A revolving restaurant in Winnipeg? – Prairie 360

On our last evening in Winnipeg, we had to check out Prairie 360, a revolving restaurant in downtown Winnipeg. Yes, a revolving restaurant in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba. We went to Prairie 360 as a part of July 2014’s Ciao Winnipeg organized Eat Winnipeg prix fixe special. Prairie 360 does have other vegan food on their regular menu, but the special dishes narrowed it down, and it was a pretty great deal too. First of all, you have to get up there, in a elevator that doesn’t quit, we were seated near the window, with lots of room and comfortable seating, and probably one of the best views of Winnipeg – facing the new (and increasingly controversial) Canadian Human Rights Museum. It’s a beautiful and weird looking building, and we had a great view of it, and all of Winnipeg from up on high. I’ve had some negative experiences with revolving restaurants before, so I was a bit nervous about seating  – but we were arranged thoughtfully, and it wasn’t packed, so we got to enjoy the view and our own little private zone. They start with bread and butter (but brought us a dish of olive oil when we asked.) The appetizers on special were both vegan by default and there was one I was especially excited about – Yellow Tomato Gazpacho, with grilled scallion vinagrette. Because folks, I love gazpacho and this one was delicious. The plating was a bit messed up after our server zoomed to our table…

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That time I made Samosa Soup

So, as of last Thursday, I was obsessed with making Samosa Soup from Yup, it’s Vegan. But we were away in Washington DC, and Baltimore for ExpoEast, and I didn’t have access to a kitchen, but the day we got back I had to make Samosa Soup. The air in Toronto is still reasonably warm but it also has that distinct taste of autumn wafting around. The leaves were green last week, and now they are dramatic reds and golds (though there is still a lot of green left too), so a hearty spicy potato soup seemed like the perfect thing to make and eat and share. The problem with me and recipes, is that unless I’m testing recipes for someone’s upcoming cookbook, I don’t follow the recipe. I look at it, and I’m inspired by flavours or techniques, but otherwise, I change nearly everything, and go my own way. This one was pretty inspiring, so I went with it. My version turned into more of a one-pot-meal (+ 1 bowl.) First I fried up onions, leeks, garlic & spices (turmeric, guaram masala, coriander) in a large pot with a splash of olive oil, then set them aside together in a bowl. Next was the potatoes, I took about a dozen quartered potatoes in the same large pot with a few chillies, and whatever spices remained, then blended it all together with an immersion blender, returned the spiced onion leek mixture, added a few dried curry leaves, poured in two cups of frozen peas, and…

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Things I Love Thursday: Vegan Mofo Edition 3

Three weeks of Vegan Mofo already? Kind of, at the very least it’s the third Thursday of the month and my third time trying to do a round up of all my favourite posts from the week. A bit of a complication with veganmofo this month (cue my excuses) is that we are in the USA for ExpoEast this weekend, & spent yesterday in Washington, DC walking around to every museum we could find (beware: there are a lot of museums in DC). Lately, I feel extra terrible at blogging when I’m not at home. And I`ve only recently figured out the reason. It’s the keyboard. I really love my desk top keyboard. It’s a relatively heavy, clicky, Razer mechanical keyboard made for gaming, so for me, every keystroke is really satisfying. It feels good to type. And I’m not alone in this love for mechanical keyboards, there is even a whole subreddit dedicated to it, and this life hacker article is a great intro to why someone might prefer such a keyboard. The more I’m away from home, the more I realize just how much I miss my green keyboard monster. Soon though, soon we will be reunited, and that’s good. Because I have a lot more travel posts to write, and a whole bunch of work to do. I also just want to say – I love Washington DC. I love the Smithsonian Institution museums and galleries. I love them even more, because I can go to any or all of them for…

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Stella’s For Brunch in Winnipeg

