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It wasn’t easy.

After a year of:

Going vegetarian in February;
Going vegan for lent;
Living off cheese & bread over the summer;
Moving to Canada in September …
And eating (almost) vegan again until December;
Traveling over Christmas and consuming dairy again;
Coming back, turning 21, and wanting change in January;

I decided to, once and for all, go vegan on February 1st.

That is, I eat a vegan diet. I still own many woolen sweaters, some leather belts, etc. I am only just starting to learn about a vegan lifestyle other than food, so give me time.

Either way:

Enjoy your day, guys!

It’s finals week. It’s finals week, and I feel, look and eat like the most cliche stressed student you could find. That means that my food during finals – I’m not proud of it – consists of 90% peanut butter, 10% cereal and 40% bagels.
Bad Russian joke.

Luckily, I have my dear coop where I get my lunches from! This seriously made my day, and makes sure I don’t go insane from lack of greens and veggies. I feel so much better now!

Grain Salad, Veggie Burger, Sauteed Mushrooms, Garlic Hummus, Jalapeno Hummus, Sweet Potato Chips, Tomatoe Salad

Before I went to Montreal, I made a little list of vegan restaurants I should visit. The veganmontreal website was particularly helpful. On my list were:

.. and I made it to two of them. Not too bad, eh? (I’m so Canadian.)

My goal was to visit this one on the first day. It is located on 4631 Saint-Laurent. After walking around on Saint-Laurent for a little bit and finally realising I was only in the 1500s area, I gave up on it and went to Panther Verte instead (review to follow!).

Then, the next day, I was wandering around the Plateau and found myself back on Saint-Laurent again, only much further north. As I was walking down the street, I look over and – bam! – Aux vivres is right across from me. Unfortunately, I just had a big brunch so I wasn’t really hungry. But I figured that, well, a little something always fits in. Plus I really wanted to see this place!

Aux Vivres is a 100% vegan restaurant that uses a lot of organic and local, seasonal produce. They have all kinds of different entrees, salads, desserts and a juice and express bar.

I went inside, to the quick express counter, and got a Ginger Molasses cookie. It was a good cookie – perfect texture, a bit chewy, nice taste. Nothing too exceptional, except for the fact that it tasted just like its non-vegan equivalent.

There was a bit of a mix-up with my order. I went to the counter to get my cookie, then found a table to sit down since I assumed that the place used a café-like style. Apparently, however, it is more like a proper restaurant. You are assumed to come in, get seated, then place your order and get your cookies brought to you. Oops! So the waiters weren’t too impressed with me. They did, however, stay friendly and smily, so I appreciated that.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you much about the quality of the other items available. I can tell you, though, that what I saw on other people’s plates looked delicious! It wasn’t exactly cheap, but not too pricey either. Either way, this is a fully vegan restaurant (!!!) so they have my respect nonetheless.

Lastly, look at these cakes… These are all vegan, too. And probably wonderful!

Until next time,

Au revoir!

PS: I forgot to mention this, but I might not be obvious: this is Montreal. So, yes, the waiters will approach you in French. They will most likely speak English, too though. Don’t worry! Unless, of course, you want to be adventurous like me and make the poor people understand your horrible attempts at speaking French. (“Ce ..cookie…ça, s’il vous plait?”). Unless your actually French and speak this wonderful language. In that case, enjoy!

I know this is kind of 2009(-10?), but I still love these word clouds. I think they look fantastic. In an attempt to critically analyze the vegansmarties blog’s traffic (read: play around) I created a couple ones with different parameters. Enjoy! : )

PS: Yes, I am a severe victim of procrastination.

Use of Words – Overall

Google Searches that lead to this blog – last 30 days

Google Searches that lead to this blog – all time

Hehe, I love how predominant peanut butter is. And that little ‘fuck’ there in the middle of -Vegan- is very decorative, as well. It accurately describes the amount of traffic I got from this post: An unamerican, pot smoking, skinny-as-fuck college hippy.

Either way, try this out, people! It’s fun! Check www.wordle.net.

Dearest Readers,

I am back in my home base from a wonderful trip to Montreal and NYC!
While I was exploring these two amazing cities, I made sure to take lots of notes and pictures of all the vegan eats I had there. So prepare yourselves for a stream of restaurant and product reviews within the next few days. Good think I have these to write. Since it is finals week, I will live on a solid diet of bagels, peanut butter and hummus so writing about that wouldn’t be too thrilling. Anyway, enjoy!

On the way to NYC, we had a 3hour stop in Montreal. Since it was dinner time and we had a long journey ahead of us, we decided to find our way to a nice meal. We walked up Saint-Denis and quickly found a place that looked like it’d be a good fit: Thai Express.

Thai Express

They have a good variation of different Thai foods – soups, wraps, Pad thai and different rice dishes. I appreciated that they clearly displayed the ingredients on all of the signs. While they had many vegetarian dishes (anything could be ordered with a choice of chicken, prawns or tofu), almost every dish contained egg. So I picked the Rice Stir-Fry.

The dish is plain rice with stir-fried vegetables on top. Not too exciting in itself, but the great thing is they have a choice of 7 different ‘flavours’. The name ‘flavour’ is a bit misleading – I chose ‘cashew’ since I thought that would just mean they sprinkle some cashews on top. Which they did, but even better: with the flavour, you also choose the sauce and specific vegetables that go into your meal. So before choosing a flavour, ask specifically or check the menu to see what your ‘flavour’ entails!

Stir-Fry with Tofu and Cashews

This was very yummy and fillings. The portions are quite large, and for $8 this was truly a good pick. The cashews were a nice extra and the vegetables were crunchy and yummy.
I would definitely recommend this place for a quick meal!

This is a chain with many locations across Canada(and I believe even Europe), the Canadian website is here: http://www.thaiexpress.ca/.

Now back to studying for finals. Have a wonderful day!

Left-over red wine, left-over bread.. What to do? Answer: Bread salad!
This was surprisingly yummy, given the fact that I just threw the ingredients together more or less randomly. It might sound a bit weird, but I promise, it will be good. For a more traditional bread salad, you could simply leave out the mango I guess.

You need (makes 1-2 portions, depending on whether you’re having it as a main or side)
– 2 tomatoes
bulb clove of garlic (I used 2, hehe) [Note: oops. Of course I meant ‘clove’, not ‘bulb’]
– 2/3 can of chickpeas
– 1/2 cup of red wine
– 1/2 mango
– 1 toasted bagel (or 2 slices of bread)

To do
– Sautée the garlic
– Add diced tomatoes and red wine.
– Leave this to simmer for a little bit, maybe about 10-15 minutes. The tomatoes should be soft(er) by then. Drain.
– Add chickpeas. Simmer for another 2-3 min.
– Add diced bagel.
– Put diced mango on top.
– Depending on how dry your salad looks, you might want to add a little of extra wine on top.

The only thing that could have been better was that the bread became soggy relatively quickly (i.e. by the time I reached the bottom of my bowl). Maybe, instead of just toasting the bread, you could try cutting it into dices first and then baking or frying it for a bit to make it more crispy.

Enjoy!