Volunteer Community Page

News and Events – Get inspired by the successes and accomplishments of fellow TVA volunteers, and see photos from past events.

Letter Writing Team – Read letters to the editor submitted by our Letter Writing Team.

Recipes – Vegetarians love their food! Volunteers featured in our Volunteer Profile of our monthly eNewsletter share their favourite recipes with you.

NEWS AND EVENTS

Carrots

November 2013: Lisa Pitman and Nicole Axworthy have paired up once again to publish their second e-book, Edible Gifts. This beautiful cookbook is filled with recipes that can easily be packed up into jars and boxes and given to friends and family for the holiday. Plus, they are donating a third of the proceeds to TVA! Read more and order your copy here.

September 2013: Congratulations to TVA volunteer Sonia Faruqi who recently had an article about animal agriculture published in the well-known magazine The Atlantic. The article discusses the impact that more women working in agriculture could have on animal welfare. Click here to read the article.

September 2012: Two longtime TVA volunteers, Lisa Pitman and Nicole Axworthy, have paired up to publish their first e-book, Tiny Treats. Their beautiful cookbook is filled with healthy sweets that will have you coming back for more. And it’s only $10! Read more and order your copy here.

May 2012: Sally Grande has done it again! This time she’s got a great article about the health benefits of vegetarianism in an online blog for Boomer’s. Check it out here.

April 2012: To celebrate National Volunteer Week, approximately 20 TVA volunteers came out to our thank you party at Toronto Community Accupuncture Clinic, to mingle and share in delicious food care of Green Zebra Kitchen. Guests delighted in fresh spring rolls, raw vegan pizza and decadent brownies while meeting and greeting with fellow volunteers. Some even took adantage of TCAC’s generous offer for free accupuncture services before the party! Thanks to all who made it out!

February 2012: Congrats to TVA volunteer, Sally Grande, who’s beautiful carrot paintings were highlighted in a local Oshawa paper recently. Click here to see the article, and make sure to visit her website to see more of her paintings!

January 2012: More TVA volunteer celebrities! Already famous within the TVA community for their amazing design work on Food Festival posters, starting and organizing Veggielicious and volunteering in the Resource Centre, Sean Ohlenkamp and Lisa Blonder-Ohlenkamp recently made headlines with their viral youtube video. Click here to see the video, although we’re sure you probably already have! Not only did the video immediately get countless views, it even landed them an article in the Toronto Star.

November 2011: Congratulations to TVA volunteer, Tikka Smiley, whose recipe for a vegan pot pie made her a finalist on the Food Network’s Recipes to Riches! Her episode aired on National TV Wednesday, November 9th and made a wonderful statement about how delicious vegetarian food is. The intro to the show even included a mention of her volunteer work for TVA, thanks Tikka! Click here to watch her episode online.

October 2011: On Friday, September 23rd approximately 60 TVA volunteers got together to celebrate the success of the 27th Annual Vegetarian Food Festival. All festival volunteers were invited to the thank you party, catered by a local vegan catering company. More than 200 volunteers make the Annual Vegetarian Food Festival possible in roles as wide as volunteer checkin, TVA outreach, cooking demo assistants, program distributors and much more.

Special congratulations goes out to the winners of the festival membership contest: Valerie De Grandis, Kelleigh Bell and Ashkon Hobooti, who signed up the largest number of new members.

Lisa Pitman

July 2011: Congratulations to Lisa Pitman, who was voted favourite Toronto Vegetarian Association volunteer in this year’s Volunteer Survey. If you haven’t yet met Lisa, you would recognize her from TVA outreach events, staffing the bookstore at the Vegetarian Food Festival, running cooking demonstrations at the Vegetarian Food Festival, or from her stellar annual event, the Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off!

Congratulations also goes out to Lisa Bergart, who won the random draw in the survey for a free TVA t-shirt and cookbook!

