Vegan Brunch at D-Beatstro

D-Beatstro is a community space, art gallery, cafe, event venue, and restaurant that opened a little over a year ago in the old Bike Pirates space. It’s has a relaxed friendly atmosphere, and a nice addition to Bloordale, and right across the street from the magical Through Being Cool Vegan Bakery. They have prioritized being both physically and financially accessible, especially for people throwing events. Which speaking as someone that likes to organize the occasional event – physically accessible event venues are something that are sorely lacking in our city. I’ve watched D-Beatstro improve and grow their offerings and options over the last few months and it’s been great to see them grow into having a really solid menu, kitchen, and coffee set up. As with any business, the beginning can be tough, and when you hit the ground running like these folks did and make improvements on the fly in that DIY style (and if not, you will likely fail) it can be stressful and not without hiccups. This community space, cafe, restaurant, and more, has managed to do that, and excel at it.  I mention this especially if you visited them in the absolute beginning, and didn’t go back…

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The Purple Carrot – Vegan Meal Kit Box

We ordered a box from The Purple Carrot earlier last week. I’ve been curious about it, because despite a genuine love of food – I’m a lazy cook, or just an avoidant cook. Anything that proposes an option for us to have an easier time cooking dinner at home is something I’m interested in learning more about. One of their biggest name supporters and co-founders is Mark Bittman, and he’s also involved with recipe development, recipe testing, and also using his connections with fancy chefs all over the world to create or share interesting plant based recipes with subscribers. Currently, the box is only available in the USA. There were some rumors of a vegan meal kit in Ontario brewing last year, and I’m happy to say details have finally been released. So if you’re local, check out the Meal Kits from Globally Local. So what was in the box? Large biodegradable insulated box liner 3 large non-toxic ice packs – reusable, or drainable. 3 meal kits with ingredients with detailed full colour recipe cards. A sheet with a little story of why each dish was included this week, some pictures from real humans that made things from the Purple Carrot boxes, and a carrot…

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Lazy Vegan Friday – So Delicious CocoWhip

I’m in New York City right now, and one of the things I love doing whenever I’m in the USA is finding products we don’t have in Toronto. A few months ago I started seeing So Delicious‘ CocoWhip appearing on friends’ and bloggers Instagram feeds and knew… I must try some. So my opportunity came this week when I saw one of the varieties (the regular variety with the blue label, as opposed to “light” in the pink label) at a Whole Foods (the one at Columbus Circle) in New York City. It has always been strange to me that “non-dairy” whipped toppings would have dairy ingredients like casein, a milk protein, (usually in the form of sodium caseinate) or other things, but it’s nice to have a similar product from So Delicious that is actually 100% dairy free. I’ve had some disappointing experiences with non-dairy dairy-filled whipped toppings, so here is hoping So Delicious brings this product to Canada sometime soon. Especially since MimicCreme has disappeared from our shelves (Since the company closed in November 2013 due to no longer having access to an appropriate production facility), and sometimes I just want an easy to use tub of whipped topping…

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Lazy Vegan Friday – Gardein Good Start Breakfast Sandwich

Earlier this week I was wandering through Kensington Market in search of Gadein’s new Fishless-Filets that I had tried at ExpoWest, but my dreams were foiled, and replaced by new dreams – trying the (also new-to-me) Gardein Breakfast Sandwich. I found it in the Freezer section of Essence of Life, and haven’t seen it anywhere else (but if you have please share where in the comments!) Today was a lazy morning, so it seemed appropriate to crack open the box and try them out. One box had two breakfast sandwiches in it, and two slices of vegan cheese. While I usually avoid the microwave, I opted to follow the microwave instructions for maximum lazy factor and for science. The instructions for microwaving say to wrap it in a paper towel, and heat on high for 1 minute and 20 seconds. Then add the slice of cheese – and blast it for another 20 seconds. And voila, it’s on a plate, and has melted cheese on it. Ready to be eaten. For science. First impression: I LIKED it. I feel like’ I’ve heard some negative reviews of this combo, but I thought for what it was – a quick microwavable breakfast sandwich…

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Bare English & Co – Made in Toronto – Interview and Review (and giveaway!)

Lip Balm

As soon as winter rolls around I need lip balm and I need it ASAP. Considering I come from a dry climate (Edmonton), I’ve acclimated to the Toronto humidity quite quickly, and when it’s gone, I notice. Toronto goes from being a mostly humid city to zero suddenly, and it isn’t pretty. My usual go to product since I found them last year was Green Beaver’s gluten-free stick lip balm. Why a lip balm needs to be gluten-free I don’t know, but it was one of the better ones I’ve tried. Totally vegan (no beeswax/cera alba), and they managed to get it all into a smooth stick form without any issues. Winter is coming; some people ask their joints, I can just ask my face.  I was at Evergreen Market on Roncesvalles with a friend a couple of weeks ago, and I needed lip balm and I noticed something new. Bare English & Co. I was attracted to the box and the price, but doubted it was vegan. But since I tend to read ingredients out of curiosity anyway, I scanned through, waiting for one of the blacklisted (I’m looking at you beeswax/cera alba) ones to show up. But I was pleasantly surprised. Totally vegan. Sold.…

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