Heirloom Vegetarian celebrates Year of Quinoa
Georgia Morley, chef at Heirloom Vegetarian, is excited. This year was declared the Year of Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and it is definitely cause for celebration. Quinoa is a power-packed source of protein, fibre and vitamins, grown in the Peruvian highlands, and is easily transformed into a variety of tasty meals.
“I eat quinoa most days in place of meat and in a variety of ways: I grind the grain in my Vitamix to make quinoa flour for pancakes, and I toss cooked quinoa into my smoothies for a protein punch. It’s great as a hot cereal with almond milk and honey. Quinoa burgers with leeks and black beans, and salads galore — I could go on and on and on!”
Morley’s enthusiasm for food is not restricted to quinoa. A quick peek at the Heirloom menu and the cornucopia of organic ingredients that are combined to make the healthful, hearty, delicious dishes is obvious. She strives to incorporate the freshest she can find from sources as local as possible such as Sole Food Street Farms and Hannah Brook Farms, regulars at the Vancouver Farmers Markets. And most everything is made fresh in the Heirloom kitchen, from the blueberry bergamot preserve to the smoked tomato catsup that is served with the completely addictive avocado fries. “Everything but our bread is made in-house.”
Heirloom’s brunch is available every day, and for good reason. “Vancouver loves brunch! We got in the game and the results are incredible.” One of her favourite menu items is easily the vegan/gluten-free banana pancakes. And for night owls, there is a late-night menu to support an inventive cocktail menu, organic wine list and selection of local microbrews.
Day or night, rainy or sunny, the dining room at Heirloom is big and cozy, bright and warm, thanks to the design of David Nicolay at Evoke, but also a front-of-house staff that is friendly, professional and educated. Morley has more than 20 years’ experience in the restaurant industry that has included nourishing celebrities and the health elite at the 2010 Olympics.
Heirloom is not just for vegetarians. As Chef G likes to put it “We simply made a great restaurant with vegetables as the main event. Plain and simple.”
Quinoa and chard salad with pickled peanuts and hemp heart tahini
by Chef Georgia Morley
2 heads of fresh red chard, rainbow chard or white chard (kale works nicely too), cut into a ¼-inch chiffonade.
3 cups black (or any colour) quinoa, rinsed and drained
5 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
Drizzle of grapeseed oil
Add water and quinoa to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Take off heat and rest for 5 minutes. Cool on sheet tray, tossed with grapeseed oil.
Satay lime vinaigrette
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Zest of 3 limes
1 small can coconut milk (mix the fat and milk together)
1/2 cup all-natural, organic peanut butter
1 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup tamari
1 teaspoon sea salt
Combine everything in a blender (I prefer a Vitamix) until emulsified, or use a hand blender to combine until smooth.
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup skinless raw peanuts, roasted for 5 minutes in a 350 degree oven on a sheet pan
Combine vinegar, syrup and salt and bring to a quiet boil on the stove. Pour hot liquid over roasted peanuts and allow to pickle overnight. Keep peanuts in liquid in the fridge for up to three weeks.
Hemp heart tahini
1 cup hemp hearts
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoons grape seed oil
½ teaspoon lemon juice
Combine everything in a Vitamix and blend until smooth. Add more water if required - keeping it on the thicker-side is better. Or you can use a blender, or magic bullet but the result will be less creamy. Keeps in fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Assemble. Combine chard, quinoa, satay vinaigrette, a pinch of salt in a bowl Top with pickled peanuts and garnish with a drizzle of hemp heart tahini.