I have written about Native Foods before. I love them. Like, love love. I want to open one here in Vancouver. Not so that I can promote the brand and make some cash, but so I could eat there every single day. And honestly, I think I would. I have never not loved anything I have ordered at Native Foods and they make all their own products right down to their vegan “cheese” sauce. I am always amazed at the selection of items available and have come to have a few favorites that I am always looking forward to trying. So naturally about 15 minutes after me and The Kid touched down at LAX we were in my sister’s car heading to the closest Native Foods location for a quick lunch. I promised myself that I would try something new (even though the jackfruit sandwich and oatmeal cookie cream pie are pretty much my last meal items) and as luck would have it (and to my horror) my favorite items were not available. So I decided I would give the Classic Deli Reuben a try.
It was awesome. I got all the sauces on the side and didn’t really have much on the sandwich. I really quite liked it the way it came without all the extras. I did add a little bit of the Russian dressing and it was awesome. Of course I got fries on the side as well. My Kid ordered the “chicken” nuggets (as always) with a side of veggies and brown rice which I love. Kids meals don’t always need to come with fries right?
I was devastated when I found out that my favorite dessert wasn’t ready yet. I begrudgingly decided to try the peanut butter parfait. It was pretty ridiculous as well. It had layers of a peanut butter mousse with banana bread type crumbles and chocolate chips. It was also gluten free which was a nice added bonus. I can’t believe I ate the whole thing. But oh, I did.
If you want affordable, fast, amazing vegan food you must try Native Foods. They are constantly expanding and there is a location in a number of major U.S cities now. I’m hoping and praying Seattle is next. Native Foods are you listening!? Please!! Please!!!!!!!
I live in the Lower mainland in beautiful British Columbia and I am always on the look out for new Vegan or Vegan friendly joints that will actually appeal to the Hubs and I and huge bonus marks if the Kid can eat there too. Here’s a secret, there sadly really aren’t that many. However, this one falls into the “doh!!” category because I have walked by and heard about a newer take out place in the Kitsilano area called The Noodlebox but had never bothered to go in. Last weekend I was fortunate enough to attend a fan-freaking-tastic yoga conference on Vancouver Island (Victoria Yoga Conference to be exact) and on one of our lunch breaks my friend suggested we just grab something from “The Noodlebox”. Of course, I had to ask, is it the same as the one in Kitsilano and she said yes. (Duh…). So off we went!
Sigh. It was amazing!!!! Veggie options galore! Add Tofu to anything!! Pick your spiciness level!! Noodle or rice?? White or Brown!? OMG!??! Why haven’t we eaten here before!??! They even had a kids menu!!!! I have to say that this is quite rare in Canada in any restaurant you actually want your child to eat in. They also offered Ocean Wise seafood and plenty of meat and egg add-ons for those who are so inclined. Plus the portions were HUGE. A plus when you’ve just completed two, one hour power yoga classes.
I picked the Spicy Peanut Noodle Box but added Tofu and got brown rice instead of noodles (they have Gluten Free options as well if that is an issue for diners). It was PACKED with tofu, veggies, spicy peanut sauce, crushed peanuts, chopped fresh herbs, some green onions and some sprouts. It was the perfect meal and I’m not going to lie, I freaking LOVE the old school Chinese food take out boxes. I’m cheesy like that.
I literally can’t wait to go back. And next time I’m taking the Hubs and Kid. They also have locations in Calgary and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them enter the East Coast market some time soon too. Keep an eye out people!!
A good friend of mine is trying to eat healthier these days and has been doing great but has had some challenges finding new healthy foods that actually taste good and appeal to her whole family. Wait what? Hubs and kids that don’t want to eat healthy foods. Weird… Sigh.
But I digress. I had her and her beautiful kids over this week and thought I would try something that had caught my eye this week on findingvegan. Raw, vegan, chocolate pudding. Made from avocado no less. I was in. I found about two dozen different recipes and I was a bit surprised to find that so many of them called for totally different ingredients and quantities of ingredients. I threw caution to the wind and mixed a whole bunch together to create this beauty:
The friend loved it. My kid did too. Hubs thought it was not so chocolatey. But what does he know anyways. You can play with the cinnamon and the amounts of cacao and maple syrup to make it more your bag.
Here’s what you need:
2 ripe avocados
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup (you could add more if you like a sweeter pudding)
1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla
1/4 (heaping) cup Cacao powder
Pinch of sea salt (or kosher if that’s all you have)
Fresh berries for garnish (I used raspberries and it was perfect!)
Here’s what you do:
Toss everything in the food and blend until very well blended. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice in the blending process. Fill 4-6 bowls with pudding and refrigerate for at least an hour to set. Garnish with fresh berries and nom nom nom!!!
