Sunday, November 4, 2012

no-pumpkin pie custard-like smoothie!

oh goodness, is this delicious!
smooth and thick like a custard, cold and refreshing as a smoothie, comforting like a pumpkin pie, though i can't remember the last time i had a pumpkin pie! the last "pumpkin" pie i had was at organic lives (last year maybe?) and it wasn't made with pumpkin either!
-1 cup almond milk
-1 frozen banana
-1 frozen persimmon
-1 nub of ginger
-a good-sized shake of cinnamon
-a sprinkle of lucuma
-a sprinkle of mesquite
-a small splash of maple syrup

Saturday, November 3, 2012

tea tumble, spastic plastic

my everyday tea tumbler, my third or fourth one from starbucks korea, finally tumbled onto the floor after 3 years of use.
same thing happened to my others (i have bought this exact tumbler a few times! despite it being plastic, i love it for my love of korea and how it would often start conversations with korean baristas at starbucks. i'm not going to starbucks anymore since they stopped offering free organic soymilk for cardholders. boo!). and i have splurged for my dream tea tumblr - this glass one from david's tea. i have broken 2 glass ones within 6 months or less but i'm still hopeful this one will last longer!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

canadian romantic, smooth(ie)

this morning, paul said, "this smoothie is delicious!" so i figured i should post it.
and i think the winking photo card of robert dayton, aka the canadian romantic, compliments it quite nicely!
ingredients are as follows:
- 6-7 leaves of kale
- 2 packets of spatone liquid iron
- a sprinkle of camu camu
- one bosc pear
- two frozen bananas
- juice of one valencia orange
- one cup (or less) of filtered water

Sunday, October 21, 2012

heirloom dinner.

on thursday night, for the first time in what seems like ages, i met up with sarah and went out for dinner! yay!
we checked out heirloom, just off granville on west 12th, which had just opened up the week before. it's an all vegetarian restaurant with many labelled vegan and raw and gluten-free options! hurrah!
we got the popcorn ($3) to start which was awesome. although i normally eat my popcorn with coconut oil and nutritional yeast just as heirloom does, the added beet powder that the restaurant uses was perfection! best popcorn ever!
i got an algae lemonade to start ($5) that i definitely have to start doing at home - e3 live with lemon and maple syrup? yum!!! so refreshing and invigorating! i think it would do me well to sip on in the mornings at work, though, maybe more so in the warmer months!
we shared the avocado fries ($7? i can't remember) and the raw slaw ($6.50? i can't remember either. oops!). the avocado fries are deep fried in a chickpea batter and served with a homemade catsup which has a strange sweet taste, at least to me and sarah. i kept using it as a dip though because the fries are drying and in my opinion, really need the dip dimension. i think they would go better with a salsa. the slaw was pretty good. sarah mentioned the sesame taste being too much. the slaw was really carrot-y and light. i appreciated the basil garnish and would have enjoyed more basil. 

i would definitely go back to heirloom to try more food. so far, the highlights for me are the beautiful space, my friend vanessa serving (and creating her amazing holistic drinks!), the popcorn, and my company, sarah! 

i'm super excited that vancouver keeps opening up new and beautiful veggie-friendly restaurants!

Monday, October 8, 2012

happy thanksgiving!

yesterday, after collecting walnuts in my parents' backyard, we sat down for yummy veggie-heavy dinner with the family.
i made matthew kenney's recipe for raw chili (a sure-fire hit, regardless of traditional "thanksgiving" tastes, that didn't disappoint!) and my mom made sure to have lots of steamed veggies and mashed potatoes and she made a cream sauce using almond milk, rice flour and earth balance. yay!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

thanksgiving sunday morning green blend.

i'm at my parents' house for the weekend and i'm on smoothie duty for the mornings! i'm so excited they have been doing their own green smoothies since my last visit. and it's exciting to come for a visit and have a stock of fresh, organic yummy things to blend up!

