Tuesday, January 10, 2012

glory bowl

When we moved across the country three years ago this May, we decided to drive.

It took us about eight days to make our way from Ottawa to Victoria, driving all 4,723 kilometres through Canada. (The shortcut across the top of the United States was tempting, but we wanted to see our country.)

In Ontario – land of never ending lakes and trees and more lakes and more trees – we stayed at bed and breakfasts. After we hit the prairies – land of very smooth, straight highways where you could see potential roadkill miles away – we were able to stay with friends every night.

So we had breakfasts and most dinners taken care of. But we were always looking for lunch in the middle of our driving day. Specifically, we were always on the lookout for hippie cafés. You know the ones I mean: cafés that offer dishes with sprouts and chickpeas and homemade soups.

We had varying degrees of luck, until we crossed the British Columbia border. (If you're not familiar with Canada, now is the time for me to tell you that B.C. proudly boasts the highest ratio of hippies to hunters of any province in Canada.)

We drove through the Rocky Mountains and ended up in Golden, just on the B.C. side of the provincial border around noon.

My more skeptical half was somewhat dubious when I pronounced that we were sure to find a hippie café for lunch today. But he gamely drove slowly through the narrow streets of Golden while I sized up the storefronts.

Sure enough, I spotted it in no time: Bacchus Books and Café. A used bookstore with a café on the top! Hello, hippie café!

We went up to the second floor and checked out the café: vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Yep, we were definitely back in B.C. I ordered a creamy tomato soup that was so good I had to ask what was in it.

Scott, the gluten-free man, ordered the glory bowl: quinoa with beets, carrots, spinach, almonds and tofu. I gave him a covert look of alarm (didn't want to upset the cook) – um, wouldn't that be too healthy to be good?

No. Unfortunately, as happens from time to time, the husband was right. With a truly addictive dressing, his glory bowl was divine. It was all I could do not to keep sneaking bites when he went to the bathroom.

So we also ended up asking about the glory bowl. The nice woman serving us said it was from a cookbook called "Whitewater Cooks," which they sold in the bookstore downstairs. We promptly went down the stairs and bought the book.

We've never looked back. We make the glory bowl at least once every couple months and always love it. Besides being very, very tasty with this dressing, I can't seem to find any other way to happily eat grated beets and raw spinach.

This is one appropriate meal for January, month of cleanses and resolutions – except that it actually tastes good.

Last January: naomi's granola

glory bowl
serves 6
sesame baked tofu
from Rebar Modern Food

2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 block firm tofu (about 300 g.), cubed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper.

Mix soy sauce, sesame oil and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Toss with tofu. Spread tofu on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring part-way through.

glory bowl dressing*
slightly adapted from Whitewater Cooks

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

Mix yeast flakes, water, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, tahini and garlic together. (I like to use an immersion blender, but you could use a whisk or hand blender.) Add the oil in a slow, steady stream while you're mixing.

*This dressing makes a bit more than you'll need for the glory bowl. Trust me: you want that extra dressing hanging around for other raw vegetables you need to dress up.

the bowl itself
slightly adapted from Whitewater Cooks

2 c. uncooked quinoa*
2 c. beets, grated
2 c. carrots, grated
2 c. spinach leaves
1 1/2 c. roasted almonds, roughly chopped
prepared sesame baked tofu
prepared glory bowl dressing

Pour 3 1/2 cups of water in a medium pot. Add the quinoa and a bit of salt, if you like. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to keep it at a simmer and cook covered for 10 – 12 minutes, depending on how done you like your quinoa. Remove from the heat. Let it sit for a few minutes, then fluff with a fork or spoon.

Next, we're assembling the bowl! Spoon quinoa into your bowl. Top with beets, carrots, spinach leaves, almonds and tofu. Pour dressing over.

*The original recipe calls for brown rice. You could also try that, or even barley, kamut or farro.


  1. looks beautiful and sounds delicious. I need to get more adventurous, courageous with really healthy dishes. It's easy to cook with cheese and rice and chicken but not as easy for me to cook with beets and baked tofu - though I love tofu! Inspiring!

  2. Hello! I'm new to your blog... just wanted to say that the photos of your food are gorgeous! I especially like the header image with the apples and the font you used... very elegant! I will come back to read more!

    from www.theyummybits.com

  3. Welcome to you both - I'm so glad you found me!

  4. Love the blog, you have a great flair for recipes. I've highlighted your blog (and this recipe) today on Cook Culture's Facebook: www.facebook.com/cookculture

  5. Thanks, Melody! Possibly more often than is quite healthy for my budget, you can find me wandering around Cook Culture, plotting my next kitchen purchase -- so I'm very happy that Cook Culture also likes me. (:

  6. Second consecutive glory bowl meal - Thank you, Stephanie!

  7. Glory bowl for supper tonight...delicious! We used Little Creek dressing instead of making our own and it was great.

  8. this story is adorable! i'll have to give the glory bowl a try!!