January 2023's Meal 

Community Chef Kay Miller
"If we consider food solely as a commodity we are doing our earth and
the creatures within it a disservice, food is the foundation, the binder
and the sustenance of our world. Its' worth should never be reduced to
that of profit alone."
About the meal:
In celebration of a new year we are producing a dish rich with flavour and history. This powerful, high vibration meal accents long soba noodles coated in a rich dark hoisin and infused with hardy roasted vegetables, aromatic Thai basil and topped with a marinated spiced tempeh.
Ingredients:

Soba noodles include wheat, buckwheat, egg white, water, salt. Sauce includes hoisin, sesame oil, tomato, ginger, cornstarch, honey, chilli, orange juice, garlic.

This dish also includes rapini, red cabbage, tempeh (soybean), carrot, Spanish onion, Thai basil, and chilli.

 

December 2022's Meal 

Chef Jonathan Gushue

The largest sense of accomplishment for me has been working in whatever community I may be living in and giving it my all. You can give all you want, but if you are not fully invested, how do you really know the needs of your community? I encourage everyone to be involved in their community and meet the need there. I believe in connecting community with how food relates to the world around us, whether that’s a kilometre or 50 kilometres. Without an understanding of community and that relationship, it just doesn’t have the same results. It’s local, more than just a product, it’s also the people. One of my greatest joys is making good food for people who truly appreciate it.

About the meal:
This meal is a ricotta dumpling with roasted eggplant, smoked yogurt, cashews and basil. The Chef's desire was to create a meal that was healthy, seasonal and nutritious. This meal is vegetarian and gluten free. The meal contains nuts and dairy products.
Ingredients:

Ricotta, egg yolks, GF flour, parmesan, parsley, basil, nutmeg, salt, black pepper, eggplant, olive oil, greek yogurt smoked, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, baby spinach, cashews, crushed pomegranate seeds and sea salt.

 

November 2022's Meal 

The Three Greek Sisters

 A community food system is one where all members of the community have access to affordable, nutritious, wholesome meals. It's also about connecting with the land, the farmers, our food, and ensuring we have sustainable food systems in place. what is your proudest food accomplishment?

Putting Greek food on the main stage has been our proudest accomplishment. Our cookbooks became national bestsellers and it was simply by word of mouth. Greek food is simply delicious.

About the meal:
Fassolada is the unofficial national dish of Greece, a simple, inexpensive bowl of bean soup. In Greece, this hearty and delicious soup can be found in the most casual of taverns or in five-star restaurants. We enjoy this soup accompanied with feta cheese, anchovies, and lemon wedges.
Ingredients:

Dried navy beans, baking soda, crushed tomato sauce, Greek olive oil, carrots, celery, onion, potato, fresh ginger, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, salt, lemon juice & parsley.

 

October 2022's Meal 

Chef Scott Mcilwee & Chef Scott Mills of Borealis Guelph.

 This bowl is named after a method of planting also known as the three sisters companion planting. A three sisters garden is basically a “stacked” garden that uses three layers to fill the space. Typically corn, a bean and a squash. This meal is significant because it is a nod to the Indigenous culinary roots of our area.

We are excited to work with Better Food Co and Hope House because we believe healthy food should be accessible to everyone and this meal showcases what can be accomplished with low cost pantry and vegetable items.

About the meal:
As the temperature continues to drop, warm up with this delicious harvest bowl made with the nourishing trio of corn, squash, and beans.
Ingredients:

Butternut squash, apple, carrots, corn, black beans, hemp seeds, garlic, maple syrup, onion, basil, olive oil, cumin, cilantro, chilli powder, vinegar, lemon, spinach, sugar, parsley and barley.

