Montréal 2016 – Sushi Momo

We were in Montreal a few months ago before Simon was born, and visited the old location of Sushi Momo, since our visit they’ve moved to a much bigger location on Rue Saint-Denis, and so this post is just an excuse to share delicious food porn and talk about what we ate. Their original location was a cozy hole-in-the wall spot just off of St. Laurent. There was room for 15-20 people at most, and it was not the space for a large pregnant woman (me), but we went in there anyway, and I squished myself behind a small table with a comfy cushion and looked at their fabulous menu. For once I was happy I was so hungry, because everything looked awesome. The first night we tried to walk in was disappointing, because they were very busy (and we knew they were popular), and we couldn’t even wait around in hopes of a table, so we came back the next night after calling for a table (like we should have done the first time around.) (make reservations for maximum happiness) We started with bowls of flavourful miso soup and edamame. Next came the “poutine,” which was phenomenal. It had fried sweet potato hosomaki, cheddar cheese gratin, and a shiitake teriyaki sauce. I can’t recommend this dish enough – and I can’t recommend you get your own. Sharing with JC was nice and all, but oh I have some regrets about not getting my own bowl of this one. We ordered…

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Montreal – Cafe Venosa

Update: June 14, 2017: Sadly, Cafe Venosa has announced they are closed and declaring bankruptcy.  So far, I’ve written about our most recent visit to Aux Vivres and Sophie Sucrée, but Café Venosa has been on my list since they first appeared. A few months ago JC and I were in Montreal, wandering around. I was still pregnant and we were taking our final vacation as just the two of us. It was nice to visit and knock off a few places on my “To Visit” list. It was March, and there was still a bit of snow on the ground. One of those stops was Cafe Venosa (of course) since it combines a few of my favourite things – vegan food, coffee, and cats. (and also wifi.) We walked in, and to the right there was a board with some of the adoptable cats. We saw a few cats wandering around, a case of sweet treats from a couple of vegan bakeries, and friendly staff waiting to take our order. They told us to take a seat and they’d be right by to grab our order. We started out with some hot drinks – I ordered a hot chocolate, JC got a soy latte. Then I got a soy latte, and JC got a hot chocolate. Then we alternated for the rest of our visit and confused everyone including ourselves. They brought me this beauty of a hot chocolate. It was as good as it looked! Though I’m not going to lie – I wish it looked…

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Montreal – Sophie Sucrée

A few months ago we were in Montreal, gallivanting around. I was still pregnant, and we were taking our final vacation as just the two of us. It was nice to be there, and I had amassed a decent list of “To Visit” spots over the year or so since we’d last visited the city. It was March, and there was still a bit of snow on the ground. One of the newer spots on my list was Sophie Sucrée – an all vegan bakery. We decided to go there for breakfast our second morning, and it was our first experiment with using Car2Go in Montreal (which turned out great, since I was walking around with a heavy 37 week pregnant belly.) JC dropped me off in front of Sophie Sucrée, while he found parking, and I got to soak up the baked goods and the atmosphere of the space. If you’re feeling a bit more mobile than I was when we were visiting, you can catch the Metro to Station Sherbrooke. It’s only a 7-8 minute walk to the bakery. There are a few tables inside, but it’s more of a small cozy space with most of the focus on baked goods. The case had several delicious looking cupcakes, pastries, pies, and cakes, to choose from, so we tried a little bit of everything. We decided to follow the advice of the sandwich board outside inviting us to try the spinach and feta puff pastry (feuilleté aux epinards et…

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Montreal 2016 – Aux Vivres

As part of our pre-baby adventures we visited Montreal. I was about 37 weeks pregnant when we went, so it was a bit of a nervous trip (because going into labour in another province where people speak French, scared me a little), but it also felt like a necessary one (at least from a wanderlust perspective.) We took the Megabus down, which seemed like a good idea when I booked the tickets, but less of a good idea when I was trying to arrange myself and my belly behind the table we had reserved. It was much too crowded – live and learn. Much like some of the other cities I keep returning to, Montreal is very familiar. There is always something new, but ultimately the city still has the same energy, the same streets, the same language. I went to the University of Montreal during a pretty formative year one summer, so our visits are usually a blend of some of my old favourites and trying to visit whatever is new in town. Aux Vivres is one of my old favourites since my first time in Montreal, and it’s been incredible to watch them grow from a relatively small restaurant & cafe to doubling in size and adding a grab and go deli/grocery area. I still remember the first time I ordered the BLT sandwich on chapati from them. It was 2007 – and coconut bacon wasn’t a thing like it is now and it was mind blowing. During those two…

