Chipotle-Langley BC

I recently tried the ‘Sofritas’ burrito bowl at Chipotle in Langley. Sofritas is Chipotle’s vegan meat alternative. It is a tofu mix, so if you avoid soy you probably want to stay away from it.

The texture and flavour of the Sofritas was definitely good and the portion was huge. Chipotle does not disappoint when it comes to fresh ingredients full of flavour. I would definitely recommend this meat alternative to try.

I personally don’t always feel like a meat alternative when having Mexican food as the beans are rice are so full of flavour anyways. For that reason, I would probably get Sofritas protein every second time that I go to Chipotle.

Don’t forget to try the lime tortilla chips when you are there. They are so good!

Simply Protein Products

If you are looking for a vegan protein bar that is high protein but not high in fat/calories Simply Protein is an amazing choice. They do have some ones with Whey protein, so make sure you buy the vegan ones. They taste kind of like a rice crisp treat. They have a variety of flavours, some with nuts and some that are nut free. My favourites are the pecan flavour, coconut lemon and chocolate raspberry.

The same company also makes a protein chip that is quite tasty if you are more of a salty person. They come in small portioned bags and have a variety of flavours.

In our daily life we don’t eat a lot of protein bars, but we find it is nice to have them when travelling or as a back up snack in the car.

New and Revised GF/Vegan Products

If you are celiac, or gluten free by choice, you know how difficult it is to find a good GF/Vegan tortilla wrap. Sure, corn tortillas are awesome for taco Tuesday, but at times you want a bigger wrap you can take in your lunch full of yummy veggie and hummus goodness! The problem is, it seems to be impossible to find.

For awhile, I have been buying the rice wraps you see below (the black rice wrap and the regular one by the same company). They are fine if you know how to treat these delicate babies, the problem is you can’t eat them straight from the package. You have to microwave them to soften and add a bit of water to the outside if you want them soft when they come out of the microwave. It makes it a little tricky to bring to work for lunch. That being said, if you treat them with care it works out alright.

Last night, when I was browsing a grocery stores website (I know, definitely not cool), I found a new gluten free/vegan wrap made by Western Family. I have been sick for a week and a half, and I decided to order groceries to my door because I had no food in the house and needed to feed my husband. Instead of dragging my sick self to the grocery store, I met a nice man named Quinn at my door, while I stood in my pajamas…without a bra on…awesome. Some days, you just don’t care.

As soon as I pulled the wraps out of my new grocery stash, I was surprised to see how soft they felt. I became super excited and couldn’t wait to throw some vegan goodness inside. I pulled the wrap out of the bag…just as soft, I was almost giddy with delight. After putting my toppings in, the first role of my wrap dashed all hope of a new life of pleasant wrapping…the wrap broke in half. When I tried to eat it, it broke into 3, 4…5 pieces! My hoped, my dreams of a simple lunch solution, over.

I decided to try the experiment again to see if they would be better microwaved, and they were. Soft and easy to wrap. Probably one of the better tasting GF/V wraps that I have had. They don’t solve the GF/V wrap problem, but they are a nice option and cheaper than the others I have seen.

DAIYA–a quick update. As Daiya has expanded the products they offer, including pizza, cheesecake, cream cheese, yogurt, etc they have made a change to the cheese blocks they sell. Unfortunately for me, they have added potato starch to the products. Being a person allergic to potato my Daiya cheese world is gone. My husband taste tested the new cheese blocks and LOVES them. They are way closer to the texture of real cheese compared to the old blocks. I hope one day Daiya uses a different starch so that I can have it again. If you haven’t tried Daiya ever or in awhile, check out the new and improved blocks.

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Vegan Protein Powders

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I was recently approached by the website reviews.com about mentioning the new protein powder study that they completed. At first, I wasn’t going to mention it on here because I like to review products myself, and know I have no bias from company’s as I don’t take any form of money/coupon etc. for reviewing items. I decided to mention it because it is a ‘protein powder’ study not a ‘vegan protein powder study’, yet two of the safest brands and highly recommended are popular vegan protein powders! Very exciting for the vegan world to know that they are high quality, safe and better than many mainstream ‘whey’ protein powders.

