Day 192- July 11

Fast and dirty National Blueberry Muffin Day !

I took this holiday as an opportunity to celebrate one of the little everyday things. Blueberry muffins are pretty much in any cafe or bakery you pass.
I rarely pick them up but I like them. Being able to grab a muffin quickly has saved me from many hanger attacks in the past

I picked up a mixed berry kamut vegan muffin and brought it home. My friends had dropped off some fresh blueberries earlier this week and they really enhanced the photo shoot

I thought the muffin photographed beautifully but Kamut is a hard grain to get behind when you’re trying to muffin- it was pretty dry and cough-inciting, not gonna lie.

 

Day 185 – July 4

National Independence from Meat Day?

Nah, man, for me, it’s  Independence from Meat LIFE

That shit is disgusting.

For supper, I whipped up a burrito bowl of sorts:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 roasted sweet potato
  • 1 red onion
  • mixed pepper, diced
  • 1/2 zucchini, diced
  • 3 button mushrooms, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 jar of Salsa

Prepped the quinoa, roasted the sweet potatoes and then sautéed the remaining. Topped it with some diced avocado and

Bang- a -rang!

Meat free independence accomplished

Day 176 – June 25

So I have to admit – whenever I think of ‘strawberry parfait‘ I actually picture Prince singing it to the tune of ‘Raspberry Beret’

As National Strawberry Parfait was lurking around the corner on my calendar, this song was in my head more oft than not the past few days

I ‘whipped’ one up, quite easily with stuff I had on hand!
Thank heavens I didn’t have to make a grocery store trip, money’s tight and the guy that works at Safeway drives me crazy – my Kitsilano readership knows who I’m talking about 😉

Anyway- I grabbed a mason jar and layered the following:

  • graham crumbs
  • strawberries, not Driscoll brand, boycott those, diced
  • Cool-Whip

That was it.

I’ll, again, admit my surprise that Cool- Whip isn’t the grossest thing ever. I really always thought it was so incredibly gross, but it really isn’t so bad. Must be getting old and ‘settling’.

Day 168 – June 17

I vegetables make up the majority of my diet. Right after peanut butter.

I thought I’d share with you my recipe for the soup I whipped up on this blessed  National Eat Your Vegetables Day 

You will need the following

  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion (red or white or yellow, whatevs)
  • vegetable stock or bouillon cube
  • 1 can dices tomatoes
  • 1 cup lentils (mixed or commit to just one)
  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • celery
  • cauliflower
  • red cabbage
  • bay leaf/ves
  • cumin
  • oregano
  • chili flakes
  • paprika

Sautee diced garlic and onion in olive oil in a large pot. Once soft, combine everything else. Let simmer and you have soup.

Day 137 – May 17th

National Walnut Day!

I contemplated whipping up some Walnut Milk  but then thought the better of it. It looks and tastes like gruel- sticking with my Cashew Mlyk for life

Instead, I opted to jazz up these cough-inducing fruit seeds (yes, that’s apparently what the definition of a nut is) with some dark chocolate and sea salt

It was pretty straightforward

Melt some dark chocolate

Dip the finest walnuts you can rummage out of the Costco bag into aforementioned melted chocolate

Lay on wax paper after dipping, sprinkle with sea salt

Allow to cool …too cool

Day 131 – May 11

There’s a new place on 4th called TurF

It’s a gym/juice bar/ coffee shop
So very Kits

I’ve been fascinated with the place since it opened because it seemed to appear out the blue one day.
I consider myself a pretty observant person and walked past the place it now stands almost everyday.
Any gym/juice bar/coffee shop THAT stealthy is worthy of my business.
I tip my hat, TurF

So for National Eat What you Want Day, I decided to check it out with James (and Duncan).

