Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival – 2014

This was my fourth Vegetarian Food Festival, and my fourth year in Toronto, it’s one of my favourite yearly events, and not just because it also coincides with one of my second favourite events – the Toronto International Film festival. This was also the first time I didn’t have a camera with me, so I just enjoyed the festivities and food, and didn’t take many photos. Maybe there is something to just experiencing things without photos to prove it, but I do miss my camera (it’s being repaired right now after I fell on our last day of travelling.) I went on Friday evening and being there reminded me very much of the feeling I got when I arrived in Toronto way back in the summer of 2010. As I sat in the sun, eating an APieCalypse Now magic square, and drinking a cup of my new favourite local kombucha (Pekoe Kombucha) I was just enveloped in a wonderful feeling of these are my people. I am home. We may have our differences (a lot of them), but there is still a feeling of connection at these events that I really love. It was so nice to catch up with friends, and discover new businesses that I hadn’t heard of before. Also the weather was gorgeous. So here is the Magic Square, and it was amazing as usual. Eventually, we also picked up a pumpkin pie, a piece of peach pie, one of those famous s’mores pies, a Free Shrugs t-shirt,…

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Vegan Weddings – Then there are the shoes. VeganMoFo

I’m getting a bit burnt out about weddings lately, I’ll admit it. Our wedding is less than a month away, and it feels like the final countdown music is playing. All urgency I had been feeling is gone, and I’m in this strange stage of acceptance and shrugging. Maybe this is a good thing. Continuing on in the series on Vegan Weddings for Vegan MoFo let’s talk about the shoes! Update: click here to read about our wedding day, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the lovely. But recently something wonderful brightened my day. I got tagged in a photo on instagram. And it was a pair of shoes. A beautiful purple pair of vegan, eco-friendly, fair-labour shoes made by Nicora Johns. These are the shoes I’m planning on wearing when I get married, and while they’ve just been made, I love them already and can’t wait to stick them on my feet. I emailed Stephanie (Nicora) shortly after the kickstarter campaign finished and asked if I could still order shoes… yes, I’m a last minute kind of girl and wasn’t sure if they would even be able to make shoes for me in time, but felt like the risk was worth it. It seemed I had emailed at the perfect moment… it was a day or two before they were starting their first run of shoes. Phew. The experience contacting them was incredibly positive, and while I know it’s only the beginning for them, it felt really nice to…

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Dealing with Caterers – Vegan Weddings – Vegan MoFo 2013

Continuing in my Vegan Wedding theme for Vegan MoFo 2013 – here’s a bit about my experience with caterers, and a few tips. P.S. It’s also less than a month before JC and I get married. Eeeee. update: click here to read about our wedding day, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the lovely. Early in the wedding planning process I started to look at caterers and venues and options for the wedding. To be honest, it was one of the main criteria in the decision making process. You may notices that JC and I love food. Finding a really fantastic restaurant is more than just a night out, it’s a hobby, and we love to share with each other and others, so I’m sure it’s not surprising that it ranked highly. In Toronto some venues have in-house caterers that you’re obligated to use, others will let you use your own caterer with certain stipulations or additional fees, and with others you are completely on your own. Some include service, some don’t. It depends on your budget, and how much you want to spend and how many separate service providers you want to work with. I researched a few around the city and sent emails to a few places that seemed promising, nearly everyone got back to me with wedding package information, and claimed they knew how to cater a vegan wedding (though some glossed over that part), but more inquiries about options and menus usually showed they didn’t really…

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Let’s talk about Suits – Vegan MoFo – Vegan Wedding edition continues.

It seems fitting to follow up my post on Vegan Wedding Dresses from yesterday and talk primarily about Vegan Suits. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never given much thought to suits. Any pant suit or dress suits I’ve had were usually made of polyester, cotton, or rayon (or occasionally linen) but when JC started looking for suits for himself they all seemed to be mostly wool based. When shopping for suits, in addition to the wool, there are a few other things to consider. Like bull-horn or buffalo horn buttons, horse, goat, camel-hair interfacing, felt (wool) fabric, linings, or silk thread. Then there are the silk ties or cummerbunds (if you’re going that route), let’s not even get started on men’s shoes (well… okay, I’ll get started on it, but that’ll be a whole separate post.) So… what’s wrong with wool? Well, I’ll reference The Ethical Man on this one. In summary: Buying wool directly supports cruel practices such as mulesing, castration, tail-docking, and ear-punching. Meanwhile, industrial wool farming is energy-inefficient, land- and water-intensive, and highly pollutive. (read the whole article here – it’s quite comprehensive) There is also a fantastic FAQ on The Discerning Brute. If I can suggest one it is to do the same thing as I recommended with wedding dresses, look for the material you might want your suit made from. Find the 100% cotton suit, find the cotton-poly blend, the rPET, look for a hemp suit (& while you’re at it check out this dapper…

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Let’s Start at The Beginning – The Proposal – Vegan MoFo 2013

Happy Labour Day and Happy Vegan Mofo! I just want to give a shout out to the people heading over to demonstrate at Marineland today. I can’t be there, but I support you 100%. Thank you to Marineland Animal Defense for their important work on this. Now, on with the Vegan MoFoing.   This story is probably more for me than for you. Imagine I’m 90, and sitting by the solar electric fireplace, maybe a nuclear fission tube, or some futuristic equivalent. I’m wearing a sweater that I knit out of rescued space cat hair or something, and I want to tell you a story of how I your great great great grandfather proposed to me. Back when there weren’t any self-driving cars or holographic skype calls. A Cat is President of the Internet. You get the idea. Note: If you want to escape the sappy lovey engagement story bits, and look at vegan food porn, there are some lots of photos at the bottom of this post from our delicious engagement dinner at Candle 79. So on with the story. JC and I have been engaged since December 2011. We met at the beginning of the year, though the internet (where I find everything I love), and during that year fell madly in love, in as much as logical robot computer people can fall in love (but apparently it’s a lot since both of us have secretly mushy squishy romantic insides.) He very innocently asked me the month before…

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Vegan MoFo – Lazy Tuesday – Vegan Myths Video – Where do you get your protein?

