NCVA Pancake Breakfast Chronicles I: Gluten-Free Fantasticness

Those of you who know me, either through this blog, Animal Voices, or “real life” know I shoot my mouth off a lot about gluten-free food. I mean, I completely sympathize with celiac sufferers, but I can’t help but wonder if the whole gluten-free thing that’s sweeping the Western World isn’t some big conspiracy to make my food taste like crap.

But that being said, I know that a lot of the NCVA’s members are gluten-free, and I wanted to make sure they felt welcome at the upcoming pancake/waffle breakfast. So began my quest for the perfect vegan/gluten-free pancake and waffle recipes.

I’d been working on my regular waffle recipe for a while (Neil is very fat now) and, as of this morning, I thought I had it pretty much down. So this afternoon I tried a gluten-free version.

Mind blown!

The outcome of that experiment has nearly shattered my universe.

You see, the gluten-free ones were better than the regular ones. Look at them! Fluffy! Crispy! Golden!

What the hell was going on? They were supposed to be crumbly pieces of cardboard that I would serve with apologetic sympathy to the gluten-free unfortunates in between bites of my own glutenous squares of wafflly magnificence.

But, with every weird gluten-free cloud comes a silver wheaty lining. In this case, my discovery that gluten-free waffles reign supreme over regular ones might actually save me some work. I’ve decided that rather than make regular and gluten-free versions of both the pancakes and the waffles, all pancakes will be regular ones, and all waffles will be gluten-free.

And for all those who doubt my claim that the gluten-free waffles are fantastic, have faith. Or if you can’t have faith – well, have a pancake.

All You Can Eat Pancakes and Waffles at NCVA Charity Breakfast

Remember weekends when you were a kid? Snuggled in front of the television with your loyal dog or protesting cat, watching Saturday morning cartoons while your mom (see footnote) prepared stacks of fluffy pancakes and crispy strips of deliciousness that you didn’t realize at the time were dead pigs leaching carcinogens?

I’ll pause while you think back and get all warm and fuzzy with nostalgia.

So now here you are.  You’re vegan or maybe just thinking about it. And since you’re not sure how to cook without eggs and milk, you think going vegan will mean your own children won’t get to experience the pure innocent bliss that is the weekend pancake breakfast. And you’re worried that if you deny them that experience, it will make you a bad parent.

And you’re right. It would make you a terrible parent. Your kids will grow up weird and you yourself will likely go to hell.

But not to worry. The NCVA’s got your back. On April 6th, 2013, the NCVA is hosting our first Charity Pancake Breakfast. For a trifling $10 per person, you and your family can enjoy as many fluffy vegan pancakes as you can eat (or waffles, for you more structured folks), plus a smorgasbord of tantalizing vegan toppings.

“Puffy Pancakes?” you ask suspiciously. And I feel you. I, too, have been mislead by well-meaning but tastebud impaired hippie vegans into believing that the vegan pancake is a hemp-hearted, chia-seeded, hockey puck-like monstrosity that is loved by no part of you but your bowels.

But have no fear. These will be the real deal. So puffy that you’ll have to load them down with syrup and fruit and chocolate chips and whipped cream just to keep them from going airborne.

And if that is not already the height of awesomeness, know that we will scour the markets to ensure that as many of the ingredients as possible are organic and fair trade, as well as vegan. We’ll have a special griddle set up for you gluten-free folks as well!

So here are the details:

What: All you can eat pancakes or waffles (with Saturday morning cartoons on the TV!)
When: April 6th, 2013; 9:30 am – 1 pm
Where: Party Room, 140 Mann Ave., Ottawa (Sandy Hill)
Cost: $10 per for adults, $5 for kids 2-10, infants under 2 years are free; All profits will go the the Fauna Foundation Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
What to bring: Just your awesome self, your mini-me’s (if any), and your morning paper. Also blankets and pillows for the kids to sit on if they want to watch cartoons!
Where to get tickets: Pay at the door (cash only please!).

A couple more things: One – please let us know if you’re coming by saying you’ll attend the facebook event or by emailing me (Erin) at Two: We’ll be doing our first collection for this year’s Great Glebe Garage sale (proceeds to Project Jessie), so please bring any garage sale items you’d like to donate.

