Vegan Travel Tips, My Trip To Newfoundland, and Hummus Recipes!

If I’ve seemed a little distant the past few weeks, it’s because I was – literally. We took a family trip back to Newfoundland to visit family with our girls. The last time we visited was 6 years ago, before our youngest was born. It’s a day-long trip with a 4 1/2 hour time difference. Some of you know that I was born in Newfoundland, so most of my extended family (and all of my husband’s family) live there. It was time us to reconnect with grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. I was not looking forward to the travel, however, and had no idea it would be even harder than I imagined…

Our trip began with us arriving at Vancouver airport in the morning and getting the announcement that our flight was just cancelled. What?! We don’t take a family trip for six years and then our flight is cancelled when we do? The next flight we could jump on was at 7pm that night. With 3 kids travelling a total of about 11 hours and 4 1/2 hours jet-lag, a red-eye was NOT happening. We talked to the manager of WestJet and eventually we were put up in the airport hotel overnight, given some food vouchers and some credit for future WestJet travel, and booked our flight for the next morning. I didn’t want to go home because there was no fresh food and I knew the girls would be bummed to return home. So, we made it a mini-adventure to stay at the hotel. The girls got to swim and watch planes take off and land, plus they thought it was SO cool to hang out in the hotel. View from our room:

newfoundlandtrip_hotel

The real inconvenience was the food. Eating vegan in an airport is hard. Eating a whole-foods vegan diet and eating well in an airport is near impossible. I had packed a lot of food for the flight, so we ate most of that the first day. But, what about a proper dinner and food the next? We had $150 in food vouchers, which sounds terrific. But, that’s for 5 people for 3 meals, and they had to be used in certain dollar quantities for each vendor. We ate the food we had packed, and that night we ate at the Fairmont Hotel restaurant. This is a very nice hotel, and the restaurant had vegan options. I got a vegetable curry with rice – it was nice but a small portion. Hubby got a roasted vegetable pizza which was beautiful. The girls – we ordered the all-too-typical pasta with marinara sauce. But, their pasta had eggs. So, we ordered it over brown rice. The girls wanted bread but the hotel bread had dairy. I’m sorry, but if you have vegan options on your menu, you need to have vegan bread. How hard is that? Most breads are made without dairy! Frustrating. Dinner was decent and satisfying, but we used the bulk of our food vouchers – $100. Oh well! The next day we had to figure out some food for travel. In the morning, we still had some fruit and muffins and almond butter sandwiches that I packed, so the girls ate those. I grabbed a Starbucks Soy Chai Latte (love those). We picked up some water and granola bars, and then our next best bet for lunch on the plane was Subway. We knew they could do a veggie sub so we ordered a few of those. Our eldest girl had tried the veggie patty and convinced us all to get it. I should have just ordered a full-on veg sub, I was not a fan of that patty – and neither were the other girls or hubby! I took a few bites and passed on the rest. But, at least it was a vegan option, and at least one of us loved it!

I had hoped there would be food options on the plane to purchase, but there was really nothing. I asked if they had fresh fruit, the attendant said “no, trust me, we’ve come a long way with the popcorn chips“. OY! There was an Asian Veggie Wrap, but it had dairy when I looked at the ingredients. So, we snacked on the subs and nibbly food until we got to Toronto. I was wise to tote some Cocoa Cookie Dough Balls. They satisfied my treat-need! Plus, they can be made in advance and frozen – so you can prep them a couple of weeks before a trip. Make note!

cocoacookiedoughballs

It made me a little sad to see what people eat regularly, with the time spent in the airport and on flight. Sodas, diet sodas, chips and more chips, just a steady intake of sugar, aspartame, and fat and salt. What is all this “food” we are eating that isn’t even food? All chemical concoctions designed to bring us back for more and continue to be hungry because we are never really nourished. I was a little disturbed and talked to hubby about it, but he told me to relax (as usual). ;)  I guess because I’m so connected to a healthy eating community online that I am often distanced from what society consumes regularly. Being reminded of it wasn’t pleasant. But, it grounds me in what I am doing to help educate and inspire people to reach out to whole plant food choices more often.

