Parents Canada - - Eating - By BON­NIE YOUNG

What could be more timely as we cel­e­brate Canada's 150th birth­day than a book fea­tur­ing recipes that span the length and breadth of this great na­tion. FEAST high­lights recipes and sto­ries from ev­ery prov­ince and ter­ri­tor – but more than that, it also shares recipes from var­i­ous eth­nic groups that have em­i­grated to Canada and have en­riched our cul­ture with their own culi­nary her­itage.

What started as a "what if" con­ver­sa­tion be­tween Lindsay An­der­son and Dana Van­veller dur­ing a camp­ing trip in Squamish, BC, re­sulted in a culi­nary road trip that spanned 36,767 km to all 10 prov­inces and three ter­ri­to­ries over a five­month pe­riod.

What is "Cana­dian" food any way? With the flip of a page we are col­lect­ing sea wa­ter in Tofino and mak­ing our own sea salt, then we head to the Lau­ren­tians to make an au­then­tic Tourtiere. Why not whip up some Sri Lankan Cur­ried Shrimp, or Bi­son Sausage Rolls, or Tra­di­tional Arc­tic Char 'Pipsi' (which is Char that has been dried in chunks), or Scot­tish Oat­cakes from New Brunswick?

I love this book – I love the meld­ing of tra­di­tional Na­tive Cana­dian recipes with those brought to our shores through wave af­ter wave of im­mi­gra­tion. What greater way to cel­e­brate how beau­ti­fully di­verse we are as a na­tion, than to con­nect through the unit­ing act of break­ing bread to­gether.

I’ve been fol­low­ing Laura Wright’s blog for awhile now and was ea­gerly an­tic­i­pat­ing the ar­rival of her first cook­book. Hap­pily, this vis­ually stun­ning book has in­spired and en­cour­aged both my­self and my daugh­ter to ex­plore more plant-cen­tric meals for our fam­ily. Laura pro­vides an in­cred­i­ble ar­ray of ideas, tips and recipes (120 to be ex­act) to help in­tro­duce this way of cook­ing and eat­ing to your house­hold. Her recipe for But­ter­nut and Pesto Cream Lasagna will leave your taste­buds sat­is­fied… and your tummy happy. The ad­di­tion of white beans to the basil pesto adds heft and creami­ness nor­mally achieved with ri­cotta and cream. Trust me – you will not miss the dairy in this de­li­cious lasagna.

My daugh­ter par­tic­u­larly loves the ver­sa­til­ity of the Bur­rito-Stuffed Sweet Pota­toes – ba­si­cally a de­con­structed bur­rito us­ing a sweet po­tato as the base. My per­sonal favourite recipe is the Gar­licky Win­ter Veg­etable and White Bean Mash with Mush­room Miso Gravy. The com­bi­na­tion of cele­riac, cauliflower and parsnip makes for a sweet and light puree-and the ad­di­tion of miso to the mush­room gravy was pure ge­nius.

The First Mess is a great guide to de­li­cious plant-based meals that your en­tire fam­ily will en­joy.

FEAST: Recipes and Sto­ries from a Cana­dian Road Trip By: Lindsay An­der­son & Dana Van­veller

THE FIRST MESS COOK­BOOK: Vi­brant Plant-Based Recipes to Eat Well Through the Sea­sons By: Laura Wright

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