April 10, 2016 § Leave a comment
One of my favorite juice places in all of India has to be the popular Juice House in Ram Jhula, Rishikesh. The city is situated on the foothills of the Himalayas and along the Ganges river. It is a place of pilgrimage and a very holy and peaceful place.
The juice stall is a popular travellers’ hangout and is always full. Usually you need to squeeze into a shared booth and it can take 20 minutes to get served but it’s worth the wait. The mango lassi as featured above is full of mangos and has fresh pomegranates on top with shredded coconut $2. They have many fresh fruit and veggie juice combos along with smoothies including some which have avocado.
Their other popular menu item is their fruit salad and the one shown above is a replica that I made at home. I usually get the vegan version which comes with muesli, bananas, watermelon, papaya, mangos, pineapple, coconut, pomegranate, soy milk, date syrup and mint $2.80.
The date syrup was difficult to find so I decided to make my own. I soaked a cup of dates in warm water for a couple hours. Then I puréed the dates and water in a Vitamix blender. Squeezed out the date pulp and put the liquid into a saucepan and brought to a boil. I cooked the liquid until it thickened, allowed it to cool and poured it over the fruit. It was so heavenly that I ate it everyday for over a week.
January 22, 2016 § Leave a comment
This Lebanese restaurant is a favourite of mine and the lunch special comes with a variety of healthy and vegetarian items. I often meet one of my good friends there for lunch as her office is right around the corner from their Kitsilano location. I usually get either the Falafel($12.75) or Najib’s special($13), crispy cauliflower tossed with lemon and sea salt. The lunch plate comes with hummus, salad, pickled cabbage, pita, olives and brown rice or potatoes. I get the potatoes and my friend orders half and half.
It’s a pretty big plate of food so I time my appetite and go fairly hungry. The service is quick at lunch and it caters to those who work in the area. Sometimes I get a seat a few minutes before my friend arrives and place our order so that we can relax and not feel rushed. The great thing about Nuba is that each of their four locations are designed differently and each one has its own unique personality.
I often run from Kitsilano beach along the Burrard Street bridge and eventually end up at the one downtown on Seymour Street. This one is more like a quick service cafe and after a 10K run, it’s a great reward. www.nuba.ca
January 21, 2016 § Leave a comment
People always ask me what my favourite Indian restaurant is. Hands down it’s Vij’s Rangoli because I love, love, love their Portobello Mushroom and Red Bell Pepper Curry on paneer with beet salad & naan ($15.50). The mushroom is cut thick and has a nice chew to it and the paneer is soft and melts in your mouth. Not to mention the perfection of the delicate spices that make the sauce.
Vij’s original restaurant just moved to Cambie and I was surprised there was not a line up to see the Celebrity Chef’s new space. The food and service was amazing as usual but I do have to say, that I love this dish the best. I take all of my visiting clients to Rangoli at least once during their stay and many go back again. Rangoli Restaurant is located in South Granville on 11th Avenue. www.vijsrestaurant.ca
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, my daughter and I really enjoy Best Quality Restaurant which is more of a traditional Indian restaurant with authentic food and minimal service. This restaurant is pure veg and only serves vegetables and dairy products. The meal that is shown here is the puri with chickpeas ($4.99) and my daughter got the vegetable kofta with rice ($9.99). The place makes you feel like you are transported to India and the prices make you feel the same.
The flavours are authentic and the food arrives a few minutes after you order. As the name implies, they use quality ingredients unlike other traditional restaurant and I have never gotten sick or a stomach ache from eating their food. We usually pick up a small box of assorted sweets when we leave which comes to around $5.50 and a box of veggie samosas ($0.75 each). Best Quality is located on Main Street at 57th Avenue in Vancouver.
January 19, 2016 § 1 Comment
My son loves those noodles soups that come in a package and so I started to experiment with a healthier version. This recipe is very healthy as it has lots of greens and I use organic noodles made from brown rice. It makes a hearty meal on its own and warms the soul on a cold day.
