The New Vegan Frontier

I had this realization at the grocery store the other day. It’s something I’ve obviously not given enough thought. I mean, I know why people have food restrictions and I know that there are many reasons. There are people in my family are allergic to wheat and dairy and a large reason because of that is why this site exists. I’m fairly conscientious but never though, have I gone out and so rigorously read every ingredient that went into my shopping basket. What was once simple shopping took an hour and a half.

I’m aware of the easiest ways to healthier eating and that’s making everything yourself. But after this experience, I couldn’t believe it more true. The sneaky binders and unfortunate ingredients that “deprive” those of a delicious waffle. After a few let downs there was excitement. I’d find new produce or the wheat-free, gluten-free, yeast-free bread that will remain nameless to excite me into a tizzy. I was about ready to start this detoxing cleanse.

My biggest splurge was to finally buy a rice cooker. I honestly don’t know why I hadn’t done this earlier and now it sits happily along sit my Kitchen Aid as one of my favourite appliances. Shameful to admit, I’ve never been a stellar rice steamer myself. Iffy at best, I’d cross my fingers and hope not to burn it on the bottom or lift the lid early exposing a soggy mess. Amazing that this basic food is one of my favourites and when cooked right, tastes like a delicacy to me. Naturally, I was inspired and created one of my first meals for the detox as a rice bowl.

Totally versatile, starting with a mix of brown and wild rice, I added many of my grocery shop finds; broccolini, roasted squash, pea shoots and bean sprouts. To it was a great maple baked tofu with a great tahini sauce to liven it up.

Maybe this won’t be so bad?


4 cups Cooked Brown & Wild Rice, or whatever you have that you think is nice
1 Acorn Squash, seeded & sliced
1 Block Extra Firm (organic) Tofu, halved and sliced about 1/4″ thick
Handful Each of Pea Shoots, Sprouts, Broccolini & Frozen Green peas
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil,
Safflower Oil for frying


1/4 cup tahini
3 Tablespoons Water
3 tablespoons Sesame Seed Oil
1/4 cup  Lemon Juice
Pinch of Salt to taste

Make the dressing by whisking together the tahini and hot water to thin. Add the lemon  juice, sesame oil and sprinkling of salt.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly drizzle 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a baking dish. Lay your sliced squash evenly and flip to coat in the oil.
Bake for about 15-20mins, then flip and return to the oven to continue roasting on the other side for another 15 minutes or until soft and golden. Remove from pan and lightly sprinkle over salt and pepper.
While the squash is roasting, heat a thin layer of the safflower oil in a large pan for frying.
Once the oil is hot, add the tofu slices and brown on both sides.
Remove and drain on towels.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF.
Using the roasting pan for the squash, add the tofu and evenly pour over the maple syrup, tossing to coat on both sides.
Bake the tofu for about a 1/2 hour, flipping half way through, until it is browned and slightly crisped.
Cook your rice, as per your usually methods. 2C dry rice with about double the water, usually does it for me.
Scoop the cooked rice into a nice, big bowl and to it, stir in the broccolini and frozen green peas

Serve rice family style or into individual bowls, topping with tofu, slices of squash and a handful of shoots and sprouts.
Drizzle over the tahini dressing. Taste and add more salt and freshly ground pepper, if needed.

Serves 4-6.

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I'm a chef, food stylist, cancer survivor, recipe developer, art director and photographer. My obsession for food, how it looks and makes me healthier has driven my passion for chronicling my journey through photos. Find more about me on: or my portfolio at:

12 thoughts on “The New Vegan Frontier”

  1. A rice cooker was the first thing my mum gave me when I moved out of home, coming from a Chinese household it was far more essential than microwave, vacuum or cups. :o)

    I hope you enjoy using it! The ricebowl looks delicious.
    I’ve already gone on way too much about it to most people who could probably care less… but they should, that’s what their getting for their birthdays this year!
    I LOVE it!!

  2. Yum that looks great!! Enjoy your new rice cooker, I just got one for Christmas and I love it. I’m like you, I was never the best at making rice on my own, so I adore having a gadget to do it for me.

  3. I’ve been wanting to get a rice cooker, but I’m scared off by the fact that they all have some kind of non-stick lining. Does anybody have any information about this?

  4. I wish I had someone like you cooking for me, even your detox meals look incredible. I love my rice maker also. I have an Elite Pro Fuzzy Logic, and it is the best. I love using the porridge setting to make a warming congee. Have fun experimenting!

  5. I am researching which kind of rice cooker to buy…I didn’t realize there were so many out there.
    What kind did you get? You obviously like, yes?
    I honestly just grabbed the first one I saw. It was at the grocery store the day of my first extensive detox shop. I knew I’d be eating a bit of rice – so it was kind of an impulse buy… I’m sure there are fancy and even expensive ones, but so far this little one’s been great.

  6. ooo a rice cooker. Putting dangerous ideas in my head :)

    This recipe looks great. My husband can’t get enough rice and bean options so this will be a perfect addition.

  7. Hey, looks nice! The restaurant right around the corner from me makes rice bowls, as does another one not far. I’m going to link their menu’s to you–see if you can’t find any inspiration. :) Fresh has some cookbooks out, but I’m sure from the menu you can figure out most of what you want to do anyway!
    I love Fresh! It’s one of the reasons Crawford is one of my favourite streets in T.O.

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