Thomas Lavers Cannery and Delicatessen – What’s up more vegan options in Kensington. (mostly photos)

A few weekends ago JC and I went to Kensington Market after a friend posted a picture on instagram showing vegan sausages were being handmade by Thomas Lavers Cannery & Delicatessen. They’ve been open since January 2013, and have been doing some interesting food things ever since. It’s a nice clean looking space, clearly created by someone with an eye for interior design. The first thing we noticed when we walked in was the full glorious wall of colourful preserves. Delicious options like pickled veggies, home made jams, jellies, mustards, sauces, pickles, etc.

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Today is the day – April 8th – Food Bloggers Unite Against Hunger #takeyourplace

This project organized by The Giving Table calls food bloggers to get together on April 8th, 2013 and do good with food, and use their blog as a platform to fight hunger. I spend nearly everyday thinking about hunger and how it impacts the people in our community. From the inaccessibility of healthy food, either because of cost, or food desserts, to supporting policies ( which does occasionally involve an organized group of concerned individuals at city hall) that support the health and well being of the people that live here. Why? Because I think food is important, and powerful. It’s a connector, and community builder, and it’s a means of control, I feel strongly that food is an inalienable right, and if people are hungry, we are doing something wrong as a society. We are missing something important. In an article in this months Walrus, Nick Sault, president of Community Food Centres Canada, talks about how in addition to feeding hungry people, Food Banks may feed the problem of poverty and hunger by creating an environment of complacency within society. I think there are some food banks that are becoming more than just a place people can pick up a hamper, but like Sault says in his article: “We not only can do better, we must do better. We need to stop cheering on an approach that has already failed, and instead focus on the root of the problem: people are hungry because they are poor. They do not have enough money for food because…

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Toronto Animal Book Club – First Meeting – Sunday, April 21st 4pm

After being inspired by a recent post on Our Hen House, a group of us has decided to start a Veg/Animal Book Club in Toronto, our first meeting is April 21st at 4pm. Location to be announced once I get final numbers. To find out more information feel free to contact me directly, on twitter – @mdgee, or join our facebook group. We’ve opted to start with The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J Adams – a book that has inspired a lot of people (as indicated by the Defiant Daughters book released recently) and inspired a lot of criticism as well/ (and more from an Animal Voices interview with Mirha-Soleil Ross – transcript) We’re looking to create a positive, respectful space to share, read, learn, and talk about animal friendly literature and non-fiction. You can learn more about goals and see a list of potential future books here, Hope to see you at our first meeting!  

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Food Bloggers Unite to Fight Hunger – April 8th

I was reading the New York Times and saw something especially relevant to my interests, and I want to keep passing it on in hopes that people will participate and also consider poverty and hunger, even for a moment. This project organized by The Giving Table calls food bloggers to get together on April 8th, 2013 and do good with food, and unite to fight hunger. Food Bloggers Against Hunger – April 8, 2013 from Nicole Gulotta on Vimeo. It’s also in response to a movie on hunger in the United States called A Place at the Table, you can check out the trailer and it’s playing at the Bloor Cinema from April 5th to April 13th. You might have even seen it at last year’s Hot Docs festival.

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A First Taste of Grasslands Restaurant Toronto – Vegan Fine Dining is back

Read my updated review here. Once upon a time there was Fressen, and it was okay, but then it closed at the end of last year and we were all lamenting the end of all vegan fine dining in Toronto. But before we could get too sad, Fressen’s owner,  Stephan Gardener, promised that a new revived restaurant would replace it in a few months, and this week, Fressen was reborn, in a new incarnation. RIP Fressen,  and welcome Grasslands! We went on Day Two (03/28/2013) with a troupe of hungry vegans, and ready to try new and exciting things. On first glance it looked a lot like the old menu, but then there were several delightful differences. As promised there was a much more substantial cocktail menu, and a different dessert (though our server assured us more options were coming – as this was just the beginning.) “Bar Snax,”  has lots of fun and interesting treats like sliders, mezze plate (with kibbeh, tapenade, hummus, olives, etc), and even popcorn chicken (just to name a few.) It’s nice to know that they’re aiming to keep serving these items until 12 or 1 am. I love what they’ve done with the interior, so many positive changes. The bar at the front, with a small lounge area, in addition to a large collection of dining tables. I think they keyword here is more – more open and spacious, more interior lighting, and more effective use of the space they have available. It’s especially nice to…

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Things I Love Thursday – Edible City, Defiant Daughters. Coffee. The Ghosts in Our Machine.

