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.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

We've been watching season 1 of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution nonstop for the last few days... wow. There's no push for vegan or vegetarian eating habits, just a drive to cook with fresh food instead of prepackaged garbage. You'll be yelling at the TV a lot of the time while you watch it, but it is definitely entertaining. Sad and nauseating, but entertaining.

We'll follow this post up with a veganized version of the simple stir-fry Mr. Oliver has been teaching the town of Huntington.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Times Colonist 10k Race

We'd been training for this race since January, and the day finally arrived! Today we ran the race in a respective 55 and 56 (ish) minutes. I'm sure there are some folks out there wondering how Vegans stay alive, let alone run a 10k race. The fuel you choose to fill your body with is essential to any activity you do. In our case we chose carbs, carbs, carbs to get us through the race.

The night before the race we filled up with baked yams, a green salad (with sprouts, marinated cherry tomatoes, and a balsamic Dijon dressing), as well as whole grain brown rice and white beans. After dinner we concocted a delicious probiotic smoothie with cashew cream, water, frozen fruit, 2 bananas and cacao powder.

The morning of the race we pounded back some oats with chopped up bananas and raw almond butter. Make sure to keep hydrated - it will make you or break you. Don't chug down a bottle of water pre-race though, or it will likely resurface. Another tip we learned from the 10k clinic was to experiment with your breakfast on training days. You will soon find out which items do and do not work for you (ie- if you chose that chocolate eclair with Count Chocula cereal and chocolate milk you may see the half-digested remnants on your neighbour's lawn).

A nutritionist that spoke during the 10k clinic I attended warned us against drinking cow's milk prior to a race. He said the milk may actually start to curdle while you run.

Happy running!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Almost 100 Mile Challege Pasta Salad

Since posting about the 100 Mile Challenge a week ago we've been watching it online (follow the link two posts below). Luckily we've been inspired at a time where the local farmers markets have plenty of local produce to choose from. We took the easy way out and made a big a$$ pasta salad. No we're not having guests over, we just like to eat a lot.

We're calling it Almost 100 Mile Challenge Pasta Salad because the pasta is definitely not local. Apparently it's out of Edmonton so that's got to be better than Italy, right? The dressing also isn't local, but we'll sort out those details next time... Maybe we should call it Pasta Salad with Local Veggies, but we've got to stick to a theme... jeez enough with the criticism already people.

1x Red Peppers
1x Yellow Peppers
1x Orange Peppers
5x White Turnips
1 x Head of Watercress
1x Small red onion
1x Cucumber
Basil Leaves

Al Gore hating, climate changing, smogtacular products of doom:
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Pepper
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard

Organic Kamut Spiral Pasta

Mix everything together and clean up. You're ready to eat!

Buckwheat Banana Waffles!

Behold the Buckwheat Banana Waffles! Okay, maybe we had some issues learning how to use the waffle iron properly (not cooked enough first, and then a little burnt second)... but once we got the hang of it they (for the third and last waffle) turned out pretty well. The recipe below made 3 waffles. Double it and snack on 'em all Sunday.

1 1/2 cups of buckwheat flour
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp oil (we used melted coconut oil)
1 cup of your favourite vegan milk (rice, almond, oat, soy, etc)
1 banana
3 tbsp maple syrup

Blend the oil, milk, banana, and syrup together and set aside.

Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour 'wet' mixture into 'dry' and mix.

The method we'll use next time will be:
Lightly oil waffle iron. When up to temperature pour just over a cup of the mixed batter in and close. It took about six minutes for the steam coming from the iron to slow down considerably. At this point we opened the iron and popped out our delicious waffles. Repeat 1000 times and cover with fruit and syrup.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The 100 Mile Challenge & No Impact Man

Our eco-conscious friend Anna recommended the following documentaries for our, and now your, viewing pleasure. Thanks Anna!

Keep checking out the blog for our own 100 Mile Challenge... length: undetermined.


"Exactly what it sounds like: you challenge yourself to eat only foods grown, produced and sold within 100 miles (160 km) of your home. Anywhere from a week to a year... the length of the challenge is up to you."

Eat local. Quit F?*king up the planet... or something along those lines. The TV show, which aired on Food TV, took place in Mission, BC and is available for viewing on the website above.


"A blog by Colin Beavan about what each of us can do to end our environmental crisis, make a better place to live for ourselves and everyone else, and hopefully come up with a happier way of life along the way."

Have you seen Wall-E? Essentially, the earth is covered in garbage and the human race is forced to leave the devestated planet. Colin's documentary shows how his family had an overall positive impact on the planet... they showed what could be necessary to stop the Wall-E story from become a reality.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Vegan in Maui - Pa'ia Part 2

We have developed a bit of an addiction to coconut water. Soooo delicious and refreshing, plus it is a great source of potassium and electrolytes. We couldn't get enough of it in Maui and keep chugging it now that we're home. We're also big fans of coconut oil. I have been using it on my face since I ran out of my regular moisturizer and my skin has been really soft. I thought it would be too oily, but it soaks right in before bed.

The last stop during our Maui trip was a visit to the Flatbread Company in the small town of Pa'ia. We expected the Flatbread Company to be a small, cozy establishment. It turned out to be a very popular kid friendly restaurant with lots of room for its patrons. There is a massive wood fire pizza oven inside which was pretty cool - it gave the flatbread a delicious smoky flavour. We ordered a vegan pizza with avocado, pineapple and other goodies. De-lish! They also had wheat free spelt crusts available.

