I live in Toronto with my partner JC, our son, and 3 cats. I like technology, vegan food, travelling, and lots of other things. For more information about MeShell, JC, Emmie, Kes, or Marmie, visit our About page.

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 the family like old times, and have JC join us. They of course told us about their beautiful trip to Poland, where there was more vegan friendly stuff than you might expect – which was especially relevant to my mostly-vegan mom. Places like Krowarzywa – a vegan burger spot and Veg…

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Arriving in Edmonton – Roadtrip 2014

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival in Edmonton on the Summer Roadtrip recap. Because I want to add to my roadtrip recap posts with some of the other lovely spots I managed to visit on a more recent Edmonton visit (last month.) After we left Lloydminster, the drive went by quickly, and as we passed through Refinery Row (a concentration of oil refineries in west Sherwood Park,in Strathcona County just east of Edmonton) it was like there was a sign up that said “Welcome to Alberta” (which of course there was, but just shortly outside of Lloydminster) and oddly enough – a sense of arriving home. The Edmonton cityscape is still one of my favourites, with the Hotel MacDonald perched on the edge of the beautiful river valley, and the variety of buildings downtown, so driving into the city, even from a distance, is still familiar and comforting. I realized at some point that whenever I would leave Toronto, and come back, I’d get that same sense of comfort and “home” when I saw the CN Tower poking up from my highway vantage point. I have three homes in my heart, and the first one is Edmonton. First stop was checking into our hotel downtown (The Coast Terrace Inn), we had arrived just before the new downtown location of Earth’s General Store (EGS) was to open – conveniently on the other side of where we were staying.  EGS was at one time was a totally meat-free Edmonton grocery store (since we were…

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Meet Up/Food Swap in Toronto

Once upon a time there was a Canadian Vegan Food swap, and it was fun to do a nationwide thing and trade with people that were complete strangers in other provinces and cities. BUT a friend (Sarina over at Earthgiven Kitchen) recently did a local food swap with a meetup group in Kitchener-Waterloo, and I thought it might be fun to try that as a little experiment here too. So. If you’re interested, send me an email with the following information: Your Name: Preferences: Favourite Colour: Allergies: Fun Fact: Blog/Twitter/Instagram?: I will partner you up with someone randomly, and we will meet up on June 4th between 6:30pm and 7:30pm at Bloomers, in Toronto to do the exchange OR you and your partner can pick a time that’s more convenient for you. Here’s how it works: 1) If you want to participate, send me an email with your information ASAP – No later than May 15th. 2) You don’t have to be vegan to participate, just interested in veganism, trying new foods and meeting a new friend! But the contents of your swap box/bag/etc must be vegan. 3) I will email each of your your swap partner’s information by May 21. 4) You have a few weeks to put together a gift box of vegan fun items. I suggest we keep the gift limit to $20. 5) You’re not limited to food – other ideas are teas, soaps, homemade gifts, etc. 6) Send me pictures, post pictures on instagram with the tag #veganfoodswapTO…

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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 my mental “To Eat” list and moseyed on my way home. Finally, a friend and I paid them a visit for the first time a month ago, I had the Spicy Curry Soy-Shrimp. It’s meant to be eaten with rice, but I skipped that so it didn’t seem like much…

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Rose City Kitchen – Downtown Toronto Vegan Options

So when we went to the grand opening of Smash Juice Bar a few weeks ago, I hadn’t realized there were three businesses opening up. And I didn’t realize any of the others would have vegan options. I asked the folks at Rose City Kitchen on Twitter the usual question, which they answered quickly and helpfully. @mdgee @thebigjc Yes they are! #Vegan4Life #FalafelsForever — Rose City Kitchen (@RoseCityKitchen) April 20, 2015 JC and I had agreed we’d go back there together for lunch sometime, but the timing kept not working out – so he went earlier this week and got a falafel in a pita (and seemed to like it) so when I found myself in the neighbourhood today at the perfect (lunch) time of day, it looked like it was my turn for tasty falafel box. There is now actual seating (vs high top tables with no chairs) at Rose City Kitchen/Smash Juice Bar/Clockwork Coffee at 36 Toronto Street, so you can sit and relax (with long tables, bench seating, and chairs.) I ordered the RCK Original Falafel – which is humus, tabouleh, fresh cut fries(!!!), carrots, lettuce, garlic oil, and cherry harissa dressing. You can get it as a sandwich or a box meal (served on either rice or kale.) I went with the box meal on rice – grabbed some extra hot sauce and harissa from the counter and also a bottle of cherry chia kombucha from Smash Juice Bar. Service was fast and friendly, they answered my in…

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IKEA Veggie Balls – Gronsaksbullar!!!

