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Vegan Paris: Pre-Trip Planning

Posted on August 11th, 2015 · By admin

Louvre

Louvre

Vegan Paris

It’s been a while since I visited Paris. The last time I visited I was meeting my youngest sister who was living in Barcelona at the time. For some reason, I never truly understood, she refused to visit me in London. Even though she lived and worked in London for many years. I was always ok with that because hey Barcelona is pretty nice. Paris turned out to be a great meeting point as she was there to attend an event for Parsons Paris and, I was there to eat my way through it.

In the past, I’d make at least one trip a year, usually, in autumn. Paris has a lot to offer so it doesn’t matter what time of year you go. There is just so much to do. As Amy Thomas states,“one of the best ways to immerse yourself in French culture is with food.” And I totally agree so as always the focus will be on eating. It’s safe to say that’s what I do best.

I’ll be hopping on the Eurostar Thursday morning and returning on Saturday evening. So, I’ll have to make the most of the three days I have.

Here’s where my online research and pre-trip planning comes in.


Restaurants

Bob’s Kitchen

The last time I was in Paris Bob’s Kitchen was one of my first stops as it’s not too far a walk from Gare du Nord. It’s not strictly vegan, but vegans won’t have any problem eating at this vegetarian canteen. Get there early, as it tends to fill up quickly, if you want a seat. I do remember being disappointed that they didn’t have any vegan desserts, but I left feeling satisfied after a tasty meal.

Loving Hut

Loving Cult, I mean Loving Hut have outlets all over the world, but I only seem to eat there when I visit Paris. Located on Beaumarchais in the 11th arrondissement. A friendly French-Canadian guy runs this branch. If I remember correctly it’s not open all day so check the operating hours before you go. I tend to go for the soups and salads. Loving Hut is a pretty safe, cheap and cheerful bet for the budget conscious.

Le Potager du Maris

Did someone say crème brûlée? This should be reason enough to make your way over to Le Potager du Maris. It’s located on Rambuteau near the Pompidou. Portions look huge from the photos I’ve seen online and can probably feed four. This place is definitely for sharing so make sure you bring friends. According to Happy Cow, it’s been vegan since 2012. Reservations are suggested.

Tien Hiang

If I want bánh xèo in London I have to make it myself, not so in Paris. Tien Hiang comes recommended as a Vietnamese/Chinese vegan friendly spot that uses no eggs. According to reviews you can request an English menu, which also features set menus. Tien Hiang may not be the place to go if you want a leisurely or relaxed experience. It’s located near metro Goncourt and it’s not far from Republique. They don’t take reservations so you might have to wait for a table.

Le Centre Tout Naturellement

Le Centre Tout Naturellement is a full service spa where you can take a sauna or naturopathic massage, get a facial, and eat a 10 euro set vegan lunch consisting of local, fresh, organic produce. Once you enter the small and quiet courtyard you have to ring a bell to be let in. Located in the 9th arrondissement near metro: Poissonnière.


Vegan Markets

Un Monde du Vegan

Un Monde du Vegan is a vegan shop selling only vegan products, mostly, made in France. It’s chock- full of all the packaged junk food you could ever want. In addition to ‘boursin style’ vegan cheese you can find supplements, food for cats and dogs, cosmetics, cleaning products, shoes, belts, accessories and a lot more. Located in the 3rd arrondissement near metro: Strasbourg – Saint-Denis.

Carmen Ragosta

Carmen Ragosta is a clothing boutique that doubles as a restaurant. It’s a precursor to the hip Hackney combination businesses that are now popping up everywhere. She designs clothes and cooks Italian food for lunch. Everyone raves about the tiramisu, but call in advance for the vegan version. Located in the 10th arrondissment and the nearest metro is Jacques Bonsergent.



Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Museums

Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson

Unless it rains, I probably won’t have much time for museums on this trip. I have so much eating to do. The Foundation has a few of Cartier-Bresson’s photographs on display so if that’s your main reason for visiting you might be disappointed. If you’re prepared to be surprised (or you can call ahead) the Foundation curates a large number of exhibitions throughout the year with photographers from around the world. Located in the 14th arrondissement nearest metro: Gaîté.

