Vegan Iron Chef PDX. Other stuff.

Since Portland was once upon a time my home away from home away from home, and I was planning on moving there some day, I still feel this happy vegan connection to it, despite the fact that I’m no longer thinking about moving there. Tomorrow is PDX’s inaugural Vegan Iron Chef, and I wanted to try and catch some of it while it’s being live streamed here at 5pm PST, but I’ll be at a Mexican themed raw vegan potluck instead. I didn’t realize that Concordia University (in Montreal) had an Iron Chef competition earlier this year. Considering how fantastic the food was nearly everywhere I went in Montreal, I can imagine how great it was. Looks like they are hoping to make it an annual event, so looking forward to following it next year. I picked up fresh garbanzo beans today, mostly out of curiosity, than necessity. But they have a very distinct flavour to them. I’ve never made anything with them previously, but I think I’ll buy more and make a raw green hummus out of it next week. I’ve still been going out to eat more often than I should, primarily to Remedy and La Shish Taouk (in Mayfield Common). La Shish is my favourite sit down place, mostly because of the fresh pita bread, hummus and baba ganouj, and it helps that it’s on the west end, open late and close-by. I introduced my dad to the place last week, and he liked it quite a bit. We…

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Cheesecake from Remedy Edmonton… again

It was a cold terrible day for CityChase on Saturday. I finally experienced what my friend calls “Vancouver Winter,” where there are never enough layers to protect you from the humidity, rain and sleet, and the only escape is going inside. But the event ended on a positive note, it warmed up slightly, and my fingers regained feeling, so that was nice. The lunch provided by the organizers was of course meat and cheese based, and that wasn’t much of a surprise. I had listed vegan as a dietary restriction, so I’ll just assume that is why we got so many bananas and oranges at our station. The most important thing to me, was that the participants were having fun, and it seemed like they were having a heck of a time in spite of the rain. After I was done at my ChasePoint (which was the Mitsubishi Car-eoke one at the City Art’s Center) I went over to the Over the Top Fashion Swap at the Winspear. I didn’t go for the clothing swap, but I wandered around the vendor’s section to see what homemade goods people were selling. I’m so glad I went because one thing that caught my eye (surprise, surprise) was Kerstin’s Chocolates (10139 – 112Street, Edmonton, AB). They have several vegan dark chocolate options that I know of, such as some of the Cocophilia bars, but there might be more. They were selling a Chocolate Coconut Cup there, but she stepped away from the booth so…

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Not going out to eat for a while… maybe.

Well, after the last few weeks of overindulgences, I’m feeling a bit like a homebody. I’d rather prepare simple dishes for myself, friends and family, than go out and have someone do it for me.  It also doesn’t help that most of the people I typically eat with are doing juice/master cleanses right now. And I have no interest in joining them. Our weather has been alternating between picnic friendly, and rain lately, but I still have the urge to get a few people together and have a nice traditional style picnic (well, as traditional as possible while still vegan.) potato salad, raw veggies, sandwiches, pita chips with hummus/guac/salsa, cupcakes, lemonade and iced tea. Or by using some of the suggestions from Mark Bittman’s 101 ideas for picnics. (peach tomato salad!) Next week there is a Raw Food Potluck here in Edmonton, and I’m trying to decide what to make for it. (It’s happening on Saturday June 5th, 2010, email rawveganedmonton@gmail.com to find out more information.) I’m leaning towards a lasagna type of dish (or maybe an artichoke pate stuffed tomatoes). Ever since I made the salad with raw zucchini a month or so ago, I just want to use it again… in something… anything. I picked up a few varieties of organic heirloom lettuce, and small container of black kalamata olives. I’m going to end up making my own tapenade (with olives, garlic, fresh basil, capers and olive oil) today, at least as a mini snack. I still want…

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Guru Fine Indian Cuisine in Edmonton & Hip Hop in the Park

