This week on Spooning and Forking we learned about vegetarianism. If you missed the episode, find it on iTunes. Given its nickname of “Cowtown”, it’s no surprise that people are skeptical of the strength of this movement within our city. We spoke to two Calgarians who are dispelling this perception.
Dalia Cohn, co-owner of the Coup restaurant, and Dan Clapson, manager of Higher Ground who organizes their weekly vegetarian meal, both came into the CJSW studio to talk about eating vegetarian in Cowtown.
The most interesting information I took from these two is how easy it is bring aspects of this diet into your routine. I took two friends to the Global Vegetarian Night at Higher Ground, one is a vegetarian, and the other had asked if we could stay in and make duck confit instead. My own diet is somewhere in between tofu and duck. After the three-course meal all of us were very satisfied and impressed with the variety of treats we were fed and the creative uses for tofu (“bocconcini”, who knew!). As for the Coup, no one whose been there needs to be persuaded to the deliciousness of their foods!
Ultimately, I’ll never be converted away from my meat eating ways, but even reducing your meat intake to once a day, or once a week can have positive social consequences if that’s your concern, or just introduce you to new and surprisingly delicious foods!
To prove it, we took a recipe from the Coup cookbook (available in house and at a handful of local businesses). I chose a recipe that meat eaters and vegetarians alike will love! It’s also flexible, offering different choices of protein, grains, and vegetables based on availability. You may have noticed my pushing of seasonal vegetables. When your food is in season you can likely buy it local, like at your farmers market, and besides the moral boost, it tastes way better and is cheaper! Slow Food Calgary has a directory were you can learn what vegetables are available and where to buy them.
Are you a vegetarian in Alberta? What are your favorite places to eat, and your favorite dishes to cook?
Peanut Satay Dragon Bowl
What is involved
500 ml natural crunchy peanut butter
500 ml water
100 ml soy sauce
4 cloves garlic minced
50 ml fresh lemon juice
1 small can 400ml coconut milk
50 ml brown sugar
30 ml chili hot sauce or more if you like it spicy!
For Stir Fry
½ package 175g tofu (chickpeas, black beans, or tempeh all work)
2 litres seasonal vegetables of your choice cut into bite size pieces
4 cups favourite grain cooked (quinoa, basmati, or jasmine)
½ bunch cilantro roughly chopped
Oil for sautéing
Method of Madness
-in a pot on medium heat, mix peanut butter and water together
-continute to mix until a smooth consistency, watching that you do not burn the peanut butter
-add the rest of the sauce ingredients and continue to cook at a low heat, stirring often for about 20 minutes
-remove from heat and taste to adjust spice if necessary
-in a large pan, sauté tofu until the edges get crispy, add vegetables and sauté until tender but still crispy, you might need to a little soy sauce or water for liquid so veggies don’t stick to the pan
-add peanut satay sauce and heat until it bubbles
-portion grain out in each bowl and add vegetable mixture on top of each
-garnish with cilantro