A vegan's adventures cooking for her meatatarian husband

Monthly Archives: February 2013

The Hubs LOVES to golf. Maui apparently has some of the most beautiful courses in the world. His favorite is The Plantation. They have a nice restaurant, The Plantation House, that has a ridiculous view. So we decided to come along and drop him off and have some lunch. That day I wasn’t starving so I decided to order the fruit platter and some of their banana bread. Firstly. Look at this fruit salad!!!

plantation house fruit salad

It was epic. It also had some sort of cinnamon dipping sauce with it. I had literally no idea what it was but I suspect it was a sweetened cream cheese or sour cream type of thing. I did taste it. Secondly, the banana bread was just that. Bananas. It was probably 75 percent butter and sugar but wow. It was pretty tasty. It was SO moist and it was served warm. Yum.

The Kid had my worst nightmare meal. White penne pasta with butter. EW. Why do places even put crap like that on the menu?? Just serve little versions of the adult meals for goodness sake. Sigh. It was the only veg option on the kids menu and I wasn’t especially keen on buying him a $14 adult entrée that he wasn’t going to eat. I would still go back for the view and honestly, that freaking banana bread. mmmmm banana bread……

 


This was our 3rd trip to Maui and our 3rd visit to The Gazebo. We discovered this little gem in a book by a local about Maui. The first time we visited I think we waited about ten minutes for a table. Last year we waited about an hour. Maybe longer. We were a table of seven mind you. This year we ended up going at lunch time even though it really is more well known as a breakfast join (but does have a full lunch menu) and we were gobsmacked when there was NO LINE. Holy moly. Lesson learned!!! Apparently it slows down quite a bit after noon and they close around two. We still got breakfast. Well me and the Kid got breakfast. The Hubs got both breakfast and lunch. You see, the Hubs is of the mind that if there are two really awesome things on a menu, you owe it to yourself to order both and take one with you for later. Makes sense…in a gluttonous way.

We shared the pineapple. Mostly because when you are in Maui it is a city bylaw that you eat as much fresh pineapple as humanly possible. Plus, look how cute it is!

Gazebo fresh pineapple

The number one item in our opinion is the pancakes. They are just nice big fluffy pancakes but we get the banana, pineapple, macnut ones and they are covered in a special topping. This my friends is the key. The topping looks like some type of whip cream but it’s actually dream whip (cool whip for my Canadian brethren) with butterscotch and maple syrup. OMG. So good. Not vegan, but so so good!

The Hubs also gets the Hawaiian fried rice with eggs on top. Somewhat of a traditional breakfast dish over there and without the meat and eggs it wouldn’t be too bad. He lives for that stuff. He wanted to go back and get other order for take out to eat on the plane. No. Seriously.

gazebo feast rice and pancakes

You might notice that his also had white chocolate chips. Ya…

Anyways, if you are in Maui, check out the Gazebo. You won’t be disappointed.


Half (okay not half but like for sure a quarter) of the fun of traveling in the U.S for me is going to the grocery store. Maui is a mecca of veggie friendly and organic options. Whole Foods, Down to Earth, the Farmer’s Market. The list goes on and on. We always stop first and grab snacks and lunch stuff to take to our condo. I saw these little bad boys and knew the Kid would go gaga over them since anything chocolate is a treat in this house and only gets bust out for special occasions or when I am desperate for him to eat his dinner. We do the, one bite gets you one sip in this house. It works. Try it sometime.

so delicious choco coconut milk

While the single servings do create extra waste which is never ideal, we can never finish a big container of things like this. We just don’t use it enough. So on rare occasion and for a treat I am happy to purchase these types of single servings. I would also like to point out that these have WAY less sugar than traditional chocolate milk and I tasted one. It was good!!!  Another new product for me to search out when we drive down to Seattle next month. The list grows by the second…..


Honu sunset

Okay so maybe my tag line wasn’t as funny as it sounded in my head but trust me, the food (and the freaking view) at this place in Maui was out of this world. I was looking for something that had clearly vegan options (as there aren’t many) for dinner and I came across Honu. A vegan soup and a decent sounding veggie burger drew me in and a waterfront setting sealed the deal. The soup was quite nice and the veggie burger tasted faintly of falafel which is always a win in my books. The shoestring fries that came with my burger were a mix of potato and sweet potato which was a nice surprise and over all, it was a fabulous meal. On top of that, the Kid had a thin crust pizza that looked really good and the Hubs thought his tuna bruchetta was one of the best things he ate on the whole trip. He liked the other items he had as well. Mussels and fish and chips.

The kicker was that we were sitting AT the water’s edge. The setting was ridiculous. And on top of everything else, we saw two giant turtles about 15 feet away floating around in the water! Plus the sunset was beautiful. Amazing food and a fabulous view. Sounds like a keeper. Looking forward to trying their other spot, Ma’la next time we visit Maui. Also, they did have a vegan dessert when I looked online, but it wasn’t on the menu that day. Too bad as it sounded really good…

Honu vegan butternut soup

Honu veggie burger and fries

They also provided colouring for the Kid (huge plus in my books) and a toy turtle that he got to keep which was really very cute and a super nice touch! Family friendly and foodie friendly. Bliss.