Duncan wasn’t allowed in (-1)
Inside was really well stylized (+1)
The staff was swift and friendly (+1)
Everything on the menu was healthy (+1) and not too expensive… but not a steal of a deal either (0).
There were a few vegan options (+1)

I went for the Lentil Grits Bowl – red lentils, oats, beet hummus and avocado, served with green onion, jalapeños and chickpea crackers

The concept of National Eat What You Want Day is more along the lines of a Diet Be Damned kinda thing, but I just really wanted, deep down in my heart (and stomach) to eat some hipster vegan grits.
I elicited much more joy from this bowl than I would have any cheesy veggie burger & fries combo or nacho platter

So a pat on the back to me; the world remains a better place because of my cruelty free and environmentally responsible eating habits, as does my digestive tract… And a pat on the back to TurF – I give you an overall arbitrary 3

Day 122- May 2

National Chocolate Truffle Day was the day random news outlets decided mine and Christina’s Airbnb listing was worth national media attention.

That’s right, Christina’s green Dodge camper van (inherited from an Australian friend who got deported for thinking ‘common law’ was synonymous with ‘gay’ in his visa application) made for breaking news here in Vancouver and beyond.

Yes, this cute little van that me and Duncan have had such a great time in the past few weeks has Vancouver in a tizzy

I was first contacted through the listing by Ben Miljure of CTV news at 9:45, asking for an interview for a news piece that was going to run at 11.

Thanks for the notice Ben, real respectful.

I didn’t get back to him in time so of course he and a film crew swarmed The Pickle at dusk, peering in the windows and asking random passers by what they think of the cost.

No one seemed to care one way or the other, thankfully.

He also quoted a whiney tweet from an arsehole in the area. This guy, FIVRE604, posted a link to our listing with the caption “Taking up very limited permit parking on my block for at least 6 weeks. At least they aren’t using something locals would?”

This was an outright lie on so many levels.

Firstly we have a permit so have every right to park there.
Secondly it had been in Whistler for the past three days. It also brought me to work and school and my volunteering gigs several times within the past few weeks. I took it to Squamish Easter weekend. Christina and Daniel took it to Whistler within that time frame as well.  It was on the move quite a bit in the past 6 weeks, FIVRE604.
Thirdly “very limited permit parking” is highly dramatic. We have two vehicles in the area and never ever have a problem finding a spot
Fourthly, The Pickle has been here since October, so if anything 6 weeks is an understatement. This guy can’t even complain properly.

You can read the first article and video piece here

Shortly after that was all over the news and social media, Global News’s John Hyo reaches out, for he would like a tour.

I respond:

Hi John,

Sorry to tell you I am at work all day and on top of that I just returned from a 4 day excursion in The Pickle so it is full of my own gear not prepared for a tour.

We aren’t happy about our current publicity and have removed the listing. However if you are going to run with a story regardless, I would like to take the opportunity to clarify some points that the reporter from CTV was misinformed about.

The Pickle is not booked up for most of May and June as CTV stated, but rather blocked off by choice by us because we actively use it as both a vehicle and to go camping. The resident who complained on Twitter  about parking is off base. There are, on average, four other vans on the same very block that never move. Whether those folk Airbnb or not, I don’t know, but in the past 6 weeks we have taken The Pickle to Whistler twice, Squamish once and I have driven to work and school as a regular vehicle several times. There is always a spot in the vicinity when I get back. I have yet to experience scarcity of parking in Kits and The Pickle is on the move often. Even if we weren’t using Airbnb it would be parked there, legally, like all the other vans.

We have yet to encounter a neighbour who was upset by it, and we have encountered many. Renting an apartment in Kitsilano is more than either of us have ever had to pay for housing in our lives and we are just trying to offset the cost a little.

John was gracious enough to DRIVE ALL AROUND KITS TO FIND IT AFTER WE TRIED TO HIDE IT AND THEN FILM IN THROUGH THE WINDOWS AND ASK MORE RANDOM PASSER BYS WHAT THEY THINK OF THE COST ALL ORIGINAL LIKE. This can be seen here. You’ll note he really deeply understood the situation and quoted the most important statement I made.

Christina and I were so floored by the onslaught of media attention that we broke our juice cleanse to go out and eat our stress feelings.  On the drive home WE HEARD THE RADIO DJ GO OFF THE HEAD ABOUT IT.

