Montreal 2016 – Aux Vivres

BLT Aux VIvres

As part of our pre-baby adventures we visited Montreal. I was about 37 weeks pregnant when we went, so it was a bit of a nervous trip (because going into labour in another province where people speak French, scared me a little), but it also felt like a necessary one (at least from a wanderlust perspective.) We took the Megabus down, which seemed like a good idea when I booked the tickets, but less of a good idea when I was trying to arrange myself and my belly behind the table we had reserved. It was much too crowded – live and learn. Much like some of the other cities I keep returning to, Montreal is very familiar. There is always something new, but ultimately the city still has the same energy, the same streets, the same language. I went to the University of Montreal during a pretty formative year one summer, so our visits are usually a blend of some of my old favourites and trying to visit whatever is new in town. Aux Vivres is one of my old favourites since my first time in Montreal, and it’s been incredible to watch them grow from a relatively small restaurant &…

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The Day Our Son was Born

OR Room Door

Throughout this pregnancy, I had been planning for a home birth. Home is where I feel safe and comfortable, so I thought it would be a great place to have our baby – and I was low risk and had a very easy pregnancy, so I was an ideal candidate for a home birth too. (Foreshadowing: let’s just say this didn’t happen.) I had so many books, I read all the stories I could find (good and bad), I watched videos, and we even got a birth pool. I wasn’t afraid, I was greatly looking forward to the challenge and the experience of a midwife attended birth at home. I pictured what it might look like, we took prenatal classes to work on pain management and the stages of labour. JC learned more about how to be a supportive partner during labour. I knew he’d be great. A photo posted by MeShell (@veganinyourcity) on Jan 10, 2016 at 10:12am PST And then my “due date” came and went. I wasn’t in a rush though, I felt patient. I believed in the process. I was certain my body would get things going when our little bundle was ready to come into…

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Hungry Vegan Meal Delivery – Meal Delivery in Toronto

smaller hungry vegan delivery

I’ve been working my way through the various meal-delivery services just to see how they work before we actually might need to take advantages of them out of necessity, so I’ll try and get some more posts up about those, but so far, Hungry Vegan has been one of my favourites. Hungry Vegan has been around for a few years and is based out of Chatham-Kent. Luckily, they also offer vegan meal delivery to Toronto (as well as along the Windsor-Toronto corridor) in addition to having a store-front in Chatham-Kent Ontario. I’ve ordered from them three times so far, and I can see myself doing so again in the near future – especially since we might be total zombies once the baby arrives. As an added bonus, it sounds like they might be moving or adding a kitchen in the GTA in the next few months as well. They offer organic, vegan, gluten-free meals, salads, drinks, desserts, and dips, and have been doing Toronto delivery on Wednesday (just place an order by Monday.) For my first order I just picked a random assortment of savoury looking meals to try them out: 1 Hungry Vegan Potato Salad with crisp green beans, celery, green…

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Recipe for Change 2016 – Food and a Fundraiser for FoodShare

Recipe for Change 2016

This is my fourth year going to Recipe for Change (see my pictures from 2012, 2013, 2014, and now 2016) and it’s not the same as it once was, especially in terms of vegan options, but it was still a great time as always. And of course, the event admission tickets support a great organization – FoodShare Toronto, which does fantastic food literacy work in Toronto, amongst so many other things, like the Good Food Box, the Mobile Good Food Market, Food literacy resources for educators, and so much more. I went with my mom this year, since she was visiting from out of town, and we had a great time. The vegan options were from a few different places: My Little Dumplings – Eggplant, fresh Harissa and Za’atar dumplings My Little Dumplings is a Recipe for Change favourite – I’m pretty sure he’s always had a vegan options, and it’s always been delicious. Chef Bashir Munye has been cooking dumplings up around the city at various farmers markets (including Evergreen Brickworks) – and recently opened a location in Leslieville at 1372 Queen Street East (@ Greenwood) – so check them out sometime. Open Thursday and Friday at 11am-7pm Good Earth Food and Wine – Ancho &…

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Winterlicious 2016 – Vegan Options

Vegan Options

Winterlicious happens every year in Toronto and is a great way to get out there during the colder months and try a new restaurant with a fixed price menu for lunch or dinner. Of the 200 participating restaurants this year, four offer 3 courses of vegan items for either lunch or dinner and one offers a vegan menu for both. I do like that Winterlicious offers a vegan filter on their site, but I do not really care about seeing the other menu items, since I have no interest in eating them. And of course, comparing a fruit plate with a fancy multistage dessert is always a bummer, so why not just not even look at it. I put together this list last year, and people seemed to find the whole endeavor helpful, so here is my attempt for Winterlicious 2016. Winterlicious has been on since January 29th, so there aren’t many days of Winterlicious left – it ends on February 11th, so get out there! Avoid disappointment and do confirm with the restaurant that they are still offering these things –  you can find information about all of these places and their current listings on the Winterlicious site. I’ve ordered…

