Sunday, October 15, 2017

Vegan Eats and Options in Salem, Massachusetts (including THE BEST VEGAN PIZZA EVER!)

Back in August, the Kitchen Grrrls went to Salem, Massachusetts and had a super awesome amazing fun spooky time. We also ate some AMAZING food while in Salem so this post should assure you that there are plenty of vegan options to be had (some mediocre and some AWESOME) in The Witch City. We also recommend taking the Hocus Pocus Tour with Susan and Rich which is definitely the best tour of Salem, MA.

Are you ready for some Salem, MA vegan food pics?! Let's dig in...

Best Vegan Restaurants Salem Massachusetts Flying Saucer Pizza Vegan

First up, this glorious monstrosity is the all vegan BEAST BOY pizza from Flying Saucer Pizza Company at 118 Washington St, Salem, MA 01970, USA. Caitlin (me) hasn't stopped dreaming about this pizza since devouring half of that bad boy in August. Seriously, she dreams of it every night and day and just cried because it looks like it's no longer on the menu though there still are some other vegan options. It's the best pizza she's ever had in her vegan life and maybe life in general. Please, please, please check it out while in Salem. You won't regret it because the cheeze is Teeze and it's really gooey and yummy. And artichokes. Who doesn't love artichokes on pizza!?

Best Vegan Restaurants Salem Massachusetts Flying Saucer Pizza Vegan

Look how big!!!!!!!!! And look at the cool galaxy table!

Best Vegan Restaurants Salem Massachusetts Flying Saucer Pizza Company

Onto something less exciting and delicious....

Best Vegan Restaurants Salem Massachusetts Howling Wolf Taqueria

And now for the mediocre. This was the Veganized Tofu Burrito from Howling Wolf Taqueria at 76 Lafayette St, Salem, MA 01970, USA. You just have to ask that the Tofu Burrito be made vegan but it's not that great. Their salsas are yummy but this burrito was completely bland. Too much rice and really nothing else in there except some under ripe avocado chopped up and maybe like 2 pieces of pepper. Definitely not good but hey, it's better than nothing right?! I demand better for my vegan options especially at a Mexican joint but I struck out with this one. We didn't even take a picture of the other vegan option which was the Vegetable Enchiladas (made vegan, you have to ask) because it was kind of bad. It wasn't a true enchilada and the sauce tasted kind of bad. Very disappointing. 

Best Vegan Restaurants Salem Massachusetts Howling Wolf Taqueria

But, we can't end on a bad note so let's look at this delicious homemade Strawberry Ice Cream from Life Alive at 281 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970, USA. THIS WAS THE BEST ICE CREAM I HAVE EVER HAD. HANDS DOWN. VEGAN OR NOT. So good and then the walnut oat crumble on top just about brought me to tears. This was a seasonal special so I don't know if it's available now but dear god, if you see the ice cream on the menu order it. Hubba hubba. Life Alive is a vegetarian and vegan spot and I think it's the only fully vegetarian place in Salem. The vibe was so 1990s vegan I was digging it. Very earthy, very granola, very cool. It was totally tubular and a new experience for us.

Best Vegan Restaurants Salem Massachusetts Life Alive Ice Cream

Riley had a smoothie called Lust Alive which was deeelish. Get it because it has strawberries and ginger and coconut ice cream. So good! It tasted like apple pie but with strawberries, says Riley.

Best Vegan Restaurants Salem Massachusetts Life Alive Ice Cream Smoothie

And now you can live vicariously through our trip through these pictures. Caitlin really loved it in Salem and wants to go back but she's bummed that Beast Boy might not be on the Flying Saucer Pizza Company menu anymore. SALEM 4EVER.

Salem The House of Seven Gables

The House of Seven Gables in Salem, MA

Salem Mass Salem Witch Museum

Salem Witch Museum in Salem, MA

Essex Street Salem Shops

A hilarious store sign on Essex St. in Salem, MA

Old Burying Point Cemetery Tombstone

Literally the oldest thing I have ever laid eyes on in Old Burying Point Cemetery in Salem, MA

Salem Massachusetts Ropes Mansion Sundial Garden Quote

The quote on the Ropes Mansion Garden Sundial in Salem, MA on Essex St.

Hammond Castle Oceanview Arches

The freaky and weird Hammond Castle in Glouster, MA with a gorgeous view of the ocean from the arches.