Musée Picasso Paris

The Picasso Museum reopened in October of last year, €22 million over budget and three years behind schedule. It’s definitely worth a visit, but will I have enough time. The exhibition space is now double the size with many more works on display than ever before. I could easily spend an entire day there. Obviously, if the weather takes a foul turn three to four hours taking in the exhibition would be perfect. Located in the Marais in the 3rd arrondissement nearest metro: Chemin Vert.

I could go on and on, but I’m going to leave you here folks. So if anyone ever asks you, “What are you going to eat in Paris?” tell him or her that they don’t know what they’re talking about. “French food isn’t all crème, fromage et beurre!”

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Heart Healthy Foods – Valentine’s Day

Posted on February 14th, 2013 · By admin

chocolate brownies - photo credit Mariona Otero

chocolate brownies – photo credit Mariona Otero

Heart Healthy Foods – Valentine’s Day

Being the skeptical person that I am, I couldn’t let this ‘holiday’ created to sell boxed chocolate, flowers and greeting cards pass without adding a contribution.

At first, I was going to go all literal on you and create a list of foods that are high in iron, which some of these foods are, but then I decided to expand the list to include foods that are associated with a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease.

And yes, chocolate is on the list.

Here’s to a heart healthy Valentine’s Day.

Tomatoes – came from the New World and were brought to Europe by the Spanish colonizers.

Are high in lycopene and an excellent source of vitamin C as well as vitamin A, vitamin B6, niacin, folate, potassium and fiber.

Research suggests that the combination of nutrients in tomatoes may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Cooking tomatoes increases the amount of lycopene readily available. So it’s a good idea to include a mix of both of raw and cooked tomatoes in your diet.

Other fruits high in lycopene: pink grapefruits, watermelons and papayas.

Recipe ideas: salsa, pizza, pasta, soup, tomato and basil salad, brushetta, and quiche.

Garlic – Garlic is native to central Asia and has been cultivated for over 7,000 years.

Crushed or chopped garlic releases allicin, the pungent sulphur compound that gives garlic its characteristic smell. These compounds react with red blood cells and produce hydrogen sulphide, which relaxes the blood vessels, and keeps blood flowing easily.

Also known to keep ‘vampires’ at bay.

Recipe ideas: Spaghetti alla puttanesca, garlic mashed potatoes, garlic bread, roasted garlic

Apples – originated in Western Asia probably Kazakhstan.

Apples are packed with the following antioxidant flavonoid compounds — epicatechin, epigallocatechin, kaempferol, quercetin. These compounds play a key role by preventing “bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and triggering a series of events that results in the buildup of plaque in arteries, as well as inhibiting inflammation. Apples are also rich in pectin, a form of soluble fiber known to help lower cholesterol, and they provide a decent amount of vitamin C, another antioxidant.

To get the benefits you have to eat the whole apple and not just the juice!

Other fruits you should try: pears plus the 7500 varieties of apples.

Recipe ideas: raw apples, apple crisp, apple pie, apple turnovers, and sautéed red cabbage with apples.

Pomegranates – come to us by way of Persia and the name is derived from medieval Latin word for apple.

Are full of powerful polyphenols, which are found in all fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, red wine and chocolate. Studies have shown pomegranate to contain the highest antioxidant capacity compared to other juices.

Pomegranates may help to reduce the buildup of plaque in arteries and lower blood pressure.

Other fruits /juices you should try: blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, pears, plums and red wine, strawberries, black currants, lingo berries, chokeberries and aronia berries.

Recipe ideas: winter salad, crumble, sauce, punch, and gelato

Red Beans or Kidney Beans – Probably originated from a common bean ancestor in Peru.

Chock full of B vitamins; niacin; folate; magnesium; omega-3 fatty acids; calcium; soluble fiber. The soluble fiber in red beans helps to reduce cholesterol levels, while the folate helps to lower levels of homocysteine, a compound associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Other beans/pulses you should try: black beans, lentils, pinto beans, and black eye peas.

Recipe ideas: stews, soups, salads, rice & beans and corn

Kale – originated in the eastern Mediterranean or Asia Minor and according to wiki was the most common green vegetables in all of Europe until the end of the Middle Ages.

