The Giving Bowl

Inemesit Chats is a new part of the blog through which I will showcase the amazing and innovative endeavours carried out by those who I am lucky enough to cross paths with. It is a way to create exposure and cross dialogue between the variety of passions that we all share. I believe wholeheartedly in supporting one another and empowering ourselves to follow our passions. This mini chat series will be a theme carried through out the blog moving forward and I cannot wait to share all your unique and inspiring projects! If you want to be a part of this series and are looking for a platform to share your passion and interests, feel free to drop me a line at inemesitetokudo@gmail.com!

The first person to step into Inemesit Chats is Nikki from The Giving Bowl. I've known Nikki for more than 4 years now and I am so happy to see her passion for sharing her plant-based recipes flourish. Through thegivingbowl.ca, Nikki is providing delicious recipes from her kitchen to ours while speaking to the importance of including nutritious, healthy choices in our daily diets. Here is a little bit more about Nikki and her phenomenal new blog as well as a yummy recipe you can try yourselves!

1. Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Nikki, I'm 22 years old and I live in Milton, Ontario. I love all things Disney, all things food and I have a pretty rad crystal collection that I started back when I was in grade 2. I speak four languages, I still don't have my license, and I've been told I remind people of Phoebe from Friends.

2. Why did you start the blog?

Growing up, food was always a huge part of my life, mostly because of my Spanish, Italian and Peruvian background. Food has always been at the centre of everything for us. As a kid, I would spend hours in the kitchen with my grandma and my mom making all kinds of food. My fondest memories were made in the kitchen. When I started my plant-based diet, I didn't want to lose sight of where I came from. My inspiration was the same, but my purpose was different. As an animal lover, I cut out animal protein while staying true to the flavours and aromas of my childhood, without jeopardizing flavour.

3. What is your favourite ingredient to cook with?

This is a tough question. I think I'd have to say mushrooms. They're very versatile and have been a great animal protein replacement in a lot of my favourite recipes. I've even used mushrooms to replace fish in ceviche, the possibilities are endless. Their earthy flavour adds a little something extra to my recipes, which I just can't get enough of.

4. Who are your chef inspirations?

I grew up watching Jamie Oliver on TV, I'm a big fan of his. These days, I love watching The Pioneer Woman and Rachel Ray. Even though they don't cook vegan meals, I love watching their shows because I get inspired and enjoy vegan-izing their recipes. Cooking is a creative process, and I love being able to put things together and experiment with food because most of the time, the end result is delicious.

5. How would you describe your blogging style?

I like to keep it simple and straight to the point. I usually like to add a little blurb about what inspired me, or the story behind my recipes, but it all comes down to the food. Simple ingredients and easy preparations to get everyone feeling confident in the kitchen. You don't have to be a chef. All you need is simple ingredients and the right tools, and you're set!

6. Who are your ideal readers?

Anyone who likes good and simple food. I'm hoping that my recipes are able to inspire my readers. I think some people find vegan recipes intimating because they require ingredients that we don't usually have kicking around in our pantry. I'm not asking anyone to soak cashews overnight, or learn how to make their own cheese. This is real food, made simple. I'd also like to encourage my followers to remember that food can be just as tasty and satisfying without having to take the life of an animal. That's the idea behind the giving bowl - to give without taking.

7. What are three blogs you visit almost daily?

Jamie Oliver, The Pioneer Woman and Oh She Glows, of course! All great and passionate cooks who are inspiring the world.

Lemon-Tahini Quinoa with a Tomato, Cucumber and Mint Salad

What you will need: 

-1 cup of cooked quinoa

-1/4 of a white onion, diced

-a handful of chopped parsley

-1 lemon

-1 cucumber

-2 tomatoes

-a handful of pickled turnips (or pickles)

-a handful of fresh mint

-romaine lettuce (optional)

-2 tablespoons of tahini (sesame paste)

-salt

-pepper

-olive oil

Preparation:

-In a large bowl, add the diced onion, chopped parsley, the juice of 1/2 of a lemon, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of tahini.

-Give it a good mix and let it sit for 5 minutes.

-Add the cooked quinoa, and season to taste (salt, pepper, more lemon if desired)

-In a separate bowl, dice the tomatoes, cucumbers and turnips (or pickles).

-Add some chopped mint, the other half of your lemon and 4 table spoons of olive oil.

-Season to taste (salt, pepper, more lemon if desired)

Serving:

-In a big bowl, add some chopped lettuce to cover the bottom of the bowl.

-Top it all off with some of your salad and your quinoa mixture.

-Enjoy!

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