A vegan's adventures cooking for her meatatarian husband

Monthly Archives: June 2013

So there is this awesome little food truck (okay it’s really a trailer but whatever) in the downtown Vancouver area that was shut down for an extended period due to either vandalism or theft or some other awful thing. Bad Karma to try to ruin a vegan good truck people!!! They are associated with a whole chain of Loving Hut restaurants across North America. You should see if there is one in your neck of the woods.

Anyways, so when I found myself downtown last week and STARVING I literally rush over to eat off the truck. It was late and I was sooooo hungry and I just needed to eat and didn’t take much time with the menu. I ordered the Crispy Chick’n Burger that was loaded with guac and chipolte mayo and lettuce etc. Sorry for the lame photo, I was drooling at this point and hoovered this puppy in about one minute.

Loving Hut Express Chick'n Burger

 

It was good. So so good. The lady beside me was mowing into the Grilled Mushroom Cheese Burger and said it was her favorite and I could see why. It looked pretty awesome. I think I’ll try that next time. Or maybe the BBQ Onion Cheese Burger. I am not a huge fan of vegan cheese products but they assured me theirs was totally homemade and super yummy. Guess I’ll be heading back downtown in the next few weeks to test that theory.

They also had totally gluten free options for those of you who are so inclined! Thought that was worth mentioning.

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beyond meatKinda looks like a chicken Fajita right?? Okay so maybe real chicken doesn’t come in rectangle strips, but still. Pretty close I think!

I’ve been hearing about Beyond Meat for ages now. They managed to get a few of the Twitter guys to back the product and since then the media attention has been pretty impressive. It took a really long time (IMO) for the product to hit the shelves and here in The Lower Mainland the only place I have seen it is in the prepared food case in Whole Foods. I really wanted to find it and try a few recipes for myself. Magically the Whole Foods just north of Seattle had the line in their fridge a few weeks ago and so I grabbed a package of the lightly seasoned variety and whisked it home to make something.

That something turned out to be fajitas at which point I realized I really should have bought the southwestern flavoured variety. FAIL. Anyways, the Kid and the Hubs ate it and I learned that making your own fajita spice is super easy! Beware of commercially produced mixes, the ones I had listed sulfates right in the ingredient list. Ew.

I think it was a good product and a bit more substantial than some of the other faux chicken products on the market. I don’t know if I would rush back to buy it, but if my local WF’s starts to carry it up here I would try the other flavours. I think chicken fingers would be my next attempt.

It is however a good source of protein and non GMO and of course, not MEAT. So there’s that….and yes, that one shown above has cheese on it. The Kid won’t give up the damn cheese. Sigh.


One of the gals at work mentioned that my jobshare partner had a recipe for the yummiest salad ever that had quinoa and pineapple. Since that sounded a bit odd but interesting, I decided that I had to get the recipe. She was kind enough to share it with me. I make a few minor changes, but it was REALLY good. When the Hubs asked what was for dinner and saw the salad you would think that his team lost the Superbowl. Geez. When he tasted it however he repeated no less than four times, “this is really good!”. Sigh. The Kid ate it too. Win, win.

Anyways, I think this is the type of salad you can take pretty huge liberties with. Sub in and out whatever fruit, veggie or add-in that turns your crank. As we were eating I was thinking maybe diced mango, maybe pom seeds, served on a bed of spinach. You get the idea. either way, add this bad boy into your rotation!!

quinoa edamame salad

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 ½ cups frozen edamame, thawed in a bowl of super hot water (change the water once or twice)
  • 2 cups red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa(I used half quinoa and half brown rice because I didn’t have enough quinoa, OOPS!)
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced small
  • 3/4 cup diced pineapple
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 teaspoons almonds, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I used apple cider because that’s all I had)
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO or avocado oil ( I used avocado but might use the EVOO next time for a bit of flavour depth)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (I think I will leave this out next time as the salad was sweet enough)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher or sea salt (or to taste)

Here’s what you do:

  1. In a large bowl combine edamame, cabbage, quinoa, diced pepper, pineapple, raisins and almond.
  2. In a small bowl combine vinegar, oil, coconut sugar, chili powder, garlic and salt. Toss with quinoa mixture and serve either chilled or at room temperature.
  3. Eat! Enjoy! Yum.


So do you remember these little beauties?? I decided to try them again. And they were pretty great! I think they needed another two minutes in the oven, but otherwise, a MAJOR improvement! I did however have about 2 cookies worth of extra batter and couldn’t be bothered to keep the oven heated for just two cookies. So, since I’m SO smart, I froze the left over dough in a tiny log and then chopped it up and tossed it into my favorite vegan coconut ice cream (which I bought of course, but if you are way more motivated than me, make your own!). Looky!!

cookie dough ice cream

Realistically, the ice cream was just a bonus. I would have just eaten the dough. It was super good. I think for my next magic trick I’m going to use it as a crust for a vegan ice cream cake. Stay tuned!!!