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Hungry Vegan Meal Delivery – Meal Delivery in Toronto

I’ve been working my way through the various meal-delivery services just to see how they work before we actually might need to take advantages of them out of necessity, so I’ll try and get some more posts up about those, but so far, Hungry Vegan has been one of my favourites. Hungry Vegan has been around for a few years and is based out of Chatham-Kent. Luckily, they also offer vegan meal delivery to Toronto (as well as along the Windsor-Toronto corridor) in addition to having a store-front in Chatham-Kent Ontario. I’ve ordered from them three times so far, and I can see myself doing so again in the near future – especially since we might be total zombies once the baby arrives. As an added bonus, it sounds like they might be moving or adding a kitchen in the GTA in the next few months as well. They offer organic, vegan, gluten-free meals, salads, drinks, desserts, and dips, and have been doing Toronto delivery on Wednesday (just place an order by Monday.) For my first order I just picked a random assortment of savoury looking meals to try them out: 1 Hungry Vegan Potato Salad with crisp green beans, celery, green onion, parsley and housemade soy-free mayo. 1 500mL – Moroccan Lentil Stew 2 Stir Fry Box 1 Falafel Box 1 Spicy Pickle Hummus 1 Tangy Granny Smith Apple Quinoa w Apples, Quinoa, Pepitas, Cranberries and an oil free orange citrus dressing 2 Creamy Broccoli Salad. We were planning a trip…

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Recipe for Change 2016 – Food and a Fundraiser for FoodShare

This is my fourth year going to Recipe for Change (see my pictures from 2012, 2013, 2014, and now 2016) and it’s not the same as it once was, especially in terms of vegan options, but it was still a great time as always. And of course, the event admission tickets support a great organization – FoodShare Toronto, which does fantastic food literacy work in Toronto, amongst so many other things, like the Good Food Box, the Mobile Good Food Market, Food literacy resources for educators, and so much more. I went with my mom this year, since she was visiting from out of town, and we had a great time. The vegan options were from a few different places: My Little Dumplings – Eggplant, fresh Harissa and Za’atar dumplings My Little Dumplings is a Recipe for Change favourite – I’m pretty sure he’s always had a vegan options, and it’s always been delicious. Chef Bashir Munye has been cooking dumplings up around the city at various farmers markets (including Evergreen Brickworks) – and recently opened a location in Leslieville at 1372 Queen Street East (@ Greenwood) – so check them out sometime. Open Thursday and Friday at 11am-7pm Good Earth Food and Wine – Ancho & lime tempeh This was great but they were definitely more enthusiastic about their meaty options. Which is too bad, because the tempeh with the sauce was exceptional. They had a giant bowl of extra spicy sauce available on the side which kicked it up an extra few notches. I went back…

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Winterlicious 2016 – Vegan Options

Winterlicious happens every year in Toronto and is a great way to get out there during the colder months and try a new restaurant with a fixed price menu for lunch or dinner. Of the 200 participating restaurants this year, four offer 3 courses of vegan items for either lunch or dinner and one offers a vegan menu for both. I do like that Winterlicious offers a vegan filter on their site, but I do not really care about seeing the other menu items, since I have no interest in eating them. And of course, comparing a fruit plate with a fancy multistage dessert is always a bummer, so why not just not even look at it. I put together this list last year, and people seemed to find the whole endeavor helpful, so here is my attempt for Winterlicious 2016. Winterlicious has been on since January 29th, so there aren’t many days of Winterlicious left – it ends on February 11th, so get out there! Avoid disappointment and do confirm with the restaurant that they are still offering these things –  you can find information about all of these places and their current listings on the Winterlicious site. I’ve ordered these in order of most exciting menu to least exciting, but of course, if you like salad or sorbet, then maybe the others will be your jam. Living Room WindsorArms Hotel 18 St Thomas St (map) 416-971-9666 Yorkville Accessible Lunch – $28 – make a reservation on OpenTable Benzenella Salad (vegan)…

