Vancouver’s Summer Foodie Festivals

making chips
Vancouver has a thriving foodie culture. You can tell that this is true by the quality of fresh produce at your local farmer’s markets and the variety of cuisines available everywhere you go. More recently, Vancouver has jumped on the food truck bandwagon and is home to several innovative ones that roam around the city. However, what is good food without some entertainment and culture as well? We have compiled you a list of summer food festivals that are not to be missed:

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Top Five Summer Veggies

Sweet Corn is great in the summer

Summer has finally arrived. It is now time to reap the benefits of the beautiful season by using the fresh flavors of local produce at its peak. Your local Vancouver vegan/vegetarian restaurants should offer you plenty of inspirations and options to “veggie” up your meals. In this blog, we offer you our selection of the top five summer vegetables as well as tips on how to pick them at their best.

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Five tricks to cut down fat and gain flavor in exchange!

fryingpan

We all know fat is bad and want to avoid it. Yet, we always cannot seem to help ourselves to that extra greasy strip of bacon or that crunchy layer of deep-fried chicken skin, only to end up experiencing regret and repercussions. So, why do we enter this horrible cycle? It ultimately boils down to the misconception people have about how cutting down fat will compromise the taste and the risk-/work-averse attitudes of how it is too time-consuming/effortful to use healthy alternatives. After all, that bag of chips is just within reach and oh-so-good tasting! Little do people know that cutting fat or shortening in cooking is actually quite easy to do and can also enhance the natural flavors of food. Don’t believe us? Why not try these 5 easy tricks and find out for yourselves?

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Daily tips to Help Maintain your Kitchen

How to maintain a clean kitchen
Have you ever taken a good look at your kitchen and think to yourself what a disaster it is and how you wish to have a butler or a maid who will tackle the monstrosity for you? Well, you are not the only one! Thankfully, there are some things you can do on a daily basis to minimize the horrendous mess and to help postpone that big clean-up for as long as possible (because we all want more time in the sun and less time cleaning, right?).

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Tips for Feng Shui Beginners

Feng Shui

“Feng shui” is an ancient art developed by the Chinese aimed to harmonize the energies (“chi”) between nature/environment and the living entities that occupy it. It is mainly applied to buildings and structures with significance to the local culture, but many people practice the art in their homes in the hope to invite fortune to their families, if not for the simple fun of adding some more cultural touches into their personal spaces. With a little help from your local, Chinese vegetarian restaurant, you, too, can orient your home in an auspicious manner with these five easy, beginner tips:

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Spring Gardening on your Balcony

Garden on your Balcony with our Vancouver Vegan Restaurant
Unfortunately, many of us in Vancouver don’t have yards but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the pleasantness and tranquility that plant life brings to a home. Luckily, many of the same plants and herbs that grow in gardens can also be grown on a balcony. Here are some guidelines and tips for getting started with your very own balcony garden.

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10 Spring Activities to do in Vancouver

Vancouver Vegan Restaurant shares spring activities
It’s a great time of year as spring has started to show its true colors in Vancouver, which, unfortunately, means more rain with the occasional sunny break. Even though we are supposed to be seeing some cold weather this spring it shouldn’t stop us from enjoying our beautiful city and parks though! We wanted to share some of favorite spring activities with you to help you shake off those winter blues.

  1. Take a Walk Through one of Many Parks – Don’t forget to take time to experience our wonderful parks and gardens. Some local favorites include Queen Elizabeth, Van Dusen and Stanley Park Rose Garden.
  2. Get Active – This spring treat yourself to some personal time and rediscover your old bike, gym pass or take on a new activity such as yoga or martial arts. Getting active is a great way to increase your energy levels.
  3. Vancouver Winter Farmers’ Market – If you’re planning on getting active this spring you’ll need good fuel to charge your body with. The farmer’s market offers sustainable and organic produce, cheeses and meats – if you’re interested. 😉
  4. Watch the Whales – Whale watching starts in March and luckily enough, Vancouver has a few whale watching companies to choose from.
  5. Kayak in False Creek – Exploring False Creek from the view of a Kayak will make you appreciate the bay in a whole new way. It’s a great physical activity and it’s even better if you finish it off with a nice meal on the patios of False Creek.
  6. It’s Patio Season – Take the time to enjoy some of Vancouver’s most renowned patios including the Keg’s roof top patio in Yaletown.
  7. Enjoy some Street Food – Food trucks and street vendors are making a name for themselves in Vancouver. Take advantage of the next one’s convenience because a lot of these food trucks provide great and tasty meals.
  8. Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival – There are various celebrations and events around the city which you can find out more about here. There are events that include, dance, song, poetry, food, live music and more.
  9. Rediscover the Seawall – Whether you plan on biking, jogging, rollerblading or long boarding, the sea wall is a great path way to enjoy during the spring and summer seasons. Gather some friends and make an afternoon out of it with coffees and on a patio.
  10. Think about a new diet – Introducing veganism into your diet at least 2 days a week is proven to be beneficial for your health and can even lead to stronger and healthier joints. It’s also a great way to increase your energy level and you may even lose a few pounds.

    If you’re ever in doubt of what to cook, come to our restaurant and we’ll make sure you have a sustainable and nutritious meal. Please refer to our
    menu for take-out orders. 

