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Fragrant Tofu and Bok Choy Pho with Brown Rice Vermicelli

Serves 4.


    Fragrant Tofu and Bok Choy Pho with Brown Rice Vermicelli

    Pho is a traditional Vietnamese soup. Its broth gives off a heady, spiced fragrance that makes you feel taken care of. The broth can be made ahead and frozen, allowing you to quickly assemble this complete meal any night of the week.


    Fragrant Tofu and Bok Choy Pho with Brown Rice Vermicelli


    • 4 cups (1 L) low-sodium vegetable broth
    • 1 cup (250 mL) water
    • 4 green onions, diced
    • 1 cup (250 mL) de-stemmed, sliced shiitake mushrooms
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh grated ginger or 1 tsp (5 mL) dried ground ginger
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) gluten-free, low-sodium tamari
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) unseasoned rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) toasted sesame oil
    • 2 whole star anises
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 lb (450 g) baby bok choy, halved
    • 1 - 7 oz (200 g) package smoked or extra-firm tofu, cubed
    • 1 - 8 oz (225 g) package brown rice vermicelli
    • 1 cup (250 mL) fresh basil leaves


    Per serving:

    • calories358
    • protein8g
    • fat4g
      • saturated fat1g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates72g
      • sugars8g
      • fibre5g
    • sodium363mg



    Place all broth ingredients in large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Discard star anises and cinnamon stick.


    For the pho, add bok choy to broth, return broth to a simmer, and cook until bok choy is tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in tofu.


    Place vermicelli noodles in large bowl and cover with recently boiled water. Let sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Divide noodles and basil leaves among 4 large, deep bowls.


    Ladle hot broth over noodles and basil, making sure to get bok choy, tofu, and mushrooms in each bowl (a slotted spoon is helpful for this). Serve immediately.



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    B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.