Author Archives: aireater

Mengrai Gourmet Thai: Thai Spicy Flat Rice Noodle + Lemongrass Coconut Soup Vegetarian/Glass Noodles

I have to admit, in Toronto, we’re somewhat spoiled with the restaurant choices we have. Mat and I have a favourite called Mengrai Gourmet Thai and there’s a reason we love going there. They are incredibly accommodating and understand what vegan and gluten free means. We’ve had the cold salad rolls – ask for no sauce on top for gluten free, lemongrass coconut soup, pad thai, green curry, glass noodles, and lately Thai Spicy Flat Rice Noodles (which are not on the menu only the take out version!).

Lemongrass Coconut Soup Vegetarian:Glass NoodlesThai Spicy Flat Rice Noodle

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lemongrass coconut soup is pretty fab and I’ve taken it one step further by adding glass noodles to the equation. Seriously, try this. It’s beyond delicious and it works with a side of rice just as well if you’re not a glass noodle fan. You’ll have to explain you want a meal size and not the appetizer.

The waiters are incredibly helpful and will not hesitate to help you with your meal choices if you describe what you’re in the mood for. We’ve been quite a few times and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a classy tasty meal.

Here are the restaurant details:

82 Ontario Street, Toronto, ON, M5A 2V3
(NW corner of Richmond St E & Ontario St, between Sherbourne & Parliament)
Tel: 416-840-2759 or 2754 (Reservation & Takeout)
Tel: 416-546-0331 (Catering / Cooking Classes /Group Dining / Event Bookings)
Their take out menu PDF.

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Filed under gluten free, Meals, vegan

Enjoy Life Give Away: Not Nuts Seed & Fruit Mix

The kind people at Enjoy Life gave me a bag of each of their Not Nuts Seed & Fruit Mix products: Beach Bash (R) and Mountain Mambo (R), I’d like to pass them on to you to enjoy.

Both products are vegan and free from:

  • Gluten
  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Peanut
  • Tree Nut
  • Egg
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Casein
  • Sesame
  • Sulfites
  • Potato

  • They’re great for: Hiking, school lunches, cereal/soy yogurt toppings, baked goods additions, just about anything really.

 Enjoy Life Not Nuts! Seed & Fruit Mix Beach Bash.

Enjoy Life Not Nuts! Seed & Fruit Mix Mountain Mambo

Contest details:
Start date: Monday December 8, 2014 @ 9:30 am EST
End date: Friday December 19, 2014 @ 12:00am EST
This contest is open to Canadians including Quebec.

How to enter:
Complete the requests through the Rafflecopter link below. Your chances are based on the amount of entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Contests at AllCanadaContests.com
Contests at Win-Free-Stuff.ca/

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Filed under Contest, gluten free, Healthy Snacks, vegan

So Delicious Vegan Gluten Free Holiday Drinks

The very kind people at So Delicious sent me three Holiday drinks to review. I did not receive money for this, these are my real thoughts, and I think you’d know by now if I don’t like something I’m not going to bother with it.

That said, I am totally impressed considering I wasn’t sure what to make of them when I saw the flavours. What I received:

1. So Delicious Nog Coconut Milk
2. So Delicious Coconut Spice Milk
3. So Delicious Chocolate Mint Milk

 

Let me preface this by saying I’ve never had egg nog, so I really have nothing to compare this drink to. Even as a kid, I thought the idea of drinking an egg based beverage sounded rather unappealing. I had a few misconceptions of what this drink would taste like. I thought I’d have to plug my nose and drink it back fast like a shot. I am glad to say I was completely wrong.

The So Delicious Nog Coconut Milk was sweet, creamy, and the nutmeg shone as a feature ingredient. I could definitely see why people would want to drink this by the glass. There wasn’t a weird aftertaste just a smooth pleasing experience. If someone had this drink in a punchbowl at a party I don’t think I’d leave the table.

So Delicious Nog Coconut Milk Beverage Nutritional Facts

So Delicious Nog Coconut Milk Beverage Nutritional Facts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it comes to the whole ‘pumpkin spice craze’, I am not a big fan, in fact I seriously dislike pumpkin anything (except roasted seeds; those are delicious). So Delicious Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk has given me some hope for the category. The ingredients are rather vague just listing “spices” and not being clear which ones are present in the beverage. I wish I knew because whatever they are they’re magical. This drink is creamy, pleasant, and has a thicker consistency than the Nog. For some reason I didn’t expect that. The colour was also a deeper shade of beige leaning towards orange. I’m guessing this colour difference is because of the pumpkin ingredient. I would totally make both the Nog and this Pumpkin Spice drink into my own vegan version of Baileys. I could totally see how this could work. Imagine how that would make a holiday party that much more jolly.

