Well folks it’s that time of year again …. It’s our Canadian Thanksgiving! Time to enjoy the beautiful Fall weather & spend time with friends and family. It’s a little tricky being vegan in a predominant carnivore social circle. Moments of loneliness & being misunderstood are quite regular … I’m sure there are vegans out there who can relate! For this reason, I’ve thought of a few tips & tricks to survive all the harsh stares and glares when you show up to a thanksgiving dinner and mention that you’re vegan (like its a bad thing!) First step : I’ve decided to host thanksgiving dinner for my open-minded carnivore friends who are willing to give it a try! I’m a little nervous but excited to hopefully convert a few… or at least show them that being vegan isn’t as hard as it may seem. I’ve decided to prep a meal plan in advance to woo my friends. Here’s what I have in mind so far. What are your thoughts?
Main course :
Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprout, and Bread Stuffing with Apples
Found this lovely recipe by Gena Hamshaw who claims to have served this dish to a room full of friends who didn’t notice it was a vegan dish. It’s a pretty simple recipe that consists of a savory mix of winter squash, brussels sprouts, and good bread. Here’s the recipe which yields 6 servings.
- 1 pound butternut squash, cubed
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
- 1 medium gala apple, cut into a 1/2 inch dice
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided into 2 tbsp and 1 tbsp
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 10 slices bread of choice: crusty sourdough, dry cornbread, whole grain, or, if you are gluten free, millet bread from Food For Life will work nicely. Prior to preparing the recipe, leave bread out for a day to become slightly dry, then cut into cubes.
- 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth (plus extra as needed)
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup pecans or walnuts
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- For full recipe click here
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts with Rosemary and Garlic
- (0.80kg/1.75lb) fingerling potatoes
- (0.34kg/0.75lb) brussels sprouts
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh minced rosemary
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp Sucanat (optional)
- 3/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- View full recipe here
Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding
I stumbled upon this awesome recipe by ohsheglows. She somehow managed to make this this classic dessert vegan and almost half the sugar and fat! Here are a few pointers from her “This sticky pudding cake has the perfect amount of sweetness, remaining true to the original classic dessert, without going overboard. The cake is fantastic; once the sauce is poured on, it turns into a gooey, moist, and dense cake. The toasted pecans add a lovely texture to this dish and I don’t recommend skipping them unless necessary. Whatever you do…serve this dish WARM!” - Oh she glows
Yield: 6-8 servings
For the cake:
- 200 grams pitted dates (about 1.5 cups), roughly chopped
- 1.5 cups almond milk
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup Earth Balance (or other vegan butter substitute), lightly softened
- 1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar (75 grams) OR 1/2 cup Sucanat
- 3/4 cup toasted chopped pecans, divided
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 & 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose)
For the toffee sauce:
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp brown rice syrup*
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp unpacked brown sugar (35 grams) OR Sucanat
- 3 tbsp Earth Balance
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp almond milk
- salt, to taste
A few other tasty treats to try :
Appleberry Pie with Olive Oil Crust from Post Punk Kitchen
What is your favorite recipe? Let me know! Have a lovely long weekend everyone : )
It’s been well over a year now that I’ve adopted a majorly gluten-free lifestyle since living with my man (a true-born Celiac). The initial adaptation proved a tough transition, but the positive impact it’s had on my life – invaluable. As a past sufferer of stomach pain and nausea due to a built up candida intolerance, changing the way I ate dramatically improved my health and energy levels.
As a self-proclaimed “foodie”, satisfaction, enjoyment, and indulgence has always topped my must-meet eat list amidst varying restrictions. What I’ve learned through my kitchen trials and tribulations, is that less really is more when it comes to conquering big taste as a lifestyle. Paying attention to the selection and preparation of the foods you eat, skipping out on artificial ingredients for pure and organic alternatives, and simplifying sauces/spices allows natural flavor to speak for itself.
Sweets are no exception, and I love that I can eat them guilt-free without the inevitable sugar crash. When your junk food is loaded with protein and complex carbs, they become more than just a quick-fix treat. While oatmeal raisin still remains my all time favorite (even people who don’t normally do gluten-free or vegan love them), chocolate chip will forever remain a classic please all.