Cooking time 30 minutes
2 Tblsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 cup (250 ml) each, broccoli florets, chopped kale, bok choy
2 tsp (10 ml) Bragg or soy sauce
2 Tblsp (30 ml) miso paste
5 cups (1.25 ml) boiling water
1 tsp (5 ml) siracha
1 Tblsp (15 ml) sesame oil
1 tsp (5 ml) each dried onion & garlic
1/4 tsp (1 ml) each tumeric, dried ginger
1 cup (250 ml) cooked ramen noodles per bowl
1. Heat a medium stock pot on medium heat. Add the oil and 3 veggies. Cook until soft about 10 mins.
2. Add the remaining ingredients except the noodles. Bring to a boil.
3. Cook the noodles as instructed and add 1 cup to a bowl and top with the soup.
January 18, 2016 § Leave a comment
I opted out of my daily coffee fix at 49th Parallel Coffee and tried one of their offering for the 6th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival. I got The Bee’s Knees which is dark chocolate infused with lavender syrup, topped with steamed milk and a honey marshmallow. It was served with a honey/lavender biscotti dipped in white chocolate ($6).
The hot chocolate was smooth and felt silky as it went down my throat. I drank it quite quickly and then tried the freshly made and still soft biscotti. The honey flavour was prominent and the white chocolate finished it perfectly. I only ate one of them as I quickly reached my sweet tooth threshold.
My daughter, a queen concoctor of hot chocolate got the Saturday Nut Fever ($6). A hazelnut hot chocolate with hazelnut amaretti and a hazelnut truffle. Every bite tasted of nuts and is perfect for the nut lover.
It was a fun experience to try these creative drinks with delectable sweet pairings. We will most likely try a couple more places during the festival. For more information on the 6th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival, you can visit their website for a list of participating venues and their hot chocolate menus at http://www.hotchocolatefest.com.
December 5, 2013 § 1 Comment
My son and I went shopping for the Black Friday Sales that were happening in Vancouver. We left our house around 11am on Sunday morning and went to 3 stores including Costco. In less than 3 hours my 12 year old had bought gifts for all seven people on his list and within his budget.
I commented that I was so impressed with his budgeting and decision making skills and the amount of time that it took him to shop. He replied that he thought that it took long because I kept looking at stuff. He also said that he already had an idea of what to buy people and researched prices online.
We had worked up an appetite and decided to stop at the Noodle box Restaurant downtown on 839 Homer Street. I got the Spicy Peanut Noodle box and my son got the Kung Pao, both with tofu.
Mine had ribbon noodles with a coconut curry and veggies. My son’s was an egg noodle with a sweet chilli sauce and veggies. I love the Noodle box because the meals are huge and you always have leftovers. The wait is never more that 15 minutes and the atmosphere is nice for a casual quick service restaurant. Plus they always play good music and usually hip hop. Best of all, it’s a place that both my son and I enjoy and can share an experience over a bowl of noodles. Visit their website for locations, hours and menu, www.noodlebox.net.
December 5, 2013 § 2 Comments
I spent a day sight seeing in San Francisco and my stomach suddenly roared for a nourishing meal. I was in Union Square surrounded by tourists and the sound of cable cars rolling up and down the hill near Market Street. I looked around and after a block or two, I caught a sign on a side street that advertised Thai food. They usually have vegetarian options so I walked in.
The 50 seat restaurant was nearly full and I was seated at a long bar facing the wall. The restaurant was not decorated and the purple walls showed beige where the paint had come off.
Within a minute of being seated, I was asked for my order. I had not looked at the menu long and noticed that the lady beside me was eating a nice soup. The waitress showed me the vegetarian soups and I ordered one with coconut milk and noodles.
The Tom Kha Tofu soup was so hot that I burnt my mouth on the first spoon. The flavour was sweet and sour with a delicious coconut flavour. The soup had mushrooms, asian greens, baby corn and tofu. It so delicious and I continued to take sips even though it was steaming. The noodles were broad and slippery and I eventually had to ask for a fork to get them in my mouth. The portion was massive and I ate almost all of the broth and left a pile of mushrooms behind.
For such a simple restaurant, the service was quick and friendly and the soup was outstanding. The King of Thai Noodle House in Union Square is located at 184 O’Farrell Street in San Francisco.