Edmonton City Market

I had lofty goals to get out to the St.Albert Farmers Market this weekend, but decided that after a full 12 hour night shift, it was probably better to take it easy. So, a quick LRT ride and I was downtown bright and early, waiting for the bell to ring (which signifies the vendors can start selling). Considering the unpredictable weather, the turn out was decent right from the beginning, and as 9am rolled around the sun came out. Perfect! This time I was looking for some truffle olive tapenade and LimeGreen’s macaroons, unfortunately, man with the truffles was nowhere to be found, and there weren’t any macaroons at LimeGreen’s. Maybe next week! I made the best of it. Gave me an excuse to try a bunch of other things. As an aside, it looks like LimeGreen’s is doing an assorted nut milk/raw food delivery service, sounds like an interesting idea and I hope it does well! More information is at their website First stop was The Happy Camel, since I’ve been meaning to try some of their Za’tar flat bread for a while. It’s fluffy and delicious, and perfect with sliced fresh tomatoes. They have a nice red pepper hummus that’s vegan and also tasty. You can find them at most Farmer’s Markets in the city (and in St.Albert too) as well as their bakery/cafe in the Callingwood Shopping Center (6404-177 Street.)  Next I stopped by the Innisfail Growers, and picked up some Gourmet Asparagus Relish. I wish there…

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The New Padmanadi

I visited the new location for Padmanadi in Edmonton at 10740 101 St. I envy Victoria High School (I went there, once upon a time) students because Padmanadi is now a five minute walk for lunch. The new location is unassuming from the outside, but once you walk in, it’s very bright, the furnishings are beautiful, and every plate is etched with the Padmanadi logo. For a place that had a very family style feel, there is this hipness to the new location that the old one never had. I’m sure it will grow on me, but it’s a dramatic change. Either way, the food was still the same, just a couple dollars more than before. I’d like visit it at night and see what effect the lighting has on the ambiance, as they have east facing windows that let in a lot of natural light during the day. We ordered the wheat free curried mutton and the roti canai. I’m looking forward to going back and ordering something new next time. I noticed that they finally had Hot and Sour soup listed on the menu, something I’ve been dreaming of since Padmanadi first opened, so that’s something I am thrilled to try. I’m glad to see the wheat free items marked on the menu since so many people are effected by that intolerance/allergy or just want to avoid it for their own reasons. (However, I’m not sure if that means gluten free in general, since there are other sources of…

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New ones from Remedy and a visit to Oriental Veggie House

It’s been hard to go out and eat lately with my work schedule and other commitments, but finally, yesterday I visited Remedy. New (to me) flavours of cheesecake: chocolate banana (no peanut butter) and lemon raspberry. When they brought us the slices, I thought, whoa, the chocolate banana is going to be so delicious, and didn’t give enough credit to the lemon raspberry. Looks can be deceiving. I’m not going to say I disliked the chocolate banana, because that wouldn’t be true, only that I felt like eating something tart, and the lemon raspberry was perfect to pacify that. We had a beautiful day out in Edmonton, and then as evening hit, thundershowers. Sitting at the second floor of Remedy, looking out the window towards the downtown core was a great vantage point to watch the storm and enjoy good food. I love summers in Edmonton. Last week S and I went to Oriental Veggie House. It’s probably been a year since I went there, and I think that was my last time. I hate speaking ill of a vegetarian business that has been around for so many years, because I have a lot of sentimental attachment to the place. But I’m not as into their food as I once was. OVH was my first vegetarian restaurant and where I celebrated the first few birthdays after being vegan. Going there satisfied a nostalgic need, but the food is almost never spectacular, and it’s gotten too expensive to go there solely…

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A visit to the St. Albert Farmers Market. And things entirely unrelated to veganism.

