Category Archives: Events

New Mexican Brunch Menu – Vancouver Vegan Brunch

In case you were curious, our menu for the completely-packed New Mexican brunch – Kaylie’s last, this weekend – is up. I try my hardest to take photos every week but we’re so busy that it doesn’t happen. :(

BREAKFAST BURRITO

The ultimate breakfast burrito from a New Mexican chef who hasn’t found a satisfying breakfast burrito in all of Vancouver. A soft wheat tortilla filled with roasted potatoes, soy chorizo, an eggy tofu scramble, peppers, and onions, topped with classic, handmade red or green chile sauce and melted cheese. Served with a side of housemade stewed pinto beans.

HUEVOS RANCHEROS

Classic, rich New Mexican huevos rancheros made vegan. Eggy tofu scramble and vegetables atop a handmade corn tortilla, topped with red or green chile sauce and cheese. Served with sides of ripe avocado, hashbrowns and housemade stewed pinto beans.

SOPAIPILLA

A traditional New Mexican fried pastry stuffed with ripe avocado and vegetables, smothered with red chile sauce and cheese. Served with hashbrowns and housemade stewed pinto beans.

Michael Robertson’s Foray Into Veganism

The winning competitor from the round of Social Bites that we participated in is a professional chef, yes, but not a vegan. The article he wrote for Granville Online about his foray into vegan cooking is really interesting – it’s cool to see a view of veganism from outside.

He really thought about the reasons vegans choose the lifestyle, and took his time investigating what kinds of food vegans really enjoy. Kaylie and I have eaten so much “vegan food” around town that’s prepared by a chef who has no idea what vegans enjoy – so I really appreciate that Michael took the time to learn and to try to please our marginalized little group. All that is obvious, because he and his cooking partner Christi created a winning menu that pleased vegans themselves! I applaud Michael’s openness to changing his cooking paradigm for this challenge, and recommend his article, especially because he included his recipes from that evening along with it – including “scallops” made out of portobello mushroom infused with cranberry, and a vegan bloody mary drink.

Trio of Root Vegetable Ravioli with a Duo of Tapenades, Mushroom Cream, and Arugula Tossed in Black Truffle Oil with Red and Golden Beets and Thinly-Sliced Radish

Over the weekend, Kaylie and I participated in Social Bites, a local Vancouver foodie community event pioneered by one very creative and engaging German. (I also posted about it before it happened.) Anyway, it went pretty well – it was a tight race, between us, The Vegan Project, Julie Beyer, and non-vegan winning chef and Kiwi Michael Robertson. We won second-place, though not by much. At the request of a few of our guests and co-competitors, here are the recipes.

I wish I had better photos of the food, but I’m hoping to snag some off of Hilary. It’s not necessarily about how it looks, though it was beautiful.

Root Vegetable Ravioli

I chose to use three different root vegetables – turnip, yam, and celeriac.

1 celery root (celeriac)
2 small turnips
2 small yams
1/2 fennel root
1/2 lemon
1/2 beet
1/2 carrot
Handful spinach
1 tbsp maple syrup
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

I used the same pasta recipe I’ve used in the past, but this time I split the dry ingredients into three equal parts so that I could use three different liquids. Splitting the recipe into thirds meant that for each third of the dry ingredients I needed 55mL of liquid. I wanted red, orange, and green ravioli to match my ingredients. I boiled the water, and while it was boiling, grated half a beet, half a carrot, and grabbed a handful of spinach. I measured 55mL of water and poured it over the grated beets in one bowl, then did the same with the carrot in another bowl. I let the water steep for a good half-hour, then squeezed the rest of the colour out of the grated veg. For the spinach-water, I blended it up to ensure that the colour would be bold. I then mixed together three different small batches of dough, kneaded them, rolled them out, and then wrapped them in plastic wrap so they wouldn’t dry out.