TiffindayApril 2011: Approximately 20 TVA volunteers, staff and board members got together for Bunner'sa board game party to celebrate National Volunteer Week on Sunday, April 10th. Attendees enjoyed yummy soup, cupcakes and more while diving into games such as Scrabble and Dogopoly in the city’s west end. This free event was made possible thanks to the generous donations of local vegan businesses Tiffinday, Bunner’s Bake Shop and APiecalypse Now.

LifelinesMarch 2011: The Toronto Vegetarian Association wanted to thank the many volunteer columnists and editors that make our newsletter, Lifelines, possible, so we invited them to a free lecture and cooking demo from local chef and nutritionist Marni Wasserman! Seven of Lifelines dedicated volunteers learned about calcium rich plant-based foods and tried out Marni’s delicious spinach patties and carob-fig brownies!

Congratulations to volunteers at the York University Health Fair who did an astounding job of signing up 94 people to the Veggie Challenge! That means 94 people made the commitment to try a vegetarian diet for one week!

January 2011: Congratulations to Kasia Mychajlowycz of the TVA Letter Writing Team, who spread the word that ducks and geese deserve respect and consideration when her Letter to the Editor was published in the National Post on January 14th, 2011. Way to go Kasia! Click here to see Kasia’s letter. Award

December 2010: Congratulations to the winners of the 2010 Tofu Awards that were presented at the 2010 Annual General Meeting, for outstanding volunteer achievements on behalf of TVA.

Best Tofu-tastic Recipe Column

Nimisha Raja & Amy Symington for Make Your Mondays Meatless

Best Secret Plot to Invade Your Cookie Jar & Take Over the World

Lisa Pitman, Luke Albert & Natalie Stephenson for the Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-off

Outstanding Achievement: Podcast

John Graber, Jason Doucette, Angela Del Buono, Colleen Shea, Liam Cawthorne, Lisa Pitman, Hyein Lee, Angelina Drake & Lisa Blonder Ohlenkamp for the Toronto Vegetarian Podcast

See what the Toronto Vegetarian Association’s Letter Writing Team has to say!

What is the TVA Letter Writing Team?

The Letter Writing Team responds to alerts of articles in the newspaper that discuss issues surrounding vegetarianism and animal rights by submitting letters to the editor. Sometimes they’re published and sometimes they’re not, but they’re always brilliant and regardless of whether they get printed, they let the editors know that readers care about the issues.

If you have a persuasive way with the written word then join our Letter Writing Team and help demonstrate to the public that people do care about animals, and that support for vegetarianism is on the rise. Simply send an email to Barbi with the subject “Letter Writing Team” to be added to the mailing list. Please note: As a member of the letter writing team, you agree that you will be sending in letters to the editor on your own behalf, and NOT as a representative of TVA.

What has the team written about?

Click below to read letters that have been submitted by team members.

Farm Animals and Emotions: August 2012

Delicious and Healthy Veganism: March 2012

Fur Promotion: Toronto Star January 2012

PJ Pet Stores: Toronto Star August 2011

Chicken Barn Fire: National Post June 2011

Animals and Language: National Post May 2011

World Hunger: Toronto Star April 2011

Legal Rights for Animals: National Post February 2011

“Humane” Butchers: Globe and Mail January 2011

Foie Gras Ban at Winterlude: National Post January 2011 

Two Medical Schools End Use of Live Pigs in Research: National Post January 2011

Farm Animals Have Emotions Too: Globe and Mail August 2012

August 2012 in the Globe and Mail: An article about Stanley Coran’s new book really brought to light the fact that dogs do indeed have emotions and many of the same characteristics as humans. This was a great opportunity to remind the public that farm animals do as well.
Submitted by Shannon Kornelson **Published in the Globe and Mail August 20th!**
Based on the same science that Stanley Coren uses to celebrate dogs (Dogs Are People Too– Arts, Aug. 13), one cannot attribute a rich, emotional life to a dog without extending the same courtesy to a pig.I doubt anyone who has ever spent time with a pig could believe that they are any less sentient, or wonderful than dogs. Mr. Coren and Jeffrey Masson confirm what we already know deep down to be true: Animals are more like us than not, they do not want to be used or abused or killed, and therefore we should never do so.