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Vegan Brunch at D-Beatstro

D-Beatstro is a community space, art gallery, cafe, event venue, and restaurant that opened a little over a year ago in the old Bike Pirates space. It’s has a relaxed friendly atmosphere, and a nice addition to Bloordale, and right across the street from the magical Through Being Cool Vegan Bakery. They have prioritized being both physically and financially accessible, especially for people throwing events. Which speaking as someone that likes to organize the occasional event – physically accessible event venues are something that are sorely lacking in our city. I’ve watched D-Beatstro improve and grow their offerings and options over the last few months and it’s been great to see them grow into having a really solid menu, kitchen, and coffee set up. As with any business, the beginning can be tough, and when you hit the ground running like these folks did and make improvements on the fly in that DIY style (and if not, you will likely fail) it can be stressful and not without hiccups. This community space, cafe, restaurant, and more, has managed to do that, and excel at it.  I mention this especially if you visited them in the absolute beginning, and didn’t go back – simply to encourage you to visit again. That said, from the very beginning, they started out with great coffee (it’s from Dark City if you’re curious) – they knew what they were doing with that fancy espresso machine, and it was great to be able to go in there with my…

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The Purple Carrot – Vegan Meal Kit Box

We ordered a box from The Purple Carrot earlier last week. I’ve been curious about it, because despite a genuine love of food – I’m a lazy cook, or just an avoidant cook. Anything that proposes an option for us to have an easier time cooking dinner at home is something I’m interested in learning more about. One of their biggest name supporters and co-founders is Mark Bittman, and he’s also involved with recipe development, recipe testing, and also using his connections with fancy chefs all over the world to create or share interesting plant based recipes with subscribers. Currently, the box is only available in the USA. There were some rumors of a vegan meal kit in Ontario brewing last year, and I’m happy to say details have finally been released. So if you’re local, check out the Meal Kits from Globally Local. So what was in the box? Large biodegradable insulated box liner 3 large non-toxic ice packs – reusable, or drainable. 3 meal kits with ingredients with detailed full colour recipe cards. A sheet with a little story of why each dish was included this week, some pictures from real humans that made things from the Purple Carrot boxes, and a carrot talk discussion question which they suggest talking about at dinner or online. Our weeks question was easy “What’s your New Year’s Resolution for 2016” What was on the dinner menu for the next few evenings? 5-Layer Beet Tartare (recipe here) Roasted Carrots and Cilantro Basmati (recipe here) Good Luck pasta and beans…

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#Veganuary 2016 – Do you need help?

Dear You, Are you interested in trying to go vegan for 2016 or even just to try it out in January 2016? There are lots of resources out there and I’ve collected a few of them on this page. Also, please feel free to email me if you have any questions or need support along the way, especially if you’re in Toronto, since that’s where I live, and that’s one of the main cities I know. (but this is an open offer to anyone anywhere.) I went vegan in the late 90’s. I was young and living in Alberta, which even to this day has a bit of a reputation of being meat-heavy (though Edmonton is amazing for vegan options). It was a bit strange to be the only vegan I knew in real life, but that’s still not a completely foreign experience for people even with our changing world. Veganism is more and more common, and it’s easier to find food and friends than ever before, but you can still encounter resistance or misunderstanding and it can be frustrating, especially in the beginning, when you discover that many people, including people you respect and love, don’t see the world the same way you do. So feel free to reach out by email or by twitter or on facebook if you ever need a quick word of encouragement, a restaurant recommendation, an ingredient replacement, or something else in the veganism sphere. Be nice to me and I’m usually pretty friendly 🙂 Resources in Toronto…

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