Dragon Bowls and Mint-Green Jeans
The other day I went on a little road trip to the south shore of Nova Scotia, in search of second hand treasures at Guy’s Frenchys with my friend Hillary (a true shark of a shopper). Frenchys – a second hand clothing chain with locations throughout the Maritimes- is an institution around here, and the further south you go, the better the finds. Yes, legend has it that the ferry arrives in Yarmouth, straight from New England, full of vintage clothes from those New Englanders who purge their clothes on the regular. In the 80’s, Lacoste, Ralph Lauren and if you were lucky, an Hermès scarf could be found…the clothes are distributed at the various Frenchys locations throughout the Maritimes, but the best bits, they stay close to Yarmouth.
After a good two hour sort through every single bin in the store, we rolled in, exhausted, to The Port Grocer in Port Medway, not far from Liverpool. The Grocer has all the things you want in life – stuff like handmade soap on a rope, local grains and maple syrup and even a tiny post office. But the best part is a little cafe in the back serving up chowders, dragon bowls, quiche and fat slices of strawberry rhubarb pie. Now I do understand that dragon bowls (plant-based and vegan) aren’t typical in small Nova Scotian fishing communities, especially during lobster season. But this place is different. There’s something for everyone at The Port Grocer.
The dragon bowl at the Port Grocer begins with brown rice then is piled high with vegetables, fruit, and tossed together with dragon sauce. Hillary and I dove into our bowls (stopping only to squeeze stories into our conversation…there’s never enough time with Hillary). Between breaths and bits we thought hard about the dressing – savoury and tangy with just a touch of sweetness. But just when Hillary was about to ask for the recipe, I had a brain wave. I MADE THIS DRESSING ON MY COOKING SHOW, LOVE FOOD!
Forgetfulness happens to the best of us. Sigh.
So here it is, mined from the depths of my brain and the Love Food database- my version of a Dragon Bowl. It’s a little different than the Port Grocer’s version pictured above, but the dressing is just the same: savoury, tangy, salty, sweet and packed with all the health benefits of nutritional yeast. Start your bowl with whichever grains you like, or none at all. Toss some fruit in there and whatever nuts or seeds you have on hand. It’s a flexible bowl. Anything goes.
I didn’t find an Hermès scarf at Frenchys that day. But I did find a cashmere sweater, a leather jacket and a pair of (potentially questionable?) mint green jeans.
Add a dragon bowl and it was a perfect day.
Serves 2, with extra sauce to save for tomorrow
1/4 head red cabbage, cored and finely sliced
1 carrot, peeled into ribbons
1 apple, thinly sliced
2 tbsp mixed seeds – pumpkin, hemp, sunflower, fennel
½ cup radish sprouts or pea shoots
½ cup sauerkraut, or kimchi, to serve on the side
Display chopped ingredients in a serving bowl. Top with dragon sauce, seeds and micro greens.
For the dragon sauce:
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 clove garlic
Place all ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth. Store remaining sauce in a jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.