Away Kitchen and Cafe on College

The folks that have brought us the ever lovely Awai have a low-key plant based cafe brewing up on College – Away Cafe . They’ve been open for about a month, and it’s looking like a great space. You can sort of see the menu in the picture above, but it’s a nice mix of breakfast options, appetizers, soup, salad, and drinks. We went last week and tried a few things for a late lunch. I ordered the Porcini mushroom soup with a savoury rosemary scone. and JC had the empanadas. Also the soy latte I had was excellent too. There is a nice atmosphere, and it’s full of plants and whimsy. Also there are a couple of literal plant walls that are beautiful (and delicious). There is quite a bit of seating and free wifi. Away Kitchen + Cafe  680 College Ave (at Beatrice), Toronto (map) website | instagram

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Oakville check out Dar Nabati!

We decided to check out Dar Nabati‘s soft open today in downtown Oakville. It was just a nice day for a drive, and where better to go than a new vegan spot opening up in the area. Their grand opening is happening on April 27th, 2018, so pay them a visit if you can. (p.s. they will also be open for a sneak preview tomorrow, April 22nd, 2018.) So what is Dar Nabiti? Dar (دار) Nabati (نباتي) is open to some interpretation, but it’s something in the space of Plant based/vegan/vegetarian. It is a plant based cafe, with a middle eastern twist, so you will see wonderful things like shwarma, manakeesh, halloumi, bowls, and egg salad sandwiches, croissants, cinnamon buns, and more, but obviously all vegan. The space is super nice and cozy, with plants, and a really peaceful colour scheme. There are high tables and low tables, several fridges just waiting to be filled up for their grand opening, and some ethical body and home care goods. It was great to see one of my favourites – Just the Goods – there, because they make some wonderfully thoughtful and ethical vegan body stuff. They also had Spiffy Naturals candles and cleaning supplies and Sade Baron body care stuff so far! So what did we have? Philly Cheese Steak Ugh, this was so good. Shwarma (you can also get sides, but we just didn’t – but they did come with pickles which is basically just excellent anyway.) Gluten Cookies My son…

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Vegan Mofo – Day 0 – Polish Vegan Things

It’s almost time for Vegan MoFo. What is Vegan MoFo? I’m glad you asked – it’s an annual celebration of Vegan Food. If you want to read about the history, I recommend going straight to the source and reading What is VeganMoFo on the VeganMoFo site. I have participated in nearly all of them except the one last year (and I would have, but I missed signing up due to the fog of new motherhood.) This year my goal is to try and post on the blog 5 times a week and a substantive comment on at least 10 blogs a day – ideally ones I have not interacted much with before, and always if a stumble upon a post has no comments. Please connect with me on Instagram and/or on Facebook, and I look forward to meeting new fellow vegan food fans during October! The Theme Vegan Mofo has a bunch of great ideas for posts throughout the month, which you can see here on their handy prompts page, but I’ve decided to go with a theme that is close to my heart, and heritage – Polish Vegan Things. So the aim is All Polish Food, veganized. I’d also like to talk about some of the cool stuff happening in Poland for veganism and animal rights, as well as some of the great cookbooks and Polish blogs out there. I speak and read Polish quite fluently, but writing it is still not a strong point – so sadly, and sorry, my…

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Veggielicious 2017 – Southern Accent

Once upon a time Southern Accent used to be in Mirvish Village, and we’d walk by and always plan to go in. They had a lovely and inviting patio outside, but we never got our act together and Mirvish Village is turning into a condo complex. We were worried we wouldn’t get to try the food at Southern Accent, but thankfully they’ve moved over to College and Ossington(ish.) I have a real fondness for New Orleans and Creole cuisine. JC and I went on a tiny south-western US roadtrip a few years ago – and it was incredible driving through Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and then ending up in New Orleans, Louisiana for New Years Eve way back when. We ate well. We had a great time. There were so many vegan options right on the menu in the French Quarter and around the city, you’d be pleasantly surprised if you’ve never been before. So I was missing that flavour, that ambiance, that music, the colours, the sounds. Well, lucky us – we’ve got a taste of N’awlins right here in Toronto. And double lucky us, Southern Accent was participating in Veggielicious this year. They have a few vegan options on their menu year-round, but they had a couple of special dishes for Veggielicious on the go as well, so we picked the specials – planning to return again in the future for some of their regular menu items. The Southern Accent Veggielicious Menu (Prix-fixe $25 per person) First Course: Soup of the…

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Sorelle & Co. A New Vegan Gluten Free and Nutfree Bakery in Vaughan

Just north of Steeles and west of Yonge Street is a beautiful new bakery called Sorelle & Co in Vaughan. It was started by a mom with 5 daughters with food allergies – you can read the story on their website, but I loved the little mural on the wall on the main floor depicting what I imagine is the family. They have a lovely variety of baked goods, including breads, donuts, cakes, tarts, macaroons, and more, drinks like coffee, tea, and smoothies, and more substantial eating options like soups, salads, and sandwiches. You can find a menu of their full offerings by the cash register (or check out their website), but when we walked in we saw the bakery case and started ordering (and planned to take more with us later.) The interior is unique, with a colour scheme of teal, gold, white, and silver, with plump chairs to sit on (and regular chairs), and several tables. It’s located in a historical building (formerly Carrville Post Office & General Store built by Thomas Cook in 1845.) I can’t get over the polished brand strategy of this place. Everything overlaps and is connected in some way from interior, to packaging, to website, to social media. I had been invited to their media pre-launch event a few weeks ago, but I realized I had no idea how to get anywhere effectively with the Sapling beyond my small TTC comfort zone – but we’re learning and getting betterat it. We went up the…

