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Planetary Burger

Planetary Burger in Vancouver on Main Street

For those classic burgers and shakes, look no further! They got cute sliders, too, for a little taste of all the flava’s!

Planetary Burger is located at 3088 Main St, Vancouver, BC

I got to taste all four of their burgers a couple of weeks ago, and my favorite was the mushroom burger. I am an avid believer that variety is the spice of life, so I was excited to try each burger. The current burger line up offered is the Beet, Cauliflower, Mushroom, and the Classic Cheese.

The Strawberry shake was good, but a little tart for my liking. I think they mentioned they use real strawberry, so that’s probably why.

I’m diggin’ the paper straws. Down with plastic!

I’m used to that artificial flavor? (Hopefully no beaver butt!). I also got to taste my friend’s vanilla shake, and did I ever wish I ordered that one! – Next time! It was sweet creamy heaven. I felt the price for these small milkshakes was a little on the hefty side at $8 somethin’, but if you’re hankerin’ for a vegan milkshake, it could be just what you need.

I like my cheese curds a bit chewier, but it was aiighte.

The poutine wasn’t anything special. The fries weren’t crispy golden-brown and fluffy on the inside. The gravy was savoury with a nice smooth texture. I felt the cheese though was particularly disappointing as it was just too… soft. Yep, I want some cheese that bites back! My friend liked it though, so go try it for yourself if you’re into poutines 🙂

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Homemade Spicy Lemongrass Chick’n Noodle Soup

Spicy Lemongrass Chick’n Noodle Soup

On the weekend, I juiced up some jumbo carrots in my Breville juicer to make delicious creamy carrot juice (I find the jumbo carrots are much sweeter than regular carrots). With the leftover carrot pulp, I decided to make a soup stock out of it. It was really simple, just add it to a pot of water with sea salt, add onions and mushroom seasoning powder (umami), and lemongrass chili oil, pineapple juice for sweetness and tanginess.

Spicy vegan lemongrass chick’n noodle soup

I added loads of veggies as well as vegan lemongrass chick’n and “ham” purchased from Happy Veggie World in Richmond. I made a post last year about this awesome faux meat supplier. I used rice noodles, but I’m sure you can use whatever you want. I imagine a vermicelli or udon would go nicely as well.

For dessert, I made sticky rice with mango. It was made of some sticky rice, with a simple sweet and salty coconut cream sauce, frozen coconut flakes, topped with yellow mung beans toasted in the pan. For a trial, it turned out pretty well. After watching some YouTube videos, I realized that I needed to steam the rice, not cook it in the rice cooker. There will be a round 2!

O’love Greek Kitchen on Hastings & Warwick: the Vegan-friendly Goddess Bowl!

Olove Greek Kitchen, 5931 Hastings St., Burnaby, B.C. Canada

I was SkipDashing (doing SkipTheDishes and DoorDash deliveries) when I had a spur of the moment decision to take a lunch break and see what yummy food I could get into my belly (my little motivation hack is to reward myself with delicious food when doing food deliveries!).

Initially, I was going to check out Pho101 next door to see if they had any vegan-friendly options. However, O’love had menus displayed on their windows. And what made me really want to give them a try was the fact that they clearly labeled dishes as vegetarian or vegan-friendly (vegans of the world, don’t you LOVE when they do that?!). At the time, I was thinking “I don’t even really like Greek food, it’s usually dry or not that flavourful, but what the heck, let’s give them a try whilst supporting the vegan movement and local businesses during this Covid-19 era”.

Goddess Bowl at O’love Greek Kitchen

Boy o’ boy was I glad I decided to give this place a try. I had the Goddess bowl. It had a ton of variety, which I love. If I recall, it had four salads with some sweet and savoury dressings, hummus, sweet and bright red beets, crisp red onions, cool cucumbers, and crumbly yet moist falafels. I also love that the falafels came out piping hot! They had a very very satisfying bite with a tender moist inside. Very good mouth feel, indeed.

For me, the only nuisance was that they were so super crumbly that they would fall apart when trying to pick them up with the fork. The forking challenge was worth the work though, transporting them from the plate to my mouth.