Going Hard-Core Vegan: Globe and Mail March 2012

March 2012 in the Globe and Mail: Leslie Beck wrote a relatively positive article about veganism, but she did make it sound a bit difficult, bland and boring. TVA’s letter writers wrote in to tell the truth: that veganism is not only healthy, but also exciting and delicous!

Submitted by Bonnie Shulman **Published in the Globe and Mail March 22nd!**

I really wish foodies would stay away from stereotypes about veganism (Going Hard-Core Vegan: Rules For Health – Life, March 21). There’s nothing bland about a vegan lifestyle.

I went hard-core vegan five years ago, out of compassion for animals. Overnight, I stopped eating all animal products. Since I had been a fast-food junkie, the only vegetable I knew was a potato. So I had to go on a steep learning curve.

Today, I create simple and delicious meals out of things I never even knew existed: barley, tempeh, quinoa, all manner of greens and every single kind of vegetable in the produce section.

Bland? Oh my dear Globe and Mail, if you ever tried any vegan recipes, you’d know.

Fur Pelts Command High Prices : Toronto Star January 2012

January 2012 in the Toronto Star: TVA Letter Writers responded to claims from the Fur Council of Canada that fur clothing is more ecologically-friendly than faux. Click here to read the article and see the responses from our team below.

Submitted by Shannon Kornelson

The recent interview with Alan Herscovici (VP of the Fur Council of Canada), would actually be funny if it weren’t so sad. He argues that Canada has “some of the world’s best regulated, best managed, ecologically sustainable, humane trapping and farming practices”. His unfounded claims require a great deal of correcting:

“Best regulated” Fur farms have only ‘Recommended Codes of Practice’, they are not legally enforceable. Also, Canada’s Competition Act does not restrict the use of terms such as “natural” or “eco-friendly”.

“Best managed” The eastern population of the wolverine is listed as “endangered” and their western population is listed as a species of “special concern”. Despite this, western wolverines are still trapped for their fur. And how exactly does a trap discriminate between endangered and non-endangered species?

“Ecologically sustainable” ‘Green’ fur is an oxymoron. The animals often come from commercial farms that generate industrial amounts of animal waste and offal, not to mention the chemicals used in processing. Despite the unregulated “biodegradable” claim, these chemicals (acid, peroxide, chromates, formaldehyde, bleaching agents, dyes) leech into the environment and water supply.

“Humane trapping/farming” Industry often refers to the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS), but this agreement merely redefined the term ‘humane’ so trappers could continue to use leg-hold traps, an infamously cruel trap many Canadians don’t realize is still being used. Most fur animals are killed for their first winter coat, at about eight months of age. High quality fur products do not say anything about the animal’s health or wellbeing– only that the animal shed their dirty, matted infant fur just before being killed.

I hope in the future the Star will present an accurate picture of the environmental and ethical crises associated with the fur industry.

Submitted by Barbi Lazarus

You call that journalism? A one-sided interview with a rep from the Fur Council of Canada? Readers deserve to be informed truthfully. 85% of furs sold in the fashion industry come from factory farmed animals, designed to maximize profit at the expense of environmental and animal welfare concerns. These farms produce millions of pounds of feces that pollute waterways and contaminate the air.

Furthermore, before being offered to consumers fur is processed with a cocktail of toxic chemicals, including formaldehyde. Even if someone isn’t convinced that fur is not in fact ecologically-friendly as Herscovici called it, does it really matter when animals skinned for fur are subject to unthinkable cruelty that we would never consider acceptable for our pet dogs and cats?

PJ’s Pet Stores Ends Sales of Puppies in Canada: Toronto Star August 2011

August 2011 in the Toronto Star: Chain pet store, PJ’s, finally announced they will stop selling live puppies and instead focus on encouraging people to adopt. This welcome news was praised by the TVA letter writing team. Click here to read the article and see the responses from our team below.

