Thursday, 20 April 2017

Pizza Pizza - Beamsville

4322 Ontario Street

Well, Pizza Pizza is not going to be the most glamorous restaurant covered here, but it is vegan-friendly. We ordered a large pizza and I held my breath, wondering if the non-dairy cheese was going to be any good.

We did the multi-grain crust with Italian homestyle tomato sauce. My half of the pizza was green olives, mushrooms, grilled zucchini and the vegan cheese. A cool aside, when I asked the person taking my order if there was some way to denote which side of the pizza had my cheese on it, he suggested getting an additional topping on my side (which he did not charge me for), to ensure that there would be no confusion. (I didn't need to worry about differentiating the cheese in the end,...the vegan cheese looked nothing like the melty mozzarella.)

Other vegan options included:

Garden salad - Balsamic or Zesty Italian dressing
Greek salad, hold the feta, Balsamic or Zesty Italian dressing
Crunchy dill pickles
Potato Wedges
Onion Rings

Chipotle, Italian Marinara Dipping, Hot, Frank's Red Hot, BBQ, Italian Homestyle Pizza, Bruschetta, Sweet Chili Thai

Tortillas, Whole Grain Dough, Classic Dough

I want to mention that looking at the menu, I can't figure out where they use the tortillas. Also, the cheese. I know you're waiting to hear about the cheese. The brand is Violife. I didn't love it; it had that faint chemical taste that I also find with Daiya products. It melted okay and tasted better when hot, but I would be tempted to try it without the cheese next time.

For me, this would be an 'in-a-pinch' restaurant option, and I would probably stick to the sides above instead of ordering the pizza next time. Having said that, if you enjoy the Daiya cheeses, you will probably enjoy this Violife cheese as well.

Sunday to Wednesday: 11am - 10pm
Thursday: 11am - 12am
Friday and Saturday: 11am - 1am

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Monday, 17 April 2017

Salad Dressings

I know that vegans eat a lot more than just salads, but now that the weather is turning a bit warmer, I have to admit that my palette is getting a litter lighter. And salads fit the bill perfectly.

Here are the two most-used recipes at our house:


3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil (I often use garlic flavoured)
1/2 tsp sugar (if desired)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine and shake well. If the ratio of more vinegar to oil is too tart for you, just increase the olive oil until you achieve the combination you prefer. At our house, this vinaigrette is perfect with cucumbers, black olives, red onions, and mandarins added to our salad.


3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil (again, adjust to your own preference, I keep it closer to 1/3 cup)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine and shake well. This recipe is also fabulous on grilled veggies.

If you're not the type to make your own dressing, here are a handful of accidentally vegan options that you can find in any grocery store:

Balsamic, Classic Catalina, Creamy Italian, Fat-free French, Zesty Italian, and Fat-free Zesty Italian (source)

Newman's Own
Balsamic, Lite Balsamic, Lite Italian, Raspberry and Walnut Lite, Olive Oil & Vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar & Olive Oil (source)

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Fiddler's Pour House - St. Catharines

149 St. Paul Street
St. Catharines

Though some in our party weren't as happy with the ambience as I was (college kids were playing euchre at the table,...gasp, said the curmudgeons),.....we all agreed that the food was fabulous.

I helped with the samosas for a starter with some awesome peanutty dipping sauce,...then followed up with roasted cauliflower and fries. Delish. The roasted cauliflower came with vegan cheese, dried cranberries and almonds. I thought this sounded like a strange combo, but it totally worked. The cauliflower would have been equally good without the cheese.

Fiddlers has a menu with many specific vegan-option available items, including:

Kettle Chips
Battered Pickle Fries
Sweet Potato Fries

Chicken Wings
Chicken Tenders
Fiddlers Salad`
Garden Salad
Roast Cauliflower
Grilled Cheese

There are also many gluten-free options and vegan chicken and pulled pork can be added to most dishes, if desired. I asked about non-dairy options for coffee or tea and was told that although they do not have them usually, if I were to call ahead, they would make a point of picking some up and having it on hand. Pretty cool.

Parking is street parking with a somewhat pricey lot two doors down.

Tuesday to Sunday: 11:30am to 11pm
Monday: 3pm to 11pm
(last call 2am)

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Monday, 10 April 2017

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia - 5 Reasons to Eat Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds

Though we probably all remember seeing the commercials for the chia pets growing up, chia seeds took their place in our kitchens much more recently. Due to their inclusion on most lists of superfoods, people are adding them to cereal, baked goods, smoothies, salds, soups and stews, and for good reason. Let's take a look at what chia seeds bring to the nutritional table:

Omega-3 fatty acids
Chia seeds contain "five times the omega-3 content of a 1/4-cup serving of walnuts." (source) Omega -3's are known to benefit the body by reducing the risk of heart disease, fighting inflammation, improving bone and joint health, and aiding with a host of other body system ailments.

Protein, protein, protein. As vegans who hear never-ending concern about our protein intake, chia seeds are a windfall. Chia seeds are a complete protein and contain nearly 5 grams of protein in just 2 tablespoons.

A single tablespoon has just over 4 grams of fiber (source) which aids in digestion, as well as staving off hunger pangs.

"Chia seeds are an excellent source of many essential minerals. They are high in manganese, phosphorus, copper, selenium, iron, magnesium and calcium." (source)

Calcium - 1 ounce of chia seeds = 233mg (compared to 6 ounces of milk - 224mg)
Iron - 1 ounce of chia seeds = 2.19mg, nearly 1/3 of the daily requirement
Phosphorus - 1 ounce of chia seeds = 244mg (compared with 140mg for 1 ounce of salmon)

Egg Substitute
It's starting to look like the benefits of chia seeds are never ending. You can even use them to replace your eggs in baking. Super easy: 1 tablespoon of chia seeds combined with 3 tablespoons of water and 5 minutes of letting it set. That's it.