A beginner’s guide to eating vegan in the City of Bridges

By in Culture

Are you a long-time vegan who is new to Saskatoon? Are you interested in your options for plant-based eating? Or, are you unsure what being vegan actually means? The Sheaf is here to help.

Eating vegan means excluding all forms of animal products from your diet. This includes — but is not limited to — all meat products and animal-based derivatives such as dairy, eggs, honey and gelatin. You might imagine that this is a tricky thing, but it doesn’t have to be.

Being vegan on campus is a breeze. First, head to the Marquis Culinary Centre, where breakfast has a variety of vegan-friendly items including oatmeal, cold cereals and fruit. Their lunch menu has an abundance of fresh greens, vegetables and lots of toppings for salads. There are also some options for hot dishes — like potatoes, vegetables, pasta with tomato sauce, and often, a vegan soup.

James McFarland, assistant director and executive chef of Culinary Services, has been witness to an increasing interest in plant-based-food availability at the University of Saskatchewan.

“Saskatchewan has always sort of been seen as a meat-and-potatoes community, [but] vegetarian options are in high demand … [and vegan eating] is slowly happening,” McFarland said.

The Murray Library Starbucks has the best non-dairy milk selection on campus to satisfy your latte and misto cravings, offering almond, coconut and soy milk options for your beverages.

For your sandwich itch, Tim Hortons and Subway can offer vegetable sandwiches on select breads that are cleared for vegan consumption.

Off campus, there is a growing vegan food scene in Saskatoon. Nosh Eatery & Tap on Broadway has a number of exceptional vegan items, and Amigos Cantina has some vegan treats as well — but be sure to specify your dietary requirements when ordering.

In the downtown area, Thien Vietnam, the Odd Couple, The Rook and Raven Pub and Citizen Café and Bakery are some great spots with delicious vegan offerings. A personal favourite of mine are the quinoa lentil croquettes at the Rook — you won’t be sorry to have tried them.

When you’re looking to grab a bite to go, Panago Pizza has fantastic vegan pizzas and offers Daiya dairy-free cheese. Additionally, Wok Box has a number of vegan options, Mucho Burrito makes the biggest and tastiest vegan burritos around, and The Griffin Takeaway will make your mouth water with its sweet no-meat treats. Saba’s African Cuisine on 22nd Street West also has a variety of vegan plates.

Obviously, grocery stores around the city have plentiful options for plant-based eating. Many stores carry plant-based meat and cheese alternatives as well as a wide array of pulses and beans. It’s also difficult to ignore the many plant milks available. You can get almond, rice, cashew, hemp, oat, coconut and soy milk substitutes. Also, the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market has fresh, locally grown produce almost all year round.

Though eating vegan might push you outside your comfort zone, it also can be a great benefit, health-wise — your mom wasn’t wrong when she said you need to eat your veggies. Check out some of the fine plant-based options that Saskatoon offers — you will be pleasantly surprised!

Nicole Pasloski

Graphic: Laura Underwood / Layout Manager