Sorry (not sorry) for so many pictures of this one bowl, but with so much going on, it’s like a new work of art from every angle. Isn’t she a beaut?!

This dish is aptly named the Goddess Bowl because it has everything you could ask for: fresh and vibrant aesthetics, depth of flavour, and hearty ingredients.

I also feel really grateful to have had the opportunity to chat a bit with the Chef and owner Irene. She helped me realize that my notions of what “Greek food” was wasn’t traditional Greek food at all. Yenno, the typical meat-heavy souvlaki dishes with sides of Greek salad and potatoes. Traditional Greek food is full of fresh seasonal vegetables. Souv is typically a street food. It’s akin to comparing American or Canadian style Chinese food to traditional food you would find in China. HUGE difference!

During our chat, she let me know that she cooks at the restaurant like she would at home. It can take more time, but it’s worth it. It all started to make sense as to why the dish was so good! For instance (and I won’t divulge her possibly secret methods), it’s no coincidence that the olives aren’t overly salty or hard. The pita bread, oh my god… It’s so soft and fluffy (not the usual dry and tough bread I despise). It reminded me of the qualities I love in Indian naan bread.

And, in addition to quinoa and lentils, Irene adds hemp hearts for health– for health! I mean, who does that these days? …Somebody who is putting love into their cooking and cares deeply for whom they’re cooking for I believe.

Simply, it’s good food that’s also good for you. It’s all about quality ingredients that truly makes good food she told me. Her father was visiting her at the restaurant, and she told me about the plentiful gardens he had when she was growing up, growing their own ingredients, and making olive oil and wine from scratch. It was an amazing experience.

Oh, and I also ordered the Olove Hummus and pita bread. If going the vegan/plant-based route (which I hope you are ;P), ask for the pita to be pan-fried with olive oil instead of butter. At the end of the meal, I was pretty stuffed! I was going into food coma actually, but I resisted the temptation to just call it a day for food deliveries. Good job, me! I can’t wait to go back and treat myself and loves ones. And as if this place weren’t already divine enough, they also serve wine, too. Whaaattt?! Stop it…

Nope. They can’t stop, won’t stop. They also have some kick-ass-looking light bulbs! Check them out and let us know what YOU think! I give them a 5/5, and upon a quick Google search, I’m seeing 4 to 5 stars across the board, including Facebook, Google reviews, Yelp, and Trip Advisor. So, I’m fairly confident that y’all will love this place as I and many others have, too! Efharisto!

Olove Greek Restaurant’s lunch menu (they have a dinner menu, too): http://www.olovegreek.ca/lunch-menu

Feel free to follow Olove on Insta: https://www.instagram.com/olovegreek/

Chettinad Dosa Palace Vegan-friendly Option

Chettinad Dosa Palace, 5081 Canada Way, Burnaby, Canada

Aloo Gobi Dosa at Chettinad Dosa Palace, Burnaby

During my break from doing SkipTheDishes and DoorDash, I tried the Aloo Gobi dosa (potato cauliflower). I asked the staff to ensure there’s no yogurt, milk or butter and the chef assured me that it was vegan.

Morsel of aloo gobi dosa on a fork

The outter shell was really crispy and airy. It reminded me of a crepe-like texture and mouth feel! The filling was savoury with little visits of tart from diced tomatoes.

It also came with two dipping sauce and a rich soup that was more like a stew. The dish felt really light and refreshing. Quite splendid for a beautiful sunny summer day! Very enjoyable, so I’ll be back again! Give them a try. Others seem to love Chettinad as well. At the time of this writing, they have a 4.5/5 star rating on DoorDash, out of a total 785 ratings. Not too shabbay!

Beyond Meat Burger at White Spot

White Spot Beyond Burger…so good

Writing this blog post makes me want another one…Oh gawdddddddd…The weird thing is that this beyond patty didn’t taste like the ones from the grocery stores or A&W, or even other restaurants that carry it. I’m not sure why the texture and flavour seemed so different to me. Visually, it looked like it was deep fried and more pale or something.

