Simply Vegetarian in Richmond

Update 07-Dec-2010: This restaurant is closed. Must have been closed for a while already.

We bumped into Steven a couple of months ago in Chapters. Steven used to work with Ben. To our surprise, Steven knows about chowtimes and being a vegetarian, he invited us to try out vegetarian food. We had never visited a vegetarian restaurant before and quickly accepted his invite.

Steven brought us to a restaurant called Simply Vegetarian on Akroyd in Richmond.

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With Steven’s recommendation, Ben ordered a combo meal for $6.95. The combo meal comes with a miso soup.

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Ben ordered this 3 cups of Treasure which is veggie meat made from soy bean starch cooked in ginger, basil, peanut and satay sauce. We were surprised by the taste of the dish which is pretty good.

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Minestrone Soup

For the second dish, Jean made a Minestrone Soup. Jean specifically made this dish for Tanni who had requested to learn how to make Italian dishes.

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Minestrone is an Italian soup made with fresh seasonal vegetables, often with the addition of pasta or rice and beans which make it into a complete meal by itself. Minestrone soup is also known as the poorer people’s cuisine in Italy. It is very filing and cheap to make and yet nutritious.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 fresh tomato, diced
  • 4 or 5 bunches of baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 28oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 15.5oz can beans (Jean used white kidney beans)
  • 1/2 cup long grain rice
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 4 or 5 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon summer savory leaves
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt to taste

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There is lots of slicing and dicing to do but with so many helping hands in the cooking club, its done in a jiffy.

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Vegetarian Tempura

Winnie’s second dish is fried vegetarian tempura. She used various root vegetables like sweet potatoes, taro and zucchini.

It is very simple to make as she uses the tempura batter mix from a box. Just add water to the right consistency and it’s ready for dipping the sliced vegetables for frying.

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Deep fry the vegetable tempura in small batches and drain them on paper towel to remove excess oil. It does not take long to fry the thinly sliced vegetables.

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Cranberry Chutney

In line with the same theme, Minoo also made a dish with cranberries and orange juice on the same day I made the Cranberry Bread. She made a Cranberry Chutney. The Cranberry Chutney is great with turkey or chicken. This homemade Cranberry Chutney is flavored with ginger and garlic.

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups cranberries (frozen is ok)
  • 10 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • coarse salt and ground black pepper to taste

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Korean Tofu Pancake

Lan is a young Korean lady who is relatively new to our Richmond Cooking Club. She made two Korean dishes in the recent cooking club meeting. She made a Korean Tofu Pancake and a Korean Spicy Pork. It is great to learn from other cultures. We had a marvelous time.

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The Korean Tofu Pancake is a vegetarian dish. It is loaded with oyster mushrooms, chives and green onions.

Ingredients

  • a package of firm tofu, mashed and drain
  • a package of fresh oyster mushroom, cut into small pieces.
  • a bunch of chives, finely chopped
  • half of a sweet red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • flour for coating

Just ignore the carrots as there is a mix up while I photographed the ingredients for the dish.

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Grilled Pepper Poppers

I got this recipe from Safeway on one those free recipes stand. I made it for a BBQ get-together with Polly and family a couple weeks ago. It is a great cheesy appetizer — not to mention it being so colourful.

The filling in the sweet peppers consists of chopped tomatoes, chopped red onion, chopped fresh cilantro, shredded cheese and salt to taste.

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The peppers are grilled over medium heat for 5 minutes or so until the peppers blistered and slightly charred on the bottoms.

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Chinese Vegetarian Dish (Loh Hon Jai)

My late mum used to make a Chinese vegetarian dish (Loh Hon Jai) on the first day of Chinese New Year. I have not eaten this dish for a long time until my next door neighbour, Richard and Jeanie shared it with me. The dish brought back so much sweet memories and I’m really grateful to Richard and Jeanie for sharing the recipe with me.

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Ingredients

  • Fresh oyster mushrooms
  • Dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted or fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • Cloud ear mushrooms, reconstituted
  • Cabbages, blanched
  • Fried gluten (mien gen), blanched to remove excess oil
  • Can fried gluten, remove top later of oil but reserve the liquid
  • Fried tofu puff, the rectangular type
  • Fried bean curd stick, blanched until soft
  • Bean curd skin, lightly fried
  • Vemicelli (tung fen), cooked in boiling water for 2 minutes and rinse off in cold water
  • Shanghai bean curd, red (lam yue), mushed up to dissolve in some water and strain if necessary
  • Corn starch solution
  • few cloves of garlic, chopped

You may any mushrooms in season or can mushroom like straw mushroom, button mushroom, inoki mushroom, etc. The Shanghai red bean curd can be substituted with oyster sauce.

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Kimchee

I’m privileged to have my Korean friend, Allie to show me how to make Kimchee. Kimchee is the staple side dish for Korean and Korean eats Kimchee almost in every meal.

Kimchee is a traditional dish of fermented chillie peppers and vegetables, usually based on cabbage. The word Kimchee originate from ‘chim-chae’ which means steeped/submerged vegetables.

Allie always have Kimchee in her fridge. When her Kimchee ran out of supply, she’ll make a big batch which last for 3 months.

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Allie emphazised that the ingredients for making Kimchee must be bought from Korean groceries stores. Though the ingredients sound like ordinary ingredients which you can buy from many other groceries stores, Allie said they taste different.

Here are the ingredients for making Kimchee.

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  • cabbage
  • radish
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • fish sauce
  • salted shrimp
  • chillie peppers
  • sea salt
  • brown sugar
  • a pair of gloves

Allie told me that the chilli peppers were from her mother-in-law. Her mother-in-law planted the peppers and dried and grinded them herself. They are all organic.

Allie usually bought a whole box of cabbages and several radishes for making Kimchee. The box contains 8 large cabbages.

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Indian Vegetarian Curry

My good neighbour, Zee shared with me how to make a vegetarian curry dish. Zee is of Indian descent but she was born in Kenya. The Vegetarian Curry dish is a very versatile recipe as you can use an assortment of ingredients.

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For this recipe, Zee used kidney beans and cassava. Cassava is grown for its enlarged starch-filled roots, which contains a high concentration of starch. Cassava is used much like potato.

Click on link below for Ingredients and Cooking Instructions.

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