Monday, December 19, 2011

Avocado Tortilla Soup



Avocado Tortilla Soup

2 cups vegetable broth 
5 Roma tomatoes Cilantro to taste (I like a good amount) 
1 garlic clove 
Pepper to taste 
1/2 Avocado 
1/2 Lime 
1/2 cup black beans 
1/2 cup corn 
1 or 2 large handfuls of crushed tortilla chips  

I have a Vita mix so I blend everything on high but the beans, corn and tortilla chips for 7 minutes cause it heats it up too. Then I add the black beans, corn and crushed tortilla chips and blend slowly for another 10-15 seconds and Voila!! 
Without the Vita mix I guess you would just blend well and then heat it on your stove.

This is very close to the recipe in the recipe book that comes with the Vita mix but I just tweaked it to veganize it as we all know that's the only way too be!! ;)

Bon App├ętit my friends!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

What does a vegan band dude do when he's not on the road?

Give raw vegan brownies a shot!  I'm been at home for quite a while now between tours and I love to be in the kitchen when I have the time.  My taste buds generally lean more to savoury dishes than sweets and deserts but I figured with the little research I did this would be a good one to start with.  So I went to the store, bought a little food processor and the ingredients I didn't have on hand and went to work.



Brownie
1 cup walnuts
1 cup dates
1/3 cup raw cacao powder

Icing
1 1/2 avocados
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 raw cacao powder
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
a few drops of lemon juice
1 tsp shelled hemp seeds

Put the base ingredients in a food processor and process until chunky, then press into a pan.
Take the icing ingredients(except the hemp seeds) and blend till smooth.  Spread the icing over the brownies.  Sprinkle the hemp seeds over the icing and put in the freezer for at least an hour.
It's all yours now!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Toronto experience

Apologies again for how long this has taken to post.  The Canadian tour has come and gone and it was an amazing time.  We are in Europe now but I still want to cover the biggest city in Canada.  Toronto, as most major cities do, have plenty of options when it comes to Vegan dining.  I'll start with a place that opened up just a few months ago called Hot Beans in the Kensington market neighborhood.  I got two tacos.  One with the TVP strips and one with jackfruit.  I liked the jackfruit idea as its this fruit they marinate that has a very meaty or faux meat type of texture.  I had a side of rice and beans which I got smothered with their nacho 'cheese' and guacamole.  Certainly will be going back here next time I'm in town.
Hot Beans!

One of my favourite places to go for breakfast in Toronto is Sadie's Diner.  It is not fully vegan but there are many things that can be done vegan there.  I always get vegan Heuvos Rancheros as I tend to be a creature of habit with my favourite breakfast spots.  They also make a lot of different fresh juices in house which is always a great addition to any breakfast.

Huevos Rancheros with Beet juice at Sadies Diner
I wanted to try a few of the raw vegan restaurants that Toronto has to offer so right before the show at the Mod club I took the 40 minutes walk by myself up the the Live Organic Food Bar.  I got the Raw combo which is a great if you want to try it all.   It comes with beet ravioli, falafel, pizza and a spring roll as well as a side salad.  My experience with raw dining thus far has been amazing.  If you are not too familiar with it I think most people usually thing it will be pretty bland but this is not the case.  Raw vegans are generally very passionate about there food and there's no doubt they are here.  It was amazing and I'd go back in a heartbeat. So good but prepare to dig deep cause it is not cheap.

Raw combo at Live Organic Food bar
Cruda cafe is another raw place but it's more of a quick takeaway type of 'fastfood place'.  I've been here several times and it and have never been disappointed.  It is located in the basement of the St. Lawrence Market.  
Enchilada wrap at Cruda
Fressen is another higher end vegan restaurant.  It is centrally located on Queen Street.  It's another place where you have to be prepared to spend a little more which while on tour it's what you want to make a habit of but at the same time it is totally worth it.  The food is amazing here and you know you are getting what you pay for.


Another raw place that I checked out was Rawlicious.  I got the nori rolls and pizza. The nori rolls basically tasted like a salad wrapped in seaweed which didn't do too much for me but the pizza was amazing.  One of my favourite things about raw food is I find I don't overeat as much and not for lack of enjoying the food.  It seems when I'm eating pasta or other cooked food I can very easily gorge myself.  I think when my heavy touring days are over I'm going to transition to raw veganism as I'm convinced this is the healthy way to go.  I don't find it hard being vegan on the road but definitely take my hat off to those that can pull off raw veganism while traveling extensively.

