Recreate a meal from your childhood – #VeganMoFo – Leniwe Pieroshki

Another day, another Vegan MoFo Prompt – recreate a meal from your childhood. Well. When I was a little girl, one of my favourite things to eat were Leniwe Peiroshki (pronounced [by me]: Leh-niv-eh Pyeh-rosh-ki, translated = Lazy Perogies). The name is misleading as it wasn’t really that easy to prepare (though still probably easier than making perogies.) But it’s a great way to use potatoes, if for some reason you had some left over (which I don’t understand, but whatever.) I remember sitting around the kitchen table watching my mom make these for me and me being pretty excited. A lot of my happy childhood memories involve being in the kitchen – watching my mom cook, helping prepare something, “helping” to make real perogies with my late-grandmother in the middle of the night a few days before christmas, lots of happy memories center around the kitchen. So this prompt is a fun little trip down memory lane too. Normally Leniwe Peiroshki involves quark (a type of dairy based cheese that’s sort of like a paste & usually a bit sour) which is of course not on my menu anymore. But I’ve noticed that there is a vegan cream cheese…

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Edmonton – Loma House – Road Trip 2014

I’m now a year behind on these posts about our 2014 road trip across North America, but I’m going to keep chugging along. They’re stories I want to tell, there are pictures I want to share, and they are memories I want to remember later. You can see some of the past & present posts on this lovely map on Pinterest. On one of our last few days we went over to Loma House – primarily because they were open on a Monday, unlike nearly everyone else, and I’ve heard good things from local vegos online. We were hoping to check out Padmanadi on this visit, but sadly it just didn’t happen. I didn’t particularly enjoy the experience, and so I have been avoiding writing about it – but that morning we were woken up with the sounds of jackhammers outside of our downtown hotel at 7am. So the mood surrounding the visit wasn’t high, and there are some negative factors with my experience and my day. I also don’t do particularly well with heat, and it was around 30. So, take my thoughts with a grain of salt. @CityofEdmonton I’m amazed that construction & jackhammers are permitted to begin at 7 am.…

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Vegan Bar in Edmonton – Arcadia

On my most recent visit to Edmonton (earlier this year), I had the opportunity to visit Arcadia, which is this great vegan bar just on the new fun street of 124. Over the past few years, 124th has really expanded in terms of vegan offerings, starting up with Clever Rabbit, and one of the first homes of Sailin’ On Vegan Food Truck (at the 124 Grand St Market.) So Arcadia has since expanded their menu from the night I was there, but luckily, they still have the incredible sandwich I had. The Green Onion Cake Donair. I’ve had a hard time conveying to non-Edmontonians what a “green onion cake” is, and why it’s so special. Most of the time in my travels and everywhere else, I’ve encountered a thin pastry like scallion/green onion cake similar to a paratha. In Edmonton it’s more of a salty doughy cake with diced green onions in it. It’s not flaky. It has a good density. There is such an obsession with these delicious cakes, there is even someone living in Edmonton with the GreenOnionCakes.com domain, that started a petition trying to make it the official dish of Edmonton. So, take a couple of large green…

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Memories of Sadie’s Diner in Toronto

We ate our last meal at Sadie’s Diner last weekend. Sadies is was a vegan-friendly meatless restaurant that had been open since 2006, but now it’s closed. I’ve always seen it as an institution in Toronto and was a little surprised it wasn’t open even longer, but it probably helps that I have never known a Toronto without Sadie’s. Sadie’s Diner was one of the first vegan-friendly restaurants I went to in Toronto on my first 48hr visit to Toronto back in 2008, and was one of the first spots I visited when I arrived in 2010 (on the post-university “visit” that has extended to the present.) Known for their all-day-breakfasts, bright teal diner tables, and a huge wall of Pez (the owner Al is a serious collector), this spot did more than serve food – it was home to fundraisers, and art shows and community meetings, and more, and I hope that there will be other local vegan businesses that pick up the torch on the Vegan-Food-For-Charity front, because that level of thoughtfulness and community involvement will be missed. I remember the very first Chili-For-Charity fundraiser I attended (which was also the first time JC and I went to Sadie’s together) back…

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Rochester, NY – Vive Bistro and Bakery

We spent a weekend in north-west New York State, around Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Hamburg and Rochester. We were in Rochester last summer at the end of our massive Summer Road Trip, but of course, I still haven’t posted about that part, since it was on our way home – so, I have nothing to link to yet! Oops. This time around we went to a few spots around Rochester – Lori’s Natural Foods Market, Vive Bistro, & Pour Coffee Parlour. Lori’s Natural Foods (Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority, 900 Jefferson Rd,) is a very vegan-friendly market, and the largest independent grocery store in Rochester, NY. They have a fantastic selection of various veg products that you might not see at your local  NY Whole Foods or Wegmans – for example we picked up one of the new NY style Daiya Cheezecakes (which I’ve had before during ExpoWest, and I’ve been told will be launching in Canada in the Fall), large packages of Primal Strips vegan jerky, assorted Miyoko’s Creamery Cheeses, Earth Balance potato chips, and so much more. They also have a great selection of fresh produce. They also carry local vegan items like stuff from Pudgy Girl Bakery, and they carry products…