this morning, i blended a couple leaves of kale (kale kind of frustrates me lately as there are more bugs than usual to clean off!), 1/3 a bunch of italian parsley, 3-4 stalks of red chard, 3 pears, 2 peaches, about 2 cups of water.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

thank you, my non leather life!

a few days back, victoria from my non leather life emailed to ask me some questions! i love checking her blog for inspiring words (as was especially the case the other day when she mentioned a william carlos williams poem) and inspiring shoes!

i am so excited that my recorded discoveries have inspired her to incorporate more raw foods in her life!

check out the interview here!

and for some fall inspiration, this photo... representing: one of paul's favourite snacks (raw almond butter and raisins on celery, aka "ants on a log"); some of the lovely treats anne, sheilagh, and i enjoyed ON THE BEACH the other day for 3 hours in the SEPTEMBER sun celebrating anne's birthday ^_^; and... my shoes today! ha. i add shoes to this pic because of my non-leather life! i've lived a non-leather (and silk, wool, etc.) life for at least a few years now and it feels great. it definitely helps me be a more conscious consumer and i wait longer to make clothing purchases as i look carefully at the materials assembled for my goods and when i can, i support vegan companies! (or, i clothing swap/consign/buy vintage!) these shoes are by novacas, which means "no cow" in portuguese. i got them at nice shoes! hurrah!

every day, i like to think of what i'm grateful for. and today i'm grateful for having full-time work, a cozy apartment, a most amazing and inspiring boyfriend, access to organic food (and local crops!), and people all around to inspire me and be inspired by me! hurrah for connecting with like-minded lovelies across the world! ^_^

Friday, September 28, 2012

lunches to go!

i've always been in awe of those who are able to, financially, transportation-ally (? hehe), health-consciously, and time-consciously, afford to go out for lunch every day. i've rarely considered the option of not bringing food from home. but i also enjoy the lunches i make!

here are a few of my tips for healthy meals on the go:

1. making 2 lunches at a time and almost always making food at night for the next day.
i get inspired by goods i pick up at the farmers market.

2. realizing i don't need to prep all veggies and fruits has been great.  wash them before eating, if i want, and i'm good to go! plus no container or plastic around them means less weight and/or less waste! ps the salad in the container is ani phyo's chinese chickenless salad (raw food essentials) 
3. also realizing that little samples of different veggies and nuts is a super fast and satisfying "snacking" lunch. this one is raw celery, radish, carrots, and almonds. (i didn't end up needing all the fruit i brought for the day: banana, apple, pear)

4. discovering i can drink green smoothies out of glass jars with ease and comfort has been the best! great size, lightweight, re-sealable and non-plastic is crucial for morning smoothies to-go!
5. having an emergency/last minute lunch plan is great for the days that you realize you didn't make a lunch the night before or you have slept in or you forgot to go grocery shopping during waking hours. i love having some dried fruits and nuts on hand for times like these, grabbing a banana (is there a more convenient fruit?)... but these drinkme smoothies have helped me out in more than one occasion! i grab it from the freezer in the morning and leave it in my bag (in a sac to absorb some of the thaw sweat) and i can generally start shaking up the frozen bits with the thawed bits to drink some at lunch and the rest of the afternoon. the kale/orange juice/banana is my favourite. so refreshing and satisfying!
6. making salads - my favourite and most common go-to lunch. it really doesn't matter to me what veggies i have chopped up together because fresh always tastes great! i generally don't use soft lettuces as i tend to make lunch 2 days in advance. i keep kale at the bottom and if it softens up a bit, great! i love using red cabbage and radishes. and if i have avocado in there, i'm SET. a new favourite topping has been leek flower. i also love a sprinkle of green onion and/or fresh basil! super yum! i got away from using dressing last year when my containers started leaking. also, i started to consider that i was consuming too many omega3s rather than with 6s because of too many oils. i love adding traditional raw sauerkraut with my avocado for a tangy creamy loveliness. sometimes i like carrots, sometimes i like pea shoots, cilantro, parsley, cucumber, celery... it depends on what's happening in my fridge!

