Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NEW Drink alert at Cultured Coffee and Tea

I love iced coffee. Its my Summer drink....well my Summer coffee. My usual iced coffee comes from the big green giant but my new fave is over at Cultured Coffee and Tea! Its located in the Granville tunnel to the sky train. Right next to the new pay stations. Check them out!

They have recently added a new drink to their menu, Iced Coffee. Its not made like a traditional iced coffee which is typically coffee brewed with less water and chilled. The reason they use less water is because they fill your cup up with ice so it gets a little diluted. I always ask for easy ice because I like my coffee strong.....same as how I like my men ;)

So this iced coffee is actually dripped through this contraption with cold water which retains more of the acidicness of the coffee beans and therefore the flavour. The particular beans are from Brazil I believe and have a nutty flavour with a chocolate undertone. It was quite pleasurable. Man, do I sound like a coffee snob or what?! LOL I'm a little bit of a conniseur but nothing in comparison to my Dad, Al, who by the way is the owner of this shop. (Dad, please disregard the man comment above, lol)

In the coming weeks they will be trying out some different varieties of beans so that should be fun. I will of course report back.

Just a side note, they have some great food here too. Some vegan and gluten free muffins, veggie sandwiches, veggie burritos, fruit, fruit cups and tons of other sandwiches that are made in house. They also have specials/combos for them. I have yet to try any of the sammy's or burritos because of the cheese factor but I heard from a good source that they might be testing out Daiya!!! How amazing would that be?

Anyways, if you're an iced coffee lover or in need of a good cup of coffee then head on over to Cultured Coffee and Tea. Honestly, their americano's are the best I've had. I'm really not being biased. They are smooth, got good crema and not bitter.




Super Food Green Salad with Tahini Dressing

I was just whipping up a quick salad for lunch the other day, nothing special. When all of a sudden it turned into the most delish, creamy dressing I've made yet!! OMG I could not get enough of this Tahini dressing. Its a spin off of an earlier one that I created, which you can check out here.  I added a few extra things to make it even better!

And I didn't even take a pic of the finished product cuz I gobbled it up so fast. But here's the recipe anyways.

Tahini Dressing
1/4 cup raw tahini
1/4 cup water
1 lemon
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp Gluten Free Tamari

Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Adjust spices if you want it hotter or not at all. This wasn't spicy at all. Well, according to me. :)

This is the tahini I used. You can definitely use a roasted version. But this is the BEST tahini I've ever tried. SO good!

For the salad part, I wanted to do a lot of green leafy veggies, but didn't want them to be raw. So I steamed them for 4 minutes. Should have been 3 but it was still good. But a little crunch would have been better.

Super Food Green Salad
1 head broccoli, chopped
1/2 bunch kale, chopped
6 cups spinach
1 cup shelled edamame
2 green onions
10 mushrooms, sliced
2 cups black beans
Hemp seeds
Sunflower seeds

Steam broccoli, kale and spinach for 4 minutes. If using frozen edamame (like most) then throw those in there too. Let cool before adding the remaining ingredients. I put mine in a big bowl and into the fridge for 15-20 minutes. Once cooled, toss with dressing and remaining ingredients. ENJOY!!

This will make a lot. Enough for a couple salads or a side to any meal for 4 people. I ate mine for lunch and with my dinner. Its creamy and satisfying. :)

Here was a little snack I ate the other day. Like I've said before, I often boil up a couple different types of legumes at the beginning of the week so I can easily incorporate them into my meals. I had this as a late night snack the other night and it packed a good protein punch and satisfied me.

It is 1 cup of black beans, sprinkle of Daiya cheese, some guacamole and salsa. Of course hot sauce. That goes without saying. lol




Monday, May 28, 2012

Restaurant Review: Bandidas Tacqueria

I had the pleasure of going to Bandidas Tacqueria for breakfast again. LOVE this place. The food is fresh, healthy, affordable and portion size is awesome! Basically any breakfast can be made vegan by substituting scrambled tofu and squash. I love this because usually there is one vegan breaky option.

I got a benny this time. They looked so yummy and boy were they! I got both sauces, one of each. They were the salsa verde and roasted red tomato salsa.