Once we hit Toronto I saw light… a sign with a menu that had rice and quinoa bowls, vegetables, tofu, and… KALE! BINGO! I hit the washrooms with the girls (it must be easier travelling with boys!), and then got to that green-glowing Freshii counter! I ordered some quinoa and noodle bowls, and we got on to our next flight to St. John’s. We dug into those bowls and hubby said “I never thought I’d be so happy to see broccoli“. Even the girls were sighing, saying “mom, this is really good“. They ate a lot of veggies, without coaxing! Thank heavens for that food, it got us through our day! We arrived in St. John’s around 1 am, and were eager to get settled after a long day of travel, hence blurry photo. (Real men wear flower backpacks.)

newfoundlandtrip_arriving

The next few days we were adjusting to the time change. In fact, we didn’t really adjust fully until we were about ready to return home! That morning, we popped out for some staple items – sprouted breads, fresh fruit/veg and avocados, nondairy milks, larabars (for out and about), nut butter, and some veggie burgers and a few other quick vegan meals. Before leaving for this trip, I told hubby I was not cooking while in St. John’s. We were staying with his parents, and I was visiting my mom a lot. I decided all of our meals would be quick/simple, and I would go out for some lunches and dinners with hubby and my sisters and mother. We rarely get to do that in Vancouver, so that was the plan!

Our first day there my eldest sister Debbie had a get-together at her house for her daughter’s graduation from university. Great timing for us, we were able to connect with many extended family members and friends. Here I am with my beautiful sister Debbie, and then another of us with the hubbies!

newfoundlandtrip_withDeb

newfoundlandtrip_withfam

Plus, my sis made a BIG pot of veggie chili. Hubby kept saying how good of her that was, we were able to have a decent meal that first day, plus brought leftovers home. Also, she made batches of my cookies! I was so excited I pulled out my camera… yup, and posted to Instagram. Here they are: my Berry Patch Brownies and Troll Cookies (both from LTEV) and my Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies. My sis adds peanut butter to them, and they are amazing! (Deb, if you’re reading, please tell us how much you use, I forgot to ask!) My sis made many more batches of cookies while we were there. One day, she welcomed me with an ENTIRE, batch of freshly-baked, still-warm Troll Cookies! Hit. The. Spot.

debcookies

Many happy nanny hugs on the trip. Our girls only see my mom and hubby’s parents every year or two. They sure love spending time with them, it’s hard being so far removed – maybe many of you reading have family living far away and can relate.

newfoundlandtrip_hugs

And I taught mom how to take a selfie! Not sure she’ll repeat it, but pretty good for a first try, right?

Newfoundlandtrip_momselfie

With the time change, most days we weren’t all awake until about 10 am (except me, I’m up with the sun – or earlier)! So, breakfast was light and then I’d lunch, usually wraps with fresh veggies and prepared hummus, or nut butter sandwiches on sprouted bread. As I said, I was keeping things simple. But, simple should still taste good, and I tell you I got sick of storebought hummus. Truly, most brands of hummus give hummus a bad name. They have a weird, predominant flavor from the citric acid preservative. And, some are more garlicky than kiddos like. After a few days eating different varieties, I got sick of them, just couldn’t eat them. I said to hubby “if people think this is the hummus we eat and love, no wonder they think vegan food isn’t good“! We needed other lunch options.

THIS was not one of them.

newfoundlandtrip_sausage

We passed this food truck several times in downtown St. John’s. So very NOT vegan! 

Thankfully, St. John’s has two vegetarian spots that are great for quick meals. The Sprout and The Happy Hummus Hut. We got a terrific lunch at The Happy Hummus Hut one day, and another day stopped in for some snacks (they make dessert rolls with rice paper wraps and raw chocolate or pumpkin ‘fudge’… pumpkin was my fave!). I met the owner, Hlynn. We have tweeted quite a few times. She is incredibly warm and generous, and gave me a couple of her raw savory rice rolls to sample – they were delicious! They have a featured ‘hummus of the day’ each day. How much could I love that? Much!

happyhummushut

And, I had a few dinners at The Sprout, enjoying the Pad Thai (shown below, image credit: The Sprout), Lentil Burger, Tempeh Burger (zoinks! amazing tempeh!), and soups and salads. All delicious meals! One night I had dinner there, then lunch and dinner again the following day. Just slightly embarrassing.

sproutpadthai

We ordered take-out pizzas at Pi Pizza two evenings. They mention some vegan specifics on their menu, including their vegan crust and non-dairy cheese. Though their menu says “soya cheese”, Pi actually had Daiya – which is far better than other (soy-based) vegan cheeses. And, we dined at Quintanas, a Mexican restaurant. I was pleasantly surprised at how much they knew about modifying for a vegan diet. They also had Daiya cheese as an option to dairy for their burritos, and so we had a delicious veggie/bean burrito with salad that night. Here I am with my mom and sister having our Mexican meal:

Newfoundlandtrip_Quintanas

We didn’t do a lot of sight-seeing on our visit. This trip was all about our girls spending time with grandparents and close relatives, and also hubby and I getting a little time out together (we rarely do), and me getting to have some ‘solo’ time with my sisters and mom. We did, however, take the girls to Signal Hill. One MUST go to Signal Hill when visiting St. John’s. It’s a crime not to! Truly it’s beautiful up there. The wind can literally sweep you off your feet on a gusty day! Check out hub’s hair – and he has thick hair! Our youngest girl kept calling Cabot Tower “Rapunzel’s Tower”… she is a huge fan of the Tangled movie (and I still cry at the ending after seeing it a good 25 times). Yeah.