Submitted by Anna Pippus **Published in the Toronto Star August 23rd!**

Kudos to PJ’s Pets for ending the sale of bred puppies in their stores, and instead working with shelters to facilitate adoptions. There are so many unwanted animals that need homes — and who are killed when homes can’t be found — that it doesn’t make sense to breed even more.  And replacing purchases from breeders with adoptions has a measurable impact. For example, since Albuquerque, N.M. banned the sale of cats and dogs in 2006, animal adoptions have increased by 23 per cent, and the rate of animals killed at shelters has decreased by 35 per cent.  Let’s hope more pet stores will follow PJ’s Pet’s lead.

Submitted by Shannon Kornelson

A big congratulations to PJ’s Pet Stores who recently announced they will no longer sell puppies from their store and instead encourage people to adopt from shelters. They have joined the ranks of many others in the companion animal industry who understand the importance of providing forever homes to animals who are no less deserving than those bred for profit. May this decision resonate with other pet stores and encourage them to take the necessary, progressive step of focusing their fondness for companion animals on the individuals who already exist, instead of supporting an industry that is as unnecessary as it is profit-driven.

Chickens Die in Barn Fire: National Post June 2011

June 2011 in the National Post: The post reported that 30,000 chickens were burned to death in a barn fire in Calgary, yet moments later in the same article stated that “no one was injured in the fire.” Click here to read the article and see the responses from our team below.

Submitted by Nigel Osborne **Published in the National Post June 10th!**

I was appalled to read the story regarding the massive fire at Spark Eggs in Calgary that killed 30,000 chickens. Not only did these poor, unfortunate creatures have their beaks cut-off early in life so they wouldn’t peck one another as a result of being unnaturally confined in urine and feces soaked battery cages, but they were burned to death in an unimaginably painful and horrible way.

And yet this article stated, “no one was injured” and “it looks like there’s going to be an egg shortage in Alberta.” Wow!

Submitted by J.C **Published in the National Post June 10th!**

I’d like to issue a correction. In your report of the fire that broke out at a Calgary factory egg farm, it was reported that “no one was injured in the fire” even though up to 30,000 chickens may have perished. Human lives aren’t the only lives that ‘count’; please be more accurate and considerate.

Submitted by Bonnie Shulman

I’m saddened that the National Post feels obliged to dismiss the lives of 30,000 chickens in a Calgary egg farm fire. You refer to the chickens as having been “wiped out”. How about burned alive, more like. Honestly, National Post, your disdain for all forms of non-human animal life is sick and twisted.

Animals and Terminology: Toronto Star April 2011

May 2011 in the National Post: Click here to read the article about the Journal of Animal Ethicists’ proposal to change the terminology we use to describe non-human animals.

Submitted by Nigel Osborne **Published in the National Post May 11th!**

Derogatory words often come in to being and evolve to reflect society’s general antipathy or contempt for someone or something different than ourselves.

The term “non-human animal,” for example, simply provides a contextual reference in hopes of creating a paradigm shift in how we view ourselves relative to the natural world of which we are undeniably linked.

Thus, when we begin to confront the arrogant concept of “dominionism” regards non-human animals, we start to employ the same rational thought processes that brought about changes regarding the issues of slavery and women’s suffrage.

Ending World Hunger: Toronto Star April 2011

Submitted by Shivangi Trivedi **Published in the Toronto Star April 26th!**

I read with great interest this editorial. I, however, disagree with your single-minded focus on biofuel production as the major responsible party in the world food crisis. There is a bigger and more dangerous culprit at play here: intensive livestock production.

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” intensive livestock production and the intensive agricultural practices that are required to support it are not only destroying biodiversity and fresh water, but also the arable land in developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America.

Moreover, livestock production is also consuming an estimated one-third of the world’s crops production by the way of feed crop. Anywhere between 2 and 7 kilograms of feed go toward making one kg of meat. This is a real problem since the total meat consumption of the world has only increased during the past 30 years.

Clearly, the crisis is not one of food production, it is of food distribution. Biofuels may well be a contributing party in driving this food crisis. However, I was disappointed to see that the wastage of food in the forms of feed crops for intensive livestock production was completely ignored.