So Delicious Pumpkin Spice Coconut Beverage Nutritional Facts

So Delicious Pumpkin Spice Coconut Beverage Nutritional Facts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a HUGE fan of anything chocolate mint to begin with. I can see why this drink should only come out during the holidays because otherwise people would be downing it in the streets and you’d get sick of it. Instead, it should be experienced with care as an enjoyable treat instead of a common flavour. There’s no weird aftertaste or gritty sensation as I’ve experienced with other chocolate mint drinks. Over all, the drink is perfectly balanced with mint and chocolate. If this was the 80’s I would have used this drink as my milk while eating Cookie Crisp cereal. This cereal was seriously ridiculous. I mean what marketing executive came up with the idea of giving children cookies for breakfast. Not only did it pass as a product, but people bought it? Oh man. Anyway, I suppose I could recreate my childhood memories with some Enjoy Life cookies that I like so much. That would do nicely. This drink goes down easy, as the consistency is thin like regular soy milk, and it doesn’t have the thick creamy aspect. If you’re wondering what Monk Fruit is, as I was when I read the nutrition facts, it’s a natural sweetener.

So Delicious Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk Nutrition Facts

So Delicious Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk Nutrition Facts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you So Delicious for bringing these drinks to my attention and giving me the chance to try them out. I never thought I’d say I like Nog or anything pumpkin. I cannot wait to get my hands on these products when they come to Canada. American friends – count your lucky stars you have immediate access to these items!

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Made Good Review

The lovely people at Made Good sent me their amazing products and I have to say I completely love them AND they’re organic. The Made Good company is from Toronto. What are these products?

Granola Minis
Granola Bars
Raw Bars

Granola Minis Apple Cinnamon

 

If you’re looking for a comfort snack that will give you a hug and remind you of fun times with Grandma the Apple Cinnamon Granola Minis are exactly that. As soon as I opened the bag the cinnamon aroma was enticing and it’s hard to stop eating these pint sized snacks. The size ratio is perfect for controlled snacking and the balance of flavours is excellent. Not one ingredient overpowered the overall taste.

 

 

Ingredients:

Rolled oats*, agave nectar*, brown rice syrup*, raisins*, apples*, coconut oil*, sunflower oil*, whole grain crisp brown rice*, agave inulin*, cinnamon*, vegetable powder (spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, shiitake mushrooms), natural mixed tocopherols, rosemary extract*. *Organic

 

Granola Mini Chocolate Banana

Made Good Mini Granola Chocolate BananaMade Good Mini Granola Chocolate Banana close up

These little bad boys are just like taking a bite of tasty banana bread with not too sweet chocolate chips. This snack is totally perfect for a ‘bad craving’. I can see how I’d want to reach for these. Don’t be put off by the vegetable powders, they aren’t prominent and are a sneaky benefit to this snack. The smell of banana was rather authentic and not the gross brown spotted banana smell that comes with overripe bananas. I would totally warm them up in the toaster oven for a minute to get that same banana bread smell.
Ingredients:

Rolled oats*, agave nectar*, brown rice syrup*, bananas*, chocolate chips* (cocoa liquor*, cane sugar*, cocoa butter*, cocoa powder*), sunflower oil*, whole grain crisp brown rice*, coconut*, agave inulin*, coconut oil*, vegetable powder (spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, shiitake mushrooms), vanilla flavour*, natural mixed tocopherols, rosemary extract*. *Organic

 

Granola Mini Strawberry

 

Made Good Mini Granola Strawberry frontMade Good Mini Granola Strawberry close up

From the first whiff you can certainly smell the strawberry pieces. I find it the vegetable powders unrecognizable. I tried very hard to taste the other ingredients to no avail. I suppose that’s a good thing, but I was hoping for hints of the cherry juice. What I enjoy the most is the strawberry pieces and it’s not that weird fake strawberry that some companies tend to use. All of it feels real and it’s not a surprise when you see the ingredients. I can’t feel guilty for something so tasty when it’s rather healthy!

