Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Vegan in the Maritimes

Family things have unexpectedly brought me out to Saint John New Brunswick. I was hoping to have a little travel break for a few weeks, but it was not to be. So here I am.. eating in airports again and working up the energy to explain my dietary choices to everyone out here. It is tricky, because I don't want to offend people here and there are lot of elderly that just can't see beyond meat and potatoes.

I had a very pleasant surprise when I arrived, 'fresh' of the red eye and starving. I am staying with my Aunt and Uncle and they have another family member that recently made the switch to a full vegan diet. He switched for health (high cholesterol) and apparently loved it ever since. When I got to the house, I expected not a lot I could eat beyond grains and veggies, but to my surprise, there was bruschetta pizza and vegan cupcakes! They were super good too!

I did a bit of a search before heading out here to see what the vegan food situation would be like and it seemed grim at first, but yesterday I had an excellent meal at a Thai restaurant called Suwana Restaurant on the west side. All of the entrees had a tofu option and the pad Thai was vegan. I also had a great salad with carrots, cabbage and a tangy spicy dressing. It was really, really good. The restaurant is in an old, old house so the surroundings are really neat. Something you don't really get in Edmonton.

Saint John has also got sushi now and apparently a very decent range of veggie sushi is available. I heard the restaurant to go to is A Taste of Sushi in uptown SJ. I likely won't have a chance to go this trip, but it is comforting to know it is there. Previous trips have gotten me and my sister to drive 90 minutes to fulfill a sushi craving.

One thing, that I have forgotten about that is really a maritime delicacy is cherry cream cheese sandwiches. I am planning to attempt the vegan version when I get home as I could not find toffutti out here. The sandwich is simple and very pretty looking. To the non-east coast people out there, it seems odd and to some... gross. Once you try, you will love.

Maritimer Cherry Cream Cheese Sandwiches
  • 1 tub of toffutti cream cheese (regular about 16 oz)
  • 1 large jar of maraschino cherries
  • bread
  • Margarine
Simplest recipe ever. Get a tub of cream cheese and put it in a bowl and soften. Cut up the maraschino cherries and add them to the cream cheese with a little of the juice. Stir well. Get some sandwich bread (you can make in tea style sandwiches or you can roll them) and remove the crust (I know the crust is healthier, but I have never seen them with the crust). spread a little margarine if you want on the bread and add a generous dollop of the mixture. If you want rolls, simply role the single slice of bread up and then cut into 1-2" slices.

So good, it is almost like cheese cake in sandwich forms. I forget about these little sandwiches, but they have an appearance all maritime functions. Perfect for tea, receptions, showers etc etc.

I think I will be making these at home when I get back. It is time Alberta got a little taste of maritime traditional food :)

Sorry, no pictures again. I didn't bring my camera. It makes for a less interesting post, but hopefully it's not too bad. I can't believe that Vegan MoFo is almost finished. It has been so much fun trying to post everyday. I hope I can keep it up as much as possible. I hope everyone out there reading has been enjoying and would love to hear topic suggestions if there are some out there. I tend to not plan these posts and write them as I go. Makes it more fun to me and keeps me cooking!

Tomorrow night I am getting treated with vegan chili. I will try and snap some cell pics of it and maybe even steal the recipe to share!

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