So after yesterday, day of kitchening and cooking up a storm, I’m all tuckered out. We ate delicious leftovers for dinner tonight, and a cute little stuffed squash that I forgot to take a picture of. Since it still comes up sometimes, and I came across this video again today, I thought someone else might get at kick out of this. Where do you get your protein?  

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Vegan Mofo 2012 – Happy Thanksgiving!

I forget sometimes that Thanksgiving becomes a holiday entirely wrapped up in celebrating thankfulness around a big dead bird. Unfortunately, that’s just something I can’t get into. Most of the time when I think of Thanksgiving I think of the celebrating the harvest, which in Ontario is quite bountiful. I think of sharing a meal with my loved one(s), and most of all, I think of cooking up something fun and delicious. This year we celebrated twice. I made a small meal on Sunday before JC went to his family’s house, and a big one for Monday. For mini-thanksgiving we had a field roast celebration roast, smashed root vegetables, and steamed corn. Simple, but tasty. It was the first time I’ve ever tried the Celebration Roast from Field Roast, and the one we ate was actually brought back from a trip to the USA. They are now available most of the usual veggie meat places in Toronto – like Big Carrot, Essence of Life, Fiesta Farms, and Evergreen. Whole Foods is supposed to have them eventually as well. The smashed root veggies were potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots, slow cooked on low for most of the morning till they were soft enough to smash with a whisk. Pressed garlic and onion added to the flavour, and we were ready to eat. The Celebration Roast reminded me a lot of the Field Roast sausages in texture and flavour. It was good, but I generally don’t like fake meats if I can avoid…

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Vegan MoFo – Things I love Thursday #TILT

I’ve done Things I love Thursday (aka TILT) posts before, and usually aim to do them at least once a month, otherwise, there is weekly list of things/people/etc on my twitterstream. The premise is to simply list or photograph or share things you love, and talk about them (or not). It was once upon a time started by Gala Darling, and took on a life of it’s own. The one thing I like about it is that it can show me how much things change, or completely stay the same. I looked at one of my last year’s VeganMoFo TILT posts, and so many familiar themes came up.

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Vegan MoFo – How do days disappear?

Someone sent me an email regarding MoFo, asking me what was up and if anything was wrong. That’s the kind of nice VeganMoFo’ery that makes this such a great community. Yes, I’m okay. Everyday I write part of an entry and then get distracted with some other task. Bad MeShell. Bad! To my credit, I did manage to post every day until Middle Of MoFo on Thursday. I had the opportunity to introduce my partner One Love Vegetarian (854 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON) recently. While we had enjoyed their delicious soup at Soupalicious earlier this month, eating at their sit down location makes it extra fun and delicious. I also wanted to mention that if you’re a local to lovely Toronto, Veggie Drinks is happening 7pm Thursday October 20th at Free Times Cafe (320 College St, Toronto). There will be two short presentations starting at 8pm. One by the ever talented photographer, videographer and vegan Karol Orzechowski – about his film Maximum Tolerated Dose (be a fan of the film on facebook.) And there will be another one that evening… but it’s TBD. So hopefully you can make it! I’m going to try and be there too! In anycase, today I made a stuffed pepper squash for lunch. Throw in some rice, lentils, chopped up veggies in a pot, cook, and stuff a pepper squash with it, and you have yourself a fabulous meal (and hey, it’s even full of protein, vitamins and delightful complex carbohydrates). It didn’t last long…

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Special Event Sunday! Vegan Thanksgiving

We did our small thanksgiving a little early (today), because J has his family’s one on Monday (the real day). I’m not a big fan of the smell of roasting turkey, to the point that it makes me pretty nauseous, so I’ll be skipping the big family event tomorrow and spending it chopping cranberries finely and sprinkling them all over one of Emmie’s wet food cakes in an attempt to be Thanksgiving festive. picture by Eye of Einstein on Flickr used under CC Last year I prepared a feast for myself, and ate it while house/cat sitting during other people’s long weekend getaways. This time, I tried to cook, while fasting for Yom Kippur, preparing a Break Fast meal (vegan matzo ball soup), and also cat sitting during other people’s long weekend getaways. Goal for next year: leave town. (I’m kidding… or am I?) Real goal for next year: Invite people over for a Turkey-less vegan thanksgiving. My menu this year includes: – Cornbread Muffins, solely because I love them and they make me happy. – Onion gravy from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s 30 Day Vegan Challenge – Smashed garlicky potatoes. – Grapefruit Blackpepper Cranberry Sauce based a bit on last year’s recipe – The same cranberry stuffing from last year – Stuffed pepper squash. Originally planned to make this cranberry-pear rice stuffing, but ended up making a lentil white rice stuffing with spiced veggies. – The Apple Walnut Kale salad from Cupcakes and Kale listed below, except I used pecans and…

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