Have you been to Hawaii? Add it to your list. Now. Quick. You MUST go. Full disclosure, I have only ever been to Maui. Three times now. Mostly because it is a beautiful, lush, and has Ah-Maz-Ing food. Further disclosure, I drop my veganism when we travel. I try. I really do. But I love me some shaved ice with a tiny scoop of coconut ice cream and pineapple mac nut pancakes with coconut syrup. I like coconut okay?
We love food. We love trying new restaurants. And Maui is the motherload.

Over the next week I will have posts about some of our favorites and some new spots that are now must eats.

Let me start with Leodas. We saw a review and then heard that the executive chef was none other than Sheldon Simeon, who is on this season of Top Chef Seattle on the Food Network. They had me at pie shop. But I’m going back for the really cool and totally different veggie burger or avocado and cucumber sandwich on house made rye. Then I will have some pie.

Take a look!

leodas veggie burger

House made veggie burger on a potato bun. Full of yummy veggie goodness. Most unique veggie burger I’ve had ever!

The kid got the grilled cheese. I admit it, it looked pretty good…

leodas grilled cheese

And last but not least, dessert. Apple handpie and chocolate macadamia nut pie. NOT vegan. Still good.

leodas apple hand pie leodas chocolate mac nut pie

The Hubs had a few of the savory handpies and wasn’t too thrilled. The next visit (yes we went more than once in a one week period….) he had the ahi tuna sandwich and LOVED it. They had amazing sandwich options. Vegan and veggie friendly. Desserts were clearly not vegan, but hey, it’s a vacation right???


A very talented friend of mine is a professional photographer. She’s amazing. Her son also goes to preschool with the Kid so I invited her and her kids over for lunch one day after school recently. The deal was, I would make us lunch and she would give me a super quick lesson on how to use my fancy dancy new SLR! I figured 3 kids under 4 couldn’t really complain about pancakes and fruit salad so I went in that direction. I saw this recipe and thought, perfect! I even had enough forethought to roast the sweet potato the night before. Amazing right?? Go me. Sweet potato? Good! Whole wheat? Good! Fruit Salad? Good.

Look how beautiful this photo is. She took this one of course.

sweet potato pancakes

Make these. They aren’t super sweet so I needed some good ol’ maple syrup with them, but I’m from Ontario. It’s sacrilege to eat pancakes without maple syrup. What can I say.

I wish I was able to make the compote, because it looks and sounds amazing. Make them with or without. Just make them! I made a few tweaks to make them a teeeeny tiny bit healthier. I like my changes, but I’m sure the original are just as yummy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar (maple sugar would also work well here)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sparkling water (all I had was club soda)

Directions:

Whisk the dry ingredients together until well combined. In a small bowl, mix together the milk, sugar, sweet potato, vanilla and oil, whisk until smooth then pour over the dry ingredients. Pour the sparkling water over the mixture and mix everything together gently until it all just comes together. Do not overmix, little lumps are ok, over mixing will give you tough rubbery pancakes.

Lightly oil a pan or griddle and preheat to medium-low, when hot pour 1/3 or 1/2 cup scoop of the batter. After 3 to 4 minutes, when they start to bubble on top, flip over and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes. You may need to cook them longer due to the thick batter, check underneath before you remove them from the heat. Make them small. They are a lot of pancake even when small if you know what I mean!


The Hubs is a HUGE sports fan. HUGE. Baseball, hockey, football. You name it, he pretty much has a team and watches all the freaking time. ALL…THE….TIME.

So needless to say we hosted a few friends over for the Superbowl. I found this cute looking dish online and thought, ya. I can SO veganize that bad boy. And let me tell you, it was pretty amazing. I was hoping to serve it with apple slices as well but I was so tired by the time dessert came out, I just couldn’t be asked.

Please note that we even have a NFL massive chip bowl. HUGE fan….

vegan PB cookie dip

Just use a stand mixer and it does all the work for you! Try other dippers too!! Apple slices, graham crackers, animal crackers, the sky’s the limit! The Hubs said the marshmallow laces really made the dish. Next time I will add a layer of marshmallow fluff or maybe melt some right in. I might also try cashew butter next time for a less heavy peanut butter flavour. You can also add the chocolate chips into the dip and cover it with sprinkles etc. Be creative! The original recipe isn’t vegan, so here’s my version:

  • ¼ cup vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance), softened
  • 4 ounces vegan cream cheese, softened (I used Tofutti)
  • 1 cup peanut butter (your choice; crunchy or smooth)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups vegan powdered sugar (up to 2 cups if needed)
  • ½ cup vegan mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Brand)
  • Chocolate sprinkles or chocolate chips for the outside of the football (TOTALLY OPTIONAL)
  • Vegan marshmallows cut into strips for the football laces (I used Dandies)

Directions:

Cream margarine, cream cheese, and peanut butter until mixed (using a stand mixer). Add in vanilla. Mix some more.

Add powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, and mix until combined. (If you want a stiffer mixture, add the extra ½ cup of powdered sugar.) Mix in chocolate chips or save them for the exterior.

Place the mixture into a very shallow bowl or serving dish.  Use your hands to form into a football shape. (This would also be cute as “lips” for Valentine’s Day! or a happy face? or …..?)

Cover in sprinkles or chocolate chips if you’re into that type of thing, pressing them into the surface a little so they stick. Add laces and chill until ready to serve.