Happy Birthday Planet Organic!

Help Planet Organic celebrate their twelfth birthday on Saturday, May 4th. Head down to your nearest Planet Organic location and get 10% off your entire order, enjoy some free coffee and cake while you shop, and try out their tasting tables set up throughout the store.

The Coup is Hiring

Coup + Meet Restaurant & Lounge

Want to work for one of Calgary’s only (and best) vegetarian restaurants? The Coup is hiring: “We are looking for an amazing soul to join our amazing front crew. Please drop your resume off if: You have minimum 6 months table service experience, have open availability, have experience behind the bar, and a great personality ;-)

The Coup is located at 924 17th Avenue SW.


Thai Onzon in Cochrane

“Thai Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Lacto-Ovo vegetarian and Vegan offer a variety of flavours and tastes. The subtle mixing of herbs and spices and market-fresh ingredients makes dining a special culinary experience”.

That’s what you’ll get when you visit Thai Onzon in Cochrane. Thai Onzon, opened last September, and is owned and operated by two sister from Thailand , who also used to run the Thai Sa-on restaurant in Calgary. I always enjoyed my meals at Thai Sa-on, and I’m pumped to check out Thai Onzon’s selection of  authentic Thai cuisine that is gluten free in addition to being vegetarian and vegan.

According to their website, all the sauces and curries at the restaurant are made from scratch on site using the freshest organic and natural ingredients available. For main courses there is a large selection of curry, stir fry, noodle, and rice dishes. At dessert time, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with deep-fried banana and gelato dish while chocolate lovers will enjoy the chocolate expresso cake. Or perhaps a gluten-free dessert such as the lemon matcha pound cake.

Thai Onzon is definitely going near the top of the list for restaurants I need to check out.

The restaurant is located in Cochrane at 115 5th Avenue West. To make reservations call 403-981-1499. To get more information, visit the website at www.thai-onzonveggie.com.

Alberta Health’s Commentary on “Vegan” Diet

An article showed up in the Calgary Herald the other day regarding a memo that Alberta Health Services put out in May 2012  to provide the province’s citizens with information after the documentary Forks Over Knives raised questions about the value of a vegan diet. This film, like other food-based documentaries like “Earthlings” and “Food Inc” that has been released within the past decade, attempts to spread the word about the quality of a vegetarian diet in comparison to the typical North American diet that is rich in meats and processed foods.

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an Ottawa dietician, has attacked the memo with the insinuation that it is exactly the opposite of what the Health Services should be providing. Instead of providing information (including advantages and disadvantages) about different types of meals, Dr. Freedhoff suggests that this particular memo issued a cautionary tale about particular eating habits, which missed the mark. On his popular Weighty Matters website page, Freedhoff (University of Ottawa’s Bariatric Medicine Institute) asked why the AHS is “dissing” vegan and vegetarian diets.

Educational leader of the AHS nutritional services Karolina Sekulic responded to the claims by defending the memo and its response to the film. Since the AHS frequently creates informational topics for different nutritional requirements (everything from regular vegan diet choices to post-operative patients), they claimed that this memo represents another side of the topic rather than an endorsement of one or the other. Andrea Holwegner, Calgary-area dietitian, claimed that she found the AHS fairly neutral on the subject. She advocated that there are many paths to good health, and that a vegan or vegetarian diet is only one of the options.

I have read that memo that Alberta Health Services issued, and I tend to agree more with Andrea and Karolina’s responses more than Dr. Freedhoff. While the latter half of the memo definitely promotes “foods of animal origin as part of a healthy diet”, the section before that notes “Dietitians of Canada and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics support well-planned vegetarian diets”. I don’t really see where Dr. Freedhoff feels that vegetarians and vegans are being “dissed”. All that said, the most interesting thing to me, is that a “vegan diet” isn’t actually discussed in the memo, just vegetarian. Maybe that’s why Dr. Freedhoff is upset. What do you think?

New Burger in Town – Clive Burger

A string of new burger joints have opened up in Calgary recently, and all include vegetarian options on their menus.

First up is Clive Burger, located on 17th Ave in the old Wok Box spot (below Sloth Records). The interior is bright and upscale compared to your usual burger joint, but fitting for 17th Ave, and the food is more than reasonably priced. $6 will get you a single burger, $7 if you add cheese. You can upsize to a double, or even a triple if your feeling hungry.

