I’ve missed you Montreal. – Day one

We arrived in Montreal on Friday afternoon by train, at the Central Station aka Gare Centrale surrounded by the hustle and bustle of tourists and commuters. After years of pining away and planning a return visit to Montreal, this was a welcome suggestion when our trip to Edmonton fell through. On the way there I was happy to see at least one vegan friendly snack available for purchase on the train, a Gourmet Melange – Berry Symphony/Symphonie de petits fruits from La Fourmi Bionique (a Montreal granola company.) I picked up a 70g pouch for $3, which by convenience standards isn’t *that* bad for what I got. Which was a very generous portion of dark chocolate, roasted almonds, and dried berries (cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, cherries and Goji berries.) I had planned to go over to Ô Bol (800 La Gauchetière West, Montréal, QC) a vegan/vegan friendly spot in the Food Court of Place Bonaventure (because it’s super close to the Central Via Station.) But we didn’t get there in time, and it was closed. I imagine we’ll check it out right before we leave. Instead we checked into our hotel, ate expensive minibar cashews, and walked over to Crudessence (2157 Rue Mackay, Montreal, QC) for dinner. I’ve been looking forward to trying their creations, and it was hard to decide on what to order. Really hard. I opted for something off of their seasonal menu, and picked up the tourte aux epinards (kind of like a spinach tart/pie). It was a cashew…

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Day one of Veggielicious – Rawlicious in the Junction and Bunner’s (of course!)

Today was the first day of Veggielicious, and a group of us headed to Rawlicious in the Junction to take advantage of the specials. I’ve never been to Rawlicious (3092 Dundas Street West, Toronto), so it was a great opportunity to try out a new restaurant and its close proximity to Bunners Bake Shop (3054 Dundas Street West, Toronto) didn’t hurt either. Rawlicious was having a special for a smoothie and a wrap plus a side salad for $15. I opted for the ChocoMinty smoothie, which is made with nutmilk, banana, raw chocolate powder, agave and peppermint, and it was really pleasant but I think the next time I try them I’ll have to get the creamsicle one. I watched a friend’s expression change from indifferent to ecstatic in a matter of seconds after drinking in a bit of that smoothie, so clearly, have to try it. Pardon the cellphone photos, I’ll be getting my real camera back in action tomorrow. I asked our server which of the wraps she’d recommend and I’m glad I followed her advice, while the cesar wrap sounded delicious, I went with the taco one. Major selling point of the taco wrap – the fresh guacamole and the salsa nut cheese combo. It also had a seasoned nut based meat, chopped tomatoes and lettuce, all wrapped up in a collard green leaf. Hearty and delicious. I left Rawlicious feeling full and totally satisfied. However, when in The Junction, I can’t help but stop into Bunner’s…

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Mississauga… the city I can’t spell. and a visit to Raw Aura. Finally.

I’ve been hobbling around for the last week with some vicious back pain, and I asked for advice on twitter. Well, one of the suggestions was to eat more raw food, so I figured… what better time to visit Raw Aura? And I was right*. Though now that I’ve been there, I think any time is a good time to visit Raw Aura (94 Lakeshore Road East Mississauga, On). *my back still hurts so unfortunately Raw Aura wasn’t the cure, though I’m willing to try again, just to see if second or third time is a charm. Sure it’s in Mississauga, but it’s so easy to get to. From Union Station (in Toronto), jump on the Lakeshore West Go Train and get off at the Port Credit Go Station (in Mississauga), it took about half an hour to get there. Then I walked for 5 minutes to the restaurant. Easy! (and a little over ten dollars for a round trip.) Let me say that in my life I’ve visited several raw food restaurants, and some of them have been quite decent. But I’ve always given them the “raw concession”. As in, that kind of it’s not very good, but it’s good for what it is sort of thing. Sure raw desserts have always been delicious, and tend to be much better than the cooked or nonvegan version (at least in my mind.) But main dishes… eh. I haven’t really been blown away by anything. Raw Aura changes that. It’s easy to…

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Live Organic Food Bar – Rawvioli, Tempeh Crab Cakes, and Raw Sushi.

I had planned on going to Nazareth (the Ethiopian restaurant, which is about four minutes away from the Ossington Subway station) last night, but it was closed! At least I wasn’t the only one that walked up, saw the sign and frowned. Two women dressed in suits walked up… and we shared a moment of… “what now?” Anyway, we went to Live Organic Food Bar (264 Dupont St, which is directly across the street from Dupont Subway Station) instead and took advantage of the beautiful weather by sitting outside on their patio. Though, sitting outside by candlelight was not conducive to taking good clear photographs. My unsteady hand, combined with poor lighting, did not result in any mouthwatering photos. So sorry, I don’t even want to post them, I’ll have to (conveniently) have a do over! The server was super helpful and friendly and went through the menu telling me all of the things he thought were unique and delicious (because I like asking that stupid and difficult question… “Tell me what is amazing here…”) However, I loved the raw sushi, though as an alternate appetizer we were both seriously tempted by the raw poutine (made with jicama, that delightful multi-functional sweet root vegetable.) Maybe next time. The raw sushi was made with a pecan and sunflower seed pate, with carrots, sweet potato wrapped up in nori sheets with a sprouts to nibble on tossed on top. The salty sweet tamari miso glaze was totally perfect as a pairing. We…

