Hug A Vegetarian Day

On Saturday September 24th, the world celebrates Hug A Vegetarian Day! There are many people all over the world who believe that there’s no reason we should continue eating animals, and there’s plenty of arguments to support this stance. Both the environment and our health can benefit from excluding meat and animal products from our diets. There’s also a lot of cruelty in today’s meat industry, and this amount of suffering can be alleviated by fewer people choosing to eat meat. Hug A Vegetarian Day was created to honour those who have taken this step to live a cruelty free life by removing meat from their diet.

 

The history of Hug a Vegetarian Day is tied to the history of PETA, the organization that founded it. The day was established to show recognition and appreciation for those that have made the difficult transition to a meat free and animal-product free lifestyle. Being a vegetarian isn’t always easy, your food options tend to be limited at restaurants, and there’s a strange social hostility against those who choose to not consume animals. Since vegetarianism first started becoming a popular dietary move, there have been a lot of vegetarian options entering the market and today it’s relatively easy to find an alternative to anything left behind in the transition. So give these brave souls a hug to thank them for the animal lives they save, and the difficulties they sometimes face in their race to save our animal friends.

 

Want to celebrate Hug A Vegetarian Day? Invite your vegetarian friends over and whip up some of these delicious meat-free appetizers using our fresh produce:

 

Grilled Pineapple & Tomato Salsa

Grab your favourite chips and get ready to dig into this tangy, fresh salsa made with Tango Pink Roma Tomatoes. With just the right balance of sweet, heat and citrus, it’s an easy crowd pleaser!

 

mucci farms kingsville greenhouse grown tango pink Roma salsa recipe

 

 

Greek Cucumber Rolls

Enjoy the traditional greek flavours you love in these simple, bite-sized rolls. Super easy to make and super impressive to serve, these rolls make a great party appetizer or quick snack.

 

mucci farms kingsville greenhouse grown mini cucumbers recipe

 

 

Quinoa Stuffed Mini Peppers

Everyone loves a stuffed pepper! These tasty little bite-size versions are seasoned to perfection and very easy to prepare.

 

 

mucci farms kingsville greenhouse grown sweet to the point stuffed peppers quinoa recipe

 

 

Strawberry Basil Crostini

Our Smuccies Sweet Strawberries make this unique appetizer super sweet. Your guests will love the unexpected flavour combination and you’ll love how fast they get gobbled up!

 

 

mucci farms kingsville fresh flavourful greenhouse grown produce recipe smuccies sweet strawberries naked leaf living herbs basil grilling grilled

 

For more information about Hug A Vegetarian events and how you can get involved, visit the PETA website. Looking for vegetarian recipes and meal ideas? Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on InstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

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How To Build A Healthy Bento Box

Bento boxes have been all the rage when it comes to lunches but what exactly are they and how do you make them? Bento is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal that’s common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in box shaped container. While the traditional version sounds a bit dicey for the average kid, there are plenty of ways to make your own bento boxes at home that are filled with fresh produce, healthy grains and protein. These lunches are not only easy to pack, they’re loaded with vitamins/minerals and they’re super fun to eat! Get creative with your combinations, incorporate tried-and-true foods and make it colourful.

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Packing healthy lunches doesn’t have to be a chore! Get the kids involved in building their own bento boxes and make room for this Japanese staple in your kitchen. For more back to school lunch ideas, tips and inspiration, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

mucci farms green goddess smoothie recipe summer healthy basil cucumbers naked leaf living herbs greenhouse grown

Go Naturally Green This St. Patrick’s Day

Green clothing, party supplies and drinks are a staple for every St Patrick’s Day celebration but what about green food? Whether you’re hosting a party, staying home with family or hitting the town with your friends, fill up with these hearty St Patrick’s-inspired snacks that will keep you on track to celebrate into the early hours. You can count your lucky shamrocks because we’ve got you covered for finger foods, drinks and even dessert!

 

Green Goddess Smoothie

Try our delicious Green Goddess Smoothie, made with Mucci Farms Seedless Cucumbers and Naked Leaf Living Basil it’s a refreshing and energizing smoothie made special with the addition of fragrant basil.

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Cucumber Mint Lemonade

Use our Seedless or Mini Cucumbers to hydrate with this festive and refreshing lemonade. Make a big pitcher and drink the rest over the weekend!

