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What to do in Vancouver with kids

What to do in Vancouver with kids

earnest e

I write for and the new app Jelly Been about places to visit in Vancouver with kids. Recently I’ve been doing these fun lists of my favourite places grouped by theme. Here are a few of my favourites…

Brain Freeze Ice cream, gelato, popsicles – cold things that make my son grab the sides of his head and wail for a minute. And then demand we go back the next day.

Toasted Grilled cheese sandwiches are a child-pleaser. My own son somehow missed that gene, but I’m happy to make up for his disinterest.

SLUUUURP Best soup places to visit with kids. Pho, ramen, hand-cut Chinese noodles… I’m not going to pick a winner here.

Climbing the Walls It’s raining and your living room is being slowly destroyed by bored children. Take them to one of our city’s many climbing gyms to burn off some energy.



Pan-fried tofu noodle bowls

Pan-fried tofu noodle bowls

pan-fried tofu noodle bowl

I made this tofu noodle bowl for lunch in about 20 minutes, and then the day after that. And then again. It was one of those times you throw together three half-remembered recipes for things, none of which you look up and check, and it actually turns out well. The crispness of the tofu is a pleasant contrast to the pile of noodles lurking under those spinach leaves. I used those baby spinach leaves that come in a mammoth plastic container – they wilt nicely if you sandwich them between hot noodles and hot tofu. Enjoy!



Shirataki noodles make lovely ramen

Shirataki noodles make lovely ramen


I know soup is good for you. I know it’s great if you’re trying to eat better. But I just don’t like it much.

There, I said it. Soup is boring.

There is one exception I make in the soup department, and that’s ramen. I mean proper ramen, not squiggly dried noodles in a brick. A huge, steaming bowl of fresh noodles and pork broth that’s been simmering for two days. Oh, there is nothing like it.

I am, like most of the old country, trying out this 5:2 eating plan. Essentially it means eating normally for five days a week, and then for two (non-consecutive) days you fast. Well, eat 500 calories a day.

In a happy coincidence, House Foods, the people who make tofu shirataki noodles contacted me to try  out their noodles right around the same time. I had been eyeing these in the refrigerator case, and have actually tried them once or twice in the past. But now I had a plan.

An entire package of shirataki noodles is only 40 calories, as well as being full of protein as they are made of tofu. I approached them as I do spaghetti squash, namely anything dieting people crow about tasting ‘just like pasta’ generally doesn’t taste anything like it. Shirataki noodles are Japanese in origin, so clearly they would be better in ramen-like incarnation than trying to make them into bolognese.

When you take them out of the package and drain them, there’s a distinct, er, fishy smell. Rinsing and then microwaving for a minute decreases it. They are definitely a bit slippery in texture. Eating the noodles in soup means this isn’t an issue. Finally, I topped my soup with pan-fried trout, any residual fishiness only benefited the final taste.

Miso sort-of ramen with shirataki noodles and steelhead trout
serves one

1 package of tofu shirataki noodles
1 heaping tablespoon of miso paste
Boiling water
Half fillet of pan-fried steelhead trout, or salmon
Fresh baby spinach leaves
Dash of togarashi

1. Drain shirataki noodles in a sieve in the sink, rinse thoroughly with water. Put shirataki noodles in a medium bowl with tap water and microwave for one minute. Drain and rinse again. Set aside.

2. Mix miso paste with enough boiling water to fill a large soup bowl, leaving room for the noodles.

3. Add noodles to bowl, top with fresh spinach leaves and trout, sprinkle with togarashi. Serve immediately.


Disclosure: I was given coupons to buy my shirataki noodles with, however I managed to leave them at home, so I bought the noodles myself! The opinions and recipe in this post are my own.