 

 

 

Ingredients:
Rolled oats*, agave nectar*, strawberry pieces* (apple juice concentrate*, apple puree concentrate*, strawberry puree*, cherry juice concentrate*, apple pectin, natural flavour*), apricots*, brown rice syrup*, apples*, sunflower oil*, whole grain crisp brown rice*, coconut oil*, agave inulin*, vegetable powder (spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, shiitake mushrooms), strawberry flavour*, natural mixed tocopherols, rosemary extract*. *Organic

Made Good Mixed Berry Organic Granola Bar

Made Good Mixed Berry Organic Granola Bar

I’m not usually a fan of mix berry as a whole, I never reach for it as my number one pick, but it grew on me. Not too sweet, not too tart, the cranberries were delicate and the raisin taste dominated along with and underlining hint of blueberry/raspberry. I felt like I searching for notes to detect with each bite as I tried to decipher the mix. Right at the end the coconut bit really struck me. What an interesting combination. For you berry lovers this is certainly a hit.

 

 

 

Ingredients:
Rolled oats*, agave nectar*, brown rice syrup*, raisins*, coconut*, sunflower oil*, cranberries*, whole grain crisp brown rice*, agave inulin*, molasses*, blueberries*, raspberries*, vegetable powder (spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, shiitake mushrooms), raspberry flavour*, apple juice concentrate*. *Organic

Made Good Chocolate Chip Organic Granola Bar

Made Good Chocolate Chip Organic Granola Bar

 

Forget the traditional chocolate chip granola bar. I grew up with the Quaker Oats bar and Made Good has completely gone above and refined the bar with a healthier version. This bar doesn’t need marshmallows or corn syrup to please. The bar is chewy and overall not too sweet for what it is. Sure to please any chocolate lover.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

Rolled oats*, agave nectar*, chocolate chips* (cocoa liquor*, cane sugar*, cocoa butter*, cocoa powder*), brown rice syrup*, sunflower oil*, whole grain crisp brown rice*, agave inulin*, coconut*, molasses*, vegetable powder (spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, shiitake mushrooms), vanilla flavour*. *Organic.

 

Made Good Brazil Nut Orange Fruit & Nut Bar Organic No Sugar Added Raw in package

Made Good Brazil Nut Orange Fruit & Nut Bar Organic No Sugar Added Raw

Made Good Brazil Nut Orange Fruit & Nut Bar Organic No Sugar Added Raw

Made Good Brazil Nut Orange Fruit & Nut Bar Organic No Sugar Added Raw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop whatever you are doing and find this bar. Go on, I’ll wait. This is unlike any raw bar I’ve usually had. Most of the time it’s a mishmash of ingredients in a paste formed into a bar and or pressed ingredients that are just unpleasant. This bar is not only pleasant but incredibly delicious. I could not stop pecking at this bar while I was typing. Do be mindful when eating this bar, the pieces will flake and it’s not as solid as it could be. I don’t really care as the taste is worth it. The brazil nuts and orange combination – I could cry. Do yourself a huge favour and try it for yourself.

Ingredients:
Raisins*, almonds*, Brazil nuts*, cranberries* (cranberries*, apple juice concentrate*, sunflower oil*), coconut*, tapioca flour*, sea salt, orange oil*. *Organic. May contain sesame.

When I asked the company why the bars and mini balls don’t have the gluten free icon, this was the response, “We can’t say gluten free in Canada unfortunately, we have to say: MadeGood granola minis and bars are made with clean, pure oats (no contamination from wheat fields).”

The raw bars are labeled gluten free.

Overall, I am incredibly happy that Made Good contacted me. I know I will be searching them out at my local health store. Click here to order online.

Please note: I am not being paid to say this. I’ve not received compensation. This is my honest opinion.

Happy eating!

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Filed under celiac, gluten free, Healthy Snacks, raw, vegan

Product Review: Pacifica French Lilac Natural Soap

Who doesn’t love soap? I’ve bought many varieties of soap and I delight in feeling that tiny girly feeling for all of two minutes. Of all the soaps I’ve tried I must say the Pacifica French Lilac Natural Soap has the most fragrant smell. It really does smell like walking into a field full of lilac trees. The soap is expensive, around $5/bar, but dang, it’s rather large for natural soap at 6oz (177ml).   Pacifica French Lilac Natural Soap The texture is only speckled on one side. I wonder why they didn’t do the whole bar, but perhaps it’s about aesthetics? Pacifica French Lilac Natural Soap If this is how the French live, I think we should consider moving there, and creating a vegan commune.  Either way, I completely am in love with this soap and I’d highly suggest it if you’re feeling rather lavish and wish to transport yourself mentally to a far away land called France.

If you’re over a certain age, you’re going to remember this commercial for Calgon, some days I wonder about the logistics of sitting in a bath tub all day. I mean really, who could do that for so long, but it always looks so luxurious, right?

