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The 2024 Foodland Ontario Calendar: And Much More!

I just got an e-mail from follower Jewel Jeffery here in Ottawa about the 2024 Foodland Ontario (FLO) Calendar. It actually came out late last fall (as usual) but I must have missed the news release. Anyway, in looking into Jewel’s request, I made a fab discovery!

Sweet Jerk Pulled Pork - © 2024 - peterchou.comThe simple, yet sumptuous Sweet Jerk Pulled Pork Taco: I have a feeling this
one will become a member of my carefully-curated ‘go-to supper’ list!

The ‘trigger’

Jewel picked up a physical copy of the latest Calendar at her community winter carnival. But when she got home she discovered it was in French! She wondered if I could source a copy for her in English.

My response went something like this: “You have the Internet, so you have the 2024 FLO Calendar at your fingertips!”

The fab discovery

Yes, it’s available online along with all the recipes from all the FLO Calendars back to 2014!

My picks

I’ve consumed the featured recipes for 2024, and these are my ‘faves of the faves’…

Sweet Jerk Pulled Pork Taco

Like all the FLO Calendar recipes, this elaborate-looking dish really requires relatively few ingredients, and only about 15 minutes prep time. Although, the cooking time (simmering) is estimated at about 2.5 hours. A small price to pay for the sumptuous result!

The ‘sweet’ part comes from Maple syrup, giving this Jamaican-themed dish a true Canadian twist! Adjust the amount of Scotch Bonnet sauce to suit your taste.

Though the recipe as published feeds 6-8, it can be scaled up or down as required. For smaller families (203 diners), it may be possible to find a small cut of pork shoulder prepackaged at the supermarket. Or you could ask the meat cutter on duty in the meat department…

Linguine Arrabbiata

A classic Italian pasta dish with all kinds of potential for ‘customization’. Prep time just 10 minutes and simmering time a mere 22 min. Just the thing for a quick but elegant weekday supper!

Like all the FLO Calendar recipes, this one is heavy on fresh ‘Ontario’ produce ingredients. But that’s Foodland’s job. Produce from any source will do just fine, if ‘Ontario’ isn’t available.

This recipe is portioned to serve 4-6. But, like most FLO Calendar offerings, you can scale it up or down as required. And, as I mentioned off the top, you can have fun adding protein ingredients as you wish. Leftover rotisserie chicken is a natch. I would gravitate toward Italian Style Beef or Turkey meatballs as a quick, easy upgrade.

I get my ‘instant’, blitz-supper meatballs at M&M Food Market. A 3 lb. / 1.36 kg package is $26. But it contains 130-140 meatballs! And that translates to a minuscule $0.20 per ball. If you don’t have am M&M outlet in your town, prowl the frozen food section at your go-to supermarket or frozen food shop, and see whose brand they stock…

Veggie Tofu Bowl

This is an Asian staple. And a great, flavourful way to jazz-up your vegetarian or vegan diet! Better yet, it takes only about 15 minutes to prep, and half an hour for the rice to cook. And you can prep the veggies while the rice cooks. For a total pantry-to-table time of just 30 minutes!

Of course, you can sub-in and sub-out veggies as you prefer. If you want to keep it Asian, sub-out the asparagus and pea shoots. If you wish, and can afford, sub-in snow peas!

One serving clocks 475 Cal., mostly from carbs, in the rice and Tofu. But it also packs 24 g of protein. Largely from the Tofu. There’s a fair amount of sodium, too (575 mg). But you can’t get away from that if you’re being authentic, and using regular Soy Sauce. I use low-sodium Soy Sauce and add a little salt to taste before serving, if needed. Actually… I don’t know about you, but I find regular Soy Sauce, especially Dark Soy, too salty overall.

My overall take

The 2024 FLO Calendar is a treasure trove of great, healthy recipe ideas. All are geared to be easy and relatively quick. And what’s even better, all the FLO Calendar recipes dating back to 2014 are available in one place!

I’m going to revisit them all, and rediscover some of the great recipes there that have receded into the hazy past…

~ Maggie J.