a very canadian week of cooking

We have a (pleasant and positive!) running commentary in our house about the enormous variation of first and last names that appear on Canadian news broadcasting stations. Avid CBC fans will know that the multicultural combination of broadcasters who are on television or radio on any given day is astounding – and very Canadian: John Vennavally-Rao, Ian Hanomansing, Vik Adhopia, Nala Ayed, George Stroumboulopoulos, Julie Nesrallah… the list is unending.

When we travel in Europe, someone undoubtedly asks us about ‘Canadian cuisine’. Aside from maple syrup and poutine, it’s hard to think of anything truly Canadian. In reality, Canadian food (at least for us) consists of dumplings and curry, pierogis and borscht, sushi, tacos, dim sum, baguette and challah bread, and a thousand other, very not-Canadian sounding things. But kind of like our favourite CBC hosts, the commonality about all of these things is – now – their Canadian-ness.

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This week, completely accidentally, we ended up with three now-Canadian dishes – a spicy Mexican Chilli (with bulgur.. perhaps that’s the Canadian part…), Chickpeas with Rice, and Egg Fried Rice with Tofu from Mark Bittman’s book.  A broccoli noodle casserole was also created, but Mark doesn’t do casseroles, so that one was all us. Is casserole Canadian? Does anyone actually know?

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Everything we make is easy. Major shocker. There are, in fact, complicated recipes in this book. Rachel (our meal planner) is going to pretend they don’t exist until we run out of things to eat. And even then, we might not attempt those recipes.

The Egg Fried Rice made enough for at least four days, for two people. We usually cook our tofu battered in flour, but this recipe didn’t call for it, and it came out crispy anyway!

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Someone got creative with their plating! Clearly not enough homework… 

Chickpeas with Rice was the best way I’ve ever had simple chickpeas and rice, and took all of ten minutes to make.

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The Chilli was made much more difficult because I had purchased all the ingredients.. and then they were eaten, before the recipe was made.

Sigh. Trips to Sobeys complicate everything. After that though, it was just fine, and made the whole house smell good. This will definitely need to be frozen in batches – there is no way we can eat chilli for the next two weeks. Rachel will go crazy.

So, maybe this wasn’t the cuisine that Jacques Cartier had in mind… but it tastes like home now.

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Here are the recipes we made this week:

Chilli with Bulgur – p. 557

Egg Fried Rice with Tofu – p. 520

Chickpeas with Rice – p. 509

What have you been cooking? Let us know in the comments below, or send us a picture on Instagram – @andthenimetrachel!

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