Every so often, I come to the startling realization that probably about half of my socialization with friends revolves around food and really good tea. This weekend was no exception, so I feel as though I am just going to journal it to come to terms with this fact, and also I guess to share with you a couple of my favourite weekend noms, veggie friendly spots, and events around the city.
On Friday night, I was feeling pretty wiped out after work and just kind of wanted to curl up into a giant ball. I did just that for awhile, then realized I’d missed a phone call from my dear pal Steph I hadn’t seen in awhile. Clearly this meant soup hangs at one of our favourite low key spots, Pho So 1. Vietnamese food is usually a good fall back option for me. Pho can sometimes be tricky, as many places use vegan unfriendly broths. Some quick things I usually ask at a Vietnamese joint before I order are:
-What kind of broth do you use? Does it contain chicken, beef, pork, or fish? I have allergies, and can have only veggie broth.
-What are the ingredients in your peanut sauce? (Some use chicken broth, but most I’ve come across are safe?)
-Are there egg products in your spring roll wrappers or fried tofu?
If ordering curry, I also ask for the ingredients in their curry, and whether it is fully vegetarian or contains shrimp paste in the ingredients.
Once I have these questions answered for me, I can usually confidently order a bowl of soup, or some veggies on rice vermicelli and eat peacefully. Pho So 1 is notoriously fantastic for recognizing me and my order. I don’t even have to ask anymore to sub out fish sauce, and am always ensured my soup is vegan. Here is the coconut curry soup with tofu, veggies, and vermicelli I nommed on. This bowl was so huge I had most of my broth left over:
Another great option in the city I recently discovered is Taste of Saigon, in the very far Northwest.
Saturday was an awesome day of nerding out for me, that included museum visits, and hanging out with the lovely Claire. Mostly we did some needle pointing and watched the original Sailor Moon, with subtitles. I know this is irrelevant to vegan food, but I just want to let you guys know that watching anything with subtitles while needle pointing is a horrible idea. I stabbed my fingers probably a thousand times. We also drank white tea which has been my tea of choice all weekend.
I actually made these before I remembered I was supposed to go to a potluck later that day, which was a horrible decision. Also, I accidentally made a stack of 10 pancakes, but could only eat two of them. Thank goodness for younger brothers who can eat anything ever.
Later I went to a vegan potluck, which the Calgary Vegetarian Society hosts every month at Midtown Co-op. I got caught up doing some work, so showed up a little late, but it seems there has been a great turn out lately. I actually really only went to socialize, but there is always so much great food there to share and go around. If anyone is in Calgary and reading this, feel free to join me next time. 🙂
Following this, was the Assholes Literary Collective meeting, where we edited some work and drank more tea. Then, I hung out with some of my fellow asshole literary enthusiasts. Angelo brought Emily and I to this craaazy market in Forest Lawn that I’ve really grown to love. It is called Hong Kong Food Market. While I was there, I picked up potato flour, rice flour, and tapioca starch for 79 cents each. TAKE THAT, PRETENTIOUS SPECIALTY SHOPS. With these, I plan to work on making some of my vegan baking recipes a bit more celiac friendly. I also picked up some jackfruit, coconut milk, coconut water, Philippine mangoes (which anyone from the Philippines will tell you, are the only mangoes worth eating), and the REAL PRIZE, these absurd Baconette Strips full of “NO-MEAT GOODNESS.” It even says so on the bag.I think that’s totally what I’ll name my first cookbook.
For the record, I’m not sure I really like these. They are full of salt (which I guess it what most people probably like about bacon), and the texture is super creepy. However, they were too hilarious not to try, and it was an excuse to wash these down with some roasted coconut water. Which was amaze.
Did you folks eat any weird accidentally vegan food over the weekend? I think I am going to start keeping a list of the strangest accidentally vegan snacks and post a feature on them. 🙂