Thursday, March 3, 2016

A Hidden Vegan Gem in Montreal

Montreal is one of Canada's best cities for vegan food. I've been visiting often lately, because there is no better excuse to travel than vegan food! 

One of my favorite finds was this small place called Résonance Café in the trendy Mile-End neighborhood. It is tucked away in the lower level of a building on Avenue du Parc. Our Couchsurfing host (a non-vegan!) recommended it to us and raved about their homemade almond milk. They had a nice open space, where they also host live music and other events.

Their 100%-vegan menu has coffee drinks, all-day breakfast items, bowls, sandwiches, smoothies and more. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Instagram Roundup October

As some of you know, I'm mostly active on Instagram and many of these photos never end up on the blog! I want to start doing these monthly Instagram roundups to show my favorite moments and meals every month. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Here are my favorites from October:

SUPERB "Phish" tacos from Tucos Tacos. Beer battered avocado and crema. Thanks to my friend Jessica Nadel from Cupcakes and Kale and hubby for bringing vegan food to Sudbury!

Happy thanksgiving! I'm celebrating with the Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe from The Vegan Zombie cookbook.

Can't wait to try these goodies from Saaboon! Himalayan soap and Fire candle. All #vegan, local to Ottawa and handmade.

Love & beauty is everywhere. Choose to see it ✌

Happy Halloween! I'm celebrating with Strawberry Blonde Bakery sweet treats, no tricks! #vegan

Broccoli soup & Tofu sandwich from Clover Food and Drink #vegan

Hope you enjoyed! See the rest of my Instagram photos here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

6 Must-Have Vegan Fashion Items for Fall

Baby, it's cold outside! This weather has me changing up my routine and these are my new favorites.

1) Deep Red Lips - Red Apple Lipstick in Ravishing
This is probably my favorite lipstick shade of all time. A bold burgundy-red lip with a slight blue undertone and satin finish. It happens to be very appropriate for fall!

Don't forget to prep your lips: exfoliate with the Rallye Balm to make your lips smooth and moisturized. Line with the Zuzu Luxe Hazelnut Lipliner for extra lasting power.

2) Dark Purple Nails - Pure Anada Eggplant
A rich purple shade that is still fun but also perfect to transition with fall colors. I love topping this with the Pacifica Matte TopCoat for an added touch of vamp-glam!

3) Strong Brows - Pure Anada Brow Powder (I use the Sand color)
Keep up a strong brow game with this soft-finish brow powder. I find that some brow pencils can look harsh and obvious. I started using this brow powder (in the Sand color) with an angle brush to fill in my brows. It fills in my brows while still looking natural.

4) Cinnamon Flavored Lip Balm - Bare English & Co. Chai Tea Latte Lip Balm

Fall is usually when I start drinking lots of Chai Tea. I can have it anytime with Bare English & Co. Tea Infused Lip Balm. They infuse real tea into the lip balms for authentic flavors and antioxidant properties! Their Chai Tea Latte Lip Balm has a hint of sweetness and the warmth of cinnamon and spices.

Check out my full review of the Bare English Lip Balms!

5) Wide-Brim Hats - Vegan Floppy Hat from askidas on Etsy
This hat is just adorable. Bring out your inner Carmen Sandiego with this handmade, wide-brimmed red hat made from eco & vegan friendly acrylic felt.

6) Insulated Bottle ''Dark Hearted'' Swell Bottle

Keep your beverages warm and full of love. I have this bottle in the ''Sweet Mint'' color, but this one is just too cute. These bottles are the best I've tried. They are versatile because you can use it for both hot or cold drinks, and it really does keep its temperature for HOURS. It's also great for travelling!

That's all I have for today, keep warm and happy! :D

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cauliflower Overload & Healthy Shepherd's Pie Recipe

This recipe was inspired by one of those last-minute improvisation meals. I had some leftover meatless ground beef and a head of cauliflower in the fridge. Ok I'll admit that I bought three heads of cauliflower at the grocery store that week because they were on sale. I'm a sucker for a deal on produce!

