If you never had the opportunity to eat at the original Nature's Garden Organic Deli at SFU between January 2005 & August 2014 you may well wonder what's the big deal.
My specialty is adapting recipes to improve the flavour, texture, appearance and ease of preparation. When deciding on what to serve I always had a flavour in mind that I wanted to create. Recipes were tweaked, changed and created until that flavour was achieved. This was especially true of the gluten-free baked goods. Recipes were often dry and flavourless but after many adjustments and customer feedback we were able to create some very unique and delicious choices.
It is these recipes that became a big deal to our customers as reflected in the many requests for recipes over the years.
The food at Nature's Garden was made from scratch using only organic, natural, free-range and fair-trade ingredients. We practiced sustainable methods by buying organic grains, flours and beans in bulk bags and soaking and cooking for ourselves. Our organic fruit and vegetables came fresh in large boxes and we did the chopping and grating by hand.
We purchased as much local organic produce and organic, non-medicated free-range meat as was available. Everything was cooked on the premises except the breads used for panini and sandwiches which were made by local organic bakeries.
It was our mandate to create a natural environment where customers could feel at home and enjoy healthy, delicious food made right there on Burnaby Mountain. We were the healthy alternative to the fast food available on Simon Fraser University campus.
Nature's Garden Favourites Cookbook is in response to very many requests for favourite recipes over the nearly ten years that Bill and I owned and operated the original Nature's Garden at SFU.
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When Dolores and Bill left Burnaby Mountain, they left an empty spot in the community they had created around Nature's Garden. Not only did Dolores' cooking and baking give healthy fare a good name, wholesome food was served in an atmosphere that encouraged good conversation. I remember the warmth of tasty vegetarian soups served with a biscuit, their variety of quiches with flaky crust, their hearty bison panini, and their guilt free chocolate zucchini cupcakes. They got me eating my veggies and loving it.
But most of all, I miss just sitting around chatting with Bill and Dolores, who knew their regular customers by name. That's the spice that makes the already good food even better.
Marela Dichupa, PhD
Lecturer at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC
"When I think of healthy, wholesome good food on SFU's Burnaby campus, Nature's Garden definitely was on top of my list. Dolores, Bill and the NG crew were attentive and keen to serve customers by providing the highest quality of food and service. Their orzo salad was like none other (and my husband calls me a carnivore!)"
Simon Fraser University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University
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