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1 Day of Vegan Hospital Food

Well, nearly 4 months ago I wrote a big long piece about the birth of our new baby, and since I spent about 24 hours in a hospital, that meant that they also tried to feed me a few meals at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto, and since some folks were curious what vegan hospital food looked like… here it is! The first night, right after surgery, no one got the vegan memo, and to be fair, the hospital stay was unexpected (by me and them) Sadly, there was some kind of icky chicken thing waiting for me, so I passed on it. JC had brought over some baked goods from TBC before we even knew we’d be meeting the baby that day, but he also made sure I had lots of buckets of ice water afterwards. I was too busy basking in the afterglow of meeting our little sapling anyway (plus it was super late in the evening.) Breakfast In the morning I got oatmeal, and the person that brought me my tray said she had been vegan for a year or so and congratulated me on my long term veganness. She was also impressed that JC was also vegan since her partner and son would not do it. Despite that, I did however end up with a carton of (dairy) milk on my tray, but obviously skipped it (I think we’d all have a bad time.) I was quite surprised there was no soy milk offered at any meal. At a hospital stay in Edmonton, AB…

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Hungry Vegan Meal Delivery – Meal Delivery in Toronto

I’ve been working my way through the various meal-delivery services just to see how they work before we actually might need to take advantages of them out of necessity, so I’ll try and get some more posts up about those, but so far, Hungry Vegan has been one of my favourites. Hungry Vegan has been around for a few years and is based out of Chatham-Kent. Luckily, they also offer vegan meal delivery to Toronto (as well as along the Windsor-Toronto corridor) in addition to having a store-front in Chatham-Kent Ontario. I’ve ordered from them three times so far, and I can see myself doing so again in the near future – especially since we might be total zombies once the baby arrives. As an added bonus, it sounds like they might be moving or adding a kitchen in the GTA in the next few months as well. They offer organic, vegan, gluten-free meals, salads, drinks, desserts, and dips, and have been doing Toronto delivery on Wednesday (just place an order by Monday.) For my first order I just picked a random assortment of savoury looking meals to try them out: 1 Hungry Vegan Potato Salad with crisp green beans, celery, green onion, parsley and housemade soy-free mayo. 1 500mL – Moroccan Lentil Stew 2 Stir Fry Box 1 Falafel Box 1 Spicy Pickle Hummus 1 Tangy Granny Smith Apple Quinoa w Apples, Quinoa, Pepitas, Cranberries and an oil free orange citrus dressing 2 Creamy Broccoli Salad. We were planning a trip…

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Recipe for Change 2016 – Food and a Fundraiser for FoodShare

This is my fourth year going to Recipe for Change (see my pictures from 2012, 2013, 2014, and now 2016) and it’s not the same as it once was, especially in terms of vegan options, but it was still a great time as always. And of course, the event admission tickets support a great organization – FoodShare Toronto, which does fantastic food literacy work in Toronto, amongst so many other things, like the Good Food Box, the Mobile Good Food Market, Food literacy resources for educators, and so much more. I went with my mom this year, since she was visiting from out of town, and we had a great time. The vegan options were from a few different places: My Little Dumplings – Eggplant, fresh Harissa and Za’atar dumplings My Little Dumplings is a Recipe for Change favourite – I’m pretty sure he’s always had a vegan options, and it’s always been delicious. Chef Bashir Munye has been cooking dumplings up around the city at various farmers markets (including Evergreen Brickworks) – and recently opened a location in Leslieville at 1372 Queen Street East (@ Greenwood) – so check them out sometime. Open Thursday and Friday at 11am-7pm Good Earth Food and Wine – Ancho & lime tempeh This was great but they were definitely more enthusiastic about their meaty options. Which is too bad, because the tempeh with the sauce was exceptional. They had a giant bowl of extra spicy sauce available on the side which kicked it up an extra few notches. I went back…

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Winterlicious 2016 – Vegan Options

Winterlicious happens every year in Toronto and is a great way to get out there during the colder months and try a new restaurant with a fixed price menu for lunch or dinner. Of the 200 participating restaurants this year, four offer 3 courses of vegan items for either lunch or dinner and one offers a vegan menu for both. I do like that Winterlicious offers a vegan filter on their site, but I do not really care about seeing the other menu items, since I have no interest in eating them. And of course, comparing a fruit plate with a fancy multistage dessert is always a bummer, so why not just not even look at it. I put together this list last year, and people seemed to find the whole endeavor helpful, so here is my attempt for Winterlicious 2016. Winterlicious has been on since January 29th, so there aren’t many days of Winterlicious left – it ends on February 11th, so get out there! Avoid disappointment and do confirm with the restaurant that they are still offering these things –  you can find information about all of these places and their current listings on the Winterlicious site. I’ve ordered these in order of most exciting menu to least exciting, but of course, if you like salad or sorbet, then maybe the others will be your jam. Living Room WindsorArms Hotel 18 St Thomas St (map) 416-971-9666 Yorkville Accessible Lunch – $28 – make a reservation on OpenTable Benzenella Salad (vegan)…

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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 – simply to encourage you to visit again. That said, from the very beginning, they started out with great coffee (it’s from Dark City if you’re curious) – they knew what they were doing with that fancy espresso machine, and it was great to be able to go in there with my…

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