Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Being A Fat Vegan Is Possible!

Before I get into the Fat Vegan part, I would just like add a little info on my last post. The soursop is very similar in texture and taste to the custard apples. The taste is great but the number of seeds is incredibly annoying!

The pickled Vietnamese egg plants are, well... pretty gross. They are a very small type of eggplant that has been pickled with all the innards still in. When you bite into one of these there is an explosion of tiny seeds that fill your mouth and, frankly, feel like bugs. The taste is good but the experience is pretty nasty.

I haven't yet tried the Lotus stems or the rambutan and everything else was just as good this time around as the first time for me.

Being A Vegan Lardass!

I have now put on over 10 pounds since the end of November. I have proved that it is possible for rapid weight gain while on a vegan diet. I attribute this to a drastic reduction in physical activity that is, as we speak, being reversed.

Other than my laziness, I simply blame the Ontario winter. There's not enough snow to do any good workouts like snowshoeing, yet there's enough to make the sidewalks into horrible running tracks.

Anywho, I plan to be sitting 15 pounds lighter as of one month from now. I've started working out and running again and I'm trying to curb the winter hunger and not binge in the evening before bed. It's a tough road when you're on the other side of the 40 mark but I'm determined.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chinatown Bounty

I did a little food shopping at a few of the Asian markets along Spadina in Toronto this past Monday. I'd just like to share my bounty of goodies.

Starting from the front, the dark prickly thing is a Soursop. Not sure what it tastes like yet, but will be trying it soon.

The brown balls in the yellow mesh bag are Longans. Also called dragon's eyes, Longans are a sweet, opaque, fleshy snack inside a semi-hard shell.

The red guy in the middle is a Dragon Fruit, or Pitahaya. Inside is a tasty white flesh that is somewhat of a mix between a kiwi fruit and a watermelon.

The two fruit on the right are Custard Apples. The scales peel away easily when ripe and the inner flesh is similar in taste and texture to apple custard. There are numerous seeds that make eating this fruit a bit tedious.

The can on the left is full of Rambutan, which is similar to lychee fruit and longans.

The jar in the middle is pickled Vietnamese Eggplant. I haven't tried it yet, but I have a thing for regular pickled eggplant so I should like this just fine.

The jar on the right is full of Lotus Rootlets. I haven't cracked this one open yet either but I've checked out some recipes on-line and things are lookin' good.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A&W Provides A Vegan Alternative (Believe it or Not)

Of all fast food restaurants, who would have thought A&W would be one to provide a healthy option on their menu? After all, this is a burger joint that is streamlined to simply greasy burgers with the only option being the number of slabs of beef on your bun.

My omnivore wife needed a fast food fix after a long shift at the hospital. Having already eaten dinner, I didn't much care where she wanted to go. When she mentioned A&W, I figured I'd get an order of onion rings for the effort.

I was surprised to see the Swiss Veggie Burger on the menu. We asked the girl at the counter about it and with a grimace, she told us that it was indeed a 'no-meat' product. I got my onion rings that evening but left the burger.

The next day, I made another visit to A&W for lunch and purchased one of these veggie burgers (without the Swiss cheese and ranch dressing, of course). The price is steep at $4.99 CAD. The burger is amazingly small - kind of reminded me of a White Castle burger. The taste was good, though. I subbed my usual ton of ketchup for the light ranch dressing.

I won't be hanging out at the ol' A&W everyday for this product, but it does provide another quick alternative when out and about. The only other fast food restaurant where I could find a veggie burger on the menu (in Canada) was Burger King. Haven't tried them out as we no longer have a Burger King in Orangeville.

Here's the facts from the A&W website:

Swiss Veggie Deluxe
Components :Veggie burger patty, A&W Seasoning, Swiss cheese, wheat bun, light Ranch dressing, pickles, sliced onion, lettuce, tomato
Details : Veggie Burger: Portabello mushroom, water, mushrooms, wheat flour, modified cellulose, onion, textured soy protein, rehydrated textured soy flour, canola oil, butter, isolated soy protein, salt, garlic powder, autolyzed yeast, spice. Seasoned with A&W seasoning.Swiss Cheese: milk, salt, bacterial culture, microbial enzyme. May contain calcium chlorideA&W Seasoning: salt, spices, sugar, dehydrated garlic & onions, corn starch, dextrose, silicon dioxide, whey, flour, colour, maltodextrin, flavour, soybean oil, canola oil, citric acid, sulphitesWheat Bun: enriched wheat flour, water, whole wheat flour, yeast*, cornmeal, vegetable oil (Canola or Soybean), oat flakes, glucose-fructose/sugar, salt, vinegar, caramel colour (contains sulfites), flavour (contains sulfites), calcium propionate, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate, sorbic acid.*order may change. May contain traces of milk ingredients, soybean and sesame seeds.Light Ranch Dressing: water, soybean oil, modified milk ingredients, maltodextrin, liquid egg yolk, salt, modified corn starch, flavour, sugar, monosodium glutamate, garlic juice, vinegar, onion juice, phosphoric acid, lactic acid, spices, xanthan gum, polysorbate 60, artificial colour, propylene glycol alginate, potassium sorbate, lemon juice concentrate, calcium disodium EDTA.Pickles: cucumbers, water, white vinegar, salt, calcium chloride, sodium benzoate, seasonings, polysorbate 80, turmeric, tartrazine. May contain potassium sorbate.
Nutrient Contents :
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And yes, I do realize that my veggie burger was cooked on the same grill as the rest of their products...

Next up - my latest visit to Chinatown and Kensington Market in Toronto...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Where the Hell Have I Been?

I haven't been very regular with my posting over the past month. I'm still here, though. I've been putting a lot of effort into , my new web project about a serious passion of mine, following the graduates of the Ontario Hockey League.

I'm terribly behind in my running, as well. It's only about 6 weeks until the first 26km trail of the season, and I've only put in a handful of runs since December. When I do run though, I'm feeling pretty good and putting in a good pace. I keep somewhat fit with hockey, so I'm not totally couch-potatoing.

I've fully decided that I hate winter. It hasn't even been a bad winter in Ontario - the temps have stayed well above frigid and the snow hasn't piled up. What that all means is that the snowshoes I bought a few years ago are pretty much useless to me.

I'm hopefully off to the Kensington Market / Chinatown area of Toronto this weekend. I'm planning on a shopping spree of odd and unusual fruits and vegetables to try out and write about.

Until next time, keep it vegan y'all!