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Archive for the ‘Vegan Vancouver’ Category

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:

http://www.bclocalnews.com/surrey_area/peacearchnews/community/102094238.html

~The Vegan Project

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YOU’RE INVITED!

Facebook Event Page

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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

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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

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The Vegan Project is pleased to welcome new guest blogger and long time pal, Jenny Duffy!  She’s been sending us some great articles on her experiences as she moves from a carnivorous diet to a more plant based one.  Stay tuned for some of her great vegan recipes and her unique perspective on the transition.

About Jenny

Jenny Duffy is a professional dance instructor and accountant, hailing from the metro Vancouver area. She is an avid animal lover, and when she’s not working a million hours a week, can be found lounging in a bubble bath with a good book and a glass of port.

 

New Vegan Project Contributor Jenny Duffy

New Vegan Project Contributor Jenny Duffy

 

Welcome Jenny!

~The Vegan Project

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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.
WIN TICKETS!

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).

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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

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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

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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.

Sigh.

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 😉

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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

Vancouver

604-568-3877

Twitter: www.twitter.com/eatdrinkperch

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