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Suggestions for Stu’s Next Meatless Challenge

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Index: Peace Garden | ZenKitchen

Monday morning I discovered Ottawa’s beloved radio host Stuntman Stu (@stuntmanstu) decided to challenge himself (once again) with a week sans meat, opting for fish and salad.

Knowing Stu’s love for all things grilled, the following tweet was…expected:

@stuntmanstu (May 09, 09:18 AM)
U don’t ever crave a steak? RT @KGrayDonald: @stuntmanstu yup, I’ve been vegetarian since I was a teen

Now, I eat meat, but don’t crave steak. Beef (or bison) short ribs are another matter. But, there is a plethora of vegetarian/vegan options beyond salad in our fair city. Something, we at foodiePrints have begun discovering recently.

To his credit, Stu kept up with his challenge and will be rewarding himself with a chicken sandwich this weekend.

Stu, here are some suggestions for the next time you decide to challenge yourself to go meatless:

Vegetarian Spring Rolls at Peace Garden
A hidden gem in the ByWard Market, the eatery that has adopted teachings of former spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy is located in the Time Square Building’s food court, behind Empire Grill (47 Clarence Street). Chinmoy’s paintings, “Be Kind to the Animals” and “Peace Feeds the Children”, hang in the eatery.

Peace Garden has been referred to as a relaxing oasis.

Peace-Garden Coffee and Tea House and Power Juice Bar

Peace-Garden Coffee and Tea House and Power Juice Bar

An Oasis Inside a Food Court

An Oasis Inside a Food Court

Counter with Cash and Till

Counter with Cash and Till

It serves vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options from sandwich wraps, to bakery, smoothies, salads, a famed walnut burger, daal soups, pad thai, stir-fries, organic fair-trade coffees and tea.

Cookies and Danishes

Cookies and Danishes

More Bakery

More Bakery

Specialty Coffees

Specialty Coffees

Ideal Coffee

Ideal Coffee

Vegetarian Spring Rolls with 5 Vegetables, served either with Plum Sauce or House Tomato Chutney

Vegetarian Spring Rolls with 5 Vegetables, served either with Plum Sauce or House Tomato Chutney

Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Carrot, Green Onion

Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Carrot, Green Onion

Made with spring roll wrappers and surprisingly not phyllo pastry, these spring rolls were deep fried very crisp, but not greasy. While Jenn opted for the plum sauce, I think the tomato chutney is the way to go. Its heat, brightness, and umami worked very well with the filling.

Soup and Sandwich at ZenKitchen
ZenKitchen (634 Somerset Street W) is an award-winning and recognized restaurant. It serves innovative dishes that demonstrate creativity and care. Everything, vegan.

Its owners Chef Caroline Ishii and Dave Loan intend their restaurant to be a community-oriented hub. They support local artists by hanging artwork on ZenKitchen’s walls to hosting concerts. For Chinatown Remixed, a neighbourhood event that promotes contemporary art and culture, live bands will be playing this Sunday (May 15, 2011) from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm in ZenKitchen’s parking lot. On June 8th, ZenKitchen will host the First Annual Fringe Gala: Playing with Fire in support of the Ottawa Fringe Festival. Now in its 15th year, Fringe is a theatre and arts festival that encourages “unrestricted artistic expression and accessibility.”

Chef Ishii’s tasting menus, paired with husband and sommelier Loan’s wines, have earned ZenKitchen mentions in tourism publications, including “Top Choice” restaurant for Ottawa and one of Ontario’s “5 Best Places to Eat” in the 2011 edition of Lonely Planet’s Guide of Canada (11th Edition, March 2011).

ZenKitchen is the restaurant where Jenn and I discovered vegan food need not be a compromise in flavour or texture.

Lunch is a great way to get a taste of what ZenKitchen offers. How about soup and sandwich for $14?

Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup

Smooth as velvet, this soup packed a gingery punch.

Rice Flour Tortilla Wrap with Fries

Rice Flour Tortilla Wrap with Fries

Having tasted a number of vegetarian curries, it is ZenKitchen’s chickpea coconut curry I compare others to. This wrap featured the chickpea curry with sauteed vegetables and house pickled onions. It was served with a spiced mint mango chutney and hand cut fries.

Wash everything down with a cool glass of lemonade – $4.

Organic Lemonade

Organic Lemonade

The lemonade balanced sweet and tart, refreshing.

Ottawa Veg Fest 2011
Jenn and I also discovered many vegetarian and vegan options at this year’s National Capital Vegetarian Association (NCVA) Veg Fest and some remarkable vegan bakery.

Judges in the Veg Fest’s first annual Cupcake Challenge, Jenn and longtime friend of foodiePrints Abby remarked at the cupcakes they tasted. Some were eye-opening good! Texture, flavour, presentation, creativity, all top marks.

This year’s winners:

  1. Jennifer Whiteford’s

    Dark Chocolate Almond Cupcake

    Dark Chocolate Almond Cupcake

  2. Erin O’Sullivan’s
    Orange Chiffon Cupcake with Raspberry Coulis and Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

    Orange Chiffon Cupcake with Raspberry Coulis and Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Whiteford, a fellow Ottawa food blogger, presently has her winning cupcakes available to purchase at Aunti Loo’s Treats (507 Bronson Avenue) and Herb and Spice (375 Bank Street).

So, are you craving something vegetarian yet?

Particulars:
Peace Garden
47 Clarence Street
(613) 562-2434
Peace Garden on Urbanspoon

ZenKitchen
634 Somerset Street W.
(613) 233-6404
ZenKitchen on Urbanspoon

Mild-mannered IT professional by day and food blogger by night, I founded foodiePrints with a single intention, to share my love of all things food. My first post shared a recipe. Many followed. Eventually, I learned Ottawa prepares and serves great food. Thereafter, I started meeting restaurateurs, chefs, cooks, farmers, and other local producers, all good people. Ideas for food-related content swirled in my head. foodiePrints grew into a place to put them. From exploring foreign and domestic cuisines to shopping for exotic ingredients and cobbling together my takes on dishes in my meager kitchen, there are stories to tell. Welcome to foodiePrints. Here, you will find stories about food and drink, cooking, and eating in Canada’s capital. Be it food-related or just food-for-thought, I hope you find something tasty here.

Comments

Pearl

Try the soup at Peace Garden next time thru. They are reliably good.

Twitter
Twitter

@foodiePrints (May 13, 01:53 PM)
@ItAintMeatBabe @Auntie_Loo Gave u gals mention in our latest re: cupcakes. Guess i'll have 2 wait until tmr 2 have choc/almond ccake agai

@ItAintMeatBabe (May 13, 05:13 PM)
@foodiePrints @auntie_loo saw that! Thank you very much! It's a good week for cupcakes! (and vegans)

Stuntman Stu

Thanks for sharing these, those spring rolls look delicious!

Twitter
Twitter

@Peady (May 13, 12:11 PM_
An excellent and helpful post! Suggestions for Stu's Next Meatless Challenge – foodiePrints http://bit.ly/k28ZG6 (cc @StuntmanStu )

S.L. Farnam

Yes! : D

There are so many amazing options for veggie craving people in Ottawa! We are very lucky!

Thank you for another excellent and informative post!

Twitter
Twitter

@thefoodca (May 13, 09:35 AM)
Suggestions for Stu's Next Meatless Challenge (foodiePrints) http://fewd.ca/a24962

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