Hick's Benny
I got the Hick's Benny cuz I really wanted the guacamole. The benny's are done with homemade cornbread muffins instead of english muffins, pinto beans, roasted yams and potatoes, and red cabbage. Then I added a side of veggie sausages. :)

My Aunt Elaine LOVES squash so she always makes her breaky vegan but this time she got the chili. OMG its HUGE and is amazing. I'd like that next time actually. Never thought to have chili with tofu scramble for breaky. GREAT idea.

It also came with a side of homemade cornbread muffins and avocado. They have vegan cheese here so if you wanted to make it totally vegan just tell them and they will leave out the butter and cheese. I can't remember if she made hers all vegan or not.

My Uncle Brian's was not vegan but looked just as yummy.

He got one of the benny's too but with the salsa verde sauce and veggie sausage. I love how saucy it is!

Another fantastic meal at Bandidas. If you haven't gone you should but I hear its crazy busy there. We always go early on Saturday mornings so we just miss the rush of the brunch crowd.

Bandidas Taqueria on Urbanspoon




Thursday, May 24, 2012

Restaurant Review: Vegan Pizza House

I have had the pleasure of eating pizza from the Vegan Pizza House on Kingsway about 3 times now. One of the luxuries that vegan's have had to give up in the pasta is delivery pizza. Or dollar slice for that matter (late night pizza for those of you who don't know). Not sure if dollar slice is still around a dollar but in my day it was. ;) Anyways, nowadays there are more and more options like the Loving Hut food truck to provide us with burgers and the Vegan Pizza House to deliver us pizza so we don't have to starve on those Sunday evenings when ur just too lazy to cook.

I know I know, me not want to cook? But it happens. I am constantly cooking so once and a while its nice to order delivery, get take out or have someone cook for me. My FAVE is when a man cooks for me. I guess since I've been cooking since I was 9, its SO nice to have a night off.

One of the best things about the Vegan Pizza House is that even though they are on Kingsway near Victoria, they deliver downtown and the West End!!! Seriously amazing! That's a long way to go and I tip my hat (if I ever wore hats) off to them. Thank you for not cutting us downtown vegans off. :) And they are SUPER friendly.

I got combo 5 which is a medium 3 topping pizza, lasagna, green salad, and garlic toast. HUGE. But I'm a pig. And I didn't eat it one night. :) I got ham, mushrooms and green peppers. I wanted to get a combo because A) I wanted to try the pasta and B) I wanted the price to be over $20 for them to deliver all the way down here.

I freaking love daiya, and that's the cheese they use. Glorious taste it is. A friend of mine said sometimes there is too much daiya and its an overload but I have yet to experience that. I thought the cheese proportion was pretty bang on. Enough for the cheesy ooey goodness but not too much that you get overwhelmed by it and not taste the rest.

I did have a pic of the lasagna but it won't load. I dunno what the problem is. But it just looks like a normal take out lasagna. Not sure what's in it. But it was pretty simple. I like it enough but I wouldn't get it again. It was nothing special, barely any veggies. Just noodles, sauce and cheese. Meh. A little disappointing but the pizza is SO good that I actually didn't think much about it till now.

So check out their menu on their FB page and order away or check them out in their shop on Kingsway. Its nothing special by any means. A little dive but the best food comes from places like this. Stick to the pizza and you will be mucho happy.

Vegan Pizza House on Urbanspoon




Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Raw Banana Coconut Cream Pie

OMG! I made my first RAW dessert! Raw desserts I think are my new fave. Because...wait for don't have to bake them!! lol I'm not a very skilled baker. But I'm def getting better at it. Anyways, I recently had some raw desserts from Gorilla Food, some pie in fact. SUPER yummy! I cannot wait to make one with avocado. I wanted to this time, but alas, I made guac and ate it all. lol One of my favorite ingredients to cook with is coconut. I have an addiction to it. Any recipe that says coconut milk catches my attention and owns my heart. It makes food so yummy!

So I looked around at various raw recipes to get the lay of the land. I had an idea about the crust already from eating similar desserts. And then came up with this:

PS I used all raw ingredients, but if you don't have them, roasted will do just fine.