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Vegan Gluten Free Lentil Potato Stew

The other day I felt like having a hearty soup and I figured I could do things the easy way and use my slow cooker. Really, a slow cooker is a complete blessing because it’s just a matter of putting a whole bunch of ingredients together and walking away.

Super easy to make! I found THIS recipe and varied it a little.

 

Ingredients:

6 cups veggie broth (I used 3 bouillon cubes)
2 cups dry brown lentils (rinse and drain)
2 medium red potatoes cubed
1 medium carrots chopped
2 large celery stalks, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
black pepper and sea salt, to taste
1-2 tablespoons Earth Balance, optional.

Apparently it gives the soup a richer flavour, but I used it, so I can’t tell you otherwise.
Instructions:

Clean and prepare the veggies before hand. To make the veggie broth, I boiled 3 cups of water and then mashed the cubes with a spoon in a bowl. I really rinsed the heck out of the lentils. I would highly recommend doing so. I put in all the ingredients and the water in to the crock pot and let everything alone for six hours on the first level.

lentil potato stew

 

The result was the kitchen smelling lovely and fragrant. This recipe was incredibly satisfying with a 1/4 cup of Daiya on it. I had this every day for lunch for a week, so needless to say it makes five servings.

 

Happy eating!

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No Hassle Easy Vegan Gluten Free “Meat & Potatoes”

Sometimes you have to raid your pantry and freezer for an easy meal that doesn’t require much thought, but provides maximum satisfaction. We had two burgers kicking around in the freezer and figured why not use them outside of the usual burger and a bun. What I find funny about the packaging is how it says vegetarian/vegan, it really should just say vegan, but I suppose this appeals to more markets. I forget that not everyone knows what vegan means.

The burgers are incredibly good and have a solid texture, nothing too mushy. They’re easy to pan fry, 3 minutes on each side, and I suppose they’d be fine on a grill too if you’re so inclined.

What’s on the plate:
– Mashed potatoes (made with minced garlic, dehydrated onion, Earth Balance, unsweetened soy milk, and a dash of Himalayan salt)
– Garden salad (tomato, cucumber, carrot/broccoli/red cabbage julienne, and mixed greens with Renee’s Italian dressing)
– One Sol Cuisine Mushroom Rice Burger
– Mushroom gravy

Burger Mash Salad and gravy

 

The simplicity of this meal was incredibly satisfying. I would totally make this again and it really was a matter of throwing things together in a short time. Something about this meal reminded me of a 50’s meatloaf and potatoes dish, but a heck of a lot healthier.

Happy eating!

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Review: Vegan Gluten Free Baked Quinfu Patties from Veggie Paradise


The other day Mat and I went to T & T ( large asian supermarket in various provinces), we’re big fans of asian vegetables and the location we go to (222 Cherry St, Toronto, ON M5A 3L2) had these interesting vegan gluten free patties.

Baked Quinfu Patty (200 g) Veggie Paradise

I was a little dubious as to how filling these things could be as they were MUCH smaller than I thought they’d be. Not only were they delicious, but two of them were rather filling.

So how did I make these little things a meal?

– Garden salad (tomato, cucumber, carrot/broccoli/red cabbage julienne, and mixed greens with Renee’s Italian dressing)
– Tilda Basmati rice
– Garlic pan fried portobello mushrooms
– 2 Baked Quinfu Patties

Baked Quinfu Patties

Seriously delicious! It was a little costly, I think around $6.50, but they do need to make a profit. Now, I see this as a challenge to make my own version. You’d never know they’re gluten free, the crust was incredible and flakey.

Let’s break down the Nutrition Facts shall we?

Screenshot 2014-07-01 21.08.39
For two of these babies it’s only 160 calories? There’s 8g of protein and even 15% iron – wow. I am impressed. The sodium is so low for processed food that it seems rather decent. Veggie Paradise, you’ve won me over I must admit.

Screenshot 2014-07-01 21.15.50

We also tried the Tofu Croquettes and they too were small, but very tasty. I would venture to guess the Croquettes were the inside filling of the Patties. Can’t say my budget can handle buying these constantly, but I would recommend them to others. Completely delicious, Mat didn’t have a reaction, and actually not bad at all nutrition wise. Nice to see a Canadian company venturing out like this with lovely products and great packaging.

Happy eating!

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Vegan Unite – A marketplace for cruelty-free and vegan products.

Looks like there’s a new kid on the block for cruelty-free and vegan products called Vegan Unite.

