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Lotus Seed Vegan

A few years back, Richard, aka @vanfoodster, asked me to judge a vegan bowl competition he was hosting. My job, and I will no doubt have your full sympathy here, was to go around to a bunch of restaurants and try their bowls and then vote on which one I thought was the best. It was pretty awesome, but this is how I came to know Lotus Seed Vegan.

At the time, they were way out on the Vancouver/Burnaby border, a bit of a hike to get to, but a lovely, family-run business by two people who clearly cared very deeply and put a ton of love into their food.

A few years ago, Van and Amy relocated to the heart of Vancouver’s medical district, and I recently went for a mammogram (ladies, get those girls checked!) in that same building.

I was excited to try them again, and see what other things they had added to the menu.

Much of the menu is gluten-free in addition to being vegan, and I’d define it as “healthy comfort food.” Soups, salads, wraps, and curries all feature loads of veggies, so you leave feeling full, and nourished.

Lemongrass Curry Lotus Seed Vegan

The last time I was there, I tried the Lemongrass Thai Curry, a bright explosion of sunny-coloured vegetables and chickpeas with rice.

This time around, we got to try a few new menu additions.

a plate of Crudités with vegan pate

First up, Lotus Seed Vegan have produced and are selling their own products, a vegan paté, and a vegan egg substitute (you can buy these from the restaurant or Vegan Supply, or try them in a dish at the restaurant).

an omelette with a side of salad and roasted yams and dressing

The paté is made with sunflower seeds, celery, leeks, soy and spices. It most resembles tuna, but it doesn’t taste fishy at all. It’s delicious on its own to dip, but would also be super tasty in a wrap or a sandwich. Van says he also mixes it into stir-fries and pastas to bolster up sauces.

a muffin tin filled with individual mini quiches

The egg sub is pretty great. My friend Farzana, who is allergic to eggs, hasn’t had an omelette in years, and she couldn’t stop raving about it. She was so happy to be able to have an omelette she could actually eat! You can try the egg sub at Lotus Seed, or buy a bottle to take home to experiment with. I made these cute little mini-quiches with vegan sausage, sautéed leeks and kale. I want to try baking with it next.

Vegan Pho

We also had a big, heart- and stomach-warming bowl of pho, and of course we couldn’t not have dessert. Pistachio cheesecake? Oh yeah.

a thin wedge of cheesecake

Here’s the thing: at this time, in the middle of a global pandemic, so many small businesses are really struggling to keep the lights on. Now is the time for us to support small businesses as much as we can. And I love supporting a small business that is also sustainably-minded and just serves really delicious food.

Lotus Seed Vegan

  • 736 W BROADWAY, VANCOUVER, BC V5Z 1G8, CANADA
  • 604-563-3368
  • MONDAY – FRIDAY: 8 A.M – 8:00 P.M
  • SATURDAY: 11 A.M – 8:00 P.M
  • SUNDAY: Closed

2020: The Year that Was

Honestly, I thought I might skip the “year in review” post this year. I mean, I certainly wasn’t ready to write it while it was still 2020.

Normally these “year in review” posts go something like: here’s how many posts I wrote this year, this is what I learned, here are my most popular posts of the year.

I will still do some of that. But when it comes to learning lessons from 2020, what can you even say? It was the craziest, most unpredictable year of my life, and I know I’m not alone when I say that. It was for most of us, I’m sure.

The last time I set foot in my workplace was March 12. Since then, I have been teaching all of my classes on online. Let me just say first of all, that I am super grateful to have a job, and a job that was not affected by the pandemic. Affected yes, but not in the way that would have made it go away. My job is, thankfully, one I’m able to still do from my living room.

Easy transition, though? Nope. Not at all. In fact, it’s been hard. I put in many many many unpaid hours trying to figure out how to deliver my course content in a way that was going to be impactful and engaging. It’s been stressful. And I genuinely enjoy teaching face-to-face classes, so transitioning to teaching online hasn’t been my favourite thing.

Having said all that, I never had to go on CERB, and in fact, finished the year with extra money in the bank, probably because I had nowhere to spend it.

2020 also, much to my excitement, brought a new cookbook contract. This, however, did end up being another victim of coronavirus. From the time I signed the contract (which was very early in the pandemic) to the end of the year (which was when the book was meant to be published) things changed so dramatically that the publisher decided to cut their losses and not publish the book, despite the fact that I delivered the full manuscript on time, and they liked it.

So yeah, for me, this was 2020’s greatest personal loss (even though I did get paid to write the book). I was really looking forward to having another cookbook out there with my name on it, and I was very excited by and passionate about the subject.

Other things I’m super grateful for during this very challenging year include the health of my family and friends (I didn’t lose anyone close to me during the pandemic), and just my friends in general, who really helped to keep me sane. Having Michael at home during the pandemic was both good and challenging, but I am super proud of how hard he worked and how well he’s adapted.

I also bought an Apple Watch for my birthday in August, and that’s been a great incentive (as well as my mental health) to get out and walk almost every day.

Okay, enough about me. Let’s talk about food.

One thing that I think was really positive about the pandemic is how people started to cook again. And bake. I mean, here we all were stuck at home all the time, anyway, right? Might as well make something. To be fair, this is my world all the time, but having more people in it was awesome. To see the world embracing sourdough made me really, really happy.

I really noticed a sense of community this year, too. Like my neighbours especially have been really great with exchanging food and baking and offering to pick stuff up if they are making a trip to the store. That can only be a good thing.

2020 Statistics:

  • Blog posts written: 50
  • Total number of words written: 28,238
  • Average words per post: 565

And here are a few of my favourite posts I wrote this year: 

Sugar-Free Aquafaba Meringue: Three years since the publication of my cookbook and I’m still talking about and learning new things about aquafaba!

Wacky Cake: In 2019 I came into possession of my mom’s recipe box, and this year I really got into it, making many of the recipes I grew up with, all written in my mother’s handwriting (and a few in 12-year-old Becky’s). This accidentally vegan chocolate cake is one of my absolute favorites.

Sourdough Bread for the Apocalypse: I couldn’t resist doing a post on the pandemic and sourdough.

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars: one of my very favourite recipes of 2020. So good!

Okay, that’s it! And here’s to a much, much better 2021. Fingers crossed, knock wood, rub your lucky rabbit’s foot….

Adaptation. Resilience. These are the words we need to take with us into 2021.

Happy New Year, friends. I wish you all the best, and may your sourdough crumb be perfect.

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