2 3-oz vegan dark chocolate bars, cut up into chunks; set aside
In a bowl, whisk to combine and set aside:
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup GF millet flour
1/2 cup GF buckwheat flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch or potato starch (not potato flour!)
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
In a separate large mixing bowl, beat till smooth:
1 1/4 cup organic light brown sugar
1/4 cup organic white cane sugar
3/4 cup light olive oil
1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer beaten with 1/4 cup warm water till frothy
2 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
For the next steps, head over to the original post.
Bon appetite and happy baking!
Whether you reside in New York (like I do), frequent it every chance you can, or still haven’t visited, few folks aren’t hip to the fact that the Big Apple is big on gastronomic satisfaction. Beyond being everyone’s favorite way to ward off doctors (get it?), the City That Never Sleeps is packed with foodstuffs to satisfy any and all culinary inclinations. From Momofuku to The Modern*, Del Posto to Dell’Anima*, this place is chock full of ways to tease your tongue and widen your waist. However, less recognized than, say, NYC’s fame-claimers like pizza** and bagels are the no less satiating vegan eateries.
Plant-based places abound and can be found in any neighborhood. From Candle 79 on the Upper East to Blossom in the West Village; from Peacefood Café on the Upper West to The Butcher’s Daughter on the Lower East, there’s exclusively cruelty-free fare to be sampled at virtually every subway stop. Despite seemingly limitless options, my latest favorite train destination takes me straight to TriBeCa. The southbound blue line transports me from my Chelsea apartment to Suite ThreeOhSix, the newest kind dining find on the island. And it’s nuanced, too!
Begun by 24-year-old Chef Daphne Cheng, this recently launched supperclub and academy is tucked away on Franklin Street, hidden in the middle of the block and bearing little indication that it’s there. (Perhaps that’s in part why Underground Eats took such a shining.)
This private loft—which for Saturday dinners seats 16—offers an alternative to your typical compassionate cuisine. Not to knock the meatless meals I’ve elsewhere had the pleasure of consuming, but S3O6 changes the game. And here’s why.
In addition to its under-the-radar space, Suite ThreeOhSix offers a surprising menu every time. Guests won’t know until they arrive what they’re poised to enjoy. They know in advance for how many courses they’re signed up (and the accompanying cost), but what comprises said courses remains a mystery. Ticketholders take a risk, but can rest assured they won’t discover any animal products. What’s more, they’re equally unlikely to uncover tofu and mock meats in Cheng’s dishes. She prefers instead to work with whole rather than processed foods to create her healthy-meets-haute masterpieces.
And masterpieces they are. Accuse me of hyperbole, but no one’s stopping you from seeing—and tasting—for yourself! Cheng’s inventive imagination makes for an impressive spread, unique ideas visualized in real life. And, with this willingness to push the edible envelope, she makes comrades out of otherwise seemingly disparate ingredients, inviting the uninitiated to try foreign combinations of flavors that I’ve never known to disappoint. (And I crash her weekly dinners fairly regularly.)
So, let’s see. So far we’ve got…spankin’ new spot (which, by the way, is très chic). Check. 100% vegan vittles. Check. Intimate atmosphere, lending S3O6 an exclusive (yet still very inviting) air. Check. A focus on fresh, seasonal, organic (and local when possible) ingredients and few if any denatured ingredients. Check. And a visionary chef—with solid credentials, given she not only graduated from the Natural Gourmet Institute, but also started her own catering company at 21—in the kitchen. Check.
So, what else? Well, Cheng never serves the same menu more than once, so it’s always a transient experience not to be repeated. This also means that, if you’ve got the, ahem, means you can reserve a seat Saturday after Saturday and never get bored. And, of course, akin to the food constantly changing, so too do your tablemates. Though this communal scenario may not be to everyone’s taste (believe me, I am ordinarily reluctant to share a meal with 15 perfect strangers), it’s perpetually proven a pleasant experience. Who knows, the guy or gal next to you could be your future spouse…or boss…or plant-based bingeing buddy.
