Think plant-based recipes aren't worth the effort? Think again

Think plant-based recipes aren't worth the effort? Think again

Proponents of a plant-based diet tout its benefits for not only your health, but also the planet’s. But giving up meat can be tough, which is why we went to some notable Vancouver chefs who offered up recipes delicious and colourful enough that even the biggest meat eater in your home will be happy. A plant-based diet is one that either excludes meat all together or minimizes its use.

And, because I have my own favourite, which I made up myself and is super easy to make, I included my recipe for roasted radishes as well.

Roasted sunchokes and rainbow carrots

Recipe by head chef Andrew Hounslow

Havana Vancouver

Serves four


Part A

1 lb sunchokes washed well, cut lengthwise in half — larger ones can be quartered if desired

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. kosher salt

Part B

1 bunch rainbow carrots, washed well and cut lengthwise in half — longer ones can be halved across the length if desired

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. kosher salt

Part C

1 cara cara orange, zest first and reserve, then peel and cut into segments

Alternatively, blood oranges can be used when in season

¼ cup marcona almonds, toasted and seasoned lightly with salt

8-12 leaves of Italian flat leaf parsley

10-12 rings of pickled shallots (recipe below)


Preheat oven to 425-F

Toss together sunchokes with olive oil and kosher salt until evenly coated.

Spread out into an even layer on a baking sheet and roast in preheated oven until golden brown and soft throughout (approx. 40 minutes)

Meanwhile, midway through the sunchokes cooking, toss together rainbow carrots with olive oil and kosher salt until evenly coated.

Spread out into an even layer on a baking sheet and roast in the same oven as the sunchokes until lightly caramelized and soft throughout, approximately 20 minutes

Remove sunchokes and carrots from the oven and toss with the reserved orange zest

Serve on a plate or platter, ensuring an even distribution of sunchokes and carrots. Garnish randomly with orange segments, marcona almonds, parsley leaves and pickled shallots

Serve immediately

Pickled shallots


1 shallot peeled, sliced thinly into rings

½ cup apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp. white sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 garlic clove crushed

1 red Thai chili (optional)


Place the thinly sliced shallot rings into a bowl and lightly season with kosher salt to taste

In an appropriately sized pot, bring apple cider vinegar, white sugar, 1 tsp. kosher salt, and Thai chili (if using) to a simmer

Immediately remove from heat and pour directly over the shallots. Allow to cool to room temperature

Place into and airtight container and store up to two weeks in refrigerator

Sprouted red lentil hummus with za’atar and vegetable crudités

Recipe by executive chef Jonathan Chovancek

Homer Street Cafe & Bar

Makes three cups


1 cup red lentils, cooked soft

1/2 cup chickpeas cooked soft with bay, garlic and cinnamon stick

3 – 4 tbsp lemon juice

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp cumin

4 tbsp olive oil


Dry roast the spice in oven

Use a high-powered blender to puree the remaining ingredients

Season with salt to taste

Pour into dip bowls and garnish with olive oil and za’atar

Top with shaved raw seasonal vegetables

Warm cauliflower and watercress

Recipe by chef de cuisine Catherine Stewart

Tableau Bar Bistro

 Serves two


1 head of cauliflower cut with stems removed

Olive oil for drizzling

Salt and pepper to taste

1 head of watercress washed and stems trimmed for garnish

Watercress pistou

1 head of watercress washed and the stems trimmed

2 cloves of garlic

1 cup of olive oil

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 oz. blanched almonds

Salt and pepper to taste

Blend all of the ingredients until smooth and bright green


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees-F

Steam the cauliflower for one minute to par cook

Place on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper to taste

Bake until golden in the oven (approx. 15-20 minutes)

Liberally toss the warm cauliflower with the pistou and present in a shallow bowl, add the watercress and pine nuts and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper before presenting

Dragon Bowl

Recipe by executive chef Reuben Major and head chef Drew Scott,

Belgard Kitchen

Serves one


Part A

4 oz. cooked brown rice

2 oz. baby spinach

2 floz. garlic tahini dressing (recipe below)

Part B

1 oz. red pepper (sliced)

1 oz. red beet (peeled and shredded)

1 oz. carrot (peeled and shredded)

½ oz. red onion (thinly sliced)

½ oz. red radish (thinly sliced)

¼ oz. avocado (diced)

2 oz. marinated tofu (recipe below)

¼ oz. sunflower seeds

Part C

1 tsp. black sesame seeds

1 floz. garlic tahini dressing


Place part A in an appropriately sized bowl and garnish with part B keeping each component separate as desired

Drizzle part C on top. Serve immediately

Marinated tofu

Makes enough for four portions

Part A

1 brick extra firm tofu

Part B

5 oz. tamari

2 oz. mirin

1 oz. sugar

½ oz. minced garlic

½ oz. sesame oil

½ oz. rice vinegar


Preheat oven to 400-F

On a half tray, spread out part A and pour part B over tofu

Using a weighted half tray, press firmly for 30 minutes

Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes

Remove from trays and refrigerate

Garlic tahini dressing

Makes enough for 2-4 portions

Part A

3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

3 Tbsp. tahini

3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

3 Tbsp. tamari

3 Tbsp. water

3 garlic cloves

Part B

¾ cup canola oil


Puree part A in blender and slowly stream part B until fully emulsified

Roasted radishes

Recipe by Sandra Thomas

My kitchen

(Even my veggie-phobic husband loves these.)

Serves two as a snack, four as a side dish


A bag or large bunch of radishes washed and cut into halves or quarters depending on their size

Two tbsp. olive oil

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Garlic powder to taste — optional

Lemon juice to taste


Preheat oven to 400-F

Toss radishes, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder together in a bowl and spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, sliced side down

After 10 minutes toss the radishes and cook for another five to 10 minutes, depending how caramelized you like them

Spoon radishes into a bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice

By: Burnaby Now

GuidedBy is a community builder and part of the Glacier Media news network. This article originally appeared on a Glacier Media publication.

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