September 2022's Meal 

Prepared by Chef Kay from Hope House. 
This meal was created in celebration of our volunteers in both production and at the North Field Food Farm as we celebrate one year of Better Food Co. Every month our farm team is directly responsible for harvesting, washing and shipping many of these veggies to Hope House as well as other community partners. The work is vast and this is done diligently and with the greatest of care for the community and the land it has been borrowed from. Sustainable food production is possible but it takes work- knowledge and skill which I can proudly say is the benchmark of our farm team.
About the meal:
Made with hearty vegetables in a delicious sauce topped with fluffy mashed potatoes, this is a comfort food to the max. This veggie pie is filled with plant-based protein. The lentils from Elora Lentil help it have sticking power that make this dish feel like a warm hug.
Ingredients:

Potatoes, cabbage, garlic, squash, nut milk, cornstarch, oil, thyme, dill, radish, onion, tomato paste, brown lentils, carrots, beets & corn 

This meal is vegan and gluten free.

 

August 2022's Meal 

Prepared by Chef Thuy and Sydney from the Cornerstone. 

The Better Food Co is excited to partner with not one, but two talented local chefs and proud new owners of The Cornerstone!

After months of renovations both inside and outside of the popular downtown Guelph restaurant, Thuy and Sydney are happy to welcome back their regulars, and also greet some new customers with a fresh face.

The Cornerstone boasts a fully vegetarian and vegan menu. Thuy and Sydney's vision for the restaurant is anchored in community, environment, and fresh food and the ways in which they intersect.

Together, Thuy and Sydney aim to grow and sustain the close-knit community of Guelph through food, coffee events and live music. 

About the meal:

Made with cremini mushrooms, pinto beans, and avocado, these veggie enchiladas are sure to impress! Celebrate the fact that you are enjoying delicious comfort food while also eating lots of healthy vegetables.

These enchiladas are served with both spicy red chilli sauce and a more mild cilantro pesto on the side, you choose which one you like best! 

This meal is vegan. It can be made Gluten Free upon request by substituting the wheat tortillas.

Ingredients:

Cremini mushrooms, pinto beans, coriander, avocado, onion, garlic, chilli powder, cumin, allspice, black pepper.
Red Chilli Sauce: Red peppers, red onions, garlic, chilli flakes, salt, canola oil, sriracha.
Cilantro Pesto: Green peppers, cilantro, pepitas, canola oil, salt, cane sugar, cumin, coriander. Avocado in the Enchilada wrap.

July 2022's Meal 

Prepared by Chef Vita from Miijidaa.

The Better Food Co is excited to partner with Chef Vita from Miijidaa!

Miijidaa is one of downtown Guelph's favorite restaurants because of their inspired dishes. The word ‘Miijidaa’ is from the Ojibway language. It loosely translates to “let’s eat.”

Miijidaa and Chef Vita are passionate about celerating the cuisines, foods, and influences around us that have come to define Canadian cuisine, and about showing off our Northern bounty.
Piri Piri Energy Bowl

About the meal:
The Piri Piri Energy Bowl by Miijidaa is jam packed with wholesome ingredients, creating a delicious, vibrant meal that will power you through your day.
Smoked tofu, elora lentils, and toasted pumpkin seeds provide a great balance of different healthy ingredients, which are sure to provide you with all that good energy you need during the busy summer months!
This is one flavour-filled, protein-packed, hearty meal that’s good for the whole family.
Ingredients:

Smoked tofu, elora lentils, chickpeas, tomato sauce, roasted sweet potato, spinach, toasted pumpkin seeds, vegan piri piri dressing. 

This meal is vegan and gluten-free. 

June 2022's Meal 

Prepared by Kris Simmons from S&V Uptown.

The Better Food Co is excited to partner with Chef Kris Simmons from S&V Uptown!

His passion and love for quality ingredients is felt through the dishes he creates. He truly takes the time to respect and appreciate every component on the plate.

Kris Simmons and S&V Uptown are focused on using the ingredients around them and what local farms have, making them the perfect fit for our June meal!

 

Pasta Primavera. About the meal:

With colourful vegetables, fresh herbs, and delicious garlic pesto sauce, this pasta primavera is the perfect spring and summer dish. Primavera means spring in Italian, after all! It's a refreshing, delicious, and filling dish, you won't want to miss out on this one! Beautifully garnished with edible flowers and micro greens.

Ingredients:

Young baby carrots, green onion, sweet peas, shaved radish, garlic pesto sauce, linguine pasta, chives/parsley/lemon zest and juice, kosher salt, cracked black pepper, rasped manchego cheese, edible flowers, and micro greens.

