A vegan's adventures cooking for her meatatarian husband

Tag Archives: lunch

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.

native foods reuben

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?

native foods kids meal

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.

native foods peanut butter parfait

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!!!!!!!

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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.

the noodlebox 2

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.

the noodlebox

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!!


If you live in the Vancouver area and are on the look out for a restaurant where everybody and ever diet can be accommodated but actually has awesome food, look no further. Nuba has a lengthy menu that literally has something for everyone. Vegan? No problem. Gluten fee? Sure thing. Meatatarian? Yup, got you covered too.

Nuba offers a wide array of middle eastern dishes. As always I indulged in the Najib’s Special. A slightly crispy, slightly lemony cauliflower dish that is served with tahini and their own version of hot sauce (it’s green….but tasty!). I could just order this dish. Or four. It is the perfect side dish for the meatatarians in the crowd but honestly, it is so delish you could have it as your entree too.

najibs special

This time I also wanted to try something different so I also ordered the Mjadra lentil stew which came with a small slice of avocado and crispy onions. It was also amazing and I would have it again in a heart beat. The flavour of the lentils was amazing developed and the crispy onions and creamy avocado were the perfect accompaniment.

nuba lentil stew

 

If I could find one or two faults with Nuba it would be the pita. I really feel very strongly that pita should be served warm. Maybe it’s just me. But I really do think it would make these dishes better. So there’s that. I also enjoy their falafel but need tomato and cucumber with my falafel and theirs is served on it’s own which is not for me. All that being said, if you live in the Vancouver area or are going to be visiting some time soon add Nuba to your list of must visit restaurants. You won’t be disappointed.


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.

lunch box lunch

 


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 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…