Vegetarian recipes to get you on a new food regime
By Jessica Glowacki
Competitive and recreational runners often search for a nutrition program that will help support both physical training and competition in order to gain a winning edge.
A vegetarian diet is an ideal sports diet because it is high in carbohydrates and low in fat. Numerous studies have shown a link between meatless diets and an insufficient intake of protein, iron and zinc, but this is often because animal foods are eliminated without finding the appropriate substitutes. A well-balanced vegetarian diet that emphasizes a variety of foods from four food groups (legumes, grains, fruits and vegetables) will provide an optimal sports diet for both performance and health. It can also help to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.
A great way introduce yourself to the variety of foods available to vegetarians is to visit a vegetarian restaurant or test out recipes. Vegetarian and vegan restaurants can provide an overwhelming number of options. IMPACT found several eateries in Calgary and Vancouver willing to share some of their best recipes for you to try at home.
Gratitude Café in Calgary’s Kensington district caters to special dietary needs, offering hearty and delicious vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and raw food dishes prepared in house and made fresh. Their main courses allow customers to choose the ingredients and personalize flavour combinations, such as the following dish which encourages individual tastes in preparation.
‘I Am Grateful’ Lettuce Wraps with Quinoa, Guacamole and Black Hummus
Guacamole: mix together whole avocados, fresh basil, fresh salsa (mince or grind tomato and garlic in a blender) with sea salt. Add minced veggies such as carrots, zucchini, bok choy, cucumber
Black Hummus: process black beans, ginger, mint, black olives, pinch of lemon juice, Bragg liquid aminos*, a dash of sesame oil, paprika and chili paste.
Quinoa Salad: mix together cooked quinoa, your choice of veggies, a pinch of maple syrup, sesame or flax oil to coat the mixture.
Preparation: pile salads on large lettuce leaves and enjoy!
* Bragg liquid aminos are a replacement for tamari and soy sauce and can be found at most health food stores.
Radha Yoga and Eatery
Situated on the outskirts of Vancouver’s Chinatown, Radha is a unique combination of yoga studio and restaurant that offers cooking classes. Dinner at Radha is a feast of beautiful vegan and raw foods made from local, organic ingredients.
Crimini Hazelnut Pâté
Yields 4 cups, serves 8
2 lbs. crimini mushrooms
1½ cups hazelnuts
3 or 4 cloves fresh garlic
2 tbsp of freshly chopped sage
Soak hazelnuts for a few minutes, rinse thoroughly and strain, making sure to remove bits of skin. Toast in 350˚F oven for up to 15 minutes.
Brush the garlic cloves with olive oil and wrap with foil. Bake in 350˚F oven for 45 minutes, until the oven smells fragrant and the cloves are soft. Cool to room temperature. Roughly chop the mushrooms, then sauté in oil and salt. Finish in the oven until dry, approximately 20 minutes. Finely slice shallots, caramelize in a pan and set aside. In a food processor, grind the hazelnuts into meal. In a mixing bowl, combine mushrooms, shallots, roasted garlic pulp, sage and hazelnut meal. Finish the mixture in a food processor until it’s a smooth consistency.
Per serving: 148 cal, 9.3g carbohydrate, 11g fat, 0.9g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 6.5g protein, 3g fibre, 25mg sodium.
Radha’s Panelle ‘Quiche’
Yields 9-inch diameter pie, serves 8
This is a savoury pie, a vegan play on quiche, but without a pie crust and using chickpea flour instead of eggs. Unlike traditional panelle, the Sicilian street food, this batter is not fried but cooked and left to set, much like polenta. Feel free to substitute other vegetables such as bell peppers, sundried tomatoes and zucchini.
1¾ cups chickpea flour
3 cups water
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup crimini mushroom
(cleaned and chopped)
1/2 cup marinated artichokes (drained and chopped)
1 tsp freshly chopped thyme
1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary
salt and pepper
Lightly oil a pan and sauté onions over medium heat until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they begin to brown and the liquid in the pan has reduced.
Add artichokes, thyme and rosemary. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes, then set aside.
Place the water in a large mixing bowl and slowly whisk in the chickpea flour until a smooth batter is created. Salt to taste. Add a bit of olive oil to a small pot over a medium-high heat, then pour in the chickpea batter. Stir regularly as it comes up to a simmer. Continue stirring until the batter pulls away from the sides of the pot, about 10 minutes. Quickly fold in the reserved onion, mushrooms and artichokes and pour immediately into an oiled pie plate. Smooth the surface with a wet spatula. Allow to set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Reheat in the oven or microwave and serve.
Per serving: 142 cal, 29g carbohydrate, 1.6g fat, 0.2g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 7g protein, 1.1g fibre, 43mg sodium.
Koi is downtown Calgary’s nutritious dining hotspot, boasting an array of unique and distinct vegetarian and vegan menu items.
1/2 cup almonds, crushed
1/2 cup tofu (medium firm, ½ inch dice)
2 cups or 400 grams fresh Shanghai noodles *
1 tbsp ginger, julienned
1/2 cup yellow onion, sliced
6 pieces red pepper, julienned
1/2 cup portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup suey choy, sliced
1/2 cup carrots, julienned
1 cup spinach, cleaned green onions, sliced thin to garnish
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp black pepper
Place a large, heavy non-stick pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add oil and swirl in pan (it should flow quickly). Add ginger, onions and red peppers to pan and steam for 1 minute.
Add tofu to pan. Sauté and toss for 2 minutes. Place noodles in a medium pot of boiling water and cook until done.
Add garlic and mushrooms to pan, toss. Add suey choy and strained noodles. Toss noodles and incorporate all layers of vegetables. You should hear the sizzling.
Add soy, then maple syrup, then hoisin sauce.
TIP: when adding sauces, spread them evenly throughout the noodles and toss between each addition.
Add spinach and toss. Add sesame oil and black pepper. Toss again.
Add almonds. Increase heat to high and give the noodles a last toss to ensure every noodle is hot.
Serve in bowl, garnish with green onions.
* Shanghai noodles are sold in plastic bags andare available in most Asian markets and well-stocked grocery stores.
Per serving: 738 cal, 103g carbohydrate, 37g fat, 4.3g saturated fat, 0.5mg cholesterol, 20g protein, 3g fibre, 358mg sodium.
Sweet Cherubim Organic and Natural Food Store, Bakery, and Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant is located in one of Vancouver’s most colourful neighbourhoods known as The Drive. It was founded by Kulwant Bagga and family in 1980, with the belief that if they were to buy bulk, make and package products themselves, they could provide customers with better quality food for better prices.
Tofu Scramble with Herbs
2 organic potatoes
4 tbsp sunflower oil
3 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp fresh garlic
6 ounces organic tofu, extra firm
1 tsp turmeric
Cut potatoes into cubes, mix with sunflower oil. Place into ovenproof dish, cover with aluminum foil and roast 45 minutes in a 350˚F oven. Meanwhile, combine second amount of oil, oregano and garlic in a small pan over low heat; stir continuously until garlic is browned. Remove from heat.
Crumble the tofu with your fingers into a bowl until it takes on a scrambled consistency. Mix in herb oil and turmeric.
Place roasted potatoes beside the tofu scramble in an ovenproof dish. Add salt and pepper according to personal taste. Bake in a 350˚F oven for 4 minutes.
Per serving: 676 cal, 39g carbohydrate, 53g fat, 5.1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 13.3g protein, 5.5g fibre, 22mg sodium.
Ultra-marathon runner Jessica Glowacki is founder of www.vegetarianrunnner.com.
March/April 2011 Issue