Tag Archives: organic

Eating Out As Vegans….

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One of the biggest challenges as vegans is finding restaurants that cater to our special diet. We have to say we are lucky to be living in a city like Montreal, that is pretty open-minded to folk like us.

Here are our favourite places to eat out:

1) Aux Vivres

This place is paradise for vegans. If you look at their menu, you will be amazed at the diversity they offer. The portions are HUGE, and you won’t break the bank either. When we first tried the place, we were suspicious as to how filling their meals really are… Don’t let the fact it’s all veggie fool you. Look at their Dragon Bowl:

In this, you’ve got: grilled tofu, shredded carrots, beet, and red cabbage, daikon, sprouts, organic brown rice, and their famous Dragon Sauce (sesame-based; can’t say much else!). The bowl is HUGE and it’s only $11.95, and I promise you that you will leave the place full. In a future post, we will talk about their delicious fresh chapati bread with veggie butter (my favourite snack!) and amazing desserts.

2) Indian Express

We’ve been faithful customers of this small restaurant ever since we moved to NDG and these guys never let us down. Of course, they offer non-vegan items on their menu but we can tell you that the veggie-friendly stuff we’ve had here was nothing short of amazing. If you tell them in advance, they can make “butter tofu” and replace the cream by coconut milk. I wish I saved the photo, cause this was even better than when I’d have butter chicken! Our new favourite meal from this restaurant is called Chana Masala, and it’s basically chick peas and potatoes in a tasty curry sauce.

With a little bit of raw red onion on top, this was just amazing! Oh and it’s ridiculously cheap. You can get a lot for $20 for 2 people. They have amazing veggie samosas!

3) Burritoville

This is the very place I had my first date with my now husband, and it will always have a special place in my heart. The entire restaurant is vegetarian, fair-trade and organic, and you can easily get a vegan meal by removing the cheese or replacing it by something else (sweet potatoes or guacamole). My favourite thing to get there is the Sweet Potato Burrito (minus the cheese of course ;)) and when in season, their soups are to kill for! It’s also quite affordable when you think that it’s all organic and fair-trade, and taxes are included in the price. No photo unfortunately!

4) Agostini

Family-owned Italian restaurant in NDG, where you are always greeted nicely by an energetic elderly woman. She’s adorable. They have amazing pasta and salads! I do not have a photo of food to show you for this one, but it’s quite good and inexpensive!

There are other restaurants we have yet to try… We will post more restaurant reviews as we try new places! Stay tuned!

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Rice & Hazelnut Milk by Isola Bio

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Yesterday I was browsing around at Fleur Sauvage, one of our favourite stores for vegan goodness, and I saw this. I had seen this awhile back, and wanted to try it…

The ingredients are very simple, and mostly organic (the ones with a *):

Water, whole Italian rice* (17%), hazelnut paste* (3%), agave syrup *(1%), cold pressed sunflower oil*, sea salt.

What really got me curious was the hazelnut paste. I’ve always LOVED hazelnuts, and it was the first time I’d see nondairy milk with some form of hazelnut in it. Also, no xantham gum. This is what usually makes me feel iffy about some nondairy beverages… It’s got a weird texture. I believe this is used to keep the drink ‘fresher’.

Notice how there isn’t xantham gum in that milk? Believe me, it makes a HUGE difference! First, you can definitely taste the hazelnut paste, and god it’s delicious! Also, the texture feels like actual dairy milk, it’s very velvety, soft, and nothing to do with other nondairy milks. I remember I said previously that coconut milk was the closest thing to cow milk, texture wise… I am afraid I was deadly wrong!

Because of the lack of xantham gum, however, it is preferable to consume all 750ml within 3 to 4 days. I’m fairly certain it won’t be much of a problem, because the stuff is really amazing. The only thing is that it’s rather expensive: $2.99, but I felt it was absolutely worth it, because it’s a high quality product. They have other combinations: rice-almond, rice-coconut, rice-quinoa (chocolated flavoured), and of course rice alone. I definitely want to try them all! Oh and it’s gluten-free!! How great is that?

GoGo Quinoa Burger Mix

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This is probably the best veggie burger Matthew and I have ever had… We found this product at our local organic grocery store, Ecollegey. I have seen a lot of recipes for veggie burgers made with portobello mushrooms, but seeing as we are both allergic to all mushrooms, we had to find an alternative. There are also bean burgers, which we will eventually try out.

GoGo Quinoa had the advantage of being a premade mix – you just add water, wait 5 minutes, make your patties, and cook them (on the pan or barbecue – latter would probably be best). Be careful not to add too much water because you won’t be able to use the stuff. Cook each side until golden brown-ish.

It’s also gluten-free, vegan and organic. I have been hearing and reading a lot about how a lot of people do not like gluten-free because it tastes weird. These burgers taste amazing, and you wouldn’t even know it’s gluten-free. Seriously. We also noticed they are a lot more filling than regular meat burgers, and definitely healthier. all it took was one veggie burger each! So basically, a win-win situation.

The box says it makes 5 big patties… That’s true. 5 BIG patties. Like, huge. What I usually do is take the amount I need and adjust the water required. I have to warn you, though, that the preparation is quite messy; but believe me, it’s absolutely worth it!

With some Vegenaise, tomatoes, fresh lettuce (that’s usually what I put in mine); or whatever else, it tastes amazing. It’s approximately $7 for the box, but when you do the math, it’s reasonable because it gives you 5 huge patties.

Natura Organic Soy Milk

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Replacing dairy, so far, hasn’t been much of a problem. I already knew about soy milk (although i am not a fan of the plain ole soy milk, but that will be for another entry), but the real kicker was Natura organic soy milk. It comes in several flavours: original, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and cappuccino. I already knew about vanilla and it was usually what I went for. However, I have tried the strawberry flavour, and it blew my taste buds!

Unlike the dairy strawberry milk option by Quebon, which I found revolting, even back when I still included dairy in my diet, this one has a natural and subtle strawberry flavour. When you take a look at the ingredients, it does list natural strawberry flavour. And unlike the former, the liquid isn’t bright pink, thank god!

Matthew tried the chocolate flavoured soy milk by Natura, but his favourite is the cappuccino flavoured. Even I liked it a lot, and keep in mind I despise coffee. Incredibly refreshing!

My only problem with this product is that you have to consume it within 7 days after opening it, because it turns bad, and this is the case with all non-dairy milks. However, it isn’t much of an issue if you drink at least one glass per day – you will get to the bottom of the box much before!

Earth Balance Buttery Spread

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One of the first vegan products we tried was the Earth Balance buttery spread. Being a big fan of butter, and not so much of margarine, I was hoping to find a real replacement. We found some at our local organic grocery shop, Ecollegey (http://www.ecollegey.com/). This place, by the way, is a goldmine for vegans! Not as much as Viva Vegan on St. Laurent, but still.

Verdict? It is VERY different from margarine. This product is solid, unlike margarine, and tastes exactly like butter! I can’t even tell the difference. It also doesn’t seem to go rancid like butter does. Price-wise, less than $5 for a 368g container, which is fairly reasonable.

Bottom line: Low-fat, cruelty-free alternative to butter!