Gobble, gobble, no gobble

Gobble, gobble, no gobble

This year, I had my first Thanksgiving without turkey.

Actually, it was a big thanksgiving of ‘firsts.’ First Thanksgiving away from my immediate family, first Thanksgiving with my boyfriend, and first Thanksgiving that I was going to be preparing for other people.

I’ve decided to give Pescatarianism another whirl, but opted to make the challenge even harder by preparing an all-vegan thanksgiving for myself this year. Yippee!

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*wave emoji*

Hello, old friend. It’s been a hot minute, hasn’t it?

As it happens, I started a new writing endeavour and committed to the idea of a regular schedule, just for my life to get flipped upside down.

Since I last posted something that wasn’t from the archives, I moved across the province and started not one, but two different jobs. Everything has been crazy, but I’m not complaining one bit. It’s been the best kind of crazy. My life has been insane this year, and I welcome any regularity something like a side-blog can provide.

So here I am, in front of you, hoping you forgive me for the worst of internet sins: leaving you hanging waiting for more content. Not leaving a note or anything.

It’s now fall, but to make up for my lack of presence, I will share with you my summer of incredible food.

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I was supposed to write a blog post yesterday.

I can hardly imagine I have an sizeable amount of people following me to even have noticed, but I failed. I didn’t get a blog post up. I’m a sham, a fraud.

To make up for it today, I’ll give you a glimpse of my food diary while I was away.

So I went to Edmonton for the weekend with my parents. I know, it’s not the first place people immediately think of an an exhilarating weekend getaway. But I like Edmonton, and it’s a six-hour drive for me to get there. I thoroughly enjoy being in cities, and like being surrounded by interesting stuff. The hustle and bustle doesn’t affect me at all.

I can’t tell you it was much beyond visiting West Edmonton Mall goes, as far as experiencing the culture of the city and dining at a restaurant unique to Edmonton goes. But I had a great time getting out of my town.


I ate too much of this spicy salmon roll before I remembered that I should document it. This came from Oranj Sushi Bar, a fairly decent sushi place, considering its in landlocked Alberta.

It’s always a fun surprise to see how spicy the sushi roll is going to be, because it varies from place to place. Will it be slightly hot? Will it sear my tongue off? Who knows?

Also: Does anyone else feel like they’ve wasted a lot of someone’s money by not eating the wasabi that comes with sushi? I do love pickled ginger, though.

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Seared Ginger Tuna Salad. Is it obviously that I’m a fan of raw fish? I guess so. Mostly when other people prepare it, I’m scared of making myself sick if I do it. I was really caught between this or a pizza, and ultimately chose this because you have no idea the kind of weekend eats I was taking part in.

Finally. This beautiful creation.

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This is what I was dreaming of since I knew I was coming to the city. I haven’t had a Yogen Fruz frozen yogurt since before I finished school last May. Oh man, this hit the spot. I am such a sucker for the type of frozen yogurt, it’s simple, creamy, and not too heavy or sweet to eat. Perfect.

Not pictured from the weekend: a donair poutine, four shared plates of calamari, oatmeal and hashbrowns from McDonald’s, breakfast at Cora’s, popcorn twists, chocolate, beef jerky, vitamin water, a hot dog from a gas station, hummus and pretzels, seafood spaghettini, multiple Starbucks drinks, and a spinach and feta wrap. ie. the quintessential road trip diet.

The top five dishes I’ve eaten, as per my instagram

The top five dishes I’ve eaten, as per my instagram

Alternative title: a wild ride in extravagant filters and editing apps

If you eat something, and you didn’t instagram it, did you really eat it? Did I just find a dieting loophole?

Doubt it. But it stands to reason, this is how we eat now, and I fully embrace it.

I wanted to take some time today to show my appreciation for instagram, and what better way to do that then go on a journey through all the food I have documented throughout the years with it? How else would I have known I had a Caesar loaded with snacks almost two years ago now? That’s an important memory I want to cherish.

So, looking back, from newest to oldest, here are my top five food picks from my instagram.


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This burrito bowl from Chipotle, March 2016.

