This recipe was conceptualized by Yotem Ottolenghi in his cookbook “Plenty”, I made it vegan and gltuen-free for our april brunch. The recipe I have is not exact therefore I am not going to put it up on our website. I strongly suggest picking up the cookbook “Plenty” and playing around with some of his recipes. The book is simple and does justice to the vegetables that he works with. Simple.
In March, 2011, a new addition to the tiny-but-growing community of Vancouver vegan retailers opened: Nice Shoes, located at Fraser and 19th in East Van. It’s an all-vegan shoe store owned and operated by a lovely lady named Joanne.
Now, I am not as much of a shoe junkie as many of my friends are, but I just could not resist buying shoes from this place. Both times I’ve purchased shoes from Nice Shoes, my buying decision felt really easy – probably because there wasn’t any guilt associated with it. I knew that by purchasing a product from this store, it’d be undoubtedly 100% vegan, and at the same time I’d be helping out a local business owned by a member of my own community. It felt much better than buying shoes from the mall stores, which, even if they’re not made of leather, probably use non-vegan glues and whatnot. And I liked it a lot more than buying shoes from American vegetarian shoe retailers, for both monetary and nationalistic reasons.
My first pair of shoes from Nice were these adorable Steve Madden lace-up Oxfords in tan with striped ribbon laces. They also came with some tamer tan laces, but I obviously love the striped ones.
Then, just the other day, I bit the bullet and bought a pair of high-heeled lady shoes, because I am getting a bit too old to wear paint-spattered canvas flats with fancy dressed. I apologize for the photo, it’s kind of ridiculous, but I couldn’t help but play sexy pin-up in these killer Chinese Laundry shoes.
Anyway, obviously I love Nice Shoes, and I just wanted to make sure that as many Canadian (and Vancouver) vegetarians knew about this place as possible. Support your local vegan community and buy hot shoes while you’re at it!
So the other day, Amanda from Handcrafted Vegan Bakery, a local custom vegan baking service, posted that she was selling a half-dozen bagels in whatever flavour we requested for $5. What a deal! I could not resist buying a half-dozen bagels for that ridiculously low price. I requested sesame bagels so I could eat them with a variety of toppings – but I ended up sharing them with friends, anyway, so I guess I have so buy some more.
When I saw Amanda to get the bagels from her, she mentioned that custom orders had been coming in for exciting flavours like jalapeno and cheddar Daiya; she mentioned that she would have to charge extra for fancy things like that, since Daiya is about $5 a bag. Good to know. Anyway, I really recommend these delicious, handmade bagels. She also does a variety of other types of baking, including the best scones I have ever had, so check out Handcrafted Vegan Bakery if you live in or around Vancouver.
Up ’til recently we had been using Almond Breeze in our coffee. It’s great as an all-purpose milk – for cereal and for baking especially – but in coffee and tea it’s a bit lacking. It’s too thin, for one. At least it doesn’t curdle like regular soy milk – but there was definitely room for improvement.
Enter So Nice for Coffee. I was really pleased when I finally tracked some of this stuff down (they carry it at Choices Markets across town, in case you’re looking). We got five of them and put one on each brunch table. Our brunch guests loved it – it has a great consistency, it doesn’t curdle, and it acts like real creamer in your coffee. Plus, it’s made with North American, non-GMO soybeans, doesn’t use gross and destructive palm oil, and is designed for vegans. It’s always nice to buy a product that’s been made with vegan consumers in mind.
Overall, we were really pleased with this product. It comes in 500mL containers, which is a little bigger than the Silk creamer containers. They stay good in the fridge for a while – more than two weeks after they’re opened, anyway, we found.
One thing that I was a little trepidatious about was the ingredient list. There’s quite a bit in there – water and organic soy top the list, but also included are thickeners, oils, sugar, baking soda, and some other stabilizing stuff. I understand that creating the consistency of real cream is a challenge and So Nice for Coffee has certainly risen to that challenge. They did it by creating, it seems, a careful mix of different natural thickeners and stabilizers, which I understand, but some people would probably prefer to have curdling or thin creamer (aka soy milk or almond milk) than all the extras that make So Nice for Coffee what it is. Either way, I think I’ll continue buying this. It’s great to serve to our brunch guests. Everyone was really satisfied with it and I’ve heard other voices in the vegan community recommending it.
