Friday, July 30, 2010

New Blog - The Serendipitous Vegan

Sadly, this will be our last posting on this blog. We have been encountering some posting difficulties and have decided to start a fresh new blog. Hope to see you there!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Vegan Wedding Cake Tasting and Secret Suppers

This week we went for wedding cake tasting through the Sweet Tooth Cakery here in Vancouver. This was very exciting for me, obviously because it is wedding cake, but also because it is gluten free, dairy free and soy free... and it tastes amazing!! We tried the chocolate cake (you can also have carrot, lemon, ginger spice, coconut, etc) with chocolate ganache (which was made with coconut milk) and raspberry and cherry fillings. We also tried buttercream icing (made out of palm oil and organic sugar). There was also vegan fondant available for a finish. The Sweet Tooth Cakery also makes cakes for other special occasions like birthdays, etc., and you can also order other goodies like cookies, quick breads and biscotti.

In one of my VegNews magazines they discussed the concept of Secret Suppers. Apparently these are popping up all over the world (vegan and non-vegan). Secret Suppers are an awesome way to eat amazing food for a reasonable price, get to know the chef, but also not be in a super crowded restaurant environment where they are mass producing the same dishes over and over. The dishes are often seasonal and the chef caters for only a few people. I discovered this vegan secret supper website and the menues look fantastic. We haven't tried it out yet, but it's definitely on the to do list.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Delicious Dragon Bowl and The Thrive Diet

Things get pretty exciting around here when new cookbooks arrive in the mail. I recently received Ripe From Around Here, and couldn't wait to scour over Jae Steele's new recipes. She totally outdid herself in her new book. I absolutely love it! It blends local ingredients with tidbits of nutritional information. I really like that she details how certain items benefit the body systems, such as cloves, cardamom, and dandelion root. We tried the Dragon Bowl and swooned. The flavors and textures were a party in my mouth - crunchy cabbage, chewy rice and tangy tahini sauce.

My other new favorite book is The Thrive Diet by Brendan Brazier. We all know about factory farming and the benefits of veggies, etc. It was a nice change to read about veganism in a new light for me: athletics. One thing I learned from this book was that when you are eating whole foods, your body will require less food because it is being nourished more efficiently. The body has to break down that white bread (which has pretty much no nutritional value to it), whereas with whole spelt or fruits and veggies, the energy and goodness is available to your body right away. That frees up energy for repairing tissues and dealing with other things besides breaking down food all night.

The other really enlightening thing I learned from the Thrive Diet was that Brendan focused mainly on recovery time during his marathon training. He wanted to maxamize his recovery time so that he could train more frequently. This was achieved through a whole foods diet - lots of veggies, fruit, nuts and legumes. There are some recipes in his book that are quite delicious and very satisfying. Oh, and he's local!! Such an awesome book.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

2 Bite Brownies

As an avid reader of VegNews, I understand that the best way to convert people to veganism (or enlighten them with delicious food) is to make vegan brownies (or basically anything with chocolate in it). I tried out this recipe on two occasions: a birthday party and a work get together. These brownies generally went over well. One of my co-workers had about 5 of them and said they were really good. Another one of my co-workers said that she "doesn't trust vegans." Oh well! You win some, you lose some.

This recipe is from the Have Cake Will Travel Blog. I used regular semi-sweet chocolate chips in the recipe as they didn't have any vegan butterscotch or white chips where I shopped. They still tasted delicious. I also used a mini-muffin tin and put the batter in a plastic bag with a hole in it for controlled distribution. That's right, controlled distribution.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days

We just watched this documentary at It is pretty enlightening and inspiring!

Basically there were a bunch of subjects with diabetes who attended a retreat in Arizona for 30 days and ate completely raw and vegan (no fruit). The results are actually quite amazing. Most of them were off of their medications and insulin within the first week (or earlier). One of the participants made a good point about the length of time and inconvenience of preparing raw food - just think about the length of time and inconvenience it would be if you ended up in the hospital for a week!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vegan in Vancouver

As some of you may know, we made a life decision to move back to Vancouver at the beginning of May. After being in Victoria for 8 months, we realized that Vancouver was truly our home and we missed it!! Here are some images of our new 'hood.

So far we have run into some pretty awesome stuff here. Gorilla Food on Richards and West Hastings has opened a really funky, jungle-like restaurant with amazing raw food options. We are obsessed and addicted to their choco-banana smoothies with cacao powder, dates and coconut oil. Another excellent discovery has been Vega - a protein powder with a whackload of vitamins and minerals and many other very beneficial elements. We have been having a smoothie every day with it. This weekend we are heading to the Eat! Vancouver conference this weekend to browse all the goodies. There is also a presentation at Gorilla Food next Sunday regarding raw food and a brunch by donation. It's good to be back!!

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

A vegan lasagna recipe without tofu is pretty much almost impossible to find. Here is a lasagna recipe that uses pine nuts instead of 'ricotta' cheese.

Pine Nut Ricotta

Soak 1 cup of pine nuts and 1 cup of cashews for at least 1 hour. You could use 100% pine nuts but they tend to be a bit expensive. Dump them in the food processor along with 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, a dash of salt, and rosemary, basil, oregano and 2 tbsp lemon juice. Process until it looks like a ricotta-y texture.


Cook your lasagna noodles. We used kamut, which tends to stay together nicely. You may also want to roast your veggies at this point. Feel free to use different combinations for different flavors. We used:

- zucchini
- eggplant
- garlic
- red pepper
- red onion

Once all of the prep is done, layer your sauce in the lasagna pan of your choice, then a layer of veggies, layer of noodles, layer of nut mixture, (we put a layer of spinach in as well for good measure), and so on and so forth. Sprinkle the top with nutritional yeast or daiya cheese and bake 25 to 30 minutes. This lasagna tends to taste better on the second day, after the flavors have melded together.

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