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Thursday, February 17, 2011

my first Vegan-ish Month!!

Hello friends :)
I'm sorry it's been a long time since I made a post. It's for a good reason though: education. I'm currently right in the middle of my exams period but it's all alright hah...
I wanted to celebrate my first Vegan-ish Month!! 
I just finished the 30 days challenge and well let me say I am very proud and I'm continuing this lifestyle with no doubts.
Not only did I feel great (in the last couple of days) and clean from the inside out but also I participated less in global warming, world's hunger and animal abuse.
I really enjoyed trying the different vegan treats and recipes I found along my journey and let me say that Food has never been tastier.
You actually can taste the different flavors when your plate isn't flooded by animal fat. It's like a rainbow of flavors in your mouth with every bite.  And you actually discover the use of all those different vegetables and plants that you used to pass by while grocery shopping while thinking: "what on earth do people use THAT for?"
I'm a really Food loving person and you can see it in my food habits and my jeans size hah ! And I discovered that if you really are Food loving, you would ditch the meat which is only 15% of all the food out there but strangely enough is 80% of the food you eat. It's like those 15% keeps busy from discovering the other 85% of all the food the world has to offer.
Not to mention that you learn how to balance all the different spices, great fine herbs & sauces.
I guess this is why every vegan becomes in love with the kitchen; BECAUSE IT'S AMAZING what you can  craft in there!

Now the reason I called this past 30 days "Vegan-ish", well, you guessed it, it's because I made a couple of  mistakes or cheats? (and i know that no one benefits when someone cheats :/). No, God no, I did NOT eat meat. lol but what happens is that sometimes you have no choices and you settle down with the vegetarian alternatives. Here are my confessions:
I have yet to develop my Vegan armor against cases like this and carry my lunch/snacks when I go out.
For example, at my school, the only vegan thing is a box of vegetarian sushi which contains one egg in the white sauce you see in the roll. :/ And I end up buying this when I'm extremely hungry.
On the other days though, I'd buy a bag of mixed nuts and asian rice crackers to eat for my lunch. (asian rice crackers might contain coloring that is animal derived but there is nothing noted on the back :/ I even tried contacting the company with no luck)
One night we were out of vegan cheese while we were cooking our dinner and I had to settle down to use non vegan cheese from my boyfriend. The same thing happened yesterday with mayonnaise and sour creme.
Annnd sometimes you buy unintentionally non vegan stuff; for example:
In my last grocery shopping at IGA, I was in the Faux-meat aisle checking what I could buy as a quick meal and I didn't want a "faux-meat"dinner. When I found the Spinach nuggets by Veggie patch I was thrilled and was anxious to try it. The thought of checking the ingredients didn't even cross my mind because:
1- I was in the faux-meat part
2- Who would put animal byproducts in a SPINACH nugget made by VEGGIIIIIEEEE patch?!?!?!
This is absurd... Turns out they contain milk... CULTURED SKIM MILK...

Anyways, I'm still learning as you can see. One day I'll be a flawless vegan shopper hah!
And all those mistakes still can't take my victory away from me: My first 30 vegan days !!!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

IGA Vegan shopping

Today was Grocery shopping day. I found some vegan products in IGA (mainly fake meat). Unfortunatly IGA only covers vegetarian food, you will have to look for somewhere else for vegan products.
For exemple; all there soy cheese contains Caseine (milk protein) which is really disapointing.
The only cheese substitute I found free from Caseine was this one : http://www.yoso.ca/product_spreads.html
It's good for bagels and such but I was a bit dissapointed of the lack of protein in it. But over all, it tastes great and definitly worth the purchase.
The Yoso spreadables are found with all the Soy and Rice Milk/Beverages next to the organic and wine aisles.
In that same aisles you'll find frozen vegetarian dinner by Commensal, you`ll have to read the label on the back to find the Vegan ones.
I bought this one and it was DELICIOUS!:
Chinese Stir-Fry with Seitan in red sauce. It's a small tv dinner (not like the huge swanson ones) but trust me, with 23g of protein, it does the trick to fill you up.
Next to the frozen dinner, you'll also find gluten free cakes, sorbets etc... The gluten free cakes are not vegan unfortunately.
If anyone knows where can I find Vegan cakes, please tell me in a comment.

Now, for the Fake Meat part, they have an extremly good selection of Yves Veggie cuisine (http://www.yvesveggie.ca/fr/)
Try looking for them in the green / vegetables aisles, they put them next to all the salad dressing and natural juices in a freezer, right next to pre-packed salads.
I bought a vegan pepperoni pack:
It is delicious! you can still taste soy product in it but you won't be able to deny the fact that they really did a great job with the spices and the olives in it! You'll end up with a delicious pepperoni taste in your mouth.
It's not that expansive, IGA has a sale going on on all Yves product: 2 for 6$.
But beware, There isn't a lot of pepperonis in the pack, they'll be just about enough for one big pizza.
I also tried out the Original Veggie Ground Round:
I wanted to try it in a macaroni dish and with just soy sauce as flavor. It was a bad idea and it didn't taste good.
Don't buy the Original pack unless you know your way with spices. If you're a new cooker like me, I'd advise you to buy a pack with spices like the Asian or Mexican Veggie Ground Round.
At least, this is what I'm going to do next time. It's definitely not a bad product, I just didn't know how to cook it well. I'll see if I can marinate it too.
There is also a large selection of Tofu in that corner. They sell most 500g tofu pack for around 2$
I bought an organic one for 3$
The brand is Soyarie (http://www.soyarie.ca/english/tofu.html). I chose the one with herbs. I`m planning on adding it in a pasta tomato sauce to replace the ground beef we used to put in it.
I'll definitely come back to tell you all about how I cooked it. It will be my first time cooking tofu. hah! excitement!
Here's a picture of the pack: (excuse the bad quality, it's my webcam. A new camera is definitely added to my TO BUY list) 

