Beautiful Weekends in Ontario – Kortright Centre, Green Living Show, Live Organic Food Bar.

While I always like travelling, I love finding places to call home in the city I call home. This weekend was spent being busy discovering all those things that made me fall in love with Toronto and the surrounding area in the first place. This city is always full of some kind of interesting event. This weekend I went to the Green Living Show on Friday and on Sunday evening. It was nice to see some old favourites like Tiffinday, Daiya, Larabar, LPK‘s Culinary Groove, and a few others. Though I’m always surprised when environmental events end up devoting so much space to car companies (hybrid or otherwise) and meat & dairy companies. I felt very similarly to Air Eater. The Farm Fresh Fare especially was full of meat and dairy options, and while I loved the fresh pressed cider from Lincoln Line Orchards (which was so good we had seconds), and the Donuts from LPK, and the Chocolate Blondies and iced chocolate drink from Chocosol, it would have been nice to see some non dessert vegan options. I guess I just expected better.

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Boston – Grasshopper Vegetarian Restaurant

After our last day at PAX East we opted to check out Grasshopper Vegetarian Restaurant. Once we got over there it was kind of funny… it was pretty much next to Peace O’Pie but we hadn’t even noticed in our myopic pizza quest the night before (and also probably didn’t notice because it was pretty dark outside.) Grasshopper Vegetarian has a casual atmosphere and friendly unintrusive service. There was a group of boys that went next door and brought in their own “drinks,” which I thought was incredibly weird on their part but somewhat nice on the part of the restaurant.

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Boston – Veggie Galaxy, Vegetarian Diner to the Stars.

Sunday was going to be our big PAX East fun day, since we’d have a full day to explore the exhibitors, the panels, and meet random folks from around the country (and North America.) But first, we had to have breakfast, of course. I wanted to go to Peace O’Pie after the great dinner we had the night before, but they were opening at 11am which would dig into our PAXing time too much. Veggie Galaxy fit our needs a little bit better and after a few tweets of encouragement from @MountainJammer we were on our way. Veggie Galaxy is open bright and early at 9am on Sundays and is easy to get to with public transit. One trip on the RedLine Subway to Central Square station, a very short walk, and you’re ready to eat. It’s vegetarian with most things veganizable. Expect to pay a bit more for the vegan options. It’s total classic diner style, has a brightly coloured exterior, and was full of oddly pleasant friendly people. They were nice, and service was good. It made me wonder what Boston has in the vegan water that Toronto is lacking in that department.

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Boston – Peace O’Pie vegan pizza & other deliciousness

Eventually after we recovered from the Samuel Adams Brewery Tour, we figured it was time to go for dinner before we fell asleep again. But where? We’d whittled away at our options getting lost on the internet for a few hours, but we ended up (happily) going to Peace O’Pie. Peace O’Pie (487 Cambridge Street,) is in Allston, MA and if you decide to visit from South Station by public transit, I wouldn’t recommend taking the red – green, subway – LRT combo we took the first time we went out there. The #66 bus is significantly faster from Harvard Square (Red line.) Walking in, it almost looks like a regular American pizzeria, a couple of tables, and that warm, bready aroma that hits you as soon as you’re in the door. Paper menus (and online) are at the front by the cash register or you can check out their specials on the chalkboard to the right of the counter. The menu is full of options, we were having a tough time deciding, but it came down to The EP and BBQ Chik’n. A foursquare tip said to go with The EP, so we did. While it wasn’t exactly my style, I liked it and it was full of interesting flavours. Smoked organic tempeh turned into ground round, sundried tomatoes, spinach and smoked garlic make for a great combination. I loved the thick fluffy crust and the slightly salty dough. We also ordered the cheesy bread, but the mozzarella daiya…

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Boston – True Bistro Saturday Morning Vegan Brunch

No PAX this morning still meant I woke up super early (6-7am, so actually early, not just early for a Saturday) to a very beautiful sunrise near the harbour. We have a water facing room at the hotel so the first thing I saw this morning was an orange sky and a cute little steam boat. First thing on our agenda for the day was to have brunch. Some people say the Boston  area isn’t vegan friendly, I think it’s not bad. There are quite a few options for brunch, but we decided on True Bistro (1153 Broadway, Somerville, MA), because it was 100% vegan and because it was easy to get to by Subway from Boston (Take the Redline, exit at Davis Station.)