Newfoundtrip_signalhill

Our eldest loved it, here she is looking out over the Atlantic Ocean. If you look close you can see walking trails… not for the faint of heart in some spots!…

Newfoundlandtrip_signalhill2

Some of you know that I have 5 sisters. All of our names begin with a “D”, and I’m the 5th in line, second youngest. Here I am with my other beautiful (and youngest!) sister, Dayle.

newfoundlandtrip_withDayle

…and with our beautiful mama…

newfoundlandtrip_withDaylemom

Fashion Sidenote: You can’t quite see it fully in this photo, but I am wearing a new skirt I bought from Squeezed Yoga in Toronto. I have seen most of their beautiful, comfy clothes via Melissa West of Namaste Yoga, as she models their yoga wear through her video segments (and on the Squeezed site). After seeing Melissa’s bamboo skirt last year, I had to have one this year! Sign up for their newsletter, because you can get in on pre-orders for new lines. I did just that when I ordered this skirt and got in on their discount. The skirt fits beautifully, and is soft and light. I ordered a small, and when it arrived I choked a little because it looked like and extra-small. But, Donna knows how to design clothes to flatter women’s bodies. When I tried it on, it just fit like a glove skirt. :D

My eldest sister, Debbie, also has three children so our girls had a blast getting to know them better in person. They also have a wee dog, Winston. Our girls fell in love. Ok, so did I. Think I need to find our family a little Winston!

newfoundlandtrip_winston

Oh, and Deb also has a Porsche! Here we are going for a spin. We took off like Thelma and Louise! … To David’s Tea. Then Toys ‘r Us. Then Starbucks. Party women. ;)

Newfoundlandtrip_porsche

One of the highlights for our girls on the trip was visiting their grandparents’ cabin. Hubby spent many of his summers there as a child, and they have a beautiful big pond and often rabbits, beavers, and yes moose come for a visit! No moose pictures, but lots of water fun!

newfoundlandtrip_swimming

newfoundlandtrip_seadoo

On the return flight home, I was armed with small meals and substantial snacks to carry us through the long day. I made quesadillas with hummus, leftover sweet potato fries (thanks Deb!), veggies, and Daiya for the girls. That was one meal. I also had larabars, granola bars, granola, fresh fruit (apples, oranges, grapes), baby carrots, and some baggies of snack chips for the girls (a healthier alternative than those in airports and on the plane). For our second ‘meal’, I kept it as lightweight/simple as possible with some sprouted grain bagels with almond butter. My bags of food were getting heavy already! In addition to the fruit and veg, we kept hydrated with plenty of water and for me – mint tea on the plane. It was a long flight back – 3 hrs to Toronto, then another 5 to Vancouver, and that’s just flying time! The view from over western Canada, gosh it’s beautiful out here!

newfoundlandtrip_planeview

If YOU are flying or doing other long hours of travel, here are some of my ideas for snacks and small meals. PLEASE feel free to add your own in the comments! –

