I live in Toronto with my partner JC, our brand new son, our three cats, and usually a few foster cats. I like technology, vegan food, travelling, and lots of other things. For more information about MeShell, JC, Emmie, Kes, or Marmie, visit our About page.

Ode to Pretzels

I love soft pretzels. Those commercially availible SuperPretzels burrowed their way into my heart when I was working at a hospital years ago and the only vegan option was either that, or some lettuce (and I’m not even kidding.) When I went to Denver for the first time in 2006 I realized in one quick sweeping generalization that Americans Love Pretzels. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely accurate, but there was a pretzel cart, store, etc everywhere I went.  Some sort of pretzel love I’d never seen before, especially not anywhere in Canada. All subsequent trips to the United States meant more soft pretzels, all over New York City, Arizona, random places in Seattle, Portland. They were there. And they made me happy. Saskatoon is not the place to go if you like commercially available fresh soft pretzels. Maybe I haven’t looked hard enough, but I haven’t seen them anywhere. So following the logical course of action… I baked some… I’m excitedly plotting my dish for the Raw Food Potluck on Wednesday, it’s not going to be anything fancy. My first priority is that it’s tasty and simple.

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Samosas for lunch

Who knew, vegan samosas right in downtown Saskatoon. I went to Asian Taste restaurant (101-3rd Ave North, Saskatoon) for lunch today (and I might be updating from work, shhh, it’s a slow day) just to give it a try. I’ve walked by it over a dozen times, and every time I’ve meant to ask about their food, but haven’t gotten around to it. It was pretty decent. Stuffed with just spiced potato, and deep fried. They also have roti (the Naan has butter in it) and potato pakoras. I didn’t ask about anything else, but I’m tempted to give one of their lunch or dinner buffets a try while I am still in town. One thing Edmonton is great for, is East Indian food. Prices are all quite reasonable. I paid a dollar for my samosa, and it was a decent size. The highest priced item on the menu is under 10$ (and that’s a meat dish anyway.) There are a few items on the menu that sound promising. I’ll have to check it out some more. Oh and by the way, there is a Raw food potluck happening again next week. Since it’ll be the last month I’m in Saskatoon, I’m going to make darn sure I attend. Come check it out. It’s happening on Wednesday April 14th, in the lower level hall of Grace-Westminster United Church (505 – 10th Street East, Saskatoon) You can find out more information, or about future potlucks on LightLiving.com and/or join the group…

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Portland February 2010

I forgot to mention going to Portland in February, since then I’ve been busy with school and work. Thankfully I have four consecutive days off, and it feels wonderful. It also occurs to me I should update my 101 in 1001 days list at some point, considering September(the end month) isn’t that far off, and I have managed to accomplish many of the goals on my list, as well as accept that some goals had to be modified. T and I went to Portobello for our fake Valentine’s Day (on Feb 17th,) it was wonderful, and delicious as always. We went there last year for fake Valentine’s Day, and every time I’m so impressed with what they come up with. I’m really excited to see what the Chef (Aaron Adams) ends up creating at Vegan Iron Chef (in PDX of course) this summer. I ordered the gnocchi (as usual) and my friend had an enviable portobella mushroom steak. We started out our meal with a french bread and pate. Oddly enough I found myself getting full really quickly. I think it must have had something to do with the massive portion of pate we got. We ended our meal with a delicious sweet pecan tart. I just love that place. Anyway, I had a nice time. I had hoped to check out the SkiBowl at Mt. again one more time, but the snow this year was pretty pathetic up there. Word on the street was we’d just be sliding around on ice.…

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Raw potluck saskatoon

After a weekend of planning, it was finally potluck time yesterday! It was really exciting to meet a few new people and eat some great raw vegan food. There was also a presentation on how to properly cut open a young coconut, which was quite educational, someone took a video of it, so if I find it, I’ll link to it. I left with some new ideas, and was converted to the way of the morning smoothie (though I still have to actually pick up a few supplies to bring that to fruition!) Anyway, here are a few pictures, I was really happy with the way the tomatos turned out, though I didn’t try any (they disappeared quickly which of course was a good sign.)

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Rawxperiment

So this past weekend I didn’t cook anything. I depended on my high powered blender and not much else. So what did I end up eating, a lot of spinach soup (since I have a 1kg bag I need to use up before it gets yucky,) an avocado gazpacho, lot’s of bananas, 5 different kind of oranges, apples, and stuffed tomatoes. The stuffed tomato idea is what I think I’ll be bringing to a potluck that’s happening on Wednesday, just with a few modifications. (I think some added nuts and maybe some sprouts or something would be perfect.)

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African Kale Stew – First try.

