I’m a big fan of portable food. This twist on the classic Arab tabbouleh uses barley instead of bulgar wheat. Barley makes it extra chewy and satisfying – perfect as a side for an al fresco meal or stuff it in a fresh wrap alongside cucumbers, tomatoes, red peppers and hummus.
1 1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup fresh or defrosted peas
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
juice of 1 or 2 lemons
salt and pepper to taste
1) In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice. Add the smashed garlic, stir and set aside.
2) Add salt to a boiling pot of water and add the barley. Reduce to a simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Barley is ready when it’s soft but slightly chewy.
3) Rinse and drain the barley. Finely mince the mint and parsley. In a large bowl, combine the barley, dressing, and herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste.
The French are known for doing freakishly delicious things with their fruit. Take for example, clafoutis, a tasty flan-like cake filled with the season’s best fruit. An easy, fancy pants dessert that you can whip up in no time.
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup sugar (1 tablespoon to dust the baking dish)
¾ cup non-dairy milk (I used light coconut milk)
¼ cup plain yogurt
3 free range, organic eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
2-3 cups of your favourite fruit (thinly sliced apples, pears, mangoes or berries work great – just go with the seasons!)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease a 9-inch pie or tart dish with the margarine and dust the entire surface with sugar, add more if you need it. Give the dish a tap to get rid of the excess sugar.
3. In a blender or large mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients except the margarine and fruit and blend or stir vigorously until the batter comes together. It should be thoroughly mixed with no lumps.
4. Pour half the batter into the pan. Gently top it with fruit (in a fan shape if you want to get all fancy like) and slowly pour the rest of the batter on top. Make sure you cover all of the fruit.
5. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges are nicely golden-brown).
6. Best served warm. Before serving, top it off with powdered sugar and go à la mode for a well rounded dessert.
Phở is as Vietnamese as sushi is Japanese, at least it is over here in most of North America. This ubiquitous noodle soup dish is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think Vietnamese food, and while it’s not the only dish I love, it’s one of my favorite things to have on a cold, rainy Vancouver day.
Phở bò or beef noodle soup is the most common version of phở you’ll find – it’s also the one my mom still makes vats of for family dinners. Although a lot of popular Vietnamese dishes are centered around meat, Vietnam also has a rich culinary tradition of great vegetarian eats, usually reserved for days of religious observance from the Buddhist faith.
So to celebrate a great traditional Vietnamese dish and match it with meatless option, here’s my recipe for Phở Chay or vegetarian pho. This completely vegan version doesn’t lose any points on flavor and goes well with any kind of chewy protein (I’m particular to slices of fried tofu).
Nothing says hearty like a heaping bowl of warm pasta – even better when it takes less than 20 minutes to whip up! This pesto gets all creamy-like with the power of soft tofu and a whirl in a food processor (my favorite kitchen gadget). A note for tofu haters: all you’ll taste is creamy pesto goodness, I promise. Serve it hot and fresh.
Your favourite pasta, cooked and drained
1 cup fresh basil (try Thai basil for a spicier flavor)
1/3 cup almonds or pumpkin seeds
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano or vegan parmesan, or omit it completely but add more lemon and salt
1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper
300 gram container soft tofu (I use Superior Tofu)
1/3 cup olive oil
1) Add everything except the tofu and olive oil into food processor and give it a whirl until finely chopped. Add the tofu and oil and whirl until you get a creamy, thoroughly mixed pesto sauce.
2) Combine the pesto with your pasta in a pot and quickly warm it up over medium heat.
3) Top it off with some torn basil and fresh cherry tomatoes.
Waffles – the fluffy breakfast food of the Gods! Gabe and I whip up a batch of basic animal-free waffles that are just as tasty as the conventional Eggo, with the added perk of adding a bunch of delicious ingredients into the batter (we opted for blueberries and coconut).
Top it off with your favorite yogurt, granola, fruit, or get fancy with a Coconut Rum Syrup and you’ve got a breakfast fit for a king, queen or family of picky royals.