7.  using a nice lunch bag! this totally helps. i thought i was doing pretty well with my lil' sac i bought from ithinkso in seoul, but then one of my favourite peeps, sarah, surprised me with this lovely bag from urban harmonie on main street. i love that i can button it closed and it has a wrist strap and it's large enough to fit stacks of things and it's wipeable! and the contrasting beautiful prints? i am so proud of how pretty it is. so my lunch is pretty on the inside and the outside! thank you, sarah!

Monday, September 3, 2012

iced mock mocha

i thawed out some e3live this morning but only had enough for a shot for paul. later, i wasn't in the mood for the taste so i thought i'd do something with raw chocolate! my result is something that reminds me of when i used to drink iced cappucinos at tim hortons (more than half my life ago, ok?) and the raw cacao is definitely giving me a coffee buzz! yay! i totally needed this jolt.
e3live "mocha" and a shot of e3live (with green grapes as a chaser!)
for my blended drink, i used:
*about 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder (i'm guessing! i'm pretty sure it was more than 1 tablespoon)
*1 "shot" of e3live (ie the amount i could pour off the unthawed stuff to fill a shot glass)
*1 tablespoon maple syrup 
*1/2 tablespoon lucuma powder
*1 cup unsweetened almond milk
*4-5 ice cubes (made with a stainless steel ice cube tray! the best! i love the old look and updated material! ie aluminum-free!)

it separated a little after i had it sitting out for a bit: dark green and brown swirls, not as appetizing. but stirred, it's a pretty normal looking chocolate colour! and the raw cacao is the perfect caffeine buzz for today and i can't taste the e3live! (does anyone else sometimes not like the taste of wheatgrass or e3live? today is one of those days...)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

teriyaki sprouted almonds!

good luck trying not to eat these all before you take them out of the dehydrator!

what i did:
sprouted 1 cup of raw almonds (soaked in filtered on counter for 8-12 hours, rinsing a couple times a day and letting sit for another 8 or so hours without soaking water)

i blended the following to marinate the almonds in before dehydrating for a good day or so:
*a nub of ginger
*a splash of braggs (possibly?)
*a spoon of brown rice/soy miso
*a clove of garlic
*a couple dates with probably 2 tablespoons of filtered water (or more?) to soak them a bit - i figure the dehydrator is going to suck all the liquid out anyway, i don't need to stress about too much liquid!

these are uber inspired by the teriyaki sprouted almonds from organic lives - they use a sprouted chickpea miso (swoon!) and i'm sure there are other magical ingredients (*note - upon checking my link to buy them, i see they use lemon juice and himalayan salt also! yum!). but really, start with some garlic and ginger, two "can do no wrong" ingredients, and you won't go wrong! enjoy! ^_^

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

hair product detox!

yesterday i was lamenting that my hair seemed to be greasy or heavy even right after a wash! i don't know what the deal is, i don't use or put anything on or in my hair except shampoo, but i'm grateful for stumbling across myhealthygreenfamily's post, washing my hair with baking soda.
last night, i followed her directions - 1 tablespoon baking soda mixed in 1 cup water to lather into hair and wash out and then 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar in 1 cup water for a rinse. i didn't need probably even half as much but i did the whole cup anyways.
my hair felt squeaky clean in the shower and i'm over the moon to have it super clean feeling and soft again!
i'm curious how it will feel tomorrow! it feels lighter again - in colour and weight! it's no longer dulled by shampoo build-up? it feels like when i get out of the salon chair after a wash and cut! oh and when i used to have my hair dyed - it always felt so great after that, those first couple days! (fyi, i stopped dyeing my hair a couple years ago while taking my clean sweep of chemicals out of my life)
i probably should have taken a picture of it at its weirdest and heaviest but here is today:
my happy hair!
maybe this isn't a big deal to you, but it's a huge relief to me!
i am annoyed that i still have 1/2 full bottles of my shampoo (a couple different kinds by avalon organics). can it be that i'm sick of them and so is my head? having short, fine hair like me means it takes FOREVER to go through a bottle so i think my next one(s) are going to be small bottles of super simple shampoos (organic and minus the dirty dozen, obviously) but maybe i will even start making something myself!
is there anything cleaning-related that baking soda and vinegar isn't good for? just curious!

