Naleśniki – Polish Crepes – Vegan Mofo

Happy first day of Vegan Mofo! I wanted to start things off with one of my favourite childhood memories.When I was little one of my fondest morning memories is when my mom would make naleśniki (Na-leh-shniki.) Watching her make them always seemed so magical because what was once a liquid, seemed to defy gravity – clinging to the pan, changing colour, and turning into something delicious. I would sit at the kitchen table, we would listen to the CBC, we would talk, all while she made breakfast. There would be two typical fillings, a sweetened cheese one made with quark or some kind of stewed fruit or jam. My favourite of course, would be one with fruit, so that’s what I made this morning, finally, for my own family.  When my mom made it, it was topped off with a vanilla sugar thick cream – this morning I made a quick cream with maple syrup, coconut yogurt, and some vanilla bean. Before I went vegan, she would use a piece of bacon to grease the pan,  but eventually, once I went vegan she would still make ones for me with oil, filled with fruit, and dusted with icing sugar. Lucky me! Smacznego! (which means bon appetit! or enjoy your meal!) Naleśniki – Polish Crepes Makes 8 naleśniki   Ingredients  1 cup all purpose flour 2 tsps prepared Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer mix 1 cup unsweeteend soymilk 3/4 cup boiling water a pinch of salt 3 tsp a light vegetable…

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Things I Love Thursday – Vegan MoFo Edition 2

Back again with the random things that caught my eye since last Thursday. Though I still really like checking in with all the blogs I posted on last week’s list, there is so much more, and there is so much more than is on this list, but while I read pretty fast, I’m sure I’ve missed a whole bunch of gems out there. We’ve made a slightly modified (more peaches!) version of this peach pie smoothie from Connoisserurus Veg about three or four times since I spotted it. Recipes This Vegan Mock Chopped Liver spread from Triumph Wellness. I can imagine this would be perfect on bagels, or anything really, and I’ve been dreaming of baking bagels the moment it started getting cooler outside. Soon the bagelling will begin, probably for post-Yom Kippur break fast next month. Muggle Pumpkin Juice Smoothies from Dumbledore’s Vegan Army. Last year, for my birthday we travelled a bit in the southern USA, as part of that trip we went to the Universal Studios park and visited Hogwarts… and they had this pumpkin juice…. If you’ve had the pumpkin juice you would understand. It’s so delicious. So delicious. So I want to try this, because I’m a muggle, and I like pumpkin juice. Also, it’s pumpkin time. JC’s youngest sisters loves the Nightmare Before Christmas. So I had to share this perfect for fall Jack Skellington’s Spicy Pumpkin-Soup (in german) – translate to English. (I’m also getting really excited for fall.) Spicy Vegan Chex Mex from House Vegan. Because snacks. if you…

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The Forks in Winnipeg

After a brief stop at the Vegetarian Food Festival, my tale of Road-tripping around North America can continue! I’m finding myself at a mental roadblocks when writing about our trip or just writing in general. At certain points there is one place or one area that just stops me in my tracks. And it’s not usually that it was an unpleasant experience or I don’t have anything nice to say, it’s just… for reasons unknown, I can’t really get it together about where ever it is we were (which then complete derails everything until I pick it up again). So here it goes anyway, micro steps. Right after we visited Jonnie’s Sticky Buns, we went over to The Forks market to take a look around and see if the Canadian Museum for Human Rights was open yet (it wasn’t – but it is opening Sept 20-21.) The Forks is a National Historic Site, and I was completely unfamiliar with it before visiting. We were trying to figure out why it was considered a National Historic site when it seemed to just be a really nice looking market building, and a place with a weekly farmers market BUT as we found out, it’s actually a lot more than that. The Forks is a junction point of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, and was used as a major transportation, trade, and settlement area, and was a historically important meeting place as both of those rivers are connected to an intercontinental network of water…

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Hello Vegan MoFo 2014! An Intro

