Brown Rice Vermicelli with Salted Beans, Veggies & Edamame


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Travel brings power and love back into your life.

― Rumi

A few months back I sent a tweet to some of my vegan blogging friends after a few week (well three weeks to be exact) stint of avoiding dairy entirely and feeling pretty proud of myself. While I won’t delve too deeply right now into my thoughts on the matter of to be entirely vegan or not to be entirely vegan (I am not), I can definitely share that the dairy free streak didn’t  last for me (it never really does). I’ve always felt best with a small amount of animal protein in my diet, even if I can’t even stomach the thought of eating meat or fish of any kind (never have been able to). And that is just never going to change! Continue reading

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Zucchini Noodles with Asparagus, Corn & Mango Sriracha Dressing

Zucchini Noodles with Asparagus, Corn & Mango Sriracha Dressing IMG_1676

 There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

― Leonard Cohen

Hey all! Aren’t we happy for spring? As I mentioned in my last post, the fresh season is well upon us here in Vancouver, and just as the garden has started to do its thing once  again, I’m happy to report that so have I.  After a season that saw a major shift in my career & work life, I’m happy to once again see and feel the sunshine. The sun on my face, the sun on the grass — the sun lighting up the shadows that cast all sorts of fears as we go about pursuing the places that our hearts guide us to. Sunshine to welcome another summer, and another season to live big and go for what matters.  Continue reading

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Recipe: Spectacular Sunshine Dressing & a Time of Testing

Spectacular Sunshine DressingSpectacular Sunshine Dressing

It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.

~ Babe Ruth

Hey friends! First of all, I have to acknowledge it’s been a little while. I hope you are all enjoying the spring in those parts where it’s arrived, and it’s still hard to believe here in the PNW that many areas of the globe are still covered in snow. Our front yard is now exploding with spring beauty, including a few baby seedlings planted in my first vegetable garden, which I can’t wait to write and share about this year! It’s not been for lack of wanting that I have not posted, but for a few small things that have been coming between me and this space that I so enjoy being a part of (hmmmm, work, work, work, and more work). You may be thinking you have seen this post before, or at least the dressing recipe, and it’s true – you have. Continue reading

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Filed under Dressings & Dips, Salad, Sauces

FUDGY COFFEE & CHOCOLATE NUT CANDY

FUDGY COFFEE & CHOCOLATE NUT CANDY | VEGAN

 “Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others.”

~  Virginia Woolf

I have to say, of all the things I have ever loved most, there really is nothing that compares to the smell and look of deep black soil, and the feel of it on your hands and your jeans after a good day of digging and connecting with the ground. I’m not sure I’ve shared much here about my little passion for gardening, but that could very well be because the last few years have been well, kind of, not really about that. Until now that is! Continue reading

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10 Minute Meal: Butternut Squash Ramen Bowl with Rice Noodles, Tofu & Fresh Pea Shoots

 