Christina’s mom saw the CTV morning show people discussing it. Her IT guys asked her if it was her ‘pickle van on the news?’.  My clients at the residence for disabilities all saw it. We were called ‘racketeers’ in Facebook comment threads. People were demanding we be towed in others. Some people thought it was cute. Most people seemed to think The Pickle was all Christy Clark’s fault (it’s not). A third article showed up.

The whole thing was super stressful and I no longer want to be a Kardashian at all.

So I made Vegan Chocolate Truffles

You won’t believe how easy they are

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup DIY Cashew Milk 
  • 12 oz dark vegan chocolate
  • topping – pistachios, cocoa, etc

Heat cashew milk. Pour over chocolate and stir.
When fully melted, chill.
Once somewhat firm, roll into balls, roll in cocoa, chopped nuts, coconut, or whatever other topping you can think of.

They were delicious and infinitely more cruelty free than the comment section of Global News !!!

Day 121 – May 1

Whoa – May 1st already
Holy smokes
Rent due. Tuition due. Bills due.
I just want to keep travelling around in The Pickle with Duncan and not face reality.

National Chocolate Parfait Day, though, is a great way to kick off a week.

I’m about to belt out an elaborate recipe, so hold on to your hats

Homemade Raw Vegan Chocolate Parfait

Cashew creme

  • 1/2 cup of cashews
  • 5 dates
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup of water

Pudding

  • 3/4 cup DIY cashew milk
  • 1 cup chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Garnish 

  • 1 banana
  • blackberries or fruit of your choosing that pairs with chocolate

This recipe involves a bit of waiting for the magic to happen.

Combine Cashew Creme ingredients to soak overnight. Combine Pudding ingredients in mason jar, whisk and allow to sit overnight

The following day, blend soaked Cashew Creme ingredients in a food processor or blender.

Layer Pudding with Creme and sliced banana and some blackberries in a cute cup or jar until filled

Then mow down and know you didn’t hurt any animals, you’re not ingesting any puss or antibiotics and you are getting lots of protein, fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, good fats and Omega 3’s!

Happy Monday, bitches !

 

Day 114 – April 24

This was the first day, possibly, yet, that has only been ONE thing to celebrate. No options, no cop outs. Just Pigs in a Blanket or bust.

So weird.

One must oblige.

Turns out Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough is vegan so this was actually a pretty straight forward vegan-able dish.

Bought some St. Yves vegan hot dogs and away I went.

You take some crescent roll dough and some vegan hot dogs, roll one on top of the other and put them in the oven. Serve with ketchup.

Of course they ended up a bit ‘over done’ to say the least.
Our oven is hotter than hell, and I never seem to learn.

I don’t remember liking these very much as a child.
Most definitely repulsed by them as an adult.

They certainly don’t photograph well.

They weren’t so bad really. More so bland than gross, which was a pleasant surprise..

Day 110 – April 20

 

Holy Smokes is Day 110
This shit be cray
I can’t believe I’m still at this racket

Summer is in the air here in Vancouver… sorta.
Macroscopical gusts of it, at least.

April 20 is a doozy

It’s 4:20, National Lima Bean Respect Day, National Look Alike Day, National Pineapple Upside Down Day, National High Five and National Cheddar Fries Day

Not much of a pot smoker.
I respect the shit out of Lima Beans every. damn. day
My closest look alike is Celine Dion
Pineapple Cake is gross.
Herman gives the best high fives but is far away (Duncan is useless at them)

So I’m stuck with Cheddar Fries.

Fine by me.
Now the conundrum is how to make them vegan so I don’t have to eat cow puss.

It was relatively easy

All you need is :

  • 1 large potato
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chilli powder
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small potato
  • 1/4 cup cashews (pre soaked)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375. Slice the large potato into wedges. Soak in water for about ten minutes. Drain and pat dry then toss in olive oil, salt and chilli powder. Place on baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes.

Dice and boil the carrot and potato. Then in a blender or food processor combine the rest of the ingredients, adding water if need be.

When both parties are ready, combine!

It was pretty delicious although hard to get a good photograph because it was more or less hideous.