Recipes Photo Credit: Gabriel Cabrera

5 Plant-Forward Recipes That’ll Make You Fall in Love with Vegetables

Reset ho-hum winter meals with an injection of colourful and tasty veggie-forward dishes from the West’s top chefs.


1. The Very Best Buddha Bowl

The term “buddha bowl” is used to describe any number of combinations of veggies, grains and proteins served together in a shallow bowl; often, the combination is vegetarian or vegan, and it’s usually drizzled with an interesting dressing. Measurements here are approximate; rummage through your fridge—a buddha bowl is a great way to use up leftovers. If you don’t want to turn on the oven, skip the roasted sweet potato.Julie Van Rosendaal, author, Best of Bridge Sunday Suppers, Calgary


2. Pine Mushroom and Walla Walla Onion Fonduta

I am a big fan of this dish because it can be a side or starter, or it can stand as a main course for vegetarians. The hot melted cheese makes it a satisfying winter comfort food, presented in a unique style by using the onion as the vessel for the fonduta, and the pine mushrooms lend the dish an incredible earthy umami flavour.—Andrea Carlson, chef, Burdock and Co., Vancouver


Fonduta
Originating from Northern Italy, the main difference between it and a classic cheese fondue is that fonduta usually incorporates more ingredients and is regarded almost as a sauce rather than just melted cheese. A fonduta often includes cream, butter, herbs and flavourful mushrooms such as truffles or, in this case, earthy pine mushrooms.



3. Roasted Cauliflower Steak with Soft Eggs and Bagna Cauda

This rustic dish works great as a side or can be the star of the show for a plant-based meal. In this sauce, inspired by the bagna cauda of northeastern Italy, anchovies are replaced with olives and Dijon mustard.—Steve Smee, chef, Ten Foot Henry, Calgary


4. Oyster Mushroom Po’boy

A vegan take on the southern classic that’s remarkably close to the original. The Arbor uses its own house-made pickles, vegan mayo and spice mix, but with this DIY version any store-bought substitutions will do. The coleslaw should be juicy and seasoned just right so that no other sauces will be required, though feel free to add a smattering of your favourite hot sauce or condiments.The Arbor, Vancouver


5. Garden of Qarth

There are slow-drink, “plant-forward” cocktails and then there’s Grant Sceney’s Garden of Qarth. The blanching, juicing and hand whisking might push your prep past the 30-minute mark, but the Hulk drink’s lucky recipient will certainly know they are your favourite.—Grant Sceney, creative beverage director, Botanist, Vancouver


How do you make foamy cocktails without egg whites?
Replace egg white in cocktails with chickpea water/brine, also known as aquafaba, to give cocktails a silky, smooth-textured finish. Ms. Better’s Bitters from Vancouver also offers a Miraculous Foamer (the recipe is a closely guarded secret), creating an egg white replacement that’s vegan friendly.


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