Monday, August 27, 2012

post-yoga fruity greens with jon!

i forgot to take a photo until near the very end. i also forgot to practice yoga for 6 months!? what was i thinking? gotta get back into that routine. thank you, jon, for taking me as your birthday guest!!! i am dreaming up something indonesian-inspired for a birthday dessert for you! ^_^
anyways... this smoothie comes courtesy of 2 cups of filtered water, 6 kale leaves, 1 pear, 2 yellow plums, 2 dates, 2 dried figs and 2 frozen bananas. sweet with amazing texture!
i am currently drinking a smoothie of frozen banana, one pear (my favourite right now!), a sprinkle of mesquite and lucuma and cinnamon and a spoon of hemp seeds and spatone liquid iron with some filtered water. delicious!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

a trio of smoothies.

3 cups of water, 2 apples and 2 pears and the greens (and stems) from one bunch of beets made 3 portions of this not-so-green green smoothie!
the tops of a bunch of carrots,  3 cups of water, 1 plum and a couple handfuls of frozen plums, 1 sprig of mint and 1 apple made up this smoothie for 3! 
a few leaves of kale shy of a bunch, the juice of 4-5 oranges (about 2.5 cups) and 2 frozen bananas created 3 cups of  my favourite green smoothie this week! fresh orange juice? swoon!

Friday, August 24, 2012

chipolte coconut lettuce wraps!

tonight's dinner is a natalia kw recipe i got in a vegnews email 2 days ago:

chipolte coconut lettuce wraps!
Smoky chipotle and crispy coconut bring fresh lettuce wraps to a flavorful new level. Creamy avocado and peppercorn ranch dressing add plenty of rich satisfaction.
Serves 4
What You Need:
For the chipotle coconut:
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon tamari (we used braggs)
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle
3/4 cup large coconut flakes
For the ranch dressing:
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup hemp seeds
4 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup olive oil
For the lettuce wraps:
8 butter lettuce leaves (we used iceberg lettuce)
3 roma tomatoes, sliced
2 avocados, sliced
we definitely enjoyed the crispy coconut and creamy goodness! but for next time, we wondered about adding another dimension - my dad suggested cilantro, my mom suggested grated carrot or maybe cauliflower florets.

 What You Do:
  1. For the chipotle coconut, in a medium bowl, combine coconut oil, tamari, maple syrup, paprika, and chipotle and mix well. Add coconut flakes and toss well to evenly coat.
  2. For the ranch dressing, in a high-speed blender, combine lemon juice, water, hemp seeds, garlic, peppercorns, and salt and blend until smooth. While the blender is running, add olive oil and blend.
  3. To assemble wraps, lay lettuce leaves on plates. Top with a tablespoon of ranch dressing and layer with tomato and avocado. Divide chipotle coconut among each wrap and serve.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

picnic and a movie!

on tuesday, i went to see labyrinth for the first time (surprising, i know!) in stanley park and a bunch of us gathered for a picnic beforehand.
tony found blackberries, janna brought daiya cheese wedges (jack + jalapeno garlic havarti) with mary's crackers and a potato salad, dali brought sesame crackers and hummus, mel and mig brought zucchini brownies (babycakes-inspired), lisa brought her gluten-free brownies, phil brought gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, kip brought a $37 "whole paycheque" salad and i brought a matthew kenny "potato" salad-inspired salad.

i was craving potato salad (which made it incredibly amazing that janna made one!) and i was wanting to try another recipe from everyday raw, so i checked out page 84's "potato salad". though, in my attempt to not go grocery shopping to make sure my fridge was empty of produce before leaving the next day for a few days, i adjusted things a fair bit!