Note the meal is vegetarian because it contains cheese. We are taking special requests to remove the cheese for those who are vegan. Just send us a note and we'll sort it out!

 

May 2022's Meal

Prepared by Chef Paddy Townsend from La Reina.

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The meal I have chosen is inspired by my desire to create a healthy and affordable offering for those in need in our community. At the same time, being able to bring to them the flavours and techniques of traditional Mexican food.

An effective community food system is one that is being contributed to and prepared by as many local businesses as possible to create the largest pool of resources for those in need throughout our community.

King Oyster Mushroom Plate

About the meal:

The juicy, earthy texture of glazed cremini and king oyster mushrooms makes this vegetarian plate hearty and delicious. The incorporation of Mexican red rice, refried beans, and sautéed peppers, onion, and zucchini adds texture, colour, and taste. The tanginess and kick from the pickled onions and pasilla chiles finishes the dish off to make a well rounded and flavoursome plate. 

This meal is vegetarian, gluten-free and contains cheese. Can be made vegan upon request. 

Ingredients:

Cremini and king oysters mushrooms, Mexican red rice, refried beans, sautéed vegetables (poblano peppers, red bell peppers, red onion, white onion, zucchini), pickled onions, cotija cheese, pasilla chiles.

 

April 2022's Meal

Prepared by Community Chef Kay Miller.
Chef Kay Miller has over a decade of experience in the food industry. She has her own catering company, Braai Butter, that specializes in South African food. Braai is a South African word for BBQ and Butter incorporates her pastry background.
Wanting to be a part of a better food system, Chef Kay accepted an opportunity to be the community chef at Hope House. As part of her role, she also supports Hope House and their partnerships in community with organizations like Parkwood Gardens Neighbourhood Group.
Chef Kay prepared two meals for us:
Carrot Korma
About the meal:
The carrot korma is inspired by a very popular East Indian dish.
It is a warm and deeply flavorful dish with tropical notes of coconut and cashews. Slow roasted carrots provide a unique sweetness to this typically heavy meal and bursts of fresh cilantro helps the move from dark winter weather to warm spring sun. It's served on a base of aged basmati rice.
This meal is vegan and contains cashews.
Ingredients:
Carrot, tomato, cashew, oil, garlic, spices, seasonings, coconut milk, cilantro, basmati rice.
Kale Palak Paneer
About the meal:
The vibrant green kale makes a beautiful addition to this vegetarian classic. Aromatic garam masala stewed palak creates a refreshing base to the protein packed creamy buffalo milk soft cheese. Aged basmati rice completes this exotic summer ready meal with the nutrients of homegrown community sustaining produce.
This meal is vegetarian and includes dairy.
Ingredients:
Kale, spinach, paneer, cilantro, butter, oil, garlic, spices & seasonings, cream, onion, basmati rice
 

March 2022's Meal

Prepared by Chef Johl Whiteduck Ringuette.

Chef Johl is Anishnaabeg and Algonquin. He was born in North Bay, Ontario, and his grandmother is from Nippissing First Nation.
He is the owner of NishDish Marketeria & Catering, a Toronto restaurant focused on traditional Anishnaabeg food, and also the founder of the Ojibiikaan Indigenous Cultural Network, an organization advocating for Indigenous Food Sovereignty.
Education about Indigenous Food Sovereignty is an important part of NishDish and is part of Johl's passion to rebuild Indigenous food lines.
It's part of the journey of trying to get everybody - Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people - to turn our consciousness to our relationship to food, our relationship to land, our relationship to plants, and what it takes to have an understanding of that balance.

Chef Johl prepared two meals for us:

Three Sisters Stew & Wild Rice - With Elk Sausage

About the meal:

“The Three Sisters (corn, beans and squash) have been cultivated together for many thousands of years by Indigenous farmers in the traditional agro-ecology - they provide a complete nutrition for the body and when grown in this way they also nourish the soil.”

"The ‘Three Sisters’ is also a teaching about the different roles that each one brings, how they thrive together and mutually benefit each other. Stories and teachings of the ‘Three Sisters’ story are shared by many Indigenous traditions."