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Things I love Thursday – Mostly Food, Sometimes Company.

Today was a great day. I discovered a way to streamline a process that had otherwise been taking hours to complete at work, and then the rest of the day’s good stuff happened. – Food Truck Eats – Sadie’s Diner and Juice bar (with Donuts from Rise Above) – Dufferin Farmers Market – the Lovemuffin Bakery delivery – PAX East Badges

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Tiffinday Vegan Lunch Delivery – More please

Tiffinday was started sometime back in mid 2010 by Seema Pabari as a vegan, tiffin-based lunch time delivery service for downtown Toronto. You put in your order on the website before 3pm the day before, and then you get a nice hot lunch the next day sometime between 11:30am and 12:30pm. Things I love: Delicious yummy hot vegan Indian food for lunch. Environmental responsibility. They provide you with a litter-less lunch. You get stainless steel tiffins filled with food, in a reusable bag. Then the next day – they take it all away and you don’t have to worry about it. Feel like rinsing it? Cool. Don’t want to bother? Also cool. Socially responsible hiring practices – providing a living to those who may face barrier to employment. the twitter and facebook feeds – good links, local food related posts, etc.

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Tori’s Bakeshop – Vegan & Glutenfree Friendly Bakery

So like I mentioned yesterday I was really excited about Tori’s Bakeshop (2188 Queen St. East, Toronto) opening. A gluten-free friendly vegan bakery that opened yesterday in The Beaches. The gluten-free aspect isn’t really relevant to me, but the vegan part is. And sure, it’s premature to really review this place, since the first day isn’t indicative of what it’ll be like on the everyday. BUT, that said, I thought their first day was great. I sat at work all day looking forward to finally trying something Tori’s Bakeshop. I didn’t care what, I just wanted to try something. And try stuff I did. They were running low on treats, because of an unexpectedly large amount of customers (sure, they made three day’s worth of food, but come on, vegans, foodies, gluten free people – three groups that love to eat when they actually can.)

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Engagement Party – JC and MeShell have a shindig

This weekend we had a little celebration with a few friends and family. JC’s mom threw us an engagement party, and my mom came to visit us from Edmonton for the first time. Putting together the guest list for the party helped me realize just how many people I consider close friends. Obviously, JC and I like food. Especially good food. I feel that will play a big role when we get married, but I’m getting ahead of myself. So when this party planning started, food choices were important. We didn’t want too much food, but we wanted people to have enough to snack on while they were spending time with us, drinking wine, and celebrating our good decisions. JC’s mom organized the whole thing, from the food to the decorations, and when my mom arrived, she turned our messy house into something worth inviting people to visit. Okay, so it might not be *that* messy, but it’s messier than I’d like. I could come up with a variety of excuses, and I have in the past – but we are legitimately busy folks (or at least – I think so), and continue to have a hard time finding an ethical and responsive cleaning service (I’m open to recommendations!). But thanks to my mom, we can still delay the professional cleaners for another undetermined period of time.

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Another weekend, another half dozen muffins – Carrot apple spice

We had a bag of carrots sitting in the fridge for weeks. They were sad looking carrots, getting a little dull, getting ready to grow and walk themselves out of the crisper, so it was time to do something with them. But I wasn’t sure what to do, J doesn’t like cooked carrots. I thought… carrot apple salad? Meh. I wanted to bake. I found a loophole in the “I don’t like cooked carrots” statement with carrot cake. (since really, who doesn’t like cake?) My mom used to Morning Glory muffins when I was little, and those are the muffins I had on my mind. She and I had made them together a few times, and they always turned out moist, sweet and delicious. (and rarely lasted for more than a few days) I got a nice little history lesson in the muffins origins while looking for the recipe. Everywhere I’ve read the recipe was originally developed by Pam McKinstry when she owned the Morning Glory Cafe on the island of Nantucket. I think my mom must have saved the recipe out of an old copy of Gourmet magazine in 1981. However, much like me, my mom never follows recipes exactly either, so she never used eggs for her version, just more shredded apples. In my adaptation I use ground flax seed and water instead. Vegan Morning Glory Muffins  (makes 6 Large Muffins) 2 cups grated raw carrot 1 large granny smith apple, peeled and grated 2 cups all-purpose flour…

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