Speaking of forming relationships, the elegant setting—defined by high ceilings, classic columns and full view of a bustling kitchen—is an ideal date location. Unlike every other restaurant in NYC, S3O6 is nearly guaranteed to be a first for that special someone.
So, why wait? Secure a reservation today. Bonus? Once Cheng opens her own restaurant—an endeavor currently in the works***—you can brag to your foodie friends that you knew her and her food when…
* Both of these restaurants have catered to my vegan needs and the latter even boasts a vegan bartender. Heck, maybe the two of you can toast to non-vegan spots granting plant-based wishes.
** For vegan pizza in NYC, run-don’t-walk to Palà or Eat Drink Wild. Two Boots also makes magic happen when you’re craving crust without the pus. J Heading to Long Island? Stop by 3 Brothers Pizza Café in Farmingdale, which boasts an extensive vegan menu—thanks to Jay Astafa—including, no doubt, slices and pies.
*** Interested in learning more about backing this vegan venture? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell ’em Nell sent you.
Photographs compliments of the chef.
April showers brought more than May flowers this season in NYC. Indeed, last month brought remarkable vegan fine dining to Manhattan’s Lower East Side, two nights that this month attendees still can’t stop talking—and writing—about.
The Old Bowery Station, on April 25 and April 26, played host to 20-year-old plant-based chef Jay Astafa’s restaurant concept, Jay Kitchen. The transient but transformative pop-up wowed crowds of roughly 80 – 90 people each evening, which translated to about 1,360 plates total, as the sit-down dinner consisted of eight carefully curated courses.
Photo by Hulya Provenzano
The menu featured several palate pleasing dishes, but perhaps most memorable, at least to my mind, were the nut cheeses. From a cashew chévre crostini topped with ramps to a homemade cheese plate (featuring aged cashew cheese and brie with strawberry-rhubarb compote, orange infused bee-free honey and rosemary-almond crackers), there was much to indulge in, not to mention rave about on Instagram.
Beyond blowing folks’ minds with rich and creamy cruelty-free cheese, kitsch also made a cameo, in the form of caramel popcorn treated to liquid nitrogen. Entitled dragon’s breath, the salty-but-mostly-sweet morsels titillated the tongue and made for some entertaining exhales.
“This menu was inspired by fun,” Astafa told me. “I wanted to do something fun.”
Photo by Erin “Red” Grayson
Born, raised and based in Long Island, Astafa said farewell to flesh six years ago, at age 14. He explains, “After watching a PETA video, I made the connection that meat comes from animals. I couldn’t eat meat anymore after that.” Following this realization, he had another, maybe more profound, awakening: “I remember, it was Halloween. I was trick-or-treating at that time and eating candy with milk in it. Every time I consumed dairy, as well as eggs, I felt guilty. So I became vegan.”
Astafa grew up in a foodie household, however, as his family owned and operated an Italian restaurant, called Three Brothers Pizza Café. Instead of being discouraged by their conventional cuisine, four years ago he asked if he might supplement the menu a bit. As the cliché saying goes, the rest is history.
Astafa continues to craft compassionate meals at the casual suburban spot, but has in the past year developed a desire (in addition to a business plan) to open a gourmet establishment in New York City proper. Presently studying restaurant management at The International Culinary Center (formerly The French Culinary Institute), Astafa has high hopes of garnering savvy investors’ support and competing with some of NYC’s finest, from Candle 79 to Blossom, Pure Food and Wine to Dirt Candy.
I recently sat down with Astafa to discuss this achievable dream, one for which many a local conscientious consumer is waiting anxiously to come true. We also talked about his trajectory, techniques and a whole lot more.
When did you realize you aspired to be a chef?
As soon as I became vegan. It opened a whole culinary world for me. I discovered so many different ingredients. I would watch Food Network all the time, to teach myself how to cook. I even had a food blog when I was 15. If I weren’t vegan, I don’t think I would be a chef. I was aspiring to be an actor, actually.
When did your diet and lifestyle shift infiltrate the family restaurant menu?