When I first made the switch to veganism, I hated tofu. It was a flavourless, jellylike mass with all the bad and none of the good qualities of desserts served at daycares. And for a vegan, not liking tofu can be a serious problem. Over time, as I learned about the different types of tofu available, I learned to love it. So, if you’re new to tofu, if you’re cooking for a tofu-eater, or if you’re trying to learn to love tofu, you might find this guide useful.
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Photo by Walking the Vegan Line
We don’t know if you’d heard, but Malloreigh’s first time being published as a vegan cook was in 2005, in Sarah Kramer‘s third cookbook, La Dolce Vegan. Page 181 of this cookbook (yeah, I have it memorized) features a very simple mushroom gravy recipe by Vegan Mischief’s very own. Maybe someday we’ll have our own cookbook out, but ’til then, there’s our claim to fame.
By the way, Sarah Kramer’s books are excellent intro-to-veganism type books. The recipes are, by and large, simple and accessible. Most of them are fairly healthy and the ingredients are often easy to find. For the brand new vegan you know who’s just learning to cook and is incredibly intimidated by the complexity of many vegan recipes, these books are a must-have. Her Vegan A-Go-Go is a pocket-sized survival manual for vegan travelers while The Garden of Vegan has a whole chapter on cooking in the microwave – which you might need if you live in an ovenless dorm room, for example.
I bought one for my mom. Just saying.
Pssst… The Perch is now selling 5lb bags of shredded Daiya in both mozzarella and cheddar for $40 including tax – that’s cheaper than Karmavore, and there’s no trip to New Westminster required.
The Perch is located at Commercial Drive and Powell Street in Vancouver, BC – it’s the cafe in the ARC building. They also serve vegan and gluten-free food along with non-vegan and gluteny food, coffee, and alcoholic beverages. Kaylie is their new vegan chef (yay Kaylie!).
Here’s a Google map of the location.
NOTE: The Perch is open Monday – Friday from 9am to 9pm.
Brooks Reynolds Photography
Dear JJ Bean,
Thank you for faithfully selling what has come to be my favourite vegan muffin in the world. Your chocolate zucchini muffin is almost without exception sold out unless I come very early in the morning (which is rarely), but whenever I do manage to buy one, I enjoy it thoroughly, in all its greasy, oversized, holy-unhealthy delight. Yes, I know, people like to mislead themselves by thinking that vegan = healthy, which is probably why those fuckers eat all the vegan muffins. This may well be your best muffin, not that I would know because I’ve only tried it and the very berry. It’s incredible with a soy macchiato or fresca medici (as if I needed more sweet). I appreciate your institution and the run-down, torn-clothes, too-much-coffee-not-enough-sleep hipster look of each and every one of your employees.
Too bad you discontinued the vegan sandwich.
Dear JJ Bean,
If you ever decide to discontinue your vegan muffins I will sob uncontrollably. A JJ Bean muffin and cup of coffee in the morning are a perfect combination to start my morning off right. I could consume this treat once a day or once a month, but it will never get old. Thank you for being a coffee shop that serves excellent coffee as well as a vegan treat I can enjoy in the morning like a completely normal patron. The exit of this muffin would not make the trip to JJ Bean worth it to me, considering you have no internet and most of your employees are fatigued, apathetic and overall unhealthy looking. I’m sure the only reason they survive is due to the vegan muffins. Thanks JJ Bean!
I’ve been making vegan mac’n’cheese for years. It’s always been my choice of comfort food, and of course, it’s pretty hard to go out and buy a vegan mac’n’cheese. (I’ve had it at a few restaurants, too, and it’s never as good as mine.)
I’ve tried lots of different “cheeses” over the years, but my favourite for this dish remains Cheddar VeganRella. It gets so super melty and lends a lot of cheddar flavour to the casserole. VeganRella is gross when it’s unmelted, and on pizza it tends to stick to the back of my teeth, but for mac’n’cheese it’s excellent.
What do you think? Do you have any vegan cheeses that you prefer?
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