The Vegan Project blog has moved over to our big, shiny, official website.

Check it out!



The Vegan Project

(Jen, Jessica and Bridget)

We know that foods derived from animal products (meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products) aren’t necessary to live a long and healthy life – in fact, quite the contrary. These protein sources aside, active people should take care to get enough protein in their diets. After all, when one is training, one is breaking down muscle tissue (you know this is happening when you feel the “burn” caused by the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles) and protein is necessary for the recovery and rebuilding process. Vegan athletes have to pay more attention to dietary choices and food combinations in order ensure the absorption of enough high-quality protein.

What May Be Missing

In addition to protein, vegans may be missing the following nutrients in their diet:

  • iron
  • calcium
  • vitamins B-12 and D
  • zinc

Iron is quite important for building muscle and endurance. If you aren’t going to get this from beef, you should try to eat the following on a regular basis:

  • whole grain cereals fortified with iron
  • legumes (beans, peas and peanuts)
  • dried fruit (especially raisins)
  • cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage)

In addition, you can combine these with foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits and berries.  This will aid your body in absorbing and utilizing iron.

In lieu of dairy products, load up on fortified soy products as well as leafy greens to keep bones strong with sufficient calcium.  Mustard greens, kale and chard are powerhouse foods in this regard, as well as dried figs. Sesame seeds are also a decent source of calcium, and a unique form of nut butter made from sesame, called tahini, is available in many Middle Eastern specialty stores and combines well with sweet as well as savory foods.


Rice and beans together make a complete protein – or almost any combination of grain and legumes. However, peanuts (which are actually legumes, not nuts) and soybeans provide complete proteins that are of the same quality as that derived from fish, poultry, dairy or eggs. Most tree nuts are also good sources of protein, and provide the additional benefit of healthy oils, such as omega-3 (also found in olive oil).

The Tough Ones

Vitamin B-12 is essential for metabolism and making use of the energy stored in food. Unfortunately, the only reliable source of this nutrient is in animal-based foods. Whole grains cereals and soy milk are often vitamin B-12 fortified, but one would have to consume a great deal in order to get this nutrient in sufficient amounts from these vegetable-based sources alone. Therefore, vegan athletes may need to take B-12 supplements.

The same is true of zinc, which is vital for healthy respiratory and digestive functions. Fortunately, these supplements are not expensive – so make certain you have these on hand, especially when in training.

By Sasha Britton for Gym Source.com

~The Vegan Project

These wraps were so tasty I nearly ate them before I could take the picture!  With the kale and collard leaves, these little guys are also a double whammy for your greens quota. They are filling and delicious, and easily packed side by side for sharing with pals or taking as a super healthy meal on-the-fly.

You will need:
A bunch of whole collard green leaves, the bigger the better!
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tamari
1 small organic avocado, ripe
1 small clove of garlic, minced
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
cook 1 cup of brown shortgrain rice
3 green onions, chopped
3 big kale leaves, sliced thin
1/2 tomato
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Combine all the sauce ingredients together and mash well with a fork (it looks like pond sludge, but trust me).  Add the green onions and kale to the hot cooked rice, and cover, steaming for a few minutes. When the kale is bright green, add the tomatoes, pumpkin seeds and sauce, and mix well.  The mixture should form a paste-like texture. Add another small dose of tamari if it seems more moisture is needed.
Scoop about 1/3 cup of filling onto the middle of flat, dry collard leaves, and add some sprouts.  Tuck the bottom in and fold the sides to make a nice tight little bundle of yumminess!

~The Vegan Project

Today marks the 30th day of my vegan adventure. I’m actually surprised at how quickly the time has flown.

I’ve enjoyed exploring the world of vegan cuisine. When you are vegan, you need to cook a lot of your own food and bring it with you during the day. At first I found this tedious and time consuming. But after the first week I found my head was buzzing with vegan recipes and questions. Does blended tofu offer the same stabilization and binding properties eggs? Can I make decent gravy with miso and vegetable stock? Going vegan has reawakened my love of cooking. I am very adventurous in the kitchen, and I feel like I have only begun to explore the possibilities in vegan cuisine.

I have also dropped 4 lbs. without any effort. I exercise the same amount, and I eat the same amount as usual. The only difference is I am eating a lot more fresh fruit and vegetables, and eating no animal proteins.

I told myself before I started to go vegan that if I really wanted to eat something, I could have it. For each unvegan moment I had, I made sure to do it deliberately understand why I was doing it.

Unvegan Moments:

-Two bites of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving: My mother guilt tripped me into eating dessert. Then when I realized the pie was bought from Cosco and not home baked with love, I stopped and chastised my mother for her trickery. This was total mother-induced-guilt eating.

-One bite of stuffing at Thanksgiving: My mother insisted on a taste test between her meat-filled stuffing and my vegan stuffing. I honestly prefer my vegan stuffing better. Again, mother-guilt-eating.

-One bite of steak at Joe Fortes: My partner had ordered the ribeye, one of my favourites. I made a deliberate choice to do this, as a test to see what I was missing. It was good, but not as amazing as I remember meat tasting before going vegan.

-Lobster oil at Joe Fortes: They serve lobster oil with the bread at Joe Fortes. I had this because I wanted to put another notch in my gourmet belt. Inner Gourmet:1 Inner Vegan: 0

-Milk in my coffee: I ordered a coffee and they didn’t have soy milk. So I had normal milk. I admit, this one was pure laziness. I now carry Soygo creamer in my purse.

-Miscellaneous alcohol: I’ve recently become aware that certain alcohol is produced using isinglass, gelatine, egg whites etc. in the filtering process. I haven’t avoided any type of alcohol because of this yet. Instead I give myself a mental high five if I drink from an approved producer, and a swallow of guilt if I’m drinking a potentially unvegan draft.

-Miscellaneous French fries: During the first week or so of eating vegan, I found myself out at a pub where there were no vegan options. So I opted to just have fries. After a while I found out that some restaurants cook their fries in beef tallow or hogfat. EW!

So, it’s onto the second month of what I imagine will be a lifelong lifestyle. I like being vegan. I like how it makes my body feel. And I like what I am doing for the animals. Every time I pet my dog, I think of her being butchered in China for food, I remind myself that it’s no different than slaughtering a pig. And it strengthens my resolve to be a better vegan.

*Courtesy of Jenny Duffy

~The Vegan Project

Until recently, finding vegan-friendly restaurants outside of Vancouver has been a formidable task.  The only member of The Vegan Project who lives in the suburbs, I’ve had to cross many bridges and tunnels in the hunt for quality, vegan-friendly establishments.  Imagine my delight last week when I discovered ‘Organic Connections‘ on White Rock Beach!  Finally, a solution for veg-heads in the Fraser Valley.  The food is delicious, the ocean views are unbelievable, and their tasteful emphasis on raw, vegan and gluten-free cuisine will soon make them THE stop for vegans in the ‘burbs.

Among the many creations of raw chefs Chantel Roy and Catherine Posta are different types of smoothies, a delicious vegan borscht, raw sushi, and raw chocolate cheesecake with coconut crust.

Raw Veggie Wrap

Since my discovery, I have sampled their borscht (three times!), the collard wraps with chutney, raw blueberry cheesecake, and the yummy veggie wrap (shown).  All have been flavourful and satisfying.  The atmosphere is musical, artistic and casual, and this volunteer-run cafe also offers courses on raw food prep, has couches and comfy chairs, and features what may be the best ocean view in all of White Rock. Thank you, Organic Connections, for helping bring the vegan way to the far corners of the lower mainland!

Organic Connections, located at 15622 Marine Dr. in White Rock, is open Thursday to Saturday, and can be contacted at OrganicConnectionsCafe@gmail.com.

Check out this article for more information:


~The Vegan Project

This is a standard muffin recipe that I like to play around with a lot.  I had no sugar in the house but did have two large squeeze bottles of agave from Costco (which by the way is the best deal in town for the stuff-2 x 480 ml bottles for $9!). These muffins are filled with sweet lemon flavour with bursts of tangy berries in every bite while hearty spelt flour gives them weight and packs them full of fibre.  Enjoy!


1 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups spelt flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk

1/2 cup agave nectar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup sunflower oil

1 cup of berries (i used a frozen blend of blueberries, raspberries and marionberries)

Juice and zest of 2 lemons


Preheat oven to 375 F

Mix together all dry ingredients plus the lemon zest in a large mixing bowl.  In a smaller bowl, mix together non-dairy milk, lemon juice, agave, oil and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just to blend.  Add the berries and then spoon into a lightly greased muffin tin and bake for 22-25 minutes, depending on size of muffins.

Makes 6 extra large or 10 regular sized muffins.

~The Vegan Project


Facebook Event Page

Paper Bag Popcorn!