  • Wraps or quesadillas with hummus and veg. I love using collard leaves for wraps, so while I packed whole-grain wraps for the fam, I snuck in a collard wrap for me!
  • Sprouted grain sandwiches with sliced cucumber/tomato and cashew cheese or rawesome nut dip
  • Whole-grain bagels with nut butter or low-sugar/sweetener preserves.
  • Small containers of hummus along with fresh veggies (cukes, carrots, bell peppers, celery, cherry tomatoes).
  • Healthy oatmeal-to-go cups, soup cups, and noodle bowls. Search out varieties that are lower in sodium, have organic and natural ingredients, and no artificial ingredients/MSG. Airlines sell these types of noodle/oatmeal cups on the plane, so if you tote your own they can fill with hot water – plus they are LIGHT for packing in your carry-on! At VVC, we took home an oatmeal cup sample from Straw Propeller. That’s one brand of healthier oatmeal cups, there are a few others on the market.
  • Fresh fruit. Keeps you hydrated and is satisfying!
  • Teas. I kept a stash of bags of my favorite teas in my purse while travelling, all through my trip. I could use them at restaurants, visiting with my mom, etc. Plus, I carry small packets of stevia to sweeten my tea. I don’t use stevia in baking or otherwise, but love a little sprinkle in my tea!
  • Dry cereal and individual non-dairy milks for the kids. They can either munch on the cereal straight up, drink the milks straight up, or combine both in a baggy – pack a few spoons!
  • Larabars. They saved our butts through the trip!
  • Granola. Terrific for nibbling. You can find a few decent store-bought varieties, but most are still sweeter than I’d like. Try my Hempanola, Cocoa-Goji Granola, or my oil-free Almond Zen Granola from the Plant-Powered 15!
  • Popcorn, kale chips, and baked chips. For very long flights, crunchy snack foods are great for the kids (ok, adults too). There are healthier options than those sold in-flight or airports!
  • Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or nuts – plain or seasoned. I love the Kaia Foods salt and vinegar pumpkin seeds. Actually, our 4 year old loves them even more. Eat straight up or make a little trail mix with raisins, or mix with popcorn, etc.
  • If you have time to bake/cook: Tamari Roasted Chickpeas, healthy muffins/snackles, Cocoa Cookie Dough Balls, Pumpkin Seed and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars (they keep very well)!

Finally, knowing you love hummus as I do… and knowing that you also believe it such be deemed a food group, after returning from my trip I posted two more hummus recipes for you to enjoy!

Chipotle Lime Two-Bean Hummus from ed&bv; it has an entire HUMMUS chapter, hoo-ahh! (link to print/share)

Chipotle Lime Two-Bean Hummus from eat, drink & be vegan

and Peanut Sesame Hummus, also from ed&bv (link to print/share)

Peanut Sesame Hummus (background) from eat, drink & be vegan

Make some hummus! Make it often! Double or triple your batches, because it freezes brilliantly. Make it for a friend, travelling without a food processor. ;) Don’t forget it can be enjoyed slathered on pizzas, used in wraps and sandwiches, thinned out and tossed into pasta, dolloped on baked spuds! Or, put a big ol’ scoop in your salad. Trust me on that one!

p.s. If you are wondering where to subscribe to my blog, link through here. Also, link up with me on facebook for DAILY updates - it’s like my mini-blog!

Have you done any travelling eating plant-powered? Have any words of wisdom or extra food ideas to share

52 Responses to Vegan Travel Tips, My Trip To Newfoundland, and Hummus Recipes!

  1. Julia (Newfoundland) says:

    Wow – I had no idea you were Newfoundland! That is so cool! I have been using a lot of your recipes (from your web site and LTEV) since going vegan 2 years ago! I am from a small town 2 hours west of St. John’s. I’m so happy you found The Sprout and The Happy Hummus Hut :) I will have to try Pi Pizza sometime – I’ve never heard of it. Glad you and your family had a great trip. Cheers!

  2. Hey! Funny I’ve been following you on instagram and didn’t realize that you are a BC gal! I live on Vancouver island and my hubbies family is from Newfoundland so we’ve done the cross country haul many times – we actually just got back about a week ago! And while I’m not 100% vegan, I try to make healthy choices – and was DELIGHTED to see Freshii in Toronto too – but it’s not always open – some times they have the doors closed around it so the US side can get in!! ( Learned that the hard way, basing my food choices around it!)

    Anyways great to see another BC gal here!

  3. Isabelle says:

    Is it healthy to feed pets a vegan diet? My vet says “no”.

    Love the blog and the recipes. But best of all are the restaurant tips. Traveling is difficult without a place to get a GOOD vegan meal and your restaurants fit the bill perfectly

  4. Angie Ramsay says:

    Thanks for sharing!!! We travel a lot with and without our kids. I always find airports and flights to be especially challenging when looking for plant-based/vegan and health options. I once asked for a fruit tray and hummus with veggies for the kids. She was sold out of the fruit tray and the hummus and veggies was on the “lunch” menu and she was serving off of the “breakfast” menu. She then offered me a roast beef sandwich. HUH???? No hummus but roast beef is on the breakfast menu????? I don’t get it!!! I alway buy Dan D packs of almonds and cashews and pack a supply of Larabars for these exact moments. You can pre-order a vegan meal when you book your airline tickets. I have done this as you get served first and then there is no chance of them running out of supply of the few vegan options available. Happy Cow is a fantastic app for smartphones when travelling. It provides all vegan restaurants and fare within a certain radius and provides links to restaurant menus, address, reviews and directions. It is a free download.
    Thanks again for sharing you summer holiday with us. Looks like you had a blast, minus travel time.
    A I

    • Dreena says:

      Roast beef, the breakfast of champions, lol! I don’t get it either – actually, they don’t get it! That’s a great tip about preordering a meal, and also happy cow. I use their site, but don’t have their app – off to download right now. :D

  5. abnerbird says:

    Hey, Dreena Thanks for shares your travel experience with us. I hope you enjoy your trip and your family members as well. I know very well most of the travelers faced a problem with food.