What did a gal do with all that cauliflower? As per usual, I cut some up and froze it. I also made Cauliflower Buffalo Wings from the PETA website, which were fantastic by the way.
I had some similar "wings" at a local Ottawa restaurant and was inspired to make some at home. They turned out really good, even omnis approved!

I still had lots of cauliflower left so I made a Cauliflower-cream mac and cheese dish.  This is my favorite homemade mac and cheese sauce to make, comparatively to cashew or non-dairy cheese based recipes. I'm still tweaking my recipe for this, so stay tuned!

After this, I STILL had more cauliflower! What's a girl to do? Cauliflower mash. And then I put it in a shepherd's pie. How very French-Canadian of me ;)

I made them in individual servings because it's easy to serve and keep extras for lunches. And of course, because they are so much cuter!

Mini Healthy Shepherd's Pies


For the cauliflower mash: Roughly 2 cups of chopped cauliflower
1/4 - 1/3 cup of potato starch or potato flour (depending on how thick you like your mash)
1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon of vegan butter or oil (optional)
1 teaspoon of onion powder
A dash of garlic powder
A dash of salt

For the shepherd's pie: 3-4 small ramekins
1 batch of cauliflower mash (above)
1 cup of meatless ground beef
1/2 cup of canned corn (I used creamed corn but you can use regular corn if you like)
1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds (also called flaxseed meal)
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
Ketchup, for serving (optional)


Boil the chopped cauliflower in a saucepan for 15-20 minutes until it is soft. A fork should slide easily through the pieces. Drain out most of the water. You want it to be damp, but not so wet that you have a soup at the bottom. Add in the potato starch, nutritional yeast, vegan butter or oil, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and mix thoroughly. It should have a thick consistency like mashed potatoes.

Preheat the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Divide your meatless ground beef between your ramekins and pat down to make a somewhat smooth surface. Spread the corn on top the same way. Scoop out some cauliflower mash and fill the ramekin to the top. I like to smooth out the top again but that's totally optional. Sprinkle the flaxseeds and nutritional yeast on top of the mash. This will make a kind of crust and will turn golden in the oven.

Place the ramekins in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the mash starts to brown slightly. Wait 10 minutes to serve, they will be very hot. Serve with ketchup if that's your thing. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Restaurant: A Thing for Chocolate

I have a thing for A Thing for Chocolate. That's right, I've been there many times and I won't stop! There's buzz going on about this hidden gem in the Hintonburg neighbourhood of Ottawa. They even received a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor! The French-themed restaurant has an extensive menu of sweet and savory crepes, coffee and mocha drinks. 

The owner, Omar, has developped a seperate vegan crepe menu and keeps

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sensory Deprivation Tanks... Experience Absolutely Nothing!

Tank Action is Ottawa's first and only flotation spa and I had the wonderful opportunity to try out a session. Their location is a beautiful and clean space with a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of clean towels to go around. Their services, however, are completely unique. They have sensory deprivation tanks that block out all sensation, creating an environment to bring you to the deepest relaxation level while still being conscious.

Inside the 5x8 feet tanks, there is no sound, no light, and no sense of feeling at all. The water in the tank contains thousands of pounds of Epsom salts, causing your body to float completely, and is heated to the same temperature as your body. This type of therapy has helped people who deal with stress, chronic pain, mental and physical illnesses. Learn more about floating here.

Friday, June 26, 2015

An inside look at Green Beaver Company

Note: This is a repost of my original article written for the terra20 blog.

Green beaver is a family-owned natural products company that has been around for 13 years. They prioritize using local, organic and natural ingredients which reduce harmful chemical exposure to humans as well as reducing environmental impact on the planet.

20150428_144850.jpgBefore starting the business, Alain and his wife Karen were working in the chemical industry. It wasn't until they were starting a family that they really became concerned about the dangers of harsh chemicals. To create more choices for those looking to make a change, they started Green Beaver.