I love popcorn.  Sadly, my popping machine mysteriously disappeared last year, and I found myself in a popcorn void, as none of the supermarket options in my ‘hood are without milk products.  Last weekend, an old pal told me about this little trick, and I can’t believe I haven’t heard of it before!  Ideally, I try to avoid using microwaves, but in a pinch, this snack is cheap and easy…and you know how much we love cheap and easy!

Using a brown paper bag, cover the bottom with one layer of popcorn seeds and fold the top down twice, pressing firmly.  Place laying down in the microwave and put on high for two minutes.  Melt a tbsp of Earth Balance, pour on top of the popcorn, add some freshly cracked salt (pepper is also yummy), seal the bag and shake it up.

Estimated cost: .32 cents per bag.

Eat that Orville!

~The Vegan Project

The Vegan Project recently had the opportunity to try Provence restaurant’s new Meatless Mardi set menu, which we learned will be featured every Tuesday at the restaurant’s two locations – Provence Marinaside at the end of Davie Street in Yaletown, and Provence Mediterranean Grill at 4473 West 10th in Point Grey.  The menu will change from week to week, depending on availability of local ingredients.

Chef and Proprietor, Alessandra Quaglia, was intrigued by the challenge of creating a healthier menu that would also be more eco-friendly after realizing the effect of emissions from animal processing plants far outweighs that of cars, in addition to noticing a growing trend among peers and customers toward meatless dining options.

“Vegetarians have been saying it for so long and I think its time we really listen. I’m actually making it my own personal challenge to cut out meat starting two days a week, working up to five days. I’ll still need my meat fix on the other two days! Meatless Mardi is our way of providing those who want to go meatless with a tasty, interesting alternative,” Alessandra said.

The menu is three vegetarian courses, which can be modified slightly for vegan folks, and costs $25 per person.  Guests can also opt for the accompanying wine flight – two ounces each for the first two courses and a one ounce dessert wine – for an additional $15.

First Course

Fennel Carpaccio with Fennel Seed and Lemon Marinated Carrots and Chickpea Crouton

First Course - Fennel Carpaccio

This course was flavourful and fresh, with the fennel, lemon, and drizzle of balsamic mingling nicely in our mouths.  We were a little upset that there wasn’t more of the amazing chickpea crouton (pictured on top), because it was perhaps the most delicious rendition of hummus we’ve ever tasted (and we’re self-proclaimed experts).

Second Course

House Made Open Ravioli with Artichokes and Tomato Pesto Coulis

Second Course - House Made Ravioli

This course was as flavourful as the first, and featured a sprinkling of vegan Daiya cheese (the vegetarian version has goat cheese).  It’s always a treat to get vegan house made pasta and this one was excellent.  We could taste the spinach flavour, which is often lost in other spinach based pastas.

Third Course

Pear Tart with Chocolate Soy Gelato

Third Course - Pear Tart

This generous dessert left our bellies full after our meal.  Alessandra managed to make a wonderful vegan pastry, which is quite a challenge for anyone, let alone someone new to vegan dessert making.  The soy gelato was equally delightful.

It’s always a treat to find new vegan dining options in Vancouver, and to see some of the finer restaurants in the city embracing the growing demand for meatless dining options.  The service was excellent and we were impressed by Alessandra’s eagerness to dive in and explore the world of vegetarian and vegan cooking.  Aside from the Meatless Mardi menu, both Provence locations offer many meatless dining options, such as their popular antipasti selections.

We’re excited to try some of the other menus they come up with in the coming Meatless Mardis, and at only $25 for three courses, there’s no excuse not to go back for more!

Thanks Alessandra and the team at Provence!

Provence Chef/Proprietor Alessandra Quaglia and The Vegan Project

~The Vegan Project

As far as the fake meat debate goes, I’m skeptical. The long list of suspicious ingredients in the super-processed wannabes makes me nervous.  So, you’re not going to find any ‘facon’ in this BLT!  It’s made with beets, which, when fried, take on a crispy/chewy balance that resembles bacon in a non-creepy fashion.

The curly fries, another superb product of the ‘Spirooli’ (the potato can be sliced if you don’t have a Spirooli), together with the BLT, make a casual and satisfying comfort meal that would rival your favourite café anyday!

Ingredients for two sandwiches:

1 large red beet

4 leaves of green leaf lettuce

4 slices of your favorite bread

1 large roma tomato, sliced

2 tbsp Vegenaise

4 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

1-2 potatoes

fresh cracked salt and pepper


Using a potato peeler, peel slices of beet the length of bacon strips and fry them in oil at medium heat with salt and pepper, turning often until slightly crispy on the outside.  In a separate small bowl, combine Veganaise, mustard and dill, and stir together.  Spread an ample amount of mustard sauce on both slices of bread (I warmed the bread first), and add the beet, lettuce and tomato.

Fry potatoes in oil for about 10-12 minutes at medium-high heat until desired crispiness is obtained.

Serve with sauce on the side for dipping, and your favorite vegan beer for that authentic comfort-food, warm belly feel.

~The Vegan Project




These stuffed peppers are beautifully colourful and have such a great blend of flavours.  The sweet corn balances out the hot and smokey cajun spices perfectly. They are pretty filling on their own, but made with smaller peppers or cut in half, could be a lovely first course at a dinner party.


1/2 cup dry red quinoa

4 large peppers, similar in stature (cut off the tops and chop up to add to the filling. Scoop out the seeds and white lining to make a little bowl.)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 crimini mushrooms, finely diced

2 scallions, chopped

1/2 cup canned corn

1 cup black beans

2 teaspoons cajun spice mix

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat your oven to 350F

In a small pot mix 1/2 cup of dry red quinoa with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, saute the onion and garlic on medium heat with the olive oil.  Add the mushrooms, pepper tops and cajun spice mix and let cook for 10 minutes or so.  When the quinoa is done, fluff it up a bit and toss it in the pan and mix well.  If your pan will fit the black beans and corn, go for it and mix it all up.  If not, put everything in a large bowl (including cilantro) and mix well.  Place the peppers in a square baking dish (this helps to keep them close together to avoid falling over) and stuff the peppers right up to the top.  If there is any mixture left over, eat it! Bake for about 30 minutes, but of course times may vary according to pepper size.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle fresh cilantro on top.  You might want to let them sit for 5 minutes as they are really hot coming out of the oven.


~The Vegan Project


This hearty open faced sandwich is perfect for brunch or even a light supper. The creamy, cheesy mushroom sauce is savoury and comforting, and is a perfect counterpoint to the bright and fresh tomatoes and smoky tempeh bacon. Putting the salt and pepper directly on the tomatoes brings out their lovely, rich flavour.


1 firm ripe organic roma tomato

1 cup sliced mushrooms

6 slices Turtle Island Foods Smokey Bacon Tempeh

Two thick slices organic Ancient Grain (whole grain) bread

1 heaving tablespoon Asano Miso

1 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery sticks (vegan butter)

Handful of Daiya cheddar shreds

1 tbsp minced garlic

A splash or two of almond milk

Salt and Pepper


Melt earth balance in a pan on high heat. Add chopped mushrooms and brown til golden.

Turn pan to medium heat and add garlic. Sweat garlic and mushrooms for 2 minutes.

Mix in miso and Daiya shreds. Add a splash of almond milk to bring the sauce together. Turn down to low heat let sauce thicken, stirring occasionally.

Toast bread in toaster.

Brown tempeh in non-stick pan.

Slice tomato and place on toast. Salt and pepper the tomato slices to taste.

Place tempeh on tomato slices.

Smother entire sandwich with the creamy mushroom sauce.


*Courtesy of Jenny Duffy

~The Vegan Project

Today I went to Karmavore, the only vegan food store close to my home. This was my second week as a vegan, and I had run out of things to eat. I ate the same batch of vegan chilli for three days.

I went searching for variety, and I was not disappointed. $206.90 later, I had enough products to stock my vegan pantry.

This is what I purchased:

The items I am most excited about are:

Tofurky Roast– I can have thanksgiving with my family and not starve!

SoyGo Soy Creamer– Now I can take non-dairy creamer with me in my purse for my coffee

Daiya Vegan Cheese– Yep I bought 5 lbs of it, but I divided it into little baggies and froze most of it so it should last quite a while.

Field Roast White Truffle pate– Um, this has white truffle in it. I could eat a pile of sawdust so long as it had truffles mixed in with it.

Sheese (blue style)– I heart cheese. ‘Nuff said.

This was a large purchase, but when you consider I can freeze a lot of my goods and spread them out by serving them with fresh, cheap vegetables and fruit, this was actually a very successful shopping trip.

The salesperson was very friendly and had a lot of good recommendations for me. I felt I was in good hands, and she was even kind enough to email me a digital copy of my receipt.

I will definitely be back to Karmavore when my supplies are running low. They are moving to a brand new, larger location in New Westminster in November. Hopefully the new location won’t mean a huge increase in prices. But even if prices do go up, my health is worth investing in, isn’t it?

