Roadtrip 2014 – Lloydminster Vegan Food – Wok Box

dandan tofu udon noodle box from wok box in lloydminster

I’m still writing about our Summer Roadtrip 2014 adventure when we ate our way through the USA and Canada. After one final morning in Saskatoon, we drove on towards Edmonton. On Highway 16/aka Yellowhead, the natural midway point between Saskatoon and Edmonton has always been Lloydminster, which is a city that exists in both Saskatchewan and Alberta, it’s a decent place to fill up on gasoline, and grab a bite to eat. The weird thing about Lloydminster is that the Alberta-Saskatchewan border is delineated in the middle of the city, by a series of huge metal posts all the way down the street. Vegan options beyond going to a grocery store or Nutter’s Market are minimal, and in years past I was limited to wendy’s baked potatoes drenched in hot sauce, potato related things, or a smoothie, but on this visit I spotted a Wok Box and we rejoiced – especially since it would be the first time JC had ever visited the wonders of Wok Box. Wok Box does exist almost all over Canada (including a few locations in Ontario – Oshawa and London), but it’s still mainly a west-west central thing. But they’ve been a vegan-friendly spot since the beginning, and they’ve been transparent about allergies and veg food both on their website, and with posters up at every location. I’m all about the Extra Spicy Dan Dan, with tofu, on udon noodles, and I get the same thing, every time. Be it in Lloydminster, or by gate 58 at…

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Expowest 2015 (Photos)

I started writing this at the airport after our trip down to ExpoWest – a massive natural products trade show and networking event in Anaheim, CA, and have continued writing bits of it as time has passed. Lots of time has passed – We were at ExpoWest early last month. JC and I went last year, which lead me to post a three part look at some of the new stuff I got to see. We booked that trip in a last minute frenzy, I didn’t get much of a chance to look at some of the exhibitors I wanted to see, and there are thousands of them anyway. It’s hard to narrow it down – even with some advanced planning, it was still hard to take in everything (but I think we managed). My angle is go super intense into exploring on the Friday, and maybe into Saturday – trying everything I see that sparks my interest (and generally avoiding the ingredients section until later in the weekend) then, I have the opportunity to go back and visit some of the vendors and creators that interested me the first time around and find out a bit more information from them. My usual questions – vegan? where is it made? when/if it will be available in Canada? And whatever else they want to tell me. I attended as a retailer last year, and press this year, and it was a slightly different experience, but still generally pleasant. On the bright side…

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V’s Caribbean Vegan Vegetarian in Toronto, ON

Around a month ago JC and I visited V’s Caribbean Restaurant – Vegan Vegetarian a bit late this evening, just a bit before closing (they close at around 7pm) but they still had a bit of food left so they put together a container for us, and we were really happy about it. The food was delicious and hearty, with rich satisfying flavours. This week, I went back again with a friend, and had a full and amazing plate of food – The Pong Special (named after one of their chefs) which is the perfect plate for indecisive or hungry people that want to try a little bit of everything V’s Caribbean has to offer (and I highly recommend it so you can find your own favourites!) Almost everyday – the folks at V’s post their menu for the day on Instagram – so if you follow them, suddenly when they open there is a series of posts of their various mouthwatering stews and other dishes. Today they had: Cauliflower & Lima bean stew Curry TVP (textured veggie protein) chunks Steamed/fried callaloo Curried chickpeas & potatoes Maple jerk tofu (which was straight up incredible) Creamy fried Bammies (aka cassava) and steamed okra Basmati rice & peas Spiced baked mash potatoes (omg) Mixed veggies  (onions, cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, peas, carrots, more) Desserts – like vegan donuts Soups – porridge and pea soup At the moment – they are cash only, but it sounds like they plan to have debit eventually. They’re currently open Tuesday…

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Roadtrip 2014 – Honey Bun Cafe – Saskatoon