In Winnipeg and want vegan brunch bright and early? Stella’s has you covered. If you’re a local, or lived in Winnipeg at any point, you’ll recognize Stella’s as an institution in the city. There are locations around the city, they make their own bread, and offer a whole bunch of clearly labelled vegan options – including brunch. So one morning JC and I met up with a friend that recently moved back to Winnipeg from Toronto, over at the Stella’s cafe and bakery location on Sherbrooke. It was busy, but not packed. We got a table near the front and ordered a round of vegan brunch items – well, one of each. There are two vegan breakfast/brunch items on menu over at Stella’s. But also a few more options for other times of the day (but we didn’t try any of those). JC and I shared the Tofu Scramble and the “Vegan Mexican”. Both were great, but I think the Vegan Mexican plate was my favourite. I was glad both plates had seasoned fried potatoes included too because they were delicious. Tofu Scramble – Sautéed seasoned tofu, tomato, onion & red pepper on fresh arugula. Served with salsa, hash browns, with dry sourdough toast & Stella’s jam. Vegan Mexican – Corn tortillas, refried beans, breakfast patties, spinach, mushrooms, green onion & tomato. Served with salsa, guacamole & hash browns. The thing I liked about this visit, besides the vegan brunch was catching up with a friend, and hanging out at this…

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Vegan Roadtrip – Boon Burger in Winnipeg

I think the problem with reminiscing about these things a month later is that we went back several times, and part of me wants to go in order, and part of me doesn’t care. So I’m just going to put our visits together – we went to both Winnipeg Boon Burger locations (& eventually the new one in Barrie too, but I’ll save that for another post) and a great time was had by all. The first Boon Burger we visited was the newest Winnipeg location on Bannatyne, and if you’re into The Guess Who, you might notice that one of their albums is named after this avenue (So Long, Bannatyne). It’s in an upscale, urban feeling place, and the restaurant is huge, spacious, with high ceilings and lots of beam and post, and beautiful solid wood. Plus booths! It’s incredible to me that Canada’s first all vegan burger place opened in Winnipeg, but like I said before, it’s a place where awesome things can happen. You have a couple of options for ordering – Boon Burger has an app for iPhone and Android you can use to place to go or to stay orders (and get a discount), or you can talk to the friendly folks at the cash and order that way. Pick what you want, from their fabulous menu (pdf), pay, and you’ll get a plastic animal and a receipt to take to your table so they can find you, and bring out your order. They have four different burger…

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Things I Love Thursday – Vegan MoFo Edition 2

Back again with the random things that caught my eye since last Thursday. Though I still really like checking in with all the blogs I posted on last week’s list, there is so much more, and there is so much more than is on this list, but while I read pretty fast, I’m sure I’ve missed a whole bunch of gems out there. We’ve made a slightly modified (more peaches!) version of this peach pie smoothie from Connoisserurus Veg about three or four times since I spotted it. Recipes This Vegan Mock Chopped Liver spread from Triumph Wellness. I can imagine this would be perfect on bagels, or anything really, and I’ve been dreaming of baking bagels the moment it started getting cooler outside. Soon the bagelling will begin, probably for post-Yom Kippur break fast next month. Muggle Pumpkin Juice Smoothies from Dumbledore’s Vegan Army. Last year, for my birthday we travelled a bit in the southern USA, as part of that trip we went to the Universal Studios park and visited Hogwarts… and they had this pumpkin juice…. If you’ve had the pumpkin juice you would understand. It’s so delicious. So delicious. So I want to try this, because I’m a muggle, and I like pumpkin juice. Also, it’s pumpkin time. JC’s youngest sisters loves the Nightmare Before Christmas. So I had to share this perfect for fall Jack Skellington’s Spicy Pumpkin-Soup (in german) – translate to English. (I’m also getting really excited for fall.) Spicy Vegan Chex Mex from House Vegan. Because snacks. if you…

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The Forks in Winnipeg

After a brief stop at the Vegetarian Food Festival, my tale of Road-tripping around North America can continue! I’m finding myself at a mental roadblocks when writing about our trip or just writing in general. At certain points there is one place or one area that just stops me in my tracks. And it’s not usually that it was an unpleasant experience or I don’t have anything nice to say, it’s just… for reasons unknown, I can’t really get it together about where ever it is we were (which then complete derails everything until I pick it up again). So here it goes anyway, micro steps. Right after we visited Jonnie’s Sticky Buns, we went over to The Forks market to take a look around and see if the Canadian Museum for Human Rights was open yet (it wasn’t – but it is opening Sept 20-21.) The Forks is a National Historic Site, and I was completely unfamiliar with it before visiting. We were trying to figure out why it was considered a National Historic site when it seemed to just be a really nice looking market building, and a place with a weekly farmers market BUT as we found out, it’s actually a lot more than that. The Forks is a junction point of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, and was used as a major transportation, trade, and settlement area, and was a historically important meeting place as both of those rivers are connected to an intercontinental network of water…