*Courtesy of Jenny Duffy

~The Vegan Project

The Vegan Project’s newest contributor, Jenny Duffy, discusses the cost of being vegan…

I am Cheap

I am an accountant and I like to pinch pennies. I am the person at the table calculating the exact tip. I know precisely where every dollar of my paycheque goes. I have an excel spreadsheet which tracks my spending and calculates my excess cashflow and ending bank balance on a daily basis. In the words of Snoop Dog, I got my mind on my money and my money on my mind.

My current weekly budget for food (pet and human), toiletries, gas, and entertainment is $240. So when I began to eat vegan, I could hear my wallet shriek in terror in anticipation of the beating it was about to receive.

Fatties Eat Cheap

Our society rewards unhealthy eating with ridiculously low prices. Starving? Got some pocket shrapnel? Go to McDonald’s for their Dollar Menu. Or try Burger King’s Value Menu. Both restaurants feature bargain basement prices for the factory killing floor food.

If you are eating in a restaurant and ask for the chicken or meat to be removed from a salad or pasta, you still have to pay full price. If you go to a fast food chain, the healthier menu items are about 400% higher in price, as a salad will run you at least $4.50, while a hamburger will cost just over a dollar. Bend over healthy eaters; Ronald is gonna work you over every time you pull up to the drive thru.

Eat in, Save Your Money!

If you eat at home and make your own food, your bankroll gets somewhat of a reprieve as store-bought food made with love is always cheaper than restaurant food. Why? That Cactus Club/Earls/Moxies/Joeys is sitting on prime real estate, and those space-aged toilets and 20 foot mirrors in the nightclub-slash-bathroom don’t come cheap. More importantly, they need to pay the 15 scantily clad hostesses at the front a decent living wage.

I’ll say it again: making your own food saves money.

All Grocers Are Not The Same

Of course, it depends on where you shop. If you are a Fancy Pants McGee and you shop at Urban Fare/Choices/Generic Overpriced Yuppie Food Retailer you can bend over again, for you are getting screwed. Organic apples don’t cost $4.99 a pound. The store is located in an area with excessive rent/lease costs, so these costs are built into the prices. Yaletown apples cost more than East Vancouver apples. And chances are they were grown within the same region, possibly by the same producers.

If you opt for a small Chinese/Korean/Japanese grocery store that stocks local organic produce grown in the Fraser Valley, or you shop in Superstore’s Organic Section, then you can save a lot of money. Local organic produce is a godsend that we as Vancouverites are uniquely blessed with.

In between these two extremes lie a wide range of shops that cater to vegetarians, vegans, organics (people who eat only organic. There was no term for this so I coined one. Yep, I’m that guy.) and other counter culture food-hipsters.

In the Boardroom

Ethical consumers represent a relatively untapped niche to corporate douche bags everywhere.  The vegan food market is relatively new when compared to the mature processed non-vegan food industry. If vegan eating follows the same arc as organic eating, there is a lot of money to be made by producing vegan food.

Vegans are a captive market because we have to seek out places that stock specialty items like tempeh or Daiya cheddar replacement. Additionally, we are willing to pay a higher price for these products because there aren’t many alternatives. There is no No-Name vegan beer sausage. If we find a producer that makes a product we like, we generally stick with it because there isn’t much competition.

I have a dream

I have a dream.  I dream of a time when vegan and vegetarian foods are popular enough that they are at the same price point as crap food. $0.99 for a bag of gourmet organic vegan popcorn? I hope I live to see the day.

Until that day comes, I’ve got to do some leg work and find places close to home that stock vegan products…

*Courtesy of Jenny Duffy

~The Vegan Project

Cheater’s Kimchi

If you love kimchi, but don’t have the time to make it yourself this is a perfect shortcut recipe. Also, store bought kimchi can be somewhat expensive. It’s also a perfect quick snack or a condiment with noodles.


One head Kissel Sour Cabbage

½ cup Sriracha Sauce

½ cup rice vinegar

4 tbsp. Sesame oil


Cut cabbage in half, and then in quarters. Then slice each quarter into two inch cubes.

In small bowl mix sriracha, rice vinegar and sesame oil.

Place cabbage into a large mixing bowl and toss with sauce till cubes flake apart.

Place in a beautiful dish and serve with chopsticks!

*Courtesy of Jenny Duffy

~The Vegan Project

Roasted Squash Soup

This soup will warm up your house and your belly.  I used delicata squash here but I’m sure any kind would do.  If you use a squash with a thicker skin, you might have to scrape the insides out after roasting and leave the tough outside behind.  Delicata is super soft, though, so throw it all in!


1 zucchini

2 delicata squash

1 bunch of carrots

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

5 cloves of garlic, minced

2-3 inches of fresh ginger, minced

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1  boullion cube

Chili flakes to taste

Lots of cracked pepper

6 cups of water

To finish off once blended:

1 tablespoon of Earth Balance

10 fresh sage leaves

Pinch of ground ginger, cinnamon and sea salt

First prepare the squash, zucchini and carrots for roasting.  Slice the squash and zucchini in half and place in a roasting pan.  Roughly chop the carrots and also place in the roasting pan.  Drizzle with olive oil and a dusting of salt and bake, uncovered for about 30 minutes or so at 350F.

In the mean time, in a large pot saute the chopped onion, garlic, ginger, and spices (pepper and chili flakes too) in olive oil until onions are translucent.  Crumble in the boullion cube and add 6 cups of water.  When the roasted veggies are done, chop them up and add to the pot.  Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chopped fresh sage.  Now take out your handy Emerson blender and blend away!  It’s a pretty chunky mixture so it takes a few minutes.  Finish of with a tablespoon of Earth Balance and a pinch of ginger, cinnamon and sea salt. Serve with warm homemade bread, like this Rosemary Focaccia….Enjoy!

~The Vegan Project

This Saturday, October 16th at 9am, the Projecting Change Film Festival presents a special breakfast screening of the film Tapped, which discusses whether access to drinking water should be a human right or if it should be bought and sold like any other commercial product.

From the producers of Who Killed the Electric Car and I.O.U.S.A., this timely documentary is a behind-the-scenes look into the unregulated and unseen world of an industry that aims to privatize and sell back the one resource that ought never to become a commodity: our water.

Fifth Avenue Cinemas – 2110 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Admission includes breakfast, coffee, movie and speaker. Facebook event details and ticket purchase information.

The Vegan Project has a pair of tickets up for grabs!  Comment below and tell us why you want to see this film for your chance to win!  Don’t forget to include your email address in the email address box so we can contact you if you’ve won.  (Your email address will not be published).

This salad is quick, fresh, and elegant. You can toss in a few hemp seeds or roasted pistachios on top for some added crunch and flavour.


Fresh pea shoots (Micro greens, spring mix or arugula can be substituted)

Truffle infused olive oil, extra virgin olive oil mixed with a few drops of white truffle oil

White balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar

Half a lemon

Salt and pepper


Place pea shoots in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with truffled olive oil, white balsamic, and regular balsamic. Squeeze fresh lemon over top, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss, and serve!

*Courtesy of Jenny Duffy

~The Vegan Project

This week, Granville Magazine Online asked The Vegan Project’s very own Jessica Grajczyk to write a vegan Thanksgiving themed article.  I tested the meal out on two carnivores a few days ago and they were more than pleased!  Check it out here: Thanksgiving without the turkey.

And now in the spirit of Thanksgiving, a few things I am most grateful for…

1) My beautiful cats – all four of them! They are healthy and happy and safe.

2) Jay, my loving boyfriend and new roommate (and also the fact that we have not killed each other yet…)

3) My besties since grade 8, Jen and Jessica, and partners on this amazing vegan journey.

4) My Mom, Aunts and Baba. My culinary experience began in the kitchen with them.

5) Vancouver, my hometown.  For being so beautiful and inching towards a greener image, making my plight easier.

6) The Vegan Project and all its supporters.  This community would not exist without you.

7) Animals.  I love them all and they continue to inspire me everyday.  They have purpose and spirit and there is so much that I learn from them.  I just watch the crows that return home to their wetlands from a day at the shore, together and on time everyday, to remind myself that everyone is experiencing this life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

~The Vegan Project

This recipe is a variation of The Post Punk Kitchen’s legendary vegan sausage recipe.  We thought some poultry seasoning and dried cranberries would give this version that holiday feel.  The backbone of the vegan sausage is the vital wheat gluten and mashed beans.  From there the possibilities are endless!  Check out these ones at the PPK sausage forum.

1/2 cup pinto beans

1 cup vegetable broth

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/4 vital wheat gluten

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries

Before mixing your ingredients, get your steaming apparatus ready.  Bring water to a full boil. The rest of the recipe comes together very quickly.

