National BBQ Day at Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary

I have been interested and involved in Meal Exchange activities ever since the first Halloween I dressed up and collected canned food instead of candy. So when they started promoting National BBQ day, and the idea of supporting local producers I was completely into it. It happened to fall on the same day as Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary’s Open House. Perfect. JC rented a zipcar and we drove down to Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary, we weren’t sure where to stop – until we saw the HUGE row of cars along the street (with the occasional Go Vegan or solar energy bumper sticker.) Heartwarming to see such a crowd. Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary has been in operation since 1999, and is entirely family (and volunteer) run. Located a few kilometers outside of Stratford, Ontario, it is a place where pigs, sheep, donkeys, chickens, ducks, geese, cows, and many others have been rescued from the neglect and slaughter found on meat, milk, and egg farms. To me, there is no greater community to meet and BBQ, than a vegan community BBQ. Local products, a vegan Bake Sale, live entertainment, and getting to meet the amazing people involved in helping make animals lives better. In addition, meeting animals that would not be alive if not for the work of these amazing people was powerful and moving.   Eating and living the way I do has always been about animal rights, it hasn’t been about health, and it hasn’t been directly about the environment. It’s always…

Read more

Liberty Village Farmers Market. More vegan barbecue.

I went back to the liberty Village farmers market to investigeat the possibility of vegan baked goods… and my mission was successful. The kind folks at Round Plain’s Plantation (yes they have a website) make several vegan and gluten free items. Now I’m kicking myself for not grabbing one of the cinnamon danishes I saw last week. During the course of our investigeating, we picked up an orange date muffin. It’s vegan, gluten-free and sweetened with agave. We also picked up some zucchini, and skipped buying rhubarb this time since we have too much in the freezer already (i.e., it’s about time for me to bake something with rhubarb in it! Maybe today.) I’ve decided that my favourite food type is grilled. When I was growing up we didn’t barbecue much, and generally I’ve avoided BBQ’s at other peoples houses, but these days, if the weather is even remotely hospitable, I’d rather be eating something with grill lines on it. One of my favourite recent combos was grilled marinated portobello mushroom, with tomato and a piece of grilled eggplant on a kaiser roll (with veganaise on it).

Read more

Get Grilling.

It’s been a great few weeks, and I’ve been out enjoying the sun and the first Farmers Markets around Toronto. I finally visited The Big Carrot (348 Danforth Avenue), and it’s got a great selection of organic and Ontario produce.  Though it was a little pricey for some things, it’s nice one stop shopping. The check out staff member we had was not particularly friendly and even managed to insult my handwriting. Maybe it was a poor attempt at humour, I don’t know, but that put a pit of a damper on an otherwise exciting food experience. Otherwise, one of the benefits of The Big Carrot is that it’s very TTC accessible, and just 1 block west of Chester subway station. We left with a couple of bags of produce (fresh asparagus! purple garlic! sweet corn!) and a rekindled love of seitan jerky. With beautiful days like we’ve had, it’s time to get grilling. Flame-broiled asparagus, roasted garlic, cobs of corn still in their husks all made for a great lazy afternoon meal. So far this barbecue season we’ve been eating a lot of Lick’s Nature Burgers, which are only available in Ontario (as far as I can tell). They barbecue really well, and have a very meaty quality to them. We checked out the Liberty Village Farmer’s Market (34 Hanna Avenue, Toronto, ON) on Sunday and picked up some strawberries, rhubarb, and fresh asparagus. The same vendor had potentially gluten free vegan cinnamon danishes, but I’ll investigate (investigeat?) further when I visit again tomorrow. It was actually kind of…

Read more

Vegans can’t have Barbecues right?

I told a few acquaintances about going to a BBQ this week and they looked at me questioningly, and asked nervously… “well, uh…what did you have?” It felt like they were waiting for me to confess to my post-veganness; that I had ripped into a cow based burger, or some other similar thing. Of course not! A friend came back to visit Edmonton from the heaven that is Tofino, BC, and we all had a BBQ together. What do you eat if you’re vegan? Guess what, it’s nearly the same thing as everyone else. We had a raw broccoli and cauliflower salad with a raspberry vinaigrette. boiled and roasted cobs of corn. veggie burgers (regular and wheat free), roasted potatoes. Simple and delicious. I’m looking forward to arranging another barbecue soon, this time in one of Edmonton’s great big parks. Now tell me, does this look like an empty plate to you?

Read more