In 2009. By then I had been teaching myself how to cook vegan for about a year-and-a-half. To my dismay, there weren’t any vegan dining options on Long Island. Then I discovered Daiya. I was like, Why not just add vegan cheese to the pizzas? I created a modest vegan menu, and at first traffic was slow. No one knew about us, because we didn’t advertise. I was so happy when even just a few people each day ordered from my menu. A few months later, I created a full vegan menu, and it was written about in The New York Times. That’s how it started. It was all word of mouth.
From how far do people travel to dine at Three Brothers?
It’s not just Long Island. It’s Manhattan, it’s Brooklyn, it’s all over. Three Brothers is definitely a destination restaurant.
Are there non-vegan skeptics that try the vegan dishes?
We get people who aren’t vegan who order vegan food and are so surprised. Now, I want to open a restaurant that’s entirely vegan!
Tell me more about that.
I want to open Jay Kitchen, a vegan fine dining restaurant. I want to do something that hasn’t been done in New York City yet. NYC’s foodie scene focuses so much on meat. That’s the trend. I think meat is passé. It’s time for something new. I want to show people that you can enjoy innovative food that doesn’t involve harming animals. That’s my mission.
Which was presented at your pop-up. How did that materialize?
Originally, I had hoped to open my own brick-and-mortar restaurant by early 2013, but my concept changed, evolving for the better. In the meantime, I was looking for a fun way to share what I was working on. So, I decided to do a pop-up. Spring is my favorite time of year; there are so many awesome vegetables in season, which I saw as the centerpiece of my menu. Most people think vegetables are side dishes, but they can easily take center stage. I also wanted to emphasize foods people don’t typically think can be vegan, like cheese.
Oh, for sure. From where did you draw inspiration?
For a couple of the cheeses, like the Brie, I was inspired by Miyoko Schinner’s Artisan Vegan Cheese. She’s created recipes for so many different kinds of plant-based cheeses. It’s one of my favorite cookbooks. Spring was also an inspiration, as mentioned. Another inspiration was fun. I wanted guests to have a fun gourmet dining experience. Lastly, and tied to fun, but also innovation, I incorporated modern molecular gastronomy techniques, something you don’t often encounter in NYC’s vegan scene.
Can you speak to a couple of these techniques? I know there was the liquid nitrogen caramel popcorn…
There was a technique for the caviar called spherification. The soup had a foam made from chive oil. I also used a lot of neat equipment, such as a PolyScience Smoking Gun. It’s a really cool tool—you can cold smoke anything! I used it on the cauliflower. For dessert we used caramel powder, made from tapioca maltodextrin. The tapioca absorbs the fat, and turns the caramel into powder. When you eat the caramel powder, it melts into caramel. This was dusted on top of the chocolate tart.
Yum! What was a fan favorite across the board?
Guests really loved the ravioli. People can get vegan ravioli in NYC, but not like you find in Italian restaurants like, for instance, at Babbo. Mine was inspired by Mario Batali. I wanted to make a vegan version. I make my own cashew cream butter and my own cashew Parmesan. The pasta is homemade, too. Instead of eggs, I use silken tofu. That’s an excellent egg replacement for pasta. Eggs make the pasta soft, and silken tofu provides the same effect.
I remember it melted in my mouth. So dope. What did guests think of the cheese plate?
People loved the cheese plate. There was a woman there, not a vegan, who is a big Brie lover. She raved, This tastes just like Brie! That was a rewarding compliment. People imagine vegans can’t eat cheese, but that’s not true: there’s a whole world of plant-based cheeses out there.
Vegan cheese is having a major moment right now.
Six years ago, there weren’t any vegan cheeses that tasted good. Now, so many are coming out, including some that melt. It’s really changing our world. There’s no longer an excuse not to be vegan. And it’s definitely growing more popular. When I first became vegan, many people didn’t know what it was. Now, everyone recognizes the term.
Absolutely. Who in the vegan community do you look up to?
Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Their book, Veganomicon, was one of the first books I bought when I became vegan. They inspired me to learn how to cook. Before that, I didn’t know anything about vegan cooking.
What’s so special about your edible offerings? What do you bring to the table, so-to-speak?
A lot of the stuff on my menu I can’t just go get from the store the same day. I have to pre-plan. I make a lot of ingredients from scratch, like the butter and cheese. Beyond this and the modern methods I mentioned earlier, in general I simply like creating a one-of-a-kind dining experience.