Have ready 4 sheets of tin foil. In a large bowl, mash the pinto beans until no whole ones are left. Throw all the other ingredients together in the order listed and mix with a fork. Divide dough into 4 even parts. Place one part of dough into tin foil and mold into a sausage shape about a 5 inches log. Wrap dough in tin foil and twist both ends.  Place wrapped sausages in steamer and steam for 40 minutes.  Be careful when you remove the sausages and open them up – hot steam!  The sweet cranberries and savoury spices work wonderfully together and are perfect for a holiday meal.  Slice up the leftovers and pan fry for breakfast the next morning…YUM!

~The Vegan Project

A favourite product of ours has finally hit Vancouver shelves everyone-Daiya Vegan Cheese! Hailing from North Vancouver and a cult favourite among vegans worldwide, it will delightfully substitute dairy cheese in any dish and can now be found at Choices, Capers, Whole Foods and The Drive Organics. Yippee!  This recipe for steamed veggies smothered in cheesy sauce is the first in what will be a vegan cheese binge over the next little while until the excitement wears off.

1 head of cauliflower

1 bunch of broccoli

1 tablespoon earth balance

1 tablespoon wholewheat flour

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 cup non-dairy milk

1 cup shredded cheddar-style Daiya

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into florets and steam until just tender.

Melt the earth balance in a small saucepan over low heat and add the flour to make a roux. Add the nutritional yeast, onion powder and salt.  Whisk in non-dairy milk.  Add the vegan cheese and whisk till smooth and all the cheese has melted.  Pour over steamed veggies and serve warm.  The resemblance to the classic version is uncanny!

~The Vegan Project

Tempeh Stuffing

Just like Mom’s…


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic

1 cup chopped mushrooms

1 chopped celery

1 package Homestyle Tempeh

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

2 cups vegetable broth

4 cups of sourdough bread, cut into cubes and lightly toasted

Set your oven to broil.  Spread the sourdough cubes onto a baking sheet and place under the broiler until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.  Switch oven to bake setting and turn down to 350F.

In a large saucepan, saute the onions and celery in olive oil on medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and garlic and crumble in the tempeh.  Add all other seasonings and 1 cup of the vegetable broth and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Mix this mixture in a large baking dish together with the cubes of bread and the remainder of vegetable broth.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.

~The Vegan Project

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

1 head of garlic

drizzle of olive oil

8 large potatoes

2 tablespoons earth balance

3/4 cup potato water

1/2 cup non-dairy milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut off the top of the garlic head and drizzle with olive oil and wrap in tinfoil.  Place in an oven safe dish and bake at 350F for 35-45 minutes.

Cut the potatoes into chunks (you can leave the skins on) and cover with water in a big pot and boil till tender.  Before you drain, be sure to reserve 3/4 cup of the water.  Add the earth balance, roasted garlic, potato water, non-dairy milk, and salt and pepper and mash until nice and creamy.  For an even smoother texture, use a hand blender to whip the potatoes into fluffy clouds.

Shiitake-Miso Gravy

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon wholewheat flour

1/2 cup chopped shallots

3/4 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 tablespoon dark miso paste

dash of salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and add the flour to make a roux.  Add the shallots and mushrooms and cook for a few minutes.  Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer fro about 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat and stir in the miso paste and add a dash of salt and pepper.  Then use a hand blender to blend everything together.  This step really thickened everything up and mixed the flavours beautifully. Pour generously over mashed potatoes, in fact pour over everything!

~The Vegan Project

Beef-less Tip Stew

1 package Gardein Beef-less Tips*

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons earth balance

2 tablespoons flour

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons miso paste

6 potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks

4 carrots, sliced or half-mooned

1 small kabocha squash, cut into 1 inch chunks

2 teaspoons dry rub sage

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 teaspoons dried rosemary

Salt and pepper

*If you don’t have this product or would rather not use a soy protein try substituting a can of beans like chickpeas/kidney beans or even lima beans.  Start the dish by sauteing the onion etc. and add the beans when you add the vegetables.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat and toss in the package of beef-less tips and brown them on all sides. Remove from the pot and put aside until later.  In the same pot, melt the earth balance on medium-low heat and add the flour to make a roux. This will help thicken the stew and add richness to the overall flavour.  Add the onion and garlic next.  Let those get some colour and then add the rest of the veggies and dried herbs.  Mix the miso paste with some warm water and add to the pot.  If you have a bay leaf, toss one of those in too. Also add the beef-less tips back in. Add some water to barely cover the vegetables (1-2 cups max), bring to  boil and reduce heat and simmer until the veggies are tender and the stew has become thick.  If it still seems too runny, you can mix equal parts cornstarch and water and add to the pot.  Season generously with salt and pepper and serve with warm, crusty bread.  This stew will warm you from the inside out and is perfect for a fall supper. Hearty and delicious!

~The Vegan Project

It was my 29th birthday dinner, and my good friend Jessica (vegan) was in attendance. I jokingly told her that since she was a vegan, I assumed all she could have for dinner was pencil shavings and a glass of tepid water. Insensitive? Yes. Funny?  Somewhat. Now it seems, the joke is on me.

After stumbling upon the PETA website last August, I made the decision to become a more ethical consumer. I was horrified by the cruelty of factory farming, and wanted to make an impact. I told my brother of my decision, and he shared a terrible story of how the farm hands at a particular poultry plant stick their fingers inside the birds’ vaginas as they go up the kill chute.  No, I decided, I definitely didn’t want to eat anything that had been finger banged before it ended up on my plate. And if you think I am being gross, try watching Meet Your Meat. That’s really gross.

This decision presented a bit of a challenge for me for several reasons. Number one, I am a gourmet enthusiast. I delight in trying new foods. Obscure goats milk cheese that’s only produced 3 months of the year in Spain? I want it. A poached egg infused with truffle oil? Sign me up. I once tracked down a famous fois gras eatery in Montreal simply because I had heard about their coveted Duck In A Can.

The other concerns I had were how my lifestyle choice would impact my friends and family. In my family, food is the focus of family gatherings. We are all very good cooks, and we like to cook and boast of our culinary prowess. Would I become stigmatized? Would I be gnawing judgmentally on a carrot at thanksgiving dinner, while my family feasted on turkey and urged me to give up my hippie-like notions of saving the world one chicken at a time?

In the end, my instincts won me over. I knew in my heart I didn’t want to support the factory farming industry. I also knew that my body was telling me it was time for a change. For the last year or so, I had been feeling drained, heavy, and lethargic. I didn’t have the energy I used to. My skin had lost its glow, and even after a full night of sleep I didn’t feel refreshed. I felt old, thick and loaded with toxins.

So, let’s fast forward to the present. I have spent the last month transitioning out of eating meat into lacto-ovo-pescatarianism. I’ve been keeping eggs, dairy and seafood in my diet, as I don’t believe in making drastic lifestyle changes. I also don’t want this transition to be a negative experience, or else I know I will not be able to sustain it in the long run.

The next step for me is to become promiscuous with the habits of my vegan friends. I will be opening my life to the benefits of a vegan lifestyle and documenting my foils along the way.  I’m also vowing to see this phase of my life as an exploration of what I can gain from eating as a vegan, instead of what I’m losing by not eating animal products.

Who is Jenny Duffy?  Click here to find out!

~The Vegan Project

Mediterranean Zughetti

This simple Mediterranean-inspired dish is flavorful, satisfying, and made of all raw vegan ingredients. If you can’t get your hands on a Spirooli, you can substitute with your pasta of choice or just thinly sliced zucchini. I found a ‘Spirooli’ on Ebay for $39 bucks, and whenever I use it, I marvel at its simple brilliance.  It basically takes a zucchini (or carrot, beet, etc) and turns it into thick, thin, or super thin noodles.


1 zucchini, sliced thinly or made into noodles

2 green onions chopped

2 whole tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup red onions

7 big basil leaves chopped

¼ cup of chopped kalamata olives

cracked pepper

½ avocado


¼ cup olive oil (or hemp oil for a change)

1 whole lime

1 clove of garlic, minced

½ tsp sea salt

Combine all veggies & olives, except the avocado. Toss in a medium sized bowl, mixing well. Combine dressing ingredients in a jar, shake it up, and add to the veggies. Mix everything together, garnish with sliced avocado, and top it off with a generous dose of cracked pepper.  Tip: add the tofu feta Bridget prepared for her vegan greek salad.  Enjoy!

~The Vegan Project

There are a couple of amazing events happening in Vancouver this weekend.

Saturday, September 25th – Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals 2010 from 1pm to 3pm beginning at the Vancouver Art Gallery downtown.  Donate to the Karmavore Vegan Shop’s team here.

A video from Vancouver’s Walk for Farm Animals 2009:

For more information on Farm Sanctuary, visit their website.

Sunday, September 26th – Gimme Shelter – Everyday Choices with Gene Baur, Eleanor Boyle, Rex Weyler at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre at 181 Roundhouse Muse (Davie & Pacific), Vancouver.