For the fillings, I cut two turnips, one celery root, and two small yams in half and placed them cut-side down on an oiled baking pan. I roasted them for 40 minutes, then removed the yam and added about 1/3 of a fennel root, and roasted for another 10 minutes, at which point I removed the turnip. The celeriac needed a bit more time, and I left the fennel in there until it was caramelized. You can judge this based on how soft your root vegetables are. Obviously, you should roast your vegetables while you make your pasta dough.

Once they were roasted I carved them out with a spoon and mashed each individual vegetable in its own bowl. (So many bowls!) To the yam, I added olive oil, salt, and pepper. To the turnip, I added chopped roasted fennel, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and olive oil. To the celeriac, I added fresh lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper.

At this point I had to make the ravioli. I’ve already written a guide on how to do this, so follow it there.

After I had made the ravioli, I froze them in layers separated by parchment paper, and cooked them the next day by boiling them until they floated (about three minutes) and then lightly panfrying them in a lightly oiled pan.

Mushroom Cream

This was the element of the meal that people commented on most. It was super easy!

1/4 cup raw cashews
2 – 4 shallots, depending on size
10 – 15 button mushrooms, brown and/or white (I used both)
1 cube veg or mushroom bouillon
1/2 tsp rosemary powder
Pepper

Blend up the cashews with about an equal amount of water until it resembles a creamy paste.

Peel and slice the shallots. Saute in oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until soft. Add mushrooms, chopped into small cubes. Add bouillon cube. Let it saute until mushrooms are soft and release their liquid. Add rosemary and pepper and continue sauteeing. Once the mushrooms have released all of their liquid (ten minutes?), add the contents of the saucepan to your cashew mixture in the blender, and blend until creamy – this might take a while and you might need to shake it up or spatula it a bit.

Once it’s blended, return it to the saucepan and keep it warm on low heat until ready to serve.

Duo of Tapenades

“Tapenade” is an olive spread that often contains anchovies, so watch out if you ever buy it in the store. Luckily, it is very easy to make.

Kalamata and Caper Tapenade

15 – 20 kalamata olives, pitted
1 – 2 tbsp capers, drained
Salt and pepper

If your kalamata olives come packed in oil, use that to lubricate your tapenade. If not, use olive oil. If you can’t find pitted olives, get ready to get your hands dirty. Pitting them is not hard but it is time consuming. Blend all ingredients together using a blender of some kind. Taste and adjust. Remember that the flavours will mingle the longer it sits.

Mixed Olive and Roasted Tomato Tapenade

5 – 7 black olives, pitted
5 – 7 green olives, pitted
5 – 7 kalamata olives, pitted
3 campari tomatoes or 5 cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
1 tbsp Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (sparing)

Roast them tomatoes! Toss them in a small amount of olive oil and salt & pepper them, then throw them in the oven at 350 for about ten minutes. Keep an eye – you want them to pop, but not burn. Chop up all your olives, and then chop the tomatoes too when they come out. They will be messy. Mix everything together and add lemon juice or salt & pepper, plus a dash more oil if you can – I like to use the oil that the olives come packed in. Let it sit in the fridge for a little while so the flavours will settle before you use it.

I presented the dish by swiping a bit of the kalamata and caper tapenade on the plate, then placing one ravioli of each colour on top. I then added a spoonful of the chopped tapenade and a generous drizzle of mushroom cream on top of the ravioli. On the side, we put a handful of arugula that had been tossed in black truffle olive oil, garnished with a slice each of red and golden beet (that we had boiled and cooled) and thinly sliced radish.

Social Bites Vancouver Does Vegan Food Main Street

Social Bites is this really neat little project in Vancouver – basically, you buy a ticket and then walk around a Vancouver neighbourhood visiting the homes of local hobby chefs who feed and water you. Annika, the brilliant woman behind this underground foodie scene concept, has decided to hold a vegan Social Bites – and Kaylie and I are going to be a part of it.

Unfortunately, the sixteen available tickets to this vegan Social Bites event sold out in less than an hour, so I can’t even pester you guys to buy tickets… but I can show you the menu. Here’s the list of hobby chefs and dishes for the vegan event. I’m so excited to be a part of this!

