New Tofurky Ham-Style Roast Review

We bought the Tofurky Ham-Style Roast this weekend for the first time (from the refrigerated section at Metro in Toronto, but it’s available at Whole Foods and Sobey’s locations too) And since I couldn’t find much information about it online, I wanted to share what we thought. This is the first year it’s been available in Canada, so the moment I heard about it, I wanted to try it. It’s a small seitan based ham that looks visually appealing, and comes with a sweet and tangy beer glaze featuring Hopworks Urban Brewery beer from Oregon. It’s full of flavour and has a vaguely ham-like flavour. If you are familiar with Tofurky roasts, the texture is quite similar – and personally, I liked it, and it complemented our meal quite nicely. Here you can see it in it’s packaged glory – and my hand for scale. My hands aren’t particularly big, so it’s not huge, but could serve 3-4 people with a nice variety of sides and/or some stuffing. I did not follow the preparation instructions on the box – we were making a very late dinner, and I didn’t feel like baking it for over an hour, so your experience may vary. But if you wanted to save some time and make it in the Instant Pot like I did, I mostly followed the box instructions on prep – half a cup of water, and based my timing on JL’s Vegan Roast post here. She has some great ideas for…

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Field Roast Apple Sage Sausage – Then and Now.

As you might know, last year in September, Field Roast’s tasty vegan sausages became scarce, and hard to find. Why was that? As JC and I learned at the Vegetarian Food Festival, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada had taken issues with how Field Roast product fit within current food regulations, and banned them. Two things needed to happen before Field Roast would be allowed to sell in Canada again, they needed to: label their product as a “Simulated Meat Product” do a Protein Efficiency Ratio study, which at the time they believed required live animal testing. (they later found out there was an approved alternative that did not involve animal testing.) You can read the whole story here from Field Roast. Anyway, fast forward to 9 months later.  They actually did all of these things (using the non-animal alternative method of course.) They redid their labels, added pea protein, and a vitamin fortification mixture to meet Canadian regulatory standards, and announced they were coming back to Canada. You can read more about that over at the Field Roast Blog here. But they view these as temporary measures and this experience with the CFIA and Health Canada triggered the creation of the Plant Foods Council – a trade association of  food manufacturers who make vegan products similar to traditional animal products such as meats, milks, cheeses and butters. The goal of the Plant Foods Council is to work to update Canadian food labelling regulations and promote the health and ecological…

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Review: Cookin’ Up a Storm by Laura Dakin on T.O.F.U. Magazine

With simple straightforward recipes you can use everyday, Laura Dakin’s new vegan cookbook Cookin’ Up a Storm shares stories from the sea and recipes from the Steve Irwin, one of Sea Shepherd’s Anti-Whaling Campaign vessels. It also answers questions I didn’t know I had about Sea Shepherd, like how do you feed a crew of fifty people, three times a day, for one hundred days at sea? The answer is: with careful planning. The book is full of stories of what it’s like working on a Sea Shepherd anti-whaling vessel, what the different ship roles are, and what’s involved with working in the Galley (which I now know as the area of a ship where food is cooked and prepared). Pictures of food and stories of life at sea pepper the book throughout, but it’s a well arranged publication with an effective list of contents arranged logically starting with Breakfast (or Morning Starters), then going on to Soups, Mains, Salads & Sides, Sauces, Breads, and Desserts. Read the whole review on T.O.F.U. Magazine and get a chance to win a copy! As an extra bonus – there is a giveaway going on courtesy of Book Publishing Co happening until April 9th. Visit T.O.F.U. Magazine and comment on the post for a chance to win.

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PeruVegan Review on T.O.F.U. MAGAZINE

Inspired by her husband’s heritage, Vicki Cosio has been veganizing Peruvian recipes for years, and so, Peruvegan, a self-published cookbook full of creative traditional (and not-so-traditional) Peruvian dishes was born. I enjoyed reading through the book, and learning a bit more about Peruvian cuisine and a bit more about Vicki, a now retired tennis pro.  I really enjoyed how she blended her own Italian heritage with her husband’s Peruvian one and included a few recipes exploring the complimentary flavours of both cuisines. Read more about what I thought of the book over at the T.O.F.U Magazine Blog.