Extending Legal Rights to All Animals: National Post February 2011

February 2011 in the National Post: Click here to read the article about the need to extend legal rights to animals (including farm animals) in Canada.

Submitted by J.C **Published in the National Post February 8th!**

It’s unfortunate Joe O’Connor conducted his interview with Professor Maneesha Deckha with a sarcastic tone. It would be nice if those who care about the welfare of non-human animals could be taken seriously for once. We should ask ourselves: If it’s not crazy for all humans to have rights, including those who are more mentally deficient than some non-human animals, why is it crazy to consider conferring rights on the latter as well? Expanding the circle of compassion and justice is something we should all more seriously consider.

“Humane” Butchers: Globe and Mail January 2011

January 2011 in the Globe and Mail: Click here to read the article about the rise of so-called “humane” butchers.

Submitted by Nigel O **Published in the Globe and Mail January 27th!**

I agree there might be improved sustainability by sourcing meat locally vs. industrialized agricultural operations. You’d support local farmers vs. the Con-Agra’s and Tyson Chicken’s of the world who employ illegal immigrants who work in poor conditions and experience the highest rate of workplace injuries of anyone. And you’d be transporting meat much shorter distances thus mitigating the energy-intensive nature of animal agriculture.

But just because you pet the cow on the head occasionally, let it graze naturally as evolution selected it to do and transport it shorter distances, you still have to slit it’s throat or slam a pressurized steel-bolt into its brain before dismembering it. Animal agriculture in itself is the antithesis of environmental sustainability due to: run-off of feces and urine pooling into slurry ponds and seeping into ground water, streams and wetlands; methane from livestock contributing to global warming; and the diversion of land use from crops or natural foliage that would otherwise remove CO2 and carbon from the atmosphere.

Eating meat means ingesting HCA’s (a carcinogen produced from cooking muscle meats). It dangerously increases levels of IGF-1 in the human body (a hormone that regulates cell growth). And it increases the risk of heart disease and obesity due to the naturally occurring cholesterol and fat. None of these facts change just because the meat is dissected by some ‘nouveau’ butcher vs. an underpaid menial labourer in a foreign country.

Submitted by J.C

The owners of Sanagan’s Meat Locker and other more ethically inclined butcher shops (New Breed of Butchers Cater to Appetite for Sustainability – Jan. 25) proclaim that they aim to sell meat from animals who have been “humanely raised.” Yet nowhere in the article does the author specify just what this process entails. Perhaps the Globe and Mail should do an investigation into the fraud behind “humane slaughter.” Anyone seriously concerned about animal welfare would do much better to put their concern into practice by forgoing animal products altogether.

Submitted by Kasia M

While there is much mention of sustainability and humane treatment in Sarah Elton’s story on the so-called “new breed” of butchers, the article leaves out the nasty truth which links the altruistic organic farmer to the hipster former-vegetarian butcher: slaughterhouses.
Who slaughters these animals? Where and in what manner? The vast majority of abbatoirs are not only large-scale commercial operations, but many in Canada are owned by large American companies Tyson and Cargill, who supply the low-grade meat that makes up 99% of the meat industry. (source: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0005190)
There is no mention of slaughtering in this article, but isn’t that the most important step to look at if you’re going to deem meat “humane”? It’s all well and good for a butcher to move his block to the shop window- the animal’s already dead; let’s watch him bleed a live pig at street-level, or nail-gun a cow in the forehead, and see how Elton- and eco-conscious yuppies- convince themselves that meat is humane.

Foie Gras Ban at Winterlude: National Post January 2011

January 2011 in the National Post: Click here to read the article about the ban of Foie Gras from Winterlude’s Gala dinner.