Raw Banana Coconut Cream Pie

Pie Crust
1/2 cup almonds
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
3 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp grapeseed oil

1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp lime juice
1 banana

Pie Crust: Add almonds to a food processor and processor for 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and process until well combined and chopped very small, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Press in a pie plate or like I used a loaf pan. This recipe didn't make a lot, thank god, cuz I ate it all. lol So double it to fill a pie plate. Place in the freezer while you make the filling.

Filling: Put all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Use a little coconut milk/water if needed. I found that I didn't need to. If doubling the crust, double the filling, duh. ;)

Remove crust from freezer and pour the filling mixture over top. Spread lightly so it covers the crust evenly. Put back in the freezer for 2-3 hours before serving. I couldn't wait and ate it after 1 hour. It was goooooooooooood. :)

This is just one tiny piece but dayum! So yummy! I will def make this again. In an actual pie plate. Maybe I'll do that when I have company so I dont' eat it all myself......nah that's just crazy talk.

I also went to Gourmet Warehouse again and got a few goodies that I'm loving! I juice about 2 lemons or limes a day so I'm not sure why I never got a citrus juicer before. But I am digging it!

Action shot!
It makes it like crazy easy for me to juice my lemon for the morning, to add to smoothies, and to add to my cooking. :) Pick one up and make ur life easier. lol




Monday, May 21, 2012

Restaurant Review: Patron Tacos & Cantina

I love Mexican food and trying new restaurants so when Patron Tacos and Cantina opened up almost across the street from Kevin's it was obvious that we would check it out. There isn't a huge veggie or vegan options but what I ate was AMAZING!!! Like omg, I'm in love amazing! I mean, I can't stop thinking and dreaming about these tacos. I can't wait to go back and to make them myself. YUM!

I wanted to get the veggie enchiladas, but was informed that it was made with poblano stew which is cream based. So that was a  no go. So I went with the garlic mushroom tacos, 3 of them. I added a side of guacamole because, well guac is awesome. I don't know how much I have to tell you that I LOVE garlic mushrooms. I actually make them as a snack at home. I just sautee up some sliced mushrooms, garlic, garlic powder and a little sea salt. MMmmmmm. OK back to the food.

Garlic Mushroom Tacos

Sorry about the quality. I tried to fix it but then the pictures wouldn't load. So I dunno, but it doesn't change how tasty these tacos were! I want them again!

Chicken enchiladas
Kevin got the chicken enchiladas. He very much enjoyed them. Looked good. I was jealous that he was able to get enchiladas cuz that's what I originally ordered, veg obvs, but alas I could not.

Pretty much licked it clean
I ate every last bite.
Check it out folks! Yummy Mexican in downtown Van. Not very many vegan options, but if you still eat dairy, then there are some vegetarian options. But I'll be back for those garlic mushrooms tacos. And maybe they can make me up some veggie enchiladas using those mushrooms.... :)
Patron Tacos & Cantina on Urbanspoon




Sunday, May 20, 2012

Homemade Hot Sauce, quickie guac and a burrito bowl

I love burrito bowls. Love love love. My fave one is from Whole Foods but I make a mean ass bowl myself. :) Last night was one of those nights. As I was getting the ingredients out of my fridge and cupboards, a package of dried morita chilies fell out. I've been wanting to make my own hot sauce for a while now. It only makes sense. I LOVE hot sauce and put it on all my food, so why wouldn't I make my own?

Krystle's Killer Hot Sauce
4 dried morita chiles
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, minced
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup veggie stock
1 tsp agave nectar

Soak the morita chilies in warm water for 30 minutes. Saute the onions and red peppers in 1 tsp of grapeseed or olive oil for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, add the soaked chilies to a food processor and process for 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Krystle's Killer Hot Sauce
I found this hot sauce to be SUPER spicy! I was sweating buckets, for reals! Freaking AWESOME! :) Kicked my butt. lol

I didn't want to just add avocado to my burrito bowl, I wanted guacamole. I didn't have much other than one avocado and 2 jalapenos. So I popped those into a food processor along with a little sea salt, 1/2 a lime, juiced and voila! Quickie, yummy guac. Ready for my burrito bowl.

