Saturday, December 31, 2011

gratitude cafe!

hooray! i got to try gratitude cafe in calgary last night!
i'll admit i was quite nervous about bringing paul and his mom there as there is an unbelievable amount of negative reviews of "attitude cafe". but paul and i agreed that our extremely low expectations weren't the reason we had a most lovely experience! paul's mom even said she would love to stop in again if she finds herself in kensington. so either people there have figured out how to run things in the last couple years or there are some delusional yelp stalkers trying to make them look bad!

when we came in, i was the only one who really wanted to eat, but the place was empty and thankfully everyone was okay with staying for something sit-down. our waitress came right away and suggested we do the raw platter and told us the wrap that was part of it could be split into 3 for us. so that was super easy!

it came so quick,  i don't even remember waiting!
the platter had a curry(?) with sunflower seed-sauced veg noodles in the center with a shittake on top, collard wraps and a gingery salad with sprouted quinoa, cilantro, cucumber and red cabbage. all pieces of the platter had intense (but welcome!) and differing flavours and textures. the vegetable crackers were too dry for paul's liking, but i enjoyed the thicker, nuttier texture than i am used to. i wish i could place more of the tastes but they were welcome ones that i don't have often! everyone enjoyed sharing this. and it was really nice how it was divided up into 3 portions for us!
we then decided to take on one of the raw desserts available - the amaretto cheezecake with a convenient 3 (1 for each of us! i'm sure it wasn't a coincidence!) cape gooseberries as garnish. super sweet and a nice nut (and possibly avocado)- influenced texture. it looked and tasted a bit like thanksgiving, er, perhaps, gratitude, on a plate. hehe.
and everything was so quick and enjoyable, we decided to stay for a latte. me and paul planned to share. then paul's mom figured she'd have one too. and the staff split our 2 ordered lattes into 3 mugs! yay! we got chai tea with almond milk. i guess one thing i was surprised by was the apparent lack of any "raw" drink choices. i guess you need to ask what is available for smoothie flavours and juices. there was no indication if fresh fruit was used and juiced on the spot or if everything was from a package (which i assume). i did expect at the very least, house-made almond milk. there was a coconut milk option but i confirmed it was from a can. no thanks! and okay, i'm happy enough to have almond milk from a tetra when i'm dining out in alberta! in a raw-friendly cafe!

and really, this was such a treat especially when compared to our options at o'sullivans later that night for karaoke! i was so excited to see 'vegan' on the menu but it turned out to be 'vegan nightmare'. hahaha.
anyways, i'm happy that we got to go to gratitude cafe and i just joined yelp now so that i can leave a positive review!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

raw kale chips! found in calgary, alberta!

i really didn't expect food success in calgary, alberta. me and paul brought a bunch of organic produce and snacks for our time here as we expected it to be expensive or non-existant. going to planet organic the other day proved us wrong!
we got kelp noodles like we love back home for $6.50! $1 cheaper than back home! and the produce appears to be cheaper! $1 cheaper too! like $2 romaine and $1.50 avocados? what is going on? i am excited there is a market for organic products in cowtown, alberta! though my main impression of the areas we have seen is that everyone here is living in EXCESS. there is oil money here! and no tax! people have more than one iphone and car... massive and new houses with new furniture. i wonder where the old stuff is?
in the town of didsbury, alberta (population 5000), the one coffee shop here serves soy and rice milk and has gluten-free options! and paul's mom found daiya cheese and coconut bliss ice cream at the grocery store here? i am so excited there is a market for it here! seemingly in the middle of nowhere!
anyways... i bought kale chips made by rhythm superfoods at the planet organic.

i haven't even seen this brand before! (**february 2012 update - i have now seen these in greens market in vancouver**) i think the store had 4 kinds of them for sale for $6.99 which is a nice price as i find if you buy them in vancouver, they are about $10 a bag. i got kool ranch but the bag i got tastes (or smells) a bit stale. paul said the flavour was 'trying too hard' which i agree. his kale chips are my favourite! he made some for this trip (and did some chards also) and they were AWESOME. only one of his nephews would try the "leaves from vancouver" though.
it was nice to make a raw lunch the other day using the kelp noodles and blending up tomatoes with a bit of lemon, a bunch of fresh basil, a few sprinkles of salt and oregano and a pour of olive oil, and then adding sundried tomatoes. i had mine on a bed of arugula and some other greens:
we have just a couple days left here and i hope we get a chance to check out gratitude cafe somehow, perhaps tomorrow?
we enjoyed some vegan goodness at the coup today for lunch which was fun. and the gratitude cafe is just a 6 minute drive from there. i'm curious about prepared raw food in calgary! the coup had a raw dessert but i wasn't too interested in it as it was agave-sweetened. 
i had the seaweed soba ($12) and some bites of everyone else's borsht and grilled pita sandwich things!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

lazy cookie experiments.

i'm not sure what my deal is, but whenever i make almond milk and have all the almond flour leftover, i either figure i won't use it for awhile and put it in the freezer or i try to make up a recipe for cookies that never works! the other day was no exception.
 what i should do next time is at least try something that has been done before so i get a better idea of what makes a good cookie texture. i'm thinking this cacao walnut cookie recipe might be a good one for next time (substituting the agave, of course!).
for these cookies, i used almond flour, banana, coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon and cacao nibs on top. maybe there was something else too. they smelled AMAZING in the dehydrator.
out of the dehydrator though, i figure these would need raw ice kream on top or something! they are kinda chewy but basically cause me to gasp for air, like eating too much almond butter or something. i think i need to add dates or something sticky and sweet to balance out the dry flour.

next time i will spend the extra 30 seconds and look up some sort of guideline to follow!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

why is the majority of industry in the wrong industry?

last night, i finally watched food inc. which isn't anything shocking to someone who reads michael pollan and had to recently cut herself off from food/environment/health documentaries as they were getting to be too doom and gloom!

but anyways...

combine thoughts from the movie and my friend mentioning today that oil of oregano will be pulled from shelves within the next 2 months (it's already started in alberta and apparently in ontario!) and i am having a hard time not getting back into a 'it's hopeless!!!' state again.

okay so oil of oregano 'works too well' - why can't BIG PHARMA switch gears (and products, ahem) and start mass producing things that work!?

ah, and why can't amazing foods (and superfoods!) be advertised with the amazing things they do? why can bogus, novelty "food" like cheerios ramble on about benefits of whole grain in your diet while raw chocolate zimt can't make any claims about raw cacao or the FDA will be after it?

what's so bad with having a healthy population?

oh, right. the traditional doctors.

why not pay them to keep us healthy and stop paying when you are not? they could potentially get paid non-stop! that's a medical plan that makes sense to me!!! keep these people accountable rather than just getting rid of one symptom only to gain a million others.

oh but a healthy population isn't something we need right now. not with a world bursting with almost 7 billion people?

let's pull a china with a 1 kid per family rule or try to encourage people (of our currently poor and frustrated generation) to not have kids?

i like to remind myself that the world can heal itself. more and more people are becoming interested in eating better, becoming concerned with gmo's and conventionally grown (ie non-organic) food.

we can eat more organic, compost it, barter for more... basically, i see our success dependent on returning to some old skool ways. it's funny to me to consider progress as going back to the basics. our brains are so focussed on the crazy advances to technology, we are forgetting our basic needs.

food. real food. water. unpolluted water. air. fresh air. love. attention and connection with real people in real time in the real world.

hope you are well. <3