Footnote: Sorry for the gender stereotype, but my mom was the fount from which our household’s supply of tasty breakfast foods flowed. My dad did make us breakfasts. However, they consisted of a vile gruel that he referred to as “pudgy” and which he forced my sister and I to eat until our mouths were cemented shut and tears leaked from our suffering eyes.

Don’t miss Plant Power 2013 by Wellness Warrior Coaching

Local vegan coaching service Wellness Warrior Coaching is bringing Plant Power 2013 to Ottawa on April 20 from 2-6pm. World-renowned vegan ultra-endurance athlete Rich Roll, author of Finding Ultra and Michael Greger, MD, nutrition research expert will help you gain a better understanding of the power of plant-based foods.

What you can expect from the afternoon event:

* World class speakers and a panel so your questions get answered

* Great food from SimplyRaw Express

* Green smoothie demo by Catherine Droessler of Almost Raw Vegan

* Strength training for running demo by John Zahab of Continuum Fitness

* Yoga and Wellness expert Donna Davis will share one of her most powerful techniques to help you harness the energy and focus to connect to sustained peak performance.

* Interesting exhibitors

The event takes place at the Old Ottawa South Community Centre (Old Firehall). Tickets are $50 and the event more than 50% sold out – Check the website for more information and to buy tickets: 

Volunteers needed: A volunteer is needed to run the sound system and projector for the powerpoint/keynote presentations, and another is needed to take photos and video. Volunteers are very appreciated and will get into the event at no cost.

Wellness Warrior thanks contributors Good Guys Tri, Enerjive, Camino, Almost Raw Vegan, Continuum Fitness, Shanti Coffee, terra20 and our sponsors – NCVA, Elation Centre, Sue Bird/Arbonne, Natural Food Pantry and SimplyRaw Express.



The NCVA wants YOU!

Hi All:

During the quiet moments of your otherwise busy lives, you may have wondered what the heck the NCVA’s been up to for the last six months or so.

Not too many events, relative silence on the blog, the VegFest torch at least temporarily passed to other organizers.

We've been busy attending to serious and pressing matters

So what’s the deal? Well, you know we lost the incomparable Corrie Rabbe last year. I mean the NCVA lost. She’s still alive and everything (and working at transforming the urban environment over at Permaculture Ottawa).

As for the remaining board members, several of us are finding ourselves stretched a bit thin. Past president and maniacally industrious (in a good way) Pamela Tourigny landed her dream job at Terra20, Neil started working for Vegan Cuts in his “spare time”, and I somehow became the co-host of the radio show Animal Voices.

So if any of ya’ll have been thinking about staging a coup to overthrow the NCVA board, now’s your chance!

A fondue fountain lands Markey in the volunteer hall of fame

Or if you’re not the revolutionary type, consider volunteering. You can check our “Volunteering” page for general volunteer opportunities. As for specific stuff, we’re looking for the following:

a) French translators. Vous devez volontaires pour cette tâche seulement si vous pouvez comprendre cette phrase, mais aussi se rendre compte que mon français est très mauvais.

b) VegFest Volunteers. We’re not organizing VegFest 2013, but will still be there in a big way. We’ll be staging cooking demos, showing films, and talking to people about plant based eating. So come help us. You can even make up your own job if you want. Want to paint kids faces to look like farm animals? Great, do that! Want to give a lecture on shopping vegan on a budget? Swell! Want to run around wearing nothing but vegetable-themed body paint? Some of our stodgier board members might get weird about it, but I think it would be charming!

Miscellaneous Awesomeness: Some recent/upcoming volunteer efforts include the Valentine’s Day Potluck (February), the Pancake Breakfast (April), a Veganism 101 course, an Ottawa Veg Guide, the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale (April). The awesomeness of your contribution to the NCVA and local veg community is limited only by your imagination and plant-powered passion.

So now I am going to sit back and wait for all of the emails to flow in from NCVA members who are elated by the thought of serving their local veg community, and brimming with amazing ideas about how to spread the pro-veg message to our fellows Ottawans.

Here they come….

Any minute now…