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First Day in Toronto – Cruda Cafe, Gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant, and a Vegan Danish Bakery

Well I got in to Toronto yesterday morning (5:30 am!) and one of my friends insisted that I stay with him and his wife (it wasn’t hard to convince me). It is so much nicer than sitting at a hostel. Usually I love hostels, but I think the morning would have been awful. I would have either had to stay awake until check in (at 4pm) or tried to beg for an early check in. Plus it’s so great to be with familiar folks. I’m glad I cancelled my reservation because I would have missed out on a lot! This trip was entirely too last minute for me and it’s upset my urge to plan quite a bit.  A couple places I know I would like to visit are the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) both of which I missed the last time I was in Toronto. And of course another visit to Naked Beach can’t be missed, just because it exists. After I finally woke up (at 11am) my gracious hosts took me over to St. Lawrence Market (92 Front Street E), which is open Tuesdays through Saturdays as a normal market, but on Saturdays it also becomes the venue for a Farmer’s Market and increases the number of stalls. So much great stuff to choose from. If you’re looking for heirloom tomato’s that’s the place to go. So much cheaper than the San Francisco and Edmonton Farmers Market, it was really surprising.…

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Edmonton City Market and a Raw Food Potluck

 Saturday was the perfect day to head out to the Edmonton City Market, a warm and sunny morning, with only the occasional cloud in sight.  It seemed quite busy to me, but I have no previous weeks to compare it to. Finally checked out the LimeGreens booth, and it was full of samples(!!!). They had already run out of Chocolate Macaroons by 10:30am, but if the sample I tried was any indication, they are worth waking up early for. My friend and I both found the kale chips too cheesy. Of the drink samples the mango lassi and chai were my favourites (but they have a great variety to choose from.) J picked up a sweet spicy Chai smoothie, and I debated getting a Mango Lassi (normally a yogurt based Indian drink), but decided it was too early in the morning for something so rich. Funny since I ended up finishing the remainder of my friends Chai anyway. The fiesta olives booth was really busy, which is usually a good sign, but we skipped it. I picked up a bunch of bulk olives recently from a nearby Lebanese grocery store anyway, so I’ve got my olive source for a while. There are two other sources for vegan olive tapenade; Bamboche Wold Cuisine, and Truffle-licious. I think the one from Truffle-licious was my favourite hands down, but it might have something to do with a minorly annoying comment related to veganism from the Bamboche vendor (related to veganism and honey. I…

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Not going out to eat for a while… maybe.

Well, after the last few weeks of overindulgences, I’m feeling a bit like a homebody. I’d rather prepare simple dishes for myself, friends and family, than go out and have someone do it for me.  It also doesn’t help that most of the people I typically eat with are doing juice/master cleanses right now. And I have no interest in joining them. Our weather has been alternating between picnic friendly, and rain lately, but I still have the urge to get a few people together and have a nice traditional style picnic (well, as traditional as possible while still vegan.) potato salad, raw veggies, sandwiches, pita chips with hummus/guac/salsa, cupcakes, lemonade and iced tea. Or by using some of the suggestions from Mark Bittman’s 101 ideas for picnics. (peach tomato salad!) Next week there is a Raw Food Potluck here in Edmonton, and I’m trying to decide what to make for it. (It’s happening on Saturday June 5th, 2010, email rawveganedmonton@gmail.com to find out more information.) I’m leaning towards a lasagna type of dish (or maybe an artichoke pate stuffed tomatoes). Ever since I made the salad with raw zucchini a month or so ago, I just want to use it again… in something… anything. I picked up a few varieties of organic heirloom lettuce, and small container of black kalamata olives. I’m going to end up making my own tapenade (with olives, garlic, fresh basil, capers and olive oil) today, at least as a mini snack. I still want…

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Saskatoon to Edmonton to Saskatoon in 48 hrs.

Surprise I’m in Edmonton. No, wait. I’m not. I woke up this morning and it took me a moment to realize I was back in Saskatoon. The road to Edmonton was beautiful. It turns out 7pm is a perfect time to see the beauty of Saskatchewan, after the horrible weather of last week it was so promising to see the snow melting AGAIN. Now we are having rain storms, and I’m loving it. A few months ago my mom decided that my vegan diet made a lot of sense from a health stand point. And she’s still going strong, which is awesome. I hadn’t been home since she decided to make this change, so I was looking forward to trying some home cooked vegan meals. No matter where I go to eat, it never compares to the food my mom can make (since it’s cooked with an extra spoonful of love.) I’m also going to take credit for her dietary change (which has also effected the way my dad eats) though I guess the PCRM and Neil Barnard have had a lot to do with it too. She made a couscous salad that was fantastic. I should probably get the recipe from her, but to be honest I’d rather she just made it for me. Hee hee. And a very tasty tofu dish. I was thrilled to be home in Edmonton for a day or two. Today was the Saskatoon Raw Food potluck, and it was great to meet everyone and…

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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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