Another great addition to our diet is Spirulina. We had it in our smoothies in Kihei and bought some to take home with us. The powder form is great, and you can just dump it in your smoothie for some great minerals and vitamins. My grandparents got a huge kick out of it when we made bright green smoothies at their place. Their apprehension quickly turned to delight after tasting the banana mango tropical smoothie we blended up for them. My grandpa said that making smoothies was "fun" - we totally agree!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Vegan in Maui - Pa'ia

Do you like Whole Foods? If you like the selection, but you think the atmosphere is too capitalistic and the man is bringing you down, then you'll love Mana Foods. Walking in from the blinding sun will have your tiny pupils working overtime to dilate enough for you to see in the dimly-lit store. Soon you'll see the organic and local foods stacked beyond reach up to the ceiling. Make your way through the labyrinth of aisles into the natural vitamin and body care section and you'll be equally overwhelmed... in a good way of course. This was a perfect place to pick up picnic supplies for the Road to Hana. See for more information.

After surviving the Road to Hana we stopped in at Fresh Mint, a vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant also in Pa'ia. We walked in and were greeted by one of the Vietnamese owners. I always assume it'll be authentic when the person taking our orders speaks just enough English to get the job done. We ordered Pad Thai and a vegetable soup of some sort. The meal was amazing and cost less than $20 total. Actually, every meal so far has been less than $20. I think this has something to do with the five meals a day rather than the normal three. The less we eat at each meal, the more food we can try.

Also... vegan wedding cake. Half chocolate and half vanilla. Cake testing is fun. BTW this is the after shot of the cake. It looked a little nicer than this before we started.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Vegan in Maui - Kihei

Maui is vegan paradise. We’re currently scouting the island for possible wedding locations, and have run across some wonderful food along the way! Our first day in Kihei (Southern Maui) was very promising. We discovered a fabulous Shave Ice and Coffee stop that has tropical smoothies with add-ons such as spirulina,”fat buster” (whatever that is!), multi-vitamins, flax, and anti-oxidants – just to name a few. We’ve been going there daily for our morning fruit intake.

Thanks to Happy we paid a visit to Joy’s Place, which has a great variety of non-veg, veg, vegan and raw items. We had a delicious wrap with avocado, sprouts and hummus, as well as some raw cheesecake which was to die for.

In addition to these two great locations, there is a central natural health food store (Hawaiian Moons), a great Indian food place (Maui Masala) as well as a Thai place on South Kihei road, I think it was called Maui Thai. Hawaiian Moons has a great salad bar with all kinds of options. Here are a couple extra snapshots from our wanderings.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's Not Delivery...It's Wheat Free Vegan Pizza!

Saturday... check! Movie night... check! Wheat-free vegan pizza delivery... not so much. Maybe it’s not delivery, maybe it’s not Delissio - but it was just as delicious and just as quick. We were able to find a suitable vegan pizza crust from Planet Organic Market, which simplified the process.

The toppings were easy, including sliced tomatoes, chopped red pepper, sliced swiss chard and chopped pineapple. You can change the toppings according to your own preferences. We used pre-made pizza sauce, and drizzled home-made nutritional yeast sauce over the toppings (1/2 cup nutritional yeast, tbsp flour, 2 tbsp oil, ¾ cup water, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard. Bring to a
boil while stirring to thicken). Pop that beauty in the oven and cook according to frozen crust instructions. The result: a fast, low maintenance (but delicious) meal for the weekend, resulting in extra time for other activities (such as skiing, yes!!).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fig & Walnut Muffins

After finishing the Esquimalt 5k on the weekend, we had a craving for some healthy muffins. Here is A's home made recipe.

1 1/4 cups spelt flour
1 1/4 cups oat bran
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp ginger
dash of salt
1 cup chopped figs
1/3 cup - half maple syrup and half
black strap molasses
1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup milk with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup oil 1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prep 12 muffin cups with light coating of oil.
Whisk together flour, baking powder & soda, salt, and spices. Add the figs. Pour in maple syrup, molasses, apple sauce, milk and cider, oil and vanilla. Mix together until flour is absorbed. Fold in nuts. Pour into muffin cups and bake 25 minutes.

We like the versatility of this recipe - you can replace the figs with cranberries or bananas and the walnuts with something like chocolate chips. That's all folks, off to watch the Daily Show with Jon Stewart!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Green Soup with Sweet Potatoes

Oh man! Two months and nary a blog post to see. We apologize for our lack of blogging. We’ve been running up a storm training for the Times Colonist 10k and the Vancouver Sun Run in May. A has also returned to her favourite sport of figure skating after four years away from the ice. And how about those Olympics!? What a sense of national pride – we’ve never seen it like this before.

This is a recipe we found in the Yoga Journal magazine (February 2010 issue). We were surprised at how flavourful and delicious it was – A even ate it for lunch two days in a row, which is unheard of around here! Hope you enjoy. GO CANADA GO!

Green Soup with Sweet Potatoes

2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion
Sea salt
1 ¼ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 ½ cups water
2 to 3 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
1 bunch kale
1 bunch green chard
6 cloves garlic, peeled
3 cups vegetable broth (or 1 ½ cups veggie broth and 1 ½ cups water)
Freshly ground pepper
Fresh lemon juice

1. Heat olive oil in medium pot over med-low heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and stir frequently until the onions are soft and golden brown, 30 – 40 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, place the sweet potatoes in a large pot with 3 ½ cups water, ½ tsp salt and the sage. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, about 10 minutes.
3. Wash the kale and chard, trim away the tough stems, and chop. Add to sweet potatoes along with garlic and vegetable broth. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the onions to the soup and let cool slightly.
4. Puree the mixture in a blender, in batches, and return the pureed soup to the pot. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

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