy drinks and high caloric coffee drinks are excluded and no more chocolate milk or juices in the food guide.

-Mindful eating will be encouraged, paying attention to feelings of fullness, hunger, enjoying eating slowly and loving your body.

-Families gathering around food to promoting a healthy involvement in cooking and eating meals together.

-Meatless meals will be emphasized to help families include plant-based protein in their diets.

-Reduction in saturated fat consumption ie. butter,red meat, high fat dairy and promotion of un-saturated fats ie. olive oil, seeds, nuts.

-Reduction of food waste will help us all take care of the planet  by touching on food production, waste, soil, water and wildlife preservation.


Watch for the new guide coming your way in 2018!


By Jennifer Leslie


For more information about the food guide consultation process:

Easy Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce

What to do with all those tomatoes?

Make your own tomato sauce that tucks into the freezer for those cozy, comfort food meals. Think chili, spaghetti sauce, soup, lasagna, enchiladas!

Easy Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce
Save RecipeSave Recipe
Recipe Image


  • 18 ripe roma tomatoes
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. dried or 2 Tbsp. fresh basil
recipe by STIR Cooking School


Place all ingredients except the tomatoes in a large bowl and mix together. Halve the tomatoes and place in the bowl. Mix gently.

Turn onto a sheet pan with tomatoes skin side down.

Bake in the middle of the oven at 300 degrees for 2 hours.

Turn oven to 400 degrees and roast for 15-30 more min. to caramelize.

(If you prefer a less dark sauce, roast them for a shorter period of time).

You can change up the herbs for a different flavor profile, try adding cilantro, oregano, rosemary or any herb combination you’d like!

I like to puree the roasted tomatoes once cooled with a hand blender to make it smoother.This sauce freezes beautifully!



Mason Jar Meals

These make-ahead meals in a jar will  simplify your meal planning an prep.  STIR will demonstrate how to create a nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner to please everyone in the family.  Recipes and samples provided.  ticket includes a meal in a mason jar for you to take home

Mason Jar Meals

The Mediterranean Diet or what do Sardinians do to become centenarians?

by Jennifer Leslie

The research into so called “Blue Zones” in different areas of the world fascinates me! Lifestyle, food choices , activity levels and stress management render specific areas in the world as blue zones (originally circled with a blue pen).  These areas have a high concentration of 100 year olds who have grown old without problems like heart disease, obesity, cancer or diabetes.

In this blog I am going to share with you the lifestyle habits of the Sardinians who live in the highlands boasting the largest concentration of centenarian males in the world. In one small village of 2500 people there are 5 centenarians!

The Sardinians healthy old age can be attributed to long days spent herding sheep on very steep hillsides. This pastoralism has a high correlation with living a long life. The shepherds are always moving up and down the hills in a low to moderate activity level. The people never actually “retire”, they simply shift into other roles in the community but still maintain an active and respected part of the community.

Their diets are very interesting, the only dairy they consume is milk and cheese from sheep and goats. These cheeses are higher in Omega 3’s than cow’s milk because the sheep are grass fed. Meat is only consumed in small amounts and usually for special events.  Their main protein source is from fava beans and chickpeas. They consume only sourdough bread and use low glycemic barley flour. They also eat sourdough whole wheat flat bread, that is very high in fiber and complex carbohydrates.

Vegetables are a staple and featured at most meals. Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C and potassium and popular fennel is loaded with fiber and soluble vitamins.   Olive oil is the fat of choice and the drink of choice of course is red wine. The centenarians love their  3 to 4 glasses of Grenache grape wine when gathering for happy hour to discuss the day’s events.

This diet deviates from the traditional Mediterranean diet where oily fish are often an important protein source. The Sardinians in the Blue Zone live too far from the ocean to enjoy fish! Instead they have benefited from a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, vegetables, sheep and goat dairy products.

This combined with long days of being active accounts for their amazing cardio-vascular health and longevity.


