We are Callan (left) and Reyhan (right) and we’re a vegan couple! We made the decision to go vegan together two years ago (November 1st, 2019 to be exact) and never looked back. We love showing people what we eat and coming up with fun new vegan recipes! Helping people find swaps for the animal products they’d typically consume - such as cheese is so rewarding to us.
When you think of Valentine’s Day, you may automatically think of chocolate, flowers and dining at a fancy restaurant. There are so many ways to celebrate! Keeping it vegan friendly could sound like a challenge, but here are some suggestions from Callan and I that prove otherwise!
One of our favourite date nights at any time of year is to enjoy a charcuterie board at home! It’s a perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day while staying in.
Starting with cheese, Zengarry has a variety of different flavours to choose from. We rarely use just one on our boards, we do multiple! Two of our favourite flavours are Double Crème, and Aged Cumin. From there we choose some crackers, red pepper jelly (or something similar), vegan meat, some fruit and olives. You can of course customize to your own favourites!
If you’re looking to dine out for Valentine's, it absolutely can be done! We always scour restaurant websites prior to calling, to see what options they offer. Also, don’t be afraid! Call ahead of time to ask them what they can do to accommodate your dietary preferences to help you feel confident in your planning.
Generally, we find Thai-inspired restaurants to cook a lot with coconut and other dairy-free milks already. Most establishments that we’ve visited have also been very accommodating to other vegan modifications. We also see vegetarian and vegan options generally becoming more mainstream amongst local businesses.
Some of our favourite local picks include: The Bauer Kitchen, Wildcraft, Odd Burger, Mel’s Diner and Red Ginger, which are all in Waterloo! Callan’s favourite dish is at The Bauer Kitchen and is the Tempura Veggie Maki Roll and Reyhan’s is at Wildcraft and is the Wild Field Mushroom Spaghettini.
For an overnight stay, you may need to do a little more research. Oftentimes, breakfast is the hardest thing to find vegan, so even though it’s typically included in a hotel stay, you may end up not having a ton of options, depending on where you are. We find hotels have been the slowest to get on board with vegan options for things like room service or buffets, so we always check what restaurants are close by or within walking distance.
A great hotel to stay at in terms of food options is the Delta in Waterloo! They have a restaurant called Proof in their lobby that has amazing vegan food and are super accommodating. We also recommend a day trip to Elora, ON - it is absolutely stunning. Everything is pretty close together, making it walking-friendly and there are lots of vegan options in the downtown core!
It’s definitely easier than you may think to enjoy holidays as a vegan couple! Be sure to keep up with us at www.plantbasedrelationship.ca for more information and tips as we continue our vegan journey!
A little more about us!
1. What inspires us most when cooking?
When I was younger I used to love to draw. As I got older I started to look at food as a new artistic way to express myself. I'm heavily inspired by all different cultures and places. Going vegan reignited it like nothing else. It became a whole new adventure trying to veganize the classic meals we used to love.
2. What are our top vegan pantry essentials?
Nutritional yeast, Everything bagel seasoning and black salt (a must overtop a tofu scramble!).
3. If we could cook with any celebrity couple dead or alive, who would it be and why?
We would love to cook with Canadian national treasure Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. First of all, they’re both hilarious so it would be a great time and they seem like the kindest people! They are the epitome of couple goals in our eyes.
We have some cool ideas for upcoming recipes and we have some great video recipe content coming! We always look to share comfort food meals that are perfect for two on our website, such as these Jackfruit Pesto Toasts!