I then sauteed up some veggies and used some cooked black beans for my bowl.

Veggies and Black Beans
1 cup dried black beans, cooked (2 cups cooked)
1 cup frozen corn
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery, sliced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp sea salt

Saute the carrots and celery in 1/4 cup water for 5 minutes, add remaining ingredients and cook for another 10 minutes.

Serve with brown rice, salsa and quacamole. Layer it up and make a burrito bowl! Add baked tofu for added protein. I diced mine into cubes and baked them for 20-30 minutes with chili and garlic powder.

So in my burrito bowl there's brown rice, baked tofu, veggie and black beans, salsa, homemade guacamole and homemade hot sauce. Super yummy and satisfying. Nourishing as well. Tons of protein, fiber, minerals and vitamins. That hot sauce was all sorts of spicy. Mucho picante! :)

I thought the guacamole would add some balance to the spiciness of the hot sauce but I tried it on its own and it was super spicy too. LOL FUN. :)

So if you like spicy food, give this hot sauce and burrito bowl a go! I dare yah! :)




Saturday, May 19, 2012

Restaurant Review: Panz Veggie

Another yummy meal at Panz Veggie. For those of you who don't know, Panz Veggie is a vegan Chinese restaurant in downtown Vancouver. Its a cute little place that is kind of tucked away from the busy part of downtown; its located on Hornby near Pacific. I love going there not only for the food, but also because its kind of relaxing. Its like they're in their own time warp or something. They never rush you and bring your bill right after your last bite. In fact you will have to ask for it. They will keep serving you tea long after you've finished, that way you can finish your convo's and digest a tad before venturing out again. The decor is nice and more often than not, I've eaten next to a monk. :)

I went with my friend Wes. He's never been and we both live relatively close. Plus he's down to try new foods. I love that. I find it annoying when people hear the word vegan and think it must just be lettuce, grass or just boring food. That could not be further from the truth, which I'm pretty sure I've demonstrated.......repeatedly. LOL Ok, now onto the food porn:

Spring rolls
Yummy veggie spring rolls with cabbage, carrots, onions, etc plus Chinese mushrooms. Mmmmm. I love chinese mushrooms but they have a very strong, pungent taste. Not like any other mushroom I've had. Most mushrooms are much milder in flavour, but give these a go! I buy them dried sometimes and add them to my stir frys.

Laughing Tiger
This dish I have never had. It was super yummy. It had carrots, potato, snap peas, Chinese mushroom, bamboo shoots and who knows what other yumminess. I quite enjoyed it.

Coconut greens
This one is my Dad's favorite. I love it too cuz I love coconut milk like a lot! It had sui choy, veggie ham, red and green peppers and a coconut sauce. Also yummy. It has a little saltiness going with the sweetness of the coconut milk. Love that.

Of course we had some rice with it as well. :)

So again, another awesome meal at one of my fave spots in Vancouver. I haven't quite yet tried all the dishes. But I will. The menus is quite big actually. The menu item names are hilarious and you have no idea whats in them until you ask. There are no descriptions. HA Love it. Mystery and intrigue! It gets yah talking to your server. Which sometimes is the owner. Sweet woman. :)

Panz Veggie Restaurant 善慈素餐廳 on Urbanspoon




Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fresh Pasta Sauce

I stopped by a friends place the other night and it smelled of pasta. Yum. I know it was a meat sauce but it was enough to give me a craving for pasta so I whipped this up to satisfy it. I used red lentils instead of buying ground round and used rice noodles instead of traditional wheat noodles. I wanted the meal to be gluten free and fresh. :)

Fresh Pasta Sauce
4 medium size tomatoes
15 mushrooms, sliced
3 tsp basil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 onion, diced
1 cup red lentils, cooked
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp garlic powder

Dice 1 tomato and blend the other 3 with the basil and salt in a food processor or blender until smooth. Saute onions, garlic and mushrooms in sauce pan with 1 tbsp of grape seed oil until fragrant. Add diced tomatoes and saute for 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Serve on top of your favorite pasta. I used rice noodles to make it gluten free!

