Thursday, May 19, 2011

...May showers bring June flowers?

Dark clouds of charcoal-grey blanket the skies as they have for the past month or so; there's a rumble in the distance and a zig-zagging flash of light that parts the monochromatic scheme... And then, of course, the scent of rain fills our noses and begins to tumble down from the sky all willy-nilly. It soaks the yellow grass and turns the dirt to mud, it flows off the grass and onto the streets uninhibited and it fills the already full rivers until they spill over onto the grass and beyond...

And then, eventually, it stops. Sunshine parts the clouds like the queen she is and dries out the lands, soaks up the rain and returns it to the significantly lighter clouds. The earth is green again, albeit slightly flooded in some places, but lush and green and alive.

Once the sunshine peeks through and as we find ourselves finally saying hello to spring, it's a great time to explore Kensington Market's offerings, particularly of the animal-friendly variety. Wanda's Pie in the Sky is a great casual place to enjoy some vegetable soup, sandwiches and, of course, pie. While the place is often bustling, you and your friend can still manage to find a seat near a window and wait (although not for long!) for the staff to bring you your food. They also make some delicious coffee!

This summer I'm making it my goal to try out new vegan places a couple times a month at least. Despite my status as a graduated university student, I still feel the need to explore every nook and (expensive) cranny in this city.

I am also going to be looking at more of the vegan foodie blogs out there. One my friend showed me is called Lovely Green Lifestyle that appears to offer simple yet yummy looking recipes such as the Quinoa Mung Bean Salad; it also brings us back to some of our favourite food awareness videos like Food Inc.. This blogger creates a montage of the green lifestyle through photos, words and colour.

Once I get my act together, I'd like to start posting photos more frequently on here so come back often and see what's new! Now don't get wet!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Pizza, Sushi and Dining, Oh My!

So the last time I touched this blog it was Christmas time... I think it's become a quarterly blog. Hmmm.... not good. It should be re-named the Procrastinator's Blog.

Well much has occurred since Christmas time on the vegan front and on the 'rest of life' front. In terms of the vegan front, I hit up The Magic Oven on Wellesley downtown T-dot. The best thing is they offer foodstuffs for non-veggies so you can bring your non-veg friends and encourage them to take a bite of your Gourmet Veggie Magic pizza; of course, the beautiful thing about their pizzas is you can make your own and/or mix up your toppings! For instance, instead of zucchini, I asked for broccoli and instead of goat cheese, I asked for Daiya dairy-free cheese (which is SOOO good; it melts like real cheese and is made of tapioca). My friends who came with had a bite and agreed but equally enjoyed their own dairy-topped pizzas. We also split an order of Green-Tea infused Organic Tofu Fingers. It was yummy! One thing I love about this place is they have lots of organic options, non-GMO sauces and wonderful dairy-free options. So if you're vegan and really missing traditional pizza, this is the place to go.

On one minor note, the staff at this place were wonderful! Unlike some of the vegan restaurants I've been to that I won't name, the staff are not pretentious but wonderfully patient and extremely helpful in their recommendations. These people seem very to work here which is great from a customer point of view.

The next wonderful new place I've checked out (just last night actually) is New Generation Sushi on Bloor (near Bathhurst). It's in a very busy location across from Lee's Palace (a night club) so it's easy to find once you get into the right area. The service was friendly although I did have to wait a bit for my chopsticks but they certainly had enough staff working for them. The restaurant itself was very busy so I think that's a pretty good sign that it's a respectable, well-established place. I had a miso soup as my starter, the New Gen Vegetarian Maki as my entree and green tea as my drink. All were delicious. I really enjoyed the Maki which was a vegetable spring roll, tofu and avocado all wrapped up in rice and seaweed. Everything from the lighting to the dishes really contributed to this Japanese theme. If you're looking to change up from your usual vegan BLT or pasta and marinara, check out New Generation Sushi. The only disappointing thing was that they only offer ice creams (albeit interesting ice creams like red bean, green tea, mango and black sesame) which my friends were able to indulge in but I could not. In any case, the fruity drinks we had at The Mod Club afterward were more than enough to satisfy my sweet tooth even if the rock music was not.

So get out of your house and enjoy a night out with some friends downtown at any of these places and live a little! Life is incredibly short, after all. That being said, enjoy today and maybe take your mum out for Mother's Day.