Bright and early yesterday morning I went over to the 2010 opening kick off of the St.Albert Farmer’s Market. It was a beautiful day to go wandering through the stalls and see what interesting things were hiding around every corner. We arrived shortly after the opening ceremonies at 10 am, but as with nearly every Farmer’s Market, it was packed right from the beginning, with all the clever folks hoping to find the best of everything. I love that there is a Park and Ride from St.Albert Center direct to the Farmers Market. It’s such a great idea and wish more places would encourage the use of public transit in such a fashion. There were a few things that stood out for me from the 200+ vendors: Guasacaca salsa  (email) With a name like Guasacaca, I thought everything would contain avocados, but sometimes a name is just a name, no avocados to be seen! I picked up an amazing cilantro based salsa/chutney from the guys at Guasacaca Salsa. Simple ingredients (Cilantro, garlic, parsley, oil, vinegar, peppers, chilli peppers), and full of flavour. They had four different varieties of Salsas, two green ones with cilantro and varying degrees of hotness, a roja (a red one with tomatos), and a curried one called Hurry Hurry. All of them were delicious, but since I prefer sharp spicy flavours the Hot Green one won out. The Roja, had a subtler flavour with an interesting finish. Luckily, they had samples available!  Ukrainian Homemade Bread and Baking (780-4741111) I…

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The most negative and disappointed post. The Remedy is cheesecake.

A friend and I went to Bliss Baked Goods (14208 118 Ave Edmonton, AB) yesterday morning. I was extremely excited at the prospect of vegan croissants or even just a meal at this dairy-free kosher bakery. I heard about it from the VOA dining guide a while ago and wanted to try it out ever since. However, I left disappointed, as on the day we went in, the only vegan item were danishes, and well…. I can get vegan danishes from the grocery store if I wanted them. Eventually I’d like to pre-ordering 6 vegan croissants (if they still make them) but not any time soon. After the sadness of another day without vegan croissants passed, we went to Whyte Avenue in search of some new good food. Cafe Beirut was new to us, another place for quick cheap Lebanese cuisine. Which is good to know, because I had a terrible experience at Sabzy, one of the other places for hummus, tabbouleh, etc on Whyte. There are very few times I have left a restaurant because the service was so bad, that was one of those times. We ordered the Falafel Platter, and it was good, but the consensus was that it wasn’t spectacular. Though for what it was, let’s just say it was great. The service was friendly, it was prepared quickly, and presented nicely. Next time I’m in there I’ll try the baba ganouji. I was interested to read that the owner of Cafe Beirut once upon a time owned the…

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Home cooking and more Daiya. A visit to Lemongrass.

I think one of the major reasons I’ve been vegan with ease for so many years is the fact that something simple like a bit of avocado, tomato and spinach thrown together can get me salivating. Food doesn’t have to be fancy to be delicious, but I’ll admit that sometimes the aesthetics of what I’m eating comes into play. If I go out to eat, the enjoyment increases tenfold if care and attention was put into the presentation. To me it just feels like it is an extension of the care and attention that (I hope) went into preparing a meal. But if I’m eating at home, the colours that really effect me. Fresh bright leaves, ripe tomatoes, avocados, fruits, vibrant juices, just looking at them makes me feel good. I already know that love and care was put into cooking or preparing something, when I’m home, and cooking for myself, so I don’t necessarily need to see it in the final product. This morning I had a hankering for a Mock Tuna Salad Sandwich (based on Neal Barnard’s recipe in Food For Life, which again, I am proud to mention, is my mother’s book, not mine. Vegan contagion win!) My night time work schedule has me existing in a different time zone, so my stomach operates on different hours. 4am is a perfectly reasonable time to be preparing a meal. It was, of course, delicious. I melted up some more daiya cheese today for my mini snack of nachos (on my…