Your future looks bright. What are you most looking forward to post-pop-up?
I can’t wait ’til I actually do that every day. I was sad it was over after two nights. I’ve been dreaming of opening a vegan restaurant in NYC for so long! Right now I am working on finding a location and a backer. 2013 has been wonderful so far, and I’m excited about what’s to come.
Interested in investing or know someone else who would be down to discuss backing this talented and ambitious vegan chef? Have access to a viable venue in NYC, or have other ideas to help him make this fine dining dream a reality? Reach Jay Astafa at email@example.com.
Unless otherwise specified, photos courtesy of Rachel Durga Page.
Montreal is a fast-paced urban center alive with a steady flow of students and business people alike. Sometimes you’ll see them slipping past one another, hungry and hunting. It’s likely they would never imagine being able to eat crisp vegetables grown within city limits.
“We’re providing an answer to an enormous variety of environmental issues by supplying hyper-local, fresh vegetables to urban residents. By growing without pesticides and distributing directly to customers the same day as harvest, we provide safe, nutritious, and much more flavorful vegetables, while also eliminating the 1500-mile transport chain most grocery store produce travels through,” said Lauren Rathmell, Greenhouse Director and Founding Member.
“We further minimize our environmental impact by recirculating water, capturing rainwater, and using about half the energy of a typical greenhouse. Finally, we help cities by replacing rooftop heat islands with a transpiring plant surface and we help reduce the energy needs of the building below us year-round.”
Lufa Farms will be expanding in the Montreal community by taking on new subscribers and opening more drop-points where people can pick up their baskets. Their second greenhouse will be opening in a few months, which will more than double the amount of vegetables they produce.
Over the next couple years, Lufa Farms plans to have greenhouse sites underway in at least one other major city in North America. In the more distant future, they hope to build multiple greenhouses in cities around the world.
“Finding suitable rooftops isn’t necessarily straightforward, so this is a challenge that lies ahead as we start expanding to new cities,” said Lauren. “We’re an incredibly innovative team overall, so we’ve been able to find solutions to many of the engineering, cultivation, and other challenges we’ve encountered so far. This leaves us poised to tackle expansion and introduce this concept worldwide.”
Their ultimate goal is to make cities self-sufficient in their food production. To provide for the population of Montreal for example, it would take about 25m square feet of rooftop greenhouses, a space equivalent to about 20 shopping centers.
“Our team is motivated to make an impact and push towards expansion, and we have the creativity and drive to make it happen,” said Lauren. “It’s been no easy task to get to where we are today, but we’re all so excited about the potential and ready to give it our all.”
Lufa Farms was founded in 2009 by Mohamed Hage and the founding team of Kurt Lynn, Yahya Badran, and Lauren Rathmell. Hailing from Lebanon, Mohamed drew inspiration from his heritage in naming the company. A lufa is a type of vegetable that grows abundantly in Lebanon and vines over homes and gardens. It produces a gourd-type fruit that can be dried and used as a loofah or sponge. The spirit of benevolence embodied in this plant that cools, shades, and bears fruit without needing much in return seemed to Mohamed an apt choice for the company’s name.
Lufa Farms is now composed of a team of about 30 people, including corporate, distribution, and greenhouse workers. Their head office is located in Montreal, where they also built the world’s first commercial rooftop greenhouse.
More information is available at Lufa Farm’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RooftopFarming?fref=ts
You may access their official webpage here: https://lufa.com/
You may call them at (514) 669-3559 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
When it comes to Las Vegas, there are two men in my life: Steve and Ronald. Steve, as in Steve Wynn, is a big-deal iconic Las Vegas casino owner. Apparently he adopted a vegan diet in 2010 and now all of his restaurants (of which there are many) have a special vegan menu in addition to their main menu. I don’t know much about Mr. Wynn, I just know I would jump in front of a train for him. How could I not? Look at this!:
This beautiful creation is the vegan eggs benedict from Wynn’s restaurant Tableau. It was amazing. And the marble potatoes weren’t bad either. Additionally, the setting is lovely. I felt really fancy, which is the main reason I like going to Vegas anyway. I highly recommend Tableau, especially for brunch, but my favorite Wynn restaurant on my last trip was Sinatra. It’s Italian fine dining and, like always, there’s an impressive vegan menu:
Don’t be jealous! OK, you can be jealous.