Everyday we make choices that affect our health, environment and the animals we raise for food.  Sustainability, compassion, factory farming, free range, and organic are just some of the topics that will be discussed. Learn how to make a difference for a healthier lifestyle and make more informed choices about what you’re eating and how you view your food.

Gene Baur from Farm Sanctuary, Eleanor Boyle on Sustainable Food, Attainable Health, and Rex Weyler of Greenpeace will be speaking.

Canapes and wine will be served, and there will be live musical performances by local artists Fera Group and Evan Kennedy.

Let’s bring our community together to create a stronger force for our future and our planet. Together we can make a difference!

100% of proceeds are being donated to Farm Sanctuary and Liberation, BC.  LIMITED SEATING, get your tickets today here.

See you there!

~The Vegan Project

While eating fake ‘meat’ is not something I like to do often because it is highly processed and full of sodium, once in a while it provides a really convenient dose of protein and tastes dang good.

There’s also the ongoing debate as to whether a person that doesn’t eat meat should be eating or condoning mock versions.  I, Bridget, don’t have a problem with it at all.  In fact, I’m not even really against eating meat.  My vegan stance is more of a rebellion against my society’s means of food production, a quest for optimum health and trying to minimize my carbon footprint.  I realize that I may have opened the floodgates on this one and to that I say…yippee! I really want you guys to let us know how you feel about the great ‘meat’ debate.  And if you’re for it, try this sandwich. 😉

Veggie Ham Baguette:

1 demi baguette of your choice

3 slices of veggie ham cut into strips

Half an avocado

A generous smear of Vegenaise

Dijon mustard

A few shakes of Trader Joe’s 21 Salute spice mix


~The Vegan Project

Let me start off by saying that while this review may not be glowing, it will not slam, nor be unkind.  I will describe my experience at Cafe Deux Soleils as unbiasedly as I can, and of course with a sense of humour.

After doing a 6am Bikram’s Yoga class this morning I strolled down The Drive, marveling at how little is open at 8 in the morning.  This didn’t matter, though, because I was headed to Cafe Deux Soleils (which I knew would be open) for their tasty tofu scramble I’d enjoyed several times before.

I arrived at their door at 8:19 to a sign that read “Not open till 8:30, Sorry”.  I peeked in and noticed a couple of employees behind the counter doing their thing, so I opened my book and waited.  At 8:27am I put my face up to the glass door and caught the eye of one of the staff.  She looked at her phone, then back at me, shrugged and mouthed, ‘Sorry’.  Yes, I rolled my eyes at this, but if they must be sticklers then they must.

Two minutes later, the same employee opened the door for me, without even making eye contact, while shoving the large stone door stop across the floor with her foot and slamming it into the door.  I went right up to the counter, ready to order with my money out.  The cook then had to alert the other staff member (that just let me in) of my presence.

Listen, I thought, I hate your job, too, and don’t work early mornings for this very reason!  You work in the SERVICE industry.  You are not allowed to be cranky!  Just because  you work on Commercial Drive, where there is a general complacency toward good service (other guilty establishments shall remain nameless for now) does not give you the right to be miserable in my presence.  I’m sorry if my eagerness to spend money at your business bothers you, but slap on a smile and do your job!

I then proceeded to ask if they put butter on the toast.  She informed me that no, it’s margarine.  I ask if it’s vegan, she doesn’t know, but thinks so.


I asked if she could check the container or ask the cook.  Perfect – it’s vegan.  I drop a lonely loonie into her tip jar and take a seat.  The meal comes rather quickly and is plunked down on my table.  I did not take a picture because it honestly wasn’t much to look at, but, as usual, it was tasty (aside from the short black hair in the hash browns, which I removed and turned a blind eye to, after deciding not to deal with that one).

I finished up, grabbed my things and departed with a faint ‘have a nice day” from the cook.

I’m not recommending that you don’t go to this restaurant. In fact, I’ll probably go back for their tofu scramble and the neat spoken word events they often hold.  Just take this as a warning to beware of the surly counter staff in the mornings 😉

Zucchini Spaghetti

I’m going to share a little Vegan Project family favourite with you today.  This is a dish I make a lot, about once a week. This dish is so convenient, using ingredients I always have on hand.  Not always having zucchini, I often make it with just onions!  It is deceptively delicious and captures the beauty in simple italian cooking.  Our friend Alessio first introduced us to this (thank you) and ever since we’ve been hooked!

You’ll need…

1 box of spaghetti (cook al dente according to instructions)

1 large onion, chopped

1 zucchini, thinly sliced

olive oil

salt and pepper

Cook the onions in a large pan in a generous amount of olive oil on low.  After about 10 minutes add the sliced zucchini and cover with a large lid that fits inside the perimeter of the pan.  This will help to speed up the cooking process and achieve golden edges throughout.  Check a couple of times and stir.  When the noodles are done add them to the pan and toss around for a minute or two to coat them evenly with the sweet onion oil.  Now add the salt and pepper generously as well, toss one more time, and you’re done!  I promise you will LOVE this pasta.  It will be our little secret…

~The Vegan Project

Feeling a bit weak or low on energy?  After eating this yummy salad, you can practically feel the nutrients feeding your muscles (recipe below).

The consumption of adequate protein is a primary concern to the discerning vegan.  In fact, the most common question I get from other athletes is ‘how do you get enough protein in a vegan diet?’  It’s definitely something to be conscious of.  Protein is necessary to feed your muscles, and deterioration of lean muscle mass is not something you want to experience.  Not only can your lean muscle mass decrease, which can lead to unwanted weight gain, but weak muscles are much more susceptible to injury.

Protein sources closest to their original state are ideal for assimilation.  For example, a raw organic sunflower seed is considerably less altered when compared to a packaged, processed protein supplement deriving amino acids from soy, pea, hemp, etc.  I have nothing against protein supplements –  I use them every day – but the more natural fuel you can give your body, the better.

Enjoy this delicious, warm salad made with kale, one of the most nutrient-dense veggies available, and packed with protein, vitamins, essential fatty acids and fiber.

Salad Ingredients:

2 bunches of kale, de-stemmed

½ tomato, sliced

½ avocado, sliced (2 grams protein)

1 stalk of celery, finely chopped

4 tbsp sunflower seeds (12 grams protein)

4 tbsp hemp hearts (16 grams protein)

1/8 cup loosely packed dulse, ground in a coffee grinder

Lightly steam chopped kale leaves (1-2 minutes max) until bright green.  Spin wet leaves in a salad spinner to dry excess water.  In a bowl, toss dressing and kale until leaves are fully coated (careful not to use too much dressing, yields will vary).  Plate the greens (makes 2 meal-size portions) and add celery, avocado and tomatoes.  Sprinkle sunflower seeds, hemp hearts and dulse evenly and top with a drizzle of dressing, sesame oil and rock salt.


1/3 cup of tahini

1 ½ to 2 lemons, juiced

¼ cup of rice milk

1 clove of garlic

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

½ tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend for about a minute. Add salt and lemon to taste.  It should have the consistency of a Caesar dressing.

It’s so healthy, your mother would be proud!  This dish takes nearly all common allergies into consideration, so keep it in mind if you’re having a super picky eater over for dinner.

~The Vegan Project

I made this soup last week to ward off the evil flu bandits that have been lurking around our home.  They captured one member of our household already, and I didn’t want to be the next.  This is a hearty soup that reminded both Jay and I of our Babas minus the spice, who love putting barley soup.  There is definitely heat from the chili flakes, which I swear by when feeling under the weather,  but of course that can be adjusted  to your own preferences.  So far, so good…knock on wood.


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 stalks of celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 leek, sliced thin

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

5 small golden beets and tops, chopped

2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

2 teaspoons tomato paste

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons pepper

1-2 teaspoons chili flakes

1/2 cup pearl barley

fresh parsley

juice of 1 lemon

Water (about 6-8 cups depending on how thick you want your soup)

Heat the olive oil in a big soup pot on medium.  Add the onion, garlic and tomato paste.  Let those cook for about five minutes and then add the rest of the veggies then add the poultry seasoning, chili flakes and salt & pepper.  Let the veggies cook for another five minutes, then add enough water to cover the veggies, and add the barley.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to med-low and cover and simmer till the veggies are tender and the barley is plump (About 30 minutes).  In the last 10 five minutes of cooking add the lemon juice for a wonderfully fresh zing. You may want to add a bit more S & P at his point too.  Garnish with parsley and serve piping hot.

~The Vegan Project

Cats in IKEA

A friend posted this video on my wall about IKEA releasing 100 cats into one of their locations to ‘see what happens’.  The result was some adorable feline footage and a clever ad in the end.  Some conversation ensued as to whether it was stressful for the cats and just a lot of hype for the sake of promoting mass produced minimalistic furnishings, or harmless fun.  We’d like to know your thoughts on the subject, as we are divided on our stance in this matter.