Submitted by Kasia M **Published in the National Post January 14th!**

I wanted to inform the National Post and Graeme Hamilton of a wonderful new development in How the World Works; now, one can care about both starving children and animal cruelty! It’s true, the powers that be changed the ban on having compassion for more than one group at any given time.
Now bleeding hearts like me can find both the idea of foie gras- meaning fat liver, because the animal is force-fed with a metal rod until its liver is so engorged it cannot walk- absolutely repulsive and agree that with the several countries and jurisdictions that have banned it sale, as well as do meaningful work to prevent child poverty.
This summer, I built a school in Tanzania, working as a fundraiser and communications director gratis. My partner, incidentally, also finds foie gras repugnant, and- gasp!- worked in Niger this year, coordinating food distributions to malnourished infants with an international aid organization.
At once, you propose that those against the production and consumption of foie gras have too much compassion (for ducks) and too little (for children); but often the case is that a compassionate person has enough to go around.
I’d like to see a few more foie gras afficianados, like Jacques Cerf, on the frontlines helping these starving children he so single-mindedly prioritizes. Considering the cost of the stuff, we’d probably have better funding.

Submitted by Barbi L **Published in the National Post January 14th!**

The National Capital Commission should be congratulated for objecting to serving foie gras at their Winterlude gala. This decision should not be seen as just a reaction to “animal-rights activists”, it is a logical decision for anyone with even an inkling of a conscious, which is why Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Italy, Norway, Poland and Turkey have all banned the sale of foie gras. California is the latest state in the U.S to announce a ban on the cruel practice, taking effect in 2012, Prince Charles has removed it from the menu at the royal residence, and prominent veterinarians oppose its production.

Why is that? Contrary to Cerf’s claim that it is no more cruel than other forms of factory farming, it is inherently more cruel than other forms of meat production as it is produced specifically from animals suffering a disease (hepatic steatosis, a form of liver disease). Ducks are force fed with more food than they can naturally ingest, creating enlarged livers. Tubes are shoved down their throats several times daily, and food is pumped in. This process ruptures their throats and internal organs and causes many to bleed to death. Their swollen livers impair their ability to walk and breathe.

It’s about time Canada joined the rest of the world in stepping up to banning this cruelty.

Submitted by Bonnie S

I’m thrilled that foie gras is off the menu at Winterlude. What shocks me is that the National Post didn’t have the guts to run a photo depicting the condition of ducks and geese on a foie gras “farm”. What are you scared of? The truth?  Instead you give us the tirades of chefs who don’t care that farmers shove a metal rod down the necks of ducks and geese and pump their stomach full to bursting.  The birds choke on their own vomit, die in their cages, and are left to rot. The ducks and geese still alive scream with terror when they see the farmer coming with their metal rods.  National Post, visit one of the foie gras torture chambers in Quebec and write about that. Bon appetit!

Submitted by J.C

I’m glad we’re seeing articles in the Globe and Mail and elsewhere   that focus on the controversy surrounding eating meat and/or animal   welfare (see, for e.g. “Duck-liver flap ruffles feathers of Ottawa   restauranteurs” – Jan. 12). The use and abuse of animals for arbitrary   and unnecessary purposes by humans is a topic that’s usually dismissed   outright by those who simply insist (often without argument) that such   practices are acceptable. It’s time we seriously question whether we   have good justification for using animals, most notably for food. Even   if one thinks that meat eating is ok in principle and resists taking a   strong animal rights perspective, it’s simply incredible to advocate   the way animals are treated on factory farms. What I and others in the   ‘minority’ ask from those in the majority is that they at least question whether they might be mistaken in holding fast to the ideology that animals are nothing but things intended for our consumption.

Two Medical Schools End Use of Live Pigs in Research: National Post January 2011

January 2011 in the National Post: Click here to read the article about the success of a PCRM campaign to end the use of live pigs in research.

Submitted by Barbi L

How ridiculous for people to claim that the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has no place commenting on Canada’s outdated practices of using live pigs in trauma-treatment courses. When we witness atrocities in Rwanda or Darfur, do we not feel Canada is obligated to step in and urge their governments to take action and end the suffering?

PCRM is not just a bunch of “vegan doctors”, or left-wing animal activists as Blackwell’s article depicts. They are a well-established, respected group of medical doctors. They are among the widespread opposition coming from the scientific and medical community against the use of animals in medical research and teaching due to the fact that animals are poor surrogates for human anatomy.

