Quinoa was one of those ingredients on our list of things we didn’t cook with and couldn’t pronounce. Turns out, this grain-like edible seed packs quite the nutritional punch. Full of protein, fibre, iron and calcium, quinoa is great for gluten-free diets, vegetarians and those who are lactose intolerant.
Ayaka managed to avoid quinoa her entire life. That is until her brother had to adopt a gluten-free diet. She was pushed out of her culinary comfort zone and had to work with this unfamiliar ingredient. The resulting experiment turned out to be a delicious one. Continue reading →
Happy Canada Day to all our fellow Canucks! To celebrate our nation’s 145th birthday, we decided to put our own twist on a Canadian classic. Much like the Caesar, poutine is about as quintessentially Canadian as it gets. What this dish lacks in aesthetics it more than makes up for in taste. Our version is made with sweet potato fries, mushroom gravy, and fresh locally produced cheese curds from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks. We used a combination of crimini, shiitake, oyster, and portobello mushrooms, but we encourage you to use whatever varieties you have available at home. If you’re not a fan of the fungi, they can be easily strained out, keeping all their lovely earthy flavours in the gravy where they belong.
Here at the Flirty Foodie we tend to avoid the two Fs: fast food joints and franchises. In a city chock full of chain restaurants, how does one sort the good from the run-of-the-mill? Downtown Nanaimo contains a treasure trove of culinary delights, many of which can be found along a historic stretch of road on Commercial Street. Hidden in plain sight, you only have to stop and look to discover there is great eating here! We take you through some of our favourite stops along the strip. The best part about our list is that all of our picks are under $10!
This Mediterranean inspired pasta is bursting with bold flavours characteristic of the region. The combination of zesty sun-dried tomatoes, the fruity punch of Kalamata olives, aromatic basil and garlic create a kaleidoscope of flavours on the palate. What’s wonderful about this recipe is its flexibility. It can be served hot as a savoury entree or cold as a hearty pasta salad. Soy cheese can be used in lieu of feta and parmigiano to make it vegan and the addition of grilled chicken breast would satisfy meat-eaters alike. Adapted and perfected by our very own flirty foodie Meaghan, this recipe is sure to transport your taste buds straight to the sunny Mediterranean, even on the dreariest of rainy days on the West Coast. Continue reading →
Bistro Taiyo Sushi Bar & Izakaya, located in the heart of Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter has served up authentic Japanese home-style cuisine for years. Under new ownership since 2011, Takeshi Hirose and Shin Koshimizu have given it a sophisticated remodel while still keeping true to the character and friendly atmosphere of its previous incarnation. From the moment you are warmly welcomed by the gracious all Japanese staff, you feel as though you’ve stepped into a small restaurant in Tokyo, minus the happy hour crowd in suits. The space though modest, features a sleek sushi bar where one can get a front row seat of sushi chefs in action. In addition, there are tables lining a bench and wooden chairs with traditional paper lanterns floating from the ceiling. While we do recommend that you pull up a seat at the sushi bar, we grabbed a table in anticipation of the serious spread we planned on ordering. The extra table space was needed. Continue reading →