Sardinian Eggplant and Chickpeas topped with spicy yogurt


The Mediterranean Class

Sardinian Eggplant and Chickpeas topped with spicy yogurt

This delicious starter or light lunch combines the healthy, nutritious flavours of Sardinia.  (inspired by a recipe in Plenty More by Ottolenghi )



Sardinian Eggplant
Save RecipeSave Recipe
Recipe Image


  • 3 large eggplants, cut into large slices
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups of chickpeas, well cooked, preserved cooking water or if using canned, 2 Tbsp. of can fluid mixed with equal amt of water
  • 1½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 sm. lemon rind, pith, seeds removed
  • ½ c. greek yogurt
  • ½ cup mint, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • salt and pepper
recipe by STIR Cooking School


Place eggplant in a bowl with ¼ cup oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast on parchment paper for 40 min. and cool.

Mash the chickpeas with cumin seeds,3 Tbsp. oil , lemon flesh, ½ tsp. salt, pepper and 2 Tbsp. cooking fluid. This should be a spreadable paste.

Place yogurt in small food processor with 1 Tbsp.oil, 2 Tbsp. water, herbs, ¼ tsp. salt, black pepper. Blend until you can drizzle the yogurt, adding water if necessary.

Serve on a platter as a starter with crushed chickpeas on top followed by a drizzle of yogurt.



Mediterranean Cooking Class

Explore the diverse flavours of the Meditteranean region with this demo-style cooking class. What is the Mediterranean Diet? This style of eating features plant based foods ie. fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. Olive oil is the main source of fat with fish and poultry as protein sources. The Mediterranean Diet suggests red wine (in moderation) and the enjoyment of meals with family and friends contribute to the health benefits. Join us as we cook and pair using Mediterranean ingredients and influences. Includes 4 wine pairings.

The Mediterranean Class


Favourite Food Apps

Kitchen, Food and Cooking Apps

by Kelli Etheridge

Here are some of my favourite apps that make life easier when choosing ingredients, planning meals and cooking.  I’ve chosen all free apps.


Kitchen Dial

This app is great for figuring out conversions when cooking.  It’s easier to measure ¼ cup of something than 4 Tbsp, for example.  You can convert between Celsius and Fahrenheit if you have a cookbook that measures oven temperature in Celsius only and your oven is set to Fahrenheit.  It even has common weights of everyday ingredients.  I used this tool a lot when I’m cooking and doing recipe development, especially when I’m doubling (or more) a recipe for batch cooking.



Want a place for recipe inspiration?  Yummly is filled with endless meal ideas and recipes.  You can customize your preferences so it shows you what you like to eat most.



One Sweet App

I love this app because it tells you where the free sugar (added sugar) is hiding in products and how much is in there.  Just scan a barcode using One Sweet App and it will give you feedback.  I suggest using this when shopping to help decide between products (or better yet, decide to make your own).  What’s neat is that this app was developed in Canada at the University of Toronto.  It was created in conjunction with the Canadian documentary Sugar Coated (a great movie, available on Netflix).




Healthy Living App

This is another app that you can use while shopping and trying to decide which products are healthier.   Just scan the product barcode and the app will give you a rating.  It includes food as well as cosmetics.  This app was created by the Environmental Working Group.


Dirty Dozen

This Environmental Working Group app highlights the fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticides and should be purchased as organic.  It also gives you the Clean Fifteen list of produce that is lower in pesticide residue.  The app features the list from 2016, which is still very relevant.  The new list just came out for 2017.



Eat Vegan

Want some plant based recipe inspiration?  Check out this app – it features beautiful photos of a variety of vegan food with complete recipes.  Some recipes are locked, but there are many others from which to choose.



Food Monster

This is a One Green Planet app loaded with recipes and beautiful photography; good photos are important when you are deciding what recipe to choose, right?  The app is customizable to your own eating preferences, such as nut-free, gluten-free, etc.