Well, they’re here, and I liked them. From the moment we walked into the IKEA on The Queensway in Toronto, it shaped up to be a positive experience. There was a big sign by the escalator in the entrance announcing the new veggie balls. We went over on the first day (April 27) to give them a try, it was weird to plan a trip to IKEA solely to eat at the Restaurant, a spot that hasn’t particularly been that exciting for me for the last few decades. But there we were. We arrived just in time to be sandwiched between crowds on either side. I don’t know how many of us were excitedly waiting for veggie balls – it may have just been a normal day at IKEA. But for me, I was looking forward to trying them, but I was also trying to keep my expectations low. I had some friends in the USA (where the veggie balls launched earlier this month) saying they weren’t that exciting or they needed more sauce, so that tempered my expectations a little bit. Ingredients:  Vegetable Balls – Chickpeas, green peas, carrots, red bell peppers, corn, kale, pea protein, onions, rapeseed oil, seasoning (salt, dried cane syrup, yeast extract, dried onion, spices [rubbed sage, lack pepper, bay leaves], dried carrot, dried parsley, natural extracts of black pepper, turmeric, pea starch. Service was super nice too. They made a point of saying “That makes them totally vegan” when I asked for it without…

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Roadtrip 2014 – Lloydminster Vegan Food – Wok Box

dandan tofu udon noodle box from wok box in lloydminster

I’m still writing about our Summer Roadtrip 2014 adventure when we ate our way through the USA and Canada. After one final morning in Saskatoon, we drove on towards Edmonton. On Highway 16/aka Yellowhead, the natural midway point between Saskatoon and Edmonton has always been Lloydminster, which is a city that exists in both Saskatchewan and Alberta, it’s a decent place to fill up on gasoline, and grab a bite to eat. The weird thing about Lloydminster is that the Alberta-Saskatchewan border is delineated in the middle of the city, by a series of huge metal posts all the way down the street. Vegan options beyond going to a grocery store or Nutter’s Market are minimal, and in years past I was limited to wendy’s baked potatoes drenched in hot sauce, potato related things, or a smoothie, but on this visit I spotted a Wok Box and we rejoiced – especially since it would be the first time JC had ever visited the wonders of Wok Box. Wok Box does exist almost all over Canada (including a few locations in Ontario – Oshawa and London), but it’s still mainly a west-west central thing. But they’ve been a vegan-friendly spot since the beginning, and they’ve been transparent about allergies and veg food both on their website, and with posters up at every location. I’m all about the Extra Spicy Dan Dan, with tofu, on udon noodles, and I get the same thing, every time. Be it in Lloydminster, or by gate 58 at…

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Expowest 2015 (Photos)

I started writing this at the airport after our trip down to ExpoWest – a massive natural products trade show and networking event in Anaheim, CA, and have continued writing bits of it as time has passed. Lots of time has passed – We were at ExpoWest early last month. JC and I went last year, which lead me to post a three part look at some of the new stuff I got to see. We booked that trip in a last minute frenzy, I didn’t get much of a chance to look at some of the exhibitors I wanted to see, and there are thousands of them anyway. It’s hard to narrow it down – even with some advanced planning, it was still hard to take in everything (but I think we managed). My angle is go super intense into exploring on the Friday, and maybe into Saturday – trying everything I see that sparks my interest (and generally avoiding the ingredients section until later in the weekend) then, I have the opportunity to go back and visit some of the vendors and creators that interested me the first time around and find out a bit more information from them. My usual questions – vegan? where is it made? when/if it will be available in Canada? And whatever else they want to tell me. I attended as a retailer last year, and press this year, and it was a slightly different experience, but still generally pleasant. On the bright side…

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Griffin Takeaway – Roadtrip 2014 – Saskatoon

I’m still travelling back in time on our Summer Roadtrip, back in July and August 2014. After we had left our lovely AirBnb in the morning and were ready to head out of town, we made three final stops in Saskatoon before driving on to Edmonton via Lloydminster. First, I visited with a Saskatoon friend and fellow volunteer and animal lover I hadn’t seen in a few years. While I spend a lot of time communicating with people online, it’s quite nice to actually get some face time in, especially since we were in town at the same time. Plus, I got to see her friendly walkable rescue spokescat Joy, again which was also great. Later JC & I visited Dad’s Organic Market – which is a great market that seems to have expanded since I lived in Saskatoon. They have a variety of organic, natural, and vegan-friendly goods. There were a few unexpected finds there – like a package of vegan gluten free perogies from local Saskatoon company Raduga Foods (unfortunately, our cooler wasn’t quite cool enough – so I never got to try them.) Finally – we went to Griffin Takeaway – which was incredibly exciting, because it opened shortly after I moved away, and I’ve just been watching it from a far for a few years, and it’s an especially vegan-friendly bakery and take-away spot in Saskatoon. We stocked up on several treats for the road and they put up with me running around gleefully taking pictures of all the vegan offerings. I’m not sure how…

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V’s Caribbean Vegan Vegetarian in Toronto, ON

Around a month ago JC and I visited V’s Caribbean Restaurant – Vegan Vegetarian a bit late this evening, just a bit before closing (they close at around 7pm) but they still had a bit of food left so they put together a container for us, and we were really happy about it. The food was delicious and hearty, with rich satisfying flavours. This week, I went back again with a friend, and had a full and amazing plate of food – The Pong Special (named after one of their chefs) which is the perfect plate for indecisive or hungry people that want to try a little bit of everything V’s Caribbean has to offer (and I highly recommend it so you can find your own favourites!) Almost everyday – the folks at V’s post their menu for the day on Instagram – so if you follow them, suddenly when they open there is a series of posts of their various mouthwatering stews and other dishes. Today they had: Cauliflower & Lima bean stew Curry TVP (textured veggie protein) chunks Steamed/fried callaloo Curried chickpeas & potatoes Maple jerk tofu (which was straight up incredible) Creamy fried Bammies (aka cassava) and steamed okra Basmati rice & peas Spiced baked mash potatoes (omg) Mixed veggies  (onions, cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, peas, carrots, more) Desserts – like vegan donuts Soups – porridge and pea soup At the moment – they are cash only, but it sounds like they plan to have debit eventually. They’re currently open Tuesday…

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