I’m pretty sure the veggie burger is just an everyday Money’s mushroom burger, or something similar. I’m not a big fan of that style of patty, and I like it when restaurants try something different other than generic store bought veggie burgers. The saving grace for Clive Burger are all the free fixins (see menu pic) you can add that bring your burger to life. A lot of places will charge you to add toppings like fried onions and mushrooms, but they are free at Clive Burger. I loaded mine up and topped it off with some Clive Sauce, and the burger hit the spot.

You get one choice for a side: french fries, which are cooked in peanut oil. These were pretty darn good, and for $4 you get a decent sized paper bag full of fries. Both times I’ve gone we have shared a bag of fries between 3 people.

The thing makes Clive Burger stand out from everyone else, is that all the waste is 100% compostable:

“All of the waste created by our establishment is 100% compostable. From the butcher paper your cliveburger will be wrapped in to the straw you drink your milkshake through.

Our waste gets picked up and sent to a facility in Airdire that turns our garbage into usable fertilizer and top soil within 6 weeks.

Completing the closed loop system of taking food from the earth, feeding it to you, and putting the bi-products back into the earth to grow more food.” – Clive Burger Facebook

It’s nice to have another veggie option on 17th, especially one that is environmentally responsible, and close to my work.

The Eddie Burger + Bar in Banff, AB

Yesterday I took my wife and son out to Banff for a break from the city. After a relaxing dip in the hot springs we headed into town for lunch.

Previous outings to Banff have seen us eating at Coyotes Southwestern Grill, and Magpie and Stump, both of which had a number of decent vegetarian options. This time I decided upon The Eddie Burger + Bar after reading some great reviews on Urban Spoon, and the description of Eddie’s Famous Veggie Burger from their menu:

“homemade vegetarian patty, jalapeno jack cheese, tomato, avocado, shredded carrots, cucumber, spring lettuce blend & pesto mayo on a whole wheat bun”

Nothing gets me more excited about a veggie burger than finding out it’s homemade, and not just a regular store bought burger slapped on a bun with ketchup and mustard. I’ll be damned if it wasn’t the best veggie burger I’ve had in recent memory.

I’m pretty sure the burger was made from a mixture of mashed lentils and seasoning. When topped with the jalapeno cheddar and pesto mayo it made for a subtle yet delicious burger. My side salad with honey mustard dressing was nothing to write home about, but my wife’s yam fries were pretty darn tasty. The icing on the cake was that it was “Burgerpallooza” day, so most of the burgers were 50% off. This worked out to $6.50 for a burger and a side. Helluva deal.

The establishment itself is small and cozy, and was packed with customer even at two in the afternoon. As busy as they were, we were served with smiles, and in an orderly fashion. If you’re feeling anti-social there are a few big screen TVs playing sports games and videos to keep you entertained.

Next time you find yourself in Banff with the veggie burger blues, be sure to try The Eddie Burger + Bar.

Airdire Vegetarian Dinner Club

Thought some Calgarians might be interested in this. The Airdire Vegetarian Dinner Club is hosting a “favourites” themed potluck dinner on Nov. 14 at 6 p.m, at the Town n’ Country Centre (275 Jensen Dr. NE, Airdrie, AB). Everyone is welcome to bring their favorite vegetarian dish and share with everyone else.

Dr. Patrick Chan, a retired neurosurgeon, will be speaking about brain health at the dinner.

Click here for more details.

Happy World Vegan Day!

Now is a good time to become friends with the Vegan page on Facebook. Non-stop vegan goodness!

Happy World Vegetarian Day!

Now go eat your veggies.

Global Vegetarian Night @ Higher Ground Cafe

I had no idea that Higher Ground Cafe was serving up some vegetarian love on Wednesday nights, until I came across this post at Are You Gonna Eat That. Higher Ground’s Global Vegetarian Night runs every Wednesday evening from 5:30-9:30pm, and includes a three-course vegetarian dinner for $19.

Tonight’s dinner includes an autumn pecan salad with a roasted garlic and orange dressing, roasted potato and butternut squash bisque, and organic chai apple tarts for dessert. The food looks absolutely delicious, judging by the photos from past dinners on the Higher Ground Facebook page, and the original post.

The missus and I will definitely have to treat ourselves to a night out at Higher Ground in October, and taste what we have been missing.