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 →
Brunch is a beautiful thing. It’a a laid-back feast combining the very best of two meals. Brunch bends all the culinary rules. You can enjoy the artery clogging goodness of breakfast alongside other unconventional early morning fare like meat roasts, seafood and desserts…simultaneously. Where it’s perfectly acceptable to indulge in a few cocktails with your meal and the need to get up early is eliminated entirely. Add a few hungry guests and you have the perfect meal. What’s not to love?
Tamago, a sweet, fluffy Japanese omelette comes standard on any sushi menu. Flavoured with soy sauce, sake, sugar and mirin (sweetened rice wine), it is traditionally served after the main course as an end to the meal. If you’re like us however (or more specifically Meaghan) tamago is ordered in abundance as a main, part of a lavish sushi spread. Tamago is a great option for vegetarians, pregnant women, and non-fish lovers alike. It is said that you can tell the caliber of a sushi chef by his tamago. So if you’re curious to know how your local sushi restaurant stacks up, this piece is a must order. Continue reading →
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!
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 →