Vegan Mofo – Day 0 – Polish Vegan Things

It’s almost time for Vegan MoFo. What is Vegan MoFo? I’m glad you asked – it’s an annual celebration of Vegan Food. If you want to read about the history, I recommend going straight to the source and reading What is VeganMoFo on the VeganMoFo site. I have participated in nearly all of them except the one last year (and I would have, but I missed signing up due to the fog of new motherhood.) This year my goal is to try and post on the blog 5 times a week and a substantive comment on at least 10 blogs a day – ideally ones I have not interacted much with before, and always if a stumble upon a post has no comments. Please connect with me on Instagram and/or on Facebook, and I look forward to meeting new fellow vegan food fans during October! The Theme Vegan Mofo has a bunch of great ideas for posts throughout the month, which you can see here on their handy prompts page, but I’ve decided to go with a theme that is close to my heart, and heritage – Polish Vegan Things. So the aim is All Polish Food, veganized. I’d also like to talk about some of the cool stuff happening in Poland for veganism and animal rights, as well as some of the great cookbooks and Polish blogs out there. I speak and read Polish quite fluently, but writing it is still not a strong point – so sadly, and sorry, my…

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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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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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Things I Love Thursday – (kinda) Non-Wedding Edition.

Every week (most of the time) I like to post a Things I Love Thursday(TILT) list. Some weeks it goes by the wayside, sometimes I look forward to a navel gazing post about things I like, the week it has been, and other random things I’ve encountered. This is one of the “looking forward to it” weeks. One of my first TILT’s on this blog was actually during VeganMoFo in 2011. It’s nice to be able to look back on memories and moments that brightened my life, and a nice way to check in on how things are going in general. Our wedding is now just a little over a month away. We’ve been meeting with dressmakers, tailors, caterers and event space folks, sending out invitations, booking cakes, and attempting to connect with photographers and florists and the other usual weddingy things people do. It’s a flurry of excitement and nervousness. And a healthy dose of tediousness – I could pretend the wedding planning process is 100% fun, but it’s not.There are a lot of hard choices to make, or easy choices, sometimes you have to be stubborn, and hold your ground, sometimes you have to find a compromise. I’ve spent a lot of time crying over this process, but I’m happy to say that most of those tears were spilled feeling absolute joy. I’m crying over traditions, new, old, and created and since it’s a little over a month away, things are feeling very real, and very soon. We…

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Vegan MoFo – Friday Night Apple Cinnamon Stuffed Maple Challah and a goodbye to an old (camera) friend.

It’s getting cold outside, which also means it’s getting cold in the house. Emmie cat has gotten snugglier, and so have I, especially in my resistance to turn on the heat until at least the end of October. I don’t think that’s going to happen. It’s also time where I realize I don’t own any long pants, but that’s a whole other thing entirely. As a result of being cold, I spent the day thinking about baking bread or bagels or cake or something, just for the brief wall of heat that results, and because there is something really satisfying about kneading dough. I feel as though after a few years being sort of a decent baker, I’ve really stepped up my game, and gone beyond that to some intuitive level of baking. So I started looking for bagel recipes and instead ended up making apple cinnamon stuffed maple challah. I think that really worked out for the better. It was a little sweet, and full of local Ontario apples. This was inspired by The Shiksa’s Apple Honey Challah (not vegan at all) blended with past challah making experience.

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