Reflections on a Wonderful Holiday

So, even though I had plenty to post during my holiday, I kinda failed a bit. I ate incredible well EVERY meal but didn’t get around to taking pictures as often as I should have done, but I have a few, so a summary will have to suffice. In my defense, if you look at where I was staying, then I think you’ll agree that outside was a lot more fun!

P1030447

We ate really well in Canada and it was so easy.  With the help of Happy Cow and its Iphone app, we could find excellent compassionate meals no matter where we were (although some places were closed over the holiday period). While we ate out a bit, most meals were cooked at Seb’s family’s house. To say that Seb’s mum was prepared to accommodate us is a gross understatement. She studied her vegan cookbooks before we arrived and had every conceivable vegan ingredient under the sun in her pantry. She was so open to new recipes and new ways of cooking and the whole household pretty much ate completely vegan while we were there, I really was just blown away by not only her attitude, but also Benoit’s preparedness to give everything a try and complement our attempts. When I hear the stories of other vegans and how their new diet causes so much family anguish, I realise just how lucky we are to have family that not only respect our wishes, but are prepared to make considerable changes too. I really hope that when I am their age, I am able to listen and be as open to new ways of doing things as they are. I also hope that they enjoyed the meals that I cooked for them and maybe they learnt a few techniques on how to prepare delicious food without all the cholesterol normally associated with traditional baking and cooking.

We had a completely vegan Christmas without us even indicating our wishes to Seb’s family and as usual Colleen Patrick-Goudreau expressed Seb’s and my feelings about this the significance of this meal.

 I can’t think of anything more sacred than preparing life-giving rather than life-taking foods for my loved ones, knowing that no one was (intentionally) harmed to bring us sustenance and pleasure.”

Pauline and I created an incredible Christmas meal which I will post about another time when Seb brings the photos back. 

Here are some pictures of what we created over our time in Canada. This really is just a small part. We had wholesome soups, stews and salads too.

Seb was incredibly excited at the range of veg meats available. While we have a small selection in Thailand, the range and taste of the Canadian ones were much better. While we did go a bit-vegan-processed-food crazy, which was not only expensive, but not as healthy as whole foods, we guessed that once every two years is probably ok! It was also so exciting to try some of the products that I have been reading about for so long. As a family, we did discuss the issue of processed foods a lot. Seb’s family eat very little processed foods and avoid it.I think this is def the most healthy way to eat, but  I think we also need to be careful about labeling (no pun intended) all processed foods with the same brush. While I would totally agree that processed foods they are not as healthy and cheap as whole foods, I think we should think twice about whether eating them is harmful to us. While we need to be careful about long and difficult to pronounce ingredient lists, we also need to recognize that some processed foods are worse than others and that there are some that probably that pose no negative concerns at all.  I have noticed that most vegan companies are very open about their manufacturing processes. Concern was expressed over the Tofurkey which we tried at Christmas. However, when I checked their website, I saw that they give such a lot of information and leave the door open to ask them other questions. What more can we ask from food companies?  I still believe that using Earth Balance over butter is the best choice if we only consider health even though it is more processed than butter and I would argue until the day I die that milk is not a natural product. Will I buy Tofurkey again? No… It was expensive and my cashew nut layered nut roast was 100 times more delicious.

Here’s Seb’s sandwich and pasta salad that he was keen to replicate it in Canada.

P1030432

We were both very keen to give Daiya cheese a go, having heard so much about it in all the blogs, and it really is as amazing as everyone says. Much more delicious than Follow Your Heart’s .Here’s a Reuben sandwich with a side of Kale chips. Really incredibly fun to eat but very high in fat, but maybe the kale chips cancel that out? Of course they don’t really, but they throw a really fun nutritional punch in to the meal.

P1030438

This is French toast, and it is an excellent recipe.A couple of friends came over to ski with us one day and they said it was the best French toast they’d even had. Seb’s mum also said it was good. I made a couple of small adjustments. I added a teaspoon of vanilla and used Earth Balance to fry it. I only used a tiny bit, and made sure it was all spread around before adding the bread. I also added a tiny bit more when I flipped it so that it would be golden brown on both sides, but hopefully a bit less fat. This dish is a treat. I would never have this everyday as there is no nutrition in this really, but heck. It’s Christmas!

P1030443

To the left of this picture you will see a batch of blueberry muffins. These were actually raspberry, although we made them several times with blueberries. These were honestly the most amazing muffins I have ever eaten, and quite a few people agreed with this assertion.

P1030456

This was a meal we had out on a trip to Naam restaurant.  I had a tempeh reuben burger and Seb had a regular burger platter. It was really delicious. We loved the miso gravy which you can buy in all grocery stores.

I also stocked up on a crazy amount of ingredients at Whole Foods and received a stack of cookbooks which I will be trying out in the coming weeks. I am looking forward to eating really healthily for the next few weeks.

P1030466
P1030467
Advertisements

Touch Down Vancouver

We’ve come to Canada for Christmas to spend time with Seb’s family and enjoy the wonders of Canada, more specifically, BC, Vancouver and Whistler. This is my first visit to a more developed country since becoming vegan, and as someone who keeps their fingers on the pulse of all things vegan, I know that there would be lots of restaurants, people would ‘get’ being vegan, and that there would be a lot of products that we can’t get in Thailand.We arrived after a long flight and were met by Seb’s lovely parents. They took us to the hotel and we were keen for a feed after airline food. A quick look on Seb’s iphone using Happy Cow’s Iphone app Veg out, indicated that 0.1 miles away was an good veg friendly diner. We looked on the restaurant’s website and saw that there would be plenty of food on the menu for us.

Ordering the food was a dream (it can be a bit traumatic to order vegan food in a non veg restaurant in Asia). Our server was able to offer suggestions and knew immediately if a meal was veganisable and if it was, if it was worth ordering or not. Ahh bliss….

Lentil_loaf_at_templeton

This is what Seb ordered. Lentil loaf with mushroom gravy and the most delicious fries I think I’ve ever tasted. I had the same except with a side of carrot and ginger soup.

I am so looking forward to spending time here. My mother-in-law is really interested in learning more about vegan cooking and both of Seb’s parents are so supportive of our choice to be vegan.