“Manoomin (wild rice) is an important part of the original diet of the original people on the land, and these food lines no longer exist, so they have to be completely restored."

“From the Anishinaabe creation story, and one of the reasons we got here to the territories of the Great Lakes, we know that Nanabozho led us to the wild rice waters during a time of starvation. We began to follow those paths of wild rice, which is one of the reasons we're known as the wild rice people.”

Ingredients:

We don't normally sell dishes with meat, but we've made an exception for our March meal as Elk is part of the Anishinaabe diet. Sourced from Indigenous communities where possible.

Three Sisters Stew: Butternut squash, green beans, sweet corn, garlic, vegetable broth, dill, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Wild Rice Casserole: Wild rice, brown rice, celery, mushrooms, mixed peppers, rice vinegar, sunflower oil, parsley, salt and pepper.

Elk Sausage: Elk, cranberries, chicken fat, herbs. This is a sample size portion of Elk Sausage.

Three Sisters Stew & Wild Rice - With Black Beans

Ingredients:

A vegan dish. Sourced from the Indigenous communities where possible.

Three Sisters Stew: Butternut squash, green beans, sweet corn, garlic, vegetable broth, dill, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Wild Rice Casserole: Wild rice, brown rice, celery, mushrooms, mixed peppers, rice vinegar, sunflower oil, parsley, salt and pepper.

Black Beans: Black beans, spices, onion, olive oil.

 

February 2022's Meal

Prepared by Chef Yasi Zorlutuna.
Chef Yasi has been working in the hospitality industry for over 20 years including running her own restaurant, teaching hands-on cooking classes, and large scale cooking at the University of Guelph.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Chef Yasi worked with the team at the SEED producing the meals for their emergency home delivery program.
Most recently she has been working with the GNSC and Our Food Future to launch a Community Food Truck that addresses food insecurity.
Chef Yasi prepared two soups for us:
Lentil & Tahini Soup:

About the meal:

"The soup is inspired by a Moroccan stew and it is a party in your mouth. There is texture, flavour, and the tahini brings that bit of creaminess. I love the combination of cumin and cinnamon together because it makes it both sweet and spicy."

"I use this dish in my cooking to show the amazingness that can be created from plant-based ingredients. The flavours are exciting and adding the pomegranate molasses, olive oil, and fresh herb finish brings it home and will make you feel energized." 

The soup is 24oz (a double serving) and includes a side of flatbread from SAFA Middle Eastern in Guelph.

Ingredients:

Vegan. Sourced from Hope House's farm or from Ontario when possible.

Lentils, onions, carrots, butternut squash, potatoes, celery, tomato, vegetable broth, dry mint, chili flakes, cinnamon sticks, cumin, coriander, walnuts, parsley, tahini, garlic, ginger, pomegranate molasses. 

Minted Yogurt & Chickpea Soup:

About the meal:

"The combination of the sour from the yogurt and the freshness from the mint is soothing and it's a soup you can serve in the dead of winter to warm you up and make you feel refreshed."

"The mint, yogurt, and red pepper paste uses flavours from Turkish cuisine and it reminds me of my aunt Bahar who I visited every summer as a child in Turkey. She made this Minted Yogurt soup for me after I had my first child, so this soup to me feels like that love and maternal care."

The soup is 24oz (a double serving) and includes a side of flatbread from SAFA Middle Eastern in Guelph.

Ingredients:

Vegetarian. Sourced from Hope House's farm or from Ontario when possible.

Chickpeas, carrots, onions, vegetable broth, butter, mint, potatoes, parsley, celery, yogurt, red pepper paste, flour, white rice, lemon. Served with flatbread. 

 

January 2022's Meal

Prepared by Chef Dan Baker.

Chef Dan Baker is the Executive Chef of Delicious Direct and an avid Hope House supporter. He has over 30 years of experience in food service and is a Red Seal Certified Chef.

Dan created Delicious Direct to offer nutritious and full course meals at an affordable price in the Guelph area. All recipes are made using fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients, and are reviewed by health care professionals to ensure the meals are healthy and balanced.