So that's about all the vegan shopping possible in IGA.
One last thing, some of the products sold in IGA have organic version of them, just check the organic aisles.
And No, it's not 10 times the prices. For example I bought an Organic Tostito Tortilla Bag for 3$ while the original was 2.60 or something like that.
I know some people will say that even if it's only 40 cents, it will add up by the end of your groceries shopping if you buy an organic version of everything. But in my opinion, your health and the cleanliness of your body is definitely worse much more than 40 cents by product. Save yourself a little bit of percentage of the chance that you might get Cancer with every product you buy as organic. :)
I'll come back tonight with pictures of my 1st Vegan dinner.
Since I took the 30 days Vegan challenge proposed by PeTA (well I saw it first on a youtube video that I can't find right now and it made me think), I'm going to write down all my 30 vegan recipes with pictures hopefully. I like sharing and especially helping. Who knows, maybe I'll help some other person going through the same challenge as me! hah!

Friday, January 28, 2011


For all those who live in our dear beloved Montreal, I want to share two things with you:

1) MAISON ECOLONET: (http://www.maisonecolonet.net/)
This is a really great shop! I was truly mind blown when I found about it while I was going to the grocery store.
When I went in, I saw a good variety of environment friendly as well as vegan friendly products.
They sell organic toothpaste, soap, and have variety of deodorant (tom's was on sale there so I bought it), they even have environment friendly (not vegan unfortunately, there is bee wax in it) strong antiperspirant deodorant that is made here in Quebec. They have organic shampoos, body wash and even a wide variety of home products like biodegradable Washing detergents, multi-surfaces cleaning liquid, disinfecting liquids, and dish soap.
The best part is that the prices are really great. All my life I heard that going Green was expensive. Trust me when I tell you its not. You can go see for yourself. If my memory serves me well, 1L of all surfaces liquid was around 6$ (i'm really not sure, it could be cheaper, please bare with me here, I visited the shop like two weeks ago) and if you bring your own containers (it's like those candy shop where you fill your bag, so if you bring your own bag) you'll even get a discount (like a 1$).
I was really amazed since I haven't seen any shops like this in Montreal. And the lady who owns the place is extremely nice.
Next time I'm out of hygiene and household products (since I don't like to waste anything) I'll definitely go buy my stuff from there. GO GREEN!

2)MONDIANA GROCERY STORE (cristophe colomb and belanger intersection, 2 streets away from Maison Ecolonet)
This cozy small grocery store offers a good variety of fair trade, organic food stock and some household/hygiene organic /biodegradable products. There is some vegan processed food you wont find in your local IGA/Metro market (like the Vegan gourmet cheese, or the famous Vegenaise etc). The down side is that there isn't a lot of stock which gives you the impression that the products are a bit old so definitely check for the expiry date for all the things you take before you pay for them. (most of the things I bouth expires next month)
But it's definitely worth the try! And there's some products priced cheaper than in IGA like the Quinoa bag I bought. I know I was very happy to find it because there really isn't a vegan groceries store in this area.

Some of the products I bought from this wonderful place that you won't find in your local Grocery store:
  • Vegan gourmet cheese Nacho flavor: the best vegan cheese I've tasted so far.
  • Vegenaise Original: HOLY SHIIIIITAKE, it's even better than the real mayonaise.
  • Earth Balace Soy free Margarine: I'm trying to limit my intake of soy since everything in excess is bad for you and this bad ass product tastes better than the real one in my opinion.

I also bought a Falafel mix (by Casbah)  that I haven't tried yet. You only have to add water and voila! your falafel are done! PERFECT for my late school days! I'll give you feedbacks when I try it but I have big hopes for this product.
I also bought some TEMPEEEH BURGERS!!! YEAH! burgers made from the best meat substitue out there!
Annnd I found some Tofurky! perfect for a submarine.
For my final purchase, I took (I wish I didn't) a soy pate from Commensal. It tastes horrible to be honest. I will never buy it again...

Here are some pictures:

 I bought it to put it on some bagels for a healthy complete breakfast... but you can't even swallow it, it`s not sweet or sour or salty... i don`t know what it is.. and it definitely doesn't taste like cranberries

This was my first time shopping for Vegan food and I'm really satisfied from my shopping and it seriously gave me hope: being a Vegan isn`t this hard if you know where to look.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Begining :)

This is my first post and I'm going to take time to describe what the site is all about.
Mainly this will be a blog about my  journey as a Vegan and the recipes I found along the way! But I'll also cover subjects that are not vegan related such as: DIY posts, tips, female stuff *yay for ladies* I find out about because I just like sharing everything awesome I find!
That's probably it. It's my first blog and I hope you'll enjoy it :)
I have big expectations for this blog =D Im sure this will be awesome!