The video:

~The Vegan Project

Tofu Scramble

Tofu scrambles, if done correctly, are filling and delicious and rival any egg version for top spot at breakfast time, or any time!  I’ve found the key to full flavour is those crispy bits.  I cannot stress this enough-colour equals flavour!  This simple scramble can be whipped up in 20 minutes, makes 2-3 servings and the leftovers always taste great in a wrap later. Have fun with different herbs, spices and veggies 🙂

1 block firm tofu, crumbled

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, diced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons chives. chopped

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

Pinch of salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a larger pan at medium-high.  Toss in the onions and saute for 5 minutes, careful not to burn.  Crumble in the tofu and add the garlic, turmeric, and chili flakes.  Cook another 5 minutes.  Add the red pepper, soy sauce and nutritional yeast. Cook five more minutes or until nice and golden-ey crispy goodness is achieved.  Toss in the fresh herbs and salt and pepper and serve warm.

~The Vegan Project

Super Seaweed

Because of the inflammatory properties of wheat and their link to muscle soreness and back pain, I was searching out alternatives a couple years ago and discovered the revolutionary Nori Wrap.  If you’ve ever eaten sushi, you’ve likely already sampled Nori, a yummy seaweed sheet commonly wrapped around the rice and goodies to form your roll.

Nori is inexpensive, nutritious, and available at most supermarkets.  Aside from its obvious use in sushi, you can also use nori in place of tortillas for flavorful veggie wraps.  I like to prep all the fillings and leave them in the fridge so I can pack a quick wrap at my leisure.

The benefits of seaweed, or more poetically, sea vegetables, have been explored and celebrated by various cultures for thousands of years.  Residents of Greece, China, Japan, and Hawaii (to name a few) collected algae, and even created farms to produce different, nutritious sea veggies used in an array of cuisines and medicines.

Seaweeds are considered a super food.  They provide essential human minerals, including calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium and iron, especially imperative for active individuals who sweat regularly.  A well-rounded profile of vitamins can also be found in sufficient amounts, including B1, B2, B6, niacin, folic acid and Vitamin A, in the form of beta-carotene.  Among many benefits, sea vegetables provide excellent detoxification, promote healthy hair and skin, and also boost immunity.

Now that you know how great plants from the sea can be, here’s a simple and delicious Nori Wrap recipe:

You will need…

Nori sheets

1 Bunch of collard greens, steamed

Cooked brown rice



Amy’s Green Goddess Dressing (or dressing of your choice)

And of course any other veggies you feel like throwing in!

Place a sheet of nori on a dry surface and add a warm, steamed collard green leaf.  On top of the leaf, add brown rice, avocado and sprouts, and top with Amy’s Goddess Dressing and a dash of salt and pepper.  Roll into a cone and enjoy as a quick and energetic lunch or snack.

~The Vegan Project

The Perch

Hidden away at the northern tip of Commercial Drive on Powell, The Perch, aka ‘The Perch at the Arc Cafe’, is a cute little vegan-friendly restaurant that also caters to vegetarian, gluten-free and omnivorous diets. We recently discovered The Perch after connecting with some great vegan gals through our twitter page (check out their awesome vegan blog Vegan Mischief).

The Perch at The Arc Cafe

We arrived at The Perch on a windy evening for a dinner meeting with our graphic designer pal Jesse James and had one of the best pizza experiences of our lives, vegan or not.  I’m a huge fan of fresh, snappy greens on a pizza (try it, it’s amazing!), and The Perch’s yam, garlic, arugula and cashew pizza with Daiya cheese was no exception.  The hearty, thin crust was the perfect platform for the roasted yams, garlic, sprinkling of cashews, Daiya and generous amount of leafy arugula.  We tried our best to finish the 16 inch pizza, but stuffed ourselves to the point of leftovers (bonus).

The Perch's yam, garlic, arugula and cashew vegan pizza

We also tried the hummus and eggplant dip with pesto flatbread and the vegan caesar salad.  Jesse really enjoyed his white wine spritzer.  We topped it all off with some of their chocolate cake and a chocolate cookie.  YUM!

The Perch's Hummus and Pesto Flatbread

The decor is quaint with twinkling strings of lights strewn sparingly.  It seems almost as though the restaurant itself is shaped like a branch.  We had hoped to sit upstairs but it was already full and the bar was also full.  Good to see it was busy!

We definitely want to return to The Perch to try a sandwich and some other yummy looking things on the menu, including the tofu scramble (they serve all day breakfast!)

The Perch

9am-9pm Monday-Friday

1701 Powell Street



Twitter: www.twitter.com/eatdrinkperch

Vegan Apple Crisp


I know it doesn't look like much here, but it is damn tasty!


For the apple filling you will need:

4 – 5 cups apples

1/4-1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3 Tblsps. sugar or less depending on how sweet your apples are

3 Tblsps. flour

And for the crispy part you will need:

1 cup flour

1 cup oats

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup cold Earth Balance

Take the apples and slice them into a pan (make the slices thin). Then mix 3 tablespoons of flour, 2-3 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and pour this mix over the sliced apples. Mix the apples a bit so they are evenly covered.

For the crispy part, take a bigger bowl and mix in 1 cup of flour, oats and brown sugar. Take the Earth Balance and slice it into the bowl. Use your fork to mix it in. Then evenly spread this over the apples.

Now put the pan into a heated oven (you should turn on the oven before you start to make apple crisp) and bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees F (175C). When it turns golden brown its done. Let it cool for a while and then serve with your favourite non-dairy frozen treat.

~The Vegan Project

Miso-Pea Risotto

This recipe came about because I was had a huge craving for some ‘creamy’ risotto but was lacking stock or non dairy milk, not even a bouillon cube was to be found.  I did however have shiro miso paste.  I love when one discovers a new recipe based on necessity.  Plato was right, it really is the mother of invention.  And thankfully, unlike some of my other failed experiments, this one turned out beautifully.


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2-3 cloves minced garlic

1 cup of arborio rice

1/2 cup miso paste (i think any flavour would be good)

4 cups water

1 cup frozen peas

Salt and pepper to taste (remember that the miso is quite salty)

chopped fresh chives for garnish


First bring the 4 cups of water to a boil.  When it starts to bubble turn down to low and whisk in the miso paste.  Keep the broth warm on the stove while you prepare the rest of the risotto.  Saute the onion in olive oil on medium heat till they get some colour and soften up.  Add the garlic, then add the arborio rice and saute it for a couple of minutes to coat the rice rice with the oil and flavours.  Now start adding the miso broth.  Ladle about 1/2 cup and stir slowly around and reduce the heat a bit.  When the liquid is absorbed and the bottom of the pan starts to become sticky, ladle in some more broth.  Continue this process until all the broth has been added to the pan and absorbed into the rice.  After the last ladle, add the frozen peas.  Risotto requires some patience as this process takes about 20-25 minutes and can’t be left alone for too long.  The end result is a slightly sweet, smooth and creamy risotto with tons of  flavour.  Season with salt and pepper and  garnish with chopped fresh chives.  I served this with purple and yellow string beans from the Farmer’s Market tossed in sesame oil and sea salt.

~The Vegan Project

One of our favourite local, vegan-friendly Vancouver restaurants – The Refinery – has been running weekly events centered around pairing specific spirits with different world cuisines each month.  To our delight, the theme for the month of September just happens to be India vs. Bombay Sapphire Gin – and has a completely vegan option!  The event is held every Thursday, and involves three courses paired with three innovative cocktails.  At only $32 per person – it’s an amazing deal!  Especially for the caliber of food and drinks created by people who are truly passionate about what they do.  Each Thursday, a different superstar Vancouver bartender (from the likes of The Keefer, Shangri-La, West, and more) creates India-inspired cocktails to pair with the food and guests are invited to rate their experience.

The Refinery

As you may know, one of the most frustrating things about being a food lover and a vegan is that there is a serious lack of finer dining experiences to be had.  Not that there’s anything wrong with casual vegan dining, but it’s nice to have the option to get a bit fancier once in a while.  The Refinery recently added vegan items to their regular menu, inspired by bar manager Lauren Mote who has been experimenting with a vegan/raw lifestyle for several months, and The Vegan Project is delighted to add them to our repertoire as a finer vegan dining option.

The Menu

Chef:  Ben De Champlain

Mixologist:  Lauren Mote

First Course

Food: Onion and Lentil Fritters with Grilled Pineapple and Tamarind Chutney

Drink: A Split Pea Gin Cocktail

Onion and Lentil Fritters and The Split Pea Gin Cocktail

Yes, that’s right!  Split pea!  Lauren Mote is known for being rather adventurous with her cocktails and this was a perfect example.  It didn’t taste exactly like split peas, but had an earthy, creamy texture that had a bit of spark at the end.  It paired well with the fritters, which were like dense little pakoras with a falafel-like texture.  The chutney was perfectly done and added a nice fruity sweet counter balance to the fritter spices.