my salad is in the bottom left corner of the picnic spread ^_^

i got that massive avocado (organic!) for $2 at whole paycheque. amazing right? extra amazing is it was perfectly ripe. so i used it for this recipe!

movie picnic salad:

1 mashed big avocado
1.75 cucumbers, diced (i saved 1/4 of one for my smoothie later)
1 diced red pepper
2 sliced and halved radishes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
a couple bunches of basil and oregano, finely sliced

mixed with a blend of:

2 tablespoons tahini
1/4 teaspoon (or more?) cumin
1 tablespoon (or more?) apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons (or more?) fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon braggs
1/4 teaspoon maple syrup
pinch sea salt
pinch chili powder

i definitely have to try matthew kenney's actual version of potato salad sometime, with jicama and green olives and celery. but this one worked for me. maybe if i did this particular version again, i would add garlic to add a bit more dimension. but really, avocado and cumin and cucumber make everything amazing!!!

everyday raw chili success!

twice in the last 5 days, i have broke into my copy of matthew kenney's everyday raw and made his raw chili. after many ani phyo delicious chilis (most recently, but also here, and here). it's been fun to find another yummy chili that is easy to make, uses "normal" ingredients and has universal appeal.

reading the reviews on amazon, there is a "not for the beginner" and a "meh" as some responses. i can slightly relate, i suppose, as some of the recipes in this book have a few too many steps, ie using (one recipe) with (other recipe) and then make ("this" recipe) for on top. i need to try more recipes from everyday raw before i can entirely disagree with the discouraging reviews, but the chili recipe on page 78 is a definite win! super easy ingredients to have on hand and it turned out beautifully!

first sampling of the chili was at lisa's birthday potluck on saturday - the first potluck i have been at in awhile that had non-vegan dishes present. gasp! it was nice that this chili fit in easily as i don't think it looks super granola-vegan-ish or much unlike a "real" chili.
i love trying new recipes for potlucks. they always seem to turn out amazing and then i also get to try other people's food creations! so much fun!
 and now, tonight, at my parents' place, we super enjoyed our delicious chili outside:
my mom cleared off the outside chairs so we could all enjoy the remaining sun of the day sans spiders. thanks mom! ^_^ 
i love that you don't even notice it's "raw". my parents said it tasted like chili and they both really enjoyed it. yay! i tried to explain why i soaked and sprouted the raw almonds but i'm not so good with such details. i figured it was the best way to make the almonds "alive" again. just like it wouldn't be so helpful to eat seeds you want to grow vegetables from and you wait until they have sprouted into plants, you soak the raw nut to make it into something nutritionally dense and easily digested. is that accurate? anyone?

Friday, August 17, 2012

green smoothie party!

tonight was the perfect mellow friday night with my lovely lady friends and green smoothies!
these ones are: 2.5 cups filtered water, half a bunch of kale, some cilantro and parsley, 2 peaches and 1 apple and a couple dates because we were date crazy! DELICIOUS!!!
this is my IDEAL friday night. someday there's gotta be a dance club open that only serves coconut water and wheatgrass shots and green smoothies to fuel the moves! the waldorf is getting there for sure with vanessa's elixir bar downstairs and the coconuts in the tiki bar but still...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

the perfect day smoothie.

today's smoothie, just before a much-desired trip to the beach (for which i packed some strawberries, radishes and cucumbers! yum!), i've blended a peach and an apple, one piece of kale, a couple mini bunches of parsley and cilantro with one cup of filtered water. THE BEST!

green bean + potato salon salad.