I’m back in Saskatoon with a bit more permanence now, it’s kind of nice to know I’ll be in one place for more then a month. New years was spent in the magical land of Portland, with a few trips to Sweetpea Bakery, Diablo’s and Bete Lukas. Though I didn’t take pictures of any of it, which was a change from the usual. My main reason for going was to spend time with friends, and to celebrate my birthday. It was actually quite nice to go back there so soon after the last visit. I miss those folks a lot. Anyway, enough of that stuff. I’ve been cooking a lot, and it’s probably because I feel very comfortable in my now entirely vegan kitchen. A friend of mine passed on a recipe for “African Kale Stew” that I am now in love with. I’m not sure where he got it (neither is he), but if you recognize it let me know. AFRICAN KALE STEW 4 c. vegetable soup stock 1/2 c. green onions, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 c. chickpeas 1/2 c. brown rice 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 c. natural peanut butter 2 c. kale, chopped 2 tbsp. lemon juice Soy sauce, to taste Chili sauce, to tasteSauté onion in a large pot with garlic. Add stock, potatoes, chickpeas, rice, salt, and kale.  Simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. In a small bowl, blend peanut butter with1/2 c. of liquid from the stew and lemon juice. Mix into stew, adding…

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Vegan Polish Xmas 2009

Yesterday we celebrated Christmas Eve in our typical fashion, a focus on family, friends and eating, followed by a gift exchange. I’m not sure if everyone was feeling so disinterested in exchanging gifts as I was this year, but it was rather tame. A few days ago my mother and I woke up bright and early to make peirogies. Starting out by chopping up cabbage, grinding dried mushrooms and portabella mushrooms, mixing in a few spices and then cooking it till it is a nice dark green colour. The dough was made simply with flour and water with a touch of salt, and spent a lot of time being kneeded (the proper technique I learned from a baker extrordinaire came in handy, at least a little bit.)  Yesterday afternoon I met up with a friend at Phobulous (8701 Ave & 109 st, Edmonton) and had a spring roll vermicelli noodle vegetarian dish (I believe it was the only one that was vegetarian on their menu.) Dinner with the family was at 5pm, we exchanged wishes for the new year, and had borscht, baked tofu, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and a vegetable salad, followed by exchanging presents and watching Star Wars. Tomorrow is my birthday, so we’ll be going out for a Boxing Day brunch. I’m debating leaving Edmonton at midnight (tomorrow evening/on the 27th) to return to Saskatoon so I can unpack and get my apartment ready for when I get back in town again. I wont have much time to…

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Portland Vegan 100 – 2009

100 Great Vegan Foodz in Portland, OR! This list was inspired by Melissa Bastian’s Vegan NYC 100 Listing for VeganMoFo, which was inspired by Hannah of Bittersweet Vegan’s Hundred. I (MeShell) took this list from Jess from Lets Get Sconed. Here’s how it works: 1) Copy this list into your own blog, facebook or website, including these instructions. 2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten. 3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating. 4) Post a comment here once you’ve finished and link your post back to this one. 5) Pass it on! The PDX Vegan Hundred: 1. Fries with spicy tofu sauce at Dots 2. $1 Corndog from Hungry Tiger Too  (I’ve been there on Corndog day, but didn’t end up ordering one. Definitely next time) 3. Chick-o-Stick doughnut from Voodoo Doughnuts 4. Tiramisu from Portobello 5. Vegan Mulita from Gorditos or Gorditos II 6. Nanotear Ham and Cheeze sandwich from Tube 7. Milkshake from Sip 8. Gnocchi from Portobello 9. Caramel Nut Bar from Sweetpea Baking Co. 10. Soft serve from Blossoming Lotus 11. Local cherry tomatoes from a farmers market 12. Dong Po Tofu from Bay Leaf 13. Jerked chickun from Assase Ital 14. A Big Big Lunch Special from an Indian cart 15. Soy latte made with Stumptown espresso 16. A crappy tofu scramble  I can get a crappy tofu scramble anywhere, why leave the country for it. 17. Cornmeal pizza from Dovi Vive. 18. Weeping Tiger sandwich from Bye & Bye 19. Bye…

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VEMF: Victoria Electronic Music Festival

I’ve spent most of the last two days in Centennial Park in Downtown Victoria. Why? The Victoria Electronic Music Festival! VEMF is an annual event that happens in Victoria, and it’s easy to see how it could have been voted one of Victoria’s favourite events. So many people came out and had a wonderful time. I’m so glad that I got involved in it while I was here. Saturday morning I helped with set up, which was interesting. I learned that I never ever want to put up a heavy metal fence ever again, and that I much prefer putting up event tents. Who knew. 🙂 Sunday night I went on my volunteer shift and asked “What do I do?” I was told… “Dance and have a good time, and make sure everyone else is having a good time.” Amazing. There were only a few minor things I needed to talk to people about, mostly checking in with them to make sure they were doing okay or if they needed anything. Absoulutely wonderful experience, and I got to see DJ Dan and several other awesome artists.

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Victoria – Galiano Island

I don’t know where to begin. I spent the weekend camping in Montague Harbour on Galiano Island, one of the Gulf Islands off of British Columbia. We caught the ferry at around 2 in the afternoon from Swartz Bay, it was approximately two hours until we reached Sturdies Bay, on Galiano Island. It’s really amazing for me, being a landlocked prairie dweller to be surrounded by water all the time, I have to admit, I like it quite a bit. On the way to Montague Harbour Provincial Park we stopped in at Scoops (2450 Sturdies Bay Road, Galiano Island) which is located up the hill from the ferry terminal. I picked up some freshly cut french fries. And when I say freshly cut, I mean it. She chopped up a few potatos one by one right in front of me in some kind of metalic french fry making device. Needless to say they were delicious. Especially after a two hour ferry ride with a broken vending machine… oh how I wanted those cashews…

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