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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.

VeganMofo: Survey Says

7 Oct

snore

I feel ya, Benji. Yawwwwn. It’s just one of those days.

1. Name a song that involves food in some way.

Soup is Good Food-Dead Kennedys

2. What criteria do you use when choosing a new cookbook to buy?

I usually look for reviews of the recipes, be it on amazon, the ppk or I just google it. I’m verrrry particular when it comes to buying a new book, I want to make sure I get my money’s worth!

3. What did you eat today?

Ezekiel Toast with almond butter and a sliced banana. Glass of Soymilk.
Vegetable, Tofu Rice Bowl
Roasted vegetable pizza from a local place.

4. Name a vegan food that you know exists but you have never tried.

I’ve never tried Tofutti Sour Cream.

5. The Food Network just called and needs you to start your new show tomorrow. What will the title of the show be?

Um…god I suck at thinking of stuff like this. It would probably be pretty lame and boring, like ‘The Martha Stewart Show’.

6. Favorite hot sauce or other spicy condiment?

I…don’t…know? Does Dijon Mustard count? That’s kind of spicy…

7. How old were you when you became vegetarian/vegan?
15-Vegetarian
17-Vegan

8. Favorite vegan cheeze?

Scheese. But I’ve only had it once.

9. Cutest baby animal?

Panda. No! Red panda! No! Can we come back to this?

10. Favorite type of jam/jelly/marmalade/preserves?

Strawberry-Rhubarb.

11. Do you take any vitamins/supplements?

Omega 3 DHA every so often.

12. What food/dish most embodies the Fall season?

Pumpkins for sure.

13. What food would you have a hard time living without?

Peanut butter.

14. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?

Tea. Green Tea.

15. It’s 10PM and you’re starving. What do you eat?

I don’t like eating late so it would be something light like fruit.

16. If you have an animal companion, what is his/her favorite food?

It’s not vegan!

17. Worst injury you’ve gotten in the kitchen?

I got a pretty nasty burn off of steam once. Yes, steam. That sounds so lame and un-badass, I feel like making one up just for kitchen cred.

18. When you have a food-related question, who do you call?

The PPK. Or Mom of course.

19. Summer is ending- What food will you miss most?

Strawberries that taste good.

20. What snacks do you keep in your purse/backpack/desk at work?

Larabars.

21. Favorite soup to make on a rainy day?

Tomato.

22. What’s your favorite combination of fresh vegetable and/or fruit juices?

Kale, orange, banana.

23. Favorite brand of root beer?

I don’t really like pop, so I don’t have one.

24. Make up your own question! What’s something that you’ve always meant to try and cook or bake but for some reason haven’t yet?

There are quite a lot! A vegan cheesecake comes to mind. I’m not sure why because I’ve always loved cheesecake, perhaps I’ll make one before mofo’s over.

VeganMofo: Plans for the Week

6 Oct

Cashew Ginger Tofu

Today was a busy day, class from 9 to 4, studying in the library and writing a mid-term in between and when I got home I realized I had nothing planned for dinner and was pretty low on groceries.  Just as I going to fix myself a bowl of cereal, I thought that maybe I should take a look in the fridge before I give up on a substantial supper.  I was able to scrape up a pretty good dinner in fact, roasted vegetables (squash, sweet potatoes, carrots and mushrooms), quinoa and leftover marinated baked tofu from last night.  Definitely better than a bowl of cereal.

What kind of meals do you prepare when you’re short on time?  The above photo isn’t a photo of todays supper, it’s just a typical meal I eat while I’m in school, some sort of baked tofu, a grain and steamed vegetables.  Do any of you plan your meals?  I’ve noticed that a lot of you mofo-ers post your weekly meal plans so this week I’m going to share mine.  I usually just choose a bunch of recipes, write down the ingredients I need, then once I get to the grocery store decide which recipes I’m in the mood for that week.

This week, I’m craving sweet potatoes, soups and other down-home comforting foods.  It’s going to be a busy week so I’m planning on sustaining myself with leftovers of these two recipes and the staple, go-to recipes (like baked tofu and the like).