Beyond Meat White Spot Vegan Burger

Nevertheless, it tasted so nice. It had creamy avocado, charred corn, pickled red onions, and crisp iceberg lettuce. Looking at their website, it had jalapeno ranch, and an edamame hummus (never even heard of this!). They also included a coleslaw, but I wasn’t sure if it was vegan, so I just avoided it.

Oh, I also loved the bread: it had such a pleasurable mouthfeel: a bit of a crust, whilst nice and chewy, yet soft on the inside. Seriously, that chew is so satisfying just thinking about it. I’m not a bread expert by any means, but I would bet someone’s life it was ciabatta bread (Just kidding, I’m vegan. I would not bet someone’s life!). It was pretty expensive when I ordered it, but totally worth it as a treat/celebratory meal. I’m looking for the next excuse to hit ’em up! Bon Appétit.

Pizza Pizza Calzone and Panzerotti

Pizza Pizza Calzone and Panzerotti

Out of pure food science, I’ve tried Pizza Pizza’s vegan calzone and panzerotti at, like, three locations. They’re actually slightly different (texture and size most notably). But, they were all really really yummy in my frikkin’ tummy. I love the oozing cheese and the tangy tomato sauce. Remember to add dairy-free chese and a plant-based meat option.

The prices were about the same at all locations (Burnaby, Surrey, and South Surrey): around 7 bucks. I think it’s a pretty good deal. Not the healthiest thing to eat, of course.

Primo, eh?

Enjoy!

You can order yours for pick up or delivery at https://www.pizzapizza.ca/!

AmazingVegansBC

I had the honour of being featured on AmazingVegansBC where my new friend Jezryl, and fellow vegan, shares the journey and lifestyle of amazing vegans here in beautiful British Columbia. This photoshoot was at one of my favourite parks since childhood: Bear Creek Park in Surrey, BC. I was delighted to learn in the summer of 2019 that they’ve installed some calisthenic bars and benches there- just beside the big track. Be sure to check it out if you’re looking for a good outdoor workout!

Whether you’re a vegan or just someone looking to learn more about the vegan lifestyle, amazingvegansbc’s instagram page is an awesome window into the lives of everyday vegans. Follow their page at https://www.instagram.com/amazingvegansbc/.

Jezryl, awesome time meeting you brother. Looking forward to future photoshoots to document my journey and progression as a vegan. And, of course, looking forward to sharing good eats with ya, too! Cheers, bro!

A&W Vegan Nuggets

A&W nuggets were pricey AF, but pretty tasty

10-piece A&W nuggets made by Lightlife. At the time of this writing (Dec. 15 2019), Lightlife’s nuggets are being served at all A&W locations across Ontario and British Columbia, Canada.
The nuggets were surprisingly juicy (like wtf is that? some sort of plant-based oil?)

The Taste & Texture

The outter batter or crust was super crispy and crunchy. Very satisfying. The inside had a meaty texture and a nice flavour. It wasn’t too strong in flavour, so I ate my 10-piece with a pack (or six) of ketchup (Goddamn ketchup is good, aint it?…it’s like crack, but better, if I knew what crack tasted like). For more information on what’s inside these tasty nuggets, you can check out Lifelife’s website: https://lightlife.com/en-ca/ .

The Price & Verdict

The cost? 6-piece for $5.99 and 10-piece of $8.99 PLUS tax… so, about a loonie per nugget. Was the price worth it? Not really…I’d rather spend 7 bucks or so to get a big bag of Gardein crispy tenders (those fake chicken, chick’n, tricken strip things). This walking vegan billboard gives these nuggets an 8/10. Thank you A&W for bringing more plant-based options. Let’s keep it comin’!

Pho 37 – Vegan Option

Pho 37 Vietnamese Vegan Pho in Richmond, BC

This place was not bad. I almost stepped out after looking at the unimpressive vegan selection (Like, where’s my little box of vegan options, and little green leaf logos, huh? Come on now! It’s 2019). The friendly and very persuasive staff convinced me to try some of their stuff. She even threw in some social proof by stating that they have a lot of regular vegan patrons. Okay, so I gave them a shot!