Cucumber Mint Lemonade

Click here for the full recipe from Rachel Phipps.

 

Rainbow Veggie Pinwheels & Sesame Lime Quinoa Salad

Everyone loves rainbows. This recipe makes it easy to whip up a balanced meal that looks beautiful and tastes delicious. Loaded with vegetables and protein, these pinwheels served with a side of quinoa salad are the perfect way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day!

Rainbow Veggie Pinwheel

Click here for the full recipe from Dinner At The Zoo.

 

Green Goddess Hummus

Dips are perfect for entertaining and awesome for snacking. This hummus is loaded with fresh herbs and green vegetables so when you dunk in our Sweet Bell Peppers, you can feel confident that you’re making a healthy, hearty (and appropriately green) choice this St Patrick’s Day.

Green Goddess Hummus

Click here for the full recipe from Are You Kitchen Me?!

 

 

Skinny Shamrock Shake

The Shamrock Shake is an iconic St Patrick’s Day treat but let’s be honest, the nutrition facts make it difficult to commit. Try this vegan and gluten free alternative with our fresh Seedless Cucumbers and you’ll never have to feel guilty about enjoying this St Patrick’s Day treat ever again!

Healthy Shamrock Shake

Click here for the full recipe from The Honour System.

 

St Patrick’s Day is truly a day to embrace green! Now you can celebrate in your own kitchen with healthier alternatives that won’t leave you with regrets and a sore tummy the next day. For more fresh green recipes and St Patrick’s Day inspiration, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Three Ways To Celebrate National Nutritional Month

Nutrition Month is celebrated every March and is sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The entire month is focused on helping people make better food choices as well as giving them the information necessary to help them develop good eating and exercising habits. Spend the month of March eating well and living healthy, and carry on what you learn through the rest of the year to build strong and sensible habits that will have a profound impact on how you live your life. Not sure how to get involved? Try some of these simple suggestions to kickstart a healthier year for yourself and your whole family:

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  1. Plan family meals so you can eat together

Making time for family meals is so important. Pre-schedule and plan to eat dinner together as a family as many times as you can throughout the month. Use that time to catch up on your day, ask questions, share stories and talk about healthy eating habits. Go a step further by involving the whole family in the kitchen and delegating tasks to each person so they can see their hard work pay off at the dinner table.

 

 

  1. Explore a new fruit/vegetable every week

Habits may be easy to form, but they’re hard to break! Change up your routine and start a fun tradition by introducing new fruits/vegetables to your family each week. Make it a challenge to utilize the weekly feature in all meals and get everyone involved with the meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking. Step outside of your comfort zone to try new and exotic fruits/vegetables or learn how to change up your go-to choices with new recipes/techniques.

 

 

  1. Visit local farms or farmers markets

Take some time to research farmers markets and local farms in your area. Spend a day visiting different farms, asking questions, getting to know the owners and learning more about which crops they grow and what type of growing procedures they follow. be sure to stop by the market and test your vegetable/fruit knowledge before picking up some of your favourites as inspiration for your meal that night.

 

Focusing on nutrition, having discussions about healthy eating and making necessary lifestyle changes can greatly impact every aspect of your life. Expand your horizons with new fruits/vegetables, learn new cooking techniques, explore your local produce offerings and get your family excited about eating healthy!

For more fresh recipes and healthy living tips, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

mucci farms tov tomatoes on the vine greenhouse grown

Heart Healthy Breakfasts

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so why not use it to fuel your heart health? No drastic changes necessary, just a new ingredient to incorporate. Keeping your heart healthy may be a big job but luckily for us, tomatoes are always up to the task. Roasted, baked, stuffed, sliced or chopped, they make the perfect addition to just about any breakfast so whether you have 5 minutes or 45 minutes in the morning, it’s easy to make heart-healthy choices. Find a new recipe, adjust an old favourite or invent your own using our fresh, greenhouse-grown tomatoes!

 

 

  1. Tomato & Avocado Omelette

Grab some of our grape tomatoes and whip up this easy omelette that’s loaded with goodness. Serve with a handful of our Smuccies Sweet Strawberries on the side.

Tomato Avocado Omelette

Click here for the full recipe from BuzzFeed.

