The weekend in food, part 1

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Food is something that has traditionally been very communal for me. I guess it comes from living very communally for most of my late adolescence and early adult life. From the time I was 18 until 9 months ago, there was only a three month period when I wasn’t in some sort of roommate situation (I don’t count right now – Kyle is NOT my roommate, he’s my partner. This is a surprisingly important distinction). In college, we were lucky to get people together for one “house dinner” every couple of weeks, but in my post-college years where schedules can be a bit more predictable, my roommates and I have made it a point to enjoy our meals together whenever possible. Plus, what’s the fun in cooking for one?

On the menu this weekend, we had some old favorites and some new experiments. Everything was delicious! For dinner with Nora on Friday night, I made one of my family’s favorite healthy dishes, the Glory Bowl. This recipe comes from Whitewater Cooks, a wonderful cookbook full of recipes put together by the talented and creative chefs at Whitewater Ski Resort in Nelson, BC. This cookbook is full of recipes that use fresh, local ingredients and burst with flavor. The dressing on this bowl is easily my favorite dressing (and sauce for that matter). It can go on almost anything.

Glory Bowl, serves 8

The Bowl

8 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups beets,grated
2 cups carrots, grated
2 cups almonds, toasted
2 cups spinach leaves
2 cups tofu, cubed

Dressing

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 tbsp tahini paste

Prepare brown rice and set aside. In a skillet saute tofu cubes or braise under broiler with tamari, garlic, ginger and sesame oil.
Combine nutritional yeast flakes, water, tamari, apple cider vinegar, tahini and crushed garlic in blender. Add oil in a steady stream.
Place brown rice into 8 bowls, top with beets, carrots, spinach leaves, almonds and tofu. Drizzle (or completely drench in my case) with dressing.

This is a super healthy, yet filling and very satisfying combination between a salad and a stir fry. I described it to Nora as a stir fry minus the fry. I highly recommend it!

While I was grating and sauteeing and steaming, Nora was on the other side of the kitchen whipping up our favorite no-bake vegan desert, Chocolate Avocado Pie. The first time I had this pie, I remember thinking, “Who are the crazy people wasting avocados on dessert? Let’s just make guacamole!” I’m so glad they convinced me otherwise. This recipe is sooo satisfying and surprisingly not too bad for you!

Filling:
5-6 avocados
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tblsp cinnamon
1 cup agave
3/4 cup cacao powder
1 tsp vanillacrust
1 1/2 cups ground almond meal (or ground flax seed for a denser crust)
1 tblsp coconut oil
1/4 cup agave (I usually use honey, but some vegans choose not to eat honey, so check with them if you are making this pie for vegan friends!)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 cup water

Mix em both separate, pat crust in pie plate with fingers (or a fork if you care), layer pudding mix on top, chill in freezer for a bit or leave in the fridge as long as you like. It works best to mix the filling in a food processor to make it smooth!

No-bake vegan chocolate avocado pie. Yum! Photo: Nora Livingston

We ate dinner while the pie was chilling, then gorged ourselves on pie (which is actually quite filling, given all the avocado goodness inside) while we listened to love Ooolation music and continued catching up. What a lovely and nostalgic evening!
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