It’s funny how the trip to Guru Fine Indian Cuisine started. I posted a picture of my East Indian junk food snack from Blue Plate Diner on Facebook, and then a friend commented on how Edmonton lacked good Indian food when compared with Vancouver. I got my city patriotic foodie feathers ruffled a bit, and had to prove her wrong. Guru seemed like a good place to make that happen. I was right of course, Guru (17021 100 Ave, Edmonton, AB) has great food and a great relaxed fine dining atmosphere. They seem open to modifying the dishes to suit vegans, and suggesting items. It was empty when we went in there, but it was midday Friday. When we visited on Saturday it was packed (so I’d recommend reservations on the weekend.) We ordered the Guru Palak Chilgoza (minus the cream and butter) and the Guru Daal (minus the butter.) I wasn’t super enthusiastic about the Palak Chilgoza. Both my dining companion and I thought it would have been better with pretoasted pine nuts and coconut milk. However, I could not get enough of the Guru Daal. There was this satisfying quality to the dish, that lightly spicy umami combination that spreads from your mouth to the rest of your body. If you love cilantro, you’d probably love this dish too. Another thing they had were creative little (alcoholic) drinks on the menu. Most of their martinis looked appealing, but we decided on the Coconut Kiss. Very tasty. But you…

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Blue Plate Diner

A friend and I went over to the Blue Plate Diner for a snack a couple of nights ago. It has a relatively inconspicuous location downtown, at least I’ve always missed it, and I know I’ve walked by countless times. I had been meaning to visit since I saw it listed in the VOA Dining Guide, and finally got around to doing so. We ordered the Indian sampler plate since it was one of the few vegan items on the menu that we could share. I really liked one of the chutneys and the pakoras were quite good, but the samosa’s were way too greasy for my liking. If we do ever go to the Blue Plate Diner again, I’m going to try the Lentil & Nut loaf, because it looks interesting. Over all though I think the Blue Plate Diner is a great option for lacto-ovo vegetarians, moreso than vegans. But it is a nice downtown option open till 10pm everyday, which feels unusual, and easy to visit if you’re checking out Edmonton’s City Market. But of course, if you’re checking out the City Market, there are so many other options to snack on. Speaking of the Edmonton City Market… I keep meaning to go, maybe next week. There are two vendors I want to check out specifically, Limegreens, and Fiesta Olives. They were mentioned on the Edmonton Journal’s website. Limegreens looks like a decent raw vegan snack source, and Fiesta Olives… well that’s pretty self explanatory. I’ve gotten on some kind of olive kick lately, and I’m craving a new…

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Vegan on the range.

         I spent the weekend on a mini adventure in Northern Alberta. Part of it was spent in the Lake Baptiste area and part of it was spent wandering around the hills in Athabasca. It’s so beautiful to get out of the city every once and a while, and forget about time.          We were greated with pleasant weather the entire time out there, the nights were cloudy but while there was not much opportunity for stargazing, it was perfect for wandering. There is something so awe inspiring and humbling about watching a sunset into a body of water. I can never quite find the words.          Vegan options were sparse in Athabasca, as far as I could tell. We didn’t do much walking around town, but dropped into the Riverhouse Cafe (5002 43 ST, Athabasca, Alberta), and I had one of the best soy vanilla lattes I’ve had in a while. I watched her make it with soy milk, but the foam was an unusually frothy consistency (which can be hard to achieve with soy) They did not have any vegan dessert, but were full of gluten free options, and the owner seemed like the type of person that would make vegan dessert if there was even a bit of a demand for it.          I felt strangely uninterested in cooking all weekend. There was something about being in the middle of the woods, with no concept of time,…

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Padmanadi

A friend and I took a little visit to Padmanadi a few days ago. Whenever we go, we don’t mess around, and order about three dishes to share. This time was no different. We had a hard time deciding what to order, well… between three dishes as per usual. The spicy chicken, the spicy shrimp, the lemon ribs and the lo hon chow mien. The Tom Yum soup was a given of course, but part of me really wanted to try the shark fin soup again… maybe next time! There are two dishes I love above all other’s at Padmanadi. The Lo Hon Chow Mien, and the Panacotta (made with coconut cream… yummy.) So we had to order it. The portions have decreased from the giant plate of noodles, but I feel like they’ve increased in veggies so I’m quite happy with it. I’m always interested to see the presentation of the Panacotta, because it’s never looked the same twice. During this visit it was in a nice little dish topped with raspberry coolie with a side of peach sauce. I was happy they didn’t put sprinkles on it like last time. I contacted Guru, a relatively new Indian restaurant in Edmonton (opened in December), to find out if there were any vegan options. They replied quite promptly to my email, and yes! There are two dishes that can easily be modified to be vegan, and one of the roti’s is vegan. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to check it…

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I was hungry, and I found the Remedy.

