Vegan Hanukah Menu Planning

I spend a lot of time thinking up ideas for special events at our house – and I tend to go a bit overboard. We are a family of three, and very rarely, are we accompanied by my in-laws. They have additional dietary restrictions to consider that can be a bit more challenging to accommodate – non-vegan keto – so when we eat together, it takes a little bit of planning to make sure everyone has something to eat. It’s also kind of fun working with additional restrictions because it changes things up, and usually makes us try something new. We’ve been doing a couple of things to try and encourage family to come over, so instead of dinners, we try to do breakfasts or brunches and invite people over when they’re less likely to have other things going on. Vegan Hanukkah Brunch Tofu Scramble Bagels Lox (carrot or tomato) Quick pickled purple onion Potato Pancakes Zucchini Cauliflower Pancakes Macaroons Vegan cheese plate A bunch of cream cheese – Miyokos (we picked some up from Summerhill Market in Toronto), Tofutti, and maybe some homemade cashew based.) I like the idea of help yourself buffet style brunch. Put a bunch of serving dishes out with food on them, some plates, and people find a place to sit and chat around the house. Tofu Scramble – If you follow me on instagram or facebook, you know my endless love for Hot for Food’s Perfect Tofu Scramble, it is always excellent. The combination…

Read more

Toronto – Rosalinda

Rosalinda opened earlier this year in May, and I’ve been a handful of times. Sometimes just to grab a snack and a drink at the bar (totopos!), sometimes with friends, sometimes on a date, sometimes with a group. It’s good for all of those things. And Rosalinda has turned into one of my favourite fancy-casual type places in the city. Seating is ample (138-seats) – the space feels huge – especially by Toronto restaurant standards. If you go during the day, it’s full of bright natural light, and a mix of pretty green fake and (maybe?) real plants throughout the space. Lots of windows, lots of intimate corners to sit in. They have these great mini booths for two people, and bigger booths at the back, and I feel like the seats are well spaced. Last month someone I knew sat next to me, and we were spaced far enough away that we didn’t realize it until one of us got up and came back. The food is always good. Every time. I’ve never had anything that I felt wasn’t well thought out – though I don’t love everything, that’s personal preference, not poor execution. At this point I’ve tried most of the menu, and I find myself gravitating towards the same things. Appetizers My favourite appetizers to share (or not share) are the mushroom potato flautas and the chilaquiles rojos. Over and over again, these two have stood out. They’re both beautifully spiced and flavourful with a great combination…

Read more

Quebec City, PQ – Wandering, History, & Les Gourmandes Louca

While we were in Quebec City, we stayed at a lovely airbnb and enjoyed the sights and sounds of old Quebec. There are some incredible urban climbs in Quebec City, but thankfully you are rewarded by the  accompanying grand views of the city and the St. Lawerence river. We got a lot of exploring done – even during our relatively short visit. On our first day there, we visited the Governors Promenade, which also has a 300 step staircase where you can see a beautiful view of the river, and of Levis, the city across the St. Lawerence. We wandered through Vieux- Quebec, and it’s so easy to enjoy the old and winding streets, full of history and incredible architecture. Just walking around without a specific destination in mind is a pleasure, because you will inevitably stumble upon something that sparks your interest. This area is also home to several National Historic Sites, a UNESCO world heritage site, and the majestic Chateau Frontenac (which is a hotel you can even stay at if you want to be in the middle of everything, and a few hundred dollars a night.) Randomly, there were Dali sculptures being displayed and sold outside (in case you’re wondering… we didn’t buy any of them…) When it was time to grab a meal somewhere, we decided to check out Les Gourmandises LOUCA, a zero waste, vegan restaurant and grocery. They have reusable containers you can take for your to-go items, a variety of bulk foods, and…