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Vegan Brunch at D-Beatstro

DBeatstro Brunch

D-Beatstro is a community space, art gallery, cafe, event venue, and restaurant that opened a little over a year ago in the old Bike Pirates space. It’s has a relaxed friendly atmosphere, and a nice addition to Bloordale, and right across the street from the magical Through Being Cool Vegan Bakery. They have prioritized being both physically and financially accessible, especially for people throwing events. Which speaking as someone that likes to organize the occasional event – physically accessible event venues are something that are sorely lacking in our city. I’ve watched D-Beatstro improve and grow their offerings and options over the last few months and it’s been great to see them grow into having a really solid menu, kitchen, and coffee set up. As with any business, the beginning can be tough, and when you hit the ground running like these folks did and make improvements on the fly in that DIY style (and if not, you will likely fail) it can be stressful and not without hiccups. This community space, cafe, restaurant, and more, has managed to do that, and excel at it.  I mention this especially if you visited them in the absolute beginning, and didn’t go back…

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The Purple Carrot – Vegan Meal Kit Box

We ordered a box from The Purple Carrot earlier last week. I’ve been curious about it, because despite a genuine love of food – I’m a lazy cook, or just an avoidant cook. Anything that proposes an option for us to have an easier time cooking dinner at home is something I’m interested in learning more about. One of their biggest name supporters and co-founders is Mark Bittman, and he’s also involved with recipe development, recipe testing, and also using his connections with fancy chefs all over the world to create or share interesting plant based recipes with subscribers. Currently, the box is only available in the USA. There were some rumors of a vegan meal kit in Ontario brewing last year, and I’m happy to say details have finally been released. So if you’re local, check out the Meal Kits from Globally Local. So what was in the box? Large biodegradable insulated box liner 3 large non-toxic ice packs – reusable, or drainable. 3 meal kits with ingredients with detailed full colour recipe cards. A sheet with a little story of why each dish was included this week, some pictures from real humans that made things from the Purple Carrot boxes, and a carrot…

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#Veganuary 2016 – Do you need help?

Veganuary and an offer of support and help

Dear You, Are you interested in trying to go vegan for 2016 or even just to try it out in January 2016? There are lots of resources out there and I’ve collected a few of them on this page. Also, please feel free to email me if you have any questions or need support along the way, especially if you’re in Toronto, since that’s where I live, and that’s one of the main cities I know. (but this is an open offer to anyone anywhere.) I went vegan in the late 90’s. I was young and living in Alberta, which even to this day has a bit of a reputation of being meat-heavy (though Edmonton is amazing for vegan options). It was a bit strange to be the only vegan I knew in real life, but that’s still not a completely foreign experience for people even with our changing world. Veganism is more and more common, and it’s easier to find food and friends than ever before, but you can still encounter resistance or misunderstanding and it can be frustrating, especially in the beginning, when you discover that many people, including people you respect and love, don’t see the world the same way…

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Lazy Vegan Friday – Vegan Egg from Follow Your Heart

Vegan Egg

We’re in New York City for the holidays again, and paid a visit to Haymaker’s Corner – an all vegan grocery store in Brooklyn, NY. We had pre-ordered a holiday meal from them, and some stuff from Vegan Treats – and luckily, the night before, they also got in a shipment of Follow Your Heart’s new(ish) Vegan Egg. I also ordered two boxes from Rabbit Food Grocery in Austin and had it shipped to NYC. At the moment if you wanted to order it to Canada, Vegan Essentials and Food Fight Grocery are the only two places I’ve seen offering this product with shipping to Canadian addresses. Like I mentioned when reviewing The Vegg, I never liked cheese, which seems like the ubiquitous missed vegan item (though that’s changed with all the amazing alternatives) but I have missed the occasional scrambled or over-easy egg. Of course – never enough to consider eating a non-vegan egg. So when I saw this product appear online during the Supply Side West convention in Las Vegas earlier this year, I was pretty excited to find out more. The Vegg is great for those over easy eggs yolks I was missing (with some spherification), but did not work out quite as well…

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Toronto Vegan Holiday Gift Suggestions 2015

Vegan Gift Ideas

For the last few years I’ve been trying to put together a vegan-friendly gift guide, with a focus on local items and charities. Usually, I put out one post, with everything on it, but we’ve gotten so full of options, that yesterday I started with the Vegan Holiday Menus that are available in our dear city, and now on to the gift list. This is, of course,  not all encompassing, since it’s limited by what I’ve found myself, but I’ve tried to poke around as much as time allows. Please feel free to add suggestions in the comments. Gift Baskets I’ve seen a few prepackaged gift baskets around the city from vegan or vegan-friendly vendors. so I’d like to start with those (in alphabetical order) D-Beatstro D-Beatstro has a variety of fun looking gift baskets that are mostly priced under  $35. Packages that feature teas (blended by their in-house herbalist) or coffee or hot chocolate packs. There is something for everyone on your list, just pay them a visit.  Forbes Wild Foods This Gift Basket Includes: Single-source Ontario Maple Syrup, Pure Birch Syrups, Wild Forest Mix, Wild Balsam Fir, Wild Spruce Tips, Wild Mushroom Mustard, Wild Canada Plum, Wild Strawberries, Wild Saskatoon Compote. If you ever go to any of…

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