Raw Pizza at Rawlicious


Nori rolls
All in all Toronto has so much to offer and I have many more places to check out next time I get back.  It also seems like there is always a new place or two to check out every time I come back which is exciting.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Life on the road...

Sometimes are busier than others, sometimes it's hard to find reliable internet on the road that doesn't frustrate you to tears but if it seems like I've fallen off the wagon I haven't.  Just been somewhat affected by the aforementioned.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Kingston and Ottawa

Downtown Kingston, Ontario, Canada

The Mini Canadian tour we are on right now kicked off in Kingston.  Having never had the opportunity to play there before we were stoked to finally get something booked there.  It was a really nice town to walk around in as I had some time to check out the area that we were playing in.  As it was a smaller city there were no straight up vegan or vegetarian restaurants but I was able to find one called The Sleepless Goat which is a workers collective that was definitely in the know and were ready to accomodate the vegan and vegetarian diet.
The Sleepless Goat
I had the Sleepless Shepherd's Pie which was their vegan version of the pub classic which was made of lentils, barley, brown basmati rice, and mushrooms topped off with mashed potatoes and wild mushroom gravy that comes with a side salad.  Certainly did not disappoint and I would go there again in a heartbeat.

Sleepless Shepherd's Pie
After the Kingston show was Toronto but since Toronto was a home base for us for a few days on the tour I will just do one full Toronto Blog rather than several small ones.  Ottawa was up after this and we were excited to play a venue that we hadn't played there before.  Mavericks was the perfect size for us and the show was one of my favs this tour for sure.  I took a walk around the city for a bit and stopped by the Parliment buildings to take a few pics.  
It is election season in Canada now as Canadians will be going back to the polls in may to elect there MPs and new Prime Minister.  I do follow politics to some degree and am somewhat disappointed that I will be out of the country during our elections as we have a tour booked in Europe during that time.  My job when I'm home is to find a way to cast my ballot before I leave the country.  I don't want to get into heavy politics on this blog but do want to say that I'm putting myself behind Elizabeth May and the Green Party of Canada as they represent what I feel is the best direction for our country of the 5 main parties vying for our vote.

Elizabeth May and I when I got a chance to meet and talk with her at the University of Manitoba in October 2009
This is where I hope the people of the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding will put Elizabeth May
As for food I ended up going to Freshii before the show which is a quick healthy place to grab food when you're in a bit of a rush.  The next morning before we left for Montreal we stopped at a Vegetarian buffet called The Table was a 'pay by weight' buffet(so you have to be careful if you're hungry) that had a great selection of vegan items as well as food that would satisfy the ovo-lacto vegetarian as well.  I was in a salad mood so I stayed heavy on the greens that morning.
There is more but this was part of the buffet at The Table in Ottawa
Still mid-tour and I'm finding it hard to blog while on the road but please be patient with me.  There is much more to come.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Earthlings

Just thought I'd share this with those that have not come by this before.  Very powerful documentary! Here's the trailer...
...or the full length feature film, Earthings

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tijuana to LA

The turnstile of no return into the US of A
After playing a super fun set in Tijuana, Mexico our short Mexican tour was over.  We made some new friends and got to hang out with some old ones that we met on our last tour there in '08.  After the show the promoter arranged a ride for all of our gear across the border to San Diego and we got driven to the area where we just walk across as foot passengers since the line for traffic was well over two hours even though it was already past midnight.  It all seemed a little surreal and a tad sketchy but ended up being a breeze getting through.  On the other side we had a driver that took us to our hotel near LAX in LA since we were flying out of there later the next day.  All in all it made for a long day since we had flown out of Monterey earlier that morning and we slept like babies.
I woke up that morning and as I usually do when I'm out of town used my VegOut app to see if there was anything nearby to eat at.  To my surprise there was this place called Veg-It-Up only a 5-10 minute walk from our hotel.  Before we got there were trying to figure out how we would get to some of our favourite spots in the area like Veggie Grill and Native Foods since we did not have our own wheels this time around but having this place right around the corner was perfect.