Read more

Toronto, ON – Vegan options at Farm’r

I recently had the opportunity to visit Farm’r, a local procurement centring, seasonal, farm-to-table style restaurant on the Esplanade. They have a great covered patio outside, and bright cheerful indoor seating, with great lighting. But what I really want to talk about is the food – because I liked it. A lot. We had the opportunity to try a variety of dishes, take pictures, and chat. One thing I love is hearing about food from the chef involved – and I was happy to hear a bit from Chef Kyle Webster on what each dish was about – he seemed especially keen on the Ontario grown quinoa and kale salad, so I was very excited to try it. Did you know that folks are growing quinoa in Ontario? I didn’t – while I knew about an initiative in another part of the country, finding out it is being grown right here is pretty cool. Here is what I had: Lentil and chickpea fritter sandwich Beets with pumpkin seeds (ask for this without feta) Ontario grown Quinta Quinoa and kale salad Marinated Summer Vegetables We also got to try some beer from Hendersons Brewery which was fun too – their beer is already familiar to us, and is all really enjoyable – though my favourite was the borderline molasses flavoured bourbon barrel aged dark beer. In case you’re curious, Henderson brewery beer is vegan. (Thanks barnivore.) So the lentil and chickpea fritters were  lovely with the tahini gravy – do not skip the…

Read more

Away Kitchen and Cafe on College

The folks that have brought us the ever lovely Awai have a low-key plant based cafe brewing up on College – Away Cafe . They’ve been open for about a month, and it’s looking like a great space. You can sort of see the menu in the picture above, but it’s a nice mix of breakfast options, appetizers, soup, salad, and drinks. We went last week and tried a few things for a late lunch. I ordered the Porcini mushroom soup with a savoury rosemary scone. and JC had the empanadas. Also the soy latte I had was excellent too. There is a nice atmosphere, and it’s full of plants and whimsy. Also there are a couple of literal plant walls that are beautiful (and delicious). There is quite a bit of seating and free wifi. Away Kitchen + Cafe  680 College Ave (at Beatrice), Toronto (map) website | instagram

Read more

Oakville check out Dar Nabati!

We decided to check out Dar Nabati‘s soft open today in downtown Oakville. It was just a nice day for a drive, and where better to go than a new vegan spot opening up in the area. Their grand opening is happening on April 27th, 2018, so pay them a visit if you can. (p.s. they will also be open for a sneak preview tomorrow, April 22nd, 2018.) So what is Dar Nabiti? Dar (دار) Nabati (نباتي) is open to some interpretation, but it’s something in the space of Plant based/vegan/vegetarian. It is a plant based cafe, with a middle eastern twist, so you will see wonderful things like shwarma, manakeesh, halloumi, bowls, and egg salad sandwiches, croissants, cinnamon buns, and more, but obviously all vegan. The space is super nice and cozy, with plants, and a really peaceful colour scheme. There are high tables and low tables, several fridges just waiting to be filled up for their grand opening, and some ethical body and home care goods. It was great to see one of my favourites – Just the Goods – there, because they make some wonderfully thoughtful and ethical vegan body stuff. They also had Spiffy Naturals candles and cleaning supplies and Sade Baron body care stuff so far! So what did we have? Philly Cheese Steak Ugh, this was so good. Shwarma (you can also get sides, but we just didn’t – but they did come with pickles which is basically just excellent anyway.) Gluten Cookies My son…

Read more

Vegan Mofo – Day 0 – Polish Vegan Things

It’s almost time for Vegan MoFo. What is Vegan MoFo? I’m glad you asked – it’s an annual celebration of Vegan Food. If you want to read about the history, I recommend going straight to the source and reading What is VeganMoFo on the VeganMoFo site. I have participated in nearly all of them except the one last year (and I would have, but I missed signing up due to the fog of new motherhood.) This year my goal is to try and post on the blog 5 times a week and a substantive comment on at least 10 blogs a day – ideally ones I have not interacted much with before, and always if a stumble upon a post has no comments. Please connect with me on Instagram and/or on Facebook, and I look forward to meeting new fellow vegan food fans during October! The Theme Vegan Mofo has a bunch of great ideas for posts throughout the month, which you can see here on their handy prompts page, but I’ve decided to go with a theme that is close to my heart, and heritage – Polish Vegan Things. So the aim is All Polish Food, veganized. I’d also like to talk about some of the cool stuff happening in Poland for veganism and animal rights, as well as some of the great cookbooks and Polish blogs out there. I speak and read Polish quite fluently, but writing it is still not a strong point – so sadly, and sorry, my…