When developing the products, they made sure everything was in line with their ethical standards. They do not test on animals, nor do they use animal ingredients in the products (with the exception of the local organic beeswax in the sunscreens and lip balms). They also do not use any palm oil in any of their products for ecological and ethical reasons. They want everyone to be able to safely use the products, which is why they chose to have a gluten-free facility and the majority of the products are nut-free as well. Green Beaver has an open-door policy; they have nothing to hide and encourage visits to their factory.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Launch: Will Travel For Vegan Food

My friend Kristin wrote a book! And it’s officially out in the world as of today!! If you enjoy REAL life stories about adventure, following your dreams, travel, and inspiration definitely get your hands on a copy of... Will Travel for Vegan Food : A Young Woman’s Solo Van-Dwelling Mission to Break Free, Find Food, & Make Love

Watch the trailer:

I’m absolutely in love with this memoir! Talk about inspiration and following your dreams!!
Get your copy here:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Matcha Series: Green Milk In My Cereal

I've been relying on cereal bowls the past couple of weeks. It's a quick breakfast fix that can be just as healthy (or not!) as you make it. 

This is my favorite combo right now: organic puffed rice cereal, coconut shreds, hemp seeds, walnut pieces and green milk. Green milk, you say? That's my secret to adding an extra boost of nutrition and flavor. Oh and let's not forget the healthy levels of caffeine to kickstart the day ;) See the recipe below.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Favourite Cookbooks for Gift-Giving

It seems like every year I consistently have cookbooks on my wish list. Even with all the new ones coming out, there's always the handful that you keep going back to. I've rounded up a few of my favorites that are perfect for gift-giving.

This year's shopping list will be so easy!

For the Italian (at heart): Comforting recipes for the creamy pasta lovers.
Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Whole Foods opens in Ottawa!

Brace yourself for the visual feast you're about to enjoy. Whole Foods has just opened in Ottawa at the new Landsdowne Park/TD Place. With a plethora of amazing vegan and organic choices, the grand opening was a big success.

I could't resist this sale on organic bananas

Friday, November 14, 2014

Beauty Review: Bare English & Co.

In my previous Bare English & Co review, I raved about the wonderful texture of these vegan lip balms from Toronto. With organic ingredients and tea infusions, the non-toxic formula is the best I've come by. My friends at Bare English & Co just came out with 5 new flavors and I'm so excited to share these with you!

They currently have 7 flavors available;

Friday, October 24, 2014

Field Roast in Canada

As some of you know, the Health Canada has recently ceased the distribution of Feild Roast products in Canada. This brand makes great tasting and nutrition-dense vegetarian sausages using wheat, vegetables and all-natural ingredients. I met the Field Roast President, David, at Toronto's VegFoodFest in September and this is were I first learned of this news.

President David Lee and I at Toronto's VegFoodFest

Here is a quick update on their status and what you can do about it:

In a recent email from Field Roast, they state:
We have continued to receive a great amount of feedback and support from Canada over the weeks since ceasing distribution. Our Canadian customers are near and dear to the heart of Field Roast and we understand that our products are in high demand, which is why we continue to work towards a resolution. We recently sent a letter to the CFIA and Health Canada, asking for an exemption to sell our products in Canada while they work to reform the outdated regulations. For those who wish to take action, there is an online petition circulating to change flawed standards for vegetarian meats in Canada.

The current regulations from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada categorize the Feild Roast products as “simulated meat products” and thus requires the brand to re-label their products as so. In addition, this category of food requires a Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER) study (using animal testing methods) to measure protein ratios in comparison to animal meats. If the product does not meet nutritional criteria, they would need to re-formulate the product adding synthetic supplements or vitamins.

