Brunch at Cosmic Treats, Toronto

This weekend we finally checked out Brunch at Cosmic Treats. I haven’t been in there since they opened, but JC brought me a few of their baked goods shortly after they opened. and I liked ’em. But we decided to actually go and eat inside since they are so much more than a candy and ice cream shop. Kensington showed its friendly face to me in the street with a random stranger bullying me on the sidewalk. After that, I was ready to just go home and stay home for the day or week. But instead we walked into to Wanda’s Pie in the Sky and drank soy lattes while I pretended to read books for about two hours before Cosmic Treats opened for brunch. Cosmic Treats opens at 11:30 am, and we stood there like hungry cats in the rain (except there was no rain, and you should really keep your cats indoors at all times anyway) until a line up of other hungry people formed behind us. I considered scratching at the door, but resisted. They let us sit a bit sooner than they were ready, and the restaurant filled up steadily after the door opened. But frankly, I…

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V’s Caribbean Vegan Vegetarian in Toronto, ON

Around a month ago JC and I visited V’s Caribbean Restaurant – Vegan Vegetarian a bit late this evening, just a bit before closing (they close at around 7pm) but they still had a bit of food left so they put together a container for us, and we were really happy about it. The food was delicious and hearty, with rich satisfying flavours. This week, I went back again with a friend, and had a full and amazing plate of food – The Pong Special (named after one of their chefs) which is the perfect plate for indecisive or hungry people that want to try a little bit of everything V’s Caribbean has to offer (and I highly recommend it so you can find your own favourites!) Almost everyday – the folks at V’s post their menu for the day on Instagram – so if you follow them, suddenly when they open there is a series of posts of their various mouthwatering stews and other dishes. Today they had: Cauliflower & Lima bean stew Curry TVP (textured veggie protein) chunks Steamed/fried callaloo Curried chickpeas & potatoes Maple jerk tofu (which was straight up incredible) Creamy fried Bammies (aka cassava) and steamed okra…

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Things I Love Thursday – Cookbooks & Friends

What about January? I could complain about the cold, a standard Canadian past time, except I find it familiar, and almost pleasant assuming the wind is to a minimum. I like the familiar crunch of my boots on the snow and the cement when the temperature gets to a certain low level. And I like knowing that in this hustle and bustle of a big city, there are other fellow prairie ex-pats living here that feel the same way. On with the Thursday list: Jadłonomia Over the past two months I’ve been attempting to get a vegan cookbook for my mother and her birthday earlier this month, sure this would be easy, if not for the fact that it required more effort than just ordering it from amazon and being done with it. Jadłonomia – a Polish vegan cookbook, was not on amazon at all. It’s not in a local bookstore (at least not local to me), and I had to dust off some cabinets in my brain to read a few Polish websites to successfully place the order. And when there are technical difficulties in another language, things become extra fun. Emails are exchanged, as I provide both English and…

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Things I Love Thursday – Community

It’s been a tough week – not so much on me, I’m far removed from it, but it’s still kind of tough to be on the other side of the country. My dad went in for surgery earlier this week, but it sounds like everything is going fine. I’m left thinking about how I’m so far away and how nice it would be to be “home” during this time – where home is with my parents in Edmonton instead of my new home, with my chosen family – JC, Emmie, Kes, Marmo (aka Football), and our ever changing motley crew of foster cats. It would be nice to be able to visit the hospital and chat and annoy my father directly, but conveniently, cell phones are no longer banned in the hospital, or at least not in his ward, so I can call and bother him all I want (so I do). So this Thursday, one of the things I love is Family. My collections of families; genetic, chosen, by-marriage, the digital world of connections, the feline family that has chosen me. I feel lucky to have it all.  Even when I don’t always particularly like them all… I love them all.…

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Things I Love Thursday – Something Good.

In this week’s TILT, I’m going to skip mentioning autumn. Okay, just once. I like autumn. A lot. I like cold crisp air and crunchy leaves. (okay, that’s still autumn) And hats. And hot rooibos tea. (mostly symptoms of autumn) And all things pumpkin. (fine still autumn) Yesterday evening I had a pot of water with cinnamon bark, anise, cloves, and orange simmering on the stove.  It’s one of those wonderfully powerful combinations of smells that make me feel warm – like a nice fluffy blanket for my olfactory senses. I foresee this happening again. Especially as it gets colder. I love that we spent last weekend at PieBird Vegan Farmstay (a blog post about our time away is coming up tomorrow.) A beautiful technology-free weekend, in colourful Northern Ontario. Plus we got to borrow a cat. And they have a farm sanctuary there. We read so many books. And stepped on so many crunchy leaves in the forest (spoilers: it was perfect.) It sounds like our newest foster cats will get adopted which is nice. It really does get easier to foster over time, because it makes me feel good when our temporary cats find great new forever homes. I’ve…

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These are a few of my favourite things. Welcome to Toronto Strangers.