I went to the VOA sponsored presentation by Brenda Davis on Thursday. I’ll admit I went there with the feeling that I would just be hearing a lot of the same old same old information. But I was genuinely impressed and greatly enjoyed the talk. It was an amazing turn out. The lecture theater was PACKED, some people were even sitting on the stairs. I took a few notes, but mostly just took in the information. I picked up a copy of her Becoming Raw book, because I was interested to hear more about her thoughts on enzymes and the theories behind being raw. So far it’s been educational. I admired her dedication to explaining things in a fair and scientific way. Here are a few random things I found interesting: – Most seaweed isn’t a good source of B12. The dehydration process converts true b12 to analogues that can actually facilitate a deficiency because the analogue interferes with the absorption of the true B12.  If you consume dehydrated seaweed you may have a false normal reading when you get your blood tested for b12 deficiency. The normal test doesn’t distinguish between the inactive b12 analogue and true b12. – Special requirements for Canadians for vitamin D are higher and range between 400IU to 1000IU daily because of how little sun we get in the wintertime. – Eating a 100% plant based diet 1 day a week reduces your carbon footprint more than eating a 100% local based diet 7 days…

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Famoso Pizza – Vegan options(?)

If you think I go out to eat nearly everyday… you’d be right. Since I’ve been in Edmonton for less than two weeks, seems like people want to spend time with me. It’s been really nice to hang out with my old friends (and some new ones) and check out some of the places I never got around to visiting in the past. I’m looking forward to using the VOA Vegan and Vegetarian Diner’s guide to find other hidden treasures. A friend and I went to Famoso Pizza (11750 Jasper Ave NW) yesterday. He loves the place (and is a mostly carnivorous omnivore) but I was interested because they have a rice and oat based “Vegan-Rella” on their menu, AND they have received various awards (top pizza place in Edmonton 2008, 2009. Top Pizza in Canada, 6th place at the International Pizza Challenge in Las Vegas.) So it was time to check it out first-hand. I liked the set up: casual, seat yourself and order at the counter. I ordered the only vegan friendly pizza on their menu (the Margherita) which has cheese, basil and olive oil with a campania tomato sauce. It was tasty, but plain. Luckily they had a container of red pepper flakes available and I doused my pizza with it. The sauce was great, and although the cheese was a bit strange (the consistancy of watery melted mozzarella), I would love to try another pizza just with more toppings. But it’s a bit pricey, especially since the “vegan-rella” adds an additional two…

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Remedy and La Shish

Edmonton keeps me busy. I had a wonderful run through the river valley yesterday, did a bit over 7 kilometers. I had only intended on doing 5 but it was so nice out I didn’t want to turn back. I feel oddly like a tourist in this city, everything is slightly unfamiliar and new. Of course I mean that in a good way, because it’s like discovering the great parts about my home city all over again. A friend and I went to La Shish Taouk (224 Mayfield Common, Edmonton AB) yesterday evening, I’ve had the vegetarian combination plate there before and really liked it, but for once in my life, I wasn’t feeling hungry. I ordered a large glass of fresh carrot juice though and I did pick at the falafel plate and the sauteed veggie plate my friend ordered. They have a really decent selection of vegan and vegetarian foods, and if you miss smoking indoors they also have flavoured apple or grape shisha (I’m not a smoker, but I’ve tried the apple and it was pleasant.) Sometime later in the evening we went over to Whyte ave, tried to go to Cafe Dabar, but the moment we started walking up to the place the “Open” sign was switched off! Darn. Remedy was still open, so we headed over there. I’m starting to really like that place, and I keep wondering why I didn’t go there more often when I lived in the university area. They had a…

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