It’s packed with heart-healthy antioxidants as well as omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamin E. It’s also high in Vitamin K, which aids blood clotting, protects the heart, and helps to build bones.

Other greens you should try: cabbage, collards, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.

Recipe ideas: raw (dehydrated) kale chips, kale, apple, carrot and walnut salad, pasta with cavolo nero.

Almonds – are native to the Middle East and South Asia.

Nuts are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and low levels of saturated fats. Know to reduce the absorption of cholesterol and encourage the liver to make less LDL and more HDL (good cholesterol).

Other nuts you should try: walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pine nuts and peanuts (which actually are legumes).

Recipe ideas: raw almond cheese, stir-fry, chocolate covered almonds, almond Parmesan, almond biscotti.

Chocolate – originated in the lowland rainforests of the Amazon River basins of South America.

Chocolate and cocoa are high in flavanols and as with other antioxidants have been known to improve vascular health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less sticky and able to clot. To really get the benefits you have to eat the least processed form of chocolate. Sorry milk chocolate is no good; chocolate solids have to be at least 70%.

These plant chemicals aren’t only found in chocolate. In fact, a wide variety of foods and beverages are rich in flavonols. These include cranberries, apples, peanuts, onions, tea and red wine.

Recipe ideas: chocolate brownies, chocolate truffles, chocolate zucchini cake, raw cacao nibs, and hot chocolate drink.

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Top 10 things you will love in 2013

Posted on January 2nd, 2013 · By admin

Top 10 things you will love in 2013

The 10 best food things for 2013 and it does not include a sous-vide. It is ok if you want to retitle this piece as predictions for 2013. I am new to forecasting, but that doesn’t mean I’m a novice. Get back to me at the end of the year and we’ll see how I did.

cast iron wok

cast iron wok

1. Cast-iron cookware

Le Creuset is ok, but I talking about the cookware you have to season, wash correctly and that gets passed down.

tomato knife

tomato knife

2. Tomato Knife

I bet you didn’t know you needed one of these, but as they say you need the right tool for the right job. Not only will this knife keep you from butchering those tomatoes, but it will keep your other knives sharper, longer.

jackfruit

jackfruit

3. Pulled Jackfruit

What can I say you haven’t lived until you’ve had a pulled jackfruit sandwich, bbq style.

kimchi

kimchi

4. Kimchi

The last time, I was at Centre Point buying glass noodles, I decided while I’m here, I may as well pick up some kimchi. Everyone of those foil sealed packs had either fish sauce or msg or both as an ingredient. I asked the guy behind the counter why they were no longer stocking vegan and msg-free foil packaged kimchi. He said go make your own – I just might do that.

5. Sofrito

So Free Toh – it sounds great, so naturally it makes everything taste great. It’s the base for Caribbean, Latin American, and Spanish cooking and where so many good things start.

6. Picked everything – Just kidding!

Nothing against Branston Pickled Onions, but I’m talking about the ones that are best eaten the week they are made.

sriracha sauce

sriracha sauce

7. Sriracha – Riding the Red Rooster

Sriracha pancakes, sriracha hummus, sriracha ice cream ?!? just maybe the secret sauce you’ve been looking for. This garlic chili sauce is of Thai origin, but is found in most Asian grocery stores.

cinnamon rolls

cinnamon rolls

8. Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon is good for you; cinnamon rolls not so good, but do you need an excuse to eat cinnamon rolls – me thinks not.

crock pot

crock pot

9. Crockpot vs. Pressure Cooker

Again, this is a case of using the right tools for the right job, but some folks swear by one or the other so I’m going to leave this one up to you.

sabatier knife

sabatier knife

10. Sharp knives

There are some beautiful high spec Japanese cooks knives, but you will never go wrong with a good Sabatier or Swiss make Victorinox. You can never have enough knives, but make sure they are kept nice and sharp. Remember, a dull knife is a dangerous knife.

