Sunday, September 29, 2013

Vegtoberfest!


Today was the kick off party for Vegtoberfest 2013! As described on the VofA website "Come and join the fun at Edmonton’s only Vegan and Vegetarian festival, Vegtoberfest, as we kick off the beginning of World Vegetarian Month. There will be displays, food sampling, food booths, Sailin’ On Vegan Food truck, information, and FUN!"


The festival was held at Earth's General Store. Earths General Store is a great little store on the corner of 96 st. and 82nd ave. that has tonnes of local, organic and fair trade items. They are a vegetarian store and all vegan items are clearly marked. If you haven't checked them out please do - the owner, Michael,  is one of the nicest people you will ever meet! My girls love going to the store!


So this was our first time going to the vegtoberfest kick off party. I had told the kids about it about a month ago and they had been looking forward to it ever since. They have excellent memories when it comes to parties and such so I shouldn't have been surprised when I heard a small voice ask me in the wee hours of the morning if it was time for the veggie party yet. It was a cool rainy night/morning - the kind thats perfect for sleeping in and I (wrongly) thought they would so they decided to go "get ready" for the party instead of going back to bed. They made this picture to celebrate todays event. Needless to say they were ready to go way before the party even started but I kept them occupied with some blueberry pancakes for breakfast. 



I think the thing they were most excited for was the food. I had told them that Sailin' On was going to be there. Sailin' On is Edmonton's only vegan food truck and we had been looking forward to trying some of their eats. Wow - just wow! Fantastic food peeps - if you get the chance to eat there I would highly recommend you do! We ordered the blt wrap, the vegan rueben, the irish fries and an order of plain fries.


Ok first up the irish fries. I wish I had taken a pic of the sign saying exactly what was on these but basically it was fries smothered in their homemade curry sauce, vegan cheese (daiya cheddar shreds I think?) green onions, cabbage and carrots. Holy moly it was so good! They were a generous serving and we devoured them asap. I loved them and would certainly ordered them again...and again and again and again. They are that good!




Ok next up was the blt wrap. This and the fries were my favs. I couldn't get over how excellent the bacon is in this wrap and its made from coconut! I've heard of the coconut bacon before on blogs but I never had a desire to make it. My mistake! Needless to day I have googled a recipe and will be making this asap! The wrap had coconut bacon, lettuce, tomatoe, shredded carrot and homemade roasted garlic mayo. Fantastic and everyone loved this. We almost had to go get another one - everyone was fighting for the last bite. Highly recommend this and the irish fries.


Last up is the vegan rueben. Seitan on rye with sauerkraut, vegan harvarti, homemade thousand island and a pickle. The kids and I love sauerkraut so I knew we would like this but I'm on again/off again with seitan. Sometimes the texture is awesome for me and sometimes it wigs me out. This was good and I would recommend it to people but I probably wouldn't get it again due to my on again/off again relationship with seitan. 

We're definitely looking forward to trying more items from them again and we'll be going out of our way to make it to the food truck again. I think they are almost done for the season :( but next year we will make sure to find them as often as we can.

Also there was some vegan cookies and donuts. We had to buy a box of the donuts to bring home for dessert tonight. I'll report back on how they were. They look delish and I'm sure they are. And since its international coffee day today Earth's General Store was serving up their fresh roasted (they roast it right in the store!) organic fair trade coffee and it was a good thing because man it was cold out! It was gray and damp and cold and the coffee was a welcomed treat for the adults. I made the kidlets a steamed vanilla almond milk when we got home to warm them up. Ollie is always eating the foam off my almond milk cappuccino so I knew she would be happy with it. Gabbie still prefers a hot chocolate but had no problem drinking hers up :)

I have been busy snapping pics the last few weeks but haven't had time to blog much because we needed to get some outside painting done before the weather turns. Stay tuned for some food posts!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Back to school = back to packing lunches

It's back to school time and that means back to packing lunches. I've mentioned before that we use our planet boxes for packing the girls lunches. Boy do we ever love those lunch boxes! Each girl has a planet box and a thermos and they really make packing healthy lunches so so much easier.  They are expensive but worth every penny. We've had both of ours for over 4 years now and they are in excellent shape still. The carry bags wash great and after a wash in the sink they come out looking brand new! And perhaps best of all is when the lunch boxes come home I just pop them in the dishwasher and the next morning they are sparkling clean and ready to be packed up!