Second Course

Food:  Indian Spice Roasted Tomato Soup with Lentils, Black Chickpeas, Spinach and Fennel (the non-vegan option comes with gin-infused paneer)

Cocktail:  A Chantrelle Mushroom Infused Gin Cocktail

Indian Spice Roasted Tomato Soup and The Chantrelle Mushroom Gin Cocktail

Ben explained that the soup used a combination of around 17 ingredients and would be unapologetically spicy.  I’m a fan of spicy food but I’m certainly not a fan of the type of spice that overpowers flavour.  This soup was more like an Indian stew and the spice was perfectly balanced with the complex flavours.   The soup paired fabulously with the Chantrelle Mushroom Cocktail which also included one of my favourite ingredients – Punt E Mes sweet vermouth.  Again, this course paired spicy and sweet very well.  And again, the cocktail did not taste explicitly like mushrooms, but had a nice earthy flavour that went well with the sweet vermouth.

Third Course

Food:  Cashew Coconut Curry with Potatoes and Cauliflower with a Green Bean and Fresh Herb Salad

Cocktail:  Gin Cocktail with Mustard Seed, Tahini, Coconut Milk, Lemon Juice, Makers Mark and Lillet

Cashew Coconut Curry with The Mustard Seed Gin Cocktail

This last combination was my favourite – the curry was quite delicate and the herbs and toasted coconut on top were a perfectly crisp and refreshing accompaniment.  The cocktail was rich, foamy and aromatic.  Some thought the cocktail was too overpowering in this pairing and chose the second combination as their favourite, but I loved it.

Overall, The Refinery’s Cocktail Kitchen was a fun and delicious experience and I gave the fabulous Miss Lauren Mote 5’s across the board!  Bridget has yet to try The Cocktail Kitchen experience so we’ll be going back this month.  If you’re interested in trying it, we recommend booking now because spots are filling up fast.  Competitor details can be found here.  Book your reservation by calling 604.687.8001.

The Cocktail Kitchen Bartender Competition Series

The Refinery

1115 Granville Street, Vancouver

This vegan greek salad takes a little bit of planning but is so worth it!  Marinate the tofu the night before and it will be ready for lunch the next day.  It is surprisingly similar to feta cheese. Even our non-vegan friends marvelled at the resemblance!  This is a very loose recipe and can easily be tailored to your own preferences.


1 block of firm pressed tofu (the brand i used had two blocks in one package-i only used one)

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups cherry tomatoes (or chopped big tomatoes…i used cherry because they were fresh from my garden!)

1 field cucumber, chopped

1 orange pepper, chopped

1/2 cup of mixed olives

2 cloves of minced garlic

1 tablespoon each of fresh oregano, basil and parsley or whatever other herbs you love

Pinch of chili flakes

Pinch of sea salt

Black pepper

Cut the tofu into little cubes and marinate in the olive oil, apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sea salt.  Make sure to toss it around really well and then cover and let it sit in fridge for 8-10 hours. The oil will solidify.  No worries though. Bring it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you’re ready to use it to bring it to room temperature.  Mix all the veggies together in a large bowl.  Drain the tofu and add it and the seasonings, stir it up and enjoy!  I found I didn’t need to add any more oil, but of course add a splash if you like.  This makes enough for two meal size servings or 3-4 as a side.

~The Vegan Project

This is a super basic curry recipe.  I cheated and used curry powder instead of the traditional custom blend of fragrant seeds that makes a true Indian curry.  Don’t worry, I will soon enough post a traditional Indian curry recipe, but until then, this version is tasty, just a little bit spicy and simple to make.


6 red potatoes, diced

3 carrots, sliced

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons curry powder

2 red thai chilies (i just split them down the middle and toss in whole so they can be removed easily)

1 orange pepper, diced

1 yellow pepper, diced

20 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup water

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

1/2 cup cilantro (1/4 cup for cooking, 1/4 cup for garnish)

2 teaspoons sea salt

In a big pot saute the diced onion in oil on medium-high heat.  Add the potatoes, carrots, curry powder, and red chilies. Let that cook for a bit (5 min) and then add the orange and yellow peppers, ginger, salt and pepper.  Stir around for a couple of minutes and then add the water and scrape up all that flavour on the bottom of the pot.  Also add the coconut milk, cherry tomatoes and half the cilantro. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cover and simmer on med-low for about 20-30 minutes or until the veggies are soft.  Add the peas right at the end.  Serve with brown basmati rice and lots of extra cilantro for garnishing.  Makes about 4-6 servings.  Tastes even better the next day!

~The Vegan Project

I followed this peach muffin recipe almost exactly from the PPK (i’ve experienced a lot of baking blunders of late) and have grown tired of eating “at least they’re edible” un-treats.  They turned out great!  Pretty and moist and easy to make.  Jay marvelled at them being done in under an hour.  He was under the impression that muffins took all day to make. Oh Jay.

Here’s the recipe including my slight variations:

Preheat oven to 375F

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups spelt flour

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 salt

1/2 baking soda (i added this by mistake but it seemed to work itself out)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup applesauce

1 cup non-dairy milk

1/3 cup canola oil

2 cups diced peaches (2 large)

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk together the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl, sans peaches, then add to the dry.  Mix to just combine, fold in the peaches gently and spoon into a lightly greased muffin tin.  I saved a few bits of peaches for the top of each muffin and sprinkled a little of extra brown sugar on top…mmmm.  Bake for 30 minutes, remove and let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then scarf one down and move the rest to a cooling rack.


~The Vegan Project

Bandidas Brunch

Bandidas Taqueria has been a favourite of The Vegan Project for a while now, so we figured it was time to let you guys in on one of the best places in Vancouver to find a hearty vegan brunch.

Located near the corner of Commercial Drive and 12th in Vancouver, Bandidas is a quaint little Mexican restaurant that serves tacos (on yummy house made corn tortillas), burritos, tortilla soup, and delicious brunch items including bennies served on corn muffins.

One of the other rad things about Bandidas aside from their numerous vegan brunch, lunch, and dinner options (they have non-vegan stuff, too), is the fact that they’re licensed, so naturally we ordered mimosas with our brunches.

Bridget chose the Breakfast Burrito (the vegan option has butternut squash and tofu instead of eggs) for $7, adding guacamole for $1.  The burrito is HUGE (see pic) and stuffed with pinto beans, fresh salsa, Daiya cheese, and their house made vegan sour cream, so she opted not to add the side of hash and cabbage salad (they added the veggie bacon by mistake).

Bandidas Breakfast Burrito

Jessica ordered Alan’s Breakfast, $11, and added some veggie breakfast sausage for $2, and opted for the butternut squash/tofu combo instead of eggs on top.  It’s basically a Mexican salad served with two corn tortillas for stuffing at your leisure. It was delicious but quite a lot of food, so ordering that side of potatoes was not the best idea.

Bandidas Alan's Breakfast with Veggie Sausage

Aside from a few service hiccups (forgetting guacamole and adding extra veg bacon) we were extremely satisfied with our brunch at Bandidas and will continue to recommend it to our fellow vegan (and non-vegan) brunch connoisseurs.

Another thing we like about Bandidas is their commitment to sustainability.  They only offer local beer and wine, use compostable to-go packaging, and are completely car-free, meaning that they use bikes and a cargo trailer to transport supplies.  We also noticed a sign on their door saying that the staff would soon be taking a 90% bike powered trip together.  Neat!

Bandidas Taqueria

2781 Commercial Drive


Brunch daily til 3pm

Vanilla Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with 10 muffin cups.

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup warm water

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean split and scraped of its insides

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.  In a smaller bowl combine the warm water, vanilla bean and extract, vegetable oil and vinegar.  Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients.  Mix really well until thoroughly combined.  Spoon into muffin cups and bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden on top.  Remove from muffin tin and place on cooling rack.  Wait until the cupcakes are completely cool before icing.  Makes 10 cupcakes.

Chocolate-Avocado Icing

1/3 cup non-dairy milk

2 cups icing sugar

1/2-1 cup cocoa powder

1 avocado

1 teaspoon vanilla

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend till smooth.  The measurements are rough for this recipe.  You may need to add more icing sugar or cocoa if too runny or more milk if too stiff.  It should come out shiny, smooth and spreadable.  Place in the fridge until ready to use.  Makes more than you’ll need for 10 cupcakes so double up or make a cake, or just spoon it into your mouth standing in front of the fridge in the middle of the night 😉



~The Vegan Project

Last week I had the pleasure of indulging in an Eminence Organic facial thanks to the wonderful people at Spa Solarice.  The experience was friendly and intimate, lacked any pretension and left me feeling rejuvenated and possibly even looking a few years younger!

