Interview: Travis Rea Shares Meal Suggestions for Busy Folks

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Travis Rea of Feed The Fire has shared some delicious Fall recipes for busy families and folks on the go. Travis is a Fraser Valley chef who specializes in healthy food, nutrition and chef services.

Q. The Fall is a busy time for most people, can you give a few meal suggestions that are quick, easy and healthy?

A: The best tips I can give to those who are busy and trying to feed their families healthier meals is to spend a little time planning ahead. Plan meals 2-4 days in advance and take little steps to speed up the preparation process. Recruit other family members to pitch in during the week by taking care of some of the cleaning or chopping of the vegetables. Or for example have someone prepare a casserole recipe that can be stored in the fridge and have someone else be responsible for putting it the oven the next day.

Here is a simple dish I do for the family.  You can have this pre-mixed and then quickly cook it at a later time.

Mini” Turkey meatloaf with Crimini Mushrooms, Spinach, and Rosemary (You can also try your own variations with free range, hormone free,  beef, chicken, pork)


  • 1lb ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped crimini mushrooms
  • 1/4 red onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 sprig rosemary chopped
  • 4 oz spinach chopped
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 t paprika


Heat olive oil in a pan and add onion, garlic, rosemary and sweat for 1 minute.

Add Spinach and cook till wilted. Remove from heat and cool.

In a separate bowl add turkey, egg, and cooled mushroom mix.

Mix well until blended…

Scoop into muffin pans and cook at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Q: Where are your favourite places to get fresh, local food from? Does the Fraser Valley have farm shares?

A: When it comes to shopping for good ingredients I’m like everyone else and the more I can get at one stop the better. But no matter where I shop I try to flex my consumer muscle by buying local and organic. I believe that as consumers the more we demand these products in our stores the more the food producers and grocery stores will find ways to deliver these foods more economically.

But to mention a few I would have to say Two EEs, Willowbrook Produce, Lepp Farm Market, and of course local Farmers Markets. The Fraser Valley does have Farm Shares and different co-ops. You can check out the Now BC and see what they are up too at

Q: A crockpot can be a huge time saver. What is your favourite crock-pot recipe?

A: You can start this the night before and turn on the slow cooker in the morning before you leave for the day. Let these aromatic ingredients stew all day and fill your home with the delicious aroma. There is something that is soothing, and comforting about having a warm bowl of stew on a cool rainy day.

Rainy Day Stew


  • 2 onions
  • 5 medium size carrots (1/2 inch sliced)
  • 2lbs stewing beef (1/2 inch cubes trimmed)
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 can no salt diced tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs rosemary chopped
  • 5 small white potatoes ( cut into 1/2 inch wedges)
  • 2 fl oz dry Sherri (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tablespoons 100% whole wheat flour
  • 1 Litre Beef broth


Season the beef with sea salt and pepper.

In a heavy bottom pot add oil and heat.

Add beef one piece at a time and brown evenly. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. Work in small batches if necessary.

Remove beef from pan and add to slow cooker. Drain off excess oil.

Using the same pot, add a touch of fresh olive oil and heat, add onions and garlic and sweat till translucent.

Add tomato paste and flour and cook for one minute.

Add Sheri and deglaze the pot.

Add diced tomatoes and beef broth and stir to combine. Pour over beef in to the slow cooker.

Add potatoes, carrots, bay leaf, and rosemary.

Cover and cook in slow cooker on high for 6 hours, or low for 8 hours.


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