I’ve long said that one of the very best things to come from food blogging are the friendships that have been formed along the way, and today’s post is an excellent example of that fellowship in full effect.
My friend Allison Day – Canadian food blogger extraordinaire – recently released her first cookbook, Whole Bowls. I haven’t actually met Allison in person, only briefly spotting her across the room at last September’s Taste Canada food writing awards, where we were both nominees (she won, I didn’t). However, thanks to the positive powers of social media we became quite friendly in the months that followed, and in January discovered we share a literary agent. Since then we’ve exchanged numerous emails, most of which are just me gushing over the beauty of a book she’s been working on, and I was only too thrilled to organize a blog hop with some of our fellow food writer friends in an effort to spread the word about her crave-worthy creation.
Whole Bowls is a collection of more than fifty gluten-free and vegetarian meals to power your day. Organized by breakfast, salad, entrée, and dessert bowls, there are also dozens of mini recipes-within-recipes, plus the homemade extras and basics found at the back of the book. The idea is that you’ll use these ideas and components – plus her brilliant “Whole Bowls Formula” - to build your own quick meals throughout the week. I’m especially fond of the vegetarian pantry guide, a useful resource for anyone interested in constructing more dishes with less meat.
I’ve been test driving the recipes for more a few weeks now, trying a few of them out on the meat-loving male members of my household, and we’ve had some great successes on the table in recent weeks. The yogurt bowl with cherry pesto and hazelnut oil-toasted oats was the first recipe I tucked into, closely followed by the roasted veggie bowls with fried egg and goat cheese (insert a big thumbs-up emoji here).
My favourite though, and the one that Rob and I have been lunching on this week, is the spring smashed chickpea salad with curry mayo. Not unlike the more familiar egg, tuna and chicken salads, this vegetarian version is fresh, flavourful, and, as the teenagers say, on fleek for spring. I’ve been eating mine in a bowl on a bed of greens, while he’s stuffed his salad into a whole grain tortilla with a few handfuls of spring mix. We have two more meals worth of salad available, and three lunches (each) left to make for the week, meaning it will be a battle to see who gets to finish what’s remaining in the fridge. To celebrate her publication, Allison was kind enough to participate in my “21 questions for…” feature, as well as share her recipe for the smashed chickpea salad.
21 Questions for Allison Day
1. My life in three bullet points:
- Thinking about food
2. My favourite vegetable is:
Tough one. Butternut squash. Or really amazing summer tomatoes. Or lacinato kale.
3. The kitchen I grew up eating in was...:
Basic. My mom wasn’t into cooking or kitchen equipment. I actually think this helped in the long run, allowing me to develop a style that’s fully, completely, honestly me.
4. Morning person or night owl?
That depends on the day of week. A morning person for the most part.
5. When I was a child I wanted to be:
As a child, a paediatrician. As a tween and teen, a writer/editor/journalist – pretty much what I do now.
6. If I was stuck on a desert island, the food I’d make sure to have with me is:
7. My favourite kitchen tool is:
My big Global knife. That thing can cut marble.
8. The last great book I read was:
Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
9. My ideal breakfast is:
Coffee! And full-fat plain Greek yogurt, my favourite homemade granola (page 55 of Whole Bowls) and seasonal fruit or bananas. I’ll drizzle some flaxseed oil on there, too. Unless I run out of those foods, I have this every day.
10. My ideal dinner is:
A big bowl of twirlable pasta. Or, and what I want and eat more often is some sort of vegetable and super-simple (Maldon) salt and pepper salmon.
11. I stay healthy by:
Eating mostly whole, unprocessed foods. Walking. Dessert every day.
12. The app I use the most is:
Free: “VSCO” for iPhone photo editing.
Purchased: I use “goop City Guides” infrequently, but it’s incredibly handy when travelling to the world’s greatest cities (New York, Paris, London, etc.).
13. Buffet or sit-down dinner?
I’m going to cheat here. Sit-down, but the food is served family-style so everyone can help themselves at the table.
14. A cookbook that changed me is:
Salad for Dinner by Jeanne Kelley
(Edited to add: This is also one of my favourite cookbooks and I reviewed it way back in 2013).
15. Tea or Coffee?
COFFEE! I enjoy a tea in the afternoon though.
16. Best restaurant meal you’ve had in past 12 months is:
Shaya in New Orleans, Louisiana. http://www.shayarestaurant.com/#about
17. Soup or salad?
Salad (served in a bowl) in the warm weather. Soup in the cold weather.
18. A person I want to have coffee with is:
Kenji López-Alt (The Food Lab) because I have several cooking questions that need to be answered.
19. Twitter or Instagram?
20. What do you love on your pizza?
Classic margherita. Tomato, mozzarella, basil, olive oil.
21. The first recipe I should make in Whole Bowls is:
The Maple Almond Granola on page 55 (referenced in my breakfast answer above) – my friends and family go crazy for it. For dinner, I recommend giving the Mac and Cheese with Smoked Tofu and Baked Tomatoes a try (page 165); it’s vegan, nut-free (no “cashew cheese” or high-speed blenders required) and gluten-free if you use brown rice macaroni noodles (Whole Bowls is fully gluten-free – I don’t eat a gluten-free “diet” every day myself – my sister has celiac disease and I wanted a cookbook she could feel comfortable about making every single recipe without fear of getting sick). Pair the Mac with the Homemade Ketchup (so easy and authentic, with only 1 tablespoon of honey to sweeten it – you’d never be able to tell though) on page 45.
Spring Smashed Chickpea Salad with Curry Mayo
Adapted from Whole Bowls by Allison Day
For the curry mayo:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the spring smashed chickpea salad:
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1 cup fresh or frozen (defrosted) green peas
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 8 cups spring mix
- balsamic vinegar
- 1 English cucumber, sliced
- Sea salt
- Optional: 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1. Make the curry mayo by whisking together the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, roughly smash the chickpeas with a pastry cutter or the back of a fork. Be sure to leave behind plenty of texture. Add remaining salad ingredients and curry mayo; mix well to combine.
3. To serve, combine lettuce with balsamic vinegar to taste, and season with salt. Divide between four bowls and top with a large scoop of chickpea salad. Scatter sunflower seeds over top, if using, and serve.
Notes: Chickpea salad can be made up to 4 days in advance. Curry mayo can be prepped one week ahead of when needed.
For more recipes (and reviews) from Whole Bowls, please be sure to check out my fellow food blogging friends to see what they've been coking up.
Jenny from The Brunette Baker
Charmian from The Messy Baker
Heather from The Tasty Gardener
Aimée from SimpleBites
Kelly from KellyNeil.com
Louisa from Living Lou
Mardi from eat. live. travel. write
Marilyn from MairlynSmith.com