Chef Dan prepared the Black Bean Loaf & Risotto for us:

Black Bean Loaf & Risotto:

"Our Black Bean Loaf is a savoury take on the classic meatloaf dish. It is drizzled with a delicious homemade marinara sauce with a side of cinnamon glazed carrots. To balance the meal, we've prepared a creamy steel-cut oat Risotto mixed with Hope House butternut squash and kale."

"This is a filling winter meal made with healthy and local ingredients." 

Ingredients:

Vegetarian. Sourced from Hope House's farm or from Ontario when possible.

Black Bean Loaf with Marinara: Black Turtle Beans, Celery, Pepper, Garlic, Worchestershire Sauce, Tomato, Egg, Bread Crumbs, Seasoning, Tomatoes, Spanish Onion

Risotto & Carrots: Red Onion, Butternut Squash, Kale, Steel-cut Oats, Garlic, Parmesan Cheese, Butter, Lemon Juice, Seasoning, Carrots

December 2021's Meal

Prepared by Chef Kay Miller.

Chef Kay is Hope House's new Community Chef.

With deep roots in South African cooking and few avenues for practice, Kay Miller focused her decade long career working among the best rated restaurants in Guelph learning the different styles, techniques and flavor profiles of Canadian culture.

With award winning fusion recipes and an unfaltering dedication to scratch-based cooking, she rose to running several successful locations where she began consulting on new menu designs and food service branding.

Chef Miller prepared the Squash & Peanut Winter Stew for us:

Squash & Peanut Winter Stew:

"Our stew has warm familiar flavours of roasted peanuts infused with exotic smokey coriander seed and Hope House's delicata squash. This meal is made entirely of local products and a vegan relief to heavy Christmas fare overload."

Ingredients:

Vegan. All ingredients sourced from Hope House's farm or within Southern Ontario. Containers are BPI and ASTM Certified compostable.

Carrot, onion, squash, garlic, tomato, micro-greens (corn, cilantro, pea, broccoli), brown lentils, roasted peanuts, coriander seed, vegetable stock, cornstarch, apple cider.

 

November 2021's Meal

Prepared by Chef Jonathan Gushue.

 

Jonathan is one of Canada's most decorated chefs.


He has been recognized as Ontario's and Canada's Chef of the Year. He was a competitor on Iron Chef Canada. He was formerly the Executive Chef for Elora Mill, Langdon Hall, and Fogo Island Inn.

His proudest career accomplishment is working with and training chefs, some for over 10 years. He has enjoyed seeing them grow, change, and now run their own kitchens.

Chef Gushue prepared two meals for us:

Squash & Sage Lasagna:

"It's a warm spiced fall harvest lasagna with sweet roasted butternut sliced with lacinato kale and blanketed in a caramelized garlic sauce, topped with autumn sage. Designed to warm your soul after a cold Canadian day."

Ingredients:

Vegetarian, 100% Made in Guelph.

Ricotta, shredded cheese, lasagna sheets, butternut squash, olive oil, brown sugar, butter, garlic, flour, whole milk, grated nutmeg, kale, basil, pecan pieces, fresh sage, salt, pepper.

Root Vegetable Curry:

“The vegetable curry is our most well-rounded dish, it has a bit of spice but it’s not spicy. Because of the mustard seed and ginger, it leans a little towards the bright or aggressive, but again, it’s balanced really well with the tomato and also the apricot. It’s comforting and it’s relaxing.”
“We started with onion and garlic as a nice base. It’s more of a substantial dish in the way of flavour. We added turmeric in there to lift it up and it also mellows out the tomato in our curry. The dried apricot adds a bit of fun and gives it the appearance of a more sweet and sour dish. The shredded coconut at the end gives it a nutty edge. I love texture in food so the toasted shredded coconut adds that bit of crunch.”
Ingredients:
Vegan, 100% Made in Guelph.
Root vegetables (carrot, turnip), potato, garlic, onion, ginger, curry powder, mustard seed, turmeric, crushed tomato, dried apricot, shredded coconut.