Oh look, another long TILT post. Bon Jour! I’m in the process of developing a morning routine that involves going to the gym and reading (on the elliptical trainer or stair climber.) I find it strange to read at home (vs. in a cafe) or in places other than a streetcar, subway, or bus on my way to some other destination since somewhere along the line, I stopped looking at reading as a get away, and more of a time filler when for some reason or another it wasn’t feasible to be doing something else. Lately I’ve been attempting to shift my thinking away from reading as a waste of time (and I know it isn’t), and more towards reading for the pleasure of reading or learning something new (that’s not on the internet). Curling up with some new (usually-non fiction) book still doesn’t really happen, when I’m at home, but reading at the gym has already helped me polish off several books in a short span of time, and I think I’m getting back into the swing of things. Today’s TILT: The Edible City Defiant Daughters Book Club Ghosts in Our Machine Coffee

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Hey Toronto – How about a veg/animal rights book club?

I’ve been inspired by a recent post on Our Hen House (as I often am) but this time it’s made me really want to take things offline. Recently they posted about the Animal Defense Fund’s online book club, which I think is an awesome fantastic idea – but – I’d like to see if there is any interest in making that happen in real life in Toronto. I know we’re all busy people, with conflicting schedules, but we could meet once a month on the third Tuesday evening (for example) or another mutually agreeable time/date of the month. So Toronto – are you interested? Let’s make this happen. Send me an email, send me a tweet (@mdgee), add yourself to the group on facebook, give me your thoughts, and most of all join in.

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Dinner – French Vegan Fair. Faux Gras, Souffle/Quiche, and No-Coq au Vin.

I felt compelled to cook a semi-elaborate dinner. And it all started with a container of Faux Gras from the Regal Vegan. We picked it up at the NY Vegetarian Food Festival, and it seemed like a good idea to actually use it soon. Since I associate foie gras with french cuisine, there began the French theme. I flipped through our cookbook collection, on the bookshelf and digitally, and one cookbook had what I was looking for:  The Healthy Voyager’s Global Kitchen by Carolyn Scott-Hamilton. My plan was: Regal Vegan Faux Gras with Ace Bakery Baguette Toasts. Popeye’s Spinach Souffle  (which I’ve been calling a quiche for the last 24 hours) – page 123 Sans Coq Au Vin (Not Chicken in Wine) – page 120

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Things I love Thursday – Co-ops. SNL Veganville. Pomdeter. Artisinal vegan cheese.

You know those times when you have a great idea as you’re falling asleep and think – whoa, I should really write this down so I don’t forget it… but then you wake up the next morning not having written it down, remembering only that you had a great idea, but not the idea itself? That’s me most of the time. This morning, I remembered this magical idea, and actually started the process towards making it happen. So at the top of the Things I love on Thursday, it’s that. I’m sitting in Tori’s Bakeshop, writing today’s TILT. It’s one of the dairy-free, egg-free, meat-free bakeries in the city, and I think that’s pretty swell. I was here the day they opened just over a year ago (they celebrated their 1 year anniversary on Saturday), and I’m happy to say that they appear to be thriving. Sure I had to take a streetcar for 45 minutes to get out of my nice cozy Trinity-Niagara/Parkdale neighbourhood cocoon, but that’s not so bad. Especially since reading on the streetcar is just another one of those things I love to do anyway (in theory – but rarely in practice.) Try reading on the Queen streetcar at rush hour and tell me how it goes. From experience – it’s not so great actually. I had one of the Bakeshop’s now famous Coconut-Lettuce-Tomato sandwiches, again, and every time I eat it, I’m transformed back in time to the first time I ate the vegan “B”LT…

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