Here are some tips to ensure you throw a fabulous Victoria Day long weekend BBQ!
- Mmm…is for Marinade! The filipina part of me knows all too well that if you want the best results for perfectly flavoured BBQ, you need to let it marinate! Marinate for a few hours is what most people say, but my Mama will tell you to “Let it marinate overnight. Always.” Oh, and don’t throw out your marinade when you’re BBQing! Reserve some of your marinade to baste your meat, fish, or veggies while they’re grilling! This will prevent your BBQ masterpiece from going dry and it will add a lovely caramelized look too! My Mama always says, “the secret is in the sauce”!
- Feelin’ hot, hot, hot! Make sure you have your temperature absolutely perfect for whatever it is you’re cooking. You don’t just cook food in the BBQ at whatever temperature and hope for the best! Make sure to control the heat just as you would with an oven. There is a temperature gauge there for a reason! Preheat your grill about 15-20 minutes before cook time. You want to ensure your BBQ has reached your desired cooking temperature (plus, the heat will kill off any bacteria). Before grilling, make sure to scrub grills for a clean start.
- Grease up! Before grilling, brush grill grate with oil. This will prevent sticking.
- Know your veg! It’s important to know your vegetables in order to prevent burning and make sure vegetables are cooked-through correctly. Some vegetables take only a minute or two to cook, while others (like potatoes) take longer. You don’t want to burn your veggies!
Speaking of veggies, this time of the year is when I have to buy the bulk of my fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. We grow our own fruit and veg on our farm, but at this time of the year, we don’t have any leftover veg from the previous harvest and planting season has just started.
While shopping for the perfect BBQ ingredients for the long weekend, I noticed that some of the items at our Independent Grocer had stars on their shelf labels. I had noticed them before, but didn’t know what they were all about.
I noticed that in the produce section, all of the fruits and vegetables I wanted to pick up for our long weekend had three stars! As I walked up and down the aisles, I noticed more and more stars on the shelf labels. One star, two stars, three stars…The PC Guiding Stars were everywhere!
Well, not really everywhere. Some products didn’t have PC Guiding Stars. There’s an explanation for why some items do not have stars. You’ll find out when you view the video below.
What are Guiding Stars®?
Guiding Stars on shelf labels can be found for various products in the store. It’s a rating system where three stars is the highest rating a product can receive.
You can keep track of your PC Guiding Stars by creating a profile. Simply visit your store’s website (my closest store is Independent) and log in. You need to log in on your store’s site and not on the PC Plus site. Where your name is (there’s a drop down option beside the PC Plus logo), drop down to “My Guiding Stars Profile”. Once there, you can view your personalized Guiding Stars profile. You will be able to see your trends, how many products/food items you bought that were 3 stars, 2 stars, 1 star. You’ll also have access to tips and featured products. When I logged in last, the featured 3 star product was the PC Market Trio Tomatoes.
Guiding Stars is an impartial nutrition navigation program that uses stars on store shelves to highlight nutritious food choices. Just because a product is a PC® brand, doesn’t always mean it will earn a higher rating than a competitor’s brand.
Food items are credited for vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, whole grains and omega-3s, and debited for saturated fats, trans fats, added sodium and added sugars. Items are rated impartially using an algorithm based on information from the food package or a Canadian nutrition database.
When you shop at Supermarkets featuring the Guiding Stars program, you can find Guiding Stars throughout the store. Once I became aware of the stars, I noticed them everywhere! I found the Guiding Stars in all the aisles (produce, packaged food, seafood, dairy, the meat counter, bakery).
You can see on the shelf label that the PC Whole Wheat English Muffins have a 3 star rating. Even if you don’t see the stars on the shelf label, you can note the ratings at the bottom because they are indicated. For example, the S3 signifies 3 stars.
Now that I’m know about the Guiding Stars, I am curious to see whether following the Guiding Stars® Program is actually going to help my family eat a healthier diet.
If I increase my purchase of more nutritious foods my family will eat a healthier, more nutritious diet.
Tracking Our Healthy Eating Progress
I am going to use the NEW! Guiding Stars® Personal Profile to track all of my food purchases that I make at my local Independent Grocer.
Legumes, beans, pastas, rice, and all items we don’t grow on our farm are all things I purchase at the grocery store. I want to see how we fare when it comes to picking better-for-us food options.
Next time you’re at your local Loblaws, Fortinos, Zehrs, Valu-Mart, Independent, Real Canadian Superstore or whatever your favourite PC grocery store, make sure to take a look at the Guiding Stars. I had noticed them, but didn’t really know what they meant until now. Now I’m very conscious of spotting the stars!
Do you want to know more about the PC Guiding Stars?
This video explains PC Guiding Stars in depth.
I learned something new while shopping at Independent for our Victoria Day Long Weekend BBQ! Now that I am aware of the Guiding Stars, I’ll pay more attention when I pick up items for my family. I was pleasantly surprised to see that 94% of my purchases were 3 stars!
Disclosure – This is a sponsored post, however, all thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are honest and my own.