  • Roasted Sweet Potato Soup and Curried Apples (Veganized of course)
  • Southern Bowl: Chipotle Black-eyed Peas with Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Collard Greens (Can you believe I’ve never had collard greens?) from Get it Ripe.

And this weekend is a long weekend (four days off for me!) as it’s Thanksgiving up here so they will be lots of food to make but I’m going to talk about that in my special Thanksgiving post this weekend.

Oh!  And notice my super awesome new banner?  My sister, Alyssa made it just for me!  Thanks, ‘lyss, you rock.  ❤

Vegan Mofo: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

5 Oct

Or why Kittee rocks.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

Do yourself a favour and order Papa Tofu now if you haven’t done so already, k? Last night I made Kittee’s Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies after a long day of work and they were nothing short of unbelievably amazing. Chocolate-y cake-y cookies filled with a smooth peanut butter filling, these kicked major ass out of those store bought, cellaphane wrapped cakes.

Just take a look at this inside shot. Hell yeah!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoppie Pies

This is the stuff vegan sweets are made of people!

VeganMofo: A Seasonable Supper

3 Oct

When I got off of work this afternoon, I realized that fall really is upon us.  It was a beautiful clear day with a wonderful crisp breeze and it left me craving some good fall food.  Fall is my favourite time of year for produce, apples, kale, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and of course winter squash. 

Stuffed Squash

Quinoa Stuffed Squash from baking sheet.

1 acorn or carnival squash
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup dried sour cherries [I used raisins]

Preheat oven to 350F.
Cut squash in half and place face down in a oven proof baking dish. Add a bit of water to prevent it from sticking. Bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine quinoa and 1/2 cup water in a small sauce pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.
Stir in maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and dried cherries. Set aside until the squash is ready.
Remove squash from the oven and turn cut side up. Divide quinoa mixture evenly between the squash. Cover the squash tightly with foil and return to the oven and bake for 20 more minutes, until squash is tender and ready to eat!

For supper, I whipped up this simple (almost ridiculously so) recipe, an acorn squash stuffed with a slightly sweet quinoa filling.  Delicious and nourishing.  Now that we’re heading into the cooler months, I have plans for a lot more fall-inspired recipes, soup, casseroles, pies…you know the hearty and homey stuff.

Well it’s the weekend!  I’ll be spending it working and studying for mid-terms, it will be a blast I’m sure.  I’m not sure if I’ll have time to blog…I think the guidelines for VeganMofo is to blog every weekday anyway…but we’ll see, you might hear from by me Sunday!

VeganMofo: It Starts

1 Oct

It’s here!  It’s here!  (Remember The Simpsons episode when Homer is ridiculously excited when Frank Grimes arrives for dinner?  This is me right now.)

As I mentioned in my last post, I am participating in this year’s VeganMofo, a month-long celebration of vegan food. There are tons of vegan bloggers writing this year, you can check them all out here at the VeganMofo RSS Feed. I have a bunch of posts lined up, vegan cookbook reviews, restaurant reviews, general musings on vegan food…that I’m all really excited about.  There is such a wide variety of bloggers this year but above all, we are all writing with the aim of proving to the world that vegans don’t survive off of limp salads and plain tofu.  We like to eat too, damnit!

Maybe you’re new to my blog having just discovered it from the RSS Feed so let me introduce myself (actually to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever introduced myself on here!). I’m Ashley, I’m a third year sociology major, studying in my hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia. I became vegan in May of 2006 and haven’t looked back since. Since becoming vegan, I have learned two of my present day passions 1)cooking and baking and 2) photography. I started this blog just over a year ago and I’ve aimed to write this blog reflecting this and I’ve really enjoyed sharing my experiences of a vegan lifestyle.  But the past few months I have been slacking so I’m hoping VeganMofo will kick my neglecting habits.

And since I hate posting sans photo, I turned 20 a couple weeks ago and here’s a photo of my wonderful Chocolate and Peanut Butter ‘cheese’cake (thanks, Mom!  <3) provided by the Heartwood Bakery here in Halifax.

20!

Happy blogging everyone!