My Spa Diary

I arrived early so I could partake in a lengthy eucalyptus steam before my treatment. I changed into the robe and slippers provided and shuffled over to the steam room.  Every day should start with a eucalyptus steam – it was so refreshing! I was told it would open my pores so they could receive all the nourishment from the facial coming up next.

After about 10 minutes, I left the steam room and had a quick shower.  I then headed down to the lounge which was warm with moody lighting and soothing music, and had wooden slats in the ground in front of each seat that lifted to reveal foot sinks for pedicures.  Neat feature! I decided I’d have to come back to try that.  I felt calm and relaxed as I kicked back with Metropolitan Cats, a book about cat-related art at the Met.  Major bonus!

I was then greeted by the beautiful Fatima who escorted me upstairs to a private room where I could undress then tuck in under the cozy comforter on the spa table.

After an assessment that determined that my skin was on the dryer side and prone to redness, Fatima began the facial with a stone crop gel wash.  Stone crop is a succulent that hydrates the skin and protects against pigmentation.  Then a stone crop toner was swept gently over my cleansed skin to balance its PH levels.


Fatima applying the paprika facial.


Next came a really neat treatment.  An almond mineral treatment* that has paprika in it.  After it’s been rubbed into the skin it begins to heat up and tingle all over creating a fiery sensation!  While the paprika rejuvenated  my tired, dehydrated skin, Fatima massaged each of my arms and hands with a yummy soft cream.  It was fantastic!  Who doesn’t love a good massage?


After...red hot!


Next, Fatima wiped away the hot mask with a warm cloth to reveal my freshly flushed skin. The mask promotes circulation and directs blood towards the surface to bring it back to life.

Then a hibiscus calendula mask was applied.  The scent was intoxicating and very calming.  She then proceeded to unwrap my hair and massage my head, neck and shoulders.  Man, was I glad I had washed my hair in the shower after the steam! (I still had cabin hair from the weekend).  It was intense and much needed. A lot of stress can be carried around in these parts of the body.

As if that wasn’t enough, she then massaged a Stone Crop serum into my face, neck and chest. Who knew a facial massage could feel so good?  She finished with Eminence’s Stone Crop moisturizer and Wild Plum eye cream and I was good to go.

Thank you to Spa Solarice for your kindness and generosity and a special thanks to Simone, Cadi and Fatima for making it all possible.

Spa Solarice

2200 4 Avenue West

Vancouver, BC V6K1N8

(604) 733-5007

There are two locations in Whistler as well! Check their website for details: www.solarice.com

*This product and a few others in the Eminence line contain honey.

~The Vegan Project


Raw Maca Root. I wonder if you can cook with it?



Hi Everyone!

I realized that it’s been since September that I wrote a vegan challenge diary entry, so I thought I would share with you what’s been going on for me during this past year of being vegan.  Now granted, there has been a few un-vegan moments, but I’m not one to dwell on imperfections.  They happened, I moved on.  I have been feeling really great so far!  Food moves in and out of my body with great ease, my skin looks better now than when I was a 21 year old smoker eating fast food 4-5 times a week (not surprising) and have a growing sense of purpose and fulfillment surrounding The Vegan Project.  I’m not sure if it’s the vegan food that has contributed to this or the satisfaction that comes with doing what you love every day and sharing it with others in hopes that they will love it, even just a little bit, too.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all vegan bliss. There has been some side effects along the way.  A couple of us have experienced some annoying yeast imbalances due to a lack of ‘good bacteria’ in our stomachs.  Seems to be under control now though, thank God!  I personally have also noticed a bit of fatigue and ‘fogginess’ and a hormone imbalance during peak times, which is what sparked this post in the first place.  After discussing this with the group and doing some research online I decided to embark on two different supplement regimes that are said to remedy these ailments that I would like to share with you.*

The first is Ascenta’s NutraVege, which is a vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids containing high potency levels of DHA, GLA and SDA, which are vital for brain function and a healthy nervous system.  Non-vegans get these from animal fat and fish oils.  A concern amongst the vegan community is that the most important one, DHA, was most difficult to mimic and obtain the necessary potency.  Well this brand contains 400mg compared to their non-veggie version which contains 500 mg.  I don’t have much to say about NutaVege yet as it’s only been a few days, but it does have a lovely and palatable citrus flavour.

The second supplement I am experimenting with is MacaSure, by Sequel. These are certified organic Maca Root Extract Vegicaps (no gelatin) hailing from the Andean Plateaus in Peru.  Maca is rich in amino acids, alkaloids, sterols, vitamins and minerals.  It also claims to increase energy and stamina, enhance fertility and sexual function and aid in stress adaption and hormonal balancing.  Just began this regime yesterday, so no results yet, but I tell you, I’m pretty excited at the prospect of these claims being true!

So, If any of you have tried these products or other lines out there, please let me know your thoughts.  I will do my best to be most diligent with my supplements (following a routine is not my best skill) and keep you up to date on my progress.

*I like to fly by the seat of my pants, but suggest that you consult an expert before experimenting with supplements.

Love Bridget

~The Vegan Project

The lovely and talented ladies at Vegan Mischief contacted us the other day to share this delicious looking sandwich with us.  The founders, Kaylie and Malloreigh, are a wealth of vegan knowledge, creative food ideas and they go on the road!  They offer recipe development, personal chef, and in-home dinner party services.  We are looking forward to having them cook a meal for us in the near future…wanna come?

And now without further adieu, another masterpiece between two slices…


1/2 block firm tofu, pressed, and cut into li’l cubes

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp mustard (go for the dijon)

1 tbsp total chicken spices – try marjoram, sage, rosemary – I like dill

Salt & Pepper

Toss your tofu cubes in the rest of the ingredients listed. Now that the tofu is marinating, preheat your oven to 250 F.

Spread your tofu out on a baking pan (make sure nothing’s piled up or touching) and bake 10 minutes. Take it out, toss it, put it back in for another 7 minutes. Repeat this process once more. You’re trying to get a golden finish on most edges of the tofu.

You could probably also fry it if you wanted to save time but I bake it.

In a small bowl, combine:

1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (I prefer Vegenaise – in a pinch, use silken tofu)

1 stick celery, chopped

1 – 2 dill pickles, diced

1 – 2 tbsp capers (optional)

1 tbsp dill pickle juice or caper juice from the jar

1 – 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

Salt & pepper

Add the tofu to this mixture and toss it together. Let it sit, covered, in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

Thanks Vegan Mischief!

~The Vegan Project

Tucked around the corner from the bustling corner of Robson and Granville is a darling Japanese restaurant that serves one of my favourite dishes in the city.  The place is Shuraku Sake Bar & Bistro, self-described as celebrating ‘traditional Japanese dining created with a contemporary flare by Master Chef Masahiro Omori’.

Master Chef? I like the sound of that!  And what is this favourite dish created by Master Chef Omori?  A Big Salad!  I know, so Elaine*, right? But this Tofu and Avocado Salad is simply delicious and I must have it every time I go. For $8.50, it is generous and oh so scrumptious.  It is served on a large round platter with tofu, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and nori flakes piled in the centre of a ring of fresh mesclun greens, avocado slices and colourful diced peppers.  Their signature sesame dressing drizzled on top.  This salad looks and tastes divine and pairs so nicely with a flight of fruit-infused sakes.

A trio of 1 ounze portions for $12 selected from the following: You’s Time Ginjo, Moonstone Asian Pear Ginjo, Eikoh Plum Wine, Nigori Ume shu –Cloudy Plum Wine, or Choya Plum Wine.  I can’t remember what flavours I tried, but they were really tasty!

Really friendly staff and a heated patio right in the middle of the action make this a great place to go with friends or alone, like I did, and sip your sake and watch the world go by after a long day…

*A Seinfeld reference

Shuraku Sake Bar & Bistro

833 Granville Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-687-6622

Email: info@shuraku.net

~The Vegan Project

Roasted Chickpeas

2 Cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Sunflower oil to coat

2 teaspoons chinese five spice

cracked black pepper

Salt to taste

Roast for 30 minutes or so at 425F, or until chickpeas are crispy and dark brown in some spots.  Let cool in the pan and they will become hard and crunchy.  Now I used chinese five spice here but of course you could use any combination you like.  Or just a generous salt and peppering?  We’ll be posting more combos of these in the future, they’re a keeper.  Roasted chickpeas are the best snack ever!

~The Vegan Project

Save your coffee!

I don’t know about you, but I constantly make too much coffee.  I don’t know what swarms of people I expect might stop by or if I think I might swill back 10 cups of the brown stuff in one day, but I am always at a surplus of old coffee. So I started saving it in jars for use in baking or to make delightful iced coffees and frappucinos-a great summer treat at home!

Just thought I’d share my epiphany…

~The Vegan Project

%d bloggers like this: