The trouble with eating out

“Jack Sprat could eat no fat.
His wife could eat no lean.
And so between the two of them,
They licked the platter clean.”

Eating out together has been a trial every since Hubby decided to start a ketogenic diet.

I don’t eat meat and when we go out that’s usually about all Hubby can eat—though honestly eating out for him is pretty hard even when he’s not trying to find someplace I can eat too.

Most chicken comes breaded and he needs it to be grilled. He can’t have any bread, fries or any sauce that might have sugar in it. One of the things he’s found he can eat that a lot of restaurants have is Caesar salads with grilled chicken, but even then he has to ask them to hold the croutons.

We were both able to eat at Cafe Mosaics, where I had vegan perogies with the best cashew sour cream I’ve ever tasted (granted not a large sample) and Hubby had a zucchini noodle dish—but even then there was fruit on his plate that he couldn’t eat.

Later we headed over to The Almanac, where Hubby ordered a charcuterie plate with cheeses and in-house made meats. The plate also came with apple, nuts, jam, mustard and crostini, none of which Hubby could eat, so I did and between the two of use we (almost) cleaned the plate. (Confession: I have no idea if the crostini was vegan; I didn’t ask. #badvegan)

Brunch presented an even bigger challenge until we decided to check out Friends & Neighbours, where I used to work as a server back in the day.

I have to say, I like the changes they’ve made since we’ve been away.

They now have a full vegan/vegetarian menu, which includes a weekend-only vegan eggs benedict. I also finally tried the tofu scramble and soy bacon—a popular dish when I worked there that I didn’t consider trying when I wasn’t vegan. It was pretty great actually, I can see why so many used to (and presumably still do) order it.

Hubby was able to get an omelette with meat and cheese, and the second time we went the server offered to replace his toast with avocado. (The first time he was offered a fruit cup, which I ate.)

We even ran into the owner who remembered us and gave us both a hug.

Looks like Friends & Neighbours will be our go-to brunch spot from now on.

Anti-vegan recommend for the win

Non-vegans range from those adventurous enough to try weird meat substitutes with you even when they’re not drunk to those who are utterly repulsed by the life choice.

Rarely do I find myself being served delicious soy-battered dill pickles by the latter, but such was the case during Game 4 of the Vegas vs. Washington playoff final.

As I was explaining to my friend where I get my protein from (sigh), “beans, lentils, tofu,” the anti-vegan butted in, “don’t forget sadness and regret.”

He described himself as morally opposed to veganism, but then ended up giving me a great restaurant recommendation.

According to our server on Wednesday night, River City Revival House has only been open for about a week and a half. It’s the kind of place that smokes its meat in-house, but oddly, it also has a lot of vegan options—not to mention a separate vegan smoker.

Hubby and I went there with my cousin and we all managed to find something we liked/could eat. We even shared the Tofu Fighters Platter—a vegan antipasto platter!

The tofu had an intense smokey flavour and the cashew cheese was the perfect texture and had great flavour. Hubby was able to eat both, though he couldn’t have any of the crostini. He adapted by spreading the cashew cheese on the tofu.

For mains, Hubby ordered the Run D.M.Caesar without croutons and was able to add both bacon and smoked chicken, which he said was delicious

I had the Portis-Bello Burger with Daiya cheese subbed in. The portobello was also smoked and it was probably the most savoury and flavourful portobello I’ve ever had.

My cousin ordered the Piggy Sue 22 pizza and fair warning: these pizzas are not messing around. He managed to get through about three pieces and still had over half a pizza left when he requested a takeout box.

As for those vegan deep-fried pickles I mentioned, they are called Pickle Pucks and can be ordered at Tavern on Whyte. Hail Seitan—deep-fried seitan bites tossed in sweet chilli sauce—are also a great choice and I’ll probably have to order some for tonight’s game.

Go Caps!

It begins

There’s nothing worse than the smell of bacon filling your house — at least when you’re a vegan.

I decide to go vegan after watching What the Health on Netflix specifically because someone interviewed mentioned that dairy can cause eczema, which is why I refer to myself as a dietary vegan. It’s really more about the effect the food is having on my body than the ethical considerations and that makes it that much harder not to cheat now and then (which, spoiler alert, I totally do #badvegan).

But it’s going to be even harder now because Hubby has decided that he wants to do the keto diet — lots of protein, lots of fat, very little carbs.

According to a quick Google search I performed when he first decided to do this, there is such thing as a vegan keto diet, but he felt that if he was going to restrict carbs, he was at least going to eat meat, dairy and eggs.

So this morning Hubby began his keto diet with bacon, eggs and cheese — all the delicious stuff I’ve decided not to eat anymore.

And then at lunch, he had even more bacon! This time as part of a cobb salad at the Blue Plate Diner in Edmonton — where miraculously we could both fulfil our dietary restrictions.

But as he pointed out, the grass is always greener on the other side: he couldn’t keep his eyes off the sweet potatoes topping my veggie shepherd’s pie.

I also got to have a cupcake when we went for tea later in the day, but with keto vetoing sugar he can’t really have dessert anymore.

The smell of meat once again wafted through the house before dinner.

Hubby made himself a steak salad with mushrooms and avocado dressing while I had leftover alphabet soup (from Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz) — but with tiny shell noodles instead of alphabet noodles — and a go-to chickpea salad sandwich (from Fuss-Free Vegan by Sam Turnbull).

Fortunately, I’ve never been very tempted by steak, but tomorrow — The Return of the Bacon!