After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

Shake up that turkey dinner this holiday season

Designed with a smaller group in mind, this take on a holiday meal includes power foods such as berries, nuts and chocolate. We’re bringing chicken back too- few know it blessed the first Thanksgiving in 1621. Seek an organic or free-range bird for the best flavor. Try North Valley or K & M Farms, both located in Abbotsford.

Blueberry-Cranberry Chutney

Cranberry sauce gets an antioxidant flavor boost with the addition of blueberries and ginger, and then we bake the blend into chutney. Truly an impeccable compliment to our holiday roast chicken. The best part? You can make it up to a week in advance, storing it in the refrigerator until needed.

Yield: 1 ½ to 2 cups


1 1/2 cups frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick, 2 to 3-inches
4 whole cloves


Preheat oven to 176 Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Put all berries in a 9-inch or similar sized baking dish or casserole. Add the sugar, vinegar, cloves and cinnamon. Stir to combine.

Bake mixture uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir, then resume baking for another 20 to 30 minutes. The chutney is done when the berries become tender and their juice becomes syrupy. Add additional water to thin slightly if desired. Remove the cloves and cinnamon stick, cool and store until needed in the refrigerator.

Optional: Add chopped pecans, walnuts or your favorite nut if desired. For fall flair, add chopped roasted chestnuts available in many Vancouver markets.

Crispy Spaetzle
An old world classic spaetzle, meaning “little sparrow” is a nice alternative to mashed potatoes and gravy. These crunchy noodles with a buttery herb sauce have an incendiary taste that will bring you back for seconds.

Yield: 4 generous servings.


1 cup milk, whole or 2%
3 eggs
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 ½ teaspoons dried)
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped (or 1 ½ teaspoons dried)
½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter


Put the milk and eggs in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the flour, salt, pepper, nutmeg and half of all herbs. Whisk until batter is smooth.

Fill a stockpot two thirds full of water and lightly salt. Bring to a soft boil only. Set a large bowl of ice water next to the stove.

Image via Wikipedia

Using a food mill with the coarse grating disk, spaetzle maker or ricer, push the batter through the mill one cup at a time directly into the softly boiling water. Cook spaetzle noodles for one minute then transfer to the ice water. Repeat with remaining batter.

Drain noodles in a colander. Noodles can be made and refrigerated several hours before needed.

To crisp noodles, melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When it barely begins to brown, add noodles and toss in the butter to coat. Cook, stirring periodically until the noodles become golden brown and crispy, 6 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining herbs, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a warm bowl and serve immediately.

Roasted Carrot and Yam Salad with Pistachios

More in Chef's Kitchen

Two local chefs prepare for the Almost Famous Chef Competition in Toronto

Matt Cusano and Kevan Hafichuk prepare for the culinary competition with a preview of their dishes to a group of media representatives Tuesday afternoon.

Whitewater Cooks with Friends: Interview with Shelley Adams

Whitewater Cooks with Friends is about sharing good food and recipes with those you love. This interview with Shelley Adams also includes a delicious and healthy salad recipe from her cook book.

Flaky apple turnovers for fall

Apple season is here and these flaky apple turnovers are perfect for a blustery day.
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.