10 Minute Meal: Ramen Bowl w/ Squash Broth, Rice Noodles, Tofu & Fresh Pea Shoots

10 Minute Meal: Ramen Bowl w/ Squash Broth, Rice Noodles, Tofu & Fresh Pea Shoots10 Minute Meal: Ramen Bowl w/ Squash Broth, Rice Noodles, Tofu & Fresh Pea Shoots  The greatest wealth is to live content with little.  ― Plato  When it comes to ramen, I don't think there is a person in modern history without a connection or memory to warm noodles in a bowl and the comfort & subsequent memories they bring. I mean is there? For me and my siblings growing up, Mr. Noodles were a major treat, since while inexpensive and easy to make, my folks weren't exactly the 'fast food' types. But as most parents know, it is prudent to treat kids from time to time and so they did, even if it meant buying packages of cheap-as-borscht dry noodles that were laden with the salt & fake flavours from that little silver pouch, not to mention the MSG and whatever else goes into those iconic little packages of cheap & oh-so-tasty sustenance. Oh, Mr Noodles indeed.   Fast forward to now, when I'm lucky enough to be able to frequent (as many other Vancouverites are) a cozy little corner in Chinatown where the noodle bowl reigns supreme (and supremely done too I might add) without a salt pack or crinkly yellow package in site. For those who haven't been, Harvest Union is doing it all right, with hand-crafted bowls stuffed with all kinds of tasty, healthy surprises appealing to all eaters from vegan to those looking for meat options too. There is something for everyone at Harvest and it's here that I've recently re-discovered the bowl of hot soothing broth that contains not only perfectly cooked noodles, but all the other possibilities that work together to make a meal worth waiting for.  It was after a working lunch there recently that I was inspired to finally create a noodle bowl of my own, having been teased by various recipes here and there in the blogosphere. I set out to test my ideas with a few requirements, starting with wanting a gluten-free option. I'd worked enough with rice noodles to know how easy to use and delicious they were, and they always leave me feeling content and just right (read: satisfied but not too full). Second, I wanted  something that would be quick, without any extra cooking time, would use one pot only, and created truly minimal mess. As you can see I kept it pretty simple. So simple in fact, that by using pre-made broth & soup, this meal will take you literally less than 10 minutes from start to the finished product. Of course, if you've got the time, the patience, and the produce, I'd suggest starting from scratch with this simple-as-can-be-squash soup and this homemade broth.  Either way, I hope you enjoy this as much as I have been. In just as much time as it takes to boil that water for the instant stuff, you can have a fully nutritious meal that'll hit the spot and keep you healthy, without sending your food budget sky-high either. No noodling around: this bowl is the real deal.  On a side note, I want to thank all of you who popped by last week to read up on the post to help Feed South Africa. I'm happy to report that because of that campaign, food bloggers and their readers were able to successfully raise the targeted goal of $5,000 to help feed 100 school children in South  Africa for a year! It's initiatives like this that see communities all over the world get the help they need, and it doesn't happen easily. It always feels good to be a part of something special, and I'm so thrilled to know it was a success. Congrats to Nicole & everyone involved for a spectacular effort! x  10 Minute Meal: Ramen Bowl w/ Squash Broth, Rice Noodles, Tofu & Fresh Pea Shoots10 Minute Meal: Ramen Bowl w/ Squash Broth, Rice Noodles, Tofu & Fresh Pea Shoots10 Minute Meal: Ramen Bowl w/ Squash Broth, Rice Noodles, Tofu & Fresh Pea Shoots  Butternut Squash Ramen Bowl w/Rice Noodles, Tofu & Fresh Pea Shoots:  (1) cup veggie stock (pre-made or store-bought is fine) (1.5) cups butternut squash soup, without a nut or dairy base (I used Pacific Brand) (1/4) tsp salt (1/4) tsp soy sauce (1) strand of thick rice noodles (about the size of the circle between your index finger & thumb) (1/4) cup medium soft tofu, rinsed and cubed (1) scallion, sliced diagonally, greens only (1/4) tsp Sambal Oelek (1/2) tsp toasted sesame oil (1) handful fresh pea shoots (or sliced fresh spinach in a pinch) Black sesame seeds for garnish This recipe makes one delicious, super hearty serving for one, and of course is easily multiplied with the right math skills and an extra bowl or two! Start by combining the soup and the broth in a medium pot, and stirring to mix well. Add the salt & soy sauce and heat gently until bubbling and hot (basically to a light boil), about 3-4 minutes.   While the broth is heating up, cube the fresh tofu into one inch pieces or a little smaller, as per your preference. Slice the green onion, and wash and trim the pea shoots, removing the tough stems as they can be tough to digest and chew. Take the strand of dry rice noodles (about a finger round or golf ball diameter), and with your hands, snap them in half to shorten to noodle strands, and place them in a generously sized serving bowl of your choice.  When the broth has reached a bubbling boil, remove it from the heat and pour all of it over the rice noodles directly into the serving bowl. Using a fork and a quick, firm hand, push any errant noodle strands under the broth to submerge any loose pieces. Cover the bowl immediately with a small plate, and set your timer for 6 minutes.  When the 6 minutes is up, remove the plate from the bowl and stir the noodles to break them up a little. To serve, push the noodles over to the side a little, making room for the tofu, scallions & pea shoots which can be arranged directly into the broth as you like. Place a little Sambal Oelek in the centre of the bowl, and finish by pouring the toasted sesame oil into the bowl along with the black sesame seeds to garnish.  Serve right away  (though the best part may be waiting for the bowl to cool a little before eating) with chopsticks or a fork, if you are a little spastic with chopsticks like I am. I always try earnestly with the sticks for a few rounds before hitting the ease and comfort of a spoon and a fork. Whatever works, so long as you never need to reach for those cheap yellow packages again ;). Enjoy!  10 Minute Meal: Ramen Bowl w/ Squash Broth, Rice Noodles, Tofu & Fresh Pea Shoots10 Minute Meal: Ramen Bowl w/ Squash Broth, Rice Noodles, Tofu & Fresh Pea Shoots10 Minute Meal: Ramen Bowl w/ Squash Broth, Rice Noodles, Tofu & Fresh Pea Shoots

The greatest wealth is to live content with little.

― Plato

When it comes to ramen, I don’t think there is a person in modern history without a connection or memory to warm noodles in a bowl and the comfort & subsequent memories they bring. I mean is there? For me and my siblings growing up, Mr. Noodles were a major treat, since while inexpensive and easy to make, my folks weren’t exactly the ‘fast food’ types. But as most parents know, it is prudent to treat kids from time to time and so they did, even if it meant buying packages of cheap-as-borscht dry noodles that were laden with the salt & fake flavours from that little silver pouch, not to mention the MSG and whatever else goes into those iconic little packages of cheap & oh-so-tasty sustenance. Oh, Mr Noodles indeed.  Continue reading

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Filed under Cooking, Food, Gluten Free, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Savory, Soup, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian