So on a grey, Sunday morning we went to check out Vancouver’s mini Veg Fest – a collection of 23 plant-based vendors in an urban park just off Main Street. We showed up at 11, when it officially started and found lineups 50 people long for most of the vendors that only got longer as we debated what was worth waiting for.
When did Vancouver get so many vegans? Maybe I should have paid attention to the Facebook invite that said 1.1K people were attending and another 4.9K were interested. Yikes! We managed to get some delicious croissants from Yellow Basket Baking and some butchered beans from The Very Good Butchers. I really wanted to try some of the cheeze shops but the lineups were just too crazy.
But who needs fancy vegan cheeses when you have your own personal vegan chef. For the past 3 months we’ve been having homemade, vegan meals cooked in our house by Sarah from Own Grown Life.
Own Grown Life offers a popular lunch program, but for Emily and I lunches are the easiest meal of the day, with plenty of vegan options downtown. Dinner is the real challenge. Daycare pickup with an energetic toddler who’s usually hungry, are not conducive to making nutritious meals from scratch. We were getting by with slow-cooker and Instant Pot meals prepped the night before (and by we, I mean Emily as she was doing 90% of the cooking), but it was exhausting.
Now Sarah comes over once a week to cook us three meals in our own kitchen and we have our evenings free again. On Tuesday evenings there’s a fresh meal waiting on the stove plus two more meals in the fridge that just need to be warmed up. It’s a pretty sweet deal and well worth the cost. We get to work with her on the menu every week and she follows our dietary constraints (vegan, no soy, and at least one nut-free meal every week so we have leftovers we can send to daycare).
Here’s a sampling of some of the meals she’s made us:
- BBQ Lentil Walnut Burgers
- Yam and Black Bean Enchiladas
- Maple & Orange Glazed Tempeh with Bok Choy and Soba Noodles
- Braised Eggplant with Chickpeas
- Gazpacho (awesome when it was super hot back in August)
- Sweet Moroccan Glazed Tempeh with Couscous and Carrot Date Salad
- Bengali Curry of Cauliflower and Kidney Bean
- Spiced Indian Barley Stir-fry with chickpeas and spinach
If you’re looking for a vegan lunch service, or a personal chef who will cook to your dietary needs, I highly recommend checking out Own Grown Cooking. The convenience is awesome and we all love the food. Astrid gives it a hearty “num num” and “yummy”.