Bringing Toronto Back To Its Feet

Recovery can’t be done on empty stomachs, so we’re doing our part to nourish Toronto and help it get back to its feet. Putting safe and healthy food on Canadian families’ tables has always been our mission, so we’re incredibly proud to be working with MLSE, Bell, BMO, and Rogers to make 13,000 meals a day for front-line workers, food banks, and shelters. 

Nourishing Toronto

They say homemade meals are better because they’re made with love, and right now, love and nourishment are crucial. To feed the city we love, we’re helping the #BringTorontoback team make meals using Toronto’s home-fields, BMO Field and Scotiabank Arena. Led by MLSE, these facilities have been transformed into Toronto’s two largest kitchens, making thousands of meals everyday by hand for Toronto’s hungry. We’ve donated over $500,000 worth of chicken products, and our teams are working with our incredible, generous partners to make sure these meals get to the people who need it.

#FamilyFirst

Our goal has always been to ensure Canadian families have access to safe, healthy, and wholesome food. And while this pandemic has changed so much, that goal  has not, and will not change.  When the going gets tough, uncertain, and unprecedented, we do our absolute best to make sure families have good food on the table.

Thank You For Doing Your Part

We’ve never faced anything like this before, but together, we’re figuring out the best way to get through it: hard work, diligence, and love. We’re so inspired to see businesses and individuals stepping up and helping out, because big or small, every effort to flatten the curve helps. For everything you are doing, the Maple Lodge Farm family thanks you.

You can help Get Toronto Back To Its Feet too: donate to Second Harvest and help feed hungry Canadians here.

To learn more about our partnership with MLSE and and the incredible work #BringTorontoBack is doing, click here

Winter Family Activity Guide

Winter is here! It’s time to bundle up and enjoy everything this season has to offer. We have put together a guide with a wide range of winter family activities that anyone from the outdoor lovers to the indoorsy types will enjoy. 

Santa Claus Parade

Kick off the festivities with a touch of whimsy! What better way to get in the holiday spirit than by attending the Santa Claus parade? This annual parade is popular for its elaborate display of holiday cheer, which includes floats, elves, and even Santa himself. If you don’t live in Toronto, there are parades in almost every city including Winnipeg, Ottawa and Banff.

 

Board Game Café

Don’t want to venture outdoors? You can still have fun indoors! Make it a family fun day by enjoying hot chocolate and board games at a board game cafe. Popular cafes include For The Win and Snakes and Lattes. Be sure to check out what’s available in your city.

Family Fun on the Ice

Skating is one of the most popular winter activities and for good reason! It’s a great way to get outside with your family and have some fun.  If you’re in Toronto, there are plenty of exciting places to skate  like Nathan Phillips Square and the Bentway. If you’re in Ottawa (or want to plan a trip to experience an epic destination for fun winter activities) be sure to visit the world’s most famous – and breathtaking – skating site at Rideau Canal! Whether you choose an outdoor destination or your local indoor rink, we guarantee it’s an activity the whole family will love!

Light Festivals

The festive light displays are arguably the best part of the holiday season. Glow Gardens will be lighting up different cities across Canada starting this month in Vancouver. It will be one of the world’s largest indoor Christmas festivals featuring live music, delicious food, art and lots of lights!

No matter what you are celebrating this holiday season, or who you are celebrating with, there are plenty of winter activities to enjoy. Get outside and have some winter fun!

Quick Dinner Hack: One-Pan Chicken Souvlaki

This is a guest blog post by the GG Sisters. 

With all the extra-curricular activities happening after school, quick and easy dinners are a must in both our households.

And of course, we are using our fave Maple Lodge Farms® Fresh From The Farm® Chicken breast for this recipe.

Ingredients for Chicken Souvlaki:

  • 1 Pack of Maple Lodge Farms® Fresh From The Farm® Chicken Breast cut in cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of oregano
  • 125 ml of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 squeezed lemon
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 red and yellow peppers
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Pack of Pitas
  • Feta

Directions:

  1. Create marinade and mix oregano, olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon, salt, garlic, and pepper.
  2. Place chicken in marinade and let it sit in fridge for 3 to 4 hours covered.
  3. Cut red onion, peppers, tomatoes and place to one side of pan and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Add chicken to other side of pan.
  5. Put in oven for 20 minutes last two minutes turn to broil for a nice crunch.
  6. Serve in a warm pita and add fresh tzatziki & feta. Recipe below.