  6. Melissa says:

    Dreena you write the best posts! Thank you for sharing your vacation with us and giving us all so many great tips for travelling vegan. :)
    Melissa recently posted..Preparing Your Kale for SmoothiesMy Profile

  7. JoAnn says:

    Thanks for telling us about your vacation in NL! We live in Mount Pearl (next door to St. John’s). I started a plant-based plan about a month ago. I am glad of your reminders to me of The Happy Hummus and The Sprout. I’ve been there previously and enjoyed their food.

    And all of you traveling food tips are absolutely wonderful!!! I will be saving this link. Especially freezing hummus!!! I never thought of trying that.

    I’m so glad you had wonderful weather!!! It has been hot/humid (if you live here, lol). But there’s always a breeze, which is nice.

    Bookmarking you now…..

    • Dreena says:

      Hi JoAnn, congrats on moving into eating plant-based! You can do it!! Funny, we stayed in Mount Pearl, almost all of our family lives there! Hey, I heard from Ryan of T.O.F.U. magazine that Piatto pizza does very nice vegan pizzas, and you can even bring your own Daiya and they will add it for you. Here’s a link to their review of eating vegan in St. John’s, will give you more ideas for shopping/dining: http://issuu.com/tofumagazine/docs/tofu_04 Enjoy!!

  8. Liz says:

    Dreena,
    (So happy to see a new post from you! :) ) I am SO with you on what most people call “food”; it’s both saddening and frustrating. Like you, because I am surrounded by like-minded individuals in my home, I take it for granted that EVERYONE shuns food from boxes and microwaveable trays. I can’t be in a “normal” supermarket without shivering and cringing at least ONCE when espying what’s in other people’s carts. It’s such an epidemic.

    On another note, you are stunning; you glow and radiate, and I can’t believe you look as amazing as you do while running a household with three young children. So glad to hear you’ve been enjoying your summer and making the most of your family’s free time. :)

    PS The name of that food truck sounds like the name of an X-rated film. LOL I’m certain that, even if I DID eat meat, I wouldn’t eat ANYTHING that came out of their kitchen.

  9. Emma says:

    What fantastic advice Dreena! You are such a superstar, keeping us and your family eating healthy :)
    It seems crazy to me that to get practically anywhere there’s so much travelling involved, since in the UK, even the furthest places are only a few hours drive/train journey away.
    Newfoundland looks beautiful!
    Emma recently posted..Vegan on Tour: BathMy Profile

    • Dreena says:

      That’s kind of you, Emma, thank you. :) Our next family trip is going to be somewhere a little (or a lot) closer. ;)

  10. Georgina says:

    Wonderful post about traveling, Dreena! It is hard to find healthy food in many airports. Sounds like things got better after Toronto. I’ve never been to Newfoundland, and I’d love to go there and P.E.I. some day.

    With the long weekend coming, will review your Hummus chapter in LTEV. It is true that commercial hummus is not that nice. :S

    Planning some of your burgers for this weekend. My husband has loved the Umami Almond and the Mushroom Burgers Take II. So far there hasn’t been anything from your cookbook that he hasn’t loved! :D

    Have a great long weekend!

    Georgina

  11. Nichole says:

    What a timely post! My 2-year old daughter and I will be traveling from Italy to New Jersey on Monday and I’ve been trying to figure out what to bring on the flight (…and the seemingly endless pre-flght time in the airport). I made some banana chia muffings from LTEV and plan on making snackles this weekend. I always have hummus around so I’ll bring that as well.

    Dreena, I’ve just recently become a huge fan of yours. I purchased your most recent cookbooks and have been in heaven! I have tried so many vegan recipes over the years – mainly found on the internet – and I’m always a bit disappointed. So far every recipe except the Momlette turned out well. I think the Momlette didn’t work because my nonstick pan is no longer really nonstick. My hubby and, more important, my daughter, are very impressed.