VeganMoFo starts today and I’m participating like I have since back when the internet began (okay, JK, more like 2008 or 2009) If you’ve never heard of Vegan MoFo before, it stands for Vegan Month Of Food, and this year, that month is September. I spent last years’ Vegan MoFo blogging about, talking about, and planning my big fat vegan wedding, which culminated in a very satisfying blog giveaway that also included a couple of really lovely wedding crashers. This year is hopefully going to be me sharing stories from our summer honeymoon(y) roadtrip across Canada and the USA. I don’t think it will involve any roadtrip giveaways (sorry.) But it will involve lots of the amazingly wonderful vegan places that exist in North America (and also a lot of the amazing places this couple of vegans saw on a cross country roadtrip.) For people that haven’t ever visited before – Hi! I suppose it doesn’t hurt to have a bit of an introduction – I live in Toronto with my partner JC and our three cats Emmie, Kes, and Marmo. I’m originally from Edmonton, Alberta and I’ve been vegan since the late 90’s. I like food – eating it, talking about it, cooking it, growing it. I’m interested in it from a social justice perspective and generally have a focus on food education/empowerment/etc in projects and volunteer work. I’m also interested in migrant labour issues and rights, especially how they exist in the Canadian and Ontario Food System. Plus initiatives that increase the ability of…

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Vegan MoFo – Wedding Cake

Update: click here to read about our wedding day, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the lovely. Oh Cake. Why has it taken me so long to talk about cake. One of the first decisions we made after getting engaged was who we wanted to make our cake. No, I’m not joking. Maybe this was premature, as new vegan bakeries have actually opened in the time it took us to get close to the wedding, but I still feel good about our decision to go with Sweets from the Earth. JC and I met up with Ilana Kadonoff, owner and chief baker extraordinaire at Sweets from the Earth  (SFTE) a few months after our engagement party, and it was a really positive meeting. She was so nice and helpful, and gave us ideas, and direction when we only had a slight picture in mind. We sampled a variety of Sweets from the Earth cake flavours in the form of tasty SFTE cupcakes  – including some flavours I hadn’t even considered and decided on the flavours that will eventually make up our wedding cake tiers next month. Do go for cake tastings. We were ready to go after one meeting, but you might want to sample some of the other vegan cake options available to you, especially if you live in Toronto. Other vegan and vegan-friendly options in Toronto off the top of my head are Bunner’s Bake Shop, Tori’s Bake Shop, Rashmi’s Bakery, and Vegan Danish Bakery (especially if you’re Danish…

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Soups I Love Thursday (Ten of Them) #VeganMoFo

I’ve spent the last few days wrapped up in a blanket, mostly wanting to eat cereal and soup. JC and I were both sick, and spent some time vegging out in front of the computer and playing World of Warcraft. I’m still feeling that weird sick disconnected feeling but it’s getting better. The sickness combined with a slight dip in the weather has got me thinking of autumn and soup. Soup and autumn. From simple broth based noodle soups, to heavier lentil, sorghum, rice soups, we’ve been souping it. After I posted one of my cereal based breakfast lunches on instagram, a friend sent over a  jar of homemade soup for my sick self to enjoy. Who says social media doesn’t work? (it wouldn’t be me by the way – I win with soup.) So what better than to talk about ten of my favourite vegan soups of all time on this wonderful day 18 of VeganMoFo? This isn’t a top ten list of course, because I can’t create a hierarchy of soup. I’m also including stews in this list. Let’s not argue. It’s better that way. Some of these I’ve made myself. Some of these I’ve eaten elsewhere. French Onion Soup Two Ways. Homemade, and at the Depanneur. This french onion soup from The Depanneur triggered my French Onion Soup obsession during last years’ VeganMoFo. And it continues to this day. I researched and read the history and the culture behind French Onion Soup, please imagine some kind of french…

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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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Vegan Wedding Dresses – VeganMoFo

Continuing with my VeganMoFo theme this year on Vegan Weddings, Let’s talk Dresses! What’s not vegan about a wedding dress? You’re not eating it…? This is a question I was actually asked a couple of times. Well that’s one of the instances where being vegan and following a plant-based diet differ. Sometimes people don’t consider silk or wool when they’re thinking about their dress. And some people (if they’re me) think about it too much. So, what’s wrong with silk? I was going to give you my thoughts on this, but I think The Ethical Man sums it up perfectly for me too: In silk operations, the insects are viewed and treated as inanimate commodities, nothing more. I am hard-pressed to think of anything more arrogant than wholly appropriating the lives of other creatures — literally claiming to own others’ bodies. In that regard, the silk industry is no different from the animal industries we often more willingly deem immorally exploitative. (read more about what’s wrong with silk here) To me, it just seems logical that I would avoid that particular industry as well as some of the others. But what about “Peace Silk” or “Ahimsa Silk” well… again, I’ll leave that to someone that’s already covered it extensively. Worm Spit is run by a non-vegan producer of regular silk products and they have an interesting write up on the realities of peace silk (as in, is it really that peaceful?): I think that Ahimsa Silk doesn’t really equal non-violence to insects, once…

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