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!

Monday, July 23, 2012

dorm life smoothies.

so i've just returned home after almost 3 weeks living in a dorm in quebec city on my quest to learn french.

i brought paul's magic bullet with me which was WONDERFUL for morning smoothies. it even blended better than i remembered it blending before (i thought i had to cut up everything for it to do anything but i managed not having to pre-cut much at all! yay!).

ha, my first smoothie in quebec city. i forgot to take a picture before drinking it!
romaine lettuce, apple, water and ground chia.

before i realized i didn't have to chop up my frozen banana.
just adding extra work for myself, is all!
(i brought this thin plastic chop board too and a knife
 to make sure i wouldn't be without smoothies this trip!)

i found a frozen "melange aux fruits biologique" at the nearby epicerie.
so this smoothie is frozen banana with frozen black cherry, blueberry and blackberry! 

so fresh and so green!

this morning's smoothie is my first since arriving back from quebec city. soooo great to be using the vitamix again!

this one is: a parsley bunch, some frozen banana, avocado and bosc pear.