Both protein powders aren’t incredibly cheap, but for days you need an extra boost of protein after a work out or aren’t feeling very hungry…these powders are great. My personal favourite it the Garden of Life powders because I prefer the taste to the Vega. That being said, protein powder mixed with water in my opinion is always gross, so I prefer to mix it with other things.

My favourite recipes:

Chocolate Smoothie-Frozen banana, ice cubes, coconut milk, chocolate protein powder and an extra tbsp of cocoa powder. Blend.

Green Tea Smoothie-1 tbsp Matcha, 1 frozen banana, ice cubes, coconut milk, 1 tbsp vanilla Garden of Life Protein. Blend.

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie-1 cup frozen cherries, ice cubes, coconut milk, chocolate protein powder and an extra tbsp of cocoa powder. Blend.

Enjoy!

Hash Brown Haven

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Happy Autumn everyone! Although we have had mild weather where we live, it has been nice to have a change in season. It has been chilly enough at times to still have a fire, cuddle under a blanket and drink warm cups of tea.

Growing up, during the Christmas season (I know we aren’t quite at Christmas yet), my Mum would always make a creamy hash brown dish that was so good. A few months ago I decided to try to veganize it for family functions. I made it this past weekend when we had house guests stay the night. I wanted to ‘wow’ them with a yummy breakfast.

We had bagels, crispy tofu, baked beans, veggies, some good coffee…and this hash dish!

Ingredients:

1 bag of hash browns (not the shredded kind)
1 container of Sour Supreme (made by Tofutti)
1 package of Daiya Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/3 tsp of rosemary (ground)
1 can of thick coconut milk
1 cup mushrooms
1 tbsp vegan margarine
1/2 white onion
4 tbsp of rice flour (or other GF flour)

Chop of the mushrooms really small and set aside. Chop the onion really small and set aside.

Melt the vegan margarine in a pot, slowly adding the flour and stirring. Then add the coconut milk, mushrooms, and onion. I also sometimes add a tbsp. of powdered veggie stock for extra flavour. Whisk and let it cook on medium heat while constantly stirring for about ten minutes. It should be really thick.

Then add it to the hash browns, mix in sour supreme, salt and pepper and rosemary. Mix all together and put in an oven ready dish. Add Daiya on top to melt. Cook for 45 minutes at 375.

Hope you enjoy. This is definitely a treat food for guests, Christmas morning, etc.

Venice-Italy

We were told that Venice, Italy was an impossible place to travel GF/Vegan. Although we couldn’t get all the same food we could at home, we actually found that Venice wasn’t that difficult for us to eat.

Many places offered gluten free pasta and pizza, and if we ordered cheese free it was vegan. We enjoyed Venice style pizza multiple times (even at the beach hut on Lido public beach) and we had a wonderful pasta dinner on the island of Morano.

We also enjoyed a few meals at Ferrari’s that were so good! Including hummus, falafel, greek salad and cous cous (gluten free). It was so difficult to find hummus in Venice…the only one we found other than this place was at the grocery store, but they had dairy in the hummus.

We found many different GF/V breads at the grocery store and especially enjoyed the gluten free grocery store. It was a very small store, but the owner was kind to show us around and help us navigate labels. I also have a potato allergy, so we had to make sure it was safe for me to eat. The owners son has celiac and he started the store so that it would be easier for his son to eat.

The only part I found difficult about Venice was finding addresses. Most people just explain where the place is and it is very hard to actually find. That is why I didn’t attempt to find addresses to put in here because it is quite difficult. When you are walking around, just keep your eyes open for gluten free signs and most places can easily do vegan. Don’t forget to try a Spritz with Campari. So good. Extra olives.

Protein Cookies

A lovely lady I work with shared a recipe with me for some protein cookies that looked really good. I decided to gluten free/veganize them. They are expensive to make, but so worth it. They are an amazing substitute for protein bars and taste way better.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

6 cups quick oats (wheat free certified)
1 cup brown rice flour
1 full container of Prairie naturals ancient grains protein powder (it is a mix of quinoa, millet and amaranth protein)
2 cups of baking stevia
3 tbsp. cinnnimon
3 tbsp. baking soda
2 containers of vanilla coconut yogurt (So Delicious or Yoso brand-I prefer the unsweetened)-440 size container
1 1/2 cups of unsweetened applesauce
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and bake for ten minutes at 400 degrees.