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Last weekend after camping in the backyard, working on the deck (still!) and swimming at the lake, we decided to spend a day by the ocean. On Sunday morning we woke up (in the backyard) with ashes in the air and a smell of campfire – result of forest fires in Northern BC, Vancouver Island and WA state. Really, who needs real camping?!LOL.

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Sun, what sun?! Who needs sun?! That was our sun with 0 clouds in the sky – weather channel was stating current conditions as “smoky”. Never seen that before. By the way, I found non-GMO vegan marshmallows which were a real deal. Instead of graham crackers I got organic saltines and instead of chocolate I bought organic chocolate syrup which we will keep using to make chocolate milk. S’mores were salty and sweet – delicious!


Temperature promised to be +36C that day, so we decided to kill a day by the ocean with a cool breeze. Day – great success! Bellingham, WA is one of our favourite beach destinations in PNW. Small oceanside town, tons of greenery, charming old churches, beautiful university campus (I am a sucker for those as I grew up in one) and apparently a killer food co-op. Um, where have I been the past 7 years?!

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We found it by accident driving by, saw people eating inside and the name had our hearts pounding. So we stopped on the way home and found this mind blowing Clean Eating buffet. There were so many vegetable dishes, it took me 1 minute to mentally create my vegan dinner plate – I tried a little bit of almost everything. You point your finger, they load a plate and weigh it. There were also many meat options and even mac and cheese for kids. All delicious and total bill was $20!!! Um, excuse me?!

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Now I understand where the hippie connection to local organic food comes from. There were many young dudes (my kids’ interpretation) with long hair loading food on their bikes while drinking kombucha (btw I have mastered making kombucha from scratch and it is so darn easy and tasty). Well, I’m not a hippie but I loved this store! Totally my kind of playground – GMO labeling, don’t buy Driscoll’s and nutritional yeast + tamari on a condiment shelf in a deli?! Pinch me! I will be back!

Anyways, one of the dishes I tried was Broccoli Napolitana – steamed broccoli with spices, olives and capers. Bingo for me – I am not a huge fan of broccoli and yet I have 5 plants beginning to flower and feed the birds in my garden. So, my broccoli had to be used ASAP. After Broccoli Quinoa Salad I was running low on broccoli ideas. Well, thank you Food Co-op deli for listing ingredients for all your dishes. I took a picture of every single one of them and iFOODreal will become a vegan blog. No, I’m kidding but I have already recreated 2 recipes I liked. I didn’t like everything by the way. Like tofu…I cook better tofu and it is hard to make tofu tasty – I admit it!


So, my broccoli…off it went in previously used for cooking pasta pot. I hate chopping raw broccoli, absolutely hate it! So blanching it and then chopping was brilliant too. I didn’t have capers or green olives but Kalamata olives were quite tasty. I also added salted pistachios and the dish was delicious! My kids ate it but they are weird broccoli lovers. Enjoy!

Broccoli Napolitana

Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Broccoli Napolitana


  • 1 lb broccoli (including stems)
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in halves*
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios, salted**
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Bring medium pot with water to a boil. Add broccoli and cook for a few minutes. Broccoli should turn bright green and cooked al dente. Drain and "shock" with ice cubes or cold water to stop cooking process. Drain again.
  2. Transfer broccoli onto a cutting board and chop into bite size pieces. Add to a medium bowl along with remaining ingredients. Gently stir and serve cold.
  3. Storage Instructions: Refrigerate covered for up to 3 - 4 days.


*Can use a combo of Kalamata olives, green olives and capers. Total 1 cup. **Add more salt if using unsalted.


This post may contain affiliate links. When you buy a product I make a small commission without any extra cost to you. In return, you can enjoy free recipes as well as savings on your favourite products. I also shared Clean Eating Ingredients I Buy and Kitchen Appliances +Tools I Use. Please buy local, organic and fair trade whenever feasible.


  1. Vera (VerasCooking)

    Oh, you went to Bellingham! That’s where we hang out. And Bellingham Food- Coop is my go to grocery store ever since I’ve started reading your blog. Can’t help it. Well, maybe we’ll meet someday 😉 By the way, its a gorgeous pictures of you guys!

    • Olena

      Oh, you live nearby! I thought you lived closer to Seattle. We love Bellingham! We stop at Boulevard park in summer often. Maybe we will meet one day.Loved that coop!!! You guys are lucky to have it! Thank you so much for nice words!

  2. Sandy Kellar

    What kind of white vinegar are you suggesting we use, apple cider or white wine? Thanks



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