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Vegan Pressure Cooking – Review, My Favourite Recipe & A Giveaway

As winter lags on in its traditional fashion, and my goal for February is to eat at home more often, JL Fields‘ new book – Vegan Pressure Cooking, couldn’t have arrived at a better time. It is a cookbook filled with straightforward recipes for hearty meals that are finished in an hour or less (including prep and cooking) and helpful advice on the hows and whys of pressure cooking. First of all, a pressure cooker is a vegan’s best friend. I wish I had one of these in university, and I just wish I could hand them out to everyone looking to cook plant-based for less. With the initial investment of a pressure cooker pot (be it electric or stovetop), it pays for itself in time and the ability to cook dry beans quickly and easily (especially for people like me who nearly never soak their dry beans or legumes.) But luckily for us, we didn’t even have to buy one ourselves – JC’s mom got us a shiny new InstantPot (an electric pressure cooker) for our Non-Denominational Family Gift Exchange last month, and ever since I’ve been using the heck out of it. The nice thing about JL’s book is that it starts with a Pressure Cooker 101 – everything you might want to know about pressure cooking, but didn’t know to ask. With answers to questions like What kind of pressure cooker should I buy? and Will elevation affect cooking times?, and more. JL ends the introductory chapter off with incredibly helpful pressure cooking time charts which continue to be a great…

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Miyoko’s Kitchen – Vegan Artisanal Cheese

One of the first things that came to mind after I had the opportunity to be in New York for a week last month was ordering a box of Miyoko’s Kitchen artisanal vegan cheeses. Since they don’t (and still don’t) ship to Canada, I’ve been watching people’s unboxing photos with a huge amount of envy, and a touch of heartache. We have a US mailbox, and it briefly crossed my mind to send an order there, but it’s “perishable” so that makes things a bit more complicated. Plus the 2-3 hour drive time to Niagara Falls, plus customs, plus, plus, etc. The doorman at the NYC apartment I was staying at also mentioned they normally don’t accept packages marked as perishable either, so I was glad they did this time (especially since it was the day before American Thanksgiving, and picking up a package that day would have been impossible.) I ordered the “Party Platter” which has the largest assortment of Miyoko’s Kitchen cheeses containing: Double Cream Sundried Tomato Garlic French Style Winter truffle Aged English Sharp farmhouse High Sierra Rustic alpine Fresh Loire Valley in a Fig Leaf and my order contained a limited edition Double Cream Garlic Herb What can I say that hasn’t already been said? This was one of the most exciting deliveries I’ve gotten in a long time, so I was already primed to love everything. I was never a fancy dairy cheese person, though I imagine I would have been had I not gone vegan…

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New Vegan Cheese in Town: Maniocheese – Lazy(ish) Vegan Friday

There is a new vegan cheese in Toronto called Maniocheese, a plant based cheese made from made from cassava (also known as tapioca, manioc or yucca), peruvian parsnip and beans, and it’s here all the way from Brazil! (There it’s known as Mandiokejo) It’s imported by Vegantage Point, and at the moment is available directly from them online, or from The Health Shoppe (41-A Charles W, Toronto). But check out their “Where to Buy” for more info. It’s not a prepared product, so there are a few steps to making it usable (as you’ll see in the picture of the directions below), so it’s not entirely lazy, but it’s a few steps easier than opening the Artisian Vegan Cheese book and picking one of those. What’s in the box? I woke up thinking of making a pizza, and decided to walk over to The Health Shoppe and pick up a box of Maniocheese. It was $7.99 before tax, and there are two packets of maniocheese powder per box. Which is approximately enough for two medium sized pizzas. What did we think? I think this product has a lot of potential uses, especially if you don’t want a cheese flavour to be central to whatever it is your making. Like putting a bunch of daiya on a pizza is great, if you want a pizza that is cheesy and melty. This one is great if you’re looking to use cheese for it’s other main pizza purpose – holding things together. The taste is subtle, but reasonably pleasant. It needs to…