Read more

Veggielicious 2017 – Southern Accent

Once upon a time Southern Accent used to be in Mirvish Village, and we’d walk by and always plan to go in. They had a lovely and inviting patio outside, but we never got our act together and Mirvish Village is turning into a condo complex. We were worried we wouldn’t get to try the food at Southern Accent, but thankfully they’ve moved over to College and Ossington(ish.) I have a real fondness for New Orleans and Creole cuisine. JC and I went on a tiny south-western US roadtrip a few years ago – and it was incredible driving through Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and then ending up in New Orleans, Louisiana for New Years Eve way back when. We ate well. We had a great time. There were so many vegan options right on the menu in the French Quarter and around the city, you’d be pleasantly surprised if you’ve never been before. So I was missing that flavour, that ambiance, that music, the colours, the sounds. Well, lucky us – we’ve got a taste of N’awlins right here in Toronto. And double lucky us, Southern Accent was participating in Veggielicious this year. They have a few vegan options on their menu year-round, but they had a couple of special dishes for Veggielicious on the go as well, so we picked the specials – planning to return again in the future for some of their regular menu items. The Southern Accent Veggielicious Menu (Prix-fixe $25 per person) First Course: Soup of the…

Read more

Sorelle & Co. A New Vegan Gluten Free and Nutfree Bakery in Vaughan

Just north of Steeles and west of Yonge Street is a beautiful new bakery called Sorelle & Co in Vaughan. It was started by a mom with 5 daughters with food allergies – you can read the story on their website, but I loved the little mural on the wall on the main floor depicting what I imagine is the family. They have a lovely variety of baked goods, including breads, donuts, cakes, tarts, macaroons, and more, drinks like coffee, tea, and smoothies, and more substantial eating options like soups, salads, and sandwiches. You can find a menu of their full offerings by the cash register (or check out their website), but when we walked in we saw the bakery case and started ordering (and planned to take more with us later.) The interior is unique, with a colour scheme of teal, gold, white, and silver, with plump chairs to sit on (and regular chairs), and several tables. It’s located in a historical building (formerly Carrville Post Office & General Store built by Thomas Cook in 1845.) I can’t get over the polished brand strategy of this place. Everything overlaps and is connected in some way from interior, to packaging, to website, to social media. I had been invited to their media pre-launch event a few weeks ago, but I realized I had no idea how to get anywhere effectively with the Sapling beyond my small TTC comfort zone – but we’re learning and getting betterat it. We went up the…

Read more

1 Day of Vegan Hospital Food

Well, nearly 4 months ago I wrote a big long piece about the birth of our new baby, and since I spent about 24 hours in a hospital, that meant that they also tried to feed me a few meals at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto, and since some folks were curious what vegan hospital food looked like… here it is! The first night, right after surgery, no one got the vegan memo, and to be fair, the hospital stay was unexpected (by me and them) Sadly, there was some kind of icky chicken thing waiting for me, so I passed on it. JC had brought over some baked goods from TBC before we even knew we’d be meeting the baby that day, but he also made sure I had lots of buckets of ice water afterwards. I was too busy basking in the afterglow of meeting our little sapling anyway (plus it was super late in the evening.) Breakfast In the morning I got oatmeal, and the person that brought me my tray said she had been vegan for a year or so and congratulated me on my long term veganness. She was also impressed that JC was also vegan since her partner and son would not do it. Despite that, I did however end up with a carton of (dairy) milk on my tray, but obviously skipped it (I think we’d all have a bad time.) I was quite surprised there was no soy milk offered at any meal. At a hospital stay in Edmonton, AB…

Read more