Do these three words usually go together? I suppose not for most people, but honestly, these raw/vegan/gluten free chocolate macaroon are unbelievable. During my yoga teacher training one of my beautiful and talented classmates decided to make a treat for the group one day. Not surprisingly, there were about 17 different food allergies/preference/aversions/sensitivities and general healthy eating-ness going on. She made these chocolate macaroons and they were so yummy. When we all asked her to post the recipe I was tickled to find out they were inspired by my favorite store bought (Whole Foods of course) vegan macaroons by Hail Mary. I knew I had to make them again. I’ve made them twice already and everybody I’ve shared them with have loved them and were super impressed that they were vegan, let alone raw and vegan. I think I have found my go-to treat. And of course, as always they are ridiculously easy to make. I say that a lot but seriously, there are so few ingredients and they are super simple and you likely have everything you need to make these in your kitchen already. Now, the big question, what did the Hubs think? Oh well, you know, he hates coconut. These little bad boys are all mine baby. Oh yaaaaaaaa.
Here’s what you need:
1 heaping Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
5 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp Vanilla (gluten free if that’s how you roll)
Here’s what you do:
Put the above listed items in your food processor. Blend for 15-30 seconds until well mixed. Scoop with a small scoop or roll into little balls and place on a dish lined with parchment paper. Toss in the fridge for half an hour. Devour!! I put mine in an air tight container once they were cool but make sure you leave them in the fridge. You could freeze these as well if you’re so inclined. I have sensitive teeth so that wouldn’t be my first choice but hey, nice to have options.
So let me first say that I’m not a huge fan of donuts. I would pretty much choose any pastry over a donut. There are good vegan donuts, great ones even. I like Mighty-O’s but then I have to drive all the way to Seattle and no donut is worth a two hour drive. Actually, I would like to restate that, there is now a donut that is worth a two hour drive. Cartems Donuterie in Vancouver is beyond words. Let me instead show you some photos and then try to do them justice with a short spiel about how amazing they are and why
Okay so that little beauty up there. With the flowers on it. That was the vegan one. I’m not going to lie, all the other ones were not, but honestly, who cares. Look. At. That. Donut. I believe it was a Earl Grey and it was ridiculous. Unlike most vegan donuts, it was light and fluffy and had a sweet but not cloyingly sweetness to it. The rose petals (which I hate) did not lend any rose-y flavours thank goodness and it was just perfect. They also had Gluten Free AND Vegan ones but since I don’t have a gluten intolerance I didn’t go that route, but there is something for everyone. The Kid that the chocolate one with the little balls (Triple Chocolate Threat) and HOOVERED it in about two minutes flat and the Hubs pretty much ate all the other ones. No seriously. He had three. I took a tiny bite of the powered sugar one that was stuffed with real blueberries and was amazing as well. The salted caramel one was also pretty sick and he was all over the bacon one. Barf. Whatever.
What I also loved and appreciated was the locally sourced and mainly organic ingredients. LOVE. I think we will be weekly visitors now. Might have to start biking there to negate the calories of course…..
So I had one of those unfortunate incidents where I was thrilled to try a new product (vegan and gluten free parokas!) from a local company called Kans Gourmet Foods that I found in our local grocery store’s freezer section but had a MAJOR issue with the food. I won’t get into the details but needless to say, I immediately contacted the company to voice my displeasure. The first response back from a staff member was NOT acceptable and so I escalated the matter to the owner. The owner was VERY quick to make matters right and the next day a box of food was sitting at my front door!! It had the infamous pakoras inside, but also one of each of their other three products. All vegan, and three of which were gluten free as well! Samosas (not GF), a lentil falafel (not really falafel in flavour but maybe in texture) and a dal.
I invited my BFF over for dinner and made a feast!
You may also notice that I did make my Mother In Laws super yummy cauliflower and potato dish! It wasn’t even remotely as good as hers. Lesson learned. Just let Indian people make me Indian food. OR buy it frozen!
The Hubs also ate with us and we each had a different favorite. The food was great and the tamarind date dipping sauce was good enough to drink. I would 100% for sure buy these little guys for a dinner party to serve as appies or honestly, I would eat a whole box of either the pakoras or falafels as dinner. The price point was decent for the amount of food you get and since it’s made locally here in the Lower Mainland of BC, I feel good about supporting a neighbour. Keep an eye out for them if you live around here or at a Whole Foods in the Pacific Northwest.
The only tip I would give is that the cooking time provided on the box is horribly inaccurate. I cook everything for 20 minutes or longer, otherwise they are stone cold in the middle when you take them out. Try 10 minutes, flip, then more. That should pretty much do it for any of the items that are baked. Serve the dal with a nice basmati rice and you’re all set!!!
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.
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.