Max Dennison's House Salem Ocean Ave

MAX DENNISON'S HOUSE FROM HOCUS POCUS on Ocean Ave. in Salem, MA

Old Burial Hill Marblehead Salem Massachusets

Another super old and cool headstone at Old Burial Hill in Marblehead, MA

Salem Massachusets Street Art Graffiti

Ain't No Place for Hate in My Town or State street art in Salem, MA on Essex St.

Check out Salem, MA if you can... it's so much more than "The Witch City." Be sure to take that Salem Hocus Pocus Tour with Susan and Rich, it was AWESOME!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Fudgy Brownies with Walnuts

Fudgy Brownies with Walnuts

We're starting this month off right (it's close enough to the start ;) ) with some fudgy, chocolaty brownies. We're prepping those sweet teeth for the Halloween treats to come. These would also be great to bring to Thanksgiving dinner, too.

The weather here has been so unseasonably warm I still can't wrap my head around it that it's already October 7th, and Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. I've been in a strange headspace at school and I don't know if the weather has to do with it or what. I've already been in school for five weeks but I still feel like I'm just getting into the swing of things as if it's only the first week in.

A little back story is that I've already been in school and have gone back to pursue something I think I'm really passionate about but I'm not 100% sure, so it's scary and I hope I'm not wasting my time. I've never liked school and to be doing a second undergrad is something I cannot believe I'm doing. I'm so fortunate that I have the ability to do so but I sometimes feel extremely panicked like I've made the wrong choice. But I guess education is never wrong, right? 

Fudgy Brownies with Walnuts

I don't know the answer and when I'm feeling shaken, I like to eat good food. And good desserts, more specifically. This is a good dessert.

I feel like these are the most classic brownies. I feel like anytime brownies have walnut pieces in them, they're classic. I don't know why exactly, but that's how I feel and maybe you feel the same?

Whether they're classic to you or not, you should definitely make these brownies - you won't regret it!

Fudgy Brownies with Walnuts

Fudgy Brownies with Walnuts

Ingredients
3 tbsp water 
2 tbsp ground flax
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
7 tbsp cocoa powder
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chips or chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
1 tsp instant coffee powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 tbsp vegan butter, like Earth Balance
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions

Combine water and flax in a small bowl. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper or grease the pan really well.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and baking soda.

In another bowl add cocoa powder, chocolate, instant coffee and salt. Pour in the boiling water and mix into a paste - make sure all the chocolate is melted. Combine the sugar, butter, vanilla and flax mixture; mix well with an electric mixer and then toss in the walnut.

Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture, but don't use the electric mixer, mix by hand. Be careful not to over mix, the dough will be quite thick.

Transfer to the baking dish and press it in with your hands or a spatula to smooth out the top.

Bake for 25 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to sit for an hour. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Roasted Chilli Lime Tofu and Kale with Udon Noodles {Vegan}


This is a simple yet flavourful soup that is so satisfying and you will be craving it all the time. 


I love udon noodles, they're so hearty. The tofu in this soup packs a punch without a lot of effort while the kale provides those important nutrients (whatever they are, lol). This is the perfect weeknight dish that will leave you feeling great.

Chili Lime Tofu and Kale with Udon Noodles

adapted from Dancing Through Sunday

For the broth
4 cups water
3 tbsp vegetable stock paste
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

For the roasted tofu
1 package firm tofu, cubed and patted dry
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp red pepper chilli flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tbsp olive oil

For the soup, generally
kale, destemmed and chopped small (or larger if you’re into that)
pre-cooked udon noodles
lime to garnish

Directions
Preheat oven to 375. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

 Mix olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, dried chilli, garlic powder in a bowl, add tofu, coat and let sit for 10 minutes, mixing it around to make sure all the tofu pieces are coated. Put tofu in oven on making sheet and pour the chilli lime mix on top (it will get nice and roasted). Bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake for another 10 minutes.

Steam the kale.

Boil the water. Once boiling, add the stock paste, ginger, garlic and soy sauce into water. Then add udon noodles and boil until they begin to separate.

Once tofu is crispy, remove from oven.