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Vegan Berlin – Part 2

Posted on November 8th, 2012 · By admin

As promised here’s part two of our September trip to Berlin. In case, you missed it the first time – Vegan Berlin Part 1

Vegan Berlin – Part 2

Viasko by the time we made it to dinner it was already dark. We sat at an outside table under an umbrella, sheltering from the evening’s drizzle. I can’t remember if this is the reason we have no photos to show you now or if we just decided to not take any photos as we thought they would look pretty crap, as we’d have to use the flash. I can tell you that Adrian and Patrick both had the Seitan dish with Red Wine Jus then the and Tiramisu for dessert. The jus was too strong and salty and the cream was too heavy for the tiramisu. Kristina and I had the pasta dish and I don’t remember what we had for dessert. The staff was very cordial and the space was very cosy. I can’t give Viasko a raving review, but it’s worth checking back as the menu changes weekly.

Viasko, Erkelenzdamm 49, 10999 Berlin Kreuzberg

Café Vux makes the most sublime cakes. As you can see from the pics below, we tried a nice selection including Lemon Poppy Seed Cake, Coconut Cheese Cake, Plum Cake and a Carrot Cake. I also ordered a tall soy latte. It was good going down and I don’t regret it, but I won’t do it again as I’m allergic to some soy milks. The space feels like a gallery, but in a good way. The cakes are kept in temperature-controlled displays. You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between these vegan cakes and non-vegan cakes. Believe me, they are all delicious. They also sell cupcakes, soups, smoothies and bagels. The café is located in the Neukölln area, which is a little farther from the center, but this place is not to be missed.

Café Vux, Richardstraße 38, 12034 Berlin Neukölln

Cafe Vux - Vegan Berlin

Cafe Vux


Carrot Cake - Vegan Berlin

Carrot Cake

Cheese Cake - Vegan Berlin

Cheese Cake

Poppy Seed Cake - Vegan Berlin

Poppy Seed Cake

Plum Cake - Vegan Berlin

Plum Cake

If you need more of an incentive Sfizy Veg is in the same neighborhood as Café Vux, which presented a bit of a dilemma for us as it meant we had to eat our dessert before dinner. Oh well, no biggie. Sfizy Veg is the first 100% vegan pizzeria in Europe. The menu has 130 varieties of pizza in addition to calzones, pastas, paninis, salads, ice cream, fresh juices and smoothies. The pizzeria being packed, when we arrived and the crazy long menu with more pages than a small book, worked in our favor, but I still couldn’t finish my pizza. Adrian was more than happy to oblige.

Sfizy Veg, Treptower Straße 95 12059 Berlin Neukölln

Sfizy Veg - Vegan Berlin

Sfizy Veg

Sfizy Veg Inside - Vegan Berlin

Sfizy Veg Inside

Artichoke, mushrooms, ‘ham’, olives - pizza

Artichoke, mushrooms, ‘ham’, olives – pizza

Walnuts, rocket and something else - pizza

Walnuts, rocket and something else – pizza

Yes, it’s true Berlin is everything you’ve heard and then some. Über clubbing city, dynamic arts scene, rents cheaper than in almost any major comparable European or Western city and great cycle track infrastructure that makes it a joy to ride a bike. I think they call it – Freude am Fahrradfahren.

Perhaps, we can add contender for vegan foodie paradise to that list too.

Outtakes

Fräulein Frost - Vegan Berlin

Fräulein Frost

Gelato - Fräulein Frost in Friedelstraße

Gelato – Fräulein Frost in Friedelstraße

Soviet Cenotaph

Soviet Cenotaph

The Soviet War Memorial -Treptower Park

The Soviet War Memorial -Treptower Park

They're vegans - Vegan Berlin

They’re vegans

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Chinese New Year’s Dinner

Posted on January 2nd, 2012 · By admin

Enter the Dragon: Chinese New Year’s Dinner

Vegan Peasant host a Chinese New Year Supper Club on 4 February 2012

Let the festivities continue as Chinese New Year is soon approaching so get ready for a New Year’s Feast. At this moment we are still creating the menu for this auspicious Year of the Dragon Supper Club. Our menus’ tend to be more inspired, but we are going to include some traditional Chinese New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day dishes such as rice, which is a given, spring rolls, dumplings, sesame balls, savory chinese pudding and buddha’s delight.

The evening promises to be a lot of fun as we’ve got a few surprises in store.

The evening starts at 7:00pm on 4th February.

Event registration for Enter the Dragon: Chinese New Year Supper Club powered by Eventbrite

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