Vegan Unite is live and launched May 12th of this year. It’s a marketplace similar to Etsy but for all cruelty-free and vegan products from all around the world.

Here’s an interview with the Creator Cosondra Sjostrom.

What is Vegan Unite?
Vegan Unite is a marketplace for cruelty-free and vegan products. It’s a place where you can shop from people that are like-minded and purchase with a clear conscience. I encourage everyone to bookmark us and check back as new products and shops are being added daily.

How are you different then other online marketplaces?
As a marketplace, Vegan Unite empowers shoppers to help promote the lives of like-minded people by purchasing from them. As a community we need to support each other and start to create the change that we want in the world. It’s an evolution, this is just another step forward.

Who are ideal shoppers on Vegan Unite?
Honestly, anyone that cares enough to want purchase awesome cruelty-free items. Also, If someone needs to shop for a cruelty-free or vegan friend. Now you have a place to visit online to browse shops and items.

Who are ideal shop owners?
People that live the cruelty-free lifestyle and create products that are also cruelty-free. The products on our site range from food, clothes, pet food, cleaning supplies, cookbooks, jewelry, plants, furniture, craft supplies, DIY baskets, and even a Yard Sale section. The Yard Sale section is a place where people can resell new and used cruelty-free vegan items.

Do you have site wide Gift Certificates?
Yes we do. You can buy yourself or your friend a gift certificate to Vegan Unite and shop from any shop on the site.

Why did you name it Vegan Unite?
I debated over many names but Vegan Unite stuck with me. I wanted a name that would inspire unity, that I hope will also help create a strong community.

How does the site work for merchants?
We charge merchants a small percentage of sale just like other online marketplaces. We have no listing fees. We are also working with our shop owners to help them promote their products. We are starting to write articles on all of our shops to help the community get to know them better.

How does it feel to be launching Vegan Unite?
It’s exciting…thrilling really, but also stressful. I’ve been working on developing the concept and website for a long time now. It’s my baby and it’s finally going live. I almost can’t believe it. 

Anything else you want to say?
Please bookmark us! I encourage anyone that lives the cruelty-free lifestyle and makes products to join our site as a merchant. Buy a Gift Certificate for yourself or a friend and shop all products on the site. Donate to us as we can always use the funds for site development and building a strong community. Most of all I’d like to thank everyone for their support.

Check out their links:
https://twitter.com/Veganunite
https://www.facebook.com/veganunite
instagram. @veganunite

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Filed under Crafts, Eco, Eco Friendly, vegan

Vegan Gluten Free Mini Mushroom and Spinach Polenta Lasagna

I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought why not. I didn’t have a recipe, but how hard can assembling items really be? Here’s my take on making mini polenta lasagna.

Ingredients:
1 log of pre-made polenta (Or, if you’re really adventurous make your own)
1 bunch of fresh spinach
1 packet of white button mushrooms
3 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 jar tomato sauce
4-5 slices of Daiya Cheddar cheese

Directions:
Slice the polenta into 1/2 inch pieces. Be mindful of holding onto the polenta and don’t be a silly like me and let it roll off the cutting board. I don’t use the ends as they’re not flat and flatness is what you’re going for. Before you begin clean your mushrooms and wash the spinach and set aside. Mince a few cloves of garlic, up to 3 tbsp, but whatever you like is fine as well. Now time to sauté! Use a medium sized frying pan and sauté the mushrooms in 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil with a with half the garlic. Be sure to stir them occasionally.  When the mushrooms are half the size drain them and place them in a bowl and set aside. Sauté the spinach in the same pan and use the rest of the garlic. This should only take a minute. Both the mushrooms and spinach should let out quite a bit of water, so do be careful to drain it as well. Place the spinach on top of the mushroom bowl and set aside.

Then the layering begins! Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out the sliced polenta pieces. Break up Daiya Cheddar slices to cover. You can easily use the shreds, but the slices are uniform in coverage. After the cheese, spoon a dollop of tomato sauce and then layer the spinach and mushroom.

TIP: Now why put the cheese on first? Shouldn’t the sauce go on first? If you put the sauce on first it will most likely spill over the edge.

Top with another slice of polenta and then another dollop of tomato sauce. Pre-heat the oven for 400F. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese melts. I baked it and then turned off the heat and left it in the oven for 10 minutes literally because I was trying to keep it warm timing it for dinner while I made a quick side salad.

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polenta, vegan, gluten free, aireater.com recipe, easy vegan lasagna polenta

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final polenta

There you have it – quick and easy vegan/gluten free mini polenta lasagna.

Happy Eating!

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