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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Where have I been? Well funny you should ask!
It was family and friend vaca time for us and we took the Kid down to San Diego, Disney and Los Angeles for a week.
If you live in the southern Cali area, well, I hate you. Sorry…but I really kinda do.
I had so many amazingly fabulous meals that I can really only highlight the super crazy good ones. But if you live in, are going to be visiting, or need a great vegan foodie road trip, this blog’s for you! I will be adding a review every few days for the next few weeks. Stay tuned. There are some gems!
My first stop was The Mission Restaurant in San Diego. It was a pick that my cousin made. He lives down in that area with his wife and this is one of their favorite go-to brunch spots. I totally understand why. It was SO good. There was something for everyone and they were very accommodating with my veganization request to my order. I got the soy chorizo burrito and subbed out the egg and subbed in avocado. No crema for me and extra salsa because it was really yummy.
The Kid got a monster order of strawberry banana pancakes that looked really good and the Hubs got some meaty hash. Meh. No accounting for taste right? But at least everybody was happy with their meal. They had a pretty good selection of coffee drinks and I was able to get a lovely soy latte prepared just the way I like it. Overall this place was a solid A.
Check them out! They have a number of locations in the San Diego area. I am adding to the list of “must go again” as soon as possible. If you live in the area. Lucky you. Send me some???
So as we have clearly established, I am a lazy gal. I am always happy to find a shortcut. Especially when a shortcut is equally delicious as the real thing. I was cleaning out the cupboards and came across a powder mix of gluten free brownies from Trader Joes. The mix itself was vegan. The add-ins were not. So I took it as a personal challenge to make those puppies work anyways. The mix called for one egg, 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 a cup of oil (or something like that) and I totally went out on a limb and used 1/2 a cup of water, 1/2 a cup of apple sauce and 1/4 cup of avocado oil. I also added approximately 1/2 a cup of partially melted all natural (just peanuts) peanut butter.
The results were jaw droppingly good. Maybe the best vegan brownies I have ever had. Let alone gluten free ones. I win!
Next time you pop into Tj’s, grab one of these packages and go to town. You could add just about anything! I was thinking maybe next time I would use dandies vegan marshmallows. Mmmmmm marshmallows……