Get out your bowls, add the noodles and greens then pour the broth over the noodles. Top with tofu and top with extra chilli and lime.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Tofu and Veggie Stir-Fry with Udon Noodles

Tofu and Veggie Stir-Fry with Udon Noodles

Tofu and Veggie Stir-Fry with Udon Noodles
adapted from The Chalkboard

Ingredients
for the vegetables:
two 7 oz packages of pre-cooked udon
1 tbsp sesame oil 
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 onion, cut in half and then thinly sliced
1/4 tsp sea salt
6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 cups carrots, cut into matchsticks 
1/2 cup purple cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup corn, frozen or fresh 
2 scallions, thinly sliced

for the tofu:
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 package of tofu, cubed

for the sauce:
3 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
3 tbsp veggie broth
2 tbsp mirin
2 tsp sriracha 

Directions
Heat oil over medium-low heat in a non-stick skillet. Once hot, add the garlic, ginger, and onion. Sprinkle in salt to sweat the onions. Stir everything around until the onion is translucent - 1 minute.

Add mushrooms until soft. Add carrots, stir, and cook for 3 minutes. Toss in the cabbage and mix well. Pour the sauce over the veggies and stir to coat. Remove from heat.

Add another skillet to the element and 1 tsp of oil. Throw in the tofu and toss around until it has some colour. If you prefer, you can skip this step. 

Rinse the udon noodles, so that they separate and then add the noodles and the tofu to the veg. Pour the sauce over everything. Put the skillet back on the medium-low and toss until everything is warmed through and the sauce is evenly distributed. Garnish with scallions.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Vegan Blueberry Scones

Healthy Vegan Blueberry Scones


Healthy Vegan Blueberry Scones

Healthy Vegan Blueberry Scones

Vegan Blueberry Scones
adapted from Pickles & Honey

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsweetened original almond milk
zest of one lemon + juice
1 cup AP flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, solid
1 cup blueberries
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust with flour or a Silpat.

Combine almond milk and lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Allow to sit for 5 mins.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Give it a good whisk then add the coconut oil. Pinch it through the dry mixture until it looks like the bowl is full of tiny pebbles/sand. Fold in the blueberries.

Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour in the wet ingredients plus the zest. Mix together until a thick, slightly sticky dough forms. Don't over mix.

Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and form into an 8 inch round. Divide it into 8 pieces - or however many you want depending on how large you like your scones. Bake until golden, approximately 24-28 mins. When a toothpick is inserted, it should come out clean. 

Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 mins before digging in.  

If  you want to add a glaze, transfer the scones to a cooling rack to cool completely. Combine 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with 1 tbsp of almond milk and whisk until there are no lumps. 

Glaze once the scones are completely cool.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Toronto Vegan Food and Drink Festival 2017 Recap

We had a great day stuffing our faces on Saturday with friends at the 3rd Annual Vegan Food and Drink Festival. We didn't try absolutely everything at the festival, but here are some pictures of the food we did eat. 

Vegan Food and Drink Festival 2017 Vegan Food and Drink Festival 2017
We started the day off with Tofu Benny Waffle Fries from Champs Diner. We bought early bird tickets and at first we were so afraid that there would only be local vendors, thus, there would be no point in coughing up ~$14 for tix. Luckily, there were out-of-towners at the event and Champs (from Brooklyn, NY) was one of them! We have been lusting after some Champs' grub for a while since we've been following them on Instagram. I thought this was pretty scrumptious, definitely in my top 3. The benny sauce was sooo good and the ham had that true ham flavour!

Vegan Food and Drink Festival 2017

Next up was Arlo's from Austin, Texas! They were at the festival last year and we were so happy to see them return. We love this burger! Look at that bun - it looks like a real egg bun! There are surprisingly quite a few vegan joints in Texas, we'd love to go there one day and try them all. 

Vegan Food and Drink Festival 2017

These slices are from Virtuous Pie. LOL I just noticed the fork in the foreground of this shot. Yes, we brought our own utensils to the festival. The pizza was okay, nothing special.

Vegan Food and Drink Festival 2017

Root beer float from Sweet Teeth. We missed the waffle sundaes they were serving last year. We didn't have any of this but our friends said it was the most delicious root beer.


The Buffalo Cauliflower Wings from No Bones Beach Club in Seattle were so flavourful and so was the dip! Plus 10 points for presentation!


OMG! These were probably my favourite of all the food we ate. Vegan pierogi from Pierogi Me! The Sundried Tomato Cheddar ones were soo amazing!


While pricey ($3 a pop) these macarons were really well-done, flavour- and texture-wise. The strawberry flavour was our favourite.

