Hello from chilly southern Ontario!
Was anyone else less than excited to have to bust out the snow brush a few times over the past week? And did anyone realize they’d removed their snow brush from their car in the spring and couldn’t remember where they put it? (Raises hand.) The snow is here and I don’t think it’s going to go away, so I’ve purchased an enormous snow brush with a telescopic handle and super strong bristles. I’m hoping that having such a ridiculous looking tool at the ready will mean never having to use it!
I have a really awesome salad recipe for you today, but before that, there’s also something super exciting to share. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned how I’d been invited to attend a special blogger event at Goodness Me, a natural food market that has 6 locations across southern Ontario with several more (including Waterloo!) to come. If you’re thinking “why is she so excited about a grocery store?”, hear me out. Goodness Me is about a whole lot more than just groceries!
How it all started
Goodness Me was founded by one amazingly passionate and talented woman by the name of Janet Jacks and her husband Scott in 1981. After Scott was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Janet began a relentless pursuit for information on how to deal with and prevent this disease. She learned about the healing power of whole foods, and after witnessing the impact first hand on her husband, knew that she wanted to help others see the same results.
Janet and Scott opened their first Goodness Me location in Hamilton, Ontario, and at the time it was one of the only resources available for people to find natural supplements, whole foods, and information about how to improve their health and nutrition. Janet’s mission was to discover, educate, and offer healthy living products, and I think you’ll agree that you don’t find that at the average grocery store.
What it’s become
Janet is still as active as ever in the running of all things business, community and education-related at Goodness Me, but her passion for health and helping people has also ignited the same passion in others. The team has grown to hundreds of knowledgeable, friendly staff dedicated to customer success, and Goodness Me’s presence is continuing to grow across Ontario.
In the physical locations, you can expect to find:
- Organic & natural groceries, often locally sourced
- 100% organic fresh produce (it’s where I found the watermelon radish that I talked about a couple of weeks ago!)
- High quality natural supplements
- Natural dairy products
- Products to support a healthy lifestyle, such as juicers, blenders and cookware
- Educational books, cookbooks, classes, and courses (some in person, some online)
- Lifewatchers, a 10 week healthy living program
- Bulk foods
- Knowledgeable staff & awesome customer service
- Resources for all your health questions
- Goodness eatery & bakery (in some locations), including salad bar, smoothie bar, juice bar, hot meals, wraps and packages salads, cookies, muffins, pies, and more! Guys, this is one of my favourite parts. I was salivating at some of the things they had in the eatery!
Now they’re online too!
Goodness Me’s online store has just opened, which means you don’t have to live near one of the stores to get in on the goodness, and that’s especially exciting to me since our Waterloo location isn’t due to open until early 2015. If you’ve ever seen a healthy ingredient used on one of your favourite food blogs but can’t find it in your local area, I think you’ll be happy to hear about this too! (The Coconut Oil Butter Ghee Cooking Spray that I talked about here is from Goodness Me, and it’s the best coconut oil spray I’ve managed to track down yet.)
In the online store, you’ll find…
- Organic & natural groceries
- High quality natural supplements
- Educational books and cookbooks
- Healthy gourmet recipes
- Resources to answer your health questions
- Live customer service
- Webinars with international and local health experts
I’ve spent a fair bit of time browsing around the site and have to say I’m really liking what I see. Each product has plenty of information listed along with it that explains its health benefits, nutrition details, and uses. There’s a category search, plus the ability to search by brand or health badge.
In addition to being a source for finding products that I (and perhaps many of you) don’t have access to in your local grocery stores, another thing that’s awesome about the online store is their super speedy shipping and totally reasonable flat rates. Oh, and if your order is over $59 (and let’s be real, that wouldn’t be difficult to do), shipping is free. Convenient, right?
A special surprise for YOU
As one of Goodness Me’s blogger ambassadors, I’m thrilled to support the company because I love their enthusiasm and passion for making the world a healthier place by spreading the ‘eat real food’ message. I’m also thrilled to be able to offer all of you an exclusive 20% discount on your first order from the online store. All you need to do is select your items, head to the checkout, and enter discount code EatSpinRun (not case sensitive) for 20% off.
And now for that salad….
Browsing around the produce section and aisles during my last Goodness Me visit inspired this vibrant, seasonal salad that tastes just as good as it looks. If you’re feeling the need to branch out from your standard salad ingredients, definitely give this one a shot!
Roasted Apple and Squash Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Ingredients (2 servings)
For the dressing:
- 2 tsp walnut, almond, or olive oil
- 1 tsp raw honey (or a pinch of stevia to make it vegan)
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (dark or white both work)
- 2 tbsp pomegranate juice (you can make your own from a fresh pomegranate using this method, or use a bottled pomegranate juice
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
For the rest:
- 1 firm and slightly tart apple (crispin or honeycrisp are ideal!)
- 1 delicata squash, seeded and cut into rings
- 1 tsp each dried thyme and oregano
- 1 tsp olive oil (or spray in a mister)
- 6 cups rainbow chard, chopped
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds/pepitas, raw or roasted
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Core the apple and chop it into bite-sized chunks. Slice the squash cross-wise into rings about 1cm thick, scraping out any seeds with a knife or spoon.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and scatter the apples and squash on top. Spray lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme and oregano.
- Roast the apples and squash in the oven for 20 minutes, broiling for the last 1-2 minutes to crisp the edges.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the dressing and set aside.
- In a frying pan misted with olive oil, lightly sautee the greens until they just begin to wilt. They should be bright in colour and this should only take 1-2 minutes once the pan is hot.
- Divide the chard between two plates or bowls. When the apples and squash are finished cooking, divide them between the servings, as well as the pumpkin seeds and pomegranate arils.
- Serve with dressing (warm or cold) on the side.
Now I’d love to hear…
- Do you find it difficult to find natural and organic groceries in your area?
- Would you say that reliable information about health and wellness is fairly accessible where you live?
- Favourite fall salad ingredient? I can’t pick just one – it’s a great big 4-way tie between apples, pomegranates, squash and Brussels sprouts!