Now that school is back I've gotten back to my meal plans. This is super important for me because I often send the girl leftover as part of their lunch so by planning ahead I make sure I make enough dinner so they can have some for their lunch the next day. But I also usually make a bean and/or grain salad up for the week too because sometimes leftover don't work. such was the case for one child this week and I knew it was going to play out like that so I made a a quinoa, mango & black bean salad on monday to have in fridge ready to go for when I needed it.




So the first day was an exciting one where because not only was it the first day of school it was the first day of grade one for our youngest. She has been looking forward to packing a lunch like her big sister for a long time so I had to make sure it didn't disappoint! Both girls had the same thing on the first day. I put vanilla coconut milk yougurt in their big dipper , a fruit salad of cantaloupe, kiwi's and raspberries in the bottom compartment, a plum and the small dipper with dip for veggies above the fruit and some carrot sticks and mini cucumbers in the top compartment. That day they also took their thermos with pasta e fagoli in it and I added a banana in the front of their carry case for an extra snack just incase.


Day 2 both girls had the same lunch again. in the large compartment I put a black bean taco in for them (black beans with spices, guacamole, spinach, chopped tomatoes, green onions and black olives all wrapped up in a spelt tortilla) another fruit salad with cantaloupe, kiwis and garden strawberries, some green grapes and dip above that and carrot sticks and mini cucumbers again. in the tiny middle square I put a small treat in - 2 surf sweet gummies.



Here they are packed up and ready to go. Note the bananas in the area where most people put water bottles. I always like to a few extra snacks just incase. also packed is the big dipper with some whole grain crackers in them in the front pouch (where is says planet box). Sorry for the blurry pic - not sure what was going on with my camera!


Day 3 - Like i mentioned above when I made my meal plan I knew there was going to be a day where leftovers weren't going to work for one child. My oldest loves the field roast veggie dogs and my youngest hates anything that even resembles meat so I knew there was not going to be leftover veggie dogs for that one for lunch (nor for supper) so below is the oldest lunch - a veggie dog, sliced peaches, veggie dip and green grapes, carrot sticks and mini cucumbers. In the big dipper was an orange choc. chip muffin to be packed in the front pocket. 


The youngest took crackers and hummus, peach slices, green grapes and veggie dip, carrot sticks and mini cucumbers, an orange choc. chip muffin in her big dipper as well and she took a thermos full of the quinoa salad. I put ice in the thermos for about 20 mins before I packed the salad and it keeps it really nice and cold.


Everyday their lunch boxes come home empty - I love that! If they have any little bits of lunch left they will eat it for snack before they get any thing else but it rare that there is anything left. They love all the organic fruits and veggies that I pack and I try to pack a main meal that I know they love so that they eat their lunch all up. I think a good breakfast and a good lunch makes for a great day of learning and playing. 


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hello September!

Well hello there! Its been so long since I've posted it feels a little weird to be doing this again! So what have I been doing in my absence? Enjoying the summer mostly! But school is right around the corner so its time to get back on track. By June I was so looking forward to the break from routine and we really enjoyed doing whatever we wanted to whenever we wanted to this summer but its time for a little more routine (says half of me, the other half hates routine - always has, always will! But its better for the kids ;) 

Speaking of summer here are a few pics of our eats. We didn't grow much in the garden this year but our strawberries did excellent! Everyday we would get at least a bowlful of beautiful ruby red berries. So fabulous straight from the garden!


We also used some of those strawberries to make my favourite dessert - strawberry rhubarb crisp!


But we can't live on crisp alone (unfortunaely)! I didn't make a meal plan even once this summer so most nights I was winging it. Below is quesadillas made with hummus, green onions, and avocado steamed green beans and roasted sweet potatoe wedges. 


Back to the strawberry bounty we also made some awesome fruit salads for breakfast with them. Here is a pic from a breakfast with fruit salad and cinnamon toast. We like the Ali's Alpine bread from Silver Hills for our cinnamon toast.


The other night hubby was working late so I took the girls to see Planes at the movie theatre and then out for dinner. They choose Famoso for pizza which worked for me! We shared the veggie primavera pizza which is a white pizza (olive oil and garlic for the sauce) with roasted cremini mushrooms, artichoke hearts, red onion, kalamata olives, and roasted red peppers. Famoso has Daiya cheese but we really prefer our pizza's cheeseless so the girls opted to add avocado to the pizza. It was pretty good! The also have excellent sorbetto there and one of their summer flavours is strawberry rhubarb so.....


Thats all for know kids - we are in full getting ready for back to school mode over here so I still have some work I want to get done tonight.