3 Restaurants in Winnipeg That Make Cutting Meat Out of your Diet Easy : Part Three

Today marks 29 days meat free! It has been surprisingly easy for me to stay faithful to this lifestyle. I was afraid that when I went on my cruise last week (which I will be writing a post about this week), that I would have no options and would be tempted with all the food around me. Everyday we ate buffet style for pretty much every meal so there were always lots of vegetarian options for me to enjoy. The day before I left for my trip, Pascal, his parents and I, went to a restaurant that was actually recommended to me by a fellow blogger, kiracanadiangirl. It is Taiwanese-Chinese vegetarian restaurant called Affinity Garden.

About Affinity Garden

Affinity Garden was unlike any vegetarian restaurant I’ve ever been too. I find that all too often, vegetarian restaurants just offer salads and veggie burgers. Not Affinity Garden. They offer all your favourite Chinese style foods, just as a veggie option. They have been in downtown Winnipeg since May of 2001 and I’m surprised I haven’t heard of them sooner. They guarantee that all their products are MSG free, they only use purified water, and they pride themselves in their great tea that is specially delivered from Taiwan.

Green Tea

The Menu

There were so many options to choose from, the only problem was that we had no idea what anything was. So we decided the best way to get to try a little bit of everything was to buy the dinner for four and share. It said dinner for four but honestly with the amount of food brought to the table, we easily could have fed 5 or 6. First they start you off with a soup, either hot & sour or wonton (we all chose wonton). After that they start bringing all the dishes to the table, one by one and spread out in time to give you a chance to finish what your eating and to make room on the table for more. The combo we got included spring rolls, garden special chow mein, sweet & sour soyapork, colorful bean curd layers, assorted mushrooms with seasonal greens, and white rice. My personal favourite was the sweet & sour soyapork, although no one else seemed to overly enjoy it. As you can guess from the name, it’s a vegetarian version of sweet and sour pork. The sauce was phenomenal and the added sweet bell peppers made a nice touch. We also ordered a side of both steamed dumplings and pan-fried dumplings. They were probably my second favourite thing we had for supper (I enjoyed the pan fried ones slightly more than the steamed).Β  For dessert, we were each served a green tea jello that was surprisingly tasty (we also ordered green tea to drink with our meal, equally as tasty).

The Atmosphere

Affinity Garden was EXTREMELY quiet for a restaurant. There was one other family there when we were there and there was no music playing so it felt like everyone could hear everything you were saying. I really enjoyed the artwork on the walls though and the staff were very friendly. When we were paying for our bill, we all took some candy from their candy dish and then the lady who runs the place went through her bag of candies to find us her favourite one that she wanted us to try (very sweet lady).

art

Although the food was anything too special or out of this world, it was definitely nice to see a different take on vegetarian options. I suggest everyone trying it at least once, if nothing more than for the experience (please try the sweet & sour soyapork and tell me I’m not the only one who loved it). If anyone has anymore vegetarian restaurant options, I would love to hear them! Or if you have any of your own recipes that you wouldn’t mind sharing, drop them below. Thanks for reading, I can’t wait to share my cruise experience with you all!

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3 Restaurants in Winnipeg That Make Cutting Meat Out of Your Diet Easy : Part Two

Last week I shared my experience about trying to cut meat out of my diet. I decided that I would share the journey with you by sharing three restaurants that I tried that would make it easy to drop meat from your diet. On Easter Monday Pascal and I went to Stella’s, the Provencher Blvd location to see what their veggie selection looked like.

About Stella’s

Stella’s has been around since 1999, with the first location opening up in Osborne Village. They pride themselves on offering quality simple, healthy food choices. They bake all their own breads and focus on soups, salads and sandwiches. Two of the original four founders still own the company. They currently have 8 locations, all in Winnipeg, with plans to continue expanding.

reading menu

The Menu

I decided to try something completely new to me, ratatouille. I’m going to be honest, I always thought ratatouille was some kind of creamy pasta. I was pleasantly surprised. It consisted of oven roasted zucchini, eggplant, tomato, peppers, onion, garlic and fresh herbs all served over quinoa. Drizzled over top was a balsamic reduction (my favorite type of reduction). It was AMAZING! I will definitely be going back to have it again. For my side I had a potato salad, but it was nothing special in comparison to my main dish. Pascal tried the grilled vegetable sandwich and had a side caesar salad. He really liked how fresh and nicely roasted everything in the sandwich tasted. He also tried the “Go Green” smoothie, which I helped myself to as well. I’m usually not a fan of green smoothies but the greens didn’t overpower the taste in this smoothie. I will be buying one for myself next time I return as well.

