Vegan December Holidays

We’re in New York City, continuing a holiday tradition JC started when he surprised me with a trip away for my birthday in 2012, and we spent new years eve/day in Las Vegas. Then last year were spent it in New Orleans. And now this year, NYC. It spawned from one of those silly ideas where you think… where is the biggest party – where it the place people go to ring in the new year? So we’re in NYC this year, conveniently staying in someone elses otherwise empty and extremely beautiful apartment because a friend of a friend that usually lives here needed someone to take care of her cat. Sometimes lucky doesn’t begin to cover it. Before we left town though, there were a few holiday celebrations to be had. We celebrated Hanukkah on the first night with JC’s family. Or rather, I arrived late after a harrowing day and still had plates full of awesome homemade latkes. And we all exchanged presents. (here is a great collection of Latke recipes from One Green Planet) The Depanneur Hanukkah Party And no Hanukkah week would be complete without at least one trip to The Depanneur for one of Emily Zimmerman’s vegan latke parties. No visit to The Depanneur is complete without a picture of the outside dinner board. Plus it helps remind me exactly what everything was called.  These were the Golden latkes with a really delicious spiced apple sauce, and a root vegetable slaw. I wasn’t keen on the coconut sour cream,…

Read more

SUPPER CLUB: Vegan Passover Seder by Emily Zimmerman

From the event Page: http://thedepanneur.ca/event/vegan-passover-seder-by-emily-zimmerman/ If you’ve never been to a Seder, or you’ve been to too many boring ones, then Emily Zimmerman’s fresh, creative and vegan spin on classic Jewish holiday dishes is for you. The tradition of inviting strangers to Seder has its roots in the Jewish communities of what is now Eastern Europe. In medieval times, poor people would come to the synagogue on the eve of Passover, and they would be invited into people’s homes. A modern interpretation of that tradition encourages Jewish families to practice a hospitality that stands against a world filled with loneliness, alienation and spiritual want. Emily Zimmerman‘s family has been hosting convivial Seders for generations, and combined with her remarkable talents as a vegan cook, make for a fun and delicious evening of tradition and innovation. For over 3000 years, Jews have celebrated Passover (Pesach), a commemoration of the Exodus, the liberation by Moses of the Jewish people from slavery under the ancient Egyptian pharaohs. Over the millennia, many culinary traditions have become part of this celebration; history and culture made manifest at the dinner table for this special holiday meal, the Seder. The traditional Passover seder plate (Ke’ara) features six symbolic foods, plus the iconic matzoh (unleavened bread) each with a special significance to the retelling of the story of the flight from Egypt. These ingredients offer plenty inspiration for a lovely and inventive seasonal menu. First greens salad of local greenhouse lettuces, greens, herbs and sprouts, with vegan deviled eggs. On…

Read more

Drop-In Vegan Dinner at the Depanneur. Okara “Crab” Cake Po’ Boys

I’m continuing my love of The Depanneur (1033A College St.) Corner store by day, dinner establishment by (some evenings), brunch spot, commercial kitchen space, and all around nice stop in Dufferin Grove. We’ve gone several times in the last few months, once to Emily Z’s French Lentil Soup day, Kalmplex’s Hearty Jamaican Soup, Len’s made-vegan risotto and more. Every week or so, we get an email from them about the dinners that are happening. If you’re in Toronto, I’d recommend signing up for it, just in case any of the dishes tickle your fancy. Or connect with them on twitter or facebook, specials and events are posted on there too. There is nearly always something for everyone. It was Chef Emily Zimmerman’s turn again this week. She made these fabulous Okara “Crab” cakes. Okara – if you didn’t know – (I didn’t know) – is the flavourless textureful by-product of tofu making. Somehow this flavourless by-product of tofu making became this umamilicious crispy texture filled nugget of greatness. The nuggets had that perfect texture of crispy exterior, and a slightly dense but flaky interior that broke up the moment your tongue put a little extra pressure on it.  I didn’t get a “seafood flavour” or “crab flavour” to it (in spite of two types of seaweed) which I’m happy with, but it was truly something spectacular. Add to that, these okara nuggets were put in an organic french-style roll, baked in-house by Sara Lapell (of Nice Buns), topped with a vegan remoulade, and…

Read more