If you want to stay updated on the progress, you can sign up for their “Field Roast in Canada” mailing list here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

5 Ingredient Recipe: French Toast

After finally unpacking most of my moving boxes from September, I pulled out my mom's old breadmaker and decided to give it a spin. I tried the recipe from Robin Hood that fit my machine size, substituting the butter for vegan margarine. It was so moist and delicious! The only problem with fresh bread is the preservation. It usually goes a bit stale after a day or two, but this is perfect for french toast! Here is my easy-peasy recipe.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

VegFoodFest 2014: Part 3 - Sunday

For my third day in Toronto, I needed to get myself some breakfast since VegFoodFest started a little later. We went to Fresh Restaurant for a lovely breakfast of vegan pancakes, tofu scramble, tempeh bacon and a side of onion rings. Their almond milk latte is also amazing! I also loved the funky paint colors and chandeliers, it made for a fun atmosphere. 

Once at the Harbourfront where the festival is held, I attended Big Bald Mike's first ever public speaking event.

Friday, September 12, 2014

VegFoodFest 2014: Part 2 - Saturday

Saturday was a beautiful morning in Toronto heading to Day 2 of VegFoodFest hosted by the Toronto Vegetarian Association. If you haven't seen the previous post, here it is.

My breakfast consisted of Cookies & Cream Marshmallows and a Sticky Bun from Apiecalypse Now Bakery. Because who doesn't love an overload of sugar first thing in the morning!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

VegFoodFest 2014: Part 1 - Friday

Last year was my first time visiting Toronto's massive Vegetarian Food Festival (the biggest in North America!). I had such an amazing time and you can read all about it here. This year, I knew I had to go and experience it again. There is something magical about being surrounded by all these wonderful like-minded people.

My Friday night started off with Doug McNish doing a cooking demonstration of his Mac&Cheese. He showed us how to make a cheese sauce using butternut squash and nutritional yeast, then topped it off with some fresh breadcrumbs. So yummy!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Matcha Series: Saturday Morning Pancakes

My prefect Saturday morning includes pancakes and a movie, with the inevitable cuddles from furry babies.

I've tried lots of pancake recipes in the past, and it has resulted in quite a few kitchen disasters. My favourite so far is the one in Chloe Coscarelli's cookbook, Chloe's Kitchen. Using this, I've developed my own version that can be pre-mixed and handy when needed. This is my pancake mix recipe:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Beauty Review: Lush Cosmetics

A little while ago I did a beauty haul post of many Lush Cosmetics products. Now that I've had time to use them and really experience them, I'm spilling all the beans in this review.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Matcha Series: The Green Banana (2-in-1 Recipe)

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Kiss Me Organics to try their wonderful organic matcha powder. For those of you who don't know, matcha is simply green tea leaves that are ground down to a fine powder. Instead of steeping and straining the tea leaves, you mix it with water or other liquids and drink it. This gives you much more nutritional value and antioxidant benefits than the steeping method.

Because there are SO many ways to use matcha, I wanted to share multiple recipes to use it in. For the first recipe in this series, I give you a very simple and easy smoothie recipe which can also be tweaked into an ice-cream recipe.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Vegan Cuts Tea Lovers Box Video

I jumped on the opportunity to get a sweet special edition box from Vegan Cuts... Tea Lovers! This was such a cool idea, and I'm sharing my findings with you in this video.

Products in this special edition tea box:

Simply Straws - Special Vegan Cuts Engraved Straw

Thursday, June 5, 2014

June Favourites

Hi guys! It's June already and I'm excited to share with you some of my favourite products.

Here are the products mentionned:

Cheeky Monkey - Anna's Eurotrash

Thursday, May 29, 2014

VeganCuts May Beauty Box Unboxing

I just made my first YouTube video! I wanted to share what I received in the May edition of the VeganCuts Beauty Box. Enjoy!

Products in this month's beauty box:

Lauren Brooke Cosmetics Mascara

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fried Bananas

Sushi is one of those things that you either love it or hate it. For me, it's an incredible love that sometimes turns abusive (all-you-can-eat is dangerous). One of the highlights of a sushi outing is the fried bananas for dessert, so I set out to re-create them in the simplest way possible.