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Travel blog: Birthday celebrations and day trip to Victoria, BC

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It was my birthday last week, which means my weekend was filled with lots of good food and fun. Friday night, my mom made our family a beautiful build-your-own-taco spread. We had homemade corn tortillas, pan-fried veggies, refried beans, guacamole, salad, and quesadillas. For dessert, my mom baked a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam. The next morning, my partner and I drove to Victoria to spend the day eating vegan food and exploring. Our first stop was Fern Cafe and Bakery, which is one of our favourites. I was excited to see the pumpkin spice latte was back, so I ordered that with whipped cream. I also ordered their featured menu item, the “eggs” benny. Everything was delicious. The eggs were made out of tofu, and they were topped with tomato, cheese, and soy bacon, covered in a cashew hollandaise sauce. My partner ordered the fried chick'un and pancakes. Yum! After brunch, we drove to Hatley Castle in Colwood. The castle sits near the ocean on the Roy

Vegan Cheese Sauce

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This cheese sauce is one of my favourite things to make. It tastes great as a mac and cheese or drizzled on top of cooked veggies. Or anything else that you enjoy cheese sauce on, really! Because I use it mainly for mac and cheese, this recipe is measured to mix with 500g of pasta. Why do I love this cheese sauce so much? It’s creamy. A couple tips I have found for making a creamy cheese sauce is to use a tablespoon of vegan butter, and use oat or soy milk. The vegan butter gives the sauce a bit of extra flavour and richness that you find in standard cheese sauce. Using oat or soy milk works best because these plant milks are a bit thicker than, for example, almond milk.  I haven’t tried using any other plant milk aside from oat, soy, and almond, but I found that almond milk was too thin for my liking. If you try a different kind of plant milk, please let us know how it worked for you in the comments below! It’s not made with cashews. Not that there’s anything wrong with cashews, but I

Five Amigos Bike Trail - Nanoose Bay Loop

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Tucked away in a quiet farmland neighbourhood is a trail called Nanoose Bay Loop. With a mix of old and new growth, as well as large clusters of trees, the loop made for an interesting variety of scenery. The first part of the hike reminded me of the Hundred Acre Wood with its plush, mossy ground and the towering tree we found. My mom took me on this hike a couple weeks ago. The weather was beautiful that day, with lots of sun shining through the trees. We lucked out with the weather that day, as Vancouver Island weather has been all over the place lately. There were a few small patches of snow on the trail, but besides that, it was nice and warm. Going further into the loop, we found a bike trail called Five Amigos. The name comes from the cluster of Arbutus trees that stand just off the side of the trail. As you can see from the second picture below, they were huge! (Please appreciate my parents' photogenic dog, Jackson) Further down the path, the trees grew sparsely, making the

What I Ate Today: February 20, 2022

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Welcome to another What I Ate Today post, where I share the meals and snacks that I eat throughout the day. These posts are not meant to be taken as dietary advice, but more to give people some ideas on the foods you can eat as a vegan. This day includes some fun takeout food because we decided to do a mini road trip and explore Courtenay, BC. Breakfast I started my day pretty much the same as I do every morning: coffee with oat milk and toast. I wanted to change things up a bit by adding some mango, but as you can see, the mango was unripe and I ended up not eating much of it. My toast this morning was an English muffin with peanut butter and jam. I have to share the jam I used because it is so good: It's made on Vancouver Island, and it's delicious. Lunch #1 My partner and I decided to do a spontaneous road trip to Courtenay for lunch, but we wanted a snack along the way. We stopped at Cobs Bakery for one of their plant-based pizzas (it has roasted red peppers and Beyond crum

Vegan Sheet Pan Sausage and Vegetables

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Today I am going to share a super easy meal prep recipe that is perfect for the colder months: Vegan sheet pan sausage and vegetables. I didn’t realize this was already a thing until I Googled it just now, but here is my vegan version. I made this recipe because I didn’t feel like cooking one day, I needed to meal prep for the week, and I had a few veggies and vegan sausage that needed to be eaten. So, I chopped up the veggies and sausage, added some seasoning, and threw it in the oven on a baking sheet. This recipe is great because it takes hardly any prep time, and once you put it in the oven, you can walk away and do other things.  I added cubed tofu for extra protein. Make this recipe go a long way by adding a side dish such as rice, quinoa, or some fresh bread with vegan butter. My favourite side to go with this recipe is turmeric rice, which I will share in the recipe below. To start, preheat your oven to 400 °F. Chop the veggies, vegan sausage, and tofu into cubes. Throw the in

Hiking Adventures: Lantzville Lookout Loop

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I found a new favourite hiking spot over the Thanksgiving long weekend, thanks to my mom, and I am excited to share it with you.  It is a great workout, but is still doable as an afternoon hike - the perfect balance! The name is pretty self explanatory:  Lantzville Lookout Loop.  It is located in Lantzville, BC, and at the top, you get a gorgeous view of the ocean and forest below.  You can also see Notch Hill, located in Nanoose Bay. We calculated the hike to be about 5.1 km, although Alltrails says it’s 5.8 km.  We took the shorter route, which is a steady climb for a good portion of it.  I recommend wearing proper hiking shoes and bringing lots of water.  I didn’t think to take any pictures of the trail, but I took pictures of some cute little mushrooms we found along the way. As you can see, the view is well worth the climb.  We stayed up there for a little while, and it ended up getting quite cold, so I would recommend taking a light sweater or windbreaker depending on the weather

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

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Now that things are opening up again, it is time for me to go back to working in person.  There are a lot of things about going back to work that will take some getting used to - like getting out of my pajamas every day - but a big thing I forgot about was having to pack a lunch every night.  I like to make packing a lunch as easy as humanly possible, and one of my favourite things to make are chickpea salad sandwiches. Chickpea salad sandwiches are a great cruelty-free alternative to egg salad sandwiches.  They are easy to make, affordable, healthy, and they taste really good!  This recipe is one of the few things I don’t get sick of eating all week. The main ingredients are of course chickpeas, along with vegan mayonnaise, yellow mustard, green onions, and salt and pepper.  For extra flavour I like to add dill pickles, dried dill, grated carrot, and a bit of paprika.  The grated carrot was inspired by an egg salad sandwich I had many years ago at a high tea.  I loved the texture the