So to cap off our family vacation in southern California we spent a weekend at my sister’s house near Burbank. One of her favorite places for brunch is Bea Bea’s. I had been there once before with her and the Kid and remembered it being pretty great, plus they had vegan pancakes. Don’t have to ask me twice.

The awesome thing about the menu is that any of the dishes (pancakes) could be made with the vegan pancake batter! There are like a trillion to choose from (okay, like a dozen) and they all looked SO good. Now I didn’t ask, but I am going to make an educated guess that the ones with super heavy dairy based toppings don’t actually work as vegan dishes. But there were so many that would work that it wasn’t really a big deal.

I decided on the apple cobbler vegan pancakes and they were ginormous and really tasty!!!

beabeas vegan pancakes

The Kid got the french toast (bigger than his head!) and the Hubs got some meaty thing with a side of french toast and everybody was pretty pleased with their dishes. They were also super kid friendly with colouring available and very reasonably priced options for the wee ones.

I do find that this is a major problem in Canada. Very few restaurants have kid’s menus and or kid’s sized portions available. My son is four. He is not a big enough eater to justify ordering him is own entree, however, he is big enough that I don’t want to share with him.

Canadian restauranteurs? If you’re listening, please add a kids menu. PLEASE.

Anyways, it was a super busy spot but it was worth the wait. Will go back to try the pumpkin pancakes. Yum…


On our trip to San Diego the Kids were being pretty good and we promised them Ice Cream. It so happened that there was a Sub Zero in the plaza where Native Foods is. You can read my review on Native Foods here. We had never heard of Sub Zero but when I read that the ice creams were made with liquid nitrogen my nerd alert started blaring and I knew we had to check it out.

I was thrilled to find out that at Sub Zero you pick a “base” which would be milk, cream, custard etc or soy milk, almond milk or coconut milk!! Vegan options!? Hurrah!!!! You then pick a flavoring (I went for pineapple) and then a mix-in item or two (or however many you want I suppose) and I got large flakes of coconut. It was awesome! They toss everything into a metal bowl right in front of you and then use liquid nitrogen to instantaneously freeze the whole thing! I got a waffle cone and no, I didn’t ask if it was vegan. Fresh made waffle cones are my kryptonite. Sigh.

sub zero icecream

It was surprisingly creamy and very, very tasty! There were so many choices for flavors and mix-ins that there were probably hundreds of options. The Hubs and the Kid got chocolate concoctions and thought they were awesome. If you live in the San Diego area you should check these guys out!

 


Vegan friendly Disneyland? Oh yes. Yes!!

Now don’t get too excited. The vegan options are not exactly plentiful and widespread but they are there. It’s a good start and the park actually has a huge number of healthy options. Especially in the snack department. There are small snack shacks that have fresh fruit (apples, grapes, strawberries and mango spears) as well as giant pickles, apple chips and hummus/pretzel dippers. It was awesome to have those options available throughout both parks and we took advantage a number of times.

What about meals? Breakfast is easy. Downtown Disney has a Jamba Juice. Grab a smoothie and oatmeal made with soymilk. Of course, if you’re like us and cannot start a day without a coffee, there is a starbucks in California Adventure that offers soy milk and the coffee shop on Main Street near the entrance to Frontierland also had soy latte options. Can’t go wrong with a Mickey soft pretzel either.

As far as meals go, I had two absolutely delicious meals, one in each park. Carthay Circle in CA didn’t have anything vegan on the menu but were able to prepare me a lovely vegan tomato soup as a starter and an amazing (and crazy filling) portabello burger that was loaded with caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms. It was super tasty and served with some awesome crispy french fries. The service was also outstanding. And all of our meals were fantastic there. They were even able to sub out the meat in the kids tacos for mushrooms and the server said it was a brilliant idea and would be suggesting it to others in the future. Ya. I’m awesome.

carthay circle vegan burger

The other amazing meal we had was in the Disneyland Park at Carnation Cafe. There we shared the deep fried pickles (and full disclosure, I’m not certain other things that contain meat were not fried in the same oil so if that’s important to you, ASK!) and the sauce was most likely NOT vegan, so be aware! They did however have a vegan burger on the menu that I have had before and LOVED. This time it was a bit salty which I did point out to the server. It was still good and I was still thrilled to have a fully vegan option right on the menu. Plus the Kid had the do it yourself PB and J sandwich which was shaped like a goldfish cracker and looked to be whole wheat and served with veggie sticks and fruit.

carnation cafe deep fried picklescarnation cafe vegan burger

I think this is your best bet for a quick(ish) table service dinner right in the park that has something for everybody. For a housemade vegan patty, you can’t really go wrong with this one. Plus, our friends Kid has a strawberry allergy and the chef actually came out to chat with us even though it wasn’t a problem or issue. Just standard practice. Well played Disney. Well played.