Tzatziki

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of a large cucumber grated and drain excess water
  • 1 1/2 cups plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Mix altogether and leave in fridge overnight and serve!

We also have some big news… you can catch us cooking LIVE on Saturday, November 2nd, 2019 from The Royal Winter Fair in Toronto! We are going to be cooking this recipe for everyone, so pop in and come join our cooking show!

Make sure you enter the MLF giveaway contest to see us there!

This blog was sponsored by Maple Lodge Farms® however all thoughts and ideas are our own.

 

Halloween-inspired Recipes

This is a guest post by the GG sisters; keep reading for spooktacular snacks your kids are sure to love!

Every Halloween we always find ourselves in a rush to have dinner ready and get the kids out the door so they can go trick-or-treating. This Halloween, we decided to change things up and create an easy Halloween-themed dinner that is not only fun but super delicious! Read on to see how to make our Spooky Pulled Chicken Dip & Jack-O-Lantern Quesadillas (using Maple Lodge Farms® Fresh From The Farm® chicken of course!).

 

Jack-o-lantern_quesadilla

Jack -O- Lantern Quesadilla’s

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Place chicken breasts, salsa, onion, salt, pepper, olive oil, and taco seasoning for 3 to 4 hours in slow- cooker.
  2. At 3 hours and 15 minutes mark, grab a fork and start shredding the kitchen with a fork and then let it cook for remainder of time in slow-cooker.
  3. While chicken is slow -cooking start making pumpkins out of your tortillas. Tip: Use scissors, it’s much easier.
  4. Now it’s time to create. Have one flat tortilla (not cut) shell and drop some shredded chicken on it, then add shredded cheese so it’s all orange. Then add cut out pumpkin.
  5. Place in oven at 400 F for 10 minutes.

Spooky Pulled Chicken Dip

Ingredients

Directions:

  1. Grab a deep-dish bowl.
  2. Spread the salsa for the first layer.
  3. Add shredded chicken (If you are making both recipes use remainder of chicken from above) for the second layer.
  4. Add a generous amount of cheese for the third layer (not all of it – save some for the top part).
  5. Layer 4- ½ of the red pepper chopped up.
  6. Add aour cream (you will need some for later).
  7. Add Quacamole. Spread and pat everything down with a spatula.
  8. Create a border with the remainder of your shredded cheese
  9. Add olives around edges (but save two to create a spider!).
  10. Add cut cherry tomatoes and onions around border.
  11. Get remainder of sour cream, put in a zip lock bag and cut a hole on the end.
  12. Draw circles in the middle with your sour cream bag and then lines across each circle to make it look like a spider web in the middle.
  13. Cut up a few olives and make a spider out of olives and place in the middle of web.
  14. Serve with chips!

Happy Halloween friends!

If you try these recipes let us know, we would love to see how they turned out for you.

This post was sponsored by Maple Lodge Farms®, however all thoughts and ideas are our own.

Fall Family Activity Guide

Fall is finally here! Take advantage of the crisp air and beautiful fall colours by rounding up the family, bundling up and heading outside. With school back in full swing, the weekends are the perfect time for some family fun. What better way to make the most of your weekend than by embracing the season with fall-inspired activities?

Children carving pumpkins

Pumpkin Carving

Let’s get creative! What better way to get excited about Halloween than by sculpting your own Jack-O-Lantern? Pumpkin carving can be messy but it’s also a great way to get your creative juices flowing while spending quality time together. Grab a pumpkin at your local farm and get carving!

Fall warm beverage

DIY Fall Drinks

It’s that time of year again; time to indulge in your favourite fall flavours! Looking for a rainy-day activity or something to do when it’s too chilly outside? How about getting in the kitchen and concocting some fall flavoured drinks! Why not try adding pumpkin spice to your traditional hot cocoa or turning a glass of apple cider into a punch? If pumpkin spice isn’t your thing, try adding a hint of cinnamon to your favourite drink. Pair your drink with a movie and a fuzzy blanket and you have the perfect rainy Sunday activity! 