Pho 37’s Vegan Pho Option at 8328 Capstan Way #1101, Richmond, BC V6X 2H8

Verdict: The Vegan pho broth was very flavorful, actually it was a bit too sweet for my taste. My feeling was that they use some veggie seasoning powder and just put a few too many table spoons. Otherwise, it was some delicious soup to have during this “Winter is coming” season in Raincouver. A little less seasoning, or a little splash of hot water, and Voila (again, that’s just my opinion, so take it with a grain of seasoning). Also, the rice noodles were perfect might I add. Well-cooked noodles are expected, sure, but much appreciated nevertheless. Very grateful. *presses hands together palm to palm and chants: Ohmmm….*

Spring Rolls

Vegan Spring Rolls at Pho 37

Okay, so I asked two staff members and they said these “egg” rolls or spring rolls are vegan. Yes, I specifically asked about the wrap and whether or not it had egg in it. After the second staff member confidently confirmed that there is no egg, I actually overheard him double-check, in Vietnamese, with another male staff that there was no egg. At last, my limited Vietnamese language abilities came in handy. Woohoo! Anyway, they were pretty damn tasty!

Tea-riffic Tea

Pho 37’s Complementary Tea

Usually complementary tea ain’t something to blog about, but it really had me appreciating life, and thinking, what kind of tea is this? It had this really roast-tea or rice-y flavor or something.

Hmm…I never did end up asking. I felt like I used up all three of my questions about the vegan soup and spring rolls. My friend and I ate right up until closing, too (which was around 9:00pm that weekday). SO, I didn’t want to push my luck. All in all, seems like a pretty nice (possibly family-run) business that wants your business! If you check out their vegan options, let me know what you think! Would love to hear from you!


Pho 37 at 8328 Capstan Way #1101, Richmond, BC V6X 2H8

Their Yelp: https://www.yelp.ca/biz/pho-37-richmond-2


Happy Veggie World

Happy Veggie Faux/Mock Meat Supplier in Richmond

If a Vegan “chicken” nugget looks like a chicken nugget and tastes like a chicken nugget, is it a chicken nugget? – Jacob H.

After hearing about Happy Veggie World from friends over the past 3 years, I finally got to visit them in Richmond this October. My god, what was I waiting for? (Actually, I went twice before, but showed up when they were closed… Woops! My bad!) So, I hope this post inspires you so that you don’t make the same mistake I did. For your faux meats and mock jerkys (jerky’s?), hit up Happy Veggie World! If you don’t at first succeed, try again!

Damn, look at that texture!
Happy Veggie has two locations for your convenience. I visited their Main Office/warehouse at #378 – 13988 Cambie Road, Richmond, BC.
Their store location is at #105 – 8231 Cambie Road, Richmond.

Their chicken drumsticks are pretty amazing. They have a nice chewy texture and a sweet savory flavor. Not too strong. Like a lot of Taiwanese food products, they’re really well-balanced.

Faux “chicken” drumsticks from Happy Veggie World.

After stocking up my freezer with my first Happy Veggie World food haul, I heated up some (okay, a lot) of oil and deep-fried these “chicken” drumsticks and their non-sentient nugget cousins.

Crispy , crunchy, and compassionate "Chicken" nuggets from Happy Veggie World in Richmond, British Columbia
Crispy , crunchy, and compassionate “Chicken” nuggets from Happy Veggie World

The nuggets were my fave: they’re crispy with that ever-satisfying crunch sound as you bite into them, and that warm inviting welcome of the chewy yet soft inside that I remembered from McNuggets from McDicks (Hey, by the way, McDonald’s, hurry up with your vegan burgers and McNuggets, already! It’s 2019. Thanks 😛 And yes, I’ll have fries with that :)…)


After posting these vegan goodies on my IG, my friend asked me: “if a Vegan ‘chicken’ nugget looks like a chicken nugget and tastes like a chicken nugget, is it a chicken nugget? No, Jacob, no… it is not a chicken nugget.  ^^

Disclaimer: No animals were harmed in the making of these delicious nuggets. Some names of individuals may have been changed to protect the identity and privacy of individuals.