Double Greeting Wonton House – Edmonton – Roadtrip 2014

When I went vegan a few decades ago Double Greeting Wonton House was one of the vegan-friendly Asian restaurants that was open super late and open almost everyday. My dad and I would go after he finished work, my friends and I would walk over at 11 pm, and get something to eat, and I suppose it still has a certain legacy within my social circle. I don’t know how truly vegan friendly it is, so your comfort level may vary, but of the dishes I keep ordering, I’ve been assured they are. We’ve kept going back for over 10 years out of a blend of nostalgia, and enjoyment. In that time, it hasn’t changed much if at all. The neighbourhood surrounding it hasn’t changed much either, though on our most recent visit I noticed there was a lot more construction than I remember in the past, so I imagine that can be a blend of good and bad. My go-to dish has changed over time, but the last few years I’ve wanted the sweet corn on rice, and my friends tend to order the shanghai noodles and the mushrooms mushrooms mushrooms on rice. Of course, the important thing to…

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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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Edmonton – Ethiopian Vegan Buffet at Abyssinia Restaurant

Shortly after arriving in Edmonton for a brief visit, hanging out at home and with my parents’ cat Misha, my mom and I decided to head over to Abyssinia Restaurant, a Ethiopian restaurant in East Central Edmonton, just a bit north of the downtown core. Abyssinia is an Ethiopian family restaurant in Edmonton that serves a variety of meat and vegan dishes everyday, and offers a totally vegan buffet twice a week on Wednesday & Friday evenings between 5-9pm. I couldn’t help but think if this place was in Toronto it would have been PACKED full, especially on vegan night. But instead there were a couple tables occupied, but otherwise, it was not so busy. Service was helpful and friendly, and they told us all about the food they had to offer. So many incredible dishes, like kei misir wot (spicy lentils), alicha misir (turmeric lentils), gomen (chopped spicy greens), tikel gomen (cabbage & carrots), fosolia (green beans, carrots, and potato), kik wot, okra, sweet potato dishes, fresh green salads, and all the injera (made with corn, buckwheat, and teff flour) you could ever eat. I piled my plate full of everything, sampling a bit of this and that of whatever…

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Breakfast at Home and Clever Rabbit – Roadtrip 2014

I’m still writing about our Summer Roadtrip in 2014 – so far in our story we had just arrived in Edmonton the afternoon before, and planned to visit my parents for breakfast the next morning. My parents had just come back from a trip to Poland, so I was looking forward to seeing pictures and hearing a few stories about their trip too. (also – I like souvenirs.) My mom also made us waffles – but I didn’t have the wherewithal to take a photo until the last waffle as you can see above in all of its glory. Over the last few years my mom has become an especially incredible vegan cook (because she follows a primarily plant based diet) – so it’s always nice to come back and get a tasty home cooked meal. It’s actually quite tough being away from my parents, flights to Edmonton from Toronto are usually quite expensive, and it’s not always easy to find time to get away, so I was happy to visit back in the summer of 2014 and also a month or so ago. We’d see each other again a few times on this visit, but it was nice to have breakfast with…

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The Thai on Bloor – Toronto

Thai food has always been one of those foods I gravitate towards – especially being vegan. Yes, everyone talks about hidden fish sauce, but it doesn’t happen often, and from what I’ve been able to tell most of the time when I go into a restaurant people have been honest with me (even if it means they lose a sale.) We live near High Park, and a relatively short walk away from Roncesvalles, which has a couple of vegan friendly Thai restaurants (The Friendly Thai and Thai Chef Cuisine) and since moving to the neighbourhood we hadn’t branched out much beyond those familiar two. One evening I walked by The Thai on Bloor from Keele station. It’s one of those wonderful stumble-upon a place on foot experiences that are so rare with the internet dictating so much of my eating habits these days – but The Thai had a big chalkboard sign outside, and one of the items was “Vegan Options Available.” Just this line was enough to make me feel optimistic, they used the V word, but looking at the menu got me feeling excited. A whole glorious vegan page of dishes, with some meats even. I put The Thai in…

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UFondue – Saskatoon, SK – Roadtrip 2014

I’m still travelling back in time on our Summer Roadtrip, in July and August 2014. We visited UFondue in the last few weeks of July 2014, and it was one of the last few spots we visited before driving on to Edmonton. One of the things people often seem surprised at, and I’m still a little surprised about is that Saskatoon has a fondue restaurant. Add to that, Saskatoon has a fondue restaurant with a vegan option for all four courses, and they didn’t just recently jump on the vegan bandwagon – they’ve offered a vegan fondue option for as long as I’ve known about this restaurant, which means since somewhere in 2007. I’ve gone here for fondue a few times now, and every time feels like we’re an anomaly and it feels kind of like there is an odd vibe around it, but they keep it on the menu so I have to assume I’m not the only one ordering it. Servers try not to be awkward about it, but they are awkward about it every time. Despite this, I had to go back with JC and show him this weird and wonderful experience that inspired me and an ex-gf…

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Field Roast Vegan Chao Slices Giveaway (Canada Only)

Winner has been selected! I’m at ExpoWest and checking out all of the fantastic vegan products available, and one of my favourite things to do, is to give away stuff that’s hard to find (or not available at all yet) in Canada. So, here it is – I’d like to give you one flavour of Field Roast’s Chao Cheese Slices. I’ve tried these before, and plan on doing a full review in the future – but now I’m enjoying running around at ExpoWest, so for now, my one line review is: This is a versatile casual cheese slice – it’s great on bread, with apples, and has made a few appearances on some of my vegan cheeseboards in the past. If you want to follow along on my ExpoWest vegan product finding adventures, check me out on instagram or facebook. Winner has been selected a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer: I did get a free package(s) of Field Roast Chao slices, but free reign on what to do with it. But… I like to share 🙂

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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…

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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…

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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…

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