But like I said, Wynn isn’t my only Vegas beau. There’s a handsom devil named Ronald who has always had my heart. OK, I’ve never met him. I don’t even know if there is a “Ronald,” the man, I just know Ronald’s donuts are the best vegan donuts in the country. Maybe the world!
I don’t know why more than half of the donuts at Ronald’s are vegan, I heard a rumor it was for religious reasons? But really, I do not care–as long as they keep making them! These are classic, old-school donuts; They aren’t caky like so many donuts these days. And they have giant donut twists! And bear claws! And apple fritter things! It’s basically heaven. No trip to Vegas is complete without getting a ton of donuts from Ronald’s. You will probably have to take a cab if you don’t have a car, but it’s worth it.
If you happen to find yourself in the area, you have to patronize the Wynn and Ronald establishments, or you will never be a complete person. It’s sad but true. But why wouldn’t you hit these spots? These two wonderful men are doing all they can to keep vegans plump and happy in the grownup amusement park that is Las Vegas!
You can ask anyone in the office, I’m a tad coffee obsessed. It all began when I didn’t understand coffee culture at all, so my curiosity put me to search to understand it. I talked with baristas, friends, and avid coffee drinkers about the art and different cultural implications that coffee plays in our lives. Sure it’s just a bean in a cup, though everyone has a story about it, and can relate to it somehow. Recently in our office, Inder bought an Nespresso machine which has been making our coffee area a communal spot in the morning. (Thank you!)
One of my favorite travel memories was from a trip to Hawaii, waking up from camping atop a volcanic mountain, and started our day searching for coffee. The desolate roads weren’t looking too hopeful, until we stumbled across a small coffee sign. We drove up to realize that it was a coffee plant but looked closed. As our car turned around, we nearly hit a dog who came running out of nowhere, so I got out, and was heckled down by a lovely lady in a house coat yelling “ how do you like your coffee”. I approached her, and she welcomed us into her home. We later found out that her husband and her grow their own beans and open up their home to travellers like ourselves into her home as a little coffee shop. Myself being coffee obsessed I ended up speaking with her for a good hour as she taught me on the different beans, and gave me a lengthy background life story on how she ended up in Hawaii. I’ve got to say, it was one of the best cups I’ve had!
Montreal’s bustling St. Laurent street, also known as the Main, is home to a seemingly endless choice of diners, bars, venues, shops, and cafes. But, if you’re looking for a meal that is local, organic, free of animal products as well as delicious, make a beeline for Montreal’s first vegan restaurant: Aux Vivres. It is located at 4631, between Mount Royal and Villeneuve.
The restaurant prides itself on its ability to offer meals that are as healthy as they are tasty. Only the freshest ingredients are used and priority is given to local and seasonal produce. Aux-Vivres’ dishes are celebrated for their unexpected flavour combinations.
The menu boasts an enticing array of starters, bowls, sandwiches, soul food, ‘burgers’, and dessert. Salads come with a choice of house dressing, ginger dressing or wafu dressing. For beverages, Aux Vivres offers a selection of smoothies, which are naturally sweetened with agave syrup or dates. Other options include: fresh juices, drinks, and coffees. Sauces and sides may be ordered for a modest sum.
My go-to choice is the Chana, which is composed of chickpeas, potatoes, curry, chutney, and coriander. Its hardy ingredients will sit warmly, but not heavily, in one’s stomach. With that said, this wrap is especially satisfying to eat during Montreal’s chillier days.
Warm up with Aux Vivres’ vegan take on hot chocolate, another great choice for winter. This beverage is made with soy milk, which froths very easily. The result is smooth, sweet, and oh-so-satisfying.
Finally, I’d highly recommend Aux-Vivres’ Uncheesecake. A local favorite, this dessert is made with Tofutti, soy, a graham crust, and a berry mix topping. The result is much lighter and softer than regular cheesecake, it almost melts right in your mouth. A must-have!
