My Part-Time Vegan Journey + Tips & Resources

My favourite past time with Ev was to bake and cook together. During Ev’s battle with cancer, one of the many new realities that Ev had to quickly adapt to was a mostly plant-based diet, along with (seemingly) daily discoveries of natural remedies, such as turmeric, wheatgrass, soursop…etc. Feeling helpless on the sidelines, I developed a keen interest in learning about veganism, for two reasons: (1) to seek and become more educated in resources that might help Ev (eg. blogs, recipes, nutritional info) and (2) spending time in the kitchen was a bit of a coping strategy for me (does anyone find the motions of chopping veggies very therapeutic?)

Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Heart-Shaped Whoopie Pies for Ev :)

I started an initiative called Weekly Vegan Day – 1 day a week where I would only consume vegan food - as a guardrail to ensure I was dedicating time to research resources and recipes. Over the next few months, we developed our favorites/staples. Gradually, we altered our purchasing patterns and lifestyle - we no longer need a fixed schedule, and instead evolved our lifestyle to consuming about 50% of our meals vegan.

Here are the reasons why I can never go fully vegan:

  1. Grew up on Chinese food. I love my seafood, bbq pork and dimsum way too much!
  2. Can’t get away from summer BBQs (Have you ever gone for a jog and all you can smell is people’s backyard BBQs? It would be that feeling, perpetually.)
  3. Love to travel too much – most of the best foods in every culture involve meat


  • Breakfasts: Vegan breakfasts are a lot easier for simple weekday breakfasts, as long as you can avoid yogurt, cheese, eggs and butter. Our go-to breakfasts are overnight recipes: Overnight Oat & Quinoa Cereal (hot) or Overnight Chia Oats (cold).

  • Asian food: As asian food are less likely to contain dairy products, many Chinese vegetarian dishes are already vegan (those without eggs, obviously) – however, there are some ingredients to watch out for:

    • Oyster Sauce - consider substituting with Hoisin (despite the name “Hoisin” which translates to Seafood (海鮮), hoisin sauce is not made with seafood. The LKK ingredient line includes ground soybeans, sweet potatoes and spices as main ingredients.

    • Fish Sauce - think you are eating a vegan Thai mango salad or Vietnamese rice paper roll? Think again.

    • Chicken boullion - I might be biased, but in all the Chinese cooking shows I’ve watched, “chicken powder” (雞粉) seem to be as commonly used as salt & pepper. Eg. that tasty mixed mushrooms vermicelli pot you ordered at the restaurant? That could contain chicken bouillon

Overnight Chia Oats (w/ Berries & Granola Clusters)


  • It is true what they say: “You eat with your eyes first”. That said, Instagram is a fabulous resource for discovering new vegan recipes. You can always just search for #vegan to explore.

  • My 2 favorite vegan bloggers both have beautiful food photography, a well laid-out website with logical recipe instructions.

    • OhSheGlows (@ohsheglows) - Angela is gaining tremendous popularity as her book was a huge hit! Great news - she’s working on her second cookbook to be released Fall ‘2016. Her Ultimate Nutty Granola Clusters is a weekly staple of hours; and the best recipe I’ve made (although it’s quite a bit of work) is the Crispy Quinoa Cakes.

    • Vegan Richa (@veganricha) - her new book was just released in May 2015 - her cookbook is focused on Indian cooking but her website contains many non-indian recipes. The Roasted Asparagus Basil Soup is a weekly staple in my household.

  • Another resource I like is the free Whole Deal magazines at Whole Foods. Each issue featured a few recipes - the Creamy Cauliflower and Apple Soup is one that we’ve made repeatedly

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Crispy Quinoa Cakes & Roasted Asparagus Basil Soup

by June

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