Las Vegas – Komol Restaurant – Vegan friendly thai cuisine (Throwback Tuesday)

It’s been a long and lovely trip of reminiscences, but as of this post, my throwback tuesday Las Vegas posts are over. Our final restaurant visit before going back home to Toronto was Komol. I’ve been to Komol on every Las Vegas visit since the beginning of my Vegas adventures. It’s one of the original vegan friendly offerings in the city, so I just keep going back for more. This time, JC and I walked over, but since Vegas was unseasonably cold, it felt like an extra long walk (when it wasn’t *that* bad). Komol is a few blocks away from The Strip, and located in the Village Square Commercial Center. Most people would probably bus/cab/drive over and I’d recommend it (and have recommended it.) My own words from 2010: “It doesn’t seem like it’s all that far away when you look at the map, but it’s worth taking a cab or bus (it cost about $10+tip one way.) “ Anyway, the food is spicy and tasty. In addition to a fairly substantial non-veg menu, they have about four pages of mostly-vegan options. Tradition dictates that I must start my Komol meal with soup and the vegetarian combination plate, so that’s what we did.

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Edmonton Trip 2013 – Home at last.

It was oddly bittersweet leaving Edmonton today. My parents and some friends are still there, but my home is now firmly planted in Toronto. Maybe it’s because I’m writing this on the plane shortly after take off, but I’m feeling really sentimental. I miss my family, but I’m looking forward to being “home.” Where home is now JC, our kitties, the foster cats, and the amazing & lovely community that I’ve found in Toronto and the surrounding area. As an added bonus, my WestJet flight has satellite TV, streaming YYZ CBC and I’m watching CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada from the air with game seven of the Maple Leafs Vs. Boston Bruins game. My love of the Edmonton Oilers has been replaced by a new found Toronto patriotism. Maple Leaf Hockey – the little team that usually can’t, but damn if they don’t have a lot of heart. I’ll admit to a pretty serious love of hockey, but on the plus side, I’m not the only one yelling at the tiny screen on the plane. I’m looking forward to really recapping the trip, and talking about some of the awesome vegan food options that have appeared or strengthened over the last few years, from old favourites like Padmanadi and Bloom Cookie Co, to Newer Arrivals like Veggie Garden and Clever Rabbit. Vegan Nights at non-vegan restaurants and hippie market shopping from places like Earth’s General Store and Planet Organic. My family and I took walks through Edmonton’s beautiful river valley,…

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Things I love Thursday on Friday – Edmonton Edition. Earths General Store, The River Valley, Yoga, Food.

There are so many things I love, and so many things I could be talking about, but this week, I’m relishing my time in Edmonton. It’s been a little under a year since my last visit, and at some point last month I realized I missed my family & friends, and it was time for a visit. So there has been food, and fun, and lots of catching up. I’ve really enjoyed it. Everything is novel, and I’m a tourist in my hometown. I’m comparing notes, I’m remembering old haunts, and realizing they are completely gone. I’m discovering new and interesting places, and old and interesting places, and exploring the city through a whole new lens.

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April Vegan Food Swap – Happy 1st Swapaversary from Jackie at the Short Stack Foodie

It’s been 1 year since the little food swap that could started up. I’ve been introduced to so many awesome and lovely people, bloggers, vegans, and foodies all over Canada. I know that people have started up blogs because of the swap, they’ve made friends, and real life connections because of the swap, and I love it. It runs on participation, and keeps going because of lovely vegans and veg-curious folks taking time every month to find vegan treats for someone that might be a complete stranger. I love the connections that keep happening, and I hope they just keep growing. One thing that I’d like to really push for for this year in Vegan Food Swap is more participation from areas that might not be major centers. We’ve got people from a few small towns, but I know there are vegans in almost every community, and I’d love to see them participate too. The thing I learned when living in Saskatoon (admittedly, not a truly small community, but still – at the time it was less vegan friendly than it is now) is that you can find completely plant-based awesomeness everywhere. it might not have “vegan” stamped on it, but there it is – at farmers markets, and corner stores, and in your own kitchen. If you live in a small town, or feel isolated as a vegan in your community, please reach out, and/or join in. Honestly, it can be tough being “the only one” and I can…

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Things I love Thursday – Patio Weather, Polish Vegan Kids Books, Nonsense, Kittens, Toronto in the Spring, Events

We’ve had a few brief slivers of time in the past two weeks where it was sunny and beautiful outside. Torontonians seem uplifted from the clouds and the cold and every street becomes full of pedestrians soaking up as much of the sun as possible. I was no different. In between meetings around the city I basked in the sunshine as much as possible. Patio Weather

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Las Vegas – Throwback Tuesday – Vegan eating at Sinatra

Sinatra was our extra special night out for New Year’s Eve. It’s (of course) a Frank Sinatra themed restaurant in the Encore Tower in Las Vegas, and once you walk in you just might get the vibe you’ve travelled through time to years gone by. Frank Sinatra music plays en loop, you will get people demonstrate the wine with all the flourish of any other fine dining establishment, and while they have a vegan menu, they will be surprised that you want it (or at least they were in our case.) First of all, they bring a basket of bread – remember to ask for Earth Balance or say you’re vegan from the beginning. It does make it easier. We started with the Insalatina deli’ Imperatore, but I’d just call it a Caesar salad. Spears of fresh crisp lettuce, a sharp flavourful caesar dressing, and a few spears of thinly sliced toasted bread. I’m not generally a salad lover, but this was an excellent start to the meal (and just happened to be delicious.)