 

 

October 2021's Meal

Prepared by Crafty Ramen

 

A message from Jared & Miki, founders of Crafty Ramen:

"Crafty Ramen was founded in a city that has supported us so greatly from the beginning. It's important that we take time to participate in our community and be part of a meaningful initiative like The Better Food Company. If a project benefits our community, it benefits us all."

Crafty Ramen prepared The Harvest Bowl for us:

The Harvest Bowl:

 "The name speaks for itself - it is a harvest bowl. It looks and tastes and feels like the harvest, in a bowl of ramen. It has the autumn colours in it, the browns and the greens. When you bite into the wonton itself, it has the yellow of the corn, and the flavours of the potatoes and onions."

"You also have the cabbage and the carrots of the slaw, and a beautiful piece of squash to top it all off."

Ingredients:

Vegan, all harvest produce grown in Guelph.

Thin noodles, vegetarian stock, miso vegetarian broth, kohlrabi & carrot slaw, squash, wonton skins, potatoes, corn, onions, apple.

September 2021's Meal

Prepared by Executive Chef Jonathan Gushue

 

Jonathan is one of Canada's most decorated chefs.


He has been recognized as Ontario's and Canada's Chef of the Year. He was a competitor on Iron Chef Canada. He was formerly the Executive Chef for Elora Mill, Langdon Hall, and Fogo Island Inn.

His proudest career accomplishment is working with and training chefs, some for over 10 years. He has enjoyed seeing them grow, change, and now run their own kitchens.

"I believe in sense-of-place cooking This means cooking using the food and the cues around you. For example, we decided on using carrots. But what grows around the carrot? Are there underground streams connecting to other vegetables? Local is also more than just the product, it's also the people. You can learn a lot from the area. It's a cycle of shared knowledge."


Jonathan prepared three meals for us, which sold out in 72 hours!

 

Beet & Lentil Stew

"If you’re looking for a nutritious and ultimately all-around satisfying dish, our Beet & Lentil Stew is it. It’s got sweet, salty and nutty flavours, and a great texture."
“To me, a beet is totally complete. It has a lot of character and a lot of natural perceived acidity that balances the sweetness. I love the way that the sweetness of the beets goes with the walnuts and the cumin, combined with the backdrop finish of the fresh orange juice, which brightens up the entire dish. You get everything in this dish. The lentils provide an instant energy, and we finish it off with feta, which is grimy and salty.”
Ingredients:
Vegetarian, 100% Made in Guelph.
Beets, walnuts, cumin, orange juice, feta, kale, lentils.
 

Root Vegetable Curry

“The vegetable curry is our most well-rounded dish, it has a bit of spice but it’s not spicy. Because of the mustard seed and ginger, it leans a little towards the bright or aggressive, but again, it’s balanced really well with the tomato and also the apricot. It’s comforting and it’s relaxing.”
“We started with onion and garlic as a nice base. It’s more of a substantial dish in the way of flavour. We added turmeric in there to lift it up and it also mellows out the tomato in our curry. The dried apricot adds a bit of fun and gives it the appearance of a more sweet and sour dish. The shredded coconut at the end gives it a nutty edge. I love texture in food so the toasted shredded coconut adds that bit of crunch.”
Ingredients:
Vegan, 100% Made in Guelph.
Root vegetables (carrot, turnip), potato, garlic, onion, ginger, curry powder, mustard seed, turmeric, crushed tomato, dried apricot, shredded coconut.

Carrot & Almond Chili

“Some food may slow you down, but this isn’t it. This is a dish that will provide you the energy you need for the day. It’s uplifting. The carrot is the focus of this meal. We added the white beans and almonds in there for your protein, and the potatoes were added for texture.”
"We wanted to bring all these things together, the garlic, especially the ginger, cumin, coriander, and even the cinnamon, to help bring out the flavours of these carrots. We added some warmer spices, and we also added some brighter flavours like the fresh chili. We framed this like a southwestern chili.”
Ingredients:
Vegan, 100% Made in Guelph.
Carrot, almond, potato, white beans, onion, garlic, ginger, fresh chili, cumin, coriander ground, cinnamon, raisins, brown sugar, red wine vinegar.