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VeganMofo: Halifax

8 Oct

town clock

Since becoming vegan, one of the most common things that I find that people comment is that it must be very hard to eat out.  But the truth is, it isn’t really.  At least not where I live.  I thought it would be fun to list my favourite eating spots here in Halifax for veganmofo.

Heartwood Bakery & Cafe
6250 Quinpool Road
Website

This is probably my favourite place to eat out ever. The Heartwood’s an almost entirely vegan restaurant and not only is it delicious but it’s all totally great for you! Even the desserts! They don’t use any refined oils or sweetners and try to use mostly organic and local ingredients. My favourite dishes include their Cajun Tofu dish and for dessert, a slice of Coconut-Banana-Cashew pie, yum.

Dio Mio Gelato International Cafe
5670 Spring Garden Road

There are now two Dio Mios in the HRM, one on each side of the harbour! I love this place for their creamy dairy free sorbettos (mmm, coconut) and for my favourite sandwich in the world, a Roasted Tofu Tahni wrap (perfect baked tofu with an amazing tahini sauce). It’s the perfect lunch for when I’m on the go.

The Wooden Monkey
1685 Argyle Street
Website

Rumour has it when the Rolling Stones were here a couple years ago, they stopped in at the Wooden Monkey and Ronnie Wood fell in love with their Blueberry Pie. It’s understandable of course as I’m pretty sure it’s the best blueberry pie in the city.  Maybe even the country.  I mean we’re Nova Scotians so we know our blueberries. You may remember me talking about on here before, in March for my mother’s birthday. They also make pretty good entrees too, like their Seitan Sandwich and Rice Bowl.

Halifax Farmer’s Market
1496 Lower Water Street (Keith’s Brewery Market)
Saturday Mornings 7am to 1pm
Website

Not for the claustophobic, the Halifax Farmer’s market held in the historic Keith’s Brewery Market, is a mecca for fresh produce, homemade goods and lots of stuff to please us vegans. I love the market, I don’t always get down there saturday mornings though because I’m usually working. But when I do go, I stock up on whole grain buns, date squares and other healthy baked goods from Big Life; tofu and other soy products from Acadiana; tea from the Tea Brewery and of course an array of organic and local produce. The Brewery is kind of maze like, ha ha, so it can be a bit tricky to maneauver around, I think I end up discovering something new everytime I’m down there.

This is just a few of the places a vegan can eat around this city, there are lots that I have yet to try but have heard great things about. Maybe I can slowly build a master guide to Halifax on this blog, ha ha.  If you’re ever happen to find yourself in Halifax (because you know, it’s on the top of everyone’s travel list), look me up and I’ll buy you to a sorbetto.

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Dio Mio International Cafe

25 Feb

I don’t eat out a lot.  Even by vegan standards I don’t eat out a lot.  Every time I eat out, I feel that it was an opportunity to cook lost.  Yeah, I’m pathetic like that.

But today after spending the afternoon at the library studying and working on papers, I simply did not feel like going all the way home and cook something.  Weird, I know.  Luckily, I live in Halifax and we have quite the selection of vegan offerings (well, it’s no Portland but it’s not too bad).  One place I go from time to time is Dio Mio Gelato International Cafe on Spring Garden Road (it’s kind of hidden-off of Spring Garden go down Brenton Street and there’s the entrance).  This is a cafe that has a great variety of delicious vegan and vegetarian food-veggie burgers, samosas, paninis, soy shakes and a HUGE case of vegan sorbetto (Chocolate…pomegranate…and other flavours I can’t recall).  Now, I’ve never actually tried the gelato before but I’ve heard great things about it.  So today I grabbed the Indonesian Burger with Peanut Sauce and Banana Maple Flax Cookie to go, brought it home, plated it and gave them a photo shoot (that’s probably another reason I don’t eat out much, restaurants never seem to offer the best lighting for pictures).