SO yummy!!! It was fresh and tasty. Full of flavour. And gluten free! weeeeeeee! I love eating gluten free, and the last time I ate pasta I didn't feel so hot so I opted for rice noodles. Fresh basil would have been better but I forgot to pick it up when I was getting the tomatoes. Oh well. So I used dried.

Give it a go! I know summer is right around the corner, and I usually avoid carbs like this like the plague but after my baddass race and the fact that I'm kinda sick (almost gone) I figured a little cheat meal wouldn't hurt nobody. Also picked me up some Endangered Species dark chocolate too. :)




Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Restaurant Review: Calabash Bistro

On Friday, the day before my race, I wanted to take it easy and just hang out with my friend Jimmy. We went over to Calabash Bistro and saw a flick at Tinseltown. I haven't been to Calabash in a long time actually. Since last summer I believe.

Calabash is not a vegan restaurant, and not even vegetarian but they are vegan/vegetarian friendly. Many cultures cuisine is like this where they don't put meat or dairy in every single dish. Which is good for me and my meat eating friends, cuz then we can coexist peacefully. ;)

The first time I was there I did not have a pleasant experience at all. I ordered a dish which did not have ANY dairy labelled in the ingredients and it came with cheese. When I told him I'm allergic and plus I just don't eat it he wouldn't bring me a new one and charged me for it. Even though it does not state that their is dairy in it. I don't think that you need to state all ingredients but common allergens and meat need to be listed. I was pretty pissed. He kindly gave us 50% off the dish but really we should NOT have been charged at all. Its probs why I don't frequent Calabash, but I was willing to give it another go.

And I'm SO glad I did!!! We had the best server ever! She was super friendly and funny. And suggested the vegetarian feature for me which was AWESOME!!! The food was fab and the service was great. Super happy about that.

Channa Salad
We started with the channa salad which was mixed greens, eggplant, chickpeas, tomato, carrots and some amazing dressing. I don't know what it was but it was delish! This was WAY diff than The Reef Channa salad which was warm (and delish). I like both. AND I don't like eggplant usually but this was so yummy. It wasn't its usual mushy self. YUM

Vegetarian Special
This had 2 veggie skewers with an amazing sauce PLUS pineapple! Brown rice and an ital stew. And a big side of homemade hot sauce which was off the hook! I was sweaty like a beast. LOL I always put too much on, but I don't regret it. I just take it like a man and eat through the firey goodness. :)
Jimmy got the seafood curry with a side of roti. Looked and smelled amazing. It also came with a side salad. The dressing on it was tasty too, but I liked the one on the Channa Salad better. Jimmy thoroughly enjoyed his curry. And ate the ish outta it actually.

Seafood Curry
Sorry for the crappy pics but someone stole my iphone last month and flash just ruins it. I like the little metal bowls. Indian styles. I would have dumped all the rice and curry onto my plate but Jimmy did it little by little. LOL we were there for a while. I was a hungry monkey and zipped through mine pretty fast plus mine was less maintenance and I don't eat bread. Well very often that is.

SO even though my first experience at Calabash was tainted, I persevered and had an amazing experience thanks to our AWESOME server. Which I don't even know her name!

Calabash Bistro on Urbanspoon




Restaurant Review: Gorilla Food

I have been to Gorilla Food only once since they changed their menu. I am still a little disappointed that they got rid of some of the wraps but I'll get over it. Change is good. Especially when they add a new bowl, the Oh my Gado Gado Nice Bowl. It sure was delicious!!!

My gf Leanne was coming downtown for a meeting so we met up before for lunch. She hasn't tried G-Food yet, so I thought this was the perfect time for her to check it out. She's pretty much game to try anything as long as there's no mushrooms. Ha. I'm pretty sure there are no mushrooms on G-Foods menu at all. :)

Oh My Gado Gado Nice Bowl
This bowl had "ryce" made from veggies and seeds and topped with tons of seasonal veggies, sprouts and a peanut sauce which was to die for! I LOVE peanut sauce! I really enjoyed this bowl a lot. I actually can't wait to get it again. The peanut sauce was a lovely accompaniment to all those veggies.