When we applied with our dish description, Annika replied and told us that because Kaylie is a professional chef, she doesn’t quite fit in to the “hobby chef” category – so that means that I am the chef for this event. I’m so darn excited. We’re making root vegetable ravioli (I’m going to make the pasta myself) with a mushroom cream and olive tapenade. Delicious.

Kaylie and I went for drinks tonight with the other vegan hobby chefs for the event and we found a lot of enthusiasm for vegan foodie events around Vancouver. I hope that we can continue with this momentum and help to create a thriving vegan food scene in our city.

Southern Brunch February 5th

I love southern food and I love whiskey. Two loves come together to bring you this week’s southern style brunch menu.

MENU

BENEDICT
Moist, southern-style cornbread topped with barbecue tempeh, tomato, caramelized onion, and a fresh shaved fennel and cabbage slaw. Served with scalloped potatoes.

PANCAKES
Rice and buckwheat flour gluten-free pancakes flavoured with orange and currants. Served with a decadent whiskey butter sauce and fresh fruit. This option is gluten-free.

SOUTHERN BREAKFAST
Creamy baked beans and maple-soaked greens with homemade fennel and apple sausage. Served with potatoes, coleslaw, and a piece of cornbread. This option is soy- and gluten-free.

Vegan Mischief Brunch Success

Last Saturday (January 29th) we hosted our fourth Vegan Mischief brunch, but the first that was entirely managed by Kaylie and I. It went swimmingly! I was really impressed with everything – we had a great group of friends and strangers come out to eat, and everyone loved their food. It went well enough that we’re going to do it again this weekend – and good thing, too, because we had reservations piling up for February 5th before last weekend’s brunch was even on the table!

I was way too busy to be taking photos, but luckily my lovely friend Jocelynn grabbed the camera and shot a few pictures of our first seating at 10:30am. I’ve also included some photos I took with my phone.

Vegan Mischief Serving Brunch for the East Side Culture Crawl

This weekend is the East Side Culture Crawl – a celebration of East Vancouver’s resident art talent, during which almost 400 artists open up their studios to the public for three days. It’s an incredible annual event. The restaurant Kaylie works at – Perch – is located at the base of one of the biggest Culture Crawl destinations. The Arc, a live-work artist studio building, is home to about 30 Crawl artists.

In honour of (and to cater to) the Crawl, Perch is opening up from 9am to 11:30pm on all three days of the Crawl (November 26th, 27th, and 28th), and will be serving a vegan-friendly brunch including Kaylie’s vegan french toast and a tofu scramble. We’d love to see you come by to see the art and eat with us!

Perch is located at 1701 Powell St – at the very northernmost end of Commercial Drive, by the Port.

the perch

12th Annual Taste of Health Festival

On October 23, Vancouver’s vegan and vegan-conscious community will come together for the twelfth time for the Taste of Health Festival. I’ve attended this festival a couple of times and have always found it delightful, inspiring, and full of free samples of locally produced vegan products. Often there are vendor specials, too – one year I walked away with two wheels of Sheese for $10. What a deal.

The event is happening at the Masonic Hall on West 8th near Granville St.

Mark your attendance and get details at the Facebook event or visit its page on EarthSave. The event is free for EarthSave members, or $5 for non-member attendees; there will be speakers, demonstrations, food vending, and (the best part) vegans everywhere! (I bet you didn’t realize there were so many of us!)

There’s also a gala (tickets $25 before September 23) featuring keynote speaker John Robbins and hors d’oeuvres served by Organic Lives. This is where you will find all the swishy well-to-do vegans in town, so if you are hoping to marry rich and environmental-conscious, the $25 ticket is a good investment. (I am only saying this because I attended the gala a few years ago and everyone was dressed really nicely.)

Anyway, you should go to Taste of Health, because we will be there, and you should bring your non-vegan parent, lover, child, or friend, to help inspire them down the path of granola-with-nondairy-milk-alternative.