i've been wanting to go to my friend's wednesday night salon for what seems like a year now. so i was especially excited when i could go tonight!
i had fresh long long green beans from jon's garden and did some google searches for ideas of what to do with them for a salad to bring.
i found this one on fat-free vegan kitchen which turned out to be perfect! yay!
i'm not sure how closely i followed it - i think i added more potatoes and beans, oh and i added the carrot for a bit more colour, but yum! i guess i swoon over almost anything with fresh basil or lemon or garlic (or all of the above!) so this was a great combo. oh yeah, and the brown rice miso? oh yes!!!
and best part? it was a big hit!! green sauce for the win!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

sesame ginger creamy, for goodness shake!

this smoothie has been a daily occurrence the past couple days. having no almond milk made but a desire for a creamy smoothie, i did a spoon of sesame butter (aka tahini) with a cup of water. then i added some frozen banana, dates and ginger. YUM! 
i made this for my sister today and she was super into it too. YAY! 

green smoothie experiments.

yesterday's smoothie is the remainder of my romaine lettuce, a few red chard leaves, a peach and a plum (and 1 cup of water as it's a smoothie for one!)
i have to say i'm getting kind of tired of romaine in my smoothies and i can't even say i do it that often. 

so this next one is sans romaine and is made of the greens of one bunch of radishes, one peach, one nectarine and 1 cup of water.
it smells a bit like peach and tastes very light and fresh. a bit garden grass-ish but it blended so light like a frothy juice, it's refreshing!

i just started reading a book from the library, the 80/10/10 diet by dr. douglas n. graham, and there's a nectarine on the front (with cucumber and lettuce) - perhaps that will have to be my next green smoothie, when i'm ready to drink lettuce again! ^_^
from the beginning of "80-10-10"

first of 3 pages of reasons it makes sense to be vegetarian, according to dr. douglas n. graham

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

make-this-morning-easier smoothie

today's smoothie for paul and i (with extra for seconds for me! hehe) is 2 cups filtered water, 1 avocado, 1.5 frozen banana, 1 teaspoon(ish) spirulina, 2 plums, 1 bunch of parsley, 1 bosc pear and a nub of ginger. YUM!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

strawberry raw dairy-free yogurt-ish thing!

it kind of reminds me of yogurt, if yogurt had a mousse-ier quality. i really should have saved some to experiment with in the freezer as i bet it would make a delicious popsicle.
what is it, you may or may not ask? my strawberry yogurt-ish thing!
creamy and light and summer sweet. i wish i had sliced up some strawberries for on top! that would be perfect! maybe a garnish of mint too? ^_^

blended ingredients:
1 avocado
1/2 frozen banana
5 or so strawberries (half frozen in this case but i don't think it matters)
3/4 cup water

Saturday, July 28, 2012

b-ham and time with the fam!

this week i have been hanging out with my parents in chilliwack and on wednesday, i went down with my mom and aunt to bellingham. before i show off some things me and my mom have been making for meals this week, i gotta introduce a new crepe place in bellingham (as of april this year) called ab crepes on railroad, near everything i wanted to see in bellingham (terra organica, buffalo exchange, digs...)