For the people who claim that alternative methods aren’t as good as animal testing or training, why don’t they go and tell that to the 10,000 people born with birth defects thanks to thalidomide, for which animal tests had revealed it was “safe” for humans, or the 139,000 that suffered heart attacks (30-40% of them fatal) after taking Vioxx, another drug deemed safe for humans after animal testing.

This decision is a cause for celebration as we move towards better and more reliable, safe alternatives to animal testing in medical research and training.

Recipes

Favourite Recipes from TVA Volunteers

Vegan Cheese Sauce

Lauren’s Famous Carrot Cake

Spinach Pappu

Stuffed Okra

Garam Masala Gobi

Broccoli and “Cheese” Soup

Chili Con Bulgur

Ethiopian Lentils and Kale

Chickpea Cutlets

Comfort Soup

Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • 1 cup nutritional yeast
  • 6 tbsp. of flour
  • 8 tsp.corn starch
  • 2 cups of water (or 1 cup water, 1 cup of beer)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. mustard (or tahini, for a creamier taste)
  • salt to taste

In a small saucepan, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the liquid and oil and combine thoroughly. Stir over medium heat until mixture becomes thick, then add the mustard or tahini. This sauce is great for macaroni or cooked vegetables.

Lauren’s Famous Carrot Cake

Makes one 9” cake

Cake Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ C all purpose flour
  • ½ C white sugar
  • ½ C brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ⅔ C sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 TBSP ground flax seed
  • 6 TBSP water
  • 2 C grated carrots
  • ½ C crushed pineapple

Cake Directions Preheat oven to 350C. Grease a 9” pan.  Whisk ground flax seed and water together in a small bowl, set aside. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix brown and white sugars, sunflower oil, and vanilla until well combined. Add flax seed/water mixture and pineapple. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined. Fold in grated carrots. Be careful not to overmix. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan 10 minutes, move to cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Icing Ingredients   

  • ¾ C vegan cream cheese (like Tofutti)
  • ¼ C vegan margarine (like Earth Balance)
  • 3-4 C icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

Icing Directions Beat cream cheese and margarine with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Sift in 2 cups of icing sugar. Beat until combined. Add 1 more cup of icing sugar and beat until smooth. If a thicker icing is desired, add ¼ C more icing sugar at a time until reached. Use icing to frost cooled cake. Extra icing can be stored in a sealed container in fridge for use on cookies, cupcakes, or eaten with a spoon.

Spinach Pappu

Ingredients

2 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp freshly ground ginger
3-4 green chilies
10-15 curry leaves
1 cup toor dahl
a big bunch of well chopped spinach
1 medium-sized white or yellow onion chopped
1/2 cup (loosely packed) of chopped coriander

1.5 cups of rice cooked

Instructions

1) Cook one cup of dahl either in a pressure cooker or on a stovetop, and remove from heat.
2) Sautee cumin and mustard seeds in oil until you hear a popping sound from the mustard seeds.
3) Stir in chopped onions and sliced chilis into mustard seeds and cumin – cook onions until they start to turn translucent.
4) Stir in chopped spinach. Cook the spinach well (it will shrink a lot!).
5) Stir in dahl, curry leaves, ginger and salt.  Add a few cups of water to bring to a soupy consistency – this is served on top of rice!  Squeeze in half a lemon if you like your pappu sour.
6) Cook well (covered).
Serve generously on rice.

Stuffed Okra

Ingredients

  • 15-20 medium sized okra
  • 2 tablespoon chick pea flour
  • 2 tablespoon oil (any kind)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed green chilli
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Some freshly cut coriander
  • Salt to taste

Directions

Wipe okra with wet cloth and air dry (ensure that the okra is dry). Cut the tops and slice the okra longitudinally so that it can be stuffed

In a bowl mix the 1 tablespoon oil with the rest of the ingredients to make a paste. Slightly more water or oil can be added. In a non-stick pan, spread a tablespoon of oil. Fill the okra and place them on the pan. Heat the pan without cover at low temperature on the cooking range for 15-20 minutes. The okra should be left slightly crunchy.