They opened at 11am so I went down there as soon as they opened and got the Strawberry Blend Smoothie and Tacos Al Carbon.  Smoothie was great and the faux steak was seasoned perfectly.  I could have easily ordered another three but I had the upper hand on my gluttony this time around.  I have a tendency to over eat.  Not everything here is vegan but there is more than enough options to keep it interesting for a while.  I ended up going back right before our flight and getting the Ultimate Burger with the Chik'n patty which was awesome as well.  Totally forgot to take a pic of it though.

 Strawberry Blend Smoothie and Tacos Al Carbon
After that it was off to LAX to catch the redeye to Toronto to start our mini tour in Ontario and Quebec. Good times ahead for sure

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Monterey, Mexico

Yesterday we left Guadalajara for Monterey.  We landed, checked into our hotel and then it was time to get some food.  I'm not to up on my Hare Krishna knowledge but I do know that anytime you stumble upon a restaurant of cafe with the name Govinda('s) you will not have to worry about leaving hungry.  In my experience a lot or maybe even most of them have an 'all you can eat' type of buffet.  All but one item in the buffet was vegan so for 60 pesos which is about $5 it was easily worth the money spent.  On one side they had a large salad making section, which is what I always try to fill up on before I hit the cooked food, and then on the other side they had some pastas, faux meat, mashed potatoes Indian types of appetizers.  I once again overate and did not need to eat anything until after the show.




Saturday, March 26, 2011

peta2.de interview from last year

Here's an interview I did with Nessi a few months ago in Berlin, Germany

Mexico tour thus far

After our South America tour with Sick of it all earlier this month we proceeded onward to Mexico to do a short four show stint here. We got into Mexico City on the 22nd and had some time to kill before it started on the 24th. What's the first thing a traveling vegan will usually do when they arrive somewhere somewhat unfamiliar? Either go to happycow.net or if you have an iPhone, check out the VegOut app which is a quick way to see what kind of options are nearby.

The first place we checked out was Nirvana. For 75 pesos which is just over $6 you couldn't go wrong. It was a medium sized buffet with a good amount of options to make salads, had fruit, soup, faux meat and some Mexican dishes as well as fresh fruit juices all included in the buffet with only one item not being vegan. Not bad at all. They also change it up a bit everyday which is cool. I went twice and was stoked on it both times.

The second place I checked out was Yug Vegetariano. It's located right in the hustle and bustle of the area by the 'Angel of Independence' monument. My understanding is that this is one of the oldest vegetarian restaurants in the city and has been around since 1963. It has an interesting setup.
On the first floor from morning till evening they have a regular menu you can order from. On the second floor they have a buffet that is open from 1-5pm. I find the hours a little odd but I'm sure they have their reason. Unfortunately it wasn't as vegan friendly as Nirvana but still have a decent amount of items in the buffet that were vegan. I believe theirs changes everyday as well as I remembering eating there 3 years ago and there being a lot more to chose from.

The third vegetarian joint we checked out was just before our show in Mexico City at a place called Gold Taco. They were just about to close as we rolled up but our promoter friend talked them into staying open just a bit longer for us foreigners and I'm glad they did. This may have been my favourite of the three. I had three faux chicharon tacos and two tamales that were to die for. Everyone kept on ordering seconds and thirds. So good!

As far as the shows have gone so far, Mexico City and Guadalajara were amazing. So many kids singing along and taking over the stage. In fact I think last night in Guadalajara was one of the hottest, sweatiest shows we've played. Monterey tonight!

Can't help but Mexico


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I really don't know what I'm doing but...

For some time now I've pondered the idea of having a blog that combines my love of tour life with the up and down adventures of being vegan on the road. Having played in over 40 different countries in the wold I'm frequently asked how hard it is being vegan on the road. I'm also a big fan of being in the kitchen so when I'm home I'll be more than likely sharing what I'm up to in the kitchen from time to time.

I'm also quite opinionated when it comes to different politics, animal rights and such and feel this might be as good a place as any to leave my random musings about that and other observations of our dysfunctional society that I need to get off my chest. That being said, I'm most certainly down for feedback on what would make this a better blog as I'm obviously new to this world, am not a professional writer and don't have a real point of reference.