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Lazy Vegan Friday – Vegan Toona from Sophie’s Kitchen

This isn’t the first time I’ve tried the Vegan Toona from Sophie’s Kitchen, but it was the first time I was able to buy it in a store. We sampled two of the varieties of Vegan Toona at this years’ ExpoWest, and I wasn’t that keen on it. But I was curious if the shelf variety would be any different from the Toona we sampled at the event, or if our experience of eating would be different/better this time around (what can I say, I’m an optimist.) As of right now, you still cannot buy VeganToona in Canada (unless you order online) – these cans were purchased from the canned seafood area from a Whole Foods in Michigan. They were $4.69/can at the time, but while the amount initially gave us pause, it actually looked competitive by volume with some of the fancy dead fish products that Whole Foods sells. Opening the can, it’s like shredded mystery packed in oil. if you’re expecting anything like light pink tuna flakes, you’ll be disappointed, but since I don’t mind if compassionate analogues don’t look like what they’re attempting to imitate, I wont hold that against them. I think I voluntarily made a tuna fish sandwich once in my pre-vegan days, but I really like the option of a small tinned vegan meat product, that could potentially be taken on a trip, or used to make a quick sandwich. So I made a quick sandwich with some just mayo we had also picked up from Michigan. MeShell’s VeganToona Sandwich Oddly similar…

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Tea Sparrow – Tea Delivery Service Review & Giveaway

I’ve been drinking a lot of coffee over the past few months. Like a lot (see: Coffee Monday). So when Tea Sparrow reached out and asked me if I wanted to try out their tea delivery service – I was really excited. I like tea, I have a collection of different types of tea in our pantry, and a cup of tea seems to be what I reach for during those twilight hours when I want something warm and comforting.  Let’s just call today tea Tuesday…. Tea Sparrow is a monthly mail based tea box, where you receive an assortment of herbal and caffeinated blends for around 35 – 40 cups of tea, depending on the tea, and your style. Tea Sparrow was founded in 2011 by three siblings, and is based out of Vancouver, BC, and spawned out of a love of tea (and a well designed, award winning tea set.) The idea of curated collections of items really appeals to me. I’m a novelty enthusiast – and while I love discovering things on my own –  having someone else that completely nerds out over flavours and aromas, sources, information, and to have people that are actually tea sommelliers pick their favourite teas and shipping them over to me is very exciting. (Please also see The Roasters Pack – if you’re also a coffee enthusiast like me.) When the Tea Sparrow box arrived I was really impressed with the packaging. The box is quite slim, with their cute logo on…

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Lazy Vegan Friday – Vegan Eggnog Research

On a recent visit to the USA we picked up a whole bunch of soy/coconut/almond based nogs. Here in Ontario we have two varieties to choose from, and both are made by the Earth’s Own group of soy and almond milk companies – So Nice and Almond Fresh. Once upon a time there was a pretty nice third nog option called Vitasoy Holly Nog, but as I learned recently on their facebook page (“I’m afraid that all VitaSoy products in Canada have been discontinued.”) so I wont be seeing that product here anymore. In the USA, things are a little bit different. There are several varieties. You want coconut nog, or almond nog, or soy nog? You got it. There is also the choice of different brands and different flavours of “holiday beverages”. When I walked into the Whole Foods Market in Cleveland Heights this is what I saw right after entering: Welcome to Vegan Nog Town, population me. On To The Tasting. Califia Farms Holiday Nog Silk Soy Milk Seasonal Nog So Delicious Nog Coconut Milk So Nice Noel Nog Bonus Holiday Beverages: So Delicious Pumpkin Spice So Delicious Mint Chocolate “Research” Method* for Part One. (*please note: not actually scientific) I used four identical 300 ml glasses. Each carton or bottle was shaken vigorously before being measured. I measured out about 250ml of test nog and poured it in its own glass I took one sip from each glass. I rinsed my mouth with fresh water, and drank some…

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