Vegan and Gluten Free Brownies with Zucchini and Oatmeal

Vancouver Vegan Restaurant shares Recipe
While living in Vancouver I’ve had many diverse eating habits and diets introduced to me. But, it wasn’t until recently that I found out one of my friends lives by a vegan and gluten free diet. While grocery shopping I discovered that there are in fact many options for those with this particular diet. I understand that living by a vegan diet is usually a lifestyle choice but gluten free diets are usually from an allergy – at least in my friend’s case. I thought I would write a blog post on one of her favorite vegan and gluten free deserts.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of Adam’s smooth peanut butter or any all natural brand
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • ½ cup natural and unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ gluten free oats
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 ½ cup of shredded zucchini
  • ½ cup of vegan dark chocolate chips

Cooking Instructions:

1.      Lightly coat an 8 x 11 baking pan with canola oil or nonstick cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.      Blend or grind the oats until they closely resemble oat flour. It doesn’t need to be completely ground but it will require a few minutes.

3.      Using a large bowl use an electric mixer to blend the peanut butter, applesauce, honey, and vanilla until smooth. Mix in the zucchini, cocoa powder, oats, baking soda, and salt. Fold in half the amount of chocolate chips (1/4 cup) and pour batter into baking pan and spread the rest of the chocolate chips on top of the mixture.

4.      Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from the center of the pan.

5.      Cool brownies on rack and cut into 20 servings.

We hope that this recipe finds its way into your kitchen and maybe you can even surprise a friend who lives by a vegan and gluten free diet too. For more hearty meals we recommend coming down to Panz Veggie for a delicious vegan lunch or supper. We are known for our Chinese vegan cuisine in downtown Vancouver and we also provide take our orders. Please take a look at our menu.

Recipe Courtesy of Ambitious Kitchen

10 Tips for Going Vegan

Go vegan with Vancouver Vegan Restaurant
We often hear people discussing their diets in our Vancouver Vegan Restaurant, especially around the New Year. We hear a lot of stories of people trying veganism for a month or a couple of weeks. So we thought we would offer some tips on how to adjust to a vegan diet.

Be open minded – Before you begin your challenge mentally prepare yourself for success. The more doubt you bring into the challenge the easier it will be for you to give up halfway through. Going vegan is not hard, and it’s not for everyone but if you prepare a challenge for yourself make sure that it’s feasible by your own personal standards.

Make extra time – Most people prepare their meals with meat as the focus of the dish. So naturally preparing meals around vegetables will take a little longer than the way we were used to. Make sure to allow extra time for planning and cooking meals.

Reassess your cupboards – Make way for beans, lentils, and whole grains. Ensure you have lots of dark leafy vegetables in the fridge as well as vegan friendly condiments.

Avoid instant dinners – Successfully completing your dietary challenge will be harder if you rely on instant frozen dinners like veggie patties, frozen vegan pizzas, etc. They’re not very good for you and they don’t taste very good at all. Focus on making delicious and healthy vegan meals at home.

Buy more produce – Now is the time to try all those vegetables and fruits that you’ve always wanted to. Instead of opting for meat and grains with a bit of greens introduce new ingredients to keep your diet diverse.

Be confident – Be proud of your decision to try veganism. Do not be embarrassed by your decision or feel like you have to justify your decision.

If you’re going away, prepare snacks – Sometimes finding vegan options on the road can be difficult. Prepare to have snacks available for any road trips and even stock up your desk with vegan friendly snacks just in case you forget your lunch one day.

Don’t worry about mistakes – Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes they’re out of our control. If you by chance eat some butter by mistake or accidentally eat a stir fry with fish sauce in it, just relax. If you’re pursuing veganism as much as reasonably possible then you’re doing a great job as is.

Remain strong – The first week will be the toughest with the most temptation coming on weekends when everyone wants to dine out. Be strong and things will become easier and easier.

Don’t push it on others – No one likes a person that pushes their ideals onto everyone. If you have some friends that don’t value your diet as much as you do, it’s okay. Everyone has different values and beliefs we all can’t be on the same page at once.

We hope that these tips will help you adjust to your new diet. Please feel free to connect with us on Facebook or Twitter and share your story on going vegan. If you would like to take the night off of cooking, we offer a wide variety of vegan friendly dishes in both our lunch and dinner menus – happy eating! 🙂

Royal Potato Bake

vegan and vegetarian restaurant vancouver - royal potato bake recipe
One consistent pattern we notice every winter from running a Vancouver vegetarian restaurant is that people want comfort food to help them deal with the cold weather. Considering this, the winter months are a great time to explore the different ways of preparing some of our favorite foods. Potatoes are one of most people’s favorite comfort foods, as well as one of mine. I wanted to share this recipe because, besides being very tasty, it’s actually very easy to prepare and will be sure to satisfy any potato lover’s palette.

Royal Potato Bake

1 kg Jersey Royal Potatoes
¼ Cup Capers
½ Cup Whole Black Olives
1 Tbsp. of fresh Thyme
1 Small bunch of Rosemary broken into small pieces
6 Tbsp. of Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. White Wine Vinegar

Preheat oven to 240 C
Boil Potatoes until they are soft (around 12 minutes)
After you drain the potatoes, slice them in half and put them into a bowl.
Add capers, olives, herbs, and 4 out of the 6 Tablespoons of olive oil.
Stir together and gently break down the potatoes.

Cover a Swiss Roll Tin (or something close to it) with parchment paper for baking.
Dump the potatoes into the pan and level out.
Mix the vinegar and remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and drizzle over potatoes.
Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

We hope that this recipe finds its way into your holiday schedule as it’s been one of recent favorites. But with the all holiday shopping and winter festivities to partake in, it’s sometimes hard to find enough time to cook. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry because we offer take out services on all of our vegan and vegetarian dishes.

From all of us at Panz Veggie we wish you a safe and happy holiday!