Vegan Food and Drink Festival 2017

Rescue Dogs Fat Mac using the special sauce from Apiecalypse Now! here in T.O. I must say the dogs from Rescue Dogs are super tasty.

Vegan Food and Drink Festival 2017

OMG! These doughnuts were amazing!! So fluffy and soft! I could've eaten a dozen myself, haha. These are from Glory Hole Doughnuts. They're on Queen West but I've never tried them before.

Vegan Food and Drink Festival 2017

Uhhh here's the dud of the day from Snackrilege. It was a Voodoo Doughnut with Tofurky slices, Chao cheese and tofu slices. Super disappointing. It was cold and the doughnut seemed stale, which it probably was considering they traveled from Portland, Oregon. We've always wanted to try Voodoo Doughnuts, but I don't think this was a fair test.

Vegan Food and Drink Festival 2017

Oat & Mill Chocolate Peppermint Patty ice cream sundae. I was pleasantly surprised by this ice cream. Considering it's made from oats, the ice cream was fairly creamy. It was still on the more icy side of things.

Vegan Food and Drink Festival 2017

The big controversy of the day was the Impossible Burger, which is supposed to taste like a beef burger. It does taste and look like a real meat burger, but I wasn't a fan. I actually prefer to see veggies, grains or beans in my burgers. Neither of us was ever a fan of real meat before going vegan, so this wasn't something we were interested in. We found out after the festival that the burger was tested on rats, so that's ironic and questionable, ethically. 

Vegan Food and Drink Festival 2017

Another vendor from Texas was V-Eats. This is their po-boy and it was good! I think it would've been better with a different, maybe softer, bun but the mushrooms themselves were great.

Vegan Food and Drink Festival 2017

The Fairly Frosted Strawberry Chocolate ice cream sandwich was a festival special. I wish we had let the ice cream soften up a bit more before eating it but I couldn't resist. This was a great flavour combo.

Vegan Food and Drink Festival 2017

We needed a little something to wet our whistle by the end of the day. This is the Pineapple Slushie from Chill Pops and it definitely did the trick.

Vegan Food and Drink Festival 2017

Coconut Curry, Citrus Squash and BBQ Lentil dumplings from Steambox Dumplings. It took forever to get these and I'm not 100% sure it was worth the long wait, especially considering they are located in Toronto. They were also pretty tiny but the flavours were really delicious, particularly the Citrus Squash. 

Vegan Food and Drink Festival 2017

This sign ticked us off because it appropriates First Nations culture and that is just so not cool. Ugh!

So, the festival is over for another year. There are definitely questionable things about the festival like the sign above, there were corporate vendors (i.e. Ben & Jerry's and Hellman's both owned by Unilever) yet the tickets were still expensive and there wasn't really any entertainment. The good thing is that it provides an opportunity to try vegan places that aren't accessible everyday like Arlo's, Champs, V-Eats, etc. And of course if you have great company, that makes it fun!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Literally the Best (Vegan) Blueberry Muffins

Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Here's another muffin recipe for you! We're on a roll with the muffins apparently.
We're not joking around when we say these are literally the best vegan blueberry muffins. They're so soft and delicious with the perfect amount of sweetness. Yet again, we always have a hard time getting our muffins light and airy - it may be because we try to go with healthier muffins most times. Not that these are unhealthy but, ya know, they don't use any healthy flours or apple sauce in place of oil. Life is about balance and every now and then you need a soft, pillow-y muffin.

Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry muffins might be a personal favourite of mine. These have a little secret ingredient (custard powder) that, I think, gives them a subtle buttery flavour. It's really nice. And don't worry they're still vegan because Bird's Custard Powder is vegan! Tricky, I know.

I got a little artsy with the photos placing them on a fashion magazine, lol. Just trying new things.

Literally the Best (Vegan) Blueberry Muffins

Adapted from The Flexitarian

Ingredients
250g self raising flour
175g caster sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Bird's Custard Powder (trust!)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened original almond milk
200g fresh blueberries

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line muffin tin with paper liners.
2. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, custard powder and salt in the large bowl.
3. Stir in vegetable oil, vanilla extract and almond milk. Mix until well blended but don't overmix.
4. Gently mix the blueberry in with a wooden spoon so as not to break them up too much then spoon mixture into a muffin tin.
5. Bake for 25-30 mins until the muffins have risen and are golden on top. Make sure they are cooked through by inserting a toothpick or tester.
6. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Or eat right away, like we did!


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