The Atmosphere

My favorite things about this Stella’s location is their outside sitting area. Although it was much too cold to sit outside this time, summer is fast approaching and I can’t wait to enjoy some Stella’s breakfast outside in the sunshine. There is also a lot of sitting room inside which is great as the waiting list fills up quickly on the weekends. They are usually pretty good with moving everyone along and we have never had to wait too long for a table. All the hosts and servers are always so friendly, great service for sure.

Although Stella’s isn’t a strictly vegetarian restaurant, they have lots vegetarian friendly options. They even mark their vegetarian options with a green “v” on the menu to help you when choosing.

This Saturday I will be trying restaurant #3 and will try to have the blog post up before I leave for my cruise on Sunday. If you have any more suggestions for restaurants to try, leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!

3 Restaurants in Winnipeg That Make Cutting Meat Out of Your Diet Easy : Part One

The past two years I have considered the idea of going vegetarian on and off again. Two summers ago I gave it a try and only lasted two weeks before falling victim to a moose burger. This past week I started watching health documentaries and really started to learn all the health benefits of cutting meat out of your diet along with the economical and ethical reasonings. I decided to give it an honest go this time. One of my biggest concerns would be what would I eat if I was going out to a restaurant to eat? Would there be options I would enjoy? I decided to find 3 restaurants that offered a selection of vegetarian options to help get me started. First up,Β Boon Burger.

About Boon Burger

I was surprised to learn that Boon Burger actually started in Winnipeg. They are Canada’s first all vegan cafe. All food is made from scratch and 100% cruelty free. They have won multiple awards and were even featured on “You Gotta Eat Here”. They recycle, compost, don’t use microwaves or deep fryers, and try to share their knowledge of living a vegan lifestyle. Talk about doing their share to help the planet and the animals!

The Menu

Boon Burger’s menu is very much like other burger joints; burgers, fries, hot dogs, and salads. The only difference is that no animals were harmed in the making of their meals. They have 4 different types of patties; grilled boon patty, grilled buddha patty, grilled white patty and grilled black bean patty. I’ve been really enjoying chickpeas lately so I choose a burger that had the grilled buddha patty. The patty is made up of chickpeas and brown rice and seasoned with curry, onion, fresh ginger, garlic, fresh cilantro and lemon juice. The burger was called “Bombay Heat”. The burger consisted of the patty basted in frank’s hot sauce, bacun (you guessed it, meat-free bacon), glazed yams, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers and curry mayo. The hardest part was deciding how to fit it in my mouth as it was overflowing with toppings ( I’m not complaining!). For my side I chose their caesar salad. The salad contained romaine lettuce, croutons, caesar dressing and cheeze (dairy free cheese). I was unsure how I was going to feel about the cheeze, as cheese is one of my favorite foods and will definitely be the hardest thing to give up if I go vegan, but it was actually delicious. It still tasted creamy like cheese and wasn’t a completely new taste. It would make giving up cheese easier for me, that’s for sure. They also serve ice cream that is made from coconut milk. I didn’t have it this visit but tried it during my previous visit and I highly recommend giving it a try. It was another one of those items that I was iffy about trying as I am a huge ice cream lover but it satisfies the ice cream craving without having to consume animal products. Win win!

burger
Bombay Heat Burger and Ceaser Salad.

The Atmosphere

I really adore the look of the restaurant inside, kind of has a rustic feeling to it. By the front counter they have a huge chalkboard where they write all the specials. Around the restaurant there are plants hanging. My favorite part though has to be how they keep track of who ordered what. When it is busy they will hand you an animal figure to place on your table so they know what table to bring what meals to (it wasn’t too busy when we went this time but the previous visit they used the animals). Such a neat idea! They also have cute stickers that are free for the taking.

I’m really excited to see what restaurants in the city have a wide selection of veggie options. I never really paid attention to this before so it’ll be fun to revisit some of my favorites and see what they have to offer. If you have any suggestions on where to eat meat-free in the city, please leave a comment! Any tips or tricks for cutting meat out of my diet are also welcome. I’m only on day 6 so I have a long journey ahead of me.