Leanne got a sandwich with a side of jungle slaw. Which is my fave item on the menu. I always tell people to get the slaw as its the best coleslaw I've ever had. I don't like regular coleslaw cuz of the mayo but this is unreal. Not your average coleslaw indeed,

Bonobos Carnival
Leanne got the Bonobos Carnival sandwich with the veggie flax bread. Its a creamy sandwich made with cashew cream cheese, sprouts, kale, avocado and lettuce. SO yummy and really filling. I almost never get the sandwiches for some reason, but I should. I especially love this one. There used to be more options but there's only 2 now. The other is with olive tapenade, so I probs won't get that one since I don't like olives.

Also, because I'm a pig, I got a smoothie to go as well. Ha. I got the Blue Green + BC Blue. Lots of good stuff in there. Made me feel nourished. It had orange juice, kale, hemp seeds, green algae, banana and blueberries. YUM!

PS I did the spartan race on Saturday May 12th and it was AWESOME!! I kicked some serious butt. lol The hardest part was the running because it was all hills. Brutal in fact. I'm no hills runner, I'm a long distance runner. But now I know what I need to work on. I'm SOOOOO proud of myself. Did it in 44 minutes and was 159th out of 877 women! BOOM

After Spartan Race
That's me all covered in mud!! I couldn't believe how easily I dove into those mud pits. One guy actually just jumped outta my way when he heard me coming. LOL It could have been the short shorts. That pair will never be worn in public again! haha. I could tell they were a mistake after my first couple steps. But I sure gave a nice view to the guys that were running and crawling behind me!!! HAHA

Now onto Tough Mudder!! I would be training tonight with my friend Sonya but I got sick immediately after the race. I thought it was allergies but its a cold. Wahhhhhh. I've been sick ever since 15 minutes after. Just a head cold but my nose has been a faucet! Sneezing like no tomorrow. But its almost done. Just one more day and I'll be back to normal. I went out for a 30 minute run yesterday just to try to boost my immune system. Might try again today.
Gorilla Food on Urbanspoon




Saturday, May 12, 2012

Green Curry with Thai Eggplant

The other night while shopping at No Frills, I saw that they had Thai eggplant. I was super excited because I've only ever had it in Thailand. I actually thought it was squash. I am not a big fan of eggplant, I usually hate it but this eggplant is delish! They are the size of a golf ball and green on the outside. :)

Normally I would make the curry paste from scratch but I had Tough Mudder training with a friend before and I didn't have a chance to go to Granville Island to gather all the ingredients, so I cut some corners and used a store bought one.

Green Curry with Thai Eggplant
1 sweet potato, chopped
1 package extra firm tofu, cubed
5-6 Thai eggplants, quartered
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece ginger, minced
3 red Thai chili peppers, minced
1 1/2 tbsp green curry paste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 lime, juiced
2 tsp agave nectar
1 can low fat coconut milk
2 cups water

Sprinkle tofu with garlic powder and broil until slightly toasted and brown on top. It will take about 5 minutes but keep an eye on it.

Saute the onions, garlic and ginger in 1/4 cup water (or some oil if you prefer) for 5 minutes. Add carrots, sweet potato and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover, cook for 8 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except for cilantro and coconut milk. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add coconut milk and cilantro, cook for 2 minutes and serve with brown rice!

I had Kevin and Lauren over for dinner that night. I ate mine without rice but served there's with rice. I also steamed some broccoli and tossed it with some fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of lemon-pepper seasoning. Delish complete meal!!! Also, those little red Thai chili peppers are feisty so if you don't like the heat, cut those back. They are super spicy, but me likey!

SOOOOOOO, today is race day!!! Eeek. lol just doing a little blogging before I head out there. I'm doing the Spartan Race in North Vancouver at 1pm today. I cannot wait!!! Its gonna be a muddy, cold, baddass good time! There's so many emotions going through my head right now. I've been racing for years, but never an army style obstacle race. I'm a runner. But I've been working towards this and the Spartan Race will either tell me I'm on the right track or kick my ass into high gear for Tough Mudder next month.