    One challenge I have is that you can’t buy nutritional yeast in Italy. I can import it from the UK but it costs A LOT. So I’ll be filling my luggage with hooch while I’m visiting my family in New Jersey!

    Saluti,
    Nichole

    • Dreena says:

      Hi Nicole, thank you for that kind feedback, just lovely to read. And, yes, you def need a good nonstick for the momelets, otherwise it’s just very frustrating trying to make them!! Stock up BIG on the nooch – it’s so light it won’t even weigh down your luggage. ;) Have a beautiful trip!

  12. babette says:

    I really enjoyed reading your post!

    That cancelled flight is just unbelievable… what a way to start a vacation with 3 young kids! I’ve never been to St. John’s. It looks beautiful.
    babette recently posted..Troc de bouffe végétalienneMy Profile

  13. Karen Faivre says:

    I think it’s shameful that if you want to eat healthy while traveling you have to plan, plan, plan. And when you have kids to feed? Extra challenging. Your sis was so sweet to have a pot of chili and a bunch of your cookies waiting for you. Looking forward to trying a new hummus recipe; it’s one of my go-to foods. Thanks for sharing!
    Karen Faivre recently posted..Potato Sourdough Bread with Spelt and White Whole Wheat FlourMy Profile

    • Dreena says:

      Thanks Karen. My sis was AMAZING. She also made beautiful salads when we ate at her place, to go with the chili and another night when we ordered pizza. Plus, she kept making batches of cookies – I was always able to have good food at her place, was just lovely!

      Enjoy the hummus!!! :)

  14. Priscilla says:

    How do you keep the food you carry with on your travels from spoiling? Doesn’t some of it need to be kept cool. And does your food wind up taking up most of your carry on space on the plane? Hope these questions don’t sound too dumb. I have never brought much with me on a plane and am frustrated with finding vegan meals when I travel, especially with low or no added fat. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    • Dreena says:

      Totally fine Q, Pricilla. For us travelling with 3 kids, I had one bag with less perishable stuff, and another with cooler items. You could take an insulated lunch bag and maybe one ice pack for the items needing a little more chill. But, most of our food lasted for several hours, even longer, while on our flights. We checked in all of our luggage, so our carry on pieces were the food and things to keep the girls busy/happy while in the air. If you need to stay overnight somewhere, useful to check with the hotel about whether fridges are in the room, that way you can stash fruit and any other items needing some refrig. But, most of the items I mentioned will keep through the day, esp if you have a cooler bag. Hope that helps/makes sense.

      • Stefania says:

        We always travel with a cooler. When returning from PEI last summer our ice pack was taken from us. The reason we were given is that it’s a liquid. :-( Crazy that we traveled several times with an ice pack with no problem.

        • Dreena says:

          geez! That’s darn irritating. I understand the need for controls, but there isn’t always consistency across the board. We haven’t been to PEI, Stefania – I’ve heard it quite beautiful and relaxed there.

          • Stefania says:

            It was a beautiful vacation. PEI is a beautiful island. I visited Nfld while pregnant with my first. Yikes! That island is hilly! :-)

            As for the ice pack it could have been an over zealous worker, however, it was annoying as we traveled to the U.S. and back with it and had no problems.

  15. Becca says:

    I’m so glad you had a great trip! I travel a LOT, and can totally sympathize how hard it is to eat vegan AND healthy while traveling. Once in Spain I ordered a vegetarian salad and when it came back it was smothered in chicken! Haha.
    My favorite way to survive airport food, in addition to lots of healthy snacks, is bring lots of spiced roasted chickpeas. Then I’ll buy one of those packaged garden salads at airport restaurants (usually the only vegetarian option, but lacking any substance), and top it with my chickpeas for protein and staying power!
    Thanks for all you do Dreena!
    Becca recently posted..Apricot Jalapeno Fiesta SaladMy Profile

    • Dreena says:

      Becca, that’s a SMART idea! Easy too, yes, most airports at least have green salads – they just need some help. Chickpeas to the rescue!! Thanks for the idea. :D

  16. Terri says:

    Oh my! So nice to see pics from home! I think The Sprout is the thing I miss the most from home (well except my family :) Nothing like that here in Medicine Hat, Alberta. I was home last Christmas but I can’t wait to go back again.
    I always struggle with food on the trip. Finding something healthy is so hard and the prices are so ridiculous. Thanks for a few more ideas! I usually do fresh fruit and granola bars and hunt down a salad somewhere along the way and perhaps something from Jamba Juice in the Calgary airport.