Apple picking with kids

Apple Picking

Support local farmers and get picking! This fall tradition has become popular for good reason; it’s a great way to get outside and spend time with the family. Apple picking is a favourite for all ages and no matter where you live, there’s bound to be a farm near you. Most farms offer other activities for kids like mazes, hayrides and petting zoos; no one’s getting bored here!

 

Not sure what to do with your apple haul? Make lunchtime more fun by going beyond the classic apple pie and making an Apple Chicken Grilled Cheese!

Bundle up and get ready to fall in love!

A Beginner’s Guide to Bento Boxes

It’s that time of year again where routines are back after a long summer of not worrying about packing lunches, what can or can’t be inside of them, and all the stresses that back to school brings. Keeping your kids excited about their lunches can be hard, but I have found creating fun sandwiches in a bento box style can do just the trick! 

What is a Bento Box?

The ancient Japanese tradition of packing lunch in a bento box, a decorative container with small compartments, is the latest trend these days. The dividers make packing lunch easy and help store different items in a single container (meaning less dishes to wash!)You can easily put these lunches together with the help of a few cookie cutters or creative thinking; bento boxes may just be the answer to getting your child to eat hidden veggies and other healthy items! I love putting things like cucumber, carrots, celery, and other less popular items  into my kids’ fun sandwiches, which then makes them want to eat it 

Easy & Healthy Bento Box Lunch Recipes

My go-to sandwiches always include Maple Lodge Farms ® Natural From The Farm® Oven Roasted Chicken Breast, as it adds such a great flavour while also being gluten-free, full of protein, and made with natural ingredients. Deli meats can be a very difficult thing to add as they are typically packed full of sodium, which can turn your healthy sandwich to a very unhealthy one and fast! Maple Lodge Farms® Natural From The Farm® deli has 25% less salt than the leading brands (Per 55g vs the leading natural chicken and turkey deli brand), which makes them my go-to! I love pairing it with a slice of good cheese in the sandwich as well and swapping chicken out with the Oven Roasted Turkey Breast to change it up from time to time. Their Spicy BBQ Cooked Chicken Breast is also in my mama lunches quite regularly! 

The kids love getting excited to see what sort of shape the sandwich is in, or the note snuck inside, or whatever surprise you add on the side! I love to send quality and healthy food on the sides with these boxes, such as strawberries, grapes, almonds, celery and carrot sticks, etc. and all of these items can be creatively added as well, changing them into little creatures or whatever you come up with! 

Lunchtime is such a highlight of our child’s day, why not make it a highlight for you? Comment below if you’ve tried bento boxes below!

P.s. Download this Back To School Checklist to get organized this back to school season!

Download PDF

Back To School Guide For Busy Moms

It’s back to school time, which is always exciting yet overwhelming with all the changes, new routines and schedules! It is always chaos in the September month, so nailing down breakfast and lunch making routine is key to get the kiddos out on time and fed well! With all of the allergies and food intolerance’s in kids these days, giving them healthy and clean ingredients is key to keeping them fueled and energized throughout their long days. Our new morning routines involve utter chaos, so having quick and healthy meal options for on the go is a necessity!

Sandwiches are the most loved food group with kiddos, so we’ve made a few different Maple Lodge Farm’s deli recipes to help us get through this busy time. We love their Natural From The Farm deli as it is made with all-natural ingredients, contains 25% less sodium than the leading brands, is gluten-free and has 21% meat protein! It is also sugar-free (for all oven roasted flavours).

We love to add these deli slices to whatever we can, so here are a few recipes we have tried and fell in love with, and will be included in lunches for this coming year!

Rainbow Veggie Pinwheels is one of our family favourites, so much so that we pack them for our adventures, road trips, and make them during the week for our own lunches. We change up the veggies inside from time to time, but we never replace the Deli meat, which adds amazing flavour! It is also an amazing way to sneak all of the vegetables into a meal for your picky kiddos, there is a major mom hack right there.

Our other favourite is the incredibly tasty Apple and Chicken Grilled Cheese – oh my, is this one absolute perfection. The kids love the sweet apple flavour, and the combination of the Natural from The Farm Spicy BBQ Cooked Chicken Breast meat, jalapeno cheese, and sourdough bread brings us so much joy. It is also super easy and quick to put together, lasts great in little lunch boxes, and once again, is a great option for sneaking in a veggie option or two!

