Where do John and I live? For the moment, London, England in a posh flat with a friend we met in Bolivia. Yesterday, it was a converted water tower in Leiston, England, a small town two hours northeast of London. It’s taken me awhile to get used to this concept, that home is where I am today. It’s been four months but it’s finally starting to sink in. My thinking on this subject was sparked by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. They have a song called Home. Have a listen, it’s pretty magical.
We went home home, as in Canada, for a couple weeks and had a great time eating foods we missed and catching up with family and friends. Being in Toronto and Ottawa felt familiar, but different, all at the same time. It’s a lot cleaner and more expensive than South America, that’s for sure. And there were some familiar faces. But, I feel just as much at home here, on my laptop typing away beside John, as I do anywhere else in the world. Home is wherever I’m with John. It’s sappy, I know, but true.
Okay, this isn’t a blog about love. Or maybe it is, just not the kind between people. More like the love between vegans and their food.
It all seems old hat to me, being what I’m used to, but here are some photos of the delicious food we indulged in while visiting the Canadian cities where many of my loved ones live and where all the stuff that couldn’t fit in our backpacks is crammed into a storage locker.
We couldn’t travel to Ottawa without dining at some of our favourite cafes and restaurants. One of the first places we went to was Peace Garden (47 Clarence Street), where we always order the Indian special.
John couldn’t resist making a visit to the Wild Oat (817 Bank Street) and ordering his dish, the Wild Plate.
Whenever we go out with people who want to eat meat, we always head to The Manx (370 Elgin Street). Everyone can find something on the menu to suit their preferences and order a glass of beer or wine. They have a great curried cashew tofu burger, that’s served with a huge side of potato wedges or salad.
If we’re looking for a quick lunch, fresh bread or vegan baked goods, we head to Bread and Sons (195 Bank Street). They’re a great bakery and takeout lunch spot with several types of cheese-free pizza slices and homemade soups. In terms of vegan baked goods, you can find some yummy cookies, muffins and squares.
While in Toronto, we checked out Panacea, the all vegan grocery store, and Hibiscus for the first time. Urban Herbivore (64 Oxford Street) is one of the places we never miss. We always make a point of stopping in for a BBQ tempeh and avocado salad. Their gigantic muffins are great too.
We did eat some meals at home. This picture is a from a beautiful dinner party I had with some of my favourite ladies, Lisa (flickr cupsoflove) and Valerie (flickr valeriedoucette). Both of them have great flickr accounts with lots of pictures of vegan food.
Smoothies are my ideal breakfast. It was great to stay with my mom and have access to a blender 24/7. Sometimes I had two per day! The one in this picture was made with strawberries, pineapple, raspberries, peaches, grapes and melon. An even better combo is frozen blueberries, frozen banana, vanilla almond milk, and a dash of maple syrup.
Ice cream was one of the desserts we really missed while in South America. In three months, we had no more than two servings. We made up for lost time and picked up a tub of So Delicious coconut flavoured coconut milk ice cream. We also split a a pint of soy-based Purely Decadent Peanut Butter Zig Zag with some friends. Crushed cookies included.
Oddly enough, one of the things John found himself craving was Tofurky. I’m not a big fan but managed to find one on sale for him. We ate it with roasted veggies and used the leftovers for salads and sandwiches.
These are just some examples of the types of vegan food you can find in Canada, specifically Ottawa and Toronto. If you’re visiting, get in touch and I’d be happy to give you some more suggestions.