I’m taking a break from roadtrip nostalgia to share some of my favourite vegan things at Toronto restaurants. Happy Vegan Month of Food. It certainly feels like a vegan month of food  in Toronto and Area, we have so many incredible events happening, like the Vegetarian Food Festival starting this evening and going all weekend and more! I’ve been thinking about writing something like this for a while, and claiming things are the best feels contentious – because flavours and experiences are so subjective, and it’s hard to be objective about them even if you try your darnedest (I do try) If you only have a short time to visit Toronto, here is some of what I think you should try. Take these suggestions… or leave them. But as of this September 2014, these are my recommendations as a vegan that just likes eating things that are delicious. Frankly, I’d like to see more of these lists, because I want to know what other people are into. They’re not gluten-free (okay, one of them is), they’re not oil free or low fat. This isn’t in any particular order. Or organized in any fashion other than I think these are yummy. I’ve…

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Coffee Monday – The Remarkable Bean – Espresso

There is the first week of April gone – have we gone to any Indie Coffee Passport stops in that time? No. Maybe if I keep mentioning it online we will go, but no, we’ve been doing the usual wait for a really caffeinated last-minute  weekend of April. Over the past week we’ve been enjoying the coffee beans delivered with our weekly Mama Earth Organics order. Mama Earth teamed up with The Remarkable Bean, a coffee shop and roastery at 2242 Queen St. East that I had not been to before yesterday to deliver different roasts of fair trade organic coffees in whole bean or several different grinds, from regular grind, to french press, to espresso grind for their Espresso Roast. The Remarkable Bean is a family business which has been selling coffee since 1994 out of the Beaches in Toronto. They roast onsite and in public, and all of their coffee is small batch or micro-roasted daily, which is why the nice folks at Mama Earth Organic can deliver freshly roasted (within 2 days before delivery) coffee to my door. Since we have an espresso machine, I ordered 1/2lbs of Espresso Roast, and later regretted it. That is, I…

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Through Being Cool Vegan Bakery in Toronto – New!

So the vegan internet has been a buzz about Through Being Cool Vegan Bakery opening up to the public this weekend. You might have tried Through Being Cool baked goods before at other places around the city – I know I’ve eaten some delicious examples of their skills a few times at Disgraceland. Unfortunately, I was out of the city for an organizing meeting at a cottage this weekend (okay – it’s not really that unfortunate), so I missed TBC’s opening day on Sunday, September 29th,  But JC was kind enough not only to bring home a box of donuts and whoopie pies, but took a bunch of pictures too so i didn’t feel like I missed out. What a sweetie. Of course, on Monday I was in the area (and made sure I was in the area) picking up my wedding dress (ack), so I walked over to Through Being Cool and checked it out. However stressful and cumbersome it is to travel around with a large dress bag as a non car-driver, donuts help and felt like a natural pairing at that moment. It’s quite a lovely space, but don’t take my word for it. Go there yourself. First…

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New to Me: Soul to Bowl Sauces – Creamy Vegan Alfredo and Made in Toronto

Update: Soul to Bowl Sauces is now Nona Vegan Foods. I have been house/cat sitting for a friend for the last couple of weeks, and during that time I’ve gotten to know Evergreen Natural Market (161 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto) really well. As it is, I go there fairly often, even though I don’t live in the area, but now that I’m right in the neighbourhood… well, I’ve probably gone everyday. Last week I saw something NEW and tasty looking. It also had that nice shiny V word on it and looked like something I might want to eat. Hello Soul to Bowl Sauces, and get in my belly. I hesitated for a second and thought to myself… do I really need such a sauce? I could probably make one at home right? Could I? Maybe (?). Did I want to? No. It has been available at the Wychwood’s Evergreen Natural Foods (513 St Clair Ave) for a month or so, but of course – I nearly never go up there. Currently, it’s only at these two Evergreen locations, but the creator is aiming to branch out soon to other businesses. Today I bought all of the remaining jars at the location on…

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Prairie Girl Bakery – New Vegan Cupcakes in Toronto

Vegan Cupcake Toronto - Prairie Girl Bakery - Vanilla Coconut

Prairie Girl Bakery opened it’s first location on King and Victoria in 2011, the same year I moved to Toronto… from the Prairies. The owner is originally from Saskatoon, where I lived for several years, and I appreciate that she takes pride in her Prairie roots, because so do I. Since that time, they have added two more locations, one in First Canadian Place, and one in Yorkville. So when Prairie Girl Bakery reached out last week and said they were launching a line of vegan cupcakes, I couldn’t wait to try them. I really couldn’t. They offered me a free sample pack of mini cupcakes to try, (and full disclosure: I’m totally taking advantage of that offer next week) BUT, I also picked up a half dozen cupcakes this morning to share with friends (because I’m nice like that.) I walked over to their First Canadian Place location (lower level), and thankfully got there before the lunch rush. Their counter person was very friendly and helpful, and the whole process probably only took 4-5 minutes. Conveniently, they had 6 different varieties of vegan cupcakes to choose from; so I got one of each and waited patiently to try them.…

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