We have made a lot of goals this year to spend more quality time together and be the healthiest and happiest we can be. So spending less time meal prepping food and more time together is a huge win for us, and these recipes allow us to do both!

Check out the Maple Lodge Farms website for other quick and delicious recipes for your school year, and enjoy every bite!

Looking for more ways to make the back to school season easier? We’ve put together a handy checklist to help make this the start of a great school year! Download & Print this Back To School Checklist to get ready for the big day!

Download PDF

A Tale of Two Regions: Local Spots, Eats & Attractions

Part of what makes being a Canadian company so great is that we can take inspiration from the various unique landscapes, cultures and cuisine around us. 

To celebrate the launch of Fresh From The Farm®, a line of locally raised fresh chicken from local Ontario and Atlantic family farms, we recruited two of our favourite bloggers to create locally inspired recipes and give us the 411 on what some of their favourite regional hot spots are. 

Whether you are looking to try out a new recipe incorporating some in-season ingredients, or are looking to travel through Ontario or Atlantic Canada, our guide has you covered. Read on to discover all things local!  

Local Ontario

If The GG Sisters Honey Garlic Air Fried Chicken Wings & Surprise Salad left your mouth watering, like it did ours, allow us to take you through some of the local produce that inspired their recipe. 

The Dubeau Family Farm, like Maple Lodge Farms®, is family owned and operated. Located just north of the Settlement of Perkinsfirled, in Tiny Township, Ontario. The Dubeau family has been growing delicious and sustainable produce since April 2000. Their maple syrup, honey and strawberries became one of the key ingredients in The GG Sisters’ wing and salad recipe upon discovering this amazing farm on their latest trip to the cottage. 

Some of you may not know this, but the summer is garlic season in Ontario. August and September are optimal harvesting time periods. All across the province, you can find festivals dedicated to the famous vegetable. So, it’s no surprise that the GG Sisters chose this as one of their main ingredients for their locally inspired Honey Garlic Chicken Wing recipe. The GG Sister’s sourced their garlic from Bulbs of Fire, a local farm located in Tiny Township, Ontario. They turned to our Fresh From The Farm® line for their wings picked up from their local grocery store. You can find it at any Real Canadian Superstore, Loblaws, Your Independent Grocer, Zehrs or Food Basics.

Tiny Township, Ontario has become a summertime oasis for The GG sisters. Not only was it the inspiration behind their recipe, but Tiny Beach, Ontario is one of their favourite family summertime hangouts. When they’re not at the beach, The GG Sisters enjoy taking their kids to their local Splash Pad Park in York Region at Lake Wilcox Park, or taking a day trip to the famous Ontario destination; Niagara Falls! 

Local Atlantic

In Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, the end of August is the berry best time to pick up some deliciously ripe berries. Local Atlantic and Cape Breton native, Short Presents, says this local tradition inspired her Blueberry Balsamic Chicken and Goat Cheese Salad

Memories of picking and cooking with these local and wild produce during the summer months made this berry the obvious choice as the star of her local Atlantic recipe. Short Presents sourced her delicious berries from Tantallon Village Farmers Market, located in Tantallon, Nova Scotia. 

Summers in Nova Scotia for Short Presents are more than just berry season. Now, a Halifax resident, Kayla of Short Presents shares with us some of her favourite local spots to visit during the summer months. 

If you have access to a car and love a hike, Kayla recommends checking out Peggy’s Cove and Polly’s Cove hiking trail. Be sure to bring a light jacket, we’re told it can get a bit windy! If you’re downtown, but still want to see some gorgeous scenery, Kayla recommends a picnic in the Halifax Public Garden. Can you think of a better way to enjoy your delicious Blueberry Balsamic Chicken and Goat Cheese Salad al fresco? 

P.s you can pick up Fresh From The Farm® chicken for this recipe at Real Atlantic Superstore, Your Independent Grocers Atlantic or Valu-Mart!

Whether you’re from Ontario or Atlantic Canada, Fresh From The Farm® brings you fresh, local ingredients from a farm you trust to your table. Try it today!