Indonesian Burger with Peanut Sauce

This burger was outstanding. It had a great, firm texture with a nice, though subtle, heat. The burger was accompanied with lettuce, sprouts, tomato and slathered with a wonderful peanut sauce. I’ve had their other two burgers before (Sun-dried Tomato and Hazlenut with Mango Chutney) and I think this one is my favourite. I’d definitely get it again.

Banana-Maple-Flax Cookie

Now the cookie…although it was a very sizeable cookie, it was disappointing. It was a very cakey cookie (I don’t really care for cookies of this texture) and didn’t have a whole lot of flavour. But kudos to Dio Mio for offering vegan desserts, I still have promising hope for the sorbetto which I’ll be trying once the warm weather hits.

Dio Mio is one of my favourite places to eat in Halifax so if you’re ever in the city, pay them a visit! And let me know how the sorbetto is!

Update:  I returned to Dio Mio later this week and tried their Tofu with Tahini Sauce Wrap and it was delicious!  It’s been on my mind ever since, definitely a new eating-out staple.

Fried Rice and Vegan Shopping in Halifax

4 Aug

Yesterday, my copy of Don’t Eat off the Sidewalk arrived in the mail. All of the recipes sound delicious and I needed something to make for lunch at work today. So I made the Fried Rice and it did not disappoint, it made a wonderful meal and it was so simple to prepare.

I’ve been vegan for about a year and a half now and one of the areas where I struggled to veganize are products in the make-up department.  They just seemed to be impossible to locate in my city. Until, that is, yesterday.  ATTN:  Vegans of Halifax.  On a recent shopping excursion I was able to find two (that’s right, TWO) stores that were carrying Beauty Without Cruelty Cosmetics. Biscuit (if you haven’t been in lately, go! They’ve recently renovated and it’s huge now-they even have a tea section! And an even bigger selection of the awesome clothing) on Argyle St. was carrying BWC foundations ($12) and nail polish ($9). They were on clearance though with no plans to restock, however the staff said they were looking at possible plans to carry an Australian vegan, organic line in the future. (anyone know what brand that would be?) Pete’s Frootique on Dresden Row now have an area dedicated to healthier lines of cosmetics and they were carrying BWC mascara (much to my delight), liquid eyeliner (again, this made me very happy) and nail polish.

Anddd on the first day I wore my new mascara, a woman at work told me that she wished she had my eyelashes. Cruelty-free and compliment-inducing, sweet.

Testing and the Heartwood Bakery

21 Jun

 Alright, first up is another Vegan Yum Yum test dish, Pineapple Baked Tofu with a Coconut Reduction sauce.  This was so good, possibly my fave dish so far (though it’s hard to choose!) and oh. my. god. the sauce!  I may be in love with it.

 Yesterday, I went to one of my favourite restaurants here in Halifax, the Heartwood Bakery on Quinpool Road.  The food here is not only delicious, it is also very healthy-even the desserts!  Not only does it mainly feature vegan dishes but also offers a lot for people with food allergies/intolerances. I had a sesame kamut pasta dish that was realllly good but sadly I did not get a picture of it.  But I did get a picture of dessert, a Chocolate Cashew “Cheese”cake, which was heavenly.  The picture’s not the greatest, I need to work on my picture taking skills in public.

Saturday Market Stirfry

2 Jun

This morning, taking advantage of the beautiful summer-type weather I went to the Farmer’s Market.  I love the Farmer’s Market, I don’t go there nearly as much as I want to.  Not to mention that the Halifax Farmer’s Market (not that I’ve been to many other city’s farmer’s markets) is a total haven for vegans.  Tofu, fake cheeses, dips, muffins, and fudge from Acadiana Soy Products.  Seitan, bread, buns, cookies and a variety of other delicious and healthy baked goods at Big Life.  And of course, lots and lots of wonderful, local produce.

One of my purchases of the morning was organic swiss chard.  It was so pretty and colourful, I couldn’t resist it.  Tonight for supper I made with it a simple stir fry.  What to go with such a pretty vegetable?  Tofu hearts!  Sometimes, I feel the need to make my marinated tofu adorable so I cut it into little hearts.