Vegan in Vegas – Wynn’s Terrace Point Cafe

The Terrace Point Cafe was one of the places we had wanted to check out on our last visit to Las Vegas, after reading about it on Epicurious Vegan but it wasn’t open, since it is mostly outdoors, and it was chilly in December. This time, the weather was perfect bordering on the usual` Las Vegas oppressively high & dry summer temperatures. The first thing I noticed when I walked in – the pink polyester uniforms all the servers and hostesses were wearing. Why are they wearing these things? They look heavy, multi-layered, and uncomfortable, and everyone was wearing a thick hose which I can only assume is also company standard. It’s hot out. I hope it’s not as terrible to wear as it looks. From the moment we walked in, everyone was extremely friendly – this seems to be the experience we’ve encountered at nearly every Wynn hotel. Staff is mostly great and willing to answer questions, or offer help if you look lost or confused. There is seating inside if you prefer to take advantage of their air conditioning, but we asked to sit outside under one of the misting umbrellas. It was a little less than a 15 minute wait, but I’m glad we opted for the The Menu What we ate Luckily there were four of us, and even better, three of those were vegans (including me, so I got to take a look at a nice variety of dishes. As an appetizer we started with…

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Vegan in Vegas: Wazuzu at The Wynn

We followed up our helicopter tour with a visit to the Wynn’s Wazuzu on a spur of the moment decision to have the coach bus take us to the Wynn instead of back off strip to the Rio (where we were all staying for Defcon). Wazuzu will live on in my mind as the first “secret vegan menu” I ever asked for in 2010. It fully started a series of events that would have me asking questions of restaurant I never would have expected to be full of options. The (vegan) Menu What We Ate We started with a variety of Dim Sum options and sushi. I really enjoyed the Shiitake-Naki Sushi that I stole from JC, but didn’t get any photos of it. It’s a sushi roll with roasted seasoned shiitake mushrooms drizzled with a sweet vegan eel sauce. Gardein Chick’n Shu Mai You can see a few of the other dim sum pieces we ordered, but in focus is the Gardein Chick’n Shu Mai. It was interesting, but I’m not sure it was my favourite. It has a unique texture and flavour, but feels like it could have been more (soy sauce & hot sauce helped tremendously…) Jade Dumpling I really liked these. They were filled with spinach and shiitake mushrooms. Palm Pocket We ended up with two orders of these because they contained secret onions that one of our dining companions doesn’t like.  Though I suspect it was just the garlic. In addition to garlic these were stuffed with hearts of palm,…

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Vegan in Vegas. Day one. Where We Nerd and Food.

We’re actually visiting New York right now, but we’re not on vacation mode and we’re taking time to relax a bit more. Those moments seem like a good time to talk about our recent trip to Las Vegas. Especially after I’ve had a bit of time to digest it all. One of my favourite parts about Vegas is that it has a Frys Electronics. I’m sure some people would say gambling, or the night life, or just expect me to talk about the food, but I like two things most of all – vegan food, and embracing my inner and outer nerd. Frys Electronics is like the Radio Shack of yesteryear. All the electronic bits and pieces you could ever want in one place. Do you need a torx screwdriver? It’s there. Soldering gun? Yup. Need more batteries for any of your devices? Covered. Motherboards? You got it. We don’t have anything quite like Fry’s in Toronto – there is Canada Computers, and Tiger Direct, but it’s not quite the full discount nerd experience. So whenever I go to the west coast – it’s worth at least one trip. The best part about the Vegas Frys is that it’s close to Whole Foods. Generally, I’m not that enthusiastic about Whole Foods, at least in Canada, because I know of most of the lovely vegan friendly independent stores in my community, but most of the time I have no idea where to shop when I’m anywhere in the USA. We went…

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Planning a Vegan BBQ

Ever since we met, JC & and have been (unofficially) competing to make each other’s birthday spectacular. I try to do something awesome for him, and he does the same thing. At the moment, I think he’s winning this one, but that wont stop me from trying. So, as part of the week of birthday celebrations for JC this year, I threw a little BBQ birthday party. I’m looking forward to getting a copy of Grills Gone Vegan written by Tamasin Noyes. We’re big fans of the BBQ, but in the meantime, I had to put together my own menu of options, maybe you can use some of these too. BBQ Roasted Niagara Corn I love local corn, there is something so tasty about eating something grown on land you can actually visit. I felt the same way when I lived in Alberta and corn grown in Taber was the thing to buy. If you want to roast corn on the BBQ the most important thing to do, is get them in their husks – soak them in water for at least an hour or so before you plan to throw them on the BBQ. The corn steams and cooks in the husk, then after about 10 minutes, you can peel the corn (careful – it will be hot), and then leave it on the grill until the kernels are roasted a little bit more (I left it on for 3-5 minutes.) As a decent margarine alternative to the corn…

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New to Me: Soul to Bowl Sauces – Creamy Vegan Alfredo and Made in Toronto

Update: Soul to Bowl Sauces is now Nona Vegan Foods. I have been house/cat sitting for a friend for the last couple of weeks, and during that time I’ve gotten to know Evergreen Natural Market (161 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto) really well. As it is, I go there fairly often, even though I don’t live in the area, but now that I’m right in the neighbourhood… well, I’ve probably gone everyday. Last week I saw something NEW and tasty looking. It also had that nice shiny V word on it and looked like something I might want to eat. Hello Soul to Bowl Sauces, and get in my belly. I hesitated for a second and thought to myself… do I really need such a sauce? I could probably make one at home right? Could I? Maybe (?). Did I want to? No. It has been available at the Wychwood’s Evergreen Natural Foods (513 St Clair Ave) for a month or so, but of course – I nearly never go up there. Currently, it’s only at these two Evergreen locations, but the creator is aiming to branch out soon to other businesses. Today I bought all of the remaining jars at the location on Roncesvalles – sorry (not-sorry). But I’m sure it’ll get restocked soon. (P.S. sources tell me It’s been restocked already) I’m happy I picked it up when I saw it, because it paired perfectly with the semi-fancy, but sort of lazy meal I wanted to make that night. Smoked marinated tempeh steaks,…

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Things I Love Thursday – Taking a moment.

