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Archive for May, 2009

Edamame are young soybeans, best eaten warm and still in the pod and often served as a bar snack in Japan. I picked up a taste for edamame in the izakaya bars of Tokyo but I haven’t found them as easy to find here in Paris… until today at the friendly local Picard.
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They are only 2€95 for a good size box, which is much better than the 5€ which I had previously paid at KIOKO. I actually didn’t get a chance to try them out as much as I would have liked since my kids wolfed down practically the full box, but thankfully I picked up several boxes! They come with a sauce for you to cook them up in, but I have never had them like that before so I gave the sauce a miss and enjoyed the straight taste of the lovely bean.

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***This picnic has already taken place!***

Vegan Paris Picnic Club is for vegans to get together and meet other vegans and have a nice vegan picnic.

This month we’ll be having a potluck picnic! What’s a potluck? A communal meal to which people bring food to share.

Vegan Potluck

Sun. May 24

Noon

Ile de la Grande Jatte

Métro: Pont de Levallois (NW end of line 3) Walking from the métro cross the bridge and take the stairs on the left down to the grassy picnic area.

We’ll picnic on the grass, so you might like to bring a picnic blanket. I’ll bring plates and utensils.

So everyone has an idea of how many we’ll be cooking for, please leave a little comment below if you plan on coming .

See you there!

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Over the Easter vacation I gave eco tourism a try in Italy with some friends at a vegetarian/vegan organic farm not far from Parma that I located with some internet detective work. 

Il Paradiso dei Gatti is a small, cute farm up a mountain overlooking the Taro valley surrounded by great hiking trails and full of not just cats but also friendly dogs, chickens, goats, sheep, horses and geese.

Staying here included the room and all meals. Breakfast was served at 9 or when you wanted: tea, coffee, bread, cakes. I learned by day two to skip breakfast to save room for lunch and dinner. Our hosts, Georgio and Graziamaria cooked up a host of never-ending meals for us. It felt like Christmas twice a day. Lunch was at 1:00. Let me tell you about these meals. They were huge and long and consisted of course after course after course. Thank goodness for all those hiking trails!

Georgio and Graziamaria are very dedicated to organic and seasonal food, and in the mountains spring had not really started so the food was quite grain-based although they did bring in some green goodies from a neighbor’s greenhouse. Dinner was served at 8:30. Here is a long list of what we had to eat for those [like me] who are interested in such things!


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  • Quinoa and greens in a flakey pastry
  • Gnocchi in béchamel with truffles
  • Chocolate pear cake
  • Risotto with strawberries and a balsamic reduction
  • Crispy breaded soy patties with chutney
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Home made black olive tapenade
  • Olive pizza
  • Quinoa and peas baked in onion boats
  • Sautéed kale (yes, unlike France, Italy grows kale.)
  • Biscuit crust spread with raspberry preserves
  • Basil pesto and béchamel lasagna
  • Asparagus crepes 
  • Radicchio salads  

And we fell in love with Grandpa’s lambrusco: who could resist open bottles on the tables? What a great place.

After the farm we moved on to Verona and Venice. These cities, based on Happy Cow’s list, have no truly veg restos. We tried to get into a ‘veg-friendly’ place, La Zucca, in Venice but they were booked. After looking at their menu I was not disappointed to miss out, as they serve the likes of rabbit and all sorts of fancy dead stuff. We stayed at an apartment rental when we were in Venice, which was cheaper and also meant I could cook some of my own stuff. In the Rialto neighborhood there are well stocked natural food stores where I got some soy products etc. to cook up at our little palazzo.

Of course, it was easy to order basic Italian vegan food almost everywhere: pasta pomodoro, pizza marinara, salads, antipasti, and wine. However, veal is almost always present on the menus, so as I ate my salad I did sometimes think I should really be out there protesting.

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The annual VeggiePride march will take place in Lyon on May 16. Based on their site and the materials available there, it will be a fairly militant affair with a message of animal solidarity and animal rights. Their manifesto is a quite useful summary in French of good reasons to be vegetarian/dairy-free vegetarian [although they don’t cover insect exploitation.]
There are a few vegetarian restaurants down in Lyon, according to Happy Cow. The one that looks good to me is Soline. However, I have not visited Lyon since I was a homestay student placed with a family of furriers back in the early 90s. I did not succeed in converting them to vegetarianism… maybe the march will!

The annual Veggie Pride march will take place in Lyon on May 16. Based on their site and the materials available there, it will be a fairly militant affair with a message of animal solidarity and animal rights. Their manifesto is a quite useful summary in French of good reasons to be vegetarian/dairy-free vegetarian [although they don’t cover insect exploitation.]

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There are a few really nice looking vegetarian restaurants down in Lyon, according to Happy Cow. However, I have not visited Lyon since I was a homestay student placed with a family of furriers back in the early 90s. I did not succeed in converting them to vegetarianism… maybe the march will!

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