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So Delicious Dairy-Free Cashew Ice Cream

You’ve probably seen one or two of these new So Delicious Cashew based ice creams appear around the city. If not – they’re popping up everywhere – check the fridge at your local grocery. So, last week I received a box of three So Delicious Cashew Ice Creams (or, sure,  CFIA, “non-dairy frozen desserts”) –  Creamy Cashew, Salted Caramel Cluster, and Dark Chocolate Truffle. And two of the new-to-Canada CocoWhips. The package was hand delivered by a courier, and contained dry ice and branded So Delicious gloves – for safety, of course, and my own personal joy – they may or may not also be perfect for gardening. Anyway. I tell you this because it was an exciting package to receive, and to let you know that I’m already a fan of many of the So Delicious products, and to disclose any potential biases I have. You decide! I’ve tried and reviewed the CocoWhips before, while I was in the USA, so for now, I’m going to focus on the ice cream for this post – however, I do want to see if there are any difference between the countries and products (since those kinds of variations really interest me.) On to the Ice…

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Niagara VegFest – 2015

Niagara VegFest kicks off the Vegfest season for me. I realize there is the Toronto Raw/Vegan Festival that same weekend, but driving down to the Niagara VegFest is always a nice opportunity to visit a few spots around Niagara Falls, NY too. The nice part about our occasional drives down to southern Ontario and northern New York State is that St. Catharines and the route to it and the area around it has become so familiar (in a good way.) We knew there was parking near the St. Catharines Farmers Market building just down the street at this massive (and free) public parking lot (so if it keeps happening in the same spot, and you didn’t know about this, now you do!) We arrived while things were already in full swing, and the first person I saw was photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur at her booth with cards and prints of her incredible work. She was also selling copies of We Animals, which is a beautiful and incredible touching heartbreaking powerful book I’m glad to have read the night it was launched. Jo-Anne is also working on a new project with Dr. Keri Cronin (who happens to be one of the founders of Niagara VegFest) that you should check…

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Field Roast Apple Sage Sausage – Then and Now.

As you might know, last year in September, Field Roast’s tasty vegan sausages became scarce, and hard to find. Why was that? As JC and I learned at the Vegetarian Food Festival, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada had taken issues with how Field Roast product fit within current food regulations, and banned them. Two things needed to happen before Field Roast would be allowed to sell in Canada again, they needed to: label their product as a “Simulated Meat Product” do a Protein Efficiency Ratio study, which at the time they believed required live animal testing. (they later found out there was an approved alternative that did not involve animal testing.) You can read the whole story here from Field Roast. Anyway, fast forward to 9 months later.  They actually did all of these things (using the non-animal alternative method of course.) They redid their labels, added pea protein, and a vitamin fortification mixture to meet Canadian regulatory standards, and announced they were coming back to Canada. You can read more about that over at the Field Roast Blog here. But they view these as temporary measures and this experience with the CFIA and Health Canada triggered the…

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Notes from VVCIII – Science is Awesome – Matt Rusigno

I wanted to share some of my notes from day one of Vida Vegan Con and some of the talks I attended. On day one – I went to Matt Rusigno’s talk Science is Awesome! – Why we don’t need to exaggerate health claims about veganism.   Matt Rusigno started off by telling us that with everything he says he’s coming from an ethical vegan perspective, but has concerns about  concerns about the positioning of veganism and ridiculous health claims, and will tell us a few things we might not agree with, but things that are based on the current available scientific evidence. Difficult truth: Reality is that there are people that have had great results from paleo. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26003334 Nutr Res. 2015 May 14. pii: S0271-5317(15)00097-4. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2015.05.002. [Epub ahead of print] Paleolithic nutrition improves plasma lipid concentrations of hypercholesterolemic adults to a greater extent than traditional heart-healthy dietary recommendations. There is very little research comparing vegan athletes vs non-vegan athletes, and very difficult to design a study showing clear connections (how to define vegan vs non-vegan, starting point in fitness, etc) Looks at The Potato Diet – 60 days of potatoes Result was weight loss. Cholesterol, blood glucose all went down.…

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SukhoThai – Downtown Toronto

In between the Brewer’s Plate (a celebration of local food and beer and fundraiser for the Greenbelt) last week and going home we grabbed dinner at Sukhothai near St. Lawrence Market. SukhoThai called to us with its sign, a combination of needing a substantial meal after pickling ourselves in local brews at the event for a couple of hours, and curiosity about what I’d find there. JC had visited Sukhothai before for lunch and knew there was at least one vegan dish on the menu. I asked our server when we sat down what our options were – and she said all of the curries could be made vegan (unfortunately, with the exception of my favourite style – the massaman), and all of the pad thai noodle dishes, just let them know. We started with the fresh salad rolls, which were filled with all of the deliciousness you might expect from salad rolls (like mango, lettuce, vermicelli noodles, basil, carrots) , and cut up in convenient two bite pieces. It was a great appetizer and I’d definitely recommend it (and I’ll certainly order it again). JC and I both ordered the Sukhothai Pad Thai, since it’s their “Sukh’ed up” Northern…

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