If you’ve spent time in the Eaton’s Centre food court, you couldn’t have missed Urban Herbivore smack dab in the middle of everything. Hopefully, you’ve even eaten there since it’s a super healthy fast food option. The Eaton’s Centre location is the third of an Urban Herbivore trifecta in downtown Toronto. The vegan eatery started off in Kensington Market a decade ago and has been serving up vegan “comfort food” ever since. As you guessed, everything on the menu is vegan, made fresh daily and organically sourced when possible: no processed gunk or artificial additives. They make custom-order salads, grain/greens bowls, hearty soups and veggie sammies that will knock your socks off no matter if you’re a vegan or not. For real.
They’re also known for their satisfying stews, which is what we made during my visit. Since I love anything with coconut in it, we made the coconut curry dish. It’s 100% from scratch. Even the curry is a blend of spices made in house. Impressive! It’s a simple recipe loaded with rich and hearty flavours as well as a ton of nutrients.
We live in a carb phobic culture, especially starchy carbs like potatoes, rice and grains. But you don’t need to fear carbs in their whole forms. In moderation, they provide lots of beneficial nutrients. This recipe uses both white and sweet potatoes, so I’m going to break down just a few health benefits of both. Admittedly, I don’t eat a lot of white potatoes, but every so often I do and I enjoy every delicious mouthful. It goes without saying, they’re a whole food. They are full of heart-healthy potassium and fibre. In fact, white spuds have more potassium and magnesium than sweet potatoes. Make sure to leave the skins on because that’s where many of the vitamins, minerals and fibre are concentrated. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, have a ton of vitamin A as well as more vitamin C and fibre per serving. As with all things, the key is variety and rotation.
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- ½ cup diced onion
- ½ cup diced celery
- ½ cup diced carrot
- 1 tbsp crushed garlic
- 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 3 cups cubed sweet potato
- 2 cups cubed potato
- ½ cup diced pineapple
- ¼ cup (or to taste) of curry powder or curry paste of your choice (Urban Herbivore uses their own fresh ground spice mix containing cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, clove, fennel, mustard seed, salt, and pepper)
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 2 large cans crushed tomato (enough to just cover the potato cubes in pot)
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 packages organic tofu – cut into cubes or strips (can use firm or soft depending on your preference) (Urban Herbivore: prepare theirs separately by coating tofu slices in tamari and oil and roasting in the oven)
- Cut 2 packages of tofu into strips, toss in coconut oil and tamari and bake in preheated oven at 375F for about an hour until crispy and browned.
- As tofu is roasting, add 2 tbsp of coconut oil to
largesoup pot on medium heat and sauté onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and ginger until soft and fragrant.
- Add, sweet potato, potato, pineapple, curry powder, water, orange juice and enough crushed tomato to just cover the potato cubes
- Simmer on medium heat, stirring often, until potatoes are tender, then turn off heat.
- Add coconut milk, baked tofu and stir until well combined. Salt to taste.