This week has been wet and wild in Toronto. We got the equivalent of a month’s worth of rain in the span of a few hours, which led to flooding, power outages, traffic delays,  and a lot of property damage. There is an underpass near our house that was completely flooded, as you can see the picture below. There were many other’s like it. JC was on one side of this underpass, and I was on the other. And not to be dramatic, because we were very minimally impacted by this, but as this was happening it was hard to know what was really going on or what the weather would be like in a few hours. There was thunder and lightening, and we lost power for a few hours, and it just wouldn’t stop raining. I think the situation in Calgary was very much on the collective consciousness, especially since it was so recent. But the rain stopped, and everyone started cleaning up. Sadly there were lots of people without power, some people were trapped on Go Buses or Subways for several hours, or had flooding in their basements. I’m thankful that our experience was comparatively easy, but my thoughts go out to those that weren’t so lucky, and hope that things are getting a bit closer to normal. Most of all, I’m thankful that it wasn’t worse and that things are getting straightened up again. Moving I’m not sure if I like this, but I think I do.…

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A first taste from Fran Costigan’s Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts

I love chocolate. So when I heard about Fran Costigan’s Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts  and found out the talented Kate Lewis would be the photographer, while I knew this book would be great recipes paired with a collection of beautiful food porn to drool over. Their updates on facebook and instagram related to the book had already made that feel inevitable. Recently, I had the opportunity to take a peek at a few review pages and I was right. From what I can see, this is going to be a beautiful book, with with full colour photographs accompanying every recipe.  The desserts seem to pop deliciously off the page/my screen, so I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product when it’s released in late October 2013. Since there was one complete recipe included for the Chocolate Pecan Cranberry Coffee Cake (and four partials) I decided to make it for dessert one evening. The recipe was multi-step and multi-part, but was logically organized which helped to make this cake a breeze. I found nearly all the ingredients I needed in one place (WEFC) and got started. We ended up with an amazing coffeecake for dinner, breakfast, and snacks for several days. It is delicious straight out of the oven (but what isn’t?) but more telling is that that it retained the same fluffy tasty qualities after a few days. The test of a great cake? I think so. Chocolate used: Camino Cocoa Powder, and Chocosol You can see some of…

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Things I Love Thursday on Friday: Dufferin Grove Farmers Market, Brixton Grill, Lavender, Chocolate.

One of my favourite things to do on a Thursday is to try and make it to the Dufferin Grove Farmers’ Market. Yesterday was one of those hot muggy days. It’s a feeling anyone that’s been to Toronto in the summer would have experienced. When I looked out the window, from my air conditioned bubble, it seemed grey. Maybe even cool. But all that changed the moment I walked out the door. Bam, here’s the weather. Hot enough for you? P.S. FYI There is also humidity. Of course, unlike many, I happen to really like this kind of weather. Coming from an extremely dry province, I almost feel like I don’t have to moisturize here. I can breathe through my nose with ease, and I love walking through the thick fog of summer. I might not be in the majority on this one, but I’m happy – especially because I’m also lucky enough to have air conditioning if I really need to escape. It was nice to take a moment and wander through the Market yesterday. I picked up JC’s first taste of Brixton Grill – you know, the delicious vegan BBQ stand. They’ve always got four options, sometimes a special, and I like how they always have a visual representation of their stuff available for people to order.

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Things I Love Thursday – Vicarious trips to Japan. #TILT

JC is in Japan right now (for work), so for the last few days he’s been on the other side of the world, and I have been in Toronto. While I would have loved to go too (and wish I had,) I had agreed to cat sit for a friend, we’re in the middle of making plans for our new home, and of course someone has to tend to Kes & Emmie, & a bunch of other excuses like money and meetings and projects and all that usual boring day-to-day stuff. View Vegan in Japan – Customized for my favourite human in a larger map Before he left I put together a tiny list of vegan friendly places for him to potentially visit around his hotel. I’d been given the impression from almost everyone that I asked online that it was difficult or impossible to find vegan food in Japan, and thought that seemed a little strange. And also thought… “I used to hear the same thing about Alberta.” Which PrairieVegan has proven isn’t true!

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Beautiful Regenerating Weekends – Part 2 – Little City Farm – Vegetarian Bed & Breakfast in Kitchener, Ontario

Continued from (part one) Little City Farm is a 1/3 acre vegetarian Bed & Breakfast that feels like an oasis in the middle of Kitchener, Ontario. It’s run by a small family – Karin, Greg and their daughter Maya. Where, in addition to being a bed & breakfast, they also run community workshops on living sustainably and events. Their goal is to self-sufficiently provide most of their own basic needs, and also reduce their impact on the environment. And I think they do a pretty great job.

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