Wish me luck!!!




Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Restaurant Review: Organic Lives

On Saturday, Cinco de Mayo, I went for an awesome trail run with a friend in Burnaby. No idea what trail it was but it was so BEAUTIFUL. The scenery was so gorgeous, lots of foliage and such that downtown just doesn't have. I was having one of those awesome cardio days where I could just run forever. We did 11km, but I could have done that again. But unfort we didn't, but maybe next time. It was great to get out of downtown and really nice to run on a trail and not pavement like my usual runs. I can't wait to go back.

Afterwards, to recover and nourish ourselves we stopped by Organic Lives. My friend Raf had never been there before and after such a long run, some clean, good food would do our bodies good. I've never had a smoothie at Organic Lives before so I decided to try one. I ordered the Body builder which is hemp and brazil nut protein, mesquite, goji berry extract, acai, maca and banana.

Body Builder
OMG this was SO yummy!!! Really thick and creamy. Mmmm, can't wait to have it again. It also had a good punch of protein and maca for recovery. :)

Raf got the Chocolove smoothie. It had heirloom cacao, cinnamon and banana.

SO good! Oh yah, also, they both were made with Organic Lives freshly made almond milk! :)

I thought I would order something different, which is hard because I've pretty much tried it all. This is why I got a smoothie and salad. And since it was Cinco de Mayo I opted for the Tostada Salad.

Tostada Salad
The tostada salad had a "Delicious Mexican flavours with our sprouted Hunza walnut ground, Peruvian olives & all the fixings served on a bed of veggie crisps & romaine". It was freaking massive!!! I had to share it. lol I'm not a fan of olives at all, like I kinda hate them. But they are super good for you so I try to force myself to eat as many as possible. I did pretty good but I still left some behind.

Raf decided to have breakfast. Which I've never had at all cuz I usually go for dinner.  He ordered the cinnamon raisin toast that came with homemade almond butter and jam. Along with a bunch of fruit. I asked for what made the toast, toasty and it was carrot pulp and almonds!!! SO COOL! It actually tasted bready. Like a thicker, denser bread but it def had a flour consistency. And it was super filling.

Cinnamon Raisin Toast

So now I know that Organic Lives is good for breaky too! I can't wait to go back and try the rest of the breakfast menu. I think there's only a 4 items left on the main menu that I haven't tried yet. And the smoothies. :) I honestly love eating there so much. You always feel absolutely amazing after eating their creations. Such clean, nourishing food that doesn't bog you down. Check it out!

OrganicLives on Urbanspoon




Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Restaurant Review: Fairy Cakes Cupcakes

I had the great pleasure of trying some of the delicious cupcakes from Fairy Cakes. They are cupcakes that are designed for people on restricted diets such as vegan, gluten free, nut free, etc or people who just want an awesome cupcake with a lower carbon footprint. They use mostly organic and/or fair trade ingredients.

They aren't JUST cupcakes either. They have cookies and loaves too. AND you can custom order your fairy cakes to have almost any kind of icing you can dream of. But I'm pretty sure you'd have to call ahead and give them a day or 2 notice. I highly recommend checking them out. The cupcakes are pretty freaking phe-nom!!! Don't tell anyone but I had 3!! In one day! OMG. I can't believe that I did that. I am not a big dessert person and especially with all my training these days and weddings galore, my diet has been super clean. But these little cakes were just too good to resist. Plus there were lots and I didn't want them to go to waste! Heaven forbid! LOL

I couldn't get a shot of them before we devoured a couple. They are a little smaller than your average cupcake which is really nice. The frosting's were blueberry, mocha, lime, lemon and lemon-lime. They were all amazing, mocha was the best but blueberry was a close second. All of these cupcakes were gluten free and vegan. Love both those options. I find that I feel very tired when I eat too much wheat, so gluten free is a bonus. These were honestly some of the best cupcakes I've ever had. I can't wait to visit the shop as I didn't go to it, these were bought for me. Well not all for me, lol that would be a little crazy.


So head on over to Fraser street and check them out. I think next door or a couple shops down is Nice Shoes which is a vegan shoe store. I haven't been yet, but I wanna check it out. I hear they have some nice kicks!

