Planet Veg cooks up vegan butter chicken in Vancouver

Soy butter chicken

The soy butter chicken is gluten-free at Planet Veg. (Stephen Hui)

Since I live nearby, I’ve eaten at Planet Veg (1941 Cornwall Avenue) in Vancouver many times. This vegetarian restaurant, in the Kitsilano Point neighbourhood, has served Indian-style fast food for years.

My favourite thing to order is the Kathmandu roll ($8). The savoury vegan wrap features cabbage, tomato, cucumber, crispy noodles, jalapeño cilantro chutney, herbs, and spices inside a 12-inch spinach roti. For $4, you can make it combo (do it), which adds rice or soup, and a potato samosa.

Recently, I decided to try something new, and got the soy butter chicken ($9) to go. The menu describes this gluten-free dish as “Butter chicken for those who can’t do chicken.” Continue reading

Krokodile Pear puts organic juice and vegan food on tap in Kitsilano

Cypress

The Cypress contains cucumber, carrot, beet, and other juices. (Stephen Hui)

Is it just me, or are there a lot of juice bars in Vancouver? Karmavore even has a pop-up in New West’s River Market, there’s the Juice Truck in Gastown, and so on.

Krokodile Pear (1867 West 1st Avenue) is the newest such establishment in Kitsilano. Opened on August 9, it serves cold-pressed, organic juices and smoothies. Of course, what’s most interesting to us about Krokodile Pear is that all of the food and beverages it sells are vegan. Continue reading

Eat this, vegans: Lua’s Luscious Lime at Golden Aura in Vancouver

Lua's Luscious Lime

Lua’s Luscious Lime is a lovely raw vegan pie. (Stephen Hui)

However you feel about raw food, we can probably agree on one thing: the desserts rule. At Golden Aura (2680 West Broadway) in Vancouver, four raw vegan cakes and pies are on the menu.

During a recent visit, I enjoyed a slice of Lua’s Luscious Lime ($7). This lovely lime-flavoured avocado-coconut pie is sweetened with date and coconut nectar. The crust is made from macadamia nuts and pumpkin seeds.

Like everything at Golden Aura, Lua’s Luscious Lime is gluten-free and made from organic ingredients. Most of the Kitsilano eatery’s menu is vegan, with just a couple of items labelled with a B for beegan (meaning they contain bee products and, therefore, are vegetarian). Continue reading

Indigo Food Café to celebrate second anniversary with ice cream

Cake trio

Cake trio at Indigo Food Café. (Stephen Hui)

If there’s one area of vegan cuisine in which Vancouver truly excels, it’s raw food. Noted for its high tea and fondue, Indigo Food Café (2589 West 16th Avenue) in Kitsilano definitely deserves some of the credit for this.

Opened in 2011, Indigo Food is owned by chef Lovena Galyide and her daughter Kate Galaida. On July 12 and 13, they are planning to host parties to celebrate their vegan restaurant’s second anniversary. Continue reading

Eat this, vegans: Cassava fries with tamarind chutney from Vij’s Railway Express

Cassava fries

Vij’s cassava fries are seasoned with fenugreek. (Stephen Hui)

Sometimes we crave fries other than the usual potato and yam varieties. In Vancouver, Heirloom Vegetarian (1509 West 12th Avenue) serves a bowl of fancy avocado frites that fits the bill. We also love the cassava fries cooked up at Vij’s Railway Express.

This food truck, part of Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala’s celebrated Indian restaurant collection, dishes out a large portion of salty, deep-fried yuca with tamarind chutney for $8. These fries are drier and starchier than the potato kind.

Cassava fries are both crispy and creamy, but it’s the seasoning and chutney that really make them something special here. The seasoning includes fenugreek, salt, chili powder, and garam masala, according to staff at the food truck. Continue reading

Coconut bacon takes vegan kitchens by storm

Coconut bacon

Everything really is better with coconut bacon. (Stephen Hui)

A year ago, it seemed like everyone had a soccattata in the oven. These days, we’re all about coconut bacon.

For the past several months, I’ve heard so much about this plant-based alternative to cured pig meat. Indeed, it was the talk of this year’s Vancouver Vegan Prom. Kitsilano’s Edible Flours (2280 West Broadway) is even using it in cupcakes and donuts.

In early April, I finally tried coconut bacon for the first time. It turns out the fuss is warranted. This stuff is so, uh, bacony. Since then, I’ve enjoyed it in sandwiches, on salads, and by the handful. Continue reading

Eat this, vegans: Vegetarian noodle soup at the Healthy Noodle House

Vegetable noodle veggie ham soup

Vegetable noodle veggie ham soup. (Stephen Hui)

If the Healthy Noodle House (2716 West 4th Avenue) was a food truck in downtown Vancouver, it’d be seeing lineups at lunch hour and garnering lots of raves on blogs and review sites. Alas, it’s a modest Chinese noodle shop in Kitsilano, overshadowed by the overrated Naam Restaurant (2724 West 4th Avenue) a few doors away.

My advice: skip the ketchup-infused “Thai” noodles at the Naam and dive into a satisfying bowl of vegetarian noodle soup at the Healthy Noodle House. Order slips make it easy to customize your MSG- and oil-free meal. Continue reading

Eat this, vegans: Soba noodle salad from Culver City Salads

Culver City Salads

Culver City Salads delivers vegan and wheat-free salads in Vancouver. (Stephen Hui)

When I took the lid off a soba noodle salad from Vancouver’s Culver City Salads, my first thought was, “Wow, it’s humongous.” Then I wondered whether the buckwheat noodles were really necessary, considering the pleasing variety of veggies already present.

Well, I managed to eat three-quarters of the entrée salad before I was too stuffed to continue. As well, the taste and texture of the noodles fit perfectly with the mixed greens, carrots, cabbage, chickpeas, cauliflower, sesame seeds, avocado, and dressing. Continue reading