I could have been fancier, but I hadn’t been to Chipotle in more than six months at this point, so I opted for my usual, to not disappoint. The chicken burrito bowl with brown rice, mild and hot salsa, lettuce, and black beans will not disappoint. I would have gotten a burrito, but I knew I’d be eating this for breakfast, and needed something leftover friendly.

Thai 4 days

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This feast of Thai food, August 2015.

If you haven’t been to Ban Chok Dee in Langley, you gotta. It’s great. I went there for the first time last year on Valentine’s Day, and I was certainly treated with some of the best lettuce wraps.

Falafel is bae

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Falafel salad, May 2015.

2015: The year of good eats. 2016 will be an even greater year of eats, but I a. haven’t documented them yet, and b. haven’t gotten through the entire year either. I love falafels, they are so tasty, and pretty good for you if you’re not loading them up with fat. I’m pretty sure these ones are vegan and gluten-free, or at least easy to make gluten-free.

Good morning! Or afternoon. Whatever.

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Breakfast at Brioche, August 2014.

Oh, Brioche. How I miss it. Brioche is a cafe in Gastown that makes delicious breakfast, along with pasta, desserts, and daily specials. Their food is delightful homecooking, and a lot more than you’d expect as it’s kind of a hole-in-the-wall place you wouldn’t know about otherwise.


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An individual sized pizza from Boston Pizza, December 2011.

According to my instagram feed, this was the first thing I posted. Waaaaay back, in the end of 2011. Pretty sure I had just gotten my first iPhone, and needed to take high quality photos with it. I believe this was a fajita-style pizza, with peppers, and loads of guac and sour cream. Super healthy.

Dairy: do you dare?

Dairy: do you dare?

One of the remarks that comes up in conversations about veganism a lot is how many people feel its something they can’t do solely because they love dairy so much. And, being honest, I think I’ve been one of those people who has said that at some point.

Yes, dairy is a real comfort for many of us who grow up on western diets. I grew up in a family where we had a small glass of milk with our dinner every night, and I have other vivid memories of my brother’s favourite snack being a tall glass of milk with about half of a box of Oreos. It was just the norm, we always drank milk. If there wasn’t a gallon-sized jug of the stuff in our fridge, we went into panic mode.

Dairy is remarkable in the way it brings people together. It’s seems like, even if you gather a vegetarian and a meat-lover at the some potluck, they can typically be united by their love of cheese. Most veggie-friendly options rely on cheese to give the dish a sense of identity and a major flavour profile.

But despite this, there are a handful of reasons why people might forgo the dairy in their diets, and never look back.

Some do it to live without the animal products, some because they have moral disagreements with what goes on in the dairy industry, some because they have either an allergy or a sensitivity to dairy, and some just because they like how they feel on a dairy-free diet.

Around the time I was twenty, I discovered inadvertently that I was lactose intolerant. I didn’t get formally tested, I just found every time I had milk, I could guarantee a gnarly stomach ache in a few hours. Reason enough to stop drinking the stuff, I thought.

And I did just that. I quit milk, an impossible task at the time. But within a month, I had forgotten that milk was something I had used to crave.

Giving up milk, and switching over the non-dairy alternatives, was my first endeavour into exploring vegan options. I figured, if I can give up milk, what else can I try alternatives for? I explored the previously untouched world of vegan ice cream, vegan yogurt, and vegan cheese, finding some I really liked, and others I could live without.

Might I just say, we are truly living in the renaissance of vegan cheese. I’m flabbergasted at how many more options there are, and how much tastier they are than they were even five years ago. Bet you never thought you’d read the words ‘renaissance’, ‘vegan’ and ‘cheese’ in the same sentence.

People like to give vegan cheese a bad rep — as with most vegan food — but I wholeheartedly disagree with all of that. Some of the new fake cheese on the market is incredible. Though not available in Canada, Kite Hill creates beautiful artisan vegan cheese out of almond milk, the way its gourmet counterparts would be made out of the milk of a cow. Additionally, I’ve come to prefer eating mac and cheese made with Daiya, it really brings it on the gooey-ness factor.

So, build on your palate. Try some new alternatives to same boring dairy foods you’re used to. You might have a taste for coconut ice cream, who knows?