 

 

  1. Tomato Basil Breakfast Tarts
    Breakfast meets dessert. These fresh, filling tarts are perfect for breakfast on the go or on the couch!

Tomato Basil Tarts

Click here for the full recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen.

 

 

  1. Roasted Tomato-Basil Oatmeal

If you’ve never tried a savoury oatmeal, you’re missing out! Use our fresh Roma Tomatoes and explore a whole new flavour combination in the morning.

Roasted Tomato-Basil Oatmeal

Click here for the full recipe from Girl Makes Food.

 

 

  1. Baked Eggs On A Bed Of Roasted Tomatoes

Sometimes simple really is best. Load up a skillet with our Sweet Cherry Tomatoes and you’ve got the perfect bed for your baked eggs.

Eggs On Tomatoes

Click here for the full recipe from A Cup Of Jo.

 

 

  1. Baked Egg Stuffed Tomatoes

Have some fun with your breakfast by cracking your eggs into our delicious Beefsteak Tomatoes! Easy to prep and even easier to eat, these will be a hit at the table any morning.

Baked Egg Stuffed Tomatoes

Click here for the full recipe from MyFitnessPal.

 

There are hundreds of ways to incorporate more tomatoes into your breakfast routine so you’ll never get bored of improving your heart health! Start small with breakfast and before you know it, your love of tomatoes will spill over into all of your meals each day. For more heart healthy tomato recipes, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

mucci farms greenhouse grown tomatoes beefsteak tomato-x satori memento heirloom tango pink baby roma sano sun bliss

Treat Your Valentine With Tomatoes

February is heart month and there’s much more to it then sending out heart-shaped valentines or chocolates! February is a chance to shine the spotlight on one of the top killers in North America by providing the necessary information to prevent and treat the disease. Luckily there are many ways to fight back against heart disease, and some of them relate directly to the foods you eat. At Mucci Farms, we grow one of the best foods for your heart and it just so happens that incorporating it into your daily routine at any time of the year couldn’t be easier!

 

Tomatoes are high in heart-healthy potassium and they’re a good source of the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that may help get rid of “bad” cholesterol, keep blood vessels open, and lower heart attack risk. Plus, because they’re low in calories and low in sugar, they don’t detract from an already-healthy diet so it’s easy to incorporate them into your regular routine without adding in any unwanted extras. The best part? Cooking might actually increase the health benefits of a tomato because even though cooked tomatoes have less vitamin C, their lycopene is more available and antioxidant activity is undiminished by cooking so you don’t always have to eat them raw to enjoy their health benefits.

 

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Making a Valentines Day meal for your special someone? Incorporate our fresh tomatoes for a gift that’s not only from the heart, but for the heart:

  1. Make fresh salsa instead of using store-bought jars. The end result is loaded with tomatoes and you can control the level of heat.
  2. Love breakfast? Throw some fresh tomatoes into your scrambled eggs to make a delicious frittata or add a handful into your homemade omelette for a burst of flavour and health benefits!
  3. Try your hand at oven roasted tomatoes! Halve ripe tomatoes lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the sheet in the oven on the lowest temperature (150 to 170 degrees) and let the tomatoes dry for 8 hours, until they’re shrunken but still a little plump. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 6 months.
  4. Stuff your favourite meats with a handful of fresh tomatoes for an unexpected burst of flavour!
  5. Whip up a batch of fresh tomato sauce at home in no time. Chop several tomatoes and put into a bowl. Add salt and let sit for 30 minutes while the juices are drawn out. Strain into a sauté Simmer and whisk in butter. Spoon over pasta, fish, or chicken.
  6. Use them as inspiration to build a better grilled cheese sandwich
  7. Pickle them! Stuff a canning jar with salt, pickling spices, dill sprigs, garlic cloves, red hot chiles, and plenty of quartered green tomatoes. Fill with hot, but not boiling, water. Screw lid on tightly. Refrigerate for a month.
  8. Slice the top off of a beefsteak tomato and stuff it! Try a Mexican or Mediterranean flare and have fun with different flavour combinations.
  9. Slice up a few tomatoes and drizzle them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add a pinch of salt and serve with fresh herbs for garnish.
  10. Make a bed for grilled chicken, fish, or steak. Chop tomatoes and marinate in olive oil and salt for a few hours. Spread on plates and top with your favourite protein.