Marie-Pierre Michaud opened Aux Vivres in 1997. In 2001, Michael Makhan became a co-owner and a few years later, went on to have full ownership of the restaurant. Michael’s brother Liam was hired in 2005. Now, with both brothers in central management roles, the restaurant has blossomed into a true partnership.
Always, but most especially since its major expansion in 2005, Aux Vivres has experienced a growing clientele base, catering to a steady stream of newcomers and regulars. Visit today!
Aux Vivres may be contacted at: 514-842-3479.
Visit their official website at: http://www.auxvivres.com/en/
Gold beets, smoked tofu, avocado, capers, cucumber dill sauce, and pumpernickel.
When I found out Horizons, a lovely vegan restaurant in my hometown of Philadelphia, was closing down, I was distraught. But my tears were quickly dried when I heard the owners would be opening a new vegan restaurant in Philly! Enter: Vedge. This upscale vegan restaurant opened in late 2011 and has since taken the world by storm. I’m pretty sure I love Vedge even more than I liked Horizons. It’s a bit more refined and it’s just more of an experience. It’s definitely pricey, but the food is amazing. The portions are small–you are supposed to order many dishes. This can add up as you’d imagine but it’s also my favorite way to dine. I love to try small bits of as many dishes as possible. Yes, I’ve been known to frequent a veggie Indian buffet now and then. But Vedge is no buffet, that’s for sure. It kind of feels like you’re at an old-school gentleman’s club (not that kind!), as it’s divided into rooms and covered in dark wooden fixtures. Actually, the time I went there for dinner, I was sitting next to two (talkative) old-school gentleman, only one of which was vegan.
That’s the other great thing about Vedge: it’s popular with non-vegans too. It’s practically mainstream. They recently launch a line of sauces with Williams-Sonoma, which is obviously big-time for a niche restaurant. And then more recently, Vedge made it to GQ’s list of “the 12 Most Outstanding Restaurants of 2013.” . If you read the review, this was clearly a hard sell. According to Vedge’s twitter, “the first words out of Alan Richman’s mouth on the phone w/ me “I fucking hate vegan restaurants, how do you do what you do?” What a sweetie-pie!
This July, Vedge is coming out with their own cookbook entitled, Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking. And look, I procured a little preview for you!
It’s complete with the recipe for Vedge’s shaved Brussels sprouts with whole-grain mustard sauce. Brussels sprouts are maybe my favorite thing ever. I’m pretty sure I could survive just on Brussels sprouts and coffee. If I can’t, I’ll miss you guys, but know I died happy.
ATTENTION TO ALL VEGANS IN MONTREAL: VSS (Vegan Secret Supper) will be moving to Montreal by the end of the month.The ever growing popularity of pop-up kitchen’s dispersed throughout cities, dinner clubs,themed potlucks and secret supper locals ( where no address is public) is redefining our eating experience. Though for vegan foodies, many of these prove to not be suited for us. Vegan Secret Supper is a dining club by chef Mérida Anderson who’s main focus is using fresh, organic,vegan ingredients proving that fancy dining can be done without the use of animal products. Keep your eye’s and ears peeled for their diners around the city. Chef Merida’s first stop will be at DEPANNEUR LE PICKUP January 28th , make your reservation quick as spaced are limited.
Kris Carr, New York Times best-selling author, wellness activist and cancer thriver recently released her new book “Crazy Sexy Kitchen”. Her inspiring story of regaining her life after being diagnosed with a rare, incurable stage 4 cancer is worth every page.
Here is how she was able to change her lifestyle.
How did your wake-up call encourage you to make a lifestyle change?
It taught me how to listen to my brilliant inner guide, brought me back to nature (my church), the garden and kitchen (my pharmacies), and connected me more deeply with the people and animals who set my heart ablaze. I learned that a nutrient dense, plant-passionate diet rules, the Standard American Diet destroys (everything), stress sucks (all life-force), exercise is non-negotiable (great for your head, heart, cells and ass-ets), joy is utterly contagious, and having fun must be taken very seriously.
