When I started this blog several years ago, I could never have imagined all of the cool people that I would get to meet and experiences that I would get to have. The response to the blog within my hometown of Kitchener (and Waterloo) Ontario has been so positive and encouraging. I've been approached by so many like-minded people within the area that I likely would not have had a chance to meet had I not had the blog as a catalyst. We vegans are a minority, so in my everyday life it's very rare that I come across another vegan (although when I do, holy crap do I ever freak out.) Sure, I probably pass some in the street now and again - but it's not like we're all wearing "TEAM VEGAN" t-shirts for easy identification. Although that would be pretty awesome.
The blog does, however, kind of give me a chance to wear a "TEAM VEGAN" shirt of sorts, identifying myself as vegan and promoting my cause within my community. As such I think (at least I hope) it encourages other vegans/veg-minded people - regardless of where they're from, but especially from my neighbourhood - to contact me. And they do. And I love making new friends!
Some of these people and I like to get together every now and again and eat a lot of vegan food. One such gathering happened yesterday at brunch, on a beautiful and unseasonably warm February morning. And this is what we ate!
Pictured at the top of this post is what I contributed to the brunch potluck. Fresh fruit and a raw cacao and carob pudding that I made as a dip. I created it by adapting a recipe found in Ani Phyo's Ani's Raw Food Kitchen and you can find the exact recipe here (scroll down, it is listed under Cacao Pudding.)
The changes I made included doubling the cacao nibs and carob powder. I also added an additional two dates and a squeeze of agave nectar to sweeten it up. I don't know if it's the particular raw almonds I was using or what, but when I followed the recipe exactly all I could taste was the almonds. Being a bit generous with the other ingredients helped and made it almost like a rich chocolate mousse that goes perfect with fruit, especially fresh strawberries - what a perfect Valentine's Day recipe this would be!
And here are some of the other goodies we enjoyed:
Sweet Potato Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole! I believe it is this one from my fellow Ontarian vegan blogger Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows.
And finally, the best carrot cupcakes I've ever had!
Pot lucks are my favourite thing ever. They give you an opportunity to sample a little bit of everything, including some things you may not have considered making on your own. It's also nice because there is minimal preparation for each individual person, but tons of food as the end result. Much better than having the burden of a full meal for a big group of people fall on just one person. Many thanks to our gracious host Sarina for putting together the event!