 

Sometimes small steps can make a big difference. Incorporating more heart-healthy foods like tomatoes will help you fight back against this disease and keep your heart healthy and strong for years to come. For more heart healthy tips and Valentines Day recipes, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

mucci farms blog half your plate blog bella sweets seedless cucumbers smuccies sweet strawberries tomato-x greenhouse grown

Can You Fill Half Your Plate?

If you’ve ever thought “I should really eat more vegetables but I just don’t have time” or “I don’t know how to cook with that ingredient so I’ll just stick to my usual routine”, you’re not alone. Canadians should definitely be eating more fruits and vegetables and there’s stats to prove it. Statistics Canada reported that in 2011 only 40.4% of Canadians aged 12 and older consumed fruit and vegetables five or more times per day. Consumption rose gradually from 2001-2009, where it peaked at 45.6% of the population reaching the level of five or more daily servings, but ever since then it’s been on the decline and Half Your Plate wants to change that.

 

The initiative aims to show Canadians how easy it is to incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal while also providing all the tips, tricks and recipes they need to make it happen on a regular basis. Whether you’re looking for healthy school lunch ideas or smart shopping tips, Half Your Plate is a fantastic resource!

 

Chef Michael Smith is the Half Your Plate culinary ambassador and he’s committed to empowering Canadian’s in the kitchen. He knows that many Canadians have a hard time including fruits and vegetables in their daily routine because it seems like a difficult task. It’s easy to confuse the unfamiliar with the difficult which is why he focuses on teaching real-world skills and reminding us all that at heart, healthy cooking is simple cooking.

 

 

Healthy habits are for life but we know they can be difficult to build and maintain. Keep things simple and make a commitment to the #HalfYourPlate initiative. Visit the website, watch Chef Michael Smith’s video and get inspired to eat more fruits and vegetables today! Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

pulses mucci farms blog

Take The #PulsePledge

The United Nations has officially declared 2016 the Year Of The Pulses and Celebrity Chef Michael Smith has jumped on board as Canada’s ambassador by encouraging everyone to take the #PulsePledge. Pulses are the little superfood that’s big on flavour! Also known as grain legumes, they’re a group of 12 crops that includes dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas, and lentils. They’re high in protein, fibre, and various vitamins, provide amino acids, and are hearty crops. With the price of groceries beginning to rise, pulses are a nutritious, versatile, tasty, sustainable and affordable option for any family. Start your year off right by learning how to incorporate pulses into your meal routine and take the #PulsePledge today!

 

  1. One Pot Tomato Lentil Pasta

Incorporate lentils with foods you already know and love to make the transition easier. Use Mucci Farms Beefsteak Tomatoes to make this one-pot wonder that’s perfect for any night of the week!

Tomato Lentil Pasta

Click here for the full recipe from Emma’s Little Kitchen.

 

  1. Loaded Falafel Salad

Use Mucci Farms Naked Leaf Living Lettuce, Seedless Cucumbers and Sweet Cherry Tomatoes to build this giant salad that’s sure to fill you up! Loaded with fresh produce, herbs and lentils, this salad is a powerhouse of nutrients and is perfect for sharing at the dinner table or portioning into takeaway meals for a busy work week.

Loaded Falafel Salad

Click here for the full recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking.

 

  1. Lentil Tacos With Tomato Radish Salsa

Just like regular tacos, lentils are great wrapped up in a tortilla and pilled high with your favourite toppings. Take this concept to a whole new level by using our sweet cherry tomatoes to make this incredible salsa! Want a gluten-free meal? Use Mucci Farms’ Naked Leaf Living Lettuce instead of a taco shell.

Lentil Tacos With Tomato Salsa

Click here for the full recipe from Chez Us.

 

  1. Lentil Loaf

Meatloaf is the ultimate comfort food so why not make healthier and more affordable by replacing the protein with lentils? Use Mucci Farms Sweet Bell Peppers to make your own loaf at home and pile high on a sandwich for lunch or serve with your favourite sides for dinner.

Lentil Loaf

Click here for the full recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.

 

  1. Greek Salad Dip

Use Mucci Farms Sweet Bell Peppers, Seedless Cucumbers and Roma Tomatoes to make this healthy and hearty dip that’s great for a snack, weekday lunch or potluck party. You can also add quinoa and double the dressing recipe for an instant BBQ side dish.