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Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival – 2014

This was my fourth Vegetarian Food Festival, and my fourth year in Toronto, it’s one of my favourite yearly events, and not just because it also coincides with one of my second favourite events – the Toronto International Film festival. This was also the first time I didn’t have a camera with me, so I just enjoyed the festivities and food, and didn’t take many photos. Maybe there is something to just experiencing things without photos to prove it, but I do miss my camera (it’s being repaired right now after I fell on our last day of travelling.) I went on Friday evening and being there reminded me very much of the feeling I got when I arrived in Toronto way back in the summer of 2010. As I sat in the sun, eating an APieCalypse Now magic square, and drinking a cup of my new favourite local kombucha (Pekoe Kombucha) I was just enveloped in a wonderful feeling of these are my people. I am home. We may have our differences (a lot of them), but there is still a feeling of connection at these events that I really love. It was so nice to catch up with friends, and discover new businesses that I hadn’t heard of before. Also the weather was gorgeous. So here is the Magic Square, and it was amazing as usual. Eventually, we also picked up a pumpkin pie, a piece of peach pie, one of those famous s’mores pies, a Free Shrugs t-shirt,…

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Things I Love Thursday – Vegan MoFo Edition 1

Sure sure, it’s been only a few days of Vegan MoFo. How do I have things I love already? Easy. Vegan Mofo is pretty incredible, with so many wonderful vegan bloggers coming together to share all their different stories and recipes and reviews and hot tips and whatever. Like I said in my intro, I wanted to use my usual Things I Love Thursday post to share some of my favourite posts and themes of the week. I love travelling, and we went to New Orleans in December, so I’m loving the posts from Laughfrodesiac, especially focusing on New Orleans (this week) and a new theme and location every week. Mary’s Test Kitchen – An entire month of Vegan Cultured Cheese WITH video.  Yes, an entire month of vegan cultured cheese videos. Amazing. A 10 year old lifelong vegan’s blog – Peace, Love, Be Vegan – her theme is “How This Kid Gets Protein” but frankly, I’m just really jazzed to see a young vegan blogger, and what she’s eating. Dumbledore’s Vegan Army is back this year for VeganMoFo!!! Vegan twists on classic foods from the World of Harry Potter (and some tips on vegan stuff at The Wizardly World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios!!!) (how many more exclamation points can I add to this?) Tofu Mom is doing a month of Gravy. GRAVY people. Vegan, obviously. And then I saw this amazing looking biscuit recipe on Vegan Heritage Press from Zsu Dever’s Everyday Vegan Eats which looks like it would be amazing…

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Minnesota – Hard Times Cafe

So continues our VeganMoFo cross country road trip adventure! Ever feel so incredibly out of place, and yet feel a pull from some nostalgic core about a place? Well, that’s how I felt about Hard Times Cafe the moment I walked in. I’ve never been much of a punk. I lived in a punk house, and we had punk shows in our living room, but I never really fit in. At least aesthetically. Still don’t. Luckily, it didn’t really matter. As we walked a little further into the lounge at the Hard Times Cafe there were a whole bunch of different people in there. From entire families, to college kids, to a mad scientist looking type reading a big book, and then there was us. Canadian tourists fresh out of visiting the Mall of America. Don’t worry about fitting in, come in for the food. I ordered a Jolt Cola when I walked in and took a menu for JC and I to look at. What happens is you look at the menu, write down your order (except for drinks) on a piece of paper (per person – write your name on it), tell the cashier your drink order, and pay for it at the cash register (p.s. they are cash only). Then someone calls your name, and you pick up your food from the back at the kitchen. Service was friendly, and straightforward, and generally better than some of the spots we’ve visited in Toronto that I wont mention. It also didn’t take our orders very…

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