This is just a quick post in a series of posts about our 2014 Roadtrip around North America. At this point, we had driven from Toronto, through Michigan, taken an extended stop in Chicago, IL, and driven on through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, stopping in Winnipeg, MB and Riding Mountain National Park. Our time in Saskatoon is winding down with only a couple more stops before heading on toward Edmonton. When I lived in Saskatoon, I attended a few sessions of the Rosebud Burlesque school of dance and fun, and one of the nicest things I got from those classes was connecting with people I hadn’t ever met before and lasting friendships. Conveniently, one of those pals saw I was in Saskatoon and gave me the heads up about Honeybun Cafe having some vegan stuffed buns that day. So of course we went, and picked up two of that day’s Featured Stuffed Bun – the Roasted Yam and Black Eyed Pea Chilli Stuffed Bun. They had non-dairy milk (for an extra charge) for coffee. We whipped out our computers and hung out for a while, connected to their wifi. It was tough to find a plug in, at least ones that weren’t already occupied, but it was nice to hang out a bit and catch up on what was happening at home. The buns were great, and stuffed with flavourful sweet potato chilli, it was delicious and we ate some of the last ones. It was stuffed with a roasted yam with…

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Lazy Weekend, Snowy Weekend

I didn’t spend my weekend quite how I wanted to – we were going to go for a work visit at Cedar Row on Saturday morning, but as we looked out the window, and checked road conditions we ended up staying home because of heavy and projected snowfall. I’m not sure if we were over cautious, but I hope to attend a future one sometime. The night before I picked up a long pair of purple galoshes, hoping they’d be perfect for digging around in the mud. I guess I’ll have to wait to find out.   If you’re not sure what happens at a work visit, there are a variety of tasks to do, cleaning the sheds, the goat barn, getting rid of some of the poop and shovelling it into a wheelbarrow, taking it to a pile at the side of the house, and doing it over and over again. It’s hard work, but it feels meaningful, helpful, and the time passes quickly because while you’re scooping shovelfuls of shit, you are also talking to people and laughing and just generally having a good time. Occasionally one of the animals comes up and wants to know what you are up to in their house. It’s definitely worth going to one of the work visit/potluck combos if you’re able to. At the moment, the next work visit is not yet posted – but you can check out the Cedar Row website for their work visit calendar. Mid afternoon I realized I…

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Top 4 List of Winterlicious Vegan Options in Toronto

Winterlicious is an annual event in Toronto and it’s kicking of on January 30 – and goes on until Feb. 12. It’s a great way to encourage people to go out and enjoy the various spots in the city during the colder months. This year will see more than 200 top restaurants throughout the city offer a three-course menu at three price categories (lunch $18, $23, $28 and dinner $25, $35, $45). Of the 200 plus restaurants throughout the city participating five restaurants are offering vegan Winterlicious special prix fixe menus. Of those 5, some of them look pretty exciting, but I’ve put all of them on this list for the sake of information. While I think it’s great that people and places are trying to incorporate vegan menu items into their offerings, I’m not longer excited simply to be acknowledged, there are some incredible vegan options in this city, even at non-vegan restaurants, so I was surprised they didn’t showcase their talents in plant-based cuisine. (Perhaps next time veggielicious rolls around?) I’m feeling a bit sarcastic, but sorbet and berries or a bowl of fruit as the vegan dessert option is so last decade, I can get that at Cora’s for breakfast, but some of these talented chefs and restaurants? What are you up to? I sincerely hope that some of these offerings are more exciting than their menu description is conveying, and I still look forward to seeing what these individual restaurants come up with, especially if I found the menu listing…

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Things I Love Thursday/Friday -Bowlritos

I started writing this on Thursday, and then Friday appeared, and ended. But I’m still posting it. We’re working on a few things over at the JorEl house, and most of those things are good. In grown up news we recently bought some pretty spiffy new appliances to replace the old ones that came with the house. This week has been spent dealing with that – because unfortunately SOMEONE (me) failed to measure the narrowest part of the doorway. So we were well on the road to New Appliancetown, the old ones were removed, and just as they brought over the new ones… nope. Too narrow. So we got someone to come in and hack off part of our door and drywall. Seems like the perfect time of year to do it (just jokes – it’s not). But… we’re one huge leap towards being able to do our own laundry again. And while the laundromat is fun and all (& wash and fold), I miss that fresh fluffy warm blanket out of the dryer feeling. Tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow. I hope. Hope is no longer needed. Mission accomplished. We have grown up appliances and I’m genuinely excited to use them. JC was delighted by the fact that they make sounds when we open them. We’ll see how long this delight lasts. My review copy of JL Fields’ new book Vegan Pressure Cooking arrived in the mail, which is exciting in general, but even more so, when paired with the…