Greek Salad Dip

Click here for the full recipe from Sprouted Kitchen

 

Incorporating more lentils into your diet will help you lessen your dependance on meat and explore your creativity in the kitchen. It’s never too late to make a change so take the #PulsePledge today and start working towards a healthier body and mind in 2016. For more Pulse recipes, tips and inspiration, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on InstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

mucci farms blog salad naked leaf living lettuce watercress basil arugula smuccies sweet strawberries bella sweets cute cumbers mini cucumbers seedless cucumbers cherry tomatoes

Five Salad Recipes To Lighten Up Your January

January can be a tough time of the year for many people. Resolutions weigh heavy upon us as we start the new year and often times our busy schedules and routines don’t make change easy. Take things one step at a time with this collection of Mucci Farms salads that will give you the boost you need to make it through. Load up on fresh, crisp vegetables and fill your January with healthy salads that are hearty enough to be mains!

 

  1. Citrus Shrimp Salad
    This salad is packed with flavour and perfect for a main dish! The sweet, light dressing and the combination of shrimp and citrus will give you the boost of energy you need to power through your day! Use our Naked Leaf Living Watercress, Naked Leaf Living Lettuce and snack-sized CuteCumbers™ to whip this up at home.

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  1. Strawberry Hemp Salad
    This salad is the perfect mix of sweet and savoury! The tangy red onions pair perfectly with our super sweet Smuccies Strawberries and crisp Naked Leaf Living Lettuce! Hemp hearts ensure you get the protein you need and the candied pecans make for the perfect crunch.

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  1. Sweet Peppers & Steak Salad
    Satisfy your taste buds with this hearty and delicious salad! The rosemary dijon vinaigrette has a great kick and the steak adds a whole new element of flavour and texture to the fresh greens. Try it at home with our Bella Sweets™ Super Sweet Mini Peppers, Sapori™ Sweet Cocktail Tomatoes, Naked Leaf Living Lettuce and Naked Leaf Living Arugula.

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  1. Village Style Salad
    Looking for something a bit lighter? This salad is loaded with fresh raw vegetables and drizzled with a simple oil and vinegar dressing. Easy prep makes it the perfect lunch or meal on the go. Use our Beefsteak Tomatoes, Mini Cucumbers and Bella Sweets™ Super Sweet Mini Peppers to make this at home.

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  1. Cucumber Noodle Salad
    Prepare a classic vegetable in a new way with this spiralized salad! Our fresh cucumbers pair perfectly with the sweet dressing, tangy red onions and asian-inspired flavour. Make this at home with our Seedless Cucumbers and Hot Shots Mixed Hot Peppers.

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January can be a tough time juggling new routines, habits and resolutions. Fuel your body and mind with healthy, hearty foods that will help kickstart feeling better and living better in the new year. For more healthy recipes, tips and inspiration, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on InstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

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Mucci Celebrates Sesame Street Day

So many of us grew up with the bright colours and characters of Sesame Street dancing across our televisions. We listened, we learned and we followed along through the streets and houses of the incredibly loveable puppets that are still childhood icons to this day. The maverick programme celebrated its 40th anniversary of the original broadcast in 2009 and to mark the occasion, November 10th was officially designated Sesame Street Day. Whether you’re spending the day binge watching old episodes or heading out to the toy store to pick up something commemorative, there’s no wrong way to celebrate.

 

At Mucci Farms, we’re spending the day celebrating the eat brighter!™ program and the incredible change it has brought to the eating habits of children in North America. We were very excited to have our eat brighter!™ packages selected as a finalist for the PMA 2015 Impact Award, and still so excited to be part of the PMA and Sesame Workshop collaboration and to help spread the word about healthy snacking options for kids. We’re doing our part every day to ensure that all children grow up with access to fresh local produce so they can lead a happy and healthy life.

Today we’ll be making time to enjoy some of our produce whose bags feature the loveable characters that call Sesame Street home; our CuteCumbers™ Snack-sized Cucumbers, Mini Cucumbers and Bella Sweets™ Super Sweet Mini Peppers. [If you’d like to get involved or you’re interested in learning more about the eat brighter!™ program, click here.]

 

For more tips, tricks, resources and recipes, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.