this place is great as they have vegan/GF crepes and regular crepes. i got a southwest crepe, without cheese of course. they didn't have daiya but the girl helping us mentioned they had several people asking about it within a couple days so they were considering it! ^_^
the gluten-free vegan southwest crepe (basically salsa and avocado), cucumber instead of cheese
at terra organica, i got some chocolate for paul (because i ate his stash out of the freezer! oops!) and my mom got some snacks for us, including one of my beloved nori sticks from gopals. i hadn't tried this kind (texas barbq) and me and my dad loved it! he agreed it was like pepperoni and it had a nice kick of spice!
back at my parents's place that night, my parents had pizza and i made a salad for their sides and for my dinner! the salad consisted of greens from my mom's aunt's garden on the island, beet tops, and mushrooms with a dressing of blended lemon, garlic, walnuts, ACV, salt pinch and some salad booster. super delicious!
on tuesday night, we made ani phyo's raw chili to top a collard green leaf and some beet greens with ground walnut taco "meat" and avocado on top of that. awesome! i love that my parents have been enjoying the food that i enjoy. i must be doing something right! it's also been super nice that my mom is paying close attention to what she buys as she has a gluten allergy and dairy sensitivity. so she looks out for a lot of the same things i look out for!
i made smoothies every morning this past week for me and my parents which was fun. my first one was a chocolate banana one for my dad (frozen banana, cacao powder, mesquite, maca, coconut milk and a bit of ginger). this one was frozen mango and banana, apricots, lemon juice, a bit of camu camu, mesquite, ginger and goji powder with water.
this smoothie is lettuces from my mom's aunt's garden, apricots, frozen mango and banana. 
and this morning, i did the last collard leaf, some more of my great aunt's garden greens, some parsley, 4 apricots, 1.5 frozen bananas and a fresh mango. my parents are loving these smoothies and i'm excited that they will continue to do them when i am back home! i think it's such a great and yummy way to "get your greens"! ^_^
yesterday's lunch was an avocado/cucumber/lettuce sandwich on silver hills chia chia bread. my mom took me to the silver hills shop in abbotsford on our way home monday and it was awesome to see the assortment of raw and organic foods they are stocking! 
for dinner last night, my mom sliced up a zuchinni into noodles and rinsed the kelp noodles and we tossed them into a sauce i made out of 1.5 avocados, a garlic clove, juice from 1 lemon, a splash of ACV, a sprinkle of cumin and salt and a bunch of fresh basil before serving on top of a collard green leaf. SO YUMMY!
tonight we roasted marshmallows in the backyard with my friend since grade 2 (!!!) and her 4 (!!!) kids. it was so much fun! and it was awesome that it wasn't even noticeable that i had vegan/gluten-free graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows (though the dandies were noticeably smaller than the kids'  marshmallows!

it was a wonderful week off and definitely a vacation being at my parents' place! 
now i have to start using my dehydrator again when i get home! ^_^

Friday, July 27, 2012

treats and eats in quebec city!

i am so grateful i had places to go to in quebec city that had organic and/or vegan treats and eats! i was there for just under 3 weeks to learn french language and culture!
the grocery store, or l'epicerie,  (provigo) closest to the campus i was staying at actually had a number of organic things which was amazing (as organic doesn't seem to be all that in demand out there!) and i would buy the president's choice brand of organic quinoa and brown rice pasta (and as mentioned before, their frozen fruit mix) and then was able to get the following produce organic: avocados, bananas, arugula, mixed greens, romaine, apples, carrots and mushrooms.

there was also the health food store le crac/le carotte joyeuse... on rue st-jean (the home of the oldest north american grocery store and a chocolate museum and other fun shops) which i called "le carotte joyeuse" or "le gros carotte" as that's how my new friends referred to it! (gros = large in french)
each time i went to this store, i tried a new snack.
le maison moisan (epicerie fine) - possibly the oldest grocery store in north america!
look at how big this fennel is! (at la carotte)
just some of the non-dairy mylks at la carotte! wow, blurry photo. wish i had taken another! i didn't use any but i'm really curious about the quinoa mylk! i love quinoa everything!
despite my chocolate sensitivity, i was keen on the sweets from the earth peppermint nanaimo bars and chocolate pecan caramel bars. hehe.
these chocolate treats really helped as i was mad craving chocadel's salted raw chocolate but it's on sale back home so it was hard for me to justify buying out there. before i had discovered it at "le carotte", i emailed the company in my broken french to mention how much i loved their fleur de sel bar and to ask where their chocolate retailed in quebec city. my reply? "merci beaucoup". hehe.

and what was super fun was discovering some raw food treats made in quebec!
 (i ended up leaving the crubec cookies as i think some of them had cashews and, well, i'm on a budget!)
 (these raw "chocolate chip cookies" from rawsome, which is also a quebec company, were so good i ate the whole package in one night!)
 (i'm not one for flavoured water but this lemongrass mint vanilla from ayala's seemed pretty legit and organic and it was on sale and less than $1.50! it was super soft and refreshing water. i loved crubec's sesame/maple/chia snacks and i definitely plan to try making my own!)
 (i got more of crubec's sesame snaps and tried bio-sphere's spiru-lyn(?) crackers that were super green but crunchy and satisfying!)
(more of the ayala's water and some rawsome italien herb crackers! they were super tasty! a bit soft perhaps because they are thicker than i'm used to with organic lives veg crackers but also perhaps because of the humidity in quebec!)