I also got one of these chocolate bars. Eli's Earth Bars. Which isn't the best name because there is nothing earthy about them. LOL But they were super delish! I think this one was chocolate peanut butter and OMG. Heaven! I was on the biggest sugar high of my adult life. I rarely eat so much sugar but I swear I could of run a marathon from that high. HA

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Friday, May 4, 2012

The Greenest smoothie ever made

I know I know, bold statement right? lol

This morning I wanted a smoothie that was different than my norm. My smoothies are typically a very odd colour because I put protein powder and spirulina in them every day. Spirulina is a green algae that is high many many minerals and nutrients. This aquatic plant offers 60% all-vegetable protein, iron, essential vitamins such as vitamin B12 and phytonutrients such as the antioxidant beta-carotene, essential fatty acid GLA, sulfolipids, glycolipids and polysaccharides. Its deep green color comes from its rainbow of natural pigments —chlorophyll. I've talked about chlorella before which is high in chlorophyll as well. It promotes cell regeneration which is good for athletes or fitness junkies because it speeds up your recovery time. :)

Anyways, back onto my greenest smoothie ever.

Greenest smoothie ever
5 kale leaves, stalks intact
1 green apple, cut not cored
1 cup mixed fruit (I used a fruit salad someone bought me)
1 banana
2 tsp spirulina powder
2 tsp flax seeds
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup coconut milk, low fat
1/2 scoop Vega original flavour
5 ice cubes

Blend it up! lol

I know some people are turned off my green food, especially drinks but I love it! To me it means that I'm drinking/eating something that is uber healthy. I know that I'm having something nutritious as green is the colour of life.

Another great point of spirulina is that is contains lots of B12, so if you're vegan or vegetarian and worried about B12, add this to your daily smoothie and your body will thank you. It also has tons of iron. So go get your green on!




Product Review: Sunwarrior

A few weeks back I was lucky enough to receive this awesome little package of goodies from Sunwarrior. I've heard a lot about Sunwarrior from various vegans I communicate with and it gets nothing but awesome reviews. People LOVE it. So when they sent me this sample pack, I was VERY excited!

A little bit about Sunwarrior products: they use a cold-extrusion process that is free from solvents, GMOs, radiation, artificial colours, preservatives, flavours, herbicides and pesticides. They contain no animal products, dairy, egg, gluten, soy or added sugar, wheat or yeast. BOOM!

The warrior blend is also green, plastic-free and hypo-allergenic. I agree with them when they say that its for any lifestyle not just for vegans. Its for anyone who wants a clean product. It tastes amazing. Check out their website for more information. I got all this from the pamphlets they sent me.

They sent me the warrior blend and the protein. The difference between them is that the warrior blend has protein from 3 different sources such as pea protein, cranberry protein and hemp protein. Where the protein powder just comes from whole brown rice. Both were awesome. I got vanilla, chocolate and natural.

I will start with the protein powder. I tried Vanilla and mixed it with water. Its how I do my other one and wanted to compare how it would taste in water, how it dissolved and if the measurements for liquid were correct. Passed with flying colours! I was actually shocked at how good it was and how I didn't need extra water. It was smooth tasting and not too sweet, delish in fact. :)

All the rest of them I made into smoothies. I've never had chocolate protein powder before and had no inclination to try but here we are. My recipe was 1 package of warrior blend chocolate protein powder (21g), 1 banana, 2 tsp peanut butter, 1 tsp flax seeds, 1 tsp hemp seeds, and almond milk. OMG. This was SERIOUSLY amazing. Like woah! I was sad when it was done. LOL

All in all, I think sunwarrior is a FANTASTIC product and would love to add it to my routine. I would not switch from Vega to Sunwarrior.. I would have Vega in the morning and Sunwarrior after a workout.  I felt amazing on it, but I like that the Vega One has other nutrients I need in my day, not just protein. But I was very impressed by Sunwarriors smooth taste. Not chalky at all. Mmmm, I am pretty much out of my Vega too, I should go pick up both of these this weekend. I'm gonna need it for all my training! Spartan race is next Saturday!