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!!!!!!!
Please let me start off my saying, my favorite treat is ice cream. Let me also point out that most vegan ice cream tastes more like ice than cream. SIGH. I was recently visiting my sister and stinking cute new nephew in L.A and had The Kid with me so naturally we had to find ice cream one afternoon. I also needed to try on some new running shoes so I dragged The Kid along with the promise (re: bribe) of going for ice cream right after I was done. I asked the store manager if there was anywhere nearby for decent ice cream and he suggested a new place called Quenelle. He mentioned that the owner was somebody well known and it would probably be pretty good.
Feast your jealous eyes on this bad boy.
Oh Em Gee. It was so good. This was the soy based peanut butter fudge and it was pretty much to DIE for. The Kid selected a traditional option of marscapone vanilla and he inhaled it. I really think this was the best thing I ate on our trip (more posts to come on that) and I hit all my favorite spots. L.A is probably the most vegan friendly city in the United States with New York City vying for the top spot. Regardless, if you want a serious treat (they also had about a dozen other gourmet flavours as well as some popsicle options!) head over to Quenelle next time you are in the Los Angeles area. You will love me forever. And maybe them too….
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!!
Sunday is hockey day at my house. I always feel like the Kid needs a slightly heartier breakfast when he is going to be skating his little tush off for 45 minutes and I am trying to stay away from the same old same old. He asked for pancakes last weekend and I was wondering if I could find something more creative than just regular pancakes. I had some walnuts left over from an awesome beet salad from earlier that week and a few apples in the fridge. Apple pie pancakes! Yes. Yes.
They were even more amazingly delicious than they look in this photo. Something about the combination of the warm, soft, cinnamon scented apples with the crunchy and toasty walnuts over the soft and fluffy pancakes. Yup. Kitchen win over here. I needed a basic vegan pancake recipe so I modified this one.
Here’s what you need:
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder ( I know this sounds ridiculous but trust me, have faith)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk or other milk alternative
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 apples, sliced thin
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.
Well I have officially been M.I.A. I own it. I took it upon myself to become a yoga instructor! Namaste yo! This very exciting new chapter in my life also was the most time consuming and all encompassing as well. Sadly something had to give and it was cooking. Ha. Sorry family. Mommy fail for 3 months. Alas, what can you do? Now I’m done and super excited to get back on track. Stay tuned for some great new recipes as well as a focus on some cool raw vegan items. I also decided I would try to add much more raw into my diet and have been experimenting a fair bit lately especially with desserts. I don’t think the Hubs is going to jump on the raw kale salad anytime soon, so dessert may be our common ground. In the meantime, for any of you awesome readers out there with kiddos that are in a mid way of the year lunch box slump I will share what my kid got today. Firstly, you need one of these. Then go crazy. I find it way easier to fill a lunch box when I have size restrictions. It’s really just like packing for vacation. Once you know which suitcase you’re taking, packing should be a breeze! This little bad boy has vegan squirley bread with Adams Peanut Butter and Organic Santa Cruz Concord Grape Jelly. Good old seaweed snacks and an organic Trader Joe’s cheese string. Add in some grapes and some red peppers and you’re laughing. The Kid actually ate the whole thing. There was one grape left in the container (why do kids do that anyways!?!?) and I was pretty chuffed since he usually objects to something or another in there. Almost five is a glorious age. And by glorious I mean god awful. AWFUL. Stay tuned readers! Exciting things to come.