What I learned transformed my life forever – now it can transform yours. My journey has ignited a global wellness revolution that’s resonated with thousands of health, spiritual wealth and happiness seekers. CanSer babes and “Prevention is HOT” cheerleaders alike have flocked to my books and lectures to learn how to look and feel better, lose weight, reduce stress and suffering, have more energy and nourish their spirits – even Oprah got excited about the Crazy Sexy revolution.
How does Crazy Sexy Kitchen set itself apart from other recipe books?
Crazy Sexy Kitchen gives you the education, recipes and know-how needed to adopt a joyful and vibrant Crazy Sexy Diet and Lifestyle. This jaw dropping-ly delicious veggie manifesto for gourmands and novices alike is filled with inspiration, education, and cooking tips—plus more than 150 nourishing, nosh-worthy recipes. Whether you’re a newbie cook or a fancy cheffy, a vegan or an omnivore, a jet-setter or a hot mama, this book will change your life.
This book is a great read for everyone who’s thinking about changing their lifestyle & eating patterns. The hardest part is starting, but once you give yourself the push, you’ll never look back! Empowerment is the best satisfaction. Regain yourself & your life. Take charge, feel good, be beautiful inside & out!
Happy Monday everyone : )
If you want to read more about Kriss Carr click HERE
If you want to buy Crazy Sexy Kitchen click HERE
Brunch is a staple for many, and in Montreal, you’ll get people lined up for hours on a Sunday afternoon waiting to have their favorite dish. Eating and chatting with friends on a Sunday afternoon is a nice way of recapping the week and a good way of starting the new week fresh, rested & motivated. I take brunch pretty seriously and started a little brunch club with my friends. Every week, we try a new spot. I often look forward to my Sunday morning text with a location & time where to meet. Unfortunately for myself, there aren’t too many places that make vegan brunch in Montreal.. and most of my friends still have a hard time wrapping their mind around me being vegan. One day.. people will understand me (I hope)! Through educating people on my values & ways of eating I hope to enlighten them with new ways of understanding nutrition.
Here is where we went today!
Café Neve located in the plateau on 151 Rachel Street. It always smells of baked goods, amazing coffee and is often fluttered with mac books during the week. When you have the chance, pass by and enjoy the food and coffee, you won’t regret it!
I just stumbled upon this photo on our tumblr feed and got excited to discuss falafel. Seriously though, who doesn’t love falafel? This recipe is from figgy & sprout’s blog. They are baked to perfection with pistachio’s & herbs & are gluten free to top it off! I’ve attempted to make it a few times but I wasn’t too successful, unfortunately. Last night, i have to say I had one of my worst falafel experiences… it was dry and crumbly! Quite upsetting! To make up for it, I had to go to my favorite spot around a few blocks over (I don’t know why i didn’t go there to begin!). It’s called the green panther located in the heart of Montreal’s hipster community in the mile end. Their traditional falafel wrap makes my mouth water. It comes with 5 falafels, cabbage, carrots, pickles, sauekraut, sprouts & tahini : the essentials!
Whether you’re crunching on your falafel sandwich or staring at the many fixies passing you by, it’s a fun place to check out , and do a little people watching at the same time : ) I’m going to attempt this recipe for our next pot luck next week! Wish me luck!
Falafel places to check out ! We want to grow our list, Leave us a comment with your favorite falafel spot : )
Maoz Vegetarian : Berkley ( Sad to say this location is now closed! They had the best falafel pizza.. somebody needs to open this place here in Montreal!)
A month has already past since our last vegan potluck. It’s crazy how fast time goes by when you’re busy. This Friday we will have our end of month vegan potluck where we eat, chat, laugh and get tired from excessive amounts of food ( there’s nothing better than leftovers in the office weeks following our potluck : ) We are already thinking of what dish we will be bringing this week. Here’s Jackie’s suggestion : ” BEAN THING ” as she calls it picked straight from her garden.
1. Lightly blanche the fresh beans for about 2 minutes.
2. In the meantime skin and seed your fresh tomatoes and cook with a bit of olive oil and garlic
3. Toss the beans in with the tomatoes and cook for 5-10 minutes until cooked through….
4. Add some basil and BOOM! Its done, It’s really simple! – Best, Jackie
Have a lovely week everyone!