Thursday, May 8, 2014


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Brownies with bobble-y antennae on the ferry to Vancouver

It's been two weeks since I blogged-- sorry about that! We went to Vancouver for the first time in a year (!!) to visit friends and relatives for a few days, and since then I've been playing catch-up in the house and practicing with my dance class for a little show. We ate very well in Vancouver (as usual)-- Vancouver is known for its wonderful and varied restaurants. We stayed with my cousin Chris and his partner Roxanne at their lovely little house in the East End. Chris is a retired landscaper, as you can see: 

When we first arrived, we all (along with my stepson Laurence) headed for Banditas Tacqueria, a funky vegetarian place on The Drive (Commercial Drive)-- delicious homemade ginger beer there, too.

Fabric art show on the walls at Bandidas
Vegan soft taco sampler plate that I had (Roxanne, too)-- these are five of the 6 vegan fillings, all delicious.  (I forgot to take the picture until after I'd already eaten one!)
Here are all the fillings-- very original-- I couldn't decide which one was my favorite!
MR. B’S: Roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, pinto beans, cheese, sour cream, & roasted salsa (Daiya vegan cheese is available.)

CONNIE’S: Walnuts ground, apple salsa , cheese & roasted red pepper sauce.

WOLF & GOAT: Fresh guacamole, purple cabbage, pinto beans, fresh red salsa, cheese & sour cream. (Daiya vegan cheese and house-made vegan sour cream are available.)

LEONA GAYLE: Smoky-sweet chipotle tofu (organic), pinto beans, cheese, roasted red salsa, romaine lettuce & sour cream.  (Daiya vegan cheese is available.)

STELLA: Kale, roasted red pepper salsa, pinto beans, cheese, & sour cream. (House-made vegan sour cream is available.)

RONNY RUSSELL: Roasted yams and onions, fresh guacamole, black beans, green salsa, purple cabbage & toasted pumpkin seeds.


On Saturday, after a morning visit with my sister Karin and BIL Allen, we went with Chris to have lunch with  some Denman Island friends, Sarah and Gordon, who have moved to the lower mainland.  We had a wonderful visit and a lovely meal at Tamam Restaurant.  It's a great place to go with a mixed group (vegan and non-vegan) because there are lots of vegan items, and items that can be made vegan.  (Vegan and vegetarian items are marked with a leaf icon on the menu.) Very friendly and everything is made fresh-- and the homemade lemonade was amazing!

We all shared freshly-made and smooth-as-silk Humus & Matabal (roasted eggplant & tahini), a spicy green pepper sauce and olives with pita
My main course was Mujadarah: rice, lentils and roasted onions and salad.  his is one of my favorite Middle Eastern dishes.  Yummy!
Sarah and Gordon and my DH Brian has the Vegan Stuffed Fresh Cabbage Rolls with salad-- delicous! (I had a taste.)


We ate in on Sunday--  my youngest daughter Justine and her partner George and my youngest grandson  Logan came for breakfast, along with my stepson Laurence.  Justine brought delicious whole wheat vegan banana muffins, Roxanne made a beautiful fruit salad, we had sourdough bread from a Granville Island bakery, and also a lemon cranberry tea loaf that my sister had brought to us. For the main dish, I made five vegan onion, red and orange pepper and vegan "ham" Spanish potato tortillas (like fritattas/baked omelets)  from my book "World Vegan Feast")


We had so much food left over that we enjoyed the leftovers for another casual meal in the afternoon with DH's stepdaughter Barbara and her husband Mehdi.


Our last meal in Vancouver was breakfast with my 2nd oldest granddaughter Kate at the Wallflower Modern Diner on Main St..  Kate grew up on Vancouver Is., but she is studying at Langara College in Vancouver and she's flourishing in the big city.  

The Wallflower Modern Diner is another great place for a meal with a mixed crowd.  They have several vegan items for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but they are not run-of-the-mill. ( Check out the menu here. ) The vegan dishes are flavorful and interesting, and we plan to go there again. 

Brian had the BBQ Tofu and Veggie Hash

My granddaughter Kate at the Wallflower Modern Diner.

 I had the Vegan Benny with salad and hash browns-- English muffins topped with grilled portobello mushroom, marinated tofu, and vegan cheesey sauce.  Yum!

Thanks to Roxanne and Chris for a great visit and for being such wonderful hosts, as always!

I didn't want to end this post without a recipe, so I'm posting this old favorite.  The cremini mushrooms we've been getting lately are big and firm-- perfect for this dish. (Sorry, the photo didn't turn out!)  PS: This is not the usual calorie-laden "spinach and artichoke dip" type of stuffed mushroom. It's simple, but scrumptious.

 Makes 4 main dish servings

These sumptuous morsels make great appetizers, too (enough for 12 appetizer servings)
MAKE-AHEAD NOTE: You can stuff the mushrooms ahead of time, cover and refrigerate them until just before baking and serving.

 approximately 1 1/2 pounds stuffing mushrooms, white or brown (NOTE: I use mushrooms about 1 to 2 inches across for appetizers and 3 to 4-inch ones for main dish servings.)
1/4 cup finely-chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup low-sodium vegetarian broth or dry white wine (can be non-alcoholic)
1/2 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs (1 slice)
 14 ounces frozen or canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
(NOTE: If you only have marinated artichoke hearts, place them in a colander and rinse them thoroughly with hot water to eliminate most of the oil and vinegar. Drain well.)
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup soy parmesan (I use GoVeggie! soy parmesan, which used to be Galaxy Vegan, but use your favorite)
1/2 cup lower-fat vegan mayonnaise (I use my homemade version or homemade Tofu Mayo, but you could use Spectrum Naturals Light vegan mayo or Reduced-Fat Vegenaise.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
 freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Panko breadcrumbs for topping

 Clean the mushrooms gently with a damp cloth. Remove the stems. Chop and reserve the stems. Steam-fry the mushroom stems, onion, and garlic in a large heavy nonstick skillet sprayed with oil from a pump sprayer, until soft, adding a squirt of water or white wine as needed to keep it moving.

 Add the broth or wine and cook until the liquid evaporates. Stir in the bread crumbs. Remove the mixture from heat and let it cool. Combine the onion-bread crumb mixture in a medium bowl with the chopped artichokes, green onions, soy parmesan, vegan mayonnaise, salt, and pepper.

 Fill each mushroom cap with the filling so that it’s gently mounded. Arrange the stuffed mushrooms, just touching, in a shallow baking pan which has been sprayed lightly with oil from a pump sprayer. (At this point, you can cover the mushrooms with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.)

 When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350°F. Sprinkle the stuffed mushrooms with a little of the panko breadcrumbs (for crunch) and spray with a little oil from a pump sprayer. Bake the mushrooms for 12-15 minutes, or until golden. Serve hot.

 Nutrition Facts: Nutrition (per serving): 144.4 calories; 9% calories from fat; 1.1g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 448.8mg sodium; 534.1mg potassium; 21.4g carbohydrates; 6.7g fiber; 2.5g sugar; 14.8g net carbs; 7.6g protein; 2.2 points. Enjoy!


Stacy said...

Great photos! I recognize Roxanne from somewhere. Is she involved with Ten Thousand Villages stores...?

Renard Moreau said...

[ Smiles ] Thank you for posting this lovely vegan food that you partook in.

michal jerry said...

Great photos! Bryanna Clark Grogan
enjoying It

Dori said...

I love reading this. I'm looking forward to cook again now that "summer" is a couple of weeks away. Starving for some awesome Bryanna cooking and alot of veggies again.