now in terms of eating out in quebec city, i made sure to go to the vegetarian buffet, le commensal (a quebec chain/manufacturer with a toronto location), a couple times. it's on the same street (rue st-jean) as la carotte joyeuse! loved that street for all of its food glory!

le commensal is not the best buffet i've been to (loving hut achasan, anyone?), but i loved that they label their dishes so it's easy to eat vegan and i was able to TRY to avoid gluten though i wasn't as picky as i'd be at home (and i brought a papaya digestive enzyme to help with eating gluten). i still have never tried greens & gourmet (a veg buffet in vancouver) so i really should get there some time! it's hard, though, with all these new vegan and raw-friendly places opening up in vancouver! (like the new fine dining veg place, the acorn!)

anyways, check out this veg bounty:

i went to a chain, le cochon dingue, with my roommates one night. we had gone there as a whole group (of 50 or so?) at the end of one of our activities earlier that week and i was impressed with how accommodating and friendly the staff were and i was able to have a bean salad the first time there and i ordered pasta there this time! pasta that isn't quinoa or brown rice-based for me is a real odd thing but i guess since i'm not celiac, i can afford some discomfort sometimes to eat "regular-people" pasta. and i craved it several times in quebec! i think because i was doing hours of walking every day - up and down giant hills and walls?

dinner at a "sugar shack" or "la cabane à sucre". i took a picture of the vegan pea soup i had to start but for some reason neglected to take a photo of the MASSIVE dish of roasted root vegetables on couscous they had prepared for me while the non-veg heads had meats and such. i must have been distracted by the pouring of maple syrup on everything! 
after dinner, check out this delight! i went back for seconds and thirds... hehe. maple syrup on ice!
after a few late night ice cream stops at glacier aberdeen (just off of cartier, the cutest street near the college) for carlos, i noticed on the price board "tofu aux fruits" and decided to be brave and order it. the young girls working there were super sweet (and let me practice my french) and blended up one of the packaged frozen tofus with some frozen fruit i chose. and bam! frozen non-dairy yogurt type thing!
i met up with my roommates at DAVIDsTEA(a montreal company) one day as my friend is super keen on their tea. i love the label design and paul had texted me the day before to show me his most excellent iced soy matcha from one of the stores in toronto. anyways... before even having any tea, i fell in love with this tea carafe. i have smashed 2 glass ones within 5 months this year but i still prefer drinking out of glass! i love this one with the wood lid! i hope to get it someday! ^_^
anyways, this is my iced soy green tea latte. i'm not sure how the one paul got in toronto was $2 cheaper than mine (did i order wrong?) but it still was fabulous. look at that foam! on a cold drink!
*update: i now know that ordering the green tea with soy as a latte is what cued the $2 extra charge for frothing*
speaking of green tea lattes and the like... i ended up having a cold green tea latte (with soy, minus ice cream! glad i checked on that one) at le musée national des beaux-arts du québecthe funny thing was my friend patrick being offered the extra of my drink in the blender which was the same size as mine. so we basically got 2 for 1. always looking for deals, you know. 
my last night in quebec city and at the end of our last day of classes, we went on a boat cruise of the st. lawrence river which was super nice. there was a buffet dinner, which i managed to find some things to eat from, but there was also a vegan hot dish prepared! how sweet!
and beautiful fruit for dessert...

and, thus concludes my mega post about food finds in quebec city! i was disappointed in the lack of organic foods but grateful and encouraged by the helpfulness and friendliness of all clerks and servers i met! 
merci beaucoup, quebec!