One of the things that many people gripe about in regards to being Vegan is that it’s just not feasible to be Vegan while traveling, or in tiny towns. I’ve always felt that is a very weak excuse. I know where I stand in regards to objectifying and eating animals, and those feelings do not change just because I love to travel.
So this August I had a wonderful opportunity to go to my traditional family home of Binscarth Manitoba (population 450.) Naturally, I was well aware that small town Manitoba is not the Veganism capital of Canada. Since Binscarth is nowhere near an anything, we flew into Regina Saskatchewan, then drove 4 hours.
I started my journey my checking out the invaluable www.happycow.net for a list of health food stores in Regina to stock up on Vegan staples for our time away. I found a fantastic store Nature’s Best (2224 14th Ave, Regina, Saskatchewan.) While the store is not vegetarian, they are filled with all of the staples you could want for a few days away from ‘civilization’ such as; vegan cheeses, tofurky meats, produce, bulk nuts, canned soups, breads, vegan snacks, chocolates, and even a great vegertaian sandwich bar. I picked up a package of frozen Tofurky Kielbasa Sausages (which kept them nice and cold all the way to Binscarth) half a dozen Primal Strips, two chocolate bars, 3 grapefruits, 2 pears, a handfull of dried chickpeas, a handfull of dried black beans, a veggie sandwich, and refilled my Food Fight water bottle (which I never leave home without!) Honestly, I think I ate better than most of the people I travelled with!
Our first night in Binscarth I enjoyed a tofu scramble with peppers and a soy-teriyaki sauce. Breakfast the next morning consisted of fresh fruit, and a juice with Vega. Lunch for the others was steak sandwiches, so I thought I would have something along the same lines. I found some Vegan bread in our lovely hostess’s freezer, spread some mustard on most slices, I sliced up the Tofurky Kielbasa Sausage to make long, thing strips, and put that on the bottom with some cucumber and tomato slices in the middle, and cut up a Primal Strip for some extra “meat” on top. Everyone was jealous of my sandwich, which to be honest, looked amazing. For dinner we all went to the only restaurant in town, Arbuckles. I wasn’t sure if or what I would be eating, so I just went with an open mind. Our meals came out and she placed in front of me the most exquisite roasted peppers stuffed with a spiced quinoa, with beans on the side and a beautiful salad to start! Naturally I was immensely grateful and very impressed.
Our final morning was another refreshing breakfast of fresh picked fruit with juice and Vega. Our lunch was full of Vegan foods that most people forget are Vegan. I made up another sandwich, and had a cob of corn with some salt and olive oil, and a baked potato, which was more than enough food to fill me to the brim!
I left my extended family and Binscarth feeling well fed, excited by the surprising meals I had experienced, and deeply proud to come from the family that I do. If you’re ever travelling in the middle of frigging nowhere Manitoba, you would do well to make a stop in Binscarth. It is a special town, filled with wonderful people, lots of history, and natural beauty.