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Las Vegas – Two different vegan pizza experiences. CPK vs A Slice of Vegas – Throwback Tuesday

One thing that our trip to Las Vegas taught me was that all pizzas are not the same. People have been telling me this for years, but since I don’t think I ever had a particularly terrible pizza so I didn’t really get it. As far as I was concerned, the formula is pretty much the same, dough, sauce, toppings, but how those otherwise simple ingredients are executed can make a huge difference. Not really feeling fancy, and feeling hungry before the New Years Eve Eve (yes eve eve) Deadmau5 concert at XS we went to California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) in the Fashion Show Mall. Even Vegas has reduced hours on Sundays, it was surprising how many places were closed early. I had been to CPK before around two years ago, and enjoyed it. Maybe it’s because my experience of Vegan pizza has vastly improved since that visit, but this time CPK was not great or awesome, it was just soft crust and tomato and vegetables without any thing special about it. This time around, our server was really awkward, and overtly made a face when we asked for the pizza to be cheese-less. The food wasn’t awesome, the experience wasn’t awesome, and we left feeling pretty disappointed (and kind of hungry.) During the same trip, we also went to A Slice of Vegas in Mandalay Place. A Slice of Vegas had recently added a vegan menu to their regular rotation (another sign of the veganization of Vegas that’s been going…

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Toronto – Review – Bi Bim Bap (Vegan Friendly Korean food on Eglinton West)

In my recent and unquenchable search for vegan friendly kimchi in Toronto, I found a review on The Star that made us visit Bi Bim Bap for dinner that very evening. Ironically, the one thing I was searching for – the kimchi – has fish in it, but they have a variety of other interesting and vegan friendly options. EDIT: The kitchen is seafood free now, so both the miso and the kimchi are vegan. Other things I should update this post with include the kimchi fries which are straight up delicious I’ve only had vegan Bib Bim Bap (from Franchia in NYC), but my friends have raved about it for years, and I do love beautiful, colourful food. So it was nice to find a spot in Toronto, that had an understanding of what a vegan diet was and had it written clearly on the menu. (p.s. they also have wifi.) We started with the tofu with a spicy soy glaze. This was my stonebowl – The Tofu Stone Bowl, Tofu was lightly flowered and fried crispy. I got mine with white rice, and besides tofu it was topped with radish, spinach, bean sprouts, julienned carrots, cucumber, burdock, and zucchini, And on top of this collection – there were little slivers of dried seaweed and sesame seeds. I topped it all off with their Mild Hot sauce – the Original Hot GoChuJang. Which for reference – wasn’t that hot on the first bite, but did progressively build up as I ate…

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Thomas Lavers Cannery and Delicatessen – What’s up more vegan options in Kensington. (mostly photos)

A few weekends ago JC and I went to Kensington Market after a friend posted a picture on instagram showing vegan sausages were being handmade by Thomas Lavers Cannery & Delicatessen. They’ve been open since January 2013, and have been doing some interesting food things ever since. It’s a nice clean looking space, clearly created by someone with an eye for interior design. The first thing we noticed when we walked in was the full glorious wall of colourful preserves. Delicious options like pickled veggies, home made jams, jellies, mustards, sauces, pickles, etc.

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Today is the day – April 8th – Food Bloggers Unite Against Hunger #takeyourplace

This project organized by The Giving Table calls food bloggers to get together on April 8th, 2013 and do good with food, and use their blog as a platform to fight hunger. I spend nearly everyday thinking about hunger and how it impacts the people in our community. From the inaccessibility of healthy food, either because of cost, or food desserts, to supporting policies ( which does occasionally involve an organized group of concerned individuals at city hall) that support the health and well being of the people that live here. Why? Because I think food is important, and powerful. It’s a connector, and community builder, and it’s a means of control, I feel strongly that food is an inalienable right, and if people are hungry, we are doing something wrong as a society. We are missing something important. In an article in this months Walrus, Nick Sault, president of Community Food Centres Canada, talks about how in addition to feeding hungry people, Food Banks may feed the problem of poverty and hunger by creating an environment of complacency within society. I think there are some food banks that are becoming more than just a place people can pick up a hamper, but like Sault says in his article: “We not only can do better, we must do better. We need to stop cheering on an approach that has already failed, and instead focus on the root of the problem: people are hungry because they are poor. They do not have enough money for food because…

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