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Porter House – Our First Visit to Toronto’s New Vegan Pub

Porter House has been packed for weeks, ever since they opened in late December last year, but we lucked out on Monday and got a table right away. The trajectory of our evening was kind of funny – JC and I met at the UofT for an event on racism and the last municipal election but it was too full (for us) so we left (but followed along on twitter.) JC suggested Hot Beans – we drove over and it looked closed, with stools on tables, so we were homeward bound. If not for the fateful decision to go down Dundas, our evening might have looked completely different. But as we moved closer to the Brockton/Rusholme area… again, JC had a good idea – Why not Porter House? Why not? The other few times we’ve tried to go – it’s been really busy, which is good for them, not so good for us. They don’t take reservations, so what you see is what you get. But what about Monday? Well, as we found out, it was a good time to get in there, when we arrived at 6:30ish, there were seats available. We took a peak at the menu – you can see it online – and ordered a couple of the on-tap options – JC got the Amsterdam Vicars Vice and I went with a West Avenue Heritage Dry Cider.  I like cider, so I’m an easy sell, but I was pretty blown away by the complex flavours of JC’s…

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Beechwood Doughnuts Grand Opening in St. Catharines

This weekend we drove down to spend the day in St. Catharines. Why? Mostly because Beechwood Doughnuts was having their grand opening, but it just worked out that we could do a whole bunch of things in St. Catharines (besides eating donuts.) Beechwood Doughnuts is run by several of the folks that made the donuts at Rise Above, but if you had them before, as I found out this weekend,  they’re even more awesome now. JC got to play Magic at Phoenix Rising, a game store conveniently located just a few blocks away from Beechwood Doughnuts, and I got to hang out with a few mugs of coffee at Mahtay Cafe  &  the internet. (& checked out the photo exhibit in the community room.) Plus, this visit allowed us the opportunity to visit with a friend that lives in the city, where I was reminded I don’t dislike all dogs, just some of them (Gilda being one of the exceptions.) Starting at around 10:20, JC and I stood outside Beechwood Doughnuts, along with the brave soul that started the line. Until she showed up, I had been sitting in the care waiting for more people to show up. And more people showed up. By around around 15 minutes to opening there was a line up down the street and around the corner. So 1. I was really glad to be ahead of the game. 2. I was really happy for Beechwood Doughnuts. To get to his game thing on time, around 5 minutes before 11,…

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Things I Love Thursday – Cookbooks & Friends

What about January? I could complain about the cold, a standard Canadian past time, except I find it familiar, and almost pleasant assuming the wind is to a minimum. I like the familiar crunch of my boots on the snow and the cement when the temperature gets to a certain low level. And I like knowing that in this hustle and bustle of a big city, there are other fellow prairie ex-pats living here that feel the same way. On with the Thursday list: Jadłonomia Over the past two months I’ve been attempting to get a vegan cookbook for my mother and her birthday earlier this month, sure this would be easy, if not for the fact that it required more effort than just ordering it from amazon and being done with it. Jadłonomia – a Polish vegan cookbook, was not on amazon at all. It’s not in a local bookstore (at least not local to me), and I had to dust off some cabinets in my brain to read a few Polish websites to successfully place the order. And when there are technical difficulties in another language, things become extra fun. Emails are exchanged, as I provide both English and Polish text, in hopes of being understood in one language or another – occasionally hearing nothing back, occasionally not being sure if people just don’t understand what I’m writing (in either language) but eventually, everything comes together. A fortuitous and almost serendipitous post and tip by a fellow fan on…

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