    • Dreena says:

      yes, Terri, it’s appalling how much we can pay for healthier options travelling. All food is more expensive in airports/planes – but fresher/less processed items are ridiculously pricey. We spend $50+ at freshii for 4 bowls and some fruit for our daughter. Bit much. But, we were willing to cough it up for a decent meal at that point.

      I also want a Sprout out here. ;)

  17. maureen says:

    Hey Dreena
    we just got back from your great country! We went to Banff and Lk Louise! I am in love in Canada and all things Canadian! Especially the people and the scenery is breathtaking!! We didn’t want to leave!
    We will be back soon!! The vegan restaurant in Banff was closed for they were relocating and not opened yet. bummer! Welcome home!

    • Dreena says:

      Oh, I hear it’s just beautiful there too Maureen! I haven’t been since I was a wee girl. Darn you missed out on the vegan restaurant – next time!! Or, come to Vancouver, plenty of veg restaurants downtown. :D

  18. Maria says:

    Hi Dreena, I thouroughly enjoyed reading this post and experiencing your trip. I really appreciate how you took the time to tell us about the food challenges and how you solved them. So nice you got to connect with family this way. Thank you!
    Maria

  19. maureen says:

    Hey Dreena,
    I loved reading this blog especially since I just got back from touring your great country several weeks ago!! We went to Banff and Lake Louise! I feel in love with everything there…the people, the culture, the scenery, and the ease of things! The one vegan restaurant in town was closed for they were moving locations and behind schedule. We will be back soon to explore more! What beautiful country!! Welcome back! I was exhausted too and I just traveled with my hubby!

  20. Suzanne says:

    Recently home from two big trips, I can totally relate! Note to travel industry, if you are feeding vegans more than one meal, there is a LOT more to vegan cooking than roasted vegetables! Our first trip was a Regent Seven Seas cruise. The second was a luxury train across Siberia to Moscow. Wonderful, exotic trips, and the chefs tried hard to be VERY accommodating. In both cases, however, by the end of the first week we were starting to think ever seeing a roasted veggie again would be way too soon! And we couldn’t really complain because they DID try, and when you are cooking for a crowd, two vegans are barely noticeable. But it was so boring! Albeit beautifully flavored in different ways. But have they not heard of beans? Tofu? Quinoa? I could continue, but you get my drift, I’m sure. I really wish some strong voice(s) from the vegan community could manage to educate the travel industry a bit. It’s like the veggie burger vegan option in restaurants. Restaurant chefs MIGHT throw it in on the menu, but if every spot in town does that, you lose your interest in eating out in almost no time. I sympathize that they don’t get much call for vegan entrees and are doing well to have ANY to offer due to limited kitchen space, but they need to learn some more creative options. How can we help these pros? It really isn’t enough to know what foods we can bring along. It would be far better to educate the chefs and lure more non-vegans into trying OUR food for a change. OK, rant over. Sorry. Just hoping the chef world reads your blog!

  21. Suzanne says:

    Freezing hummus?! Genius! I’ll be trying that for sure!

    • Dreena says:

      Suzanne, yes, works beautifully! I typically make a triple batch, then freeze in about 2 cup portions. If you’re going to pull out the processor and all the ingredients, may as well make the most of your time, right?! Good luck!

  22. Debbie Burton-Peddle says:

    Hey Thelma!

    What a great read! Loved this! The pics are fabulous too. :D And you included little Winston – how sweet.

    Re. YOUR cookies (LOL) – the homestyle choc chip (with added peanut butter). I just reduced the oil by about 1/4 (or less) and then substituted the p. butter by 1/4 cup. Kinda judged it by the consistency really.

    Miss you already – have to plan our trip to Whistler so the boys can go skiing and I can visit with you. (We can make more cookies! haha)

    Love, hugs, and kisses,

    Louise ;)

    • Dreena says:

      hey, hey Thelma!!! ;)

      Thanks for the recipe details Deb, I’ve had a few people ask about the cookies, now they can try out the variation themselves!!

      Miss you. xx

      • Debbie Burton-Peddle says:

        Haha So let’s get straight who is Thelma & who is Louise. You know, just in case anyone ever asks. ;)
        xo

  23. Honey says:

    Thanks for sharing your trip! It’s always great to see family you haven’t seen for so long. I live across the world frm my family (they are in Wisconsin and I’m in Malaysia). We are planning a visit next spring, it has been FOUR long years since I’ve been home and this is the first time they’ll meet my second daughter in person. I’ll definitely be making some healthy snacks for our travels, the trip is usually around 30 hours one way!! Oh, and that peanut sesame hummus is one of my favorites! I never thoughts to freeze it. Next time I’ll make a double batch and freeze some!