Garam Masala Gobi

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower

1/2 pound macadamia nuts

1/4 cup olive oil

1 lemon – juiced

1 teaspoon celtic salt (optional)

3 or 4 tablespoons garam masala

pinch cayenne pepper

1 bunch cilantro

Directions: Break apart the cauliflower into florets and place in casserole dish or dehydrator tray. Blend macadamia nuts in high power blender with olive oil. Add lemon juice along with celtic salt and cayenne pepper. Pour sauce over florets and massage it in. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or dehydrate at 145 for 1-2 hours. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Broccoli and “Cheese” Soup

You can use either all broccoli, or a combination of broccoli and cauliflower in this recipe, and may opt to make it dairy-free by using faux cheese.

Ingredients

3/4 cup water

1 cup cauliflower, or broccoli chopped (or a combination)

1 cup cubed potatoes

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup butter or butter replacement (vegan Becel or Earth Balance)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups milk or soy milk

salt and pepper to taste

4 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese or faux vegan cheese (optional)

Directions: In a large saucepan, combine water, cauliflower/broccoli, potatoes, celery, carrots, and onion. Boil for 5 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Set aside. Melt butter in separate saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and gradually stir in milk. Return to heat, and cook until thickened. Stir in vegetables with cooking liquid, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese until melted, and remove from heat.

Chili-Con Bulgur from La Dolce Vegan

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3½ cups vegetable stock
  • ¾ cup bulgur (I use brown rice)
  • 1 19-oz can beans (your choice), drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup tamari
  • 1½ tsp chili powder
  • 1½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt

Directions: In a large saucepan on medium heat, sauté the onions in oil until translucent. Add the carrots, celery, green peppers, and garlic and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Ethiopian Lentils with Kale (adapted by Caroline from a recipe online)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 large onions
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 bunch kale
  • 3 tomatoes

Directions

1. Soak the lentils for 30 minutes, then rinse and drain.

2. Saute the chopped onion in oil until golden.

3. Add the tomato paste and paprika, and stir.

4. Add the water, garlic, ginger, pepper and salt.

5. Stir well, cover, and bring to boil.

6. Once boiling, add lentils and simmer 20 minutes.

7. Add chopped tomatoes and finely chopped kale to pot, stir.

8. Simmer 10 minutes.

Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon

Lisa says this recipe is a favourite because it’s a quick and easy patty, and it’s not too hard to vary it up with different flavors depending on what you have on hand.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 TSP lemon zest
  • 1/2 TSP thyme
  • 1/2 TSP paprika
  • 1/4 TSP sage
  • oil for frying

Directions

In a mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas with the oil until no whole chickpeas are left. Add the remaining ingredients, and knead for about three minutes.
Preheat a large frying pan on medium heat. Meanwhile, divide the dough into four pieces. Knead each piece and flatten and stretch to be a roughly 4 by 6 inch cutlet.
Add a thin layer of oil to coat the pan. Cook the cutlets on each side for 6-7 minutes. You may need to add more oil when you flip sides. If you like, you can also bake the cutlets instead of frying. Bake them at 375 for 20 minutes on one side. Then flip and bake for 8-10 minutes on the second side.

Comfort Soup

This is Neil’s self-proclaimed “comfort soup of choice”, and it comes from PETA’s Compassionate Cookbook.

Ingredients

  • oil of choice
  • 1 medium onion – chopped or sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 1 cup lentils
  • pepper to taste (1/4 tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Balsamic vinegar – not part of the recipe but soooo good to add in after for a nice kick!

Directions

Saute the onions and carrots with oil for 5-10 minutes. Add all other ingredients (minus the lemon and balsamic), and stir and bring to boil. Simmer for 40-50 mins – you will probably have to add water after 20-30 mins so be aware. Add lemon juice and balsamic to taste if using.