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Daiya Vegan Cheese

In case you haven’t heard, Daiya Cheese is here in Edmonton. You can pick it up at Earth’s General Store (on 82 ave and 96 st.) The new location is right before the bridge over Mill Creek ravine. When I went in it was $17/kg (which, I believe makes it the cheapest vegan cheese in the city, and on par with reg. cheese pricing.) I’ve also heard there will be new packaging soon, so it may be available in other stores. (But I think I’ll stick with Earth’s General Store for my Daiya needs. I love them.) I picked some up on Thursday, and the first thing I did when I got home was make nacho’s. I sliced up a tomato, an onion, some olives, and sprinkled some “cheddar” and some “mozzarella” on top, threw it in the microwave, and made fresh and spicy Pico de Gallo to go with it. It was yummy as expected. It really melts! I first tried Daiya back in November or December from Food Fight Grocery in Portland and I was really amused to find out that Daiya was actually produced in British Columbia, Canada, but was available south before it was available east of there. The most important thing about this cheese, at least to me (beyond the fact it doesn’t have animal products in it), is that my parents LOVE it, and omnivorous friends have also been very positive. It’s so close to the real thing that I think it might have some serious potential to…

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Food Day.- Or Vegan Options within walking distance of the University of Alberta

Yesterday was a food day. We went out to the Garneau area and started out at Kyoto Japanese Cuisine, went to Phobulous (so my friend could get some non-vegan Vietnamese coffee)  then a visit to Remedy for a piece of vegan cheesecake, across the street to Transcend Coffee for a Soy Flat White, a quick snack at Kabuki, and finally a late dinner at Blue Plate Diner downtown. Kyoto Japanese Cuisine is pretty minimal on the real vegan options. Most of their sushi contains mayo (but you can ask them to skip it.) They bring out miso soup with every meal, but I was told it contained shrimp, so of course, none for me. We ordered the Spinach Gomaae, a flash steamed pile of spinach, slathered in a sweet peanut sesame sauce. The menu has items marked as “Vegetarian” with a little green sushi piece, but based on the Tamago (egg sushi) with that symbol, that definition likely includes lacto-ovo items. This wasn’t the last Gomaae of the day, so it was interesting to be able to compare them. I’m going to skip talking about Phobulous for the most part, the vegan options are limited to two items on the menu, and considering the amazing other places in and around the Whyte ave area, if I had the choice, I’d just go somewhere else (Unless you feel like having a rice bowl with tofu and spring rolls). Remedy was great as always, we got there just as he was plating…

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Best Cheesecake Ever.

Okay, the other day, I consumed what I believe was the best cheesecake I’ve ever eaten. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but I looked through my memory banks, at the prevegan days (cheesecake factory, homemade, little bitro cakes), compared it to the former Best Cheesecake Ever from Wink (which existed once upon a time in Vancouver) and still, this one is the winner. How can it not be, with a creamy peanut butter banana chocolate filling, and a thin layer of peanut butter on the bottom chocolatey crust. Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cheesecake from Remedy. There isn’t anymore. We took the last two slices on Sunday. But if you happen to walk into Remedy one day, and see this… you should get a piece. The heck with all other cheesecakes. I want this cake for my birthday.

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Edmonton City Market and a Raw Food Potluck

 Saturday was the perfect day to head out to the Edmonton City Market, a warm and sunny morning, with only the occasional cloud in sight.  It seemed quite busy to me, but I have no previous weeks to compare it to. Finally checked out the LimeGreens booth, and it was full of samples(!!!). They had already run out of Chocolate Macaroons by 10:30am, but if the sample I tried was any indication, they are worth waking up early for. My friend and I both found the kale chips too cheesy. Of the drink samples the mango lassi and chai were my favourites (but they have a great variety to choose from.) J picked up a sweet spicy Chai smoothie, and I debated getting a Mango Lassi (normally a yogurt based Indian drink), but decided it was too early in the morning for something so rich. Funny since I ended up finishing the remainder of my friends Chai anyway. The fiesta olives booth was really busy, which is usually a good sign, but we skipped it. I picked up a bunch of bulk olives recently from a nearby Lebanese grocery store anyway, so I’ve got my olive source for a while. There are two other sources for vegan olive tapenade; Bamboche Wold Cuisine, and Truffle-licious. I think the one from Truffle-licious was my favourite hands down, but it might have something to do with a minorly annoying comment related to veganism from the Bamboche vendor (related to veganism and honey. I…

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