    • Dreena says:

      oh. my. 30 hours!?! Well, wishing you very smooth travels and lucky food finds on that trip, Honey. How special that your family will soon meet your second daughter, and they’ll see so much change in your older child after 4 years. Best of luck with the trip, thanks for the note!

  24. Carrie says:

    I also forgot to say that it was so thoughtful of your sister to bake YOUR cookies for you! And that Long Dick’s just cracked me up! HAHA!!
    Carrie recently posted..Snap Peas & CarrotsMy Profile

    • Dreena says:

      Carrie, she was most thoughtful. She baked us plenty of cookies, made Veggie Chili and gorgeous salads, and also didn’t even eat meat when we were dining out, I just remembered that. We appreciated her good food so much. And, I know, Long Dick… oh my!

  25. Carrie says:

    Oh, what a travel nightmare to get there! And such long flights. When we went out east in the spring we drove. Granted we were only going from Toronto to Fredericton, but it was still 15+ hours of travelling. Stopping along the way can be challenging for even a vegetarian, so I’m in the habit of packing snacks – wraps, muffins (made ahead of time and frozen) nuts, fresh fruit, Taste of Nature bars (I love those things for a sweet snack) and water is always a must. After one too many stops at Tim’s for coffee, Ugh! I need something quenching.
    Your pictures are lovely Dreena. It’s so nice to visit home and see the fam. (and your sister has a Porsche!) It’s also great that vegan options are available all over the country. It’s much easier to eat out there now, isn’t it?
    Carrie recently posted..Snap Peas & CarrotsMy Profile

  26. Wow, your flight there sounds like quite the ordeal! I now feel bad for complaining about our 7 our flight with just me and my husband. I find it funny that I was just back there a little over a week ago and it was my first visit in 6 years too! Sounds like you had a lovely trip, and it looks like the weather was really good.
    It was my first time eating at the Sprout and I loved the Pad Thai, wish I got the chance to go there a few more times before we left but we basically drove from my side of the island to the other.
    Nice tips on plane food. I ate waaaay too many homemade granola bars, along with fruit and pb&js. I never thought to make something like a quesadilla, definitely keeping that in mind for next time. I did luck out on the way back and found some packaged crackers with hummus in the airport, not fantastic but better then nothing.
    Thanks for sharing your trip, it was great hearing about it :)
    Maggie Muggins recently posted..Weekend Brunch Round 27: Chocolate Cherry Bomb MuffinsMy Profile

    • Dreena says:

      Maggie, I can’t believe we were there almost the same time! We could have been dining at The Sprout the same days and not have even known – unbelievable the timing!! And, 7 hour flight still a long, rough time. I find anything more than 3-4 hours pretty tiring. The Pad Thai is one of their best dishes I think! Did you have anything else there? I dined there at least 5-6 times, lost count. ;) Thanks for the note (think I missed it first time round, not sure how)!

  27. Ricki says:

    Wow, what a trip!! The scenery is just spectacular. It looks like you had a grand time with your sisters and mum! And glad the girls liked it so much, too. But the travel time. . . holy moly, that is one LOOONG trip!! :)
    Ricki recently posted..Flash in the Pan: Roasted Green Bean Salad with Citrus Balsamic Reduction (Plus Candida Diet Variation)My Profile

    • Dreena says:

      Thanks Ricki, and yeah… Looooong! Was worth it for the experiences but not a trip we can take/make every year for sure.

  28. Alison C. says:

    I love Freshii! We have 3 here now in Vancouver. Re: hummous, I’ve heard that they will confiscate it if you bring it on the plane in a regular-sized container. So I guess the key is to put it in a wrap or in a tiny container that doesn’t go over the limit for allowed “liquids”.

  29. Marie says:

    Love The Sprout! Need to go there again soon :)

  30. Eve says:

    What a nice vacation! Thanks for sharing it with us. How nice to see some of your family members. These are really great travel-food tips. I’m usually so rushed before a trip with other things that I give short shrift to the travel food, and I always regret it. Nuts and dried fruits are easy for me. Actually, on my last trip I did make your breakfast-granola bars from the Plant-Powered 13, but then forgot to bring them, and accidentally left them in the fridge! They were still great when I got back though :)

    • Dreena says:

      Thanks for the note Eve! I forgot about those bars, just added them in – we often take them on car trips, and when hubby travels I pack a full ziploc container of them because they keep so well. Plus, another one that freezes well so gives flexibility to bake up in advance. Thanks for the reminder. :D

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